My Block, My Hood, My City Raises Money For Small Businesses
Hi. I'm Justin Kauffman in. This is reset. You WanNa be a leader and you'll city. Right down, east fifteen words. The fifteen. What something simple I can do that'll have a positive impact on my block and I'm telling. If you start with the simple things, you can develop the muscle. Take bigger challenges. That's the voice of Jamal Coal speaking on a Lory lightfoot press conference late last month. He's the man behind the organization. You've been hearing a lot about lately. It's called my block. My Hood I city in a short amount of time Cole and his organization have raised over a million dollars to help small businesses, and the south and westside affected by recent looting. His work raising money this past week to his efforts, shovel sidewalks for seniors. Coal is a true community organizer. Jamal Coal welcomed the reset eight. Minute how you doing I'm good, so let's first talk. I want to talk about the initiative to help small businesses on the South and West Side Tell me what my block my hood! My City is doing for for small businesses. For protests, but we're not for the census destruction of of you know businesses like community, so there's a lot of looters I've taken. You Know Hammer time. Breaking Windows or small businesses and spraying or CD's and. Using the opportunity to tear down, you know a black windy, so we started small business relief funds to support them with their own operations to repair on seduce overfeeding over to do some instructions. Some painting and we just put that. Website will raise some money and get a lot of all off. And I know you know your vocal about the community you live in Chatham and other and other communities around there. I'm interested when you see that happen when you see vandalism and destruction happening in neighborhood in communities that you're in how how you feel like. What were you feeling? Before you even started this initiative. Well? There's been a healthcare practice going on Chicago's long before Kobe nineteen dot here you know we've been calling gun violence in Chicago public health issue for decades sometimes. I just elephant wordplay right now, but I feel like a and there's a blighted. There's a high crime rate and I mean that's really because there's resource schools diagnostic community, high incarceration rate, high unemployment, and this leads to the violence, so it's not regular and that you know there's more technology on. On the light poles in the classrooms there's paddy wagons parked outside the front of the high schools. You can't really be inspired when you have to go to McDonald's Wifi you know what I mean, so there's There's a lack of lack of hope and we're trying to change that. We kind of change that showing kids more than their infrastructure than neighborhood, so we are explorers, program helps get them out of their neighborhood and expose them to different parts of Chicago. Can Do in the explorer program for a while now and you know I thought of you a lot in the last couple of weeks just because even before and I think it's great that the city partnered with you for the small business relief, but. You've been such a stall when it comes to just believing in your block. Where's the idea that your activism? Because blocked to block democracy starts from blocker for me, you know I feel like My Preschool graduation speech was you know we the class of nineteen? eighty-eight are determined to be our best of whatever we say or do you know we'll share smile? Linda hand to our neighbor, no matter what will be the best in a lifetime, so that's like fifty words that I did in nineteen eighty eight, but he talked about being. In the hands of your neighbors. That's the mission statement on my life a lot of times. We know WHO's on trump's cabinet, but we don't know who our next door. Neighbor is you know. How can you what something simple you can do and I'll make a difference man if you start with a simple thing is not easy, but if you with the simple things I've learned that you. You develop the muscle that takes to take on big things and Jamal I mean I I feel the same way I feel I. Certain Point I remember. My parents instilled in means, is volunteerism, and to give back to the neighborhood I live in, and at some point went to college I went to different places I started to drift away from that. What kept you so strong and so? Committed to volunteerism and being and being a part of your community. Well because you know, I grew up having to eat it homeless shelters you know and I. I remember being embarrassed having to eat Thanksgiving dinner and my dad was not going there and get your food I was embarrassing. Mates where you know in high school. They were the ones volunteering and have the. Gloves on serving food, but it really kept me humble when I i. didn't know of Ounces were, but I knew when I got older. I. Want to do that. I wanted to help. I want to be a part of something else helping so that's always stay with me man when you grow up sleeping in the back of a u-haul truck. You know when you go up. Nobody ever met went to college nothing, so it was like. I was I love being a part of like positive stuff I can't isn't it? Makes me feel like I'm contributing. Jamal Cold my guests. He's the founder of my block. My Hood, my city, talking about of course, a small business relief fund, which has gotten a ton of press and raised Mil-. Million dollars in two days. I think that just shows the resiliency and the power of not only your organization, but chicagoans who want help. Does it inspire you that that you raise that much money? Quick I mean. It was the think about how many people wanted to help and wanted to to help small businesses on the south and West sides rebuild. Definitely inspired I mean America's real busy right now, but you know being busy Anna nearly, Know. Everybody wants to do something big and do a song so I feel like It's good to see that corporations and people are being well first of all beings. Donation was like the Arizona sixty nine dollars, so it came from his. People like me and you and the donated. Hey, this is what I could do. Right now, the status