Finding inspiration in the pandemic

Through his work in environmental services, Danny Little has been encouraged by Elon Law professors and students to seek a copyright for his poetry and even to submit articles of incorporation to establish a Greensboro nonprofit community resource center.

A change in routine due to COVID-19 has inspired one Elon Law employee to dream big and pursue a newfound passion for both advocacy and wordsmithing.

With encouragement from professors and students, Danny Little secured a copyright to “Reflections of a Pandemic,” a poem he authored that blends themes of health, social justice, and equality with which the nation has grappled over the past year.

He also has applied to the State of North Carolina for articles of incorporation that would establish a south Greensboro nonprofit resource center he’s named “The H.O.O.D. Connection.”

H.O.O.D. – short for “Helping Others Overcome Disadvantages” – is a longtime vision for Little, who has worked in environmental services at Elon Law for the better part of a decade. He often bumps into students and professors on his evening shift and shares his interest in advocacy as well as acronyms he has made into T-shirts.

For example: There’s J.U.S.T.I.C.E., short for “Just us, standing together, individually, choosing equality.” You have L.A.W., short for “Letting advocacy work… for everyone.” Then there’s R.A.C.E., which represents “Realizing all colors equal… the human race.” And M.A.S.K., or “Maintaining all safe keepings.”

These acronyms and more are found in his poem, too, which was formally copyrighted in December. But it’s the idea of a nonprofit community resource center that Little sees as a potential legacy.

“The ‘H.O.O.D.’ concept is to connect lives to positive resources,” he said. “It’s ‘God given and community driven.’ In the typical ‘hood’ you find people of different colors, cultures, backgrounds, ages, genders, faiths, and so forth, just like the logo displays. All of those components working together puts an individual in a position of positive connections.”

Little credits his professional relationships at Elon Law for his ongoing interest in advocacy. He finds additional motivation by staying connected to family, including his mother, Betty Louise Little, who was honored with a journalism award upon her high school graduation. Danny Little also keeps in touch with a retired high school English teacher who inspired him to never stop learning throughout his life journey.

“I guess I’m ‘preaching’ through my work, conveying a positive and meaningful message,” he said. “Timing is everything. COVID provided a pause and this positive was pulled out of the negative situation we are all living in.”