An Invitation…

An Invitation…

Posted on September 14, 2016 by Frances Bermudez

Editor's Note: Frances Bermudez is a staff member at the North Sarasota Library. She will be participating in the public innovators lab next week, which will train individuals to implement the methods of The Harwood Institute for Social Innovation.


An attractive word no doubt.  Who doesn’t like to be “Invited?”

After all, we all yearn to be included; no one wants to be left out.

Invitations by their very nature are appealing.

So to be “Invited” to participate in the Aspirations to Actions Initiative sponsored by The Patterson Foundation and presented by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation felt really good. The invitation came at just the right time.  I am eager for a new opportunity in my “professional” realm and frankly, the prospect to go beyond the confines of the workspace and gain a fresh perspective is exactly what I need; perhaps you do too.

I look forward to participating in The Harwood Institute Public Innovators Lab; it will expand my frame of reference, and fuel my aspirations to help strengthen my community.

As I reflect on the word fuel, I am cognizant of the potency of the word — it can be a good thing or a bad thing.  As I write this, it is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an historical event which forever changed life in the United States. The fuel was a very bad thing.

Reflection is important.  Yet, just as important, is the response to the reflection.

I will be in attendance at the Standing With Our Fallen, a 15-year commemoration event in Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery — I look forward the significant time for reflection.

All announcements, press releases, social media posts, etc. leading up to the event included the words “Everyone is invited.” How will I respond?  What am I being called to do? What shall be my role? These are the questions I grappled with on September 11, 2001, and continue to ask on a daily basis as an individual in my workplace and in my community. The reality is these questions are in fact an invitation.

A timeless invitation… one shared by our forefathers and foremothers, and one to be shared with those who come after us.

The author James Baldwin wrote the following:

“History, as no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read.  And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past.  On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.  It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.”

You are cordially invited to


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