My roommate and I ran a 5K today to benefit Homeboy Industries, an organization that helps former gang members to turn their lives around. It's a great organization that offers several programs ranging from career services to interim jobs at one of several Homeboy sites to tattoo removal. We went to the Homegirl cafe for brunch afterward where we had some wonderful food. If you're in the LA area, you should definitely check it out - it's down by the Chinatown metro stop.
It was a cool event that brought a lot of people together to foster acceptance of those in our community who are trying to make changes in their lives. All too often it is easy to judge people on their past actions, and quash any chance they have to turn things around before they even begin. It was also encouraging to see an organization that is doing so well and doing so much good for the community. When my students often tell me stories about gang violence it is easy to be disheartened, but Homeboy Industries definitely gives me some hope, and in the words of The Shawshank Redemption, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."