The Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) is one of the national African American Leadership Forums created out of Minnesota’s African American Leadership Forum established in 2007. PAALF was established in 2009 by a Steering Committee of 20 local African American leaders with significant professional experience in advocacy, social services, government affairs, fundraising, economic development, public education and health care.

PAALF’s mission is to solve issues that challenge the Portland African American community in a unified and collaborative way. PAALF’s primary goal is to enforce an action agenda that improves the health and wellbeing of local African Americans. Its’ work addresses the unique and interrelated issues of poverty and disparities that challenge us as a community.


PAALF Vision

We, in all our diversity as Black people, are a connected, thriving, resilient Black Community

…because we have honored the sacrifice, the tradition, and the wisdom of the generations before us,

…because we have protected the potential, the innocence, and the power of the generations after us,

…because we have upheld our responsibility to preserve our self-determination and build the humanity of one another.

PAALF Mission

The Portland African American Leadership Forum leverages the power of our community’s combined resources to advance the vision of a connected thriving, resilient Black Community.

We do this by:

  • Convening the Black Community to discuss issues of importance, share ideas, foster collaboration and engage democratically in PAALF

  • Facilitating strategic interaction and cooperation among Black organizations and individuals towards a unified action agenda

  • Promoting civic engagement and political participation and leadership by Black people

  • Advocating for and proposing effective public policy solutions to the challenges facing the Black Community (in education, housing, economic development, civic engagement, administration of justice and other areas) in a manner that builds self-determination and accountability of institutions, eliminates racial disparities

  • Developing transformative leadership skills and capacity amongst the Black Community

  • Collecting data, engaging in research and publishing reports that provide an ongoing analysis and evaluation of the condition of the Black Community

  • Supporting community efforts to preserve and enhance the historical and cultural contributions of Black people

  • Applying a community centered, anti-oppression, non-violence lens to all our work

Contact Us

3920 North Kerby Avenue
Portland, OR 97227-1255
503.249.1721 ext. 230