Calling Wichita to to step out from the comfort zones and do something big or small to make a better community

BLACKOUT ICT

What is Blackout ICT?

Launched in 2018, individuals or organizations were encouraged to make a public commitment to take a specific action designed to help Wichita overcome challenges related to negative perceptions, economic stagnation, growing and retaining talent or fueling entrepreneurial activity. Those who pledged online at www.blackoutict.com or in-person at The Workroom received a black Wichita flag to fly or a lapel pin to wear during the month of October to raise awareness and encourage others to make their own pledges.

 

Originally launched during Final Friday, there was no pledge too small or too big. The community was challenged if they see something they didn't like, pledge to change it. If they saw something they loved, pledge to make more of it. Whatever the pledge, they were encouraged to make it direct, actionable, challenging and achievable.

With nearly 800 pledges within the first month of launching the campaign, Wichita received support from individuals, local businesses, non-profits, and community leaders to turn their civic pride into a meaningful action.

The Reason behind Blackout ICT

In a email to newsletter subscribers, social media post and press announcements, Janelle King expresses her idea's to want more for our city and our community. She writes "I recently sat around a table of leaders. Not necessarily by title or affluence, but a handful of real doers, shakers, and movers. And the shared feeling of exhaustion and frustration was palpable. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a throw your hands up discouraged moment at the helplessness of Wichita, but rather the ability to see SO MUCH opportunity and potential without the time and energy and resources to do it all. And sometimes that foresight feels like a huge burden to bear. What we need is MORE. MORE doing. MORE leading. MORE original successes. And yes, MORE failures. Growth.

I turned my attention inward and started to think about what I can do to magnify and create MORE. It's no secret I have been an instrumental part of a Wichita flag craze. It's been a powerful movement to give the people of Wichita permission to love this city all over again and ways to share it. When it comes to perception we have made huge strides. So now that we've created this beast what's next? How can I activate it? 

 

It's no longer enough to just love your city, or to share that love, how will you prove it. Action. From a place of love and optimism for this city, I challenge everyone to do MORE. Be the change. My hope is this blackout gives a unified banner to give permission to and inspire everyone to step out from the comfort zones and do something big or small to make a better community. And my hope is it becomes contagious." 

Moving our city forward can't stop here. In fact, we hope this is just the beginning. It's imperative that we never stop wanting more for the place we call home.

- Janelle King, Art Advocate, Community Activists, Interior Designer & Entrepreneur

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