Synopsis of the June 22 “No More Excuses” Rally in Baltimore, Maryland

The organization BlackMen Unifying BlackMen held its second “No More Excuses” Rally at the historic Arch Social Club on Thursday, June 22.  The next Rally is scheduled for July 27 at Arch Social Club.

At the “No More Excuses” Rallies, Black men come together to speak frankly but respectfully to each other about the ills that impact our Community and the degree to which our own actions, and inactions, have created or aggravated some of the crises we face.

Spearheaded by community activists Bill Goodin, Renny Bass, David Murphy, George Mitchell and Dr. Andrey Bundley, these rallies, which are really open, honest and frank meetings among Black men, provide an opportunity for us to challenge each other but also to make constructive suggestions to each other in a safe space.  Service providers offering employment, training, community mediation, substance abuse treatment, parenting assistance and other essential services are invited to apply for opportunities to make presentations.

BlackMen Unifying BlackMen was initiated nineteen months ago when Bill Goodin put out a call, largely on Facebook, calling on Black men to come together to simply “break bread” with one another at breakfast meetings held on the first Saturday of every month.  As he explains it, Renny Bass once said to him, “If I know you, I’m less likely to pull the trigger on you.”  This simple thought helped spark a year and a half of breakfast meetings, mostly at Terra Café on St. Paul and 25th Streets, but also at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center on Howard Street downtown and the Arch Social Club in the Penn-North Community.

The work of BlackMen Unifying BlackMen has the potential to help spark many other programs, including the Pan-Afrikan Town Halls and Cooperative Coalitions we have promoted on this site, because of the basic fellowship these meetings and rallies have engendered.  Some critics have questioned the organization’s political focus, but they have remained patient about taking sides in many of the political debates that embroil our Community, save one: the need for Black men to take responsibility and to take leadership in the healing of our Communities.  Central to that goal is for us to learn how to treat each other, our families, and our Communities with respect.  The fact is, we cannot build together, struggle together and heal our Community together if we haven’t gotten the “together” part of that equation down first.

This is an example of Black Men standing up and taking responsibility for healing our community, and these committed community activists are to be greatly commended for their efforts.

The following is the synopsis of the June 22 “No More Excuses” Rally, as composed by NaNo Tech Analytics & Consulting and distributed by Minister Glenn Smith of BlackMen Unifying BlackMen.

Synopsis of the last “No Excuses Rally” June 22nd:
Identified problems, needs and discussion points

Culture
1.  Image of self- Who and what we see when we look around our environment or in the media affects us.  Our self-image influences our self-respect and esteem, communication, character, and habits. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do we see who we actually are or who they programmed us to see?

2. Cultural mind frame- We have no singular mind frame to operate from. We are a very diverse group of people as the decedents of the Diasporan African. Though there are advantages in regards to creativity, we tend to be segmented and have no basic cultural ideal to hold us together.

3. We need a Hub/Headquarters- The ARCH Social Club was suggested because the building has tremendous potential and tons of history.

Business
4. Business development/Business thinking- We have to develop the quality of our businesses. We have to support local black business primarily. Business is an amazing tool for revenue accumulation, tax advantages and a way to service and support your community. As a people we need multi-streams of income, multi-platforms and organized leadership to address our socio-economic needs.

5. Demand from those you support- if I support your business and social interest economically than I expect for my business and social interest to be supported by you economically. If reciprocity is not offered then we will demand it. If the demand is not met the support will stop.

6. Infrastructure and breaking into markets- Other cultures have a monopoly on capital, raw material and other resources. We need to break into and acquire control of markets which influence our livelihood through. It was suggested we pursue Liquor, Marijuana, and Pharmaceutical licensure. Develop a Real Estate Investment Trust and understand wealth transfer.

Community
7. Community needs assessment vs. blanket approach- An army going into neighborhoods gathering information on the needs of a particular community and the varying degrees of assistance required; instead of a handful of people making decisions, implementing policies and enforcing laws for people they do not understand. Policy and the methods of implementation have to represent the true need of the community.

8. Community Accountability/Community Policing- We have to look at and take responsibility for what goes on in our community without fear or apology. Churches and businesses within specific areas can begin to address specific needs of those areas.

Youth/Education
9. There is a huge need for additional black (male) educators/curriculum focused on Black culture- We need to teach our children the truth about this world as it relates to them and how to navigate for success.

10. Alumni supported schools- Former students are a strong resource to every school. Alumni, current students and parents are a strong force that once unified can make serious demands. Realistically, there are always more alumni than there are current students which lends to numerical power.

11. Mentorship- Necessary guidance and specialized training for our future generations.

12. Understanding the generational impact- The next 5-8 generations will be affected by our actions or inactions.

Real Talk
13. Radical response when necessary- Requires preparation and strategic execution (there is a time for everything, even a time to fight).

14. We are a puzzle within ourselves, where other groups see us as a whole. Our strategies are scattered and our efforts of fragmented; while the efforts against us are organized, calculated, and intentional.

15. We have to decide how to address the collateral damage in our community- We will fail if we attempt to save everyone, especially without proper positioning.

16. We are our own worst enemy- History will reveal we have constantly been destabilized from within by those who were ill-informed and persuaded by material possessions and pseudo-power from outsiders.

17. Struggle- is enjoyable/break down and break through our insecurities and tap into the love. Where love exists fear cannot survive, but where fear resides love cannot thrive.

Mental
18. Mental health issues/drug abuse- We cannot run from the fact that our people are hurting, traumatized, stressed, and overwhelmed with social pressure. To deny this fact and leave it unaddressed is a set up for failure.

19. Collaborative mindset vs. competitive mindset- The centipede or the three headed dragon approach. 

20. Serious vetting- We have to be more than careful about how we treat our women, children and the mentality of the people we allow  to influence our core efforts.

Composed by: NaNO Tech Know Analytics & Consulting, LLC                                                                                                                           June 2017