Nonprofit Member Spotlight | Alluvial Collective

Vondaris “Von” Gordon
Executive Director
Alluvial Collective
Jackson, MS

Cultivating belonging and wholeness in the world

Friends and Partners,

I’m grateful to be connected to you in this season of celebration and acknowledgment of Black history.

Whenever we showcase the lived experiences, resilience and dynamism embedded in our cultures are times of growth for me.  There is a rich opportunity in this month for everyone.

The history of people of African descent in America, identified as Black through generations, is a remarkable prism through which lessons on joy, faith, pluralism, dignity, power, and community can all be learned.  For example, the black-led movement for dignity, full citizenship, and voting rights provided dynamic models of leadership and organization for the differently able and others seeking fairness and opportunity.  The soundtrack and library of American creativity are stamped with the stories of African American life and history.

When I’ve explored the history of cultures that are not my own, that journey has taught me about myself, too.  The history of local indigenous people has opened my eyes and heart to how interconnected my life and future are with nature and the well-being of those around me.  Other cultures have given me wisdom about ancestry and my own sacredness in the space where the legacy of chattel slavery left a void that was hardly filled with curiosity.  

A college friend once described his centuries-old family crest as bittersweet.  In that crest, I found inspiration for vision, intentionality, and parenting with joy.  Our great-great-grandchildren should be proud of us and the stories they hold.                                                                                                                   

The mission of the Alluvial Collective is “to end inequity based on difference by cultivating belonging and wholeness in the world.” In service to that mission, we have worked with communities from rural Mississippi to Germany, Silicon Valley, and New Orleans.  We’ve helped local people in each place, learn from each other’s stories, and grow confident or trusting relationships.  Confident relationships can address challenges of injustice, racism, and inequity and make the future brighter.   For 25 years, our organization has been cultivating relationships with systems leaders, decision-makers, stakeholders, and young people.  All along the way, we’ve seen how learning from each other is vital to ensuring our differences are leveraged to make us whole, healed, and just communities.

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