On Thursday, April 14, the Twin Cities Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) graduated 15 fellows in our third cohort. We lucked out with beautiful weather and a beautiful location in Norway House on Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis. About 60 people attended, some of which included family, friends, nominators and funders.
This year’s fellows selected BCLI trainer Pakou Hang, executive director of the Hmong American Farmers Association to deliver the keynote address. Pakou reminded the fellows in her comments to reach inside for their strength and moral compass to always fight for justice. She also encouraged them to have the determination of a rock which can bend the direction of a stream. Her speech was followed by equally powerful personal reflections of four of the fellows: Tiphanie “PH” Copeland, Jeanette Jones, Luis Rangel, and Harrison Bullard, all of whom were nominated by their peers to speak. On a final program note, we are proud to share that four of the 15 fellows are currently serving on a board or commission and our goal is to get the majority of folks placed within a year of graduation.
We are grateful to all that made the graduation possible and to everyone who has been a part of the program the past year. And as this year ends we already look forward to the next year’s cohort!