“Go and Change the World”


When Ms. Ernestine and I made it to the “Senior Luncheon” on September 25th, hosted by RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), we were in awe over 2 things. One, the beautiful dining room that was rented out at the NDW Catering and Conference Center in the Washington Navy Yard and two, the saying which greeted us at the door. While we were being shown to our seats, a voice rang out throughout the room, “Now let’s go change the world” which is a famous quote from President Barack Obama. I was preoccupied with my table seating and also wondering where this came from. I directed my attention to the front of the room to the Mistress of Ceremonies, Sandra Bears. When I finally sat down, she once again quoted the President.

This quote was the theme of the luncheon. The second time she delivered these cool words from her mouth, she followed it up by making a very strong point to tie all the ears in the room together. Ms. Bears said, “The change that we seek, doesn’t only start with the current or upcoming generations, but those who were leading before them and who build the path in which we all now walk on” This was said in reference to the Civil Rights Movement and the strong family ties that once existed but have now become a dying breed. So now that this generation of bra-burning feminists, non-violent protesters and civil rights leaders has aged…they are still a VERY huge part of social change in America. She then addressed the approximately 200 men and women in the room by simply giving thanks and showing her appreciation for what they do daily to impact their communities through RSVP.

I was proud to be in that room to witness, chat and dine with these elegant men and women but also rejuvenated by the light that still burns bright in their eyes. It was refreshing to see, that after a lifetime of “fighting” for causes that they believe in, nothing has taken the “fight” from their spirits. I could only think to myself that, hopefully one day I could be in that exact place that they are and be able to inspire someone much younger than me, with that same sparkling light in my eyes.

This year was the 33rd Annual Recognition Luncheon, and even though the food was awesome, the speakers and entertainment were even better. The speakers included Azora Irby-Muntasir from Family Matters of Greater Washington, Rosetta Busby from DC Corporation for National and Community Service, and Ms. Senior DC 2009, Shirley Rivens Smith. There was entertainment provided by MC Steppers and a beautiful girl named Lynise Wellington who sang an inspiring gospel song. There were also two tributes to Micheal Jackson through the MC Steppers to honor the former Pop Idol’s talents and his lifetime of service to global social change.

The event ended, with a lot of smiling faces, an invitation to the 34th Annual Senior Luncheon in 2010, and a plethora of opportunities to stay involved with RSVP and other organizations that focus on seniors staying active in their communities and non-profit organizations. There were also prize giveaways and a jazz band that played as we exited the building to, “Go and Change the World.”

 – Zarinah Hameen, Volunteer Program Assistant