With Memorial Day weekend officially behind us, we have a grand total of 13 remaining weekends of the “summer season” (solstice withstanding). I don’t know about you, but for me that fills my head with a multitude of “to-do’s.” Summer, while masquerading as the most laid back season, is actually the most active time for my family.
It’s easy to get swept away by all the opportunities that summer presents. We could spend our 13 weeks engaged in vacations, staycations, summer school, summer camp, family gatherings, festivals, porch parties, seafood platters, and bushels of North Carolina peaches. I would love to indulge in any or all of these activities all summer long, but when I take a look at what is currently happening across the state, I realize that this summer is a summer to embody our state’s creed: “to be rather than to seem.”
This summer we invite you to get active with us, to be with us as we work to ensure that our state is the best example of democracy and equality and that as citizens we are shaping the future with our intentional and strategic engagement. We need to start acting instead of reacting.
Let’s give “get active” a whole new meaning this summer.
Write, email, and visit your state elected officials to express your concern about Senate Bill 873. This bill claims to make public higher education more affordable, but would actually bankrupt several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the University of North Carolina – Pembroke. Many of these schools do not have large endowments or wealthy alumni. While it is important to ensure the higher education is financially accessible for students, it is equally important to ensure that these institutions remain viable for generations to come.
Meet with your county or city manager to get a better understanding of the local impact of the newly proposed budget. Will local services be cut? Will your school district be impacted?
School may be over but learning never stops. Create an active learning environment for your family and friends. North Carolina has an abundance of culturally and socially important sites:
- The aSHEville Museum – Asheville, NC
- The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – Washington, NC
- The George Black House and Brickyard – Winston Salem, NC
Exercise your right as a citizen and fully engage in the election process. Study the candidates and understand their positions on the issues that affect you and your family.
And finally — get active in the great outdoors. Our state is beautiful!
- Plant a community garden
- Help build a play area in a local park
- Teach a young person to ride a bike or swim
- Rock on a porch with an elder
All of these small acts increase our social capital, expand our heart spaces, and ensure we are proper guardians of this world we’ll pass down to our children.
Let us make the summer of 2016 the most active summer ever. Every day counts!