Chapter 7: Mentoring the Next Generation of Parents
11:55:47:27 - 11:57:55:18
Lisa: Can you tell me maybe about one person that you're currently mentoring, and how it is that you support that person?
Lizzie: Cleo Dupree.
When we're doing awards. Yeah, we are -- work together, and she like, for example, we was getting the food person that was going to do the catering for us. Okay, I got the caterer and a DJ, but the day I met with them, I called her, so she could meet with us, and she could voice her opinion, and that would be -- if anybody asked her about food, DJ, or any event, she would know, because she would be in the meeting. So I called her to -- what day's good for you, Monday or Tuesday? I said she can't meet us on Monday. It's Tuesday. Okay, and she come, and she was able to voice her opinions and different things, and we worked together on that. When we do an award, we put them in together, we went back and got them together, and we paid for them. She paid some, and I paid some, and that's how we do it. Now she asks me to -- anything that she calls, she asks me, and she said, you know make sure you got the paperwork and the sign-in sheet and everything. I said, I got that. I said, I was at county. I was at - down the Vision [Vision for Equality]. They gave it to me. I said, I have all the sign-in sheets. I've got the contract that we supposed to sign, and I got everything. And I said, I'll bring it, you sign it and then you can do what you have to do, and that's how we work together, like in a partnership. And I always stayed in the background, and if she need me, a lot of times, we just get things together, over the telephone, but respect her as a leader, and I don't need to be in the limelight, because I been there and did that. So I always help her, and she be telling -- making speeches and telling people what they got to do and all. She ask me to do anything, okay, you got it. And that's how you work with people, and that's how you create peoples, and mold them and shape them, and they be good leaders. I learned that from my own experience.
11:57:55:18 - 12:00:40:03
Lisa: Do you think today's parents realize how much is at stake for their children?
Lizzie: No, they don't. The younger parents, they don't. They think -- see, they didn't have to do without us. We advocated and got things for ourselves. It's all been there for them, and so they never had to worry about services. All they had to do was go get it. But I found that younger peoples like this, you can't explain to them. They wants everything right when they want it. They don't want to wait for anything, and they just, you know, just talking so much, and they don't listen to people. They don't go in and learn how to listen, and really learn how to work with people, and that's what you got to have. You know, you can't be all upset. You know, you can be upset, but it's a way that you can kind of -- if you are upset and you are disappointed, and I've always said this - I used to tell when I was the leader, if you're not happy, when you come to this table, plaster a smile on your face and pretend you're happy, and that's what I would tell them. Because you go to the table all negative, talking like that, you just destroyed your meeting. You just destroyed everything you want to accomplish that day. You just don't get anywhere, you know, and that's all I say. Listen first. You know, like how you have a right to your opinions, I have a right to mine, but I have to listen to you and see what you're saying. You listen to me, and then we find a way. How we going to work together, how we going to solve this problem, and just help everybody? And we find - you by -- you say your opinion, I say mine, and we find a way, like common grounds here, that we can work. You know we would say it like, know your ground, stand your ground, but stay on common ground. You know, you really want to keep it together like that, you know.
You don't -- and everybody in this world have problems. You're not the only one that have a problem. And it's not -- the problem is, say, it's like, what do you do about the problem? What can we do? And you know, I'm saying the problem -- you go to the table, you're taking 30 unimportant things in the back of your mind, and you bring the important things to the front. You know, it's -- well if it's a problem at home whatever it is, close the door on that and leave it there and you go on out there and you do what you need to do, and you be able to separate it. That was my cousin. I worked with the Bulletin newspaper. I was her first cousin. Nobody never know we was first cousin, because we got on that job, we act like we didn't even know each other. She was my boss, and she told me what to do and I did it. Didn't nobody never suggest that. Nobody never know, because we was just two different peoples, you know, and that's it.
More Interview Chapters
About Lizzie Richardson
Born: 1937, Smithfield, North Carolina
Parent, Advocate, Board Member North Central Services
Mentoring, Parents, Services, Waiting List