You are extraordinary.
Writing this post feels like I have come full circle. In April of 2019, Alfred White reached out to me on ACEs Connection. Shortly after, we spoke at length about the plans he had to create a place of healing and hope in Federal Way and King County, Washington, specifically for individuals with a history of trauma and who were now impacted with symptoms such as addiction and homelessness. I recall sharing with Alfred that there was such a need for this in that community, but doubt if the community was ready for such an endeavor. It would be another ten months before I spoke with Alfred again, and when I did, I was happy to learn that he had proven me wrong.
When Alfred and I reconnected in early 2020, I was shocked to learn that he had been battling extensive chronic health conditions – health conditions that resulted from a generational and lifelong history of trauma and adversity that had begun before he was even born. Alfred shared with me that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer and was awaiting a liver transplant. He shared that he also had fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a series of other health conditions. The trauma impacting Alfred’s mind, body, and soul manifested in his life as substance abuse, homelessness, and criminality. This culminated with Alfred swallowing 1/4oz of crack cocaine, ultimately having a near miss with death, and making the decision that it was time to get clean and sober.
An image of Alfred after his last encounter with substances.
Despite the extensive challenges on top of intergenerational trauma and early adversity, Alfred demonstrates a great deal of hope and resilience. He secured a property and partnered with a general contractor to renovate a space into a resilient residential treatment facility, and he continues to pursue connections to breathe life into his vision for a healing center. Alfred impresses and inspires me on a daily basis, proving that our traumas and our histories do not define us.
It was an honor when Alfred extended an opportunity of partnership to me. My passion for supporting children and families, as well as building community capacities, aligned well with the plans he described. Alfred is the Founder of The League of Extraordinary People. My heart was filled when we finalized our Mission and Vision statements earlier this week. There is no greater feeling for me than the fulfillment I experience when engaging in work to empower others. If this work resonates with you as it did with me, we would love to connect with anyone, particularly those who are peers as Alfred is. No matter your background, skill, or experience, you are extraordinary and have something meaningful to contribute to this work! As we progress through this virtual time, many opportunities for volunteering are available – for example, content development, writing and editing, photography, or even simply sharing your journey with us to inspire others.
Our mission is to launch an educational and spiritual enrichment revolution to build hope, resilience, and healing through community empowerment.
Our vision is to establish a transformational, integrative, and replicable self-healing Center of Extraordinary People. This residential community model will heal transgenerational trauma through a foundation of safety, trustworthiness and transparency, peer support, collaboration and mutuality, empowerment of voice and choice, and purposefully elevating historical ethnic and cultural legacies.
Be part of The League of Extraordinary People!
You can find us at www.tloep.org.