Here it is The Cheats Movement 2014 logo! Operating at the intersection of Community X Art X Culture. What do you think of the new logo?
Cheats Movement photos of the final Face Melt Friday of the year are now posted on The Cheats Movement Facebook Page. Visit the Cheats Movement Facebook page – Like the page and share the photos with your friends! Also, Sunday December 8th at Gallery 5 is RVA HOT SAUCE. It will feature a live hip hop cypher – if you want to get down buy a ticket – show up – and sign up on December 8th. WE SEE IT!
It was such an honor to be a part of TEDXGraceStreet. My TED talk was about Defining RVA’s Community and the Community Week project we did right here on The Cheats Movement Blog in March. Take a look at the talk and please give me your feedback. I think right now is an important time in RVA. I encourage the community to use platforms like TEDX, social media, and of course, good old community involvement to make an impact on the future. THIS IS OUR RICHMOND – WE SEE IT!
CLICK HERE to see all the amazing speeches from TEDXGraceStreet.
This week Design Rebels, a socially conscious design class at VCU, is promoting tolerance in the Richmond community by distributing their coffee sleeves at two local coffee shops in RVA: Crossroads by VCU (26 N. Morris Street) and Crossroads on Forest Hill (3600 Forest Hill Ave – AKA Club Crossroads).
The series of sleeves (4 designs total) include a photo and quote from various members of the LGBT community. The goal is to encourage acceptance of and compassion towards the LGBT community. I hope you will visit these locations this week and pick up a sleeve. There is no place for prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. I’m proud to support a more inclusive RVA. For more information visit the Design Rebel website at: http://vcudesignrebels.wordpress.com/.
The people that live, work, and play in Richmond make this a great city. We have illustrators, brew misters, actors, musicians, chefs, a giant flying squirrel, you name it. Pretty impressive when you look back just a short distance into the past. So, lets take a look back, way back. In the study of life many scientists emphasize the importance of the cambrian explosion, the time when life seemed to suddenly burst into many varieties in rapid succession about 530 million years ago. Look at how far we’ve come since then, everything from molds to ducks to penguins to you and me. Well, similarly speaking, there’s a good chance that we’re experiencing a cultural version of the cambrian explosion here in the river city. In the past decade we’ve seen a tremendous amounts of changes in the way we think about ourselves. The booming art scene, vibrant museums, breweries, various athletic activities, a thriving nightlife, sports teams, and much more have all become a regular occurrence here, seemingly in a pretty short time. However, taking a tip from the story and flow of life, perhaps the citizens here could also acknowledge the vast unknown future that this ‘explosion’ has yet to produce. That notion reminds me that we currently have a golden opportunity to shape the future like never before.
Technology and an immensely diverse and growing community make it nearly impossible for anyone to run out of options for new things to try, new ideas to hatch, new friends to make, and new goals to set. While we explore these new happenings we must keep in mind that there are still daily needs for a healthy city that often go ignored because, well, they’re the real life tough issues that can’t be cutely marketed, hash-tagged, and solved in a jiffy. While we are exploring these new connections and cultural growths we must take time to acknowledge the incredibly hard working people that battle some of the city’s most difficult problems every single day. The humanitarian services are one of the most vital parts of keeping a community strong, vibrant, and healthy. They are a part like all the rest. We need musicians, comedians, chefs, and other such careers as well, the city’s diversity is contingent on us all having our part. While we can carry on with our paths, we also have the ability to occasionally slow down and take a moment to give thanks to those that do the many things that we do not.
With that said, I am proud to announce a fun new campaign that me and the rest of the folks at My Glasses Rule, Overcoast, and Hardywood Brewery have dreamed-up together to celebrate the diversity of this town while giving thanks to one of the city’s unsung heroes, HomeAgain. This non-profit emergency shelter and homeless service provider works around the clock to provide service to the many homeless citizens of Richmond. An energized and devoted staff runs this organization every single day of the year. This year, we want to take a moment to stop and thank them for the amazing work they do by launching our community development campaign, #GiveThanksRVA. This is the first year we are doing this and we could not be more excited to have the opportunity to help the lovely folks at HomeAgain. This is how it works and here’s where you can help. From Friday Nov 22 – Sunday Nov 24, Hardywood Brewery has been generous enough to donate proceeds from beer sales to go directly to HomeAgain. The beer’s worth the trip alone, but there’s a whole weekend’s worth of happenings that will show off this town’s cultural diversity and allow you to drink a beer for a great cause. The weekend is going to be awesome. Friday Nov 22 Exebelle and the Rusted Cavalcade will grace the stage, Saturday Nov 23 we’ll have Hypercolor and The Trillions making a beautiful commotion, and on Sunday Nov 24 the Richmond Comedy Coalition will attempt to make beer come out your nose. This is going to be a great weekend and it’ll help a fantastic organization. We’re asking you help by letting people know that our city is in good hands when we have good people looking out for one another. HomeAgain does amazing work everyday and we’re asking you to join us as we #givethanksrva!
