Monthly CONNECT on Community Healing: Celebrating Black History & Culture (Feb. 22)

The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) formally invites you to attend our second CONNECT event on Community Healing: Celebrating Black History & Culture! Join us Saturday, February 22nd at Minneapolis College for FREE food, storytelling, and a healing & drum circle! We’ll also hold a special My Blackness Means activity as part of our upcoming campaign celebrating African American identity and culture. Date, Time, and Location: Saturday, February 22nd 2020. 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Minneapolis College (MCTC) in the T Building (room T-1400). 1415 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. *Parking is available in the ramp directly across the street from the building and will be free from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Know Your Rights: Information Session on St. Paul’s New Housing (March 14)

African Americans throughout the state of Minnesota often face affordable housing challenges, such as access to quality housing and stable housing. AALF wants to make sure you know your rights when it comes to the City of Saint Paul’s housing ordinances, which have changed. Join us for this community information session and discussion about housing and how these ordinance changes may impact you and your family.

There will be FREE food from Smokin J’s and childcare will be provided for those that need it. Date, Time, and Location: Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. 270 Kent St, Saint Paul, MN 55102. March 14th. 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

“My Blackness means . . .”  Digital Campaign (March 15)

Finish the sentence “My Blackness means . . .” by March 15th to participate. Your response may be included in our digital content in the following month with the hashtag #myBlacknessmeans. Email your response, contact information/title, and a high-quality photo to our program coordinator Alissa Paris at alissa@aalftc.org.

What’s Happening at the Forum

LaCora Bradford Kesti, AALF program director, reflects on Black-Centered Design (BCD)

Check out Black Leadership Re-Defined: The Official Podcast of the African American Leadership Forum

Ashley Oolman Reflects on AALF’s Collective Impact Task Force: “I’ve been so fortunate to work with a group of professionals that are intensely passionate and focused on the same topic. I’ve found it is easy to intently listen in this space because each person brings such a great perspective.”

Introducing our Join the Network Campaign: Empowering the Black Community in 2020

Brandon Jones (Psychotherapist, Professor, & Author) talks about AALF’s Collective Impact Task Force: “Collective minds make my leadership better”

2019 AALF Year-End Highlights: What the Forum has been focusing on over the past year!

The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is comprised of over 1,500 African Americans who self-identify as Thought Leaders, Influencers, Builders, Ambassadors. Collaboratively, these leaders volunteer their time, talents and treasure to support our mission to build a just society that works well for everyone.

Join the Network

Do you identify as a leader, ally, artist, activist or changemaker? Do you have a passion for solving some of the challenges facing the Black community? You’re who we’re looking for! We need people like you to help our community thrive.

Becoming a network contributor is easy and it’s FREE to join! Just fill out the form and choose how you’d like to use your skillset to impact the Black community.


Convenings, Gatherings & Forums that Connect Black Leaders. Our free monthly CONNECT events encourage everyone in the community to play a role in taking steps to improve the lives of African Americans and connect with each other. Other AALF events, such as our Annual Gala Celebration and BARAZA, bring the community together to learn more about the strides we’ve made and the work we still have left to do. We’re also reshaping the narrative around African American lives, Black leadership, and the Black experience with our weekly podcast: Black Leadership Re-Defined. The show can be found on our website and airs on KMOJ Sundays from 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Collective Impact Initiative: A Black-Centered Approach to Empowering Our Community: AALF’s Collective Impact work consists of a Task Force and Workstreams with the goal of tackling the most substantial challenges facing the African American community. The Task Force (open to the public through an application and interview process) includes 8-12 African American thought leaders and social innovators who collaborate to set the S.M.A.R.T. objectives of the Workstreams, including a Black Vision around Education, Health & Wellness, Economic Development, and Family & Culture as it relates to the African American community. The process utilizes principles of human-centered design thinking.

The Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy (JRJLA):  The Leadership Academy is a six-month hands-on path to personal and professional discovery directed by facilitators, mentors, developmental tools, and experiential learning opportunities. Each fellow builds a vocabulary for articulating their purpose and passion in a way that leads to impactful change. The skills developed through the program serve as a launching pad for exercising leadership in Collective Impact projects. The overall goal of the academy is to accelerate the leadership development journey of emerging African American leaders. Fellows are chosen for the Leadership Academy through a closed application process. Candidates must be nominated by an AALF Board Member or JRJLA alum in order to submit an application.

The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) brings together innovators, thinkers, and doers to develop solutions that support resilience in the Black community.

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