CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The year 2020 left an unforgettable mark on the world. From the impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic to the racial and social injustice that broke out here in the United States.
Despite so much grief and strife, there was a conscientiousness that came over people unlike we’ve seen before, leading many to ask the question of how do we move forward in 2021?“
But if a person doesn’t have the capacity to hear from their hearts, to hear from a space justice, or a space of compassion then there’s going be a deafness,” said Abdul’Haq Muhammed, Executive Director & Founder of the Quality Life Center Southwest Florida.
Some say we should do more listening than talking, and even argue that’s why we have 2 ears and one mouth. Abdul’Haq Muhammaed with the Quality Life Center of Southwest Florida says the time to start listening to one another is now.
“A great deal of analysis, people need to hear different viewpoints. Not only viewpoints from one side, but to hear others and to have a better dialogue and exchange for people to better understand each other,” said Muhammed.
Racial inequality is etched in the minds of many. For those on the opposite side of the fence, to finally understand what’s been going on within the black community for 400 + years, an open and candid conversation about race is needed.
“It’s important that people understand the genesis, the root cause of what we saw, that produced the protest that we saw last year. For people of color from a historical perspective this brings up some deep hurts of the deep south were not valued and respected,” said Muhammed.
This needed conversation lead Chantel Rhodes to co-found the Peaceful Protest of Lee County, to portray the protests seen around the country in a way that it couldn’t be undermined.“Fort Myers and Southwest Florida we brought it home. We showed up in our very own way.
A lot of people wanted to focus on the looting and the rioting that was taking place so that’s why we emphasized the peaceful protest because we wanted our message to be loud and clear without any barrier. Without any room for accusations, we wanted the message of Black Lives Matter to be very clear,” said Chantel Rhodes, Co-Founder Peaceful Protest of Lee County.
Based on some of the events of 2020, including the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Attorney Joe North says they've given us insight on what is happening in this country in terms of division, but also in efforts to try and change that, bringing everyone together.
North says the healing process for the nation starts with a simple task, of neighbors showing empathy towards one another.
“In other words putting ourselves in someone else shoes. Sograndchildrenren or grandchildren leave the house I can’t help but wonder, what’s going to happen to them when they are out and about? Whether it be, they are stopped by law interacting or just interacting with others. So I would ask others, are you concerned when you’re kids or grandkids leave the house? Do you have concerns about whether they are going to get back home safely? I think when you start to think about your own family, that can help you get with us, to create a better situation for everybody,” said Attorney Joe North, Owner, The North Law Firm P.A.