Within the international development community, there is a growing interest in the role that design can play in solving poverty and injustice. So here’s something to consider: If design is the current trend in solving social problems abroad, what’s a current, glaring social problem close to home to which we could apply it?

How about the one Thomas B. Edsall writes about in his New York Times op-ed, “Ferguson, Watts and a Dream Deferred“? The title, a reference to Langston Hughes’ famous poem “Harlem,” points to the fact that, after all the promise of the 1960s, black people have suffered over 40 years of social and economic setbacks. And as Ferguson, Missouri, and countless events since have shown us, a dream deferred eventually explodes.

Edsall suggests that at the time of the 1965 Watts riots, African Americans could feel that their voices were being heard—by a government that, unlike our present one, was not so caught up in its own politics that it couldn’t act on behalf of its people. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited racial discrimination in voting, both of which had enormous impact on the social and economic status of black people.

Our American identity—and our adherence to the frayed promise of the American Dream—has largely blinded us to extreme poverty and social injustice here at home. Tweet This Quote

But in many respects, blacks have seen little to no progress in the intervening 40 years. In fact, many of the challenges they face seem to have gotten worse. Black communities were hit harder by the great recession in 2008, and in addition to having lower average household incomes than white families, they are less likely to see economic improvements.

Edsall quotes a study by Julia Isaacs from the Brookings Institution that found that white children “are more likely to move up the ladder, while black children are more likely to fall down.” That brutal statement has an intractable finality that flies in the face of whatever is left of the American Dream, the ideal of hope for prosperity and happiness in a country so filled with opportunities that “one’s children’s social and economic condition will be better than one’s own.”

Social design is based on finding the right question to ask, rather than looking for the best person to blame.Tweet This Quote

Methods for fighting poverty and injustice in other countries are well documented and frequently debated—market creation, robust charity efforts, well-funded programs like the Gates Foundation. But their models are based on the governments, environments, cultures, and economies of countries other than our own.

Our American identity—and our adherence to the frayed promise of the American Dream—has largely blinded us to extreme poverty and social injustice here at home.

How then to address those things? This is where social design might be helpful. While its widespread adoption by business schools and multinational companies has produced many customized variations of the process, the essential phases are inevitably the same: understand the context, define the problem, create ideas, prototype solutions, and implement the ones that work.

Successful implementation of any process, however, comes not from simply knowing the steps but from the internalization of skills and values that provide deep understanding of the issues and potentialities. Here are some core social design principles that, while in short supply within our current government, could go a long way toward addressing the issues Edsall highlights.

Detach from personal agendas and expectations.

Personal and institutional agendas impair vision and understanding. Clinging to a preconceived notion of how things are prevents us from seeing a reality. Yes, ambiguity is scary. But the ability to live without knowing the answer is one of the exquisite joys and pains of the creative process.

When design has been proven effective in solving problems of poverty in other countries, why would we not try it here? Tweet This Quote

This phase of the design framework is often called “immersion” because it is exactly like being immersed in the lives and worlds of those whom we are trying to help. It does not mean becoming one of them or entering as an expert intent on applying solutions that worked somewhere else. Though it sounds simplistic, it’s actually quite difficult to do and takes practice. But it is the only way to come to an understanding of the current reality—the first and most important principle for any sustainable change that involves human beings.

After that, ask why.

Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

Social design is based on finding the right question to ask, rather than looking for the best person to blame (as is to often the case in government). Getting beyond the symptoms to the root cause of issues takes time and a willingness to learn. Paul Polak, who has brought more than 20 million people out of poverty (outside of the U.S.) has a rare technique for learning: He simply asks poor people why they are poor. He says they inevitably know.

Use the creative process to heal.

Social-impact design is based on collective creativity—leading a community to the creation of its own solutions. This is the opposite of the traditional outside expert who develops and delivers pre-determined solutions: It involves facilitating the emergence of ideas from within the community itself.

This leads to answers that are far more likely to be relevant and sustainable. Equally important, the collective creative process itself changes people in a lasting way. They learn to clarify and align on vision and purpose. They communicate and develop relationships; they learn to experiment, identify new ideas, navigate uncertainty, and to operate within constraints by focusing on what they have rather than what they do not. They learn to live in the present and develop a sense of fulfillment and self-reliance.

Toss the five-year plan.

