Independent thinkers

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Yesterday, I met with a colleague in the newly expanded café in the RSA House. The RSA stands for the Royal Society of Arts, but it is mainly devoted to issues pertaining to social change and development. The building has been in existence since the late 18th Century and the upgraded café is in some ways a form of homage to the society’s beginnings, when independent thinkers of the day came together to discuss ways and means of making a difference in situations that needed attention and committed direct action.

Our meeting was the latest stage on a journey that began in the summer of this year, when I started getting involved in some community based events that are being presented by groups of Londoners of African and Caribbean descent. One might think there is nothing unusual about the existence of such initiatives. I remember witnessing similar events as a young adult, but there are some new, encouraging developments.

There appears to be more acceptance of the fact that we have diverse ranges of skills, talents, interests and attributes nowadays. A chance meeting with another associate at Camberwell College of Arts, only a few months ago has brought about a situation where I can share my love of art music as a composer and performer with a group of folks of African descent, in several supportive and down to earth settings.

Now that I have met this unsung group of community organizers, I have the opportunity to take them into the world that I inhabit, including brainstorming meetings for future projects at the RSA House.

The uncertainties of Brexit and other minefields laid by those who might regard themselves as members of the “establishment” are unlikely to have much impact on the healthy grassroots evolutionary progress of our communal mindsets.