We are officially in Black History Month!
And, as in previous years, we traditionally take this month
to celebrate our centering role in U.S. history.
And honor those whose tenacity made sure our presence was known.
And while we never forget the people who paved the way.
We should also acknowledge those who are sustaining us and taking us into the future.
So with that, we decided to a series called Black Future Month
Because we're all about 20/20 vision.
["Block Party Season" by The Stuyvesants plays]
The Black Future Month series is a new video each week, where not only talk about
Celebrities and high profile activists doing amazing things right now,
But more so the local and regional folks,
the groups, and the non-profits, and the people on the ground who are literally moving the work forward
in a way that will create a much better future for us in Black and African-American communities.
This is our first episode in the series, so if you like this one stay tuned for more
by subscribing to our channel and clicking on the bell icon.
My name is Aseanté, and I'll be your host for this episode.
So let's get started! The category is...Social Justice.
Shout to "Pose".
Now you may already know some people making real change
Folks like Michelle Alexander, New York Times columnist, civil rights advocate
and the author of "The New Jim Crow".
Or Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative
And a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer
dedicating his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.
There's also a movie based on his book, "Just Mercy."
But there are so many more folks moving the dial
Let's start with the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention or HAVI for short.
Fatimah Muhammad is the executive director of HAVI
Which is an organization that works to heal communities
affected by violence.
Their network is the bridge builder between hospitals and communities most impacted by violence.
With 35 partnerships, HAVI is furthering collaboration to advance equitable trauma-informed care,
particularly with violence intervention and prevention programs.
Now, what does all of that mean?
Basically, HAVI brings together people from around the country
Who connect with survivors of violence while they're in the hospital.
To link them to supports that help them to heal and stop those cycles of violence.
I'm talking about real support, in real-time for real healing.
Next up, is Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative
Or, MOBI for short, led by DaShawn Usher.
Now this is a collective providing a series of curated social connectivity events
for Gay and Queer men of color
while promoting community, wellness, and personal development.
MOBI does this through their signature programming,
MOBI Talks and MOBIFest
An interactive wellness experience that celebrates Black Queer voices in fashion
music, visual arts, and media.
With a focus on wellness, MOBI connects individuals to opportunities to better themselves
and their communities.
And rounding out our top 3 is an organization
elevating those with lived experiences in the criminal justice system.
Aptly named, Voice of The Experienced or VOTE.
VOTE is led by executive director Norris Henderson
Now this is a growing network of formerly incarcerated people
And their allies who know the trauma of incarceration first hand.
VOTE also centers the expertise of formerly incarcerated people
in the local, state, and national political process training members on
the legal rights of formerly incarcerated people, parolees, and people on probation to change the system.
VOTE builds people power, restores rights and reforms policies.
They are proving that the experience, the expertise
and the power to improve public safety in Louisiana, and beyond,
can happen without relying on incarceration.
Everyone we named and so many more are creating a future
focused on equity, justice and freedom.
All these people and organizations are literally history in the making.
Creating a future where we can all be free.
For more information about the organizations we shared today and how you can get connected to them
Click the links in the description.
And stay tuned for next week's episode where we celebrate those making big moves in the tech industry.
Because let's be real, you're probably watching this on your phone,
In the meantime, marinate on the words of futurist icon and activist,
"All that you touch you change, and all that you change, changes you."
See ya next time.