THE NATIONAL ACTION TO REALIZE THE DREAM: 50TH MARCH ON WASHINGTON TO TAKE PLACE SATURDAY, AUGUST 24; PRESS CONFERENCE MONDAY, JUNE 24TH AT NATIONAL PRESS CLUBWHO: Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network & MSNBC Host; Martin Luther King, IIIWHERE: National Press Club529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DCMurrow Room
Question: Many wonder if our youth dream anymore. Do you have a passion & if so what is it?
Photos and question by Christopher McIntyre
Domonique Whitehurst: “Creating new ways to see new things…or…the same thing, influencing people in a positive manner, inciting good conversation, expressing myself. That’s my passion.”
Gary Orlando: “Music, creativity, good food, nice weather and everything in this world that I haven’t see.”
by Serena Wadhwa Psy.D., LCPC, CADC
FAIRYTALE: Some couples just seem to have the perfect marriage, so I often compare my relationship to theirs
and end up feeling like it doesn’t measure up. Why don’t I have that “perfect marriage?”
REALITY: It’s easy to believe that the public magical moments we see of a marriage are all of what that marriage
has. However, no marriage, no matter how enchanting it seems, is perfect. Each marriage has its ups and downs
and it’s important to recognize that each partner is a real individual with different goals, dreams, situations, issues,
and not a made up fantasy. All marriages do have magical moments; it’s working towards creating more of them
that’s important. It’s important not to compare your marriage to someone else’s because each situation is different.
You don’t know what that couple’s marriage is like in the privacy of their own home. You may not even know the
real reasons why the marriage occurred. When you compare your marriage to someone else’s, you are denying
yourself the opportunity to see the reality of your own situation.
We cannot magically want something to occur in our reality without some work on our part. Look at what aspects
of your marriage are you comparing. For example, if you are comparing the romance in your marriage to the
romance in your friend’s marriage, what is it about her romance that you want more of in your marriage? Once you
determine what specifically you want more of (surprises, candlelight dinners, dates, etc.) you can begin developing
a plan to get it. If you want more magical moments, talk with your partner about what these magical moments are
and how the two of you can go about creating them.
FAIRYTALE: We won’t have any money issues because we know that’s not the most important factor in a lasting
marriage. So why is it that seems to be all we argue about?
REALITY: All of us have an idealized version of our fairy tale wedding. We want it to be perfect and everything
else that goes with it, including the marriage. We want to believe that once we have that fairy tale wedding, spared
no expense, there is nothing more we need to do. Yet some believe that the more money invested in the wedding,
the more it means that each partner is invested in the marriage. This is an erroneous belief. Sparing no expense for
a wedding does little in planning the marriage itself. Money does become one of the most frequently argued about
topics in marriages. After the ceremony itself, the bills are still left to be paid. This can cause frustration, stress, and
arguments between individuals who love each other to the death. The reality is that if you are not investing in the
marriage, chances are you’ll hit more that your share of rough patches. It doesn’t have to be the poisoned apple
that puts your marriage to sleep, but the point is, you need to focus on planning the marriage more than planning
the wedding. No magic wand can get you out of a rut, no matter how much you wish for it.
FAIRYTALE: I know that getting married will fulfill every need, desire, wish and fantasy that I have.
REALITY: No one person fulfills all of someone’s desires, needs and wishes. Even for Cinderella, she needed
certain mice to be the horses and other mice to be the coachmen. No one mouse could do all that. Snow White
had seven different dwarfs that had their individual functions. No one dwarf could do all that. It works the same way
for individuals. We can’t expect one person to take on all that responsibility. This is why it’s important to have a
good support circle of friends and family, as each person can fulfill something you need. For example, you may
have one friend that you can talk to about certain issues, but there is another friend that’s the fun one when you
want to hang out and relax. The same is true of your spouse. While your spouse is the primary person you may turn
to, he/she cannot be the only person you have. It may create an unhealthy relationship. It’s important to keep in
mind that while Prince Charming can perhaps read minds, your spouse cannot. If you need or want something, let it
be known. Communication is an important skill in a good marriage.
FAIRYTALE: Married people have less satisfying sex lives, and less sex, than single people.
