A few weeks ago I had the honor of participating in a conversation with other African American leaders in the Twin Cities about what the Obama wins means for Black leadership. All of the participants had been hired by nonprofits in the last year or so and in Minnesota, there are so few African Americans leading nonprofit organizations that it really was a newsworthy occasion.
It was a reflective conversation on the societal impact of Martin Luther King's dream being fulfilled and what it means for us to be able to look our children in the eye and tell them that if they work hard anything is possible (and really mean it). While I enjoyed the conversation, I yearn for the day when 5 African American nonprofit leaders being hired in the same year isn't news. I look forward to a time when Obama isn't seen as just a symbol of hope for African Americans but as a sign of fulfilled promise for ALL Americans.
I, like many others, will shed a few tears today because of the visible reminder that we have come so far. I will remember those that worked so hard to make sure that African Americans could vote and didn't live to see the day when it all came full circle. I will make sure that my children see every moment and know that their parents had a small part in breaking down the thickest glass ceiling around.
Then I'm going to put away the party hats and get back to work because the country needs more than self-congratulating. We need universal health care, a thriving economy, and an education system that ensures that many more are qualified for the highest office in the land. Barack Obama can't do those things alone, luckily he is humble enough and an experienced enough organizer to know that without reading my blog post:) He has launched Organizing for America to harness your energy and to make sure that real change happens. I hope you answer the call with me.