The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) continues to convene and support Black leaders across the Twin Cities to bring positive change to the Black community and society as a whole. We recently held a virtual retreat for our 2020 Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy fellows, facilitated by our Associate Director Ernest Comer III & Program Director LaCora Bradford Kesti, which brought together all of our fellows in a unique digital environment designed to foster growth and reflection. The purpose of the retreat was to provide space for these fellows to gain a deeper understanding of the many elements of the cohort experience as well as one another, and to share reflections on a few prompts given during the retreat.

How the Virtual Retreat Was Structured and the Agenda

The JRJLA Virtual Retreat included:

  • Cohort Introductions: Each Fellow was given five minutes to present, followed by two minutes of appreciative inquiry from the cohort
  • Mind Scan Introduction & Review + The Value of Coaching: Kevin Wright presented participants with information about the program’s Mind Scan Assessments and shared insights on the value of coaching.

In addition, the retreat included an introduction to the purpose of the Leadership Academy, as well as:

  • A conversation about the importance of the program’s Alumni & Torch Bearers
  • The program handbook was reviewed to remind participants of commitment and outcomes
  • Coaches Char Dobbs and Jesse Ross joined the virtual meeting to introduce themselves and speak about their approach to individualized coaching

JRJLA Virtual Retreat

As the program goes forward, fellows will engage in reflections and journaling through video and thought leadership around their leadership development journey. During the virtual retreat fellows were broken down into small groups as part of tribe building activities to help them get to know one another and establish a foundation for working collaboratively. Black Centered Design (a concept developed in AALF’s Collective Impact program) was also discussed to help the fellows understand how they will engage community when the collective impact work begins. Lastly, participants were provided with evaluative surveys to help AALF improve the program and get more information about levels of engagement.

AALF is excited about our 2020 fellows and the change they will bring to our community. Click here to learn more about the Leadership Academy.