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Photo by Classic Portraits-Paul Hood

From the


From the

Wow…We did it! Courageous Woman Magazine was once a dream, but now it’s a reality—a bi-monthly publication! While experiencing some very difficult times in my life, it was women of faith that prayed for me and counseled me. Through that encouragement, I was inspired to encourage other women. Thus Courageous Woman Magazine was birthed and began as an online publication in 2011 that featured women from all over the country. Now, I am overwhelmed with joy to share this first print issue featuring some extraordinary woman from the Flint area. Despite the negative beliefs about life in Flint, there are great people here, doing amazing things. I want to share the stories of women like Angie Stamps and Danielle Green, who selflessly give back to the community and spend time working with the youth; women like Melissa Reyes who lost 109 lbs.; and TV 12’s news anchor Dawn Jones’ success story. It is my hope that through the pages of this publication, women will be inspired to achieve their dreams and live more purposeful lives.

~Telishia R. Berry


Courageous Woman Magazine is an inspirational magazine created to uplift, encourage, entertain, and motivate women.


Until now, CW Magazine has been an online magazine with readers around the country. Now we’re available in print in the Flint Michigan area. This is our first issue! Stay tuned for our next issue, November/December. 4,000 copies will be printed and distributed locally in doctor’s offices, churches, salons, boutiques, restaurants, and more.


Fall is almost here! Though we haven’t had the warmest summer, still the season must change. For our first print issue, we’ve gathered authors from across the country to motivate you and strengthen your faith. Our cover story on Dawn Jones is an inspiring story of a woman determined to be a newscaster despite outside distractions and internal doubts. Features on community activists Danielle Green and Angela Stamps showcase women focused on working with youth to make Flint a better place to be. I hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to your comments! ~FaLessia Booker


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

I Telishia Berry

I FaLessia Booker Assistant Editor I Danielle Ward Graphic Designer I Joyce Hayek Writers I Mya Adkisson - Walethia Aquil Telishia Berry - Deria Brown - Renetta Cochran - Florence Edwards Tarnesa Martin - Patricia L. Miller Lisa Mills - Melissa Vera Reyes Bishop Roberson - Qiana Smith Kelly Swanson - Karmen Williams Administration I Lesa Quade Photographers I Silvia Jones - Emanuel Johnson - Yusuf Bauswell Cover Photography I ILE Photography Editor

Magazine Contents Calendar of EVENTS 38 7 September Bishop Neal Roberson

Breast Cancer Survivor

9 11 15

10 Basic Etiquette TipsThat Will Help You

Outclass the Competition

September/October Challenge Encouraging Words - FAITH


When women pray

10 12 16

Defeating Lupus I DID IT YOU CAN TOO Domestic Violence + A Survivor’s story

“We all have our own stories and the only stories we are responsible for is our own.”

Dawn Jones McCree Theatre At the center of HER WORLD How to RELEASE FEAR in any situation Woman to watch: Kala Wilburn Books to read COURAGE and FEAR

22 25 27 30 33 37

CHANGING GEARS The NEXT EXIT Pro Talks Q&A Overcoming the cycle of QUITTING - GOD’s timing - What has your EYES? 3 of Flint’s COURAGEOUS MEN


Are you a highly motivated self-starter with sales experience?

Join our sales team & Start earning $$$ today! Send resume to:

Tickets: $28-43. Info: (810) 237-7333

Stop the Violence 14 Flint Community. Take-Back Rally

Berston Fieldhouse, @ 2 p.m.

Get Real Conference 20 Girl (in partnership with

Daughter of the King), featuring Chess Cessna. Foss Avenue Baptist Church. Tickets: Free. Donations encouraged. Info: (810) 282-5826

of Radical Praise, 27 Women Praise Explosion 2

TV 12 News Anchor

18 23 26 29 31 34

Husband’s Mistress is Me 13 My The Whiting, @ 7 p.m.

I.I.N.N. Conference Center, 4800 S. Saginaw St. @ 5 p.m.

