Archive for the ‘Equal Rights’ Category

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My 2014 Summer Classes

July 2, 2014

When I first thought about this summer, I was caught between doing what I did last year or doing something new. The academic year was so busy for me that I didn’t have the time to sit and do the research for the new classes I had in mind. When I had time off during Regents Week, I took a much needed break. During most breaks in the academic year, I was usually went away for something work related (ie. conferences, counselor trips).

Once I was fully rested during Regents Week, I cracked down on researching materials for the classes. It was so down to the wire that I almost considered just doing the classes I did last year. But I didn’t give up because I felt these new classes were as important as what I did before. So, I’m glad to share with you all the syllabuses. Feel free to follow along and engage!

The Daily Poverty Show
In this class, students will explore the issue of poverty using clips from The Daily Show, articles and other video sources.

Attendance: 15%
Discussion: 40%
Notes: 15%
Leading Discussion: 30%

Week 1
June 30th: Class Warfare
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/ro5l52/world-of-class-warfare—warren-buffett-vs–wealthy-conservatives
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/jfmt11/world-of-class-warfare—the-poor-s-free-ride-is-over

July 1st: Welfare Test and Health Care
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/vra301/poor-pee-ple
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/cbbn22/third-world-health-care—knoxville–tennessee-edition

July 2nd: The Welfare Abusers
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/v9wjc4/fox-news-welfare-academy
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/mlw5q1/2014–a-waste-odyssey

July 3rd: The Wage Fight
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/3gmt6f/pay-mas
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/wj3t4a/pay-mas—fast-food—minimum-wage
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/y8nibe/pay-mas—the-poverty-line
Homework: Joseph E. Stiglitz’s “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%” in May 2011’s Vanity Fair

Week 2
July 7th: Inequality for All showing (Netflix)

July 8th: Continuation of Inequality for All

July 9th: Growth or Lack Thereof
Neil Irwin’s “Growth Has Been Good for Decades. So Why Hasn’t Poverty Declined?” in The New York Times
Homework: Trip Gabriel’s “50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back” in The New York Times

July 10th: The Great Society vs. Now
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDeBd1j7sCM

Week 3
July 14th: Out of Touch
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/9y5s8l/newt-gingrich-s-poverty-code
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/2y4kbt/the-amazing-base—power-of-love

July 15th: Politics Over Life
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/msq91w/medican-t
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/wb7rsn/medican-t—-taker–states

July 16th: Cutting Life Lines
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/elvsf4/what-not-to-buy
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/lodew5/the-real-hunger-games

July 17th: Homelessness in Another Light
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/hard-times-generation-homeless-kids/

Week 4
July 21st: A Place at the Table showing (Netflix)

July 22nd: Food Insecurity
Continuation of A Place at the Table

July 23rd: History or Poverty
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxbmjDngois

July 24th: The Poorest City in America
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7CZMvtU5-E

Week 5
Students’ Choice

Building a Complete Me
In this class, male students will explore topics that relate to their growth in discussions using videos and articles.

Attendance: 15%
Discussion: 40%
Notes: 15%
Leading Discussion: 30%

#1 Rule: What is Said by Another Student Stays in the Room

Week 1: Defining Manhood
June 30th: Barack & Curtis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5YoS3bqk5g

July 1st: What It Means to Be a Man (Presentation)
http://www.biography.com/people/cesar-chavez-9245781/videos/cesar-chavez-mini-biography-82441283798
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Suw_CQ3zfTY

July 2nd: Violence and the Media
Tough Guise – Violence Media and the Crisis in Masculinity

July 3rd: Free Talk

Week 2: Loving Yourself
July 7th: “The Importance of Male Self-Love”
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/j1b-ballers-of-the-heart-the-importance-of-male-self-love/

July 8th: “Increase Your Self-Esteem”
http://www.askmen.com/money/body_and_mind/29_better_living.html

July 9th: “The Skill of Self Confidence”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HYZv6HzAs

July 10th: Free Talk

Week 3: Having Swag and Productive Friendships/Relationships
July 14th: Changing and Creating Your Own Style
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1e-jZ76dXY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lY_uChQxNw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwLtiMmLz04

July 15th: Being Honest and Giving Respect
Matt Walsh’s “Dear single dudes: it’s time to man up”

July 16th: What is a Friend?
Fredric Neuman’s “What to Expect From a Friend”

