Mayor-elect Eric Adams Recognizes Good Trouble in Ghana and She is from Westchester

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The chances of this Westchester WVOX radio show host meeting the New York City

Mayor-elect Eric Adams in Ghana are apparently pretty good. On December 7th, 2021.

I welcomed Mayor-elect Adams and his lovely partner Tracey Collins at the doorsteps of the Diaspora African Forum (next to the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, Accra). Soon after, he met Ambassador Bennett & Rabbi Halevi, the African American diaspora community leaders in Ghana. They were in the presence of an impressive delegation.   

Mayor-elect Adams did not have this stop on his itinerary. It all started when he answered a message from little old me, just a girl from New York who loves Ghana. I understood this to be a private trip and thus thought it would be a long shot but not impossible!

I wanted Mayor-elect Adams and those who criticized his trip to Ghana to see how much he is loved and appreciated by his fellow African-American community in Ghana.  

When we received the confirmation call he will make the meeting everyone was pleasantly surprised. Even though the Mayor-elect had other things planned and was to fly back to New York the same day the he made the time to meet. It was a pleasant surprise to me, but still I was praying I was not too annoying, pushy or causing trouble.  So,  when he first arrived, the first thing that I would say, " I am sorry for all the trouble," to which he said, "that is okay, this is good trouble, you know, like Congressman Lewis would say?" 

Little did Mayor-elect Adams know that this comment would strike a chord with me. The same day Congressman Lewis passed away (July of 2020) I was watching the news and reading his famous quote from Twitter;

"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."

I thought then I should give up on this idea that all people of color need to turn to Africa. The notion that we can all be united at home and abroad and show support for each other like never before seemed like a big lie and wishful thinking. All I could see was people who looked like me tearing me down and hating on any success. I further understood the trauma, our struggle, and my place in this world. I continue to find comfort in reading John Lewis's quote.  

Fast-forward to December of the same year, and my better half Nahshon Halevi decided to honor his father, Rabbi Halevi, on his birthday by printing a picture of him and John Lewis from the year of return on T-shirts. I happily wore the shirt. As an Afro-Latina in this journey, I am often causing "trouble," primarily because in the community I grew up in, we did not have access to the messages of racial justice like Americans have had from John Lewis, Martin Luther King, and others. We do have access to people like Ambassador Bennet, Rabbi Halevi, Mayor-elect Adams, and all those who are making a difference to elevate people of color. Whenever we can, we must help shield, honor, and celebrate people who continue to work for our benefit when nobody is watching. So when someone comes against those who help us, we should step up our support. 

Someone asked me why I would ever go through the trouble of doing this or setting up such a meeting. The reason is a simple one. I want everyone to be encouraged and continue to empower and support people of color when they have the power to do so and always remember Africa.  In addition, I hope Mayor Eric Adams gets an opportunity to share my contact details when a group wants to get into Ghana media or buy real estate.

I can't remember who said, "girls who follow all the rules never changed the world!" So, when I did not follow the rules, and Mayor-elect Adams called me out as good trouble, I would take that with good pride and meaning. I can now officially say what I get from it is confirmation that I am living in my purpose and can now carry a new nickname Aleida "Good Trouble" Castillo. 

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