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CONTENTS

Photo Credit: Kevin Bowers

features Words From The Wise: Dr. M. Roy Wilson

Pg 7

Pg 10 Fear Less: The Vagina Monologues Speaks The Stories of Female Struggle Pg 22

Are You Bigger Than Your Fears?

Pg 25

President Obama: Boys Need Fathers, Structure and Faith Introducing “My Brother’s Keeper” For Disadvantaged Black and Latino Males

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Photo Credit: WDET.org

Pg 15 COVER STORY Deelishis is FEARLESS...


FROM THE EDITOR We’ve entered into the third month of 2014 and already those resolutions are beginning to wear off. Many find it hard to embrace change, feel the grit and triumph through the initial discomfort by exercising discipline. I wonder if it’s even the discipline that presents the problem, or is it really your fear? Allow me to be clear.

We make a lot of excuses as to why we can’t succeed or why we never finish what we start, but could the actual reason not be an excuse at all? Is the real dilemma fear; the fear of being successful and entering into the unknown?

Get out of your comfort zone and live! Let’s examine reality television star Deelishis, for instance. She took a chance by sending in a tape to compete for Flavor Flav’s love, but ended up on a journey that has taken her life many places, places that she never knew she would see. Deelishis was able to let go and over come that paralyzing emotion called fear.

She’s not the only woman taking a stance and breaking the fright-driven barrier. Other women are facing their fears by telling their stories of revulsion in The Vagina Monologues. These are tales of abuse that explains how they overcame their experiences! Now that’s courage!

Are you a coward? Are you just going to sit back and let fear beat you around? President Barack Obama sure wouldn’t, as he would have never made it to the top spot with a debilitating mental attitude. Now he’s taking his strong arm and pulling other young men of color up with his new initiative, “My Brother’s Keeper”. This group of action aims to aid young black and Latino males in their road of becoming law-abiding, respectful, confident and employed men.

Fear can be defeated in many ways; one form to do so is by relaxing and not allowing your mind to worry. A simple way to alleviate worrisome is by staying busy and seeking opportunities. Dr. M. Roy Wilson, who is the President of Wayne State University, has tips on how you can seize your opportunities as they come. With opportunity and a fearless mindset, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish! Now, write the plan, make it clear and let’s get motivated! Journalistically yours,

Chief Editor Cryss Walker Managing Editor Britney Embry Photography Michael Vandiver Cover Photo Kevin Bowers Contributing Writers Antoine Moore Bria Brown Ryan Whaley Eric Thompson Leslie Fields Mohammed Luwemba Art Director Tyrone Owens, Jr. Sales Inquiries topflightmag@gmail.com 248-783-6037

Cryss Walker Chief Editor @iamtopflight topflightmag@gmail.com

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Motivational Song of The Month: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” Feat. Ryan Lewis | Album: The Heist (2012)

“Y’all can’t stop me, go hard like I got an 808 in my heart beat!”


Photo Credit: WDET.org

Words From The Wise How To Take Advantage of Opportunities Dr. M. Roy Wilson President of Wayne State University By: Cryss Walker


H

is resume reads like a story of brilliance penned with pages of patience, hard work, determination and experience. Dr. M. Roy Wilson is the President of Wayne State University in Detroit and received his medical education from Harvard, where he admits that initially he was intimidated. He wasn’t sure if his D.C. public education would compete with some of his peers who were educated at private institutions (such as Andover and Exeter). After a couple of months, Dr. Wilson was confident that he possessed the ability to contend and realized that his classmates didn’t have an edge. He decided to replace his educational deficits with hard work. He dedicated himself to working harder than his peers. “While everybody else was enjoying frat parties and everything else, I was studying and I loved Monday morning test because I knew that there was nobody that was going to put in as many hours over the weekend as I was going to put in because they were out partying.” Dr. Wilson embarked on his under-graduate studies with the idea of becoming a psycho-analyst but decided to further his education in medicine instead, after reading data about glaucoma. It intrigued Dr. Wilson and steered him toward ophthalmology. While specializing in glaucoma at a surgical practice (operated out of UCLA), Dr. Wilson was concurrently running the ophthalmology program at Charles Drew University, where he later became the Dean of the medical school.

be a candidate for the chief seat. A smile illuminated Dr. Wilson’s face as he said, “That is when my calling came”. He knew that this type of opportunity was rare, so he seized it. Dr. Wilson states that he was able to take the offer because he was prepared. “Louis Pasteur (French chemist who discovered key principles in pasteurizing milk) once said that ‘chance favors a prepared mind’ and what he meant by that is that when opportunities come… you’ve got to be prepared to take advantage of them; you have to have at least the basic background, the basic knowledge to do so.”

