Breaking Barriers on Both Sides of the Atlantic: MLIFE Foundation and Rugged Elegance Launch a New Initiative to Advance Black Empowerment

Breaking Barriers on Both Sides of the Atlantic: MLIFE Foundation and Rugged Elegance Launch a New Initiative to Advance Black Empowerment

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US Charities, MLIFE Foundation, and Rugged Elegance announced a groundbreaking intercultural program to revolutionize how African-Americans and Black Diaspora collaborate. The program designed to catalyze African-Americans’ familial connection to Africa through cross-cultural exchange also provides opportunities for skills transfer to the Black Diaspora. By leveraging resources available across the Atlantic with those in the Americas, the program aims to enable collective impact and accelerate change for young and older communities on both sides of the ocean.

Primarily launched to support expatriates and NextGen leaders willing to become change-makers in Africa and Black Diasporans living in America, the intercultural and skill transfer program seeks to create sustained socio-economic change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through short and long-term initiatives, it will transfer US technological expertise to spur innovation, enhance cross-cultural collaboration to promote equitable outcomes for Black communities in the US and Diaspora, and invest in regenerative agriculture to lessen food insecurity.

Among early companies adopting the program is Qrius Pay, We Are Guru, and Hyphen8tion Studios. “This project uniquely cultivates a rich ecosystem that fosters a dynamic exchange of skills and knowledge to hasten growth in the region and foster global relationships,” says the CEO of QRius Pay, Laurent Sevigny. QRius Pay is a digital fundraising platform providing management consulting services to nonprofits in Canada and the United States.

In the past four years, MLIFE has coordinated self-funded trips to East and West Africa for policymakers and high-net-worth individuals, generating more than $1m in new investments in Africa. With this new initiative, MLIFE seeks to “elevate justice, empower NextGen leaders, and provide a space for intercultural connectedness and healing among members of the Black Diaspora and African-Americans,” says Mwangi Mukami, the founder and president of the MLIFE Foundation. Mwangi adds that MLIFE’s new initiative promotes boundary-spanning by sharing valuable expertise, innovative ideas, and best practices across communities and cultures. It augments the Black voice at home and in the Diaspora, affirms a new Black agency, and promotes Black Renaissance.

The first cohort of NextGen leaders under this new initiative departs this June for a fully-funded 10-day trip to learn about Africa’s cultural heritage and connect with their peers in Nairobi, Kenya. Rugged Elegance has committed financial support for three of the fifteen-member cohort. “More than ever, we need to move away from a purely transactional ‘getting ahead’ mindset toward a relational ‘getting along’ mindset,” says Timothy Charles Fredel, a Board member of Rugged Elegance. MLIFE partnership ties to Rugged Elegance’s current Africa Rising Initiative, which aims to amplify the impact of the African Diaspora 10-fold.

MLIFE will coordinate these trips twice during the Winter and Summer of each year. “Our work with MLIFE will enable our team members to develop a greater sense of empathy and social responsibility,” says Alex Bryan, the CEO of Hyphen8tion Studios, which provides smart design solutions for for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Alex, both Black, and Croatian, intends to lead his team on the next trip scheduled in Winter 2024.

MLIFE and Rugged Elegance believe the program will build bridges between Black Diaspora and the African-American community, foster collaboration between both communities and equip them with the tools and resources they need to make meaningful changes on both sides of the Atlantic.

About MLIFE Foundation

MLIFE Foundation is a US 501(c)3 faith-based charitable organization that supports under-resourced children experiencing learning poverty to read and write, mentors NextGen leaders to lead and thrive, and elevates families living on the margins to meet their basic needs.

Contact: Mwangi Mukami (650) 713.3057


About Rugged Elegance Foundation

The mission of Rugged Elegance is to inspire healthy, adventuresome, soulful living and philanthropic giving. Rugged Elegance is the creator of RE soulful network, a private, invitation-only community of historically marginalized impacted leaders determined to address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Contact: Jennifer Carolyn King and Timothy Charles Fredel at (707) 340-5377 or [email protected]

SOURCE: MLIFE Foundation

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