Why does U&I-RISE focus on Black American problems specifically?

There are many terms for Black people’s current collective condition – Slave Mentality, Ghost of the Plantation (Na’im Akbar), Negative Mental Legacies of Enslavement (Howard Denson), Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (Dr. Joy DeGruy), Psychic Trauma (Naimah Latif and Sultan Latif), Crabs-in-a-Barrel, Poor and Poverty-Stricken, A Nigga Ain’t Sh*t, Ghetto, Disenfranchised, etc. All these terms consciously and unconsciously acknowledge the understandable dysfunction present in Black families and communities as a result of American chattel enslavement, Jim Crow, Peonage, thievery of our inventions, burning of our towns, sanctioned random killings and other continuing legislative injustices and violent acts on Black people in America.

Some of the symptoms of our collective dysfunction are unhealthy mate relationships, abusive parent-child relationships, increasing child neglect, increasing childhood mental diagnoses, declining student achievement, unrealistic job expectations, shrinking viable employee pool, deteriorating neighborhoods, increasing crime, increasing drug use, increasing homicide / suicide, and us and others exploiting our condition for personal gain.

There is a need for us Black people to acknowledge and treat our current collective condition in ways that help us:

  • Shed our shame, guilt & destructive views of Self
  • Foster truthful, empowered self-reflection, and
  • Regenerate our desire to take responsibility for our personal behavior and its impact

…All toward the end of curing our condition; regardless of the name used to describe it.

U&I-RISE is uniquely qualified to fill that need.”