When Black Women(+) Prevail, We All Prevail: Erased No More

July 12 - 21, 2019  |  New York, NY

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“If you are coming to help me, then you are wasting your time

But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine then let us work together.”

- Lilla Watson, activist and artist articulated from a collective process of the Aboriginal Activists Group,

Queensland Australia

July 12-21 UBW’s Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) will be held in NYC at Gibney, the SLI Institutional partner for 2019.

This summer we are using physical and verbal dialogue, creative and choreographic tools, panels, readings, and embodied research to investigate the effects of Black women(+)’s* leadership on the United States. We will center the leadership of Black Women (+) to learn and study organizing & artistic strategies from the lives of individuals and collectives such as Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Collective, Marsha P. Johnson, and the Stonewall Raid resisters, Maxine Waters, Barbara Jordan, Shirley Chisholm and Stacey Abrams, as well as the Black women(+) leaders in our own neighborhoods and families. We will examine and take inspiration from the artistic legacies of Ntozake Shange, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison and Urban Bush Women as ways to see our possibilities as artist/ organizers who challenge the status quo.

What place does the sacred feminine have in our organizing, our leadership, and our art making? What is the power of collective action? Within a country that has a dismal history related to its treatment of Black women(+), how have so many powerful Black women(+) leaders rallied and inspired us to action?

We invite EVERYBODY to join us in this work. We are reclaiming the word EVERYBODY, not as empty diversity, equity & inclusion language, but as an explicit invitation to people of ALL identities who are interested in examining history to strengthen our collective organizing through the lens of the Black Sacred Feminine.  
The names we state are powerful and our list is an active archive of powerful Black women…Kimberlé Crenshaw and the Say Her Name movement….bell hooks…Audre Lorde…Nikki Giovanni…Maya Angelou...Suzan-Lori Parks…Ava DuVernay….Janelle Monae...Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, adrienne maree brown and Opal Tometi…and and and…

*Women(+): Our thinking around the expansive experiences and embodiments of womanhood are inspired by Queer Art, by The Leeway Foundation, and by other individuals and organizations. Urban Bush Women employs an expansive definition of the word “woman.” With that umbrella term, we refer to self-identified women, gender-nonconforming people, and non-binary people who would use “women(+)" to describe themselves.

Our core workshops will be:

Dance For Every Body; Entering, Building and Exiting Community; Understanding and Undoing Racism® Community Organizing Workshop (by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond - PISAB); Asset Mapping; and Using Research to Create Performance.  Click HERE for more information about these workshops.

The Summer Leadership Institute is the ideal place to turn challenges into opportunities for finding your/our power – artistically, individually and collectively. Study with Urban Bush Women and our powerful partner, The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, in addition to dozens of experienced artists and organizers from around the country who make up the SLI faculty!

For more information email sli@urbanbushwomen.org or subscribe to our newsletter using the signup form at the bottom of the UBW website.

Application NOW OPEN!

How To Apply:

Please read each step before you begin.

  1. Submit your $35 application fee HERE.

*Be sure to select your mode of payment - Paypal account is NOT required.

2. Once you complete your payment please click “Return to Merchant” to return to UBW and access the SLI Application.

*If you skip this step you will not be able to access the application.

3. Fill out the SLI application form.

4. After you submit your application form please make sure that you complete your application by emailing your photo and resume to sli@urbanbushwomen.org

For any questions or concerns you can email sli@urbanbushwomen.org or call 718.398.4783.

Sneak Peek of 2019 SLI Application

Once you have submitted this form please complete your application by sending your photo and resume to sli@urbanbushwomen.org.

To complete your application please send your photo and resume to sli@urbanbushwomen.org with the email subject as Application_FirstNameLastName

Save your resume file as: Resume_FirstNameLastName

Save your photo file as: Photo_FirstNameLastName

*Your application will not be considered complete until we get these materials.

Please add sli@urbanbushwomen.org to your email address contacts. We do all of our correspondence through email, and adding us to your contact list will prevent a delay in communication due to spam blockers.

Participants must be 18+ years old and are required to participate for the full 10 days. Please be prepared to commit to remaining engaged in the SLI from approximately 9:30 am to 8 pm during these 10 days, with the exception of special events and the performance day.

The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

First tuition deposits and tuition payments are non-refundable and may not be credited to any future UBW programming. Exceptions will only be considered for documented emergencies and at the discretion of UBW.

February 25, 2019 – Scholarship Applications due*** (please note that these are half scholarships)
March 4, 2019 - All Applications Due  (please note the due date of first payment)
April 18, 2019 - Confirmations and $75 non-refundable deposit due
April 22, 2019 - Waitlist notified of open positions
May 8, 2019 - Second Tuition Payment due
June 13, 2019 - All fees must be paid in full

***Please note that after this date we are no longer accepting scholarship applications, however we encourage you to submit a general application by March 4, 2019 11:59 PM eastern.

Please be sure to continuously check our website at www.urbanbushwomen.org for other upcoming deadlines and updates.

Application Questions



First Name*

Last Name*

Email *




Address 1

Address 2





How did you hear about Urban Bush Women's Summer Leadership Institute?

Do you live in or attend school in New York?

Age range for demographic purposes

Please enter your gender pronoun(s) below.

Are you applying for a scholarship? (Please keep in mind that these are half scholarships - you will still need to be responsible for the remaining $500 tuition).

If you are applying for a half scholarship please write a statement discussing your financial resources and/or need. Maximum 300 words

Biography 100 words or less

Please describe your artistic practice, involvement or interest in the arts including community organizing and social change and what intrigues you about looking at the lens of the Black Sacred Feminine.  Maximum 300 words

If you have previously attended a SLI please describe how your experience has affected your current thinking and practices and your desire to attend this SLI.  Maximum 300 words

If this is your first time applying, please describe what you hope to learn, strengthen or deepen in your work. Maximum of 300 words

Please fill out all that apply.

High School
High School location
High School years attended
High School graduation or expected graduation date

Undergraduate School
Undergraduate School location
Undergraduate School years attended
Undergraduate School Graduation or expected graduation date
Undergraduate School Concentration Or Degree Program

Graduate School
Graduate School location
Graduate School Years Attended
Graduate School Concentration
Graduate School Degree Program

Additional education or professional development experience

2019 SLI FAQs

Are International students eligible to apply?

Yes, international students are welcome to apply.

What is the average age of an SLI participant?

The SLI is an inter-generational community, open to everyone over 18 years old. There is no maximum age limit for this experience. Typically the SLI community age range is 18 years old to 70+.

How much is tuition?

Tuition for the 2019 SLI is $1000.

Is housing covered by the tuition?

No, housing is not covered by the tuition. Participants are responsible for finding their own housing.

Where will the SLI be located this year?

Workshops: Gibney Dance,  280 Broadway, New York, NY 10007

How long will an SLI day be?

You should expect a full day approximately from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm, depending on the activities.

UBW at FirstWorks 2016.jpeg

Bold - (Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance)

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Summer Leadership Institute

The SLI is a 10-day intensive that connects dance professionals, community-based artists and activists in a learning experience that leverages the arts as a vehicle for social activism and civic engagement.



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