His work in higher education prepared him to accept Creighton University’s Medical School offer to take the Dean position where he became the second African American Dean of a majority medical school (Dr. Don Wilson, who he refers to as a brother, was the first). Texas Tech University was no stranger to his work ethic and named Dr. M. Roy Wilson President of their Health Sciences division; which was then followed by securing the title as Chancellor of the University of Colorado in Denver (while serving on the board of the University Of Colorado Hospital). Dr. Wilson later displayed his expertise at the National Institute of Health, serving as the Deputy Director for the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.

• To carry-out your plan you must be disciplined. Time management falls into this category. It is a very important skill to master. Schedule your priorities, even if it is weeks or months down the road. Do not sway from your schedule. Exercise discipline.

Dr. M. Roy Wilson’s Tips For Opportunities: • Prepare yourself; you never know what type of opportunities are going to come your way • If you are prepared when opportunity presents itself, you can make the choice of whether or not to pursue them • If you’re not prepared, regardless of what opportunities come, you won’t be in a position to take advantage of them • Keep in mind that you have to be prepared for the unknowns. It’s a life-long process. You should always prepare yourself and become a life-long learner.

• Put in the time and the effort. Put in the hours and do what it takes to compete. •

Make sure that you out work everyone else. Photo Credit: Anthony Collins

Dr. Wilson said during his time at NIH he missed academia but didn’t want to relocate to any institution. He wanted to be associated with a university that was high on research, community connected, in an urban area and diverse. Dr. Wilson said he received a call from Wayne State University in Detroit and was honored to 8

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V Fear Less: The Vagina Monologues Speaks The Stories Of Female Struggle By Ryan Whaley


Y

ou are not alone! According to the World Health Organization, one third of all women globally have been affected by physical or sexual violence. In an era of independent women, ladies are still made victims at the hands of (a lot of the time) the men they love. As prevalent as the abuse is, this topic is still considered taboo. Thankfully, barriers are being broken and more people around the world are addressing this public health epidemic and by way of addressing the problem, society can begin to repair it. Women around the world must unite as victors and not as victims. The Vagina Monologues are used as a tool to express the tragedies of women on a global scale- painting pictures of the suffrage and also creating solutions by providing resources to women in need.

Eve Ensler and V-Day In 1994 Eve Ensler, Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist, broke ground with her play. The Vagina Monologues are about female self-discovery, giving a real voice to real women and their stories. Based upon interviews of more than 200 women, it is a journey through pain that celebrates survival. The New York Times, Charles Isherwood, recalled the Monologues as, “Probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade.” On Valentine’s Day in 1998, Eve, with a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. The mission: demanding that violence against women and girls must end (V-Day, 2014). The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina. The proceeds are used for local individual projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, often shelters and rape crisis centers. V-Day campaigns host annual benefit performances around the world, educating millions about the reality of violence 11 iamtopflight.com

against women and girls. Participants of V-Day campaigns are volunteers and to date they have raised over 90 million dollars.

The Vagina Monologues in Detroit March 27-30 The Vagina Monologues will be at 1515 Broadway, Detroit, Michigan. Tickets are available on www.BrownPaperTickets.com or can be reserved by calling (313) 433-8384, ticket prices start at $15. For more information about V-Day visit www.vday.org. This production will benefit SADA’s House.


Motivational Song of The Month: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” Feat. Ryan Lewis | Album: The Heist (2012)

“Let the night come, before the fight’s won Some might run against the test But those that triumph, embrace the fight cause Their fears then prove that courage exists!”


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DEELISHIS is

FEARLESS... By Bria Brown

Reality television star London “Deelishis” Charles has multiple titles to her name. Mother, daughter, Brand Ambassador, host, model and singer are a few of her roles. However, the title fearless adds radiance to the list! With hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram, Deelishis takes her fans every step of the way. Never take her confidence for being conceited, she’s comfortable in her skin and wants other women to embrace their sexiness. “There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable with yourself, there is something wrong with compromising yourself,” says Deelishis.


