black unity

Eighth Annual State of Africa town Address 2021

Eighth Annual State of Africatown

2021 State of Africatown Program

February 20th, 2021 @ 10am – 2pmPst / 1pm -4pm Est

10:10     Welcome – TraeAnna Holiday                                                                    

10:15     Opening Remarks – Hon. Dawn Mason                                                                                                  

10:25     Libations – Dr. Marcia Tate Arunga                                                                          

10:35     ELDERS OF DISTINCTION AWARD PRESENTATION – Hon. Gus Newport                                                   

10:45     Guest Presentations (7 mins.)                                                                 

                Girmay Zahilay, King County Council                                                                       

                Vanessa Smith Garrisson, Co-Founder GirlTrek                                                                 

                Erica Ford, Founder LifeCamp NYC                                                                          

                Katura Bryant, Zola Experience                                                                 

                Domnique Davis, Community Passageways                                                                        

                Majestic Lane, Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Pittsburgh                                                                 

                Emijah Smith, King County Equity Now                                                                  

                Inye Wokoma, Wa Na Wari                                                                         

                Yordanos Teferi, Eritrean Community Seattle/Multi Cultural Center                                                        

                Munira Mohamed, East African Community Services                                                                      

                Dr. Keisha Scarlett, Seattle Public Schools                                                                            

                Cashayla Rodgers                                                                            

                Elijah L. Lewis                                                                    

12:30     K. Wyking Garrett, State of Africatown                                                                                                                 

12:50     Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley – Response to the State of Africatown                                                                               

1:05        Breakout Session – Rooms                                                                         

  • Education and Youth – Hosts: Room #1 Dominique Davis, Community Passageways and Room #2 Dr. Kiesha Scarlett, Seattle Public Schools                                                                  
  • Community Peace & Safety – Host: Room #1 Erica, Founder LifeCamp NYC                                                                          
  • Business & Economic Development – Host: Room #1 Elijah Lewis                                                             
  • Arts and Culture – Hosts: Room #1 Inye Wokoma, Wa Na Wari and Room #2 Vanessa Smith Garrison, Co-Founder GirlTrek                                                                             
  • Housing and Community Development – Hosts Room #1 Munira Mohamed, E. African Community Services and Room #2 Yordanos Teferi, Eritrean Community Seattle/Multi Cultural Center and Room #3 Munira Mohamed, East African Community Services     
  • Policy and Advocacy – Hosts: Room #1 Emijah Smith, King County Equity Now and Room #2 Majestic Lane, Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Pittsburgh and Room #3 Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley
  • Health and Wellness – Hosts: Room #1 Vanessa Smith Garrison, Co-Founder GirlTrek and Room #2 Katura, Zola Experience                               

The Address and Program will air on Time for an Awakening Media 1:00pm -4:00 pm EST

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 12-20-20 Sunday Edition. “After the Elections…A Discussion on Independent Black Political Action”

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 12/20/2020 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) Guests was Activist, Organizer, Founder of the New Afrikan Peoples Party, Khalid Raheem, Activists, Organizers, Founders of the Ujima Peoples Progress Party, Brandon Walker and Nnamdi Lumumba.After the Elections…A Discussion on Independent Black Political Action” we received updates about initiatives currently in progress, and their efforts to create “Incubators of Independent Leadership”, to assist our Communities.

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 9/20/20 guests: organizers of the Freedom Georgia Initiative

“Time for an Awakening” Sunday 9/20/20 our guests was Ashley Scott and Renee Walters, organizers of the Freedom, Georgia Initiative. Where 19 families just purchased nearly 100 acres of land to create a “safe haven” city for Black families.

