TUESDAY TALKS - ROLAND MARTIN
Watching the results of the US Presidential election play out on social media last week was very sad for me. Not because my candidate did not prevail, because my candidate did, but I was disappointed for other reasons. I am of the belief that it is possible for "good people" to disagree, but seeing so many of the Trump supporting evangelicals on my timeline question the morals, intelligence and even the Christianity of those of us who would never support Trump was disheartening. It was painful to know that these friends could overlook the character of their candidate, as well as the myriad human rights violations that took place under his administration, from the children caged at our borders to the multiple instances of police brutality such as the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, among other atrocities. But it was even more painful that some saw those of us who voted in opposition to these things as "enemies of God". It was painful not because it underscored the divisions in the Church, but the deep divisions in our country that allow those of different hues to have extremely different experiences while on the same soil. This conversation by Roland Martin with his esteemed panelists expressed very eloquently what so many of us are feeling in the aftermath of this. Enjoy! Love you all!
TUESDAY TALKS - KAMALA HARRIS
This past Saturday the wait for the US presidential election results finally ended and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris prevailed. In her first speech as our Vice President-elect, Harris addressed the historic significance of this moment where she, the first woman, the first Afro-Caribbean and the first South Asian person, saw her path to the White House. It was very inspirational so I decided to share it. 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!
It is no secret that one of my favorite public intellectuals is Cornel West. I consider it an honor to live contemporaneously with such a brilliant man who has been as passionate about community upliftment as he has been knowledgeable about it. I had the honor of meeting him at a liberation event for Oscar Lopez Rivera, and hearing him speak in person left me absolutely captivated. As a Pastoral Ministry major in undergrad, who minored in philosophy, West's concept of what he calls "prophetic pragmatism" greatly appeals to me because it is concerned with reconciling what West once referred to as the "radical utopian impulse" of Christianity, with its practical human application of serving "the least of these". This talk he had recently with A.R. Bernard fleshes that concept out a little more and challenges all people, but particularly those of faith, to keep this in mind for the upcoming elections. Enjoy!
There are few aspects of a college student's life that can become more redundant than the online discussion board. Students are typically asked to post an initial response to a reading or sometimes a video, and then to post two responses to the posts of other classmates. Oftentimes, students end up regurgitating and remixing what other students have already stated in a way that is almost laughable. But sometimes, the online discussion board can be a real gem that prompts students to engage in a real discussion that makes them interact with the discussion material differently and/or understand it more expansively than they would have otherwise. Such was the case in one of my last grad school courses when we were asked to post responses to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's brilliant Ted Talk on "The danger of a single story". Read on for the rest.