Chanda Burrage, MS, MIA
3 min readJan 18, 2022


Happy belated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Did you do anything special? Innovative? Radical?

For me, this special day turned out to be a reflective, restful day. Early on, my intent was to tackle my academic to-do list. But my mind, body, and spirit kept yelling at me, “nah sis, take some naps.”

I ultimately yielded, became one with my couch, and binged out on Netflix’s Archive 81. Sorry, not sorry.

But I’m thankful for a new day and another opportunity to move in the spirit of Dr. King who suggests:

“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward” Dr. MLK Jr.

So I’m going to keep moving towards King's dream by using a framework that many leaders, managers, athletes use today — SMART goals, i.e., very specific (crawl before you walk kinda goals).

S: Specific (where, how, when, with whom?)

M: Measurable (how much, how many?)

A: Attainable (don’t try to eat the whole elephant)

R: Relevant (is it worth it, is this the right time, does it match other needs?)

T: Time-based (what can I do in six months, six days, today?)

So, just like MLK, I have a dream too and it’s going to be S.M.A.R.T.

I envision a healthy, safe, equitable, FUN world led by innovative, creative, and wise Black women (and allies). To add, this world has a 1980s and 90s Hip Hop/R&B/”Black Jesus” gospel soundtrack that keeps us hyped and chill.

Here’s my SMART plan.

Specific: Build a community of one hundred/thousand/million sistas who want to change the world.

Measurable: Positively impact one sista at a time.

Attainable: One day at a time. No pressure.

Relevant: The world needs us as a united front.

Time-based: Until I die.

Okay, so this SMART goal is totally NOT specific or time-sensitive. But I do plan to devote three months to writing, networking, and social media engaging. I won’t bore you with the details.

What I care most about is that I keep moving forward as authentically as possible. Plus, this is not a race. What I do … what we do together… should be absolutely meaningful and thoughtful at this critical moment in time.

So what’s your SMART plan for 2022?

Are you going to run for office? Please do. We need more of “us” in positions of power. Will you plan to show up at the polls and vote? Definitely, do that.

Are you going to start a business or movement? That would be fabulous. Or do you prefer to place your SMART effort into supporting a sista’s enterprise or campaign?

Whatever you do, set a goal that is measurable, attainable, and relevant. And start today. No matter how small.

Even if you have to crawl, just keep moving forward.

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Chanda Burrage, MS, MIA

Doctoral student in geography and organizational leadership. Adjunct Lecturer at CUNY-Medgar Evers College. Global social change maker.