The Village Initiate will be a collaborative effort with other organizations, faith-based groups, law enforcement, and community leaders to create violence-free,safe, and thriving communities in the central Virginia region. Under this initiative, small communities called villages will be formed in areas with history of gun violence, areas prone to such violence, and economically depressed areas. Each village will comprise no more than forty homes or forty families within a block or two radius or a strategically-marked area so that efforts can be directed to create and promote a united, safe, and thriving atmosphere for the residents. Each village will be adopted by different organizations and faith-based groups so that resources are channeled to members of that village in need. Social events will be planned to promote socializing and a sense of unity among the residents of each village. One of the primary objectives is to give the residents a sense of community and to ingrain in them the sense that every life in that village is sacred and should be cared for.
Indeed, as the old saying goes, “It takes a village.” What is lacking in our communities today is a true sense of community and unity. Neighbors are mere neighbors with no sense of community. Everyone carries along unmindful of the family next door or the family three or four houses away. So long as that is the case in our society, especially in the areas inhabited by economically-disadvantaged African Americans, there will be no true community of people where the adults and children can live in peace and thrive in their endeavors. The Village Initiative is a throwback to the African way of life that promotes a unified community of people that help one another. Together we can build a community that is free of gun violence, a community that is economically buoyant, a community that raises academically astute and successful children, a community that is healthy, and a community that is safe for all the inhabitants.It will not be an easy task, but we know that nothing good comes easy. With dedication and hard work we can accomplish this task.
We can imagine a community where children are raised to respect their elders, where they are taught good manners, where they are taught cultural values, where they can play outside safely, where they are provided the resources to become the best leaders, business owners,educators, and professionals of tomorrow, and so on. It is through The Village Initiative that we can make all these happen. Indeed, the only limit to what we can achieve is the limit we place on our imagination. It takes a village! Truly, it does.
Our Jobs-On-Wheels Initiative creates a mobile center that connects job seekers in the economically disadvantaged areas of Richmond and the surrounding counties to employers. This bus will be literally an employment office and a resource center for those seeking jobs and who do not have the means and information necessary for a successful job search. We provide volunteers and staff who will help job seekers directly with interview preparations, resume writing, and other matters that will facilitate their employment. As we say, “we bring the jobs to you.”