15 Leaders of Color Selected for Pinkerton Leadership Network

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

15 Leaders of Color Selected for Pinkerton Leadership Network

(March 3, 2021) Fifteen exceptional leaders of color in the youth development field have been selected to join the inaugural cohort of the Pinkerton Advanced Leadership Network, Pinkerton Foundation President and CEO Rick Smith announced today. 

Sixty chief executives, all current or former Pinkerton grantees, applied to join the two-year program. Designed to offer participants space, support and professional development opportunities to sharpen their skills and accelerate their impact on youth programming, the Network was originally intended to include twelve leaders. But the enthusiasm for the program was so great--and the quality of the applications so compelling--that Pinkerton made the decision to expand the field to fifteen members.

“We launched the Network to help address the unique challenges faced by leaders of color in the nonprofit field,” said Smith. “Frankly, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. The opportunity to share strategies and work with talented executive coaches clearly struck a chord. We could have accepted twice as many highly qualified applicants.” 

The program will be solely funded by Pinkerton. While the participants will shape the details, the Network will offer individualized professional coaching on subjects identified by the leaders themselves.  Group sessions may focus on fundraising, board development, personnel management and other leadership issues. Erica Hamilton, a longtime nonprofit leader, management consultant and former faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and NYU, will coordinate the program. Pinkerton Foundation Program Officer Danielle Pulliam will serve as an active thought partner on the project.  

 “Our goal is to foster a supportive, long-lasting community of leaders,” said Pulliam. “We truly hope that it adds value for each of the participants and helps them achieve higher levels of professional and personal success.”
Hamilton added: “By launching the Advanced Leadership initiative, The Pinkerton Foundation is affirming its commitment to investing in one of the most critical and undervalued resources in the social sector—BIPOC (BIack, Indigenous, People of Color) executives who have risen to become C-suite leaders.” 

The Advanced Leadership Network is part of a larger Pinkerton Racial Equity Initiative. Launched in the spring after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, the initiative includes a series of grants to organizations doing exceptional work on issues of racial justice and civil rights, as well as $600,000 in grants over two years to support programs run by people of color in the foundation’s portfolio. Roughly one-third of the 300 programs funded by Pinkerton are led by BIPOC leaders. The initiative grants reflect the challenges these executives face and the additional burdens posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fifteen CEOs or Executive Directors selected for the program are:

•    Aisha Norris, DREAM! Dare to Revitalize Education thru Arts & Mediation
•    Angela Diaz, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center
•    Aracelis Lucero, Masa-MexEd, Inc
•    Claudia Espinosa, Latinas On the Verge of Excellence - LOVE, Inc 
•    Dominique Jones, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem
•    Erica Ford, LIFE Camp, Inc.
•    Erika Halstead, Minds Matter NYC
•    Gary Clemons, Friends of the Children - New York 
•    Hoong Yee Krakauer, Queens Council on the Arts
•    Jadayah Spencer, International Youth Leadership Institute 
•    Jessica Santana, America On Tech
•    Keston Jones, Foundation for the Advancement and Rehabilitation of the Marginalized (FARM)
•    Markell Parker, Summer on the Hill
•    Melody Capote, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
•    Shauwea Hamilton, Bottom Line
To learn more about these leaders, click here
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The Pinkerton Foundation is an independent grantmaking organization founded in 1966, by Robert Allan Pinkerton, Chairman and CEO of Pinkerton’s Inc, then the nation’s oldest and largest security firm. The foundation, which retains no ties to the company, primarily supports community-based programs serving children, youth and families in economically disadvantaged areas of New York City. Pinkerton’s major program areas include, After-school programs, education, career-readiness and youth justice.

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