Building Better Communities

I’ve tried to find a focus in what I want to do with my life. I know there are issues I care about — public health, women of color leadership, community development, among others. However, I never had an “angle,” that one thing that ties all of my interests together. A good friend of mine told me to check out GOOD’s issue about neighborhoods, and that is when it hit me: I want to build better communities.

Today, I met with Plainfield, New Jersey’s Council Member At Large Annie McWilliams, who has been such an inspiration to me ever since I met her at StartingBloc New York. Annie and I chatted over omelettes in East Newark discussing some of the issues urban communities (predominately of color) face. I left our conversation even more inspired to spring into action and come up with new ways for me to tackle some issues I see in the neighborhood where I grew up, East New York, Brooklyn.

I have been simultaneously working on a model for community development that encourages previous residents of underserved communities to reinvest in their neighborhoods. After speaking with a number of people in the field of community/economic development, it seems feasible and something I am adamant about implementing.

Tonight, I am pulling an all-nighter to get my plans together and figure out the best way for me to be an active participant in providing sustainable solutions to urban issues. I think I finally recognized my calling.

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~ by Shalena on April 24, 2010.

One Response to “Building Better Communities”

  1. Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂

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