Together Tulsa aims to break the cycle of poverty for youth likely to slip through the cracks by bridging the opportunity and skills gap between high school and career. We provide experiential fellowships that equip at-promise teens with specialized professional skills and help them develop a career pathway plan.

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A post-election charge: Living together in love.

November 9, 2016

 

It wasn’t who I voted for. As the results came pouring in last night, I went to bed early because I didn’t feel like watching defeat happen in real-time. Instead, at 5:20 this morning when my alarm went off, I went to Facebook and saw the steady stream of anger, fear, pain and broken hopes.

 

It wasn’t who I voted for. As a woman, as the family member of undocumented Mexican immigrants, as the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant whose family fled their country in fear, as the best friend and the cousin of gay men, as the student of international relations, as the friend of many Muslims, as a feminist, as the former teacher and adopted big sister of children from ALL backgrounds, as the sister of a Marine, as a white person who lives and works every day for young people of color and people in poverty, for equity, for opportunity, for freedom of expression, for love. Donald Trump was not who I voted for to represent me.

 

But, while our grief is valid, after we’ve fallen apart for a moment, we must pick up the pieces, put our hopes back together, stand tall, hold hands, and see The Good.

 

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

 

If we don’t strive to see The Good, it will not be those who opposed Trump who will cast a dark shadow over our country for the next four years. It will be us. Many will find today’s conversations with children to be difficult; but our children are looking to us to see how to navigate life when it lets you down, or becomes difficult, or seems absolutely impossible.

 

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions of passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

 

The Good is all around us—it doesn’t have to sit in a White House. It’s in the teachers who love their students; it’s in the volunteers who work tirelessly in their communities for those in need; it’s in the foster mothers and fathers who give foster children the life they deserve; it’s in kids who do unsolicited kind things for one another; it’s in the churches who feed and care for the homeless; it’s in the cops who build relationships with young black boys; it’s in the lawyers who donate their time to low-income clients; it’s in the supportive tweets that complete strangers on Twitter offer to one another; it’s the mayor Tulsa just elected; it’s in your next door neighbor who takes in animals when the shelters are too full. There is Good in EVERY person around you.

 

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands

in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands

at times of challenge and controversy.

 

If we wake up looking for enemies, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves when we truly become a nation of hate.

 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

 

Whether it’s Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, John Stewart, or Glen Beck as our president, I’ll continue to not only dream of but CREATE a nation where Diversity, Community, Empathy, Pride and Unity are the core values. Where we recognize and celebrate one another, and where people from different neighborhoods around this country come together in support, love and mutual appreciation.

 

I have decided to stick with love.

Hate is too great a burden to bear.

 

I’ll continue to fight for a cultural shift in which black and brown and white and young and old and conservative and liberal and rich and poor and Christian and Jew and Muslim and Buddhist and gay and straight and transgender and man and woman learn to empathize with one another through shared stories. Where we break bread together; where we work together; where we learn together; where we grow together; where we build community together; and where we break down barriers and stereotypes together.

 

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

 

I’ll continue—without politics in my motives, without Democrat or Republican restraints holding me back from reaching out to ALL—to create a movement that shows the nation and the whole world that Diversity is beautiful and invaluable; that the benefits of Community and Empathy across demographic lines are tangible; that Pride can change the dreams of our children and the trajectory of our future; and that Unity among ALL people is not only necessary but possible.

 

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

 

I hope you’ll join me in living together in love.

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