BMe Vanguard FAQ

  1. What’s the purpose of the BMe Vanguard Fellowships?
  2. What do I get from it?
  3. Who is eligible for BMe Vanguard Fellowships?
  4. What’s the best way to increase my odds?
  5. What’s the selection process?
  6. How easy is it to apply?
  7. What if I can make most but not all the sessions?

What’s the purpose of the BMe Vanguard Fellowships?

It’s time for new narratives and new leadership. We vet dedicated, passionate and sincere black leaders and give them access to an unparalleled leadership community. We then help Fellows to succeed by providing them advanced training on persuasion, social psychology, policy, history and asset-framing-for-equity from world-class leaders in their fields. We provide the Knowledge Information and Networks (KIN) to help the next Black leaders thrive.

What do I get from it?

A network so incredible that our Fellows regularly refer to each other as “brother, sister and family” even though some are finance leaders, others are activists, elected officials, nonprofit leaders or business owners. Life changing Knowledge, Influence and Networks (KIN) from originators in BMe Community, Aspen Global Leadership Network, The OpEd Project, PolicyLink and more. Every Fellow is vetted to find only those black men and women who have dedicated their lives to making a difference. All Fellows have access to BMe’s private database of their peers and to champions of all races and genders.

Who is eligible for BMe Vanguard Fellowships?

Black adults residing in the United States are eligible, from 18-180 years old are eligible.

Are past Fellows or staff eligible: Yes. While you can’t experience the same Fellowship twice, any of our past or current Fellows or staff who haven’t been a BMe Vanguard Fellow are eligible for this opportunity.

Are friends and family members of staff and Fellows eligible: Yes. Independent advisers, background checks and our own investigations play pivotal roles in selecting Fellows, so it neither helps nor hurts your application to know someone at BMe. Insuring the integrity of the program is paramount to us, so ALL Fellows are selected on their own merits.

What if I’ve been arrested? We do not judge you for things that you cannot change in your past. We are interested in what you’re doing to make a difference today and in the future.

What’s the best way to increase my odds?

The core qualities we look for are that you’ve committed your life to making a positive difference and that you’ve earned the trust of your community and other influential people. The application is intentionally easy to fill out. There are essentially only 4 questions, plus you have to name two references.

Your story and the references make the biggest difference in terms of who we select. Be sure to tell a remarkable story about yourself and to give references who are the most influential people you know, because the ONLY question we ask references is to tell us a story that illustrates why they personally vouch for your trustworthiness.

What’s 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, genders, and experiences for each cohort. We always have more qualified applicants than we can accept.

No one is notified of their status until May 6. All decisions are final at that point.

How easy is it to apply?

The application form itself is intentionally easy. There are essentially only 4 questions and they are easy to answer (see “What’s the selection process?”)

  • What’s your story?
  • With what initiative will our fellowship help you?
  • List associations that you are active in.
  • List awards and honors you’ve received.

What if I can make most but not all the sessions?

This is an advanced, intensive curriculum. Every Fellow is extremely busy. Every session is mandatory, and major funders and investors have committed thousands of dollars per Fellow to hire the best trainers in the nation so that you get this course for free. However, if you are applying for New Futures Vanguard or Social Determinants of Health Vanguard, those sessions meet one week apart, and so it is possible that if you can’t make one of the dates for your cohort then you can take it with the other cohort. This is sub-optimal and to be avoided. However we will consider it and we have granted such opportunities in the past. We still reserve the right to decline a candidate who cannot fully commit to the dates with the rest of their own cohort.