Thursday, 24 July 2014 15:50
Marian Wright Edelman
"None of us had any real education in social change. I was a biology major and a preacher. And yet we found ourselves in positions where we had to change the world . . . and what you will find is that it is easy if you listen to that still, small voice within. That's where you hear God." These wise words were shared recently by civil rights warrior and former Atlanta mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young with nearly 2,000 college students and teachers gathered together to prepare to conduct summer Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs. They are literacy rich child empowerment programs for pre-K-12th grade students to staunch summer leaning loss. Andy Young reminded all of us how critical it is to find significance and purpose in one's life's work—one worth living and dying for: "Now, Dr. King used to tell us all the time, 'You're going to die, but you don't have anything to say about where you die, how you die, when you die. The only choice you have is what it is you die for.' So each day you need to chart your life so that if your life were taken on that day, people would say, 'This is what he gave his life for' or 'This is what she gave her life for.'"
"I found my voice long before I became a writer in community organizing. That's where I found my voice, where I was able to take all that pain and transform it into something useful in the world, and I never looked back." Michael Patrick MacDonald is a storyteller. Michael recently encouraged the crowd of young leaders at the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools'® National Training to understand the power of storytelling to create change.
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. – Preamble to the U.S. Constitution
On June 14th I had the honor of giving the undergraduate commencement address at Seattle Pacific University. Commencement speakers usually do their best to share a lesson or two with the graduates, but this year Seattle Pacific University students, administration, and faculty inspired me and people across the nation by how they responded after a campus tragedy that should have been unthinkable but instead has become all too routine: a shooting at their beloved school.