**Foreword: This was a blog submitted by Ed Nitiri, an attendee of the It Takes A Village Nation launch party on April 6th. Thank you, Ed, for attending and for being inspired by what you saw!**
I was invited by a colleague to a launch party for It Takes a Village Nation and I must admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. On paper, the idea sounded legit: a platform designed to help socially conscious individuals, businesses, and organizations connect. An obvious need, especially here in the Bay Area, but would it work in practice?
Yes. And yes.
The event itself was designed as a microcosm of how the social media platform functions. Well organized, easy to navigate, and most of all, supportive.
As I entered The Greenlining Institute, I was greeted by volunteers whose job was to sign me in and explain the program for the evening, but seemed just as interested in actually getting to know who I was and what my story was. What I mean is that there was nothing mechanical, or “sales-y” about it. This was a theme throughout the evening — every individual I met, I really met. It felt genuine. Not like a networking event. More like meeting family members for the first time.
In the main room, a DJ was playing and people of all ages, ethnicities and persuasions were dancing, mingling, eating, looking at art, or chatting with vendors and collecting raffle tickets in hopes of winning one of the many offered prizes. Despite the rain outside, there was a noticeably festive spirit in the air, like they were celebrating 10 years in business rather than launching.
After the initial mingling, the emcee introduced a few speakers who came up and specifically explained how they planned to use the unique platform to advance their causes. The speakers ranged from business professionals, community organizers to educators and activists. Each of them spoke with enthusiasm, gratitude, and intention. They also each thanked Chris, the creator of this platform, who I hadn’t noticed was standing next to me during the speeches because he blended in so humbly with the crowd.
It Takes a Village Nation is a necessary tool for people who are doing good in their communities, and want to share resources and collaborate. It’s not a network focused on likes, views, or followers. It’s realer than that. More substantive. It’s about connection. It’s about getting things done. It’s about elevating, together.
Later in the evening, I asked a woman, Caitlin, how she felt about the platform and the launch. She told me that it was great to get a room full of people who not only looked like her, but also shared many of her values. “People of color and underrepresented groups are often introverted, or the odd ones out in a room. But here,” she explained, pointing towards the dance floor and the gallery, the smiling faces, hugs and handshakes, “here everyone feels at home.”
If It Takes a Village Nation’s platform is anything like the space they created at their launch party, this new village may be the size of a nation sooner than we think.
ittakesavillagenation.com is now live, and growing.