ABFE Updates

ABFE Announces 2023 – 2024 Connecting Leaders Fellows

Ten headshots of Connecting Leaders Fellows

ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities announces ten exceptional foundation executives selected for its esteemed Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program (CLFP).  CLFP is a year-long initiative meticulously designed to elevate the expertise and bolster the leadership acumen of foundation staff, donors, and trustees deeply committed to advancing Black communities through philanthropy.

The 2023-2024 cohort of fellows was carefully chosen based on a set of criteria, including their extensive philanthropic track record, future aspirations, and unwavering dedication to catalyzing systemic change within Black communities.

“This group of fellows embodies an inspirational assembly of accomplished pioneers,” said TJ Breeden, ABFE Director of Programs. “In today’s ever-evolving social landscape, it is essential to unite thought leaders in the pursuit of innovative pathways to advance effective and responsive philanthropy within Black communities. Through the cultivation of collaboration and the nurturing of meaningful dialogue, our aim is to harness the combined force of our efforts for the utmost impact.”

The Fellowship commences with an immersive week-long Leadership Summit hosted in Baltimore, MD. Additionally, each fellow participates in a thorough 360-degree evaluation process and is matched with a leadership coach. Furthermore, every fellow is entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading a community-based learning project, effectively bridging the gap between professional development and community service objectives.

“I am privileged to extend a warm welcome to this new class of CLFP fellows,” remarked Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE’s President and CEO. “As an alumni of the program, I know first hand how instrumental this fellowship is in ensuring a pipeline of committed and effective change agents for our sector. Every year, we carefully choose an outstanding group of professionals who are shaping the philanthropic narrative. It is both an honor and a responsibility to support their invaluable work, amplifying their voices and championing their innovative ideas.”

Since its inception in 2005, ABFE’s Fellowship Program has provided vital support to over 170 Fellows as they embarked on ambitious endeavors to advance the philanthropic sector. This is the 18th year of this fellowship.

2023 – 2024 Connecting Leaders Fellows include:

Kiara Boone – Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Network Officer
Ashanti Bryant – W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Senior Program Officer 
Sabrina Greig – The NBA Foundation, Program and Grants Manager
Saskia Guerrier – Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Senior Advocacy Officer
Samuel Ndely II – The Minneapolis Foundation, Philanthropic Advisor
Rodney Nickens, Jr. – San Francisco Foundation, Program Officer, Policy and Innovation
Jasmine Sessoms – Community College of Philadelphia, Chief Engagement Officer
Jason Terrell – Walton Family Foundation, Program Officer
Kimberly Collins – MacArthur Foundation, Senior Program Management Associate
Jeremiah Steen – Skillman Foundation, Trustee