In the United States, society is in need of change. Change all around. Not any particular community or ethnicity, but systematic, all around, change.
We need both white people and black people to view the urban community differently.
We need a new structure that teaches urban youth that they have value, potential, and a bright future.
We need to teach non-urban people that urban kids are just as smart, just as good, and can be just as productive as their non-urban counterparts.
I’m not here to argue about racism, who does what more, who’s fault it is. No, I’m here to start working towards a solution.
How do we change society to where we have a urban population that is strong and playing a vital role in the United States?
How do we help end the cycle of destruction that is going on in the urban communities?
I have an idea.
I have been developing a plan for a community outreach program called “Surroundings.”
I’m showing it to anyone who wants to think about it and possibly do something with it. I hope someone would start to brainstorm the idea with me and help develop it and begin to start one in their community.
I’ll lay out my pitch for it below.
A positive place where youth in the inner-city can have a positive environment full of encouragement and where they can learn life training skills. A place where friendships can be formed with others who will affect lives in positive ways, a place to aspire to be extraordinary.
It is envisioned that local police officers will be involved, thus providing an increase in interactions between urban youth and police in a positive manner. This could lead to a better understanding of each other and to more respect. Youth can lose the preconceived thoughts of police being “against” them. Police officers can change the mindset that most of the youth are bad kids.
A reward system for participation will be in place. There will be a store to cash in rewards, but also a banking system for a savings account to save for future, larger, purchases. Children will be rewarded for attendance and participation in activities with a special currency. This currency can be used in the store from candy up to bikes. Community donations would be required to supply the store.
There will be training for Standard American English. There will be activities to positively reinforce standard language use. There will be no person telling someone that they speak incorrectly though. (Because there’s no incorrect use of language) Standard use is necessary for assimilating into careers later in life.
There will be dream-building activities. Successful people from the community will come to speak to the dreamers and to encourage them to keep reaching for the stars.
It is envisioned that the urban youth, beginning at age 10, have a place to escape the harsh realities of some of their lives while learning lessons of accountability and self-respect, and to have their goals reinforced. The goal is for the youth to gain valuable life skills that may result in better decision-making in their futures.
The goal is to provide urban youth with a belief that there is more to life than what they see in their environment and that they can dream big.
Surroundings would help the kids and, in turn, help the city, state and the country’s economy. If a smaller number of our youth end up in jail because of this program, or more workers and less welfare recipients, the government will have a smaller financial burden to deal with.
Another positive would be a community filled with people with higher self worth and pride, in turn a willingness to be better.
I would like the program to have neither negativity nor negative comments, no telling kids what is bad or what not to do. Instead, this would be an environment where only positivity lives and children are taught what is right by positive influences and teaching.
I know that black college graduates get passed over more frequently than white graduates do. I know that black people get longer prison sentences that white people do. This is where community interactions are needed. When businessmen and police spend time with these kids and see that they’re just as smart and just as good as white kids, they may view them differently.
If we can get mentors of all races to get involved and start to change the train of though across different generations and change people’s pre-conceptions, we can start to make a difference.
If we can start influencing black kids to eventually decide to become judges, police, and politicians, then they can become part of the solution and we start a systematic change in the biggest cities in the USA. We may be able to become the change we want to see. If we can get business leaders and city leaders and police and people who weren’t raised in the inner-city to view inner-city youth under a new light, maybe we can get something rolling.
This isn’t going to be an over night change. It will be a process that takes time and takes effort.
We have to start somewhere.
PLEASE – Repost, share, copy and paste, or start your branch of surroundings. Let’s start to make a difference!
Also, provide feedback and ideas. This can be a growing and evolving project.