SPECIAL EVENT: 6/21/2020 Do Black Lives Matter w/ the Hon. Nii Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chair of the AU Commission

Have you been wondering what African Union officials have to say about George Floyd and the continued anti-Black genocide in the u.s. and, indeed, globally? Honorable Nii Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, recently reached out to Okunini Ọbádélé Kambon about hosting a talk and interaction about the historical context of enslavement and the present realities of what we continue to face as a people. This is our collective opportunity to hear what a high-ranking African Union Commission official has to say about our global situation. It is also our chance to have our voice heard during the live interaction. Honorable Nii Kwesi Quartey will put the continued anti-Black genocide into perspective and ask the long-awaited question “What can the African Union and, indeed, the African Union Commission, do to help our brothers and sisters?”

Join Okunini Ọbádélé Kambon, Baba Phil Scott of the African Diaspora News Channel, Baba ShakaRa of the Alkebu-Lan Revivalist Movement, Baba Nigel Stewart of the Centre of Pan-African Thought, Mama Tonya Saafir-Ankomah of Sankofa Repatriation Assistance/Exodus Alliance and many more friends as we relay your questions to Hon. Nii Kwesi Quartey! We will also stream live on Baba Elliott Booker’s Timeforanawakening, Black Talk Radio, and live through!

Time for an Awakening with Bro. Elliott Sunday 6-21-20 Juneteenth 2020 “Freedom form Mental Slavery”

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 6/21/20 at 7:00 PM (EST) was Open Forum conversation with the listeners on Juneteenth 2020 “Freedom from Mental Slavery” was one of this weeks hot topics of conversation

“Time for an Awakening’ with Bro. Elliott. Sunday 5/31/20 Sunday Open Forum

Sunday was a rare open forum conversation, on this weekends HOT topics. From the need to develop a new mindset in our communities, to our political and economic empowerment, the solution to these problems must come from us.

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, 12-08-19 special guest Dr.Arikana Chihombori-Quao

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 11/08/2019 at 7:00 PM (EST) our guest was Medical Doctor, Activist, Diplomat, former African Union Ambassador to the US, Arikana Chihombori-Quao. Dr. Chihombori-Quao discussed strategies to move our people from both the Diaspora and the Continent together, to move forward, among other important topics


This Little Known Fact About Black Giving Might Be Surprising

Maryann Reid

Tracey Webb
Black Benefactors Giving Circle w/Tracey Webb (bottom right)William Perrigen

Blacks give 25% more of their income annually than white households, according to a report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 

Though research is limited in this area, it also states “nearly two-thirds of African-American households donated to organizations and causes, totaling $11 billion each year”. In other words, blacks are one the largest group of givers in the country. Financial contributions from the black community have been well-noted and consistent for generations, with “tithing” being an intricate part of black giving and the values of community and mutuality embedded in African traditional values carried over by slaves.  

After losing her job, Tracey Webb, founder of Black Benefactors, based in Washington D.C., started the giving circle organization in 2007 to create a collective “black giving” experience. Webb shares how black philanthropists can have influence on the causes they care about and how to do it.

Maryann Reid: What is a giving circle and is it different from being a philanthropist?

Tracey Webb: A giving circle is a group of individuals that pool their monies for charitable causes and decide together where to give it away. Studies have shown that giving circle members are more likely to volunteer, give more, and give more strategically. The root meaning of the word philanthropy literally means, love of mankind. It doesn’t mean wealth or a large donation. Giving circle members are philanthropists

Reid: What from your personal experience made you start Black Benefactors? 

Webb: My journey began when I lost my job as a nonprofit director. I couldn’t raise the funding needed to keep the organization open. I made a vow to myself that I would help other black nonprofit founders and leaders, but at the time, I didn’t know how. The concept of giving circles was introduced to me a few years earlier, so I began to research them in my spare time. Upon learning, more about how they worked, I realized it would be the perfect way to accomplish my goal of funding black led nonprofits. I came up with the name Black Benefactors to clearly show who the funding is for, and who makes the funding possible. Our giving circle members are the benefactors, which is a person who gives money to a cause. I’ve had members tell me that they didn’t see themselves as benefactors or philanthropists before, but now they do. 

