Some may say, "Anacostia Yogi, you raise problems but where are your solutions?". Where do I begin?
1. Will a clean river offer jobs or create industry?
How about building a stronger connection between cleaning the river and job prospects? Ralph Nader suggested that we encourage our youth to speak up intelligently against environmental degradation via a citizen scientist program. Sure take the kids on the river for now, but also help them see into the future. What will this mean for food on my table and clothes on your back? How does the environment connect to the everyday life of a black teenager?
2. Why aren't you talking to Maryland teens?The video blames the damned Marylanders for all of our problems. But then tells the kids that they have to make changes. Huh?? Why Anacostia? Go where the problem is, not where you see poor black people.Where is the collaboration with Maryland-based environmental agencies or efforts? The messages contradicted each other and didn't lead to any real long term actionable steps.
3. Why were the youth voices muted?Why couldn't we get a solid quote or experience from the kids? Why do we only see the Great White Hope blabbering away about "culture".
4. Give the kids something that they can believe in.More than taking our kids on a boat ride. Do more than a community service project and pat yourself on the back. Link real resources or outreach to their lives. After watching the video, I thought, "What do I do now?" The videos ends with no real resources or tools to help the viewer take action.
The video originally aimed in the right direction but missed the mark as the producers are too self indulgent and the "Great White Hope" theme too predictable. Instead, I recommend spending time with Groundwork DC or Anacostia Watershed Society to build a solid connected organization that empowers youth to make sustainable changes.