In Honor of Black History Month
Celebrating Lindsay McCoy
I was fortunate and blessed to grow up in a stable, God-fearing home – it was through our faith and hope that we would come out ok. Living while Black, there was always some issue, some insult, some hardship thrown our way. But our faith is what kept us grounded and able to rise above and move forward. This carried me through a very uncomfortable four years at Buchanan High School. It was there that I understood not everyone was taught the same at home.
I was constantly reminded that I was different and that the “Clovis Way of Life” did not apply to me. The new experience of race fights, mistreatment and the home visit from an FBI agent interviewing me about the racial tension at Buchanan, made me lean even more into my hope and faith for a better tomorrow.
I try not to focus so much on the struggle, but rather focus on the person I will become on the other side of it. Daily self-examination helps me. My past and present experiences have changed my perspective on a lot of things. I desire to live a life as an example for my daughter who is living in a world that changes daily and is unpredictable. I’m highly aware of what she is exposed to and what she absorbs.
Serving others has always been a true passion of mine. Before joining CCLS, I served as the community dinner coordinator for seven years at my former place of worship. Getting to know the people and the issues they faced daily helped widen the lens I was looking through. Their stories of hardship gave me a different perspective on survival and fueled my desire to be a resource to those in need. While unemployed and home caring for our daughter, my husband lost his job. We ended up on public assistance. This was a new experience, having been blessed with stable employment and a comfortable lifestyle over the years. My strength came from the encouragement I was giving others to keep my family lifted. I came in contact with a community advocate who connected me to CCLS. I later joined the board and served for a year before becoming part of the staff.
Acquiring a full understanding of what CCLS does really sealed the deal for me. So many people are dealt an unfair hand. I feel CCLS was placed here in the central valley to be the voice for those who often are not heard. I know our clients didn’t ask for the situations in which they find themselves. I believe in hope and justice and am so proud to be a part of CCLS. We are a force to be reckoned with.
If I wasn’t at CCLS my dream job would be the director of a development and rehabilitation center. I’ve dreamed of this center named in honor of my late father, David Russel James Leffall. I would call it “The RJ Center” (short for my father’s middle names). He was an advocate and left a legacy of kindness. He was the true definition of loving one another. The crowd at his funeral left many standing around the walls and pouring out into the church entryway and parking lot. It was a testament to the life he lived and the amount of people he touched. I am certain that he would be so proud of where I ended up. I can imagine him smiling and saying, “You did good, Binnie! Keep up the good work!”.
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