Tuesday, February 22, 2011

William Bradley III

Name: William Bradley III

Age: 28

College: California State Polytechnic University

Major: Business Management and Entrepreneurship.

Grad Year: 2006

About William: I have always been a serial entrepreneur from an early age. I was an avid baseball card collector and would often buy packs of baseball cards and sell off the most valuable cards for a profit. From buying candy at wholesale prices and reselling it to his classmates to selling hip hop magazine posters (I would get from his sisters for free), I has always had the natural ability for business and sales. My business skills have played an integral part in facilitating the launch of several start up companies.

In 2007, along with my business partner Adje C. Lassey, we co-founded First Integrated Credit Solutions, LLC (FICS) which is a credit education and credit improvement company where the mission is to “Increase and strengthen families credit standing so they can qualify to live a better lifestyle.” The downward spike in the economy has brought attention and the importance of the services offered by FICS. To better serve our target market, in 2010 we dissolved FICS as a stand alone entity and all credit improvement services will be offered FREE via the non profit Tunnel Of Hope.

After becoming not only the youngest but also the third top money income earner for my previous real estate company, which at the time had a nationwide sales force of 20,000 associates, the natural path of progression to pivot out and pour the concrete for my own real estate firm was inevitable. In 2008, working closely with my college friend and business partner, Adje C. Lassey, I co-founded The CEO Investment Group, Inc. which is a real estate brokerage firm specializing in the assistance of helping home buyers buy, home sellers sell, and investors invest in residential real estate.

I am a firm believer of giving back and volunteer with several non-profits that benefit today’s youth. I am active with CLIMB Inc. (Creating Leaders In Mind & Body), CAPS (Creating Aspiring Personalities for Success) and Corazon de Vida (where he takes a quarterly trip to a orphanage in Mexico to give love to kids who need it).

What is your life's mission?
I live a life of service. I'm trained to become a wolf, so I know how they think. I'm strong like them. However, my life is not about me. I'm purposed to become the shepherd. May my life be an example to follow so you may lead. My failures, a lesson plan. My success, hope. My words, motivation. My life, love.

What does being a black man mean to you?
Growing up bi-racial (my father is black and my mom is white) in a black community, I still had exposure to different cultures. I've come to realize that being black is not just the color of someone's skin. Being black is the perseverance of struggle. My grandfather, who now rests in Heaven, was the grandson of slaves. He went to college at Alabama A&M University and became a successful entrepreneur. He accomplished this at a time when racial adversity was more prevalent and racism was more blatant. These struggles made him stronger. When channeled correctly, the struggles that modern day blacks face have the potential to make us stronger. Part of being black is learning how to embrace those struggles to build our character and not destroy our own communities.

"I'm purposed to become the shepherd. May my life be an example to follow so you may lead. My failures, a lesson plan. My success, hope. My words, motivation. My life, love"

Contact William:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brittney Greene

Name: Brittney A. Greene

Age: 24

College: Georgia State University

Major: Sociology

Grad Year: December 2010

About Brittney: I consider myself to be a passionate young adult inspired by the ills of the world, with a serving heart. I take to challenging social structures in the world through various community initiatives. Attending school and majoring in a social service field takes passion and commitment. Not labeled with the six figure salary like other majors, I have always chosen to work with the people and not against them. I've always had my hand in the community passionately providing service to the people who need it most. My endeavors with Black Positive Image, Inc. directly reflect my commitment to the community. Although Rochester, New York is home, my heart is global and expanding to places were many may not pay attention. I'm seeking to help those who need help the most, by connecting with them on a personal level, establishing trust, the one element no relationship can go without. 

In 2009 I was working as a legal secretary where I had to read the Daily Report (the legal newspaper for Fulton County GA) everday. The paper Provided all legal news and happenings in the County as well as new businesses that were registered with the Secretary of States office. This section became of great interest to me as I noticed that several businesses were registered daily and I looked into the process of starting a business myself. At first I didn't have a clear direction in the field that I would like to go into, but as a person of service, I knew I wanted to help people. I decided to register as a non-profit corporation, knowing that in the future I would love to operate a nationwide non-profit organization. The name of the organization had to be strong and very relevant to the target group that I wanted to address. As an advocate for the black community and with direct emotional connections to the care of my people I decided to name the company Black Positive Image. With all the negativity that surrounded the image of Blacks in America on the television, newspapers and other media outlets I decided to combat this image by providing a social enterprise where people could unite together and become the positive force that our community needs.

