By Torin Brazzle
Executive Director, IGNITE! Alabama

Even before COVID-19 and civil unrest, systemic racism, racial inequality, disparities, a lack of access to training, support, resources, and capital, perpetuated an unlevel playing field—catapulting Alabama’s minority community seemingly, into a “State of Emergency.”

Despite one’s very best efforts, Alabama minorities often find themselves “being the last to know” as it relates to educational and financial opportunities. They lack a supportive network and frequently fall prey to unfair business practices, manipulative and restrictive voting laws, policies, strategic poll closings, and redlining within disadvantaged communities.

According to a 2019 study published by Alabama Possible, the State of Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the U.S. with over 800,000 Alabamians living below the poverty threshold.

Moreover, statistics show that while 72 percent of Alabama’s “Heads of Households” are African American women; they are 51 percent underpaid vs. white women AND 61 percent underpaid vs. white men.

Also, although 26 percent of the State of Alabama’s population is African American; they only own three percent of Alabama’s businesses with employees. So, while we are frustrated, we are not hopeless.

We simply acknowledge that it is time to IGNITE! Alabama and become the change we MUST see!

To that end, IGNITE! Alabama was born.

If you are not familiar with IGNITE! Alabama, we are a holistic and supportive ecosystem designed to educate and bridge communication gaps between organizations, service providers, and minorities within the State of Alabama.

IGNITE!s mission is to ensure that YOU and other small minority business owners and entrepreneurs, stay informed, have a clear understanding, and receive access to Federal, State, and Local Funding, as well as resources and technical assistance needed to competitively compete, succeed, and excel.

However, we cannot and do not even desire to do this alone.

So, over the last year, we have researched and identified the following organizations and service providers that exist to help YOU and other small business owners WIN:

If you have heard of these organizations and service providers, wonderful….CALL THEM! If you were not aware of them, you are welcome.

Now, I need for you to Google, learn more, and call them today!

No More Excuses!

Listen, I acknowledge that life is hard, and in many cases, COVID-19 has certainly not helped.

However, I can assure you that if you INTENTIONALLY begin making strides to correct any deficiencies in your life, you WILL definitely be in a much better place!!!

So, as Nike often reminds us, “Just Do It!” because I can assure you, that life is not about how you start, but truly…how you finish!

Fortunately, you DO NOT have to do it alone….IGNITE! Alabama and every other organization listed, are here for you!

To stay connected, please visit and register with IGNITE! Alabama today.

Related News

  • Why your voice on historic preservation is essential

    Filed Under: Front Page, Get Involved, Historic Preservation, Residential

    President and CEO of REV Birmingham David Fleming writes about the importance of historic preservation and highlights the advocacy efforts that saved the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham. The article concludes with a call to action, urging for new leaders and the implementation of various strategies to protect and celebrate Birmingham’s historic buildings and places.

    Read More

  • It's show time at the Woodlawn Theater!

    Filed Under: Filling Vacant Spaces, Front Page, Small Business, Woodlawn, Yaysayers

    Lights, Camera, Action! The rebirth of the Woodlawn Theater is happening this weekend in the heart of Woodlawn. The theater is opening its doors to the public with two extraordinary opening events that are FREE to the public. The 1400 square foot venue has a wide range of amenities and even has a full-service bar. Because of the Mason Music Foundation, this venue is filling a much needed resource for local musicians to perform. Keep reading to discover how the theater came back to life and its impact on the community.

    Read More

  • What Stallions cornerback, Brian Allen loves about Birmingham

    Filed Under: Downtown Birmingham, Events, Front Page, Yaysayers

    Brian Allen, a talented cornerback, has made the remarkable transition from a small town in Texas to the vibrant city of Birmingham. Choosing Birmingham for his football career for two consecutive seasons, Brian’s unwavering dedication and exceptional skills have made him a standout figure in the world of football. To dive deeper into Brian’s journey and discover his genuine appreciation for the city, watch this video with the link below!

    Read More