Well Black Woman® Institute

The Well Black Woman® Institute (WBWI) is a leadership training ground for Black Women committed to empowering a generation of Well Black Women.

The Well Black Woman® Institute (WBWI) builds the knowledge, skills, and capacity of Black Women to become health equity advocates, leaders, and change agents within our own lives, our community, and across the state. 

Framework & PURPOSE

The Well Black WomanTM Institute is an innovative leadership development program that will serve as a springboard for participating fellows as they position themselves as leaders in the health equity and community justice fields. The core institute incorporates well-established power building, personal and collective empowerment, and capacity-building models to successfully prepare and activate women for social impact.

“Our politics initially sprang from the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable. [...] Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.”
The Combahee River Collective Statement, April 1977

Our work is grounded in a theory of change that centers Black women as the locus of power and impact to drive transformation both on the personal, community, and systems level.

Purpose of the Institute

  • To mobilize and equip Black women as informed health equity advocates in Wisconsin.
  • To bridge Black women leaders with system, community, and cross-sector partners to impact transformational change.
  • To build a statewide coalition of empowered Black women to advance health equity in Wisconsin.
  • To co-create new equitable systems, structures, and ways of being that transform Black women's health and well-being in Wisconsin.
Institute Structure & TIME COMMITMENT

The Well Black WomanTM Institute is an 8-month training experience organized for small learning cohorts of 10-15 Fellows each year. The program will be primarily virtual, with periodic in-person meet-ups.

The 2023 Fellow cohort engagement timeline will be February 1, 2023 - September 30, 2023.

Time Commitment

WBWI Fellows are expected to invest 6-8 hours per month on the training and developmental experience. We encourage you to assess whether you will be able to commit this time consistently over the 8-month Institute program as you consider applying.

The Institute training experience consists of:‍‍

  • One 2-hour Cohort Welcome event:
    Thursday, February 16, 2023, evening 5:30-7:30 virtual
  • Two monthly 2-hour live virtual group training sessions on Thursdays from 9am-11am
    March 16 & 30, 2023
    April 13 & 27, 2023
    May 11 & 25, 2023
    June 8 & 22, 2023

  • Optional networking and wellness events
  • Module 6 Leadership Showcase day - Full day at our Madison center Thursday July 20th, 2023 9am-3:30pm
  • Required attendance at 15th Annual Black Women’s Wellness Day event, date to be determined

WBWI facilitators and instructors are experts in the field of public health, education, civic engagement, and transformative leadership. The WBWI connects participating fellows with leaders, systems partners, and mentors to leverage our collective work and to co-design solutions that respond to health equity gaps.

Culminating Project

WBWI Fellows will complete a required culminating project to outline their plan of action in the months and years following the institute to amplify their impact on health equity in their communities. Fellows will be supported by staff and instructors to shape and develop their projects.

Post-Training Commitment

After completing the 8-month foundational training experience, WBWI Fellows are expected to remain engaged with the Institute for 2 years as mentors to new cohorts and as partners to inform, co-lead, and advocate alongside the Foundation on health equity efforts.


Black Women in Wisconsin who are passionate about driving change to improve health and well-being in their communities; and who are driven to collaborate with other Black Women and organizational partners for powerful collective action.


The application for the 2023 - Cohort 2 is now closed.
If you want to be notified of our next application window please complete our WBWI Interest form.

select an option:

The Well Black Woman Institute (WBWI) is a leadership training ground for Black women committed to empowering a generation of Well Black Women and families. The WBWI builds the knowledge, skills, and capacity of Black Women to become health equity advocates, leaders, and change agents within our own lives, our community, and across the state. The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness is designing the WBWI so that Black Women are leaders in reshaping the conditions in which they live, work, and play.

The WBWI is a training ground for Health equity leaders.
The WBWI empowers Black Women to become health equity Advocates.
The WBWI builds the Skills for Black women to step into our full power. 
The WBWI builds the knowledge for Black Women to lead, shape and influence our environment. 
We believe...
In a world where Black women and girls live long, happy and thriving lives.

Read more about the Foundation’s vision and history here.
We believe...
Black women are most qualified to shape and lead equity efforts that directly impact our lives and health.

Black women and communities equipped with knowledge, skills, information, and access to networks of power will lead powerful change in our communities.

