(left to right): Robert Ross, M.D., president & CEO of The California Endowment; Kafi Blumenfield, executive director of Discovery Cube Los Angeles; Virgil Roberts, AABLI co-founder and board chair; John Mack, former Los Angeles City Police Commissioner and long-time civil rights leader; Charisse Bremond-Weaver, president & CEO of Brotherhood Crusade; George Weaver, child development specialist of Brotherhood Crusade’s Brother to Brother Youth Program; Yvette Chappell-Ingram, AABLI co-founder, president & CEO and Darrell Brown, U.S. Bank Senior VP (photo Leroy Hamilton)The African American Board Leadership Institute (AABLI) Los Angeles, California – honored California Endowment leader Robert Ross, M.D., and the Brotherhood Crusade’s Charisse and George Weaver at the institute’s 2nd Annual Tribute Reception, held May 5 at The City Club in downtown Los Angeles.
AABLI recognized Ross and the Weavers for their support of leadership development in the communities served by both organizations. Dr. Ross is president and CEO of the Endowment; Charisse Bremond-Weaver and George Weaver lead the Brotherhood Crusade’s Brother to Brother Youth Program.
The honorees were saluted for their commitment to the AABLI vision, which is to strengthen nonprofit, public and private organizations through recruiting, preparing and placing African Americans on a broad range of governing boards.
Dr. Ross has been noted for helping to raise the profile of state and national philanthropic efforts focused on the health and well being of young men of color. AABLI’s contributions, he said, are important to the vitality of such programs.
“By strengthening the pipeline to bring racial and ethnic diversity to the board rooms,” he told the packed City Club audience, “AABLI is on track to improve community and professional undertakings at both the regional and national level.”
Charisse Bremond-Weaver expressed her appreciation of AABLI’s recognition. “My passion and dedication to serve the community’s youth is cemented through sustaining partnerships and connecting with other like-minded professionals,” she said.
Added George Weaver: “When people don’t give you a chance to fail, you’ll never have the opportunity to succeed.”
Former City of Los Angeles Police Commissioner John Mack, a long-time Los Angeles civil rights leader, introduced the Weavers and expressed his thoughts on AABLI’s work to bring inclusion to board rooms. The organization “prepares African American professionals to keep their heads in the game when making critical decisions that directly impact all of us,” he observed.
Kafi Blumenfield, executive director of Discovery Cube Los Angeles, introduced Ross and said, “Dr. Ross, like AABLI, understands that leadership matters, black leadership matters. Black leadership starts with young folks in campaigns like My Brother’s Keeper and turns board rooms into change making rooms.”
Charisse Bremond-Weaver & George Weaver surrounded by Brotherhood Crusade’s staff and friends at AABLI’s 2nd Annual Tribute Reception (Photo by Leroy Hamilton)
The tribute reception was sponsored by the California Endowment and U.S. Bank. “AABLI is turning a corner in becoming a premier organization that prepares African Americans for board service,” said Darrell Brown, senior vice president of U.S. Bank. “On behalf of U.S. Bank, we are simply thrilled to be a part of the great changes that are happening in the board rooms of our communities.”
Virgil Roberts, AABLI’s board chair, described how AABLI began. “After too many years to count, I witnessed the need to increase the number of African Americans in board rooms. The institute, which focuses on preparing African American professionals for board service, was born of necessity.”
“There are numerous organizations whose mission is to provide board training,” said Yvette Chappell-Ingram, AABLI president and CEO. “Fewer provide training and placement. AABLI does both and at the same time focuses on building a pipeline of eminently qualified African American board candidates to achieve greater board diversity.”
Last year’s AABLI honorees included Mack, former president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, and Noel Massie, president, UPS Southern California District.
AABLI’s board of directors includes Virgil Roberts (chair), managing partner of the law firm Bobbitt & Roberts; Carl Ballton, president and CEO of the Union Bank Foundation; Reveta Bowers, head of school for The Center for Early Education; Eugene Boykins, president of BBGC; Paul Hudson, founder of Paul C. Hudson Consulting; Vincent Jones, CEO & chief strategist at Reinvent Communications; Beverly Ryder, president of Ryder Consulting; and Yvette Chappell-Ingram, AABLI president and CEO.