Frontline Solutions is thrilled to announce that Phillip Agnew will be joining our team as our inaugural Organizer in Residence (OiR).
The creation of the residency is rooted in our commitment and practice of being guided by movement leaders, and is aimed at deepening our connection to and understanding of the history, present, and future of Black-led organizing and movement building. That analysis, we know, must be centered in all we do. The residency will also better leverage our platforms to give shine to leaders, ideas, stories and intellectual discourse that are generative and contribute to the liberation of Black, Indigenous and other People of Color. And, it will allow us to convene and curate conversations that we know will be generative.
Phillip is an educator, strategist, writer, trainer, speaker and cultural critic. With Black Men Build, he is organizing Black men to love and serve communities, to be critical thinkers, truth-tellers and teachers, and to transform to meet this moment. In 2019, he joined the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign as a National Surrogate, later becoming a Senior Advisor. He co-founded the Dream Defenders in 2012, and continues to organize with them.
Phillip has long been a friend of Frontline, dreaming with us about the Black future, pushing us, and offering counsel. Always, because this is what it means to be in relationship, we have endeavored to reciprocate. If Phil calls us with a question, we do our best to answer it, or to connect him to someone else who can. If he reaches out with a request, we try to meet it. In recent months, we have been in conversation with Phil about an important question: What is the future of just, liberatory Black institutions and member based organizations, and how do we build them? As a Black-owned and Black-led consulting firm working for liberation this question is existential.
At 16 one thing we know for sure is that the work of building and investing in our culture never stops. White supremacist patriarchy is unrelenting, so we must be too. And, we know that transformation begins with ourselves—with who we are as people and as an organization. We believe that this sets us apart in a crowded space of management consultants. We can speak to clients about culture change from a place of doing the work ourselves. Yet, we still have so much to learn. With Phillip coming onboard, we will be able to explore that existential question together more deeply, to grapple with it, and to engage others around it—in our networks and his. And, we don’t want to do this just for Frontline’s benefit, but also for the benefit of, and in dialogue with other Black organizations working for liberation.
We are inviting you to engage with us too. In the month of June, we will be sharing a personal reflection from Phil about his work, and hosting an Instagram Live conversation between Phillip and Frontline’s founder Marcus Littles. Plus, Juneteenth is coming, offering us an opportunity to celebrate the fact that enslaved Black people freed themselves, and that Black people have made, and continue to make, profound contributions to the cause of human freedom. And, it offers an opportunity to reflect on how we can all continue that project of collective liberation, including through movement work and building Blacker, more just, more liberatory organizations. We hope you’ll join us!