Thursday, April 18, 2013

How the Sum of Many Makes a Difference

Face it: Detroit has got a bad rap. Poverty is an ongoing problem in our city. Just like quicksand, it is a problem that tends to pull us in the longer we stay in. Sometimes it feels like struggling so hard and making only a little progress (or even worse, sinking further in) is not worth it. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the fight. Better to just accept the label as the truth.

Nowhere to Go but Up

Even if we feel frustrated at our poverty today, our frustration should not feed feelings of hopelessness and defeat. It is tempting to let that happen, but our frustration should be the fire that drives us. When we see problems, we must believe that we can solve them. That was ARISEDetroit’s vision for the Neighborhoods Rising Summit, a vision which the group hopes to make real.

In Detroit, many outreach groups have been set up to solve different problems related to poverty. They see a gap between the present situation and the dream of a better future, and do all they can to close that gap.

Reach Out by Reaching Together

In spite of their intentions, these groups fall short of their goals. It is not for lack of effort, or lack of will. It is because there is competition. With limited resources and so many problems like violence, illiteracy, poor parenting, misdirected youth, and inferior education, it is no surprise that the struggle is so hard.

Each person has only a limited reach and influence. However, by joining hands with others, individuals gain greater potential to lift up their community. In the same way, groups that are connected will be stronger than groups that work separately.

The Whole is Greater than the Parts

At ARISEDetroit, we believe in the power of sums. It is important to participate in the efforts of different outreach groups. Working together, we can pull our community up faster. With enough people helping, there will be another Neighborhoods Rising Summit soon. We can make the future better; it is a change that will not happen on its own. As fellow Detroit citizens, we hope that you’ll be part of that change.

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