African American Leadership
Development Program (AALDP) 

By joining AALDP, you're not just advancing your career—you're becoming part of a legacy of leadership that drives positive change in our communities.

  • What is AALDP?
  • Program Highlights
  • Class 30 Graduates
  • AALDP Alumni
  • What is AALDP?

    AALDPFor over three decades, the Urban League's African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP) has been at the forefront of fostering leadership among senior-level African American professionals. This immersive civic learning initiative is designed to refine participants' professional skills through an intensive curriculum that emphasizes critical community issues and leadership lessons.

    Program Benefits

    Participants in the African American Leadership Development Program (AALDP) will gain a comprehensive understanding of critical issues facing African Americans, identify and address professional growth opportunities and challenges, prepare for future leadership roles and success, and enhance their professional networks and community connections.


  • Program Highlights

    manager-woman-leading-a-brainstorming-meeting-2023-11-27-04-50-12-utc (1)

    Leadership Development: AALDP offers participants the chance to gain a deep understanding of significant issues facing African Americans in Southwestern Ohio and in the workplace. The program equips participants with the skills needed to navigate and influence their professional environments effectively.

    Networking Opportunities: Participants will connect with a diverse cohort of peers, creating a robust professional network that extends beyond the program. This network is instrumental in fostering collaboration and support among African American leaders in the Greater Cincinnati area.

    Curriculum Focus: The program covers a broad range of topics, including Health & Wellness, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Black Economics, Human Services, Education, Government & Advocacy, and Leadership. These subjects are crucial for developing well-rounded leaders who are prepared to address the multifaceted challenges in their communities.

    Program Structure: AALDP spans ten months, with sessions typically held on the first Friday of each month from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The program includes mandatory overnight sessions, as well as various activities designed to deepen participants' understanding and engagement with the material.


  • Class 30 Graduates

    Meet the Most Recent Graduating Class

    AALDP boasts nearly 1,000 alumni, including prominent leaders in this most recent class such as Salimah Abdul-Hakim, Founder and CEO of Soleil Kitchen, and Barbara Bell, District Director for U.S. Representative Greg Landsman. These graduates exemplify the program's impact on professional and community leadership. Meet the impressive class below.

    Salimah Abdul-Hakim

    Founder and CEO

    Soleil Kitchen

    Barbara Bell

    District Director

    U.S. House of Representatives/Rep. Greg Landsman

    D'arrell Brown

    Sr. Director of Workforce

    Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

    Tai Collins

    Associate Dean of the Graduate College

    University of Cincinnati

    Maria Cunningham Hill

    Sr. Mgr, Talent Acquisition

    Hillman Group

    Akiva Freeman

    Sr. Manager

    The Kroger Co.

    Lindzie Gunnels

    Commercial Leasing Manager/Managing Broker

    3CDC/Gunnels Realty

    Rickell Howard Smith

    President & CEO

    YWCA Greater Cincinnati

    Alexandria Merriweather-Turner


    Central State University

    Janice Miller

    Manager of Accounting

    Council on Aging

    Nick Mockabee

    Center Store Sales Manager

    The Kroger Co.

    Ayanna Morgan

    Sr. Grants Manager

    Cradle Cincinnati

    Toilynn O'Neal Turner

    Founding Director

    Robert O'Neal Multicultural Arts Center

    DeShawn Raimey

    Cybersecurity Engineer

    Western & Southern Financial Group

    Robert Sanders


    Sanders Development Group

    Ryane Sickles

    Clinical Research Manager/Early Intervention Program Manager

    University of Cincinnati

    Devona Stripling

    Director of the Women Excel Program & Diverse by Design

    Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce

    Marcus Thompson

    Director, Corporate Development

    Triversity Construction

    Janaya Trotter Bratton


    Hamilton County Municipal Court

    Chantal Weaver

    Talent Acquisition Diversity & Inclusion Consultant

    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

    Donald Young


    Secure & Protect

  • AALDP Alumni

    Class 29 Graduates

    African American Leadership Development Program | Class 29

    Kevin L. Brooks

    Asst. VP | Dispute Resolution Mgr.

    Fifth Third Bank

    Aharon Brown


    City of Forest Park

    Markiea Carter

    Dir. Department of Community & Economic Development

    City  of Cincinnati

    Simone Charles

    Owner, Event Maven, Creative Dir.

    Social B. & Co. Hospitality

    India Cole

    Quality Improvement Specialist

    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

    Rasheda Cromwell

    VP of Community Strategies

    Greater Cincinnnati Foundation

    Kimberly H. Hamilton

    Supervising Accountant

    City of Cincinnati

    Leon A. Hampton


    Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

    Wanda Hayes

    Dir., Software Quality Assurance - Automation

    Western & Southern LIfe

    Malcolm Amir Hicks, Sr.

    Marketing & Branding Coord.

    Media Hawk Marketing Firm

    Christie Kuhns

    President & CEO

    Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

    Kick Lee

    Executive Director

    Cincinnati Music Accelerator

    Joel McCauley

    Sr. Pastor

    New Jerusalem Baptist Church

    Jenifer Moore

    Corporate Affairs Mgr.

    The Kroger Co.

    Tramayne J. Roberson

    Information Systems Operations Support Mgr.

    Hamilton County Job & Family Services

    Kelly D. Robinson

    Senior Director,

    Special Projects & Events

    Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

    Quen Sandle

    Logistics Supervisor

    TriHealth - Bethesda North Hospital

    Erica Scarborough

    Nurse Manager

    TriHealth Bethesda North

    Jessica R. Shely

    Founder & CEO

    GPD Creative Agency

    Zakiyyah Thurman

    Professional Excellence Specialist


    Taiesha Williams

    Mgr. Talent Acquisition


    Ebony Young

    Senior VP of Impact

    Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

AALDP Builds Leadership Capacity


Expert facilitators will cover topics including:

  • Health & Wellness
  • Cincinnati’s Rich Cultural History
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Power & Influence
  • Black Economics
  • Human Services
  • Education
  • Government & Advocacy
  • Leadership

AALDP Schedule - 2024/2025

Class sessions take place on the first Friday of the month from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The class sessions that are not scheduled for the first Friday of the month are listed on the schedule below.

All sessions will take place in person. 

Class 31 Schedule: 
-Tuesday, August 20, 2024 (Orientation)
-Thursday, September 12 + Friday, September 13, 2024 (MANDATORY Overnight Session)
-Friday, October 4, 2024
-Friday, November 1 + Saturday, November 2, 2024 (Not an Overnight Session)
-Friday, December 6, 2024
-Friday, January 10, 2025
-Friday, February 7, 2025
-Friday, March 7, 2025
-Friday, April 4, 2025
-Friday, May 2, 2025
-Friday, June 6, 2025
-Friday, June 27, 2025 (Graduation)


This premier professional development opportunity costs $4,250 per participant.
Tuition includes all materials, program meals, transportation, and excursion costs.