How would you describe the road to recovery after Covid-19, economic shutdown and civil unrest? Well, it depends if you’re giving the short answer, expert advice or political speak. For starters, it looks like pro sports is back (for now), while the debate about reopening schools stirs-up mixed feelings. This situation is new for all of us which means we should have great interest in how we return “Back to Life Better.”
As different parts of society work to rebound, we’re looking to our leaders for answers on the path forward. Over the past few months, the reports of Covid-related deaths, economic pain and social disparities are well documented. Moreover, a growing number of ‘Black-at-School’ social media sites have popped-up, with students sharing frustrations around ‘isms and schisms’ on campus and around town.
In response to the range of community concerns, we’ve seen street protests, social petitions and city council resolutions. Some might be wondering what’s the next big hometown push from the ground up. Are students, families and communities ready to make change happen through social impact and civic empowerment? In a sense, that’s part of the See America In Color (SAIC) social-edge campaign through Project “Strong 2 Strong.” It includes the Friday Night Flights feature for taking civic engagement and career dreams to new heights.
Every so often we learn that a product has been ‘manufacturer discontinued.’ It’s no longer available and has likely been dropped from the catalog or replaced for a ‘new & improved’ consumer rating. What if we could arrive at a point in the unfolding of America’s story where we get to ‘struggle discontinued?’ That might depend on our approach to closing the ‘civics gap’ and bridging cultural divides. It’s what inspires SAIC to present a better picture of civic & social issues for a higher level of citizenship.
Recently, we lost the beloved civil rights icon John Lewis who left us with marching orders. In his departing words he said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. He urged us to answer the highest calling of our heart for what we truly believe. Some people are impressed by companies making socially-conscious changes to their product line. Many others might feel motivated to move beyond the phrase Black Lives Matter, and have it become ‘manufacturer discontinued’ by how:
1. Review becomes shifts
Throughout history we’ve seen product shifts in various industries. In transportation we went from chariots to cars, but it isn’t always that dramatic. Whether in sports with coaches/players reviewing the video of past games or companies reviewing their production steps, this process can create shifts towards ‘new & improved.’ Similarly, SAIC took steps in reviewing American history, the ‘Black to America’ story and Hometown Strong comebacks to help forge new shifts as a nation.
2. Talk becomes teamwork
When it comes to human development, change is made possible by pulling together folks with different talents and titles such that teamwork makes the dream work. Sometimes there may be bumps along the way, due to a testing of a team’s chemistry and commitment. However, the history of change movements reveals a similar value of teamwork where it’s not just about talking the talk but also walking the walk.
3. Truth becomes journey
It’s interesting that one of the founding documents begins with the words “We hold these truths.” At that point in our nation’s new journey there were some truths that were understood while others kept underground. The understood truths set us on a path to freedom from British rule. But Lewis’ journey as a Civil Rights ‘founding father’ was about elevating the underground truths to set us on a freeway to somewhere more just and inclusive that would make us an even better nation.
4. Striving becomes shining
Think about the grievances that led to the Declaration of Independence. They were turned into steps for creating the United States of America as a shining light. Think about a child who is always whining about things. That child can grow up either full of grievances or full of light. It depends on whether they spend their time whining or striving. So, to See America In Color for creating change and living our best life, it makes sense to spend less time whining and more time striving for a bigger better you.
There’s lots of discussion on whether the return of sports is more successful by having players in a bubble. This limits their real-world interactions. It’s something school administrators would love to have as an option for students. But in reopening the economy and returning back to life better, Lewis would want us to move beyond the bubble of civic ignorance, cultural indifference and social injustices. His example leaves a model for how we might do something bigger together and take things higher.
You can join the conversation and support our efforts to “See America In Color: With 2020 Vision” at the Facebook ‘Hometown Chat’ Page here http://www.Facebook.com/seeamericaincolor.
Tracks: Beyoncé – Bigger – https://youtu.be/2C05YhMgOUM
Sia – Together – https://youtu.be/vnfGni4_RlI