HomeAgain - http://www.homeagainrichmond.org/
My Glasses Rule - http://www.myglassesrule.com
Overcoast - http://www.overcoast.com
Hardywood Brewery - http://www.hardywood.com
From Nov 22 – Nov 24 at Hardywood Brewery. Proceeds from beer sales go to benefit HomeAgain.
I often struggle with post I write on The Cheats Movement that deal with “hot” topics surfacing around the city. That is not the case with this post. It is not the case with this topic. The Cheats Movement Blog – The Cheats Movement Family has always been about bringing people together and celebrating the best aspects of Richmond’s culture.
As you are aware, a group is raising a 15 by 15 Confederate battle flag today on a unspecified tract of private land – along interstate 95 in Chesterfield County. While I understand that I can’t stop the group from raising the flag, they can’t stop me from helping support a better decision for Richmond. A better movement.
Untied RVA is offering a positive alternative to highlight who we are as a city and who we can be moving forward. I hope you will join us in supporting this effort. United RVA is raising funds on social media to blanket the city with the American flag and positive symbols of unity and inclusiveness.
The way I see it, RVA is not perfect, it’s not. But the goal is to improve everyday and move forward together as a city, community, and family.
It’s very easy for this whole issue to get muddle. The Confederate flag is a lighting rod for controversy. That is why the group decided to use the flag and this approach to drive attention to themselves.
I’m not in the business of opposing division with more of the same. There is a better way to voice disappointment. The best way to overwhelm hate is with an overwhelming abundance of love, right? The best way to overwhelm division is with an abundance of unity, right? So let’s do that RVA.
There is a better flag to support, The American flag. The American flag is the only flag that represents the freedoms we all live under today. This country is not perfect, RVA is not perfect…but we need to strive be better. Where do you stand? What do you stand for? The Cheats Movement stands for unity, diversity, tolerance, and an inclusive community. WE SEE IT!
I know that it has been a minute but I have so many photos from Fall Line Fest, I can’t drop them all on the blog. I will have them up on the Cheats Movement Facebook Page. Like the Cheats Movement FB Page and check out all the photos. Fall Line Fest was a huge success for RVA. I can’t wait until next year. Thanks to all that performed and supported. #WE SEE IT. This is exactly what RVA needs. Lovin my city right now!
The entire Cheats Movement X Fall Line Fest photo album will be on the Cheats Movement Facebook Page!
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington and MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. I’ve been following the coverage leading up to this landmark anniversary. There seems to be a consensus that when it comes to the “promise land” black Americans have made tremendous progress since 1963 and yet there is still a ways to go. How far we have to go depends on who you ask. Newsweek columnist Joshua DuBois wrote this week that “we” (black America) don’t have very far to go to be equal with non-Hispanic whites in categories like: high school drop out percentage (around 14% for blacks, around 12% for whites), life expectancy (72 for blacks, 77 for whites), he points out that while the incarceration rate of blacks today is worse than that of black Americans 50 years ago, Attorney General Eric Holder has targeted this issue and is working to lay out real solutions. DuBois writes achieving civil rights equality is more achievable today than ever before and all we have to do is take a few steps forward to realize it.
While DuBois’s picture in Newsweek is optimistic, there is another article that caught my attention and it paints a more sobering viewpoint of progress. A strong article in this week’s The Economist “Waking Life” really put in perspective the goals of King’s speech and, in Economist fashion, does the research to put statistical data behind their views. In short, the Economist points out the King’s speech laid out four major grievances: discrimination by private businesses and local government; barriers that kept black Americans from voting; unfair treatment by police; and what might broadly be called social mobility and economic opportunity. The Civil Rights Act 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 both went a long way to eliminate significant hurdles in the first two grievances laid out by King. While there are still issues with voting participation and discrimination by government bodies based on race, compared to 50 years ago I think it is safe to say the goals of Dr. King are being fulfilled.
Black Americans have made great strides in 50 years in reducing poverty and increasing college graduation rates. But the real problem is that we are not comparing ourselves to blacks 50 years ago, we are comparing ourselves to whites and other ethnic groups and there’s the rub. Like it or not black Americans lag behind whites in life expectancy and median income; we exceed whites in dropout rate and poverty rates. The Economist points out that the gap in median individual income between blacks and non-Hispanic whites rose a third, to almost $9,000 a year between 2000 and 2011. Black Americas were hit harder by the foreclosure crises, are more likely to attend a substandard school, and less likely to graduate from college, than white Americans. Black Americans are more likely to hold jobs with no benefits or retirement plan and have less money to save.
