Advocacy & Issues
Black Greeks Speak Social Justice and Human Rights Council is an education and policy studies organization that addresses issues of social justice and human rights. Although, the national headquarters is located in Houston, Texas, BGS carries out its mission to foster leadership based on enduring values to social justice and human rights in seven regional conferences across the United States. We provide a nonpartisan space for dealing with critical issues in our world by chartering chapters, groups, clusters and affiliate associations in the United States.
BGS does this primarily in four ways:
While these activities frame much of BGS’s work, we are always open to new innovative and creative ways to engage public and private officials, community and civic leaders, and private and community organizations. All new initiatives and programs are evaluated in light of BGS’s mission and its strategic priorities using the following categories and the subsequent criteria:
BGS continually works to expand our reach and our ideas in a measured way. This is crucial part of our success and effectiveness. At the core of BGS’s approach is an emphasis on face-to-face dialogue. We recognize that as the breadth and depth of our public exposure expands so too does our mission. Therefore, the goal is to encourage new participants to deepen their involvement with BGS programs.
It is our our desire to make our work accessible and relevant. Therefore, BGS continues to explore the use of technology. Our goal is to continually develop branded BGS web channels for video clips of our activities. In doing this, we hope to deepen our online community’s participation with BGS. The use of technology not only allows us to build our internet community, but also provides our BGS members opportunity to network with others in business, politics, education, and advocacy across the globe more easily and directly in order to expand their impact on society.
The ability to network our members more quickly and effectively is at the heart of BGS Social Justice and Human Rights Council member services. Our ability to network our members ensures greater capacity for economic development for individuals and communities. It also encourages thoughtful consideration to new ideas and perspectives and broadens the work for diversity and inclusion. Therefore BGS is committed to strengthening our marketing, scholarships, and member services in order to ensure the long-term viability of BGS seminars and network events.
D) BGS Global Leaders Network
BGS is committed to bringing together the brightest minds in business, academia, and public life whether in arts, politics, or religion. In doing this BGS ensures that our members are provided with the latest information on issues that impacts their daily lives. Therefore we seek to enhance our capacity to weave leadership within BGS with our members more intricately and directly in order to facilitate better collective action and social partnerships.
BGS Political and Civic Engagement program invests issues and trains members and their respective communities with the most effective ways to participate in the life of their communities in order to improve the conditions of their communities. We do this by developing ongoing programs that enhance knowledge, skills,and values as it relates to political and non-political processes.
As an education and policy studies organization dedicated to social justice and human rights, BGS is committed to informing our members and their respective communities to the best practices of civic engagement and constructing a members network that will allow them to share idea and create broad support for greater civic impact. The key is to provide an organizational network that help members and communities respond more efficiently to issues in their respective communities.
The history and foundation of Black Greeks is grounded in the activity of African American men and women on college campuses. Therefore, education, particularly educational equity, is inseparable from the mission of BGS. We recognize that a well-educated citizenry enhances the economic and political well-being of society. BGS works in all the areas within education from pre-Kindergarten to graduate school education. As an education and policy studies organization dedicated to social justice and human rights, BGS provides space wherein communities can engage in constructing solutions with other parents, students, educators and policy leaders across the country. The key to education to ensure sure that persons regardless of age, income level and race are engaged in the discourse on education.
The United States is the most diverse country in the world. However, that diversity is not always equitable in its policies, structures, and systems. While BGS is committed to Black Greeks as a marker for leadership, we recognize and honor the diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic and religious perspectives among our membership and in our world. Thus the work of BGS is to expand an understanding of diversity and equity through its programs and initiatives. As an education and policy studies organization dedicated to social justice and human rights, BGS works to impact the way society thinks about the multiple ways human beings exists in the world. Our sub-committee on equity and diversity investigates ways society might create equitable structures that respect diversity of thought and being. The key is to create opportunities that raises the level of the discourse on issues such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and wherein people might not only speak but also wherein people might be heard.
Historically the church has been a pivotal institution in the political life of communities in the United States. Although, the role of church has been debated since the founding of the United States, it is without question one of the most influential institutions in our contemporary society.The work of the church has had both positive and negative effects. It has been responsible for the affirmation and the negation of human rights and dignity. Therefore, BGS brings together religious leaders of all faith perspectives, and no faith commitment, to address the role religion plays in our social and political life. In bringing together leaders for dialogue around faith and community calls attention to places wherein these institutions might continue to aid in social justice and human rights campaigns. As an education and policy studies organization dedicated to social justice and human rights, BGS holds to the idea that religious discourse is crucial for the advancement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s notion of the Beloved Community. The key is to ensure that religious and theological discourse takes place at the margins so as to not overlook the least of those in our society.
Black Greeks Speak recognizes the importance that business and economic develop has on the well-being of individuals and communities. For this reason BGS develops programs and seminars that address the challenges and economic realities facing our country to include the disproportionate high unemployment among racial groups, the impact of poverty on children, and the collateral consequences to communities with high foreclosures. Our work educates BGS members and under served groups through financial and business seminars; works with corporations and institutions to help promote diversity and inclusion in employment practices and career advancement; and develops forums and public gatherings to increase networks. Furthermore BGS sub-committee and programs analyze a full array of domestic and global economic issues, in order to provide better guidance to policymakers. BGS offer analysis on how government regulations impact businesses at home and abroad and offer insight on reforms that can enhance market performance and support expansion and job creation, especially through our BGS member’s global network. The key is to instill a confidence that the private sector works to advance all groups.
Artists, musicians, writers, dancers, and actors have used various artistic mediums to shape our understanding of culture and community. Black Greeks such as Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Paul Robeson, and countless others have shaped the language and imagery used to articulate social justice and human rights across the globe. BGS continues that legacy by creating spaces that allow artists to utilize their creativity and talent to advance social justice issues and human rights concerns. As an education and policy studies organization, it is important that we employ as many tools as possible to advance the cause of justice. The key is to highlight innovative contemporary artists that are challenging society's view of the world.
8) Young Women’s Enterprise
There cannot be justice in our world we address the various ways inequity impedes Beloved Community. For this reason BGS tackles the various social justice and human rights issues that impact young women from female trafficking to domestic violence to pay inequality. Our sub-committee on young women explores opportunities wherein society might develop initiatives that address the various gender disparities women face. The key is to develop a plan that encompasses the complex ways women must navigate through society.
In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities, towns, counties and tribes across the country to take on the task of the My Brothers’ Keeper initiative. BGS works to construct programs that address the structural components needed to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships. This means creating a link between Black Greeks and MBK communities across the country to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people, particular young males of color, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.
As an education and policy organization dedicated to social justice and human rights, we embrace transparency and share the lessons we learn with others to ensure that young boys are supported as they navigate their way to adulthood. The key is to reinstate the notion of boyhood for young males, particularly for young black boys who are oftentimes perceived and treated as men as opposed to children.
BGS Sub-committees are actively engaged in connecting scholarship with grassroots activism and organizations. Some of these activities include: