What if I said that there was a small group of urban entrepreneurs, educators, and
community workers who had developed a plan to transform our conditions? That is, we
could literally turn “hoods” back into neighborhoods? I am convinced that we can, and I’m
betting everything I have on this plan.
Give me 30 minutes of your time to show you that I have a structured plan for how we
could feasibly begin the process of massive social change in the urban community. Not only
can we do this, we can do this without funding, without outside help, without government
assistance, and without some sort of miracle. If you’re not convinced, you won’t have to
read another word about it. I just need 28 more minutes to show you that this is something
that can work and I stand behind it. If you like what you read, all I will ask of you is that you
lend us your blessing and whatever support you would like to offer. No obligation other
So what’s this all about?
We’re all well aware of the problems our people face. We already know the hood is in bad
shape. But so are Black and Brown people in the suburbs. And so are Black and Brown
people throughout the world. There are, of course, pockets of hope and resistance, but what
we need is a concerted effort to change things across the board. We don’t need more
rhetoric. We need solutions. We need these solutions to be implemented far and wide, in a
way that spreads like wildfire.
It’s clear that we need a movement. Not another flash-in-the-pan reactionary kinda thing.
Not another boycott that lasts a few weeks. Or a protest that lasts a day and fizzles out. Nor
do we need another political or cultural organization that will compete with other
organizations for membership and attention. What we need is a comprehensive and
universal solution, one that provides a sustainable infrastructure. This is what led me to the
idea of a “360” Movement that addresses all our problems and allows everyone to contribute
to the solutions.
The problems we face are layered and multi-faceted. Some of them are inter-generational,
and their roots are centuries deep. Yet surprisingly, the solutions are very simple. Thus the
core values of the 360 Movement are very simple.
For any number of reasons, we have often been too consumed in petty disputes, debates or
distractions to effectively work together to combat our problems. It’s time we adopt a
platform that we can agree on; a set of values and commitments that represent our common
interests, and effective strategies to solve our communities’ problems. To do this, we don’t
have to abandon our cultures and ideologies. We simply have to place a greater value on
doing what actually works and recognizing those who are doing the work rather than those
who want to talk and lead us nowhere.
We have compiled a list of the MANY problems facing Black and Brown people here in the
U.S. (and internationally) and have spent the past few years compiling solutions from the
best practices already established by our predecessors (Martin Delany, Marcus Garvey, Elijah
Muhammad, Cesar Chavez, Robert F. Williams, Afrika Bambaataa, Kwame Nkrumah, and
countless others), as well as developing modern applications of these best practices. And
because most of our problems aren’t truly “new,” we have also dedicated research and
testing identifying emerging problems. We’ve surveyed hundreds of community members,
educators, program coordinators, and grassroots organizers to develop an up-to-date analysis
of today’s problems and their potential solutions.
How This Started
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killer being found not guilty and going unpunished, I found
myself feeling a sense of disgust coupled with a bitter familiarity. In many ways, we are
horrified by audacity of the outcome, but also unsurprised. We are USED to feeling this
way. We are USED to feeling that our children will most likely be abused, ignored,
miseducated, profiled, beaten, caged, or killed by the same place we yearn to discover the
This country’s poor might be the foundation of our economy, but they are certainly not
respected as such. The poor are meant to remain poor, and only occasionally do they let a
poor fool win, just to reinforce our faith in the lottery system of capitalism. Even the middle
class – who exist as a sort of social “buffer class” so that the poor don’t eat the rich – worry
that they, too, are seen no different from their poor relatives, despite how hard the middle
class has worked to be “disciplined and responsible.”
This is especially true in communities that have been repressed and oppressed since the birth
of this country. After all, the stealing of indigenous land, the genocide against its inhabitants,
and the brutal slave trade that produced America’s largest caste of “involuntary
minorities”…well, all these things are older than this country itself. They are literally older
than America. American society was BUILT on the backs of the same people it dehumanizes
to this day.
But what does it take to change things? So that we don’t have to be USED to racial
profiling, stereotyping, and job discrimination? So that we don’t have to be USED to the
idea that our children are in danger, not just from criminals, but from the police force that
our tax dollars pay to protect them? What will it take for Black and brown lives to have
enough value so that people can’t simply GET AWAY with murdering unarmed children,
adults, and seniors?
