Thankfully today has been a day that many of us can proclaim that we are proud to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, including our country. President Obama's inauguration speech caused us to pause, reflect, re-commit and dedicate ourselves to the common good.
This is also a day to remember those who have displayed courage in the face of oppression and great opposition - and while I could recall historic moments and defining characters, all that has meaning to me is those who have personally touch my life.
Clyde Cunningham's family was the first African-Americans to live on the block. Clyde was straight forward, kind, gentle, at times unsure, and always a friend.
Dick Davis, from Compton "crime capital of the world" he always said, taught me that different backgrounds, families and cultures meant nothing when as teenage
professional baseball players we talked about the fear of failure and the expectations to excel.
John Shumate, former Notre Dame and Phoenix Sun star, came to Grand Canyon University as its first African-American coach and in spite of outright racism thrust his way, he stayed true to himself and his players. He taught us all that courage means being honest.
Leighten McCray, the next African-American basketball coach at GCU, taught me that taking risk on your players entrusted them to their own obligations.
Dr. Barbara Dickerson continues to hold education as the most meaningful way to teach us to love one another in a common goal.
Janet Beason and John Saunders have taught me that the Church is the place where we gather to worship the God who loves us as one.
Judith Conley has taught me it takes continued courage in the twenty-first century because, sadly, racism still exists in our world, country, state and town. She and her husband are truly strong and inspiring people.
Mr. President you have my daily prayers, support and admiration. May God be Present to you in a way that you know God's power throughout each day. Thank you for your courage and inspiration.