By their very nature, long-range plans attempt to predict the future when the real goal should be on creating it. Just look at how quickly lean startup methodology—the exact opposite of long-term planning—has swept the business world.

The collective creative process itself changes people in a lasting way. Tweet This Quote

As the Harvard Business Review describes it, the lean startup “favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional ‘big design up front’ development. Although the methodology is a matter of years old, its concepts—such as ‘minimum viable product and ‘pivoting’—have quickly taken root in the start-up world, and business schools have already begun adapting their curricula to teach them.”

One way to think about social design is as a process for making the things we dream about real, whether they are dreams of progress, money, family, or social justice. When design has been proven effective in solving problems of poverty in other countries, why would we not try it here?


This article published in 2014. It has been reposted to inspire further conversation.

About the author

Cheryl Heller

Cheryl Heller

Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA, founder of design lab CommonWise, and a pioneer in social impact design. Cheryl received the AIGA medal for her contribution to the field of design in 2014. She is the former Board Chair and founding faculty for the PopTech Social Innovation Fellows, a Senior Fellow at Babson Social Innovation Lab, and the Innovation Advisory Board for the Lumina Foundation. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi, which has given over $12 million to designers working for the public good.

  • KLChristianson

    I agree, that there is unlimited potential to affect change within the U.S. For instance, closing the achievement gap has been a problem many minds have grappled with for years, yet the success cases remain isolated. I believe that this is largely due to the fact that the majority of ideas are from the “outside” community, and it can be incredibly hard to fully understand the intricacies of a community different from your own. For instance, as a teacher, my colleagues and I have struggled in vain for years to try to change the culture at our school into one where homework is done nightly by the majority of students. We could imagine (and implement) incentives that would motivate us…but they would ultimately fail to have the same appeal for students.

    Helping to solve a problem in a community that you are not apart of requires an intimate understanding of that community. This understanding comes much more quickly by working with, rather than for, the community.

  • tspurloc

    Your final statement is true: “Helping to solve a problem in a community that you are not apart of requires an intimate understanding of that community.” An article at Forbes.com (http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/03/influence-persuasion-cooperation-leadership-managing-ccl.html) about leadership also applies here. In order to influence someone, or a community, you need to demonstrate it with “head, heart, and hands.”

  • Nick Keller

    I agree that the design process can be widely used to solve problems because defining the problem and finding the right question, can make a huge difference in the end solution. Through a community design process, a preferable and more effective solution can be created by the people that it affects. I also think she made a great point that even experts in said fields can design an idealistic plan, but does it work for the people? The expamle that a business may have a “perfectly” set-up business plan and not succeed. Even with a business that had the most planning can fail because actually experiencing, testing it out, and change needs to be made in order to create a perfect business

  • Boeing7

    I have to disagree with the last point made in this article. Heller mentions the idea of the “lean startup” methodology being the new favorite in the business world while long-term plans are being put to the side. Why I don’t have a problem with the lean startup methodology, long-term planning is essential. And quite honestly, 5 years is not that long-term. If you only live for today and experiment based on what happens, your are limiting your potential for growth. Having a long-term plan tells you what you want to accomplish. It gives you something to aim for.

  • Lilith Schor

    So many of the issues that affect minorities in our current system are hard to overcome because the very barriers that keep us from equality are often time written into policy. While I agree that we can come up with creative solutions to bridge these gaps, without looking at the barriers put forth from our policy measures there is little hope in offering equal opportunities across the board.

  • lrubinmi

    I agree, and I believe that this truly is the root of the problem. The majority of the people creating policies are not the people experiencing the effects. When decisions are all external it is much more difficult to achieve a harmonious and inclusive environment.

  • eurosphere

    Cheryl Heller nails it with her comment about the fault in historically not using human centered design in the US. We are loyal to our patriotic ideals of liberty and equality (read: not equity) to a fault. We must separate ourselves from our ideals if we are to adhere to Heller’s first core social design principle and creatively address real and relevant problems on the home front, like the racism and police brutality demonstrated recently in Ferguson.

  • DBrownDreamer

    What a great article, although I cannot say I agree with it entirely. It is a nice introduction into the concept of HCD. “Social design is based on finding the right question to ask, rather than looking for the best person to blame (as is to often the case in government),” best summarizes why this concept has the potential to truly be progressive. Access, exposure, education, and opportunities are needed into developing the right questions to ask.

