It is with great pride that the Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement in partnership with Echoing Green announces the semi-finalists for the 2013 Black Male Achievement Fellowships. Of the 87 applicants selected to move on to the next phase of the process, eight will eventually be chosen as BMA Fellows. The Fellows will receive $70,000 in startup capital for their innovative nonprofit as well as support through trainings, consulting opportunities, and mentorship.
When we launched the fellowship last year we wanted to create the space and opportunity for innovative thinkers and doers to give birth to the ideas and solutions to address the most entrenched problems facing black men and boys. So it is fitting that the announcement for the BMA semi-finalists comes during the month of February when we celebrate African-American history and excellence.
We hope that the diversity of applicants who applied to this year’s Fellowship will give birth to the very ideas and solutions that are needed to improve the life outcomes for black men and boys. And we hope that the BMA Fellowship leads to the support of those who have a passion and commitment to strengthen and build the field of black male achievement. Ultimately, we hope the Fellowship will lead to self-sustaining programs and institutions that empower black men and boys. Indeed, their voices are critical to maintaining an open and vibrant democracy.
The BMA Fellowship epitomizes those individuals who poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” We are excited that over 684 applications were submitted with a vision and passion to drive innovation and social change on behalf of black men and boys. We celebrate all the applicants for the 2013 BMA Fellowship and again congratulate the semi-finalists for advancing to the next round.
For more information on Echoing Green’s selection criteria, see their post in this week’s Harvard Business Review blog.