We invite you to go to our website, 1619inc.org and read this brief commentary on the importance of advocacy especially for civil and human rights issues. We are convinced that change cannot and will not happen unless people are motivated and inspired to become change makers. It also stands to reason that motivation and inspiration cannot happen without first acquiring the necessary information. Once that happens, there is hope that human beings can and will become motivated and inspired to act.
Dissemination of important information is the first rule in effective advocacy which is the reason that we recently acquired an emergency hazardous material vehicle formerly owned and operated from 1989 until 2019 by the Richmond Fire Department. We are in the process of repurposing this extraordinary vehicle to convert it into a mobile advocacy and information platform. Once this completed we will travel to where people live, worship, work, or gather, in small and large groups for entertainment and recreation and present to them vital information regarding the advocacy issues which we embrace. See our Advocacy Projects on this website. Although we live in a country where there is instant communication, far too often important information is kept from us in the hopes that we will “Sleep the Night Away”.
We plan to purchase and install an electronic messaging center (ECM) as illustrated below on the outside of the truck. The ECM will enhance and support our advocacy because we can include visual media on the ECM because as we all know, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. We will also sell advertising to be displayed in the ECM which will give us revenue to fund our advocacy.
The ECM will allow the vehicle to automatically disseminate information while parked, locked and unattended (with adequate security to protect it). We feel that it is vital to communicate with our audiences in real-time. Except for these additions, the exterior of the vehicle will remain unchanged. Because Richmond removed it identification logos from the truck, we will need to do a touch-up paint job in the original color of the truck.
We will also install high-capacity, weather-proof speakers on the roof of the truck powered by state-of-the-art amplifiers to enhance our capability to communicate with our audiences.
There are two aspects of the vehicle which we feel enhance our mission: first, because it was an emergency vehicle, this speaks to the emergency nature of the issues advocated. Also, the size of the truck which is 13.2 feet tall; 10 feet wide; and 24 feet long conveys the enormity and the importance of the issues that we advocate.
We will use a portable stage, a professional size podium and stage lighting when we present to our audiences the issues and concerns. We will also use local talent to perform as a means of drawing people to the vehicle.
The original emergency equipment on the truck i.e., flashing lights, a siren and horns remain operational and will be used after the truck is parked to attract an audience. We have adopted the following slogan: “When you hear the sirens of police, ambulance and fire equipment you know they are going to stop something.” “When you hear our siren, we are going to start something.”
The major innovation that this truck represents is the delivery of messages and information promoting and advocating for social, political and economic change. We believe that this represents a truly innovative and transformative idea and strategy.
The inside of the vehicle which is relatively spacious will be transformed into a recording and podcasting studio where podcasts and information videos will be produced. We will also present live interviews which can be shared with the public who will be able to watch the recording on the exterior electronic messaging center.
We currently have on hand the electronic equipment to equip the interior studio. The only work necessary for the interior will be to soundproof it to the extent possible.
Your generous donation will go a long way towards making these things happen.