  • hj2

    I strongly agree with the tossing five year plan. To make the real goal happen, it is impossible to heal those people experiencing poverty and social justice. Methodology have been quickly taken the root in start up world, so this could be the turning point. Our home need true social design.

  • Trista Radloff

    I really enjoyed the article, but I do have one reservation. I agree that we need to get the community involved and that by getting them involved it can help heal the community. However, I feel that some communities, especially low income communities, may not have the knowledge or even the desire to think creatively. I am not saying they don’t want their community to change, but change is hard. How would someone even go about getting a low income community involved in a creative discussion to better their community?

  • Mia Tucker

    I like that this article says to forget about creating five year plans. So many life advice articles suggest making clear cut plans for the future, but in reality things hardly go perfectly as planned. To let go of the idea that things need to turn out a certain way will pave the way for more risk taking and potentially more effective innovations.

  • Samantha

    Although I think this article makes a lot of incredibly important points about the danger of being passive and waiting for solutions to fix themselves, we must not forget the lessons that we have learned from the past, whether they were in 1960s race wars, the suffrage movement, Gandhi’s teaching of nonviolent revolution, or countless other examples where seeming passive behavior has done so much more than examples like the Ferguson race riots. In my opinion, although the behavior of the police in Ferguson were disgusting, inexcusable, and demonstrate a bigger problem, the African American citizens of Ferguson did more to hurt their cause then help it by rioting against the establishment-by playing into stereotypical images of African American violence that unfortunately many white people still share-and making white leaders (who unfortunately still lead in this country) more wary to help the African American cause and question, perhaps, the legitimacy of the innocence of the deaths of those in Ferguson. It is a fine and tense balance that racial, gender, and religious minorities must strike, sadly, between dealing with majorities, playing their game, and at the same time, being stealth about promoting their policies and agendas through partnerships, nonviolent means, and intelligent debate. One false slip and the movements are set back years-this is the cure of being a minority in America.

  • jburgard

    While I think this article glosses over the “how,” in the ways that we as a society can empower the black community, I do agree that we need to start asking better questions. Legislatures need to better address the institutional racism that is so pervasive in our society, not reverse progressive movements of the Civil Rights Era, as is now unfortunately currently unfolding. Take this brave article by The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/ Reparations may or may not be a solution–as is the case with “start-up” vs. “established organization” mentality mentioned here–but until we really address why Black America is subjugated, we can never heal.

  • scray2

    I think these issue are easier to talk about and study but it take the courage of a person or several people to actually take action to make a change. This is where I feel we all fall short. Yes, these approaches to the problem that the author suggest all sound very good but are we willing to implement them into our community to create change?

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I agree greatly with this comment. I did like the article, and found it useful, with some great information. However, I feel that it is and always will be easier for people with large sums of money to come up with outrageous plans. Everyone wants to help the poor, hungry, and vulnerable. But how can you help those people, when some months you and your family ARE those people?? In this sense, it becomes really difficult.

  • kreynol3

    Though I think everything in this article is great…it seems to just gloss over everything. I agree with Lilith that there are so many institutional barriers such as policy that keep African Americans in this cycle of oppression. I do believe that things such as design can help but there needs to be a complete institutional change. And when it comes to design I believe this is great but it definitely has to come from within the community so how do you show people they can have the agency to make a change.

  • Kristina Padlo

    I agree. The design needs to come from the community. I think that was the most interesting aspect
    of this article. Immersion – being able to watch and listen to find the problem
    within the community you are trying help.
    You can’t come up with what you think the best solution may be you have
    to understand what the community needs. Collective creativity – you can show
    people they can make a change just by engaging them into the conversation. A solution has potential to emerge from among
    collective ideas from those who understand it the most.

  • abott88

    “He simply asks poor people why they are poor. He says they inevitably know.” This is so, so, so true. Almost invariably, when I was teaching, parents were able to point to the things (decisions in their own lives, lack of access to healthcare, family situations, etc) that kept them from finishing school or achieving their goals.

    While I think this article brings up several important points, as previous commenters have said, the solutions to these problems, whether they are HCD-oriented or not, have to come from the communities themselves. Trying to invent a solution from the outside is just more of the same.

  • srmart10

    I loved this article. There are so many issues that affect minorities and they need to be brought to light.

