DiverseForce on Boards Graduates Sixth Cohort of Board Leaders

Empowering Professionals of Color to Diversify Nonprofit Boards and Drive Impact Locally

DiverseForce On Boards Graduation Ceremony

This week, DiverseForce On Boards (DFOB) graduated its sixth cohort, comprised of 26 mid- to senior-level leaders of color from companies like Comcast NBCUniversal, Accenture and BlackRock.

DFOB is a leadership development and board placement program, founded in 2017 as a partnership between DiverseForce and ImpactED.

DFOB was created to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity on nonprofit boards. According to a 2017 report by BoardSource, 84% of nonprofit board members and 90% of board chairs in the U.S. are white but are serving predominantly Black and Brown communities. 

"At DiverseForce, we believe that the nonprofit sector is a powerful catalyst for positive societal change. However, there is a pervasive racial and cultural misalignment between leadership teams and target populations that often results in inaccurate solutions - programs and services that do not meet the needs of the population being served," says DFOB founder and DiverseForce CEO, Sulaiman Rahman. 

By developing professionals of color to serve on nonprofit boards, DiverseForce is cultivating a robust pipeline of community change agents. Participants are empowered to help organizations become more culturally aligned with the communities they serve.

In its short four-year history, DiverseForce has assembled a network of over 300 local nonprofits to serve as board matching partners and has graduated 160 professionals from the program. Alumni have filled over 140 board positions and are helping to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion across the Greater Philadelphia region.

The driving insight of DFOB is that even the most well-intentioned boards often lack the network and outlook needed to recruit and retain members of color. Large philanthropic funding organizations like William Penn Foundation, Knight Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation and Lenfest Foundation have partnered with DFOB to invest in system-wide capacity building, sponsoring multiple grantees within their funding portfolios to participate in the program. Studies show the benefits of a diverse board include better decision-making, attracting diverse donors and higher board engagement. Long-time program sponsor, William Penn Foundation, reports that its DFOB board member recruits tend to be the most engaged and innovative members their guarantees have.

DiverseForce has also partnered with corporations like Comcast NBCUniversal, Accenture, TD Bank and Capital One, who have sponsored employees to go through the program. Program participants bring transferable innovation and leadership skills back to their own companies or employers; including how to influence business ecosystems to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. 

"The growth and success of the program can be attributed to having established win-win-win relationships between diverse professionals, employers, and the community. Collectively we are cultivating diverse talent pipelines of mid- to senior-level leaders of color who are empowered to create real impact in the communities where they live, work, and play," states Rahman. 

The program has open enrollment for Cohort Seven starting in September 2021.

For more information on DiverseForce on Boards, please visit, www.diverseforceonboards.com.

About DiverseForce:
DiverseForce was founded in 2017 as a strategic human capital solutions firm specializing in cultivating diverse leadership pipelines and advancing more inclusive ecosystems across all sectors.

About ImpactED:
ImpactED is an evaluation and training center based in the University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies that equips social and public sector organizations with critical skills and data to accelerate social change.

Media Contact: 
Name: Lucy Jimenez  
Phone: 215-583-2344 x725
Email: Lucy@diverseforce.com

Source: DiverseForce