quo can change and I feel like we. We have to take advantage right now so. How can we invest exchange I? Mean I told you. We had an explorer program. A lot of kids in Chicago live in neighborhoods where there's fifteen currency exchanges the gangs, so if you ask them, Hey, what's a job at a bank? They don't know they never been to one They've never wait for taxi before or they never been an elevator worldview shaped by the infrastructure of North Lonsdale Inglewood. That's. That's tragic man so by two thousand, twenty, five I'm hoping that we will never hear that Chicago, Kids they never been downtown before work with ten schools right now. We have you know thirty six Kuwait numerous, so we need people to help support those schools, so you don't WanNa know kids. Saying the native been downtown, especially the kids that to work in marketing, but it's never been an elevator. Real stuff happening, so we need to expose these kids. Jobs processions, cuisines, and cultures and stuff like that. With my block, my hood, my city is you guys have been doing this and you talk about the Explorers Program and I've mentioned at the top about shoveling snow, and and the the what you were doing with my block, my hood, my city over the of the wintertime in the last couple of winters. All these issues and you've been talking about the issues of systemic racism and inequities for a long time for for to be in this moment where the lens of the mainstream media has moved and shifted to to shine a light. What does that mean to you that that the things that you've been talking about seem to be being heard right now in this country. You know what man. I'm a student, the second communication I've been listening more. I'm only shows right now. With the founding of the black lives, matter and they've been studying leased before for a long time. So you know I'm learning now about universal choke holes, and how F. O. P.? Contract allows police officers beside for seventy seven hours I'm taking. Only like you know. Try My best to educate people, but I'm using this as a opportunity. Listen but I'm prepared that I'm I'm very paid and and I think that people are outraged right now and I wanna make sure that I can not only be I can inspire hope. Arouse enthusiasm when people to do something like movie Ibm, but that'd be passionate so. I'm just I'm staying ready I'm saying working out. I'm saying reading and. Listening more than I. Be! I'm interested because yesterday we talked Jay Green, and and you know. wbz Did a piece about inequities in lending the idea that they were. They pointed out that banks and I think it was just chase bank, but the the idea that. Sound like eighty percent of of loans go to white neighborhoods in Chicago. It's two percent less than two percent. One point nine percent. goto black neighborhoods in Chicago. And you know when you see those numbers. And you try to analyze what that means, and you see the disinvestment or the inequities from neighborhood to neighborhood. How hard is it to convince your neighbors? To think your way to think about going block to block when they see bigger or no bigger. Four forces are disinvesting in their communities. I think it's very important to take full responsibility for your actions and ask yourself what you can do to change things, allies, person said on definition of is is sanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, so know we gotta do something different, which is relying on ourselves, you know we need to start marching collectively waiting to there's a desk or a big social media campaign how can you support a local nonprofit that supports us while people are alive you can support businesses that support you, you know if black people are being treated poorly, you know those didn't and get a diamond. Nobody's money. You know we can vote and primary elections presidential election We can our representatives, you know. Disappointments arm reserved for poor people that you know what I mean like. Is Reserve for Bucket Boys Semi Nice, day it rains on rich people to you know what I mean. It rings on like people to so instead of like making this a race thing that I really feel like a Chicago. We've been screaming for more equitable Chicago for a long time and I think everybody has a role to play man. I feel like the lack of preparation delivered almost a lot of these things, so hey, I could put a there's. There's a lot of activism Chicago that and some of them are you know? Their specialty is putting pressure on institutions to make sure that's pause forgotten and I think that's good for Chicago as a whole, because we need something like that, so but as far as me man, I'm more trying to rely on you like democracy starts from the block. If we all did something simple, create a ripple of hope, and those ripples together can create a wave or change. Rabbi Broom and a dust and shovel. Sweep a storefront right now can you contacted elected official huge since P to a senior. I need. So. What's something simple you can do? We can try to change policies and giving the man. I'm. Trying to change your personality STU and so interesting, too, because the it goes beyond politics, and it goes beyond neighborhoods, and it even goes beyond institutionalized or systemic racism. It goes down to personalities and and being a good person in the way that I can go to my neighbor and do. Something thankless and help them out in a certain situation, regardless of who they are, and be part of my life. Be that part of my ethos part of my philosophy of who I am. You haven't had a masters degree to. To serve. You don't have to have a lot of me to listen to people. You don't have to be a politician to make a difference. You'd have to have a passion. Also, love by Dr King, talked about, and I'm all about this whole race. Thing to me. It's like A. Seventeenth Century, eighteenth century, English, EUGENIC words that was. It's time for us to change perspectives. If you go to other countries, they separate people by all types of things in this country, people by race, so I'm always who's profiting by promoting divisions among people. I mean who's really profiting. Might be the people that