Photo Credit: Bre’Ann White


T

he glowing goddess was nothing but smiles as she reminisced on her start to fame. Our first encounter with the lively yet shy personality made her debut on Flavor of Love 2. In present day Deelishis is still shocked that VH1 called her back from her audition tape and that she won because she wasn’t into the social life. “I’ve always appreciated entertainment, but I didn’t know how much it would do for me,” says Deelishis. When describing the differences between the personalities of London and ‘Deelishis,’ she’s learned when to Photo Credit: turn one on and the Anthony Collins other off. Although there are many highs that come with being a celebrity, there are just as many lows because of pessimists who try to plant negative seeds. “People love to see things fall apart,” said Deelishis. Indeed through the hate, true love seemed to come her way. Deelishis was married and life couldn’t be any better for her. On the other hand, Deelishis admits she was keeping a secret for five years. “The infidelity, lies and abuse,” she adds, “on any level I can’t deal with it.” The divorce from her husband had London ready to give up on her “Deelishis” persona. Dee managed to have tough skin by keeping in shape and staying motivated. Not only did she workout physically but mentally as well. Because of the physical and mental workouts, people who tried to break her down couldn’t touch her with a ten- feet pole. “I am human,” said Deelishis, “people with extreme opinions have extreme issues.” Along with body and mind exercises, Deelishis adds executing her parental responsibilities as

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well. Ms. Charles does everything for her two daughters, Jasmine and Lexington, whom she speaks highly of. Recalling on how she became so comfortable with herself, Deelishis reveals a trip she took to a Jamaican resort where she felt very uncomfortable. The first day, she spent most of the time in her room and didn’t feel as relaxed as others on the nude beach. By the second day, Deelishis was carefree. She realized the people in Jamaica had no judgement and were simply living life. The serene moments from the resort taught her life lessons that she carries with her every day. When asked to describe who she believes to be fearless, Deelishis pauses for a second then says with excitement, “Beyoncé!” She credits Beyoncé for being the fearless queen that she is because, “She does what she wants and does it well.”

says with a smile.

“Women from Detroit are fearless, too because they do what they want to do,” Deelishis elaborates as she caresses her assets with pride (as she confirms breast enhancement) “Detroit has always had the thickness,” Deelishis

Another woman Deelishis admires for their fearlessness is American R&B recording artist K. Michelle. “She’s getting her life,” says Deelishis, “once you get out of the range from the normal then people will ridicule you.” As if Deelishis isn’t already an open book, her transpar-


ency rises to the top when she speaks on the things she fears for herself. “My fear is I may die and not win everyone over,” said Deelishis, “I want to become a star for being fearless and being real, I want people to understand what I’m genuinely trying to give.” Deelishis strives to find the beauty in all things. Looking directly towards the camera Deelishis says with laughter, “As much as you say you don’t want to see me sexy, you don’t want to see me successful.”

Photo Credit: Kevin Bowers

Unlike others, Deelishis doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions, ���That depresses me,” she says. For the future, Deelishis doesn’t know what she’ll be doing in five years but she does know she loves to sing and promises music for her fans. “I want to give music that can be played everywhere.” This beauty continues to stay busy. Deelishis has four different films with Kamal Smith and a major motion picture coming soon. Her contagious smile wins over anyone she comes in contact with. Everyone can learn something from Deelishis and apply it to their life. Be comfortable in your skin and embrace your-self. As for the people who try and send negatives vibes her way Deelishis says to them, “If you want to hate me, don’t meet me because I will make you love me.”

Photo Credit: Bre’Ann White

“There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable with yourself, there is something wrong with compromising yourself.” 18 iamtopflight.com


Motivational Song of The Month: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” Feat. Ryan Lewis | Album: The Heist (2012)

Learn from that failure gain humility and then we keep marching ourselves...”


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FEARS?

ARE YOU BIGGER THAN YOUR FEARS? By: Leslie Fields

A

“Chronic worrying affects your daily life so much that it interferes with your appetite, life-style habits, relationships, sleep and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxThey say the power of words and language is what you iety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifemanifest; so how do you conquer your fears and learn to style habits such as overeating, cigarette smoking, have faith in the unknown? or using alcohol and drug abuse.” re we all predestined by the internal thoughts that we think about? What if every single thought you evoked grew into reality? Would it make you reconsider your mentality?

As human beings we all have fears; losing a job, losing Rev. Dwaine Duncan said, “I have watched fear a loved one, losing money, or just simply losing yourcause people to cease to function and exist in life self. Fear has a control mechanism. The text book defior certain areas of life. I have seen fear drive peonition of fear is, “a distressing emotion aroused by

ple to attempting suicide and even into sickness.” impending danger, evil, pain, whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of be- According to research, individuals must make the coning afraid.” scious decision to live in fear of the unknown or live a

fearless life without a single doubt. There are many difFear comes in many different forms. Founder and Rev. ferent ways to overcome fears- by working out, eating Dwaine Duncan of New Life Christian International right, relaxing, facing your fears, faith and religion - but Ministries said, “Fear comes when one feels that the choice yours.

they don’t have control over their circumstances. A person living in fear is someone living by a Many tend to fear the same things. Learning to choose to have faith over your fears is a strength that most posdeclaration that their situation has decreed unto sess but neglect. them.” Fear is inevitable in life but how do you mentally prepare yourself when dealing with those fears? Some people are consumed with fear while others are so fearless that for them nothing can get in their way or hold them back.

