Welcome to the Blackacre Policy Forum, LLC – Making Lasting Change for the Better
The Blackacre Policy Forum, LLC is a progressive, social media driven, public policy think tank. The name Blackacre springs from property law. As a general rule the darker the soil, the more fertile the land. The more fertile the land the greater it’s value. Thus, property containing dark soil or “blackacres” is prized over property containing lighter shades of soil, like “brownacres”, “redacres” or “greenacres”.
Similarly, the Blackacre Policy Forum provides a rich and fertile landscape by which to address our most pressing social policy issues. Admittedly, a work in progress, Blackacre’s goal is to construct a new dialogue concerning the issues and challenges we face and to offer insightful analysis, innovative strategies and bold solutions by which to address said challenges. Blackacre’s ground breaking approach to public policy is based on the following innovations: · Innovation No. 1: Blackacre is a social media driven think tank without walls. Via the social media cornerstones of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs, forums and other social media outlets, Blackacre permits the uncommon, common man or woman to be noticed, heard and contribute to public policy debate and development. Blackacre’s reach, depth and breath are therefore endless. · Innovation No. 2: Blackacre democratizes the making of public policy. Public policy is dominated by politicians, lobbyist, special interest groups, the media, highly paid experts, and the punditocracy. All too often the only voices that are heard are the select few who dominate thought and discussion.
However, intelligence is not the exclusive domain of the elite. Nor do experts have a lock on insight. Many are so insular, insulated, out of touch and pampered as to be anything but insightful. Furthermore, the overreliance on experts is anathema to the free flowing commerce of ideas. It instead limits the discussion to those with accepted backgrounds and perspectives thereby creating an oligopoly if not monopoly of thought. Only the voices of the approved click are heard and only their interest is protected. Consequently, the status quo is never questioned much less challenged. Worse, an “us versus them” mentality, elitism and institutional lock-step thinking is created. Those omitted grow suspicious and resentful while the privileged develop a sense of superiority and entitlement.
Blackacre is not bound to or by the elite. The uncommon, common man and woman are just as intelligent, insightful, committed and motivated to make positive change as the well entrenched. What they lack is a platform. Blackacre expands and diversifies public policy debate and dialogue by providing others with an effective communicative process, a policy platform and a public forum. · Innovation No. 3: Blackacre transcends ethnicity and political ideology. It bears repeating that humanity is not a question of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, political affiliation, national origin, money or fame. Thus, rather than dividing Americans Blackacre unites people by focusing on socio-economics, shared values and common interests.
· Innovation No. 4: Blackacre traverses research and development. Rather, Blackacre influences and shapes public policy by not only articulating public policy, but by testing and promoting viable programs and initiatives in real time, real world laboratories.
· Innovation No. 5: Blackacre moves beyond the endless debate and discussion of old problems. Moreover, Blackacre does more than blame and complain. Blackacre is instead solution driven, on a relentless search for solutions, answers and remedies to the issues which confront us.
· Innovation No. 6: Blackacre’s vision is the world not as it is, but a world as it can be; a world as it should be. It mission isto create lasting change for the better. Blackacre accomplishes this mission by: o Building people rather than merely serving them o Enlightening people instead of just entertaining them o Empowering people in lieu of simply comforting them
Our policy centers include: 1) crime and justice in America, 2) politics and legislation, 3) socio-economics, 4) education and training, 5) children and families, 6) jobs, employment and workforce development, 7) economic and community development, 8) institutional and leadership development, 9) society and culture and 10) corporate responsibility.
Because Blackacre endeavors to broaden the discussion, we actively seek contributors, to contribute content in the form of position papers, op-eds, research studies, public policy positions, model legislation, articles and blogs. We further seek critics to write reviews, joiners to update profiles, spectators to watch us grow, followers to monitor our process and volunteers to give of their time, expertise and services. There are however, rules of the game. It bears repeating that Blackacre is a public policy think tank. Thus, the site is not to be used for idle conversation, gossip, celebrity news, mundane issues, everyday matters, or even the reporting of news and current events absent serious public policy implications.
Nor is Blackacre for the rude, the angry, the profane, the destructive, or those who advocate violence and hatred. The following guidelines therefore apply to all contributions and content:
No graphic posts, pictures, news articles or links to violence, nudity, sexual stories, gruesome crimes or horror stories, · No dispensing of legal, medical or financial advice, · No solicitations or panhandling, · No reporting of secret or classified information of a military or national security nature, · No inappropriate language, angry diatribes, rants, raves, belittlement, personal attacks or defamatory statements. Nor will threatening or bullying conduct be countenanced, · No sharing of accounts. One account per person, · Be respectful of other ideas and opinions, even if you strongly disagree · Keep it clean. No foul or profane language, · Be positivity, honest and candid, but do not share purely personal matters, · Obey copyright laws, · Always be solution driven.
In keeping with being solution driven, contributors should not discuss a problem without: 1) providing a solution and implementation strategy thereof, 2) sharing insight or perspectives which can reasonably lead to solutions and remedies, or 3) earnestly seeking answers and solutions to important public policy issues.
In conclusion, while Blackacre is open to everyone, some will reject our message and approach. Hence, Blackacre will not appeal to those who are reactive rather than proactive, who rely on programs rather than policy, who believe in personalities rather than self sufficiency, who wish to explain rather than to solve and who prefer the safe course rather than the brave new world that awaits us. Blackacre is instead designed for a generation of new leaders who offer original ideas, fresh perspectives and a contemporary dialogue. Blackacre is for visionaries daring enough to think outside the box.
For those who are weary of the same ole same ole, for those interested in novel, innovative, ground breaking and cutting edge solutions to old problems, for those yearning for policies and solutions that works, Blackacre is more than the place to be. Blackacre is home.
Respectfully, Leo Barron Hicks, Founder Blackacre Policy Forum, LLC