Dear Young Professionals Community,
I have never been an avid magazine subscriber, but the Time Magazine Person of the Year is a feature I look forward to every year. I am intrigued not only by who is named for the coveted honor but also those under consideration. Often it is the runner-up that I find most captivating and this year was no exception. While the Ebola caregivers received the honor, it was the Ferguson Protesters who topped the list of others under consideration. For me what forever will unite these two 2014 moments in our history is how every day people stood up for what they believed in and made a difference.
The men and women who fought Ebola and those who protested in Ferguson are tragically connected. They are tied together not only by their shared moment in period current events, but their shared willingness to make a personal sacrifice for the greater good. The Ebola caregivers fought a life taking disease while Ferguson protesters decried the taking of a life. Ebola doctors and nurse were considered heroes until their efforts seemed like they may interfere (or even harm) the lives of everyday Americans. Ferguson protesters were considered brave until their rage spurred protest, die-ins and demonstrations in cities around the country. While many saw the images of victims of Ebola and were filled with sympathy. Others called for the borders to be closed to those who had fought the virus. Just as images of Ferguson moved some to travel to join the protest or launch local efforts. Others closed their personal border to the notion that the judicial system may not serve some as well as it serves others.
As we move into 2015 it is clear that the outrage and the cry for justice is just as fervent. I encourage each one of you to increase your participation as we as an affiliate and YP chapter take on issues of concern to our great city and nation. There has never been a more pivotal time to step off the sidelines. Help organize our annual State of Young Black New York, volunteer for our Annual Young Men and Women’s Empowerment Days, or help select the next class of Whitney M. Young Jr. Scholars. Make this year award winning by making an impact on others.