I grew up in a working-class, African-American neighborhood in Detroit. I was fortunate to have two college-educated parents who knew how to set my brother and me up for success in school. They also knew how to navigate the public school system to ensure we got the best education possible. That support helped me gain entry into a competitive college prep public high school. My path to college was clear: 99 percent of the graduates at my high school went on to four-year colleges and [...]
This Training for Change conference was a good experience, one that I did not expect and that challenged me deeply. One of the tools we practiced was learning to tell our personal stories to build relationships with each other. I'm not very good at that, and I have a hard time finding the desire to open up to strangers.
But the more the ideas of "relationships" and "stories" were [...]
I, like most, have multiple tribes of which I consider myself a part. This weekend I ate with, spoke with, worshiped with, learned from, and was amazed by a new tribe of people. There was kinship, and a sense of shared experience, struggle, fear, and hope among this new tribe.
I was glad to hear something in Brian McLaren's session on "scared to talk politics in church?" It wasn't something Brian said but rather something from someone who doesn't look like me, and [...]
Yesterday I was in a class where we were trying to frame up the story of ourselves--not just an idealistic fluffy tale--but one that when you told it, others would understand in their gut why you felt the way you feel and maybe even get a glimpse of the "real" you and move a little bit closer to you as a person. A gentleman shared with me his negative feeling of experiencing that vulnerability. I do believe that most people feel this way...scared to go deeper....scared to really talk about [...]
A few years back 50 Cent starred in the movie "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" about a young drug dealer who leaves his dealing to pursue a career as a rap star. The contrast is stark: utter poverty or incredible wealth. No matter the level of material poverty or wealth, believing that more "toys" is the goal will never overcome widespread poverty.
I ran into an acquaintance here at Pentecost 2008 who reminded me of how this "get rich or die trying" message is ingrained in our psychology at [...]
I'll be attending Sojourners' Pentecost conference this weekend. Why am I excited? What am I expecting? I'm looking forward to honesty about the challenges we face when we are serious about overcoming poverty.
One of my greatest struggles around large issues like poverty is that I either feel like I'm not informed well enough or that I'm not doing enough. On one hand, I talk in [...]