Oc t o b e r Clinic 04 Genealogy Flint Public Library, @ 10 a.m. Info: (810) 232-7111

Friday Artwalk 10 2nd Downtown Flint, @ 6 p.m.

Info: (810) 238-2787 www.greaterflintartscouncil. org/events.html

Strides Breast 18 Making Cancer Walk

Flat Lot, Downtown Flint www.makingstrides.

The Things They Carried 28 Whiting, @ 7 p.m. Tickets: $30 Info: (810) 237-7333


OCTOBER I Breast Cancer Awareness month

A Breast Cancer Survivor Story ~by Renetta Cochran. Playwright, speaker and author of “Loving Me To Loving You”

A Very Courageous Woman is what I call Tamia Hunter, an 11-year breast cancer survivor. At the young age of 27, Tamia felt a lump under her armpit the size of a golf ball. She immediately reported this to her primary care physician (PCP), who also performed a breast exam and found another lump, only to tell her he thought it was just an infection and there was nothing to worry about because of her age. She continued to monitor these lumps as they grew, and made several requests to be referred to a specialist, but the doctor refused. Tamia decided to take matters into her own hands. She contacted her insurance company and explained her situation to them. The insurance company contacted her PCP and demanded that she be referred to a specialist. Tamia’s PCP referred her to a radiologist who suggested she get a mammogram. The results of the mammogram revealed that she only had fatty tissue and there was nothing to worry about, yet the lumps continued to grow. Tamia insisted that the radiologist do a biopsy and when the results came back it was determined she had stage three breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. She began


chemotherapy, and afterward, her doctor ordered a full body scan and started her on radiation treatments. In six years, Tamia has had six surgeries, including a double mastectomy (within five years), a total abdominal hysterectomy and reconstructive surgery. Her OB/GYN recommended gene testing, and the results determined the breast cancer being 87% more likely to recur and ovarian cancer 89% more likely to form. Tamia’s daughters have a 50/50 chance of contracting cancer so she is recommending that they be tested as well. She says now that she knows what to do she will not allow this to happen to them. Tamia was very determined to live and this drove her to do everything she could to get the treatment she knew she needed. She is an active member of a women’s breast cancer survivors group called Community Sisters Network. She has two beautiful daughters, ages 22 and 16, whom she raises with their father. Tamia is a member of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and is employed at McLaren Regional Medical Center as a Respiratory Therapist. Congratulations Tamia for being a Courageous Woman.

Let’s be clear about what is meant by ‘business etiquette.’ It has to do with how we treat one another - the accepted forms, manners, ceremonies, habits, protocols and rules required in conducting our business relations.

10 Basic Etiquette Tips

That Will Help You Outclass the Competition

The deeper purpose of business etiquette is to remove the obstacles and minimize the irritations that make doing business a pain, rather than a pleasure. Here are ten tips that will give you the competitive edge in today’s economy.

~ b y W a le t h i a A q u i l


Work on your handshake. A handshake is the physical greeting that goes with your words. In the business arena, the handshake conveys crucial messages about status and power.

02 Establish good eye contact. Eye contact is the most remembered element in forming an impression of someone. Direct eye contact is vital if you are to present yourself with confidence and authority.

03 Return telephone calls. Failure to return a call implies that you don’t care. Set aside a specific time to

return every call the same day it came in, or the next day at the latest. If you’re unable to return your calls, have someone else call on your behalf. To prevent telephone tag when leaving a message add, “The best time to reach me would be ..... “

04 Dress up to the level you aspire! “Business casual” and “Dress-down Fridays” do not mean attire you

wear on the weekend. Dress appropriately for the client, the place, and the business you’re promoting or conducting.