REALITY: According to a national study, the reality is that married individuals have better and more satisfying sex
than do singles and unmarried couples. In fact, there are numerous benefits for married individuals than for those
who are single. Research indicated that married couples (provided they have married the “right person”) have better
psychological health, live longer, may make more money, and experience less domestic violence. In a long-term
commitment, most individuals want to please their partners, as it contributes to the satisfaction experienced. In
marriage, there is a higher level of commitment and a greater sense of trust and security. These factors contribute
to the higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
FAIRYTALE: Cohabitation is just like marriage, but without “the piece of paper.”
REALITY: While we may wishfully believe that cohabiting is similar to being married, this is not true. What some
research indicates, is that those who cohabitate experience increased levels of marital unhappiness and possible
divorce than those who do not cohabitate before marriage. Part of what may contribute to this is that when a couple
gets “the piece of paper” there is a stronger commitment and investment that occurs. Each individual is more
invested in keeping the marriage healthy. There is also more thought given to the partner’s input, thoughts, wants,
when any major decision is being made. In cohabitation, this is not necessarily the case. Couples who live together
but have not gone that extra step to solidify the relationship, usually do not give equal consideration to their partner
when major decisions occur. There is still some psychological separation that exists, without “that piece of paper.”
Additionally, research indicates that the benefits of cohabitation, while better than for those who are single, do not
reach the benefits that couples who are married experience.
Atlanta, GA – The King Center’s 10-day program commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 84th birthday reflected the Civil Rights leader’s impassioned advocacy of diversity, nonviolence and youth activism in challenging the nation to fulfill his dream. The King Center organized and co-presented 14 well-attended events during the 2013 MLK observance.
“Our 2013 observance of my father’s birthday was among the most inspiring and exciting programs we have held during the King Center’s 45 years of annual commemorations of MLK day,” said King Center Chief Executive Officer Bernice A. King. “Our events, which were all well-attended and integrated youth throughout, emphasized the importance of healing and reconciliation throughout the world and helped to set a foundation for our year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and the ‘March on Washington’.” The 50th anniversary celebration will be a collaborative effort between The King Center, National Park Service, key convening organizations of the ’63 March on Washington and other current human and civil rights entities. Ms. King further shared, “The 50th Anniversary celebration will engage people of all races, religions, nations and diverse organizations to respond to a global call to action. We must ensure that everyone has the freedom to prosper in life, the freedom to participate in government and the freedom to peacefully co-exist that will bring us closer to becoming the “Beloved Community” that my father envisioned.”
In terms of diversity, Ms. King noted that the nation’s flagship Annual Commemorative Service in Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary on January 21, the MLK holiday, featured a keynote speech by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which drew standing ovations. Describing himself “as a child of Dr. King’s Dream,’ Rev. Rodriguez told the crowd, “Silence is not an option when 30 million of our brothers and sisters live in poverty,” he said. “Silence is not an option when 11 million undocumented individuals continue to live in the shadows. And by the way, they are undocumented and not illegal. Because a human being made in the image of God cannot be illegal.” The service also included moving renditions of Dr. King’s entire 17 minute “I Have A Dream” speech by youth of different ethnic communities, along with messages honoring Dr. King by presenters from diverse religious and racial backgrounds, along with varied musical performances. Following the service, The King Center held a presidential inauguration “viewing party” in Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the ceremony was shown on a jumbotron video screen. Viewers watched as President Obama took the oath of office with his hand on the bibles of President Lincoln and Dr. King. The confluence of the inauguration, Dr. King’s Bible, Ebenezer and The Holiday was significant and symbolically powerful for those in attendance because it re-affirmed the connection of the moment to the movement led by Dr. King. In line with the global mission, The King Center’s Salute to Greatness Annual Awards Dinner, held on January 19, honored Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Professor Muhammad Yunus. Professor Yunus delivered an inspiring tribute to Dr. King and offered a challenge to eradicate poverty through creative reforms, and to build a world “where poverty is in the museum.” The King Center presented the Salute to Greatness Award for institutional excellence to Aflac, Inc., which is a corporate leader, not only in social responsible and community philanthropy, but also in representing Dr. King’s legacy in terms of workforce diversity.
