The Institute of Ubuntu (IOU) is decidedly a think tank focused on enhancing the lives of people of African descent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by cultivating community and healing and by promoting intellectual, cultural and thought leadership. In the spirit of Ubuntu, a Zulu term meaning, “I am because you are,” IOU envisions a world where generations of Black people, “know thyself" and experience wholeness in all aspects of life.
The complexity and heterogeneity of the Black
community is often disregarded in favor of dominant narratives. IOU believes in
telling fuller truths concerning Black people, which includes righting wrong
narratives and writing narratives that show the diversity of Black experiences in
IOU believes in the creation and maintenance of affirming and restorative practices and spaces to advance wholeness in Black people, and to heal the wounds created by systems of oppression.
It takes a whole (as in “all” and “healed”) village to raise a child and create community. IOU’s approach will center the intergenerational family as one key to racial advancement.
IOU values the collective over the individual, defying the standards of systemic oppression by being accountable to and for the whole, as well as the self, and standing in solidarity with our community. Solidarity does not preclude disagreement or presume uniformity.
IOU strives to raise consciousness, vision and imagination in order to secure freedom and liberation from the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical barriers that abound across systems of oppression.
THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH OUR FIRST BLACK PAPER JUNE 2020!