We'll start off with our "highs and lows" and get into some important societal survival skills and general goings on of the TwinCities and neighboring communities with news about the rest of the world here and there. Participation is simple. Just give us your highs and lows either in the comments of the article or on twitter by trending #ProverbialWisdoms or tweeting to me @E_HowardCo.
High: Young Professionals’ Wealth Development Summit was an awesome event!
Low: Exhausted from balancing the new job with coordinating the summit.
At the Young Professionals’ Wealth Development Strategies Summit a great question was asked to our presenters: “What’s the last book you read and what are you reading now?”
My initial reaction was that the question lead with the assumption that each presenter not only read regularly but that they were currently reading a book and could immediately recall titles. I was waiting to hear from a presenter something like: “its been a while since I picked up a book” or “honestly, I really don’t like reading”. Instead each was able to quickly throw out titles and authors of books some recently published, some by local authors, some more popular to the general public but each was able to answer quickly. In that moment I remembered being in a room full of college students when a similar question was asked and only a few had answers that included books that weren't required by course curriculum. Most of us leaned on the Holy Bible being our favorite books for lack of any other reading on personal time.
If you want to set yourself apart I highly recommend reading. Personally, I've never enjoyed reading. I'm convinced now that it’s because reading was something that was presented to me as a chore rather than a hobby. It’s the way I thought about reading that kept me from reading. The fact that for so long I had been required to read what was presented to me by others kept me from adopting it as an extracurricular activity.
Now I'm learning how to read again. Most recently I read Reallionaire by Farrah Gray and The Power of People by Dr. Verna Price.
I'm currently reading the Non-Nonprofit and Linchpin.
Although I read one book at a time I like to keep my focus set on getting to the next book I want to read rather than just finishing the book I'm working on. I think that helps me keep at the front of my mind the fact that reading for me now is something that I want to be a part of my life as a hobby. I want it to be fun to me. I'm interested in reading books that will teach; inspire, and challenge me to think in new ways and approach life and work in new ways. Now I'm eager to read not because of how fun it is but because of the rewards that come from reading and I hope that my eagerness soon leads to fun.
I’m convinced that the lack of reading for leisure in the household is where some portion of responsibility falls for the lack of educational preparedness and development. A quick Google search will bring up a wealth of literature and probably even some Youtube videos about the benefits of reading. So get searching and learn what reading can get you.
Power of People: http://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Four-Kinds-Change/dp/0971776504
Every week we'll start off with our "highs and lows" and get into some important societal survival skills and general goings on of the TwinCities and neighboring communities with news about the rest of the world here and there. Participation is simple. Just give us your highs and lows either in the comments of the article or on twitter by trending #ProverbialMonday or tweeting to me @E_HowardCo.
*Note the new Twitter handle!!
High: Got a great new job, can't wait to get started.
Low: Leaving the best job I've had so far, by far.
Sometimes I choose not to write. In reflecting on my inability to sustain a regular blog posting schedule I have gained some clarity on the root of my literary sloth. There are a few things that keep me focused on finding excuses to avoid writing ranging from self-care to my own lack of confidence in my ability to articulate my thoughts. With that, allow me to run down a list of my favorite excuses for not writing so that I can move forward with some accountability for my inaction.
1.) I'm too busy
- Note - Working a job that requires a time commitment greater than full-time along with having a 10month infant with an hour long commute from home to work can be a heavy load. Toss in a few additional entreprenuerial endeavors and community engagement opportunities and 24hours can fly by quickly. I have to recognize that as long as the millionaires, billionaires and leaders of the free world have that same 24hours there's absolutely no reason that I can't make time to follow through on my personal commitments.
2.) I don't know what to write about
- Note - Everyday life is happening at a rapid, unceasing and uncontrolable pace. There are always things happening, just pick something.
3.) No one will want to read what I want to write
- Note - Maybe they won't, then again, maybe they will.
4.) I'm not allowed to write what I want to write
- Note - Find a way to rearticulate thoughts in an appropriate way so that your readership doesn't miss out on your contribution.
5.) There's too much to write about
- Note - (See #2)
6.) Fear of vulnerability
- Note - Get over it, there is power in conqureing that fear. Also, without vulnerability in my contributions the words I write are disingenuous.
7.) I can write later
- Note - I can also write now.
8.) I can't remember how to log-in
- Note - A simple solution would be to email myself the link to log-in so if I happen to be at another computer I can access the site.
9.) I don't want to cause any trouble
- Note - If I don't want to cause trouble, then I don't want to make any relevant change.
10.) I need to think about what I want to write before I write it down
- Note - More often than not I've already thought about it and just need to get to work. Other times writing helps me think about what I want to say.
With this list of annotated excuses I hope that I can move past each of them and make time to offer more regular contributions to the YourVoices blogging community and the great people who read what I write.
The Story of Oscar Grant III and Fruitvale Station is a familiar one.
It’s a story all too easy to imagine happening, too easy to imagine similar stories happening at train stations, street corners & bus stations. In neighborhoods where people with brown skin occupy most homes and apartments there are common narratives that makes this story painfully relatable.
What struck me most about this story is the question: What’s to be done about a Black man and his two-ness?
