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African American Leadership Society

Leadership Giving Network

“I continue to support United Way because I know that my investment will make a difference in the life of someone who needs it. I am proud to be an AALS member to make the most impact possible for our region.

April Purdie, Wegmans Food Markets


United Way’s African American Leadership Society was founded in 2005 and named for Howard Wilson Coles to pay tribute to his passion for improving the lives of African Americans in our community. Coles was a journalist, historian, broadcaster, activist and humanitarian who became a vibrant voice for the African American community as Rochester’s first African American radio announcer and founder of The Frederick Douglass Voice newspaper.


United Way’s African American Leadership Society—AALS members are leading the way for a brighter future for our region. As an African American Leadership Society member, your annual investment of $1,000 or more will help thousands of local people while demonstrating your commitment to our community.


When you connect with United Way through your African American Leadership Society donation, you will be connected with other AALS members and thousands of local leaders from all of United Way’s giving societies at member networking events. You will also gain access to leadership and career development opportunities.


African American Leadership Society members are offered opportunities throughout the year to volunteer and participate in community building activities with other local leaders.

Black and Brown Led Organizations served through the United Way Community Impact Fund:

Action for a Better Community, Inc.
Baden Street Settlement of Rochester, Inc.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester
Center for Employment Opportunities
Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association
Ibero-American Action League, Inc.
SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association, Inc. at Montgomery Center
Urban League of Rochester New York, Inc.
YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County
Salvation Army, Geneva
Lyons Community Center


Give $1,000 or more per year ($20/week) at your workplace or click on the button below to donate now.

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The Society honors Howard Wilson Coles, paying tribute to his passion for improving the lives of local African Americans. AALS is made up of Rochester’s most inspiring, proactive African American leaders who are dedicated to building a stronger, greater Rochester with United Way.

Jocelyn Basley
Kevin & Linda Beckford
Hermond Brookins
Michael Brown & Carol Lanos-Brown
Essie Calhoun-McDavid & Bernard McDavid
Steven Carter
William & Musette Castle
Twanda Christensen
Camaron Clyburn
William & Fannie Daniels
Veronica Dasher
Donna Davis
Tanya Davis
Damien Dawson
Roland DeLardge
James & Tassie Demps
Tonya Dickerson
Twylla Dillion
Marcus Dunn
Cynthia A. Elliott
Christina Ferguson-McGill
Jeffrey Freeman
Mr. & Mrs. Emerson U. Fullwood
Bertram Gamory
Kelly J. Glover
Roderick & Stacey Green
Shirley & Thomas Green
Tracie Green
Jodi Groden & Jonathan Roberson Sr.
Janice Harbin
Lisa Harris
April Hill
Ramel Holliday
Theresa R. Jackson
Portia James
Terria Jenkins
Ellen Johnson
William A. Johnson Jr.
Norman Jones
Ted & Yudelka Jordan
Anthony Kinslow

Brenda D. Lee & Rev. Lawrence Hargrave
LaRhonda Leonard
Vivian Lewis
Arline Liberti
Eric Logan
Juanita Lyde
Daniele Lyman-Torres
Algernon & Rosemarie McKinney
Chantz & Selma Miles
Ebony Miller
Mr. & Mrs. Larry P. Minter
Janet Morse
Wade & Lisa Norwood
Clayton & Dorelis Osborne
Babette Phillips
Stanley L. & April L. Purdie
Narlene Ragans
Gita Ramachandran
Eujena Range
Denise Read
Juliette Rhodes-Cummings
Laron Rowe
Clarence Sheppard
Shirley Shumway
Maurice & Valerie Snipe
Craig & Patty Stevens
Cicely Strickland-Ruiz
Wynndy Turner
Gladys Vasciannie
Howard & Cheryl Ward
Lovely A. Warren
Hazel Washington
Kesha L. Washington
Lorna Washington
Janel Welch
Gaynelle Wethers
David White
Anthony & Lisa Whitlow
Kimberley Willis
Rodney Allen Young
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