Jane Jacobs wrote The Death and Life of Great America Cities. If you have not read it please do. If you do not feel like just google it or read a couple book reviews. She is famous in Urban Studies. For those of you who don't know. Urban Studies and Economic Development is kinda my thang ---- shout out to Edward Soja, David Harvey and Todd Lindley. Jane Jacobs holds her own in a field dominated by men. She gave us some key contributions:
1. Eyes on the Street
2. Dividing communities with highways is bad
3. Strong neighborhoods equal strong cities.
4. Urban Renewal is often bad for the existing communities.
Yes, we can debate and disagree over these wonderful topics because of an awesome grassroots mobilizer and intellectual names Jane.
This woman did not back down and she won big. If only Detroit had a Jane. She made me want to be the Jane Jacobs of Detroit. Positive influence can change your whole perspective.
So why do I think she would love SCORES? Simple, we are in the business of building strong communities by inspiring future community builders. We understand that perspective is priceless and to often the most important perspectives get lost or never spoken We encourage our poet athletes to really engage with the world around them and explore it in a way that we hope leaves them with a sense of ownership. "Eyes on the Street" is perhaps my favorite contribution of hers. It is something that can only be achieved when a community is engaged with itself. The grandmothers, teachers, coaches, and young people that are in a community everyday --- watching and caring---- make it great. I think of Stacey and Mario helping student get to their places for the Community Poetry Slam. The parents in the audience smiling, babies crying, kids giggling. The sound of community filling the auditorium. Jane Jacobs would love it and you would too.
Want to become part of what SCORES does in these great communities?
By: Lynette Anigbo -- all of this is my humble opinion.