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YOU! HAVE THE POWER | Dr. Ellen Brown

February 26, 2023 by  
Filed under Community

The 100: Creating generational change, and a word about pronouns

BY DR. ELLEN BROWN

DR. ELLEN BROWN

The country is entering the 23rd year of the millennium. So, 23 years in, what is new? What has changed? What has stayed the same?

With all of these questions in the air, one answer has remained clear: power still reigns for those who use it wisely.

According to a research study released in 2021, 47 million people in America identify as Black. Forty-one million (87%) identified as single race and 3.7 million as multiracial (8%), with a remaining 2.4 million (5%) identifying as Black Hispanic. The numbers leading to this result came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We must accept that this collective population cannot be lumped together exclusively — as a little thing called “culture” plays a significant role in every aspect of Black American life.

Gentry Richardson

The focus here is not exclusively on race, but also culture and inclusiveness. Needing and wanting the same things and working with others to accomplish them. “WE” + “THEY” = NAACP, NUL, NSBE, and D9*.

Being African American, growing into adulthood still using ‘They’ and ‘Us” to identify and separate God’s children. Come on now. I long ago came to the realization that “WE” is the appropriate and humane pronoun.

One national organization doing its part locally to serve the “WE” with an emphasis on the “US” is the 100 Black Men of Las Vegas. From its conceptual beginnings as early as 1963, to its 1987 decision to launch to the nation, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. have been true to their mission, vision, and values. Our city has warmly welcomed Gentry Richardson, the current president of the Las Vegas chapter. He and I connected recently to discuss his role as Las Vegas’ third president since “The Las Vegas 100” was formed in 1999. This chapter is all about sharing power. Richardson accepts the challenges facing the organization and the responsibility of his leadership. He follows a short list of legacy leaders: inaugural President Larry Mosley, Joe Jones and Sean Smith. They were the Las Vegas trailblazers for the 100, who brought valuable experience as members of other Black leadership organizations.

“The 100 are about power: identifying needs, creating experiences for our youth, driving generational change, and building collaborations to strengthen their futures,” says President Richardson. Key relationships he mentions include Clark County School District; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Brandon Marshall Foundation to name only a few.

I asked President Richardson how they access and manage power. His response: “Power is built upon core values: spiritual, family, community, political. These principles reinforce it. People dilute their own power by choosing not to seek or use it. That is where we can help. It’s simple: purpose over power.”

The National 100 Black Men Convention is to be held in Las Vegas in 2023.

Dr. Ellen Brown enjoys writing on political topics that encourage and invite discussion leading to action. She is a retired university educator and dean and can be reach her with thoughts and ideas at ebrown.nci@gmail.com

*Conducted by the Pew Research Foundation in 2021
**Not intended to exclude any organization

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