Thursday, January 22, 2015

School is Out and Good in Englewood is In!!

Hello Hello Hello....Hope you missed me on my little hiatus from my blog!!  I am proud to announce that I am back to blogging since the bell has rang and school is out! For the readers who were not aware, I have been on a 24-month learning journey earning my Masters in Inner City Studies at Northeastern University at the Jacob Carruthers Center....

Don't know what I was thinking when I decided to return to school.....But I did it and enjoyed every moment of the experience.  From the small classrooms, the intense debates rooted in black culture, to the incredible faculty, and most of all an eager cohort of dynamic people all working towards the same goal - Graduation - December 2014!! Peep the cap and gown below! I did that!!!

I know what you are thinking..."What is a Masters in Inner City Studies? And with a name like "Mrs. Englewood" hasn't she already "mastered" the inner city...." Well it's more to it then that and although, I have a reputation of doing FANTASTIC things in Englewood...There is no way I can master the ever changing "inner city"...The inner city - aka urban areas aka ghettos or whatever you want to label marginalized black communities - is far too complex to master in a lifetime. The culture, politics, people and challenges will always be learning lessons for anyone working in this capacity.....So if you are working for change, prep yourself to be a life long learner!

This learning journey explored in great detail how many black communities with the same challenges as Englewood are systematically structured to fail. I know, depressing right?? But if you know me I am optimistic being and will always see the light at the end of the tunnel. We also delved deeper in Ancient African Civilization, examined the history of Chicago Public Schools, Curriculum for black students and much more...I am grateful that I was able to deepen my understanding of my community, education, economics and even examine my own personal purpose and work in Englewood.

Now when I started this blog back in 2009 I wanted to use this as a tool to give you a glimpse to my life as I work as a change agent and highlight the Good in Englewood - you can view some of my previous posts from 2010 here.

I did this because most new stories only reflect the negative activities here...The Good in Englewood concept has since flourished and if I am not reporting the Good in Englewood, so many individuals, organizations, and even main stream media outlets are now contributing to this movement!! 

As you can see from my previous blog posts, I mainly shared what organizations and individuals were doing...But this time the #GoodinEnglewood is me..Yes, ME - Aysha Butler aka Mrs. Englewood! 

Living in a community, where most people consider residents like myself, poor & uneducated....I am here to tell to you we are not!! I am proud mother of an exceptional student at Lindblom, a loving wife, a real estate investor, a community strategist and a PROUD Co-Founder/President of one of the most recognized groups in Englewood...R.A.G.E.!! I am here to tell you LOUD & CLEAR that we are far from LOSERS in Englewood!! This is the place where many trail blazers like myself are born and raised!!

See people from Englewood have to fight a little harder than an average Chicagoans, because we are always working to prove to others that TRUE GREATNESS resides in the 60621 or 60636 zip codes! 

2014 was a year of greatness and not only did I shine bright, but my community was shining even brighter!  From being the first community to pioneer the Large Lot Program that has now expanded to other communities in Chicago, to hosting our very own film festival, a 5K and just basically being the most talked about neighborhood in Chicago....This is not even half of the Good in Englewood that happened last year....Just search twitter for #GoodinEnglewood or check out my storify for a few of the stories...

So I would close by saying, in case you think Englewood is just a magnet for horrible news....I am a LIVING example of a #GOODINENGLEWOOD story!! So s
tay tuned for more living examples of #GoodinEnglewood in 2015!!! 

Until next time...TAKE ACTION to CREATE the life you truly desire!!!