Everyone plays a role


At the Knight Media Forum, Dr. Carla Thompson Payton, chief strategist & impact officer at the Kellogg Foundation, shared how collaborative efforts are at the heart of transformation in Detroit. You can listen to her session, Revving Up Detroit, but what I found most inspiring was her message that everyone can play a role in creating equitable communities. Everyone. Entrepreneurs play a role. Educators have a role. Community leaders play a role. We need artists playing a role. We need policymakers playing a role. Are you following? We all have a role to play in creating equitable communities/cities/countries; a world in which people can grow, innovate and thrive.

Shortly after watching Carla’s session at the Knight Media Forum, I learned of a great example of a grandmother doing just that – playing a role in her community of Grand Rapids, Michigan. My colleague Javon Dobbs shared a news article featuring his grandmother, Brenda Dobbs. At 70 years of age, she is known and loved by the community as she brightens the intersection of Leonard and Alpine with her smiles and waves as the resident school crossing guard. Inspired by her dedication and warmth, local businesses came together to shower her with gifts, from cookies and gift cards to flowers and more. This heartwarming gesture underscores the power of community spirit and appreciation for those who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others.

Change and transformation is possible in your community. The local, beloved school crossing guard in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is playing her role. What role will you fill?



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