#Plywords on Ideation :: Idea Implementation as Freedom :: DOMINIQUE HOWSE

The formation of thoughts and ideas can come easy to marginalized groups, because when boxed into corners, and, or forced into spaces of discomfort, the choice to create, and innovate is indecision; somewhat of an unspoken organic nature that is sustained by the desire to survive — to live a better life — to beat opposition — to overcome “the struggle”. Therefore, innovation and idea generation have always been (and still are) mandatory for many of us. And arguably, when the two concepts merge, they tend to feel more biological than “social reaction”. 

Amongst the many things that inspire and motivate me to do, there are equally just as many barricades to duck under, glass ceiling to shatter, and red tape to dismantle. Long before I had the language: “racial economic disparity”, “gender oppression”, “white supremacy” and “institutionalized racism”, I felt the definitions living and breathing inside of my community, throughout my schools, and within my world… every play in my book had to be about (not just) creating alternatives and solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues, but intentionally fighting through systems of bias. My ideas have never had the privilege of just being ideas, alone. There has always been a consideration for someone, something, and somewhere outside of, and aside from, myself. 

I have never had the privilege or space to "just do it” — but we clearly created NIKE content and platforms time and time again…

So taking an idea from just an idea into implementation while fitting the profile of Sandra Bland is something else; and, or when your nephews dress like Trayvon Martin; and, or your parents are survivors of decades of racist policies and social constructs, that left them no choice but be public displays of victory, it becomes challenging to be…

And so, I don’t think this is an excuse, but more of an explanation as to why the Howse of Innovation has been a buried pot of gold, and yet, at the same time, the reason the Howse of Innovation - #ATL is happening this Spring…

Frankly, I woke up one day, and realized that my entire narrative is full of the same Spirit that led to Jazz as a genre; the organization of the Underground Railroad; the foundation for Jame’s Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time; and Tupac Amaru’s “Me Against the World” — at some point, my creation became what the Book of James outlines as “a walk of faith.” My work is a direct output of God’s vision for me. When I began to look at my work as a spiritual commitment that led to life, and liberation, my efforts shifted…

So, cheers to the abundant amount of discomfort that once stood as distraction, that thankfully and currently, are deemed as drivers for the Doer. 

'Driva Man’ and friends, we are here…

- Free’Dom

 

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Dominque Howse is a recent Atlanta implant, and an award-winning social innovator and changemaker dedicated to generating social impact through highlighting the relationship between People Power and policy change. Howse holds an Executive MBA from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, a M.S. in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School, and a B.A. in Mass Communication from Jackson State University. With a professional background spanning across the United States and the Global South, her highlighted experience includes notable work in both public and private sectors; in education policy and practice, executive leadership, youth development, women's empowerment, lifestyle journalism and international community development