listen and think before you speak. Pauses and silences show that you are a thoughtful person. Listen 05 Do carefully to what others are saying. Most importantly, listen for what they are not saying. names. Slow down, listen carefully, and pay attention when you meet a person. Use the 06 Remember person’s name in conversation. your “hosting intelligence.” When you extend an invitation, be precise about the time, place, and 07 Polish the purpose of the meeting. The day before or the morning of your meeting, call your guest and confirm the date. a savvy guest when accepting an invitation. It’s no secret that most invitations are accepted in the 08 Be business arena with the unspoken WDTW (What Do They Want) or WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). When you accept an invitation, it’s your duty to follow through. on your table manners. Pick up your napkin and unfold it on your lap, not above table level, with 09 Work the fold toward your waist. Once you’re seated, study the place setting because it’s a map to help guide you through the meal.


Say “thank-you” and “please” every chance you get. These words show respect for yourself and others. After all, good manners go hand-in-hand with leadership.

Walethia helps you build a new kind of wealth, “Social Capital” by equipping professionals and other service providers with training in proper business decorum and protocol’s in a step by step system that is specific to your industry. Now you can position yourself to never miss an opportunity due to fear, indecision, doubt, or lack of confidence. Learn how you can move from ‘Invisible to Impeccable’, visit Grace and Charm today. Have an etiquette/image question? E-mail Walethia at:, direct number 1-810-820- 9455 or 1-866-610-3746.


s u p u L g n i t a e Def


Adkisson ~by Mya De’Ann

I truly believe God puts you in certain situations for His purpose. I’ve always had a dream of having my own boutique and helping women with their beauty issues. In 1997, my life was forever changed. I was diagnosed with the silent disease Lupus. When I mention my disease to people, the first response that I get is a slight nose crinkle and then the question, “What is Lupus?” Lupus occurs when the immune cells attack the body’s own healthy tissues, leading to inflammation and tissue damage. This disease can also involve the organs and joints. Symptoms vary, but often include skin rash, extreme fatigue, headaches or muscle aches, painful joints, fever, weight loss, swelling in feet, legs or hands, fingers turning white or blue when cold, and hair loss. Lupus can go undiagnosed for years, largely because there can be so many varying symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms can come and go. In my case, I went several years with fatigue, hair loss, rashes, and joint pain. If you have three or more of the previously mentioned symptoms, schedule an appointment with your health care provider. Among black women, death rates were highest among those aged 45-64 years. It’s estimated that at least 1.5 million Americans are suffering from Lupus. Women are more likely to be affected than men, and are often diagnosed in their childbearing years. Another characteristic of Lupus is its prevalence in women of color — the disease is two to three times more common in Hispanic,


Asian and African-American women than in Caucasians. I can talk about Lupus forever--however, this article is simply not long enough! As the years progressed, my symptoms grew worse, forcing my total disability. While I was hospitalized in 2004 for a minor surgery, I almost died from a rare condition that is known to be secondary to Lupus, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, which is a progressive disease affecting the arteries of the lungs. After coming out of a coma after several weeks. I thought to myself, “I can’t believe this is happening to me, it’s not fair!” I had to make the decision that I wasn’t going to pity myself. I was going to follow my dreams and make this disease work in my favor. Jesus said “All things are possible for the one who has faith.” Mark 9:23 I am one who has faith. I wrote my first novel, “Disturbance,” which currently has a three and a half stars rating at Barnes and Nobles. I have five sequels in the making, with “Another Disturbance” soon to be published. I opened my own boutique, “The Beauty Box” and I counsel women with esteem issues and diseases. Lupus said I wasn’t going to make it. I laugh because I am making it through “Him!”

Mya DeAnn-Author/Business Owner The Beauty Box Boutique 109 E. Third Street Flint, MI 48502



if YOU are reading this... so are YOUR CUSTOMERS!

r t e i v s e d a


~by Patricia L. Miller

How often do we find ourselves in frustrating situations where we want to throw our hands up, throw in the towel and just give up? We don’t have to! There are things that we can do and stop doing to center ourselves, help change our perspective and be at peace no matter what. Implement these today, be consistent and watch how things change. Remember, don’t beat yourself up if you falter--just don’t give up. Look for another challenge in the next issue.

