Faith Reflection by Bishop Dwayne Royster, Executive Director of POWER, shared with Summer Leadership Assembly on July 19, 2012, at Harold O. Davis Baptist Church
I dream of a city where all children have a quality education that can lead them to any good path they wish to take in life. I dream of a city where everyone who wants a job can have one that can financially sustain family and home without the need for public assistance. I dream of a city where healthcare is a birthright not a burden and the very best care is down the street not miles away. I dream of a city where the young to the young at heart, the black to the white, the poor to the rich can walk down the street anytime day or night and not fear for person or material belongings. I dream of a day when every person in this city has a roof over their head, food in their belly and a place to call home.
But this is not how the city is known for all people. For far too many it is quite the opposite of the vision I lifted. It is a struggle. It is painful. It is devastating. At our founding convention Dr. Mark Tyler, pastor of the Mother Bethel AME church reminded us that we were like Nehemiah rebuilding the wall. He told us there would be challenges but together Nehemiah and his team faced every challenge to rebuild the wall. Tonight we have come to gather to reflect on our year thus far. The journey it has taken us to get here. For many it is frustrating that the wall has not been rebuilt. I only come to say that we have been putting in the bricks but rebuilding is a process.
There are times when we must stop and celebrate the smaller victories remind ourselves of how far we have come celebrate, the bricks we laid, the milestones we achieved and then get up to continue the work that we began. Our City is depending on us. Our families, neighbors and friends and our community are depending on us to lead them in living into a collective vision whereby the faith community ushers in a time of prosperity and opportunity.
We as POWER have the ability to do just that. To press for ethical and moral policies that create opportunity for all. From the Airport to the Streets Department to Mrs. Resslers Food Processing Plant in the Northeast, to the Libraries and School District and Public Safety to Voter ID Laws and Gun Violence prevention to Opportunities for Returning Citizens and our undocumented immigrant friends to just be able to walk the streets day or night without any fright.
For such a time as this the Creator of the Universe called POWER into existence. Let us use every amount of goodwill and righteous indignation within us to call forth to the leaders of this world. That God’s people are calling for justice and righteousness to reign in this land. From this time and forever more. Amen.