been lucky: Iíve gotten to experience and do a huge variety of
things that now give me skills, knowledge, insights, and ideas
for facing our common challenges.
know about struggle and poverty. My elementary-school days were
spent in one of the poorest, harshest city housing projects in
North America, in the north central district of Philadelphia. I
witnessed things, and experienced things, that still haunt me;
things that a child should never face. All of us there would
dream about leaving, about waking up in a better place and in a
better time. My family did leave: a city counselor convinced my
father to go back to school, learn a skill, get a job, and move
us out. And he did just that.
learned a lot through that life: I learned to love people
deeply, to appreciate everyone, to understand each person. I
learned about how we can work together to make change happen. I
learned that we can and must make choices in our lives; that we
can change our lives. I learned to not accept anything just
because it was the official belief or official statement: I
learned to inquire, probe, think, analyze, and then develop my
learned that helping someone get a roof is only the beginning,
and if we only help someone get a roof, it will not be enough.