Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy

The Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy is celebrating it's 12th year in existence. We have had over 150 Blacks In Government members successfully complete the program.  During the DYLA orientation, the organization leadership emphasizes giving back to the organization. Many of the graduates have served or currently serving the organization in leadership positions at the Chapter, Regional, and National levels.


We have students in this years’ class from different generations representing regions 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11 respectively. Working from various agencies as the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, Center for Disease Control, General Services Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and the National Parks Service.


The diversity will aid in the teams’ creativity that will be essential in preparing and executing the teams’ presentations at graduation. Each team is required to identify a service-oriented team project that will prove beneficial to each participant’s growth and development as a leader, as well as benefit the mission of Blacks In Government.


Leaders understand change is prevalent. Effective leaders prepare for change by having a sound vision and being proactive. Dynamic leaders also adapts to change and employ a fluid style of leadership that one adjusts based on the people being led and on the circumstances.


Our Vision

Through effective leadership training, the Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy will help to provide a 21st century infrastructure and an educated membership to conquer the challenges facing the organization and the public servant today and in the future.


Our Mission

  • Prepare the BIG members for a leadership role at all levels of public service and throughout the BIG organization.

  • Help members acquire the essential skills needed to be competent leaders through a series of intense professional training sessions.

  • Offer members an opportunity to expand their comprehension of leadership. 

  • Combine experiential learning and developmental opportunities.

  • Prepare members to function as educated, analytical, and skilled leaders within the organization, their jobs, and the community.


Program Overview

  • Blacks In Government and Morgan State University formed a leadership training vehicle to foster excellence in leadership within the organization of Blacks In Government to develop professional and personal leadership skills within the membership.
  • This highly interactive training uses dynamic instruction and numerous activities to emphasize leadership traits and facilitate discussion of leadership issues.



Congratulations to the 13 Blacks In Government (BIG) members who were selected to the 12th Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy (DYLA) course. This year's orientation and training took place from November 29th to December 1st at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.  This class will graduate in 2019 during the 41st Annual National Training Institute in August in Dallas, Texas. Blacks In Government has partnered with Morgan State University to provide this leadership training opportunity to develop professional and personal leadership skills for BIG’s members. The November-December orientation and training session was highly interactive and used dynamic instruction and engaging activities to emphasize leadership traits and facilitate discussion of leadership issues.

Orientation Photos

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Photos of DYLA Graduates

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Organization Information

Blacks In Government® (BIG) was established in 1975 and incorporated in 1976 by a small group of African Americans at the Public Health Services which is a part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) in the Parklawn building in Rockville, Maryland. The organization was viewed as essential to the Black civil service employee, based on a wide assortment of racially motivated problems faced by the HEW Black employees in Rockville. Initially, it was thought that the umbrella organization would address only the problems at the Federal level. However, it was soon determined that State, County, and Municipal Black employees were faced with the same general type of employment problems.



Our Team

Dr. Vera McKethan

Planning and Programming Chair


Mr. Johnny Barideaux

DYLA Coordinator


Honorable Lillian Barnett

DYLA Coach


Ms. Linda Hardway

DYLA Coach


Ms. Alesia Smith

DYLA Coach Assistant


"This will allow me to embrace what comes next and exceeded my expectations."
"I look forward to this challenging opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and move forward in my future."

The DYLA Coaches are selected by the National President and are assigned to teams during the orientation phase. The coaches are readily available to ensure the students are focused and remain on  track to complete their assignments that are outlined in the Participant's Handbook. The coaches also disseminates vital program information to include team project proposals, upcoming deadlines, and graduation planning.


News & Events

Our News:


Added on 12.02.18

Blacks In Government has partnered with Morgan State University!

The partnership agreement between Blacks In Government (BIG) and Morgan State University (MSU) was designed to create a certification process leading to the awarding of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to each Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy (DYLA) participant. This partnership recognizes Morgan State University's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (CCPS) capacity to issue CEUs/PDH's.

The mission of the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (CCPS) is to serve the lifelong educational needs of traditional and non-traditional students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, professional and personal growth aspirations. CCPS coordinates a broad variety of educational activities and community services for culturally diverse populations.

Click here for more information.






The DYLA is a developmental program designed to develop future public service leaders through providing assessment, experiential learning and individual development activities and opportunities. Throughout the program, students are challenged to grow and develop personally and professionally. This program requires focus, commitment, and hard work. It is our hope that the students take full advantage of the opportunities afforded through this program. We encourage you to make the extra effort to ensure that you get the most out of this program.

The program will use True Colors personality assessment, which provides important feedback to participants on the key leadership competencies needed for effective performance in the public sector. The feedback generated from this instrument will provide objective information about how others see important aspects of your behavior in the workplace. This will be invaluable when developing an effective Leadership Development Plan.



2021 DYLA orientation


Congratulations to the 2020-2021 DYLA selectees!

Eleven students were selected for this year's DYLA Program, representing Regions 3, 4, and 11 respectively. The virtual orientation was held December 3-5, 2020. The students must complete the following requirements.

  • Attend the mandatory Orientation Seminar

  • Develop and follow a personalized Individual Development Plan

  • Undertake a 30-day development assignment and submit impact paper

  • Interview and report on a minimum of four senior-level managers

  • Shadow and report on a minimum of three senior-level managers

  • Conduct at least three leadership book reviews

  • Supervisor review of participant progress in DYLA

  • Completed Interim midway Instruction on True Colors Personality Assessment

  • Participate in the team project presentation for graduation

  • Complete three writing assignments with third assignment being the Program Impact Paper outlining key learnings during the program

The 2021 Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy commencement ceremony will be held at the 42nd Annual National Training Institute in Washington, DC.


This Month's Events
  • Student Assignments
    Please refer to the Participant's Handbook to ensure your assignments are completed on time.
  • Team Conference Calls
    Each team will meet at their respective predetermined date and time each month.
Upcoming Events
  1. Interview and report on a minimum of four senior-level managers
  2. Team meetings to be determined by students.
  3. Individual student midterm assignments review.
  4. Team Project Rehearsals.
  5. The Virtual DYLA Graduation will be held on August 28, 2021, at 10:00 EST. Join Zoom Meeting, Meeting ID:  898 1054 5869, Passcode: 896457

Contact Information


3005 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-3807


1-202-667-3280 (Office)
1-202-667-3705 (Fax)


8:00 am - 5:00 pm CST
Monday - Friday

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