“I'm a proud to be part of Progressive Communicators Network because it is the only organization I belong to that intentionally and consistently lives its mission with passion and humility,” says Chris Rabb, the founder and chief evangelist of Afro-Netizen.com, one of the earliest African American-owned enterprises to hit the Internet.
His passion for Afro-Netizen (link), blogging, and communicating is linked to what Chris calls his “civic enterprise:” a place for often-unheard voices, critiques, analysis, news and calls to action. “I promote posts published on my site, recruit guest contributors and promote Afro-Netizen's mission. I use speaking engagements, interviews on TV, radio, print, the web—and, equally important, interact in-person with individuals in formal and informal settings,” he says.
How does Chris describe communications? “Communications is at the heart of being human. We are social beings. How we interact with others in this world is paramount as it relates to what we hope to achieve. What we think, do and feel about our personal or organizational mission is often only as good as we translate that ‘felt need’ in ways that are authentic to us and compelling to others.”
It takes style to be a chief evangelist. You have to transmit personal faith and fervor and stay cool in the spotlight. Chris’ prep work started early with a run for senior-class president in high school and a bit as a stand-up comedian in Chicago—he had to rock the crowd. He had to communicate.
"What I enjoy most about the work I do is the times I get to combine intimacy with efficacy. Let me explain before I get myself in trouble: I love interacting dynamically with groups of people about subjects that stir the soul and achieve individual or collective eureka moments that potentially change people's lives. It is not unlike the euphoria I felt as a stand-up comedian. It is an unparalleled, visceral feeling when you connect with people who just a few minutes prior were random individuals,” Chris explains.
Chris’ biggest struggle is keeping everything in focus and managing his capacity. Pulling people, words and passions together can keep an evangelist on the move. Still this unabashed user and advocate of social media sees that tool as a powerful, accessible resource that can improve his focus and increase his capacity. So while Chris can keep you laughing and tell a good story, his work is no joke.