Monthly Archives: July 2011

Blessings to the World

Rebel Artistry is sending condolences and blessings to the family and friends of the victims of the Norway shooting and bombing. Please take some time out of your day to say a prayer or speak positive words of peace for the lives lost.

We are also sending prayers and support for the crisis in the horn of Africa. This famine currently affects 4.5 million people in Ethiopia, 3.6 million people in Kenya, 80,000 in Djibouti, and almost 3 million in Somalia. Somalia is suffering its worst drought in 50 years. Running from conflict, and sick with hunger and thirst, people are fleeing to the borders or the aid camps in Kenya, and many children are dying on the way or too weak to survive once they get there. Please do not turn a blind eye just because it does not directly affect your life.

UNICEF is asking for $31.8 million for relief efforts. This money will help give treatment for women and children with severe malnutrition, access to clean drinking water and vaccinations to prevent deadly diseases like measles and polio.  To help UNICEF’s efforts, text “FOOD” to 864233 to donate $10 from the United States or visit the website.

Governments and the international community must address the issues that make people vulnerable in the first place. The food crisis in East Africa, like in many other parts of the world, is the result of recurring long-term problems.Sign a petition asking congress fight poverty and not to cut programs that fight the root causes of world hunger and keep families healthy for the long-term.   ONE Petition

 While there are still tragedies that occur miracles happen every day. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Accepting that life is hard comes with accepting that you have the responsibility to make it better. Along side words of hope and encouragement your positive actions are needed to change the world.

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Mid-Week Inspiration: Live Your Legacy

I was recently reminded about one of my college experiences where I asked numerous people “how do you want to be remembered?”  There were many different responses and it really showed the character of that person. Some people wanted to be remembered as fun or kind or loyal. But in order to be remembered as something that’s how you should live your life. It’s about living your legacy. Your legacy doesn’t have to start when you die, you can create and live that legacy now. People never remember what you said to them, they remember how you made them feel. How you make people feel is a part of your legacy. How you feel is a part of that legacy too. If you feel good about yourself then it will show. No need for makeup or fancy clothes. Wear a joyful heart, a confident smile and a loving spirit. I truly believe that everyone has greatness within them. You can be great! Greatness should not be defined as being a celebrity, professional athlete or popularity. Greatness is being the best at who you are! Take the time to think about who you are and what you represent. Regardless of our personal, financial or professional situations how we act and think should be aligned with our legacy. Everything that we do causes a ripple effect in someone else’s life and your greatness could be as simple as helping someone in need. Dont underestimate the power of you. Be great today! Be accepting. Be humble. Be brave. Be encouraging. Be focused. Let your life be your message.

School’s In for Summer

As the month of July comes to a close most children in the traditional school settings will be returning to their classrooms within the next 2 to 5 weeks.  Some have been reading or going to different camps and others have probably spent a large portion of their summer in front of a Wii or Facebook.  Summer is a great time for parents and other mentor like adults to make the biggest impact on students.  My parents made sure I was well prepared for the world and the classroom before the next school year rolled around by enhancing our informal education and setting high standards.

Each summer my mother would take us out of school approximately two weeks before the year started or two weeks before the year ended.  Most parents wouldn’t dare trying this especially since we would be home all day for the summer and “needed” to spend every moment in the classroom.  Well my mother didn’t agree with that philosophy at all.  She preferred to nurture our minds with experiences outside of the classroom.  No TV in the bedrooms, limited TV if at all during the school week, lots and lots of reading, went fishing with my dad, camped in the back yard, played all kinds of instruments, and often museum visits.   We played a lot with each other and even made our own home music videos.  Each summer my family would use those extra weeks towards our annual trips up and down the East coast with anywhere from 6 to 9 of my siblings in one vehicle.  One summer we even drove from South Florida to Canada.  These trips were most exciting and continued from the time I was in elementary school until my junior year in college.  We would stop along the way and learn about the states we were passing through, the history of our culture in each place and visit family.  My most memorable stops were always Savannah, GA, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA.  Reading was simply a requirement.  The books we read were mainly about our culture and successful people around the world.  I think that was when I began to develop an interest in non fiction, especially biographies.  I cherish those summer trips and learning experiences I shared with my family.  I know these trips along with some very special teachers are what sparked my interest in education.  The American school systems miss the mark in almost every subject across the board, so my summer trips helped to pick up the slack.

Now I spend my summers traveling, studying other schools systems and getting ready give my students a richer education each year.  I do this because I see each child as a new opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.  Tests, evaluations, salaries nor achievement gaps deter me from giving my best to any child.  We must continue to take our childrens’ education seriously, as early as two years old.  It’s not just about teaching them the test or making the deans list every semester.  Children must know that someone cares about their educational success and they have to be groomed to compete on a global level.  I plant seeds of success, faith, dignity, integrity and a love of service to the community in every child I teach.  By imparting quality information and a positive attitude I feel like I am paying it forward.  They know within the first lesson that I have high expectations because I know that they can ” be the change they want to see in the world” M. Ghandi.

This is a short list of films every teacher, mentor and parent should see.  Try a movie night with friends or other parents.  Netflix has #1 and #2.

Top 3  Films

1. The Lottery

2. Waiting for Superman

3. The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System

Rebel R.O.O.Ts Book Club

Rebel ROOTS (Reading Our Own Truths) Book Club is created:

  • To expose literature written by and about the multi-cultural community.
  • To strengthen the community’s recognition of literature by reading a selection diverse books varying in genre from fiction to non-fiction, history to social commentary and autobiographies/biographies.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of constructive opinions on literature and culture.

The book list is here to open up a conscious stream of knowledge and with the group discussions engage the use of critical thinking skills.

Book Club-First Six Months

  1. If Sons, Then Heirs: A Novel, Lorene Cary (July)
  2. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze: A Novel, Maaza Mengiste (August)
  3. The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (September)
  4. The Sexy Part of the Bible, Kola Boof (October)
  5. African Origins of Major “Western Religions” , Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan (November)
  6. Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, Sikivu (December)

If you are interested in participating in the book club discussions that will be held at the end of every month on a Sunday afternoon please email RebelArtistry@gmail.com for more details, as well on the fan page of Rebel Artistry on Facebook.

Feel free to recommend any good books. Open to all suggestions.