Stefanie Alston, a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Mariners Inn in Detroit said, “Many here are

fearful of getting back out into society soberly, a lot come here and have been addicted to some sort of substance, whether it’s alcohol, crack, or heroin.” Like many of Alston’s clients at the Mariners

When you are constantly afraid of the unknown you are Inn, many desire help to function in society without the not only projecting negative thoughts into the universe fear relapsing and giving up. but your body has a chemical reaction as well. Seeking help is the first of many steps when battling Fear results to stress. For instance, if you are always your fears. Learning to have faith over your fears is one afraid of losing your job or losing a loved one then you of the best ways to concoct that needed mental potion are putting yourself under mental stress which can re- to overcome daily frets. It has to be something inside of sult in depression, anxiety, or drug abuse. Worrying can you that decides “enough is enough”! affect the body in ways many people never think of. According to the Web- MD Medical Reference,

As a counselor, Alston has experienced people who fail but many who trump their frights. “One of my clients 22 iamtopflight.com


allowed people to use his credit and they messed it up with tickets in his name and racked up debt that he had to pay. But in his case he said, ‘I know God has a plan for me. I know God is going to help me to get out of this situation and I know God is going to make a way’. He used his faith after all of those heavy situations, he still had faith,”

Here are a few steps to make F.E.A.R ( false evidence appearing to be real) to appear mediocre:

said Alston.

3) Relaxing

“I do believe faith is one of the things needed to overcome fear. Faith and fear is similar in the sense of both of them declare something to an individual and subsequently that individual has to choose to live by that declaration. This is why faith is one of the components needed to overcome fear,” said Rev. Duncan.

4) Working out

1) Faith and Religion 2) Facing your fears

5) Eating Healthy 6) Seeking professional help 7) Reading 8) Opening up to loved ones

Learning to defeat your fears doesn’t happen overnight, it occurs with consistent effort. Researchers say it is best 9) Positive Thinking if you conquer fears in stages, not all at one time. “To

try not to make it so scary, to present it in stages, 10) Meditating and then to focus on the overall goal but to present the stages a little at a time, so that it won’t At the end of the day, we all fear something but learnseem overwhelming,” said Alston. ing how to choose to have faith over your fears is more “The first step in overcoming fear is realizing that you don’t have to live in fear you can choose not to. The second step is to discover what the law of faith is declaring to you and choose to live by that principle. The final step is to operate by law of faith physically (thinking, speaking, and doing). Fear overtakes the mind of an individual,” said Rev. Duncan. The reverend continues by saying, “for many, becoming fearless in their faith makes them more fearless in life, by changing what I think about, speak, and do. This gives me undisturbed peace that regardless of whether my problem is solved or not I live and not fear,” said Rev. Duncan. According to sources, what we meditate on is what we become. For some their fears are bigger than their faith (or anything); and for others their faith speaks volumes over their fears. Faith says it’s temporary and fear says you’ll never be happy! 23 iamtopflight.com

profound and life changing. It is not healthy to drown yourself in fear. The only limitations that exist are in your mind.

According to Lakewood Church Senior Pastor Joel Osteen, “So many people today are sitting on the

side lines of life, they’ve got potential but they keep letting the enemy talk them out what God wants them to do.” Where are you sitting? On the side lines of life or are you on the front line grinding to get yours?


Motivational Song of The Month: Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” Feat. Ryan Lewis | Album: The Heist (2012)

“Can we go back, this is the moment Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ‘til it’s over So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us!”


Photo Credit: whitehouse.gov

President Obama: Boys Need Fathers, Structure and Faith Introducing “My Brother’s Keeper” For Disadvantaged Black and Latino Males By: Cryss Walker


