Ella Baker Black Organizers Group

The Ella Baker Black Organizers Group is for Black (African-American, Caribbean, African, Afro-Latino) organizers aspiring to improve their skills to make an impact for racial justice and fight for Black liberation.

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Ella Baker Black Organizers Group

The Ella Baker Black Organizers Group is for aspiring Black (African-American, Caribbean, African, Afro-Latino) organizers wishing to improve their skills to make an impact for racial justice and fight for Black liberation.

This small group immerses participants in the fundamentals of social change organizing, base building, leadership development, and campaign planning.

Selected participants will develop their skills through group workshops, campaign simulations, and working with guest speakers. Through out-of-class assignments (e.g. readings, videos, and exercises) participants will hone their ability to be successful Black organizers.

This program is for:
Aspiring Black individuals who want to organize Black communities and fight for Black liberation. This program is ideal for those who want to develop the political analysis and fundamental organizing skills to center Black issues in our state.

Schedule

We have two cohorts one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The Fall Program starts September 5th and runs through October 24th. Each session is from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Objectives

Through this program, participants will be able to:

  • Apply best practices from Black-led organizers, movements, and Change Agents throughout history
  • Build the base among both Black and multiracial communities
  • Facilitate leadership development among Black communities
  • Coordinate issue campaigns with a sense of urgency (e.g. tackling the wealth gap, mass incarceration, and educational inequity)
  • Improve personal productivity and ability to “get things done”
  • Analyze how to challenge institutional and systemic racism and white supremacy (e.g. organizations, policies, narratives, etc.)
  • Create detailed action plans, thorough strategies, and a diverse tactical repertoire
  • Foster committed action-oriented groups
  • Translate values into a public narrative that motivates others to action

Organization

This program involves a mix of facilitated class discussion, individual reading, involvement in an external “organizing project,” group work, etc. Below is the full breakdown of expectations.

  1. In-person sessions
    Through structured learning, participants will review course readings/videos and how they connect to their organizing project. Sessions will involve full- and small-group discussions, practice of skills, and guest presentations.
  2. Practicing skills
    All participants will do field practice assignments, join/create an issue campaign, or coordinate a neighborhood team in order to practice the skills used in the program.

  3. Out-of-session assignments
    Participants will occasionally be asked to work on an assignment in-between sessions. Some assignments could include: readings, watching videos, writing why they wish to run, researching policy, etc.

  4. Coaching sessions
    Interested participants may also have meetings with a coach during or after the program to better understand the process of organizing.
     

