It's a struggle to get our minds right in preparing for the mission to do for ourselves, our people, our communities and our future. This demands that we organize how we seek to live, think and act upon reaching the goals that we seek to accomplish. Under this idea, let us order our steps and think about how we want to work toward improving the quality of life, health and economic empowerment of West Louisville and do so recognizing that we live in a 21st century global economy.
I myself have been in a period of transition. As I have worked and studied to further pursue entrepreneurship, in February 2015, I lost my primary paycheck. That challenge forced me to assess what I seek to do personally and professionally and how I need to get there. After six months of crippled earning and painful decisions that had to be made, I have gained some stability, but it left me all the more committed toward a do-for-self focus and the development of and support for Black-owned, Black-operated institutions in predominantly African American neighborhoods.
So let us consider this a journey. One that we take together as we travel to the destination of neighborhoods with less crime, more positive entrepreneurial and business development and physically improved places and spaces. Better and highly educated children and people prepared to flourish in a globalized world economy–knowledgable of self, but prepared to compete and interact with anybody and everybody in the world.
How do we actualize our dreams and wishes into a concrete plan? You have to learn how to create a self-supporting system that works for your dreams and help turn your dreams into a reality and you do that through the creation of patterns, practices and cultures. With this Mo’pinion, I would like to share a series of thoughts – some like to refer to such things as “vision” or what-not – that I am hopeful might inspire and motivate others to work toward in 2016…to find other like-minded, interested people to place their energies in self-development and development projects seriously focused on making our neighborhoods better places to live with a greater sense of possibility for our children.
As the webmaster and curator of Narrow The Gap!, I have shared multiple links from our kinsite Dream and Hustle. Brother Ed Dunn delivers real next-level thinking with ideas such as how we can and must modernize Dr. Claud Anderson’s work to mesh with the improvements in technology and mobile, and we would be well served to apply that knowledge in our vision. We also need to remember the elders, particularly in recognizing the truism “you are what you eat” is prophetic and practical indeed. It is impossible to empower a people that are intoxicated and filled with junk food, whether you are putting it your mouth or your ears. Elijah Muhammad presented us with “How To Eat to Live” decades ago, and what we put in our mouths is a part of the problem. A body filled with junk food with fat slowly but surely clogging your veins and arteries renders it highly difficult to change what you want changed for the better.
What we put into our minds matters as well. A mind intoxicated with junk ideas based upon chaos, hedonism and death is just as viciously draining and destructive as the consumption of bad food. You have urban radio stations making their living promoting anti-women music, criminal and prison culture, tension, conflict, drama and casual sex, and it is all designed to pull you away from doing for yourself. A mind intoxicated with conflict and dysfunction and violence and listening to music that reflects that with commercial radio stations who market such music to our people and promote artists who glorify dysfunctional insanity, needs to be immediately cut from our activities. How you treat yourself and love yourself is the most basic level of personal empowerment, and transforming that is a step that ultimately matters more than the economic.
If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you. Distance yourself from those who work to stunt and block your dreams, even if they are among your so-called “loved ones.” What it comes down to is this: do they support your vision and your work towards that or not? If not, make changes. Find like-minded seekers looking for opportunities to build and grow.
What I see in West Louisville fills me with deep concern. I see the neighborhoods of West Louisville as a community in crisis. I am deeply disturbed by the violence and homicides in the community in 2015 and I have observed many peers of mine at a loss on how to best address it. I take heed to Dr. Ricky L. Jones’ March 18, 2015 LEO column where a friend of his noted that most Black folk are already dead…but they do not even know it!
Serious times indeed brothers and sisters. We are in a technological age, but many of our ethnicity do not even realize it, nor can they take advantages of any of the opportunities that are available in these fields. We must change that, and let us start today. There are brothers and sisters that have built or are building the ark, but too many of us are still running our mouths on less relevant things that will do nothing to heal the condition of our people or exact long-term development and growth in our communities.
Skeptical? Don't believe me? Watch the trends. President Obama will be stepping down in January 2017. Matt Bevin, a Tea Party Republican, won the Kentucky governor’s seat and he is holding true to his early promises to roll back and/or reverse previous policy passed by federal and state Democrats.
One of the casualties will be a lot of national “Black media.” For example, the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” will be no more as you know by 2016. A lot of your Black national media will fall under the axe because you, as a people, are becoming less relevant in a global market. What is left of “Black media” will be rolled under a larger “coalition” umbrella with American left/liberal media, which will not always cater to the specific interests many of our communities need given the condition they have been left in after decades of tilted policy.
