The African American Leadership Forum’s (AALF) Collective Impact Task Force includes 12 Black leaders from across Minnesota; each with a unique skillset and community engagement experience. These leaders are chosen via an application and interview process, and focus on Education, Health & Wellness, Economic Development, and Family & Culture in the Black community to bring about change.
We recently reached out to one of our Task Force members to get their insights on what’s happening in the program.
McGee: The overall theme of AALF’s Collective Impact Task Force meetings have been powerful within itself. Honing in on Family & Culture, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Development are vital factors in terms of the future of the Black community. While it’s really hard to focus on any one area without realizing the importance of how they all connect, my level of expertise is in Education and Family & Culture. Since joining the Task Force, I’ve learned from my peers and I’ve gained greater appreciation for working intergenerationally. Establishing communication between age groups is necessary for moving the dial.
Of AALF’s four leadership personas (Ambassador, Builder, Influencer, and Thought Leader) I see myself of value in each category. I’m most interested in being a Thought Leader because of my experience and seasoned existence. My takeaway from having lived longer affirms various degrees of wisdom that include the ability to draw from past mistakes that can enhance future decisions; listening is a character value that must be learned in order to navigate ourselves forward in this thing called “unity” that we all claim to be about or want.
My objective has not been to be “right” or to always have the best responses in our cohort sessions. It’s been more interesting to listen and insert when I feel a need to voice my opinion. Our Task Force group is brilliant, so if my ideas are embraced, great. If not, I’m not upset by that at all. It has not been a competition for me, but rather an insight into learning from others; especially young people. At my age, I rarely need to prove my opinion verbally. What I find to be more valuable and sustainable in life is to demonstrate by being consistent and respectful of other’s opinions. I no longer see this way of operating as a sign of weakness nor being passive, just respectful when brilliance is on the table. These young people are brilliant.
Learn more about the African American Leadership Forum’s (AALF) Collective Impact Task Force .