BALLE: Local Heart and Soul
Maggie Anderson, author of Our Black Year, spent an entire year patronizing only black-owned businesses in her hometown of Chicago, sometimes traveling many miles out of her way to do so. She had to pause to steady her voice when she explained that she spent the last year of her mother’s life, time she could have spent with her, pursuing this course of action because she believed in the importance of supporting these organizations and encouraging others to do the same.
Amy Kedron, founding member of Buffalo First, wept with pride at the turnaround she illustrated with her slideshow of people in her Rust Belt community stepping up. At Amy’s Place (a restaurant), “everyone deserves the dignity of a meal,” while the community’s only skateboard shop deliberately chose a non-trendy location that afforded them space for the kids to skate off the street. It’s known for sheltering those who need it, even going so far as to find some children new homes.
Far from hawking products or services, BALLE promotes community, gives away inspiration, builds determination and instills faith.
“When people try to tell you that small isn’t beautiful, just tell your story.” Amy Kedron, Buffalo First
“Black children now have a president who looks like them, but they can go their whole lives without meeting a business owner that looks like them.” Maggie Anderson, Our Black Year
“Ownership is the key. And owning your own job is a beautiful thing. Poverty can’t be eradicated by creating jobs, but by creating wealth.” Medrick Addison, Evergreen Cooperatives
“Real prosperity is not about money, but strong communities and people.” David Korten, YES! Magazine
“B Corporations differentiate companies from those with a mission, and those with good marketing plans.” Sarah Van Aken, SA VA
“The things that are valuable are the ones you invest in (not buy). The more you invest (share and give), the more you get. It’s not what I need to get to feel whole, but what I need to give to feel whole.” Neal Gorenflo, Shareable
image credit: Markdek via Flickr cc (some rights reserved)
image credits: John Meloy and © BALLE.