DO More Prayer and Meditation Prayer and meditation is conversation with and listening to God, the Creator, the Source, or Divine Spirit. This activity exercises the Spirit that God placed inside of each of us at the time of our creation. God wants us to talk to Him and listen for Him. When you pray, just talk to God as if you were talking to a friend. You don’t have to get all deep and recite prose, just talk. He knows you and loves you. Talk about the things that concern you, and just ask Him how He wants you to look at the situation while He takes care of it. Some people think meditation spooky and weird, but it’s not. There are different types of meditation, but what I am referring to is just taking time to cleanse yourself of all of the thoughts that have been bombarding your mind all day. So, just take some deep breaths, exhale slowly and clear everything out of your mind. Once you do that, think on how loved you are by God and His promises. Then take time to listen to His Spirit that is within you for guidance. DON’T

Worry, Whine and Complain

Be a part of our Bimonthly Magazine

Once you have prayed, you have asked God to handle it. Don’t worry about it. Since He is the Creator of the universe, don’t you think He can take care of it? Let it go, He loves you and it is done. You may be asked to look at the situation in a different way, but it is handled. Either way He answers it, whether it is a yea or a nay, it is for your own good. Who knows better for us anyway, us or God?

For For more more information CALL CALL 877.235.5203 or email us at INFO@COURAGEOUSWOMANMAG.COM INFO@COURAGEOUSWOMANMAG.COM

Whining and complaining only makes whatever situation seem worse than it is. Whining and complaining is negative energy that doesn’t need to be released. Whatever energy you put out will only come back to you. Stop complaining about your kids, your significant other, the traffic, the weather, the neighborhood, your hair, your car, whatever. If you don’t like something and can’t change it or remove yourself from the situation, change how you look at. This may be difficult to do, so ask God to help you. He only wants you to be happy. Perception is nine tenths of how we are affected by circumstances and situations. Do the best you can with what you have to work with and approach everything with love.


Three women share their stories of perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and beating the odds. Let their stories inspire you to reach higher and fulfill your dreams!

Education is the Key! by Qiana Smith

Education is power and my mother taught me at an early age that you have to get an education to ensure success. My mother’s dedication to my receiving a quality education was not in vain—I graduated from elementary school and was accepted into one of the best schools offered by the Flint educational system. By my senior year of high school, I was a member of National Honor Society and Class President. Later that year, I applied to Central Michigan University and went to an onsite admissions event where the recruiter told me that my ACT score of 17 would make it difficult for me to be successful in college. I was accepted to the University, but even though I retook the ACT, I still scored a 17 on the exam. However, my ACT score would not prove to be an indicator of my success at the collegiate level. In May of 2002, I graduated on time with honors from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. In May of 2004, I earned a Masters of Arts degree from Michigan State University with a 3.6 GPA. I was accepted to a Ph.D. program at Michigan State University that was ranked number three in the nation. I started my program in 2009 while working fulltime. In 2011, my world was turned upside down and my confidence was shaken. I failed my comprehensive exam, my wedding for that September was called off, and I was adjusting to a new job and living environment. The confident woman I once was had taken a major blow and it took me nearly two years to recover. In 2013, I decided to go back to school. In January of 2014, I passed my comprehensive exam. This fall, I will complete my final coursework towards my Ph.D. While I still have a couple mountains to climb before I earn my Ph.D., my journey thus far has shown me that with God, prayer, hard work, and persistence I can overcome anything! I pray that my experience will encourage others to keep trying no matter what; if you fall, get up, dust yourself off, and keep climbing!

I Did It You Can Too!

