Ernest Comer III

Ernest Comer III is a community relations professional with several years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in Communication Studies with an emphasis in African and African American Studies. Ernest is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and has held positions of leadership in organizations such as PRISM at the University of Minnesota, and emerging non-profit in Ramsey County, Re-Armor Homes. He has been an adolescent mentor in the Pediatrics Department at the U and has hosted local television and radio shows showcasing young talent.

Proverbial Monday: Keep It In The Family

Posted by: Ernest Comer III under Advice Updated: March 25, 2013 - 8:02 AM

 

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Every week we'll start off with our "highs and lows" and get into some important societal survival skills and general goings on of the TwinCities and neighboring communities with news about the rest of the world here and there. Participation is simple. Just give us your highs and lows either in the comments of the article or on twitter by trending #ProverbialMonday or tweeting to me @ProverbTribune.

High: Making lots of great interpersonal connections recently

Low: Missing my family during some work-related travel

***Keep It In The Family***

Allow me to begin this post with an apology as I see myself as one of the greatest transgressors for this familial malfeasance. With some critical reflection I've come to the understanding that it's hipocritical and irresponsible of me to engage the work that I do with knowledge and insight that I have gained throughout my career without offering those same resources to my own family. The passion and dedication that we bring to our careers should be reflected in the way we interact with and uplift our families and community. While my work is primarily in community engagement there is a portion of the community that I serve missing out on my presence and my intentional effort to build and strengthen. Far too often it requires a call or visit from a relative for me to even share a moment of time with them rather than me reaching out to better understand how I can be of service to the family that raised me.

O.W. Gurley & J.B. Stradford founded the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, OK better known as Black Wallstreet with the purchase of over 120 acres of land and the notion that "people had a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their resources, worked together and supported each other's businesses". This concept of interdependence and mutual investment led to the development of a thriving and self-sustaining community. Why then have so few adopted or replicated this model especially in Black communities and Black families. I regularly come across examples of families who don't celebrate eachother with reunions and even more who intentionally choose not to invest in the businesses and professional endeavors of relatives. In fact, the expectation is often that goods and services provided by relatives should be distributed to family members for free upon any and every request.

Maybe, if we invest more in our families we can practice what it would look like to invest in our communities and we  can all learn to see how we might together be able to develop thriving families and communities that are self-sustaining.

 

More info on Greenwood in Tulsa, OK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwood,_Tulsa,_Oklahoma#.22The_Black_Wall_Street.22

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