Reid: What’s the first step someone should take if they want to become a philanthropist?

Webb: Since 2014, BB has hosted dinner series events featuring black philanthropists who share their giving story. A common theme among all speakers on their approach to philanthropy can be used as a first step–they identified a focus area for their giving. Usually it was influenced by their interests, or a cause they were personally affected by. One of our past speakers, Reggie Van Lee, is an art collector who established a scholarship for performing arts students at Howard University. He combined his love for the arts and philanthropy. 

Reid: What is a project that your giving circle participated in and that you’re excited about?

Webb: We launched a capacity building project this year to help strengthen black led nonprofits in the D.C. area. Through partnerships with local funders and a consulting firm, our grantee partners and grant applicants can receive in-kind support to strengthen their infrastructure. Our first workshop was held in partnership with the D.C. office of “Blacks at Bain” of Bain & Company, a global consultancy firm, on board development, and a second workshop was held with the Beckner Advancement Fund, a social justice funder based in D.C. 

Reid: Tell me about the very first grant you awarded. What was that like?

Webb: Our first grants totaling $9,000 were awarded in 2009. It was very moving for me because behind that first grant was years of planning, research, recruiting, meetings and fundraising. To be able to award a grant that was from us, for us was the best feeling in the world. I continue to experience that feeling with each grant cycle. Our grantees have shared with us that receiving a grant from black donors is impactful and for some, the first time. I’m proud to say that with each grant cycle, we’ve increased our total grant awards.  

Reid: Why is now an important time for blacks to give?

Webb: Now is an important time to support a giving circle like ours because there are initiatives to increase funding and resources to black led businesses, but what about black-led nonprofits? Only 3% of national foundation funding is allocated to these organizations, which are often underfunded, if funded at all, and under-resourced. Because of this reason, we aim to fill this critical gap in resources by funding black-led nonprofits at the highest level possible each grant cycle instead of awarding several small grants. 

Reid: How can someone start giving if they only have $500? Is that enough?

Webb: Absolutely. In fact, two of our past grants were in the amount of $500 for the purchase of wish list items. To get started, if there’s a giving circle in your community, consider donating to one or more of their grantees. Giving circles are more likely to support small organizations and $500 can go a long way. Or, leverage your $500 with others by joining or donating to a giving circle for a larger gift. I’d also like to add that you can start giving at any amount. 

Reid: What is in the future for Black Benefactors?

Webb: We are undergoing a restructuring process to better serve our members, grantee partners and the community. During this time, we’re accepting donations to support our grant making. Looking into my Black Benefactors crystal ball, I see new members, larger grant awards and a youth component in our future. 

Reid: How can someone support black philanthropy now?

Webb: Learn more about the history and impact of black giving circles by reading “The Sweetness of Circles” here, an op-ed that I co-authored with Akira Barclay and Valaida Fullwood, and start planning now to celebrate Black Philanthropy Month in August 2020 by visiting  Most importantly, share how you give black year-round with #BPM365

“Time for an Awakening”with Bro.Elliott Fri.10-18-20 guest Phila. Activist Jihad Ahmed and N.O.I Captain Dennis Muhammad

“Time For An Awakening” for Friday 10/18/2019 at 8:00 PM (EST) our guests was Activist, Radio host, Jihad Ahmed and N.O.I  Captain Dennis Muhammad. Both our guest gave us details on what they plan to accomplish  in “Establishing a Culture of Peace” for targeted Black neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Catch Jihads program “Acres of Diamonds”  Mondays at 6:00pm – 8:00pm

“Time For An Awakening” with Bro.Elliott, Sunday 9-29-19 guest Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson

“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 9/29/2019 at 7:00 PM (EST) our guest was Historian, Author, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson. Dr. Jackson discussed her book ” Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence”, the role of violence on the long road to black freedom, and how our ancestors increasingly called for violent resistance to slavery.

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