Saturday, December 9, 2017

In the Picture

You may recall I had some serious reservations about the stock photo used to promote the Columbia Association’s newest outreach to Millennials. Not too old, not too young, not too brown, not too white...and yet all in the very same socio-economic range. Hmm...

Well, here’s a picture to clear your visual palate, as it were. How’d you like to hang out and discuss Columbia with these folks? I would.

Of course I’d want to put some women at the table. But wouldn’t you rather join this bunch? Don’t they look like real people? That’s because they are. They’re in the following post from a relatively new local establishment:

Nourishing Journey Wellness Center & Cafe!! 

The perfect place to stop by and have a delicious Smoothie,Coffee, Snack or Meal. 
After work or school with friends and family! 
Our cafe is the perfect place to bring your computer and lounge while enjoying any of our snacks and treats! 
Stop by with Co-workers to have a laid back meeting. 
We offer same day room rentals! 
Call or Stop by today!
410 - 992 - 3001
8975 Guilford Road #170
Columbia, Maryland, 21046

Truth in advertising: I haven’t been to Nourishing Journey. I can’t endorse their business but I can say this post made me want to visit. When I do I’ll be sure to write about it. If these fellows are there I suspect they’d be friendly enough to let me sit at their table. (If I weren’t too shy to ask, that is.)

I have seen some negative writing recently about young people in Columbia and I am deeply troubled by what looks like piling on and fear-mongering in some corners. Publications like Patch are motivated to put out there whatever will stir you up and make you click. That’s not a model that serves the good of the community. I find that to be deeply disappointing.

When I look at the photo above it brings to mind how beautiful our young people are and how full of possibility and promise. We should be taking every opportunity to lift them up, not write them off.  Repeating rumors that characterize entire groups of people in negative stereotypes harms not in the students but their families and our community. It makes it harder for schools to do their jobs and for students to believe in themselves and each other.

The young men in this photo appear to me to me early college-age? late High School? At any rate, I do hope that CA talks to people like this as they reach out to younger residents. They know things that I don’t. They have experienced things that I haven’t. And they have needs and hopes and desires that are important to Columbia’s future.

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