Campaign is focused on “Asset-Framing” – fresh messaging for elevating the Black community’s strengths as key to achieving greater gains.

Campaign includes fellowships to build critical skills and increase community impact, and a national conference for Black leaders to collaborate on a national Black agenda

Yesterday, as the nation marked Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, BMe Community (BMe) launched the Next Narrative for Black America campaign which includes fellowships to train 79 Black leaders across the country in “narrative change.”

BMe Community is an award-winning network of social innovators, leaders, and champions who invest in aspiring communities.

The Next Narrative for Black America campaign aspires to shift the discussion of racial equity from one based in denigrating distortions to one centered on the Black community’s assets and contributions to society. This is called “asset-framing.” For instance, while common narratives about Black people focus on the community’s unemployment rate, one might instead lift up the 2.6 million African-American owned businesses that provide employment opportunities for others.

Further, the campaign will elevate a vanguard of Black leaders who will employ Asset-Framing to reimagine the challenges and opportunities for the Black community through two fellowship experiences. BMe Community Vanguard Fellows are Black men and women focused on changing narratives and BMe Community Genius Fellows are Black men implementing high-impact local community projects.

BMe is urging Black leaders from all sectors of society to collaborate at the Next Narrative for Black America Conference in Louisville, Kentucky October 24-26, 2019. Participants will focus on what a Black Agenda and Narrative might entail if it were devised from an Asset-Framed perspective. Prior to the conference hundreds of black leaders will be consulted on appropriate priorities for the narrative and agenda. Following the conference, a position paper will be drafted based on their revelations.

“In the 400 years since enslaved Africans were brought to America, Black people have worked diligently to secure physical and legal freedom but are still bound by these inaccurate and stigmatizing narratives,” said Trabian Shorters, Founder and CEO of BMe Community. “We have literally always been ‘assets’ to this nation, so in this new millennium dawning, we must own our value and our narrative so that this nation may finally value all members of the human family.”

The Next Narrative for Black America promotes the advantage of using Asset-Framing to achieve greater gains for the Black community. In doing this, BMe Community has been able to invest over $3 million in Black leadership enrichment through its fellowship offerings. The BMe Vanguard Fellowship is funded by The Heinz Endowments, The Skillman Foundation, The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, and The Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation. The BMe Genius Fellowship is funded by James Graham Brown Foundation, The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and GAR Foundation.

Key details about the BMe Community Fellowships:

  • The BMe Genius Fellowship celebrates Black men for their community building efforts by recognizing their contributions, welcoming them into an extraordinary brotherhood, and awarding each fellow $10,000 towards his community impact project. This year, there are ten recipients in Louisville (KY) and three recipients in Akron (OH).
  • The BMe Vanguard Fellowship elevates the knowledge, influence, and network of Black men and women through an elite leadership enrichment experience. This year, 66 Black people from all over the country will focus on key national issues including social determinants of health, investment in youth, the state of Black veterans, and developing a national Black agenda.
  • The BMe Vanguard Fellowship program is taught by the top leaders in their fields from BMe, The Aspen Global Leadership Network, The OpEd Project, Color of Change, PolicyLink and The Raben Group.

To find out more about the Next Narrative for Black America and a complete list of 2019 BMe Community Fellows, please visit www.nextnarrative.net. To learn more about BMe Community, please visit www.bmecommunity.org.

BMe Community is an award-winning network of social innovators, leaders, and champions who invest in aspiring communities. BMe’s mission is to build more caring, prosperous communities inspired by Black people. A leader in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion field, BMe Community is the #1 provider of Asset-Framing training to senior executives of major foundations and social enterprises.