Black Organizers Directory 

Laeia Washington
Laeia Washington
Laeia Washington
Laeia Washington
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues:  Health Equity, Education
Contact Email Address: dollishdoll1@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Charlotte Miller Lacey & Melody Daniels
Cheri Briggs
Cheri Briggs
Cheri Briggs
Cheri Briggs
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Health Equity, Pharmacoequity, medically underserved
Contact Email Address: briggscheri@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Jane Mitchell
William Briggs
William Briggs
William Briggs
William Briggs
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League & Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.
Top Organizing Issues: Education & Youth Empowerment
Contact Email Address: wb1906@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Littleton Mitchell
Sharika Frisby
Sharika Frisby
Sharika Frisby
Sharika Frisby
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Claymont Rep. District 7
Top Organizing Issues: Gentrification, Black Business Growth & Support, Education
Contact Email Address: shaysbm@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Claymont 12
Brooke Scott
Brooke Scott
Brooke Scott
Brooke Scott
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Church On Main, New Castle Presbytery, and Network Delaware
Top Organizing Issues: Housing, LGBTQ+, & Public Safety
Contact Email Address: brkscott95@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: DeShanna Neal
Kapri Spence
Kapri Spence
Kapri Spence
Kapri Spence
EJB Spring 2023 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Health Equity, Education, & Gentrification
Contact Email Address: kaprispence@yahoo.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Akima Brown
Akima Brown
Akima Brown
Akima Brown
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: Kent County
Affiliated Organizations: Reel Families for Change
Top Organizing Issues: Working Families, Arts Workers, & Families’ Rights
Contact Email Address: abrown@reelfamilies.org
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Kevin Andrews
Kevin Andrews
Kevin Andrews
Kevin Andrews
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: Sussex County
Affiliated Organizations: ACLU, Network Delaware, Unified Seaford
Top Organizing Issues: Housing, Probation Reform, & Police Reform
Contact Email Address: K.andrews1965708.ka@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Bernie Wilkins
Jazlyn Grimes
Jazlyn Grimes
Jazlyn Grimes
Jazlyn Grimes
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: ACLU, Network Delaware, See Through The Struggle
Top Organizing Issues: Public Safety & Probation Reform
Contact Email Address:  seethrustruggle@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Okezie Onyeanusi
Okezie Onyeanusi
Okezie Onyeanusi
Okezie Onyeanusi
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Working Families, Criminal Law Reform, & Tax Reform
Contact Email Address: zekeodsu@hotmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Dutch Burton
Chantae Vinson
Chantae Vinson
Chantae Vinson
Chantae Vinson
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Network Delaware & Black Mothers In Power
Top Organizing Issues: Diversity and Inclusion & Economic Transparency
Contact Email Address: vinson.chantae@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Vonderlear Smack
Vonderlear Smack
Vonderlear Smack
Vonderlear Smack
EJB Fall 2022 Graduate
County: Kent County
Affiliated Organizations: ACLU, Network Delaware, NAACP
Top Organizing Issues: Police Reform, Probation, & Housing
Contact Email Address: dezinebysmack@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Disrupt to Focus
Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee
EJB Spring 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Housing, Climate/Environment, & Racial Justice Issues
Contact Email Address: mlhs258@yahoo.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Dr. Hara Wright-Smith
Felicia Person
Felicia Person
Felicia Person
Felicia Person
EJB Spring 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Network Delaware & POWER Interfaith
Top Organizing Issues: Mass Incarceration, Policing, & Racial Justice
Contact Email Address: feliciaperson12@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Andre Brown-Clarke
Andre Brown-Clarke
Andre Brown-Clarke
Andre Brown-Clarke
EJB Spring 2022 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Economic, Equality
Contact Email Address: andrea@whatsyourinspirationinc.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Branden Fletcher
Branden Fletcher
Branden Fletcher
Branden Fletcher
EJB Fall 2019, Spring 2019, and Fall 2020 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Housing, Youth, Economic Justice
Contact Email Address: bfletcher300@gmail.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Tyeisha Grier
Tyeisha Grier
Tyeisha Grier
Tyeisha Grier
EJB 2022 Graduate
County: Kent County
Top Organizing Issues: Education, Racial Justice, Civic Engagement
Contact Email Address: tgrier@thenetworkde.org
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Shyanne Miller
Shyanne Miller
Shyanne Miller
Shyanne Miller
EJB 2021 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues:  Housing, Policing, & Education
Contact Email Address: shyanne.miller@mail.sit.edu
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project:
Coby Owens
Coby Owens
Coby Owens
Coby Owens
EJB 2021 Graduate
County: New Castle County
Top Organizing Issues: Criminal Justice, Housing, & Environment
Contact Email Address: coby_owens@yahoo.com
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: N/A
Aisha Monroe
Aisha Monroe
Aisha Monroe
Aisha Monroe
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,Inc, Black Mothers In Power, Network Delaware, University of Delaware, Wilmington University, Good Health Wins
Top Organizing Issues: Black Mental Health Access and Sustainability,Career Development, College Readiness/Retention
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Raye Jones Avery
Janiene Campbell
Janiene Campbell
Janiene Campbell
Janiene Campbell
County: Kent County
Affiliated Organizations: Network Delaware, One Purpose Food Pantry, Purpose in Pain LLC, Black Mothers in Power
Top Organizing Issues: Health Equity, Education Equality, Access to healthy foods
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Desergeration of Schools
Lillian Jackson
Lillian Jackson
Lillian Jackson
Lillian Jackson
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: NAACP, Network Delaware, Community Movement Builders, Black Women In Power,Nation of Islam
Top Organizing Issues: Criminal Justice, Education, Black Liberation
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Shané Darby
Gwen England
Gwen England
Gwen England
Gwen England
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Birth and Postpartum Doula, Network Delaware, HOMES Campaign, The LPE INITIATIVE for healthy food centeredness
Top Organizing Issues: Black Maternal Health, Healthy food accessibility and education for our communities, combating homelessness
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Abraham D. Shadd
Sherita Henry
Sherita Henry
Sherita Henry
Sherita Henry
County: New Castle County
Affiliated Organizations: Black Mother's in Power, Network Delaware, De Collective For creative Economy
Top Organizing Issues: Black Maternal Health, Youth education and development, Healthy Food and nutrition Access for Black communities. Creative Art for black youth.
Delaware’s Black Organizer Project: Alice Dunbar-Nelson

History of Ella Josephine Baker

Who is Ella Josephine Baker?

