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Anaya Lee Willabus Becomes Youngest Author to Make History Writing a Book With Chapters

Posted On: March 06, 2016

In the spring of 2015, a nine year old penned, authored and launched her first book. Anaya Lee Willabus made history as the youngest published author to write a book in chapters. Her book "The Day Mohan Found His Confidence" storyline is about a little boy named Mohan, who struggles to find balance at home and school. Mohan discovers his confidence to accomplish and excel.

Anaya was inspired to create and write the book during trip to Guyana (the homeland of her parents) with her family and witnessing the struggles of some of the children there. 

"Our first trip to Guyana inspired me and I have the gifts that were needed," Anaya expressed. "These events that happened to Mohan are not things that happened to me, but have happened to many other children. For example, many other children may have problems in school, many other children may have lost one of their parents."

Following her vision, Anaya began the creative process and implementation of her book. She was guided by her mother who is the CEO of a promotional company (Rhythm Nation Entertainment) but Anaya wanted to have sole creative control with designing the book cover, the kind of picture she wanted, the graphic work and etc. 

"Whatever she told me I put down and it had to be exactly that otherwise she gets very upset," explained her mother. "There were about 20 different covers and she didn’t like any of them. She wanted this font, this picture and she had to have pink and purple (her favorite colors)," Willabus' mother elaborated. 

The picture Anaya Lee selected is a photograph of her little brother playing soccer. With the love of reading and being an avid writer, also combining the scrapbook of ideas she had, Anaya penned her first book.

During a recent interview with NY Daily News, Anaya Lee's mother expressed how she knew there was always something special about her daughter. 

"We knew something was different with her," Willabus' mother, Dimple proudly expressed. "She never learned to walk. She actually started running. She started reading at 2 years old."

Her mother also conveyed, that Anaya is just ike any other kid who loves eating candy, fights with her siblings despite her extraordinary talents and abilities. 

Anaya’s favorite books include: Malala Yousafzai‘s I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, and President Obama‘s Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.

"I like to read all genres, of books. I love both reading and writing. They both have something that I love in them," Anaya Lee Willabus revealed during her interview. 

Anaya also asserted, she prefers the classic and original way of reading. And not into Nook or Kindle. 

"I prefer traditional books because of the beauty of turning the pages." 

(I agree, there's nothing like the smell of a fresh new book and the sound of turning pages.)

Anaya Lee's book "The Day Mohan Found His Confidence" can be purchase at Barnes & Noble,  Amazon,  and Rhythm Nation Entertainment.

Congrats lil mama, you inspire me! 

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How Reading & Writing Are Helping Keep Former Juvenile Offenders Out Of Jail

Posted On: March 01, 2015

Reading and writing is not just a necessity for education, but also needed as a tool for survival. For example: if somebody does not know how to read and write, a bottle with a warning label on it stating that its poisonous, could be detrimental to them. So, reading and writing is a way of life. Reading and writing has long served a purpose of helping, inspiring and motivating others through literature.

A non-profit organization called the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop took it to another level, when they founded the workshop to help inmates in jail and prison.

The workshop started when one of the founders who was a journalist at the time, started exchanging letters from a man on death row. The letters Kelli Taylor wrote to the inmate helped him deal with being on death row and gave him a whole new perspective about his sentence. Seeing the effectiveness of the letters, Taylor was inspired and wanted to help other inmates who were serving time behind bars, and recruited Tara Libert and started the the non-profit workshop.

The two of them came up with a mission statement of making an impact, to help inmates and juvenile offenders change their lives around and to redeem their souls through poetry, the art of literature and; writing from their hearts.

The members of the workshop meet every week to discuss and speak on various topics about books that they've read, contemporary literature, current events through publishing and memoirs from inmates who became writers; such as Nathan McCall, who is the author for the book, Makes Me Wanna Holler.

The website for the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop shares blog posts of success stories from inmates who were and currently involved with their programs. When the inmates graduate, the workshop awards them with an alumni certificate upon their release from jail or prison, From there, the workshop continues to assist the inmates with job placement and also, registration for college, online courses and other career building classes.