Initially Black Positive Image, Inc. was a social enterprise that utilized various social media outlets such as facebook and twitter to connect with people in the community and begin opening a dialogue to combat the negative images in the community. By providing positive imagery through music, books, pictures, etc. We were going to be the alternative source to help people find positive information and resources for the community. Although this is still primarily our focus, the company has expanded beyond social enterprises and has begun to infiltrate the community with various programs. We support college students through our College Care Program, fight illiteracy and bring the joy of reading through our Home Library Campaign and help spread the stories of the people in our community through our Literary Series 'You Don't Know My Story'. Through our various initiatives we have begun to make a direct impact in the community by actively creating the image we would like to see in the community. The social media aspect of our organization is still very relevant and we will be expanding our initiatives to become the Community Resource Center for various topics and issues in relation to our community.

What is your life's mission?
My life's mission is to help guide people to love. My current work is reflective of community activism in various ways, but my true mission is to change the face of intimate relationships between individuals and open the sexual dialogue amongst Americans. I am a sexual liberation reformer committed to helping others understand sexual relations and helping individuals cultivate meaning relationships. This is matched with my plans to further my education and become a Relationship/Sex Therapist.

What does being a black woman mean to you?
To be is a linking verb by definition, so for me to be Black is linking me to the power in what has been identified as my color. To label an entire race based off the variation in hues of skin and label them as Black, a word that is negative in context in contrast to the purity of the color white may seem fleeting to many; but not my people. In the direct face the negative definition of soiled, wicked, dirty, sullen and a host of other names that have been marked with negativity, to be Black in regards to my people mean none of those things. Even with the filth that surrounds the term Black and how the world may relate to it, we have defined Black in our own terms, beyond the definitions in dictionaries. To be Black is to be defiant, to be non-complying to the unjust impositions that have been placed on us. To be Black links me to an ancestry of perseverance and undoubted self pride. To be Black links me to all that I know and that is proud!

"To be Black is to be defiant, to be noncomplying to the unjust impositions that have been placed on us"

Contact Brittney:

Black Positive Image
P.O. Box 15356
Atlanta, GA 30333

Phone: 404-507-246

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chad Nevills

Name: Chad Nevills

Age: 26

College: Southern University A&M - Baton Rouge

Major: Computer Science Major

Grad year: 2007

Masters program: MBA w/concentration in Project Management

College: Florida Institute of Technology

Grad date: 2012

About Javon: I'm the eldest of three boys, growing up in small town with dreams of becoming a professional athlete.  Most of my childhood was spent on video games and playing sports. I think I was a "jock" for the most part; football, baseball, and track practice were the highlights of my days. I made "ok" grades while in high school as my main focuses were on whatever sport I was playing at the time.  By the time graduation time came around, I was ashamed of myself after realizing just how much I'd played around in school after finishing with a GPA of 2.5. Then reality kicked in, there was no more football... no more baseball... no more track, it was either go to college or go out and find work somewhere to make a living for myself.

There were two distinct instances where I was motivated to do more for myself; Sometime during my sophomore year my mom told me, that during a school visit, my calculus teacher, Coach Heintz, told her that I'd never make it through college because my math skills were so poor. I was more determined and motivated to do well after this; as learning became my top priority, I simply applied myself and everything sort of just fell into place. The grades, the internship, the growing knowledge, it all started happening for me and after 4 years, I graduated. This time around, I felt a lot better about what I'd accomplished. Then, the summer prior to graduating, I'd worked at a Wal-Mart Distribution center loading trucks in the sweltering heat of the summer. I knew for sure I did not want to do that for the rest of my life so I decided to follow my best friend and go to college.
My knowledge and love for computers led me to pursue a degree in computer science. I figured computer science was basically going to be the "engineering" of computers, but boy was I ever wrong. The next step was to do something I'd not done probably since grade school (pick up a book and actually read it!). I was determined to do well, especially after ending my high school tenure on such a bad note. I was the first male on either side of my family to EVER graduate college. After a few months of job searching, and interviews, I got a couple offers and ended up accepting a job with a Fortune 500 company,  Boeing, in Herndon, Va and the rest is pretty much history.

