Let me explain…
I’m currently in Knoxville, TN attending the 2015 Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute as a site coordinator at one of the 190 Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools happening across the country this summer. This is my second year in this position and being back at training once again has me feeling high.
How can I describe this feeling? Well it really comes down to the people here. From the CDF staff to the other site coordinators, to trainers, to interns everyone here is so great at what they do. This program is already amazing but at it’s core are the thousands of people who make it happen for so many children who need it. Children who would otherwise fall through the cracks of society. Children who may not know what love is or feel deserving of it. Children who are capable of achieving but lacking the resources and support systems to achieve their dreams. Holding the torch at the head of these efforts is Marian Wright Edelman, who spoke at the opening ceremony tonight. If I could have, I would have physically eaten every word that came out of her mouth, injected them into my bloodstream, or any other outrageous and figurative way I could have savored her speech tonight.
What is most infectious and euphoric about the atmosphere of Freedom School is the passion that is so evident in the people here and how they have been able to live out their passions through this program . At tonight’s ceremony four individuals spoke about how their experience with Freedom School led to them ultimately finding their purpose and now the wheels are turning in my head as well. Where is this going? Where am I going with this? How does this all connect to the path I’m on now? Does it connect at all? If not, what is my path? Of course all of these questions have thrown me into my bi-weekly existential crisis but I’m hoping this week will give me the much needed mental and spiritual acuity to begin to answer these questions.
OK. But why are you a rainbow?
Because Maya Angelou told me I was! Unfortunately, Mama Angelou (also my birthday twin) is no longer with us in the flesh but a video was shared of her speaking at the very first Freedom School national training graduation and she talked about being a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. At the root of all that we do in Freedom School, I believe our sole purpose is to be rainbows in our scholars’ extremely cloudy skies. For me, this notion of being a rainbow is also a part of my personal philosophy and my calling – one of the little bits of it that I’ve been able to figure out.
Marian Wright Edelman is a rainbow and she has amassed an army of rainbows. World changers. Educators. Radicals. Policymakers. Freedom Fighters. Advocators. There are pockets of us all over the country making a difference every day. All of us, will in turn pass down all that we are to others so that they can be rainbows, too. Soon there will be more rainbows than clouds. I just know it.
So for now, I’m soaking it all in. I’m enjoying every moment. I’m praying. I’m reading. I’m sharing. I’m growing. I’m laughing. I’m learning. I have more questions than answers but right now, my focus is on being a rainbow in the skies God has placed me in and knowing that when the right time comes, I’ll get to the clouds I need to get to and sprout the new rainbows that I know I’m destined to develop.