Press Release 

 Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President of Target Corporation to be honored as the recipient of this year’s Community Service Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 12, 2017) Minneapolis, MN – As a leading community organization, AALF is focused on improving the economic health of communities through public and private partnerships that create opportunities for underserved citizens where business opportunities have been denied, unemployment remains high, affordable housing is scarce and chronic homelessness has reached unacceptable levels — -all critical factors in creating healthy, sustainable communities in the Twin Cities.

AALF’s theme for this year’s fundraising dinner BUILDING STRONG INNOVATIVE COMMUNITIES TOGETHER builds on AALF’s consistent history of progressing, changing and growing vibrant communities through strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors. This year’s event will focus on the $67M expansion of the NorthPoint Health & Wellness campus, construction of the $36M THOR Construction corporate office, and the relocation of Estes Funeral Chapel all at the intersection of Penn and Plymouth Avenue in north Minneapolis.

AALF’s strategic partnerships will serve the community in programs that build strong innovative communities, including the AALF 5 Point Plan to End Economic Inequality, AALF’s Best Practices and Best Schools for African American children, AALF’s Baraza Black Woman’s Health Gathering, AALF’s African American Financial Capabilities / Community of Practice, and the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy.  

Ongoing support from this year’s presenting sponsor Medtronic, and associate sponsors 3M, Thor, Wells Fargo, and Target Corporation are examples of partnerships that build strong innovative communities by the many projects that are creating jobs and opportunities in communities hardest hit by unemployment, unaffordable housing and lack of resources that supports healthy and safe living for youth and families.  AALF is challenging all community stakeholders to do better, by rejecting extreme levels of economic inequality that causes harm to all, especially future generations to come.  There are many ways to get involved on a grass roots level at:

African American Leadership Forum (AALF)

2017 Community Awards Fundraising Event

Building Strong Innovative Communities Together 

US Bank Stadium, August 3, 2017 from 6pm to 8:30pm

To purchase event tickets or sponsorships (click image below): 

AALF Google+ Header PhotoStay connected and get involved at:  To become a sponsor or more more information, contact Monique Linder, OMG Media Solutions at 612.787.8705 or via email at: Full press release (download)


About African American Leadership Forum (AALF)
The African American Leadership Forum (AALF) is the brain child of Gary Cunningham, CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association. In 2007, as then Vice President of Programs for the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF), Cunningham convened a group of African American men around his dining room table to talk about creating an Urban Agenda for the Twin Cities African American community. Simultaneously, he convened a group of African American women to engage in the same conversation. In 2008, Cunningham brought the two groups together – 45 African American men and women – at the Northwest Area Foundation, to establish the African American Leadership Forum. More information at: