Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Niece After My Own Heart

My niece Sabina, already a seasoned activist at 18 years of age, just returned from her "alternative Spring Break" trip to the Dominican Republic under the auspices of Tufts University. Calling from the Atlanta airport on her way home to Boston, she breathlessly expounded to me the eye-opening experience which she had just undergone. Dispensing medications to isolated rural villages, her group targeted Haitian refugees living in substandard conditions, often without access to medical care and proper sanitation. Having done similar work myself in an impoverished region of rural Jamaica, I can fully relate to the transforming power of such an experience, as well as the challenge of reintegrating back into the "normal" day to day life which you may now seem to have outgrown.

With sights set on social justice, activism, community organizing, and a Masters in Public Health, this young woman is poised to change the world, along with many of her peers. I am in awe how such a young person can accomplish so much, seemingly burning her wick at three ends, balancing school, activism, and speaking engagements at colleges and universities around the country. Just recently, she succeeded in helping to organize a protest in New York City to underscore the economic support which China is providing to the Sudanese government vis-a-vis the on-going genocide in Darfur.

An enormous phalanx of spirited young activists are poised to take the world by storm, and I am inspired and proud, happy to stand at their side. Hope is certainly a thing with wings, and this young woman who I love has wings powerful enough to lift us all.
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