We Must Take More Responsibility for Our Empowerment

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. | 5/10/2012, 6:33 p.m.

Another encouraging example comes from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), which recently sponsored a successful national conference at Howard University on the "State of Housing in Black America." It was an intergenerational conference of African-American professionals in the real estate field with students, community leaders and economic developers. Under the theme "Conquering Foreclosure Mitigation, Neighborhood Blight and Disaster Recovery, NAREB did an excellent job in not only defining the systematic problems that African-Americans face in the current housing and foreclosure crisis in the United States, but also offer realistic and practical solutions to these critical problems.

It was good to see NAREB join forces with the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), which represents all of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). For the record, many of the problems that we face, whether economic, political or social, will require solutions that are undertaken and primarily led by African-American leaders and innovators. It is long overdue for us develop our own economic development projects and programs and to extend a mentorship hand to next generation of youth leaders. Our future is in our own hands.

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and Education Online Services Corporation. He also serves as senior adviser for the Diamond Empowerment Fund and National Director of Occupy the Dream and can be reached at drbenjamin.chavis@gmail.com