Sistah Joy's article & ccrresponding poem (both posted below) about the Envision Prince George's intiative, the Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting, and her poem, "What Will It Be?"
Many of you who are long time friends and fellow artists know of my work as a poet and literary activist. It is in that spirit that I am sharing this note and the corresponding poem.
On Saturday, March 20, 2010, I presented the poem, “What Will It Be?” at the Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting, a gathering of over 1000 Prince Georgians. I initially became involved in the Envision Prince George's initiative last fall, three years after opting for an early retirement from Federal service, when I was selected to serve as one of 22 Envision Prince George’s Ambassadors. Our primary role as ambassadors is that of spokespersons informing citizens, businesses and organizations across the county about the Envision Prince George's initiative. We have been tasked with reaching out and contacting our fellow Prince Georgians to become involved and connected with the initiative. Envision Prince George’s is essentially a "call to action" for citizens/stakeholders of Prince George's County to help shape the vision, goals and strategies that will guide Prince George's County now and into the future. For more information about Envision Prince George's, you can visit http://envisionprincegeorges.org/blog/21st-century-town-meeting-liveblog/">http://envisionprincegeorges.org/blog/21st-century-town-meeting-liveblog/" href="http://envisionprincegeorges.org/blog/21st-century-town-meeting-liveblog/">http://envisionprincegeorges.org/blog/21st-century-town-meeting-liveblog/
About two weeks ago the event organizers requested my help in securing a "spoken word artist" for the event. Although I was already involved and scheduled to serve as a facilitator for the Town Meeting, I volunteered to present a poem for the occasion. On this past Saturday, I presented my poem, What Will It Be?, Although the poem was written specifically for the Envision Prince George’s 21st Century Town Meeting, I believe the message of this poem is applicable to many of the challenges that we face locally, nationally, and indeed, globally. A copy of the poem, which was well received at the Town Meeting, is attached.
I hope you will join with the thousands of Prince Georgians working to bring positive change to our county through the Envision Prince George’s initiative. Together we can develop and implement a vision for Prince George’s County with a vibrant economy and high quality of life for all. For friends beyond the county line, I hope you will be inspired to find ways that you can be part of the ever growing movement to improve our communities and our society at large. It truly is our time to make positive change in the world.
In service to my community,
Joy Alford (a.k.a. “Sistah Joy”)
Poet & Envision Prince George’s Ambassador
*The event, Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting, was the largest galvanized group (ever, in the history of the county) of Prince George's County citizens/stakeholders dedicated to setting a vision and prioritizing goals for the future of the county.
By J. Joy “Sistah Joy” Matthews Alford
What Will It Be
And what will it be
That brings dreams to life
That sets visions ablaze
In the minds eye
Of would be champions
Who dare to do new things
Based, not on charted paths
But boldness of spirit
Quests for the best
With tests of integrity
Challenging every step of the way
What will it be
That breaks the mold
Of the old ways and views
That sees the need for something new
Takes hold of reality
Unleashing the power of possibility
Based on shifted and lifted expectations
Are we willing to do the work
Required for success
Knowing nothing less will do?
What passions would be awakened by purpose
Previously deaf due to circumstance
There will always be voices that say this is not the way
But will you stay the course
Commit your life force to what you know is true
A new tomorrow
One that inspires, uplifts and unshackles
Could be the prize
Let us dance to this new song
The very thing we have longed for
Calls us to raise more than our voices
New choices will make the difference
Fate, that arbiter of tomorrow
No longer simply awaits our reply
But dictates that we feel the urgency
See the immediacy of need
Will we heed her call?
We have a choice
Today as we stand poised at destiny’s door
The question remains
What will it be?