Lifestyle

A step in the right direction

  • Time for unity: Georgette Prime-Godwin is asking Bermuda to get behind Every Step Counts, a movement hoping to effect change in the community (Photograph supplied)

On Sunday grab your phone, walk to the main road and take a picture of the path.

Next, forward it to info@godwininternational.org. Doing so will show you stand in solidarity with residents eager to reclaim Bermuda from the violence that has recently taken place.

Absent or underrepresented neighbourhoods will give a good idea of where work needs to be done to get buy-in from residents, believes Georgette Prime-Godwin.

“This is a clarion call to the nation of Bermuda inviting every person to join the movement,” she said of the effort she is calling Every Step Counts. “Walk your street to the main street and take back your parish because #everystepcounts.”

Although she had never done anything similar in Bermuda before, the horrific machete attack during a Warwick home invasion a week ago “tipped me over the edge”, Dr Prime-Godwin said.

“The violence has always been going on but I guess I could be just like everybody else. It wasn’t really in my neighbourhood, it really wasn’t anybody in my family. I am a pastor so you call me because so and so passed, got shot, got injured, got stabbed, got something. Pastor can you pray? Absolutely. So that’s what I do.

“I will pray for you and your family, but then I go back in my house and everything’s hunky-dory. When I went online and I saw about that young lady, my heart broke. Enough is enough.”

The pastor hopes that the simplicity of her movement will encourage people to join in.

“The idea behind Every Step Counts is to galvanise the community,” she said. “Number one is to take part of the movement, take part of the shift. If we want things to change, then we have to do it as a collective community. We cannot say it’s [someone else’s] responsibility.

“Hopefully people who don’t come out, hopefully fear is not what keeps them locked in their homes. [It’s different than] asking someone from Somerset to come to town and march. They probably won’t come because they can’t come across the bridge. There are all these nuances that are going on in our community that, if we don’t stand as a united front, before we know it the only place we’ll be able to go is to work and home because the community has locked you down. And, of course, my question is, who gives you the right to do that?”

Her hope is that people across the island “stand in solidarity” with the movement, which is currently focused on raising awareness.

“Once awareness is heightened and we see who’s involved we can work in those particular cell groups that aren’t,” said Dr Prime-Godwin, the pastor at Emmanuel Baptiste Church. “What can we do in your area? That’s jumping ahead a bit but that would be really focused towards reform. That would be the ultimate goal and for the protection of our young people.

“It was a vision that I had and then I tapped into Chaplains, a Bermudian chaplaincy group here, and Substance Institute [an online Bible school] has joined with me so to speak.”

Social media has helped spread news of the movement to Barbados, the United States and England. Dr Prime-Godwin hopes people in Bermuda are just as interested.

“I’ve just always had this drive that if something is not going right I will stand up and I will say something. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from.

“I think I caused the first sit-out while I was away in school. They said no drugs were allowed. They kept the kid whose parents had money and our Bermudian that was there, he didn’t have a whole lot of money, they let him go. They kept the kid with the money because the daddy was paying money into the school. All 1,100 students, I had them sit out because it wasn’t right. Either you get rid of them both or you pardon both. So I’ve always been that way.”

She’s hoping Bermuda stands in solidarity with her at 3.30pm on Sunday, when Every Step Counts kicks off.

“We will just do this little, small task because that way everybody can be involved. Grandma, godma, somebody in a wheelchair doesn’t have to go too far, doesn’t have to get a bus. They can just wheel out to their yard, go to the main road, take a picture and wheel back to their residence.

“One would be really amazed by the power of a nation that stands in solidarity. A nation who expresses compassion for its people, stands strong to its values will begin to self-forgive and heal. Therefore, let us be intentional.”

Georgette Prime-Godwin is an author and coach. Learn more at godwininternational.org