Students Collect Food for Peacemakers Freedom School

20150507_162701Nash Community College student clubs recently led a food drive competition to collect snack foods for Peacemakers’ Freedom School. The Math and Science Club won the competition collecting the most food.

Peacemakers is a community development organization serving the under-resourced area of South Rocky Mount to empower members of the community with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives.

Freedom School is an eight-week, full-time summer enrichment program that helps children with reading, strives to increase their self-esteem, and has been shown to generate positive attitudes toward learning. Children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.

Approximately 110 school-age children will benefit from Freedom School in  South Rocky Mount this summer. Food collected by Nash Community College students will be utilized for snacks twice each day for Freedom School participants. Pictured from left, Nash Community College Senior Director of Marketing and Communication and Peacemakers Board Member, Kelley Deal, and Peacemakers Executive Director Jesse Lewis.


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Intentional Relationships

o-RACISM-HANDS-facebookEvery day there is a new racially-charged incident making news. And for every incident, there are very predictable outcries of injustice, and equally predictable counter outcries in denunciation of what is seen as liberal propaganda. And the only thing that seems to be changing is the level of vitriol.

But racism is sin. Injustice is sin. And as Christians, we have to lead the way in dealing with it head-on. To do that, we have to be willing to hear a different perspective.

Consider the possibility that a lot of what we would typically label racism, on all sides, may come from a lack of understanding. We don’t comprehend or understand another person’s perspective, so we tend to misinterpret it. I firmly believe that most of our local racial tension would dissipate if we made an intentional effort to form real relationships across racial lines. I know that my own perspective on a lot of things related to race and poverty has changed dramatically over the last seven years, and it is because of the ongoing relationships that I have with people that have walked in a different place than I have.

I will readily admit that it is much easier to stand at a distance and make sweeping judgments about people than it is to invest the time in building deep relationships. But if we are going to accurately represent Christ, we don’t have an option.
The racial divide that we have in our community is a huge problem that holds us back in so many ways. But it is also a huge opportunity for the church to demonstrate that life in Christ can look so much different and be so much richer.

If we are going to do so, it has to mean more than having a joint worship service – although those are good. It has to mean that our relationships, our deepest friendships, have to look different and be different – we have to be willing to take the risk of crossing racial and economic lines. The kinds of things we work for and advocate for have to be different. The way we talk about people of other ethnicities has to be different. The jokes that we laugh at or tolerate have to be different.
That’s what being salt and light looks like. That’s what being the body of Christ looks like.

Change can come to this city. But I don’t believe it is going to come with some big racial reconciliation event that is on the front page of the paper. It’s going to come by sitting down over a cup of coffee and really listening to a perspective that is different than mine, and grilling out in the backyard with someone my neighbors might not like, and being intentional about the way we live our lives, one relationship at a time.

Jesse Lewis
Executive Director

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Peacemakers to Hold Black History Month Celebration

On Saturday, February 7 from 6:00pm-8:00pm, Peacemakers will host HEROES: A Celebration of African-American Heroes. The event will feature an African-American History Museum, a scavenger hunt game for kids, great food, music, and guest speaker David Joyner, Gateway Centre Complex Marketing Director/Event Operations Manager, will share remarks. The community is invited to attend the free event being held at Peacemakers located at 1725 Davis Street in Rocky Mount.

At HEROES, Rocky Mount area residents will celebrate February as Black History Month, highlighting remarkable African-American leaders throughout history, and focusing on the positive impact of past and present heroes and visionaries. Activities are planned for people of all ages to celebrate their dreams, successes, identity and self-awareness.

“Anytime we can move a person in the direction of becoming who God intends for them to be, we should. And having a right view of self is a big part of that,” Peacemakers Executive Director Jesse Lewis said. “Peacemakers looks forward to hosting this community celebration that will hopefully plant seeds of inspiration in the hearts of all who attend.”

Peacemakers as an organization strives to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in such a way that it results ultimately in the complete transformation of the community and its people. Peacemakers is a Christian organization based in south Rocky Mount and does not deny services on the basis of religion or any other demographic criteria.  For more information emailinfo@rockymountpeacemakers.org, call 252-212-5044 or visit www.rockymountpeacemakers.org.

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