In an article published by The Washington Post, they interviewed three former inmates who utilize the services which Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop provides. The inmates are juveniles who met while they were all behind bars, they are as follow: Robert Barksdale, Phil Mosby, and Juan Peterson. All three of them are friends who support and motivate one another, to not participate in any crimes, drugs ;and to remain focus, by being positive in order to change their lives.

Barksdale, Mosby and Peterson have written poetry and short stories about their experiences in jail. And also, have written artistic poetry, imaginative literature and more.

Juan Peterson who is aiming to become a lawyer wrote the poem below, about finding his light and being renewed.

Check out the poem below.

No more heartaching sins

from the dark place within

thinking of back then it’s too complicated to comprehend

I’m awestruck from the view

It’s like I’m seeing two

My mind is displaying a brighter hue

It feels good to be brand new

During their interview, Robert Barksdale expressed to The Washinton Post how the Free Minds Book Club & Workshop helped him find his passion for writing.

"Writing opened up a passion in me," Barksdale said "That’s what you need to get through. Phil and Juan know; they were on the block with me -- I began to read books, I wrote poetry, got my vocational certificate."

Phil Mosby stated how the workshop helped him attain his freedom and not just freedom from jail, but himself. 

"I want to understand freedom … I want to be able to have a job that can make a decent living," Mosby told The Washington Post. 

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop continues to extend their services to inmates in Washington D.C. and plan to expand their organization from state to state.

 

 

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The National Academy of Medicine Elects Five African-American Scholars

Posted On: November 02, 2015

Pluggin' you into some good news from around the nation.

The National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as The Institute for Medicine, has recently elected five African-American scholars in medicine, health and science into their institute. 

 Founded in 1970, The National Academy of Medicine honors and tributes professionals in medicine, health and even science who magnified achievements and success in the human service field. The academy has seventy members, 1,826 active fellows along with 137 foreign associates. And there's only 5% or 7% that's African-American, which makes the election of five African-Americans into The National Academy of Medicine a breakthrough in diversity and racial barriers.

According to The Journal of Blacks In Higher Education, the honorees are as followed:

Evan Dale Abel is the John B. Stokes Chair in Diabetes Research and director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. Dr. Abel is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds a Ph.D. in physiology from Oxford University in England.

Linda Burnes Bolton is vice president and chief nurse executive at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Burnes Bolton is a past president of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Black Nurses Association. She is a trustee at Case Western Reserve University. A graduate of Arizona State University, Dr. Burnes Bolton holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Otis Webb Brawley is a professor of hematology, medical oncology, medicine, and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Dr. Brawley earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago.

Melissa Lynn Gilliam is dean for diversity and inclusion and a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Gilliam is a graduate of Harvard Medical School.

Elizabeth Odilile Ofili is the senior associate dean for clinical and translational research, professor of medicine, and director of the Clinical Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She earned her medical degree at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

News Source: JBHE

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Each One, Teach One

Posted On: March 17, 2015

"It takes a king to raise a prince. Each one, teach one. The knowledge that is passed down, is the discovery of self, the crown of blessings and a throne for a destined king."

-- Andrale Marie' 

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The Cracking of An Egg: 'Pursuit of Happyness'

Posted On: August 12, 2015

There's more than one way to crack an egg.

"If the egg is cracked from the outside, it's destroyed. If the egg is cracked from the inside, it gives birth to life."

- Author Unknown

So, who's the egg? Check out the metaphor of the egg cracking, one leads to destruction, while the other basically creates and builds. I'm going elaborate on this quote in two, maybe three parts. The first example I am going to utilize is a scene from the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness," and the movie as a whole.

I'm sure most of us have seen the movie The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith, which was based on actual events, detailing the journey and uprising of Chris Gardner, in becoming one of Wall Street's most successful broker. The path for Gardner played by Will Smith, was not an easy one but he stayed on it and kept going.

Chris Gardner is the egg from the above quote.

In the movie, Will Smith's character Chris Gardner decides he wants to become a broker and work on Wall Street. He had no experiences nor any form of educational background but he was good with numbers and knew how to strategize, which was a tool and advantage for him. It was not a big dream but it was indeed something he had the vision for. He decided he was going to go for it, against all odds. As the movie plays, Gardner encounters challenges which caused some changes in his life, from his living arrangements like moving out a house to a hotel, selling his car and making the necessary sacrifices to manifest this vision he has of himself becoming a broker.