On both a national and a state level, the Democratic Party does not yet value our vote. Oh, they put up tens of thousands of signs begging Black people in West Louisville to come out and vote, but that is not the same. They stayed lazy and fell back on the tactic of trying to scare Black people to the polls, with those tired arguments about what Matt Bevin was going to destroy or take away from people...and it does look like he wants to kill the state-run exchange...but so what? At the end, how many Black people will that affect? Whites who are using expanded Medicaid right now who voted for Bevin, this is the decision that they want...or at least the decision that they said they wanted.
Rather than be mad at these people, Kentucky's Black communities better get serious about greater entrepreneurship and business development, and we better get serious about demanding better outcomes for a lot of Black children coming through JCPS. These are not optional choices, these are necessities.
A lot of you, too many of us, prefer to get mad and run your mouths on social media about whatever is the perceived outrage...but you will not put in any real work to do something about it. Part of the reason for that is because deep within the recesses of your spirit, you desperately cling to a hope that people who do not accept you, have not accepted you and will not accept you and your existence will suddenly start doing so. You concede to the calls of those who tell you not to get angry, to forever remain docile and peaceful in the face of every outrage and injustice brought upon Black citizens, where someone is brutally murdered by or in the custody of law enforcement. You're asked to stay calm in the midst of kangaroo-court "investigations," where no wrong-doing is ultimately determined and murderers go back to work and business continues as usual yet some devastated family has to bury their loved one and much of the media convinces people that the dead person was completely responsible for their own demise...and too many of you are accepting that. Shame on you.
In this world when presented such outrage upon outrage, this could be ultimately for the benefit of Black people in a Romans 8:28 sense, if more committed Black people begin to organize and get serious about Doing For Self. The calvary isn't coming. Anger and fury must be channeled in plans and work. Governor Bevin certainly won't be about the business of saving any Black people short of the children that he and his wife have adopted. Black folk have to stop running their mouths and leaning on symbolism and start to take the money that they have and start focusing it on Black interests.
The State of Black Louisvillians
Predominantly African American urban communities are stratified, often by socioeconomic and class-based levels which I have classified into four categories: the Thrivers, the Strivers, the Strugglers and the Thugs.
Thrivers are Black upper-middle class or greater individuals and families who are financially able to live anywhere they choose, but stay due to some combination of generational links to a West Louisville neighborhood and/or a sense of wanting to be a part of the solution to a neighborhood or community's problems and challenges.
Strivers are upwardly mobile Black folk, often with advanced education or professional trade certification(s), who make a decision to move or build their first home in a West Louisville neighborhood in the name of making a commitment to "casting their buckets" in a predominantly Black neighborhood and striving to be a positive example for others...particularly children, in what they "could be" and be able to do if you put in the work and connect with the right people and resources. This was certainly my wife's and my motivation for do so.
Strugglers are working-class folk, perhaps unemployed folk living that "one paycheck away from poverty" to living in the reality of poverty, dealing with challenges with meaningful work, a livable wage, quality education and having the desire to live and do better, but struggle with the challenges of community social problems, family drama and problems, and trying, mostly, to do better in the midst...but dealing with issues of falling down and having setbacks. This level of folk is a range from hanging in there to treading water to not-quite making it...and most Black folk in America exist here. I would say the entirety of my life has been in between struggling and striving.
Thugs represent, in predominantly Black urban communities across this country, an element that glorifies and perhaps even worships criminal and prison culture. They have embraced all of the markers and behaviors of living and surviving in a prison environment, where it is more about the "state of nature" where the 'strong' runs roughshod over the vulnerable and weak. Environments where greater levels of cruelty and depravity are misinterpreted as "hardness" and toughness, and where dysfunction is allowed to build mental beachheads in and take over people's minds. When one lives with a state of mind where murder is considered a reasonable means of conflict resolution, that is a problem and a clear and present danger to the health and viability of a community. Murdered men leave behind children without a father, incarceration removes more men from the space. A subculture glorifying prison and conceding an early death grips challenged communities and fosters continued chaos.
