Thursday 2 February 2023
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Something to Think About: Building our Community; I’m Supporting Our Mayor on this one!

new michael vaughnOp/Ed by Michael Vaughn –

It is no secret that there are many things that are in need of support in the African-American community; from education, to lowering crime rates, lowering poverty, lowering single parent homes, etc.  In many of these cases our community has reached out to others to provide the support that is needed while we have been the recipients.

The issue with always being the recipient is that it is hard to learn how to have the strength to be the one that actually starts being the giver.  The old phrase, “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll each for a lifetime” comes to mind.  As African-Americans we have to take the primary role to build our community.

I want to give a shout out to Mayor Warren and her team that hosted an event this month to discuss community development.  The reason that this was a good forum because there was shown the desire of the government to work with faith based organizations in helping the community.  And, tbe reason that I like this is that the government is not saying they are going to “do it” for us.

We are going to have to have a vision and a plan that shows how we can help our community with the support from the government.—African-Americans coming together with a plan to help other African-Americans in a variety of ways; learning skilled trades, getting jobs, become business people, etc.  In order to move the needle, groups will have to come together in order to see the bigger picture come into focus.

The very fact that there is a coming together is a huge step forward.  When we come together we are stronger than when we tear each other down.  The Faith-based community working with recreational centers working with health care centers, etc.  This helps the broader vision of building our community comes to pass.

I do not always agree with the Mayor’s policies or positions but I have to give her applause on this initiative.  Through partnering with established groups and hard work, we will be able to not just revitalize our community but be able to rebuild it.

I often say that African-Americans are some of the smartest, ingenious, entrepreneurial, strong, etc., people on this planet.  We can do whatever we put our minds to.  This is why it infuriates me to see African-Americans give up on their dreams and become totally reliant on a political party or the government.  I firmly believe that if we can come together from a business perspective relative to the Mayor’s plan, we will be able to turn Rochester upside down and the rest of the country will wonder how it was done.

The need is that we have to have the resolve to go after the bigger picture and stop choking at a gnat.  We get wrapped around the axle regarding politics, religion, etc., that we refuse to come together and see how we can help the broader African-American community.  The Mayor has done her part, getting the folks together.  We now have to do ours, become unified as we start working together!

Michael Vaughn is Sr. Pastor of New Wineskin Church in Rochester, NY.  If you would like to contact him, please email him at