Nov 1, 2017 – The Call - Dameun Strange
Salute the Sun
“Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun
Some take issue to me talking about my great grandmother in these letters but who are we if not products of our mentors, our mothers and fathers, teachers, religious leaders. For me, it was my great grandmother Alma Strange who taught me the value of service to my community. She took me with her to community meetings, board meetings, candidate forums, etc. Through it all, she never treated me like a child. At 5, I was expected to relay back to her what I heard at these meetings and if I didn’t understand something, I was expected to ask questions. For Alma Strange, understanding the issues affecting your community was a civic duty, helping to address these issues hands on was a civic duty, participating in our democracy and electing people who both understood community issues and would work alongside its residents was a civic duty. Service to community was paramount. Service to community is a value that I hold high.
NEMAA may be based in NE Mpls but our members are from and live all over the metro area and as far away as Ohio. You represent many communities and have the ability to impact your community is meaningful ways. Issues like housing, health, safety, poverty are issues that affect us all. Think about how we cultivate art as a value in our young people, it begins at home and is fortified through arts education. Does the candidate that you may consider value arts education in our public schools? Does the candidate that you may consider have a feasible, sustainable plan regarding affordable housing?
As a 501c3 nonprofit organization,NEMAA is not allowed to lobby or recommend or endorse candidates for elected office. But, we can encourage you to participate in this all important process. We not only encourage you to be active in our democracy, we invite you to learn about the candidates. We encourage you to ask questions and hold your representatives accountable.
It’s like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and All Star Weekend all rolled into one. It’s Give to the Max Day. This year that day is November 16th. On that day we look to you, our members to not only make a meaningful gift but to encourage your friends and loved ones to give. NEMAA has been growing over the past few years and this year through both the rebranding and strategic planning processes, we have heard from you, our community. We know that we can work smarter at being a service to our entire community. With that we rededicate ourselves to the segments of the community that often need more resources through the NEMAA NXT programming which includes workshops and classes specifically designed for the next generation of creatives in our community. By donating to NEMAA on Give to the Max Day. You will be supporting programming for High School age kids in our community, as well as art students and emerging artists. We are excited to unveil these programs in 2018, along with our new website and other fun surprises.
As always, we thank you for your support and look forward to our continued work together. Let us start by serving our communities in the most basic way we can: voting.
“Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the welder, the doctor, and the environmentalist — not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.” Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun