Outcomes of the Bingham Fellows Class of 2021

Every year, Leadership Louisville Center seeks to address the most pertinent issue facing our city through the Bingham Fellows program. A reflection of the events of 2020, the selected topic chosen for the 2021 class was Belonging: Building a Culture of Inclusivity. The most diverse class in Bingham Fellows history came together to better understand what a more inclusive Louisville could look like, and arrived at one specific goal: to improve the lives of black residents in our city.

Each of the projects that resulted from that goal was designed thoughtfully and strategically, and seek to increase access to:

• Political empowerment through a Black agenda (jump to The 3003 Project)

• Opportunities to benefit from increasing supplier diversity (jump to BEBA)

• Investment capital for business startup and expansion (jump to Bridge)

All these build wealth and political power for Louisville’s Black residents. While none of them reverse the injustices of the past, they strive to provide equitable outcomes for the future.


We urge to you watch the Bingham Fellows Class of 2021 launch event below to hear about these initiatives in greater detail.

2021 Bingham Fellows Projects

The 3003 Project

Inspired by the necessity to reverse the systemic failures that led to the death of Breonna Taylor, The 3003 Project works to build a Kentucky where Black people and communities thrive with the understanding that we all rise when we rise together. An umbrella for three new organizations – The 3003 Collaborative (501c3), The 3003 Campaign (501c4), and The 3003 PAC (527) – The 3003 Collaborative will educate the community about pro-black issues. Encourage community to take action to advance pro-black issues. In addition engage, empower, and equip people interested in running for office to promote a more equitable Kentucky.

Central to The 3003 Project is scoring and engaging political candidates and building a pipeline of political candidates that support an agenda that seeks to improve the lives of Black people. In addition, the 3003 Project seeks to lobby for pro-Black legislation and broaden community awareness of the political systems and policies that have persistently and disproportionately impacted Black Kentuckians.

Class members working on this initiative:

Kat Abner, Fund for the Arts
Lettie Bailey-Johnson, Gifted By Design Leadership and Consulting
Freddie Brown, YMCA of Greater Louisville
Jennie Jean Davidson, Neighborhood House
Ylonda Davis, Farm Credit Mid-America
Cherie Dawson-Edwards, Ph.D., University of Louisville
Hannah Drake, Author/Public Speaker
Sylena Renee Fishback, Jefferson County Public Schools
Chandra Gordon, The Library Foundation

Chris Hartman, Fairness Campaign
Nicole Hayden, Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative, Inc.
M. Annette Mandley-Turner, Archdiocese of Louisville
John Mays, Yum! Brands – KFC US
Donald “DJ” Mitchell Jr., Ph.D., Bellarmine University
Tawanda Owsley, Hosparus Health
Victor Rowe, PNC Bank
Michael Wade Smith, Ed.D., University of Louisville
Todd Soderquist, Humana Inc.
Judy Splan-Larin, PsyD, Brinly-Hardy Co.

The Black Equity Business Alliance (BEBA)

Black Equity Business Alliance

The Black Equity Business Alliance (BEBA) strives to accelerate the success and financial sustainability of Black-owned businesses to reduce the racial wealth gap. BEBA will connect Black businesses to strategic revenue opportunities, establish a forum for thought leadership, and foster partnerships with key business organizations to increase the representation and utilization of Black-owned businesses in the Louisville metro area. BEBA will promote a culture that celebrates entrepreneurial courage and progress at quarterly thought leadership events, culminating with an annual roundtable and gala honoring Alliance partners.

Class members working on this initiative:

Tawana Bain, TBAIN AND CO
Greg Blakemore, The Nehemiah Group, LLC
Kendall Boyd, Esq., Louisville Metro Government
Krisy Bucher, Appriss
Brian Cromer, Stites & Harbison PLLC
Wendy Dant Chesser, One Southern Indiana
Timothy E. Findley Sr., Ed.D., MBA, TARC

Scott Godthaab, Republic Bank
Dana Johnson, Greater Louisville Inc.
Tracey Johnson, Brown-Forman Corporation
Christie McCravy, Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Sarah M. McKenna, Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP
Allison Smith, Ph.D., Louisville Metro Government

Bridge Louisville

The mission of Bridge is to facilitate the equitable, efficient and timely deployment of capital to the Black community of the greater Louisville area for the benefit of all residents with the long-term goals of measurably increasing the generational wealth accumulated by Black residents and reducing the wealth gap between Black and other residents until it is eliminated.

In order to accomplish this mission, Bridge will form strategic partnerships to connect the Black community in the greater Louisville area with financial institutions through the establishment of a lending table.  The lending table, which will consist of a variety of lenders, will be facilitated by a Director of Operations and will meet regularly to hear from Black-owned businesses and Black-led projects regarding requests for funding. The objective is to expedite the deployment of capital to the Black community in Louisville through Black-owned businesses and Black-led projects.

Class members working on this initiative:

Tiffany L. Bridgewater, Ed.D., Louisville Collegiate School
Justin Brown, Lucia Partners
Danyel Clay, Baptist Health
Keisha Deonarine, Park Community Credit Union
Christopher Garrett, LG&E and KU Energy LLC
The Rev. Kelly Ellen Kirby, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

Gladys Lopez, Norton Healthcare
Karen Thomas McNay, Ed.D., Sacred Heart Schools;
Andrew McDowell Renda, Humana Inc.
Chris Sanders, Bahe, Cook, Cantley & Nefzger
The Rev. Frank M. Smith Jr., D.D., Simmons College of Kentucky; and
Geoff White, Frost Brown Todd

Bingham Fellows Steering Committee

Tom Williams (BF ’18, BOD ’11-’06, BF ’04, LL ’03, FL ‘97), Attorney, Stoll Keenon Odgen
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom (BOD ’21, BF ’15), President & CEO, Greater Louisville Inc.
Ashley Duncan (BF ’20, LL ’17, IL ’14, FL ’08), Director of Inclusion & Diversity, Republic Bank
Jessica Green (BF ’18), Louisville Metro Councilwoman District 1, and Attorney At Law, The Law Office of Jessica E. Green
Terra Leavell (BF ’18, LL ’14, FL ’04), President & CEO, Black Community Development Corporation
Christina Shadle (FL ’08) Director of Investment, Louisville Urban League
Scott Schaftlein (BF ’20, LL ’18), Partner, EY
Kellie Watson (BF ’19, IL ’04), Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Louisville MSD