Celebrating Black Leaders in Brooklyn: Spotlight on Jacquel Clemons Moore
To celebrate this year's Black Philanthropy Month, we reached out to several Black leaders in our nonprofit community to learn about what inspires their work, local Black-led organizations they admire, and how the organizations they lead are working to achieve equity in our communities.
We spoke with Jacquel Clemons Moore, Interim Executive Director at Kings Against Violence Initiative, Inc. (KAVI), an organization that connects with youth of color in various settings—at their schools, in their communities, and in hospitals—as part of a holistic approach to violence intervention that begins and ends with recognizing their humanity.
We wish to thank Jacquel for taking the time to speak with us, and for allowing us to honor her work as a local leader by sharing her voice with our community. Read our full interview with Jacquel below.
Who is a leader in the Black community (past or present) who inspires you?
Cara Page is by far my one of my favorite leaders in the Black community. I have been inspired by her work and words for some time. She possesses the spirit of so many leaders that I love. She is community organizer who centers her work on building powering within communities. She coined the term “healing justice”. As a Black woman working within public health, I have long searched for a perspective of centering healing and justice in social movements and equity. It has always been a “no brainer” for me that so many social factors influence health outcomes for me as I began my career. Cara’s work was inspiring because it called out the oppression that I felt and experience; it responded to the generational trauma that is for so real for the communities that we work and finally someone offered liberation as a notion that is connected to health.
Which local Black-led nonprofits do you admire?
There are so many Brooklyn-based organizations that I love. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the community violence interventions that are close partners of the work that we do at KAVI—I love Elite Learners, Brownsville Think Tank, The Bro Experience, ManUp, Neighbors In Action (Save Our Streets S.O.S.), Restorative Justice Initiative, The God Squad, GMACC and Not Another Child. I appreciate the resourcefulness of small organizations. The creativity that emerges as a result of commitment to their work is incredibly inspiring to me.
How do you work to achieve equity at KAVI?
We can’t begin to transform community violence without digging deep into the racial hierarchies that uphold the ways in which our community experiences systematic violence. The unseen ways that we experience violence lives in our DNA. KAVI hopes to move the dial closer to equity for the young people we serve via our various interventions. Our community interventions offer restorative justice training to community members, peers, and the systems that touch our work. It is our hope that we create a network of people who can cultivate new norms for violence, healing, and equity within their own communities.
Learn how we partnered with with KAVI through our Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund, and read more about KAVI's work on their website.