Henry Ford once said “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
This past week I have been overwhelmed with emotions while attempting something some say is impossible – stopping gun violence. I keep talking to myself, saying Quit! No, Keep going! Quit! Keep going! Cry, no laugh, and laugh so you won’t cry! If there has ever been a challenging time for me during this walk across America, it has been now.
At the time of this blog, the team and I are approaching Kansas City, MO. I just met with 25 mothers who all have lost children to gun violence. Their stories have brought me to tears and as much as I want to explode with anger, it’s for this very reason I can’t give up. Their stories have encouraged me…
Prior to Kansas City, the team and I just came off a break for a few days in Las Vegas. I was a finalist in the 10th annual Steve Harvey Neighborhood (Hoodie) Awards, sponsored by Ford motor company. Steve Harvey is a nationally syndicated radio host and comedian with over a million listeners and he has been giving back to African American communities by recognizing community leaders, like Best Teacher, Best School, Best Church, Best Barber, etc… with the public voting to decide who wins. I was up for the Best Community Leader; this was determined by your outstanding work in the community to help improve the lives of others.
I won the Hoodie Award for the Best Community Leader, beating out three other candidates, receiving tens of thousands of votes across the country. I was honored and humbled by the grace of God extended towards me. Ironically, while walking, I won a new 2013 Ford Fusion; I haven’t owned a car in over 5 years.
This Best Community Leader award encourages me to continue walking across America to bring a greater awareness to the gun violence issue in our country and raise $15M dollars to build a prototype community and economic development center on Chicago’s south side that will house life changing programs designed to save the next generation of children in the inner cities.
Gun violence continues to be a humanitarian issue that negatively impacts us all. I’m not trying to change laws (that would take to long), but I am trying to change hearts and minds. 12 people were shot to death in a movie theater in Aurora, CO. 6 people were shot to death during worship in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI. and in both cases, several others were injured. Who’s next!
Gun violence doesn’t care who you are, what you believe, or where you come from; it just has one agenda – KILL. I’m convinced, if gun violence will show up at the movies and at a place of worship, if we don’t do something NOW, it’ll show up at your home sooner than later! Who’s NEXT?
Help me help others… go to www.projecthood.org and give or text the word HOOD to 50555 for a $10. donation
“It’s time we stop ganging up on each other, and start ganging up on the problem!”