About the Leadership Academy

PAALF’s Leadership Academy is a year-long training cohort program that addresses the personal, cultural, civic and professional needs of emerging African American leaders in Portland. Through the Academy, PAALF works to build a group of transformative African American leaders who hold a lifelong commitment to fighting for racial justice and creating lasting change in the African American community.

Through training, fellowship, mentorship and project-based learning, participants spend twelve months, exploring what it means to be a transformative Black leader rooted in a historical context of the African Diasporic experience. They also gain the specific skills necessary to actualize this concept in the everyday work they are doing in the community. Specific elements of transformative leadership that are addressed include: racial and cultural identity development and pride, collective consciousness vs. individual gain, our history of innovation and improvisation, navigating the contradictions of double consciousness, value-based decision making and the need to avoid tokenism and co-option.

The Leadership Academy is one part of the solution to our movement’s need for a nationwide network of training opportunities for the next generation of African American leaders, which we believe is crucial to advancing the needs of Black peoples. While this is a program that trains individuals, the Academy is truly about advancing the needs of the collective. We expect that our graduates will remain committed to creating community change above all else.

Although, our cohort of Leadership Fellows bring unique identities, skill sets, experiences, educational and professional backgrounds, each of them has been chosen due to their steady track record and ongoing commitment to putting others before themselves and towards their tireless fight for racial justice. PAALF has much faith in their unique ability to create lasting change for our community and is committed to supporting them in their ongoing development as a leader in Portland.