NATIONAL BLOCK CLUB UNIVERSITY – A MODEL FOR BLACK UNITY

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Black people in America have long lamented the challenges faced by the community that have kept people dis-unified, and many have done what they could to address this problem. Every once in a while, someone new comes along with their plans to design and implement a new idea that could help foster unity among Blacks. One of these individuals is Syron (Sy) Smith, the founder of the National Block Club University, which is a global Village Concept.

Sy Smith grew up in the Cabrini Green and Jane Addams housing developments in Chicago. He now resides in Bartow County, GA. When he was a child, he would ask himself why Blacks were killing each other; he didn’t understand why it kept happening and why people just didn’t stop. Upon reaching adulthood, he served in the Navy and was discharged in 1996. After that, he spent 10 years in the Reserves in Iceland, which helped give him a global perspective on life. He saw how the Navy was organized and thought it would be an excellent model to apply when organizing Black people, and with that, the National Block Club University’s global Village Concept was born.

It is based on what he calls “RAY” – which means organizing and connecting Retirees, Adults, and Youth. Every block in Black America is organized based on professions in that block. Professionals in American zip codes connect with youth in their areas for the purpose of mentoring and succession planning with an eye toward the next generation. Each profession is tied down to a date in the month for activities, and it is repeated the same day every month forever. Everything around the world goes to 20 Chicago zip codes. The ‘go-to” model is the CUDS – a global relationship management tool. CUDS is an acronym for Centralized Uniform Delivery System. It is a model that is used by the Post Office and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 20 zip codes in Chicago have Sister Cities in the U.S, which are also linked to a white suburb and a location in Africa. Each profession in each zip code has a designated day to relate to people with the same interests on a specific day of each month. Moreover, in every 16 blocks, people develop their own governmental structure and are requested to cover particular agenda items. In this overall system, everyone has a lane. An example of an alliance: the Chicago 60615 zip code is connected with New Orleans and also to the Congo in Africa. Certain days are reserved for teachers, and there is a rotating system that never changes so that people know what connections are made with each other on those dates at those locations.

Regarding sustainability, the project is set up to ultimately be financially self-sufficient. One component is that people lend money ($100) to the group and get it back in 30 days.

The goal is $12,000,000 a year; every year, each zip code would receive $60,000 to travel wherein the mentors (members of specific professions) take youth in their group to places around the world. In the educational component; every youth participates in KG – 12th grade competitions where they can win money when their date and grade comes around. Another financial component requests that donors give $12 per year to the organization.

Interestingly, many people have jumped on the bandwagon, and the program is gaining adherents all the time. There are several other “structures” that address every aspect of the CUD network, which is touted as “combating mis-alignment.” This program has been in place since the test phase in Watts, California, in1994, with full implementation in October, 1996.

Other components include a Systematic Time Tower, which details further structure with floors from 1 – 100 organized by location, hours allotted to professions, and more. One of the most exciting elements of the project is the U.S. – Africa connection. It is very nice to see people in Africa connecting with people in the United States around common issues.

The National Block Club University is one of the most innovative and exciting strategies developed in America, and promises to do what people have been saying needs to be done – unify Black people. Of course, there will always be naysayers and Debbie Downers, but for those who are serious about real change, this Village Community model is one of the best ideas to come along wherein the possibilities of global interchange and local unity can happen. The only hurdle will be that of developing trust – beyond that, the sky is the limit! A Luta Continua.

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