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About BPIA

BPIA is a charitable, non-profit membership association to increase the involvement of African Americans and other people of African heritage in international affairs.


What We Do

BPIA is a charitable, non-profit membership association founded in 1989 by international educator Barbara C. Patterson and associates to increase the involvement of African Americans and other people of African heritage in international affairs. We are an all-volunteer association of people brought together by our passion for international affairs and our desire to further promote the field as a worthwhile career option. The association’s reasonable membership dues promote an inclusive member base, from interested students to accomplished retired diplomats. BPIA maintains a limited overhead and uses donations and membership fees for administrative costs, outreach, and outstanding program implementation.

BPIA is committed to linking our efforts with those of groups and organizations that have similar goals. To that end, we support and work collaboratively with other public, private sector, and non-profit organizations to carry our mission. 


Programs

Bridging the Gap Between Our Community & International Affairs

BPIA offers services and programs that promote the engagement of African Americans and others of African heritage in international affairs. Our activities address the interests of students, aspiring career professionals at all levels, and the public in the areas of professional development, education and cultural exchange, and business and economic development.


See Our Programs

Our History

In the late 1970s, at the invitation of international educator Barbara C. Patterson, black professionals affiliated with 40 organizations met in Washington, DC to discuss the possibility of forming a new international organization. This association would serve the growing, diversified interests and needs of African Americans and other black professionals of African heritage in international and intercultural affairs.

During the 1980s, the number of African Americans in diplomacy and Foreign Service declined. Professionally prepared African Americans found it difficult to find internationally focused employment in government or the private sector. In order to encourage and assist black participation in a broad spectrum of international affairs, as BPIA’s founder, Ms. Patterson convened the association’s founding meeting on January 26, 1989 in the Great Hall of the historic Charles Sumner Archives and Gallery in Washington, DC. BPIA would make its public debut in November 1990, with a symposium, “A Salute to African American Ambassadors.”



Through Ms. Patterson’s perseverance, BPIA was incorporated in the District of Columbia in March 1989, and granted Federal tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization in September 1995. The organization was established as an educational, charitable, non-profit membership association to increase the engagement of African Americans and other people of African heritage in international affairs.

Join the BPIA E-newsletter Mailing List

BPIA sends monthly e-newsletter to the BPIA community highlighting upcoming events, job announcement, fellowships, news, and more.


BPIA membership is open to all applicants who support our mission and goals without regard to race, religion/creed, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual preference or identity.

Email
bpiaoutreach@iabpia.org

Mailing Address

BPIA

P.O. Box 55922

Washington, DC 20011


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