I greet you with the words of Jesus of Nazareth—Son of Man/Son of God—Peace be upon you!
At The Positive Community (TPC), we are excited about the future and the opportunity to engage in a conversation; to forecast an enduring, sustainable fifty year vision for our people—a positive community ideal. Back in 2011, we leveraged our cultural capital, social capital and institutional capital, by joining Al Koeppe, then president of the Newark Alliance of local corporations and private and public institutions; Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor Emeritus of Bethany BC, Newark and the late Professor Clement A. Price of Rutgers University- Newark to establish The Positive Community’s Newark Leadership Roundtable Series (NLRS): Thoughtful, solution seeking conversations— education, health and business—from a glass half-full perspective. Now in its fifth year, NLRS shines on as a beacon of hope and opportunity; of possibilities and potentials. It remains our most popular community outreach brand. A Wealth Creating Ideal This tradition continued on Saturday, October 29, at Rutgers School of Business. The Positive Community and community partner Wells Fargo Bank convened a Small Business and Technology Roundtable (page__). Moderator Lyneir Richardson, executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic development (CUEED), Rutgers School of Business, lead an expert panel on the subject. Here’s a sampling of the questions: How do we inspire job creating ventures among ourselves? The concept of a business or corporation is to provide a product or service at a profit. Beyond that, what is the ideal relationship between a business and its local community? What must we do to inspire and prepare our young people to see entrepreneurship or the vocation of sales Be Positive! as viable pathways to economic independence and lasting success? What do we mean by the term “Social Entrepreneur”? In an expanding global hi-tech economy, where do you see growth opportunities for the African American entrepreneur? What is the difference between equity capital and working capital when seeking business financing? The Black Church has played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement. Can this great institution that embodies so much tradition, culture and spiritual leadership also inspire, encourage and support a vision of economic advancement through technology (interdependence) grounded in cooperation within community that can foster what we might call a comprehensive community ideal- a true brotherhood? Can the profit-motive be augmented by a service motive? What will it take to move our communities forward through the use of technology and scientific innovation economically, socially, and culturally in this century? Now more than ever, we must be about the business of health, prosperity and teamwork, all of that which produces happiness and affirms the dignity of our humanity. After all, knowledge is power. We must now begin to prepare for the future on our own terms. As I see it, the keys to progress are: sincerity of purpose, selfacceptance; self-reliance and self-respect—a positive community-building, wealth creating ideal! Two weeks before the Roundtable, on October 14, TPC, launched a new Positive Music Matters, social entertainment series, The Friday Night Fish Fry. It was awesome, wholesome and fun (page__). Make plans for you and your friends to join us next time. A Cultural Milestone As we all know, Donald J. Trump has been elected President of the United States. He will take the Oath of Office on January 20, 2017. Our President, Barak Obama is now in the final days of a historic two terms (eight years) in the nation’s highest office. Fear not; let not your hearts be neither troubled nor afraid. The bestof our times are ahead us! All we have to do is to commit ourselves to doing something positive—now! For 16 years, TPC has featured no other image on our January cover than Martin Luther King Jr., “a 20th century prophet”. When we were just starting out in 2000, the late Rev. Charles Kenyatta of Harlem, our original photographer, admonished Jean and me to never take King off the cover. Why? Because . . . “King is King, always”! In 2017, TPC will depart from that sacred custom to present to our readers, advertisers and friends the essential President Barak Obama Commemorative Tribute Issue! This will be the edition that will be on coffee tables throughout the region for months to come. It will also be preserved as a family keepsake and passed along to generations yet unborn. Because of what we do today, fifty years from now, our descendants will see the Obama presidency as one of the most important achievements in our collective freedom journey. It’s a cultural milestone that we must always embrace and will never forget! We invite everyone to participate in this communitybuilding initiative, The Positive Community’s Obama Tribute Issue—our readers, churches, community institutions; business and corporations/advertisers. The healing begins as we promote a sense of belonging, worthiness and competency among ourselves! A Call-to-Action We are seeking the support and encouragement of our great community institutions and civic organizations: NAACP, Urban League, National Action Network, One Hundred Black Men, One Hundred Black Women, DFree, African Americans for Health Awareness (AAHA), My Brother’s Keepers, our fraternities and sororities, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ, The Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Muslim American Chamber of Commerce; Labor Unions; professional and fraternal organizations, sports clubs, as well as all forward-thinking businesses and corporations that value our consumer dollars and who are much-valued stake-holders in community progress. The Positive Community is making a direct, heart-felt appeal to our Roll Call membership (see page 7). the many, many clergy leadership organizations and associations of this region: The Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater NY and Vicinity, The Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater Newark and Vicinity, Empire Missionary Baptist Convention of New York and their associations; General Baptist Convention of New Jersey and their associations; United Missionary Baptist Convention of NJ; the AME Church and their districts, Elders and Bishops, Church of God in Christ and their Jurisdictions , Full Gospel Baptist Church, African American Clergy and Elected Officials in Brooklyn, Black Ministers Council of NJ, MPAC (Mobilizing Preachers and Communities) of NYC, North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI), The Black Church Means Business, The Archdiocese of NY’s Office of Black Ministry, The Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Brooklyn; the Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations, The 7 Day Adventists denomination, our Mosques, Synagogues and Temples. The enthusiastic support by these groups for this project is absolutely crucial! A Positive Community The future is now; the vision is clear! In decades to come, the success or failure of this present generation will be measured and judged not by our politics or a standard of living, but rather by the quality of our thinking. It remains forever true: The progress of our children and the integrity of our African American values, culture and traditions mean everything! Without the full embrace of these transcendent, qualitative values, there is no way forward. On such matters, the African American people are sovereign. And, we can only be denied if only we deny ourselves! So, let’s not deny ourselves this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate and show our love for United States President Barack Obama, his family and his awesome accomplishments and contributions to America and the world in the next edition of The Positive Community magazine. Share a life-affirming, positive message of hope on our Facebook or our website’s message board www.thepositivecommunity.com. Post your video message. We need our churches and schools to support this most noble, righteous cause with an ad placement in this very special commemorative, keepsake edition. Small businesses welcome. If you are aware of any corporations or banks that should be included, let us know and we will reach-out to them. Ideas to share or for more information call us at 973-233-9200; email us: [email protected] Our goal for 2017 and beyond, simple and straightforward is to be healthy, prosperous and happy—positive. Our immediate objective: the Obama Tribute Issue. So, together, let us muster the faith, courage and will to go forth in claim of our divine inheritance—our future—the American Dream! . . . Because a positive community is everybody’s business . . . It really pays to care! Amen!