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  • Roger Chamberlain shared a letter in the Group logo of Chasing Your DreamsChasing Your Dreams group 1 month, 1 week ago

    The Call to Action

    Dear Unsealed Readers,

    When I was younger, I always dreamed I would make a difference. I used to think about scenarios I would be able to do to change things. It wasn’t until I was nearly through my 20s that an opportunity came my way to do just that. I knew it had to be important and so I kept myself ready for the right moment to come. In 2012 it finally came.

    Activism was the one thing that had come to the forefront in the years following my Mother’s passing. This was the moment I had been waiting for. I actively volunteered for a political campaign for then President Obama’s reelection. I set to work carrying a message I believed strongly in. The work his administration had done resonated with me and certain parts of it would’ve saved my Mother’s life had it only come 5 years sooner. What I went through powered that activism which had been simmering for years. It was those months in late 2012 that changed my life and many others through my activism.

    Some may not have agreed with my activism. The things I expressed through it though changed my world. In 2013 I became very ill. In fact I almost died in May of 2013. But the activism from months past helped me speak up for myself. It turned out that the thing that could’ve saved my Mother ended up saving my life instead. Activism took a primary focus in my life and I’ve enriched so many others within it besides myself. The thing I figured out that I loved about myself became what I could say for others who might be afraid to say it themselves. My voice serves others the way it served me so well in 2012.

    Roger Chamberlain
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    • Roger,

      That’s incredible that you worked on a campaign for President Obama’s reelection. Your mom would be proud of your activism. I would hope she was watching from above at your work. I’m so glad you didn’t die in 2013. That would have been tragic for your loved ones and people who would connect with you in the future. So far, it sounds like you’ve made a difference in other people’s lives and will continue to make a difference for a long time. Great letter!

      Gerald

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      • Gerald,

        Had it not been for Hurricane Sandy I would’ve gotten to meet President Obama. I had already been cleared by the Secret Service to meet him at the Covelli Center here in Youngstown. I did however get to meet John Lewis. To be able to talk with him was an incredible moment in my life. To think that man had his skull cracked due to a police beating for having the audacity to vote. My activism even got me a chance to meet Steve Buscemi at a political fundraiser. Steve’s late wife was my state representatives roommate in college. And so he came to Youngstown to help her raises funds for the race back in 2014. I actually even made Steve laugh at a joke that I told at my own expense lol. In May of 2013 I passed out in a hospital ER waiting area. My blood pressure was so high they told me I could’ve had a stroke at any moment.

        To say I’ve fought a tough battle is an understatement. But along the way I’ve had many great experiences.

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        • Roger,

          Wow. That darn hurricane ruined it for you. That’s still incredible to think about. You met John Lewis! That is major, Roger! I’ve always admired that man and his service as a Civil Rights activist. I wish I could have met him. I’m glad you did though. You met Steve Buscemi too?!? I like that guy a lot. He’s a great actor. You made him laugh too? That’s wild, Roger! I’m sorry to hear about his wife though. I’m glad you didn’t have a stroke. You’ve been through some trails that’s for sure, but the experiences you’ve had with others, have me amazed!

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          • The people in New Jersey and New York needed President Obama’s leadership more than I needed to stoke vanity getting to meet him. That campaign really was something. I volunteered to knock on doors in the roughest part of my city.

            John Lewis was very quiet and reserved and he earned that right with all that he had been through. Some day in the near future I will walk across that bridge in Selma. As far as making Steve laugh, it was absolutely sweltering in the auditorium where the fundraiser was being held. I was in a shirt and tie with a very nice dress jacket and I was sweating like crazy. As I was shaking Steve’s hand I made a joke that if it got any hotter in there that I was going to put an apple in my mouth and turn in slow circles. He really got a good laugh from that. It happened to be during the time he was on Boardwalk Empire. Considering Youngstown past with organized crime, during his speech to the crowd he made a joke about it, Saying “Now they didn’t ask me to come here tonight because I play a gangster on TV” The whole room erupted in laughter. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people through activism. I’ve walked picket lines with striking nurses, marched against voter suppression while fighting pneumonia and rallied against gun violence on a night where it was only 10 degrees. One day I’m going to run for office again myself.

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            • Yeah. John Lewis more than earned the right to be quiet and reserved. Like you, I hope to walk across that bridge in Selma one day. What an experience to have with Steve. I remember hearing about Boardwalk Empire. It was a big deal for a while. You’ve done a lot. I salute you for your service. That’ll be amazing when you run for office someday!

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    • Roger your letters are always amazing and spot on. I love reading the growth that you’ve faced throughout your time in this earth. I’m glad that you have such passion for activism. You will change the world one day and your doing it now like you said by being brave enough to share your voice with others even if it’s with one letter at a time.

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      • Kayjah,

        It’s sometimes hard to really put a pulse on the things I’ve done in my life. Each experience changes me and mostly for the better. I’ve put myself in places by choice to keep promises I’ve made myself and others. Granted the road map I had in mind hasn’t exactly been followed or easy.

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