I applaud everyone who was nominated for their work, their effort, and their steadfastness. I know it's not easy to be a community leader. I work full time, I have two businesses, I'm also a wife and a mother, and I commit the time that I do because I love my community and I see the possibilities and what could be. I do see what is, but I also see what could be. And I have an expectation, not only for myself but for my community and my children, that they should be able to grow up in a community that has the resources for everyone, regardless of their race, religion, socioeconomic background, and that we all have an opportunity to thrive.
I think that's what the American dream is about, and your definition of thriving and my definition of thriving may not look alike in terms of how it manifests, but we all desire that at the core of our hearts. We want to see people be their best selves, because when people are their best selves, our communities are the best that they can be. They have the opportunity to raise leaders, they have the opportunity to nurture and educate children in a way to be productive members of society, and they also have a way to embrace and care for those who can't care for themselves.
— Naima Jefferson
Nominated by Paula Edwards:
Mrs. Naima Jefferson has worked to keep our community together throughout the pandemic. She has organized contributions to our local food bank, a special dinner for first responders, the printing of absentee ballot request forms… supporting our local school’s anti-racism campaign, and organizing support for the new state of the art shelter for people experiencing homelessness… I believe that she typifies the kind of down to earth, everyday leadership that our communities need in these dark times.
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