Lately I’ve been on an investment researching kick, learning what I can about economics and the marketplace. Even more interesting than acquiring knowledge for self gain has been sharing resources and insights with different communities (personal and professional). There are others doing the same. I recently heard someone speak about how Black social freedom is tied to Black economic freedom (I’m paraphrasing). The person was essentially saying that there is no real justice or social healing without economic freedom.
There are many new projects in the works that aim to correct large scale economic inequality. Sonya Renee Taylor's project, "BuyBackBlackDebt", is a dream entering reality (I highly encourage you to read more about the project, follow the effort, and contribute if you can.) Its approach is radical, mind bending.
This is the sort of thinking that we are aiming to cultivate with Dea Studios and Inbreak Collective. What’s the point of pontificating on the horrors of the world if all that theory never lands anywhere? Our aim is to cultivate creative minds to implement and develop practical solutions to real world problems. Translation: We want to help creatives birth new projects that generate social healing for all the big issues (think racism, sex trafficking, etc.)
If you don’t consider yourself a “creative” where does that leave you? The beauty of living in such a time as this is that there are a plethora of digital solutions for nearly every task. The investing world is no different. I’m harboring a dream that involves the Church leading the conversations on economic health. If all in the world belongs to God, why wouldn’t we have access to wisdom that would enable us to utilize wealth for God’s glory and for social healing? (I don’t care to enter into a discussion on the ethics of a Prosperity Gospel here - this isn’t that conversation.)
As churches around the world continue to experiment with defining what church looks like in the midst of a pandemic, now seems to be a prime opportunity for us to reorient ourselves to the many tools at our disposal - wealth building is one such tool. In addition, the key is to consider why we are building wealth. Across the United States (and in other places) there are many large churches sitting empty. These architectural gems boast of a time when the Church knew great wealth - financial and social. Now, it is not uncommon to see churches up for sale, repurposed as office space, or torn down to make room for shiny condominiums. Rather than lament the perceived loss, might we consider what the leveling of physical buildings makes room for? Perhaps now we will refocus our attention.
Rather than build and horde wealth to cover our own bases and to build our own communities, aren’t there ways to turn that wealth distribution outward? Aren’t there ways to allow wealth to flow to and through us and out into the world to meet very real, very threatening social concerns? Though many of our communities have funds that go toward feeding the homeless, providing supplies for schools and hospitals, etc. (all great and important works), I believe that we can develop more projects like “BuyBackBlackDebt”. These ideas are radical and they completely turn our current economic structures on their heads. This is the kind of work that will usher in a new way of being post-pandemic. This is the kind of thinking we should aim to cultivate.
Gif: The World Beauty GIF by Gitti