At a time when we all need some good news and some hope in the world, I have some light to share. I’d like to introduce you to three of the young people in our community who are walking the walk to make a difference — three who are living John Lewis’ call to seek out “good trouble”.
- Mica Kantor is a leader in the climate protests in Missoula. Often, he and his mom are the only ones out there. And he shows up for many climate-related marches around the state, including the Sunrise Movement trainings. Even though he is just in the 5th grade, Micah is showing that you can stand for what you believe in by just showing up quietly and persistently week after week.
- Sylvie Aganoti-Tower is a youth leader on EmpowerMT’s Youth Advisory Council and a co-facilitator for their Middle school EPIC group to develop leadership skills. She was an emcee in the community MLK day celebration and is working to create a BIPOC support group to work for racial justice at her school. She is a positive role
model to youth and adults alike seeking to understand others and find common ground through knowledge and validation.
- Asher Barnes is an 8th grader who has been working for justice and peace for many years, quietly standing up for his peers who are ostracized and not afraid of speaking up for his beliefs and what he believes to be right. Viewed as a leader by his peers, he doesn’t shy away from conflict and even stood up to criticism from a teacher for his support of Colin Kaepernick and the BLM movement. He has helped raise money for efforts in this community and around the world because he believes, “If we want the world to change, we have to work for it.” His example is indeed a model for all of us who want the world to change.
These three young people are the finalists in the Fr. Jim Hogan Search For Peace award. We will be honoring them on Wednesday, July 29 at 7:50 pm at the Bonner Park Band Shell, just before the City Band begins to play and one of them will receive the Medallion Award. Thanks to Gary Gillett and the band for giving us this opportunity to bring a positive note to our world. Join Fr. Hogan and I (with a mask and some distance of course) on Wednesday for three examples of the best of Missoula’s youth and the music of our Missoula City Band.
See you there, Betsy