All of this without mentioning the criminal justice system; a place where, believe or not, black Americans – specifically young black males – are much more likely to be incarcerated today than 50 years ago. In 2011, 478 of every 100,000 white men and 51 of every 100,00 white women were imprisoned. For black men the rate was 3,023 per 100,000 and for black women 129 for every 100,000. Black Americans are more likely than whites to be arrested for the same crime. It’s truly a sobering look.
While it’s really easy to take a look at these facts and feel a bit discourage – or take it a step further and blame other people or entities; “The Man” or “The System.” We, as black Americans, also have to look within ourselves and our own communities – though there are less of them with growing gentrification (which may or may not be bad thing depending on who you ask). I have no doubt that the roots of many of these problems lie in the legacy of slavery and segregation. But we live in 2013 and we have to move now to fight our new battles in black America.
Marriage is declining and out-of-wedlock births are increasing throughout the country and black Americas are leading the way in both categories. In 2011, 72% of black babies are born to unwed mothers, and just 29% of black adults were married, compared with 60% in 1960. That is a problem in our community. Black on black crime is a real problem that needs to be addressed stronger; and I’m not talking about just in Chicago; it’s a problem throughout the country.
Dr. King is a true hero of mine for so many reasons: his faith, his courage, his logic, his fear, his leadership, so many reasons. I think it’s fair to say if he were alive today, he would be proud that a black man was elected President of the United States — twice. But I think he would also be concerned about the future of America. There is a sense that black America is losing sight of the dream and may even be losing the resolve to fight for it. I hope that is not true. I can’t speak – even better – I will not speak for others. I will only speak for myself when I say one of the good things about living in Richmond is that Richmond makes it very hard to forget the past, Monument Avenue makes it very hard for me to forget the past. Even today, the Virginia Flaggers make it very hard for me to forget the past. And while I struggle with some of the logic, I am thankful for the reminder that some people want to take me back. I don’t want to forget the struggles of the past. I don’t want to be tricked into the matrix of thinking there is nothing more to fight for. There is still discrimination, division, insensitivity and intolerance. I don’t want to forget the struggles that my grandmother went through. I don’t want to forget the fight that Dr. King waged. I don’t want to go backwards. So I do agree, 50 years later, we have come a long way yet there is still a ways to go and great work to be done.
Though it is not a prominent topic on The Cheats Movement, I am a huge fan for RVA’s growing food scene (check my Instagram for my food pics) and growing number of food blogs. I read several RVA food sites these days, starting with my good friend Kristel Poole’s, Stirring Things Up. I also read Nicole Lang’s, Food Punk, Liz Parent’s, I Heart Vegetables, and a few more. I was recently introduced to a new favorite, Bird Cox’s, Block and Bar site is a wonderful new addition to my daily reads.
Last week, I met up with Kristel, Bird, and our significant others (party of 6) at Saison in Jackson Ward, to have a meal and talk about RVA’s food scene, blogging and general life stuff. It was a great time with friends. And in the days following the dinner, we got a little more “focused” about discussing RVA’s food scene. Here is some of our conversation about RVA food + blogging in more of an interview format. WE SEE IT!
Tell me about your food blog? When did you start it and what type of content do you cover for your readers?
Kristel: My blog is called Stirring Things Up and I’ve had it since 2010. I do a combination of recipes, general musings, recommendations and occasionally a review or two. I try to keep the focus on seasonal and fresh ingredients, usually based on things I find at the farmers market or receive in my CSA box.
Bird: Block and Bar is new; it launched on June 6th. I’m focusing on the people behind brilliant, creative food and drink – personal histories, inspirations, risks, stories they’re trying to tell with what they do. The site functions as a rotating series of columns, each with a different method of delivering the story. [COMPOSITION] asks chefs to discuss the creation of the original menu for their restaurants, [DOUBLE VISION] is a chef/bartender conversation, [YOU ARE], as in you are what you eat, is about a chef’s lifelong relationship with food and features a handwritten component that feels very personal. There are a few other columns on the docket, too.
Why did you decide to funnel your passion for food into a blog?
Bird: I used to be a food writer for the C-ville Weekly, and since then, I’ve been really interested in the relationship between food and language. When I eat a meal, I am constantly describing it to myself, trying to unlock the perfect words to describe flavors, textures, feelings. It helps me get more enjoyment out of it somehow. Plus I keep a pretty insane mental tally of chefs’ names – all the chefs I’ve ever really loved. I remember them better than my ex-boyfriends.
