Amplifying Impact: BMe’s ‘Build More Equity’ Tour Fueling Change
PR Newswire July 1, 2023, isn’t just another day on the calendar, but a remarkable milestone for BMe Community—an innovative Black leadership network that has, over the past ten years, redefined the very concept of social impact. Incubated within the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation before standing on its own two feet in 2013, BMe has since championed hundreds of award-winning social impact programs and influenced equity policies profoundly.
This year, to celebrate a decade of trailblazing, the organization announces the launch of its “Build More Equity” tour, an educational expedition intent on teaching its groundbreaking concept called “Asset-Framing®” to more foundations and social impact leaders.
Asset-Framing is not merely a theory, but a cognitive science-based approach that aims to flip the script on how we perceive and respond to societal inequities. It is a philosophy that asks us to recognize individuals by their aspirations and contributions before taking note of their challenges. It’s a unique and powerful way of viewing the world—one that reframes the narrative to celebrate strengths rather than fixating on weaknesses.
Jim Shelton, Chief Investment Officer of Blue Meridian Partners, likens the experience of learning about Asset-Framing to “discovering that you’ve been trying to walk up the down escalator.” Meanwhile, On Being host Krista Tippet, during a National Public Radio interview, called Asset-Framing “A cognitive skill for magnifying humanity that is necessary for all healing and building.”
The successes of BMe members exemplify the transformative potential of Asset-Framing. Take, for instance, the historic amendment to the Florida constitution in 2018, led by the Florida Restoration Rights Coalition. Thanks to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Desmond Meade’s efforts, 1.4 million formerly incarcerated people in Florida now have the right to vote.
Moreover, Teri Williams’ leadership at OneUnited Bank has brought over $500 million in property loans to low-to-moderate-income Black communities in Boston, Miami, and LA. Not to mention the groundbreaking research of Dr. Andre Perry at the Brookings Institution, which exposed an astounding $156 billion artificial devaluation of property in Black neighborhoods across America—now informing the Biden Administration’s strategy to bridge the wealth gap.
The “Build More Equity” tour is not just about propagating the Asset-Framing model; it aims to generate funds for BMe’s Black and multiracial Leadership Community Programs. According to a 10-year impact study by Penn State University, BMe’s modest $10,000 angel grants have proven catalytic—enabling 66% of the supported Black-led initiatives to attract investments 54 times larger than the initial seed funding.
Trabian Shorters, Sarah Multidor, and Benjamin Evans, founders of BMe Community, are the brains and hearts behind these strides. They prove that it is possible to create an environment of trust, collaboration, and impact without stigmatizing people.
As BMe Community embarks on its “Build More Equity” tour, it encourages foundations, associations, and social impact leaders keen on replicating its successes to reach out. The organization’s ten-year legacy is a testament to the power of innovative thinking and sustained commitment to equity and prosperity. It serves as a roadmap for those willing to challenge the status quo and reimagine the landscape of philanthropy and social impact.
One can only wonder, as we anticipate the ripple effects of this tour, what the next decade holds for BMe and for communities worldwide that stand to benefit from the wisdom and innovation this organization continues to offer.
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