Truth-Telling & Narrative-Changing

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 America.

Affirmative & Restorative

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. 

Family & Intergenerationally-Centered

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.

Accountable & In Solidarity

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.

Liberatory & Freedom-Seeking

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.