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Monday Motivation: Lorraine Wright on Contributing to Community Change

Posted at 7:23 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 19:38:46-05

Lorraine Wright is a community advocate on a range of issues  –  from the school-to-prison pipeline to getting more people involved in the political process.  She is the founder of the non-profit organization “I Vote For Me” and on Monday Motivation she wanted to remind people of the power of participating in the change you want to see in your communities and tells us how it’s connected to Richmond’s own history. Take a listen and read Lorraine’s Monday Motivation below.

Hi, I'm Lorraine Wright and today, I want to talk to you about community justice.

The concept of community justice is not new, but locally in the Richmond area, it was resurrected by my friend and mentor, the late Lillie A. Estes. It was premised on what Lillie liked to call  "participatory democracy."  In other words, repeat after me.  I am a required participant in my own liberation.

My good friend, Mr.  Sa’ad El-Amin asked me,"  Lorraine, how do you clean a junkyard?" Well, I thought it was a trick question. Mr. El-Amin's response to me was "start right where you're standing. " So to you, I say family, you are who you've been waiting for. You can impact meaningful change today. Guess what? Your contribution might not look like anyone else's. And that's ok, but do something. Use your sphere of influence!

If you're a student,  create student-based groups that speak to the issues you're facing in school. If you're a faith-based leader, use your pulpit and platform to speak to the social challenges and barriers plaguing your congregations. Folks are gonna show up to church every Sunday, but what are you saying to them when they get there?  To Elected officials - honor your commitments to those that voted you into office. Community members know your rights and demand accountability from those that are in pain capacity to serve us as taxpayers. You are enough and greatness is upon you. You are not your brother's keeper,  you are your brother. I'm not my sister's keeper, I am my sister. Your silence in the face of injustice is also your consent.

So I'll leave you with the words of Assata Shakur, " for it is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains."