The African American Leadership Forum’s (AALF) Community Harvest event, held at UROC (Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center), brought together Black leaders and changemakers from across Minnesota to reflect upon the Problem Statements developed by our Collective Impact Task Force — a group of African American thought leaders chosen through an application process to identify solutions to some of our community’s most pressing challenges.

For five months the Task Force has been using a Human-centered Design process to facilitate African American empowerment around four focus areas: Family & Culture, Health & Wellness, Education, and Economic Development.

In regard to Task Force problem statements on Family & Culture, Community Harvest participants stated that African American mentors are needed for African American boys and that there are Black males and role models in the community. In addition, those who attended emphasized that Black women are the strength of the community and explored how Black history relates to the current lifestyles of African Americans.

There is a need for families supporting families against police violence; especially those who have lost loved ones due to police brutality. The need for resources that support leadership development, advocacy and civil disobedience, as well as the Adult Training Opportunities Program (ATOP) program, was also discussed.
In the experiential learning space fostered by the Community Harvest Task Force members and others from the African American community, participants stated that today’s youth crave interesting and novel experiences that they can touch and feel, in addition to focused spaces to learn and experience Afrocentric arts and culture.

Participants emphasized that we can create spaces for families to learn about Black history and engage in Black culture. Other strategies, such as joining the Task Force for Section 8 at MNHA, meeting with political leaders, and Civil rights research experiences to address history and family were also discussed.

Learn more about the African American Leadership Forum’s (AALF) Collective Impact Task Force .