Our mission for Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week is to empower the voices and experiences of marginalized communities in acknowledgement of truth to promote healing, reconciliation, and justice. Reflecting on this mission and in our collaboration with various trauma-informed community networks in Virginia, we asked leaders of color from these various networks to share their own stories.
Below you’ll read from Audravette Jackson, the coordinator of the Hampton Roads Trauma-Informed Community Network. Here she shares the introduction to her graduate school thesis, which delves into her reason for entering public service and how her culture shaped her perspective on the world:
In 2008, President Obama began his journey to the White House by delivering a speech entitled A More Perfect Union. Obama discussed his experiences in the black church in the context of his relationship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, which reiterated my childhood experiences in church. He said, “The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty…the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.” For twenty years I heard my father proclaim from a pulpit that God is a God of the marginalized. Through the teachings of Jesus, he preached a transformative message of salvation, but also, a message of social change, liberation, and unconditional love. My father chose to affirm the dignity of people still searching for equality and justice through ministry. I chose to fight for justice through public service. I believe that public service is the best path to transform America into a more perfect union that fulfills its unique promise, historic purpose, and constitutional duty to maintain this democratic society as the land of the free.
During my studies at graduate school, I realized the importance of my voice as a black woman in working towards a more perfect union. Based on my collective experiences in the black church and vocational pursuits in the public sector, my voice contributes a unique perspective in the role of government. I envision a more perfect union in which the government is responsive, accountable, transparent, and engaged with all its citizenry, including the least of these. Instead of demeaning those in the margins, our government will acknowledge the systematic oppression in our society that colludes with private industries that profit from poor women and children, minorities, and immigrants. Once acknowledged, our government will facilitate change through public policies that dismantle systems of oppression. I believe that the realm of public service has the power to ignite change at all levels within society.
Read more stories here and learn more about Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week here.Read More Blog Posts