Stay Woke

There was a time I felt inadequate because I didn’t stand STRONG behind a specific issue that affects our community or involve myself with organizations that advocate for change. I’ve been feeling that it is time for me to represent, but I couldn’t figure out where to start.

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered for an event at Riverside Park called “Random Acts of Kindness” sponsored by Divas Honoring Divas. Their commitment to service helped me realize change can happen with a simple smile or spending time listening to one another.

It frustrates me because my eyes were closed for so long. I realize now, my lack of knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of my community were hindering my personal and professional development. My eyes have been opened.

I recently attended the National Young Democrats Convention and National Urban League Conference, which helped me fully realize the extent to which our democracy is under attack. I knew so little about how Russia interfered with the U.S. election, but now I know more. We must vote. We must seek out information, and our vote should reflect our findings.

I learned a lot about myself these past few weeks. My eyes are open, and I will make a difference. I will be informed and involved. I encourage my peers to do the same.  We need to watch the news and ask questions when things don’t sound right.  We need to become vigilant, and we need to become advocates. I’m grateful for my recent experiences and look forward to learning more. I firmly believe Childish Gambino is right … we need to stay woke.

Denise Herd