Supporting Mid-Career Leaders of Color


Alex Dorsey, Platform Impact Leaders Fellowship Founder/Director

November 20, 2023

Learning and Training
Inner Life

Platform Impact Leaders Fellowship (Platform Impact) is a year-long journey for a small cohort of mid-career nonprofit and social change leaders of color. It is where inward searching and transformation guide outward vision.

During facilitated in-person and virtual retreats, peer leadership circles, and executive coaching sessions, leaders do the deep work of clearing a space in the dense forest of their lives. In this space, leaders examine their origins and complexity of identities, their potential, questions about who they are becoming, and their impact on the world.

Leaders identify what is essential to claim or release as they cross new thresholds of leadership, personally and professionally. They experience insights and breakthroughs that allow them to claim more of their authority and influence. One fellow said, “it has been a transformative journey in terms of how I perceive and embrace my own influence. Prior to this fellowship, I was aware of the influence I possessed but often held back from fully embracing it. I approached it conservatively and, at times, felt uncomfortable wielding it. However, this program has provided me with the tools and insights to step into my own power with confidence. I now leave with a greater sense of self-assuredness about the positive impact I can have because of who I am.”

Platform Impact requires slowing down and offers support in establishing new patterns of mindful reflection and thoughtful action. Radical welcome, holding paradox, deepening trust in oneself, and building trust with others is central. Leaders’ openness, honesty, and courageous vulnerability open the door for their growth and the cohort’s growth.

Another Platform Impact alum speaks to it like this, “I wish this program could be mandatory for every leader of color in positions of authority…My biggest takeaway is that you cannot be a transformative leader if you have not done the work to transform yourself from the inside out. The depth of unlearning that needs to happen for every leader but especially for leaders of color can only happen in a space dedicated to that work with others on the same journey.”

More From Commonweal