Kristel: This made me laugh because I’m the exact same way. It’s also a different form of celebrity. Some people remember meeting Robin Williams (I’ve met him too, he’s nice) and some people remember meeting Chef Mile Isabella after an amazing meal at Zatinya in 2010 where they ate the best baba ganoush of their lives and drank sparkling rose. Ex-boyfriends, who?
Food is one of the few things in life that brings intense feeling and emotion. Love, sex, death and food. Someone famous said that, so I’m paraphrasing, but it’s true.
I make a lot of dishes at home that I really love, but then never remember how to make again. I usually don’t use a pre-existing recipe and if I do, I never follow it. I’m a terrible recipe cook. So I decided that I wanted to record what I made, how I made things, and then I wanted to maybe help someone else cook something good. I say that last because I don’t consider myself an expert and I didn’t start my blog with the intention of teaching anyone anything. That seems a little pretentious to me. I just like to share what excites me about food and keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
What are your thoughts on RVA as a food town (what works well – what needs to be improved)?
Kristel: When I moved here from Charlottesville in 2005, I was most distraught about the lack of good food options at various price points. I didn’t find that accessibility to great food here, but the dining scene has picked up since then. Now, I know where to go no matter what my budget or mood. I’m grateful to the chefs, restaurateurs and diners for supporting the local restaurant community and helping it grow into what it is today. It’s pretty spectacular.
Bird: Working well: innovative southern cuisine, Italian cuisine, farm/restaurant connections, a sense of using the best that Virginia has to offer (oysters, ham, mushrooms, veggies). Needs to be improved: there are a lot of types of cuisine that we lack, or almost lack. Two Ethiopian places, no matter how good, does not allow for much exploration across the range of Ethiopian food. Same for Korean. There are a couple, but not enough to give each kitchen the freedom to specialize or make more unusual offerings. On the whole, I think the food industry in Richmond is on an amazing creative arc right now, though. We’ve got some big talent, both in the kitchen and behind the bar.
Kristel: Oh my. We don’t have a good Korean place. I was just chatting with someone about this. Thai is obviously a sore subject for me here. I think we lack good Mexican. Hawaiian? I wish! More diversity would be great. I would celebrate that.
Tell me your favorite restaurants in RVA?
Bird: Number one: The Roosevelt. I ate a plate of fried oysters there that made me shed a little tear of joy. There are so many others, but to name a few… Heritage is brilliant (charcuterie, pork fries), Saison (sopes, steak), Peter Chang’s (crispy eggplant, hot pot), Tio Pablo (literally anything). And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Acacia, Black Sheep and Lemaire, all of whom have made miracles on the plate. For drinks, the Roosevelt, Saison and Heritage are also entering brave new worlds. And conquering them.
Kristel: I think it would be remiss to not mention Belmont Butchery, GrowRVA and Yellow Umbrella Provisions. It’s not dining out, but I think the dining community relies heavily on how people are eating and cooking at home. Don’t you agree?
Cheats: I certainly agree (haha).
Kristel: I love Stella’s for really wonderful Greek food. Everything there is fabulous and it’s perfect for happy hour or a birthday celebration. I love the whole branzino, the grilled octopus, the taramasolata (a dip made from caviar) and the black kale salad. Acacia Midtown is the other go-to restaurant in my house. We go there for lots of celebrations, and they offer a great fixed menu every night with wine specials on Tuesdays. It’s reliable and the seafood is always good; the servers are knowledgeable and the service is spectacular. I’ve recently become obsessed with sandwiches from Uptown Market & Deli and I will always drive to Mechanicsville to get Thai food from Pad Thai Restaurant. They do it right and pretty much everywhere else I’ve tried isn’t authentic at all. Don’t use button mushrooms in your tom yum, Richmond. Ok? Other favorites are Mamma Zu’s, Edo’s, Dutch & Company, The Roosevelt, Deco, Saison, Black Sheep, Mama J’s, Burger Bach and Pizza Tonight.
What is your ultimate last meal?
Kristel: It would be a long meal and it would be small plates from all over the world. I love strong flavors and bold cuisine. I’d have to have something from every genre because I am not one of those people who can commit to being a fan of Italian and only Italian. There are too many great flavors out there. It would be super fresh, local, and served with really good wine and sparkling water; dessert would be a Yoder’s doughnut.
Bird: Anything that Andy Ricker (of Pok Pok, a northern Thai spot in Portland, OR) would deign to make for me. There are three things in life that I think are beyond reproach: Ray Charles records, little tiny babies, and Andy Ricker’s cooking. If I died choking on a fish sauce wing, I wouldn’t even be that mad about it
Cheats: RVA, That’s all for now. I hope to continue this conversation with Kristel, Bird, and other food fans across RVA. Until next time – follow these wonderful sites: Stirring Things Up and Block and Bar. WE SEE IT.
