Be Real

Keeping it Real” – a slogan often heard by television entertainers and comedians. Urban dictionary.com defines it as “a reaction stated by individuals claiming to deny pop culture and sticking with their own thing.” For me, I find that most individuals are REAL if they are truly passionate about the things they do in life!

The “Realness” in you speaks for itself. You will often receive compliments and praises when “Realness” is presence. While people tend to gravitate to a real person, people repel from bogus individuals.

Here’s a permanent formula to remain “Real” to others:

Harbor yourself with real people [to] do real things [to] make real impact!

Harbor yourself with real people

Like [positive] minds tend to thrive and produce. We find that evident in Toastmaster clubs throughout the world. We find that evident in social clubs. We find that evident in churches. We even find that evident in some of our circle of friends! Real people edify and challenge each other – good or bad. Real people accept criticism or hurtful comments and turn that feedback into positive outcomes.

Do real things

The former South African leader and renowned world-leader Nelson Mandela said “Real Leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

Can you imagine the tumultuous life Mandela endured for decades in jail? Can you imagine the emotions he had to manage while separated from his family? Yet, he stayed faithful to the cause in doing the real thing – to see that his people would one day be free from Apartheid. The thirst within his veins kept him hungry for that quenchable taste of justice.

Make real impact

Here’s the benefit for those who gravitate to Real People:

  • Real People have something to give that will make others change or improve
  • The wisdom of Real People can leave a profound legacy
  • Real People duplicate greatness throughout his or her community
  • Real People are purposed to demonstrate and model servanthood

This formula can and will keep you passionate and purposeful!

Let go people and do some good!

 

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The Intersection of Passion and Vision

Last month, I delivered a speech entitled “Visionary Leader” at my local Toastmaster club. The purpose of the speech was to challenge the members to assess their vision barometer. Here are some engaging questions I asked the audience – can you see greatness in the future of your professional career; can you imagine the possibility of doing better; or could you develop ways to plan your destiny?

 

I began the speech by defining the word ‘vision’ – the ability or an instance of great perception, especially of future development. The act or power of sensing with the eyes.

 

Next, I illustrated what Visionary Leaders are – and are not! Let’s start with the qualities that are not becoming of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Lovers of preserving the ‘Status Quo”
  • Individuals who are stuck in the past or have a “we’ve always done it this way” mindset
  • Generation excluders
  • Present day Managers

 

Now let’s look at the qualities of a Visionary Leader:

 

  • Individuals who pushes the envelope or address new creative ideas
  • Advocators who see it, say it, and show it
  • Those who see invisible futures
  • Futuristic builders

 

Days after the speech I took a moment to examine the intersection of vision and passion. Passion of course is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion of feeling. Hhmmm, the two words seems to connect with a common word – “power.” Such an interesting way to view the two words:

 

Passion – the power to thirst

Vision – the power to grasp

 

Do you possess a sensible appetite to thirst for something (passion)? Do you possess a sensible appetite to grasp for greatness (vision)? If you answer yes to both questions and find a need (or power) to do so, then your passion and vision intersects! Take a moment to view the illustration below.

 

Let go people and do some good!

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God’s Will, God’s Words and God’s Way!

God’s Will

Psalm 138:8 says the Lord will work out his plans for my life.  God’s plans for us are always good.  Unknown plans can be frightening, but when the plans belong to God, we can rest assured that we can expect something marvelous.  Submitting to God is the only way to peacefully know His “Will” for your life!  I encourage us to fully depend on God’s will for everything good that happens.

**IN SUMMARY**

God reveals His “Will” through His “Words”

God’s Words

As we seek to obey God’s Word, he will lead us in the right direction.  It may not be without problems and pain, but we can be assured that “God’s causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28)

Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven – Psalm 119:89

God’s Word has real power, for as James says, “It has the power to save your souls” – James 1:21.  Don’t just stop with that, for it later says further in the scripture that you must do what it [the power of His words] says!

**IN SUMMARY**

God’s Words helps us Grow!

God’s Way

In the earlier sections of the book of Isaiah, God tell us that His thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways are not your ways!

The way for positive life-long possibilities comes with God!  The scripture Matthew 19:26, says “With God, everything is possible!”  There should be a God-Factor in everything you do!  Never leave Him out, because if you do – the Way you choose life will not be fruitful.

