BACE Values & Commitment to Black Talent
Trusted Voices and Spaces
Get to Work
Committed to Community
Standards of Excellence
Mission: Equity at Work!
The Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE), originally founded in 2008, addresses the unique needs and challenges of institutions and employers serving African Americans and those of African descent.
BACE is fiscally sponsored by the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago with a mission of eliminating racism and economic empowerment including career services and workforce development.
Inter-disciplinary forum advancing racial equity through data transparency and reporting with a focus on policies, procedures and accountability.
This pillar provides:
• Credible research and publishing alliances
• Best practice and setting the standard of excellence in the practice and operation of Diversity, Race Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DREIB) in academia, corporate, non-profit and government
BACE Campus and Careers
Inter-disciplinary forum advancing racial equity through Black leadership advocacy and development along with organizational transformation in support of Black talent.
In partnership with Onyx2Rise, BACE Campus and Careers join to provide:
● Advanced level of alliance with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Primarily Black Institutions
● Advancing work of pathways, pipelines and business opportunities to fill gaps around hiring, retention and career progression along with entrepreneurship for the Black community including Military/Veterans and their families
● Diversity, Race Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DREIB) Institute in collaboration with our campus alliance partners focusing on procedures, policies and organizational transformation
● Campus Scholars, Internships and Service Learning in alliance with corporate and non-profit alliance partners
Learn more about what we do
Campus Research and Career Pilots
The Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers has been engaging in DEI Summits, award-winning MSHR/SHRM Chapter mentorships with colleges and universities, strategic partnerships with Wiley Diversity in Careers and The PhD Project along with corporate ERG initiatives. View a full list of our past events on the JOIN US page.
2023 Initiatives include:
*Launch of Committee for Black Advancement & Excellence
*BACE Equity in Action Research Conference
*The V-Suite Career and Business Center for Black veterans and military spouses
In addition, BACE has support youth engagement in North Lawndale, Chicago pre-K through 8th grade institution with 98% Black student population. This engagement has included Board support, career and entrepreneurship programming and service learning opportunities for campus partners.
WonderWomen of Diversity
WonderWomen of Diversity has hosted dinner conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academic and corporate setting with female leaders.
Outside of the intimate dinner discussions and business tours, we convened during The PhD Project Conference for a discussion on diversity with leading diversity scholars – Drs. Quinetta Roberson (formerly of Villanova University) and Tina Opie (Babson College), along with Erika Broadwater, the National President of National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, during the annual conference of The PhD Project.
We reconvened for Building the Diversity Pipeline in virtual format during The PhD Project Conference virtually in 2020 to highlight how Corporate America can engage with academia to build a talent pipeline that is diverse and inclusive. The panelists were Dr. Erika James, Dean of the Wharton School of Business; Dr. Sandra Richtermeyer, Dean of the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Business; and Dr. Jennifer Joe, Chief Diversity Advocate, Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics, University of Delaware. Jamal Watson, executive editor of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, was the moderator. Read more at Wiley's Diversity in Research: https://www.diversityinresearch.careers/article/the-wonder-woman-group-diversity-discussion-building-the-talent-pipeline/?s=11
Early Spring 2021, we hosted Expanding the Diversity of Women in Policy, Politics, and Government with Hasoni Pratts, the National Director of Engagement – Pete for America; Cecilia Cabello, California State Director – Pete for America and Hillary for America; Karen Freeman-Wilson, Former Gary Mayor/Indiana Attorney General; Kira Sanbonmatsu, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics, and Kimberly Peeler-Allen, the co-founder of Higher Heights.
In May 2021, we convened WonderWomen of Diversity series on Cultivating Diversity in Philanthropy and Non-Profits with Dorri McWhorter, the CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and Dr. Una Osili, Associate Dean for Research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Una’s research focuses on diversity in philanthropy. Andrea Saez, COO, Chicago Community Trust represented the perspective of community foundation, especially as a leader from a diverse background. The panel was moderated by Cora Cervantes from MSNBC.
