In early June, I overheard a conversation my spouse was in engaged with a few friends as we sat under a pitch black night sky, faces illuminated by a small fire. "Man caught helping elderly woman across the street. Child falls in the street and is fine. Woman walks by herself after dark and nothing happens," he laughed jovially at his made-up news headlines. We pondered today's news coverage and wondered aloud where the good stories are, or simply the stories that aren't stories at all. Since that night, we send each other reports of good behavior out in the world. Accounts that make us feel good, reports of news that aren't really news at all.
It's particularly difficult in traveling home to visit loved ones in a place where folks experience isolation at a level that I can't fully comprehend. They voice their well-meaning fears about my residence in Chicago despite the years and their visits. I had a very sweet conversation with my father where I directly told him to stop watching Fox News after his numerous calls to me in DC for the Women's March. "I'm here, Dad, and it's not like what they're saying on TV." Yet for many folks, tele
So how can we change the coverage to report on the assets of our communities? I often wonder how we could protest the media, change community perception, and grow social media by reporting on Asset Mapping of communities. I love that this piece addresses those negative perceptions of black communities on the southside of Chicago by countering with the strengths only insiders would know.
We know its transformative power of asset mapping and I can personally attest to the deliciousness of Soul Vegetarian. How would our media change if we, as community organizers, were proactive about pitching these gems in our personal narratives, social media postings, press interviews, and conversations with our families and friends?
What are the stories of your community, the highlights that you would personally share with those outside of your neighborhood?