Mr. Alec Loorz, a Ventura, CA youth activist, who organized young people across North America into an environmental coalition to stop global warming, delivered an inspiring acceptance speech on receiving the inaugural Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award for individual achievement, which brought the nearly 1,500 persons attending the dinner to their feet. “I draw inspiration from the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and the movement that he led. I’m trying to organize young people to raise their voices about climate change and how to realize a vision for a sustainable, healthy society,” said Loorz.
An initiative called “100 Days of Nonviolence: The Birmingham Campaign” was awarded the A.N.G.E.L. Award for leadership in mobilizing youth to embrace nonviolence and reduce community violence, led by Birmingham City Councilman James “Jay” E. Roberson, Jr. who accepted the award. Roberson noted in his remarks that “the 100 Days of Nonviolence campaign concluded successfully on MLK Day 2011 and 2012 without one person under 18 dying as a result of violence.” The program is repeated annually. In another notable affirmation of diversity, the U.S. Immigration Services on Jan. 18 held a Naturalization Ceremony in The King Center’s Freedom Hall Auditorium. This ceremony swore in 35 new American citizens from 26 different countries.
The 2013 MLK Observance also included programs that emphasized nonviolence education and youth leadership development. In The King Youth Expo and Showcase on Jan. 12, young leaders demonstrated Dr. King’s spirit, philosophy and teachings through educational presentations, entertainment and inspirational performances, along with an on-site “Tweet Suite,” where young people discussed youth violence-prevention strategies. Other youth-focused events included: the Metropolitan Atlanta Violence Prevention Project Anti-bullying Rally on Jan. 15; the Kingian Nonviolence Collegiate Leadership Orientation (Jan. 16); and the Dream Art Contest Awards Ceremony on Jan. 19.
In other major events of the 10-day celebration, hundreds of Atlanta area people took advantage of the King Health and Wellness Fest on Jan. 12, which provided free health screenings and tests from medical professionals valued at approximately $3,000 per person, along with health workshops, demonstrations and exhibits. On the 16th, dozens of volunteers from The Home Depot and the ‘Be the Dream’ Committee spent the day working on landscape and facilities improvement at The King Center’s Freedom Hall Complex. On Jan. 17, King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King addressed the State of Georgia Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council Program at The Georgia State Capitol. The King Center held a Book Signing event on Jan. 20 with members of different branches of the King family. Ms. King also addressed the King Holiday March and Rally on the holiday.
‘We are off to a wonderful start of our year-long observance of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Ms. King. “We look forward to making 2013 a year of unprecedented progress for educating people all over the world about my father’s leadership philosophy and teachings, and inspiring them to use what they learn to help build the Beloved Community. I hope everyone who wants to help fulfill the Dream will follow the King Center on twitter <https://twitter.com/KingCenterATL> @KingCenterATL and note our <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23KINGSDREAM&src=hash> #KINGSDREAM <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IAMFREEDOM&src=hash> #IAMFREEDOM Campaigns,” she added.
For more information about the MLK birthday observance and the year-long commemoration of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, please visit <http://www.thekingcenter.org> www.thekingcenter.org.
Question of the Week: “Is Dr. M.L. King’s dream still alive in 2013? Why or why not?”
Photos and question by Yvonne Kemp
Rayven Gordon: “I believe that we have come a very long way. However, we still have work to do. We cannot be complacent with what we have. We have to work tirelessly and diligently to ensure that generations to come know the importance of education, which is the only way to liberate ourselves from mental slavery. It is the catalyst for our success as a people.”
Tommie Reed McDade: “There are dreams that have evolved from those dreams. We can see some in our city and other cities around the world. He did indeed share his dream and could have, I believe, had a vision of a young Black president.”
James Green: “I believe the dream is still alive today. We see this with the inauguration of a African American President for a second term. We see this with the browning of America, the force that made his second term a reality.”
Simeon Henderson: “Dr. King’s dram is still living today in 2013. He dreamed about equality amongst men and women, Black and White. However, this dream has not and will not be fully achieved until we have equality amongst rich and poor, as well as equal access to education, employment and housing.”
