How To Approach Starting A Project 2019 Chapter

There are two "extreme" approaches that one could take in starting a Project 2019 Chapter. And, of course, there is all the middle ground in between these two approaches.

Extreme Approach #1: Starting a Project 2019 Chapter can be as ambitious and as complex as you choose to make it. An analogy might be that if you wanted to sell hats and t-shirts -- you could create a business plan, arrange financing, locate a shop, obtain fixtures, stock the shop with merchandise, hire employees, advertise, and have a grand opening.

Extreme Approach #2: Starting a Project 2019 Chapter can be as modest and as uncomplicated as you choose to make it. Continuing the above analogy of selling hats and t-shirts -- you could get some hats and some t-shirts and just start selling them how ever, where ever, and to whom ever you can.

In comparing these two extremes, certainly Approach #1 might be considered the standard (and some would suggest the "best" or the "only") approach to take. However, if it comes down to having a strong desire to start a Chapter but having limted resources, I would argue that there is much to be said about Approach #2.

(A) Approach #1 would take time, energy, and a great deal of resources to implement. On the other hand, Approach #2 could be implemented immediately with little help and few resources.

(B) Approach #1 requires a large investment of time, energy, and resources - most of which would be lost if things did not work out. With Approach #2, the investments are small and therefore the risks are small if things did not work out the way you planned.

(C) Because Approach #1 is comprehensive with a great number of details, it may not be a simple matter to change or alter the master plan. With Approach #2, if you discover that posters and t-shirts are a better combination than hats and t-shirts, it is easy enough to change your game plan.

(D) If Approach #1 is attempted and it works, then you are well on your way to success. However, if Approach #2 is attempted and it works, then you are also well on your way to success. And, in fact, although you took Approach #2 and started on a smaller scale, you also had a bigger head start. Therefore, both approaches are just as likely to reach the same level of success at the same time.

As I noted, the two approaches discussed above are the extremes. There is, of course, a great deal of middle ground. However, I personally believe that the best way to establish a Project 2019 Chapter is to take an approach that is closer to Approach #2 - that is, the "just do it" approach. With very little fanfare and minimum resources you can start a Project 2019 Chapter. You can see what works or does not work and make necessary adjustments. If mistakes are made, they will not be costly mistakes because the initial investments are so small. But perhaps my most significant reason for leaning towards Approach #2 is that I am convinced that it is infinitely easier to "grow" a strong, viable organization than it is to establish such an organization from the outset.

In the ("just do it") Approach #2 scenario, a Chapter would start with as few as two or three strong, dedicated members. They would establish limited goals, set a manageable agenda and proceed to implement it. They would make any necessary changes as they go along. After an "appropriate" period of time (days…? weeks…? month…?), the Chapter would begin to actively recruit additional members. Note that it is likely that by virtue of being aware of the Chapter and its activities, some people may already be primed to join. In any case, it is definitely easier to recruit new people into an existing organization than it is to get a large group of people together to create ("by committee") a new organization. Additionally, with Approach #2, there is the benefit of constantly bringing new people -- with new ideas, new approaches, and new resources -- into your organization.

The bottom line is that the most important consideration in starting a Project 2019 Chapter is to take that first step - followed quickly by the next step - and then the next step. In other words, "just do it." Because of the nature of what you are doing, it is impossible to fail. That is, if you help spread the message of Project 2019 to just one black American, then you will have contributed to the cause. And, of course, the chances of you succeeding are great. And your success will contribute to the success of this generation and all future generations of black Americans.

Charles E. Sanford
Author, "Project 2019"