Next 100 Colorado Mentorship Program

About the Program

The Next 100 Colorado Mentorship Program is a roughly six-month program for a cohort of 10 mentors and 10 mentees designed to help connect Colorado's emerging and seasoned leaders of color through a series of partnerships, network formation, and leadership building. The first cohort of the Mentorship Program wrapped up in early 2021. The second cohort will run from October 2021 through April 2022. 

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Participants will:

  • Tailor their experience to their individual goals and needs 

  • Establish mentor/mentee relationships, along with relationships with a larger cohort, that ideally last long beyond the structured program

  • Access people, organizations, events, or other opportunities that they may not otherwise have had access to

  • Build leadership capacity 

  • Learn from experts in DEI, conservation, outdoor recreation, and public lands management

Who Should Apply

This mentorship program is designed to connect people of color who work, or were recently employed, in fields related to natural resources management, conservation, or outdoor recreation. 

Mentors should:

  • identify as a person of color and/or Indigenous

  • work in the public lands, outdoor recreation, or conservation field.

  • work at management-level or above, with 7+ years of relevant work experience.

  • be based in Colorado with the ability to travel to in-person events if pandemic guidelines allow.

Mentees should:

  • identify as a person of color and/or Indigenous

  • work in the public lands, outdoor recreation, or conservation field.

  • work at entry-level and/or have <5 years of relevant work experience.

  • be based in Colorado with the ability to travel to in-person events if pandemic guidelines allow.

Why Mentorship?

Green 2.0, an organization that elevates public attention on racial demographics of leadership in the environmental field, reports that while NGOs and foundations improved their diversity between 2018 and 2019, only about 30% of their workforces identify as people of color. That number drops below 25% for senior staff and board members. NGOs and foundations in the conservation, outdoor recreation, and public land management fields should strive to diversify their workforces, establish cultures that retain and promote people from different backgrounds, and support the people of color and other underrepresented individuals on their staff.

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But these cultural shifts will take time; in order to support the current workforce, Next 100 Colorado is establishing a mentorship program to provide a forum for capacity building, relationship building, and one-on-one mentorships, establishing a network of leaders across Colorado organizations focused on outdoor recreation, conservation, and public lands management.

Note: We know that mentors will learn from mentees as much as mentees will learn from mentors. We welcome the interrogation of this construct in the program!

All participants should be able to commit to full participation in the program, including attendance at each group eventMilestone dates are listed in the application.

The program is free. Participants should commit to engaging for the duration of the program and, ideally, secure organizational support for participation. If you would like to participate and your organization will not support you, please let us know why; we may be able to accommodate exceptions.

If pandemic guidelines allow, participants should be able to travel for in-person gatherings. We will work with participants and their host organizations to cover travel costs; participants will not be expected to pay for their own transportation, lodging, etc.

Important Information

For more information about the program or application process, reach out to us at human@next100colorado.org