Read more about these assumptions in our Policy and Advocacy Framework here.

The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (FFBWW) is committed to inspiring and energizing our Fellows. You will be connected with Black Women across Wisconsin and the United States who are thought leaders, visionaries, trailblazers, and scholars. As Fellows, you will uncover,  leverage and celebrate your individual and collective  wisdom and strength as you get activated to lead powerful change in your community and as a partner to FFBWW.

Collaborative Learning 
Purposefully sequenced content and speakers with the opportunity to co-create and reshape knowledge.
Vibrant and engaging environment facilitating relationships and transformation.
Resource sharing, community gatherings, summits, and continuous communication following the foundational experience.  
Deep Leadership Exploration 
Tools and self-reflective opportunities to recognize and cultivate internal gifts, wisdom, talents, and knowledge.

Meet Our 2022 Cohort

Tisha Butler
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Tisha is a proud Chicago native and Madison transplant, where she has lived since 2012. Her work as an advocate for Black Women and children is rooted in her fierce independence from being a single mother who started her life and career in a new city with no family. Tisha’s career has spanned healthcare, crisis support, and public service. Tisha maintains a relentless passion for empowering Black women to thrive in all of her work. She is currently studying Sociology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Madison Odyssey Project, the United Way of Dane County Broadwalk Academy, and the Urban Triage Supporting Healthy Black Families program. The mother of a teenage son and daughter, Tisha directs her energies and talents to leave her community stronger than she found it.

Nicki Cooper
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Nicki is a healthcare and early childhood professional with a long track record of leadership and service to her community. She has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and care provider in many healthcare settings and operated a certified in-home childcare service for nearly 20 years. A longtime Madison, WI resident, Nicki is also a community organizer and advocate with a passion for uplifting her community by working to advance economic stability, safe and affordable healthcare, safe neighborhoods, environmental justice, equal rights, and the promotion of freedom.

She is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin Odyssey Program and the Lussier Community Education Center Neighborhood Organizing Institute. She is also a former Race to Equity Community Ambassador, where she organized community empowerment outreach efforts.

Nicki is committed to actively investing in her neighborhood and community and has served as a volunteer and Leadership Council member for the Meadowood Neighborhood Center and has worked in many volunteer capacities with the Madison Metropolitan School District at Franklin Elementary and Toki Middle School and as a Parents of African American Students (PAAS) program facilitator.

Della Deal
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Della is a Community Herbalist in training, multi-hyphenate creative, and mother. After a life of medical difficulties and a major health scare in 2013 with lasting effects, she dedicated herself to finding alternative ways to heal from the inside out. 

That passion birthed Herban Living Holistics (www.fuelgoodwellness.com) and Renaissance Bxtches (www.renaissancebxtches.com); her businesses focus on empowering black and brown individuals. Her purpose is to create safe spaces to explore all aspects of health and wellness by providing programs and resources that promote health integrity.

Sarah Galinski
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Sarah is dedicated and passionate about improving the well-being of Black women and children. Sarah has worked for the City of Madison for many years. Sarah is a mother of four children and affectionately refers to them as "my crew". Sarah believes in the power of gratitude and embraces life as a gift! Sarah is an early riser, typically planning out her day at 4 am to reach her ambitious goals. Sarah enjoys this time as it provides an opportunity for organizing her thoughts.

Sarah is resilient and uses the motto "that didn't hurt, I'm still here... let's win! Let's grow! Together". Sarah prioritizes her care by centering her health and giving herself grace and kindness. Albeit this is hard, Sarah believes everyone can and will achieve all their heart's desires!

Brandice Hatcher
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Brandice, a Chicago native, has been an active resident of Madison, WI, since 2008. Known by her community and peers as an advocate and resource guru, Brandice has carved out a career path rooted in Human Services and entrepreneurship and focuses her life and work on equity, justice, and empowering others to achieve their highest levels of potential. Brandice currently holds Wisconsin certifications as a Peer Support Specialist and Crisis Manager and is a proud graduate of the United Way of Dane County Boardwalk Academy and the University of Wisconsin Odyssey Program.