One week of breaking down Community was just not enough. After the finale of the series, I got a few more amazing post that I have to share – and when one of those are from the Mayor of RVA – well it just can’t wait. I’m truly honored that Mayor Jones heard about what was happening on The Cheats Movement Blog and was willing to add his voice to the project. #Amazing. Along with Mayor Jones, I so pleased to have Meg Medina, Kaity Kasper, Patience Salgado and Tiffany Jana in this bonus edition of breaking down the Meaning of Community. WE SEE IT
“…In good times, we celebrate together as a community and in tough times, we fight back together as a community.” Mayor Dwight Jones…CLICK HERE to read more from Mayor Jones
“When I think of “community” I think of addition vs. subtraction. Community means being willing to add something you value to the place where you live and work…” CLICK HERE to read more from Meg
“Community. It’s that group of people that rallies around you. That lifts you up. That shows up when you least expect it to lend support you didn’t now you needed…” CLICK HERE to read more from Kaity
“…I am a global thinker having worked, lived on, and traveled to 5 continents, I see the WORLD as a community…OUR community, ONE community. Anyone who fails to see the interconnectedness between ourselves and our brothers and sisters on the other side of the planet, or just down the street, is missing the point….” CLICK HERE to read more from Tiffany
“…Community is the defining moment when we hold and see that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and we give ourselves over to it….” CLICK HERE to read more from Patience
This has been an amazing experience for me – Thank you all for participating and please keep following The Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook.
I will short because as wonderful as this week has been, it’s also been a task to make sure everything got done. I must say a thank you to everyone that took the time to participate in this project. Community is about all of us and the fact that so many Richmonders participated (over 45) is the best indicator that “collectively” we can make positive change in RVA.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m not sure what is next…I’m not BUT I know that something “kinetic” and “tangible” will be barnstormed moving forward. Books are cool – speaking panels are cool too BUT I would love to do something with this conversation that leads to some type of community-wide service project. I don’t know what that looks like right now, if you have suggestions – hit me up. I’m completely open. This is our project.
The final counts seems to be 46 – if there is anyone that submitted before the deadline and didn’t get up – hit me up – I will add you. If you missed the deadline – next time my friend. #WESEEIT Make sure to follow The Cheats Movement on Facebook – Support what’s happening.
“Community is where you have a voice and feel heard even though you don’t always get your way…” Alex Iwashyna, LateEnough.com…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM ALEX
“To me, community means a group of people coming together for love of a certain thing, whether it be music, arts, sports, family or even a small but common interest…” Andrew Cothern, RVA Playlist, Style Weekly…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM ANDREW
“Participating in community, within our own city, and in greater communities around the world that live and breathe like ours, is the only way to truly bring change to an otherwise controlled path. It takes a community to look around and notice that the scales are tipped, that the noise is louder than the change and reject it all for the sake of community….” Jameson Price, Silent Music Revival, Lobo Marino…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JAMESON
“..Its means the collective effort to live in harmony. To enjoy the various differences of ethnic backgrounds and to encourage and help where we see difficulties for each other….” Lorna Pinckney, Everything Verses…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LORNA
“I think community is the new family–family that you choose, with intention. It’s group of people working together, to build each other up and support each other for their higher purpose….” Peggy Myers Walz…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM PEGGY
“Think about it, what in RVA “hasn’t” influenced you? Whether the quirky styles of downtown or the high scale luxurious ways of Short Pump we all seem to mimic our area but come together in the heart of the city for VCU games, Concerts, and events that bring the city together so we all take part in participation…” Roger Tyler…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM RT
“Community is a concept that for me has centered mostly around “creative community” but I know for others it can define and spiral out in many directions. The common unity with us all is that it matters…” Todd Raviotta…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM TODD
“While the word itself literally means and derives from what we have in “common,” for me, the beauty of community is that it is a curated collection of a lot of cool differences. Each of us brings something unique. Different and differences need not be dirty words. Differences are rad…” Ted Elmore…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM TED
“Sometimes you wonder. Do people care? Do they share the same desires? Is this really a place where people want to come together? Involve yourself in the many volunteer needs around Richmond and you’ll see – Community is alive and well in Richmond!…” Vicki Neilson, A Giving Heart…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM VICKI
That’s it…#WESEEIT #THANKYOU
The home stretch is here…tomorrow will be the last day of defining Community. I’ve already commented about how awesome this has been with such a wide range of diversity joining the conversation. In order to get the final post on the site I’m just going to post them as best as possible with no real rhyme or reason. People are already asking me about “next steps” and I have to be honest….I don’t have a great answer about “what’s next” just yet BUT something will be next and “Your” input is needed.
