I am overjoyed to welcome you to the 15th year of this special community-wide event recognizing the contributions of Bayard Rustin and Audre Lorde to social change. We break bread once again on this day in fellowship, and to focus on the social activism we must recommit to in 2016. We especially want to energize the next generation of social change agents. Rustin said, “ the proof that one truly believes is in action”.
While we’ve had many set-backs in the last year, especially when thinking about the loss of lives due to violence, whether by criminals or some criminal acting police, and the terrible defeat of many progressive candidates at the polls in November – we must remember to celebrate our victories and remain forward looking. On a political level, one of those victories was the reelection of Rep Simone Bell, the first African American out lesbian local representative from Georgia, who was also named House Minority Chief Deputy Whip in the GA House Democratic Caucus. On a national level, while full immigration reform still needs to be done, we can celebrate a partial victory for thousands of undocumented individuals and families who were granted temporary legal status in this country by the Obama administration.
We also are heartened by the thousands of activists of all races and backgrounds demonstrating across the country under the banner “Black Lives Matter” to protest murders of unarmed black and brown people, especially at the hands of the police. This is exactly the kind of activism and coalition-building it took to win voting rights protections for African Americans – as the film “Selma” so beautifully shows us – as well as just about any significant social change. Audre Lorde reminded us “difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged”. How true Lorde’s and Rustin’s words ring today. The highest honor we can give them is to continue their work. We’ve got a lot to do – but yes we still can!
Again, welcome to your Homecoming! Together we can dream, desire, and act to achieve freedom and justice.
Roshelle "Darlene" Hudson, MSW
Co Founder, Rustin- Lorde Community Breakfast & A Southern Community Activist
© 2016 Rustin Lorde Breakfast Southern Unity Movement