I did make sure to pay a visit to Mr. Coach H about a year ago to let him know what I was up to these days ;-). Of course I didn't let him know that I was aware of what he'd informed my mother of but it felt good to let him know that not only had I made it through college.... but I finished in the ever-so math heavy subject of Computer Science... and was an engineer!

What is your life's mission?
I am constantly learning more and more about myself and how this world operates.  Nothing pleases me more than seeing our black people succeed in life. My mission is to serve as a role model, I want to be someone who my fellow African American men and women look up to; someone they can come to when they need to talk whether its career related, life, or what have you, I just want to help. It's always a pleasure to talk to college students to inform them about how they should prepare themselves before they step out into the real world.  I'm constantly searching the job search wire for internships that I may be able to forward over to one of my professors back at Southern University so that she may distribute them out to students. Whatever I can do to help, every little bit counts.

What does being a black man mean to you?
PERSEVERANCE!  It isn't a matter of black is beautiful as much as it is white is not all that's beautiful.  I am black. We black men have come a long way since the days of slavery through perseverance. I am black, I am man. That means to the public eye, I have to work that much harder to be accepted in society. The world is hard on black men, but I refuse to be stuck in a limited image. I realize that I'm black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody's wish. I am here to show that I can do anything I want, I can be as successful as I allow myself to be, no stereotype is ever going to get in my way just as my ancestors did. I want to take responsibility for future generations and how they carry themselves. We're more than just athletes that can jump extremely high, run extremely fast. We can be more than just entertainers; we can be whatever we want to be. If I can make 1/10 the difference the likes of MLK, Malcolm X, etc made, then I consider that successful. Every little bit counts :).   

"I am black, I am man. That means to the public eye, I have to work that much harder to be accepted in society"

Contact Info:
Personal email
Work email

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trimaine Davis

Name: Trimaine Davis

Age: 27

College: San Diego State University

Major: Education & Africana Studies

Grad year: 2006

Masters Program: Education w/concentration in Eduational Leadership
Highlights: Trimaine Davis Leadership Award, Presidential Leadership Award, The Ko-Alition, Greg Ashford Memorial Scholarship, Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB)

About Trimaine: I was born in Pittsburg California a small city in the Bay Area and lost both of my parents to drug addiction. I was raised by my grandmother, she taught me the importance of having strong values such as self- determination and focus.

Throughout my life I've always enjoyed playing basketball. It has always been a Davis family tradition to be an athlete and I decided to fully pursue the dream of playing basketball on a collegiate level. In high school I was heavily recruited by universities such as Kansas State, Oregon, Oregon State, USF and Texas A&M, but ultimately chose to attend San Diego State University where I dedicated my collegiate career to my late, great, close friend, Greg Ashford who served as the Men’s Basketball captain my junior and senior year in High School. My passion and leadership were incredibly felt on the basketball court and inspired Coach Steve Fisher to create an honorary award, the Trimaine Davis Leadership Award for the Men’s Basketball Team. Not only did I strive to be a leader on the basketball court, I made sure my leadership influence shined through on the campus of San Diego State University. Ultimately I was one of the few student-athletes to blend in with my fellow African American student-peers.

At SDSU I majored in Africana Studies / Education and remained heavily active in many organizations such as the San Diego State University Afrikan Student Union, (ASU) Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) and the Association of Africana Studies Majors and Minors. I feel as though one of my best student accomplishments was the creation of my own organization called, The Ko-Alition. I created the Ko-Alition  to help bridge the social gap between African American students and student-athletes on campus and it's still in existence. I went on to become the first student-athlete to receive the 2006 Presidential Leadership Award from the Associated Students of SDSU.

I'm currently employed at San Diego State University Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) as an Officer of Outreach, in the Recruitment and Admission department. The EOP Office is a program dedicated to educational equity and college access for underprivileged low-socioeconomic future first-generation students. I also oversee the Men’s Leadership & Mentor After School Program called the VitaMEN, that was housed at the Nubia Leadership Academy. The VitaMEN is now undergoing plans to move to O’ Farrell Middle School in Southeast San Diego. The biggest accomplishment of my young career came this past January in my home town of Pittsburg CA, as I planned the 1st Annual Greg Ashford Memorial Scholarship Alumni Basketball Game. The Alumni Game was a great success raising over $5,000 for two $1,500 scholarships for two graduating seniors at Pittsburg High School.

