“The Projects”

Remarks by Riverside resident Sherrie Clark, upon graduation from the 2007 PHAR Resident Intern Leadership Program — 6/24/07

I first would like to give honor and glory to God, and give thanks to my kids, who have supported, encouraged and put up with me during my comings and goings. I was remembering when I was a little girl, going over to my cousin’s house, who had lived in “the projects” (as they are called) and the kids in school thinking and saying that people who live in the projects were poor and don’t want anything out of life but to take the free ride of being in the projects.

Well, today I stand proud and humble to be here celebrating the accomplishment of completing the internship program with PHAR (Public Housing Association of Residents). I stand to address the cliché about the projects known as Public Housing. I hear a lot of people saying, “I can’t go in the project or you need to get out of the projects.” When I think about our busy society, people on the move are always people planning and they have a project in mind. So you see today, where I come from a project is good, as well as being a community and a home for where I live.

I have always believed that “home is where your heart is.” So, as I say from my heart what the projects mean to me, I hope that today you will understand how important the projects and the people can be. The projects to me represent:

P- PEOPLE WITH PURPOSE
R- Reaching for their goals
O- Outreach organizers
J- Joining together
E- Exalting their communities
C- Caring for their families
T- Talented and gifted
S- Standing for dignity

So as I stand here, as a resident of public housing, I say to you: the next time you meet someone, never judge them by where they come from or where they live. Thank you.

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