American Leadership Forum Mountain Valley Chapter

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$736 raised by 7 donors

3% complete

$25,000 Goal

In an effort to reweave what John Gardner calls the "unraveling social fabric," Joseph Jaworski founded ALF in Houston in 1980. ALF is a national organization with active chapters in Houston, Hartford, the State of Oregon, Silicon Valley, Mountain Valley (Sacramento), Tacoma, Charlotte NC, Myrtle Beach NC, Michigan, and California's Northern San Joaquin Valley. The Mountain Valley Chapter, serving Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, and Northern Solano counties, was founded in 1997 by four Senior Fellows who had moved to Sacramento from other chapters and wanted to start a program here.

ALF-MVC annually invites a class of 25-30 established leaders from diverse backgrounds - professional, ethnic and cultural, political, and geographic - to participate in a yearlong Fellows program. The yearlong Fellows Program is a rigorous engaging process of action and reflection with dialogues most relevant to the current leadership challenges resulting in civic engagement by action teams of passionate concerned leaders. Individual leadership is also transformed through rigorous reflection on strengths and challenges, intentions, and outcomes. Fellows are invited and expected to bring their wealth of experience, thinking, and their hearts to this dynamic adventure. Each class is carefully balanced for diversity of all kinds. The goal is to represent as much as possible the diversity of the region. Each class engages in the practice of collaborative leadership skills they have been exploring throughout the program by serving the community in some fashion.

For example, Class I held a Forum on Race and Diversity, created a video and discussion guide to stimulate dialogue on the diversity issues. More recently, Class XI initiated a public awareness campaign to strengthen the quality of civil discourse calling on candidates to lead issue-based campaigns and to not engage in the politics of personal destruction. After graduation, each class joins the ranks of Senior Fellows gathering regularly for issue forums, social events, and community service. Senior Fellows carry out the mission of working collaboratively for the public good. The cost per Fellow is $13,500. Most Fellows are supported, at least in part, by the corporation or organization for which they work. Scholarship funds are raised to support the need for geographic, professional, and/or cultural diversity in the class.

Giving Activity


Our vision is to improve the social, economic, and political fabric of the Greater Sacramento region through shared commitment to collaborative action.

Our Mission:

To unite and connect boundary-crossing leaders from a diversity of sectors throughout the Greater Sacramento region.

To strengthen their leadership capacity through deepening relationships and transformative experiences.

To serve the community by working collaboratively to make significant positive contributions.



Implicit Bias Initiative: Through ALF's curriculum and training program, participants engage in discourse on the very serious issues of bias, prejudice, privilege, and poverty in our communities, and learn techniques to address bias within institutional structures.

Scholarships for the First-Year Fellows Program: Participants in this program are diverse across professional, geographic, and ethnic communities. Funds raised support the inclusion of nonprofit and grassroots leaders.

Senior Fellows Program: Engagement opportunities for our Senior Fellows allow members to meet across classes and to build trust and understanding between individuals who otherwise would not become acquainted. The resulting ever-expanding network is a vital resource for the broader community.

Encore Fellows Program Support: Encore places senior-level leaders and managers from some of our region's top corporations into nonprofits to build their capacity through shared knowledge of best business practices.

All Access Receptions: ALF brings our members and community together to introduce new leaders across various industries.

Equity Statement

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) are cornerstones of the foundation of the American Leadership Forum. In 2016, ALF-MVC developed a first-of-its-kind Leading Consciously training for leaders and organizations in the Sacramento region and beyond. Leading Consciously Training is designed for nonprofits, for-profit entities, public sector leaders and individuals who wish to better understand the cognitive science behind our unconscious biases. The primary training covers the most current science around implicit bias and the brain. In early 2018, Beyond Bias was developed as an accompanying training to Leading Consciously and includes a deep dive into interventions across personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels. Different forms of training have been utilized over the past five years, depending on the individual needs of the organizations it serves. Some of the topics include Equality vs. Equity, Othering and Belonging, Bonding, Bridging and Breaking Narratives and Adaptive Leadership.

ALF has provided training to over 70 different organizations from across our region. Corporations, municipalities, law enforcement, public safety, education, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations have received ALF’s Implicit Bias/DEIB training. As a result, ALF has reached thousands of people to help them better understand their own bias. It has changed the mindsets of every organization that has served. This has led to positive policy changes in those organizations. There are conversations that are now being had by leadership throughout our region that are critical to creating a culture focused on DEIB. ALF teaches us how to create space to have difficult conversations. How to hold difference. Understanding Implicit bias is not enough. ALF believes that creating a culture of DEIB requires an individual and collective commitment to its practices. As more people receive training and understand DEIB teachings the conversations go deeper and help us break through barriers when operationalizing DEIB concepts. ALF added training on Adaptive Leadership in order to assist companies in creating innovative solutions to complex problems. It requires changes in priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties.

Organization Data


Organization name

American Leadership Forum Mountain Valley Chapter

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Operating Budget

$500,001-$1 million

Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Other

Local Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


601 University Ave. Suite 127
Sacramento, CA 95825

Service areas

Sacramento County, CA, US

Placer County, CA, US

El Dorado County, CA, US

Yolo County, CA, US

Sutter County, CA, US





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