The purpose of the Special Initiatives Department is to provide programs and services that do not fit in any of the other 11 department categories. The Special Initiatives Department will have a large focus on criminal justice reform, including programs and services for formerly incarcerated members and those with felony convictions seeking meaningful employment and social support services. Other programs and services from the Special Initiatives Department range from a disaster relief fund, a BAF television station, a young pilots program, as well as programs and services that strengthen the Black family, such as grants for date nights, free wedding services and more.
Through the Special Initiatives Department, the BAF will have the flexibility and resources to develop new innovative programs and services that enhance Black life and provides solutions to seemingly intractable problems facing the Black community.
YEAR 1 BUDGET
Establish $50 Million Disaster & Emergency Relief Fund.
Develop Prison Prevention & Prisoner Support Programs.
Create a Boat-Building and Nautical Program.
Establish an Aerospace and Young Pilot Training Program.
Sponsor annual Black Family Reunion celebrations across the country.
Create innovative programs and services that strengthen Black families.
SPECIAL INITIATIVES DEPARTMENT
“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Prison Prevention & Prisoner Support Programs
"Nothing in the world is easier in the United States than to accuse a black man of crime."
"Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration; and, finally, the accused law-breaker is tried, not by his peers, but too often by men who would rather punish ten innocent Negroes than let one guilty one escape."
Although Blacks account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 44 percent of the more than two million Americans in prison are Black according to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. In order to counteract this horrid reality the BAF will invest in the incarcerated population of our community. Our brothers and sisters in prison and with prison records must not be forgotten; they deserve to be given a second chance and an opportunity to succeed. Because of their imprisonment these individuals have been denied a right to fully participate in our society and economy. The Black Fund will invest in the education and rehabilitation of our imprisoned population. The current goal of the prison system is to punish individuals. The Black Fund, by putting money on the books for prisoners and funding educational programs for prisoners, intends to ensure that the goal of the prison system is not only to punish, but to rehabilitate as well.
Check out the NAACP's Criminal Justice Fact Sheet for jolting statistics
"Events like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy were unlike any weather disasters before. They showed the world who suffers the most from the impacts of extreme weather: low-income families and communities of color."
- Donna Brazile
When natural disasters and emergencies occur, the Black community usually suffers the most and usually is the last community attended to. The Black Achievement Fund will establish a Disaster & Emergency Relief Fund to provide resources to the Black community and Black families in times of national disasters, like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey, or for personal emergencies such as a house fire, job layoffs, etc.
The BAF Disaster & Emergency Relief Fund will work with the BAF's Membership and Volunteer Department to recruit and manage volunteers during national disasters, as well as any other relevant department. Through the BAF Disaster & Emergency Relief Fund, the Black community will have the organizational capacity and resources to provide relief to the Black community, and individual Black people in times of crisis.
Illustration by Brian Stauffer
Disaster & Emergency Relief Fund
Illustration by Brian Stauffer
Boat Building & Nautical Program
This photo is the actual boat built for Pharaoh Khufu that was buried for him to use in the afterlife. It was discovered beside his great pyramid in Egypt and constructed over 4,000 years ago by African people! We have always been master boat and ship makers!
As evidenced by Pharaoh Khufu's boat, Black people were pioneers in boat-building and expert navigators for thousands of years. Many scholars, included noted Black historian Ivan Van Sertima, have even provided evidence that Black Africans crossed the Atlantic ocean and reached the "New World" hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus.
Today, there are virtually no Black-owned boat or ship-making companies. Yet shipping continues to represent one of the largest areas of commerce. It is time for Black people to once again begin building boats and ships to link the African Diaspora in commerce and brotherhood. This was the dream of the great Marcus Garvey and his famous Black Star Line, which was ahead of its time. Through the BAF's Boat-Building and Nautical Program, we will not only ressurect Garvey's dream, we are going to make it a reality!
"The privileges of being an American belong to those brave enough to fight for them.
- Benjamin O. Davis, Tuskegee Airmen
According to the latest statistics, only 2.7% of airplane pilots in the United States are Black. A whopping 92% of all pilots in the U.S. are White, and 91% are male. Like shipping, airplanes represent a major component of large-scale commerce and the airline industry now provides transportation for millions of people, including millions of Black people.
Through the BAF's Aerospace and Young Pilots program we will begin training the next generation of Black pilots who will eventually man the fleet of airplanes the BAF will purchase in the future for commerce and commercial flights. We will also support organizations such as Fly For The Culture, which have similar missions.
Aerospace & Young Pilots Program
BAF CAR SERVICE
The Black Car!
The BAF will establish a private car service for members called "The Black Car." The Black Car will operate like Uber and Lyft but will be less expensive than both companies as it will utilize the BAF's unique economic model. The BAF will own the entire fleet of cars, which will consist exclusively of all-electric Tesla vehicles. We will hire members at $18 an hour to drive our cars, guaranteeing them a livable wage and eliminating the costs associated with operating their own vehicles.
The BAF will first launch the Black Car in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, where a study by UCLA found that Blacks face longer wait times and higher cancellations than other races. Through the BAF's Black Car, we will provide Black people with a car service devoted exclusively to Black people at a cheaper price than similar services that discriminate against Blacks.
BAF Television Station
The BAF will work with Black American Media moguls to establish a Black-owned television station that celebrates Black culture and provides news and updates from throughout the African Diaspora.
The BAF television station will provide Black people with a global media platform that is exclusively controlled by Black people. The BAF television station will showcase Black produced films and documentaries from around the world and bring authentic Black culture to the homes of millions of Black people. The BAF television station will provide positive representations of people of African descent and provide a forum to discuss major issues facing the global Black community.
National Black Family Reunion!
Black unity is the key to both Black individual and group prosperity. In this spirit, the BAF will revive and create programs and activities that foster Black unity, such as the National Black Family Reunion, an idea first popularized and implemented by the National Council of Negro Women.
However, Instead of organizing one mega event in Washington, D.C. as it was done in the past, the BAF will promote and sponsor reunions in all states and televise them. The BAF reunions will feature food and entertainment, both local and national, and will be televised and live streamed on BAF platforms. Through annual cultural events such as the National Black Family Reunion, the BAF will sustain the unity established by the BAF campaign and promote positive images of Black culture.