Collective work and responsibility is a two-fold idea. The first is collective work. We can work together to make the necessary improvements to our communities. The second idea is collective responsibility. When something is wrong within our community, it is the responsibility of all of us to continue working to make that thing better. I want to use the example of food deserts.
A food desert is an urban area where it is difficult to purchase quality, fresh foods. There might not be many quality grocery stores within a specific community, but in that same community you might find several fast food chains. Because of this, people in those communities are unable to eat well – or have to travel too far to do so.
Collective work would be if Black people around the US got together and committed to making quality food available in these neighborhoods. And this “work” would not only be done by the people in the neighborhoods, but also by people who are outside of them. Affluent Black families would have just as much of a part in making quality food available in lower income areas as families with lower incomes do. Collective responsibility would mean that until there are no more food deserts in the United States – we are all responsible for their eradication.
Collective work and responsibility takes unity a step further, because in addition to simply saying that we are united for a specific purpose – we also commit to doing the work together to accomplish that purpose.
What can you do to make collective work and responsibility a part of your life?
-Get together with some friends and decide on something you’re passionate about changing – then make a plan to help change it!
-Donate to a charity that works for a cause that you are passionate about.
-Commit to building an understanding of the issues that affect your community.
Use this third day of Kwanzaa as the catalyst for the changes that you want to see in your community!