Each year The Say Yes Sir Initiative will focus on one of these pillars of healing with each year building upon the other.
Pillars of Healing
Psychological trauma is central to any social, economic and even physical issue within a given community. The Black community is certainly no exception. In fact, psychological trauma has become a part of everyday life for Black Americans, compounded by over half a century of systemic abuse and oppression. This is because, despite efforts toward Civil Rights, Affirmative Action and enhanced workplace diversity, there has been only minimal focus on getting Black people the psychological help they need to counteract these innumerable years of generational trauma. We are committed to helping the community heal by identifying areas of psychological strongholds and meshing research and trials of implementation with sound faith-based principles.
According to the Center for Disease Control, obesity is most prevalent in Hispanic (47.0%) and Black (46.8%) households when compared to Whites (37.9%) and Asians (12.7%). In turn, the prevalence of obesity-related conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes is also disproportionately high. This, coupled with the psychological stress of simply being Black in America, is a recipe for low birth rates and high death rates throughout the Black community.
This is without a doubt a cultural phenomenon. Perhaps Black communities have struggled to turn these trends around because they are distracted by a predominating White culture that suggests changes that are largely counter-cultural and, therefore, difficult if not impossible to implement.
Say Yes Sir is committed to calling upon what we know about who Black people are to propose cultural changes that rely less on what is being done within the dominant culture. For instance, where White American culture may call for a brisk jog around a lake with headphones, a heart monitor and a calorie tracker, Black culture may instead call for a fun dance routine with your kids or daily sports play. Where White culture may call for less than 5% body fat and size 1 dresses, Black culture may more heavily emphasize physical strength and agility as well as emotional balance. Who knows what healthy secrets might be unlocked as we begin to embrace Black culture without the anxiety of living up to a cultural standard that was never intended for Black people. Furthermore, as we continue to add diversity to the healthcare profession with Black healthcare providers, more Black culture will inevitably be infused into the mainstream of healthcare in America.
In order to become successful, it is almost always required that you find your place in society. This means you have to learn how to do something or several things really well in order to provide a service to your fellow man. Unfortunately, Black America’s persistent fight against abuse and oppression has distracted Black people from having a natural focus on professional development. For instance, a White student who understands that the school system is in place for his benefit might have an inherent understanding that every effort he makes to follow the rules and develop his intellect is leading to him taking his rightful place in society. On the other hand, a Black student who has to contend with a system that seems to be set against him might have a relatively difficult time remaining motivated to follow the rules and do well.
It is difficult to consider how you can constructively contribute to a system that is actively causing you pain. Yet, as Bible-believing Christians, this is exactly what we are called to do (see Jeremiah 29:7). That being said, professional development for those who are inherently victimized by the American system must look different than mainstream methods beginning with a better understanding of one’s purpose in God’s plan. For Say Yes Sir, it is our perspective on God’s plan that shapes our methods and makes us unique. As we draw on that perspective we hope to develop novel ideas for professional development that produce unprecedented results.
The economic disparities between Blacks and Whites in America remain undeniable today but they are being propagated as much by systemic oppression as by internal discord within Black families and communities. The key to financial stability is not income but legacy, inheritance solidarity within the community. Regardless of income, you can help close the economic gap by infusing these principles into your children, extended family and those in your immediate neighborhood. This goes beyond simply “Buying Black.” It involves a wide array of topics such as economic literacy, investing, forming financial partenerships, assett management and the identification of your key marketable products and services. Say Yes Sir is committed to promoting these biblical principles within the fabric of Black culture, where it has been largely absent.
This is where it all comes together. Ultimately, nothing we do to improve ourselves will amount to much if it is not in line with the will of God. Furthermore, only what we do to promote the kingship of Christ can be reliably protected by any divine intervention. We must remember that everything that is happening around us is a part of God’s big-picture plan. There is a reason why the Black community remains unsatisfied with its current condition, just as there was a reason God allowed Black people to be put in this situation in the first place.
The Black community isn’t meant to improve itself just so that Black people can live happier and more fulfilled lives, though that might be a welcomed consequence. Black Americans have a grand purpose to serve that requires all of the improvements listed above. Still, spiritual development is not so much about employing strategies so that we can live our best life. It’s about coming to a greater understanding of who God is and His plan for mankind. The aim of spiritual development is to equip ourselves to do everything possible to support God’s plan.