Dear Future Me,
This is a tough time for you. Defining the word “community” used to be effortless. “Community” reminded you of home. This word could be the liquor stores, fast food chains, and churches on every block. “Community” used to be the ones kissed with melanin who shared your laughs and felt your pain. “Community” was a word that you gave to everyone in your life who understood you and who saw you. Today, the word “community” is as dark as the room you type this letter. “Community” is as heavy as the coffins you have seen carry your friends, your family, and the people you will never get to know. Today you mourn for the fallen, and you fight for the present. You know the word “community” is fluid yet heavy. You decide to work in Detroit because the goal has always been to build up your neighborhood and home to be a resource to others. The world has seen so much bad from Detroit and the only good parts are the places they have wiped clean of people who look like you. You know that for times like this, the people in your city need others to lean on. You are fighting battles from the comfort of your own home and it seems as if the work you are doing is pointless, but this position allows you to be focused, detailed and in touch with community resources and need. This summer you hope to gain the ability to create long term relationships and bring sustainable resources to communities that are not necessarily yours. You hope to learn more about the city that you call home. You hope to heal wounds instead of providing bandages. I hope you will find the beauty in the word “community” again.
Dear Future Me,