Today on the blog: Comments on Community by: Shannon Cleary, Fan Ran, BC Music 1st, Katie Holcomb, Brian Cannon, Keeley Laures, Malcolm Venable, and Isaac Ramsey.
“…Ultimately, community is more about unifying with each other to progress to the next level of success…” BC Music 1st…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM BCMUSIC1ST
“Our RVA community is blooming beautifully! The transformation is palpable. What’s exciting to me is that so many more people are taking part in this transformation than are usually a part of moving Richmond forward…” Brian Cannon…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM BRIAN
“Your community is made up of people you know and love and people you don’t. Either way you have to make sure you are doing what you can to better the lives of all of you” Fan Ran…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM FAN RAN
“…Getting to know the people around you isn’t easy for everyone. You might have to come out of your shell a bit, or shake some preconceived notions you have about others. But in Community with a big C, your participation is essential.” Isaac Ramsey…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SWORDPLAY
“…There’s power in telling our fellow humans, “I’ve got your back,” because it makes you vulnerable, and it makes you just as much a part of their process as anything else.” Katie Holcomb…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM KATIE
“I feel that I never really understood community until I moved to Richmond. While in Richmond, I found that no matter what there is always someone willing to help me get to where I need to go to better myself and my visions as an individual, a designer, a blogger, a person….” Keeley Laures…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM KEELEY
“…Is a sort of puzzling notion because, Where exactly is this ‘community’ we live in? And, given that every individual is free to pursue in education or financial opportunity for himself, how responsible am I for someone else’s success?” Malcolm Venable…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MALCOLM
“…To me, the idea of any community is to consider the social contract at hand. It’s all about what you put in and what you take from it all.” Shannon Cleary…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SHANNON
Tomorrow is the final day…Check back – comment – post – tweet – let me know what you think. #WESEEIT
I’m starting to say this just about every hour now but I’m so heartened and excited about what is happening with this project. I often start projects because I’m interested in the outcome or because I think they are fun. I’m often surprised by what RVA embraces — and I’m not just talking about this project. I’m surprised by the music, art, and culture that RVA embraces…and it’s not what you think. I’m often pleasantly surprised. RVA has a tough reputation when it come to embracing its own — and I must say – it’s pretty well deserved BUT I truly believe that the ice is breaking. It’s breaking in music, art, and culture. It’s breaking in Community. What does that mean? Where do we go from here? I honestly can’t say for sure – but I’ve live in RVA my entire life and I can feel something different happening – I can feel people wanting to talk to each other and teach each other and share with each other – and this project is fueled by that energy. People want to be around each other – and that is very exciting. Joining the project today are: Ben Margolis, MaReesa Dawn, Madeline Roberts, Matt Newman, Kristel Poole, Rob Roby and Mikemetic.
“To me community is selflessness. It requires an understanding of those around you and a communal attitude toward a better cause…” Rob Roby…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM ROB
“…This is because the concept of community is not absolute. Community, as with many things in life and beyond, is what you make it. The key is to operate under a unified umbrella of “community” that reflects not only the diverse demographics of the larger effected populous but a holistic benevolence that should be the underlying rudiment of any communal claims made by any group, gathering or organization…” -Mike “Mikemetic” Williams…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MIKEMETIC
“Community to me, means the common good. People sharing resources fairly and with consideration of the common good makes for community…” Madeline Roberts…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MADELINE
“Community – different folk.. different ideals.. different skills = like minds.. like passions.. like goals.. working together for larger impact.” -MaReesa Dawn…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MAREESA
“Community is the essence of humanity. It’s the coming together for the common benefit of the group that has allowed our species to be as productive as we’ve been…” Ben Margolis…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM BEN
“For me, community is about saying “I care about you, I support you, and I want to see you do well.” The more you can say that, the broader your community.” Matt Newman…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MATT
“…I think that community and the idea of where you feel at home are concepts that either hit you like a brick or they take a while to grow within you; I don’t believe that one is better than the other. I feel at home in Southern California, where I was born. I feel community when I am in Hawaii….” Kristel Poole…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM KRISTEL
While I have to put an end to submission. I will continue to post every post I have received. To everyone that participated – Thank you. The first thank you of many RVA. #WESEEIT
Are you getting tired yet? I’m not. I think it’s clear that there is no magic bullet – no one right way to define community. However, it is amazing to read how others view community in RVA and see how it applies to my life. I’ve already been challenged, surprised, an even moved by the words people are writing. Today is no different with post from: Del. Jennifer McClellan, Robb Moore, Rasheeda Matthews, Pamela Howard, Tony Harris, and my dude Black Liquid. Take it all in – and see how their words apply to your life. Do they inspire you? Do they move you to act? Time will tell…but you hold the answer.
