Milagro Jones, an AmeriCorps member with Public Allies Milwaukee, is serving the homeless community with Project Homeless Connect — the same organization that helped him when he was a homeless and “invisible” youth in the city. Below are Milagro’s reflections — in his own words — on what it means to #ImagineJustice.
Labels such as race and gender will not define us, nor be used to measure our ability, judge our value, or calculate our worth. None of these labels define us as what we are, which is human.
The color of my skin will not predispose what geographical location I live in, nor which economic class I will be relegated to.
I imagine a world where the resources of the earth are no longer pillaged and raped, but instead conserved for the sake of harmony between the earth and its inhabitants. I imagine a world united and no longer fractured by wars of greed and envy.
I imagine a day when honesty is appreciated instead of silenced.
In a just and equitable society every little boy and girl can come home to love, food, water, clean clothes, hygiene products, and security. Everyone in America should have a safe place to live. Too many children come home to violence, alcohol, drugs, hunger, neglect, molestation, or rape. The children that runaway are often the victim of worse experiences on the streets than what they experienced within the walls of their broken homes.
It is only now that I am an adult and have found AmeriCorps that for the first time in my life I have a safe stable environment to call home. I don’t want my daughter to have to deal with the housing insecurity and fear of coming home that I had to face as an obstacle to my achievement.
In a just and equitable society the mental and physical health of the people is comprehensively taken care of. Drugs are good for those that need them as treatment or medicine. However in a just and equitable society a child shouldn’t have to come home to see drugs and alcohol being abused in the home by the family.
Yet, when I try to picture a just and equitable society, my imagination is pierced with the sorrow of reality. Mankind is unjust and the quality of life one receives here on earth is unequal. The most one can do is accept his or her lot, enjoy his or her toil, seek wisdom, and in moderation enjoy his or her own self indulgences.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a Public Ally and learn how to apply the values of the program in my community, city, and world. I truly will make a difference in the lives of others and continue to better my own life.
However I have no illusions as to the state of the world we are living in, and I will not waste time with any idealistic visions of reality. The only thing that is changing is the seasons and once you figure out the pattern you realize that those, too, stay the same.
Before we can imagine the justice and equality of the future we must address the injustices and inequalities of the present.
— Milagro Jones