Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are getting ready to split! Not from each other but from their official role and Royal standing. After making the announcement, there were some interesting reactions from the Palace, media outlets and across social platforms. It seems the next steps are a little more ‘complicated’ than issuing a public statement.
While the Queen has come out in full support of their decision, there’re some details yet to iron-out. The message is that Harry & Meghan are trying to forge a new sense of independence from the Royal family. They want to be clear-eyed in the decision on their future but still be civic-smart in their ongoing duty.
That isn’t exactly like the American story, but one can relate it with the split forged at our Independence. Here we are over 200+ years later and there’re still some issues for which things get ‘complicated.’ It’s as if the next best thing we need now is how we See America In Color With 2020 Vision to be more clear-eyed and civic-smart as citizens.
Thankfully we’re off to a nice start with the See America In Color (SAIC) Essay Contest that’s supported by New Jersey’s educators, administrators, students and public officials. As the contest prepares to hand-out awards and special recognition, the finalists have been narrowed down to frontrunners or “The Front Four” schools.
Beyond celebrating these schools/students, SAIC also has four reasonable goals for achieving “smart blocks, woke civics, strong citizens.” It starts by how we reboot civics education. After some recent troubling incidents of social conflict in the NY tri-state area, a public official said, “We can’t ‘police’ our way out of this problem.” That’s a point of agreement shared by SAIC which is why our focus is to help us ‘school’ our way out in a literal and cultural sense.
It takes spreading a message of understanding that moves our dialogue from the broken record of “Thoughts & Naysayers” to a 2020 vision of “Hope & Trailblazers.” What these current events teach our children in human relation terms gets carried forward into their lives as adults in the future. We prepare for what the next generation will do in sports performance, so why not in civics education. That’s why another SAIC goal is to focus on how we refresh civic engagement.
The cultural space can be a mixed-message mashup of opposing themes. The points of information go back and forth, from left to right, from clear to unclear, from truth to untruth. It’s like the windshield wiper effect. When visibility gets very bad during a rainstorm, we might pull off the road until the downpour eases. With our current social climate, the downpour of back-and-forth versions of a story might lead to such confusion causing citizens to pull-away from civic engagement.
This means we need to reset cultural messaging in the social space. Think about it this way: imagine if we were constantly arguing about the days of the week? Imagine if we couldn’t decide on whether Monday was Monday, or Wednesday was Wednesday? Since we operate on a standard calendar of days, weeks, months and year, we’re able to avoid such confusion. SAIC offers a new program standard for connecting the dots between history, family, culture, country and civic/social issues.
As a nation we’re at a point where we must consider what’s needed to revive social spirit. We can’t keep seeing stories of harm, injury, insult and sometimes hometown tragedy and think that’s the new normal. Take as an example when a player goes down on the football gridiron. The training staff might help them off the field into the pop-up medical tent on the sideline. Then depending on how the staff resolves the injury or revives the player, we’ll see their return to the game.
Well ‘SAIC 2020’ isn’t some magic fix for all the social challenges of our nation. But it is an effort to reboot civics education, refresh civic engagement, reset cultural messaging and revive social spirit. As with Duchess Meghan, sometimes we find ourselves feeling under pressure to certain traditions or outdated methods. In the case of Prince Harry, he may feel as if he wants a breakaway from Royals-controlled ‘city life’ to a more freestyle arrangement. In a sense, SAIC is about the things we do to return to the game to make an impression, an imprint or an impact towards a higher level of citizenship.
You can help tackle these issues or support SAIC’s part in a massive social response at our crowdfunding page here www.gofundme.com/f/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Leslie Odom Jr. – Under Pressure – https://youtu.be/cSDKD94K6TM
Rebelution – City Life – https://youtu.be/GKj5WNm5oDE