July 17th: Free Talk (Setting Limits)

Week 4: Fathers
July 21st: Nothing but a Man showing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abemiwh1O-w

July 22nd: Continuation of Nothing but a Man

July 23rd: Smoke Signals showing
http://vimeo.com/77679914

July 24th: Continuation of Smoke Signals

Week 5
Student’s Choice

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My Summer Classes

July 2, 2013


In being apart of Pace University’s Liberty Partnerships Program, I’m teaching three classes in the combined Summer Program with Upward Bound. If you happen to keep tabs on me, I’ve taught activism classes for two years during the academic year with Upward Bound. This is my first time teaching in the Summer. I wanted to do something fun that had depth. One class deals with college admissions definitions. The other two are called “Superheroes in Media” and “The Philosophy of Rap.” The discussion in these two classes that I created has been great so far. Check out the syllabi for them below!

Superheroes in the Media
In this class, students will watch TV shows and movie clips containing the portrayal of superheros. The discussion topics are racism and sexism.

Grade
Attendance: 5%
Participation: 30%
Notes: 15%
Discussion Leading: 50%

Ground Rules
-What is said in here stays in here
-There is no such thing as a stupid thought
-One person speaking at a time
Breaking these rules will result in an automatic failure or grade reduction

Week 1: Adult Diversity Friends Part 1
July 1st: Justice League Season 1 Episode 4 “In Blackest Night”
July 2nd: Justice League Season 1 Episode 17 “Fury”
July 3rd: Justice League Unlimited Season 2 Episode 9 “Grudge Match”

Week 2: Adult Diversity Friends Part 2
July 8th: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 1 Episode 9 “Living Legend”
July 9th: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 1 Episode 11 “Panther’s Quest”
July 10th: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 1 Episode 12 “Gamma Word, Part 1”
July 11th: The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 2 “Alone Against A.I.M.”

Week 3: Black Power and Being the Sidekick
July 15th: Black Panther Episode 1
July 16th: Black Panther Episode 3
July 17th: Black Panther Episode 5
July 18th: Iron Man Season 2 Episode 9 “The Armed Wars”
War Machine vs. Iron Man in Iron Man 2

Week 4: Young Diversity Friends
July 22nd: Young Justice Season 1 Episode 1 “Independence Day”
Young Justice Season 1 Episode 2 “Fireworks”
July 23rd: Young Justice Season 1 Episode 13 “Alpha Male”
July 24th: Young Justice Season 2 Episode 7 “Depths”
July 25th: Young Justice Season 2 Episode 14 “Runaways”

Week 5: July 29th to August 1st: Students’ Choice
Students get together to lead discussions based off their own materials such as TV shows, Movies or Comics.

The Philosophy of Rap
In this class, students will watch TV shows, documentaries, and analysis messages in rap music and videos. The discussion topics are racism, sexism, homophobia, politics and growing up in poverty.

Grade
Attendance: 5%
Participation: 30%
Notes: 15%
Discussion Leading: 50%

Ground Rules
-What is said in here stays in here
-There is no such thing as a stupid thought
-One person speaking at a time
Breaking these rules will result in an automatic failure or grade reduction

Week 1: Where are the Ladies?
July 1st: Back in the Day
Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything” from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill’s “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

July 2nd: Before the Pop
Nicki Minaj’s “Autobiography”
Nicki Minaj’s “I’m the Best” from Pink Friday

July 3rd: Others Out There
Iggy Azalea’s “Murda Bizness” Feat. T.I. from Glory
Jean Grae’s “My Story” from Jeanius

Week 2: Kendrick Lamar’s View from the Streets
July 8th: Being Own Self
Kendrick Lamar’s “Vanity Slaves” from Kendrick Lamar EP
Kendrick Lamar’s “Faith” Feat. BJ the Chicago Kid & Punch from Kendrick Lamar EP

July 9th: Growing into Self
Kendrick Lamar’s “Average Joe” from O(verly) D(edicated)
Kendrick Lamar’s “Cut You Off {To Grow Closer}” from O(verly) D(edicated)

July 10th: Defining Self and Struggling to Stay Self
Kendrick Lamar’s “No Makeup” Feat. Colin Munroe from Section.80
Kendrick Lamar’s “HiiiPOWER” from Section.80
Kendrick Lamar’s Verse from Drake’s “Buried Alive” from Take Care

