I started a non-profit organization about a year ago called the Cottonwood Institute, whose mission is to teach students how to change the world through an exciting blend of adventure and service. I have dedicated my life to inspiring the youth of America and I continually hear my mom say, "where did he come from?" However, to me, it is very clear where I came from.
My mom, Beverly Church, is a New Orleans civic activist, community leader, author, lecturer, event planner, and a primary source of my inspiration to be committed to my community. She recently helped organize a group of women called Women of the Storm to help rebuild the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated my hometown at the end of August 2005. They boarded a donated charter flight bound for Washington D.C. with a cross-section of women from New Orleans who were affected by the storm and who are deeply committed to rebuild the historic city. Their goal is to invite members of congress to visit New Orleans to see the devastation first-hand so they will be more likely to vote to save the city.
The term activism can conjure up negative images of almost militant people fighting extreme causes. But for those who have been ignored or oppressed, many times activism is the only card they can play. Activism does not have to have a negative connotation. Gandhi was an activist; Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist; Mother Theresa was an activist. But these examples set high standards that paralyze many of us from ever getting involved. Let us instead be inspired by the average citizens like Beverly Church and the Women of the Storm who have the courage to exercise their voice and take a stand for what they believe in.
Question: When have you taken a stand for something you believed in?