In December 2021, WonderWomen of Diversity reunited with The PhD Project for How Bias in Economics Hurts Us All. The economics profession includes disproportionately few women and members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups, relative both to the overall population and to other academic disciplines. This underrepresentation is present at the undergraduate level, continues into the ranks of the academy, and has barely improved over time. It likely hampers the discipline (and allied disciplines such as finance, accounting, management, and marketing), constraining the range of issues addressed and limiting our collective ability to understand familiar issues from new and innovative perspectives (Bayer and Rouse, 2016). The WonderWomen of Diversity and The PhD Project discussed how the Economics pipeline issue impacts public policy, theories used in academic research, as well as how we can all participate in being a part of the solution. Hosted by Dr. Stephani Mason, Professor, DePaul University, School of Accountancy and MIS; Founder, WonderWomen of Diversity featuring: Dr. Lisa Cook, Professor, Department of Economics and in International Relations (James Madison College), Michigan State University Dr. Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director for the Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development Dr. Marie Mora, Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives University of Missouri - St. Louis and moderated by Dr. David Porter, Executive Vice President of Strategy, People + Culture at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Learn more about what we do
The V-Suite for Veterans and Military Families
The V-Suite Launch in 2023
The Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE) is excited to launch a career and entrepreneurship accelerator for Black military and veteran families.
*Incubator and Accelerator
*ERG Quarterly Roundtables
*Pretty Empowered with YWCA Metropolitan Chicago for women veterans and spouses
*Career and entrepreneurship support at regional VBOCs
Military Entrepreneurship Summit
The Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE) collaborated with Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families on their September 2022 Military Entrepreneurship Summit. BACE focused on the corporate Chicago panel with The Obama Foundation, Uber, World Business Chicago, and American Water. BACE also secured the opening remarks from Choose Chicago representing the Mayor's Office Tourism and Events.
Women Veterans Wellness Initiative expansion into career and entrepreneurship
The Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE) supported the Women Veterans Wellness Initiative as it expanded into career and entrepreneurship. This initiative included the strategic framework collaboratively with Onyx2Rise. In addition, BACE designed the Women's History Month programming for the March 2022 Women Veterans Convening that gathered higher education, industry, and community leaders to explore research, career and entrepreneurship best practice and gaps.
Walidah Bennett, Director, Multi-Faith Veterans Initiative (MVI) at DePaul University
Anthony Cosby, Director, AmericaServes at Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families
Scholars Across the Discipline:
Willie Reddic, PhD, Associate Professor, Syracuse University Whitman School of Management and The PhD Project
Rosalinda Vasquez Maury, Director of Applied Research and Analytics, Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families
Master Sergeant Tamesha Armstead, EdD, Dissertation, Baylor University: “When You Finally See Us: A Narrative Inquiry of The Rare Sighting of Black Females in Officer Ranks and Positions in the United States Air Force”
President & CEO, Chicago Urban League
Former Mayor, Gary, Indiana
Philip T. Anderson, Ph.D., CDP
Director, Leadership Institute, Argonne National Laboratory
Training and Organizational Effectiveness Advisor for the Army Readiness Group at Fort Sheridan, Illinois (Retired)
Stacey Dixon, Ed.D.
Former Director, Student Veteran Service Support, National Louis University
U.S. Marine Corps, CWO3 (Retired)
Kelli Lester (McMiller)
Chief Strategy Officer, Engaging Solutions
Kelli Lester is the new Chief Strategist at Engaging Solutions, a management consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis. She has spent nearly a decade as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant for The Kaleidoscope Group, and years working in corporate America creating the foundation for organizational success in the DEI area. Kelli has a proven record in defining vision, developing strategy and executing action plans that produce sustainable results.
President & CEO, Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE)
The inaugural Women's History Month VetHER Convening was sponsored by the
Multi-Faith Veterans Initiative (MVI) and Boeing supported by the Arthur Lockhart Resource Institute Sister to Sister Program, Christ Universal Temple “Women Veteran We Rise” with the Black Alliance of Colleges and Employers (BACE), Syracuse University Institute of Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and the Coalition of Veterans Organizations (CVO).