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Meet the 2018 graduates of this leadership program for Black nonprofit execs

PAALDF's 2018 cohort. July 25, 2018 Category: FeaturedMediumPeople
The Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum (PAALDF) has graduated its second cohort of Black nonprofit execs.

The professional development program was created by the Urban League of PhiladelphiaUnited Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) and the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College last year in response to a 2016 Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum report that found that Black-led organizations are generally smaller, have fewer cash reserves and have less access to certain social networks, such as those connected to grantmaking.

The program is meant to bolster those social networks by teaching capacity-building, cross-sector collaboration and other leadership skills to the 17-member cohort while focusing specifically on the “achievements and challenges of African American nonprofit executives,” according to a release.

The inaugural cohort included local nonprofit heavyweights such as Ceciley Bradford Jones, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration ServicesUva Coles, VP of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships at Pierce CollegeChekemma Fullmore-Townsend, president and CEO of Philadelphia Youth Network; and Reggie Shuford, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

The second six-week program wrapped up on July 12. Here’s who was in the 2018 cohort:

  • Dannyelle Austin, director of youth impact at Hopeworks ‘N Camden
  • Aramide Ayorinde, chief utilization operations officer at Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc.
  • Chatara Benson, director of operations at Parents for Great Camden Schools
  • Marion Campbell, executive director of Eddie’s House
  • Valerie Dorsey Allen, director of the African-American Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Dominique Goss, relationship manager at TD Charitable Foundation
  • Victoria Harrison, program director at Play On, Philly!
  • La’Seana Jones, associate director at The COLOURS Organization
  • Nicole Lawrence-White, deputy executive director at Tenant Union Representative Network
  • Farrah Parkes, director of education, technology and job readiness at Lutheran Settlement House
  • Denisha Perez, VP of workforce development and economic innovation at Philadelphia OIC
  • Wendy-Anne Roberts-Johnson, executive director of The Workforce Institute
  • Tanya Ruley-Mayo, chief operating officer of EducationWorks
  • Jamaine Smith, senior community experience director  at CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia
  • Duane “DJ” Thornton, director of resource development at UWGPSNJ
  • Gerri Walker, president and CEO of North Philadelphia Health System
  • Joann Williams, supervisor of medical case management at Bebashi Transition To Hope

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