What is your life's mission?
I believe my life mission is to continue the legacy and tradition my Fore Fathers. My purpose in life is to be the living example of the motto Be More & Live Life Striving. My calling is to educate my young people who have been deemed as unreachable. I believe it is my calling to help inspire a habitual vision inside of our young people. I also realize in order to educate I must be educated, so my calling is a humbling calling because I understand my road to greatness is always under-construction.  

What does being a black man mean to you?
Being a Black man is both the greatest gift I have ever received and also the grandest challenge I have ever faced. I am now at place in my mind, heart and soul of understanding the essence of where I from.  Without a doubt I know I am the original man. I know I am a descendent of my past legends and it’s because of them that I am giant today! I also feel the effects of my history in this country I am force to call home.  I still feel the lingering effects of 1619. I still feel the pain of the 3/5 rule,  There strife still remains from the treatment of the second class citizenship and The Jim Crow laws. These are reasons that makes being a black man that much more challenging. However, my ace in the whole my ultimate gift my true source of power lies in a Black woman! Black women had it way worst then Black men and she still can smile, love and support! Therefore there is no reason for me to feel discouraged!

"I also realize in order to educate I must be educated, so my calling is a humbling calling because I understand my road to greatness is always under-construction." 

Contact Trimaine:
Work email

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monique Hicks

Name: Monique Hicks

Age: 24

College: California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB)

Major: Sociology

Graduation: December, 2010

Highlights: Sociology club, MAC peer advisor
GPA; 3.2

About Monique: I'm the only girl, born in a family of three boys. Growing up, I've always seen my dad work hard to get what he wanted and to provide for his family. I promised myself that I would do the same for my family. A quote that always sticks in my head from my dad is “I just want your kids to have a better life than you did.”

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at the tender age of 29, just a few years after I was born. While growing up, I didn’t know that my mother had any type of disease. She didn’t seem sick; she seemed like everyone else’s mom. When I was in about 8th grade, that is when things started to take a turn for the worst. My mom was getting smaller, her hair was falling out, and she had to resort to the infamous wigs. I was scared. Even though I was still young, I knew that things weren’t looking good. My mom was in the hospital for a week or two, and I thought everything would be okay. She then returned home, and was confident that everything was much better, until her bed was now in the living room, and she had a walker & a wheel chair. I remember the day my mother passed as if it happened yesterday. When I arrived home from school, I went to speak with my mother, and she was lying in her bed, breathing heavily. I just figured she was taken a nap, from a long day at home. A few hours later, she was in the same state as she was when I came home from school. My family all remained calm, and I just knew that something was not right. I sat at my mom’s bedside from then on out. I asked my dad hundreds of questions, wanting to know the status on my mom, and he just told me “it’s not looking good”. I couldn’t take it! No, my mom was just breathing, up & her normal self a few hours before I went to school. How could this all happen within a matter of hours? At around 9pm, she took her last breath.

I was 15 years old, I had to step up and become the woman of the house. That meant that while my dad attended work (24 hour shifts) I cooked for my younger siblings, cleaned the house, and looked after them. I was forced to grow up before I wanted to. While attending community college, I wanted to give up. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, I was discouraged and I felt that it was too much work to get to where I wanted to be. I then thought about the promise I made to myself, and also the promise I made to my mother the day that she passed away, and I pushed forward. Graduating from community college with a 3.0+ GPA, and being admitted into a university was the happiest day of my life. Before arriving at the university, I didn't realize how close I was to having my bachelor’s degree. A year and six months later, I am a college graduate with my bachelor’s degree! I'm glad I never gave up, and I pushed forward. My goal when I return back to San Diego is to work in Social Services. I really want to work with kids/teens in helping them to learn about STD's & HIV. I think it's really important for people to be aware of this, especially African Americans. My ultimate dream that I want to accomplish in the future is to participate in the Susan G Komen 3 day walk, in memory of my mother who passed away from breast cancer, and to help find a cure for breast cancer.

What is your life's mission?
My mission is to successfully support and empower women and families that have been affected by breast cancer and continue growing, learning and motivating.

