You know we tried this black city building, Black Kingdom building, black nation building in so many different ways.
In my youth, I saw it trying to be built from the churches and the mosque. But a holistically religious angle, however capable of bringing people to the table, lacked the sophistication necessary in order to build sustainable communities.
I watched it try to emerge from the nonprofit angle. Raising money through grants trying to get people to empathize with the missions. A lot of good is done through nonprofits. It’s not strong enough to build a resilient city.
I have watched people try to do this from a completely organic standpoint. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly how we started at the Freedom Nation. Thinking people would come to the table and work for their own benefit. That if you remove the barriers they would put in the hard work necessary in order to slave away and build on the various machines and utilize the raw materials to make their own realities. That just proved too hard for where we are as people today.
I can say that deciding to parse the land up and allow people to individually own their piece of land and then come together around some common concepts and their common shared interests as independent landowners has been one of the most successful methods. Every day that we watch the Freedom Nation and the Freedom Village grow and more people become involved it becomes evident to me that this is the best path. The power of simply empowering people to move on their own accord cannot be measured. Wish we had thought of it sooner.
What type of institutions must be built?
But over the last three years, we have also learned some very unique things about this path.
- Build the community and nurture that community. The community is the core of all of our efforts. When done well, the essence of like-minded people coming to a single table has its own draw associated with it The camaraderie and the sense of being along with a space to equally share ideas with equally enthusiastic individuals seems to have its own magnetism. As we dig deeper to understand more about the psyche of black people. I understand that social proof and availability bias are two of the strongest cognitive biases when making decisions in our community. Essentially, we need to know that someone else is doing it and that it’s something that is familiar to us in its basic structure.
- People need financing. Once the community is together and everyone has a desire to move forward they need the absolute smallest barrier between them and action. They need to execute that action from where they are not where you want them to be. The need for a black funding institution that can package programs to fund each stage of the building process has stuck out as one of the most significant instruments that need to exist for our community to grow. This comes in two forms, first, the ability to actually aggregate funds for project funding and secondarily, the ability to service the loans that are given back out to the citizens as well as the village for its development. I have been working on this for the last two years. We released the Token and the Treasury but are now looking to institutional the loan servicing function so we can attract different types of funding sources and package them in such a way as to ensure our goals for the villages.
- Access to professional and highly skilled third-party vendors. After you’ve brought the people to the table and after you have created a way for them to engage the need to have people who can execute at a moment’s notice is paramount. Throughout this process, we have already leaned on so many people with so much vast knowledge. The knowledge is contained within the citizens themselves but quite a bit of the knowledge has been contained outside of the citizenry. Don’t see this as a practice that will slow down. So having the mechanism in place to do proper vendor management proper billing, professional engagement, monitoring and managing professional contracts, etc. Has become so important.
- Providing a professionally managed service in order to coordinate all of these parts and to ensure that things get done is so important. You know you have this idea that as soon as people get involved that they will immediately just start pouring themselves into this effort. That’s just not true. As the saying goes anything that does not have someone to lead it and manage it will fail. What seems to be true in the corporate world is very true inside the nation-building space as well. Having a professionally managed service that is available for the citizenry Is definitely what sets us apart from all of the other Black City building movements. And it’s the reason why we can continue to push forward. Having a dedicated low-cost staff who is judged by their ability to continue to serve the needs of this organization and its citizenry is proving to be an extremely irreplaceable asset. In addition, having that management organization consult with the citizens on how to organize themselves and how to engage the various parts and persons that are necessary for our development is also becoming invaluable and is something that we need to put a lot more energy into increasing internally.
- Facilitate the availability of black-owned products. This is a really hard goal. Because most of us aren’t even aware of the plethora of products that we consume. Having the ability to bring in products that we both manufacture as well as source directly from the manufacturers is paramount to our ability to have any form of real independence inside the villages. Been so many other projects where people have holistically depended on stores and other things that are in the traditional environments in order to sustain their village. And in almost every case these developments have failed. What time do people move to those places where they can gain greater access? Having a strong international sourcing and fulfillment company will prove to be one of the key elements to our ability to self-govern and have independence inside the villages.
- Providing a professional residential and commercial real estate and infrastructure development company rooted inside of the structure as a part of the professional services that are offered to the citizenry is paramount. Extending the Capacity of the development company is something that I spend a tremendous amount of time doing. Even now as I write this I’m coordinating with the factory in order to ensure that our closed panel manufacturing facility operates in the best possible way to ensure that we can keep our promises to the citizenry when it comes to building their homes. Tomorrow we will be challenged with building roads and excavating spaces for sewage and I would very much so like to purchase the equipment necessary to drill our own wells.
The Institution is a must for real success
What we have found is that leaving any of these 6 functions to the community to just simply create is too heavy of a lift for progress. There is a period of time when people are enthused and engaged and when you have to show true results. It is hard enough to create these mechanisms and then execute on them. We can see from our efforts that if we had left this to be a communal function then it would have taken too long in order to retain the number of people that would have in turn benefited from it or to have worked to make it happen.
The Freedom Nation Institutions
At Freedom Nation, we have decided to individually brand and manage each of these components into their own interconnected institutions.
A. Freedom Nation – Our community-building and Nurturing Membership based Organization
B. Freedom Builders – Our Infrastructure and Real-Estate Building Organization
C. GCSS – Our Professional Service and Organizational Management Firm
D. Qosil – International Fulfilment and Sourcing Firm
E. Freedom Nation DAO Treasury – Our Money-Raising Instrument
F. Freedom Trust Financing* (FTF) – Our Loan Servicing Organization
FTF is what I believe will become one of the most important parts of this puzzle. To date, we have serviced over 1.8 Million in loans to our citizens and managed over 4,000 transactions. This is only the beginning, but the administrative overhead has been intense. Developing a professional financing organization will skyrocket our ability to move forward and give the citizens an internal institution by which to structure multi-lender financing mechanisms for infrastructure projects as well as future development projects within the village. We are researching now all the things that we have to do to legalize this organization into a full services firm and to ensure that it works in the most modern fashion. In addition, we are developing the calculations for our own trust-based credit system for the members of our community.
In the end, the process of simply just trying to fulfill the ideals that we set out for and facilitate the various needs of our diverse set of citizens constantly evolves and reveals the structure that is necessary for us to continue to move forward. It is my hope that with these six organizations in place, we will be able to have a resilient community and build village after village after village. And leave an engine for our children that can build black-owned environments of peace and prosperity.
In the very near future, that means now, I would love to see a lot more citizen involvement with-inside these organizations as leaders in the organizations as well as employees. Because the ultimate goal of any black city-building initiative should be a sustainable, resilient environment of peace and prosperity for America’s deeply underserved population.