For me, the idea of providing change to my community had significantly changed from when I was a child in elementary school up until my current years in college. The expectations and determinations weren’t significant because I was young and didn’t have much knowledge about community efforts. I didn’t have the ability to make the necessary steps to indicate that we needed a strive for change and equality in my neighborhood and for people as a whole. The main components of my community were being respectful, conversing not inflicting violence, and staying dedicated to education and academics. All of which were components that I learned from elementary school and followed me throughout my time in high school. The components of a defined, stabled, and growing community was gradually shaped differently as we became older, mature, and free in expressing ourselves and our goals in both societal and community change. The components now became more specific, socially conscious, and aware (e.g. focusing on change in the school system, justice system, poverty). The focus of change for me became more apparent in questioning if I’m doing enough for not just my community that I live in but for other communities that mirror mine or are less fortunate.
My neighborhood of residents tends to stay content with their situations and keep to themselves. It’s always been that way for a long time. There’s never been a need for us to become social with each other or even know each other’s names. We respect one another from a distance, however, we take the courtesy and knowledge that we will protect anyone if a situation occurs. The diversity of problems faced in my neighborhood and similar communities isn’t really shed to light. My community is a bit complex since I live on the end of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York nearing other neighborhoods such as Brownsville and Canarsie. With where I live I can encounter different neighborhoods and communities within walking distance. Living in Brooklyn, New York my whole life, I’ve tried to understand and practice ways of providing change for the better of my communities and others surrounded by it.
Conversation, socialization, and trust would be very important to my community because it would allow for me and many people in my neighborhood to understand each other’s background, upbringing, identity, issues and adapt a new source of support and availability in terms of safety and being open with themselves. Many people in my communities vary in ages and generations. Having civil, informative, and productive talks about societal problems, social dilemmas, dogma, social independence, racial and gender stereotypes and generalizations, violence, abuse, authoritative figures, etc. would be so valuable to building a more true, genuine, and connected community. Other things such as alerting people of big opportunities, starting clubs, creating community meetings, becoming educated on topics we may be ignorant to, and using people’s voices and stories to spread messages and uplift each other.
The term in itself “change” is one that spawns different outlooks of its definition in correlation with what it is applied to in this case, being “community” changes. Will our efforts bring change that solves problems temporarily or solve problems permanently? Or better yet until the systems in place change it? Change in a community is revolved around the current situations and issues being faced by the very people who reside there and are a part of the environment and culture. The ability to drive change in a community, in general, takes a lot in terms of determining efforts, issues, demands, and problems that are historically systemic and generational. Change doesn’t come overnight nor by one person. Creating and developing a community involves empowerment, inclusion, conversation, discussion, and understanding. The will to not only put me to the task but incorporate others in my educational and personal field to the task can ultimately put forward a new shift in thriving efforts revolved around humanitarianism, humanism, and critical/necessary characteristics in building, structuring, and maintaining a balanced community.