Published September 5, 2013
Article written by Deborah Ealy
Photo: Doug Rowand
‘Our Children Sing’ is an annual program held in San Bernardino, CA in early September of each year. This year, the program will be held on Saturday, September 7th at 3pm at The San Bernardino Public Library, 555 W. Sixth Street in San Bernardino, Ca.
This year’s program participants include: Master of Ceremonies Terrance Stone, Paula Miller, Pastor Joshua Beckley, Sierra High School M.E.P., Garrett Ostrinski, The Rockstarz - The Rock Church and World Outreach, Malichi Compton, The Friendly Temple Praise Dancers, Ballet Folklorico Cultural, Naimah Allen, Concena Jones, JhuMani Chess, Mariyah and Jayda Walters, Bronique Martindale, Akira Jones, Elder Larry Ealy, and Chairperson Vicki Lee. Also, recipient of the Alice F. Page Legacy Award: Frances Grice, and the Our Children Sing Community Service Award recipient: Doug Rowand.
This event was founded by the late Alice F. Page, community leader, entrepreneur, and “peace major,” in September of 2002, a year after the devastating terrorist attack on our country on September 11th, 2001. It was her last wish that the commemorative program continue after her death in March of 2007 to allow the children of our communities a safe venue to showcase their talents in a spirit of peace, fellowship, and camaraderie.
Alice believed that we should start our outreach of peace by reaching out to our children while they are still young and impressionable and teaching them that it is possible to work, play, perform, and communicate together without resorting to violence.
Alice was not one to sit idly by when she saw a need in the community in which she lived and worked. She was troubled not only by the events of 9-11, but also by the escalating violence in the Inland Empire and felt that she should do her part to improve conditions for the next generation. She began her fight by contacting numerous city and state officials with her idea of an annual National Day of Peace on September 11th – a day when there would be no guns, no violence, and no fighting - a day when the entire community would come together as one. She felt that there was no better time to observe this National Day of Peace than on the memorable anniversary of the day that our nation was forever transformed and we honor the memories of the many lives that were lost. She died believing that peace is a possibility.
Alice was a visionary beyond her time. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream which was not realized in his lifetime; Alice, too, had dream which was unfortunately never realized in her lifetime. Many of us see the problems our communities face but simply sit back and complain about the violence while hiding behind our double-locked, dead-bolted doors. But Alice chose to put her words, her beliefs, her dreams into action and stepped forward with a plan to promote peace. Her plan was to start “one day at a time.” She wanted us to follow her example and help her dream to become a reality beginning with peace ONE PERSON AT A TIME, which can lead to peace within one family at a time, which leads to one neighborhood at a time, which leads to one community at a time. And from there, we can grow to a nation of peace if we continue to work together and believe that “PEACE IS A POSSIBILITY, BUT IT HAS TO BEGIN WITH ONE PERSON, AND THAT ONE PERSON IS ME”.
As we support the ‘Our Children Sing’ program held on September 7th this year, we must remember why our children sing. They are not singing, dancing, or performing at just another community event. These talented young people are carrying on the vision of peace in the spirit of a true visionary, the late Alice F. Page.