The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) has over 1,500 African American network contributors working to solve critical challenges facing the Black community! Our 2019 breakfast gala celebration, Collaboration: The Four Personas of Leadership took place at the University of Minnesota (McNamara Alumni Center), led by a panel of leaders from across the Twin Cities and hosted by T. Mychal Rambo (Actor/Singer) with performances by Jamecia Bennett (Actor/Singer).

The event’s speakers included: Caroline Wanga (Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at the Target Corporation); Al McFarlane (Media Executive who has worked as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press before moving to General Mills); Reuben Moore (Co-created new pathways for value expansion within large, medium-sized and small organizations) and Shawntera M. Hardy (Founder of PolicyGrounds Consulting).

AALF’s leadership personas are defined as:

Thought Leader: A seeker, analyzer, and synthesizer of information who understands and solves problems by developing progressive solutions through innovation and creativity.

Influencer: An activator in community who organizes people to take actions around an issue or strategy. Someone who takes the initiative to impact the distribution of political and/or economic power by encouraging, persuading, or directing decisions.

Builder: A developer of programs and infrastructure who utilizes information and prioritizes inputs and desired outcomes to establish support for community-level activity. These people build solutions to problems without deviating from the initial intent.

Ambassador: A person who promotes community empowerment by working directly with members of the community and organizing action. This person shares stories and information, supports awareness and insight on key issues, and acts as a hub for community members.

The Forum believes that before a leader has the ability to fully utilize their leadership capabilities, Wholeness, Thoroughness, Health, and Willingness must be present. We define Wholeness as a measurement of the capability a person has through their experience, skills, tools, and preparedness. Thoroughness is a measurement of the capacity to deploy wholeness by understanding an issue and through effective planning with the ability to execute.

We define Healthy as a measurement of mental, physical, and spiritual healing. Lastly, Willing (after maximizing each of the other components) involves measuring whether or not a person is able to act and contribute to their community in collaborative way. By working together, we can find solutions to the challenges in the African American community and achieve our collective goals. Through convenings, townhalls, forums, and our Collective Impact Task Force and Work Streams, AALF is working to support our leaders and provide them with the tools and resources needed to bring about change.

Do you identify as a Thought Leader, Influencer, Builder, or Ambassador? Are you passionate about the African American community? You’re who we’re looking for! We need people like you to join the network to bring change to our community and re-shape the narrative around Black lives.