What does being a black woman mean to you?
Being a black woman means to be great and powerful! 'Black is Beautfiul'

"I thought about the promise I made to myself, and also the promise I made to my mother the day that she passed away, and I pushed forward"

Contact Monique:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jmar Akai Montgomery

Name: Jmar Akai Montgomery

Age: 22

College: California State University Los Angeles

Major: BS - Mechanical Engineering

Highlights: CSULA's Early Entrance Program (EEP), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Engineering Computer Science &Technology Student Council, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc

About Jmar: I am the youngest Engineer in my field for over 2 years. I started college at 14, and graduated Class of 2008 with my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the age of 19. I was accepted into CSULA’s highly exclusive Early Entrance Program, (EEP), which allowed me to start college at a young age. While in college, I served in many capacities and was a member of numerous organizations. Graduating early was a great accomplishment but came with some adversity, my age proved to be an obstacle for me in the academic and professional world. I was competing with his peers, who were at least 4 yrs older than me, and vying for their respect to be recognized as their peers. I learned that through hard work and professionalism, people would see my young age, not as a detriment, but as an asset to innovative thinking; and would see me not for my age, but for my work. 

I'm currently studying for the Professional Engineering exam to become a licensed engineer in California. This license will allow me to achieve my goal of opening my own engineering consultation firm. This firm will not only provide consultation services, but also contract design and rapid prototyping services to small to medium sized business that do not have these capabilities. The idea of opening a consulting firm came from my father, who at one point, owned a successful screen shop and held a contractor’s license. My dad always said that 'it is better working for and paying yourself, than to have someone else dictate what you should be paid'. After working for the government, I see exactly what he meant. Also, while achieving this goal, I've applied for the Fall 2011 semester to various graduate mechanical engineering programs to specialize in either nanotechnology or fluid dynamics. I believe that an advanced academic foundation will better ensure a strong entrepreneurial future.

In the midst of my career and academic goals I try to maintain a healthy personal life as I am a student pilot working on obtaining my private pilot’s license, with a future goal of obtaining my commercial pilot’s license. Also, I'm an avid shooter who plans to start shooting competitively in various shooting matches in California. 

What is your life's mission?
I feel that my mission in life is to be a man that people look to for consultation. I believe that the only way to become cultured through life’s experiences is to not only network with others, but also understand their perspective on life. I want to always be accessible, in one form or another, so that if people need my help, I am there with an open ear and/or wise words. I am on the road to excellence and want to share the map with others along the way.

What does being a black man mean to you?
Being black means pursuing excellence in every endeavor and being disciplined enough to complete the task. It means operating with integrity and honor so that no one has a valid reason to NOT respect you in your field. It means extending a hand, arm, leg, torso etc. to those who need your help and going the extra distance to make sure that your people succeed. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have if was not for those who went out of their way to help me, and it is only necessary that I do the same for those who come after me. I have come to realize that having a good relationship with God has been the foundation for all of my successes; while, not utilizing the knowledge and wisdom of others as the culprit for my failures. Being black means understanding that the playing field isn’t fair, but never using that as an excuse to not give your best. What they would call excellent, I call my average; I always have to set my bar higher and higher

"What they call excellent, I call average; I always have to set my bar higher and higher"

Contact Jmar:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fred Joseph Jr.

Name: Fred Joseph Jr.

Age: 25

College: Saint Peter's College. Jersey City, New Jersey.

Major: Business Management.  

Grad year: Graduated 2007

About Fred: I'm a Hatian native born in Cap Haitien, Haiti. At the age of two, I moved to Florida with my father, and then at four years old I returned back to Haiti. I resided there until the age of seven years old, where I attended the school Kay Frère. Afterwards, my family moved to New Jersey. It wasn’t an easy shift, but with their belief in the American dream, my family managed to overcome their trials and tribulations; where today not only do they value this dream but are living it. I believe that we have the power to create our own reality and helping others empowers each of us to create a reality that fulfills the heart’s desire.  My way of helping people encourages others to challenge themselves.

In 2007, I graduated from Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, New Jersey. Although I studied Business, my desire of doing charity work only increased over the years. In August of 2008, I hosted a soccer tournament in Saint Raphael, Haiti. At this tournament, the youth began to fight. It was pretty severe where children and parents had to flee. I realized that the local children were in a dire need of a better environment; one that could not only provide for their families, but generations to come.  This was the birth of the Anasoule Wishes Foundation (AWF) named after my grandmother, Anasoule. AWF was founded to teach the children of St. Raphael to utilize their resources in order to better their lives and community.  In January 2010 alongside a college friend, Martine E. Pierre, I decided to expand on the AWF vision and create the Help Us Save Us (HUSU) organization. HUSU is a non-profit organization established to serve all areas of humanity by providing assistance in education, health, and agriculture. The organization is currently working to revitalize the educational institutions in Saint Raphael, Haiti. The town has gained many new residents displaced from the capital city, Port-Au-Prince, due to the tragic earthquake.

