Established in 2017, at the Forefront (ATF), Inc. is a Black, African women-led think tank committed to social justice and gender equity. We believe in the freedom, agency, and empowerment of all women and girls, with a special focus on those from Africa and the African diaspora. We are a global collective of Black women with diverse expertise across public health, education, law, and human rights with over 40 years’ combined experience in the nonprofit sector. After years working in international development, our co-founders launched ATF, Inc. to address the structural gender and race biases in international development spaces that push us further away from co-creating solutions with marginalised communities.
Through an intersectional, Afro-feminist lens, we work to elevate the voices of Black women to address the challenges our communities face. Our work is anchored by our commitment to decolonising the international development sector by ensuring Black women and girls are drivers of their own stories, and to support organizations and institutions committed to doing the same.
OUR GUIDING FRAMEWORKS
We value unity between Africans living in Africa, the African diaspora across the Americas, and Afro descendants living as immigrants and refugees across the globe.
While all women experience gender inequality, we recognize the experiences of women and girls of African descent who contend with the combined forces of the patriarchy and systemic racism despite geographical location, ethnic group, religion, age, socioeconomic level, immigration status, ability and sexual orientation.
We highly regard the diverse perspectives within the broad global community of African/Afro descendant women and girls. We are an inclusive coalition welcoming all Black women despite ability, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic level, and geographical location—all within Pan-African and intersectional feminist principles.
If we, as Black women globally, are the most prominent beneficiary of developmental solutions offered by the global development community, we should be at the forefront of strategy—leading implementation at every stage.
Due to colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade, there are numerous present-day societal manifestations resulting from generational trauma. Given our global reach, we are well-positioned to build a global coalition of Black women and girls helping one another heal the wounds that have kept us fragmented. These wounds include, but are not limited to, dominant Western languages, geographic and cultural distance, colourism, and the crab mentality.