An invitation with a critical purpose

Published 10:34pm Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Invitations are powerful. Specific invitations are more powerful. Invitations for critical purposes are extremely powerful. I want to extend to you a special invitation, but I want to put it into context.

People tell me all the time to come visit. That’s an invitation I appreciate, but I rarely “come visit.” Sometimes they say “come by anytime,” and I am touched, but I rarely go. The invitation is not specific. Therefore, I will not extend to you a come anytime invitation.

When people personally invite me to a specific program at a specific time and a specific place, I feel the power of the invitation. I try to go and often succeed. Therefore, I am personally and specifically inviting you to come to the Ralph David Abernathy Auditorium at Alabama State University on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. I will explain the date, time and place a little later in this Sketches.

When people personally invite me to something that I perceive is very important to them, I make more of an effort to go and usually succeed. So, I invite you and tell you that your coming to Alabama State University on Saturday, June 30 at 9 a.m. is very important to me. I will tell you why a little later in this Sketches.

When people invite me to something that is important to the community as well as to them, I try even harder and I nearly always succeed in going even if I have to shift other things around. Please know that the event to which I am personally inviting you at Alabama State University, on Saturday, June 30, is very important to the community as well as to me.

When people invite me to an event that impacts our present, our future and more importantly, the future of our children and our children’s children, I move any obstacle, climb any mountain, cross any sea and negotiate any desert, to make that event. I personally invite you to this event which is not just important, but critical, to our future, and to the future, our children’s future and our children’s children.

I personally invite you to the Save Ourselves Summit (SOS) in Montgomery at Alabama State University at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 30. If you are a leader – leader in a family, in an organization, in your community, in a church, in a school, or if you just lead yourself – then it’s critical that you join hundreds of us at the Save Ourselves Summit because no one is going to save us but us.

I do not invite you to listen and learn. I invite you to participate and plan. I invite you to unite and fight. I invite us to bond your strength with our strength so we can lift ourselves and others as we hold back the tide of threatening events.

I am deeply concerned. I grew up in the forties and fifties. I struggled in the sixties and seventies. I know the absence of freedom. I know the threats to freedom. I recognize the pattern of freedom taking. I see it in the many methods limiting voting rights. I see it in the many methods limiting worker rights. I see it in the many methods diminishing public education. I see it in the many manifestations of immigration bills and laws across the country. I see it in so many happenings and on so many fronts. You must see it as well even if you don’t fully recognize the growing patterns.

So many Whites as well as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc., have brought down and been kept down by divide and conquer strategies and tactics. This summit strives for the improbable: to unite across lines of apparent differences such as race, age, gender, class, status, backgrounds, etc. We cannot be held down if we unite. We cannot be oppressed if we unite. We cannot be taken back if we unite across our differences and around our interests. As the saying goes, “A people united can never be defeated.”

The Summit is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., including a luncheon without cost to participants, because it takes time to bond, to understand and to forge commitments. It’s in Montgomery because it’s near the center of the state. It’s at this university so all can feel free to come and participate.

I humbly believe that few moments in the last 45 years in Alabama have been more important for our present and future than this Save Ourselves Summit. It is important to me, very important to our communities and extremely important to our future. I believe it is very important for you so I personally invite you. Please come.

EPILOGUE – There is an old saying: “It is not what you do but how you do it.” Therefore, I have invited people to the Save Ourselves Summit by letter, by radio ad, by radio program, by speeches and by Sketches. Sketches is by far the most-layered invitation. I hope at least one approach is the right way to invite you.

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