**IN SUMMARY**

God’s Way along with God’s Word will always lead you to do it God’s Way!

The Year of Fulfillment (2014) – Ideas to Implementation to Impact!

The Senior Pastor of Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Georgia declared 2014 to be “The Year of Fulfillment – Ideas to Implementation to Impact!”  Wow! That prophetic statement truly resonated with me.

And while I’m gearing up to witness great things to happen this year, you can find pessimistic people all around you.  They’re ready to spark conversations that breeds distrust, mistrust and unjust within our society.

Our national news is filled with so many disappointing stories of people unable to find a well-paying job, unable to afford healthcare, unable to determine what kinds of food to consume, and unable to decide what to watch on television!  Oops…did I say that (smile)!  So why do most of us feel so ‘unable’ when we live in a country that promotes a ‘can-do’ attitude?  What will it take for each of us to plan and execute an idea that’s been festering in our minds?

 

Ideas

There are 12 cranial nerves which mingle throughout several lobe sections of the brain. And from that, our brain produces a series of intelligences.  Here are just a few:

  • Observation
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Musical/auditory
  • Creativity
  • Logic

On any given day, a normal person may conceive several great ideas!  You may have a locker full of ideas but haven’t don’t anything with it.  If you feel passionate about an idea and you know it can benefit someone else, challenge yourself to put it into action!

 

Implementation

Now here’s the hard part…once you put the idea(s) in motion, it takes dedication and commitment.  The action steps of the idea may not go as plan, but keep yourself motivated.  Here are a few quick quotes to keep pressing forward:

“Never, Never, Never Give Up!” – Winston Churchill

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday!”

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

“You can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry tomorrow – You Choose!”

“Well done is better than well said!” – Benjamin Franklin

“If you can’t fly, then run; If you can’t run, then walk; If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward!” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Start now…let ‘worry’ worry about the rest!

 

Impact

Ah!  The reward comes….you now see the results of your work.  In life, we want to have some level of being impactful to others.  Here are some impactful moments:

1)      A parent watches his/her child walk across the stage receiving a high school diploma

2)      You build and launch a new cupcake company in your neighborhood – appealing to a market with a sweet tooth

3)      A caregiver helping an older person in his/her last moments in life

4)      A major donor who fund an agriculture program in a developing country

5)      A law enforcement worker mentoring a neighborhood child

6)      A teenager babysitting young children

Impacting the lives of others will give you a sense of accomplishment.  Open that locker of ideas and see what gives you pleasure to implement.  It will become a priceless effort if you implement it!

Let go people and do some good!

“My” 2013 Year-End Awards

2013 – My last blog of the year.  It’s been an exciting time for me to create and write on my blog.   I was prepared to write some reflective about this year, but decided to have a little fun.  Here in the U.S., we have so many award shows:

The American Music Awards

The Essences Awards

The People Choice Awards

CCN Heroes Award

The Grammy Awards

The American Country Awards

The Billboard Awards

MTV Music Awards

The American Latin Music Awards

BET Awards

NAACP Awards

VH1 Awards

Kid’s Choice Awards

Golden Globe Awards

…and many others not mentioned.  So I decided to do “my” own awards of 2013.  You may or may not agree with my award recipients – that’s fine.  I have my own opinion and I approve this message!  Again, I’m having fun.

 

Category                                                          Award Recipient(s)

Biggest Winner of 2013                                                  Catholic Church Pope Francis

Biggest Loser of 2013                                                      [Tie] ObamaCare / 16-Day U.S. Government Shutdown                                                                                                                 (Washington is a mess…)

Worst Politician of 2013                                                [Tie] NYC Mayoral Candidate Anthony Wiener /

Toronto, Canada  Mayor Rob Ford

Most Defining Political Moment                                 16-Day U.S. Government Shutdown

Turncoat of the Year                                                       Exiled American Edward Snowden

Most Boring                                                                         [Tie] Entertainers Lady Gaga / Kanye West

Most Charismatic                                                              The Late ANC Former President Nelson Mandela

Most Disappointed U.S. Court Decision                 The Florida jury verdict of Georgia Zimmerman

Best Comeback of 2013                                                  Album Release of Songversation – India Arie

Worst Comeback of 2013                                              Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (Don’t drop the

soap Kwame!)

