The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship

November 21, 2012
Unleashing your talent to solve the world’s biggest problems.

The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship is a new fellowship program established by Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green dedicated to improve the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S. It is the first fellowship program of its kind that targets social entrepreneurs who are starting up new and innovative organizations in the field of black male achievement.

Black Male Achievement Fellowship – Informational Webinar

There will be an informational webinar about the BMA Fellowship on November 29th. This webinar will cover the basics of the BMA Fellowship and the application process. A current BMA Fellow will join us to answer any questions you may have.

11/29, 3-3:45 pm ET. Register here.

Get Fellowship Email Updates

The Black Male Achievement Fellowship

The BMA Fellowship includes start-up capital and technical assistance over 18 months to help new leaders launch and build their organizations; access to technical support and pro bono partnerships; and a community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders. The Fellowship will be awarded to up to eight fellows who are generating new ideas and best practices in the areas of education, family, and work such as initiatives related to fatherhood, mentoring, college preparatory programs, community-building, supportive wage work opportunities, communications, and philanthropic leadership.

The BMA Fellowship runs for 18 months offers:
•   A stipend of $70,000
•   A health insurance stipend
•   A professional development stipend
•   Professional and organizational development conferences
•   A community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders, including the Open Society and Echoing Green networks of alumni working all over the world

If you’d like to learn more about the BMA Fellowship, sign up for our informational webinar on Thursday November 29th at 3-3:45 pm ET.

Application Cycle & Dates

The BMA Fellowship selection process is highly competitive. Applicants progress through three application stages with eliminations after each phase. The 2013 BMA Fellows will begin their fellowship July 2013. The application dates are announced in fall each year with applications accepted during an open call in late fall / early winter.

2013 Application Cycle:
•    Early December 2012: Phase 1 of application opens to all eligible applicants.
•    Early January 2013: Phase 1 of application closes
•    Early February 2013: Semifinalists announced and invited to complete expanded application.
•    Late February 2013: Semifinal applications due.
•    April 2013: Finalists announced.
•    May 2013: Finalist interviews in NYC.
•    June 2013: Fellows announced.

To be notified as specific dates are made public, sign up for email updates about the 2013 BMA Fellowship.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the BMA Fellowship:

•    Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
•    Applicants must have sufficient English fluency to participate in interviews and Echoing Green events.
•    Organization must be the original idea of the applicant.
•    Organization must be in a start-up phase. To be considered a start-up, the organization may have been in operation for up to two years, and the financial support of the BMA Fellowship should qualify it as significant early source of funds. Applicants who have only worked on their organization on a part-time basis or have yet to start the organization are generally considered eligible.
•    Organization must be independent and autonomous. Organizations cannot be considered independent or autonomous if they are started under the direction of an existing organization. The applicant must be the primary decision maker for the organization’s development and management. Generally, organizations with fiscal sponsors are still considered autonomous.
•    Applicants must make a full-time commitment (minimum 35 hours per week) to the organization’s development for the duration of the two-year fellowship. It is expected that all selected fellows resign from their current employment to dedicate themselves full-time to their initiatives. Students will not be eligible for their fellowship stipend if their organization is put on hold due to conflicts with their studies.
•    Partnerships (organizations co-founded and led by two individuals) may apply. Both partners must meet all eligibility requirements and make a full-time commitment of no fewer than 35 hours per week to the development of the organization.
•    Applicants must have legal status to work in the US. If you are authorized to work in the US, but this status is granted to you through your current employer and you are only authorized to work for that employer, you are not eligible to apply for a US-based proposal.
•    Applicants must commit to attending Echoing Green’s training conferences if selected as fellows. All new fellows attend a conference in summer the year they are selected, as well as a winter conference for two years. Echoing Green covers all expenses related to these events and will announce the dates a few months prior to each conference.

Note: Organizations may be for-profit or non-profit.

The following proposals are not eligible for consideration for a BMA Fellowship:

•    Expansion of an existing organization that is past its start-up phase
•    Research projects
•    Lobbying activities
•    Faith-based initiatives (In this context, faith-based implies that you are associated with a religious institution or are promoting a specific faith; if your work has a spiritual basis but is not tied to any specific religion or faith, you may be eligible for consideration)
•    Recipients of prior Echoing Green funding

More About the Campaign for Black Male Achievement

The Open Society Foundations’ Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a multi-issue, cross-fund strategy to address black men and boys’ exclusion from economic, social, educational, and political life in the United States. The campaign responds to a growing body of research that reveals the intensification of black males’ negative life outcomes. It builds on U.S. Programs’ mission to support individuals and organizations that nurture the development of a more democratic, just society, as well as the Open Society Foundations’ expertise and past work to reduce incarceration, promote racial justice, and support youth engagement and leadership development. Learn more.

Looking for more information? Visit our FAQ page.

If you have a question that is not answered on the FAQ page, you can send it to

3 Responses to The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship

  1. Patrick Amerson on November 25, 2012 at 4:00 am

    I am interested in your fellowship program and feel I would be a value asset to your program because I have demonstrated leadership in the work industry by showing my dedication and creativity.

  2. Kenneth Hill on November 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Please add me to your mailing list.

  3. William J. Blake on November 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Is this something that a fraternity or church might do? There are several mentoring programs that might benefit from this kind of programming in the Akron, Ohio area. Most particularly, one being conducted in concert with the Buchtel High School football team and local ministers. This could be a powerful tool in the process of empowering young African American males. Please contact Coach Ricky Powers to see if this might be a great fit.

    Mr. Ricky Powers, Coach
    Football Team
    John R. Buchtel High School
    1040 Copley Road
    Akron, Ohio 44320 (and)

    Mr. Brain Turner, Dean of Students
    John R. Buchtel High School
    1040 Copley Road
    Akron, Ohio 44320

    Rev. Benjamin Drone
    Faith Temple Church of the Living God
    701 Sylvan Street
    Akron, Ohio 44306

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