It’s been nearly six months since the Campaign for Black Male Achievement officially sunset, a transformative moment that represented both a bittersweet ending and a hopeful new beginning. After 12 years of working with incredibly gifted leaders across the Black Male Achievement (BMA) field, I wrestled with interlocking feelings of grief and gratitude – grief of letting go, and gratitude for having had the opportunity to work with and sow so many seeds of support into individuals and organizations that bear fruit to this day.
A couple of months after sunsetting I received an email from Precious Stroud, co-founder of the Oakland-based Black Female Project and a former American Express Leadership Academy (#AMEXLeads) Fellow. With the subject line, Imagining the World Anew, Precious’ email began with the following quote from celebrated Indian author Arundhati Roy:
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.
This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.
Roy’s perspective on the pandemic deepened my reflection and my wonder about what might be on the other side of a world reimagined. This portal of tender possibilities, ignited by the tinder of past inclinations and ideas, was an accelerant bringing new life to an old vision. Back in 2012 I professed that what the nation needed was not merely a campaign for Black Male Achievement, but a “Corporation” that would serve as an endowed philanthropic social enterprise that would invest in BMA leaders and organizations over generations, the amount of time necessary to adequately dismantle centuries-long racial oppression and discrimination. As a big first step towards accomplishing that vision, I am excited to formally launch my new website DoveSoars.com and introduce you to the new Corporation for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) — a publishing and consulting enterprise that will curate community-building and leadership development initiatives to elevate stories of loving, learning and leading by and for Black men and boys. This new enterprise, which will continue to be known as CBMA, places special emphasis on engaging and empowering the stories of Black boys and young men between the pivotal ages of 18 and 25 years old.
As our premier publishing product, I’m thrilled to announce my forthcoming book, I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys is now available for preorder ahead of the national August 28, 2021 release. Co-written by Nick Chiles, I Too Am America borrows its title from a famous piece by the iconic Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes and is a compelling offering that’s equal parts coming of age memoir, historical account of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s work and impact, and a proclamation for the path forward. The book also includes a curation of “mini-manifestos” by illuminating cross-sector leaders who have contributed to the BMA movement over the past many years. This book is a story of healing, overcoming and triumphing. Most importantly it’s a steadfast reminder that with every sunset comes another sunrise and a new day to love, learn and lead. I look forward to sharing it with you and invite you to join me in charting this new shore by sharing how you are imagining your world anew and tagging #DoveSoars #MissionFuel.
Shawn Dove, Author, I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys
Founder, Corporation for Black Male Achievement (CBMA)