The Diversity Council of United Way of Anderson County began in February 2006 as an idea of JT Boseman, Michael Cunningham and Juana Slade. These three United Way volunteers decided that a movement needed to take place to get more African Americans involved in philanthropic, civic and board activities in Anderson County.
The first Diversity Council lunch meeting was held at the United Way of Anderson County office in May 2006. Discussion items included: an overview of the United Way of Anderson County’s proposed transition to Community Impact; opportunities for involvement in the transition process; and the proposal of a Community Service Day honoring slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On September 8, 2006, it was suggested the name of the Council be changed to the African American Leadership Council (AALC), and on October 6, 2006, the name change was unanimously approved.
On July 1st, 2016, the Council changed it's name to the African American Leadership Soceity. It was decided that any African American who donates at the Leadership Giving Society level of $500 and above will automatically become a member of the African American Leadership Society.
Each year the African American Leadership Council host its signature project “MLK DAY ON”, the largest MLK Community Service project in Anderson County. The Saturday before the MLK Holiday, the council engages hundreds of volunteers across the county in giving back to the community by performing various service projects such as renovating community centers, cleaning senior centers, landscaping parks, etc. In February, the council recognizes Black History Month with an event. The council also hosts a Back to School Youth Summit for teens in the community. Speakers are on hand to discuss timely topics with the youth of the community and to instruct them how to make good decisions in life. Free school supplies are also given to every student in attendance.
The African American Leadership Society (AALS) provides guidance to cultivate leadership in the African American community to ensure a diverse voice in efforts that address community needs.
It serves to:
Mobilize African American leadership in the community.
Link community leadership to the work of the United Way.
Actively seek opportunities for African American leadership cultivation, involvement, participation and education.