It’s great to envision success, but get the guidance to achieve it
by Antoine Moss, Black Enterprise
It’s a good chance that throughout your childhood you were encouraged to dream big. Consequently, you probably grew up envisioning a big lofty goal that you hoped to achieve someday. And many years later, your goal is still just a “big dream” to you. Well I have some good news for you and that is: Dreams do come true! But, in order for your dreams to come true, you need help. You have to seek the right guidance and create a success-support system.
In today’s world that’s highly driven by technology and social media, you have many resources right at your fingertips. The essential key is discovering exactly where to look for information and the players that will inspire you to fully live your dreams.
Two amazing trailblazers and role models that you don’t have to look too far for are Michael Baisden, host of The Michael Baisden Show, and George Fraser, author of Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the Black Community.
They both worked regular jobs for many years before they began to fully tap into their passion and gifts. Despite being faced with many challenges and life altering encounters, they were determined to attain extraordinary success. These two giants are currently living their dreams and they’ve teamed up to help you live yours too!
Fraser recently appeared on Baisden’s show for an interview and shared the following tips for living your dreams:
- Strategically and systematically pursue your dreams.
- Learn how to set small goals that lead to big results.
- Eliminate fear from your mindset and vocabulary.
- Develop a powerful support team and seek guidance from them.
On Dec. 12th at 9 p.m. (EST), Fraser will hold an empowerment conference call and will be interviewing Baisden, with insights on how to live your dreams. It’s free, and you can join by calling 712-432-0075 and entering access code 271542#. This is truly an exclusive and rare career-enriching opportunity that will help you reach your dreams in 2013.
I’ll be tweeting live during the call using hashtag #LiveYourDreams. Join me, and let’s connect on social media so you can get the career guidance you need to launch your dreams!
by Perry Bacon, Jr., theGrio
ANALYSIS-President Obama is no longer looking to be the great compromiser in Washington.
His opening bid to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff” was effectively a poison pill; full of ideas from $50 billion in additional stimulus money to $1.6 trillion in tax increases to weakening Congress’ power in increasing the federal debt limit, it was a liberal’s dream and a non-starter for congressional Republicans.
And it suggested the president may be employing a different, more assertive negotiating style in his second term.
During much of his first four years, Obama and his aides tried to craft policies that reflected both Democratic and Republican ideas, hoping to get GOP votes. It was sincere, but ineffective as a negotiating strategy. Republicans almost never voted with the president on anything anyway, and he was effectively dropping liberal ideas that he himself supported even before negotiations started with Republicans.
But now, Obama and his team are conceding nothing. They have demanded more than $1 trillion in taxes by raising rates on the rich and largely rejected the GOP theory that more tax revenue can be raised simply by closing loopholes. They have largely refused to spell out any spending cuts as part of the agreement, putting the onus on the GOP to suggest cuts it is urging anyway.
The additional stimulus spending, which Obama has proposed for two years, is almost certainly not going to be in the final agreement, but it reflects a different style of negotiating: ask for exactly what you want and part of the compromise is giving up that idea.
This kind of hardball will be a test of both the president and congressional Republicans. If Republicans don’t back down, is Obama prepared to deal with the fallout from the stock market and businesses and everyday Americans if taxes go up for everyone in early January?
Do the Republicans want to risk taking the blame for that because they won’t back off their stance that wealthy Americans shouldn’t pay more in taxes, even as polls show the vast majority of Americans support tax increases on the rich?
And where does this Obama-style hardball go next?
Does he then insist on naming Susan Rice Secretary of State, despite GOP objections?
We, the people.
Throughout our history, we’ve expanded the meaning of our nation’s founding phrase, to include more and more of our citizens because we believe that the American dream isn’t about any one person or segment of society. It’s about all of us, working together to move forward.
That’s also what this election is about. And it’s why I’m voting for President Barack Obama.
For me, like a lot of American women, this election is a very personal one, because the stakes are higher than ever before. This election will decide the fate of the rights our mothers and grandmothers fought for, rights we’ve fought for—not just our right to choose, but our ability to get an affordable education, equal pay for equal work, access to quality health care and a lot more.
President Obama knows the importance of women’s rights and women’s health. He was raised by a single mom, and he has been surrounded by smart, strong women ever since—he’s married to one and he’s a father of two. So for our president, women’s issues aren’t just political, they’re personal for him as well.