All of that said, it is not an irreversible condition, as long as one has not yet committed that felony that will remove you from civil society for decades–or worse. We also know that the lack of education and/or miseducation and economic deprivation breeds violence, and Black folk deal with an overabundance of both. It is not surprising, but we must start to implement the necessary strategies to reverse these considerable problems. When more people, particularly men, have purposeful righteous work and are able to support themselves and their families, our homicide rates will go down. In the midst of the realities of now and getting there from here, there are strategies that we can implement to attack the problems of crime and violence in our communities. More later.
It is essential that we rein in the excesses of our youth before we leave their fates–and their very lives–in the hands of and under the review of people who do not value the children who look like us.
We have an ever-present fear of the dark other that is used to herd public opinion and guide them to make political decisions based on fear. Case in point example: this past Saturday's scrum at The Mall at St. Matthews that made national news! Do I believe that there were 2,000 unruly youth that shut the mall down? No! That was an over-estimate based upon panicked 911 calls and individual police testimonies that were not yet able to triangulate their information. Obviously there were problems from enough youth to where drastic actions had to be taken, but the reports on the numbers and the reports about "shots fired" did not happen, that was unreliable fear-influenced panic testimony.
I am tired of all of this after-the-fact analysis of these troublesome incidents by those who despise not only the "problem" people, but all of the other Black people who look like them. This group of people likes to roll out statistics about Black people's "tendencies" and engage in white nationalist cheerleading. They deserve blowback and heavy criticism. If they are professionals in the public sphere, their positions about these matters should be exposed and be subject to critical scrutiny.
These are some no-joke times. Black folk are going to inadvertently get Donald Trump elected president with flashpoint incidents and flare-ups like this. People are scared, you all. Many whites are dealing with the aftereffects of the 2007 recession and have seen their wages stagnate while many costs continue to rise. They are seeing the nation become browner and have began to realize that their standing as America's majority population really is decreasing and they are witnessing a loosening of political power.
At the same time, we are dealing with broken and hurting Black people that are living and operating in environments that are a result from decisions that are not our fault, but the burdens are our responsibility. We have to find ways to address these issues more directly.
Given all of these complicated matters, how do we navigate a pathway to get us to our goal from where we are? Let us continue our journey.
What I want to see out of the development of West Louisville
Many of our neighborhoods have to be transformed. This is not popular, you may not like what I’m saying. You can reject my words, but you will be hard-pressed to refute them. In this West Louisville business frontier, too many of us believe that we can jump straight out of the gate, buy a bunch of older property in the hood and magically transform and heal the community where brothers and sisters are going to come in and crowd your space and buy your product because you love your people and you want to save your community…pump the brakes. There are some structural changes that will require the municipal government and the private sector to contribute to and transform. There is also the matter of ensuring that you have physical spaces that are secure and safe for your customers.
Taking a serious look at West Louisville’s business and creating a larger plan of building more of them and developing ways that multiple businesses can mutually benefit each other and build clusters that become greater than the sum of their parts as they evolve into business and commercial districts. It is important that we take and make opportunities to build around developing West Louisville projects (Chef Space, the West Louisville FoodPort, and the like over the next couple of years) and develop ecosystems. Narrow The Gap! (NTG!) explored building around the potential Walmart cluster in a previous Mo'pinion.
In the midst of a status quo where the odds are not often in our favor, we have to find ways to implement strategies that makes it possible for us to “narrow these gaps.” Many brothers and sisters stuck in low-wage, low-outcome situations that are not going well and will not finish well while other peoples of the world pass us by and build wealth on our backs. It is simply not enough to stay on the sidelines and lay blame on historic or contemporary forces or people. It is not enough to mock and criticize the current state of affairs or our people’s condition in them, we have to take effective action.
How do we plan, prepare, and act in 2016? Let us explore.
Getting There from Here in 2016 and Beyond
Establish Economic Clusters. We have to build and develop vertical clusters that can develop skills and talent. India has done this through the creation of IT hubs and talent is coming from that region. China is doing this by creating manufacturing hubs. Brothers and sisters who really want to be about it must focus on creating hubs for financial, manufacturing and IT service for the purpose of developing regional talent and skills that generate global demand.
This is bigger than small merchants (although there is nothing wrong with that). This is manufacturing and professional services that create entrepreneurs who in turn create jobs and exports. We have Black men and women, our elders, who could provide fabulous insight and intelligence toward future endeavors (paging Charlie Johnson, Alice and Wade Houston...) We need community entrepreneurial development and growth. In addition to providing environments where our small businesspeople can have a fertile environment to do business and sell their goods, we also have to promote the development of large commerce and global commerce. Self-enclosed Black utopias are not going to be the long-term solution that provides greater employment for Black people and boost Black possibility and life-outcomes, it will be through global commerce and producing goods and services that humans need, globally. Be rooted in self, but expand your thinking.