The mother of two daughters, Brandice is passionate about mentoring and empowering young girls in the Madison area while working on many levels to support and invest in her community. She is the founder of Righteous Voice Mentoring and Big Thingz Popping LLC, a plus-sized women’s boutique, and is an author. She presently serves as a board member for a local organization, Positive Women for Change. In addition, Brandice volunteers with many organizations within Dane County and is a longtime Wellness Ambassador and Black Women’s Wellness Day Planning Committee member with the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, roles she proudly played before joining the organization as an employee.

Veronica Hereford
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Veronica is currently a Program Leader for Dane County and a Certified Social Worker with a Bachelors in Human Service and Psychology and a Master's in Public Administration. As a lifelong learner, Veronica is currently earning her Doula and Lamaze Educator certifications and working on obtaining education and certification as a midwife. She is the owner of An Amazing Journey, Birthing and Family Services, and serves Dane and Rock County, families. She is committed to healthy and supported pregnancy and birthing experiences for Black Women and Babies.

Cyrena Martin
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Cyrena's professional career is captured in the phrase From Victim to Survivor. Cyrena is an Advocate, and Executive Director of Mahogany CARES Foundation Inc.  Mahogany CARES is a dual mission non-profit focused on Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness. The mission is to uplift women's wellness- mind, body, spirit, and Family. Cyrena is currently a  graduate student at Mount Mary University studying Mental Health Clinical and Rehabilitation Counseling.

Dr. Tope Rude
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Dr. Tope Rude is a reconstructive urologist in Madison, Wi, at SSM Health. Originally from California, she attended Harvard College and Stanford Medical School, where she served as co-manager of the Arbor Free Clinic. She completed her residency and fellowship at New York University and the University of Southern California. She has demonstrated a commitment to healthcare disparities and improving access to high-quality care for underserved populations with several presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

Glenna Scholle-Malone
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Glenna Scholle-Malone was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has served in the education arena in both the Milwaukee and Madison area for over 12 years. She currently serves as the Coordinator for Girls of Color at Milwaukee Public Schools out of the Gender, Identity, and Inclusion Department. Glenna is most passionate about her role of empowering and strengthening women of color - mind, body, and soul - through her personal training business, Glenna Maureen, LLC.


Dr. Martha Stacker
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Dr. Stacker is the Dane County Division Administrator of Children, Youth, and Families with oversight of child protective services and youth justice. Dr. Stacker’s work seeks to address the racial disparities and historical systemic racism that marks many social service agencies. Dr. Stacker is a fearless and committed leader to social justice and community impact and is advancing the reduction of families of color in both systems. She leverages preventative services and accessible resources as key drivers for community sustainability and as factors of success. Dr. Stacker holds a Doctorate in Human Services with a specialization in community and social services.

Felica Turner-Walton
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Felica Turner-Walton is a Certified Grief Educator, Certified Grief Support Specialist, and a Bereavement Doula. In these roles, she centers families in the BLACK community that has experienced loss. Primarily, Felica works directly with families who have lost a pregnancy and infant/toddler loss. She works to navigate them through the tough emotions while seeking to mend their hearts. Felica understands the power and presence of community around such a difficult subject as she is a loss mom to her son Zaire in 2016. She understands that this is an area that BLACK people don't get to experience due to the "strong BLACK person" complex and that health disparities, other traumas and griefs, and even the social determinants of health play major parts in why BLACK families do not get to experience the grieving process. Felica works to provide a safe space for BLACK people to begin their healing journey while advocating for themselves. As a Birth Doula, Felica supports moms who are bringing life into the world.

Lakeeta Watts
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Lakeeta is the founding Executive Director of Essentially Empowered, Inc, an organization based in Milwaukee that services multiple counties in Southeast Wisconsin, Essentially Empowered provides youth development opportunities, resource and referral services, trauma-informed programming, and youth doula support. Lakeeta is a Certified Community Health Worker, Full Spectrum Holistic Doula, and Certified Lactation Specialist. Lakeeta aims to reduce health disparities experienced by people of color through trauma-informed care, advocacy, and policy change.

Diamond Wimbley
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Diamond is a first-year pre-nursing student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Diamond holds an executive board position on two of the four organizations she is involved with on-campus; the Multicultural Student Nurse Organization and the Wisconsin Black Student Union. Diamond desires to be a travel nurse to contribute to a positive impact in health care and be an excellent representation for all people. Specifically, Diamond is an emerging healthcare advocate for the African American community.

Interested? Fill out the application for the 2023 cohort!

apply now