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"The Power of Numbers"

Hey it’s Carissa. With all the intense blogs last month I wanted to give you guys a breath of fresh air. I hope you all took something from what we shared and talked about. Now that you know better, it’s time to do better. But of course you can’t and shouldn’t take this on alone.

Grab a friend and tell them the facts, “hey they trying to get us, this has gotta stop, you with me?” Before they even answer, grab their arm and walk down the street. Continue this process and get your friend to do it and so on, before you know it you’ll have an army. Two is better than one and two-hundred is better than one hundred. So keep the SHIFT movement growing, spread the information. With all this walking and arm grabbing someone is bound to get tired so, just sing “lean on me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend …” you know the rest. Sing some songs and chant some chants and get the energy going. I can’t image any change coming based on one lonely soldier especially against these big organizations. Don’t be selfish - spread the word! Going out in front of a McDonalds alone with a picket sign won’t get much attention but 40 or 50 will.

As black teens we’re the core audience for these SSB and fast-food companies and therefore the money flow and advertisement etc. is all about us. So if there’s an issue then say it, and believe me there IS a problem. Metaphorically, it’s like a game of dodgeball and your picking your team or being picked, imagine a captain just saying “I’m my own team.” Painful to imagine but that person would lose hopelessly because believe it or not, they can’t take it all on their own. If all of us bring our voices together and unite we’d definitely be a force that companies would have to pay attention to. We’d do it for something in the classroom so why not for the food environment of our neighborhoods?

There’s a lot to gain if we come together, there’s unity, there’s the benefit of showing companies we are serious about having healthy food options and so much more. As young black teens and as teens in general we need to stand up and make our voices heard. Maybe you won’t spread the word by marching down the street but find your own way to spread the word. Make people aware - the more the merrier. If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem and that’s not the side I’d like to be on). If you don’t get involved and get the ball rolling then who will? Be the change you’d like to see and raise your voices.


Carissa, SHIFT Crew Leader

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