The Black Impact Collaborative (BIC), a group of organizations missioned to identify and illuminate the needs of Black people in Greater Grand Rapids in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. BIC was convened and is being powered by the Institute of Ubuntu (IOU), a 501(c)(3) think tank focused on enhancing the lives of people of African descent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by cultivating community and healing; and promoting intellectual, cultural and thought leadership.

Incorporated in 2017, IOU has been in the background, planning to launch on Juneteeth, 2020. COVID-19 hit the world, disproportionately impacting the Black community nationally, and in Grand Rapids to such an extent that IOU was catapulted to the fore to galvanize Black leadership in Greater Grand Rapids to create a collective response. BIC is a collective of those leaders across organizations led by and serving African Americans in Greater Grand Rapids. BIC has been meeting daily since April 25th in response to COVID-19, working to gather information on what leaders are hearing and seeing; how they are positioned and responding to the crisis; and what are their ongoing, immediate, and long-term needs. This group of leaders is committed to moving in solidarity and collective support of the Black community, and the short- and long-term needs of Black Greater Grand Rapids (BGGR). The vision is to garner the human and financial resources necessary to maintain a thriving, safe, and whole BGGR during COVID and beyond.  From that standpoint, BIC shares a set of 7 Impact Areas that we implore leaders across Kent County and the State of Michigan to use as they are making decisions about how to respond to COVID-19 now and the future for BGGR:


  1. Establish a Black Impact Collaborative COVID-19 Response Fund for Black Greater Grand Rapids
  2. Develop a responsive communications platforms for Black Greater Grand Rapids
  3. Ensure the health and well-being of Black Greater Grand Rapids 
  4. Ensure the financial security for Black Greater Grand Rapids 
  5. Ensure positive educational outcomes of Black children & youth of Black Greater Grand Rapids 
  6. Ensure that Black Greater Grand Rapids persons who are incarcerated are protected and have the supports for reintegration
  7. Ensure that Black elders of Black Greater Grand Rapids are cared for, safe and protected


Black Impact Collaborative Members


Angela Nelson


Alvin & Tanell Hills, IV

Endless Opportunities

Attah Obande

Spring GR

Cle Jackson

Ja’Von Fields

Greater Grand Rapids Branch NAACP

Dallas Lenear

Institute of Ubuntu

Darel Ross

Forty Acres Enterprises

Reverend Eula Gaddis

Baptist Fellowship

Garrett & Regis Fox

Institute of Ubuntu

Jamiel Robinson

Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses 

Jimmy Taylor

Prince Hall Masons

Jessie Jones

Institute of Ubuntu

Joseph D. Jones

Grand Rapids Urban League

Kenisha Dorsey

Greater Grand Rapids National Panhellenic Council

Monica Sparks

Community of Hearts/Kent County Black Elected Officials

Nadia Brigham

Brigham Consulting, LLC

Robert S. Womack

WYGR/Kent County Black Elected Officials

Senita Lenear

Kent County Black Elected Officials

Shatawn Brigham

Institute of Ubuntu

Sonja Forte

Baxter Community Center

Sultan Zayd Muhammad

Muhammad Study Group of Grand Rapids-Nation of Islam

Tasha Blackmon

Concerned Citizen

Teresa Weatherall Neal

Lead 616

Veneese Chandler

Family Outreach Center

Dr. Walter Brame

Concerned Citizen