IBW Mission Statement
Organizational Description and History/Background
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century emerged as an outgrowth of the State of the Black World Conference which attracted some 2,500 African American scholars, activists, organizers and concerned individuals to Atlanta in 2001. Convened by a core group of veteran social and political activists led by Dr. Ron Daniels (former Executive Director, National Rainbow Coalition; Deputy Campaign Manager, Jesse Jackson for President, 1988 and Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights), the birth of IBW was more than a decade in the making. Under the auspices of the African American Progressive Action Network (AAPAN) the core group worked together on a number of initiatives after the demise of the National Rainbow Coalition (post Rev. Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign). The group’s assessment was that there was a need for a mechanism to promote greater cooperation, collaboration and joint work among grassroots, activist and action-oriented organizations that were doing similar work but were disconnected from each other. In the absence of a 60s type civil rights/human rights movement, networking, capacity-building and collaborative/joint work were viewed as an important strategy for fulfilling the unfinished civil rights/human rights agenda for African Americans.
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century was conceived as a resource center and engine for capacity-building and empowerment of Black organizations and communities, utilizing cooperative and collaborative methods and strategies.
Our stated Mission is as follows: The Institute of the Black World 21st Century is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.
Strategies for Implementation
Consistent with our mission, IBW will implement its mission by working with individuals, organizations, institutions, and movements that aspire to transform and reconstruct communities of African descent. The Institute is catalyst and facilitator as well as analyst and policy maker. Creating networks, facilitating linkages and fostering communications among individuals, between organizations and communities is an essential part of our mission. The Institute does not necessarily seek to implement projects alone, but strives to provide access to information and resources which allow local groups to initiate projects and build linkages with others doing similar work. Strategic partnerships and local support committees will also be vehicles for collaborative implementation of IBW projects and initiatives.
Major Projects and Initiatives
●Black Family Summit: A collaborative of national Black professional organizations convened by IBW that are dedicated to promoting holistic principles, policies and practices to strengthen Black families.
●Damu Smith Leadership Development and Organizer Training Institute: A project devoted to providing training in the principles of community organizing and servant leadership.
●Research Consortium: A collaborative of scholars, think tanks and research centers devoted to engaging in theoretical and applied research as it relates to issues of vital concern to Black communities.
●Inter-generational Dialogue: A project which facilitates discussion and sharing of experiences between the “civil rights” and “Hip Hop” generations as a leadership preparation exercise.
●State of the Black World Forums: Periodic public conversations in the greater New York area featuring notable leaders on a broad range of issues of importance to the Black community. Susan Taylor, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Ronald Walters, Professor Charles Ogletree, Cynthia McKinney, C.T. Vivian, Kevin Powell, Haki Madhubuti, Attorney Nkechi Taifa, Congressman John Conyers, Marc Morial and former Congressman Walter Fauntroy are among the leaders who have been principal speakers for IBW Forums.
●Pan African Unity Dialogue (PAUD): Quarterly meetings of Continental Africans, Caribbean Americans, Afro-Latinos and African Americans in the greater New York area to bridge divisions and promote operational unity and joint work around mutually agreed upon concerns or issues. The 2010 Census and immigration policy reform are major issues PAUD has addressed.
●Haiti Support Project (HSP): A project whose mission is to marshal moral, political and material support to assist the Haitian people to develop a strong and vital democratic society and a vibrant and sustainable economy as a free and self-determining people. HSP seeks to build a constituency and effective base of support for Haiti in the U.S., primarily focusing on mobilizing the human and material resources of African Americans in collaboration with Haitian Americans.
●State of the Black World Conferences: Periodic national/international gatherings of people of African descent to assess the condition of Black people in the U.S. and globally, conduct working sessions around key issues and formulate strategies for action to improve the quality of life of Black people.
Major Recent Accomplishments
● IBW Black Paper on 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: As a Project of the Research Consortium, on the eve of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, IBW issued and Executive Summary of a Black Paper entitled – 50 Years Since the March on Washington: A Deposit Was Made But the Check Still Bounced. The Black Paper consists of contributions from a number of notable scholars, activists and journalists in Black America including Dr. Julianne Malveaux, George Curry, Dr. Michael Fauntroy, George Fraser, Atty. Nkechi Taifa and Dr. Iva Carruthers. The Executive Summary was released at a public forum convened at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. and was webcast nationally/internationally.
