Applications open for Bingham Fellows Class of 2021

Class topic will be ‘Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Each year, local leaders selected for the Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows program are tasked with an issue of importance in the community and asked to work with peers to develop solutions to our community’s most pressing challenges. The topic for the 2021 Bingham Fellows will be: Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity.

Applications for the Bingham Fellows Class of 2021 are being accepted through Friday, Nov. 6 at www.leadershiplouisville.org. Individuals who want to experience an unmatched practicum in change management and group dynamics while using their broad knowledge base and range of experience to move the needle on this important community issue should apply. The upcoming program year begins in January 2021 and ends in January 2022. For more information, contact Aimee Jewell at (502) 561-0458 or [email protected].

Want to learn more about Bingham Fellows, the 2021 topic and how to apply?

The Center is hosting two virtual opportunities to learn more about the program, the 2021 topic, and the application process.

• Wednesday, October 14, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

• Friday, October 23, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Both are free to attend, RSVP at: https://www.leadershiplouisville.org/bingham-fellows/bingham-fellows-2021-topic/

More about the 2021 topic – “Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity”

Our city, like our country, continues to grapple with the legacy of racism and bias. We have debilitating income and wealth inequality, and we are geographically and often socially segregated. These inequities, particularly those faced by the Black community, have led to a lack of diversity in leadership positions in our major institutions and employers.

U.S. businesses spend nearly $8 billion each year on diversity and inclusion training and initiatives, but the needle isn’t moving. Why? Because hiring diverse talent by itself does not create an inclusive culture where all people can thrive. That requires a sense of belonging.

When employees feel like they belong, their companies experience a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days, according to a BetterUp, September 2019 study. Institutions who create cultures of belonging build diverse leadership pipelines at all levels, creating psychological safety on teams that allow everyone to reach their full potential.

Increasing belonging inside organizations is critical, but in order to truly address wealth inequality, the business community must reach out across Louisville to ensure inclusivity is a valued part of our identity. If we are to affect the physical and social segregation that holds us back, everyone must learn to communicate across differences. We need to hold ourselves accountable to making real change, making sure we are properly defining and measuring success along the way.

This is where the Bingham Fellows come in. We know our community is filled with leaders who are ready for change and are willing to step up and be part of the solution. Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows program will gather these leaders from every sector to examine these issues and make an impact. A diverse group will be selected for the Class of 2021 to study root causes of racism, connect with leaders in the arena of diversity and inclusion, learn how to communicate across differences and research identified solutions.

They will examine and amplify the work that is already underway in our community, including the work of the city, the collective petition, “A Path Forward for Louisville,” the work of GLI’s Business Council to End Racism, and inside employee resource groups (ERGs) within organizations. The class will create safe spaces to learn and grow amongst themselves, and ultimately form project teams to take action and help create the best version of Louisville for everyone.