Rows of well-kept raised garden beds brim with lettuce and carrots. Sage and parsley sprout up from a few well-loved clay pots. And amidst the rich tapestry of the liberation movement, our vibrant community of Black individuals gather, hands united in nurturing the roots and watering the seeds of change.
These are the images that came to mind for us when we met to discuss and create the Black Collective’s Framework, a living document that articulates what we are setting out to do in the next several years. This framework is our guidepost. It captures our goals, what activities and actions will get us there, and the values we hope to carry forward to do this work sustainably.
And that’s why, with artist and movement builder Paloma Rae, we chose to present our framework through an illustration that is rooted in a community garden. (You can read a statement from Paloma about the Framework here.) We love how the illustration captures our roadmap for the coming years, while showing the culture of care, collaboration, and community our work is centered in.
We hope you take some time to explore it, learn about the impact your support has made possible, and continue to walk with us on this journey toward a more vibrant world.
Read on to learn more about how the Black Collective was formed, and where we are headed next.
There is no end to corporate abuse without racial justice
The Black Collective has accomplished a lot since we formalized the program in 2021. We got started as people across the country and the world took to the streets, voicing their outrage at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black people at the hands of the police.
This was a major reckoning moment for many organizations, including Corporate Accountability. We knew that to advance the organization’s mission, we needed to get clear about our role in dismantling systemic, anti-Black racism. After all, the history of corporations is the history of racism and colonization. And some of the most powerful and most abusive corporations in the world were built on the forced labor of enslaved Black people in the Americas, as well as the labor of displaced and exploited people around the world.
So Corporate Accountability’s organizers who identify as Black met and strategized, and through those conversations came the Black Collective. Together, we committed to creating space for unlearning the white supremacist and capitalist values that underpin our society and clearly connecting the dots between systemic racism and corporate abuse, while renewing and deepening our commitment to supporting Black leaders and Black-led organizations in the movement for Black liberation.
Powering the movement through capacity building and resource distribution
Now, almost three years into the Black Collective’s establishment, our mission is clearer than ever.
We envision our work as a garden – a lively space centered on a culture of care, collaboration, and community that acts as a powerful antidote to the poison of the cultures of white supremacy and racial capitalism.
The main tenets that uphold – or “fence” – our program include:
- Restoring trust within the organization and promoting a culture of racial equity.
- Driving change internally in order to show up strong for the movement to advance reparations, resource education, and stop police violence in Black communities.
- Amplifying Black voices and leadership, holding transnational corporations accountable, and dismantling corporate racial schemes.
And by tending to our garden together, we are planting the seeds for collective liberation and flourishing. To do this, we will:
- Dismantle corporate racial schemes by financially resourcing and uplifting the voices of Black-led organizations impacted by the intersections of corporate power, white supremacy, and violence, educational reform, and educational racism.
- Show clear links between accountability and liability in our food, climate, tobacco, and water campaigns and demand reparations as essential and necessary for the Black community.
- Expose and challenge the links between corporate abuse, systemic racism, and economic inequity, in partnership with Black-led organizations.
As you’ll see in the framework, we are advancing this work on many levels. We are educating our team and community on the rich history of Black resistance, from the leadership of political prisoners like Ruchell Magee and George Jackson during Black August to stories from the reparations movement. We are also exposing Wells Fargo’s century-long history of racist actions. We even spoke directly to Wells Fargo corporate executives and shareholders during its annual shareholders’ meeting. And we are granting funding to Black-led organizations advancing reparations, helping to build team capacity, supporting community-building events, and more.
We are excited to continue organizing throughout this next year and beyond. And your support is crucial in exposing corporate abuses, fostering leadership within the Black community, and advancing racial justice. Together, we can dismantle white supremacy culture and chip away at the building blocks of racial capitalism.