Not many of you know my life story, well it’s long and we don’t have enough time, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about how I arrived at this place running for 2nd Ward Commissioner. I am a “hometown girl”. I grew up on 76st street and Kalamazoo in Kentwood. We were the only black family in that once rural community and my first school, Southwood Elementary was all white. I was picked on, called names, teased to the point of tears, and at times wanting to run away, there was one time I did – yet I always returned. There was always something that drew me back home.
I remembered the many stories my father would tell us about how growing up he had to fight in the face of ignorance and adversity, but he also shared stories of strength and courage during difficult times. He spoke about those times as building character, integrity, and a thick skin. It was at that point that I realized the need to stay and fight for what was right – justice for those that were being bullied and ‘othered’.I think it was at that point the fighter in me was born.
Well, with all my fighting, I gained friends and allies, friends that would then protect me from offenders, from hate speech, from people who didn’t understand how valuable diversity or difference was to innovation and growth. Some of this behavior continued into middle school. I tried to fit into this new group of people but found that we were at odds too, most times these challenges came because I loved doing the things that they did not enjoy, like plays and musicals. But then I had another epiphany, I began to make friends with people who were not always part of the crowd. We found strength and comradery in one another, and as a result, we grew up to become some amazing people who do amazing things.
I used to cry because I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere and was reminded of this scripture..“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became an adult, I put away childish things…
What does that mean???
Well, I don’t fight as much physically as I used to. I grew up. I realized that I should still fight, but I need to be strategic and find people – those who thought and believed in fighting for Justice and Equity as I do. So, I began using my voice in service to those who didn’t quite fit in, those who were like me – struggling to do our best and just needed some help to get to their place of safety and security.
I spoke up when it was not fashionable. I stepped in and learned to be an advocate. I learned to work hard and get my hands dirty. I learned that a little dirt and hard work never hurt anybody, I decided not to blend in and conform. I learned to stand up and stand out.
So now, I answer the question of what was my favorite color, and I said what do you see me wear the most, My friends said Leopard, my reply was because I like to walk on the wild side, even though it is not a color but the way I see myself approaching life and so I announce my run for 2nd Ward commissioner because it’s time to step out into the wild.
- It’s time for someone to step up and fight for true Equitable spaces for all people
- It’s time to make sure our next generation has access to the tools they need for success
- It’s time for them to see someone that looks like them go from homelessness to Hope
- It’s time to tell all the people who said we can’t that WE CAN!
- It’s time to rethink how we treat those who don’t look like us, live like us, or have the same lived experience like they too belong
- It’s time for bold action and out of the box thinking
- This is the time, and I am the one, with a heart to serve and a determination to win!
Walk with me, and help to celebrate this next season, I look forward to the next party where we will all celebrate the victory together.
Help assist campaign activities and events by giving funds, time, and support.