Annual Congressional Black Caucus Forum on the “War on Drugs:” IBW convened a Forum at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus to provide updates on the War on Drugs and discriminatory criminal justice policies. In addition, Leonard Dunston, Moderated an Issues Forum on the impact of mass incarceration on Black families sponsored by Congressman Danny Davis. Members of IBW’s Black Family Summit served as Panelists.
National/International Symposium on the Future of Democracy and Development in Africa and the Caribbean: In October, IBW convened a major Symposium on the aforementioned topic at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. The Honorable Dr. Ralph Gonslaves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honorable Pedro Pires, former President and Prime Minister of Cape Verde, West Africa and the most recent recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Award for Good Governance and Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus were among the notable leaders who addressed Participants who were invited to attend the Symposium. The event was also webcasted nationally/internationally.
Philadelphia Town Hall Meeting: Focused on the Theme – Crisis in Black Philadelphia: Time to Heal Black Families and Communities, IBW in conjunction with a diverse local planning committee, hosted a major Town Hall Meeting in November at the Resurrection Community Methodist Church. Susan Taylor, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, George Fraser and Dr. Julianne Malveaux were the national Speakers/Panelists who joined local Speakers/Panelists in engaging a discussion of the causes of violence, fratricide/murders, mass incarceration and underdevelopment in Philadelphia’s inner-city neighborhoods. More than 400 persons attending the Town Hall Meeting which was also broadcast live on WURD Radio. The Greater Philadelphia Regional Justice Collaborative was formed as a direct outcome of the Town Hall Meeting.
Forum on Nelson Mandela: IBW convened a highly successful Forum on the Life and Legacy of Nelson Mandela: Finishing the Freedom Struggle in South Africa in December at Bus Boys and Poets in Washington, D.C. James Early, Dr. Sylvia Hill, Bill Fletcher, Atty. Nicole Lee, Emira Woods and Don Rojas served as Speakers/Panelists. The event was webcast nationally/internationally.
National/International Forum on Reparations: IBW convened a major national/international Forum on Revitalizing the Reparations Movement in the U.S. in April at Chicago State University. Sir Hillary Beckles, Chancellor of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, the Caribbean’s leading public intellectual and architect of CARICOM’s Ten Point Reparations Agenda was the Keynote Speaker. Other speakers included Congressman John Conyers, former Detroit Council Member JoAnn Watson and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan were among the other major presenters. The Forum was webcast nationally/internationally.
Delegation to Haiti: IBW via the Haiti Support Project led a small delegation to Haiti in January on the occasion of the Fourth Anniversary of the earthquake to assess progress of the recovery and review status of HSP projects/initiatives. A group of leaders from the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity joined the delegation to explore ways of supporting HSP’s work in Haiti including the possibility of building a model educational academy in the town of Milot in the northern part of the country.
●Meetings of Pan African Unity Dialogue (PAUD): This New York based united front structure continues to meeting on a quarterly basis to address issues related to immigration policy reform, crises in Africa and the Caribbean and the empowerment Continental Africans, Caribbean Americans, Afro-Latinos and African Americans in the greater New York area.
State of the Black World Forums: IBW continues to periodically convene educational and advocacy forums in New York on a range of issues, the most recent of which was an Intergenerational Discussion of the book Stokely: A Life by Dr. Peniel Joseph. The discussion focused on the era, life and legacy of Kwame Ture aka Stokely Carmichael, a leading organizer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and key proponent of Black Power and Pan Africanism.
Memorandum of Understanding with FEMA: Under the leadership of Administrator Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with IBW’s Black Family Summit to form an African American Advisory body to receive orientation/education on disaster prevention and preparedness and provide culturally sensitive counsel to FEMA on approaches to assist distressed Black communities. The Agreement is currently being vetted and a formal signing ceremony is tentatively scheduled for September in conjunction with the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Connect With IBW
Martin Luther King/Malcolm X Community Revitalization Initiative
Pan African Unity Dialogue
Immigration Policy Reform
Call to Action
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Collaborative of progressive, African-centered scholars, think tanks and research centers dedicated to utilizing theoretical and applied research to address issues of vital concern to people of African descent and enhance the development of Black communities.
Haiti Support Project
An Initiative committed to “Building a Constituency for Haiti in the United States,” focusing on mobilizing/organizing African Americans and other people of African descent to strengthen the process of democracy and development in the world’s first Black Republic.