Black Community Empowerment Initiative
While I wait on the release of my latest book— The Mis-Education of Black Youth in America — I am constantly faced with the fact that not enough is being done to educate and empower our youth. It is a fatal flaw in the thinking of blacks to expect a system designed and constructed by Europeans to address the unique needs of young black children. We must come to an apprehension of the fact that anytime that the survival of a group of people is dependent upon the oppression of another group of people, it will never be in the best interest of that group to help elevate the oppressed group.
It is also important to understand that we must shift our perception of education. Education is more than the attainment of academic skills; it is the holistic experience of being exposed to knowledge and stimuli that provides each person with everything that they need to effectively engage every challenge in life efficaciously. Holistic education begins with a knowledge of self, which will foster a positive self-image. Without self-awareness, we will never successfully stem the tide of violence in our inner city communities.
Understanding the current dilemma in Black America is imperative to creating a solid foundation on which we can stand and build. It is the lack of self-awareness that has crippled the mobility of blacks. We have lost sight of who we are. When a group of people is unaware of who they are, they will find themselves at the mercy of others to define them. We must comprehend the fact that the mis-education of blacks as a whole is not confined to the public school system. There are mechanisms of mis-education in every aspect of our culture. We find ourselves erroneously defined through the mass media, in news, TV shows and movie theaters.
The problem is that we are not engaging our responsibility to effectively educate our people, especially our children. It is vital that we view our children as our future, and we protect them as vital assets. This means that we must be willing to invest in them — starting with the process of educating them on who they are and what they are capable of.
This is why I have launched a national community initiative to educate our children on African History from an African American perspective. In Dallas, we are already engaging young black youth in several communities, and we are now moving into the Houston area. Additionally, I have been contacted and invited to play a role in engaging a serious community issue in the city of Wilmington, DE.
This past week has created opportunities for this program to go into South Florida and Atlanta, GA in addition to Wilmington. I also work with youth in East Dallas through the Promising Youth Alliance. I have committed my time to teaching cultural enlightenment courses that are built around understanding the depth of African history, and other vital elements of black awareness, for the purpose of building self-awareness that will lead to a more powerful self-image. It is my goal to erase the inferiority complex that is running rampant in the black community.
We also work to inculcate a mindset of ownership and wealth building through entrepreneurship and investing. We are teaching our kids that if they are not working to fulfill their dreams, they will be working to help someone else fulfill theirs.
If I have to commute to Houston to teach course myself, I will do so. These initial programs have served as a pilot and prototype for a national program that is in the process of expanding. Obviously there is a lot of work to be done, but we can no longer be satisfied with discussing the problems and debating the issues. It is time for us to become involved.
The Black Community Empowerment Initiative is the beginning of a progressive process of empowerment. The mis-education of our youth is a serious issue, and this is why I believe it is important to be actively involved. It is time to put boots on the ground. Having worked with these children directly, I have experienced the lack of hope and direction that they suffer from incessantly. I have come face to face with a paradigm that facilitates the acceptance of last-place as our permanent lot in life. Our youth have not learned to celebrate themselves, because we have not given them anything to celebrate.
We must give them more than a glimpse of Malcolm and a watered down version of Martin. We must take them beyond slavery to experience how we once lived as royalty. We must teach them to seek the highest level of existence in their lives. We must show them how to appreciate their own innate genius, instead of being impressed by others. We must challenge them to prepare to compete in an environment that is hostile toward them and win. We will show them how to completely dominate their periphery.
I am asking each of you to enlist in this battle at some level. For those of you who have some way that you can help facilitate these pilot programs in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Wilmington, please contact me directly by emailing me at CEO@theodysseyproject21.com. We also need your financial support for materials, resources, research, program development, training and more.
Being that I have done this before, I can tell you that we will need things to entice the children to participate initially. Unfortunately, this will not initially be viewed as a priority in the life of the majority of children in the inner city. The last time around, we used food, meaning that we fed them each week. I think this is a great idea, because proper nutrition is an issue in the inner city as also. I am also open to other ideas.
There comes a time in which a group of people must cease from talking about elevation and empowerment and actually start taking action. All of the posts on Facebook mean absolutely nothing if there is no corresponding action. I believe this latest book will be, by far, the most impacting; however, I believe that it will have an even greater impact if it is released amidst a movement in which we are working to effectively educate our youth.
Please commit to offering your support in this endeavor. I am willing to pour myself into this endeavor; however, I cannot do it alone. I am challenging you to join me. Your support is appreciated. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.
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