  • nleve

    I thought that using creativity and experimentation, as well as dealing with ambiguities, was an interesting approach to the process of social design.

  • thompsonjm99

    Thank you for this interesting article! I agree that we can come up with solutions to create more equality, we just need to put in more effort. What would be the best way for everyone to contribute?

  • cdcraig

    This brings up the point that the system is still oppressive. There is still a stong benefit of being white. I agree that there needs to be something done about but one of the biggest ways it will get better is time. What was done 100 years ago still hasnt gonna away. It will take another 100 years for the playing field to be even .

  • asutianna

    This article brings up many different problems/ideas that really got me to thinking. Thank you!

  • Brad Vogel

    Say what you will about me but I can’t lie to anyone here. The biggest reason that you have as many African American people in poverty as we do is because of the way they conduct themselves on public land. Back in the 60s you never once saw an African-American person walk with their pants at their knees, their hats worn to the side, grilles in their mouths, and be unable to speak a coherent English sentence the way that SOME (not all, although the number is scary) are/do today. Bill Cosby himself said it once: “We cannot blame the white man anymore.”

    Until we also find ways to curb irresponsible reproduction we will never cure poverty problems.

  • dsilver4

    I think a large issue facing Black society is that in a lot of poor areas, it isn’t seen as cool to do well in school. This has been the mentality for some twenty years now and until it changes, our country will continue to face the same institutionalized racism.

  • Justin Rudick

    Glad someone said it! You can’t continue to blame anybody but yourselves when you continue to degrade your self image. There are way to many variables that keep African Americans in this weird, “segregation” spot including mainstream media where its “cool” to say THE word in songs and other entertainment. How can we expect us to be one group ofb”AMERICANS “if we continue to separate ourselves. Their is fault on both sides that has yet to be worked on.

  • Justin Rudick

    I believe another problem is with schools. Instead of actually trying to make students understand curriculum, they decide to dumb it down so that these students can continue their school careers and the cycle of poverty continues. And no, this new “common core” is not the solution.

  • mankobj22

    Unfortunately, some of these unequal disparities are so embedded in policy that they are hard to overcome and address. This is why I think you’re article is so inspiring. We need to do a better job of looking at the big picture if we hope to make true, lasting change. Thank you for the thoughts and the reminder!

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    i agree that African American society has its problems with poverty. But with that being said i find that there are reasons. Lack of effort in education, lack of effort in ambition to find a job and keep the job, how they hold themselves in public, and how they feel they deserve to act the way they do and skate by because of the issues they faced in the past. Some day the past needs to be the past and stop defining they way life is lived now and giving excuses for the way they act. With that i feel its not just African American society it is also the white and Mexican, Asian, and Indian societies every group needs to stop being separate and treating the others differently and become one.

  • Ryano313

    Well after all of the Ferguson things that have been going on, there is no way or no future of a just economy between whites and blacks. The past hate between the groups still survives in today’s world and now even more noticeable because of these events. Personally I never see that hate changing, one of the reasons why is because of how people use “the race card”. Another reason is because we keep talking about racism and bringing it up

  • I enjoyed this article. It is very insightful from another ethnicity’s perspective. I am American with African decent, so I know all too well what is happening to myself and those closest to me. You are right, knowing the right question is very important. Without the right question, there cannot be a correct response. Although I have my theories of who is to blame, I won’t, even though the answer may surprise you. I believe in accountability. Yes, certain people were afforded the option to the pie before others, but once offered, are you doing your best to get a piece?

  • Bangyan Zhang

    I agree that the social design is finding the right answer to ask, rather than looking for the best person to blame. Actually, it is hard to control because there are plenty of different kinds of people in the society. Every one has different thought. They will have different values, attitudes and perspectives. It is hard to educate them which one is better, which one is worse. But, they could be influenced by the society if the tendency of the society is obvious. It will be a long period and distance.

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks Cheryl Heller. I loved the quote from Einstien. I think that for myself that really does sum up the entirety of this article. We, as an American society, need to spend time figuring out the correct question to ask and then we will be able to deliver a solution. Not a long term plan, but a quick solution similar to the CCC program that Franklin Roosevelt delivered. It was an immediate action plan that altered the economy.

