I am Your Sister Mini-Leadership Series


(African American Leadership Academy Cohort 2019)


The Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) is pleased to announce that through generous funding from Oregon Community Foundation, we are offering our inaugural Mini-Leadership Series for emerging black women and femmes.

I am Your Sister Mini-Leadership Series is a six month-long training cohort program that addresses the personal, cultural, civic and organizing needs of emerging black women and femme leaders in Portland. Through the Academy, PAALF works to build a group of transformative black leaders who hold a lifelong commitment to fighting for racial justice and creating lasting change in their community. 

Together will be learning from the book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movement by Founding Director of BYP100 Charlene Carruthers, and as well as women/femme trainers that can help ground the work either through workshops, lectures, or participatory learning. We want to steward a new group of black leaders, ready to join future black-led organizing campaigns that benefit our community. We hope to build the capacity of black women/femmes to improve the lives of the black community across Portland, as well as the state of Oregon.

Through training, fellowship, mentorship and project-based learning, participants spend six months, exploring what it means to be a transformative black leader rooted in a historical context of the African Diasporic experience. They will also gain the specific skills necessary to actualize this concept in the everyday work they are doing in the community. Specific elements of transformative leadership that are addressed include: racial and cultural identity development and pride, collective consciousness vs. individual gain, navigating the contradictions of double consciousness, value-based decision making and the need to avoid tokenism and co-option.

I am Your Sister Mini-Leadership Series is a FREE!

Individuals can expect the following benefits from their participation in the I am Your Sister Mini-Leadership Series:

  • The opportunity to build relationships with other emerging black women/femme leaders in Oregon, committed to improving outcomes in the black community

  • The opportunity to build a relationship with a mentor, aligned with their personal and professional interests

  • The opportunity to network with established local and national black leaders

  • Educational training on issues pertaining to the black community, including radical imagination, healing justice, Black Queer Feminist mandate for radical movements, and community building

To qualify, you must:

1. Live within Portland-Metro area
2. Attend all SIX trainings between March - July.

Key Dates

Application Deadline: February 1 2019

Applicant Interviews: February 6 2019  - February 15 2019

Notification of Accepted Applicants: No later than February 22 2019

Training 1: All of Us or None of Us: March 2, 2019, 10:00am - 4:30pm @ Woodlawn MIC

Training 2:Reviving the Black Radical Imagination: March 16, 2019, 10:00am - 5:30pm  @ Woodlawn MIC

Training 3: Project-Based Learning: March 30, 2019, 10:00am - 4:30pm  @ Woodlawn MIC

Training 4: Reimagining the Black Radical Tradition: April 6, 2019, 10:00am - 4:30pm (Location TBD)

Training 5: Community Centered Models: April 20, 2019, 10:00am - 4:30pm  @ Woodlawn MIC

Training 6: The Mandate: May 11, 2019, 10:00am - 4:30pm  @ Woodlawn MIC

Rites of Passage Ceremony: July 13, 2019 @ Woodlawn MIC


**Each participants will have the opportunity to receive a reimbursement to help cover the cost for childcare while participating in the trainings.