I

n President Obama style, he welcomed those in attendance at the White House with warm greetings and a bit of cheer. He began by speaking on a project that he was introduced to by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called, “Becoming A Man”, which is an initiative that helps young men with potential that fell off track. The program is designed to assist the members with school work and life skills. Those who enrolled in BAM were more likely to graduate high school and less likely to be arrested for violent crimes, (44% less likely) according to a study read by the Commander-In- Chief. President Obama stated that when he was growing up, he didn’t have a father, like many black males in America. The President admitted that he was angry about it too and recalled moments of getting high, making bad choices, not taking school seriously and essentially, the head of state said, “Sometimes I sold myself short”. He revealed that the only difference between him and other young men at a disadvantage was that he had people in his life that encouraged him. Not only were his mother and grandparents supportive, but also his teachers and members in the community. He stated that

no matter how many times he made mistakes, his support system never gave up on him and he never gave up on himself. President Obama said that the time has come to afford today’s young people the support needed to make good decisions to persevere and live their dreams. The President stated that opportunity and hard work is the core of America and that everyone should be able to live a good life on U.S. soil (if they are willing to work for it). The economy is beginning to grow and young people should be apart of that growth, and not just a few of the bunch, the President stated. He continued by addressing the disproportion amongst young men of color and their chances of succeeding in America. “But the plain fact is there are some

Americans who, in the aggregate, are consistently doing worse in our society -- groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions; groups who’ve seen fewer opportunities that have spanned genera-

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(ABOVE PHOTO) President Barack Obama enters the East Room of the White House with Christian Champagne at the start of the “My Brother’s Keeper,” event, Feb. 27, 2014. “My Brother’s Keeper” is an initiative to expand opportunity for young men and boys of color.

tions. And by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color,” said the President.

rates and poverty rates as adults”, said the President. He alleged that many are desensitized to the stats and said the numbers are outrageous, heart-wrenching and has driven him to action! In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, President Obama told his White House invitees that young black males need reassurance and they need to feel secure in knowing that they live in a country where they are cared about. Seated in attendance were Martin’s parents Sybrina and Tracy and also Jordan Davis’ parents Lucy and Ron, as the audience began to applaud their presence and the President’s words of strength. Taking truth to power, President Obama outlined the big hoorah of the event, the reason why everyone showed up for the occasion.

The tone was all but dismal, as he painted pictures of black and brown achievement, calling reference to himself, Magic Johnson, Colin Powell and Anthony Foxx; but even with the accomplishments of these men, the statistics show that boys and young men of color are panting far behind in the “middle-class America” marathon. “If you’re African American, there’s about a one in two chance you grow up without a father in your house -- one in two. If you’re Latino, you have about a one in four chance. We know that boys who grow up without “We’ve pulled together private philanthropies and a father are more likely to be poor, more likely to underperform in school… Fewer young black and Latino men businesses, mayors, state and local leaders, faith participate in the labor force compared to young white leaders, nonprofits, all who are committed to cremen. And all of this translates into higher unemployment 27 iamtopflight.com


ating more pathways to success. And we’re com- minimize suspensions and maximize standards to upmitted to building on what works. And we call hold. In essence, the President has high hopes to keep it “My Brother’s Keeper,” was the statement Presi- young men of color out of jail- away from prison sen-

tences- and connected to work by teaming them with dent Obama presented about the new effort. This is a mentors. focused attempt to be of aid to boys and young men of color- specifically; gearing to keep minority males out of trouble. This will not solely solve the problem, says the President, stating that parents will still have to continue helping with homework and cutting off televisions; while teachers maintain authority over the classrooms with structured lesson plans. He encourages business leaders to continue to mentor young people in areas of industry; whereas faith based organizations persist in their role of weaving the threads of moral fiber; as tech enthusiasts steer the youth towards understanding computer science and engineering. The country’s top man in power says no stone can be left unturned.

“In the words of Dr. King, it is not either-or; it is both-and,” echoed President Obama.

Over the next five years, $200 million will be spent (by supporting foundations) to analyze effective strategies in cities across the land. President Obama believes “My Brother’s Keeper” will prove effective, because his administration has the proper research to execute a successful plan. “Over the years, we’ve identified key

“We can keep them from falling through the cracks, and help them lay a foundation for a career and a family and a better life.” -President Barack Obama, “My Brother’s Keeper” Ini-

moments in the life of a boy or a young man of tiative color that will, more often than not, determine whether he succeeds, or falls through the cracks. We know the data. We know the statistics. And if we can focus on those key moments, those lifechanging points in their lives, you can have a big impact; you can boost the odds for more of our kids,” said the country’s first African- American President. This effort will be done by tapping into phasepoints, according to President Obama. The first will boost high- quality early education for low-income males; push reading “on level” by grade three; and creating “zero-tolerance” behavior standards in schools to

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Motivational Song of The Month:Macklemore “Can’t Hold Us” Feat. Ryan Lewis | Album: The Heist (2012)

"Raise those hands, this is our party WE CAME HERE TO LIVE LIFE LIKE NOBODY WAS WATCHING I got my city right behind me IF I FALL, THEY GOT ME."


Watch motivating video interviews about successful people doing what they love or catch up on the latest stories at iamtopflight.com



Deelishis Is FEARLESS!