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Meet the Founder of an Institute That Aims to Elevate the Thinking of African Americans

 

The Boukman Institute is a public education and development organization set up to establish social institutions and galvanize a new conversation on the human rights of African Americans, with an emphasis on non-territorial autonomy (NTA) and its application to the African American situation. Robert L. Hollis is President, Chief Executive Officer, and historian at the Boukman Institute. He is also a human rights defender. He holds degrees from three different universities. Mr. Hollis is convinced that international minority rights could better address both the political and socio-economic needs of the African American population.

He shared an experience where he says, “I was fortunate enough in 1987 to engage in a conversation with the late social critic Dick Gregory, who informed me that in order for the African American people to move forward in their struggle they needed a new sophistication. When I inquired further as to what he meant, he turned to me and simply stated, ‘African Americans must change their political priority.’”

 

Mr. Hollis continued the conversation with a great deal of optimism in his voice: “After years of study and observation, in addition to being tutored by one of the world’s leading specialists on minority rights, I concluded that for African Americans the priority for this era is collective empowerment through minority rights in addition to civil rights.” His teacher and mentor Professor Emeritus Y. N. Kly revealed to him that “if African Americans should choose internal self-determination over assimilation, it will be an act towards intellectual liberation. A political decision of this magnitude will mean that the African American people will have finally broken the chains of enslavement.”

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According to Mr. Hollis, “The Boukman Institute is dedicated to advancing solutions that lead away from oppression and decay. We have a strategy for changing the status of African Americans, changing the landscape of opinion. Much of our work—events, books, articles, and media outreach—is dedicated to educating public opinion makers, students, and the wider public about African American history and international human rights. In the long run, we will create a climate of public opinion in favor of African American collective empowerment. Our aim is to popularize relevant research and evidence on this controversial topic. We need to create an environment in which even the most self-interested politician benefits by championing the cause of African American collective empowerment through minority rights.”

The Boukman Institute owes its name to Boukman Dutty, a Haitian freedom fighter who in August 1791 ignited a rebellion that exploded into what would become the Haitian Revolution.

At the moment, the Institute has no office or receptionist to receive visitors but maintains a professional web presence. Its leadership is composed of a board of directors, with Robert L. Hollis currently serving as its first President/CEO.

The Boukman Institute must appeal to the public for support—unlike traditionally conservative think tanks, who are fortunate to have wealthy sponsors, and who can pay their employees handsome salaries. The Institute will advance its mission through earned income strategies and individual donations. In using this approach, they can amass sufficient funds to compensate staff and create an endowment that would ensure the institutionalization and perpetuity of the organization. They need dedicated and committed people who will help them empower this bold initiative.

What is needed are sustainers to contribute $5–$25 or more per month to raise capital to advance the Boukman Institute’s mission and maintain a status of independence. If you believe in the work they do, please consider supporting the Boukman Institute with your donation. Individuals wanting to support the work of the Boukman Institute can sign up to be a recurring contributor on the ActBlue platform.

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Written by PH

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