I was born in Mississippi in 1961, and it was hard growing up in the intensely segregated south. Living below the poverty line did not help the situation, but it did give me the determination. Half of a century and a few additional years have moved on, as I have moved about. It gave me the compassion to help others live a productive life. As I listened to my parents and grandparents talk about the downfalls and partiality our government in Washington, DC, I realized that they were devastated by the current situation. I remember wondering what I could do to make a positive change. I said to myself, If I ever have an opportunity to serve the people, I will always seek to do what is right. That principle resonated with me, and even today serves as a guiding force. My compassion for people channeled my nursing career. I learned the importance of self-sacrifice, and it was an honor to serve as a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps. I was elected to public office for five consecutive terms, and I distinguished myself as a Public Servant.
My family played a key role in the desegregation of the Northeast Lauderdale County School District in 1967, by opting to enroll me, along with my three older siblings, in an all-white school. The separate all-black school continued to operate until desegregation becomes mandatory. During my first three years of grade school, I was the only black child in my class. Many of my experiences were incomprehensible, because, during this time in history, it was acceptable to discriminate against black people, and I experienced, what we know today as bullying, from students, teachers, and administrators. Though I was constantly harassed, I still did not understand the depths of injustice that I was experiencing. The harsh treatment of discrimination taught me to be my advocate at a young age because there appeared to be no one else that looked like me and was willing to stand up for me. My parents instilled in us the need to get an education, do our best and fight for what is right for all people, and I continue to live by that principle. I often heard the phrase, Because you are black, you must work twice as hard to get half as much,; I did not mind working twice as hard, but I was not willing to settle for half as much! When I look back, I realize that injustice was the norm; injustices were acceptable, and today this gives me a greater determination to advocate for those who dont even know they are being treated unjustly.
I have dedicated my entire life to public service, and I served eight years as legislator/law maker. I am compelled to use my JD from the University of the District of Columbia to represent the underprivileged. I recognize that justice must the objective and not merely an alternative for all who are called to advocate for the good of all people. Understanding that people are an imperfect being, I will focus on collaboration, restoration, and reconciliation while moving towards justice. I became an advocate for my rights at a young age because there appeared to be no one else that looked like me and was willing to stand up for me. My parents instilled in us the need to get an education, do our best and fight for what is right for all people. I kept that in my heart, and this day I live by that principle. Looking back in time, I realize that injustice was the norm, and this gives me a greater determination to advocate for justice for all.
My parents involvement in my life caused me to be involved in every aspect of my childrens life, especially their education. Being that I was an active participant in the community, it was believed that I would be an effective advocate I was encouraged to seek public office as a member of the Board of Education. I am compelled to use my JD from UDC to represent the underprivileged because, Justice must the objective and not merely an alternative for all who are called to advocate for the good of all people. Understanding that people are an imperfect being, I will focus on collaboration, restoration, and reconciliation while moving towards justice.
To be an advocate for justice, one must be self-driven by compassion with deep regards for human life and the well-being of each person in society. In other words, one must care enough to care. I discovered my gift of advocacy at an early age, and today I have a clear understanding of how necessary it is to serve and plead the cause of Justice for All. I am of the belief that the overall tone of society is greatly influenced by the treatment of individuals of society; each person must be valued as a significant measure of societythey must belong. At times, this happens naturally, and sometimes it is initiated by cause for intervention. A true advocate possesses inner strength to motivate the masses on behalf of others because they sense a worthwhile cause. They realize that it is not about self, but about serving others by giving back. There is a part of me that is always ready to intervene on behalf of others. A true advocate, though a stranger to many becomes a friend to all who seek justice. Today there is an outcry for justice, and I have heard the cry. It is as a resounding request that one should take charge. When we recognize injustice, we must be willing to act. Some never believed in this thing called justice because they only witnessed the injustices; many have lost faith in the justice system; still so many others know nothing of justice.
There is a growing conviction to sacrifice my time and render full attention while seeking to fight for those people who have lacked someone in their lives to fight for them. Therefore, I can walk with my shoulders up high knowing that I am ready to encourage youth and volunteer to express my appreciation for this opportunity.