The C.R.I.B.B. Fellowship, formally the C.R.I.B.B. Seminar, was initiated in January 2008 based on feedback received from conference participants of the 2007 National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS (name has since been changed to reflect a broad approach in the life of Black gay and bisexual men) held in Charlotte, NC. While the 2007 conference included a conference track specifically for youth and young adults, participants explained the need for workshops and activities that were intended to strengthen the skills and leadership of young persons involved in HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and services.

During initial planning stages, discussions included what types of leadership skills will the fellowship program focus on and how these skills will be measured or evaluated. It was also critical that the participants interacted with each other as well as experienced professionals to help increase their leadership skills and style.