One of the many reasons that I have been excited about SERP being the recipient of Enloe Charity Ball 2019 is the voice that Enloe students have given to our mission and work. A “Community Quarterback Organization” is a new concept for most people, and understanding what we do and how our work is impactful is challenging and complex. In a world where we think of charities as providing direct services like meals, or clothing, or summer camps, or medical care, the role of a Quarterback can be challenging to digest. However, Enloe Charity Ball leaders have done a magnificent job of helping people connect the dots between the value of direct service and systems change work. This work can be a bit nebulous, and sometimes unpredictable, as we merge collaborative support with the imperative of direct services and tearing down dysfunctional systems to make way to build those that lift up our entire community. These young leaders impress me every time we are together with their questions (some as detailed about how New Market Tax Credits or Opportunity Zones work). But over and over, they contribute to these complex conversations, synthesize information and ideas, and translate those ideas into the ways that we must invest in Southeast Raleigh in order to create long-term change while still supporting direct, day-to-day services.
I’d venture to say SERP has been one of the hardest organizations to explain. But Enloe Charity Ball leaders have been smart, diligent, unwavering even, in telling the story of how we are reimagining ways that we can have a local community free from the barriers of historic and systemic injustice. They are passionate and bright and innovative. We are so thankful for their work and leadership!
Executive Director of Southeast Raleigh Promise