The challenges are actually pressures like Chris Gardner's wife who is played by Thandie Newton, does not believe in him, she doesn't see him becoming a broker working on Wall Street. She ends up leaving him and their son, Smith goes on as a single father trying to provide the best possible life for his child. All these pressures are being added to the character Chris Gardner, who is the egg being portrayed in this movie.

Instead of things getting better, more pressure is being applied when Smith's character Gardner gets kicked out of the hotel he was staying at with his son and they end up spending nights at different shelters and even at a bathroom stall in a train station.

All these pressures could of easily caused Chris Gardner to either break down or leave a dent in his goals and vision of becoming a broker. That would of meant the egg cracked from the outside, even if he broke down, it could of destroyed his vision, goals and everything he was working towards in becoming a broker. Although, there was a lot of pressure, Smith's character is the only one who could cause the egg to crack, either from the outside or within. It's all about how he applies the pressure and how he allows the pressure to apply towards him, in order to mold him.

The question is, when did the egg (Chris Gardner) cracked?

One of the pivotal scenes in the movie, is when Chris gets hired on Wall Street and at that moment is when the egg cracked.

Some people look at this scene and think it was about Chris Gardner finally getting the job, some interpret as the pursuit of happiness in the movie was about money but both of those analysis are wrong. Chris could easily got a job somewhere else or brought some more of those bone scanners to sell. He could of easily gave up this vision of getting into Wall Street because of the pressure and the sacrifices he had to make. But instead he allowed the pressure to mold and polish him, in order to shine.

In the scene above, when the egg cracked, it gave birth to Chris Gardner's purpose of launching his own firm as a broker and also, in becoming a new man. It gave birth to the life of a newfound dream from the vision Chris had of becoming a broker. All the pressures Chris Gardner (pictured below) endured caused him as the egg to crack from within and it gave birth to his dreams, purpose and destiny.

Based on the timeline of the movie, I'm sure there were other things the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness didn't portray like Chris Gardner being an African-American man and dealing with racism, those things were also factors in the pressures of life Chris endured, overcame and conquered.

This man did not give up (neither should you), no matter how tough it got, he applied the pressure to break forth his dreams (cracked the egg) and became all that God created him to be.

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Read A Book, Read A Book

Posted On: August 12, 2015

“Read absolutely everything you get your hands on, because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from..”

 

“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”

– Malcolm X

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Nas Collaborates With General Assembly To Launch Tech Scholarships For African-American and Latino Students

Posted On: August 27, 2015

Nasir Jones also known as Nas is joining forces with General Assembly to launch a scholarship program for African-American and Latino students, who are studying in the fields of technology.

This is not the first time Nas participated in education research, he sat on several panels with different themes from slavery, Hip Hop culture and its affect on society, the process of creating his songs and albums; and more. In 2013, Nas took the philanthropic route when Harvard University administered a scholarship program in his honor named after him called, the Nasir Jones Fellowship. The scholarship program was purposed to cultivate the power of education. Fast forward to 2015, Nas is spreading his philanthropist wing again to foster diversity in technology education and tech studies. 

General Assembly is a school for programmers and engineers in all fields of technology from: computer applications, industrial science, analyzing the mechanics and automation of cars, electronic robotics and more. Nas and General Assembly are working together to bring more African-American and Latino students into technology education. Nas' partnership involves Google, Hirepurpose and Microsoft who are all part of different scholarship programs, with various demographics and population.

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Sowing Seeds Of Love

Posted On: March 15, 2015

"Wherever you go in life, plant seeds and sow in love. And love will expand all things for you."

-- Andrale Marie'

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Awakening the Goddess in You

Posted On: November 05, 2017

Awakening the spirit of the Goddess in you. Yes, hunny, it is time to reclaim your power! The Goddess energy has returned and it is time to generate this energy from within.

