Professionals of Color Cohort 2022

Delaware River Watershed POC Program: Professionals of Color Cohort 2022

Starting in the Fall of 2022, professionals of color in the Delaware River Watershed region can join a one-year cohort led by Institute for Conservation Leadership (ICL). Since BIPOC communities in environmental organizations operate in a space with lower representation and higher barriers to advance their careers, this pilot program is intended to create and support a cohort of young professionals in their work. There will be special emphasis on staff from organizations in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) and other William Penn Foundation (WPF) Watershed Protection Program grantees. The cohort will have opportunities for career development, network building, and skills development to enhance and advance their professional pursuits.


The cohort will be capped at 15 individuals who meet monthly with the intention to:

  1. Develop strong network ties with other professionals within the Delaware River Watershed. This will allow for stronger collaboration in current work, as well as establishing relationships for future academic and professional steps.
  2. Utilize workshops and discussions to allow participants to explore their own professional strengths, learn how to create a strong impact in their current work, and set goals for future pursuits with the lens of the challenges that BIPOC staff encounter.
  3. Build participants’ peer leadership and facilitation skills, as they explore shared professional issues that impact professionals of color in the environmental space.


  • Work in an environmental or conservation organization in the Delaware River Watershed
    • Preference given to individuals at DRWI and William Penn Foundation Watershed Protection Program grantee organizations
  • Identify as a BIPOC individual (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color)
  • Commit to participate in the entire program, attending the majority of sessions
    • 90 minute sessions monthly from October 2022-September 2023
    • A few group assignments that will be completed between sessions
  • Attend an in-person networking meeting in November 2022
  • Attend an in-person closing program in September 2023


  • Monthly meetings will alternate between in-depth, topical workshops and networking sessions.
  • During the topical workshops, a concept will be introduced and discussed. Following the session, participants will work in follow up activities to implement the topic.
  • Networking sessions will emphasize peer facilitation skills and discussion of topics generated by the cohort.
  • Workshop topics will be organized into three concept areas built sequentially (each spanning about 3-4 months), integrating the complexities of being a BIPOC individual in the workplace:
  1. Me, Myself and I: Individual Skill Building
    • Explore individual skill sets and strengths, with the aim of articulating and utilizing this knowledge for professional growth.
  2. Me in the Workplace: My Current Work
    • Build skills and explore how to focus on resilience, avoid burnout, and optimize oneself in a workplace to succeed and feel supported.
  3. Me in the Future: Goal Setting and Next Steps
    • Explore next steps both professionally and personally and create a plan to achieve those dreams. The focus will be on networking building both within and without the cohort


  • September 2022: Applications Open
  • October 17, 2022: Registration deadline
  • End of October: First virtual meeting to present on the plan for the year
  • November 2022-October 2023 :
    • Monthly virtual meetings
    • In-person meetings: opening (November 2022) and closing (September 2023)


Applications for this cohort closed on Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Costs for the program and travel for participation at in-person convenings are covered through the support of the William Penn Foundation.