INSPIRED BY BLACK MEN
You know him, that Black man whose commitment to making a difference is truly inspiring. Maybe he's a coach, a coworker, your father or uncle. He could be a military veteran, a mayor, a fortune 500 executive or community organizer. Our BMe Community Geniuses come from all these walks of life with only two things in common.
They have dedicated their lives to making a better future for others.
They are trusted by their communities because of it.
The BMe Community Genius Fellowship finds, funds and builds communities based upon the brotherhood of these inspired black men. In Akron, Baltimore, Detroit, Louisville, Miami, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; BMe Community Geniuses run the programs, businesses and governments that have helped millions of families since 2013 to acquire health, wealth, hope and opportunity.
Each year BMe Community makes it easy to apply for the fellowship. Any Black man in selected cities need only tell their story and what they'd do with the opportunity. Submissions are reviewed by a local committee and once finalists have undergone due diligence they are invited to BMe's exclusive Genius Conference where they meet their peers from past cohorts as well as BMe Community partners, friends and funders.
Genius Fellows are awarded $10k for their projects, honored at a local awards event and receive ongoing networking, recognition and partnership opportunities for as long as they are active in the network.
The Selection Process
The selection process has 4 stages.
Quick & Easy Application Form: BMe staff (Team BMe) review and score applications by the following criteria to choose an intentionally large pool of semi-finalists.
- Remarkable Story – We draw from your life-story answer on application
- Deeply Trusted – We check references plus do our own independent research
- Lifelong Commitment – We draw from your answers on application and our own independent research
- Desire to Transform – We draw from your answers on application and our own independent research
Independent Reviewers: The semi-finalists’ are reviewed by independent reviewers who use the same criteria as above but are NOT aware of staff rankings. The panel of reviewers then meet and debate to give us our finalists pool.
Due Diligence: Team BMe will notify finalists, answer any of their questions and reconfirm their commitment to Full participation in the Fellowship. We may ask for additional documentation and we will conduct background checks. We may also interview colleagues or beneficiaries we find through our network without notifying finalist.
Diversity: In the final stage we look to insure that each cohort has a rich array of perspectives by choosing a good range of ages, professions, and experiences for each cohort. We always have more qualified applicants than we can accept.
THE DIFFERENCE IT MAKES
Since 2013 Genius Fellows' organizations and initiatives have provided youth development, education, economic opportunity, public safety, reentry support, community organizing, role models, hope and opportunity to over 2-million families. Fellows range from corporate executives and business owners like Evan Frazier and Greg Spencer, who use the network to help forge an executive leadership development program for black people in Pittsburgh across a range of industries to entrepreneurs like Chris Wilson and Shaka Senghor who were each formerly incarcerated and have become important national and international influencers in the justice reform movement since being recognized as Genius Fellows.
With the support of individual donors and visionary organizations such as The Campaign for Black Male Achievement plus leading foundations including The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and the John Graham Brown Foundation, BMe Community Geniuses are updating the narrative on Black men in America to recognize them as the Community-builders they have always been.