Who we are


The Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum is a network of African American leaders committed to improving the quality of life and life chances for Philadelphia’s African American community.

  • Promote collective action, strategic collaboration, and shared services among agencies serving the African American community;
  • Promote data collection and analysis and use data to inform decision-making;
  • Expose African American leadership to social innovation, promising practices, and research, as well as to regional and national thought leaders in public policy and service;
  • Deepen the relationship with the broader philanthropic community and public and private sectors in an effort to become less transactional and more transformative; and
  • Cultivate and align African-American leadership to promote communication and information sharing across sectors.

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Recent Posts


Black-owned firms make up larger share of Philadelphia’s businesses than previously reported

Originally Posted on  By Michael D’Onofrio The head of this city’s largest organization for Black-owned…

African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ and DE has a new leader

Originally Posted on  kywnewsradio.radio.com/ By CHERRI GREGG PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia-area African American…

Study Examines Why Black Americans Remain Scarce in Executive Suites

Originally Posted on 

Tribune honors Most Influential African Americans 2019

Originally Posted on phillytrib.com By Jamyra Perry When Sue Ellen Zhang got the call that she…

How African American-led Organizations Differ from White-led Organizations: Research Report on African American Nonprofit Organizations in Philadelphia


The journey is as important as the arrival and whom we help along the way solidifies the strength of our character. Throughout time, societal issues have never been solved by one group of homogeneous individuals; it requires the collective insight of others to make a difference. As African-American leaders, our voices, thoughts and actions are critical to making positive change.

Dawn L. McCrayPresident & CEO, Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc.

The Branch Associates report on African-American-led human services organizations in Philadelphia is a “must read” for anyone in a position of leadership in our region. The data is informative and provides a useful tool for policymakers, grantmakers and anyone trying to effect system change.

Pedro A. RamosPresident & CEO, The Philadelphia Foundation

The presence of African American leadership is critically important to the nonprofit sector. Without it, we run the risk of missing their talent, expertise and networks – all of which are necessary for substantive social change.

Susan BattenCEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives

Passion must drive organizational mission, but can easily outpace capacity. And capacity separates good from ineffective nonprofit organizations. These tenets compellingly inform African American leadership in the nonprofit sector, as the need in their communities can only be addressed by capable organizations that are committed to building and sustaining the requisite capacity to make a difference.

Raymond Albert, PhD, JD, MSWProfessor of Social Work, Director of the Law and Social Policy Program, Chair of Diversity Leadership Group and Diversity Council, EOO Officer Bryn Mawr College

The African American Leadership Forum has emerged at a pivotal moment for contemporary black America. The continued loss of opportunity for many African Americans, coupled with the fragmentation of African-American leadership, present an urgent need to do something different. The African American Leadership Forum is a call to action for African American leaders to put aside our individual and personal differences to work towards collective transformational solutions that change the structure of opportunity within our community.

Gary CunninghamCo-founder of the National African American Leadership Forum of Twin Cities

African American-led nonprofits are critical in addressing the fundamental needs in our region as a whole and in responding to the needs of the African American community specifically. Our collective voices and experiences are essential in solving problems and improving education for our children, helping families move toward greater financial stability and building stronger and healthier communities. Together, we're creating Impact that transforms lives.

Jim CawleyPresident & CEO, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

The leadership team of any successful nonprofit must reflect those it serves. At PHMC, we are enormously proud of the diversity we see every day across our employee base, our partners, our board and our clients. We are a reflection of the community at large, and proud to partner with other like-minded organizations so that, collectively, we’re channeling the voice of our region.

Richard J. CohenPresident and CEO, Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)