The Goddess, the feminine energy has been suppressed for many generations but you can not suppress something that is an important component in our universe. This is why the earth is imbalanced and Mother Nature has been at war with human kind. This all started when Caucasian males started visiting Egypt and came across the ankh and how women where worshiped in Egypt as Goddesses, a female version of a God. And the ankh (the original cross) represents the Goddess energy displaying the womb. When these men came across those ancient text, symbols and statues of these Goddesses, it was too much for them. These men could not fathom nor had the vision to see a woman as a God, which we already know is a Goddess. Mind you, every man that has entered this earth was conceived in a womb of a woman and came through a woman. Seems like a godly attribute of a Goddess.


In trying to suppress the truth, the womb (the feminine energy, the Goddess) was revised and taken out of the original cross (the ankh pictured below). And revamped into the modern cross (Roman crucifixion of Christ) that we know of today. As well as, the original Holy Trinity which is the Divine Mother, Divine Father and the Divine Child but that's another article on its own. You can't hide nor suppress the truth and guess what? The Goddess is back baby! We are in the era where the Goddess, feminine energy has returned to restore balance on this earth.

In moving forward with the topic "Divination, Spiritual Health & Metaphysics," I have to touch on the subject of the Goddess and the feminine energy. Because there are aspects in spirituality and divination which requires working with deities that are Goddesses, channeling feminine energy through fruits, cowries shells, coffee beans and etc. If you don't know the goddess and feminine energy from within yourself, you can't channel it because it comes from within. To plug into this power as a woman, one has to awaken, invoke their goddess energy from within to channel it; and be one with the divine energy of the Goddess.


Throughout history it has been a power struggle with the masculine energy (men) when it comes to the feminine energy (women). This power struggle does not stem from the universe but human kind, men who had a problem with the feminine energy (women) being worshiped as a Goddess. This is in Westernized cultures because other cultures and parts of the world continue the ancient practice of worshiping the Goddess. When you look at the timeline of history, women have been suppressed in their powers and freedom. There was a time when women weren't allowed to vote, if a women knew how to heal herself, had insight, vision and intelligence that stem from within, she was executed; this is what happened during the Salem Witch Trials. In the suppression of their powers and freedom, women were told by men on how to look, feel, how to carry herself, even with her sexuality; and etc. This psychological conditioning continues on today in our society with some of the advertisements and commercials that we see. Especially targeting melaneted women being told they should be lighter in skin, their hair should be straight, their nose should be thin and etc., to look more like European women. Its more of a racist psychological conditioning which has affected women, their confidence and self esteem.

The general psychological conditioning continues to affect women, even in today's modern society. You have some women who would rather embody and see themselves as a king instead of a queen. Mainly because of how the king has been viewed and praised. The queen is just as supreme, royal and powerful as the king. As a matter of fact, the queen is the most powerful piece on a chessboard. The feminine energy is all around us, we see it in oysters (pictured below), fruits, certain flowers, cowries shells, coffee beans; and more.

Awakening the Goddess energy from within brings forth balance in oneself. It awakens your power as a woman, your innate knowledge, connection to the earth, cosmos; and the universe as a whole. It awakens your intuition, although women are naturally intuitive, awakening the Goddess nurtures and fortifies a woman's intuition. Awakening the Goddess energy from within, a woman begins to see beauty from a different angle, through her eyes and not the eyes of society. This empowers a woman's confidence, belief in herself and cultivates her self esteem. Because beauty is no longer defined through the eyes of another or society but through the eye of her soul.

Awakening the Goddess energy from within also, empowers a woman to bring forth her innate knowledge and wisdom, this energy guides her in healing herself through her soul and spirit. It reconnects women to Mother Nature grounding themselves, in order to elevate into a higher and better version of themselves. Awakening the Goddess energy from within brings enlightenment and knowledge of the women knowing and being familiar with herself, understanding her true power stems from within.

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Source of Photos: http://www.islandboiphotography.net/, Pinterest and Google.



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Roc Nation and Kevin Durant Join President Obama's Education Intiative, The Roc to Donate 30,000 Backpacks

Posted On: June 14, 2016

Roc Nation formed an allegiance and parternership with STATE Bags which is a a buy one, give one backpack brand benefit program from Brooklyn to participate in President Barack Obama's Education Intiative. Roc Nation also partnered up with My Brother's Keeper Alliance which provides resources to improve the social narratives for Black boys and young Black men. 

