Green Leadership Trust is the first cross-sector network of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color fiduciaries that serve on the boards of U.S. nonprofit environmental organizations. Our members include individuals with a wealth of knowledge and decades of experience navigating predominantly white in environmental and conservation nonprofits.
The Cecil Corbin-Mark Vanguard Fellowship is a six-month development program where we leverage our combined talent and shared knowledge to impart valuable lessons with the next generation of environmental and conservation leaders of color. The program is designed as a peer-to-peer learning experience primarily executed in a virtual setting with in-person training opportunities when possible.
Through a series of 90-minute webinars, Vanguard Fellows will be exposed to the knowledge and experiences from their peers on the essential functions of board service, specifically for people of color. Speakers are veteran board members, some of which can be regarded as trailblazers having served as the first or the only board member of color in their spaces.
Success for us is measured by the increase in opportunities for the next generation of leaders that are now being recruited to serve on the boards of environmental and conservation groups.
Upon graduation of the fellowship, fellows will join a cadre of Vanguard alumni, be able to apply a new set of critical governance skills to the boards they sit on and strengthen GLT’s collective work to strengthen the power of the environmental movement nationally.
The Vanguard Fellowship is named to honor the legacy of Cecil Corbin-Mark (1969 – 2020).
Cecil D. Corbin-Mark, the Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives at WE ACT, was the most brilliant and effective environmental champion. A member of Green Leadership Trust since 2014, Cecil was a force to be reckoned with. We hope our fellows build on Cecil’s legacy by championing justice and equity for the environmental movement.
Dr. Natasha DeJarnett
I feel seen, heard, activated, and empowered! The Vanguard Fellowship program has been transformative for me.
The Vanguard program was exceptional and is such a unique offering. It’s clear that quite a bit of care went into developing curriculum, matching mentee and mentors, creating a ‘brave’ space for sharing personal experiences and ensuring that the ample wisdom in the room was able to emerge through discussion. I joined the program hoping for learning, community and greater positive impact for my board. I’m glad to say that my expectations were exceeded in all aspects.
The Vanguard Fellows Program was a deeply enriching experience for me. It helped me to grow not only as an individual, but as a member of a wonderfully talented and diverse group of BIPOC environmental leaders. Sharing our experiences and learning from them gave me a sense of belonging I wasn’t finding on my board, and the tools I needed to use my voice more effectively.
The Cecil Corbin-Mark Vanguard Fellowship program was an immersive introduction to the challenges and opportunities of board service. More than any other resource I’ve encountered, it shared decades of knowledge and experience that will transform not only my fellows’ experiences serving, but also the organizations we represent.
The Vanguard Fellowship Program was an invaluable opportunity to challenge my assumptions and broaden my understanding of what it means to be a responsible board member in the environmental movement. Learning from my peers, mentors, and the rich experiences of the GLT network was an invaluable experience that I hope others can benefit from.
Diversifying boards is not enough. We must equip our board members with the knowledge to share their lived experiences for positive change in an effective way while navigating board structures and responsibilities. Vanguard Fellowship program helps get us there.