Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do leaders apply?

A:  Applicants are able to apply online at

Q: What is the deadline to apply?

A: Applications will be open from May 16-31, 2024. Please sign up for updates here.

Q: What is the program start date?

A: The next cohort will open for self-paced instruction in June 2024.

Q: What is the cost of the program?

A: The program fee for the Birth & Breastfeeding Leadership Institute is $2,500. Scholarships, employer payments and individual payment plans are available. 

Q: Who should apply?

A: The application process for Cohort 5 is open to Black leaders in maternal and child health in Detroit. Although there is not a minimum age requirement, applicants must demonstrate a history of commitment to maternal child health. 

Q: How does the interview process work?

A:  Applicants selected beyond the initial application phase will move on to the second and final round, where they will interview with the BBLI selection committee members. This will occur in June 2024. Interviews will be held via Zoom or another identified technological platform.

Q: What will the selection committee look for in a candidate?

A: The BBLI selection committee is looking for Black individuals who through their experience and actions reflect alignment with the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association’s mission and values, exhibit work in the maternal child health field, and are committed to ensuring equitable systems of accountability in the field. It is our desire to attract a multitude of emerging, evolving, and established leaders.

Q: What does the BBLI seek to achieve?

A:  As part of our commitment to advance equitable policies and practices, the BBLI intends to leverage leadership inherent in Black communities to improve birth and breastfeeding outcomes.

Q: What is expected of leaders?

A: Leaders are expected to hone their leadership skills and be supportive and respectful of their peers. Leaders shall be fully engaged, communicate clearly, think critically, and be intentional about relationship building.

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: The Institute is designed to be self-paced, allowing leaders to engage between 40-50 hours over the course of nine months as their schedules allow, and will also feature scheduled interactive discussions.  Leaders are expected to participate in a fully immersive experience of podcasts, webinars, participant engagement discussions, assigned readings, panel discussions, mentorship, and completion of a digital portfolio and leadership assessment.  

Q: Will leaders be expected to attend live sessions?

A: Yes. Leaders will be required to attend live wisdom circles once a month from 7:30pm - 8:30 pm EST (6:30 CST / 5:30 MST / 4:30 PST). The date of the virtual pinning ceremony is TBD. 

Q: How many leaders will be selected?

A: Each cohort will have a maximum of 20 individuals.

Q: Is English proficiency a requirement?

A: Yes. Learning sessions, presentations, and all leadership activities will be held in English.

Q: What will leaders experience during the leadership institute?

A: Leaders will experience increased self-awareness related to current leadership skills, expand personal and business networks, increase subject-matter content knowledge, enhance skill development and leadership growth, explore new information, and increase success in navigating change.

Q: How was the leadership institute developed? 

A: The leadership institute was developed by Black leaders who are diverse in place, leadership, and expertise. Their expertise lies in one or more of the following areas: racial justice, non-profit administration, program development, high-tech innovation, communications, policy, community organizing, and lived experience.  The curriculum prioritizes community voice and the lived experiences of Black people.  The curriculum themes were developed based on conversations with Black field leaders throughout the U.S. Learn more about the leadership institute design and development.

Q: What’s the curriculum for the BBLI? What are the components of the program?

A: Grounded from the voices of Black women across the United States immersed in the maternal child health field, the curriculum is designed to provide a well-rounded learning experience including leadership development, organizational leadership, program development, content development, advocacy and policy, communications and messaging, cross-functional team-building and fund development.  The intention of the Leadership Institute is that participants are engaged in opportunities to explore new information, make new connections, and expand their knowledge base.

Q: What happens at the end of the leadership institute?

A: BBLI leaders will walk away with tangible skills and increased confidence allowing them to effectively facilitate and manage equitable change in the maternal child health field for Black families. Leaders who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Advanced Leadership specializing in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and recognition of completion at a virtual pinning ceremony. 

Additional Questions?

Email us at