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United Way – Jubilee ’18 Conference

United Way – Jubilee ’18 Conference

I’ve seen our city suffer – that hurts me a
little bit. That doesn’t say that there’s not hope. I’ve been with United Way 33 years but I was
doing this work prior to my coming to United Way so my work in this community spans at
least 45 years. I’m seeing more people who are homeless, more
kids dropping out of school. So my heart hurts for this city. I think the main issue that’s facing us is
the lack of people working together. I think if we all make a commitment each of
us, everybody who lives in this city, make a commitment that I personally am going to
commit myself to doing something. working with someone to make things happen. This is a wonderful city. It’s a beautiful city. I love this city. But we struggle with working together in unity
and we’ve got to change that. When organizations work in silos, they have
their own agenda. And a lot of times that agenda doesn’t necessarily
meet what the total community’s agenda is. And that presents a problem. Because collectively, we can do a lot. Single focus doesn’t work. One of the roles that United Way plays more
than anything else is bringing people together. We believe in collaboration. We believe in working together to solve common
issues. It’s tough to bring everybody to the table. It’s tough for everybody to come and say we
have a shared agenda. The Jubilee Conference is an excellent opportunity
for churches, for local businesses, for local nonprofits, for all of us to come together
with one vision. And that vision is to change lives of those
in our community to make it better. You know a lot of times we don’t have churches
who are willing to say we want to work with nonprofits and we want to work with businesses. So the Jubilee Conference is doing that. It’s bringing all of us who care about this
community in one single effort to make sure we talk to each other; to make sure we listen
to each other. And make sure we leave that conference with
a shared vision. It’s got to be an ongoing dialogue. I think the Jubilee Conference is just to
kick it off. But from that, I think we must plan before
we even leave the conference. We must plan our next steps. What are our action steps following that conference? When are we going to get together? Who is going to do what? What is it that we are trying to achieve? What goals do we have, and how are we going
to achieve those goals? I urge everyone to join me and a lot of other
folks who are planning this conference. All of us have to own it. All of us have to believe in it. All of us have to commit to working continuously
to solve the issues that are addressed by this conference. Can you just imagine what it would look like
if we had the people who are living in our community all having the quality of life that
they desire? That’s what this city would look like. That’s what Jackson would look like. We can change the fabric of this community. All we have to do is work together.

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