“In the root of the word community is the gift of being together. For me, community is also a path to helping people heal.” Pamela Howard….CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM PAMELA
“A community isn’t just a bunch of people doing the same thing, bound by the land they inhabit, by the burdens they bare, its ownership. The feeling of being part of something that cannot be seen, but can be felt. Its a responsibility.” Black Liquid…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM BLACK LIQ
“…Today, these are the questions that this new version of our community has propagated and leads to the heart of what your question means to me – how can I help you? Because in the end, helping the local business or artist or musician helps everyone and that is the true backbone and definition of a sustained community.” R Antony Harris…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM TONY
“…When we invest in our community, we invest in others an in this world. That is the fabric of life, and the fabric of a great society, and if that’s the rent I must pay on this earth, I will gladly do so.” Rasheeda N. Matthews…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM RASHEEDA
“Community, like family, is one of those words that one the surface pops with the positive associations we know we should feel about it, but that in a postmodern and urban reality drips also with the clinging of demands that lead many of us to spend lots of energy holding it at arm’s length.” Robb Moore…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM ROBB
“Community is your extended family as it provides support, fellowship, and a safe place to turn to in a time of need.” Jennifer McClellan…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JENNIFER (Not actually “more” but there is a photo).
This is your discussion – our discussion. Share, comment, Facebook, and tweet what’s happening out. There is still time – yes, still time to have your voice heard about Community, so I ask, “What does Community mean to you?”
It’s Wednesday and I must say — I love this series. Yes, it’s personal to me but I’m so heartened by the response of RVA. Today is no different, we have a Henrico School Board member, right beside a long time RVA hip hop artist, right beside a community activist and super hero (yes you Manifest). Really think about the RVA as a whole – it’s great that this energy can match other actions happening in the city and region. Community…it’s a powerful tool if used right. Let’s take a moment to think about what it means – and share it. Like all of the post from this week the are all posted on their own page. Hover over the “Meaning of Community” tab at the top of the screen to see the drop box for everyone. Also, you can check the Cheats Movement Facebook as I will start loading every post on there as well. It’s still not too late to join this project….Email or message me on Facebook. And wit no further delays – YOUR COMMENTS:
“Community engagement requires individuals to assess the needs of the community at large and take appropriate action that provides opportunities to impact the quality of life afforded to others.” Lamont Bagby…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LAMONT
“…In Richmond, we celebrate the James, we celebrate an incredibly rich vernacular architecture, we celebrate the train culture, skate culture, urban culture, high art, public murals, performing arts, niche restaurants and the incomparable food culture that follows. As we each experience these objects and spaces, we develop commonalities that draw us together from within. We embrace those things for their singular influence on us within the context of our community and this can shape our ideas for good.” Nelly Kate…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM NELLY
“Defining community is really simple and can be defined by asking how wide is your we? Who is included in your us?” Duron Chavis AKA Brother Manifest….CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MANIFEST
“The love we spread to one another is what builds community. Its more than just the people or places that may comprise a neighborhood, or city, or state. Communities begin in the heart; it is built with the mutual love and respect we show to each other.” The Honorable Sleaze…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SLEAZE
“To me community can mean many things, but at its core community means unique people working together for the common good. Is a project bringing people together in a positive or transformative way? If yes – that’s the embodiment of community.” Missy Neff Gould…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MISSY
“I think of community as a place where people feel connected, respected, and valued. It is a place where people can be their full selves without fear of judgment….” Jonathan Zur…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JON
That’s all for today. Make sure that you share, Facebook, Tweet, and comment. Let people know what’s happening around RVA and on this blog. Community affects us all. Let your voice be heard.
Photo by Cheats
Please make sure that you view all of the post for Community Week – go to the main menu (at the top of this screen) and hover over Meaning of Community tab. Every post has its own page — check it and share. Today is part 2 of Community Week on The Cheats Movement Blog and it is indeed a special day. The fact that this blog has the likes of Jim Ukrop posting on Community is big enough but posting Jim Ukrop along side a Maat Free or Ross Catrow or Taekia Glass is what this week (and this blog) is all about. #WESEEIT #COMMUNITY
“…for me, an ideal community is one where everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status, cares about one another and looks out for one another – a feeling that, ‘if the community does well, I will do well.’ – Jim Ukrop…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JIM
“…If you remember nothing else about ‘community’ remember that the origin of the word community comes from the latin word communitas; cum, “with/together” + munus, “gift”. Together we are a greater gift to ourselves and this world than individually.” Taekia Glass…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM TAEKIA
“…I believe community is a group of people with the desire to expose one another to what we feel most passionate about in life and remain open enough to see how these experiences will shape our world view. It is in the act of communicating that we have found a community.” Maat Free…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MAAT
“I think a community is a collection of ideas. Big ideas, small ideas, creative ideas, pragmatic ideas, etc.” Beau Cribbs…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BEAU
“For me, the people I exchange ideas with are my community.” Ross Catrow…CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM ROSS
Make sure to comment, share, post, tweet, etc. I will be posting all week. And it’s not to late to add your voice to this project, email or message me to be a part.