  • The majority of the problem in black society is failure to realize and appreciate self worth. For so long, we have be trained into believing that we are ALWAYS less or unworthy. When you want to destroy a person, you take away their confidence. Without confidence, they have lost before even starting. Lack of funding in education isn’t the problem. Home schooling is still very effective. Welfare, WIC, and food stamps helps us think its okay to be un/underemployed or to have as many babies as possible. Most people of the black community are satisfied with just getting by. Where is the pride?

  • Hillary12

    I agree with both sides of this issue. I do think that many African Americans in poverty have a hard time getting out of poverty due to poor school systems and a lack of positive feelings around succeeding in school. I also agree that racism is still relevant in today’s society. I do, however, also agree that if someone (white or black) came in for a job interview with saggy pants and couldn’t form a proper, coherent sentence they wouldn’t be hired. Unfortunately this is seen much more in the black community. Last week there were walks and protests about the issues in Ferguson, Missouri. Around the country there were respectful, non-violent protests and then in Ferguson people were burning buildings and stealing. There’s a way to get respect and be heard and there’s a way to looked down on.

  • Kyle moore

    Great point but in reality it is that the african american population was thrown into some of these poverty areas by the goverment because there wasnt enough space for all whites and blacks to live so they gave them a “ghetto”. The word ghetto now is something completely different from what it was intendeed for and what people in poverty think it is. Across America, it seems that more areas are becoming split into three parts: rich, middle class, and ghetto.

  • Adam

    Thanks for this post! I definitely think that we can come up with more ways and solutions to create a more equal economical system. Its going to take large scale unity and bold thinking in order to achieve such things. This article definitely got me thinking!

  • Kyree Brooks

    I agree with this article because society has a unique way of summarizing the typical American. We spend most of our time trying to mock a human being that is not us and that is a problem. Major poverty and other injustices that we face are being down sized. Can this ever change?

  • orvisbj27

    As I far as Ferguson goes I believe (as a white male)the main issue of concern should have been excessive force and the shoot to kill mentality of most police officers in our society. Ferguson protesters were asked to stay peaceful but erupted quickly when few knuckleheads became violent. Seeing innocent business owners watch their livestakes go up in flames made me think of the union protests that were taking place a couple years ago. Opposed to hundreds there were hundreds of thousands gathered in Madison to exercise their right to assemble. The only report of vandalism was what remained of blue painters tape from hanging signs on Capitol walls. I was angry that the Ferguson protests turned violent but I your article you point outo how we must be neutral and listen. I could see that it wasn’t just an officer who killed someone but a white officer killing a black, obviously this screams racism in the black community.

  • thomas kearney

    I really found this article very interesting. I feel like this society us based off of alot of black and white. I think that poverty is one of the most over looked issues in modern day society. I do think there are people who have made the wrong decisions that caused them to go into poverty. I also know there are a lot of people who aren’t given the same opportunities or resources as others. I think poverty is a major issue among every race not just the black race. I think instead of continuously separating this as a black or white issue we need to tackle it as a collective unit

  • I agree that trying to remain neutral and listening to the voices of the people might sound easy, but in reality are extremely difficult to put into practice. While it is unfortunate that certain situations turned violent, when people’s voices remain unheard and unattended to for so long, the only way that they think that others will actually listen to them is if they act out in an aggressive way.
    I find it amazing, as well as pathetic, that after all of these years of intellectual growth and understanding, we are still unable to accept that every single person, no matter what socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sex, or sexual orientation, is exactly the same as everyone else. Are we really still that ignorant?

  • Steven Bichler

    I don’t think I could have worded it any better, i agree with you that some people force themselves into poverty while others aren’t given the same resources and opportunities. I especially agree that poverty is not just a one race issue it’s an issue that relates to every single race and is a problem that has never really been solved. Hopefully we can solve it as a collective unit otherwise I believe we will never solve it.

  • Steven Bichler

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. There are so many issues that all intertwine in this issue that make it so complex and difficult to understand, hopefully collectively as a group we can solve this issue of large amounts poverty so that we can turn on the news some day and not have to hear about all of the negatives in life that have been happening lately.

  • Steven Bichler

    I agree the change will not be easy or simple but that bold thinking on a large scale will be needed if we want to create a more equal economic system that can hopefully limit poverty levels.

