I will never forget one cold and dark February morning getting chills from head to toe while listening to Krista Tippet interview Trabian Shorters on her podcast On Being.
Trabian was describing his visionary concept of asset framing. From social media to journalism, academics, and policy-making, asset framing is about seeing others’ assets before you witness their deficits.
Trabian discovered that as humans we have a habit of seeing others’ problems and defining people in need by their problems rather than their gifts and aspirations. He realized that naming this task was necessary for healing, and for any family or world to flourish.
Being raised by his steady grandparents and determined teenage mother taught him two valuable lessons. First, if he can love someone the way God loves all of us, he will be okay. Second, in life, there is no surrender and no giving up.
It was this beautiful combination of determination and love that helped Trabian create his cognitive framework of asset framing.
Trabian is a retired tech entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and former vice president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation where he was responsible for $300M in active grants and endowments in 26 US cities.
His nonprofit, BMe Community, is an award-winning social impact network for innovation, impact, and storytelling. BMe includes more than 400 black leaders plus institutional allies committed to building “equity without stigma”.
Trabian is one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and the catalyst of a national movement to define black people by their aspirations and contributions first and foremost, then to secure their fundamental freedoms to live, own, vote and excel.
Today on the Cracking Open Podcast, Trabian’s intellectual research and massive heart teach us that all human beings are innately oriented and designed to heal and repair – it is simply in our nature.
What a beautiful and hopeful world we would all live in if we could approach every human not by red or blue, the color of their skin, or gender identity, but by the deep knowing of Trabian’s words – “You can’t lift them up by putting them down.”
Learn more about Molly Carroll here