I’m going to post “your” comments about Community every day at 9 AM. The response has been amazing! I’m so moved that all of you have pick up this challenge and weighed-in. Please continue to do so. It’s not to late to get your voice heard. For the first installment…Please read the meaningful words of: Clovia Lawrence, Kate Hall, Victoria Carll, and Felix Sarfo-Kantanka. You can read every Community post, unedited, under the Community tab at the main menu of the blog. Please read, comment and share.
“Community” means a passion for the people. People are a very important piece to making or breaking a community.
We must commune together for greatness. Our lives depend on strong “community”. – from Clovia Lawrence CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM CLOVIA…
“…It means that parents from every walk, ethnicity and demographic in this city can come together through our blog to help a homeless mother, a family who has lost their home in a fire and a child suffering from cancer.” -from Kate Hall CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM KATE…
“…A community reaches beyond the circle of people that you know, that you socialize with, that you work with, that you hang with. Your community is a myriad of concentric circles of important, prioritized issues kept and held by each individual. The passion held in the hearts of those within my community, the work within the actions of my community, the intentions within the minds of my community and the goodness that comes from the hands of my community, reach out, reach back and hold us, change us, transform us and are the revolution within which I stand.” -from Victoria Carll CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM VICTORIA…
“…Community means being there for your family, friends and loved ones. You create a community through relationships, goodwill and respect towards others.” -from Felix Sarfo-Kantanka...CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM FELIX…
Read the post today and check back for more tomorrow….#RVACommunity
I’m very excited about this week’s project. I have reached out to the entire Cheats Movement Family and even some first time Cheats Movement readers to help break down the meaning of “Community.” The exact question offered was: “What does Community mean to you?” I asked this question because “Community” has been a hot topic in Richmond this early part of 2013. There have been several public discussions about Community, some “side” discussions” and dare I say even some “underground discussions,” from all walks of RVA, regarding how we can improve RVA’s Community.
What I’ve found, and what really inspired me to reach out to the Cheats Movement Family, is that though these conversations are taking place - they seem to be taking place amongst interest groups that appear to be motivated to serve their own interests and present it as Community. I don’t mean that to be a criticism, it’s just my observation.
The Virginia General Assembly will have a discussion, or host a forum, about Community and the only people that would attend are Delegates, Senators, and lobbyist. TEDx, one of my favorite subjects of late, will host an event or talk about bringing the TEDx energy to RVA and how great it is for our Community. And I think events like the upcoming TEDx is a great happening that RVA should support but I (and along with others) have questioned, is the event just for the innovative business community or does it represent a larger cut of RVA? On a more personal note, I was a part of a wonderful group of community activist a few weeks ago, sort of an anti-establishment – DIY – group, we had a very enlightening discussion about Community. But as I looked around that room, it was clear that the room lacked the financial capital, business and political influence to really claim that our group was a real representation of all of RVA.
The main reason why I love Richmond so much is because of its diversity. There is no silver bullet that can put RVA in a box. Nor, is there a way that you can really have an all-inclusive conversation on a topic like Community without leaving key elements behind. But knowing that, I can go one of two ways, I could say the challenge is too large and sit it out or I can play my part and join the conversations that I see taking place around Richmond. That is why I have decided to use this week on The Cheats Movement Blog to do my part and help put more momentum behind the conversations about Community that are already taking place.
I strongly believe that in order to move forward on advancing issues like “Community Improvement” there has to be a baseline understanding of the definition and how it applies in people’s lives. This week will by my attempt – the attempt of The Cheats Movement Family – to present a diverse understanding of RVA’s community and how we can use these answers to kick-start some real action.
Everyone should be encouraged to be involved in discussions about their Community. Community affects everyone. I am very pleased with the Richmonders (Family Members) that have lent their voice to this conversation. The range of responses that I have received is more diverse than I’ve ever seen in one place about Richmond’s Community (thanks social media).
I have invited all – with no limits - to participate in this conversation, and the offers still stands all week. I encourage everyone to comment – share – tweet – Facebook – post – do whatever to move this conversation forward. I believe we are all in this together and the more we know about each other, the further we can go to make RVA’s Community stronger. #WESEEIT
Photo by Nick Mastro from the Cheats Movement Epic Dinner Party 2012