In the challenging work of bridge-building, we often cannot tangibly see how our donations are impacting the world. But when bridge-builders share their stories, we can feel the shift in how lives are being impacted.
Meet Maisah Williams-Foote of Atlanta! Maisah can be described as a servant, creative and disruptor. When not volunteering or working to change the world, she can be found walking around Target, reading, and life coaching her friends and family and colleagues even though she is not a Life Coach!
How did you get involved with Be the Bridge?
Are you ready for a “Good God did that story?” Here you go…
Following the tragic attack on the AAPI community in the Atlanta Spa Shootings that targeted Asian-American women, resulting in 8 deaths, 6 Asian-American women and still grieving the murder of George Floyd, I needed connection and decided to attend an AAPI Prayer Meeting hosted by the Asian American Christan Collaborative. Before attending, I was researching faith-based social justice and racial reconciliation organizations. I came across Be the Bridge on Facebook but was having difficulty figuring out how to connect with the organization. We were full-on in the pandemic and most community events had ceased.
Well, God had a plan. I attended the AAPI rally alone and decided to volunteer. I was assigned as a section host when I saw a tall young man wearing what, a BTB T-shirt. This young man, who I now know as Cole, was Andrea Middleton the Community Groups Manager’s son. I asked him about his shirt, and he introduced me to Autumn, attending the event with her beautiful family. Autumn introduced me to Andrea after she returned from supporting one of the speakers. And guess who the speaker was: Latasha Morrison! I did not know Latasha was speaking before she was introduced. I registered without reading the agenda because I was not going for who was on the agenda but to be in the same place with God’s people, my sisters and brothers grieving and seeking God for answers.
A few months later after a series of emails and attending a BIPOC online group, Andrea reached out to join her Atlanta group with fellow facilitator, Margo.
A decision to support my AAPI sisters and brothers at a prayer meeting outdoors with the chance of rain (and it did rain lol) lead to one of the most impactful decisions of my life. I even met Latasha and her dog after the event. Now I consider BTB an enormous part of my faith family and my Atlanta group members, my sisters!
Have you ever been a part of a Be the Bridge group? If yes, what was the most helpful part of the group? What was the most challenging?
I belong to the Atlanta group (Andrea and Margo group leads). During a time when I had lost hope in my Christian White sisters and brothers’ ability to be their Brothers/Sisters keepers in issues of racism and social justice, I encountered White women who, while not perfect, chose to stand through confusion, sadness, happiness, joy, and hardship. This encounter helped me regain my trust in the capacity of White people to be dependable allies. However, the most challenging aspect was confronting my own biases, prejudices, bitterness, and sometimes, what felt like hatred. I had to return to the Cross, where my salvation was secured, and my relationship with God was renewed. I had to remember that the same God who forgave me and still does, is more than capable of offering that same grace to my fellow Christians, even in their ignorance and unrepentance regarding issues of race and social justice. The group pushed me to confront my “justified” anger and question whether God approved of my “right” to be angry, even to the point of sin.
Which Be the Bridge program has impacted you the most?
Attending the Leadership Summit infused me with optimism and motivation. I had the opportunity to connect with leaders from various backgrounds, both within the country and overseas, who share a common goal of promoting racial harmony, advancing social justice, and enhancing the well-being of the Church. Witnessing such a display of passion and commitment was truly inspiring. Additionally, I had a fantastic time at the inaugural Sneaker Ball and am eagerly looking forward to serving in a more significant role at next year’s event.
Why do you choose to support Be the Bridge?
First, my reasonable service for an organization that blesses my life! Also, I understand Black Women-led nonprofits do not have the same access as their White counterparts to funding, and resources, which is exacerbated when it’s led by an unapologetic Black Woman fighting for social justice and pursing racial reconciliation in the American church. It’s a small donation in comparison to what I desire to give. I plan to double my monthly giving this year so the staff can order 4 pizzas with fries versus 2 with my monthly gift! 🙂
What are three things that bring you hope?
My faith, my children, the next generation of bridge-builders and voices walking in the fullness of who God called them to be and disrupting tradition for truth.
Want to join us on our mission to racial healing, equity and reconciliation?