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African American Leadership Society

The African American Leadership Society is a donor network formed under the umbrella of the United Way of the Quad Cities. 
AALS is made up of local people linked by a common interest: Harness the power of philanthropy to improve life outcomes of our region’s African American young people. 


For the Quad Cities region to prosper, we must address the growing racial, economic and academic divide of our residents. 
Persistent opportunity and achievement gaps exist between the African American community and every other population in the Quad Cities. 
These divides require specific, intentional focus and investments to improve the odds for every Quad Citizen to live their best possible life. 

At every benchmark – cradle to career – African American students in the Quad Cities are consistently at a disadvantage compared to their white peers.



What we do:

Community School Partnership
AALS is working with Madison Elementary School in Davenport to target money, volunteer and mentors to address disparities in kindergarten readiness and third grade reading proficiency since these are the early predictors of success in school and life. 
Our community school partnership levels the playing field for Madison, a school with a high poverty rate.
Why it will work
  • Engaged school leadership
  • School principal leading the vision and process 
  • Coordination by United Way to mobilize volunteers & mentors 
  • Site-based leadership team comprised of parents, educators, community and business partners
  • Facility access before, during and beyond school hours




  • We need mentors and volunteers to make a difference in the lives of African American youth. Click to view Volunteer or Mentor sign-up cards.
  • Volunteer for AALS Marketing/Communications Committee to raise awareness of disparities and opportunity gaps.
  • Volunteer for AALS Events Committee to organize socials and special events.
  • Organize a School Supplies Drive or Book Drive at a target school.
  • Participate in a Day of Caring
  • Contact Betsy Brandsgard or call 563.344.0332 for up-to-date volunteer opportunities.



Watch the African American Leadership Society video below:


Questions? Email Kayla Babers at or call 563.344.0322.