by Odemi Pessu • Chukwudi Nwamba
At present, American society stands at a precarious state. The prevalence of racial insensitivity, in conjunction with a toxic capitalist mentality, has manifested in a society that is not only lost, but disillusioned. Even still, we are on the cusp of a revolution in multiple facets of our livelihood. In order to effectively deconstruct the systems of oppression that result in the cyclical glorification of elitism, racism, and other avenues of widespread inequality, we must collectively pursue the future we hope to become our present. As we aim to depart from subservient mindsets imposed on the Afro-Diasporic community in America and beyond, we work towards holistic liberation and independence in thought, livelihood, and expression. To enable this, we must invoke a pursuit of knowledge, not only of our history, but of the future that awaits.
America, for some, still remains the undisputed land of the free and home of the brave. However, are we making best use of the human capital and economic resources which exist today? Are we actively working towards inclusive frameworks, cultural agency, and diverse representation in forums of policy development and governing institutions?
The purpose of the aforementioned inquiries is to disrupt the social media trance and expose the manipulative tactics of modern technologists in the private sector. It is imperative to encourage critical analysis of the present human state through an afrocentric lens; upon honest examination you will find the facts point to illustrations of modern slavery. However, this modern slavery is not of the physical nature. Allow the note: Black people are still arrested and imprisoned at higher rates. This is a result of privatized prison systems designed to strip black people of their civil rights and agency; further reinforced by the proliferation of modern day lynchings. Modern slavery is defined by the micro- and macro-aggressions and conscious bias that run rampant in educational and financial institutions. We are witnessing a brain drain of minority talent under the guise of “corporate benefits”, “retirement plans”, “job security”, and a plethora of other ideals and propaganda that cultivate continuous subservient mindsets. The resulting enslavement of talent and thought further deters the development of oppressed peoples living in lands that are not native to them.
As strategic designers and Afro-synergists, it is our life’s work to critically interrogate the validity of modern social constructs and usage of the resources at hand --- both human and capital.
The recurring opportunity of improvement in the Black community --- discriminatory practices, financial oppression, public education funding gaps, etc --- bear fruit from the vestige of white supremacy. With this narrative, it is imperative to critically examine the construct of whiteness and its egregious history. Racial bias pervades digital media usage and the development of artificial intelligence. A recent Nielsen report revealed that Black Americans purchase smartphones at the highest rates of all minority groups. Even still, the harsh reality is that most Black Americans face steep barriers to accessing investment opportunities, leadership positions and subsequent wealth through these same companies.
Bearing this in mind, we are emboldened to empower the global Black community through the strategic design of impact-oriented initiatives to foster activism, education, creativity, and progress. Sourcing inspiration from our academic expertise, creative pursuits, and professional experiences, we wholeheartedly take on the task of invoking a new age of thought leadership. We root this pursuit in the embodiment of Afro-Synergy, a term we have coined to bridge the current gaps that disparage the global Black polity. Afro-Synergy represents the establishment of connectivity for the sake of development, creation, and liberation. We derive our term from cultural synergy, a notion described in the work of Nancy Adler of McGill University. Cultural synergy is an attempt to bring two or more cultures together to form an organization or environment that is based on combined strengths, concepts and skills. Through Afro-Synergy, we concentrate our efforts on bringing to fruition Afro-futuristic imaginaries in America, the African continent, and everywhere the global Black polity extends. We are working to strengthen our community through the dissemination of knowledge, disruption of defeatist social narratives, reorientation of socioeconomic frameworks, and development of sustainable infrastructures.
This work will take time and can only occur through the power of “WE”. We must move past the intentional distractions prevalent within greater society. We must seek out the truths needed to unleash modern thought leadership. Today, we take up the mantle to change this narrative. This manifesto is a declaration of our dedication to spearheading recruitment of and collaboration with the world’s most innovative and culturally aware minds, investors, doers, alchemists and social impact executives. WE together, considering the robust outline that will follow this declaration, will manifest the true essence of what liberation is in the context of the postcolonial, information age.
Thus, this not a call out, but an invitation to those who believe that change is possible and within reach. This manifesto is a declaration to conceive the Afro-futurist imaginaries that, for so long, have appeared out of reach. This is an invitation to those who believe that through cross-cultural cooperation, strategic policy, and organization design we can manifest the social impact we hope to see. If you hunger for a better world, one we can proudly pass onto future generations, join us in the camaraderie of the revolution.
Specifically--- join us through monetary donation, purchase of services or direct outreach. This is our life’s work. The manifestation of this venture and your contributions as agents of change will equip us to create a new, more conscious and more liberated, reality for us and the thought leaders to come.
publish digital manifestos and written works with accompanying action plans designed to ignite collaboration and 360 investment in Afro-diasporic communities.
WE PLAN TO FUND:
immersive cultural event experiences fostering authentic diversity and inclusion through fellowship and network synergies.
a tangible archive of Afro-diasporic progress
ethnographic research in the Afro-Diasporic polity
grants to fund projects aimed at inspiring development, creativity, and empowerment across the African Diaspora (in America and beyond).
designing sustainable measures to redirect Afro-centric music industry revenue into underserved community development