Dr. Maya Angelou is a well known American poet and a long-time friend of academy founder Dr. Maxine Mimms. Ms. Angelou recently gave Dr. Mimms permission to use her poem, A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth
, as a call to action for the academy.
A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth
A Poem by Dr. Maya Angelou
Young women, young men of color, we add our voices to the voices of your ancestors who speak to you over ancient seas and across impossible mountain tops.
Come up from the gloom and national neglect, you have already been paid for.
Come out of the shadow of irrational prejudice, you owe no racial debt to history.
The blood of our bodies and the prayers of our souls have bought you a future free from shame and bright beyond the telling of it.
We pledge ourselves and our resources to seek for you clean and well-furnished schools, safe and non-threatening streets, employment that makes use of your talents, but does not degrade your dignity.
You are the best we have.
You are all we have.
You are what we have become.
We pledge you our whole hearts from this day forward.