Take responsibility and promote

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 7, 2005

change in Selma

This week, a group of eight young adults from around the world visited Selma as part of a 13-city tour. Selma was on the list of stops with cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Fort Meyers, Fla., and Boston.

These young people are part of ACTION, an organization affiliated with Initiatives of Change. There goal is “mobilizing a network of tomorrow’s leaders: change-makers equipped with integrity, faith and understanding and inspired to bring transformation, healing and hope to America and the world.”

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Team members hail from Argentina, Kenya, Pakistan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Moldova, India and Ukraine.

If Selma seems like an unlikely stop when put next to some of the other cities, a team leader explained that Selma, too, is considered a global city.

Unfortunately, there’s something else Selma has in common with larger, metropolitan areas like Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. That’s an element of crime.

True, you’d find that element in any city, even a quaint, slow Southern city like Selma. But, we’ve experienced more than our share lately. With two unsolved murders occurring just two weeks ago, and three other shootings in the past week and a half, violent crime seems to be on the increase.

It’s unfortunate that these incidents occurred while we were having a visit from a group dedicated to conflict resolution and social responsibility.

Or maybe we should take their visit as inspiration to ask ourselves, “What kind of Selma do we want?” and then work to make that happen.

Burying our heads in the sand and pretending we don’t have crime or that it only happens in certain neighborhoods won’t make it go away.