Lift As We Climb

aka The Village P.r.o.j.e.c.t.s.   |   Bellflower, CA   |


Mission: To create environments in which persons from diverse circumstances and experiences can come together and co-learn with each other in a way that bridges the opportunity gaps, retains the respective cultures, and ultimately benefits society.l The concept of establishing "Villages of Support" to sustain our mission has been actively implemented in Southern California, with additional participants in launching satellite programs in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC areas in the USA; and in Senya Beraku, Ghana through co-learning volunteer experiences.

Ruling year info



Dr. Gloria Willingham PhD

Main address

16809 Bellflower Blvd #64

Bellflower, CA 90706 USA

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NTEE code info

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Annual Villager Awards

This Annual Awards Program is designed to introduce African-Americans and African-Diaspora immigrants who are exemplars of our mantra "Lifting as we Climb" and who are willing to share their talents, connections, advice, and/or influence in designing/supporting strategies to reduce disparities in the target population. These villagers range in age from 13 -92... This project group also includes "Get to Know Exemplars" forums in which the attendees have the unprecedented opportunities to meet and to hear the life stories and strategies for success from Villager Award recipients and other exemplars of "Lifting as we Climb!" All proceeds from this program are used to fund program activities and Projects.

Population(s) Served

This programs affords African-American and African Diaspora Immigrants the opportunity to co-learn with other volunteers from around the world; while building relationships through their work in the orphanage, school, and/or health clinics. They learn interdependence, working in diverse environments, and how to empower low income communities in ways consistent with the culture. Additionally they learn fund-raising strategies to fund their travel and incidentals related to this trip. Upon their return home to the USA it is expected that they will share the information gained from the international experience in a way that makes a positive difference in their community. Additional fundraising launched in 2018 to provide scholarships to up to ten high school Students who are residents of Accra, Ghana who otherwise would not be able to attend school.

Population(s) Served

This program was founded and directed by Sheila Grantham. Afram Global Organization Inc serves as the fiscal sponsor. (*)
The program is designed to provide enrichment opportunities for children who currently reside in low income circumstances in Long Beach, California. The goal is to provide experiences that give insight into life's possibilities beyond their current world. The conditions faced by the children everyday become their normal . See:
The Adventures Into Dreams program takes them into different surroundings and experiences and ways of seeing the world.
Note: This program preparing for its own independent nonprofit status as it has developed since initially being fiscally sponsored by AframGlobal Organization Inc.

Population(s) Served

Establish an effective structure for the presentation of Black cultural exploration;

Create a space where the Black community can maintain a sense of belonging and familial inclusion;

Provide space, time, and resources for Black community members to cultivate new cultural practices;

Organize self-sustaining community improvement practices outside of ally resources or coalition politics that do not hold cultivating Black life as their primary objective;

Develop programming that fosters an understanding of Black life, history, politics and identity;

Center Black life, vitality, health, and love as imperative to the safety of our community.

Honor every form of identity expression as an expression of blackness; regardless of gender expression, sexuality, religion, color, economic status, or family structure.


The Compton Center for Black Life proudly presents our public lecture series. Although donations are welcomed, all lectures are free and open to the public. To ensure a seat, please register in advance. Once registration for each event is available to the public, we will post a link to register online on the individual lecture page. You can access the lecture pages by clicking on the Events tab to the left of this page.

Population(s) Served

The vision is to create a stronger community by promoting diversity and supporting integration of multiplicity in leadership in order to increase productivity in businesses across industries.

There are four main goals of the planning committee:

Create a yearly conference that addresses the current issues in diversity and develop solutions for organizational problems.
Develop conference sessions that will prepare leaders to implement strategies that will incorporate greater diversity and inclusion in their organizations.
Educate participants on fundamental inclusion practices that bridge the gap between the different levels of an organization and importance of diversity.
Empower individuals to use their life experiences to maximize their impact within their communities and organizations.
We know that diversity and inclusion is better for business and the economy! Therefore, this conference is an annual event founded by JPR Leadership Consulting and planned by a diverse group of committed volunteers, which is open to all people throughout the world. The Diversity IN Leadership Conference brings together the best and brightest leaders and experts in academia, nonprofits, leadership, business and industry.
Program Dormant pending funding and program director initiatives.

