A VISION FOR MINORITY YOUTH
Luncheon Keynote Delivered by Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Senior Pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix

When the wicked rise, men hide themselves. . . Prov. 29: 18a(KJV); Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Hab. 2:2-3 (NRSV)
       An ancient proverb announces, "Where there is no vision, the people perish. . ." I have said before that "the problem with America is no vision! Very little, if any, vision emanates from the White House, State House, Court House, School House, and in some cases, the Church House. And, please know that no vision leads to anti-social behavior!" Obviously, Arizona is blessed with a remnant of visionaries for our youth-at-risk, especially youth of color. Thank you for my invitation to endeavor to lift up A VISION FOR MINORITY YOUTH. It has been a challenging assignment to say the least.
       A VISION FOR MINORITY YOUTH. The Old Testament Prophet Habakkuk received a person-to-person reply from God after he complained about living in a violent society where wrongdoing was ever-present and justice seemed never to prevail. He argued with God that He was too pure and holy even to see how corrupt the world had become. Consequently, the times in which God's spokesperson lived had become vision-less. Nevertheless, God took the unjustified hit and answered, "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time. . ."
       THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF THIS VISION FOR MINORITY YOUTH IS AS A KNOWN SECTOR. A sector is "a distinct part, especially of society." Youth of color must first be known for who they are by those of us desiring to help them. This must be a knowledge beyond mere statistics, for numbers alone can be very misleading. To know in the Biblical sense often carries the connotation of being intimate with another person; to be as close as possible in relationship to another individual knowing virtually all there is to know about that person. I would dare say that part of A VISION FOR MINORITY YOUTH is that they must become a known sector by those service-providers who seek to serve them. Minority youth are one of the most unknown quantities in our communities. To chart a future for them they must become a known sector of our society by us! We must become intimately knowledgeable with their histories and heritages, their strengths and weaknesses, their hopes and hurts, their destinies and dysfunctions. Unless we know them, we cannot help them!
       A SECOND PORTRAIT FOR MINORITY YOUTH IS THAT OF BEING A NEEDED SEGMENT. There will be no vision for African-American, Asian-American, Native-American, and Latin-American youth until the "powers that be" firmly establish that minority youth, especially those at risk are needed in our neighborhoods. We all know what happens with individuals and possessions we no longer need. And with human beings struggling to discover their own identity at an early age, if they get a hint that they are an unnecessary factor to the majority population, we deserve every negative behavior they act out against us.  It has been said that much of the
Previous Page



Page 7

Next Page
Contents Back to Top
Home 2002 Arizona Supreme Court.  All Rights Reserved. Updated: 11/09/09