I’m not sure if it’s human nature, but far too often we tend to focus on the negative things in our lives. With that said, I would like to take this time to focus on an incredibly positive experience I recently had the pleasure of being a part of.
On October 27, 2016 I was scheduled to MC and perform my poem “Dream BIG” at REDF’s 2016 Benefit at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Being a performer, I have the opportunity to come across a lot of people and organizations all over the world, but upon entrance of the historic venue, the energy and the fine folks at REDF immediately made me feel right at home. As the rain fell slightly outside, the love poured down on the inside.
As the night began, I manned the mic, we dove into the program, and the love was seen and heard in every aspect of the evening. From Carla Javits’ heart-felt speech to the video and inspiring words of Anthony Jackson, the Stuart G. Moldaw Award recipient, it was evident that the selfless work REDF has been engaged in for nearly 20 years has truly changed lives. More importantly, they have saved lives. I’m a strong believer in providing all people with the opportunity they need to succeed, and it’s clear that REDF is providing that opportunity. Their theme for the evening was, “REDF. An Investment That Works,” and after seeing them in action, their investment in our communities and in our country, I know that theme is true.
Shout out to REDF Board members, Chris O’Donnell – who kicked off the evening, and Harris Barton and Dan Rose, who led the fundraising segment. Also shout out’s to the GRAMMY Award-winning band, Train, who rocked the house , NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott for the inspiring words you shared with me, and a BIG THANK YOU to everyone at REDF! It truly was an honor MC’ing and performing for you all… KEEP SHINING BRIGHT and doing the AMAZING, POSITIVE work that you do!!
J. Ivy is a GRAMMY and Peabody Award-winning poet and artist.