LI Spotlight: Mosaic Fellowship

Mosaic Fellowship challenges organizations to build boards equitably.

There is a lack of diverse board leadership in Indianapolis organizations causing boards to remain overwhelmingly White and male. Even organizations who have mastered diversity often fail at true inclusion and power-sharing with BIPOC, women, young people, and the LGBTQ+ communities. As a result, the community continues to witness public organizational failures.

Applications are now open for the Mosaic Fellowship Pilot, established in partnership with The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation, and Leadership Indianapolis to increase diversity on boards—not just so that boards look differently, but so they work differently. By providing support to both individuals and organizations, Mosaic aims to shift power, elevate new voices and grow the perspectives included on not-for-profit boards throughout our community.

Four individuals will be selected to be Mosaic Fellows. Fellows will:

  • be placed on not-for-profit boards that are actively working to address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the board level
  • participate in cohort trainings, including Leadership Indianapolis programming, designed to support them in honing foundational board skills, building social capital, and using their gifts and power on an Indianapolis board
  • be provided financial resources to support their board commitments

The not-for-profit organizations involved must commit to having a member of their leadership participate in two annual development trainings on board equity. Organizations must also demonstrate meaningful work and changes to advance equity in their board operation, recruitment, and retention. Organizational application is by invitation only. Not-for-profits selected will have already demonstrated that they are engaged in ongoing work to achieve equity in their organizations and service to the community.

“In order for Indy’s not-for-profit organizations to truly serve the community, the decision-makers in those organizations must reflect the breadth of people living in the community. We are thrilled to partner with the Indianapolis Foundation on the Mosaic Fellowship to support talented leaders eager to be stewards of our community as well as organizations who are being intentional about making their leadership culture more inclusive and equitable,” says Rebecca Hutton, president and CEO of Leadership Indianapolis.

This pilot is an evolution of The Indianapolis Foundation Fellowship. At its centennial gala on Aug. 27, 2016, The Indianapolis Foundation announced the launch of a new program designed to reinvigorate the community by diversifying its leadership. The Indianapolis Foundation Fellowship placed a diverse group of 10 young civic leaders on prominent local boards and provided them with funds to activate annually, for three years, during their terms. The program, announced in honor of the Indianapolis Foundation’s 100th anniversary, also provided ongoing enrichment and networking opportunities.

“The Mosaic Fellowship is not about making women, young people, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ board members ‘better.’ There are already highly qualified candidates among all these groups who are routinely overlooked in traditional board processes and recruitment,” says Tamara Winfrey-Harris, vice president of community leadership and effective philanthropy at Central Indiana Community Foundation, who managed The Indianapolis Foundation Fellowship. “The goal of Mosaic is to make the way not-for-profits approach board development better—more equitable—and to foster relationships that connect great candidates with leadership opportunities and allow organizations to benefit from the breadth of talent that exists in our city.”

Additionally, the Mosaic program includes quarterly programming around organizational equity that will be open to all Central Indiana organizations.

Begin your application for the Mosaic Fellowship here. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm. Direct questions to

Leadership Indianapolis Welcomes New Vice President

We are thrilled to have Beth Perdue Outland join the Leadership Indianapolis staff as Vice President! 

For more than 30 years, Beth’s career and civic engagement have focused on building community through creative experience design, innovative programming and strategic problem solving. Prior to coming to Leadership Indianapolis, Beth served as the Vice President for Community Engagement and Strategic Innovation at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Fueled by a lifelong passion for the arts and a desire to support an inclusive, equitable and thriving community, she is committed to building connections across sectors to catalyze personal, professional and community development.

Beth’s civic leadership roles include serving on the boards of Leadership Indianapolis and Centric and on the steering committees of Spirit and Place, TedX Indianapolis and the Music Crossroad’s Initiative. Beth is an alumni of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Program, class XXVIII. 

Help us welcome Beth to the team! 

COLUMN: More than a number

This column originally appeared on

Conversations around public safety and criminal justice seem to never end. When you turn on the news, open a paper, scroll social media or listen to the radio, chances are there is a conversation happening about how dangerous things are, how many people have perished, the injustice that pervades the justice system and the dire circumstances behind each tragedy.

A conversation has also begun to happen around whether or not crime statistics, which are often used to inform and legitimize this news as well as enact policies, are as reliable as we’ve been led to believe. However, what is undoubtedly important to focus on are the stories of those who are affected and impacted by the issues surrounding public safety and criminal justice. What is the true, human experience?

In planning our programming for this season, it became clear to us that this should be the focus.

On July 20 we will host a skill workshop facilitated by Duane Ingram of the Citizens’ Police Complaint Board and starting on Aug. 5 we will lead a book club using Ian Manuel’s riveting memoir “My Time will Come.”Ian was arrested at the age of 14 and sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime. Following the book club, is a three-part discussion series (held in September) centering the perspective of citizens with lived experience and those working to create change in our community. Attendees will learn about programs created to prevent recidivism for the formerly incarcerated, initiatives that provide community support in traumatic times and collaborative efforts around repairing the relationship between citizens and law enforcement.

One of the panelists for our discussion series is DeAndra Yates. Yates, the founder of Purpose4MyPain, got into this work after her teenaged son Dre was wounded by a stray bullet — changing their lives forever. DeAndra works alongside families with stories similar to hers and advocates on a national level for common sense gun laws. In a conversation with our staff, Yates said something that underscored how we have decided to approach these conversations. “It takes a lot when the numbers keep climbing,” she said adding that it is her goal to “make sure that the families of shooting victims know that their community is here to support them and that their loved ones’ cases are far beyond just another number.”

The numbers, as we have heard time and time again, are challenging but people like DeAndra and others demonstrate to us that the story doesn’t end at the statistic. There are always opportunities to fight for justice, amplify the voices of the marginalized, support those in grief and imagine a new way of being. It’s more than just the numbers. This is about the people.

Rebecca Hutton serves as President  & CEO of Leadership Indianapolis. Ebony Chappel is Program & Communications Manager. Leadership Indianapolis educates, inspires, connects and mobilizes community leaders to serve and strengthen greater Indianapolis. 

The Convo: Kristin Kohn

The Leadership Indianapolis series The Convo provides opportunities to learn more about community leaders, organizations, issues and opportunities in our city.

In this conversation, you will meet Kristin Kohn, owner of Silver in the City. Kristin talks with us about how the social justice uprisings of last summer impacted her business and the leadership lessons that inform their continued commitment to the community.

Learn more about Silver in the City: