St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows Experience Accepting Applications

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  • Published on February 9, 2022
  • In News

The Fellows program was founded in 2006. Since then, nearly 1,000 Fellows have completed the program, with 90% remaining in the metro. Through volunteer and civic activities, Fellows hone their skills, expand their relationships, and deepen their connection with the broader St. Louis community.


As part of its efforts to drive inclusive economic growth in the St. Louis metro, Greater St. Louis, Inc. is now accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort of its St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative (SLBDI) Fellows Experience. The year-long professional development program addresses the interests and challenges people of color face as they work to advance their careers. 

Greater St. Louis, Inc. is currently accepting applications through May 13, 2022. The program runs from September 2022 through September 2023, and includes monthly full-day sessions throughout, as well as a one-time, three-day retreat and optional after-hours events.

The Fellows program was founded in 2006. Since then, nearly 1,000 Fellows have completed the program, with 90% remaining in the metro.  

  • 70% of Fellows are promoted within 2 years of the program. 
  • 26% of Fellows are elected to boards or appointed committees. 
  • Fellows contribute 1,600 hours of community service annually.  

To qualify, applicants must be ethnically, racially, or gender diverse mid- to senior-level professionals who have been employed a minimum of seven years, offer demonstrated community leadership, have a college degree or the equivalent skill and abilities, and be looking to develop their leadership and professional capabilities and capacity. 

โ€ฏ โ€œThe St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows Experience offers an opportunity for participants to know their value, rediscover their passion, create their own roadmap, and awaken to new possibilities both personally and professionally,โ€ said SLBDI Director Rosalind Reese. โ€œThe Fellows emerge from the program, ready to embrace an empowered and transformed version of themselves as business and community leaders.โ€  

The Fellows Experience participants reflect on their goals, performance, operating styles, and how they adapt to varied workplace cultures. Access to forums, social events, and conferences fosters a supportive professional and personal network essential to long-term growth and development.

โ€œThe knowledge and confidence Iโ€™ve gained from the Fellows Experience helped inspire me to take the next step in my career, level up and pursue C-Suite opportunities, ultimately landing the Consumer and Business Banking Market Executive role for US Bank, leading all the companyโ€™s consumer and business banking and philanthropic activities for the St. Louis and Illinois market,โ€ said Chris Carroll, a 2016-2017 program participant.

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