Building Capacity of Leaders of Color (BCLC) Initiative

Afterschool programs across the country serve children and youth from diverse backgrounds. While staff who work directly with young people tend to be representative of the populations they serve, a racial leadership gap persists. Through this initiative and with the generous support of the S.D Bechtel Jr. Foundation, NAA seeks to help address this racial leadership gap and advance equity in the afterschool field. Elevating this topic so that the afterschool field can more intentionally and effectively create a leadership pipeline for people of color is critical and is a key element in ensuring that the afterschool workforce can best meet the needs of the young people it serves.

The Building Capacity for Leaders of Color Initiative will:

  • Pilot a national learning community for leaders of color in the afterschool field that builds capacity in equity-driven leadership practices and supports career advancement through personal exploration and analysis of power, privilege and oppression.
  • Conduct a survey of the afterschool workforce to identify opportunities and gaps in the field that will inform strategies for advancing equity in leadership.
  • Publish a report highlighting current practices in the afterschool field that build a pipeline for leaders or color and foster a culture that supports their retention and upward mobility.

EmergingLeadersofColor LOGO

Join the Leaders of Color Learning Community

NAA is piloting a national learning community for leaders of color to foster a network of equity-driven leaders of color, support them in deepening their equity analysis and leadership skills to be agents of change in the afterschool field and help them create a roadmap that advances their careers in the afterschool field.

This leadership opportunity is now accepting applications from people of color in out-of-school time who hold mid-level management positions (i.e. site coordinators, program managers, etc.) and would like to be a part of an equity-driven leadership program that will support them in advancing in their careers in the afterschool field.

To apply or for more information, visit the PLC web page.


BCLC ReportGraphicThe Afterschool Leadership Landscape: Supporting and Strengthening Racial Equity

Christina Russell and Alisha Butler, Policy Studies Associates

NAA engaged Policy Studies Associates and Public Profit in a collaborative effort to frame efforts to support the diversity and capacity of afterschool leaders. This new report identifies a racial leadership gap across the nonprofit sector, including afterschool, and provides recommendations for supporting emerging leaders of color.


Contributing Partners

The National AfterSchool Association
The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) is the national membership organization for professionals who work with and on behalf of children and youth during out of school time. NAA's mission is to promote development, provide education and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community to further the afterschool profession. An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year and the industry employs an estimated 850,000. Visit for more information about the association.

California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC)
Since 1982, the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) has brought out-of-school time programs and professionals together to strengthen their skills, deepen their impact, and advocate for policies that benefit children and families. Through transformative training, leadership development and advocacy experiences, CalSAC is building a future where every child in California — regardless of income, race, or zip code — has access to high quality, affordable out-of-school time programs. CalSAC is a state affiliate of the National Afterschool Association. Visit for more information.

Development Without Limits (DWL)
The team at Development Without Limits (DWL) envisions a world where every youth serving organization ensures that every child--especially those who have been historically underserved-- has engaging, affirming learning experiences. DWL builds the skills, knowledge and confidence of afterschool leaders so they are empowered to lead and sustain quality programs that will empower all youth to thrive. Visit for more information.

Policy Studies Associates (PSA)
Policy Studies Associates (PSA) provides capacity building, research, and program evaluation services that are rigorous, policy-relevant and have practical applications. For over 35 years, PSA experts have applied lessons learned about the quality, implementation and effectiveness of initiatives in education and afterschool to help leaders make sound decisions. Visit for more information.

Public Profit
Public Profit helps mission-driven organizations measure and manage what matters, providing evaluation, strategic program design, training and capacity building, and data visualization services. The Public Profit team is passionate about using social science research methods to empower organizations to use evaluation findings to get better at what they do. Visit for more information.

Advisory Group

Jaynemarie Angbah, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
Vincent Arroyo, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Jonathan Brack, Foundation for California Community Colleges
Tommy Brewer, THINK Together
Jen Curry, Change Impact
Eva Guitierrez, Girls Inc. of Alameda
Jackie Jainga Hyllseth
Tasha Johnson, YMCA of the USA
Dontae Privette, Playworks
Dara Rose, Horizons National
Michelle Seija, Surge Institute