New York, New York — ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities has selected ten foundation executives for the 17th class of its Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program (CLFP). CLFP is a year-long experience designed to sharpen the skills and strengthen the leadership capacity of foundation staff, donors, and trustees who are committed to assisting Black communities through philanthropy.

The 2022- 2023 cohort of fellows were chosen based on a set of criteria covering their experience in philanthropy, their future goals, as well as their interest and passion for making systemic change in Black communities.

"The Class of 2022-2023 is an inspiring group – all of whom are accomplished trailblazers,” said TJ Breeden, ABFE Programs Director. “In today’s social climate, it is imperative to bring thought leaders together to find innovative ways to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. Only through collaboration and meaningful dialogue will we be able to leverage our collective efforts to amplify impact.”

The Fellowship begins with a week-long Leadership Summit held in Atlanta, GA. In addition, fellows conduct a 360-degree evaluation and are assigned a leadership coach. Each fellow is required to complete a community-based learning project, which serves as a vehicle for integrating professional development with community service goals.

This year's cohort will learn from seasoned Grantmakers and peers on a regular basis, understand how to be more effective agents for change within their institutions, and participate in a network that focuses on innovative solutions to community challenges.

“I am honored to welcome this class of CLFP fellows,” said ABFE’s President and CEO, Susan Taylor Batten. “Each year, we select a remarkable cohort of Black professionals who are shaping the narrative of philanthropy. It is our privilege to support their important work and help amplify their voices and innovative ideas.”


Since 2005, ABFE’s Fellowship Program has supported more than 160 fellows as they pursued ambitious approaches to advancing the sector. This year’s fellows have vast experience across a range of issue areas and work in diverse fields across various foundation and nonprofit organizations.


2022-2023 Connecting Leaders Fellows include:

  • Camarrah Morgan ─ Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Program Partner/Network Partner
  • Chris Ellis ─ The Pittsburgh Foundation, Program Officer for Healthy Children and Adults
  • Christopher LeFlore ─ The Kresge Foundation, Special Assistant to the President
  • Kent Olden, MS ─ The Health Foundation for Western & Central New York Communications Content Manager
  • Lasindra Webb, MPA ─ Blue Cross NC Foundation, Grant Manager
  • Monique Carswell ─, Director, Center for Racial Equity
  • Nomzana Augustin ─ World Education Services - Mariam Assefa Fund, Senior Manager, Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives
  • Temi Bennett, Esq. ─ if, a Foundation for Radical Possibility, Director of Policy
  • Tyrell Smith ─ Smith Family Foundation, Board Treasurer/ Community Engagement
  • Tenaja Jordan, MPA ─ CHANGE Philanthropy, Research & Communications Director

Read their profile sheets HERE.


About ABFE:

ABFE is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. Partnering with foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and individuals, ABFE provides its members with professional development and technical assistance resources that further the philanthropic sector’s connection and responsiveness to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Established in 1971 as the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the organization was credited with many of philanthropy’s early gains in diversity. It has since evolved into an influential network. For more information, visit

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