This leadership program for African American nonprofit leaders graduated its first cohort - Generocity Philly


Jun. 16, 2017 10:21 am

This leadership program for African American nonprofit leaders graduated its first cohort

It's a five-month professional development series supported by United Way, the Urban League and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College.

The leadership forum's inaugural graduation event.

(Courtesy photo)

A trio of nonprofit partners are betting that networking and mentorship are the key ingredients to building a more diverse, sustainable nonprofit sector in Philly.

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Urban League of Philadelphia and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College teamed up earlier this year to form the Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum, a five-month professional development program for Black nonprofit leaders.

The forum was created in response to the findings of a study commissioned by the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) and supported by United Way and the Urban Affairs Coalition about the differences between African American-led nonprofits and their white-led counterparts.

It found that African American-led organizations are generally smaller, have fewer cash reserves, and have less access to certain social networks, such as those connected to grantmaking.

It’s that last point that most inspired the creation of the leadership program. As opined by PAALF co-chairs David W. Brown and Sharmain Matlock-Turner and former managing director Kelly Woodland on

“When it comes to diverse leadership, mentorship and building social capital are two of the most critical factors that ensure our society has the broadest array of talent in positions of influence shaping our global village.”

The program included seven days of workshops and speaking events with “regional and national thought leaders.” Last night, the program held the commencement event for its 23-member inaugural class.

Here’s who was in the cohort:

  • Soleded Alfaro, deputy chief of staff at Mastery Charter Schools
  • Denise Ashe, president and CEO of Montgomery County OIC
  • John Barber III, chief development officer of The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia
  • Ceciley Bradford Jones, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services (R.I.S.E.)
  • Reynelle Brown-Staley, consultant
  • Darryl Bundrige, executive director and VP of City Year – Philadelphia
  • Joyce Chester, president and CEO of Chester County OIC
  • Uva Coles, VP of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships at Pierce College
  • Laurie Corbin, senior director of criminal justice initiatives at Public Health Management Corporation
  • Monique Curry, director of development at Steppingstone Scholars
  • Chekemma Fullmore-Townsend, president and CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network
  • Shawn M. Lacy, executive director of Family Support Services
  • Tara Alexis McCoy, contractor at Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools
  • Meishka L. Mitchell, VP of community initiatives at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership
  • Markita Morris-Louis, senior VP of community affairs and general counsel at Clarifi
  • Lisa Nelson-Haynes, executive director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights
  • Nikia Owens, director of income and financial stability at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
  • Cicely Peterson-Mangum, principal at Peterson-Mangum Consulting
  • Katrina Pratt-Roebuck, deputy executive director at the Mayor’s Office Community Empowerment and Opportunity
  • Chaya Scott, executive director of Coatesville Youth Initiative
  • Danielle Scott, executive director of Pincus Family Foundation
  • Reggie Shuford, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
  • Michelle Simmons, CEO and founder of Why Not Prosper, Inc.

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