A group of Houston women spent time at the White House, talking with administration officials about issues that affect the African-American community.
More than two dozen African-American women, many of them pastors and wives of pastors from all around Houston, met with the top-ranking woman in the White House, top presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett. For some, the experience was overwhelming.
Valandia McCray said, “To just know that I was in the people’s house, being one of the people, just a common woman from Houston, Texas, in the president’s home. That was the greatest thing for me.”
A member of Lakewood Church, she was there to express her concerns about violence in the Black community to the highest levels of the White House. Longtime obstetrician Dr. Natalie Carroll added her concerns as well.
“I’m very concerned about our African-American young men, and I am concerned because African-American young men tend to be with African-American young women, who I take of,” she said.
Hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the group was about to spend a precious 20 minutes with Jarrett in the Roosevelt Room, talking about issues as wide-ranging as domestic violence and the human-trafficking of young women, and what they see as unfair treatment of African-American boys and men. Now they want to take those messages back to their churches and neighborhoods.
“That’s one thing that we can do, is help restore hope,” McCray said. “Because when a person has hope, they will begin to do things differently, and they’ll begin to see life differently when they have hope.”