Black and Asian Leadership Initiative (BALI)

The BALI programme was designed to explore the obstacles and barriers facing aspiring Black* leaders and give them the knowledge, skills and strategies to overcome them.

*Black – political and inclusive definition adopted by BALI programme

We aim to:
  • Provide strategies to help participants overcome barriers and enhance their skills to be able to thrive as Black global majority leaders;
  • Renew self and group confidence, which is often depleted by every day racism;
  • Enable participants to learn about and try out for themselves different leadership approaches and understand how these relate to their own values and principles;
  • Ensure participants develop their own personal learning plan in order to help them progress in their careers.

BALI is a Black only space to ensure that:
  • All participants are afforded a safe environment to consider how personal and  professional experiences of covert, overt and institutional racism have and do impact upon them;
  • Participants can explore issues from a Black perspective;
  • They can develop a trusting, close and active network of Black colleagues.

The BALI programme was designed in 2012 by Meera Spillett (former Director of Children’s Services), Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE (an associate with the National College For School Leadership) and the late Patrick Scott (The Staff College) in 2012 to explore the obstacles and barriers facing aspiring Black leaders and give them the knowledge, skills and strategies to overcome them . BALI recognises that Black leaders and practitioners are not a homogeneous group and the practice of Cultural Competence is integral to the programme’s approach where all cultures are recognised and the additionality of their individual cultural paradigms are welcomed. Click below to read the full story of BALI

BALI is delivered as an all-Black, safe space for participants, this has given all participants the confidence to be themselves and have candid discussions with others without feeling a need to moderate their views for the comfort of others.

Programme Content

Prior to each programme content is reviewed taking into account recent developments or particularly challenging issues both in the UK and globally.

  • BALI explores the founding sociological, psychological and other theories that underpin much of the professional training across the public sector and critiques’ these from a Black perspective. Reflecting on some of those theories that contain implicitly racist assumptions.
  • BALI takes account of the more recent rise in Ethnocentrism, challenges arising from the Black Lives Matter movement (globally), the inequalities highlighted as a result of this movement and the COVID-19 inequalities experienced within the UK.
  • Participants learn about the concept of Multi-Dimensional racism and the importance of strategic partnership working to address these issues organisationally, for Black staff, practitioners and diverse communities.
  • Discussion about the barriers, obstacles and opportunities of gaining and thriving in senior leadership position are explored, illuminating the difference between a ‘Black Leader’ or ‘A leader who happens to be Black.
  • Participants consider how individual values, principles, goals and missions interact with, and are, or are not, reflected in personal leadership styles. Exploring compelling narratives for self-development. 
  • Learning about how the Cultural Competence framework and materials can be used for self-reflection and improvement. Exploring how white colleagues react to discussion about what it means to be white in an organisation, and assessing their own competence and where they judge their own organisation to be on the Cultural Competence Continuum.
  • Successful leadership styles and features of good and great leaders are explored to enable participants to consider their own leadership style.
  • Black and Global Majority leadership paradigms are examined including Ubuntu, Seva Centric and Mauri leadership in order to explore how Black Global Majority leaders can bring additional value to organisations, partners and communities with whom they work.
  • All participants undertake a 360- degree feedback exercise designed to support them in developing and achieving their personal learning plan.
  • Working with recruitment consultants, participants experience a session on how to prepare for taking their next career moves with confidence and knowledge. This includes practical advice and guidance on the end-to-end recruitment process and how best to navigate the process successfully.
  • Various management scenarios and exercises from real life situations help participants get a feel for the kinds of issues they will need to deal with, how to prioritise issues, use the frameworks within organisations, including responding to critical or sudden untoward incidents.
BALI Cohort 15 in London

To find out more about BALI and BALI related sessions, please download the below pdf.

Get Involved

Join the BALI Network now or get in touch with our team to find out more


BALI Ambassadors on their experiences of inspiration, growth and transformation

BALI Events


29th November 2023

BALI Network Webinar – 29th November 2023
Getting to Joy ‘Black Trauma is discussed and accepted as a mental health matter and affects Global Majority people due to racist experiences both historical and current. What do we know about Black Joy and how can this change perspective. What makes you happy ? What brings you Joy? and is there a difference? This session is all about how we can find ‘our’ Joy even in adversity – Doing what we love and doing it regularly – can it really bring us Joy even when life throws us a curve ball? Let’s discuss this topic with Jasmine Nembhard-Francis TSC and BALI Associate at the BALI Webinar on 29th November 2023 12:30pm-2pm’ If you have any questions regarding this event,…

17th January 2024

BALI Network Webinar – 17th January 2024
The official re-launch of the BALI Network! Join Christine Wint (BALI Co-Lead Associate) and the Inclusive Team in celebrating the birthday of the BALI network! Since its creation 3 years ago, the BALI network has expanded to reach just over 600 registered members. We are celebrating with a relaunch of the Network! Through this relaunch, we aim to ensure we are: Catering to our audience, maintaining a safe space for all, implementing logistical improvements and increasing our network engagement. This session is an open forum for members to discuss what the future of this network looks like for them.

2nd February 2024

Black and Asian Leadership Initiative (BALI) 18 – Day 3 – Friday 2nd February 2024
If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the Inclusive Leadership Team