Gordon R. Donkoh-Halm
Gordon is the Founder and Executive Director of the African Community Center of Lowell (ACCL). He holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from UMass Lowell. He serves as a fence viewer for town of Dracut, and has a charitable foundation called the Donkoh-Halm Foundation Inc, incorporated since 2012.
In celebrating Black History Month, Gordon opined in an interview with Gifty Korankye, Case Manager – Steward ACO, Community Teamwork
What does Black History Month mean to you?
It is a time of reflection and a continuation of what has been achieved by our ancestors and how to bring attention to issues such as racial injustice, inclusiveness, and unequal access to education and opportunities. A lot has been achieved, but we still need to go the extra mile to do more than what has already been done. With that, we will be highlighting the contributions and achievements of African Americans which to me is an inspiration to act and work towards creating a more equitable and just society for the future generation.
What can our community do more to recognize Black History during this month and during every month?
We need to consciously include minorities and making sure that a particular group of people or persons are not marginalized or set aside because the future of Black History Month will depend on the ongoing efforts of those who support its recognition and societal attitudes towards race, economic status, and cultural diversity.
How did you begin your work here at ACCL?
I realized lack of resources for African immigrants and refugees in Greater Lowell. There was no place to call home and no one to lead you to find the right information and resources, and this was an issue decades ago. As you may know, Africans represent strength, diversity with a rich history of culture and traditions so why not bring this richness to Greater Lowell. Nothing good comes easy so with hard work and networking, we now have a place here in Lowell where immigrants, refugees and asylees are free to connect with resources to transform their lives.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it is innate. It comes natural to me. I wake up in the morning with the intent to put a smile on someone else’s face. Remember we are humans so when I give a helping hand, it places the receiver in a better position to be hopeful and help others along the way. What goes around, comes around!
What are your goals for 2023?
Continue to take each day one step at a time; focusing on making impact especially when we can make a positive change in our society for a better future because our actions today will contribute to the experience of our future generations, and we need to be conscious about what we leave behind.
Are there any other messages you would like to share?
We need to prepare for future eventualities. The Pandemic, for instance, changed our world because we were not prepared. We need to be aware of our surroundings, focus on the most important things and learn to prepare our minds, bodies, and inner selves for any eventuality and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
#CommunityLeader #Leadership #Appreciation #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackLivesMatter #DEIatCTI #grateful