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Our Story

CLNE was founded in March of 2020. Our mission is formed from over 20 years of the listening, learning, and leadership practices of our Executive Director, Rev. Kelly Chatman, in a particular neighborhood of North Minneapolis. Today, the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement (CLNE) focuses on building the leadership strength in 5 traditionally Black neighborhoods heavily impacted by structural racism and community violence in Minneapolis. (Webber-Camden, Harrison, Jordan,

Hawthorne, and Sumner-Glenwood.)


This is done with dual goals: the first goal is to build the capacity of local leaders, both adults and youth, to live their full potential, listen deeply to others, and positively impact their neighborhood. The second goal is to mobilize faith and non-profit communities from within and outside of the neighborhoods to utilize their assets, voice, and networks as allies, in support of neighborhood leaders and their visions.

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Healing Our City

In the spring of 2021, as we moved toward the trial of Derek Chauvin, the primary defendant in the killing of George Floyd, CLNE had the honor of working with incredible leaders in our community to create a daily space for prayer including people of all faiths, denominations, races, and orientations.

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Fellowship Program

The Alafia-CLNE Fellowship Program championed purpose-filled leaders focused on transforming life in North Minneapolis through investing in the ideas, enterprise and inspiration of visionary nonprofit, small business, and social entrepreneurial leaders. 

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