July 11th: On Top Being Self
Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drink)” from good kid, m.A.A.d city
Extended Version
Kendrick Lamar’s “I’m Dying of Thirst” from good kid, m.A.A.d city
Kendrick Lamar’s “Real” Feat. Anna Wise from good kid, m.A.A.d city

Week 3: Lupe Fiasco’s World View
July 15th: Real from the Start

Lupe Fiasco’s “Real” Feat. Sarah Green from Food & Liquor
Lupe Fiasco’s “American Terrorist” Feat. Matthew Santos from Food & Liquor

July 16th: On a Deeper Level
Lupe Fiasco’s “Gotta Eat” from The Cool
Lupe Fiasco’s “Dumb It Down” from The Cool

July 17th: Never Breaking
Lupe Fiasco’s “Word I Never Said” Feat. Skylar Grey from Lasers
Lupe Fiasco’s “All Black Everything” from Lasers

July 18th: Going Higher
Lupe Fiasco’s “Around My Way [Freedom Ain’t Free]” from Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1
Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” from Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1

Week 4: Social Issues in Rap
July 22nd: Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes viewing

July 23rd: Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes Discussion

July 24th: The N-Word
The Boondocks Season 2 Episode 11 “The S-Word”
Julian Curry’s “Niggers Niggas & Niggaz”
Sha Stimuli’s “The N-Word Song” from Hip Hop Dock-Trine 2 (The Saga Continues) [Hall Of Justus Edition]

July 25th: Homophobia
The Boondocks Season 2 Episode 13 “Story of Gangstalicious (Part 2)”
The Advocate’s “Homophobia in Hip-Hop”

Week 5: July 29th to August 1st: Students’ Choice
Students get together to lead discussions based off their own materials such as documentaries, TV shows, music videos or audio.

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Helping Our Poor Youth Change the Face of the World

April 25, 2013

Without Pace University’s Upward Bound Program, I wouldn’t be here. The program literally saved my life. Before I joined the program in the summer between the ninth and tenth grade, I didn’t know college existed. I thought high school was the end of it all. My parents never finished high school. I didn’t know anyone who went to college. No one spoke to me about it. Upward Bound helped me strengthen my academics in high school and exposed me to schools like Skidmore College, which I ended up graduating from.

Unfortunately, every poor child can’t be in an Upward Bound Program or some kind of college prep program. Every year, these programs lose funding or get cut completely. Even without the cuts, every student can’t be reached. Most high school students, especially in New York City, only have access to one college advisor. One person can’t give one on one attention to the hundreds of seniors and juniors. One person can’t expose that many students to schools like Skidmore.

David Leonhardt’s New York Times article called “Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor” cites a study conducted by a Harvard professor and a Stanford professor: “Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges.” To make matters even worst, Third Way cited a survey called National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 and 1997 stating that of the poor born between 1979 and 1982, 29% got into college and 9% graduated (Page 41).

But there is hope! A study done by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities states that first generation students, who are usually poor, are more likely to graduate from private institutions than public ones. To expand on that more, the U.S. Department of Education cites that students in general are more likely to graduate from private nonprofits than other schools (Figure 45-2). This is because these schools have the resources to help students succeed.

Despite these positive numbers, families still think schools like Skidmore cost too much. My family was one of them. But this simply isn’t true. David Leonhardt published another article in the New York Times called “A Simple Way to Send Poor Kids to Top Colleges” citing a study on exposing poor students to schools like Skidmore. In it, Leonhardt states that “Selective colleges frequently cost less for low-income students than local colleges, because the selective ones have the resources to offer bigger scholarships.”

This is true for where I went. I was admitted Early Decision to Skidmore’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). I was offered a package from Skidmore/HEOP that would have left me with only $8,000 in loans. Since I had outside scholarships totaling about $6,000 and became a Resident Assistant (RA) in my senior year, I graduated from Skidmore with no loans.

New York State’s HEOP is a program many poor students in the state aren’t aware of. If students aren’t from the state, many states have similar programs. These programs ensure poor students graduate. Even if schools like Skidmore don’t have a program like HEOP or a student doesn’t get into HEOP, they still have the resources to help a student attend and graduate from their school.

There are schools out there that still give great financial aid packages to high performing and hard working poor students with leadership skills. But since there is a lack of knowledge, it is up to us to expose these schools to students. Those of us who graduated from these kinds of schools have to change the conversation. I was able to do that with my mentee, Gaetan Lamy.

