Monday, June 15, 2009

We Are The Leaders We Need: 100 Visionaries [UPDATE]

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For my long time readers, you know that Court Bear and I
have been working on a non profit, 100
Visionaries, that came out
of the "Who Raises the Kids,
the Momma's or the Rappers" discussion on this blog
.

A couple of days ago, I was tired and frustrated. Sore throat,
no health care,
and my knee hurt.

I have started slanging burgers and margarita's to pay
for fall school expenses.

I have worked retail and cafe's before. But the corporate
food industry is
a whole other animal. Two things have
become clear to me:

>How do parents with children manage to be there
for their children when they work wage labor job's
?

>How can the masses meaningfully participate in a
democracy
when their weeks are made up of two or three
double shifts
?

I would imagine it's lightweight impossible.

As a worker, you have no control over your schedule and
if you wait tables, the wage is below the state minimum because
the expectation is that you will make more than the
difference in tips.


I use to think that I had an understanding of class and
class
mobility because my family was working middle
class before
the crack epidemic and then on public
assistance during the
crack epidemic.

While it is true that I had an understanding of class, it is far more
nuanced now.


Experiencing what I have now termed, adult onset poverty,
has forced me to think about the ways in which 100 Visionaries
would both educate and advocate on the behalf of families.

If I have learned anything, it is one thing to call myself a
feminist
it is another one to serve food and wash dishes
to pay my rent
while having a theoretical understanding
of labor, wages, race and the law
.

I am a zombie when I get home. I don't want to eat, or talk.
I just want to sit and for my knee to stop hurting.

This is material because I really like to cook and I like to eat even more.

In some ways, I needed to have this experience in order to think:
>How different would our labor laws be if every Senator
had to
work and pay rent with fast food minimum
wages for a few month
s every year?


>Our system produces far too many graduates

for the number of jobs available and a just, sustainable
Democracy requires this issue
to be addressed head on.
Saturday morning I woke up with the Senate subcommittees
on my mind.
While I have a cursory idea of how bills are passed,
I wasn't sure of the nuts and bolts.


On Friday, I was reading Baldwin, and I am sure
that influenced me.
One of the things that Baldwin said was
that Black people don't want to be
white, they want what white
people have, power.


Late last week read that the health care reform will be difficult, for
many reasons, one of which is that many
senators and
senators family members have financial ties to the
health care
industry
. With all this floating in my mind, I guess I woke up thinking
about power. I wanted to know who
the different committees
were, who the members were, and the nuances
of getting a
bill passed.


When I found the senate committee site, it became clear
to me
that we are the leaders that we need.

Joseph Stiglitz won the Pulitzer prize for something
called the asymmetry
of information, which deals with
the study of decisions
in transactions where one
party has more or better
information than the other.

We have the information. We have the people. We just
need the will and a mission.
The asymmetry of information
and arguably power can no longer stop us.
API's and
the internet have changed or at least had a huge impact on all this.


100 Visionaries Ideas On the Table
:

>Political Education for Children and Adults
>Issues- Crime, Poverty, Education, Labor, Eco Justice,
Entertainment
>Eco Justice - Sustainable Local Green Economies
>Labor - Living Wage Advocacy
>Poverty- Reclassification of teen prostitution from
a criminal issue to a public health issue

>Education - Equitable distribution of funds within
urban school districts

>Crime - Re-establishing Pell Grants for prison inmates
>Entertainment - Media Literacy and Race, Gender
Sexual Awareness in Pop Culture
Ann (programmer extraordinaire) and I are working on the
relaunch of Model Minority and my homie site for her production
company, Hot Comb Pics. We just finished up Brooklyn Magic.

There are three more sites in the pipeline, which are the
100V site, a site on Black women and another on Black book clubs.

This post feels like the beginning of a new year.

Awesome.
What are you working on?

Doesn't it feel good to think, We are the leaders we need.

Why do site relaunches take so much work?


7 comments:

Changeseeker said...

Answer to question 1: I'm finishing a statement for the Court on the effects of school segregation for the only open de-seg case in the country - right where I live.

Answer to question 2: Most of the time. Sometimes I just feel tired.

Answer to question 3: Why does EVERYTHING take so much work? I was thinking this morning that, even though I'm almost always working, I must be lazy underneath it all. I just do shit because I see that it needs to be done. I think I need to get a new attitude, if possible.

This post, by the way, is right on the money. Having been on welfare and done slave...er...wage labor, I highly respect those locked into either system. I sometimes feel as if making it through school and into academe in my forties, given my messed up childhood and weird lifestyles, was right up there with winning the lottery. I am SO grateful. Which is probably why I work so hard. I feel as if I owe.

Thanks, M.Dot, I guess I needed to remember that today.

Model Minority said...

Hey Changeseeker,

Thank you for you honesty.
I felt soooo much better after I wrote this post.

I am glad it helped.

the prisoner's wife said...

a. working on finishing up this school year w/o letting my students burn the place down. why they are SO obsessed with burning stuff is beyond me.

aa. i'm also working on getting my shit together. building a broader readership that i can use to sell books (thanks for the push). want to pull together the poetry collection & publish it, awhile i finish the novel.

aaa. i'm working on learning as much as i can.

b. it feels good to be the leader you need, but also VERY scary. it's scary to go at it alone, or outside of the "normal" mainstream structure of powers. it's refreshing & empowering that it's all on you, but it's also frightening.

c. site relaunches take so long because you want to get it just so...
e. yes, you need an editor LOL. found myself correcting as i read. hit me up.

CiCiwryter said...

I like all the ideas that are in the works for the 100 visionaries products. I've been working a retail gig since before last xmas. Never worked retail before and I'm constantly amazed at how people survive in an arena where they are treated like contestants on a 'reality' show in that hours are 'earned' if you reach your goals in getting customers to apply for store credit cards. You only get one shift for the next work cycle if you do not. Can you imagine the animal kingdom environment this creates? I've been trying to get the Kobe Bryant's of credit apps to donate one to people who struggle to get them. First they laughed at me but I donate them cause I seem to make my goal. Last week I overheard another co-worker donating one so the other person, who was becoming frantic, would not lose hours. Maybe it will catch on. You're right, We are our own leaders. It frightens me to think what I would do if that was my only job rather than $ for my dream fund to help further my writing goals.
Good Post.

M.Dot. said...

@TPW

Yes, I need an editor. I loves my typos tho. They remind me that I am human. LOLs. Don't trip when I email you w the pass word. Like HERE. Plus, I have other plans for you. Whats your availability like per week, to tinker w/ websites/support. I am trying to figure out how to allocate work.

@ CiciWryter
Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Never worked retail before and I'm constantly amazed at how people survive in an arena where they are treated like contestants on a 'reality' show in that hours are 'earned' if you reach your goals in getting customers to apply for store credit cards.
======
Oh. This is capitalism at its purest. Corporate accumulation over human needs.Sad and funny

Last week I overheard another co-worker donating one so the other person, who was becoming frantic, would not lose hours. Maybe it will catch on. You're right, We are our own leaders. It frightens me to think what I would do if that was my only job rather than $ for my dream fund to help further my writing goals.
Good Post.
===
Thank you for your kind words.

chacedollars said...

I run a non-profit training youth about policy and systems change.

I am creating a videogame focusing on teen dating violence.

I am also a consultant for a variety of groups nationally.

I am tired!!!

Model Minority said...

I just worked a double w/ no tips.
Shit is real.

However, Your work sounds awesome.

~R

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