April 26, 2013

DUNK ~ hope with hoops

yesterday i took the 'gems of justice' jr. youth group on an outing to watch a performance of cultural dancing and drumming.  we packed up the car and listened to some hip hop basketball songs as loud as possible.  as we turned onto the street upon arriving we were happily surprised to discover a full-sized basketball court with over a 100 kids playing basketball and soccer.  while we waited for the performers to begin, we walked over to see what was happening.  we were approached by the one white woman who caught our attention from the car.  she noticed us as well and came to greet us.  her name is Eve and she is the originator of DUNK:  Developing Unity, Nurturing Knowledge, an organization that promotes basketball leagues while building character and community.  the entire spirit of this undertaking is based on uplifting kids' lives based on virtues through sport.

Eve and her partner see themselves as 'agents of change', a term used by Baha'is to be very socially active in promoting the well-being of humanity.  i feel this organization is proving itself worthy of recognition as it continues to spread throughout the city and demonstrate an effective means by which kids can grow up to be their very best despite all the social and economic barriers they face.

after our kids played some pick-up ball with the starter group of kids, we made our way over to watch the drummers and dancers.  they were tirelessly keeping the beat and moving their bodies in the fastest of ways and in the most intricate of moves.  their bodies were drenched; their faces were beaming with radiant smiles; and their talents were undeniably professional.  they performed for an hour and a half on a cement slab with bare feet.  it was a long-awaited moment for me as i love, love, love drumming and dancing but the boys we brought decided to play some more basketball amongst themselves until returning to sit for the rest of the performance.  the girls and i were very content to watch the entire show, and i couldn't stop moving to the rhythms and feeling the ancestral spirit in it all.  it was amazing!

i think our family's life is about to change as a result of discovering this gem in the middle of the city, a place we had never been before and an organization that we believe in.  at the moment we don't know how we can every coordinate getting there with one car and busy work and school schedules, but we are determined to connect with DUNK one way or another in the near future.  it is an endeavor that is combining core values of character with the great joy of shooting some hoops, providing hope in the hearts of all these kids who are developing who they really are inside.

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