Reflections From the Community

Edited for clarity.


During Black History Month, the Community Foundation of Louisville reached out to local leaders of Black-led organizations in the community to share perspectives on what Black History means to them.


What does Black History mean to you?


Lamont Collins, Roots 101 African-American Museum

Image courtesy of Roots 101: African American Museum.

“Black History is history; it is the foundation of my essence, my being, [and] my heritage,” said CEO and Founder Lamont Collins. “Black History is my resilience, my excellence, my determination, my birthright, and the audacity to know that we are descendants of Kings and Queens who were enslaved in America.

Black History cannot be treated like Groundhog Day, allowing this month to pop up and go back down and hide. We must teach the lesson 365 days a year, even if it means making comfortable uncomfortable, so we all can be comfortable.

Our mission is to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African-Americans, using exhibits, programs, and activities to illustrate African-American history, culture, and art.”

Learn more about Roots 101: African American Museum.


Tory Stanley, CPA, NABA Greater Louisville

Image courtesy of NABA Greater Louisville.

“Black History means everything to me,” said President Tory Stanley, CPA. “It represents royalty, strength, beauty, progress, perseverance, courage, and greatness, among other things. It represents that all is possible no matter the circumstances. John Cromwell, Jr., CPA, became the first Black CPA in the United States in 1921. From the 1920s through the 1960s, it was nearly impossible for Black men or women to become CPAs.

In 1969, the Journal of Accountancy published a study of African American CPAs, which noted that out of 100,000 CPAs in the United States, fewer than 200 were African American. However, due to the strength, courage, and sacrifice of everyone involved with the Civil Rights movement, progress was made, and organizations like NABA Inc. (previously known as the National Association of Black Accountants) were born.

Simply put, NABA’s mission is to help Black and other minority accounting, finance, and business students compete for paid internships, connect our members to companies and firms for full-time job opportunities, connect members to entrepreneurship resources, help our students apply for additional scholarship funding, provide mentoring resources, inform members of networking opportunities, bring awareness to volunteering opportunities, and to provide our members with a network of connections that spans the continental U.S. from Los Angeles to New York. NABA is a family that will be available to its members forever.

We still have a long way to go. Only 1%-2% of CPAs today are Black. However, as I lead the NABA Greater Louisville Chapter as the Chapter President and as a Black CPA, I cannot help but be humbled by the richness of our history, the obstacles we have overcome, and the magnitude of our mission moving forward. I am so grateful to be a part of Black History.

Learn more about NABA Greater Louisville.


Dr. Monica Unseld, Until Justice Data Partners

Image courtesy of Until Justice Data Partners.

“Black History motivates me to continue the work of my ancestors,” said Founder and Executive Director Dr. Monica Unseld.

“We [Until Justice Data Partners] are rooted in the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, meaning we honor the expertise of disproportionately impacted and marginalized communities. Differences are not deficits. We also believe that disproportionately impacted communities must take the lead, celebrating the work they have already done to sustain their communities. We call ourselves partners because we do not view ourselves as heroes. We are partners, using our knowledge and access to serve and partner with communities.

At Until Justice Data Partners (UJDP), we believe that data can be a powerful advocacy tool to create and sustain more effective interventions. We assist our partners in incorporating data into their advocacy work through research partnerships, locating existing resources, and uplifting data gaps. UJDP also believes that lived experience and non-traditional sources of data have value. These sources include non-traditional academic knowledge systems and the importance of art as a means to transmit information (data).”

Learn more about Until Justice Data Partners.


Zadee (Age 14), 300FOR300

Image courtesy of 300FOR300.

“Black History Month is a reminder of the accomplishments African Americans have made to enlighten people into achieving their goals.  From historical figures to a person in your community, Black History Month is a time to reflect on their contributions for you and your aspirations,” said 300FOR300 Youth Leader, Zadee (Age 14).

300FOR300’s mission is to save lives through storytelling.  Over the next 7 years, 300FOR300 will document the stories of the 300 girls participating in our program, sharing true narratives of hope for and by Colorful girls, while employing a holistic approach to their growth that allows them to excel, heal, and thrive.

Learn more about 300FOR300.


Want to support the work of racial equity? Learn about these and other organizations by visiting