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 Mosaic@CICF.org.