It wasn’t always easy for me to stay driven in wanting to help the people of Haiti. Although, I grew up in America and adapted to the American culture, I never felt accepted by my peers. They mocked my Haitian culture, which at times pained me because the image they portrayed of Haiti, was a false image of my home. In 2005 I lost my father in a car accident. This did not only toughen me to take responsibility of filling my father shoes but to start living my dream because tomorrow isn’t promised. Just as my parents took the challenge of coming to America in search of better opportunities, I want to return to Haiti to offer my fellow citizens more opportunities.

What is your life's mission?
My life mission is to be Noble for Haiti. I want to be remembered as a being great, someone who provided opportunities. I want to be in the encyclopedia and want to be statued. I know that sounds crazy but I love my country. I could have been a child in Haiti struggling. What if I was? What if I never knew what the U.S. looked like? What if I was poor begging for food? I was in Haiti, that could have been me?!? What if I struggled the same way my parents did? What if I had Cholera and died because I was too poor to cure it?  What if I went to school in Port Au prince and died in the earthquake? What if I was child in the HUSU camp and I had a guy name Fred Joseph Helping me? What if I never got a college degree? What if my father never died? He could have been alive if he lived in Haiti or maybe not? What it? 

What does being a black man mean to you?
Being black means I have one chance to make "What if" a reality. Life is not easy being African American, It's in the books. Slavery shows us what black means. Blacks are portrayed differently than whites. I want to beat the odds and show the world and Haiti! Black is equal and black is human.

"My way of helping people encourages others to challenge themselves"

Contact Fred:

To learn more about Fred's Organization and to help Haiti visit Help Us Save Us' website.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brandon Frame

Name: Brandon Frame

Age: 23

College: Morehouse College

Major: Business Administration w/concentration in Marketing

Grad year: 2009

Highlights: recipient of Morehouse Marketing Star Award, Morehouse Legacy Award

About Brandon: I am the Chief Visionary Officer of The Black Man Can. The organization’s mission is to actively promote a positive black male image. I currently work as an educator at The Fessenden School in West Newton, Massachusetts where I teach seventh grade English, coach basketball and co-facilitate the mentoring program focused on boys of African descent.

Getting to where I am now was not easy, one of the biggest adversities I have ever faced is myself. My earliest memory of such an event would date back to middle school where I questioned if I would be able to make it out of my neighborhood. I didn’t think that it was intended for me to abandon my current situation in search of one that would garner success. I often wondered if I were destined for greatness, if I were to make it out of my neighborhood. In my creation of 'The Black Man Can', I brooded over people’s interest and support in such an organization. I found myself questioning society’s desire to witness positive images of Black Men. I overcame these obstacles by taking the following three quotes/phrases to heart:

1) Benjamin Elijah Mays’ quote that states “every man and woman was put on this earth to do something unique and something distinctive. If he or she does not do it, it will never be done,”
2) M.K. Asante’s quote asserting that “if you make an observation, you now have an obligation,” 
3) the phrase that declares that each individual must use their mind to challenge the word’s  limitations that society has unfortunately bestowed upon them

What is your life's mission?
My life’s mission is to educate, elevate, empower, inspire and uplift young boys of African descent. I have decided on a few areas in which I can best employ my talents that will directly correlate with my life’s mission. My goal is to connect the various islands of success to allow the sharing of best practices. I have made it my mission to start my own schools for boys that will prepare them as socially conscious men with a global perspective who will embrace the concept of being a scholar-athlete. I plan to teach the boys the importance of being a lover of reading and knowledge so that they will be well-informed with the ability to think critically about the world. My overarching mission is to provide the positive contradiction to the prevailing Black Male representation of today by actively promoting a Black Male image everyday. I have a firm grasp on where my passion lies and it has led me to my purpose, which I am pursuing with impeccable effort.

What does being a black man mean to you?
Being Black to me means being so reminded of Malcolm and Martin, but so inspired to sketch my own path. Being Black means keeping it real and not reel. Being Black means to know the path less traveled will not be easier or shorter, but it will make all the difference. Being Black means to advance my genius, not my gangsta; to understand that I am beautiful in mind and have a heart that will change the world. I must be a gentleman of exceptional character and impenetrable self-worth. Being Black means to learn, know and respect the history of my ancestors because I will always be part of that framework.

