Poet Martrice Chandler sports a B.L.A.C.K shirt supporting the movement.

An interview with co-founder Renaldi

by Apollonia Jordan

Blacks and other people of color are learning the value of accumulating monetary gains within our own communities. The need for organizations to help promote economic growth within the community is so important, and it’s in the hands of the people.

Poet Martrice Chandler sports a B.L.A.C.K shirt supporting the movement.
Poet Martrice Chandler sports a B.L.A.C.K shirt supporting the movement.

Building leadership in the community is important because it shows passion and dedication, how far we have come as a community as well as how far we still have to go in order to gain wealth. I sat down with Renaldi, one of the co-founders of B.L.A.C.K, and this is how they are making strides to buy Black wealth. Check it out …

Apollonia: Tell me about B.L.A.C.K and what the organization stands for?

Renaldi: B.L.A.C.K, which stands for Building Leadership and Community Knowledge, started as a wellness organization and was infused with a financial, mental and spiritual paradigm. It’s all about giving back, each one teach one, and keeping the Black dollar circulating within the Black community.

Apollonia: Economically, how are you giving back while keeping the Black dollar within the Black community?

Renaldi: Our goal is to support small businesses and entrepreneurship within the community, whether that means purchasing goods, handcrafting goods, or hiring Black contractors and consultants. We want to build this network of organizations that lean on each other in order to grow and prosper as a community.

Our people deserve economic growth and our program encourages that push for network and building financial leadership and security within our own neighborhoods – whatever it takes to rebuild economic growth. This is a volunteer organization and we have many minorities from different skills and backgrounds. We want to encourage wealth and leadership within the community.

Apollonia: When was B.L.A.C.K founded and how can people become involved with the organization?

Renaldi: We are about a year old and we are out in the community. Currently, we do a lot of vending events out of Oakland, so if you want to get involved or get your business in the database, just holla at me.

Apollonia: If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. What do you guys stand for?

Renaldi: We stand for human life and especially the value of minority human life. The police are killing our youth; we are killing each other because we’re hungry and fighting to survive with the minimal resources we have.

We figured if we help each other and share our goods and services throughout the community, we can recover and build economic wealth. The way we do this is simply by connecting with the people and getting out there in the streets and giving back.

Weekly, we go out and feed the people, where we hit all the homeless camps in West Oakland. We coming out the trunk and feeding our people.

We don’t look at them as homeless; we look at them as feeding our family. They appreciate our human kindness and the fact that we treat them with respect and dignity, despite their economic disadvantage.

If we help each other and share our goods and services throughout the community, we can recover and build economic wealth.

So B.L.A.C.K is about keeping the community afloat. We want to keep our people’s heart alive and keep hope in their hearts.

We’re about providing emotional CPR and building leadership and training. Placing people with the appropriate skills into our database, so that we can contact our own first responders and we won’t have to rely on the police; we can police our own communities.

So B.L.A.C.K is about keeping the community afloat. We want to keep our people’s heart alive and keep hope in their hearts.

We do case management, conflict resolution, job readiness, life skills and everything. We really are a spectrum of services that organize together to build independence within our own communities. We do a lot of everything, but we know that we have a lot of work to do within the community and we know it is going to take everyone to become involved and make a difference.

Apollonia: If someone wanted to get involved with the organization or is looking for services, how can they contact B.L.A.C.K?

Renaldi: They can call our hotline at 510-383-0848 or inbox on Facebook or Instagram at B.L.A.C.K15.

Also, just be on the lookout for us – we are everywhere outside in the community – and just holla at us. We got you.

Bay Area journalist and longtime Bay View writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at apollonia@sfbayview.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a former resident of both San Francisco and Oakland, NOW IN TENNESSEE, but still have ties there, I am still an activist and journalist, with a reverend title, also. And I am very much interested in this organization called B.L.A.C.K., and would like to know more about it. BUT Bay View did not even give to full name of the founder, and not mailing address or email. So what's with the way this was written, and is the group for REAL or not? Please inform me of the founder's FULL name, and how I can get in touch with them. And I will even say, HERE and NOW, that hopefully they will push and promote the need of blacks, there, and EVERYWHERE, getting more black businesses that are 100 percent black owned, and not tied in with Jews and other whites. WE HAVE TO HAVE MORE BLACK BUSINESSES, E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E !!! — Rev. George Brooks of Murfreesboro, TN. 37127 (615) 494-9056

  2. I love this movement and the people who are involved. Our children rely on an encouraging word. So let’s bring them back to BLACK (what it really should mean). So proud and so thankful for young leaders in our community☺️

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