A Fellow on the South Side Making Community Connections
On Tuesday December 6, 2011, I had the opportunity to meet with the Director of the Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC) a non-profit community based organization located on Chicago's south side. MAGIC's mission is to ensure that all residents have access to information and resources that create positive opportunities for community progress. Bryan Echols, the director, was very excited to see me. My intention for meeting with Mr. Echols was to partner up with MAGIC to host a community unity event. With this goal in mind, I presented my intentions and asked Bryan how MAGIC and the United African Organization can work together in an effort to Unite America. I mentioned to Mr. Echols that we need to have an invention point. That point starts with Young People. Knowing that MAGIC is heavily involved with improving of young peoples lives in the Woodlawn Community; working with the youth at MAGIC will be a great idea. I first presented the idea of a meet and greet dialogue that the Young Adults at MAGIC can have with the Young Adults from an Immigrant base group like the United African Organization. The goal for such a dialogue will promote great understanding between the natives (Americans) and the Foreign born community (Immigrants). Mr. Echols became very interested in the Idea. He sat behind his desk and provided possible names for the event. He suggested the event be something on-going through out the year and not a one time shot event. When I heard that, I began to smile. I smiled, because that was exactly what I wanted to hear. Mr. Echols went on by saying this is something he hasbeen waiting for, and always wanted to pursue for a while now. He went on and started telling me his stories about work he has done with immigrants, and how the project that he and I planed to work on could impact both the native and the Immigrant community. He refers to this work as a TRUE CULTURE Exchange Project. With such a title, young Immigrants and their young native-born neighbors can have a better understanding of what it's like to be one another living in the same community.