LinkingLeaders is an initiative from F. R. Bigelow Foundation to assess and understand the gaps between leaders of color and leadership opportunities across sectors within the East Metro.

Building Equitable Leadership

The LinkingLeaders Partnership seeks to identify strategies and best practice models to create connections and strengthen linkages amongst leaders of color, leadership networks and leadership programs across sectors.

Initiative Goals

The goals of the LinkingLeaders initiative are:

  • Understand gaps and opportunities between leaders of color and leadership positions across multiple sectors within the East Metro
  • Identify strategies and best practice models to create connections and strengthen linkages amongst leaders of color, leadership networks and leadership programs across sectors within the East Metro, including F. R. Bigelow Foundation grantees
  • Create and implement strategies that will influence organizational and systems change in order to ensure there are pipelines for leaders of color to enter leadership roles across sectors
  • Implement a program model that funds and supports entities that create the connections and linkages identified above
  • Share these learnings with the broader community, through LinkingLeaders reports, strategies and frameworks
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Connect With Us

Find out more about our goals, our work and our progress, or learn about ways to get involved in our work.

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Network Organizations

The LinkingLeaders Task Force has been working in partnership with a project management team to develop a strong path forward for this important work. This team includes four network organizations: African American Leadership Forum, Council of Asian American Leaders, LatinoLEAD and Tiwahe Foundation. 

The work of this partnership focuses on two key areas – strengthening and building each of the network organizations and co-creating a collaborative that is authentic and accountable to People of Color/American Indian communities (POC/AI). Learn more about the four organizations below.

African American Leadership Forum (AALF)

AALF works to improve the lives of African Americans in Minnesota by building a cross-sector network of leaders and institutions that convenes, collaborates and champions solutions. AALF’s vision is to be the hub that aligns, accelerates and amplifies Black-Centered Solutions. AALF carries out its daily work with six core values:

  • We are dedicated to lifting community-led solutions
  • We operate with integrity and are accountable to our community 
  • We hold self-care and healing as a priority to all
  • We are determined to make a systematic impact on our community
  • We respect the diversity and authenticity of the African American community 
  • We are committed to elevating the collective brilliance of our community

Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL)

CAAL is a social justice network of leaders with a mission to harness its collective power to improve the lives of community by connecting, learning and acting together. CAAL’s work is rooted in the following values:

  • Unity is power
  • Center relationships
  • Lift up the most impacted
  • Inclusive democracy
  • Connect across silos
  • Solidarity is essential
  • Imagine the future
  • Be a vehicle for change
  • Build on assets


LatinoLEAD brings together Minnesota Latinx leaders from across the state, that include various ethnicities, generations and working sectors to have a greater social impact through collaboration, power building and leadership development. LatinoLEAD’s core values include:

  • Leadership – advancing Latinx collective influence, success and power in Minnesota
  • Achievement – embracing an asset-based view of Latinx culture and achievement
  • Equity – promoting equity, access and participation for all Latinxs
  • Development – aiming for growth in all aspects, independently and collectively

Tiwahe Foundation

The Tiwahe Foundation is a place for giving – and giving back – that benefits the well-being of American Indian people and communities in Minnesota. Tiwahe Foundation is a community foundation of friends and supporters – Indian and non-Indian – who have resources, time and talents to share. Together with their community, Tiwahe works to unleash more philanthropy and generosity that are not only held within every person but also embodied collectively. Tiwahe’s core values are:

  • Wochekįya (Prayer)
  • Gwayakwaadiziwin (Honesty)
  • Wahwala / Dabaadendiziwin (Humility)
  • Wicakha / Debwewin (Truth)
  • Woksape / Nibwaakaawin (Wisdom)
  • Waunsila / Zaagi’idiwin (Love/Compassion)
  • Waohola / Manaadendamowin (Respect)
  • Woohitike / Aakwade’ewin (Bravery/Courage)
  • Wacantognaka / Gizhewaadizi (Generosity)