Supporting Black Changemakers: Discover where you fall on the leadership spectrum!

The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is thrilled to welcome Al McFarlane a panel member at our 5th Annual Gala Breakfast Celebration — Collaboration: The Four Personas of Leadership, along with panel members Shawntera M. Hardy (founder of PolicyGrounds Consulting), Reuben Moore (Minnesota Community Care), and Caroline A. Wanga (Target Corporation).

This annual event convenes more than 500 African American leaders, social innovators, and changemakers from across the state of Minnesota to explore AALF’s four leadership personas, which include Thought Leader, Influencer, Builder, and Ambassador. As a data-driven, people-empowered movement, AALF seeks to uplift the African American community by identifying and supporting Black leaders. We believe that everyone is a leader and everyone has the power to make a difference in the community.

However, we understand the importance of helping leaders obtain deeper insight into the leadership personas that exist within the ecosystem of changemakers working to improve the Black community. AALF’s leadership personas are dynamic and include a variety of leadership characteristics and forms. In addition, our leadership personas work in parallel and overlap, enabling leaders to connect and work together to solve our community’s most vexing challenges. The gala event provides an unprecedented opportunity for African Americans from all professional and educational backgrounds to learn more about the personas, discover where they fall on the leadership spectrum, and meet other people who are actively involved in community engagement work. Our 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.

About Al McFarlane: Panel Member

Al McFarlane (Insight Media): Media Executive Al McFarlane was born on September 15th 1947 in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1965 to 1966 and the University of Minnesota (School of Journalism) from 1969 to 1971; he graduated from there with a B.A. in Mass Communications. McFarlane worked as a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Pressbefore moving to General Mills where he worked as the Community Relations Coordinator from 1971 to 1972. He was then hired by Midwest Public Relations (Division of Graphic Services) as Vice President, a position he held from 1973 to 1976. In 1974, McFarlane became Editor-in-Chief of Insight News, a community newspaper serving African and African American residents of Minnesota. He also established McFarlane Media Interests, Inc., a multimedia marketing and information services firm with newspaper, Internet, and broadcast properties. McFarlane purchased the rights to Insight Newsin 1975. In 1992, McFarlane served as chairman at Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium, a marketing and advertising sales advisory for Minnesota African and African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American newspapers. He was named president of the Black Publishers Coalition, which managed regional and national advertising contracts for Black newspapers, and the member group of print media investor-owners in the formation of the Minnesota Minority Media Coalition.

The 5th Annual Breakfast Gala Celebration will be held at the University of Minnesota (McNamara Alumni Center) on Wednesday, October 30th from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 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) and local talent.