We believes that grassroots leadership is directly and organically linked to community. We believe in the strength and ingenuity of all the Black family, in all its configurations. We prioritize the leadership of people most impacted by systemic racism and oppression. We value intergenerational leadership that recognizes the genius of Black youth and the lived experience and wisdom of our elders. We believe that it is essential to take care of our communities as we take of ourselves. We believe in internal and external participatory governance and community based decision making. Lastly, we believe in our need and our ability to give and receive deep transformative collective healing, rooted in resilience, cultural practices and historical analysis.
Systemic Barriers- Systemic Barriers are obstacles that place unequal value on individuals and communities. They prevent positive progression in working class communities of color. Barriers include racism, poverty, disparities in health, education and the criminal justice system.
Cultural Organizing- Cultural organizing is the use of art and culture to facilitate policy shift and community change. It relies on the community’s customs, tradition, ability to transfer skills and knowledge, collective healing and visioning.
Participatory/Popular Education- A methodology first introduced by Brazilian educator and writer Paulo Freire, Popular Education is “a process which aims to empower people who feel marginalized socially and politically to take control of their own learning and to effect social change.”
Everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher.
Intergenerational- Building on the belief that we are all students and teacher we work to bring the generations together to solve our multi-layered problems. Working intergenerationally means that decisions are made collectively. This process allows for diversity in our leadership and is reflective of the community we are part of.
Organic Pragmatism- refers to a living growing practice, an understanding that our actions are directly from the needs identified by the community. This practice is grounded in practical solution driven thinking and requires intentional listening and flexibility.
Civic Engagement- Individual andcollective action designed to identify and address issues of public concern.
School to Prison Pipeline- The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the national trend of criminalizing, rather than educating, our nation’s children. The pipeline encompasses the growing use of zero-tolerance discipline, school-based arrests, disciplinary alternative schools, and secured detention to marginalize our most at-risk youth and deny them access to education.
Griot- A Griot is a West African storyteller who keeps an oral history of the tribe or village and entertains the community with stories, poems, songs, dances, etc. He is an artist who makes the stories interesting and colourful to relay the message and also to keep the interest of the people who were listening to him.
Oral Tradition- Oral tradition is a mode of communication, where the stories of the old times and the history of the continent was preserved through stories, songs and folklore which were related by the older members of the society to the new generation. Or they would be performed to give a richer and more expressive way of communication as well as providing enjoyment and entertainment for all the villagers. A lot of the African cultural ways and beliefs were passed on from generation to generation through oral tradition.