What does Jack Dorsey’s recent presence in Ferguson, Missouri mean? Inquiring minds on the left and right went abuzz as Jack Dorsey, the prolific founder of Twitter and Square, was live tweeting from Ferguson, Missouri for nearly two weeks. Apparently he was raised in the City of St. Louis, not far at all from Ferguson:
Conservatives grumble that he’s just the latest rich Silicon Valley liberal (with a platform) to jump on board a do-gooder cause , whereas liberals see his presence as validation of the impact social media can bring for participants and followers of social movements.
Yet, I see something different entirely. I see an innovator (granted, possibly with political aspirations), willing to jump onto the front line to document the chaos transpiring a few miles from his childhood home. Whereas perennial black vote beggar Hillary Clinton took over two weeks to even mention Ferguson. When I think about Square transforming the lives of millions of small business owners (about 900,000 small business are owned by black women) and all of the awareness “Black Twitter” brought to the Renisha McBride and Teleka Patrick cases, I wonder what other inventions Jack Dorsey might dream up that could better the lives of black women.
I see a risk taker and wonder, “is he a potential ally?” In looking at an ancient list of the top concerns facing black women, I wonder where his innovative mind could be useful. Are there areas he might make a worthy partner?
While of course black women should not be looking to saviors to solve our concerns, sometimes it is helpful to get an outside perspective. Sometimes I worry that our black organizations focus too much on recognizing success or past ghosts and aren’t doing enough brainstorming to generate new solutions to solve the now generations-old problems plaguing our communities. Are disruptors, futurists or proven innovators ever brought in to help generate fresh ideas that do not rely on the government? There are so many exercises we regularly undertake in Corporate America to create our next product, service or ad campaign that I would love to apply to black women.
So let’s sound off in the comments. What are the top three ills you believe black girls and/or women face today? What new ideas should be explored to resolve them? And, how can technology help?
Jack, if you’re reading, the door is open.