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.
IBW´s vision is rooted in the values of cooperation, community and mutual respect. It is founded on the principles of self-determination, African humanism and social justice. The struggle for social transformation through the creation of new relationships and institutions is central to our task. The objective of our work is to create greater unity among people of African descent, to acquire and maintain power to reconstruct our communities and to build viable and vital nations, inspired by the idea of a new, non-exploitative social order.
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.