July 23, 2012. The Journey

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Welcome

July 23, 2012. The Journey

It’s 5:45AM (4:45AM Texas Time) and I am up and at’em. Yes, ‘Mr. I Love My Sleep’ is up, dressed, and looking forward to what today withholds. As I got onto the elevator, I recognized past members of the movement that were returning to be refueled, educated, and prepared to take on the elements that deter the progress of a better tomorrow.

As I walked out of the hotel and glanced towards the atrium of the Duke Energy Center, I immediately had a flashback of my experience at the farm in Clinton, Tennessee. I saw the bright orange jump suits illuminating from the next block where they lay, yes, uniforms of correctional facilities. ‘Lord I pray that we are not putting these things on again.’ Luckily they were only there to exaggerate the tone of the morning: Injustice and Inequality. We focused specifically on The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

After a quick breakfast – that was sure to send the neurons across the synaptic cleft –  Our minds were stimulated for the indigestible thoughts that would be brought forth by the distinguished panel seated before us. We assembled in one of the many halls for the beginning of a session. Suddenly I heard “please take your seats and turn off all cellular devices, thank you.” I thought: “they are playing no games. That was the voice of god!” (looking at one of my colleagues mysteriously as we both joked about the voice.)

As I listen to the stammering opening statements inclusive of the alarming statistics, draconian state conditions, and the unparalleled perilous times of America, my mind began to synthesize the systematic economic downward trajectory that our country is headed towards. From state representatives to university professors, the panel set a tone that illustrated the most desired country in the world, as a desolate place that caters to only 1 percent of our its population.

Dr. Ellwood, Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University said, “It’s not about them, it’s about us, the United States.” He continued and I summarize that our future safety and progress is dependent upon their (the next generations) success. Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Author of The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future (invited), brought the various issues and challenges of our nation through the statement of “Harambee”, which means all pull together. We must all pull together in this fight to equate America in the issues of education, healthcare, and other triumphed programs that assist those in the lower socio-economic class. This discussion further heightened when Heather McGhee, panelist, introduced the term “Social Solidarity” to the room as a goal of our collective communities. We must remember the bi-partisan approaches to past issues that assisted to ultimately a success for our country. Together we accomplish more, but as Representative Horsford stated “This is an adult problem, that is affecting our children.”

Kenneth Scales, a YALTer on the advanced track, provided a paradigm shift with the question of youth job employment post-bachelor attainment. The question stimulated and seemly challenged the panel as they retorted with data about the changing requirements. The dichotomy of the difference between the microfinance and entrepreneurship programs unfortunately is where the conversation was cut short. Due to the pressure of time, which is ironically the pressure in America as well regarding these issues, the dialogue came to a staggering halt. The CDF staff introduced the new campaign of Be Careful what you cut” that showed an image of a young baby’s face on an adult homeless persons body. With the words “What you cut now, you will pay for later!” we closed this session to push forward towards greater heights and deeper depths.

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