I stood before a crowd in Spring, Texas for an event hosted by Spirit Families to help single families. As I got up to speak our host asked a local poet to speak. He looked at the children attending the event with nothing but love in his heart. He spoke of the fact that we still look at black dolls and white dolls differently. He spoke of the fact that we had racial divide in this country. He spoke the truth, not just the truth as he knew it, but the truth that everyone in the community knew. He knew how racial divide would effect the kids attending our event and he was genuinely concerned for their future. He was not just from Spring, Texas he was man who had traveled, an educated man, a black man.
I was next to speak. An educated white man. A professional. I truly had no idea what this poet had experienced. I wondered why I had been invited and what I could offer. Than it hit me. I took the stage and had the kids approach.
I simply stated “Kids, repeat after me……I can be….whoever…I choose to be.” I repeated myself and asked the kids to do the same. I then asked the members of the community. “Parents….what will it take to get these kids where they want to go…” I asked everyone to say one word “change.” The parents repeated the word and I moved on.
I had been invited to help kids identify and express emotions. I had been invited to help kids handle day to day troubles. That was a task that I felt that I could offer assistance. I felt nothing but appreciation for this community allowing me to do this work. My work helped me connect to people in the community as fellow brother’s and sisters, and we were joined in a common goal to help children.
So I’m going back to Spring, Texas. I’m going back to help kids who seem to want to focus on anger and need direction. I”m going back to Spring, Texas to build an environment to help support this community and effect change. Perhaps that is where we start and begin healing this country of ours.
Matt Sossi, Executive Director Kids First Parents Second