Most Original Thinker                                                     Amazon.com hoping to deliver packages to residences

via flying drones

Most Stagnant Thinker                                                  American Rapper DMX during Aylana’s “Fix My Life”

Show

Best Photo Op of 2013                                                   Double amputee U.S. Staff Sgt. Jesse with wife Kelly

(Talk about a spouse having your back…this is precious!)

Worst Photo Op of 2013                                               U.S. President Barack Obama taking a “selfie” with

Danish Prime Minister at Nelson’s memorial service!

(Come on Mr. President…you’re not at a Justin Bieber

concert!)

 

Enough Already Award!                                                The Kardashians!

Worst Lie of 2013                                                             “If you like your Health Care Plan, you can keep your

Health Care Plan…Period!” – U.S. President Obama

Honorable Mention of 2013                                         Boston Strong

Best Drama Series of 2013                                            Showtime’s “Homeland”

Worst Reality TV Series of 2013                                Oxygen’s “Preachers of LA”

Person of the Year                                                            16-year old Pakistani Activist Malala Yousafzai

Stop Complaining and Explaining – Start Changing and Producing!

     As we’re facing the last month of 2013, I hope many of you are taking the time to assess what you’ve accomplished this year.  Yes, time flies when you’re having fun! 

     The church I attend had proclaimed 2013 as the “YEAR OF INTENTION – Impact, Impart, and Implement!”  When I heard it in January, I took the declaration very seriously.  I no longer felt the need to complain about the struggles of not having life’s little luxuries – i.e. expensive watches, clothes and first class travels.  I no longer wanted to explain my reasons to anyone for not stepping back into the mediocre workplace and missing out on what I believe God challenged me to do.

     I knew this year would advance me into a sense of being.  In order to find a level of faith within myself, I had to withstand distractions from others, disappointments by others, and discouragement found through others.  I had to continuously seek and draw strength from the man above – God.  And through this process, the two demons of complaining and explaining faded.

     What began to replace those two demons was the positive offer of ‘change’ and become truly ‘productive’.  I’m sure each of us will go through this transformation at least once in our lifetime.  For many it’s all about staying true to who you are and what you know is right and just.

     In the early 19th Century, Solomon Northrup a free-born African American from Saratoga, New York had everything in life.  As a professional musician he was framed into a musical deal by some shanty hustles and unknowingly kidnapped into slavery!  To go from having his own respectable life in the North, a good home and wonderful family – Solomon would be thrown into the shock of his life.  Having never experienced slavery in his life, this culture shock would attempt to shake his belief.  It took twelve years to keep the belief that he would be free again one day.

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     Solomon’s story now in theaters nationwide, displays a character that didn’t complain or explain his sad situation to everyone he met.  He kept a careful strategy to change his situation, no matter how dangerous it got to be.  During the twelve years of his odyssey, Solomon finally saw his “Year of Intention.”  It came and he was able to reclaim his life again.  Can you imagine the brutality of what he had to endure day after day – and having to internally deal with the two demons to complain and explain?  If he chose to openly complain about his situation to anyone, he would’ve met death by his slave owners.

     So what are you complaining about today?  Are you struggling what to do about your life but keep making excuses or complaining?  Shake off the ‘why’ and the ‘what if’s’ and rid yourself of confusion!  Begin to change your attitude and start producing.  Your journey may not be as like Solomon Northrup, but you can find pitfalls and roadblocks to it!  Whatever the case, stay true to your belief, it’ll eventually pay off!

Let go people and do some good!

www.foxsearchlight.com/12yearsaslave

School Yards, Prison Yards, and Graveyards

I’m not the one to bring dismal or bad news to people…that’s not my style.  I’d like however, to bring some interesting information for you to ponder.

The Educational School Yards of our Country

I visited the Nation’s Census website to review the data on higher education enrollment.  The latest data showed a 10-year spread.  From 1990 to 2009, the government had creditable information from gender, race, age and characteristics1.  It wasn’t a surprise to see the increased enrollment numbers year after year – all the way to 2009!  As I dug deeper to view the enrollment by race and class, the numbers were disturbing.

The racial divide shows a large gap toward the later years of 2007, 2008, and 2009.  When you analyze the report into gender class and among the races, the African-American males shows a downward trend of new enrollments2.

Yes, numbers are numbers – but these numbers represents children.  The children of our country and a small percentage of individuals who come from other foreign lands spend several years to receive a quality post-high school education.  Now that we’re entering a new phase of global workforce competition, how can we encourage more of our children to set a steady educational path for quality jobs and quality pay?  As it relates to a child in our community, could we do better from cradle-to-college?

The Young Prison Yards of our Country

For several years, A&E has aired a TV reality show call “Beyond Scared Straight”3 – a series of episodes following derailed, defiant and disrespectful teens as they enter immersive jail programs aimed at deterring them from a life of crime.  In its fifth filming season, we witness wayward children whose parents appear to have no control over them.  The show depicts law enforcement units from certain areas of the country attempt to make tough decisions on behalf the parents; when we all know the home is supposed to be the first institution of education!

I have a statistical snapshot just from a southern state (name withheld) here in the US on the matter of youth incarceration4.

• There are 8 youths serving life without parole sentences
• This southern state has 1.71 per 100,000 14-17 year olds serving life without parole sentences ranking it 32nd of the 40th state covered in the Amnesty International USA report The Rest of Their Lives: Life Without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States (2005).
• This southern state has a ratio of 5.4 black youths for every white youth sentenced to life without parole giving it the 21st highest black/white ratio out of 27 states.
• The minimum age for prosecution as an adult is 12.
• The minimum age for sentencing a youth to life without parole is 13.
• This southern state has mandatory life without parole sentencing.

The Grave Yards of our Country

Do you remember the Columbine tragedy in Colorado?  What about the Virginia Tech College School Massacre in 2007 – the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history?  Or how about this year’s Sandy Hook Elementary School killings in Newtown, Connecticut?

I strongly encourage you to view this website that lists the total murders of young people in Chicago:

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2013-chicago-murders.

On this site, you’ll see in chronological death order the portraits of innocent, young faces – most of them smiling back at you. Most of their lives met a terrible fate of daily gang shootings throughout Chicago.  The site also mapquest the spot in which it shows their last living steps.  These killings just don’t happen in one town, but in all urban cluster cities.   After your visit to this site, you certainly feel uncomfortable. 

We don’t need to bury our future doctors, scientist, and educators of our country.

How can we make this better? Simple, get involved – starting in your own neighborhood. Serve on a community board. Join a youth volunteer organization. Share your educational skills with a younger person. Become a mentor…

As 2013 draws to a close, make a new pledge to yourself in 2014 to get involve.

Let go people and do some good!

1. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0281.pdf
2. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0279.pdf
3. http://www.aetv.com/beyond-scared-straight
4. Source from Amnesty International USA, The Rest of Their Lives: Lives without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States (2005)

From Freedom Riders to Riding (Literally) “Free”

Last month, we paused to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  Most historians describe that time as the movement’s formal address to civil liberties of our country.  Many speeches were delivered on that day and they were all aimed to challenge our Founding Father’s legislative work on the Declaration of Independence written 187 years ago.

Two years before the March on Washington, young civil rights activists journeyed throughout the southern states attempting to integrate public facilities and inter-city bus stations in the spring of 1961.  These Freedom Riders goal was to show the country how African-American people were treated in the South.  Most of the freedom riders at that time were between the ages of 18 and 30 – mainly black and the rest white.

To reflect on the March on Washington and to the brave Freedom Riders, I decided to travel on an express/inter-city bus service called Megabus from Atlanta to Dallas to attend T.D. Jakes’ Megafest Event.  Yes I could’ve purchased an air-flight to Dallas, but choose this method of travel.  I thought it was my way to visualize how it must’ve felt riding on a bus with other people and traveling through the southern states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas.  While in route to Dallas, I wanted to begin reading a book written by Charles Patterson – “The Civil Rights Movement” – and gain a sense of what the riders were thinking fifty years ago.  I wanted to understand the challenges, the good and bad moments of their journey and re-visit portions of the same manicured southern highways that were froth with unexpected stops of resistance local hate groups and segregationists.

At the same time, I wanted to observe how we today ride our interstate highways while comfortably sitting in a reclined seat, free Wi-Fi environment, and coasting smoothly along in an air-conditioned double-decker bus. 

Here’s what I summed up after completing my journey one week later:

Year of 1961

The mindset of a Freedom Rider back then…

  • A sense of solidarity of trained young individuals who risked their lives to change the status quo in the deep south.
  • A hope to improve the needs for everyone to have the right to vote and access to a descent quality of life.
  • To break down racism enforce fair treatment to all who need basic human services.
  • The opportunity for everyone to freely move throughout the South
  • To open doors for economic opportunities, educational advances into the college of their choosing, and equal public services
  • A preparedness of being humiliated, beat upon, spit at, cursed and possibly jailed.

 

Year of 2013

The collected thoughts of what I discovered from bus travelers today…

  • One’s expectation of service and getting to their destination
  • Self-guarded/mostly non-talkative individuals – fitted portable electronic devices were the main entertainment for most travelers
  • A sense of consumer rights to travel anywhere
  • Ease dropping on those who desire to travel beyond the borders of the United States or sharing stores of their international journeys
  • Before each departing journey, all had to be told about the bus provider’s “Miranda Rights” of their service to them
  • No sense of danger where outside factions would mob the bus or make terroristic threats

Fifty years of progress I guess…

Had it not been for our fellow citizens to brave their lives to give us a desire to travel freely on buses and using integrated transfer terminals, where would we be today?  Some of the simple things we do today were not of the things our parents/grandparents couldn’t do then.  It took purposeful people of the 50s and 60s to make significant change in our society.  What are you doing today to make significant change for the next generations to come?  Will you become the next Freedom Rider for justice?

Let go people and do some good!

The Microcosm of Birthing New Ideas for a Grieving Community

Last week I attended a piloted event co-sponsored by the United Way of Metro Atlanta and the Atlanta Promise Neighborhood Initiative.  The gathering was exclusive to adult men from the community and its purpose was to discuss ways on improving our neighborhoods.  The initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Education which seeks to improve the educational achievement and healthy development of underserved children and families in northwest Atlanta.

Close to twenty men from all backgrounds, careers, and various generations came together with a feeling to take action that night.  As we assembled together at a day care center for an evening of food, fellowship and fatherhood, we kept the focus on Child Education.

The moderator of the evening distributed a United Way’s Fatherhood Café Newsletter; the main article opened up like this…

“Fathers and other male role models who are consistently involved in their children’s lives help them grow up with a strong sense of self, a feeling of security and other positive characteristics.  Research by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that children benefit from their father’s involvement in their schools.  Male involvement has a distinct and independent influence on a child’s success.  When a father (or other male figure) is actively involved in school, their children:

  • Learn more
  • Have fewer discipline problems
  • Perform better in school
  • Exhibit healthier behaviors
  • Take part in extracurricular activities
  • Enjoy school more
  • Model positive adult male behavior
  • Show an increase in problem solving skills”

For me, it was helpful to hear what was on the hearts of each brother.  The pressures of work, family expectations, finances, spiritual direction, and other challenges were all earnestly expressed.  It’s interesting that we all felt something common among ourselves – it was the future and outlook of our kids.  The court verdict of the George Zimmerman trial and the recent murderous crimes made by African-American teenagers highlighted in the front pages of national news are heart-wrenching and troublesome.  It became more obvious that these situations stem from the breakdown of the family.

Through the course two hours, we supported the idea of doing more in a child’s education.  And since we were meeting in a day care center, it was a good start to volunteer our time by reading books to the toddlers, helping them with their work curriculum and interacting with them through songs.

One of the men in the room recited a statement that appealed to us.  He said “We need to prevent the transfer of our kids from the school yard to the prison yard!”  I extend my own thoughts by stating that our kids shouldn’t meet the graveyard too!  Also, my hope is that we prevent our kids from being locked-out from educational and job advances; and also prevent our kids from being locked-up by unequal sentencing laws throughout the country!

