Choosing to Dream Big

At Embrace we talk a lot about being dream releasers, inspiring our neighbors to imagine what their neighborhood can be; to see beyond the current, often dismal, reality to a new future that we can make together. Last week at our prayer time one of our neighborhood leaders, Richard, showed up with a four foot long roll of paper covered in sharpie titled “I can see . . “. As you can see in the picture, Richard dreams big. He dreams that we can make Brookland Park pedestrian friendly, with rental bicycles, golf carts and even rickshaws to move people up and down the street. He sees a place where the neighborhood can learn about sustainable energy and have an “Apollo of Achievement” to teach kids about robotics, chess and debate. He dreams of a shelter for girls, a place for senior adults to connect to each other, and stores from national retail chains. I love Richard’s vision because he chooses to dream big and ignore cynics who only imagine more of the same. It’s too easy to look at the Brookland Park corridor and see the empty barber shops, abandoned buildings and closed stores and imagine that it always has been, and always will be, this way. The cynics ignore the astounding potential and entrepreneurial spirit of Brookland Park’s people. We have neighbors who look at a store front and see a bustling restaurant or stand in front of the abandoned theater and imagine an arts center. Our neighbors look at a dilapidated house and see a tool to teach job skills. They are able to see beyond...

Dante

My name is Dante Ericka Johnson, and I am a College Sophomore at Spelman College. I am studying Political Science with the hopes of becoming a Lawyer. I love children, shopping, reading and volunteering in general. My hopes for this summer are to be a part of something that is bettering my community. I want to see the Brookland Park neighborhood come alive. This is also a chance for me to get out of my comfort...

Roger

This summer, Roger is excited about meeting new community members and introducing them to Embrace Richmond.  Roger is a member of this community, so he is hoping to develop stronger relationships with his neighbors. He is also looking forward to engaging in the community activities for the youth. Roger’s dream for the Brookland park neighborhood is that they have recovery programs made for those who are seeking a way out of addiction. Roger is so passionate about this, because he remembers a time when he was undisciplined and had a lack of effort to do anything positive without personal gain. He says that “God and his intervention allowed me to trudge through this slow process of change.” Roger recognizes that this transition has brought him a new sense of hope. He looks forward to giving instead of taking and adopting a servant...