"Be the change you wish to see in the world," Gandhi once told us.
The Triangle has more than its share of challenges: affordable housing and gentrification, pockets where there's a lot of crime but little opportunity, infrastructure that struggles to keep up with growth. And for each of these problems, there are dedicated souls trying to help. For the last thirty-three years, the INDY's Citizen Awards have honored individuals who are being the change they wish to see.
In keeping with that tradition, this installment profiles five people who are striving to foster a better community. Whether they're assisting the needy, forging a juvenile-justice system that is a little more just, or improving the lives of our canine companions, they exemplify the best parts of our nature—our empathy, our compassion, our willingness to help those who can't always help themselves.
All around us we see a coarsening of our culture and politics, a bubbling sense of anger and resentment in which empathy is mistaken for weakness and disadvantage for laziness.
These five serve as a reminder that we can do better.