Before Gaetan and I put out a book called Different Families, Still Brothers, we were just a mentor/mentee pair in the iMentor program trying to figure each other out. He had a limited view of what a private college was and didn’t know what HEOP was. He had his heart set on CUNY’s Baruch College. Throughout the first year of our pair, which was his junior year, I exposed him to schools like Skidmore and HEOP. I believe every hardworking poor student should get the chance to experience going away to a private school.

When it came to applying, he applied to some of the schools I exposed him to and took other people’s suggestions. In the end, he got into Long Island University’s HEOP. He’s in good hands. But now, he’s even thinking about moving on to a better school like some of the away schools we discussed.

In that experience with Gaetan, I learned how much I could do with my knowledge of the college admissions process and schools like Skidmore. All of us from these kind of schools have this same knowledge to offer. All of us can be mentors. We can do it with a program such as iMentor or on our own.

Let’s change the conversation! Let’s change the face of government which usually consists of those from Ivy League schools and privileged backgrounds. Let’s change the faces of doctors, lawyers, pastors, business owners and teachers operating in poor neighborhoods to reflect more upon those they serve. If all of us do our part, we can change the face of the world.

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The Article The Huff Post Rejected

November 9, 2012

My Mentee and I

A couple of weeks ago, I linked up with the brother Robert Kyle Hoggard, whom I met at the Children’s Defense Fund’s National Conference this past Summer, to interview for The Huffington Post in support of my book with my mentee called Different Families, Still Brothers. After Huff Post rejected it without a given reason, he posted it on another site he blogs for called HBCU Buzz. I think it was a great article. It is such a shame that the Huff Post didn’t publish it. It provided a unique look into poverty. Do check it out and feel free to hit up Huff Post with your disappointment in them. As a bonus to the article, I’m posting the unedited interview. In it, I talk about how poverty was address in the 1960’s, what can be done to address it today, what poverty looks like today, how I address poverty, how I overcame it, what inspired me to put out the book with my mentee and how my faith backs my willingness to help others. Check it out below!

1. What solutions do you have to cripple poverty?
Back in 2009, I published my first article on poverty on my Hip Hop blog. In it, I talked about how poverty decreased dramatically in the 1960’s and stayed the same well into the 2000’s. That had a lot to do with President Johnson’s “Great Society” programs. With these programs, he extended the life span of those in poverty and put them in a place where they suffered less. He created Medicaid which provided health care to the poor. He created Medicare which provided health care to one of our most vulnerable, our seniors. He created Job Corps and Neighborhood Youth Corps to help the youth get into the work force. He expanded Social Security benefits and the Food Stamp program. He created Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) which paid people to help the poor in various opportunity and school programs. He created Upward Bound which helped poor high school students get into college. He created the Community Action Program which helped the poor help themselves.

All of these things and many more programs he and congress initiated helped lift people out of poverty. These things provided opportunities to the poor, kept them alive, got them to help themselves and got other people to help them. More could have been done, but the Vietnam War picked up. The war killed any hope of poverty being eliminated.

Towards the end of the 1960’s, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were on the verge of diminishing poverty even further. Dr. King started the Poor People’s Campaign just before he was killed in 1968. The campaign was to unite all poor people and demand more action from the government. During his 1968 Presidential run, Senator Kennedy focused on poverty in a major way. He was killed just as he was a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination. These two men along with President Johnson were getting to the root of the real problem in America, poverty. Since they were doing this, they became targets. Dr. King and Senator Kennedy paid the price of death. President Johnson didn’t get a chance at a second elected term.

To cripple poverty today, we need another “Great Society” initiative. We need another Poor People’s Campaign. We need another Presidential candidate who cares. In the article I mentioned earlier, I said, “The combined efforts of the government, non-poor people and poor people helping their own selves can cause the number of people in poverty to drop. The percentage has the potential to drop even more than it did in the sixties.” In the years since I put out that article, that thought as expanded to include people who used to be poor helping those who are poor. That can happen in a VISTA program or even joining a mentoring program. The book I’m putting out with my mentee Gaetan Lamy, Different Families, Still Brothers, showcases how it is possible to assist those in poverty on a seemly small level. It shows that people who used to be poor can be a great ally to those who are poor. But this is not limited to them. Everyone can provide the tools and education poor people need. Those who don’t know what it is like to be poor need to do research on poverty or talk to a person who used to be poor like me to be able to better assist those who are poor.

