When I ran into Marsha Rummel the other day she was pretty psyched about the new Urban League Center that just opened on Park St. For those of you who don’t know, the UL is a national organization that was founded as an advocacy group for black Americans but today offers a variety of job-training services to low-income people in communities all over the country. And apparently Mayor Dave is pumped too:
It was appropriate to have this event during Black History Month because there is no more American story than the story of African Americans. We think of ourselves as a nation where anybody who works hard and plays by the rules can get ahead. Well, African Americans worked hard and played by the rules only to find that they needed to work harder and play by more rules than anyone else. But theirs is a story of persistence, and today an African American who worked hard is President of the United States.
The problem is that this is not nearly the end of the story. Barack Obama’s success is historic but it won’t be complete until everyone who works hard achieves the success they have earned. The Urban League recognizes that, and so its new home isn’t just about some beautiful bricks and mortar. It’s about belief in the community and commitment to the very American idea that our system can work. For a people who have been given so many reasons to believe otherwise, this is truly cause for celebration and hope.