Our Mentor, Teacher, and Friend

One Tuesday night at 7:10 PM my 5yr old asked, “Mommy, may I call Ms. Suzann?”

Looking at the clock and noting the time, I responded, “Sure. You can try to call her, but she may already be in bed.”

Running to get himself ready for bed, Charlie yelled from his room, “Tell me when you’re ready.” (He needed me to enter Suzann’s phone number.)

I told him I was ready, and he appeared immediately, wearing only his pajama bottoms. Smiling, I dialed the number for him. As I handed him the phone I reminded him, “Please don’t get upset if she doesn’t answer. Just leave her a message. You’ll see her in the morning.” He took the phone, pressing it against his ear, and walked away. Read more

Interrupted with hope

UPDATE: Tonight, February 14th, Frontline (on your local PBS station) is airing a special about ‘The Interrupters’. I hope you’ll watch it or record it to watch later.

One night, while driving in my car, I tuned into National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. Terry Gross was interviewing Steve James and Ameena Matthews about the documentary film titled “The Interrupters”.

Directed and photographed by Steve James, and produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James, “the documentary tells the moving and surprising story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. These “violence interrupters” (their job title) – who have credibility on the street because of their own personal histories – intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. Their work and their insights are informed by their own journeys, which, as each of them point out, defy easy characterization.” [The Interrupters’ Press Kit.]

Though I heard this particular radio program days ago, the story is in my heart and on my mind. Read more