Learning How To Accept Payments. Black folk, Black entrepreneurs, need to learn how to accept digital payments. Research other business operations and websites on how they sign up customers for direct debit, how they process credit card payments, and how they invoice clients and find websites and existing services. Write and document all of this. If you do not take anything else that I have to say seriously, please do so for this.
Most brothers and sisters think cash when doing business. Most small Black merchants do, and rely solely upon, a cash business. The thing about having strictly cash transactions are that you have to have petty cash upfront, and a lot of cash of lower denominations to provide change for cash transactions. You have to deal with the risk of scammers giving you fake money and the trouble and additional steps that you have to take to validate if the cash is real, and the worst is the risk of robbery from those willing to stick you up for that money. Cash costs money to handle. Wise people have protocols to watch out for those who are violently willing to relieve you of your cash. A lot of Black people have lost their lives in Black neighborhoods operating on a cash-only basis.
You also need the ability to process credit and debit card payments. Processing accounts from EBT, prepaid, debit and credit cards involves having a payment processor, a merchant account. Most businesses of size processes payments this way and it's wise that you have the ability to do so as well if you want your business to really become successful. A big challenge, however, is that payment networks charge money to process your payment...and those charges add up.
However, credit card processing models like Square and Stripe make it possible for you to get funds debited to your bank account the same night. Square is likely the best option for most startup entrepreneurs. Just have a smartphone or tablet, iOS or Android, with the Square plug-in card reader and you have the ability to process credit card transactions. Other credit card processing models are similar to this, but sometimes it can take up to 45 days to actually get your funds from the credit transaction. As a startup, get Square or another vendor that offers similar benefits.
Money can come from many kinds of opportunities. Far too often, all we have been taught is to work hard in school, get good grades and get a good job so that we can take care of our families. We have to think beyond this model and evolve ourselves into an ability to earn income from multiple income streams. It will benefit you to build a self-brand consisting of nonprofit social causes and for-profit personal operation while professionally working a quality job at the same time. You can do all of this these days with relative ease and wise planning without any guilt that you're side-hustling. It's a competitive world, brothers and sisters. Let your talent shine! If you're on the corporate ladder and you're good with that...work it! At the same time, create working micro-businesses that can provide you supplemental income, and/or invest with those brothers and sisters that are, and be partners with them in the come-up.
Engage in Circular Economics and Collaborative Consumption. We covered this here in a previous Mo'pinion. Do not run out and own things if you don't have to. Do not hesitate to buy used clothing or furniture and upcycle it. Let's examine ways we can upcycle spaces in our community and repurpose those spaces for the community to reclaim and enjoy those spaces. Why brag? Why floss? Why bling? Let's grow to do better in spending our money on experiences over ownership.
Imports and Exports. You know what? Let's change our way of thinking! We are well aware of other ethnic groups and global nationals that set up businesses in our poor, urban neighborhoods. While we continue to work in the process of building our own, let's avoid the blame and bigotry games that our oppressors have engaged in against us!
I'm not talking "kumbaya" happy talk as if there aren't stereotypes or negative perceptions involved. We just would be better served to not engage around the issue of various brown peoples fighting over the crumbs of a decaying and declining community.
Why not expand our horizons to consider how we can build and grow our businesses and develop our entrepreneurial efforts? Just as we may eat Chinese (or Americanized Chinese food), why would we not want Chinese tourists to visit Louisville, West Louisville in particular and eat American Soul Food? Why wouldn't you want to have internationals of various stripes come to West Louisville during Derby season and do business with our vendors? We should want to export goods to Asia, Africa, Europe and elsewhere! We should have a desire to build products to export and have people come in to spend money in our communities. The economic development that will positively transform our communities and create quality-paying jobs will be the ones that move money in our community, and that is an evolution above Black identity with Black owners, employees and consumers. That worked in Greenwood district of Black Tulsa from the 1890s to 1921, when America and the world was more insular and the means of commerce more limited...but is far less effective in a digital, globalized economy.
Frankly speaking, as we examine city models in how we make this possible for ourselves and the generations to come, let us study and examine Black economic empowerment and the many success models that have taken place in Atlanta. That is a Black population-heavy, international city that engages in hundreds of millions, billions of dollars in commerce yearly, and Black folk are significantly engaged in a piece of that economic pie. Real vision demands serious review.