  • Caleb Franklin

    Is that really a “race thing” though? Even in predominantly rich, white areas, is it truly seen as “cool” to do well in school? I don’t think any kid growing up is thinking “damn, I’m going to have so many friends if I get an A in this class”. I think that it is definitely a societal issue, but I don’t think I would go as far as to say that it is a race issue or even a economical class issue.

  • Caleb Franklin

    Thanks for the article, and although I do agree with a majority of what you are saying in this article, I strongly disagree with using Ferguson as an example of how the black community hasn’t made progress in the last 40 years. Granted this article was written in September before recent events and the unveiling of the trial. I think it’s ridiculous for anyone that followed and looked into the Michael Brown case to pull the race card and say that’s the reason he was shot. This may or may not be the place to discuss this issue, but that’s just my two cents.

  • Steven Bichler

    Completely agree, as long as their is a
    system in place that is designed for certain people to fail while others
    prosper the creative solutions will always be used to just bridge the gaps
    instead of creating those equal opportunities.

  • Steffiheuer

    Thank you for sharing Caleb! Although this is a tough situation I do agree with what you have to say. The Ferguson situation does not depict the WHOLE population. I like to think that it only takes just a few people to bring the group down. I also think that people put things on themselves. They create the situation to look like it is something it is not. Not going to go into too much detail, because like you said, it is not the place to discuss this all.

  • hicksjd11

    I agree. It’s all about the way that you present yourself. I like the quote you shared from Bill Cosby that “we cannot blame the white man anymore”. I think he understood and was trying to start a movement.

  • hirthjp18

    I think what hes trying to say is that doing well school is stressed as much or if not at all in poor areas, which are African American dominant. While in wealthy areas the idea to go to school, and eventually college is much more stressed. I agree its more so a economical issue, but race definitely has a say in this.

  • ReneeBinder

    Really good article. It puts a lot of things into perspective. The fact that no progress in intervening in the last 40 years has been made is hard to hear. This article really puts things into perspective.

  • Thanks for sharing Steven! Do you have any ideas on how we can better create just systems?

  • alexlavine

    The biggest problem is that most people who live in poverty live together with other people who are unfortunate. These poor people have a different perspective of life and way of life because of their financial uncertantities. For people who are less fortunate, but live in better, safer communities they are giving themselves a chance. I think its the idea of surrounding yourself with good people. If we are around people who are trying to hard to achieve success we to will want that. In more poverty stricken areas violence and stealing is the way to get by and it snow balls and becomes a greater and greater problem until it gets to the point where we can’t change it. I think of the movie about Michael Oher. If he wouldn’t have been sent to a good school and taken in by a family with the necessary resources he most likely would have been destined to a life of misfortune like those he was surrounded with daily.

  • hansends21

    This reminds me of what I learned in church a few weeks ago. We discussed human trafficing and we never realized how it was happening to people in our own community and thos very close to us. It was very heartbreaking, people never knew because they were just to neieve. We often discuss other places where these issues are happening, and we don’t even see that it’s happening here right under our nose as well.

  • stangleram13

    You bring some nice points up. The thing about it not cool to do well in school. I seen all over the board sometime. thank you posting this

  • stangleram13

    You bring up some good point. I agree with the societal issue. If your friend are not study, why should you right. Thank you for posting

  • stangleram13

    I agree with you points you made. If you come in to a interview with no proper coherent sentence you may not get hired. thank you for posting this.

  • RadebaugVP02

    I also agree that it isn’t a race or economical class issue. I believe that it is just a common misconception.

  • Kyle Gettelman

    I personally believe that in order to change the issue that we have facing our country today still, is for them to change their mindset. So many are just willing to fall into the statistic and even with assistance, they are not willing to do anything about it, which is killing the country as a whole. They need to be taught that its okay to stand up, take a punch, fall down and get back up to fight (peacefully of course). They need to understand that in order to make a change, they have to be willing to change and roll with the punches themselves!

  • Colin Hickey

    I agree with this. We are all too worried about falling and doing what we can not to. If instead we attempt, fall, and then recover, we can learn more and be more successful following our mistakes. Falling down isn’t the end, it is just a new door that opened to a better possibility.

  • Radaya123

    When the issues evloves from a poor and or black community issue to a national issue that affects not only the people who struggle but the system that prevents them from succeeding struggles as well. It’s not a them things it’s an US thing and we as the US need to fix the problems at home, in US, first before we try to fix the world problems.