Jonathan Daniel’s powerful witness is a continual reminder to the members of St. James Church that our faith is defined not by what we say we believe, but by where we actually put our feet and how we choose to steward our lives. Jonathan’s courage in faith is a continual inspiration, not only to his brothers and sisters at St. James, but to our entire community.
My interest in Jonathan Daniels goes back to the 1980’s, when I first learned of him. His life seemed to reflect the same values and dedication that many far more well-known activists had had, yet I knew nothing about him. I found myself wanting to trace his life to discover influences and motivations, to determine what causes people like Daniels to take the actions which they take, and make the decisions that they make. I learned that the answers are simple and complex at the same time.
The passionate commitment and actions of Jonathan Daniels challenge all of us to ask ourselves not only what we would have done, but what we will do. Jonathan Daniels’ legacy reminds me to find ways every day to speak out, confront injustice, and be a welcoming presence in our community.
Jonathan Daniels life inspires me to showcase films that celebrate diversity and bring awareness to social and/or political issues with stories of people taking action to eliminate injustice and inequality. Our film festival honors these filmmakers with the annual Jonathan Daniels award recognizing their dedication and achievement in bringing these powerful stories to light.
As a new resident of Keene, Jonathan Daniels’ life story acts as an important lesson for my two young girls. In today’s day and age, they must know that no matter where they grow up or what their personal experiences have been, they play a role in protecting the rights of others. Jonathan’s story emphasizes that the fact that empathy, kindness, and selfless actions are powerful tools in life, not signs of weakness.
As the previous principal of Jonathan Daniels Elementary School, thinking of Jonathan Daniels reminds me that even at a young age, students can be inspired and develop a passion to advocate for others – whether in the classroom, on the playground, or in their personal lives.
Jonathan Daniels example reminds me to stand up, speak out, and be counted on issues vs. being a silent bystander. One person can make a difference.
Since researching and writing about the life of Jonathan Daniels in the biography BLOOD BROTHER, my own life has been transformed. Because of Jonathan Daniels, I now focus on writing stories about people taking a stand to make the world a better place.