Good things do happen!

E. Faye Williams

These days I’ve been glued to the television praying that Israel will cease fire and stop the killing because it won’t bring back those who were killed in Israel or the many Palestinians. 

We must recognize that the thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza or those civilians who died in Israel are tragedies we won’t soon forget. It’s time to concentrate on looking for solutions to heal the problems between not only the warring sides but also among ourselves. Having our people in the U.S. fighting with each other won’t solve the problems either.

I pray that we can take a forward look at war, and as we grieve the tragedies we are experiencing, let us find the good and praise it. As a writer and a radio host, I regularly find people who are doing extraordinary things to help others. That’s what gets me through these worrisome days of how cruel some can be to others.

This past week, I was introduced to someone who does so many good things for so many in need. 

If you’ve never heard of Rdevia, I’d like to introduce you to the group through Michelle Hollinger and Marquise McGriff. Rdevia was founded as a student organization on March 5, 2015. Today, they have members and friends, leaders, donors, partners, and sponsors all over the world—including in at least 20 states and in China and Ghana. 

Here’s what they do. Rdevia provides opportunities and resources to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Among the recipients are:

  • Current high school seniors who want to go to an HBCU.
  • Current students who attend an HBCU.
  • Someone who graduated with an associate, bachelor, or advanced degree from an HBCU.

They do this because they want HBCUs to keep rising and thriving. They want us to join them in making it happen. Like many who attended HBCUs, I attended two Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I attended Grambling State University and Howard University School of Law. I did graduate work at several other universities. That was nothing like the experiences I had at HBCUs. You will hear that from many others.

Rdevia understands the power of HBCUs. Their mission is to empower marginalized communities through an education that embraces who they are and who they can become. Their vision includes dreaming of a learned society of people who value one another and the roles they all play in making the world a better place.

They are aware of and promote the position that HBCUs do an incredible job. Yes, they still have an outsized role in preparing students to meet urgent national priorities in STEM fields, in filling teaching jobs, and in uplifting boys and men of color. I have a nephew in Louisiana by the name of Dwayne Dupar. He’s known as Difference Maker and he works hard to make a positive difference in the lives of young men and women.

A friend by the name of Dr. Franklyn Malone does similar work in the Washington, D.C., area.

Dr. Sesil Jenkins is working on a project called “Take Back Our Children.” 

I met Daon McLarin Johnson who has a mentoring program and is making a difference in the lives of many. Influential mentors like Daon strive to leave a legacy and a footprint upon the hearts of everyone. Mentoring is one more way we all can help somebody.

There is so much good work to do. Too often we hear about the negative, but there are many like the above stepping out and making a good difference. 

As we deal with the Israel-Hamas tragedy, let us declare that war is not the answer. President Barack Obama taught us to say “Yes, we can.” We need to bring back that spirit to make a positive difference wherever we are.

Faye Williams, Ph. D. is president of The Dick Gregory Society.


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