We are changing our educational foundations by unchaining deeply rooted linkages still connected to systematic oppression. We focus on championing education and healthcare, economic equity , financial literacy, wellness ,environmental justice, employment, job retention, civic engagement, and character development.


Amir J Barksdale


Amir J. Barksdale is an entrepreneur and community organizer passionate about empowering his community via economics. Amir teaches financial literacy and believes that anyone can implement it no matter their financial situation. He attributes his mother as the foundation of his knowledge of finances. Amir has said, “My mother saved so I can invest.” Amir believes learning financial literacy to save is the first step before learning about investing. These teachings have made him an entrepreneur. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amir became the owner of a vending machine business. Being a Black business owner, he lives by the motto “support Black business” and makes an effort to support all Black businesses whenever he can. During the first Melanin Unchained seminar, Amir coined the saying “equality without equity don’t mean shit,” highlighting the difficulties Black businesses face trying to secure funding. With that being in mind, he created s. Outside of community work, Amir is the Part owner of two podcasts, Honey and the Mosster podcast and the Please Don’t Cancel us Podcast, as well as an owner of a vending machine. Amir advocates education outside of the classroom and attends seminars, conferences and reads daily to educate himself. His hobbies include working out, improving himself daily, reading, and playing basketball with friends. Melanin Unchained’s “BBT” (Black Business Tuesday) initiative to provide local black businesses a platform to expand their business

Wayne Rueben Bowden

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Wayne Rueben Bowden is the Melanin Unchained Communications Director.  Wayne is  originally from Bronx, NY and a 2005 Newburgh Free Academy graduate. He is also a military veteran. Wayne has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College New York, NY as well as  an Associate's  Degree  in Logistics from Community College of the Air Force. His hobbies include reading world history, public speaking, performing calisthenics, boxing (sparring), running, and educating people in various topics.  Wayne considers  himself to be an autodidactic individual.


Wayne Ruebben Bowden's nickname is "Brother Malcolm" given to him by a fellow veteran after engaging in a public speaking event.

Ali T Muhammad


Ali T. Muhammad is a servant leader that provides his neighbors' positive examples of a better quality of life through actions-oriented and data-driven solutions. Before moving to Newburgh, he began cleaning up the inner city streets as a volunteer from the City of Beacon, believing in the importance of beautifying the City of Newburgh. In  return, this  brings about a potential sense of value and ownership to some of Orange County, New York’s most socioeconomically challenged and disparaged residents. Ali works with his peers in Newburgh to inform, educate, and inspire individuals. He became a founder of Melanin Unchained during the global coronavirus pandemic.