Grandpa Doug died a few weeks ago. He wasn’t my grandpa. He was my neighborhood’s grandpa. Always at the local elementary school being a handyman or there with his camera documenting the talent shows, the art exhibits, whatever was going on . . . even in the classes that his granddaughter wasn’t in.
We got to talking . . . and he started inviting me over for coffee. He was a coffee connoisseur, but not the kind that was snobby. He just knew a lot about it. I sheepishly asked for cream because I had heard that “real” coffee drinkers didn’t do that. He brought me cream. Happily. And we’d talk. We’d listen.
"It was very obvious, it was really very visceral and very upfront what people's prejudices and stereotypes were when I was a kid growing up," Alberto Olivas told us, describing his early childhood in rural Georgia in the seventies. Alberto directs the Center for Civic Participation for the Maricopa Community College District in Phoenix, Arizona. Next month, we'll be offering one of our very special series of free Storied Session workshops across the U.S. at the Urban League in Phoenix, and Alberto was explaining why he supports this project. All Together Now: Intergenerational Stories of Civil and Human Rights is aiming to bridge the generation gap and honor a legacy by engaging elders and young people in sharing stories of standing up for hard-won rights.