2. What is poverty? How is one classified as someone affected by poverty?

Poverty has many faces, but it knows no color. The Federal guideline isn’t a definition of poverty. It doesn’t reflect rising food prices, rising housing costs and transportation. I have a lecture called “Poverty: Bigger than the Block” where I talk about the issues poor people face. Poverty is going to bed hungry. It is cereal for dinner. If lucky, it is white rice and eggs for dinner. It is deciding between paying the light bill or buying food for the family. It is living in a hotel room with your whole family because you lost your home. It is having to work sick because you could lose your job if you don’t. It is having to take a day off from work without pay, risking losing your job, to make sure your benefits stay intact. It is filling out job application after job application at the library. It is going to job fair after job fair. It is isolating yourself because you don’t have the money to do anything. It is having failing grades in college because public school didn’t prepare you. It is using a credit card to pay for groceries and bills to be able to live another day. It is going bankrupt due to health care bills or credit card bills. I could go on and on about the many faces of poverty. It is the greatest tragedy in American history.

3. How will your dreams play into empowering person’s affected by poverty?

Since I won the Children’s Defense Fund’s Beat the Odds Scholarship in 2004, I made it my mission to help my fellow brothers and sisters. I always wanted to help people. In winning that scholarship, I was inspired, empowered and motivated to act on my emotions. My approach now is to help young people in poverty get out one by one. I do that by sharing my life story, providing words of encouragement and advice, providing education on the college admission process and applying to jobs, inspiring them to stand up against the injustices they endure and see, and telling them how faith in God sustains them. These are things I do in my own time, not as my main job where I help people get public health insurance. I do hope to have a main job where I buttress all my efforts. I’ve been applying to jobs and going to interviews for about a year. Nothing has popped up for me yet.

4. How have you overcome poverty?

If it wasn’t for President Johnson’s “Great Society” programs, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I benefited from Medicaid and Food Stamps. These programs kept me alive to be able to succeed. Pace University’s Upward Bound Program gave me the hope that I could escape my living situation. I wasn’t just dealing with going hungry and in risk of losing my home. I was dealing with parents who weren’t involved in my doings. I was also dealing with a father who was abusive. I didn’t have a constant positive role model. The Pace Upward Bound program helped me see education as my way out. I see education as the great equalizer.

5. What inspired you to write this book?

What inspired me to put out Different Families, Still Brothers with my mentee Gaetan Lamy was how many of my brothers and sisters who grew up in poverty weren’t interested in “going back” to help those who are poor now. What also inspired me was how those who do help end up doing more harm than good because they don’t know what it is like to be poor. I hope this book changes people’s mind about helping the poor in an effective way and bring hope to the youth in poverty.

6. Why did you end the book with Ephesians 4:26-29?

I’m glad you caught that. As my mentee and I were wrapping up the book, I came across these verses in my daily reading of the Bible. So this wasn’t in the original cut. My mentee and I talked a lot about our shared Christian faith in the book. We talked about how it got us to where we are and how it sustains us. I’ve become more faithful over the course of our mentoring relationship. But for me, my faith is much more than a selfish thing. It’s about being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. When I read these verses, they spoke to me because of what I’m about. We all endure the devil trying to get ahead of us in our daily lives, but we shouldn’t let him stop us. We shouldn’t let him stop us from helping others. We all have the duty to help others. We all have something to offer. These verses are at the end of the book because it is exactly the message I’m trying to get across with the book. I wanted to leave the readers with something memorable.

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Reforming Our Election Process

November 5, 2012


Earlier today, I had a great conversation with my girlfriend after she had a conversation with someone about the Presidential election. One thing the person asked her is how she would fix the process. In my conversation with her, I came up with a few ideas on the spot.

-Have early voting for all states for a month long. This would shorten the campaign cycle. Or we could have Election Day and even Primary Day be declared holidays where people get paid time off.
-Allow people to vote online using their Social Security number and address. A lot of government services like unemployment are already online. You can even register online in some states.
-Have ALL who are running take part in debates with questions from people via internet. They already do this with the primary.
-Popular vote should be the way to go. That would make ALL states matter, not just the few that get pandered to today.
-Allow people who have done their time in jail to vote in all states.
-No ID needed to vote. Use Social Security number. Even signatures can be faked.
-No party specific poll watchers.
-Have a combination of electronic and paper ballot like they have here in New York.
-Get rid of Super PACs. Only individuals can donate. Limit max donations to $500 given by an individual. That would go to the candidates and DNC/RNC.
-Make the number of signatures (around 20,000) to get on the ballot the same everywhere.
-Limit the number of ads allowed to air on TV and radio.
-Make appearance time equal on cable for everyone running.
-Allow write ins in every state.