Eat healthy and exercise by Melissa Vera Reyes

Raised and born in Texas, around rich, tasty Tex-Mex food, it’s all about tradition and passing down recipes from one generation to the next. What are also passed down are health issues that happen from that type of lifestyle I know what it’s like to be tired, heavy, back hurting, and suffering from low self-confidence. I used to be the shy one in the back, afraid to talk to people. When going through a life change, there is always an “A-Ha” moment which is the pivotal moment in a journey. One night shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I was rushed to the ER to have an appendectomy. A few weeks later, I had to have surgery to have my Gallbladder removed. My Dr. looked at me and said, “Melissa, you are falling apart!” That was my turning point. Fast forward 13 years, four lovely daughters and 109 lbs. lost later, I have made living a healthy lifestyle a choice and include everything in moderation. I am not a dietician or nutritionist, so I can only tell you what has worked for me. Here are some basic tips and strategies that have helped me out and hope they can be of help to you as well. • Combine a Lean Protein, Good Fat, and Good Carb at most of your meals. • Drink half your weight in water. • Aim for at least 30-45 minutes of an activity that you love three days a week to keep active. • Take weekly pics of yourself for visible changes and measure yourself weekly. Your weight may not change, but your body will be transforming. • Do not chain yourself to the scale! You are worth much more than what that number says. Don’t ever give up! If I can do this, you can do this!

Speak up and Be Noticed! by Walethia Aquil

My entrepreneurial journey began on the night of my senior prom. What should have been a special event turned out to be one of the worst nights of my life. I was an incredibly shy and insecure child from a family without many resources, and as a result, I didn’t have a date until the last minute. After all my efforts to “look right,” I realized that I didn’t know how to behave! My second nudge towards my future came at the age of 50. After 17 years of marriage to a mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically abusive man, I was in fear for my life, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I decided that I had to act right away. I left, giving up everything except a bed that I shared with my daughter, and a small wicker love-seat. I reassessed my life, and realized that I had had a lot of success in my life, and that a lot of that success had been achieved by presenting myself in the best possible way. It was that determination and inspiration that ultimately led me to become an expert in etiquette and image and to develop the Grace and Charm Success System. I feel that it’s extremely important to give back to the community, and what better way than to teach the next generation the skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace? Today’s success all stems from that terrible night when I sat in that restaurant and wanted the earth to swallow me up. Looking back, and looking at what I’ve achieved as a result, I think that maybe it wasn’t such a terrible night after all!


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11:1

Encouraging Words

The POWER of Faith

Faith Faith Faith and Love are two words I have heard used very loosely by so many people every day. But neither word means anything until they are put into action. Faith is to me, trusting God’s

The gift of Faith from God gives us the assurance that putting our Faith in Jesus for Salvation, is simply agreeing with what the Word of God has already declared, then speaking it! Romans 10:9-13. This Power of Faith in Jesus can save us, heal us, deliver us, set us free, restore us, preserve us, revive us, renew us, empower us, elevate us, break chains and oh yes--make a way where there seems to be no way. My dear ones, God said it, we accept it, we receive it, we believe it and then we act on it! That’s the Power of Faith in Jesus Name!

ability that He knows who I am--believing that he called me to a plan with a purpose and having the courage to know whether I can see it in myself or feel it. Faith also knows I can achieve anything because of His Word that is activated in me. Now by Faith get up and do it. Do what? Whatever God told you first!

Melecia Scott – Author of “The Meeting” Canaan Baptist Church

Bishop Bernadel L. Jefferson Faith Deliverance Center Church

Great Faith

A Woman of Faith

Apostle Sandra Appleberry spoke a word to the women that had a great impact on me. She said that

A woman of Faith knows her place is in the face of her Father God. By grace, she runs the race at her own pace in confidence knowing her sins have been washed without a trace. That’s why she doesn’t mind sharing the painful testimonies of her past. She’s goal oriented and stays on task, understanding only what she does for Christ will last. Her number one goal is to reach as many souls as she can as she passes through this world to her final destination with her Father God.

your Faith is the substance and not a supplement. “Substance” is the most essential part of your experience. A “supplement” is an additive to what seems insufficient. So the question becomes, is your Faith the most essential part of your experience that fills your daily life, or is it just an additive to what seems insufficient? As women of GOD, we must walk in the substance of Faith. We need to declare through our words and through our actions that we are anointed and we house the power of GOD within us. As He spoke, we shall speak. As He performed miracles, so will we. Be encouraged in your Faith, that it is great, that it is the substance of your existence and not just a supplement!

