Our History

The AAKOMA Project was founded by Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble based on her academic research labs at Duke and Georgetown Universities.

AAKOMA was founded in 1999 and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2019. Upon incorporation, AAOMA grew quickly and has developed into a dynamic non-profit that seeks to improve the mental health of intersectional youth. AAKOMA exists at the intersection of the key challenges facing our world today: racial and social injustice, youth well-being, and mental health. AAKOMA stands for African American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully Healthy Adolescents and comes from the word “akoma” from the Asante of present-day Ghana. Akoma symbolizes endurance and understanding and can be recognized as the modern-day standard heart. Its literal meaning is “the heart” and represents love, unity, endurance, patience, tolerance, goodwill, and faithfulness.