Fostering belonging
is necessary work.

It can also be exhausting, frustrating work when deeply rooted blind spots — within our organizations and in the wider world — prevent our progress.

You’re under fire internally and externally for not creating belonging, and it’s hurting not only morale but also productivity, retention, and your bottom line.

We get it, and you are not alone: Staying the course as you work to create diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes harder and harder when no matter what you do, your culture is stuck in a place of exclusion and “othering.”

These blind spots are why Empower Initiative exists.

When nothing else has worked, we’re at your side to help you and your team uncover your blind spots and move forward with renewed confidence.

Ben McBride started EI in 2014 to provide high-level leadership training and consulting, and we quickly scaled to offer more services as our cultural and political polarization around race, gender, sexuality, and more crept toward a boiling point.

We believe everyone deserves to belong, and we know you do too. Empower Initiative is here to educate, motivate, and help you envision and take decisive action to create a new normal of belonging within your organization.

What we can’t see can hurt us, but with open eyes, we can change the world.

Empower Initiative’s services

We’ve built each of our experiences and offerings to meet our clients’ specific needs, whether you’re:

  • Rallying your entire team around the concept of belonging
  • Training leaders to develop an inclusive culture of belonging
  • Seeking in-depth consulting to address your organization’s unique challenges.

We’d love to help you create belonging in your organization.

If we aren’t the best fit, we’ll recommend someone from our wide network of professionals who can step in to help you achieve your goals.

Here’s how we can help you foster belonging.

Keynote Speaking

Inspire your team to strive toward belonging together.

Leadership Training

Guide change and bridge across differences from the top.


Scale your team’s education with our introductory course.

On-Location Learning Lab

Travel to Alabama for a deep look into our history of racial “othering.”

Private Consulting

Find your team’s blind spots and create a culture of belonging.

Keynote Speaking

Leadership Training


On-Location Learning Lab

Private Consulting

Get to know The McBrides
CEO, Ben McBride, is a spiritual leader and longtime activist for social change.
Throughout his career, he has trained more than 100 law enforcement departments and leaders to improve police conduct.

He also served as co-director of Faith in Action California, where he represented more than 450,000 people in efforts to dismantle structural inequities and face white supremacy head on.

In 2019, Ben launched the Fostering Belonging initiative, which partnered with public- and private-sector organizations to confront social challenges through a coalition-building lens.

Ben transitioned to full-time leadership of Empower Initiative in 2020 and remains deeply involved in curating the vision of Empower Initiative while personally delivering keynote addresses and leading our immersive experiences.

COO, Gynelle McBride is a restorative justice leader and operations professional. Her career has spanned a decade curating learning spaces and providing operations leadership in public education to change the material conditions for students of color.

Gynelle transitioned full-time as the Chief Operating Officer of Empower Initiative in 2021, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization while providing facilitation leadership in our trainings and learning labs.

Empower colleagues ready to assist you!

Ryan Robinson

Executive Assistant

Ebani Abram

Operations Associate

Bill Cody

Special Projects Director

Brittani Jenese

Client Engagement Associate

Michael Lumpkin

Experience Manager
Our thought partners

We’ve developed our offerings with the thought partnership and support of other passionate leaders in our space.

Jennifer Eberhart

Ph.D., Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology, and Faculty Co-Director of SPARQ at Stanford University

john a. powell

Ph.D, Professor of Law, African American Studies, Ethnic Studies and Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley

“We have to meet each other as humans first — full stop.”

Suzanne St. John-Crane, American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley

Let’s create belonging together.

Start the conversation

We’ll ask about your organization’s challenges and opportunities — and answer your questions.

Begin the work

Choose and embark on the services suited to your organization’s cultural needs.

Build your future

Our work together is an empowering first step in creating a culture where everyone belongs.