I graduated from High School for Recording Arts in Saint Paul where I earned the opportunity through a Black History Project, to travel the country and present the presentation in partnership with BAEO, (Black Association for Educational Options) at their annual Symposiums which presented in a world class fashion to families the many, many options for educating our children emphasizing that a quality education can not mean a one size fits all approach within our educational systems. I knew even then, that God had me destined for something even greater, something that will personally touch the lives of families through him and cause a positive change that not only the family, but also our communities as well as our City as a whole can appreciate and benefit from.
I then went on to study Urban Education at our very own MCTC, Minneapolis Community and Technical College which launched me into a position in partnership with Ramsey County working with High School Seniors preparing them to graduate by working with them through the Naviance System which is checks and balances of what is already completed verses what is still needed and providing the necessary assistance to get it all completed including their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For the students who were ready, we were even able to submit applications and watch the acceptance letters roll in as a result of the hard work that was put in on both the part of those tremendously gifted and talented students as well as us staff that fought every single day to serve them with nothing more than a brighter future in mind.
My Aunt and Uncle, Apostle Bettie Jean Williams and Apostle Arnold Park Williams are the late great founders and visionaries’ of River of Life Christian Church, which is now one of two campuses with Waters of Life Outreach Ministries in North Minneapolis. Our mission is building strong men, strong women, and strong families in the community through the healing of the races while seeing souls saved and people set free! Although I have been connected with the church my whole life, it was not until recently in my adult years that I truly desired, and discovered a connection with God. Through ups, and downs, ins, and outs, lesson after lesson, I have arrived at a place where I have come to know there is nothing better to do than to serve. Therefore, that is what I did! After volunteering for a length of time and working on different projects, I was hired on as the Facilities Manager. We currently operate our East and West Campus, serving both Saint Paul and Minneapolis with a 3rd facility on Selby Avenue in Saint Paul, named after the churches founder, my Uncle, Apostle Arnold P. Williams Community Outreach Center which houses the Bettie Jean Williams Kitchen and Banquet Hall there for the community to use for any and every life event from a Baby’s Christening, to everything all the way up to funerals, we’ve been there to serve.
Aside from our weekly Sunday worship service and mid-week Bible Study, we are tremendously involved (mostly virtual right now) with our community and continue the work of increasing that involvement and bringing more like minded communities of faith together to positively impact the lives of people individually and collectively. We do this through our outreach ministries such as our Food Shelf, 12 Step Free-Indeed Program, Building Strong Marriages, Women of Wisdom and Grace (Women’s Fellowship) , Men of Vision (Men’s Fellowship) , Prison Ministry which goes into several Correctional Institutions to teach the inmates the word of God, equipping and encouraging them in preparation for the next chapter of their life once they serve their debt to society and are finally able to come home to their families, learning to do what is right by practicing doing what is right. We also have Dance Ministries for Adults, Youth, and our children.
We have ministries strictly geared towards our youth, because even more important than our future is their future! To assure its bright and all that God has created it to be, we have to invest in them up front and give them the knowledge and as they grow older, they’ll gain an understanding. There is 2Smart2Start ministry in conjunction with the 12 Step Free-Indeed but geared towards our youth and prevention. Giving them the knowledge that will armor them up and equip them to deal with the things, the issues that our children are faced with today and preventing them from traveling down a road that would ever cause for a recovery. We also have a ministry pointed towards our young adults, L.I.T. (Leaders in Training) Training today to be leading tomorrow!
In addition to refreshments served after every Sunday service open to the public, we also serve hot meals after all other services operating the kitchen on average 3 days a week to serve the community. For the ones that can’t make it out, we have a Monthly Food Shelf in partnership with Second Harvest Heartland to serve the community and provide food including vitally important fruits and vegetables as well as other essential items from toilet paper to backpacks filled with back to school supplies.
True Community outreach is one of the most important things we can do showing the love of God in every moment and being thankful and grateful that we have the opportunity to make the world a better place. Its not that we HAVE to but we GET to. Through the Pandemic, the need for racial reconciliation, and economic development, i have been learning about how to keep an attitude of Gratitude and the fact that the issues we are dealing with today are not what they appear to be. It is not simply about race, gender, political party or gang affiliation, social class… although they can be factors, what we see today is about the love for humanity, each and EVERY human life. The love of God is the love of and for HUMANITY and that love is what i believe will be my greatest asset if i am blessed with the opportunity to serve you and your family as your Mayor FOR all of Minneapolis!
The issues that we are facing here in Minneapolis affect us all or the people we love in one way or another. I am asking you to please allow me to stand with you and your family as we fight together to bring about the change that is so desperately needed. By no means am I perfect. We have all had our ups and downs, ins and outs, failures and successes, we have made good and sometimes bad decisions, even some we are ashamed of. We can not regret any of those decisions because although they pushed us to make a detour going through a place where we had to rely on God and God alone to bring us through, gaining invaluable experiences and perspectives, it has all enabled us to become even more effective leaders. Looking at our experiences as positives instead of negatives. We can not regret any of our decisions because no matter how good or how bad, they have made us into the people we have become today!
I am not running for Mayor because I am the most qualified or the most experienced. i am running because we are at such a pivitol point in our City's history, I feel in my heart that I have no choice. We must have a change in leadership. Given multiple awesome opportunities, our current leadership has led us to this place and i sincerely believe they have tried their best. We are in a time and a place that currently demands so much more. We will put our words into actions and with your help and your vote, TOGETHER, we can lead us FORWARD! I am asking you to please give me the opportunity, the privilege, the honor and allow me to stand and serve you and your family as Mayor for ALL people of Minneapolis!
Thank you for your valuable time today. You are definitely appreciated!
Much love, and may God consistently bless!