#HometownStrong Comebacks from the North to the South of America: What’s it Gonna Take to Have a ‘Socially Healthy’ Civic Life Beyond Red Flag News Stories

Doc Cunningham
Sounding Off Social

If you’ve ever watched Steph Curry warm-up before a game, it’s a kinda pre-show itself. He’ll do drills in dribbling one, two or more balls at the same time. He’ll take 3-point shots from different spots on the court. He’ll even take some from almost the half-court line. It’s as if he’s getting ready for whatever the game might call for.

Pre-game Show

His hand-eye coordination is gonna be up for the task. Plus, if they’re behind and need a comeback or the game’s close and needs a last second shot, he’ll be ready to rock. As communities and the nation try to bounce back from Covid, social protests and post-election hangups, maybe there’re some drills we could call on too from See America In Color (SAIC).

Recent news stories reminded us of the challenges. Reports of public officials wanting to burn books. There’s Harvard’s confessed ties to slavery. In between that was news of a pending Twitter buyout to become private. Did you hear there’s been a big spike in antisemitism over recent years? And results of a State report that said the Minneapolis PD showed bias and racism in its patterns and practices. These stories span education, biz, culture, public service and policing. It’s one reason why SAIC is engaging ‘civics partnerships’ across K-12 school districts, colleges/universities, biz stakeholders, community groups and hometown connections.

Student at Work

SAIC’s Civic Life Tourney is kinda like the warm-up before the big game. Schools now can sign-up for three social challenge contests where students will receive scholarship awards and local recognition. The Tourney provides them a safe space to express thoughts, feelings, ideas on civic/social issues as well as connect the dots across history, civics and culture. But other pressing challenges for students and communities might be in “covid rebound, mental health release”, or how we bridge social/cultural divides as well as how we live-up to civic ideals for a more ‘socially healthy’ way of life.

Think of the social landscape these days like what happens on your windscreen after a long road trip. There’re lots of bugs splattered across the hood, bumper and glass. When it comes to the issues of our times, especially with real-time posts on social media, we seem to have stuff splattered across our feeds. Since the nationwide protests triggered by George Floyd’s death, many organizations have been focused on upping their social impact game. To put students, employees and communities in the driver’s seat for #HometownStrong comebacks from north to south will depend on how we:   

1. Educate

The civil rights movement had a formula for change. It was based on a three-pronged approach of demonstration, education and legislation. Street demonstrations were important but not enough. There were community-based workshops to ‘school’ citizens on the different aspects of civic engagement. Similarly, SAIC’s ‘smart-civics’ content takes a ‘civic engagement plugin’ approach to reach higher in American Dream and civics education. It’s not just about facts, methods and definitions but also eye-opening awareness, essence and truth.    

Civic Engagement Plugin

2. Legislate

Many have quoted the words of Dr King who said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Legislation that moves us beyond the ‘red flag’ news stories of our times gotta be geared towards freedom, equality and justice. Throughout history those three ideals have been the constant struggle. Furthermore, there must also be efforts to shore-up the pillars of democracy. This makes sense when you consider words recently spoken by a former President who said “man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”

3. Debate

Ever wondered, why bother to debate someone on an issue? You soon realize the discussion isn’t gonna be about reason and context but about insult and innuendo. In school, prepping for a debate contest means getting a handle on the topic, studying the subtleties and organizing the key points. In today’s social debates, what we have is more about prepping for performance politics, organizing the insults and creating the viral moment. With SAIC, its main framework builds on a snapshot of history, civics and culture around “7 phases, 3 communities and 2 questions.” That helps to anchor the debate points.

4. Relate

Across the country folks have their own way for how they relate. In parts of the south, there’s a kinda “unspoken past” that might set the tone for how some interact. In parts of the north, there might be a kinda “spoken present” that signals how some feel about your presence and opinion. But if we’re gonna have a better future we’ll have to figure-out ways to relate that lessen hate and elevate acceptance. How we achieve a more ‘socially healthy’ way of life depends on whether we choose to bully, badger and beat people into submission or work towards consensus and common good which need shared-truth.  

Healthy Workplace

For a biz to be a healthy place to work, it’s gotta have some ideals and practices that help to make ‘breakthrough innovations’ possible. Similarly, if a nation is gonna have a more ‘socially healthy’ way of life it’s gotta have some ideals and practices for how folks educate, legislate, debate and relate. The civil rights movement made change possible by how it created shifts in the culture. The spectrum of SAIC’s Content & Culture Mall is geared towards how folks handle the red flag issues of our times. So, let’s bring change to the mix and then we get to dance our stress away.   

Checkout the Civic Life Tourney sign-up link to learn more here.

Tracks: Skip Marley – Change – https://youtu.be/VXbKf-uSmJo

Demarco Ft Stephen Marley – Dance My Stress Away – https://youtu.be/n3OBKQ1isds

Published by doc2comm

Author/Speaker, Blogger, Dreampreneur

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