When President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the very first bill he signed—he did so because he believes the hard work of our daughters is just as important as the work of our sons. He fought for Obamacare so women can access quality, affordable health care. He put two more women on the Supreme Court because he believes women should have an equal voice in the decisions being made at the highest levels of our democracy. And he knows we still have work to do.
President Obama is fighting for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help stop pay discrimination before it starts, and he has a plan to cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next 10 years. He’ll also recruit 100,000 more math and science teachers, in order to prepare and empower more girls to pursue high-paying jobs of the future in careers like science, technology, engineering and math.
Our president’s strong belief in women, and in the equality and opportunity we deserve, is without question. However, where I see bold exclamation points in President Obama’s values, accomplishments and plans for the next four years, I look at Mitt Romney and see mostly question marks. There are a lot of answers Mitt Romney still hasn’t given women. Why won’t he stand up for equal pay? Why won’t he support renewing the Violence Against Women Act? And while I am surprised that Romney won’t commit to those things, I’m even more concerned about what he will commit to.
Two weeks ago, Romney told a newspaper that eliminating a woman’s right to choose isn’t part of his agenda. Within two hours, his staff had to correct him, confirming that, yes, the real Mitt Romney would “of course” support legislation to restrict and deny that right. Romney can’t hide that he once called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,” and has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney also supported one bill that would turn women’s health decisions, like having birth control covered in our health plans, over to our bosses, and he even once said he’d be “delighted” to sign a bill that banned all abortions.
Almost every day Romney promises to repeal Obamacare. Doing so would let insurance companies go back to charging women more than men for the same care and would deny insurance to millions of Americans with preexisting conditions at the very moment when they need coverage the most.
Not a single one of us can afford to be silent. Suffragettes went to jail so that women could vote. Unless we exercise that right, our democratic process becomes irrelevant. If we don’t use our voices this year, we will waste our hard-fought political power and we will risk losing many more precious rights and freedoms.
We, the people, especially us women, have to make sure our leaders know how we feel, what we think and what we care about. Together, we need to stand up for the kind of America we want—one where women and girls are equal, strong and proud, and where we all have a president who has our back.
Go to vote.barackobama.com. Register. Volunteer. Vote. Make sure our next president is one who is thinking and caring about all of us.
Community will join together to build the playground on Sept. 29th
On August 8th the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, Humana Inc. and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, asked youth from the Westlawn neighborhood to do something that many kids dream of doing: design their dream playground. The youth joined together at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center to gather ideas for a new one-of-a-kind, multi-generational play space that they and hundreds of volunteers will build to reality on September 29th.
The customized playground will be funded primarily by Humana and will be created with personal drawings and other input collected from the children and adults on the special design day.
Currently, the families of Westlawn do not have a playground to call their own, nor are there any publicly accessible playgrounds in the immediate area. A new playground will effectively address these needs, providing the youth with an age-appropriate area to play, as well as fitness stations and walking paths for seniors and other adults. The project will create a gathering area to inspire family picnics and get-togethers for years to come.
The playground is a key addition to the Housing Authority’s revitalization of the Westlawn neighborhood, and it is thankful that Humana is helping to create a lasting neighborhood legacy that promotes healthy play and well-being. The Housing Authority is seeking to add more new play and community areas to Westlawn to further encourage healthy community development.
On Saturday, September 29th, 200 volunteers from the neighborhood and Humana will join together to build the playground in just six hours. For information on donating supplies or volunteer time to this unique community project, call the Housing Authority at (414) 224-0528.
One day I will finally visit Lamu in person (and hopefully before the new port is built as, I worry that it will change the nature of the town). Until then, I will lust over all the beautiful homes I’ve discovered, thanks to my best friend, the internet.
I came across this beautiful Lamu home in Architectural Digest a couple of years ago. The aesthetic resonates with what I want for my living space and, to think that this beauty is in my homeland? Makes it even more fabulous a find. I actually ripped out a page to put up above my desk – a constant reminder of one of the things I’m working so hard for.
I’m glad that I found an online version of the article so that I can share it with you all. Check out Architectural Digest for more pictures.
Photography by Tim Beddow (found on Architectural Digest)