Rela, a non-profit leadership organization is hosting the Leadership Prayer Breakfast with keynote speaker and civil rights activist, Dr. John Perkins.
The event was planned about a year ago, and was intended to have a general theme of love towards others, but what coordinators at Rela didn’t expect was for racial tensions to rise such as they have in Columbus, making this event a lot more poignant.
Shannon Lee, associate director of Rela, said the turn of events was completely unexpected, and though plans for the breakfast remained the same, the tone of the event has changed almost entirely.
“I’m hopeful that everyone will realize this issue is present and is a big deal,” said Lee, “the conflict creates the opportunity to move forward.”
Lee mentioned that in relation to the current protests and shootings in Columbus and Ohio, Dr. Perkins, who has rallied for black civil rights and minority issues all his life, will approach the topic gracefully.
“Dr. Perkins has dedicated his life to community relations. He’s a man who has found ways to transcend differences. He would approach [Columbus’s current events] in a way that leverages resources, makes people come together, and urges them to humbly partner with their minority brothers and sisters,” said Lee.
Lee said the event is meant to champion community and acceptance and hopes to avoid a further entrenching of current political and racial aggression.
After the event, participants will have a chance for a casual meet and greet with Dr. Perkins, as well as have a chance to sign up for volunteer and donation opportunities at local non-profits.
Many events similar to this don’t offer immediate volunteer opportunities, but Lee said it’s all about getting engaged, “you’ve been inspired, now go do something.”