If you type the word “collaboration” into Google’s search engine you will get 177 million results. Although this may not surprise you since you are well versed in the big social collaborators of our time (I.e. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn); it does however signal a change that could spread into HBCU’s. What messages can you extract from all of your social media usage that could help develop brainstorming sessions, problem solving workshops and ideation incubators? We have to leverage our knowledge and understanding of these diverse platforms. Remember that the more diverse the group, the better they are able to mesh and create synergy; which is nothing more than organized intelligence. The time in which you live is calling for you to unite and join arms with your fellow brothers and sisters. We have to realize that there is strength in numbers and that we must foster our learning into meaningful patterns of intelligence.
There is an old adage that says “none of us is as smart as all of us” which suggests that a collective body of intellectualism outweighs the mind of a single thought any day of the week. You must find ways to tap into your creativity as a collective unit. Embrace the unknown, welcome uncertainty and dare to disrupt the cycle of the existing order. Understand that working as a group is a learned behavior and won’t develop overnight. You have to be willing to advance your cause no matter the circumstances. So, you must learn how to fund your rise. Whether that is through blogging, freelancing, crowdfunding, free grant money, part-time job, savings, mentoring, consulting, wholesaling real estate, or even babysitting; you must know how to turn a profit.
One of the best ways right now to raise money online is through “Crowdfunding”. Crowdfunding basically stipulates a collective effort of individuals who pool their money, time, and resources to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. This can be a wonderful channel for raising money and at the same time a great opportunity for exposing your idea to someone who could be of service to you in the future. Don’t limit yourself to just one way of being able to raise money. Think outside the box and potentially join an existing fundraising team that may already be seeking the same resources that you need. One fantastic website that I think would serve your well to visit is crowdrise.com. Crowdrise is a fundraising site about giving back, raising lots of money and having fun in the process. Crowdrise offers a unique way to start building relationships with likeminded individuals; who may have the same belief system as you do concerning making the world a better place.
The great Roman Imperial Poet Virgil once wrote “For they will conquer who believe they can” As you begin moving forward in your journey towards reaching your goals; it is imperative that you create a belief system around going above and beyond the call of duty. You must find new ways of building “Creative Alliances” within your own community. Open up your mind and begin exploring different cultural experiences by working closely with artists, educators, activists, and even philanthropist. Do not try to go at this alone as it will only serve to stifle your innovation in this age of creative collaboration. You need to build extraordinary relationships with gifted people who are focused on changing the world one step at a time.
Below is a list of seven African-American organizations that will serve as a starting point for building impactful relationships within your own community.
- The Association of Black Psychologist
- Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies
- American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
- National Association of Black Journalist
- National Association of Black Accountants, Inc
- National Black MBA Association
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)