by LaMetta Davis
Remember Felicia Lance with smiles for all the joy through all the years. She came to Put People First! PA’s Leadership Institute and the Membership Assembly last year. She was about to become a regular member. I bless the memories within my heart because I can’t see or hear her. I know she is nere though. She parted this Earth, but she will forever be in my heart.
by Ben Fiorillo
Willie Handley was a beloved member of our PPF-PA family. He made you feel good when you talked to him; like you were right where you were supposed to be. Willie was an elder who chose to be hopeful, when he could have been cynical. He was a teacher who used his own experiences of racism and poverty to help us understand history and shed new light on our struggle today. Willie moved us, with a gentle spirit and fierce words. The following is an excerpt from a speech he gave last year:
“Most people today in this society, in the information age, don’t have no feelings. I don’t want you to leave here unless you feel me. If you feel what I feel, then you’ll be able to pass it on to someone else…Dr. King was talking about 40 million poor people in America. Right now, we have possibly 140 million poor people in America today. The bad part of that, they don’t know they’re poor. Our job is to bring them into the leadership here…With Artificial Intelligence there’ll be 240 million people by 2040 out of a job. Unless we change some things there’s not gonna be no jobs for America’s poor people. There’ll be no white jobs, no Black jobs…I have a dream that I want 5 million people, and we’re gonna go to Washington and shut it down. Once we shut it down, no one is going to be able to move. They gonna call Reverend Barber, they gonna call the people in the different organizations. They gonna ask them what they need… I want you to be able to go out here and next time I see, my question is to you, have you recruited anybody for the march? Every one of you is a soldier and we need more soldiers like you.”- Willie Handley
This content originally appeared in Put People First! PA’s semi-annual newsletter, The Keystone. The Keystone is a great introduction to Put People First! PA, our work, and our community. It’s all written by our members for our own communication and education, and for supporters and new relationships to get to know us better. Each issue features reports from our work, news about our victories, stories about the health care system and the other issues affecting our communities, and poetry and artwork. Check out past and present editions here: Newsletter Archive.