When Nuevo Camino volunteers visited San Juan for the first time, they promised to return with school supplies, medicines, and building supplies for the village. When they returned a few days later, they were surprised to be greeted by a crowd of people, furnished with crowns of flowers. Students had spent two afternoons hand crafting the crowns, to show appreciation to their new friends. Their gratitude was beautiful, and represented the heart of Nuevo Camino…spreading love between neighbors across the globe.
This month, San Juan parents and teachers finished construction their new school kitchen! With financial support from Something New, each family donated bricks and helped build this great new facility for the community. Check out the final product, and the steps along the way!
“No one can win the war individually, It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy”
– Glory from the Motion Picture Selma
Frederick D. Reese is a Legend. And although the acts throughout his life were incredibly courageous, his legacy of love for the next generation is what made him legendary to us.
The first conversation we had with Dr. Reese was in the midst of a battle. The forces of racism and oppression had come knocking at our door trying to stop a youth movement to bring unity to Selma. It seemed so intense at the time. With people calling the local government and threatening to pull funding from our school if we didn’t stop.
But Dr. Reese had withstood many battles of his own. From being a part of the Courageous Eight who compelled Dr. King to come to Selma, to leading his fellow teachers time and time again to the steps of the Dallas County Courthouse. Yet, here he was talking to us because he believed wholeheartedly that we mattered. And that a march led by youth, no matter how it seemed to others, was worth marching again.
Months before, we had met with government officials to plan a unity dance with youth from all over Selma on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where the infamous Bloody Sunday occurred in 1965. As the date came closer, the city government was under a lot of pressure to pull support. When they told us we could no longer host the dance because “you can always do the dance somewhere else”, it ignited a fire in everyone to protest the decision and march on the day we had planned to dance.
But we needed guidance. And when we asked to meet with Dr. Reese, he gave us his full support. Not because we had done everything right, but because he believed our cause was right. Time and time again, he would invite us to teach the dance to kids at his church or talk to his members about the project. It was incredible to be walking in step with one of Selma’s greatest heroes, but also be so understood and welcomed.
Dr. Reese, thank you for standing with us. For never turning a blind eye to injustice, no matter if that injustice took away the right to vote or the right to dance. You lived a legacy of love and we pray that we can carry that legacy forward for more generations.
Love may be in the air for some right now, but there sure is a lot of other stuff in the air along with it!
On this day that the calendar celebrates love, we wanted to share something our New Way trainers have been working on about how to walk in the kind of love that transforms us and powers world-changing movements. It’s deeper than (and outlasts) a gift of chocolate and flowers. This kind of love will offer a kind word and a soft heart toward someone who has hurt or misjudged you. It will seek to understand a person whose views make you want to hide them from your Facebook feed. It’s the kind of love and fire Dr. King said no fire hose could put out. This kind of love does what nothing else does: it frees you to be the best you and gives us all a chance at achieving healing and reconciliation.
Our New Way trainers are working on a book with stories about their own daily journeys to walk this kind of love out. It includes the ways they’ve fallen on their faces as well as the ways they’ve learned to rise above their own internal struggles and contradictions to walk out the good things they believe in.
Each story provides an opportunity for you, the reader, to reflect on one of King’s nonviolence principles as well as a challenge about how to implement that principle into your own life. Right now. Today.
The full book will be available in April, but we want to give you a taste now because we really do believe that what the world needs right now is love, sweet love.
Download your free sample of our upcoming book HERE.
You don’t have to do something huge to addhappiness to someone’s day. This man decided to go on a mission to meet someone new every day. It’s amazing who you meet and what you do when you put down the phone and take a step to connect with a stranger. #LoveinAction #StickwithLove
Yesterday, as a new U.S. President took the oath of office and throngs of protesters gathered in the nation’s capital and across the country, I had a sweet reminder of how important and rewarding it is to have something to fight for, not just something to fight against.