Happy National Poetry Month!
CFLeads is pleased to celebrate National Poetry Month by sharing some of our favorite poems. CFLeads embraces poetry and uses it throughout our programming because we believe it helps us all acknowledge our humanity and connect us to our communities.
In 2020, we sought out Emmy nominated poet, Christian Paige, to write a poem that encapsulated the experiences of community foundations participating in our Economic Mobility Action Network (EMAN). Featured below, the poem speaks to how community foundations serve their residents through love, compassion, and purpose.
About Christian Paige
Christian Paige is an Emmy nominated poet, passionate keynote speaker, and an equity consultant who ignites scholars and leaders to use their voices powerfully. Paige is an unapologetic truth-teller who uses his artistic expression to empower individuals and communities. He has devoted himself to being an active voice in the world of Equity and Inclusion as well as helping youth see themselves as visionaries and leaders.
Paige lives by the words of the famous poet Maya Angelou, “They will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
About Economic Mobility Action Network
The Economic Mobility Action Network (EMAN) is a two-year pilot made up of six community foundation teams coming together to further an economic mobility agenda for their communities. Launched in Spring 2020, EMAN is specifically focused on improving the economic circumstances of low-income families and addressing racial disparities.
The community foundations that make up this pilot Network are:
- Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
- Foundation for Louisiana
- Greater Cincinnati Foundation
- The Chicago Community Trust
- San Francisco Foundation
- Southwest Initiative Foundation
EMAN is managed by CFLeads and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with additional support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Below are four poems selected by CFLeads staff that we would like to uplift this month. We believe these poems speak to the urgency of racial reckoning and hope:
- The Gates of Hope by Victoria Safford
- A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay
- Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
- In Those Years by Adrienne Rich