Safety and Security. The eighty-plus homicides in the Louisville metropolitan area are the highest number of homicides since the "soft on crime" 1970s. While economic pressures make bad problems worse in distressed communities, crime and chaos running amok is potential death to striving, developing neighborhoods. It discourages growth, it slows and stops the willingness for business investment, it makes the vulnerable of our communities (the elderly and children) more fearful, it provides fuel for the bigots and racists who already despise Black folk and their neighborhoods, and the people and respective communities of West Louisville are the worse for it.
I am well aware of the historical realities and direct policies, on federal, state and local levels, that created poor Black communities in American cities, kept them poor, and destroyed Black commerce and aspiration every time it attempted to develop. It is chronicled, it is there to be read and researched by any and all that are willing to invest in the effort. That said, we have to engage in a far more critical self-examination above and beyond the structures that created the environments that have allowed this to be. It may not be our fault, but the current realities are our responsibility, whether we want them to be or not, whether we are "ready" for those burdens or not.
Redemption exists for all of those ready to repent. I believe people are capable of epiphany and transformation if there is a fundamental willingness to do so. That said, for those who are not open to that, and who terrorize our places and spaces with violence and chaos, "hug-a-thug" will not immediately lower our homicide rates. Greater access to work and quality-paying jobs can lower the amounts of total crime and homicide, but it also matters that people are aspiring and employer-ready. The long-term effectiveness of the ongoing struggle of Black millennials and Black Lives Matter will ultimately be limited if we continue to be ineffective in addressing the intra-community crime and violence, and just as importantly, the thought processes that allows disorder to thrive. We cannot be guilty of remaining in denial about these problems and allowing our fears of bigot scrutiny move us in continuing to give the criminal elements in our neighborhoods a pass. Black people in Black neighborhoods allow prison mentalities and prison culture to thrive with their continued silence.
Until the men and women who choose to hurt people and our communities make the choice to stop doing so, let us engage and propose some activities to "help" them with that decision-making process and make our places more safer.
Video cameras. Netatmo makes a home video camera with facial recognition. It would behoove our neighborhoods that have been most negatively affected by homicide and shootings, and place street-light level cameras with facial recognition capable of covering city blocks. (Discretionary funds, West Louisville councilpeople? $18.9 million surplus, Mayor Fischer?) Focus such cameras on the blocks and areas where crime has been most prevalent over the last three years, we already have the data. The facial recognition capabilities and the algorithms that power them would allow the activities of known trouble-makers to be tracked, perhaps to be followed up with drone monitoring and/or the involvement of law enforcement. The algorithms, the progams that we use to make our communities safer, can rely on reverse-privacy logic. This is where people opt in, and those that choose to remain private are scrutinized more in private and public spaces in a legal manner. "What-if" Big Data assembles massive amounts of video and information, assembles many data points, and can use that data to predict the probability of future events (Thanks Ed).The mass incarceration of people, especially Black people, has exploded over the last 40 years, with far too much over-aggressive policing and over-aggressive punishment of nonviolent drug offenses. Can we not more wisely invest our tax resources in the pursuit and arrest of real criminals that do direct harm to our people and communities? We certainly can, because the technology exists. We now just need the human capital will and political will to make it so.
We have to make a more focused effort in rooting out the criminals in our community and those who continue to aid and abet them. If you want to make a serious effort to immediately reduce street crime, you have to implement plans that increases the scrutiny on those more inclined to commit it. Job programs and mental health counseling are valuable tools toward a long-term effort and certainly necessary, but few proposals that I hear seriously attempt to the existing problems as they happen on Louisville and West Louisville streets. One effective means of doing something substantive, focused on directly addressing the problem? Get serious about Big Data, and making real policing and criminal investigation processes more efficient.
All of our people will not be saved. There will have to be a portion of folk, people who really are, truth be told, traitors to our neighborhoods and our communities' well-being, that must be isolated, marginalized and removed from our neighborhoods. For those who want help and ask for it (substance rehabilitation, mental health treatment, jobs and related support), we should do everything within the power of our nonprofits and community organizations to help these brothers and sisters, but we must not remain in passive victimhood and hopelessness.
