I have always greatly admired Joshua Bennett and Carvens Lissaint individually because they are both such phenomenal poets. I've had the pleasure of meeting Carvens a couple times and he was always incredibly humble, even after snagging that dream role in HAMILTON. When two poets with this level of skill and profound thought combine, the expectation is of a powerful performance. As they detail their evolution on the subject of fighting, and how best to win, they do not disappoint. Listen and enjoy!
In late 2013 I was invited by a friend to attend the Young Life leadership Summit that coming January. I attended and heard amazing talks by distinguished experts in youth ministry and leadership that left me super inspired! I decided to volunteer with Young Life in 2014, and although I no longer serve with them, I still enjoy attending the Summit. This past weekend, Young Life of Greater New York held their first virtual Summit and it truly blessed me! One of the speakers was Father Greg Boyle who is the founder of an organization called Homeboy Industries, which is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. His talk on Saturday was about the importance of going to the margins of society to connect with those who society casts aside. Not simply to make a difference, but so that those on the margins can make us different. I truly enjoyed not only his perspective, but his anecdotes of some of the success stories of his ministry. I hope you enjoy it also!
MUSEUM MONDAYS - JACOB LAWRENCE
In 2014, I was asked to create a fine arts curriculum for a nonprofit which catered to underserved youth. It was an honor to be asked, but I was also immediately conflicted. While I have an extensive mental catalog of favorite fine artists, the Director of the program only wanted a twelve-week curriculum. This meant that I had to choose only twelve artists to delve into. There were some that I vacillated about for more time than perhaps necessary, but I knew from the start that Jacob Lawrence had to make the cut. Lawrence is considered to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His distinctive folk style colorfully depicts the story of the African-American experience with vibrancy and dignity. From painting heroes such as Harriet Tubman, to capturing the essence of the migration, and even just scenes from a barbershop, Lawrence paints these aspects of black culture in a style he created called dynamic cubism. This style is both vibrant and concise. Read more to see more of Lawrence's paintings.
FREEDOM FRIDAYS - #ENDSARS
Over the past couple weeks, young people in Nigeria have been protesting police brutality in a way that is reminiscent of the way that young people here in America have been. The issues facing the Nigerians with regards to police brutality, however, are different than those facing #BlackLivesMatter protestors here and across the world. There is a specific police force being protested in Nigeria called SARS, which stands for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Since being formed in 1992, they have been plagued by controversy and scandal due to their mistreatment of Nigerian citizens. Particularly concerning are the rampant claims of brutality leveled against the squad, ranging from harassment, to rape, and even murder. Most commonly, young people with expensive cars or other items are profiled by the squad and falsely accused of robbery. They are then imprisoned, beaten and even worse. Protestors had been holding peaceful demonstrations daily, but this week things took a turn for the worse when some were killed by men in camouflage uniforms who many believe to be military. Read more to see videos about this as well as how to help.