The Pinkerton Advanced Leadership Network brings together leaders of color from New York City’s nonprofit youth development community. Launched more than two years ago as part of the Pinkerton Foundation’s Racial Equity Initiative, the PALN was designed to offer responsive support, resources and learning opportunities for BIPOC CEOs and Executive Directors among the Foundation’s grantee organizations. The first two-year cohort included thirteen leaders representing organizations large and small. They met monthly to discuss management and strategic issues, learn from distinguished speakers and, above all, share experiences. The sessions were augmented by a two-day retreat and individual executive coaching sessions tailored to needs identified by the leaders themselves.

Although each of the leaders was shaped by their individual perspectives and histories, they quickly forged a powerful bond based on their common challenges and experiences. During the program, they agreed to participate in a series of in-depth interviews to describe their pathways to leadership—and to share insights that might illuminate the way for other leaders of color in the nonprofit sector. The result is this Voices of the Leaders report.  Through their stories and their comments, we hope to shed light on the leaders’ unique journeys and give voice to views and experiences that have all too often been silenced historically.  We also hope that their insights will provide valuable background on the challenges that leaders of color face and prompt thoughtful —although sometimes difficult— conversations with current and prospective allies in the field.

Their thoughts are as varied as the leaders themselves, but several themes emerged that mirror experiences cited by other leaders of color in surveys, evaluations and research studies.

Comments are closed.