Contact Brandon:
Twitter - TheBlackManCan

To learn more about Brandon’s organization, visit http://www.theblackmancan.org/.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Angelete L. Comford

Name: Angelete L. Comford

Age: 24

Degree: B.S. in Human Services received at California State University Fullerton in 2010.

About Angel: I was just a Jr. in High School when I moved to California from Prince George, VA in 2003. Who knew that I, a country girl from a small town, would be a motivated, personable business professional with multiple management level work history in a big city. Through many obstacles, I continue to exceed in achieving my goals as a young black professional. I try to remain humble as I defy stereotypes. It is my drive to succeed that motivates me to stop at nothing. One of my career goals is to become a Human Resource Director of a multi-billion dollar corporation, while also working as a Real Estate Broker on the side. I want to eventually own my own Real estate agency & Construction Business in residential and commercial acquisitions. I Plan on continuing my education in 2012 to pursue a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) specializing in Human Resource Management at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
What is your life's mission?
To grow, to learn, and to evolve as an individual. To Motivate, inspire, and empower others. Building a successful, beautiful empire, whether it is my business, or personal as in my own future family. Break all "Glass ceilings" and show that strong Black women can surpass all barriers!

What does being a black woman mean to you?  
Being black is more than the shade of your skin, or the grade of your hair. Being black to me means being POWERFUL, LOVING, PRIDEFUL, a LEADER, STRONG, INTELLIGENT, CARING, SUCCESSFUL, and DIVERSE individual who plays a significant role in today’s society. Through personal growth, which ultimately leads to the growth of the black community, it is imperative that we set higher standards of achievement for ourselves and future generations. We have the power to impact many lives, and can create change. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!

"Through everything, Nothing is impossible."

Contact Angelete

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Black History Month

I celebrate my history all year long, but since it's PC to celebrate it in February I decided to do some things a little different this year.

How many of you are TIRED of hearing the SAME stories about Martin Luther King JR, Malcolm X, W. E. B. Du Bois, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and the Black Panthers Etc. I know I am. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE and appreciate their individual struggles and triumphs BUT they do not solely represent Black History! There are hundreds of great African Americans that have helped create change, shape our futures and add to the greatness of our people, why aren't THEY talked about? But even if we eliminate all that from the equation, is anyone else tired of talking about the things they (MLK, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois etc) have done? Their contributions have made a lasting impact but what about our contributions? Can we look at those? Have WE made a lasting impact? Are we working to make one?

I am all about progression. Let's acknowledge the work that was done and let's move forward. Let's talk about the 'here' and 'now'! As my AVID teacher said, "let's press 'pause' on the past and 'play' on the future!" I am dedicating this month to talking about where we are now and where we are heading. I want to look at us from all angles and see where we can improve. WE (because I want to engage you all) will talk about and look at our: education, health, finances, families, careers & aspirations. And the flip side to that is we will also look at and talk about gentrification, nihilism, genocide, & self-hate as these are all things that have added to the destruction of the black community. I will have a couple of individuals guest blogging about certain topics and it is my hope that you, yes YOU participate in the discussion.

Another crucial piece to my celebration of Black History Month is highlighting professional African Americans and business owners that. Most of the time when we look at our black figures they're in positions so high that it's almost impossible to reach out to them. I want to expose you all to some dynamic African Americans that are just like you and I. I think the black image gets perverted and distorted a lot in the media. For some, all they know about African Americans is that we are: pro athletes, rappers, singers, models, producers etc. We are so much more than the entertainment industry. We save lives (doctors), we seek justice for others (lawyers), we build/create/invent (engineers), we help you buy homes (real estate agents), we listen to and help you solve problems (therapist's), we educate your children (teachers) and we own businesses (Entrepreneurs). My vision is so big I can hardly contain it sometimes but one part of my vision is exposing African Americans to other careers outside of entertainment. We can do and be so much more than what we see on TV, which is why I created 'Spotlight on Greatness - African American's in Business'. I've hand selected multiple, professional black men and women who I see as being stellar, to be featured on this blog. They have each inspired me in different ways and they are shining examples of black men and women of excellence! Stay tuned...
Also, Im looking for guest blogger's for the month of February. If you have a topic that pertains to the black community let me know that you would like to write about, please let me know via Email