It may be impossible to reduce the crime rates of our neighborhoods to zero, but we as a collection of neighborhoods cannot abide the increasing lack of control. It damages the development of our places and people and stunts our positive plans and vision.
Make Education and Improvement Continuous. Advanced, continuous education never stops. The times demand that you invest hours learning new trends, research and techniques. Personally speaking, I invest more time in study and self-growth than most post-graduate college students on issues that matter to me on any given day. I strive to constantly improve and challenge myself. Always be ready to pursue continous improvement and growth in the areas where you are far from perfect, but make and take those incremental steps to get better, be better and provide better solutions.
There's going to be a stretch between probably 2016 to about 2045 that is going to get quite rough for Black people, particularly poor Black people, if they continue to stay apathetic, distracted and uneducated. All of our hangups that some–many of us have, we better get over them. Because those that are our enemies are not playing with us.
Winners strive for continuous improvement while those who continue to stay stuck act like it's a binary, zero-sum game. Be a winner.
Engage Our Children Through Local Businesses and Institutions With Immersive Education. Covered in our last Mo'pinion. Provide opportunities for our youth to augment their education through local businesses and community institutions. Opportunities for collaboration and positive production exist here between the brothers and sisters who specialize in media content creation and web developer communities in West Louisville. Let us find ways we can work together in 2016 for mutual and community benefit. Narrow The Gap! embraces the role in helping people and groups make those connections.
Establish Financial Organizations. Serious Black economic development built for the long-term demands a skilled workforce and medium to large industrial and corporate operations to create jobs in high-density areas and raise the housing and school markets and taxpayer base and increase the level of influence and power in these communities. When we discuss economic empowerment, let’s think bigger than a hair salon or new soul food joint or clothing shop. Those merchants are vital to the health of a community, but those types of business themselves cannot bring back our Black neighborhoods.
Too often, as I hear Black folk talk about economic empowerment, we limit our talk to the nostalgia of Tulsa’s “Black Wallstreet” as we lament the race massacre and material destruction, and all of our talk focuses on a closed-off, isolated community that keeps everyone else out and is focused on a small merchant economy. While merchants and small business are an important part of the lifeblood of a viable economic community, particularly in majority-Black neighborhoods, that is not it by itself. Accra does not work that way. Johannesburg does not work that way. Beijing does not work that way. Lagos does not work that way. Rio de Janeiro does not work that way. Atlanta does not work that way.
Black mayors in Atlanta created an airport and jobs around that airport, a hotel and convention industry, Atlantic Station, downtown condo living and now light rail connecting downtown to the Auburn District…and was the host for the 1996 Olympics? That is Black economic development.
The Final-Low Down Wrapping Up 2015
Narrow The Gap! strives to be a solution-finder and a solution-provider. We do not own the truth, we do not automatically have all of the answers, but we are in the constant pursuit of both best practices and excellence in everything that we do.
Let's set the tone on how our communities operate. Let's put work in seriously attempting to love ourselves and our people, because of and often, in spite of. We have a purpose and place in this world, and it is up to us to determine it!
Look around at your community. Look at opportunities and challenges and develop solutions. Do not be afraid to try new practices, where has doing things the way we've been doing some things gotten us? Continue to look at some of our existing challenges and think on how we can make them better with our existing resources.
The opportunities are right there for us, good people. You are going to encounter turbulence and challenges during the journey. There will be moments where as you're gaining momentum, you will be hit with a setback that will have you feeling like it has all gone to waste. It is in those moments that you have to continue to push forward and find a way. You are God-formed and God-created with a purpose. Self-analyze. Recognize your skill sets, and find the related activities where you can best serve. NTG! works to keep you up-to-date with the events and activities taking place throughout the neighborhoods of West Louisville.
Use this journey to find practices and patterns that help you be more efficient towards your goals, learn how to measure your results to know how effective you have been and to be able to make adjustments how to improve your effectiveness. As you do this, if you are not a part of any or many, join and support Black-owned, Black-operated community-focused institutions. We have to pool, to organize the collective positive efforts of our striving citizens develop a culture of innovation. Humans need an aspiring goal, the pursuit of efforts that are larger than themselves. When you do not see the leadership that you believe that you need, become the leader that you want to see.
Through this website and this blog, we work to inspire motivated individuals to embrace entrepreneurship, pursue digital training and education and apply that learning to predominantly Black neighborhoods for the purpose of creating urban solutions and gradual community development. We humbly thank you for your readership and welcome your material support of our efforts in 2016.