Janet Morrison leads our children's education efforts here at Central Dallas Ministries. Recently, Janet completed work on her Ed. D. from Texas A & M Commerce in education. She graduated in December.
She is a whiz and a devoted mentor, leader, coach and teacher of children.
Across the years I've hired lots of amazing people. Our staff numbers over 100 today. But, I must say, I've never hired anyone better than Janet. Many equally as talented in their various areas of expertise and passion, but Janet ranks among the top in my book.
Let me give you a piece of friendly advice: don't be messin' with "Miss Janet's kids"!
Earlier this week Janet received the following email message from one of "her kids." The young woman who wrote these words is 14-years-old, Latina and very involved in Janet's civil rights education program.
As Janet told me, "she wants so badly to believe that race doesn't matter." The young woman's experience is forcing her to deal with some ugly facts of life in our nation. I'll let her speak for herself.
I wanted to tell you something that caught my attention and still hasn`t let go.
Well I was chosen to represent my school in the Magnet fair on Saturday.
I had to talk to many parents and explain how Atwell [a DISD public school] will benefit their children and all the other good stuff.
Well I had many parents who did not speak English. I met this lady named Maria, a mother of two 6th grade girls. Everything was going great, questions were being answered and a good conversation was being held until she asked "What kind of people attend Atwell?"
I responded 7th and 8th grade students.
She was like, "No, I mean race like."
I asked, ''Why does it matter, if we all get along fine?"
She just looked at me, so I answered the question.
"There's more blacks than Hispanics, and more Hispanics than Anglos."
Then she responded, "Oh then, Atwell isn't what my daughters need."
I just said, "Okay. Have a nice day."
Later that night all I could think of was that small comment.
So, I started thinking, yeah we might be different color, but were all equal. We were made by one creator GOD. So,why do we think we're more than others, when we're really not?
And, if we think about it, we make others who think they're less than us feel bad. I mean, God gave us a mind of our own, put us on Earth where we have everything we need. All we need to do is use our creativity.
No matter if we're black, red, or even green, we were put here by the same person for one purpose. So why should we take so much from others who are just like us?
As I read her words, my mind shifted backwards to the days following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans and to the discussion about race and poverty in America. A number of people argued with me--some very heatedly!--that racism was no longer a problem in our country. How naive.
We have so much work to do.