"Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished." —Amanda Gorman

Representative Elijah Cummings was known for his words, his work, and his unwavering convictions. Born into a segregated country, Elijah from a young age was active in his fight for justice and equality for all. One of the earliest stories I have read about him was how he helped integrate a pool in Baltimore in the early 60s. He was attacked for his efforts but at this early age, the love of country and the fight in him was strong. As he entered the political arena, his speeches and policies showcased his thoughts with a passionate approach. He did not mince words. And yet he inspired.

I believe that through the love of country and the belief in what it could be, Black Americans have influenced American politics while shaping this democracy. From Representative John Lewis, to President Barack Obama, to Stacey Abrams, all have discussed the dream of what this country could be. And how this dream inspired their dedication to their political careers. It is engrained in Black culture to have the belief that the country we love, will one day love us back. To see this country as a place that hasn’t reached its full potential but is still growing with each ache and pain. This belief keeps us fighting for the place that we know it can be. This month, we celebrate all the belief, efforts, and unwavering support for this country contributed by each Black American. All of the continued conversations, vulnerable explanations, and the tiring fight because of the belief that one day the country will be transformed into a place where diversity is honored. That the country that we need is waiting just around the corner. I celebrate that continued fight. I believe that change is coming.

Joy Brunson-Nsubuga

Joy is the Vice President of the Southeast Region for RI International. She is an expert in Medication Assisted Treatment and is the leader of the RI Opioid Consult team. Joy is also a member of the RI International Diversity and Inclusion Council. She has determined that her purpose in career is the same as her purpose in life; to assist with breaking generational and systemic patterns with compassion, creativity, and consistency.