Sunday, September 13, 2015

4th Graders Reaching Out for Change

Three weeks into a new school year, fifteen world-changing and dedicated fourth-grade students used their voices to write letters and a petition to convince Coca-Cola to run affirmations on their products rather than names and seemingly frivolously labels.  Please help us reach the Coca-Cola company by signing our petition and sharing it on social media.  We want everyone who walks down the soda aisles, purchases Coca-Cola products, or stands in line at a store to see messages of hope and self-worth.  It is amazing what can happen when people consciously or subconsciously take in affirmations daily.  It truly can change the world.

Please go to our Petition  and help us change the world!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ten-Year-Old Genius Needs His Voice Heard

This writer comes from meager means and his hope and belief in possible is weak.  He doesn't see his genius.  I have worked hard this year to give him choices to discover his own voice.  Now, I need your help convincing this kid to get in front of the camera, deliver his TED-ed Club speech, and help it go viral…when you read it you will understand. I have been going back and forth with this boy all year. Convincing him that he has tremendous gifts and so much to tell the world has been extremely challenging. He has a lot of walls. But through patience and love and celebrating and tears, we've come to a place of trust and mutual admiration. Remember, this is a 10-year-old boy who doesn't have much of the support in his life to give him the idea that he may actually be one to change the world for the better. So, with his permission, I am posting his work here. Please take the time to read it, share it, convince others to do the same. I want SOMEONE SOMEWHERE to get in touch with this brilliant mind of his and convince him that writing, singer/song writing is in his future….and it can truly change the world. If you or someone you know is willing to give this genius boy a chance…please send them my contact info. PS the 2 poems are not research…they are his own creative genius, and this was his response to the Martin, Brown, and Garner cases.

Racial Injustice
by: D. C.
TED-ed Club Speech
Once Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Now Martin Luther King, Jr. is dead. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t just have his famous dream…he had a vision. In 1963, he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech for equal rights and freedoms for all Americans, especially for black Americans. That was fifty-two years ago. Our country has fought wars over civil rights, passed laws for civil rights, and has had many people influence and inspire people to support civil rights. And yet, in 2015, we are still struggling to have peace and civil rights for all.
Have you seen the news lately? Young African American boys are being gunned down at alarming rates. As a young boy this is the reality I wake up to everyday. I worry about being criticized for my skin color. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream that one day people will NOT be judged by the color of their skin but by the contents of their character.”
Historically, there are more black males in prisons than whites. More police involved shootings with black suspects. According to CNN, young black boys ages 15-19 are killed by police-involved shootings at a rate of 30 to 1 compared to whites of the same age group.
Underestimated boys
Thrown around like discarded toys.
While the rest are being spoiled,
WE are being foiled.
Not understood while they are over stood.
We are just trying to be the Little Engine that Could.
Forever forgotten (pause)
When I’m rappin’ I’m not stoppin’
But when I make it, they’ll quickly awaken
Act so afraid
But every second I’m brave.
Someone, please come save us from this grave.
Real story, so people give us joy,
While our lives are being destroyed.
Einstein educated? Not so much.
But I’m trying to keep on rollin’
As our lives is being stolen.
Martin Luther King also said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.”
I am speaking out because maybe my twelve-year-old voice will be heard. I write, I rap, I speak, I beg, I cry, I plead for my voice, Martin Luther’s voice, Rosa Parks’s voice, Harriet Tubman’s voice, Frederick Douglass’s voice, our collective voices to finally be heard.
Most recently, the news reports of Eric Garner, Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown have brought civil rights and racial inequality to light again. The concern is that in all of these situations, there were really no full videos of the situations. No real definitive evidence as to what actually happened. So I am proposing a new bill. I propose that a camera that has the ability to send a 360 degree view of all surroundings be installed on the top of all police cars. Uniform cameras have been considered, but they are just as limited as dashcam videos. So I propose mounting a camera on the barrel of the officer’s gun. That way the video shows exactly where the bullet was shot and the scene just before the gun was used.
In spite of the history, and the fact that we are still unwilling or unable to work as a country to educate, protect, and help build our African American communities both economically and restore their trust, we still must remain hopeful. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther’s voice swirls in my mind. Infinite hope.
Racism is still happening today
That’s a shame
Martin Luther King
Settled that straight.
Through my eyes all I see is
My faith has died inside
Cases are messes
my anger possesses
The lies the bind
(with a laugh and shaking your head) what destruction you find
in the blind mind
They started stranglin’
(He can’t breathe)
(I can’t breathe)
we (pause) can’t breathe)
Dude was slangin’
It ain’t like he was gang bangin’
He was just tryin’ to get some change.
(What is done can’t be changed)
(Now his family’s lives are forever changed)
(We need a different change)
(You say, “Try to be the change?”)
(Maybe he WAS the change)
They just claim self-defense
But it is we who need defendin’
They walk away shameless
As we get put away infamous
put in the books and wait
And wait.
We stand and wait, and can’t help but hate
What America has come to today.
We just go away
But, as Martin Luther King said, “In the end we will remember NOT the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
I am silent no more. But I choose love. “Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

And here is another one:
Harriet Tubman
by D. C.
Harriet Tubman was trapped in chains
Waiting patiently to be saved
But after years of unending darkness
she realized that there was no being saved.
She had to be her own hero.
Slavery is a black box filled with
loneliness and disappointment.
But Harriet was hopeful.
Day in and day out, she thought
How unfair to be mistreated and beaten;
the objects and whips tearing flesh.
But she found a way to break through the black box
by biting back the calloused hand that fed and beat her.
Her light piercing through the cracks in the box
chiseling away the weak spots that come from hands
too numb from the loss of feeling and death.
Her light danced and swirled with sunrays
as she watched the box crumbled around her scarred feet.