The year of the rebelpreneur

“An informed and connected public is the bedrock of democracy. But with our journalistic institutions under threat economically, politically, and culturally, that bedrock is cracking.”

Winter is here.

corey-fordI felt the bite of the wind most deeply when I got the email from another parent who had been on my daughter’s playground the day after that terrifying night:

The girls were standing in a circle
Comparing skin color
And deciding who was safe
And who was not.

These were first graders.
In Oakland.
On 11/9.

Day One of Trump.

I broke down. Terrified.
Was this my country now?
Nightmare. Sheer terror. Please wake me up. Wake up!
This is not my America.

But it was. I was awoken.

This is how it feels to be terrified of authorities.
To feel the machines of a totalitarian state begin to screech and turn and target you.
To look around at your fellow citizens and not know who is friend and who is foe.

This is how many of my fellow Americans who do not look like me feel every. single. day.

America, the myth. Shattered.

That woke me up.
No time to cry. No time to panic.

I was made for this moment, and so were you.

It’s the time to fight.
The time to courageously risk our privilege.
The time not just to resist, but to oppose.
Each with our own superpower from our own point of leverage.

From in front of the camera,
To the newsrooms of New York City,
To the garages of Silicon Valley.

Those who flinch will fall in disgrace. Heroes no more.

But those who stay clear eyed in their values and shout into the face of a creeping normalization of what we CANNOT let become normal — will rise.

It’s that. Or we lose everything we stand for as Americans.

An informed and connected public is the bedrock of democracy. But with our journalistic institutions under threat economically, politically, and culturally, that bedrock is cracking.

We need to strengthen our media ecosystem.

The seeds of the next great media institutions will be planted this year by courageous entrepreneurs who make the leap to build ventures that speak truth to power, close the empathy gap, and take a radically inclusive approach to amplifying the voices of all Americans.

Winter may be here but inside the fire is rekindled anew. Our purpose is clear.

This is the Year of The Rebelpreneur.

Corey Ford is managing partner of Matter.

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