The initial Race, Religion, and Social Justice Conference brought me considerable pleasure. The problem is selecting the most pleasurable moment! The Keynote Panel, Race Religion, and Social Justice: North Omaha Concerns, targeted a multi-diverse group of attendees, looked at the weaknesses and strengths of social justice in the North Omaha community. It was a joy to witness several attendees take the initiative to ask questions that could lead to collaboration among the groups this conference represented.
The questions were directed at each of the panel participants, Rev. Portia A. Cavitt,
Pastor of Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, Rev. Stan Rone, Pastor of 24th Street Church of God The Worship Center, and Rev. Kenneth A. Allen, Pastor of Zion Baptist Church. Their expertise in community engagement, healthcare initiatives, and collaboration within the North Omaha Community drew offers to help make a difference. Genuine interest and awareness were evident in the questions submitted by the conference attendees.
After talking with the panel participants, all were gratified to find that so many attendees received information about North Omaha that dispelled myths attendees later began with, “I thought that…”, or “I didn’t know that…” I watched as our panelists interacted attentively with professionals, academics, laypersons, and others, all of whom seemed to find significance in their presentations.
Now, after the dust has settled, comes the true test. Good intentions mean little if there are no positive outcomes to those good intentions. The promised collaborations made at the beginning of the day and nurtured throughout the conference day need to be fulfilled. Positive outreach results come only with hard work and genuine commitment to our desired social justice.