What WEB Dubois called Double Consciousness some might refer to as duality in this case as the former originally referred to the psychological challenge of reconciling an African heritage with a European upbringing and education. What Oscar appeared to be struggling with was a clash between his identities as father and short-tempered drug dealer.
It is clear at a certain point in the film that a personal decision is made to abandon the act of selling drugs however, his loved ones and his community continued to receive him as a drug dealer rather than simply as a father. With that he continued to play a matching role. It’s not difficult to imagine someone who would abandon an act or behavior without abandoning the lifestyle that comes with it.
One of the most painful elements of this familiar story is the consequence of making a personal change that the world doesn’t seem ready to accept. We all have to deal with the consequence of our actions and behaviors even if we decide to disengage them. The people around you won’t forget what you did just because you stopped doing it. People make bad decisions. All that we can hope is that the consequences don’t catch up with us or at least that they match the severity of the transgressions we commit.
Black men cloak themselves in paranoia feeling the watchful and fearful eye of the world hovering above. We know that – like in the case of Fruitvale Station – bad choices we make may be followed by consequences far more severe than what’s truly deserved.
St. Paul, MN – (July 15, 2013) – Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated and the Minnesota Sigmas proudly introduce the fraternity’s third highest elected official serving in the office of International Second Vice President Brother Profit Idowu.
Brother Idowu is a student at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus where he studies Business and Marketing Education with an emphasis in Management. Some other fraternal offices held include: International Collegiate Member at Large, Great Lakes Region IT Committee Member, and Pi Eta Chapter President.
Originally from Woodbury, Minnesota, Brother Idowu is a Spring 2011 Great Lakes Region initiate of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and leaves his current position as International Collegiate Member at Large for his new position as International Second Vice President just in time as the fraternity prepares to celebrate the centennial anniversary of its founding on January 9th, 1914. Brother Idowu was elected to take on this position at the 2013 Biennial Conclave this past week in Philadelphia, PA.
Currently serving as a Community Advisor for the First Living and Learning Community for African American Males at the University of Minnesota, Brother Idowu works directly with Housing and Residential Life and also the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University. The “Huntley House” is now located at the newest residence hall on the university’s campus, 17th St SE Residence Hall. For the past two years he has served on the fraternity’s General Board with active and progressive presence alongside fellow collegiate board members – Past International 2nd Vice Christopher Cooper and Past International Collegiate Member at Large – Kolbey Gardner.
What uniquely qualifies Bro. Idowu to hold this office is the experience gained over the past two years on the General Board of the fraternity and growth as an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota. Dedication, work ethic, and passion for this great organization make Bro. Idowu an ideal candidate for this position. As a young man within Sigma, his aim is to take the collegiate body and representation into a new leadership that fosters innovation, initiative, and inertia.
“We will be using a specific leadership model to work through our problems and also focusing on three core values: Collegiate Leadership, Collegiate Accountability, and Collegiate Engagement. I aim to once again meet and champion the challenge of Sigma to encourage our collegiate members to be men of vision, men of culture, and men of service. I will inspire leaders, celebrate our collegians, and progress our young professionals into the future.” – Bro. Profit Idowu
As the International Second Vice President of the fraternity Bro. Idowu will take on various responsibilities including a new focus on fraternal membership and the centennial celebration to take place in 2014 in Washington, D.C. The Minnesota Sigmas recognize him as having the willingness and the capacity to work tirelessly in uplifting communities as well as the principles of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. A highly intelligent and perceptive young man; he has a strong business sense and an incredible passion for service. He is talented and ambitious; greatly interested in affecting society using the talents and skills that he has worked to develop. There is growing anticipation for great potential to be realized in this new role and the many benefits to come along for the fraternity, it’s membership and the communities being served.
For additional information contact Minnesota Sigmas online or visit the national website:
About Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated:
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C., January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The Founders, Honorable A. Langston Taylor, Honorable Leonard F. Morse, and Honorable Charles I. Brown, sought to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would truly exemplify the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service.
The Founders deeply wished to create an organization that viewed itself as "a part of" the general community rather than "apart from" the general community. They believed that each potential member should be judged by his own merits, rather than his family background or affluence...without regard to race, nationality, skin tone or texture of hair. They desired for their fraternity to exist as part of an even greater brotherhood which would be devoted to the "inclusive we" rather than the "exclusive we.”
From its inception, the Founders also conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. Rather than gaining skills to be utilized exclusively for themselves and their immediate families, they held a deep conviction that they should return their newly acquired skills to the communities from which they had come. This deep conviction was mirrored in the Fraternity's motto, "Culture For Service and Service For Humanity.”
Minnesota Sigmas have been instrumental in efforts to positively affect the state of Minnesota and Twin Cities community. Having been recognized for coordinating major events this fraternity prides itself in providing service. Well known projects include: “Hoops for Haiti” which raised hundreds of dollars and pounds of food to be donated to the disaster relief efforts in Haiti, and “Sleep Out for the Homeless” featured on WCCO Channel 4 News which collected dozens of blankets and food for homeless people in Minnesota. With projects such as these and an unyielding persistence our cause speeds on its way with the greatest expedience and efficiency.