By Cesar Cornier, Social Justice Coordinator.

As I reflect on last week’s experience with Public Allies, I come back inspired and ready to inspire. For those who may not know, Public Allies is a program that stands on developing diverse leadership for social change in the community. When I heard about the program, I was excited about the things they stood for, and was eager to join a cohort of like-minded individuals. What I didn’t
expect, was how quick my fellow allies would become like family.

How do we grow with each other as people? It’s not through isolation, but participation. This past week, my fellow Allies and program directors have spent our days building connections through team building activities and conversations. It wasn’t always comfortable: being vulnerable when sharing your life experiences needs a sense of trust and love. Fortunately for me, Public Allies provide just that. We all listened, responded accordingly to the emotions our memories evoked, and were a family to each other. I know I can trust them, because they trust me. Having a great support system is the foundation for sustainability and progress. Having that foundation will help me in moving forward here at First Church, and by sharing personal experiences we can understand how we are all beautifully diverse. As Samora Machel said, “Unity and victory are synonymous.”

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