Robert Days speaks at the 2016 Annual Meeting (Robyn Haas)
Robert Days, a graduate of the Urban Ranger Corps, addressed the PeaceWorks Annual Meeting March 6. Days described the summer experience for selected 14- to 18-year-old young men in KCMO, a time of values development and community assistance, with pay for their work. Corps staff and volunteers also advise the youngsters during the school year.
Introducing Days, PeaceWorks Treasurer Dave Pack said PeaceWorks funds two conflict resolution sessions for the young men each summer. Pack explained, “As Martin Luther King said, ‘Returning violence for violence multiplies violence. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.’ I think PeaceWorks’ involvement with the Urban Ranger Corps is in hopes of reducing violence” and helping the young men find a future.
Days, by now a graduate of the University of Missouri, said, “I’m still involved with the Urban Ranger Corps. I started in 2007 as a Ranger, working on housing (doing clean-up and rehab to help people stay in their homes). I made lifetime friends there. Lots of times, kids don’t have a lot of opportunities for helping the community. In the Urban Ranger Corps, I could see myself giving back” to the community at a young age. Days said the Corps needs volunteers and new ways its members can serve.
Richard Kaufman, a math tutor, asked, “Do the Rangers need help from people like me?” Days replied, “Yes!”
Sharon Lockhart asked, “Can girls be Rangers?” Days answered, “No.”
Mike Murphy asked, “What are your fondest memories” of your time as a Ranger? Days said, “We went to South Dakota to a Native American reservation. We met real Indians—I’m still in contact with one of the people there.” He added, “I’d never seen the stars like that before!”
Kim Sharitz had this question: “Are you interested in office work or primarily manual labor for the Rangers?” Days responded, “Office work would be beneficial to the older Rangers.”
Days’ talk and Q&A session let PeaceWorks members hear how their dues build peace in KC. For more on the Corps, see www.urckc.org.