Many Americans know that Barack Obama spent three years as a community organizer in Chicago, but hardly any Americans know about Fred Ross Sr., perhaps the most influential community organizer in American history.
I have seen firsthand the power of collaborating with racial and ethnic civil rights leaders, but even I was surprised by how a small conversation with the head of the NAACP mushroomed into a milestone for LGBT health.
The NAACP's support of marriage equality further debunks the myth that black folks are more homophobic than anyone else. Perhaps the key to this battle is to position the issue as supporting equality and the constitution versus any interpretation of religion.
All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and stood with Trayvon's parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.
The president laid out his plan to move our country through this critical time in our history. His plans to embrace innovation, spur job creation and foster compromise are bold, attainable and much needed.