Please read my newest on Truthout: Lifting Up Community Voices to Tackle Injustice. It begins:
“Lillie A. Estes calls herself a “community strategist.” Others see her as a force of nature. She has lived in Richmond, Virginia, for 35 years, where she builds and develops innovative alliances between organizations and people. Estes is well-known and respected both in the public housing project where she lives and by many public officials in Richmond. She has been a pioneer in race reconciliation work in the heart of the Confederacy, and is on what she calls a “spiritual journey” to improve her community. This began with her first efforts as a high school student in Newport News, Virginia, and as an active member of the NAACP Youth Council.
In an interview, Estes told Truthout the question she asks in all of her work: “How do you build a platform that allows the adversely impacted community members to step into their power?”
At a time when many are feeling defeated as they try to fight against a racist and non-responsive government, many justice advocates around the country are asking this critical question. They recognize that nothing less than a total sea change in perspective will work: In order to create new policies and enhance community life, community justice organizers must turn to those most impacted. They must seek out community voices to truly improve their lives and the well-being of their communities.” MORE