By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

The word "community" is becoming increasingly difficult to define and many are divided on its meaning:
Some define community as a body of like-minded individuals who thrive under a canopy of like-minded preferences and tastes.
Others define community in a broader sense, as a collective body composed of great differences yet abiding respectfully with one another.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt exemplified and nurtured the ideas and ideals of true community. Consider the active position and stance she took to support her defining of community and see whether or not you're a participant in it.
1) Eleanor was initially a member of DAR (Daughters of American Revolution,) and then withdrew her membership due to their opposition of African American women. She said, "To remain a member implies approval of that action, and therefore I am resigning."
Alienation and isolation doesn't foster true community.
True community doesn't exclude ... it includes.

2) Eleanor utilized her high ranking position to positively reinforce and define true community which, she believed, to be a collective group of individuals with equal rights to the exclusion of none.
Mary McLeod Bethune (African American) was given the appointment of "Founder and President of the National Council of Negro Women" and adviser to the federal government by President Franklin D. Roosevelt upon Eleanor's insistence and persistence.
True community is enforced when we openly identify with the excluded.
3) In 1939, at a meeting in Alabama promoting human welfare, Eleanor discovered segregation in the seating. She got up and sat by herself in the aisle separating blacks from whites.
True community doesn't seek to segregate and isolate.
4) When Marian Anderson, the beautiful and renown African American opera singer was denied access to a performance in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Eleanor immediately arranged an appearance outdoors at the Lincoln Memorial monument.
True community works to positively impact and unite.
5) In 1945, Eleanor became a board member of the NAACP (National Association of Advancement for Colored People,) and worked relentlessly and courageously to unify and usher in true community.
True community works for the good of all and displays no prejudice.
How we define community is essential to the building or disintegration of community.
True community is not formed or fostered through hostility and divided on differences but through respect and shared understanding of human commonalities.
Be strong.
Be courageous.
Support the ideas and ideals which build and promote true community;
and refuse, withdraw, and resist all those to the contrary.
True community depends on it.
Perhaps a little more ...
 of Eleanor.