New DWJ Fellows

New Fellows Chosen, Black Women Organized for Political Action Public Policy announces 6th Cohort, seeking to improve broken systems of governance 

The non-profit Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment (TILE), the educational arm of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), has selected its current roster of DWJ fellows.  Named on behalf of  former Oakland City Councilmember Dezie Woods Jones, also BWOPA’s Co-Founder, the DWJ Public Policy Leadership Fellows welcome its 2022 cohort of thirteen highly-driven and motivated Black women, passionate to create change within black communities, utilizing policy development as their vehicle.  This is the 6th cohort.

Launched in 2015, the Fellowship initiative creates space for young leaders to examine and build upon BWOPA's core issues: Health, Education, Criminal Justice and Economic Security.  To date, over 30 black women leaders have participated in the program, many have pursued elected office, board appointments and starting social enterprises.

This year's cohort led by Engagement Leaders, Danielle N. Motley-Lewis (Fellow Alumni), Khalil Ferguson, and Charlette Viney, participants gather bi-monthly hailing from all corners of California and beyond including Hawaii and St. Louis (MO).   

More on the Fellowship: 

Annually, BWOPA/TILE welcomes applicants between the ages of 25-40 for a highly selective program that prepares and develops emerging leaders to become subject matter experts, advocates, and innovators of public policies that positively impact their communities.  However, since the COVID19 health pandemic, the program has scaled down from seven months to 14 weeks of intensive programming with a roster of guest speakers ranging from elected officials, policy makers and leadership development practitioners that span California and the United States.

The overall goal of the DWJ Public Policy Fellowship initiative is to develop capable leaders, successors, and culture-keepers to champion a new body of policy work spotlighting BWOPA’s core issues.  The initiative’s curriculum is guided by experienced Political and private industry leaders inclusive of:


  • Lessons for skills development to craft policies relative to BWOPA’s core interest areas;


  • Participation in a series of educational and professional development training and seminars; 
  • Unique occasions to engage elected officials and influential leaders who work within the social and political arenas of BWOPA’s core issues;
  • Personal development of political and public service values;
  • Invaluable leadership experience by spearheading altruistic projects within California or beyond.



Learn more about current and alumni fellows here.