Insight News

Feb 12th

Chanda Smith- Baker new co-chair of African American Leadership Forum

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chanda smith bakerThe African American Leadership Forum (AALF) recently announced that its founder Gary Cunningham has stepped down as co-chair of the Forum. Chanda Smith-Baker, president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, will join the AALF leadership as its newest co-chair.

Since 2008, Cunningham has been a driving influence that has grown AALF from five members in the Twin Cities to over 4,000 nationally. He will remain connected to the Forum through his focus on growing the national AALF network which now has a presence five metropolitan areas; Seattle, Wash., Tacoma, Wash., Portland, Ore., Des Moines, Iowa and the Twin Cities.

The AALF is a cross-sector network of African Americans working together to find solutions to the Black community's most vexing issues. AALF's goal is "a just and healthy society that works equally well for everyone".

AALF's other co-chair Trista Harris said she is "excited that Chanda Smith Baker will be co-chairing the Twin Cities African American Leadership Forum. Chanda is a visionary leader, who steps up whenever she can. Chanda's work after the 2011 North Minneapolis tornado was a model of bringing multiple individuals and organizations to the table to ensure the best possible result for our community."

Additional information on the AALF may be found at or by calling (612) 879-0602 ext. 19

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