At Socorro, we recognize that the nature of the work we in the Twin Cities does not take place in a political vacuum. There are all sorts of vital conversations to be had about the politics of an organization, run by an individual who is not from the community, making money off the disparities that exist within the community.
The reality is that I make my living by providing support to individuals and organizations who share our belief that outcomes for our youngest community members are far from what they should be. Indirectly, I make my money off the system that disadvantages communities of color, communities who struggle to make ends meet, and communities who don't 'look like' the dominant culture.
I've said before that North Minneapolis is my social work home. In 2011, I started my social work career as an intern with Edify Youth and the Academy of North Minneapolis. I had the distinct privilege of learning from and with some exceptionally powerful and knowledgable leaders in North Minneapolis, men and women of color who were generous with their patience and persistence. I've also had the distinct privilege of working with families and kids who have bold dreams for their future, audacious, ambitious dreams. Most of my work, my learning, and my time has been in North Minneapolis, and I owe much to the families and professionals who call North home. I now live in North Minneapolis, but I am not from North Minneapolis.
Socorro Consulting is committed to returning 10% of its gross annual proceeds to initiatives that support youth and families in North Minneapolis. Previous partners have included The Cookie Cart, Juxtaposition Arts, Project DIVA, and Sisters Need a Place. If you know a good partner to youth and families I ought to know about, let me know.
I recognize that 10% is a pittance, a drop in the bucket when compared to the level of investment that is needed to accelerate meaningful change in the communities I serve. It also does not right the injustice that allows me to be compensated for services that are only necessary because systems aren't working as well as they should be for our scholars. It is only our modest acknowledgement that things aren't right, and we owe a great debt to people we'll never be able to full repay.
Much respect is due to the generous mentors, teachers, friends and colleagues who strive to live upright and push me to do the same.