Applications open for Bingham Fellows Class of 2021 – topic is “Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity”

Bingham Fellows 2021

Each year, local leaders selected for the Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows program are tasked with an issue of importance in the community and asked to work with peers to develop solutions to our community’s most pressing challenges. The topic for the 2021 Bingham Fellows will be: Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity.

Applications for the Bingham Fellows Class of 2021 are being accepted through Friday, November 6 at Individuals who want to experience an unmatched practicum in change management and group dynamics while using their broad knowledge base and range of experience to move the needle on this important community issue should apply. The upcoming program year begins in January 2021 and ends in January 2022. For more information, contact Aimee Jewell at (502) 561-0458 or

Want to learn more about Bingham Fellows, the 2021 topic and how to apply?

The Center is hosting two virtual opportunities to learn more about the program, the 2021 topic, and the application process.

·       Wednesday, October 14, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

·       Friday, October 23, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Both are free to attend, RSVP at:

More about the 2021 Topic – “Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity”

Our city, like our country, continues to grapple with the legacy of racism and bias. We have debilitating income and wealth inequality, and we are geographically and often socially segregated. These inequities, particularly those faced by the Black community, have led to a lack of diversity in leadership positions in our major institutions and employers.

U.S. businesses spend nearly $8 billion each year on ‘diversity and inclusion’ trainings and initiatives, but the needle isn’t moving. Why? Because hiring diverse talent by itself does not create an inclusive culture where all people can thrive. That requires a sense of belonging.

When employees feel like they belong, their companies experience a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days.* Institutions who create cultures of belonging build diverse leadership pipelines at all levels, creating psychological safety on teams that allow everyone to reach their full potential.

Increasing belonging inside organizations is critical, but in order to truly address wealth inequality, the business community must reach out across Louisville to ensure inclusivity is a valued part of our identity. If we are to affect the physical and social segregation that holds us back, everyone must learn to communicate across differences. We need to hold ourselves accountable to making real change, making sure we are properly defining and measuring success along the way.

This is where the Bingham Fellows come in. We know our community is filled with leaders who are ready for change and are willing to step up and be part of the solution. Leadership Louisville Center’s Bingham Fellows program will gather these leaders from every sector to examine these issues and make an impact. A diverse group will be selected for the Class of 2021 to study root causes of racism, connect with leaders in the arena of diversity and inclusion, learn how to communicate across differences, and research identified solutions.

They will examine and amplify the work that is already underway in our community, including the work of the city, the collective petition, “A Path Forward for Louisville,” the work of GLI’s Business Council to End Racism, and inside employee resource groups (ERGs) within organizations. The class will create safe spaces to learn and grow amongst themselves, and ultimately form project teams to take action and help create the best version of Louisville for everyone.

*BetterUp, September 2019 study

About the Bingham Fellows program:

The Bingham Fellows program is the advanced leadership program of the Leadership Louisville Center. Created in 1988 through a $500,000 endowment from the Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fund, the Fellows are social entrepreneurs who have the imagination and talent needed to gather critical resources and create social change. Side by side with peers, participants work to develop dynamic and innovative solutions to our community’s most pressing challenges. The 2021 cohort will be the 29th class, and the Bingham Fellows have had an impressive track record of providing community issues with visibility and momentum.

The Fellows don’t ponder what might be. They roll up their sleeves, shine a spotlight on an issue, and put new ideas to work. Their recent impact includes projects such as the West Louisville community development organization OneWest, regular Café Louie conversations with elected officials at Louisville Free Public Library locations, a sustainable model for neighborhood ‘Little Free Libraries,’ and City Champs, a talent attraction and retention program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc. The impact of the Fellows goes back to the 1990s with the creation of The Housing Partnership, construction of the Presbyterian Community Center, growth of local farmers’ markets, and numerous other positive outcomes.

The Bingham Fellows Class of 2020 is currently exploring what it means to be a top-tier city and the steps we must undertake to get there. They will announce their projects around the topic, “Making Louisville a Top-Tier City,” in January 2021.



The Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement. With a purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better, it has graduated over 10,000 through its civic programs since 1979. The Center is recognized as a national best practice and is known for its dynamic programming and strong community connections. Programming includes five social impact leadership programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows and Encore Louisville), leadership skills training courses presented through the Leadership Green Room, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. Learn more at


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For more information, contact:

Holly Prather

Vice President

Office: (502) 753-6503 | Cell: (502) 609-9227