Lady Donna K. Holmes Reaching the World Ministries International


Angela Thompson - First Lady Refuge Temple Church of Flint

October is Dedicated to Recognizing

Domestic Violence

~by Patricia L. Miller is leading in helping families that deal with domestic Domestic Violence is happening around you violence. now. It is not just some uncommon occurrence The YWCA of Greater Flint is committed to provide that is quietly swept under the rug. It affects all services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual communities, no matter what your race, age or assault through the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault economic status. It needs to be addressed more Services program. The YWCA has strong partnerships aggressively, with more time, attention, volunteers with individuals and organizations devoted to and money. Just check out these statistics: dismantling systems of racism and sexism in Genesee • Every nine seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted County. The YWCA of Greater Flint is the only agency or beaten. that primarily addresses the issue of intimate partner • Around the world, at least one in every three domestic violence and sexual assault for the residents women has been beaten, coerced into sex or of Genesee County. The YWCA of Greater Flint offers otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, a crisis line 810-238-SAFE (7233) available 24 hours a the abuser is a member of her own family. day, 365 days a year. A caller in crisis is immediately connected with trained staff and volunteers, who • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury answer questions, provide information, make to women—more than car accidents, muggings, referrals and assist survivors in accessing all the and rapes combined. services available at YWCA of Greater Flint. The • Studies suggest that up to ten million children Safehouse provides women and children (including witness some form of domestic violence annually. male children) emergency shelter when they need a safe place to stay. • Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence The crisis line receives over 400 calls per year and or self-harm if presented with a breakup. the Safehouse serves nearly 2000 women and children • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. • 92% of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern. • Domestic violence victims lose nearly eight million days of paid work per year in the US alone— the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs. • Based on reports from ten countries, between 55% and 95% of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted nongovernmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help. • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion. • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives as sons of nonviolent parents. Gone should be the days of minding your own business If you know that something like this is happening to someone you know and love, they need help. There is help out there and the YWCA

per year. YWCA staff is also available to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to local police stations and the three hospitals in Genesee County: Hurley Medical Center, McLaren Regional Medical Hospital and Genesys Hospital. All services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are free of charge and are confidential. Domestic violence and sexual assault knows no boundaries. The YWCA of Greater Flint has been the first line of refuge and recovery for battered women in Genesee County for over a century. Please contact the YWCA at 810-238-7621 or www. to learn more about the mission and services of this honorable institution.


YWCA Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services FY 2012/2013 · 375 Women and Children lived in SafeHouse (177 women and 198 children) · 1,459 Crisis Calls were received · 2,002 Survivors received Legal Advocacy, Individual Counseling, or Group Counseling · 249 Personal Protection Orders were filed through YW Legal Advocacy Program · Average length of stay in SafeHouse is 45 days


You can make a financial donation or donate items the organization is in need of: • Gift Cards from: Meijer/Kroger/Rite Aid/Walgreens/Walmart - these are mostly used for women and children in need to fill their prescription medications • New undergarments for women and children (male and female children) —socks/underwear/bras • Winter coats and accessories • New Pajamas and robes of all sizes • New slippers of all sizes • New sweat pants of all sizes with sweatshirts/hoodies of all sizes

Special thanks to Sherlynn Everly, Ann Kita and the staff at The YWCA of Greater Flint for all they do!

