Saturday, April 12, 2014

BOLD Justice Update

I just found out that the Broward County Commission passed the ordinance that our multi-church justice group wanted them to pass.  The ordinance will require companies of a certain size to hire local workers, instead of coming here to do work and bringing their own workforce with them.

It certainly won't solve everything, but perhaps several hundred out-of-work people will get jobs.  Perhaps more.

I've downscaled my social justice expectations and requirements.  Once I wanted to be assured of grand, sweeping changes before I got involved.  I was brought up just after the gains of the Civil Rights Movement, after all.  I wanted us all to be Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

It wasn't until much later that I realized that those sweeping changes were started with small, halting steps.  I suspect that most changes that lead the world to a more socially just place begin with tiny steps stepped by people who aren't entirely sure what they're doing or where they're going.

It's the same way with my Reading Pal.  Last year at our BOLD Justice event where we lobbied for a change in 3rd grade reading programs, one public school administration person said, "If you really want to make a difference, why don't each of you come to our schools to read to at-risk children?"

My spouse and I talked about that on the way home.  With 1,000 - 2,000 people coming to our yearly rally, that would be a lot of volunteers.

And I remembered that conversation when I heard about the Reading Pals program; I signed up.

Have I made a difference?  It's hard to say.  I want to believe that I have, but maybe those children would have improved without us.

Honestly, it doesn't matter.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  we're like the medieval people who built cathedrals.  We do our part, knowing that it won't be completed in our lifetime.

It's an old theological thought, found across religious traditions.  We don't have to complete the work, but we do have to do the work.

1 comment:

John Flanagan said...

Social Justice is a code word for negative as well as positive things. Your Local community board sounds like a communist style commission, ordering privately owned companies to fall in line and telling them who they can and cannot hire. Many of us consider such rules unAmerican, and your church should be more concerned with opposing abortion, homosexual marriage laws, and anti-Christian sentiment than who a private company hires to do a job.