African American Leadership Society

African American Leadership Society

Become a part of the solution toward improving African American lives.

The African American Leadership Society (AALS) is a network of motivated advocates, donors and volunteers who are eager to support and enhance educational opportunities for all Quad Cities African American kids.

High school student helping an elementary school child with an activity.

It’s on us to help Black students succeed.

Children are born ready to learn; it’s on us to give them the right opportunities. Through investing our time as well as the right resources, we have the ability to make huge strides in narrowing the reading proficiency gap among our young Black learners.

We invite you to join us.

Our Goal
Increase by
1 %

The number of black 3rd graders reading proficiently by 2030.

1 %

of black 3rd graders read at or above proficiency level

What are the benefits of joining AALS?

As an AALS Member, here’s what you get:

  • Recognition as an impactful leader and QC change-maker.
  • Receive monthly AALS updates regarding events, volunteer projects and philanthropic opportunities.
  • Grow personally and professionally through events, volunteering and exclusive committees.
  • Be empowered through an engaged and motivated community.
  • Make a life-changing difference in the lives of kids.
How do you become a member?

Join by giving $85 a month, or $1,000 annually. Your gift can go a long way to support and enhance educational opportunities for all Quad Cities African American kids all year-round.

  • Early in your career? Under 40? Consider joining with a recommended gift starting at $30 per month or $360 per year.

Make your monthly gift and join AALS.

What is an AALS Champion Investor?

AALS Champion Investors are generous individuals or companies who contribute to the overall efforts of AALS year-round at a recommended level of $2,500 per year.

Champion Investors enjoy all the same benefits of AALS Members along with perks like:

  • Be recognized as an impactful AALS leader and investor of change.
  • Connect with like-minded QC leaders.
  • Grow personally and professionally through events and resources.
  • Invitation to participate in special events and committees.
  • Make a lasting difference for our Black community.

Become an AALS Champion Investor.

What type of work does AALS support?

AALS has deep roots with schools, nonprofits and those who want to advance education for those who are at a disadvantage. Why? Because education is one of the keys to how most people get out of poverty.

When you join AALS, you are supporting these five strategies:

  1. Enable tutors to read with children and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for at least 30 minutes per week.
  2. Provide mentoring that emphasizes the value of education — not just sports, entertainment and games — when Black children are 2 to 12 years old.
  3. Give children books for their birthdays, holidays, during haircuts and to reward them for jobs well done.
  4. Conduct vision screenings, eye exams and glasses for children in low-income communities, at no cost to the children or their families.
  5. Offer free haircuts at school so kids feel good, are confident and are able to concentrate on learning.

AALS Volunteer Leadership

Brian Wells
AALS Co-chair

Jabari Woods
AALS Co-chair

Dr. Yolanda Grandberry-Pugh
AALS Vice Chair

AALS Advisory Committee
  • Sherwin Robinson
  • Ryan Saddler
  • Moses Robinson
  • Rev. Dr. Melvin Grimes
  • Rev. Dwight Ford
  • Ashley Allen
  • Michael Cole
  • Jabari Woods
  • Dr. Pandora Lawrence
  • Cory Holloway
  • Lydia Amissah Harris
  • Brian Wells
  • Simone Collins
  • Dr. Yolanda Grandberry-Pugh

AALS Investments

Let's connect!

To learn more or partner with AALS, contact Karrie Abbott at or call 563.344.0330.

Portrait of a smiling young man, Ty Lewis.

Voices behind the vision.

AALS is building a stronger, more equitable community for everyone. We build bridges and create opportunities so everyone can thrive.

—Ty Lewis, Director of Emerging Leaders & African American Leadership Society
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