Cicely Tyson said, “I feel so guilty about the state of young people today. And I say that because our generation fought for everything. We fought to sit down at a counter, to sit on a bus. They were left with nothing to fight for.” Ms. Tyson, rest her soul, does not have to feel guilty any longer. Sadly, young people today have their hands just as full as our ancestors had fighting for social justice in the 1950s and 1960s. Prejudice, racial and social injustice are just as much alive today as back then. The civil unrest we have experienced over the past several months has been compounded by the effects of the pandemic. In 2020, racism got louder. But so did Black voices. One such voice was that of youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman, the first youth poet to recite at a Presidential Inauguration. A voice that will echo throughout time and history.
Forgiving For Living, Inc., is a non-profit organization that has been a staple in the community for over two decades. We are committed to the Amanda Gorman’s of the world; showing them they have a voice, that they are worth fighting for and investing in.
We also think that it is important to equip them with knowledge and information to give them the necessary tools to navigate this time in history. On Saturday, January 30, 2021, we held our 9th annual “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Conference” for young ladies between 10-18 years of age. This year, however, in light of the pandemic, the event was held virtually – for the first time ever. Community leaders came together to share their expertise to empower our girls and help them believe in the power of possibilities. Speakers covered familiar topics such as financial literacy, understanding the power of possibilities and making healthy choices. This year, with the fallout of the pandemic, there was also a focus on navigating COVID-19 in 2021 and pursuing healthy relationships.
This year’s conference was provided at no cost, thanks to the support of Comerica Bank and The California Wellness Foundation. “Comerica Bank was proud to support Forgiving For Living Inc. and its commitment to empowering young girls through innovative programming that addresses identified needs in LMI communities. Wendy and her team took a comprehensive approach that created a positive impact in every element of a young girl’s life through financial education, behavioral and mental health. With partners like Forgiving For Living Inc., we can continue our efforts to improve gender equality and economic access for marginalized individuals,” said David C. Betancourt, External Affairs Market Manager Southern California, Comerica Bank.
Tanness, one of the conference attendees said afterwards, “the Forgiving For Living conference meant so much to me. I am grateful for the information I received, but most of all the conference projected love, resiliency and strength in my eyes.” We are grateful and thankful to Dr. Lauren Walton, vice president of Forgiving For Living, Inc., Jennifer Smith, MFT from Positive Results Center, Inc., Brittani Johnson, youth coordinator from FCI, Inc., Attorney Charlene L. Usher from Usher Law Group, P.C. and Lucy Babiryan, VP Small Business Banking Specialist from Comerica Bank. We believe together we can help build a better community and a better future.
To learn more about the work of Forgiving for Living, Inc. or to donate, please visit www.forgivingforliving.org.