Sources:  United States Army,  US Dept. of Commerce,  Kellogg Cultures of Giving Report,  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Next Narrative for Black America is one where we define ourselves by our aspirations rather than our challenges.
Isn’t it odd the words we use to describe ourselves when seeking support and resources for our community, our agendas, our platforms, paint a not-so-flattering image of our people? In-this, un-that, under-this, dis-that – are all prefixes that subtract from our value. So often, we define our people with words like underprivileged, disadvantaged – unaware of its stigmatizing effects. How do these words make the argument that we “deserve” that which we seek? If we want people to invest in our community, our agenda, our platform, we must show what we have to offer – we must amplify narratives that reflect our value.
Asset-Framing is the principle that defines communities by their aspirations and contributions, rather than their challenges and deficits.
For instance, we hear quite often about the alarming unemployment rate in the African-American community. But what of the impressive 2.6 million African-Americans who own businesses that provide employment opportunities for others?
Coined by BMe Community, Asset-Framing is getting a lot of traction in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion arena. Oddly enough, it is not widely practiced by Black community organizations or leaders. It’s a common misconception that you have to illustrate “need” to get help. Any good investor looks for the potential of a return on the investment – that is not illustrated by presenting all the obstacles to success. To better position our people for the future, we must asset-frame our agenda.
The initiatives that BMe Community has invested in have raised an estimated $300 million since 2013. This was not done by positioning the Black community as “disadvantaged” or “deprived.” By simply acknowledging Black people’s aspirations and contributions to society and the economy, we attracted investors who want to build a better future – not remediate Black people.