Our mission, vision, and plans for the program that’s dedicated to promoting a culture of equity and supporting Black-led liberatory movements in 2024 and beyond.
The Black Collective Framework is a document that showcases our unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic racism and challenging corporate abuse. It’s part roadmap, part explainer, but all wrapped up in a beautiful illustration by artist and movement builder Paloma Rae. Conceived by the Black Collective team, which was created and led by Corporate Accountability’s Black-identifying staff, the framework articulates the mission and vision of the program and the activities and tactics that will get us there.
The framework is brought together under the beautiful image of a community garden. Throughout the piece, you’ll see rows of well-kept raised garden beds, and sage and parsley sprouting up from clay pots. You’ll also see a vibrant Black community gathering, hands united in nurturing the roots and watering the seeds of change.
Statement from artist Paloma Rae, illustrator of the Black Collective Framework
I often think of “A Small Needful Fact,” a poem written by Ross Gay that goes like this:
A Small Needful Fact
Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.
When I first met with the Black Collective to discuss the importance of bringing their Framework to life, I couldn’t help but be inspired by the integral, intertwined role that Nature plays in our lives–inseparable, like the mighty root systems that ground trees deep into the Earth, this Framework was created to build, support, and uplift systems of care and Liberation. Much like a community garden, the pathway towards true racial equity requires all of us.
I wanted this piece to reflect the vibrance and vitality within the Black community in the United States and across the entire diaspora. All the folks within the garden are joyfully hard at work, representing the labor involved in creating such a Framework and applying it to future work. The garden itself is a safe space created by us, for us. A fence along the top keeps out two figures dressed in white, who represent all systems of oppression, and the very reason that this garden, or Framework exists.
The lower region of the garden is full of the fruits of our labor–everything that this Framework was created to build, lies like a bounty to continue deepening and expanding the work of the Black Collective within the Corporate Accountability community both internally and externally.