Raleigh is lauded as a city of wonder, expansion, and development. It is a city where one can start a family, venture into business, attend renowned universities, and pursue passions. Over the past 11 years, I have grown to see Raleigh transform from an average American city into a bustling hub of activity. In the midst of these revolutionary transformations, a group of people has been forgotten: the people of southeast Raleigh. Historically, Southeast Raleigh has been populated by primarily black and Latinx citizens. However, in recent times, the cultural schema of the area is changing and its residents are being pushed out and further subjugated due to a lack of socioeconomic resources and upward mobility. The unfortunate truth is that while advancements have been made all across this city, the citizens of Southeast Raleigh have been forgotten and have not felt the benefits.

Southeast Raleigh Promise has brought the forgotten to the light. Being able to collaborate with them during the Enloe Charity Ball effort has been an eye-opening and life-changing experience. They are highlighting prominent issues in Southeast Raleigh such as gentrification, lack of investment, lack of affordable housing, underdeveloped infrastructure, and much more. SERP is looking past the band-aid solutions and has tasked themselves with solving a much larger problem. By breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty in Southeast Raleigh, they are giving the residents the means and support to promote development and create beneficial change in the community. We cannot call ourselves “the Raleigh community” unless all members of the community are thriving. Enloe Charity Ball is promoting this community culture and ensuring that all members of this community flourish and have an equal opportunity to succeed. 

These past four years working with Enloe Charity Ball have been the most amazing years of my life. I look forward to raising a check of $200,000 on December 7th and fulfilling #OurPromise to the people of Southeast Raleigh so that they are no longer the forgotten.

Richard Okoro
Vice President of Finance 


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