The Audacity TO Hope

Many of us are familiar with President Barack Obama’s best seller called “The Audacity of Hope”.  In his book and during his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, President Obama reminds us:

“It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.  Hope in the face of difficulty.  Hope in the face of uncertainty.  The audacity of hope!

— Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention

 President Obama’s book stemmed from a sermon of his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who heard a lecture given by Dr. Frederick G. Sampson discussing the G. F. Watts painting called Hope.  The painting depicts a woman described in the following manner:

 “With her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God.”

 — Pastor Jeremiah Wright

President Obama skillfully reminded us that in order to survive this cruel world, we must have the audacity TO hope:  to hope for a better world, to hope for a better life, to hope for justice, to hope for equality, and to hope for change.

I have the audacity TO hope that people of color will not be harmed or killed during a routine traffic stop.  That audacity TO hope led me to create Not Reaching.  The hope that I have has become a grassroots movement and has garnered partnerships and support that I never imagined.  My audacity TO hope has led to a great friendship and partnership with Valerie Castile and the Philando Castile Relief Foundation.  My audacity TO hope has provided Not Reaching with amazing press and media coverage and an opportunity to pitch to Shark Tank.  My audacity TO hope continues to place me in the path of influencers who have the ability to place Not Reaching in the forefront of social justice.

To all of us who believe we can change the world with an invention, a creation, a thoughtful expression, a creative lens, an advocacy posture, or a dream, our audacity TO hope will continue to be the driving force that will keep us on our hard-fought, difficult, and incredible journey.

What do YOU have the audacity TO hope for?  Please share it so we can uplift each other and be the change agents we’ve been designed to be in this world, leaving a great legacy for future generations.