The Portland African American Leadership Forum announces new Executive Director


JULY 11 2017

CONTACT: Robin Johnson (  and Rev. Dr. T. Allen Bethel (, Co-Chairs, Portland African American Leadership Forum

The Portland African American Leadership Forum announces new Executive Director


PORTLAND OREGON - Following an extensive national search, the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) Executive Committee is delighted to announce that Joy Alise Davis has been selected as our Executive Director.

As a strong visionary leader and skilled racial equity strategist, Mrs. Davis embodies the mission, vision, and values at the heart of our work. The PAALF’s Executive Committee and staff all embrace Joy’s leadership with excitement and deep gratitude. Joy began this new role June 1, 2017.

“The Portland African American Leadership Forum is thrilled to be bringing Joy Alise Davis on board as our new Executive Director.  Through an extensive search and interview process, Joy rose to the top as the prime candidate to lead PAALF in its next phase as an organization. PAALF’s continued commitment to connecting and convening the leaders in our larger community is excitingly in alignment with the values, skills, and experiences she brings to our mission.” - Robin Johnson, Co-Chairs, Portland African American Leadership Forum and AALA Alumni.

Upon accepting the position, Mrs. Davis noted, “I am looking forward to building on the strong foundation that has been set forth by the members of the Portland African American Leadership Forum.  I am elated at the opportunity to convene Black Portland and reflect the goals and values of this diverse, resilient community.”

Mrs. Davis joins our team after managing the PAALF People’s Plan - a visioning project with the goal of empowering the Portland Black community to assert their right to actively shape the city they live in, to create a plan that framed the policy agenda projecting the vision for a thriving black community, and to advance community-initiated projects that benefit Africans and African Americans living in Portland, Oregon.

Before joining PAALF, Mrs. Davis owned and managed Design + Culture - a collaborative design and racial strategy firm. The knowledge and experience she gained while leading the firm makes her uniquely equipped to handle PAALF’s strategic vision of leveraging the power of our combined resources to advance the vision of a connected, thriving, resilient Black Community.

Mrs. Davis received her Masters in Arts in Theories of Urban Practice from Parsons the New School of Design in New York City. Her thesis examined people of color and the practice of self-determination as a mode for producing healthy communities in her study the Right To Difference - Intercultural Modes Of Producing A Democratic, Participatory, And Inclusive Urban Space. She attended Miami University,  receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. Mrs. Davis is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Pi Alpha Zeta Graduate Chapter, a member of the Miami University Young Alumni Council and a member of the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT).


Founded in 2009, the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) is one of the national African American Leadership Forums created out of Minnesota’s African American Leadership Forum established in 2007. PAALF was established by a Steering Committee of 20 local African American leaders. PAALF’s mission is to convene around issues that challenge the Portland African American community in a unified and collaborative way. PAALF’s primary goal is to enforce an action agenda that improves the health and well-being of local African Americans. It's’ work addresses the unique and interrelated issues of poverty and disparities that challenge us as a community. PAALF is a convener of African American leaders around a public policy agenda that impacts the community in the areas of housing & economic development, education, health, and civic engagement/leadership.