Ryan Turner is founder and executive director of The Akoben Foundation, an organization committed to using literacy as a catalyst to break the cycle of poverty in America. He joined us to discuss his work with Baltimore City Public Schools and passion to empower young readers.
I jumped up and cheered as I saw Simone Manuel fight her way to touch the wall. I wasn’t sure she could do it. She wasn’t necessarily the favorite. And she wasn’t the most talked about media darling with tons of endorsements.
But she beamed as she reviewed the results and concluded she had won. I couldn’t help but to tear up as I watched Simone walk away from the pool as the first black woman to win the Olympic gold medal for the U.S. Swim Team.
Last week I also watched Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles compete for gold medals in the Women’s Gymnastics. I was excited to see them perform with precision and dominance. More than anything I was inspired as I watch the magic of black girls unfold. Across the world they were impregnating the minds and hearts of little black girls with a dream of one day competing in the Olympics.
I often talk about the need to encourage our youth to dream, to hope, and believe. So I had to show my 5-year-old daughter a video of Simone Manuel winning the gold. I wanted her to see a black girl much like herself set goals and work hard to achieve them. I wanted her to witness history.
As a father, I am constantly reiterating to my daughters that they can do anything. I don’t ignore or choose to live in denial about the challenges of sexism and racism that plagues humanity. I didn’t always value or understand everything a woman has to offer. And I am glad to report that I am still working on that understanding. And although I cheered for women in the Olympics. I know that same enthusiasm and support must translate beyond sports, gold medals, or fame.
The value of my mother, and two daughters transcends sports. For my daughters, I want them to know they are free to celebrate their uniqueness first and foremost. So I am proud of Manuel, Biles, and Douglas. But I am more proud to be raising black girls.
Sadiq Ali is an author, speaker, professor and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full-service etiquette-based training and educational consulting solution. Ali joins us to talk about how to prepare youth for success and his upcoming Young Gentlemen’s Institute Conference.
The Young Gentlemen’s Institute Conference in Prince George’s County, MD is here! Two organizations have teamed up and are hosting a conference just for young men to help teach them vital skills for success in a changing world. In a powerful daylong event, we’ll be focusing on four areas with the young men: leadership, etiquette, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.The conference will take place on Saturday, December 12, 2015, from 8a to 4p at the beautiful, newly renovated Rennie Forum at the Largo Student Center on the campus of PG Community College (301 Largo Drive, Largo, MD 20774) and will feature 4 powerful workshops, 9 dynamic speaker-presenters, live performances, breakfast and lunch along with a host of resources. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
D. Watkins is an author and award winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon.com, and The Huffington Post. He joins us on Son of a Dream to discuss his new book, The Beast Side: Living and Dying while Black in America and the influence of pop culture on youth.
Dr. Tara Doaty-Mundell is the founder of the Sage Wellness Group, LLC, a consulting firm that provides speicialized trainings and workshops for programs and families. She joined me for a discussion on effective communication for parents and children.
Author and youth advocate David Miller talks about the importance of encouraging boys of color to read.
David Miller is founder of Dare to Be King, a program that seeks to inspire, support, and strengthen organizations serving boys of color. David is also author of Khalil’s Way, a children’s book that addresses the issue of school bullying. I caught up with David to talk about the importance of encouraging boys of color to read and parental involvement.