Message from the CEO

CBMA's Response to COVID-19

Less than two weeks ago we decided to shift the focus of our monthly membership call from celebrating National Women’s History Month to addressing the CBMA Response to COVID-19. In this address, we heard from several cross-sector leaders from across the nation on how they and their organizations were responding to the pandemic. 

Featured speakers on the March 19th call included:

  1. Ron Walker, CEO, Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) – Educating, Caring and Covering Our Children through Crisis
  2. Minda Harts, CEO, My Weekly Memo, Best-Selling Author of The Memo, - Connecting with Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders in New Ways in this Moment
  3. Anthony Smith, CEO, Cities United - How Can Mayors and Municipal Leaders Partner with Communities and Young People in Response to COVID-19
  4. Susan Taylor Batten, CEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) – Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities in Crisis and beyond; and 
  5. Dr. Phyllis Hubbard, Sr. Director of BMA Health & Healing Strategies, CBMA – Importance of Self-Care in Times of Stress and Crisis & a Spring Equinox Meditation 

Since then, the severity of the crisis has elevated as more people have contracted the virus and more people have died from it. So many of us are just one or two degrees of separation from knowing someone who has passed away from COVID-19. Then there is the numbing economic pain that we are experiencing in the midst of the pandemic, as Janelle Ross’s piece for NBC Black reported wage workers of color taking a major hit.

#MissionFuelMonday Message - March 30, 2020

Black Community's Response to COVID-19

In the midst of daily tragedy, I am witnessing triumphant actions within the Black community. Just yesterday we learned how BMe Vanguard Fellow Dr. Armen Henderson is testing homeless people for COVID-19, delivering food and clothing; Color of Change has launched a comprehensive campaign called #TheBlackResponse to ensure that Black people leverage their power and our communities are positioned to survive and thrive through and after this crisis; and days before, Congress passed a $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill, which includes funding for non-profitsSusan Taylor Batten, CEO of Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) voiced her concern in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that the plan to support the social sector was absent from Black-led organizations. And there are countless more stories of men and women, young and old, who are building community in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

#Women4BMA Deliver Timely Insights and Inspiration

During last week’s monthly membership network call we received amazing insights from Minda HartsErica Robertson and Tray Kearney in a vibrant discussion about their work and their intersections with Black male achievement, moderated by our very own, Valerie Merritt. Check out their convo here.

Good Work We Want To Grow

A core part of the CBMA mission is telling the stories of leaders and organizations who are advancing the Black male achievement field across the nation via our “What Works Engine” strategy. Given the increasing number of people wearing masks to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19, I could not help but consider the important work of CBMA Fellow Ashanti Branch, who a few years ago launched the #100masks Challenge to help our young people, adults, and community gain a deeper understanding of how much we have in common. People all over the world can understand the concept of wearing a mask and working hard to ignore those things in our lives that we don't think people would understand. Ashanti, founder of Ever Forward Club in Oakland, CA, and his team, has engaged thousands of young men across the nation in interactive, reflective workshops to address their mental health, healing and well-being. Learn more about his work here.

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Every Monday morning for four years straight many of us were greeted with the latest episode of Trailblazers Podcast, hosted by Stephen A. Hart, which delivered features and stories of Black professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs. Several of you from the CBMA membership network were featured guest on the show. At the beginning of 2020, Stephen released an episode, A Time to Be Still, where he informed his loyal listeners that life responsibilities and challenges had called for a hiatus of weekly droppings of his podcast. We don’t know how long the Trailblazers Podcast silent season will last or if it will return, but in the spirit of reciprocity during its silent season, and during our #MissionFuelMonday communications, CBMA will share a featured episode from the more than 200 archived episodes of the podcast. This week we feature episode 73 with Dorinda Walker, who shares her story in The Power of Tenacity, Fearlessness and Hard Work.

Shawn Dove, Chief Executive Officer

Share the Message