Forward Wayne County is continuing the December focus on Our Community with another guest blogger. Continuing with the theme of community advocacy, we asked Roxie Deer, Executive Director of Richmond Neighborhood Restoration, to discuss her experience as a community advocate and how other people can get involved in Wayne County.

Caring about Community

“Roxie, why do you care about this community so much?”

First and foremost, don’t ask me that question unless you want a monologue and have an hour to listen to me ramble about everything I love about this place, although in this blog I am going to give you a shorter version of that same spiel. Second, I care and am passionate about this community because it raised me and continues to raise me. I owe it to this place, the same place that allowed my family to succeed, has granted me every opportunity I could dream of, and continues to challenge me everyday. 

Does that make me an advocate for Wayne County? Well, I guess it does. 

What does it mean to be an Advocate?

Advocates find ways to use their platform to educate and inform others. They bring others alongside them. They are megaphones for our community, often shouting our community’s highest praises to whomever will listen. 

Yeah, I can love this place with all of my heart, but I need others to feel the same way I do. I do not just want them to feel the same way, I need them to feel the same way. That might make me an advocate (or a wild card, your choice). 

Being an advocate for anything is difficult. You will face objections, ridicule for caring, demonization for not caring about everything, and mockery for caring about something with gusto.

Being an advocate for Wayne County is no different. Just log on to any social media platform and you will meet Negative Nancys at least once every other post. Those individuals are often the loudest AND the most difficult. Their minds do not want to be changed. 

That is why the advocates need to turn on their megaphones at max volume. It is often the scariest role to play for anyone who cares, especially when the supporters play dirty. They say mean things and will drag you down. But advocates need to stand strong in their convictions. 

Turning on your Megaphone

While I could easily pack up and move the dogs to another community, we are anchored here. This is home, and if this home, I am going to do everything I can to make this the best place it can be. I will shout from any street corner, any old historic home, or in any board meeting, that this community is the best. We need to turn on our megaphones and make sure everyone understands why we believe it is and how even the haters can find a piece of this community to love. 

So suit up advocates, it’s our time to shine. 

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