Own the change – Overcoming the generational entrapment for Black Americans

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Black kids – key to our future or downfall?

Ralph Harper, business-owner, philanthropist, and author is on a mission to solve the generational plight that exists amongst underprivileged children in the United States - the majority of whom are Black American.

For over 157 years since the abolishment of slavery in the United States, millions of our citizens have been left behind. Those left in the rough include adults (men and women), and children (boys and girls) of all races. Former slaves were unintentionally left to fend for themselves with no physical nor soft skills to win in a nation founded on Charles Darwin’s foundational principle – the notion that “the weak shall perish and the strong will survive.” Black American citizens have been subjected to a different brand of citizenship. Persisting racism and discrimination have further contributed to the delayed social and economic advancement of Black Americans. Consequently, the foundational attributes of the problem have never been broadly addressed. Therefore, the same old struggles persist.

Black Americans represent the lions-share (per capita) of the United States’ population impacted by capitalistic norms. However, it is a proven fact, anyone who fails in the United States of America, fail because they fall short of being properly prepared to WIN here.

For as many years since slavery ended in 1865, it is ironic how the “United” States of America’s history is fantastically fraught with perpetuating divisiveness.

While it may be hard to imagine the cultural norms of slavery passed down for centuries, the evidence is profoundly and explicitly clear. These facts have been masterfully articulated and presented by Dr. Joy DeGruy in her book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” The self-debilitating culprit that has survived for centuries is hopelessness.

Hope is when one believes that things (anything) are possible. Hopelessness is when one believes that despite what they do, certain levels of success is not possible or achievable. This premise is what drives Ralph Harper on his quest to solve this critically important social concern – once and for “all.”

Harper believes that certain cultural norms have been so deeply rooted within the Black American Culture, there is only one way to solve the social and economic conflicts. His premise is simple; the solution can only happen through our children -over time.

Dr. DeGruy has clearly articulated the foundational issues in “certain” Black American communities that have derived from slavery. On the other hand, Ralph Harper, has laid out in clear and certain terms a national and global strategy to solve this monumental problem of disparity in the United States and globally. The solution has been defined in his current book, “Own The Change – How Our Children Will Lead The Next Cultural Movement.”

As with all social and economic change, the next cultural movement will be led by our children. They are the future, and they will shape the world that they and their children will live in. Then their children will do the same. It is for this exceptional reason it should be noted, Black lives matter. This is a truth that we’re well aware of in our hearts even when we are not willing to express such sensitive topics.

Nonetheless, the data is clear. For instance, Black American men represent approximately 6% of the United States’ population, they represent close to 40% of all people incarcerated here. In an article written by Natalie Wexler, she writes “On national tests last year, only 18 percent of Black American 4th graders scored proficient or above in reading.” Consequently, the dropout rates and graduation rates seem closely aligned with the reading rates presented by Ms. Wexler.

What’s unique about Harper’s book is his keen focus on the future of our children. The author believes that there are certain values that must be instilled in our children very early in their young lives. The problem is all parents are not created equal and far too often teachers fall short. Consequently, our children are not being appropriately guided and groomed for success in their homeland, the most prosperous nation in the world – The United States of America.

Harper’s solution to this monumental problem is so foundational and simple, some have questioned the value. Nonetheless, Harper is hell-bent on proving the value proposition of his WIN Model over the course of time. The fact is, for as long as our children do not have certain values instilled within them early in their young lives, USA cultural and economic calamities will prevail. Moreover, our children will matriculate their respective existence on terms dictated by undue struggles.

Harper wrote “Own The Change – How Our Children Will Lead The Next Cultural Movement” based on his entire life-trajectory. He admits his successes in life would have happened much sooner had he been better prepared to succeed. Now, he’s determined to ensure millions of young, underserved children will be equipped and prepared to WIN (early) on their life-trajectory to success in the United States.

The WIN Model derived from “Own The Change.” The model is broken into three high-level categories of which each category has the following REWARDS Life Principles:

  1. Workforce Development
    1. Reading
    2. Education
    3. Work
  2. Integrity
    1. Accountability
    2. Respect
  3. Next Generation
    1. Duty
    2. Saving

The WIN Model has been designed with purpose – the purpose of engendering children to clearly understand the importance of working in the United States. It’s about the importance of them keeping their respective integrity in check so that they do not land in the United States penal system or jail. The WIN Model is about the profound importance of ensuring our children appreciate the importance of supporting the next generation of children while saving and investing money in the process of contributing to an unbreakable cycle of generational achievements.

Because it will be a major challenge to inspire millions of children to read “Own The Change”, Harper has authored an online course that will be made available on a broad scale starting the first quarter of 2023. The course uses the 5-Ws plus H model in which question are narrated from a child’s perspective and answered with narration from an adult’s viewpoint. For instance, the question may be narrated as follows:

Question from the child: “Why is my education so important?”

Answer from an adult’s viewpoint: “Reading and being education is the only way for you to learn certain skills that can be used to get a job and earn money in the United States. As you become older, you will come to realize the importance of earning, spending, and saving money…”

Harper’s book, Own The Change was crafted with purpose. The mission here is simple – make significant and measurable progress with the redirection of the life-trajectories of some of the most vulnerable children in the United States and abroad. To that end, Harper has established the nonprofit organization, The 2060’s Project, in honor of his and his nine siblings mother, Catherine Louise Harper. www.the2060sproject.org

The 2060’s Project (technically) was established in 2019. The project and its mission are expected to span 50-years – from 2019 to the end of 2069. Hence, The 2060’s Project.