In the United States this year, there have been more mass shootings across the nation than there have been days in 2023. In my own community, in 2014, our sense of safety and security was rocked… as so many communities have been of late. On Sunday, April 13th, a hate-filled, white supremacist, pulled into the parking lot of the Jewish Community Campus and murdered Dr. William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, as the young man was preparing to audition for a high school singing competition being sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. From there, he drove south about a mile to the senior living center, Village Shalom, where he shot and killed Teresa LaManno who had been visiting her mother. Hatred had a devastating impact on my town that afternoon… but the perpetrator of this crime did not win… instead of instilling fear, as he had hoped, the broad community banded together, propped up one another and unified to show its mettle and support for our diverse city.
In a display of sheer will and determination, my friend, Mindy Corporon, whose father and son lost their lives that day, created an organization – a movement – SevenDays, that has become an integral part of my own life. The mission of SevenDays is to overcome hate by promoting kindness and understanding through education and dialogue. The organization teaches kindness with year-round activities including mentoring a Kindness Youth Leadership Team comprised of dedicated high school students, providing kindness resources to k-12 students and teachers, and assisting with funding for Kindness Walks and Clubs for middle and high school students. It is meaningful work and allows all of us to engage in ways that advance and improve interpersonal relationships.
Will you join me? If you are in the Kansas City area, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 5, 2023, is our annual Kindness Breakfast. You can learn more about the event by visiting SevenDays.org. Additionally, come along for our annual Kindness Walk on Sunday, April 16, 2023, from 4-7pm. You can learn more and register by clicking here. And, wherever you are in the world, kindness resources are available to you for your families, your colleagues, your businesses, and your community at the SevenDays Resources page.
Please get involved. Your acts of kindness – however big or small – will start a ripple that is unstoppable!