In times when I feel bad, I have to smile knowing what a difference “Justin’s Story” has made to people who did not even know him. We got this email a few weeks ago… Thank you Charlie for finding the words.
On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:29 AM, Charlie wrote:
Hi, my name is Charlie Campbell and I am currently a junior. This past winter, I had the privilege of going to Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC.) It was there, in Washington D.C., where I heard and was moved by Justin’s story and dreams. When I got back to school. I was greeted with a “Changing The World” project, where each individual picks a controversial topic that they are passionate about, and writes two poems about the topic, and also makes two visual art pieces to go with these poems. At the conclusion of the project, everyone chooses a charity that focuses on their specific topic to donate their work to. Considering that SDLC was the biggest reason I chose equality, and how moved I was by Justin’s story in particular, I couldn’t think of a better place to donate my work than the organization named after Justin. Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Justin, but based off of what I’ve heard I think he would like my work, and I would be honored to give my work to his organization. So, if this is okay with whoever is reading this email (hopefully Mr. and Mrs. Carr themselves), then please email me back!
From: Susan Carr [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2014 3:46 PM
To: Campbell, Charles
Subject: Re: SDLC
Charles, we are honored that you want to donate your work to help us realize Justin’s dream for World Peace. This is one way that Justin will live through all of us. Thank you for taking the time to keep Justin’s vision moving across the world.
In Peace and Love,
Susan Carr aka Justin’s Mom forever
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Carr,
I can only imagine how hard it is to come speak in front of thousands of people about your son, but I wanted to make sure you both know that it IS making a difference. No matter how hard it is, you can’t stop, because you’re making a positive impact on people everywhere, including me. Again, I never had the honor of knowing your son, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he is smiling down on you both from a better place, and he is proud of everything you’re doing in his name.
Thank you so much,
We Are All Purple People
I hand my five year old a box of crayons,
And an off-white sheet of parchment paper.
Expecting him to draw some silly clowns,
Or perhaps a mighty sword and saber.
As I stand above him he begins to draw,
Deciding the purple marker to withdraw.
It’s wax strikes back an forth like a saw.
At his color choice I am stricken with awe.
Figures soon come to life across the page,
Holding hands, purple hands.
People drawn of all shapes and age,
Tightly gripped, together they stand.
“Why not use brown,
I ask, confused at this single colored sight.
He turns and says, “We all kinda look the same,
Depending on the light.”
Could it be that my toddler had shed new light?
I thought about what he said and gained a new insight,
We’re all purple people and maybe if we unite,
We could finally see what’s wrong and make it right.
We wouldn’t know the true beauty of a fresh cut rose.
We wouldn’t know how to enjoy our favorite comfort foods.
We couldn’t feel a mother’s comforting embrace.
We couldn’t hear children blissfully playing in a sandbox.
Each of these a sensory hindrance
Absence of last bears no such penitence
We see no skin color, no distinction of hue,
We see no size or shape in people’s features.
We see no physical difference between me and you,
Only darkness, a humbling teacher.
In the absence of light,
We have no capability for prejudice.
For in the absence of sight
Comes tumbling down a looming racial edifice.
With honest intent and peace of mind,
I often feel we’re better off blind.