Population(s) Served

This is a partnership/collaborative project designed to provide African-American and African immigrant youth with the opportunity to build an awareness of lifting up their communities with the caring concern model of a interdependent village. Participants are connected with counterparts in Senya Ghana at Becky's Orphanage , and upon determination of need the youth volunteers work together to collect clothing, school supplies and other identified items; coordinate with the local community to identify resources for transporting the donated items to the orphanage, and share their experiences with the local Philadelphia community as a teaching/learning exercise. This program is coordinated as a collaborative pilot project conceived of and directed by Linda Richardson, a talented development professional and nonprofit leader. Seth Asiedou, is the Director at Becky's Orphanage in Ghana and serves as an advisor and liaison.

Population(s) Served

Goal: To facilitate community gatherings in which persons from the community can bring their education and work back to the community and receive community feedback as to its relevance.
The Scholars Within Projects were launched with the realization that even those of us from underrepresented groups often discount the value of our community's knowledge. ...Subsequently we silence the communities and their insights, and we share our research outside the community but seldom inside the communities in a meaningful way. Our silence perpetuates disparities.

Students and graduates may not be learning from, nor contributing to, the knowledge base of our communities. We may have failed to see the importance of advice/ feedback/critiques loops.

Subsequently research is developed and completed without including our community insights and using research methods that privilege some voices over others.

This research returns to that mainstream, as a part of its body of knowledge. The original community, which presented these students to the mainstream, is often left without the direct benefit of informing the work, or knowing more about it. Our communities remain underrepresented, and underserved. When knowledge is taken from a community, it becomes a drain on the social capital of that community. The Scholars Within brings the knowledge back to the community, and reconnects persons with their communities of origin.

Scholars Within are valuable assets to the community and can Stand in the Gap and assist with the formation of Villages of mentors. We are your link to the community. You need the communities, and the communities need you! Email us today [email protected]

Population(s) Served

Goal: To provide encouragement, support, and connections for emerging grassroots and community-based nonprofit groups.
The Village of Mentors Projects emerged from our premise that "underserved communities may be untapped sources of internal strength and empowerment." The Village P.r.o.j.e.c.t.s. assumes that every person in every community has the potential to not only mentor in one way or another, but to become a hub creating ever-expanding Villages of Mentors. We meet with interested community members and assist them in identifying their strengths, their potential, and how to mobilize these assets. The whole community becomes involved to include hairdressers, barbers, grocers, places of worship, business people, school counselors, relatives, neighbors, politicians, organizations, schools, etc. We reclaim our own, and regain our strength through strengthening communities.

The first Village of Mentors was hosted at California State University Dominguez Hills, School of Nursing and co-sponsored by Psi Eta Chapter, Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority Inc. We can assist other organizations, communities, and schools to launch a Village of Mentors.

Start a Village of Mentors in your community! We can help you! Email us [email protected]

Goal: To facilitate the development of "Villages of Mentors" within local communities, concerned organizations, schools, etc.

Population(s) Served

"The Standing in The Gap" Projects were launched to further support the other emerging Village Projects initiatives. The projects are based on the premise that persons from underprivileged, underserved, and underrepresented circumstances often do not have the guidance and "pick up the phone connections" available to persons from more privileged backgrounds. Although we realize that the gap may be wide, we feel that it can be narrowed by providing/connecting them to people, circumstances, and information that will be useful to them. We understand that these connections if left up to mere chance, might never occur. Given the changes in U.S. demographics, and the forecasted change in education systems, it is very important that these persons are prepared for a more visible role in shaping today's transitions.
Goal: To assist persons from underprivileged,

Goal: To assist students and faculty from underrepresented groups to bring their ways of knowing and community needs into the dialogue of collegiate programs and policy makers as it relates to reducing the disparities in underserved communities.

Goal: To assist persons from underprivileged, underserved, underrepresented circumstances to gain access to the information, experiences, and connections necessary to move into leadership and policy-making positions that will positively impact on the success of others in similar situations..

Do you need someone to "Stand in the Gap?" [email protected]

Do you need a speaker? [email protected]

Population(s) Served

Where we work



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Board of directors
as of 12/19/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Gloria Willingham

Afram Global Organiztion Inc/ The Village P.r.o.j.e.c.t.s

Term: 2015 - 2020

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes