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26 years ago I was a high school senior at Roseville Area High School. I was a young aspiring leader in my school who established an after school affinity group called the Roseville Ethnic Alliance (REA), to help student of color like myself process through the inequalities, racism and lack of diversity in our school. I spearheaded an idea that empowered me, my peers and the school to explore topics of race, racism, and diversity. It was called the Cultural Diversity Day and it was an amazing and transformational day that allowed me to be the school principal for day. The lunch period was one of many highlights from the day we had the Grammy Award Winning group The Sounds of Blackness perform (which was about 2 hours). Which was provided by a private donor who gave the school a grant when they heard about the day. I had the idea of the group performing for the day but did not realize that the members of the group all had full time jobs. In order to get the members to come we had to pay them. I recall not know how we could get them, I just remember being very passionate about getting them to come and perform. Some how my passion was communicated to this private donor. Who knows, maybe I communicated to the donor and did know it. When I first presented the idea to the planning team of adults the response was we don't have the budget for that. I held on. At the conclusion of one of our planning meetings a recall walking out the doors and hearing one of the adults saying, "maybe we can get a grant to secure the group." It is my belief that one of those adults wrote a grant to secure the Sounds of Blackness.
About two months before the Diversity Day one of the adults puled me to the side and said the Sounds of Blackness will be coming for the Diversity Day. I immediately thanked God and then asked, how? The staff said we received a grant from a individual who requested to remain anonymous. I then asked the question what is a grant? and so began my journey into the world of grants, ideas and doing good.