We had the good fortune of connecting with Greyson Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Greyson, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting African American Reconstruction (AAR) was to create an action based organization that will take the African American community to higher levels through public policy, breaking down barriers, empowering generations, and advocating for equity. The impetus behind our founding was the public execution of George Floyd. Collectively, we were able to turn our pain from the event into passion, and we sought after real, strategic, and longstanding change instead of acting impulsively. After more brainstorming and planning, we were able to establish AAR’s pillars which are: Economic Development, Equitable Public Education, Equal Justice, Political Equity, and Affordable and Available Healthcare.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
African American Reconstruction is an organization ran by 17-23 year old African American students based in Phoenix Arizona. African American Reconstruction LLC was created to bring a necessary Reconstruction Era dedicated for the advancement of the African American Community. The strategy to achieve this is through reconstructing the education system, balancing the notable economic disparity, implementing equal justice policies, bringing political equity, and creating avenues for affordable and available healthcare. We launched the business May 30, 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we were still able to make an impact on the community by creating the African American Agenda and Handbooks, hosting a Black Candidates Forum in July 2020 for all African American candidates in Arizona, and hosting a General Election Candidates forum in October 2020 for all local, statewide, and federal candidates, all while using Zoom. The work we did in 2020 resulted in us earning the Founder’s and Chair Award at the 19th Annual African American Legislative Day Conference. We were able to host our first in person events and meetings during 2021, which consisted of our first kickback and social events, and our 1st Annual Teen Conference. We are continuing to see exponential growth and so many doors of opportunity opening because of our diligent efforts and strategic planning. From the outside looking in, the work that we do is very time consuming and challenging, but for the AAR team, we have a true passion for what we do and enjoy the grind everyday. It is truly rewarding knowing that the work that we are doing now is having a positive impact on the community. The biggest lessons that we have learned as young leaders and entrepreneurs is consistency produces success and it is important to honor God in all of our plans. Our consistency and maintaining our standard of an action based organization has allowed us to start seeing our vision come into fruition. African American Reconstruction’s goal is to ensure that the black community can control its own destiny and to establish an international presence as a beacon for action and equity.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First of all, I love to eat, so for breakfast, I would take them to Butters, Lunch at Seasons 52, and Dinner at Mancuso’s. I also run track for USATF so I would let them attend a practice and try to keep up in the sprint workout. Some of the activities would include playing pool, making art, listening to R&B music, and watching the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns continue to dominate.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my amazing AAR team members, Daevon Cloyd, Charles Gbekia, Dariana Brown, Elijah Jenkins, Ava Brownlow, Oluwatosin Babarinde, Mia Parham, Sholanda Smith, and Matthew Aduasamoah. However, none of our success would be possible without the help of our mentors, Honorable Senator Leah Landrum Taylor, Honorable Mel Hannah, Mr. Joe Delgardo, Mr. Vada Manager, Mr. Kerwin Brown, Pastor Warren Stewart, and Mr. Michael Petersen-Incorvaia. I would also like to shoutout our teen conference speakers who helped established our presence and impact in the community, Mr. Levi Wallace, Mr. Corderro McMurry, Mr. Jevin Hodge, Dr. Tara Nkrumah, Mr. Jovanni Cedeno, and Mr. Ryan Jenkins, Honorable Senator Leah Landrum Taylor, Honorable Mel Hannah, Mr. Joe Delgardo.

Website: https://www.aareconstruction.org/

Instagram: @africanamericanreconstruction @greysontaylorr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanAmericanReconstruction/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.