Of late I have been issuing the challenge to leaders and regular citizens alike about the need to be inspirational. Times are tough, but we can still be inspirational. Challenges exist on every side but we can still be inspirational. We may feel like we are not gaining ground but we can still be inspirational. In the midst of that inspiration we can see through those tough times and challenges. Inspiration is viral, if we are it; others are compelled to be it.
Why do I open my Editor in Chief Notes with the words above? The reason I share these particular words is because I have been inspired by a group of young leaders (ages 15-20) growing up in the central area and south end of Seattle, They are a part of the RB Coalition’s SE Seattle FreedomNet project and we call them citizen journalists – you can see their faces above. These elegant young people have launched #RBArtsbeats, an online e-magazine intended to be a snapshot of the wonderful things happening in the south end particularly in the areas of arts. To see their individual stories click the “Select Author” button under the citizen journalists heading on the right side of this page. FreedomNet as you know has a goal is to empower youth to become active citizens and agents of social change through the use of social media, state of the art technology and on the ground near real time reporting. The citizen journalists, for the next few months through #RBArtsbeats are directing their activism at the arts activity in south end Seattle, particularly Rainier Beach (RB). Through funding from the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and Neighbor to Neighbor the hearts and minds of young people in Seattle’s south end are exposing us to what’s good in the south end of Seattle. That is inspirational! I absolutely love quoting one of our up and coming neighborhood organizers in regard to this…”if you know what is good in your neighborhood you know what is good in you” With a focus on the arts over the next few months the SE Seattle FreedomNet citizen journalists are striving to become “black masters of social artistry”. They are seeking to capture the arts scene through their eyes and words. They will use IPads, mobile phones, digital cameras and social media to inspire you. To help you see through the tough times. Prayfully their effort will result you striving to inspire others, in you joining SE Seattle FreedomNet, in you actively changing the perception of our neighborhood. Take your time and enjoy this offering, share it with young people you know…have them join us…..let’s get viral!
Gregory Davis, Editor in Chief