106 & Parks: I Have A Dream Top Ten Countdown

18 January, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last night I was pretty busy helping run MSU’s Black Poet Society event on campus. The event was titled “106 & Parks: I Have A Dream Top Ten Countdown” and was modeled off of the show on BET. The event had multiple facets:

  • Poetry slam with 6 poets
  • Music performances
  • “Throwback joint of the day” was “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
  • Crowd participation battles and more

The poetry slam design was a great idea. To keep the format in a “top ten countdown” style, we started with six poets. Then the top three moved on to the second round. From there, the best poet performed one more piece. This design made for 10 performances, all increasing in quality.

I want to give a shout out to¬†Terrance Grantham and Kenya Abbott Jr. as they were the hosts for the night (playing the role of AJ and Free). We had about 200 people show up, and we know we’ll see a lot of familiar faces at our next event.

I recorded most of the performances and have embedded them below. The event ended in a tie and the two winners were @MACKdaPOET and @DeonteOsayande. Mack is a new member of the Black Poet Society, and Deonte is real involved with the Detroit slam poetry scene.

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MLK Jr Day – A day on, not a day off

17 January, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the past three years I’ve taken MLK Jr. Day off work.

In 2009, I drove down to Washington D.C. to attend the inauguration of our 44th presidency.

In 2010, I attended the march on Michigan State University’s campus and the MSU Community Celebration Dinner.

While I’ve always wanted to do volunteer work for this holiday, I’ve always found other priorities. This year is different.

Today I’m volunteering at the Warren E. Bow Elementary School in Detroit.

Warren E. Bow is a great school for children to attend! At Warren E. Bow we take pride in working to meet and exceed expectations when it comes to providing our students with the tools they need to succeed. Our high rate of qualified teachers, dedicated parents, and strong community involvement is key to increasing academic achievement.

We take our responsibilities for educating your children very seriously. Ensuring that all students achieve to their maximum potential is Warren E. Bow primary goal.

Bow Elementary School has consistently met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements.

I signed up to volunteer through City Year, a national organization that “provides critically needed services to some of the most underserved children and youth”.

As part of the work, I am likely to do some of the following: Mural painting, locker quote painting, organizing and cleaning up classrooms, and more. I’ll find out more upon check in.

It’s not too late to help out in your community. There are always opportunities and ways for you to take the initiative upon yourself. Spend some time cleaning up a local park or mentoring a child. Good work goes a long way, and together we can make our communities stronger.

Reflections

22 January, 2010 § Leave a comment

Monday, 1/18/2010

I attended the Michigan State University Dr. MLK Jr. Community Dinner and heard from Trustees Ferguson and Owen and President Simon. I also learned more about the new exhibit at the MSU Museum with children letters to Rosa Parks and President Nelson Mandela.

Here is a video of President Barack Obama introducing the exhibit:

I plan to take a trip down to the museum soon. The exhibit will run until December 2010.

Tuesday, 1/19/2010

For lunch I met with @joshpremuda at the Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum in Okemos. Josh is working on some side projects and we got to talking about starting a tech group in the Lansing area.

Wednesday, 1/20/2010

I went to my first Detroit Java User Group meeting and saw Mac Liaw give a presentation on Scala. The conversation was great and there were many in-depth questions asked. I was happy that the presentation wasn’t too beginner focused. The questions led the discussion for most of the time.

A Moment Of Silence

18 January, 2010 § 2 Comments

I wrote this poem in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. yesterday. Today marks 30 years of Michigan State University recognizing Dr. King and his legacy. We’ve made a lot of victories in those thirty years, but we have a lot more victories to come. The road ahead doesn’t have an end, but many victorious victories lie along it’s route.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at MSU

A moment of silence
A moment of silence
With one camera flash,
the picture reminded us
of
A fist clenched tight
Eyes wide open
Attention is focused
Barriers were broken
So much love
Replaced so much hate
A dream stopped short,
We lose another great
A moment of silence
A moment of silence
With one gun blast
Fills the world with violence
Rest in peace Dr. MLK Jr.
We can't sit idle, your dream is our future

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