Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Tamilikia Foster is a nurse in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
She’s seen first hand how the pandemic has taken a toll on the lives of Michiganders and Americans
“We’re going into the rooms. And we’re helping our COVID patients, but I can’t go into that room without somebody helping. I can’t stand on somebody’s shoulders without them knowing I appreciate them. So for me, this is I can’t give him a hug to say thank you. But if I can give you a bag and a smile to me, that’s wonder,” Foster said.
She had reached out to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit and other organizations, which sent $22,000 in donations.
Foster and other nurses assembled this and to care packages for 800 McLaren staff members.
“What came with these gift boxes is letters from people all over the world saying, thank you. And those words help keep pushing us to stay in the fight. Those give us the momentum to keep going. And this is just the push that we need,” Foster said.
But just as quickly as COVID-19 became a concern for communities across the country, viral videos of police brutality became front and center, and a concern for the Black community.
“I want to stop the killing. I want to stop crying,” she said.
And after seeing this as a Black woman, Foster had set a new goal for herself.
“June 27th I had my own protests on the Capitol and it was a silent sit-in against racism and everybody, it was a vision that God gave me in. Everybody was white to represent peace and all the souls that are passed from violence and yellow was our leaders to show that our leaders need to get a bright idea for a brighter future,” she said.
Her mission was to celebrate the lives lost to violence while exposing the pain of racism.
While raising awareness, she got the attention of the Lansing Police Chief. And the list of contributions continues.
“I spoke at the proud boys event. So did a moment of silence at both of McLaren’s hospitals, for the Lansing parks and recreations their Black History Month celebration. I was staying busy,” she said.
And for the future, Foster is in the works of starting her own nonprofit.
And she is also hoping to work with Michigan state representative, Sarah Anthony, on the Crown Act to protect people from unequal treatment based on race-based hairstyle.
“Whether it’s in dreads, whether it’s in braids, whether it’s in my beautiful Afro or my curly hair,” she said.
So why do all this?
“I have children. And one day I have grandchildren and I want to leave a legacy. And I want to, I want to go to my grave, knowing that I’ve changed this world for them. And not just for those that come after me, but for other people’s children. And I just want to make a difference in the right way,” she said.