While many were out shopping, others of us were holding our first meeting as the Central Jersey Community Coalition, a diverse group of community organizations, including churches and mosques, to address the concern we have over the new administration in Washington. At the community action fair, several hundred people stopped by the tables we had set up with our information. Casa Esperanza was next to the Somerset County Diversity Coalition, a group of faith based organizations and churches seeking to bring understanding of different forms of worship and belief.
We watched the Women’s March in D.C. on a wide screen television; we talked about how to counter the atmosphere of hate and prejudice that seems so prevalent in our country today. Some of the children running around in the church basement were wearing pink Pussy Hats, in tribute to Pussy Riot, the group of women singers who ran afoul of Putin’s sensitive nature – to criticism, that is.
We listened to a young woman who had DACA tell her story of her mother’s struggles, of her own fears, and we all rose to applaud her courage. We heard people call for tolerance – but it was more than just speeches and applause. It was the beginning of our new organizing for tolerance and truth – something sorely lacking in the white House – and we will meet again and begin training for people to run for office, to speak the truth in the face of lies, and to be a voice for the diversity that is in Central New Jersey.
The words of Margaret Mead should be our inspiration: “Never doubt tht a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Call or e-mail us at Casa Esperanza if you want to join this important movement at this a crossroads in American history.