#GiveItUpForGood and Stake a Claim in Transforming Your Community

Majora carter, mark davis wdc solar, harlem grown, travyvon martin, kimye, environmental justice, Chicago school closings, Melissa harris perry, allstate give it up for good campaign, russel simmons, russel simmons quality access, quality access food stores, public policy, African americans institutional racism, African americans environmental justice,

I was recently selected to participate in the Allstate “Give it Up For Good” campaign to identify how each of us should start focusing on the good happening in our communities rather than the bad. Easier said than done in a media culture that worships stories on Kimye’s second coming but fails to address school closings in some of the country’s blackest poorest neighborhoods. And let us not forget that the family of Trayvon Martin has yet to receive justice.

To be candid, there are times when I find it grueling to be a brown person in America. Our communities bear the brunt end of every civil, social and economic injustice issue imaginable. The neighborhoods we call home can sometimes resemble more of a third-world bombsite versus a community where families rear children and neighbors count on each other. Access to quality food, education and clean air is an ongoing fight.

When will the madness stop? When will the freedoms that our country promises us really be afforded to the brown, disadvantaged and oppressed? I’m tired of sifting through newspapers and writing stories on the state of the African American community that has been hit hard by our country’s long substantiated love affair with institutional racism. The fight continues on. Until we are free from these realities, we ain’t never gonna be free. So I’m doing something about it.

Long gone are the days of beauty parties and product reviews. I’m proud to announce that I was recently awarded a one-year fellowship opportunity with the Zoom Foundation to work in the Mayor’s office of Bridgeport, Connecticut to focus on addressing public policy issues in education and the environment. I want to be the change that I wish to see. Or at least become part of the process.

Majora carter, mark davis wdc solar, harlem grown, travyvon martin, kimye, environmental justice, Chicago school closings, Melissa harris perry, allstate give it up for good campaign, russel simmons, russel simmons quality access, quality access food stores, public policy, African americans institutional racism, African americans environmental justice,

Young men install solar panels as part of the WDC Solar job training program

There are others that have been spearheading change and making our communities stronger every day. The Majora Carter’s of the world are completely transforming their once condemned neighborhoods into hubs for sustainability and job growth. The Mark Davis’ are contributing to the solar clean energy industry and hiring community residents in the process. Organizations like Harlem Grown are leading change by turning a local community garden into source of jobs for unemployed single-mothers and healthy food for New York City schools.

Even hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is setting his sights on rolling out quality food stores (not unlike that of cult favorite Trader Joe’s) to bring healthy produce into poor communities of color.

Innovators, thought-leaders and social entrepreneurs like the aforementioned group remind me that yes, there are many of us out there giving it up for good and transforming our communities as a result.

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Allstate believes that there is Good happening all around us, every single day, right in our communities. They believe that this Good is more powerful than Bad – it has the power to change the conversation, change communities, and ultimately, change lives, and we want to give it the recognition it deserves. They are committed to unearthing the stories about Good – stories of hope, strength and perseverance, stories of positivity and optimism, stories of kindness and generosity – stories that will inspire even more good.

How are you “Giving it up for Good” in your community and redefining transformation in the process?

Check out stories, pics, tweets and videos of the good happening in our communities at www.givitupforgood.allstate.com and share the good you see using @giveitupforgood and #giveitupforgood on Twitter and Instagram. Let’s do more Good, together.

Love and Beauty,

OBV

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Allstate via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of

the opinions or positions of Allstate.

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