don't want. Poor people unite to fix the justice system that puts people in jail for stealing crumbs. Corporate studios doing of dollars so I. Really we have to start traveling and not stop being so narrow minded, because once you step outside your comfort zone. You realize you can connect with people based on their values. What color they are and I really I believe that's the story of my life. When you're interacting with the kids as part of the Explorers Program, and you get a chance to take them to different places, and like you said you hope by just a couple of years that we don't have that that. Situation where some kids in Chicago never seen downtown when they're living through this moment, and and they're in a position where obviously what life was like because of the pandemic because of police brutality Obviously they're seeing life and the issues around them in different ways. What what do you tell them? What do you tell kids who before weren't thinking about any of this stuff and now which is front and center? Is They don't use this. As an excuse man, you know you can sit back and say. The city's messed up. The world's last of the COPS is messed up and you can. You can not go to college, and then I'm giving up or you can say. The city's messed up whether. The. You can still go to. College knows about your perspective and I think that you know we If you've set some goals for yourself, you know and identify your purpose that can pull you through this deming so I'm always talking to kids about setting goals. Those tell you to do and what not to do. If you don't have any goals right now, and you'll go to a party in the middle of you know what I mean because you don't. Have you have those like. That's not a list of I'm not going to be doing that, but this is what I need to be doing so i. tell the kids that Hey Chicago already so resilient and they. You know a lot of them. Having known where their next meal's coming on for a long time, you know so. I've been trying to a lot of students that are out of work and out of school and a lot. Lot of seniors I need support and can't do shopping, so we hire seventy five thing is seventy five high school students, and we pay them fifteen dollars an hour to work twelve hours a week to make causes, seniors well caused. If you're news to we've been connecting the primary healthcare editions doing contact tracing and then sending them food, so we've actually higher of seventy five seen throughout UCS CONNECT PROGRAM Jamal when when you are doing these these. Following your own personal philosophy and you're doing the and setting goals, and and let's just say shoveling the sidewalks and you did this and we talked to the idea that you can get a group of people together and. You can. Shovel sidewalks for for seniors who need it? How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired when things don't go your way and the reason I used that example as it might snow tomorrow, you may do all that work, and it may snow and and delete all that work, and you know that's such a small micro way to look at it, but but how do you keep yourself inspired and motivated to continue the work that you've dedicated yourself to? I got a battery my bet. Most. The most poorest most visible person Chicago probably and I I've said that for a long time, but this isn't what I wanted to do. This is definitely not. I mean I I wanted to be a rapper basketball player that most people I wanted to. Hawaii, but I think that This guy wanted me to do once. I started volunteering county jail Exclusively Young! I I remember thinking like you. And then you know. My purpose came out like listen our philosophy, my Blah my city is taken care of people, no matter what and if it's snows when the out there shoveling. If it's heat wave, you see US delivering fans living Waterson, seniors. Studios even connected. We take them on educational system. We connect them. We don't have programs man. We really just adapt so whenever the need Dr. That's fun to me. That's fun to be able to say hey, Chicago stage and whatever happens in the city. You know we'll have live data and take care of people, no matter what I love so just taking us at the end here. Just the idea of what can we do? What can I do for my block? My Hood, my city. Talk about some of the things that you're working on it, of course, the Small Business Relief Fund. But what else can are you working on this summer? So right now we have. Our youth led tours. Anybody that wants to take a tour of North Lonsdale to asset based tour. You can sign your company. I thirtieth people at a time You can see those communities guys that you all you hear a lot of negative in north Lonsdale about the blight, but they come check out. See were Dr King Live when he was A. Where you get presentations that see this is south. Hoagies sixteenth enchanted got the best hoagies in the city. They can't show you. This is my block. This is what means a lot to me and so I think taking these youth fled tours, a good opportunity to these people to step outside cover of learn the history of Chicago you can also get involved about volatility events again over three hundred businesses have reached out who need support. If you have skills with the removal painting like Instruction Glass Repair. You can volunteer there also if you are a business owner that would love to or even a student right now. That can help out these businesses. Building new websites learning about analytics building shopper Fi pays WanNa make sure we're helping the business along with not only repair shops, but also help them with ECOMMERCE, so those are ways you can get involved right at our website at four my dot org. And you want to see you out there on the block volunteer with us the organization. It's called my block hood city. The founder Jamal Coal. Jamal. Thanks so much for talking today. Appreciate coming on the program. Anytime. Peace. And, that's Today's reset from the latest and most accurate information on the COVID, nineteen crisis here in Chicago and around the world tune in the ninety one point five or go to wbz dot. Org I'm Justin Kauffman. Thanks for listening and we'll catch back tomorrow.