Investing in Leadership–Pinkerton Supports New Program for Leaders of Color

The Pinkerton Foundation has launched its latest initiative designed to empower leaders of color in the youth service sector, President and CEO Rick Smith announced today.

The program–The Pinkerton Senior Leadership Network (PSLN)—is phase two of The Pinkerton Advanced Leadership Network, which initially enrolled CEOs and Executive Directors of color. The PSLN targets senior BIPOC leaders who report directly to the CEOs or Executive Directors of organizations that receive Pinkerton grants. Sixteen senior leaders will work together to create a new community aimed at offering support and resources.

The goal of the initiative is to enhance leadership skills, foster the exchange of innovative ideas, expand professional networks, and develop strategies for enhancing their impact on the field. “The Senior Leadership Network is an investment in the future,” said Smith. ”Pinkerton will provide guidance and support, but the leaders themselves will forge the bonds of community and identify the resources they need to learn and succeed.”

The leaders, representing fourteen organizations, were chosen through a competitive selection process. The program kicked off in January with a full day in-person retreat. Throughout the year, the leaders will share personal and organizational challenges in discussions that will shape program content, activities and the choice of speakers. Guests will include experts and proven leaders who will share real world experiences and lessons learned. With a mix of remote and face-to-face sessions, the program will conclude in January 2025 with an intensive two-day gathering outside the city.

Erica Hamilton, a longtime nonprofit senior executive and diversity strategist, will lead the program. Hamilton is the founder of MING (the Memo I Never Got, a consulting and executive coaching group) and has served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and NYU. She will work with the group as it shapes its agenda and help design individualized coaching programs for each PSLN leader. The Pinkerton Foundation is the sole funder of the Network. Senior Program Officer Danielle Pulliam will serve as an active thought partner on the project, but Hamilton and the leaders will have full responsibility for co-designing the program.

“My role as a thought partner is to ensure that we’re not only amplifying the voices of leaders of color but also integrating their unique perspectives into the fabric of our work,” said Pulliam. “By harnessing the collective wisdom and experience of these leaders, we’re not just enhancing individual competencies but actively strengthening the sector.”

The Senior Leadership Network and its predecessor, the Advanced Leadership Network, are part of a larger Pinkerton Racial Equity Initiative. Launched after the murder of George Floyd, the Initiative includes a series of grants to programs doing exceptional work on issues of racial justice and civil rights, as well as a two-year $600,000 initiative to support organizations led by people of color in the foundation’s portfolio. Roughly one-third of the nearly 300 programs funded by Pinkerton are led by BIPOC executives, and the foundation’s grants aim to recognize both the particular challenges faced by those leaders and the additional burdens imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

About the Pinkerton Foundation

The Pinkerton Foundation is an independent grantmaking organization established in 1966 by Robert Allan Pinkerton, the Chairman and CEO of Pinkerton’s, Inc., then the nation’s oldest and largest security company. The foundation, which retains no ties to the firm, supports community-based programs for children, youth and families in economically disadvantaged areas in New York City.