An End to Exclusivity

Women shouldn’t be made to feel objectified in (or out of) the workplace.

Black people shouldn’t be made to feel like tokens in a room.

Gay people shouldn’t be ostracized in the church.

We should all be valued for the effort we put in but we don’t. Some feel used by their companies. Many feel unappreciated. And far more feel uncomfortable being themselves. If for no other reason than not wanting to get fired once you make it big, start developing good habits in the workplace. It matters.

Make inclusivity a priority.

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More Than Beautiful

Women are the greatest creation on earth. Though not made to be men, they can create men. Though not prescribed by society to lead, they have broken down doors and led. Women are both beautiful and bold.

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc traveled the world to show what beauty in all colors and from all cultures looks like. Click here to see what she discovered and, please, share it with everyone you know. Men and women need to know that neither Marilyn Monroe nor Beyoncé are the global standards. Beauty is much more than what western media tells us it is.

 

Make open mindedness a priority.

God Just Might Be A Black Woman…

…And Jesus was definitely a Middle Eastern man.

Tonight, I’m watching The Shack. It’s a film about a man who meets the Trinity. In it, God the Father is a black woman. God the Son is a Middle Eastern man. God the Spirit is an Asian woman.

This film got many negative reviews from the general public because of those representations but I love it because it makes people question their belief systems. What makes us believe that God is a white man with a grey beard? And, by the way, this post has nothing to do with what we believe religiously but, instead, what we believe about power in this world of “ours.” If most of us see the most Supreme Being as an old white man or a young white man or a ghost, then how could we possibly have the utmost respect for anyone who doesn’t look like that?

What I’ve taken from this movie is that we don’t see the most supreme being but, instead, we feel her or him. And, if you feel that spirit in anyone else, you love them. But that means that, before determining that person is good or bad for your life based on externalities, you must feel his or her spirit first.

Maybe there’s a lot of whatever Supreme Being you do or don’t believe in within the person you never took a moment to get to know. And, who knows? That person just might be a black woman. Either way, there is a bit of Her (or Him or It) in us all. So let’s treat one another with such respect.

In the film, God the Son said, “I don’t want slaves. I want friends.” Let the rules go, in and out of the work place. Develop relationships built on respect and trust. The rest will surely come.

Make not judging people a priority.

Why Do We Ignore It?

Rape. Rape culture. Sexual harassment. Gender discrimination. Unequal pay. Distasteful jokes. Sexual assault. Male privilege.

All words we men hate to hear but things that we fail to actively work to change.

This week, #MeToo has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter. Women have been sharing very traumatic, extremely personal experiences that center around them having been sexually harassed or assaulted. Some were in the workplace and others weren’t but, when you have situations like the stories of these fourteen women who were attacked after refusing the advances of interested men, an active stance must be taken.

From presidents of the United States to the college intern at a startup’s water cooler, men have gotten away with far too much for far too long. And it’s not just the frat boy-esq. 23 year old who is fresh out of college. Nor is it just the dirty old man who has bundles of money that he uses to purchase companionship. It is all of us. Every man in the world.

If the reason you stop is because it could be your mom or sister or daughter or best friend, it’s better than no reason at all but how about stopping for a better reason? Why not stop because she is a human being?

Honestly, crass jokes wouldn’t be so bad if they went both ways and there wasn’t a double standard. They’re funny, right? But when the environment is one that devalues those who make our entire existence possible, we have to reevaluate our self-proclaimed “progress.” All these jokes do is perpetuate a lack of respect for the women around us.

It’s 2017. Just as we shouldn’t have to say #BlackLivesMatter, no one should be saying #MeToo in response to the devaluation of women and blatant rape culture that exists.

Make equality in and out of the workplace a priority.

I Can You Can Vegan!

“If it add a couple years to our life, then we might go vegan.” — Big Sean

It’s #WorkingWomanWednesday and, boy, do I have a treat for you?

How many of you saw “What the Health?” on Netflix? And, after seeing that, even if you didn’t decide to go completely vegan, I’m sure many of you said “Maybe I should cut back on the amount of animal products I take in.” I certainly did that. But how can someone live without eating meat or dairy and still enjoy food? Great question. I thought that but I found the answer at I Can You Can Vegan, a blog by North Carolina’s very own Desirée Dainels (it’s not a coincidence that we have the same last name). I Can You Can Vegan looks to provide fun, tasty recipes for people of all backgrounds that involve zero animal products and, as a born meat-lover, I must say, Desirée has found some awesome substitutes. I’m currently in a state of transition and, eventually hope to be living that plant-based life myself.

Check out her website by clicking here and make sure you subscribe to her newsletter.You won’t be disappointed in the taste and your body will thank you in the long run.

Happy anniversary, Mrs. Daniels.

Black & White

Make taking care of your body a priority.

Thanks for Rooting for Us, Issa

A few months ago, I had a chance to be the official photographer when Ms. Issa Rae visited North Carolina Central University in Durham. Lately, Issa has been in the news for everything from a successful airing of her HBO hit show “Insecure” to saying that she’s “rooting for everybody black” at the 2017 Emmys.

Issa has been shaking things up for a few years now and hasn’t stopped yet. Having had the chance to meet her outside of her acting, I must say that she’s either a really good person, really good at acting like a really good person, or (hopefully) both. She has put in the time necessary to provide the world with a different purview on what being a black woman in America means. She popularized a different truth and, by doing this, she’s making being a quirky black person, regardless of gender, more acceptable.

Issa, thanks for rooting for all of us, whether we’re hip, odd, athletic, academic, or, the most likely scenario, all of the above. We’ll make sure we keep pushing toward our own mark of black excellence.

Make being whoever you are a priority.