Seeking new model for Black and Progressive Orgs.

AgentX’s creative comment regarding new possible names for the CBC got me thinking about the sad paradigm of current Black and/or progressive organizations whose work is mostly or wholly supported by corporate donations. This model is crippling our communities because the leaders of these organizations can’t really say nor do what needs to be done for fear of disrupting the money stream. On the other hand, the masses accuse these same organizations for not doing anything to help the people that are really hurting. This cycle breeds distrust and non-results. I believe the work we really need to do can happen until we do two things, 1) actively want less and 2) build up our own socially conscious businesses/institutions that are supported by the community. Talk to me,

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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2 responses to “Seeking new model for Black and Progressive Orgs.”

  1. Anonymous says :

    BQW,

    I agree we need to build up our own socially conscious businesses and institutions. But I also think we need to define what those should be on our own terms and have community organizations that are actually representative keep those terms.

    I make that distinction because while I agree with your suggestion based on how I define a socially conscious institution, I don’t agree when it comes to corporations able to perp like they care about people (Walmart, etc) when they actively employ policies that decimate these same communities. The difference there? a fundamental disagreement in our goals at the end of the day– people vs profit.

    The better model is to truly have businesses see themselves as a part of and responsible to the community they serve. To flip this model, however, businesses and people alike would have to recognize the power of the people in the community as consumers. Currently I think large businesses and especially corporations (I think its a slightly different conversation if you include small, minority and locally owned businesses) recognize the power of the people in the same way as politicians– to get them what they want (money/profit). The definition and model for socially conscious business must change to one of service to show the value and importance of people. The ‘conscious’ness I’m looking for actually acknowledges and fosters the power of community, it changes a corporation’s goal from making dough to serving the community on the terms of the community as a whole.

    To me, an aspect of both this discussion and my feelings about your ‘actively want less’ post is that we’re also talking about individualism vs collective community, not just our desire and consumption.
    Those are my thoughts. HollaBack.

  2. Garlin II says :

    Anonymous,

    I’m with you. The way that capitalism has been framed in this culture has made the goals of man and business almost completely divergent. It is sad that often times people must choose between serving people and making money, and sadder still that money usually wins. This is part of the reason for the Black middle class dilemma: money has the uncanny ability to trump everything.

    I think one thing that’s desperately needed is a lens through which people can really see the truth. People need to be able to filter through the B.S. and see things like the fact that Walmart only cares about Walmart, the vice president only cares about oil, record labels only care about dollars, etc., and that human/social needs are many times not even a secondary concern. The SuperSpade and other groups & individuals are trying to provide such a lens.

    Once this lens is established, it must gain credibility in our community, which is no small task given the mainstream media interests who would not want to co-exist with it. This is where an industry of could spring up of, say, Black PR professionals forming alliances/companies and putting their talents and expertise towards promoting positive and useful images, messages, and experiences. This is just one example.

    Business can be summed up like this: Identify a need/problem, and get paid to solve it. We’ve got plenty of needs and problems that need solvin,’ and I’m willing to pay for sustainable solutions.

    One Love. One II.

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