Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Real World of Englewood - The Reality Show!!

Let me first apologize to the followers of this blog...I have not abandon you! Its been since May since my last post which in my book is unacceptable! Honestly, since the launch of RAGE, concluding the 2nd cycle of Media-N-Motion, and all the other stuff I have on my plate...My time to stop, reflect, then write has been limited...But today, I was determined when I got up, made me some tea, grab my laptop, and headed to the porch to listen to the birds chirmping, and embracing the peaceful calm air! I am now ready to write....
Don't get me wrong, although I have not written about Englewood, there has been an awful lot said and reported about my beloved neighborhood...So much so, I think it may be time to enlist MTV or Bravo and get our own reality show!! 

It could be the "Real World of Englewood" or "Made in Englewood"...You get my drift...That way you would see the whole side of Englewood from the people who live here vs. outsider who come do a story then head back to Highland Park or some other burbs...I think a reality show will be perfect because I don't think people would believe some of the things I witness here...The Good, the Bad or the Ugly! 

For example, there was a horrible article about Englewood that of course made the front page of the Tribune a few weeks ago...I think the subtitle of the article read, "Housing crisis was final nail in the coffin of once-promising recovery"....This article sent another ray of hopelessness amongst residents who live here....What's ironic about this piece is the fact that RAGE met these reporters and gave them a wide range of stories filled with POSITIVITY...During their "research" of the neighborhood the reporters attended one of RAGE Economic Development meetings....

There they met a lawyer/real estate developer who grew up in Englewood, moved out but decided to bring his practice back to the neighborhood...He owns several properties in the neighborhood and even organized a "clean the block" campaign whereas the business owners on the block contributed garbage cans to several locations on Racine from Garfield to about 57th street..This would have been a great story to share or even an episode in the new reality show! But we all know the media, they whether focus on the NEGATIVE, the vacant buildings, crime, etc. Which is why I choose to capture the Beauty of Greater Englewood....Like this garden located on 55th & Marshfield...

Beautiful garden at 55th & Marshfield courtesy of A. Butler
Photo Courtesy of Tribune
Another great story that the Tribune failed to capture is the story about the Kusanya Cafe...One of RAGE members have been working on this project for a few years now and is closer than ever to cutting that ribbon to launch the grand opening!  Residents are backing this project because we would love a gathering space in a neighborhood that has no cafe outside of a Dunkin Donuts...Following this story could be another great episode for the "Real World of Englewood" reality show...Or at least a mention in the Tribune...Good thing it was mention in Streetwise earlir this year.

Then there's the other RAGE member who owns the Perry Mansion Cultural Center at 7042 S. Perry...One of the only privately owned cultural centers in our neighborhood...If you have not already seen this beautiful site you should definitely drive by and see it...There is art, culture and true residents and stakeholders with a love of PEACE that rarely is talked about...
Perry Mansion Cultural Center Courtesy of A. Butler

There is pure beauty here in Englewood that no one writes about, but that will soon change as RAGE members become our very own community reporters that will focus on the arts, peace and positivity!!

Speaking of which....Make sure you SAVE THE DATE - September 10th for the Englewood Arts Festival at Hamilton Park Cultural Center located 513 W. 72nd St....

We are calling all artists to be a part of this GRAND event!! For more info, contact the Planning Coordinator at 773.924.3505.
Now, in the world of RAGE, things are still progressing very smoothly!  We recently had a fun Father's Day Celebration in one of the vacant parking lots here in Englewood...We fed the community, provided music and had just a fun-filled time for anyone who came around 74th & Racine...

Because we had such a successful event, we decided that RAGE will do a "Takin it to Da Streets" event every month this summer...Our next "Takin it to the Streets" event will be July 23rd at the West Englewood Library...Also, if you are interested in hearing about our other projects and initiatives join our monthly meeting Tuesday, July 19th at the 7th District Community Room 1438 W. 63rd St.

RAGE Father's Day Event Courtesy of Rashanah Baldwin

Here are a few of things RAGE is involved in throughout the community...
  • RAGE members are team teaching a youth web/writing summer program for After School Matters
  • Taught a writing class for youth at Safety Network and publish a newsletter
  • Participated in the 100 Black Positive Men program at Wentworth Elementary School
  • Serves on the Black Star Community PTA, whom recently met with Jean Claude Brizard, CEO of CPS to discuss tactics for parental engagement
  • Serves on the Englewood Community Action Council of CPS to develop a strategic educational plan for the neighborhood
  • Presented to 25 young black males of the Adler/Teamwork African American Male Initiative summer program
  • Partnered with Black Wall Street to support a youth summer program that are developing young leaders how to be community activists
  • Assisted with the Online Townhall Meeting at KKC with Mayor Rahm Emanuel
  • Serves as advisory council member of the Englewood Neighborhood Recovery Initiative
  • Serve as partners with the Englewood Back to School Parade scheduled for August 27th
  • Donated funds to assist in the development of a primary school in Ghana, Africa
  • Working on a comprehensive plan for economic stability in Greater Englewood
These are only a few of the accomplishments or projects that RAGE is associated with....The uniqueness of RAGE is the fact that this is an association of professional residents and stakeholders who are committed to the reinvestment of our neighborhood...We are also working together to FORCE CHANGE in a neighborhood often targeted as a hopeless dumping ground...
Some people say what's does RAGE really do??  Well, we as you can see we do a lot...You just need to keep up with us and get involved...If you are a resident who wants to get involved call us anytime at 866-845-1032!!

Honestly, RAGE could be its own reality show...Real World of RAGE!  However, with so many Non-For-Profits agenices robbing the community, churches who do not give back, businesses who $$ leave our community in less than hour, various projects and campaigns from outsiders who are trying to capitalize will make for a hliarious, yet interesting show...One thing for sure is that there is so much to cover besides foreclosed homes and vacant lots...All we need is a camera crew, a cast and then you will see the REAL WORLD IN ENGLEWOOD IN ACTION! 

Stay tuned, because I may just need to produce this product...You never know what the future will bring...right??
I think that's all I will discuss for now...As many of you know I will be off to Ghana, July 27th so please keep me in your prayers and wish me safe travels! I will be gone for about 14 days...So my next post will probably be all about my wonderful experience...Stay tuned & as always TAKE ACTION to CREATE the life you truly desire...That is exactly how I am living and loving every bit of it...PEACE!!