I could go on and on if I wanted to. I’m a problem solver. I hate people who complain and have nothing to offer. I hate only being an ear. I’m the type to say, “we’re going to solve this together.” This is why I don’t have that many close friends, lol.

“If you are ready to criticize a system, be equally ready to offer assistance to improve it.” -Armando Sanchez

“If you’re outraged at conditions, then you can’t possibly be free or happy until you devote all your time to changing them and do nothing but that. But you can’t change anything if you want to hold onto a good job, a good way of life and avoid sacrifice.” -César Chávez

If you are really for what I have presented before you, I encourage you to link up with me!

All campaign season we heard a lot of back and forth such as how Republicans want to keep the poor and middle class down. I believe it is true, but I would even say that Democrats want to crush people’s freedom/voice too. What about third party candidates? Well, I honestly believe most of them run just to get on the speaking circuit, not to change the country. If they did want to change the country, they would be all over the internet since it is their only option. I think the internet would be key to their success. It was for the President in 2008.

I would go one step further with my proposals with saying that we should get rid of parties all together. Let people run on their own ideas!

While we can’t change this now, I encourage you all to vote tomorrow!

I want back and forth on who to vote for. I was going to go with Jill Stein, but since New York City got hit by the hurricane, I worry that not enough people will go out to vote tomorrow.

I intend on voting for President Barack Obama tomorrow on the Working Families Party line tomorrow to send a message to the President. I also intend on voting for Kirsten Gillibrand on the Working Families Party line. I hope my fellow New Yorkers will do the same.

People who know me have seen my support for the President on my Facebook and Twitter. Some might have seen my article on here criticizing him. I’m with the President on everything but his record on Free Speech. I feel that the President can moved on his current position on Free Speech. To me, Mitt Romney isn’t even an option since he has no specific plan and intends on hurting those in need. He has a record of hurting those less fortunate as CEO of Bain Capital and Governor of Massachusetts.

And when I consider my faith, I want a President who is guided by the morals of their faith.

So again, I encourage you to go out and vote for the President tomorrow. Find out your polling place and who’s on the ballot for other races. If you’re in New York City, your polling place might have change because of the hurricane. Do remember to vote in the other elections as well. They are as important as the Presidential election, if not more. Do research on the candidates of those races.

Side bar: I also endorse Governor Tim Kaine for the Senate seat in Virginia. I wish he was running in New York, lol.

Buy my book if you haven’t! Check out my website!

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“Poverty: Bigger Than the Block”

October 13, 2012


A lecture by me about what poor people in America endure and why we need to stand up for them. It was given at Free University Week.

In this video, I also talk about a new book I have coming out with my mentee. It is called Different Families, Still Brothers.

The book cover

It showcases the benefits of mentoring. It contains of two years worth of email exchanges between my mentee and I while they were in the iMentor program based in New York City. I give my mentee advice on the college application process, financial aid, dealing with the pressures of high school and so much more. We also share our stories of overcoming the many factors of poverty with each other. The book serves as a motivator for young people coming up in a crazy world.

It includes an introduction essay written by me called “The Importance of Mentoring.” In it, I encourage those who came from impoverished backgrounds to mentor and those who don’t know what it is like to be poor to do research to better serve those in poverty. Next week, I will post part of that essay.

The book will come out on November 1st, my 25th birthday, on Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle app for any of your devices.

If you would like me to speak, lead a discussion, Bible Study or workshop at your meeting, event, conference or school, visit my website for more information.

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“God’s Call to be About the People”

July 30, 2012

A sermon by me. I gave it at my church.

Bible verses come from the New International Version.
The Word used in order:
Matthew 18: 3-6
Matthew 7: 1-2
Matthew 6: 1-4
Leviticus 19: 33-34
Leviticus 25: 35-37
Exodus 23: 6-7
Matthew 25: 40
Matthew 25: 45
1 Peter 5: 2-3
Ezekiel 34: 8-10
1 Corinthians 12
Matthew 12: 25
Luke 10: 25-37

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