December 19, 2020

Daniel R.

Family portrait on a wooden bench.

Daniel R.

Chaska, MN

Why I joined ARCC?

I was fourteen during the summer of 1964 when I learned on the radio of civil rights workers gone missing In Mississippi and finally of their being found murdered. That opened my eyes to the plight of blacks to the plight of blacks all over the south for the rights I took granted and the work being done and the risks taken. I was raised by a woman that exuded boundless love with no hint that that love didn’t extend to anyone and everyone regardless of skin color, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin, whatever. Likely because of her my heart went out to anyone who suffered because of hate or neglect. My personality came to require that I find work that was a contribution to a cause bigger than myself. For me that meant being a teacher and working to help young people grow to find fulfilling lives. The student who had more difficulty for whatever reason whether it was class work or socially fitting in drew my compassion to try make things better for them. I grew up not fitting in well, lacking confidence, feeling awkward and different. When I sensed difficulty in a child, any source of hurt, I wanted to help make it better. When a child felt better, I felt better. This became a source of fulfillment and my reason to work hard to be a good teacher and also to pass on to young people the wonderful source of fulfillment that comes from helping others. I now have African American grandsons and an immense concern for their happiness. I am ever so sensitive to what might cause them pain or cause pain for their African father. I am caught up in this challenge to make the world better including to help fight racism. I so much appreciate the efforts of ARCC and Donzel and Tracy Leggett.