Ella Josephine Baker was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist. She is known as a behind-the-scenes organizer.  She was a fighter for social justice, black liberation, and against oppression. She was born December 13, 1903 in Norfolk, VA. Baker grow up in North Carolina, and that is where her social justice (fire) began, due to her grandmother’s stories of life during slavery. The strength of her grandmother was a great inspiration throughout Ms. Baker's life.

Baker studied at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. At school she challenged policies there that she thought were unfair. In 1927, Ella graduated as valedictorian. Ella then moved to New York City and began getting involved in different social activist organizations. In 1930 she joined the Young Negroes Cooperative League, serving as their first national director. The focus of this organization was to develop black economic power and gender equality. Baker was also a part of women’s organizations.

Baker’s endeavors then shifted to the fight against Jim Crow. In 1940 she joined the NAACP, where she was a field secretary, from 1943 to 1946 she was a branch director. Baker was a cofounder of In Friendship, in 1955, an organization that raised money to fight against Jim Crow Laws in the South. In 1957, Baker moved to Atlanta, GA to help Martin Luther King Jr with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was also running Crusade for Citizenship, a voter registration campaign.

In April 1960, at Shaw University, Baker organized a meeting for student leaders. From that meeting the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was born. This was at the time when African Americans were trying to integrate into white society. She believed it was more than just the materialistic gain to consider. She took this opportunity to do what she does best, assisting others to empower themselves. Being inspired by Gandhi's non-violent theory, used as a tactic, the SNCC joined with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to organize freedom rides in 1961. In 1964 SNCC helped to create Freedom Summer, whose goal was to focus national attention on Mississippi’s racism and to register black voters. Baker continued to be a respected and influential leader in the fight for human and civil rights until her death on December 13, 1986, her 83rd birthday.

 

Why Ella Josephine Baker? We feel her words can explain that.

Only 8-10 individuals will be selected for each cohort. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with the final deadlines being March 8th for the Spring cohort (starts in April) and August 15th for the Fall cohort (starts in September).

Also, if you're interested in this program for the future, please apply below and we will reach out when scheduling the next session.

Like most of us, Baker had and believed in a dream, saying "This may only be a dream of mine, but I think it can be made real." Network Delaware is a grassroots organization that believes in the power of developing regular people to make a difference.

Baker shared a very similar view saying “I have always thought that what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in others.” Here the words “Give light and people will find the way” fit best.

As an organizer it is not about being the face of the community. Ella Baker said “You didn't see me on television, you didn't see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don't need strong leaders.”

Baker also spoke on the need of patience. “One of the things that has to be faced is the process of waiting to change the system, how much we have got to do to find out who we are, where we have come from and where we are going.”

We understand that history is the common denominator of many of today’s social, economic, and racial issues. The very arrival of who we today call African Americans was a crime against humanity. The praised colonizers of the Americas, genocided one ethnicity, then captured and enslaved another. From slavery, to Jim Crow, to mass incarceration, African Americans have always had a foot on their neck. From 1619 to 2019, we still have injustice in OUR community, so here we are still fighting for basic rights. As painful as it is we need to know what took place, because as in the words of Ella Josephine Baker, “In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.”

Apply Now

Only 8-10 individuals will be selected for each cohort. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with the final deadlines being March 8th for the Spring cohort (starts April 9th) and August 15th for the Fall cohort (starts in September).

Also, if you're interested in this program for the future, please apply below and we will reach out when scheduling the next session.


Email us at info@thenetworkde.org for more info.

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A robust and enriching event for us, by us. The purpose of this event will be to connect and address concerns in the black community in hopes of allowing our voices to be heard and to uplift one another.

Take this brief survey to help us plan the event!

FAQ

What if I have to miss a session?
Attendance at all sessions is strongly encouraged, however if you need to miss a session please let the program managers know in your interview.

Who can apply?
Anyone is encouraged to apply!

What is the application process?
It’s a two-part process. First a written form, and then an in-person interview.

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