RECLAIMING HOPE | Hope is the starting point for Urban Homeworks, the force that brings together low-income families, young professionals, job skill trainees, and volunteers from all walks of life into an exchange that restores homes and creates a space for neighbors to engage.
Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual
For the POD Talk series, we welcomed speakers that offered deeper insight reflecting other facets of our work and the impact it’s had. We wanted people to walk away from the evening with a buzz in their brain raising new questions, taking internal audits, and thinking creatively about what it looks like to perpetuate hope.
At July’s POD Talk, UC2 members Jon, Shaquille, and Bernard boldly shared about the context from which they came – the options they felt they had, the mistakes they made, and the trajectory that was established when the unanticipated consequences of those crimes continued to follow them, long after their dues had been paid. In spite of attempts to rebuild their lives, the exaggerated stain of singular choices was always the most glaring to potential employers looking at background checks. Nobody wants his worst moment to be the first and only reflection of who he is and what opportunities he deserves. But their obvious commitment to family, desire to give back to the community, and eagerness to be beacons of hope for their friends was clear even standing in the back of the dimly lit auditorium. I stood in in awe of UC2’s courage, tenacity, strength, and perseverance – I saw the powerful bridge that this social venture created for these guys, and how they soared when offered opportunity. I marveled at the platform they now had to say – “I am more than my legal history.”
So, I’ve decided that the POD Talk buzz in my brain revolves around character. My own, that of those in power, and the perceived character of the people around me. I’m going to keep on buzzin in the hope of building character that is strong and selfless….maybe I’ll get there one day.