In the book Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019, Keisha N. Blain poignantly wrote:
“The millions of Black people who shaped history – whether decedents of enslaved people or of colonized people – all had dreams. Some dreamed of ‘home’ – the place they could truly call their own. Some dreamed of the opportunity to explore and travel. Others dreamed of the opportunity to obtain a quality education. Regardless of the diversity of their individual hopes, they all dreamed of freedom. Full freedom.”
Reading that passage brought to mind how crucial the work of the African American Leadership Society (AALS) is. The dreams of Black Americans that Keisha so poetically spoke of are still very relevant. And there are still many social and systemic barriers and disparities existing, including in our local communities. These obstacles disproportionately hinder Black Americans. This is why AALS exists in the Quad Cities. And this is why our work is important.
The AALS steering committee spent the last few months strategizing and reenergizing our mission, vision and purpose.
- Vision: AALS helps African Americans create pathways to success by reducing systemic inequities to help explore and establish new opportunities.
- Mission: Mobilizing people and resources to improve African American lives in our community.
- Purpose: The African American Leadership Society members will join others in helping build a more vibrant and inclusive Quad Cities. We will address the needs in the African American community and become part of the solution with focus on education, income, health; with leadership development and diversity, equity and inclusion as enduring core community priorities.
Why do we tell you this? Because this cannot be done without you.
By working together, in a truly united effort, we can ensure that every Quad Citizen, regardless of race or ZIP code, has the opportunity and access needed to develop their full potential in alignment with the Rise United 2030 Goals. Together, we have the power to create lasting change. Join us.
African American Leadership Society Manager