Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tobacco, Sugar and other Killers

I have been crying at my desk today. Since 2001 I have been searching for ways to change mindsets. In college it was Black Out days and emails sent from Ghana during September 11th telling my peers never to forget that our country has waged so many wars on so many defenseless. It was writing articles for The Argus about my fear of white men and organizing reparations panels. Out of college, it was rolling through the United States with Youth4Reparations, working to educate young people in high schools and colleges about the issues and working to build our own 100 year plan. In my young adult life it looked like teaching 8-year-olds everything in the 3rd grade curriculum via project-based learning, all through the lense of the African Diaspora (listening to Bob Marley and Nas' "I Can," studying Egypt then visiting the Brooklyn Museum and hearing Tyriek ask the tour guide: "If all of this stuff is here, what's left in Egypt," having them build a Museum in our class of African and African-American scientists and inventors). After that, I sent friends and family to complete the Curriculum for Living at Landmark Education so that we could complete our relationship to the past and create futures that call us powerfully into audacious moments of Now. And today, that looks like living the life of a Social Architect and Chief Dream Director - generating experiences for people to "get their lives." And yet, today, I feel like my work is just beginning. What a time to live in.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What will my legacy be?

Maritza R. Alarcón, Dream Director and dear friend, asked me via Facebook: What do you believe your legacy will be?

My response: To use Jullien Gordon's framing:
1) I will have children and demonstrate the kind of parent one can be to born leaders. 
2) I will have produced media and brands that impact and influence millions of people. 
3) I will have created new career paths and educational institutions that challenge Americans to indulge in their jobs as a reflection of their life's purpose. 
4) I am an organ donor; I want the end of my life to be the beginning of a new life for others or another.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

One Day...

I'll speak at TED Talks, The Feast, Aspen Ideas Festival.


There was this project I was invited to be a part of.  


365 people would share their day with the world and the curators would upload it to the site.  My day was May 14, 2011.  And this is what I shared.

I may just run for Mayor of New York.  I have a campaign strategy that I proved today will win the hearts of the buppies, old ladies, store owners and babies.

Campaign Strategy #1: Be generous.
I wake up with an orange OSHO book on the bureau. I didn’t put it there.  So, being the information whore that I am, I read the first page.  A quote from Socrates strikes me; I tweet a message to the world: “I want to be the kind of person where wherever I move, with whomsoever I move, I am loving. #ReminderfromOsho” 

Campaign Strategy #2: Be accountable and count-on-able.
The practice of self-discipleship begins. Today’s message from the self-love jar: “I bring fabulous things to fruition.”  Perfect. Hit compose on my Gmail account, autofill finishes Frank’s name – my Wealth Building Coach. Subject line, the usual: #ProsperityPowerHour.  I type the four areas – Spiritual, Mental, Material, Physical – and begin my process. 

Campaign Strategy #3: Be empowered.
What can I wear today to make a cynical and resigned New Yorker smile... Rock my crown! Open the door of my building and play “Breath of Fresh Air” – my iPod morning playlist.

Campaign Strategy #4: Be personable.
Step on the train, and what do I find? A little girl is also wearing a golden crown. 
“Look mommy, a Queen.”
“Yes, she’s a Queen and what are you?”
With a toothy grin, she says, “A princess.”
 “Your crown is amazing,” I tell her. “Where’d you get it?”
“Me and mommy made it.”
“You did a great job.”
I spend the train ride with Jasey, her mom and little sister.  Before we step off the G train I tell her, “Jasey, you made my day. If I didn’t do another thing today but have this train ride with you, it may very well have been the best day ever.”

Platform: Crowns, wings, and magic wands for everyone.
Today there were many deep bows, “Birthdays?“, “All hail the Queens!”, and children pointing and yelling out “Look, a King!” I’ve never seen so many smiles in New York City.  Mayor Bloomberg may want to use his one dollar a year salary and invest in a Burger King crown.

(365 exactly)

Sallomé is a Social Architect for PlanIt Brooklyn. She makes living itself an art, by any dreams necessary. Follow her musings @Sallome.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Education? Business. As usual.

Educator, KC Wilbourn tweeted: "The only time an institution is willing to change is when their way of doing business is threatened."

I once suggested that we work with young people to choose a school year and refuse to take standardized tests. A sit-in focused on the business of education. I believed that if we educated our young people about the industry, they could own a movement to transform public education in this country.

It would start with students from one school, getting students in their district, then in the city, then spread via social media across the nation. And educational policymakers and leaders would be forced, willing or not, to change. But I listened to those with more fear, more logic, and ditched the idea. 

Daily... I imagine the impact it would have if students came to schools on the day of a major exam, sat at their desks, were handed the test, and each and everyone in 1, 2, 5, 20 schools sat through the duration of the exam without opening a page. And with a few students as spokespeople in each school, a national conversation with young people demanding that test makers, leaders, etc speak about the lack of assessment that matches their individual needs.


Defining Education

Decided to look up the word EDUCATION today.

I realized that when we agree to education being a public service provided by the government, we must understand that we are complicit in the maximizing of a system they are delivering, a process that is systemic and without consideration of the nuanced ways in which we uniquely flourish.

Education must be guided by the individual's interest, passion and defined purpose and simultaneously one's relationship to our ecosystem. When education became synonymous with a content delivery system, an institution, a building, the powers that be successfully bamboozled us into thinking tests, textbooks, and grades - hell even the building itself - reflect the capacity of our people to be Genius. Standing on the shoulders of my forefather W.E.B. DuBois, I would contend that the problem of the twenty-first century is the problem of schooling.

the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, esp. at a school or university.
 ◦ the theory and practice of teaching.
 ◦ a body of knowledge acquired while being educated.
 ◦ information about or training in a particular field or subject.
an enlightening experience.

:the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university
:the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university
:a field of study that deals with the methods and problems of teaching
1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
2. the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.
3. a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education.
4. the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one's education.
5. the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.

The Free Dictionary
1. The act or process of educating or being educated.
2. The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.
3. A program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education.
4. The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning.
5. An instructive or enlightening experience: Her work in the inner city was a real education.
Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, or research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but may also be autodidactic.  Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. Education is commonly divided into stages such as preschool, primary school, secondary school and then college, university or apprenticeship.

NOUN the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university an enlightening experience

Business Dictionary The wealth of knowledge acquired by an individual after studying particular subject matters or experiencing life lessons that provide an understanding of something.

Meet Phyllis Wheatley