The Greatest Love of All by Donna Gill
I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Muhiyidin Moye d’Baha loved teaching children. He believed if we could get the youth to see their self-worth they will have unity as adults. In fact, he thought children are more likely to react appropriately and do the right thing than adults. They are pure and unadulterated. Children are our future, and Moya, as he was known by many, wanted to be sure they were on the right path to lead the way.
Tragically, d’Baha was murdered this past month in New Orleans. While the circumstances remain unclear, and his killer remains at large, it is with no small sense of irony that his family, friends and associates note that he was on the road, learning and absorbing best practices for community involvement to improve social injustice issues in Charleston, North Charleston, and the surrounding areas.
Charleston, a city known for its beauty, courtesy, diversity, and most especially, grace and unity in the face of hatred and adversity, is far from free of inequalities and inequities. D’baha, a nationally known activist, was passionate about exposing and highlighting those flaws. He was an abolitionist at heart, believing that we must completely dismantle white supremacy to see real change in our society.
At the root of his work was children. From his time as an intern at Metonia’s Children’s Defense Fund Freedom school in 2013, to his more recent founding of Building From the Block Up in Charleston, Moya was all about the kids. He taught them more than just drumming; he taught them how to be self righteous and how to honor thy mother, father, and elders. He believed you were never too young to learn about social justice, and how to stand up for what you believe- even if it means you stand alone. Moya also spoke often on the importance of education; encouraging all young people to learn how to read and write to accomplish their goals and to change our society.
Building From the Block Up is an organization and resource network created to strengthen cooperative youth enterprises with a vision of nurturing their ideals into actions and awakening their dreams. His vision will be continued and implemented in Charleston, because of and in memory of him. To learn more about this vision, visit Blockbuilder.yolasite.com
He powered through life with superhuman stamina and focus. He never allowed anyone or anything to take his eye off the ball - building a better world. No compromise would do. No small concession would be accepted. Through all that focus, he walked in humility; always the first to admit he had more to learn and always open to the lessons and blessings his journey would provide.
Shortly after he drew national attention for bringing a counter-protesters’ hate symbol to the ground, he was asked to speak to a group of elementary students at the Redux Art School. As usual, Moya was in his element, talking with and leading youth. Discussing how to solve a problem or tackle a task, d’Baha instructed the students to
see everything you have available to you, and figure out how to use it to get done what you need to get done.
He went on to share his own story about how he acted to fix something that was hurting people, especially Elders.
Each one you have the spirit to do what’s right. Always do what’s right, even if everyone else is standing around, looking scared, or standing around talking about what to do, you just go ahead and do what’s right.
d’Baha was passionate about music and was well known for his drumming. Every chance he got, he shared his talent by playing and teaching. He wanted every child he met to learn, but further, to experience the transcendation from music to a spiritual experience.
He was a member of the Baha’i Faith, a 19th century religion that teaches unity and the oneness of humanity to promote peace throughout the world. Two main tenets of this faith are gender equity and the eradication of systemic racism. Moya helped composed songs based on prayers, that were then taught to and performed by the Baha’i youth at the Southeastern Youth Conference in 2011. You can hear some of those pieces performed by searching Strike Up A Melody.
Charleston has a sister village in Ghana called Okurase, in the Eastern Region. d’Baha was responsible for distributing approximately twenty djembes, African drums, that were on loan to Charleston from this Village. He had a vision for children all over greater Charleston to find their inner heart song through drumming. There was seldom an event that didn’t include drums, guitar, or flute music. Muhiyidin played them all.
d’baha was not one to wait for anyone or anything when he saw a problem or an action that needed to be addressed. His greatest leadership trait was his ability and passion for empowering others to find their own inner leader. He was a doer, and inspired this in others. Since his dreadful passing, there are already at least two significant efforts that carry his name.
The Community Resource Center in Summerville has been gifted a refurbished bus that will be used to transport underserved children on trips to see the beauty of American. It will also be used to help more veterans and reach more homeless citizens with medical supplies, food and clothing. There will be a dedication and blessing of the bus on March 12th 2018 at 11:00 am, in his honor.
A new school and reading intervention program, called the Muhiyidin d’baha Leadership Academy is slated to open in April, and is enrolling now. The first year is focused on children in Grades 3-5 in an afterschool program. All services are free to the students for the first year. Classes begin on June 5th. Please call 843-641-8366 if you want more information.
A recent bit of advice that he sent out to the world via his Facebook page asked people to communicate and collaborate. He believed this was the way to tackle every problem and project. He epitomized that philosophy. He taught the children well.
He was the change he wanted to see in the world.