Black Leadership Initiative (BLI) is a unique program taking an Afrocentric approach to social work practice. Emphasis is placed on community, collective action, cultural context, and Ubuntu- the West African concept of shared consciousness and group cohesion.
We are pleased to announce the creation of an initiative designed to support, develop, and prepare MSW level practitioners regarding issues faced by the Black community. This exciting new program continues BCSSW's legacy in innovation through providing one-of-a-kind professional development through a curriculum that focuses on an Afrocentric approach to social work practice. The Afrocentric approach to social work practice emphasizes community, collective action, cultural context, and Ubuntu- the West African concept of shared consciousness and group cohesion.
Students who participate in the Black Leadership Initiative (BLI) will be placed in a field assignment specially arranged to support black communities while engaging students in meaningful leadership development opportunities. There are exciting opportunites for field work throughout the Boston area—we're working with 600+ partnerships and agencies in launching this new initiative.
Specialized monthly meetings for the BLI cohort will be designed to create opportunities for faculty and staff leadership to interface with students as a group. The monthly meetings will provide specialized training related to field, coursework, and community building. The monthly meeting will also introduce BLI fellows to professional networks comprised of key public leaders, scholars, and executives in Boston.
Specialized courses will be provided as electives to the Boston College community as a whole. These courses will focus specifically on the experiences of the African diaspora, a term commonly used to describe the mass dispersion of peoples from Africa during the Transatlantic Slave Trades. This critical aspect will center the histories of the African and Black diaspora, and systems of oppression such as child welfare, criminal justice, employment, education and healthcare.
Students in the BLI center the history and culture of the African diaspora in order to address the needs of Black clients and communities. Ubuntu, an African philosophy based on the concept of shared humanity, lies at the heart of the curriculum.