October 15, 2021
FIVE QUESTIONS UP CLOSE WITH
UNITED BY BLACK POWERED BY ALL
1) AALF didn’t change its name, it only changed the name of one of its programs? Is that correct?
“Yes that’s correct. The ‘Alliance of Alliances’, is one of our organizational programs which we launched in March 2021. We changed its name to United By Black, Powered By All, or just UB for short. We are, and always have been the AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP FORUM.”
2) What brought about the name change?
“The ‘Alliance of Alliances’ was always just a temporary name. We stated that from the outset. In the months since, we’ve sought input from many stakeholders to come up with a name that holds great significance for all involved given the magnitude of our UB program.”
3) Besides the obvious, what special significance do the six words hold in United By Black, Powered By All?
“Two-part answer. “United By Black” first, which represents our commitment to systemic change that meets the needs of the Black community. “Powered By All” speaks to the inclusive direction in which we are going forward with the groundswell of those aligned with our core values, which is a proper reflection of this growing movement. Our work is leveraged from the model of Black-Centered Design.”
4) What is Black-Centered Design?
“The Black-Centered Design process involves centering Black people in an intentional way. By engaging the Black community to gain nuanced insights, we are better equipped to solve the issues that most impact our lives. It’s a Black-oriented approach to improving our community , based on the collaborative input we derive from the people who are living the reality of inequity.”
5) Why hasn’t this been done before?
“Well traditionally, the private sector along with government, have attempted to institute change by telling Black people what would be good for them, in part ignoring the underlying conditions that exist which actually contribute to the inequity and disparity they’re dealing with. Our approach seeks to uncover the fundamental core issues our communities are faced with, instead of dictating to them what’s right and wrong. It takes deep collaboration and trust, two components of change which are sometimes hard to come by. But those are also two values that AALF hangs it hat on.
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