Will it take a show of Black people valuing their own lives? Perhaps. But this idea should not
be weaponized against our poor. Our poor suffer the most, thanks to the worst schools, an
absence of community resources, governmental neglect of urban decay, environmental
racism, and barriers to upward mobility. In other words, they are white supremacy’s victims.
Those of us who share middle class ideals should not be so quick to blame the poor for
social conditions they did not create. Meanwhile, the middle class should also consider how
they are often within inches of joining the poor. And with an equal chance of being shot or
falsely imprisoned. In other words, don’t get ahead of yourself.
So what does it take to change things? I personally don’t expect to change the minds of
people who have been pretty consistent at keeping us under their thumb. It’s us who have to
change. We ALL have to start valuing our own lives, and those of each other. We DO need
to bring pride back into our minds, our homes, and our communities. We NEED
educational resources, training, and support to create businesses, schools, and advocacy
groups with actual power and authority. With over TRILLION dollars in buying power,
there’s no lack of capital, just a lack of consensus and commitment. That’s where I decided
People want change. They want solutions. But they want change and solutions that will
benefit them in both the short term and the long term. If things don’t seem to benefit
people in the NOW, many people won’t get on board, expecting some long term result. But
we can generate real results. The people who are coming together to complete this survey, I
know you’re the same people who will create the principles, protocols, and programs we
need. What we are proposing is not a boycott, not a march, not a rally, not a protest, not a
petition, not a fundraiser. We are proposing a new way of doing things. Well, it’s kinda the
old way, really. For starters, we’re talking to the people first. Finding out what people need,
and what people are prepared to do. No rhetoric. No theories. Just concrete solutions and
Who We Are
I am the founder of Supreme Design Publishing, a company that has exclusively published
“self-help” literature for the urban community since 2008. We’ve accomplished some pretty
exceptional things with the work we do, not the least of which is getting young men and
women in the “hood” to actually read books showing them how to change their lives and
communities. We had already begun transitioning our publishing staff into roles more
appropriate for a community-based initiative. The more we changed the way we did things,
the more people became excited about the potential of what we were doing. Because we’ve
seen how our books engage people, we’ve embarked on a larger campaign to get people
immersed in the work of not just changing their own lives, or even their communities, but
quite literally changing the world. We developed a system by which this can be done, and it
isn’t a pipe dream, cult, or pyramid scheme. It’s real and it’s practical.
To make this system viable, we’re reviving a nonprofit I cofounded in 2001. Initially, the
goal was to serve at-risk youth in Atlanta. Today, we find ourselves having the capacity to
reach entire communities throughout the world. We christened the nonprofit 360 Solutions.
In any community, no matter what language they speak, “360” represents a circle. It
represents inclusion and comprehensiveness. And these are the kinds of solutions we need.
As we told people about our plan to “change everything,” it wasn’t long before people began
referring to it as the 360 Movement and I’m not opposed to that. To me, “360” emphasizes
collectivity, holistic approaches and comprehensive solutions while “Movement” suggests
the principle of “action” over debate, stalling, escapism, and so on. A “movement” is bigger
than a program, project or organization. It is something that – if it is done well – will
outgrow and outlive us.
360 isn’t a political party, a culture, or an organization so much as it is a platform and
structure for community development. What we’re promoting is a structure by which
communities of people can engage in study and work that improves their communities, even
those that appear most destitute and impoverished. With the help of strategic planners and
curriculum developers, we’ve mapped out the work of community change in such a way that
anyone can participate with some level of significance. We’ve structured things to be
inclusive of people with mental and physical challenges, as well as the homeless and the
incarcerated. We’ve also begun engaging international communities, with preliminary
groundwork already laid in Mexico, the UK, France, Ghana, and South Africa. I’ve
personally invested all of my time and money into making this happen, and am thankful that
so many others have volunteered to do the same.
What do we hope to accomplish?
Comprehensive social change. And it won’t take a fundraiser for ten million dollars, an
organization comprised of ten million people, or a battalion of ten million angels. It will only
take people like you and me, working together on a campaign we can agree on.