Updated: Oct 10, 2019
"Building & change starts with open hands."
I feel that every community should have resources and consistent sustainability for the people who live within it. Studies each year have proven to show by numbers that the spending capitol and power of black people rises each year. Most recently the black dollar reached a net worth of 1.2 trillion dollars. While this number can appear fancy, or even a blurry to some, the larger question remains how much of that spending power is recycled back into communities where black people reside. In the book The Blueprint for Black Power by the late great Dr. Amos Wilson, he dedicates a chapter specifically on what it means in any city or nation regardless of race to have economic power.
Economic power means having the power to create and sustain jobs. Ask yourself this, in my area of residence, how many black owned businesses are flourishing? Is there a business I can go to where people that look like me run it, and offer reliable products and services? For example a cleaners, a grocery, entertainment centers, bakeries, a clothing store, a retail store, a gas station, and dine in restaurants. Establishments as such, makes living sustainable daily.
In some areas, many of us live in what is called food deserts. These deserts have abandoned buildings, a limited amount of resources to the point where we have to travel outside of our spaces to find better quality resources. If we strive more towards maintaining economic power we can hire the generations of tomorrow, and see the investments of how and where our money is being spent. We can make investments based on our needs, and see growth in other areas. So let's reflect upon where our priorities are in regards to the future. There are many people who spend money on hair, shoes, and other things at businesses who depend on our money, but do not hire us or invest back into us. Budgeting and being more selective with where we spend may take some revising; it will however lead us into a clearer and progressive path for practicing group economics.
Close your eyes and imagine a world where in your city and current community it’s developed, your children can apply for solid part time jobs. These same children can see doctors, and plumbers, and managers, bankers who look like them throughout their everyday interactions. The future is in our hands! Blessings.
MarVanna Avery- Cash is a Chicago born naturalista, philanthropist in arts & education. She’s taught acting to high school and middle school students, as well as directing/coaching adult actors.Loves Acting, & Directing, Creative Writing. Her passion is to motivate, innovate, and elevate through her work. She enjoys mentoring and making meaningful changes . She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts & English Literature from Lawrence University of Appleton, WI. She also holds a Masters of Integrated Arts and Education from Columbia College Chicago. She is a graduate of the Music and Improv Conservatory at The Second City & IO Chicago.
Marvanna has performed on stage numerous times at The Second City Comedy and Improv center, and across the city at various places. She performed her one woman show "Dream Queen" at The Second City most recently. Marvanna is classically trained as an actress, and really enjoys originality on stage. Marvanna loves acting and engaging civically in her craft to make a meaningful difference. In the coming years she is looking forward to actively changing the industry of arts and education reform, and leading a brand that gives more accessible opportunities for young and older people involved in arts education and entertainment.
Having the power and platform to share a narrative that is not compromised or controlled by another’s voice is a blessing. She looks forwards to earning her PHD in Afro-American Studies. When I sit at the table, I aspire to taste my dreams. Positive vibes, drive, and bringing it all into fruition with faith. One of my favorite words of inspiration comes from Dr. Maya Angelou she said “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”, and lastly from Whoopi Goldberg “I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities."
You can follow her on Instagram (@dramaticempowerment) and on Facebook (Kween Vanna). She currently resides in Chicago, IL where she teaches and performs.