Coming in the door, I thought the work done by the Center for Neighborhood Technology was outside the spaces I’d worked in over the last decade of my career. For the most part, my work has focused on providing resources to minority and women owned business owners in marginalized communities. I’ve always considered myself to be an aware and ethnocentric person and my previous jobs reflected that to some degree.
The term “marginalized” doesn’t just speak to the economic resources that have been siphoned out of Black and Brown communities over the last 100 or so years, it speaks to the very systems and statutes that created them. As I lean into this work, I’m seeing that there is a very direct connection between economic and environmental injustice.
It makes sense to me that I’ve work in business development support services. I’d been taught, my ancestors were brought to this country to function as cogs in an economic system. Internalizing this information led me to believe, if capitalism and it’s effects created these communities, it must be used as a tool to fix them. This has been and still is my ministry.
The reality, though… it’s deeper than economics. Systematic injustice is all encompassing. From the water in Flint, Michigan to the air in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, these communities exist as examples of not just neglect but what happens when corporate interests are given higher value than human ones. This isn’t the way…
I’m thankful for the opportunity to use my voice to work on behalf of those same people in those same communities that systems have overlooked. This is a new field and a new journey, but the work is just as necessary.