Black Ladies International, Incorporated (BLI) began as a vision of Dr. Bertrina Olivia West Al-Mahdi in 2011. Dr. Al-Mahdi wanted a way to empower and unite women of color, while simultaneously combating the sexual exploitation of women of color. In August 2011 Black Ladies, Inc. was established with a focus on providing resources and mental health services to women of color.

In June 2015, Dr. Al-Mahdi traveled to KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg, South Africa where she discovered that the need to unite and empower women of color was international concern. Upon her return, Dr. Al-Mahdi established the Black Wives Club (BWC), a division of BLI who’s mission is to unite and provide support, sisterhood, and advisement, to married women of color internationally.

A year later, in June 2016, Black Ladies, Inc had grown to over 500 members world-wide, including 163 members of the BWC, and Black Ladies International, Inc. was officially established as a international 501 (c)3 organization. With the support and unification of women world-wide, BLI has been able to provide empowerment and support services to over 1,200 women and girls of color world-wide since 2011.