The BMe Public Voices Thought Leaders Fellows program is a national initiative, launched in partnership with The OpEd Project to dramatically increase the public impact of our nation’s top Black thinkers and doers. Emphasis is on extraordinary Black men and women who have dedicated their lives to improving conditions for others and who want to dramatically increase their influence. Fellows selected on a highly competitive basis.


  1. Extraordinary Fellows: Fellows are proven leaders across diverse fields. Your peers from other Public Voices Fellowships include bestselling authors, Nobel Laureates, public policy and movement leaders.
  2. Proven Curriculum: The four mandatory in-person, day-long courses are in Miami, Florida – March 23, April 20-21, May 18, July 13, 2018. The advanced curriculum in framing, mattering and persuasion is taught by top facilitators from The Aspen Institute, The Op-Ed Project and BMe Community.
  3. Professional Support: All Fellows receive coaching and support from professional journalists and editors on drafting, editing and pitching pieces.
  4. Ongoing Insight: Monthly conference calls with senior media insiders (NYT, CNN, TED, Wikipedia) 
  5. Access: Ongoing access to our team of high-level mentor-editors, post-fellowship.

Any questions about the fellowship or application process should be directed to BMe Community Chief of Staff, Sarah Bouchereau,


The BMe Public Voices Fellowship is an exciting new resource for the ethical use of power and ideas. It’s purpose is to increase the public impact of our knowledge for the greater good.  The fellowship provides extraordinary resources, support and skills over the course of a calendar year, including cutting edge game-based and research-driven programming, and access to a prestigious network of fellows at peer institutions nationwide including Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Ford Foundation and Ms. Foundation.

1. FRAMING (1st Convening): March 23, 2018
Who do you think Black people are? In public discourse do you fall into the convention of defining people and places by their challenges? In this first convening we will explore the science behind cognition and decision-making to demonstrate the out-sized impact that narrative has on them as well as on identity and behavior. This fellowship is ultimately about telling the truth in more powerful ways because he or she who shapes the narrative shapes the world.

2. KNOWLEDGE (2nd Convening): April 20-21, 2018
What do we know, why does it matter, and how can we use it? In the second convening we use games, high-stakes scenarios and live experiments to explore the concepts of expertise and credibility, to examine the elements of powerful argument and persuasion (including evidence, how to address opposition and building consensus), and to challenge fellows to think in new and bigger ways about what they know and why it matters. We also reflect on the obligation that comes with knowledge.

3. CONNECTION (3rd Convening): May 18, 2018
How can we speed the pace of cross-pollination, and thereby develop better ideas that increase our value and relevance in the world? In the third convening we connect the dots between disparate ideas, fields, geographies, and time periods. We play games that explore the source of truly innovative thinking (where do good ideas come from?) and test our ideas of timing and timeliness. We discover unlikely yet authentic connections across people, time and space – and new ways in which our knowledge intersects with public events.

4. CONTAGION and LEGACY (4th Convening): July 13, 2018
Why do we do what we do and why do some ideas travel farther and faster than others? The final convening explores the underpinnings and philosophical implications of a rapidly changing media landscape and the enduring impact we wish to leave behind. We use elemental questions to explore our individual ideas around purpose and legacy with a telescopic lens. Fellows leave with a physical record of their motivations and accomplishments and with blueprints for the future.

Apply Now