On a positive front, we have come a long way…

1)      This country has seen its first African-American U.S. President

2)      This country has seen its first African-American U.S. Attorney General

3)      This country has seen its first Hispanic woman Supreme Court Justice

But we still have a way to go…

1)      The highest levels of prison inmate of men of color in a century*

2)      The highest unemployment rate for men of color

3)      Lowest college entries for men of color in twenty years

The exchange of thoughts and ideas continued in the small meeting room.  We believe that most of our “next step” ideas will come into fruition, but baby steps are needed as we gel together as a team.  It is amazing how just a handful of men from all walks of life and soon coming together to meet a common goal!  When a community is in dire need of help, the core of individuals from that same community should find time to resolve matters.

Initiatives like this create a movement to build purpose and empower a community.  And as we celebrate the March on Washington fifty years ago this week, I DREAM for equality shared by all, freedom for all, justice approved by all, and peace to all.

Let go people and do some good!

*U.S. Bureau Department of Justice – Prison Inmates 2009/Statistic Table

Finding Your Way through the Cultural Divide

Several weeks ago, I decided to rest my fingers for a while because I wanted to spend time figuring out an uneasy issue we encounter multiple times in our lives.  Last month, our nation witnessed the judicial verdict of another unwarranted death of a minority teen.  While the George Zimmerman trial story still simmers in the minds of people across the country, I wondered if we’ll ever get to a ‘good’ place where we could live in dignity and respect?

I went to the cinema last week to view a movie entitled Fruitvale Station.  A real-life story, directed by Ryan Coogler, was a snapshot of an often troubled twenty-two year old African-American man named Oscar Grant.  The movie depicts the last 24-hours of Oscar’s life leading up to a string of documented cell phone videos capturing his instant death by the hands of a San Francisco BART police officer on January 1, 2009. 

For more details of the file, visit: www.fruitvalefilm.com

Though it took three years to finally showcase Oscar’s story, his tragic situation never received the same attention as Travon Martin’s untimely in 2012.  And as I write this, there will be another sad situation happening right now – that unnamed person won’t get the level of national attention either.

After the ending of the Fruitvale Station movie, I left the cinema very disturbed and emotionally drained.  Just when this young man was trying to change his life and attempt to become a good son, boyfriend, and young father, his chance of growing old was snuffed out by one bullet – the same as Travon Martin.  Both unarmed and too young to leave us.

Last weekend I visited my hometown of Detroit to surprise my niece at her high-school graduation party.  Half of the party attendees were her friends – young girls and boys all grouped together and having a good time.  As an uncle I wanted to reach out to the young guys and speak to them, but I didn’t want to ‘embarrass’ Kenya so I stayed in my cool swagger spirit (smile).  What I saw from a distance was a group of kids with great potential but cautiously felt the un-welcomed scrutiny that would meet them in the future.

I can never know what is in the mind of today’s young men like Travon and Oscar, but I can relate to the pigmentation of their skin color.  Once upon a time in my youth, I shared the same feelings when going to certain places, communities, or events.  Today in my near middle age life, there are times I think I’m being watched or sense a level of intimidation in unfamiliar places.

What’s more troubling is that United States still remains widely segregated – not by law, but by who people call friends.  A new poll from Reuters shows that around 40 percent of white Americans and 25 percent of non-white Americans have friends exclusively of their own race.

Source of the Polling: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/08/us-usa-poll-race-idUSBRE97704320130808

How do we come together and begin easing our frustration to understand brothers and sisters from different cultures?

I believe we should:

  • Spend more time with workplace individuals after work hours
  • Get to know the parents of our children’s friend / get to know parents through your children’s sporting leagues
  • Attend social events in your neighborhood – take a French speaking class, become a team player of an adult basketball team, join Toastmasters, etc.
  • Attend cultural events in your neighborhood – learn how to Salsa dance, go to a German October Beer Festival, take-up an African-cuisine cooking class, etc.
  • Travel abroad – take a trip to Mexico, Europe or Africa…
  • Learn world histories of other cultures or countries
  • Get involved with our youth – attempt to understand their language
  • Volunteer at a Senior Citizen Residential facility
  • Plan to travel on a mission trip – could be local, regional, or international
  • Work at a soup kitchen station or volunteer at a homeless shelter
  • Join a social cause organization that you’re passionate about – health non-profit organization, run group, biker club, etc.

Poet, essayist and novelist, the late Audre Lorde said “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

The more we learn and appreciate each other’s cultures and backgrounds, I believe we can start the healing process of the existing racial divide.