“Our voices. Our future” is the slogan for the African American Leadership Forum
As often as Black life has been bullied and constrained, segregated and sequestered, jailed, beaten, killed and enslaved — you can hardly blame one for being passive in the hopes for but a moment’s peace.
Ownership, though, over our bodies and voices and future, is the way toward a lasting social serenity. And it’s a fight that requires collective, cooperative action, and steady leadership.
The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is a collection of over 1,000 Black Twin Cities leaders. Figures from every sector of metro life have joined the coalition, from business and government to education, arts, and the nonprofit world.
The new program director of this group of leaders, the organization announced, is Lacora Bradford Kesti. The current Camden-Lind-Bohanan resident has worked and volunteered around the Twin Cities for years, spent two years in AmeriCorps after graduating from the College of St. Scholastica, and worked for the Corporation for National and Community Service federal agency.
As AALF program director, Kesti will concentrate on work that will resolve community problems in a unified way.
That unified way is how the AALF does its work, through the leverage of the “power of the collective,” according to its website.
The group organizes events and academies, like the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a six-month-long designed to “meet the personal, cultural, civic and professional development needs of 10 African American leaders.”
This investment in local Black leaders, sponsored by The Minneapolis Foundation and the Mcknight Foundation, will, in turn, provide the foundation to springboard these leaders toward solving the local Black community’s most trenchant issues.
Kesti, and her years of volunteering, on a local and federal level, will be the new compass for these Twin Cities Black leaders and pioneers.
For more information go to www.tcaalf.com.
Solomon Gustavo was a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.