2015-02-23

by Cole Livings, AmeriCorps Member serving at Claiborne Elementary School

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller 

The quote  means that with a team we can accomplish more than if we’re alone. City Year’s core values represent the deepest beliefs and highest aspirations of our organization. Teamwork is very essential to our job because without the support of my team members I wouldn't have the drive to get everything done.

In my opinion, teamwork is most recognizable during the civil rights era. Many leaders from within the African American community and beyond rose to prominence during the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and others. They risked—and some lost—their lives in the name of freedom and equality.Malcolm X articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the 1950s and '60s. Malcolm X believed in a “by any means necessary” while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in a beloved community in combination with peaceful protesting. Rosa Parks was "concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people" and her courageous act of not surrendering her seat demonstrated just that.

Activists from around the country came together to peacefully fight for social justice for all.The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. No longer could blacks and other minorities be denied service simply based on the color of their skin. Just as the Civil Rights leaders did, City Year corps members "strive to work powerfully together in a unified effort to achieve our goals." 

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