Changing the Status Quo: The African American Leadership Forum People of color, particularly African Americans, are often isolated from access to the critical resources we all need to create healthy, thriving communities, families, and individuals. This can mean a lack of high-quality educational opportunities, stable housing, sustainable employment, preventative healthcare, healthy food, safe environments, political empowerment, and wealth- and asset-building. Furthermore, as leaders we often find ourselves working in silos, offering transactional solutions (i.e., navigating what already exists with programmatic responses) to issues that require systemic change forresolution.
This isolation, both in opportunity and leadership, presents an urgent need to do something different—to challenge the status quo. We need to shift our current paradigm to one that creates opportunities and prosperity for all African American people and brings African American leaders together to work in new and transformative ways.
The AALF is a movement of African American leaders and stewards across four metropolitan areas—the Twin Cities, Portland, Seattle, and Des Moines—that is committed to the revitalization and sustainability of a vibrant African American community. We are united in the belief that we can do more together than separately. We recognize that in order to achieve enduring, positive change in our communities we need a truly transformative agenda—one that is exciting and fresh, one that challenges the status quo and changes the game. We need an agenda that • moves us beyond silos and fragmentation, • demonstrates the interconnectedness of people, issues, and actions, and • changes the structures, institutions, and systems that disproportionately harm African Americans. We need an agenda that will not produce just more of the same.