The Black Women’s Leadership Initiative's (BWLI) mission is to curate conversations, events and programming which study, honor and celebrate Black dance heritage and dance futurism in a way that is dreamed, led and facilitated by Black women. BWLI is unique in that we recognize the connections between the way horses move together in herds and the way that African-rooted dance is learned and taught. We use equine-assisted learning to research a trauma-informed approach to dance, movement and connection to ature.

BWLI offers programming in dance and equine-assisted learning. Please visit to learn more about our dance programming. We offer BIPOC centered equine-assisted learning program in collaboration with Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center. See below for more information.

BWLI x Mount Holyoke College: BIPOC Equine-Assisted Learning Program

Our Mission

It is our mission to be an Equine Assisted-Learning (EAL) Program that centers BIPOC voices, and uplifts BIPOC students into leadership roles within the program, in an effort to offer the Mount Holyoke community, and the global community, across all races, ages, genders and cultural differences, access to education in Equine-Assisted Learning.


Facilitated by Jamila Jackson, The BIPOC Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) Program at Mount Holyoke College is a collaboration between the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center and The Embodied Leadership Project’s Black Women’s Leadership Initiative (BWLI).

Built in 1987, the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center is considered to be one of the finest facilities for educational and competitive riding available to students anywhere. Its stable provides over 69 spacious, airy, rubber-matted stalls, a large outdoor all-weather footing show arena, a permanent dressage arena, two indoor arenas, all-weather turnout paddocks, hunt field and a cross-country course through 120 acres of woods, fields, and streams.

Our Shared Language, an Embodied Leadership Project Film

Funded through South Hadley and Northampton Cultural Council for the Black Women's Leadership Initiative at Five College Dance and created in collaboration with cinematographer Amber Wilmore-Hurley.

Our Shared Language explores the cultural and historical connections between Black Women and Horses.

The clip below shares some responses to the above film from a workshop we hosted for Black women within the Initiative