Urban League Sunday speaker asks, “Is it justice or just us?”
BY Allen A. Buchanan, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG –The Pinellas County Urban League (PCUL) Guild, headed by Rene Flowers, presented Urban League Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church last Sun., Sept. 14. The theme for this year was “One Nation Underemployed: Bridges to Jobs and Justice.”
Keynote speaker Minister Sharon Pricilla Walters-Saulsby echoed the theme when she asked the rhetorical question: “Is it justice or just us?” Saulsby has over 32 years of experience in the financial services industry. Nevertheless, the powerhouse speaker still asked this puzzling question every day at work even in the new millennium.
“Am I the only one of us working at this level in the financial industry,” asked Saulsby. The question defines the purpose for the existence of the Urban League in Pinellas County and throughout the nation. PCUL’s emphasis, in particularly on youth mentoring and development, further reflects its dedication towards building professions not prisons.
Saulsby told the audience about a situation with her daughter who experienced a bump in the road as a teenager.
“Through a jury of her peers-teen court, she would have to spend some time in boot camp and get organizational help through the Urban League. When my daughter was asked by the judge as to whether she followed through on what she had to do, she responded, ‘no’ because she had not received the paperwork. The judge responded by saying that he had a signed document from an officer of the court stating that she did not follow up on her commitment and would therefore be turned over to the juvenile justice system.”
Saulsby said that she stood shaken but not defeated. After the fiasco in the courtroom, she immediately sought help from the Pinellas County Urban League. PCUL responded by supplying prove that her daughter in deed did not get the papers because the funding for this community program had been cut. Saulsby tied her daughter’s real life drama with adversarial forces to the biblical trials and tribulations of Jeremiah.
Providing spiritually charged entertainment for the PCUL Sunday service were GMS Praise Worshippers and Deneen Wyman. Flowers, the program Mistress of Ceremony, thanked the community for attending and urged all who were present to support the efforts of the Urban League to harness economical opportunities for all citizens-especially the youth of south St. Petersburg.