Friday, October 12, 2007

The Quiet Storm

We buried James Slater today. Pastor Washington called him the quiet storm, which is a perfect description. He was a man who worked without fanfare everyday of his life as a community builder. He was one of the mainstays of the Rochester Children's Zone initiative my colleagues and I have been a part of for the past one and a half years. He was completely dedicated to transforming Northeast Rochester. It was hard to count the number of committees and activist organizations with whom he volunteered his time. A tragic irony was that he was a member of the Community Safety work team and was shot and killed walking home from a neighborhood meeting. He was steps away from his house when confronted.

I've been writing, shouting even, a lot lately about how intolerable the situation is in urban contexts like Rochester to what feels like deaf ears. People just don't seem to understand how dire things are. How can we stand by and watch communities terrorized like this?

Today folks talked about revolution, about lacing up our shoes and hitting the streets. God I hope we follow through!