New Year Wish List For Our Community
By N Oji Mzilikazi
(Originally published in Montreal Community Contact volume 20,#24)
December 16, 2010
Rebirth of a Central Organization:
Individual associations if island based or community oriented are limited issue organisations. Attending to the complex and multitudinous issues confronting/affecting our wide and diverse community limit their effectiveness and detract from their mandate. Furthermore, they have no real power to negotiate meaningfully with municipal authorities, the government and or private corporations. Therefore, it makes sense to have a strong central organisation.
The power of the collective ensures better access, better services and even better funding. Since blueprints already exist a la the Black Community Council of Quebec (BCCQ), my wish is for persons with influence and committed to community to initiate dialogue with others towards the rebuilding of a central organization.
A Report on Reports
In July 1992, the brightest minds from various organizations spent a weekend in Val Morin working out strategies and structure to best advance the interest of our community. Having obtained a copy of the document the conference produced, I can attest it is verily a blueprint for success, yet its implementation never materialised.
In September 2005, Premier Charest mandated public consultations and task forces on the state of the province’s racial, ethnic and religious minorities towards their betterment. I don’t know whom, or what organization took the lead on ours, “The Full Participation of Black Communities in Québec Society,” but something is amiss when given our present circumstance, none can say to Premier Charest, “You promised instant action on recommendations from those task forces but x, y, and z hasn’t been implemented.”
Far too many things have been done to improve our community and in the name of community for us to be still treading water. My wish is for concerned community members to rise up and demand accountability. Our stewards past and present owe explanations. It is not a witch-hunt. Sins will be forgiven. We are in need of information and clarity so our next leaders won’t be fumbling or look like bumbling idiots, or be treated with disrespect by the City and others. My wish is for those involved in the two aforementioned processes to come forth in this newspaper or in a forum and enlighten us.
My wish is 2011 will bring a recommitment to community by its long serving members as well as new faces to the fore. Our community is in need of the service of those who are financially astute, intellectually brilliant and committed to its rejuvenation. These emerging leaders must commit themselves to the promotion of education, technical certification, fiscal responsibility, and economic empowerment, and they must be the morally courageous, fearless, respectful and of the highest integrity. Leaders who understand that selfishness, negativity, hopelessness and evil prosper when people lose faith, and people lose faith when leadership falls short of ideological expectations, is morally compromised, duplicitous, arrogant, abusive, and self-serving.
Happy Holidays to one and all!