It’s a community affair
Nelson Johnson believes that building a better community starts with our children
As executive director of the Beloved Community Center (BCC) in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Reverend Nelson Johnson engages the community in racial reconciliation, cross-cultural dialogue and practical approaches to collectively help vulnerable children and others in need. Even the homeless clients BCC serves are viewed as “neighbors” with an equal stake in BCC’s success. These neighbors cultivate and grow the fruits and vegetable in the community garden that provides the food used to feed the area’s homeless population.
But nowhere is community support and shared responsibility more important than when it comes to the kids of Greensboro. “Children are basic to any society,” explains Rev. Johnson, “and when children are hurt and hurting…I think it raises, perhaps, the most important question for any society.” That’s why when Rev. Johnson and BCC recently worked with a little eight-year-old homeless girl, they focused on pooling community resources together to provide not just a meal, but health care, a stable home, education, and opportunity to participate in church choir and other community activities.
Filled with emotion, Rev. Johnson recalls this little girl’s transformation: “To see her so excited about being in a community where she is loved and nurtured is very, very inspiring.”