I’m sure you are familiar with the famous saying, “Know better, do better,” but how often do you know better and still decide not to do better? I’m sure it is more times than you want to admit. This is a judgment free zone; so don’t worry you can tell me the truth. While chatting with Brooks of the American Heart Association, I realized how misleading that quote is. Just because you know that eating healthy and being physically active will help you have a healthy heart and live longer doesn’t mean that you will adjust your lifestyle accordingly. However, there are some people who genuinely want to do better but their environment is a barrier preventing them for achieving good health. Did you know that your zip code may increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and other types of heart disease? Yes it is true, studies show people living just five miles apart can have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years. It’s a disheartening fact and an unfortunate truth that inspired the American Heart Association’s EmPOWERED To Serve movement. The initiative aims to promote healthy living and well-being in urban communities by bringing change and addressing key factors that impact health including: economic stability, education, societal influences, housing and access to quality healthcare. In hopes of examining the root causes that impact social determinants of health, the organization is hosting the EmPOWERED To Serve Summit, October 17 – 18, at Galludet University in Washington, D. C. Experts and thought-leaders from around the country will facilitate conversations and sessions on: Equity First Policy Platforms, Corporate Social Responsibility, Conscious Capitalism, Building a Culture of Health on College/University Campuses, and many more. One of the most exciting parts of the summit is the Urban Business Storytelling Competition where 10 finalists will present their innovative, clearly-defined urban business solutions to address barriers to sustainable healthy living. It's awesome to have sessions about these topics to help spread awareness so people can become interested in advocating for these issues but implementing solutions provides us with actionable items that we can use to make an impact. Talking is worthless without action. These 10 finalists were selected from 128 submissions! Three winners will be chosen to implement their plans in their selected community and will receive financial awards ranging from $10,000 - $30,000 to implement their plans. Check out their proposals here and tune in to EmPOWERED to Serve's Facebook live stream event on October 17th at 7pm to watch the competition and vote!
It's an honor to be born during Women's Herstory Month. The high energy shared this month to advance gender parity is electrifying. Today, March 8 the world unites to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD). Although some of us are unfamiliar with this day of honor, it has been observed since the early 1900's. It is a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year's theme, #BeBoldForChange urges people to commit to taking action that will truly drive the greatest change for women. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186.Who has time to wait that long? Not me! My future grandchildren might not even be around to enjoy the sweetness of a closed gender gap. Therefore change needs to happen now! "Change" and "Make a difference" sounds catchy but what does that even entail? It all depends on what type of fight are you passionate about. IWD highlights several areas: challenge bias/inequality, campaign against violence, forge women's advancement, celebrate women's achievement, and champion women's education. Education is my fight. Whether it is through being an ambassador for the Malala Fund or leading workshops for women to show them how to embrace their mental health so they can succeed in college. For International Women's Day I honor my Nana for teaching me the importance of education. My house wasn't a happy place because it reminded me of my struggles, so school has always been a safe haven for me. It was a distraction from my worries. I know I have to do my part because there are more than 62 million girls around the world who are not in school. Find a fight that resonates with you and dedicate yourself to it. Ways you can get involved: Social Media: use the #BeBoldForChange selfie cards for social media amplification. Volunteer: After you identify the cause you love. Contact organizations who are already doing the work to see how you can help. Share the Knowledge: Tweet a link to this blog post. Tell a friend about International Women's Day. Now that you know, it's time to share the information with others. Visuals are Queen: Indulge in these awesome videos from organizations who make women's rights a priority.
Now Tell Me What's On Your Mind: Which cause speaks to you the most? Let me know in the comment section below!
Everyone has been venting about how horrible 2016 has been so I feel kind of ashamed to say that it was a darn good year for me. Personally, it was a little rough but professionally I killed it! A huge deal with AT&T, multiple speaking opportunities, and hosting my own mental health event! Yeah it was pretty much all the way lit! The only thing I would change about 2016 is my lack of intention. Even though I had a great year, my success wasn't intentional. Therefore, I have declared 2017, my year of Intentional Resilient Growth #IRG2017. Watch my video to learn more and see how you can join the movement!
I know you've seen posts about self-proclaimed success in 2017. We all should claim it, I'm an avid believer of speaking things into existence. However, I also believe that you can't progress without being grateful for what you already have. The future is enticing because we assume that we'll have the chance to "Do things better." Then once the future becomes the present we still aren't grateful for it. This way of thinking makes no sense but it is amplified during the celebration of every new year. This year I challenge you to join me in celebrating our wins for 2016, so it will set us up for a fantastic 2017. Check out this video to see what inspired me to adopt this lifestyle.
My success and impact reached greater heights when I stopped allowing the comparison devil to make my thoughts his. The old me spent countless hours obsessing over the blessings being received by others instead of focusing on my own unique journey. We are all familiar with the cliché saying, "Compare yourself only to who you were yesterday." Allow me to be a living testimony for how true that phrase is. All the energy I poured into beating myself up for not gaining the same opportunities as other content creators, instead became the fuel for me to obtain my next goal.
Y'all know I hate being cliché right? I know you've seen at least 10 posts today about October signifying the last quarter of the year. Everybody is trying to get their lives right so they can be ready when 2017 hits them. Do you want to know a little secret? A couple of months ago I loathed people who did that. The progression of one date on the calendar, made you all of a sudden want to get your life right? It seemed like an overrated epiphany to me....until I had one of course. Now, October 1st is meaningful to me, with only 91 days left in the year- I am proud of my accomplishments but I know there are more goals that need to be annihilated.
When you visualize your goals, it makes them easier to obtain. A year ago when I launched my movement, #BlackMHM Black Mental Health Makeover, I envisioned eventually moving the dialogue from online to in person. Blog posts and YouTube videos were a great way to get people talking, but I wanted to connect in person. I thrive on human interaction. Now here I type, almost a year later- I am 31 days away from the mental health event I envisioned. Let me tell you, it feels good as hell!