Combining these two partnerships, Roc Nation is set to donate 30,000 backpacks as past of the The White House and the U.S. Department of Education's MBK Success Mentors Initiative, according to published documents. 

Kevin Durant was in attendance at the White House along with STATE Bags' Co-Founder, Scot Tatelman for a My Brother's Keeper Success Mentor initiative gathering (Summer of State), to raise awareness about the importance of mentorship, and how it guides youth in both their school and home life.  Durant issued a call of action for community leaders and mentors to ensure that the youth are attending school and partcipating in their studies.


STATE Bags and Roc Nation will continue with an ongoing partnership to get athletes like Kevin Durant invloved and other artists involved, in taking part of raising awareness about the importance of young people's attendance in school. Roc Nation and STATE bags will host signature bag drop rallies across the nation in six select cities such as: DallasLos AngelesMiamiNew York CityPhiladelphia, and Seattle.

Jacqueline Tatelman who is the STATE Co-Founder/Creative Director, made a statement about the purpose and goal of their partnership with Roc Nation. 

"This partnership and initiative with Roc Nation not only provides a tremendous platform to equip thousands of students across the U.S. with the proper tools for success, but will go beyond simply a material donation through our motivational bag drop donation events in select cities. It's an absolute dream come true for us, and exactly why we started the company!"

And the intiative of the bag drops to motivate children to conquer the odds against them. Also, to be role models that are shaping a better tomorrow for them. 

"Our approach at bag drop events is to simply ignite a fire within these children, motivating them to beat the odds often stacked against them. The inspirational team of STATE PackMen/Women - child development specialists that have successfully risen from at-risk neighborhoods themselves - serve as role model figures to the children served. Layering on idolized artists and athletes from Roc Nation? Just incredible!"

 

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Ludacris Loves The Kids and Was Honored For It

Posted On: March 20, 2015

Ludacris was exploited all over the media, we saw pictures of him in court, his personal life on the front page and all the baby momma drama. But let's not focus on that.

There is a reason Ludacris shines and it is because of the light that is within himself.  Ludacris whose government name is, Christopher "Chris" Bridges is actually contributing a lot of his time, love, presence, goodness, positivity and doing several great things for children, which the media has not highlighted.

We know Ludacris as the Hip Hop artist, actor but did you also know, Luda loves the kids and because of that, he was honored for it.

Ludacris was honored yesterday (March 19,2015) in Georgia by the House of Representatives for his Ludacris Foundation which empowers youth and their families across the nation.

The Ludacris Foundation was founded by Luda himself. He has been going around the nation, along with other voulnteers funding and providing supplies for schools such as, laptops and computers. Luda recently had a #GetConnected campaign a couple of days ago and got other Hip Hop artists invovled in the movement, to supply schools with any tech supplies they needed.

Luda visits these schools and interacts with the students. He takes pictures with them and the kids also love Luda.

Ludacris is empowering children's education and also supplying them with the neccessary resources they need, in order to advance and become great students.

He also visits sick children in the hospital, comforts their families, Luda has played Santa Claus to many people and their families by providing gifts that they couldn't provide for their own children and family.

Luda has done a lot of great things for people and mostly children, who are the future of this world. He has provided Thanksgiving dinners, had turkey drives, toy and coat drives across the nation.

Ludacris has a big heart and brings the warmth of his heart wherever he goes. As hard as Luda might sound on wax, like he'll bust a cap in that a##, children have a special place in his heart.

We salute Luda! 100 gun salute for sure! The media takes for granted the blessing Ludacris is spreading around the nation with his self titled foundation. But would rather focus on baby momma drama instead of complimenting and giving Luda the recognition he has earned and deserved.

Because the blessing that he is, he was honored for it and was given the floor at the House of Representative in Gerogia.

At yesterday's honorary event, Luda made a statement about his purpose for his Ludacris Foundation

“I think it’s one neighborhood at a time,” said Ludacris at the meeting. “So I love to by example, and just try to encourage and motivate people to do good.”

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