We had the good fortune of connecting with Jalyn Gordon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jalyn, how do you think about risk?
When I think about risk, I’m transported in time to 2017. I had just left graduate school and was sitting on a loveseat in my mom’s front living room that I’d recreated into a studio apartment (yup. *sigh* I know). I have a piece of paper in my hand with potential names for a burgeoning nonprofit consulting firm. Some names are more palatable to capitalists, others ambiguously describe the audience I plan to serve and one is just a down, right risk. Of course, I chose the riskiest option. It was a risky choice because I decided to do something I had never seen or couldn’t quite vividly conceptualize. I’d never read, heard of or seen a consulting company bridge the relationship between Afrocentricity, community engagement or Black Studies. Have you? But I knew an Afrocentric consulting firm was what the world needed and most importantly, what Black people craved. Capitalism, racism and patriarchy were infesting the Black community’s infrastructure and I felt, and always have felt, called to move those isms out the way. So far, the “risk” has paid off. I have clarity in my life’s purpose, partners (also known as clients) that are pushing the boundaries on revolutionary ways of being and a perspective that brings a breath of fresh air to Black nonprofits that want to manifest community-centered and focused work. To flip this question on it’s head, I don’t take risks ~ but answer my divine calling.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Afrocentric Communiversity, LLC is an African centered consulting firm for nonprofits, grassroots organization and Community Builders. I specialize in helping Black community institutions integrate cultural ways of being into their infrastructure such as policies & procedures. I also coach individuals who need assistance in manifesting their Life Work. The A.C. is unique for three reasons: 1) I work from a place of Afrocentricity which positively centers the narrative of Black, diasporic ways of being 2) I prioritize the use of Black research in all of my work and 3) The A.C. offers wrapound services for our partners such as complimentary childcare, free access to Zoom, a community banking system to fund projects and a private, online community exclusively for them. The past 3 years have been wonderful. In 2020, I decided to manage my solo practice full-time. The learning curve of this transition has been saying ‘No’ to my partners. I have zero boundaries lol. Mostly because I aspire to help everyone as much as I can. I’m reading a book called ‘Radical Candor’ by Kim Scott to help me with direct communication with my partners. COVID has definitely exacerbated the lack of boundaries. Because I work from home, I feel like I’m working all the time so therefore I’m always available to help someone. So what do I want everyone to know about my story? I want everyone in the world to know the coaching and consulting I do is custom to your needs. I lead with spirituality, a lot of Black Studies and a whole lotta humor as the cherry on top.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Is it bad to say I’m still learning about this new Fort Worth? I’ve lived in Houston for 7 years and lived in Atlanta for 1 year. So don’t laugh if nothing on this list is “new development”: Black Coffee in Fort Worth – duh The public library on Evans (there’s a beautiful mural on the inside) Fort Worth Stock Yards (this is where all the stereotypes and archetypes of this city live) Ancestral plaques on Evans Avenue The andikra symbols on Evans Avenue Last, I’ve giving a tour of all the gentrification that’s happening in the city
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thank you to my family who have always supported and invested in my work Thank you to the African-American Studies Program at The University of Houston that nurtured my understanding of self Thank you to my colleagues in The Black Student Union who saw something in me and worked tirelessly to create a legacy for Black students Thank you to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated for my rebirth & nourishment Thank you to The African American Studies Department at Clark Atlanta University who planted the seed to my business, giving me a depper understanding of self in relation to other community institutions and for lifelong friendships Thank you to the community for trusting me to help Thank you to Ella Baker, Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells-Barnett who inspires my work Thank you to ‘The Healing Wisdom of Africa’; ‘Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Struggle’; ‘Afrocentricity’; Love & Rage: The Path to Liberation Through Anger’ for the lessons Thank you to my clients who are creating revolutionary ways of being for Black people!
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.