“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

Stand up and be counted, you are valuable to the community. It is time to take a rise up. There is no program to cure what ails impoverished communities across America. We are our only solution. No one is coming to beautify our neighborhoods, revitalize our communities or transform our schools. Poverty is not an accident and certain social programs perpetuate lack. But what are we prepared to do about our current station? What must we do today to change the course of our lives? What is our next right step? When will we decide to do something to break the cycle of generational poverty? At this point in time, nothing is more important than securing our future because social agencies that offer support were created to help us survive. It is up to us to create opportunities to thrive.

Steps to “Change”

Step 1: Mindset — Change your thinking. You are worth more, you deserve more, and it is your responsibility to do more.

Step 2: Systems — The social systems that assist with your day to day existence are meant to keep you oppressed. Free yourself and your family.

Step 3: Ownership — You have a skill, gift and / or talent. Use it. Create opportunities that build legacy.

Step 4: Relationships — Connect with people in your neighborhood to encourage them to do the same.

Step 5: Human Capital- There are people in your immediate area who can contribute to your growth, tap into those resources.

Step 6: Education — Now that you’ve built community, it’s time to address education. You and your like-minded neighbors must go to the community school at least 2 times per week to put all members of the academic community on notice.

Step 7: Accountability — Evaluate your progress and your motives individually, as a family and as a community. Have clear expectations and procedures. Hold members of the community accountable.

Step 8: Disclaimer: Your participation is required.

Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid, President and CEO of ACCESS Global, LLC. is a Consultant, Coach, Author and Professional Speaker. Her expertise is in Education, Cultural Competency, Social Awareness, Entrepreneurship and Community / Individual Empowerment.

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Originally published at medium.com