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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectThinking backwards to the future
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25013&mesg_id=25048
25048, Thinking backwards to the future
Posted by Nettrice, Mon Mar-05-01 08:25 PM
Utamahoro, I got your email late but since it looks like I'll have a work day off due to the storm I will oblige...

>Some of the main points in
>our conversation were:
>many african charter schools are
>closed due to lack of
>funding. We want to find
>ways around this through self
>sufficiency in every respect.

Part of any education of a community (building of a nation) is sustainability. Last year I received training on how to sustain a community-based technology center. To reach the nation one must start from one's corner and my area is community technology/education/youth development.

Strategic thinking is critical to achieving on-going support. a) where do you want to be? b) how will you know when you get there? c) where are we now? d) how do we get there? e) what is likely to change in your environment in the future?

This is thinking backwards to the future.

In this society (US), Black people are conditioned to seek instant gratification, focus only on the present. This thinking thwarts sustainability.

>values and history provided to
>give students a "wholistic" education.

African values and history are a big part of the development of self for Black people. In addition, Black children need to be exposed to caring adults, feel a some sense of safety & structure, have opportunities to contribute, build competency & mastery, feel independent and in control of their lives, etc. Black children need opportunities to find themselves or know who they are and what their life mission is.

>the school as the nexus
>of the community, the center
>of the circle, without which
>the community cannot exist.

One thing I have learned is that people have to value a thing in order to involve themselves. Quality services=community interest. If you build it and it has real value or meets the needs of the community they will come.

Twelve years ago I envisioned starting a high-tech center in Black communities. This was before the term "digital divide" was thought up to describe Black and poor people as haves and others (white, rich) as haves. I realized that Black people, my people, were going to be left behind. I started from my corner, building technnology centers in housing developments, schools, colleges, community centers in New York City, Chicago, and the Boston area.

Roxbury, MA residents are mostly Black. Stats say there is about 3% computer ownership in Roxbury and along with that is the high rate of high school drop-out, crime, etc. I built a multimedia training center in a strip mall in the middle of Roxbury. I put high-end computers, industry-standard software, and high-speed Internet access in the center. The people are coming. I developed a model for community networking that will make the center a hub for residents, schools, community centers, etc. So far it is working but I have run into obstacles from people who don't want to see the center succeed.

People keep coming to the orientations, finding out about the center, about multimedia and what value it has in terms of personal development & community building. The first five classes are full and more are coming. Other people want to partner and others want to teach. Most of the people who want to partner or teach are white and know the value of the center. They are willing to travel into Roxbury at night and get involved. These people will train the residents and they in turn will train others.

But make no mistake. Some people feel threatened by the success of the center, including some Black folk who left the community to take on high-paying, high-profile jobs. There are white people who want to see the center fail once they discovered I actually had a vision and knew what I was doing.

I will keep on not matter what because my mission is to make a difference for Black people, from my corner.

"Know thyself"

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you". So we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
-- Hebrews 13:5,6

"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"
--Morpheus in "The Matrix"

"It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"- Dumbledore to Harry Potter "Chamber of Secrets"