The Big Five: Intentional Community Building

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As you all may know, New Lens is focused on the non-cognitive development and social emotional learning of our young Black males. From an extensive evaluation done on our organization it has resulted in the fruition of the “Big Five.” This “Big Five” consists of 5 non-cognitive factors that are foundational to the whole organizational framework and influential to our programmatic activities. These “Big Five” include: 1) Self-Cultivation, 2) Intentional Community Building, 3) Strategic Thinking, 4) Situational Analysis, and 5) Adaptability. For the purpose of this article we will focus on Intentional Community Building.

We see Intentional Community Building as the process of generating, sustaining, and rejuvenating communities while having an infinite amount of forms and manifestations. By collectively coming together, like society we are developing, it provides a space for the participants to be free and create agency. This process enlists all to be facilitated through a common language, mindset, and culture. With this non-cognitive factor, we are aiming to build interdependence within youth. In order for the citizens in our society to sustain independence, we believe it must be developed through a sense of interdependence. We hope that the growing comprehension of this factor will bring our community together under the mobilization of collective resources to build greater capacity.