Batala McFarlane

Executive Director

Batala McFarlane comes to Friends of the Children – Twin Cities after leading Insight News as its publisher. Insight is Minnesota’s largest ethnic publication. She has more than 25 years of newsroom leadershp, media production, marketing and community organizing experience.

Batala was named publisher of Insight News in 1999, making her one of the youngest publishers of Black press in the country. Under her leadership, Insight News has won several awards from the Minnesota Newspaper Association and the National Newspaper Publishers Association including best column writing, best website and general excellence. She proudly co-hosts "Heart-to-Heart Conversations," a podcast which aims to improve heart health outcomes in Black and Brown communities.

Batala is driven by her passion for fostering relationships and creating networks that support building communities where everyone can enjoy the opportunity to thrive and survive. She was a founding board member of the Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, has served on the KMOJ board of directors and Healthcare for All. She currently serves as a board member of the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, she is a member of the Hennepin Healthcare Community Advisory Board and is a trustee of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). She is also a chartering member of the Greater Twin Cities (MN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

Batala enjoys reading, the outdoors, growing her yoga practice, supporting her son’s kart racing and volunteering at her son’s school.

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