The Language of CommUNITY

21 Mar

A response from my friend regarding my entry: Defining Yourself Through Language

side note: I think being “bilingual” is great, although tiring, you can understand and communicate with so many different types of people. And I think for your future goals and development… being “bilingual” is going to be one of your biggest assets. Instead of it being tiring think of it as a routine work out…. not always what you want to do but it def makes you stronger.

I am very glad this was brought to my attention as I do believe my ability to seamlessly transition between the business world, the community, and other places is a skill. However, I have now learned that I must bring these skills together to demonstrate that my spaces do not have to exist separately, primarily when the focus is community development.

A recent article reported that there have been 19 shootings in Chicago in 48 hours, since the breaking of the weather. Immediately after reading the article, I had to ask myself “how are my actions- in and out of work- relevant to the needs of the community?” I have committed myself to youth development, but for almost two years, my working environment did not support what I know to be sustainable and responsible community development. True community development must include the community in every phase of PLANNING, even when you fear the community may not understand or be knowledgeable.

Ultimately, community developers should aim to work them selves out of a job. If members of the community do not have a voice during every phase of planning, a reciprocal learning process is not taking place. One must always remember that the community holds a level of expertise that simply cannot be found in census information or statistics. 

Organizations that operate to support and enhance the community can choose a people centered approach, an income approach, or one of brand and prestige that appears to benefit the clients (but ultimately puts them on display). Having worked with a variety of non profits, I am beginning to understand the language of organizations and leadership that align with my personal statement. I also believe that when working with a company that does not align with me I have to be willing to do things their way whether I agree or not, AND be willing to leave when I am tired of squeezing my foot in the shoe.

The reason it is important for me to create one “language” (knowledge, belief, and behavior) that speaks to the branding I want to be known for has everything to do with Chicago’s hideous news headlines. I have to speak this language in order to know what commitments I am married to and how my actions will affect this union.

Did you know that even gangs have bylaws and business plans? I ask myself, what language is being created during violent acts on sunny days that filled the best memories of my childhood?

Below is a link that discusses how language is used to shape violence in our society.


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One response to “The Language of CommUNITY

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