Name of event with photos of young black students

The “Building the Black Agenda” event January 23 used the term African Diaspora... “the disbursement of African peoples from their homelands through the Transatlantic Slave Trades between 1500s to the 1800s.” About 60 people attended the event at the Downtown Columbus Library – young and old, male and female, predominantly Black. The gathering was organized by the Columbus African Council, hosted by Kimberly Brazwell and Dr. Mathew Welmont.

The event was a series of monthly discussions that have been occurring monthly since summer 2019 addressing the African Diaspora. They are the brainchild of Dontavius Jarrells, founder of the Columbus African Council. Topics include Black Mental Health, Restorative Justice, Birthing While Black, Breathing while Black, Building the Black Agenda and more.

The question “Why don’t we have a Black Agenda?” garnered the most interest for discussion. After breaking into groups, participants discussed the focus question, and shared results with the collective. 

One group emphasized the importance of the family unit and the development of a lasting sense of individual self.This focus seemed to reduce the need for an overarching collective agenda. Another group acknowledged the importance of developing a collective Black Agenda but underscored that one has yet to emerge. A third group discussion noted the overall vagueness of what a Black Agenda is and that lack of self-identification and an outside “war of ignorance” struck at the body and soul of the Black community, leaving many traumatized. 

The discussions were comprehensive and included active participation and insight from the broad range of age groups.The facilitators focused on collective discussion to identify a path forward in identifying and resolving current challenges faced by the African Diaspora. Overall, the context and discussion was encouraging, challenging and educational. The discussion strived to achieve common dialogue and goals within the Black community, which is necessary to address inequality within the central Ohio area.

The next event is “Facing the Divide: The Impact of Slavery,” to be held February 17 at the Downtown Columbus Library at 6pm. The event is open to the public. Facebook page Columbus African Council.