Why you shouldn't celebrate MLK Jr. Day!
By Romanita Hairston     March 8th, 2016

Every year, I read or listen to that speech. Each time, those words come alive in my heart. At some point in my life, they became my words, as though Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had read my mind. I realize I am in the company of generations of leaders who looked to a day when every child had the chance to live the dream. It was a dream forged out of a life spent in pursuit of it, and not just a day spent celebrating the value of the dream.

I obviously don’t think we shouldn't celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day! However, I do wonder about the point of celebrating on one designated day without letting the dream come alive in our own hearts. I wonder if we've contained the dream, when we need it to break forth and connect with us in our daily living — so much so that we aren't shocked to see someone writing about Dr. King on a day that is not "his day."

This connection to Dr. King's words must go beyond the facts and tangible evidence. It has to be the experience of simply knowing wh...

Presidents, politics and poverty
By Romanita Hairston     March 1st, 2016

As we fall headlong into another presidential election season, I find myself in a surprising calm that does not align at all with my passionate sense of what needs to change in our country to make it a better place for the most vulnerable children, youth, and adults living here.

I've tried to engage in some deep reflection to understand the exact cause of this disconnect between my engagement levels and my passion. I've wondered: Do I still believe the president's role is important to social change and transformation? Am I fed up with D.C. politics? The list goes on and on. The reality is that it isn't any of these things. I've found the conversations, while important, predictable. I sometimes wonder if I could sketch out the general flow of the debates and news stories before I even hear or read them.

Now, predictability is not a bad thing, necessarily. But in a world where we face very real issues, I want to believe that I'm listening to very real conversations. I haven't been re...


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