Being vulnerable is not easy. Relationships often fail because one partner is unwilling to be vulnerable with the other, be transparent, or ask for help. To ask is admitting you need something from someone and most people do not want to feel needy. It is when we swallow our pride, however, and let others see that vulnerability that we become whole and receive the help we are seeking. I started A Red Circle to ask for help. My black brothers and sisters need help; my community needs help. I need help.
I live near Ferguson, Missouri, which is located in north St. Louis County, Missouri (“North County”). (I will assume that if you are reading this, you have heard of Ferguson.) My proverbial ‘life bubble’ was smoothly intact until August, 2014 and, when it burst, it brought forth such a heavy amount of anguish and anger that I was unprepared for it. I lost quite a few friends during the aftermath but, I eventually gained new friends and began to heal.
My new friends came from all walks of life. They were co-volunteers on Bernie Sanders’ political campaign, Christians from Trinity Church, and moms in a wonderful group called The Mercy Project.
My political involvement inspired me to return to school and pursue my PhD to learn exactly why in 2017, the black community in North County was vilified as it was after Mike Brown’s death. And, why North County’s economic condition seemed to be worsening. Since August, 2014, I have learned much about St. Louis, Missouri and North County in particular. I learned things that have enlightened me and that have saddened me. My knew knowledge also, however, propelled me into action and I refused to be angry only. Coincidentally, I discovered I was no longer angry. I was ready!
I have an MBA so I know a little bit about economics, business management, marketing, and so on. I realize that racism not only has an emotional cost but an economic cost. Racist laws that were designed to segregate blacks and whites severely contribute to North County’s current economic state. I have always enjoyed economic development and seeing new stores and homes being built in predominantly black communities. Unfortunately, oftentimes those communities are not sustainable so businesses shutter shortly after they are built. So, how can you help me? I started this post by admitting my people and I need help. Well, here is my ask. I ask that you consider the term investment.
Over the next few weeks, we will blog about investing — investing into one’s children, the community, education, health, and so on. These blog posts will be geared towards potential clients because we want them to buy-in to A Red Circle’s full lineup of services and events prior to their roll out.
But, not only do I want our clients to invest in themselves, I want you to invest in A Red Circle. You can do this by giving, volunteering, sharing the website, liking the Facebook page, following us on Twitter, and by supporting the work we are doing in whatever way you can.
All are welcome into our circle because all blood is red.