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A Day of Bravery - by Ajay Lawson

posted Jan 23, 2013, 2:12 PM by Julio Zaldivar   [ updated Jan 23, 2013, 2:12 PM by Julio Zaldivar ]
At 5:00 a.m., I was rolling out of bed and by 6 a.m. I was in the lobby of the hotel with the fellow members of the President’s Youth Council. By 7:00 a.m. we were at The California Endowment headquarters watching the Inauguration of President Obama on the news. During the Inauguration they showed the MLK Memorial, and it was at that moment I knew today was a day of special history because today we were honoring the bravery of both Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama; and today we at the #DreamBrave Summit were taking a stand for a world that is braver.
For the first part of the day, youth from all of the Building Healthy Communities sites gathered for Lady Gaga’s Born Brave Bus Tour. Inside the bus there were art and stories from youth all over the nation showing their love for Lady Gaga and sharing their struggles and bravery with everyone. The day continued with the live-streamed #DreamBrave Youth Summit as we all filled one giant conference room filled with cameras. Dr.Ross, The California Endowment's president and CEO, was the first to go up and speak followed by Cynthia Germanotta who co-founded The Born This Way Foundation with her daughter, Lady Gaga; Jessica, who is one of the many youth from the summit, went up and spoke about why she joined and why she was here; and finally Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s business manager, transitioned us into our Action Teams: Social Media, March Prep, and Love/Dream Letters. The Social Media team focused on making sure that the world was tweeting, March Prep made the signs and our chants, and finally the Love/Dream Letters wrote letters of love to different youth sending words of acceptance, bravery, and kindness. As the youth wrapped up their group work and lunch, we hit the streets. Marchers chanted with their signs held high, supporters drove by honking their support; we were in strong spirits the whole way to the Staples Center where we would see Lady Gaga perform.
It was one day, but on this one day I made fantastic friends, learned about the other Building Healthy Communities sites, and stood for a message I truly believe in: A braver, kinder, more accepting world where we are valued for our differences. MLK day was not a day off, it was a day of bravery!
This is a repost of Ajay's blog on Calendow.org. Ajay is a youth member of our Building Healthy Communities P