A Survivor’s Patricia L. Miller Meet Sharetha Jackson, a conqueror, a survivor, and a Courageous Woman. From sexual molestation as child to an abusive marriage, she has had to overcome numerous challenges. While working on her Bachelor’s Degree, she became pregnant with twins. At a time when the anticipation of new life should bring much excitement and joy, the unthinkable happened to Sharetha. In 1993, at 7 ½ months pregnant, she was kidnapped out of her bed, raped, her throat slashed twice, and left for dead. Sharetha and her twins survived the ordeal, and later she completed her Bachelor’s Degree, working for the State of Michigan for 8 ½ years. Sharetha met her future husband in 2002. Initially, Sharetha felt comfortable around him-he seemed to understand her and what she was going through. But that did not last--the signs of domestic violence started to rear its ugly head. She would be accused of cheating, but never did. He would steal money from her, and get jealous


of her business dealings and her community volunteer activities. He would pick fights with her for no reason, and then apologize later and Sharetha would accept. The final straw was the last time he beat her in 2012. Sharetha felt she had to get herself, their son and three daughters out of that situation fast. She finally realized that the unresolved issues that her husband carried from his childhood and the drug use were not going to be changed by her. Three days later, Sharetha and her children were gone. She received help from area shelters, including the YWCA in Flint and in Saginaw. They provided shelter for Sharetha and her children, three meals a day, counseling, housing assistance, day care, and support groups. Sharetha has this piece of advice: when you are considering a relationship/marriage with someone do your research on that individual; family dynamics, drug use, etc., and don’t ignore the signs, they are there for a reason!

Patricia L. Miller · Owner/Designer · Reaction Designer + Accessories · 17 Jewelry

McCree Theatre:

McCree will continue to survive and be a positive force in the community. Sheila Miller-Graham, choreographer for The ~by Telishia R. Berry Wiz, is also a former student of the original McCree Theatre. Graham teaches dance full time at Northwestern High School and works with the color guards and majorettes. She is also a dance instructor at Creative Expressions Dance. She says she loves working with the kids and Since it originated in 1970, the McCree dances seven days a week. “It makes a Theatre has been a significant part of the difference when you’re doing something cultural arts history in the City of Flint. you enjoy. It’s not a chore or a job; it’s just Director Charles Winfrey has helped the something I enjoy.” She feels the arts have Theatre build a strong reputation by so many benefits for the youth. “I think it presenting some of Flint’s most memorable is a necessary outlet and experience for our productions. McCree Theatre was praised kids,” she said. “Kids need to have a means for its extensive training in drama and of expressing themselves and without the dance, but due to budget cuts the classes arts I think many kids would be lost.” are no longer offered—however, the productions are open for the public to Both Lindo and Graham are excited about participate. Throughout the year, the the production of The Wiz and look forward theatre offers a variety of shows from to showcasing some of the community’s concerts to dinner theatre. Up next in this most talented people. “Flint is busting its year’s line-up is the musical production sides with talent and a lot of it is going The Wiz, an adaption of the musical The unnoticed,” Graham said. The music will be Wizard of Oz. composed by Dr. Phillip Young. The show is directed by Billie Lindo. She began performing with McCree in 1971, then after college became a drama instructor. For more than 30 years Lindo, has helped to cultivate the talents of so many, including me. I began taking dance and acting classes at The McCree Theatre when I was eleven years old. It certainly made a huge impact in my life and I am The shows will run on weekends beginning proud to be a McCree kid! Lindo says her September 18–October3, 2014. motivation to continue working in theatre For tickets and information, call and at McCree comes from her passion and 810.787.2200. love for the business. “I didn’t choose it, Photography by Seven Seventy it chose me,” she said. Billie’s hope is that

Community Resource for more than Forty Years


TV 12 News Anchor

Dawn Jones ~by Telishia R. Berry

We All Have Our Own


Ever since she was a little girl, TV 12 news anchor and reporter Dawn Jones knew in heart she wanted a career in broadcasting. “I was ten years old when I first said I wanted to be a news reporter.” Her inspiration came from watching the television news show “60 Minutes” every Sunday night with her father. She was fascinated with words and intrigued by the stories about people from all walks of life, all over the world. She held on to that dream for years, until she began to notice that there were not many people in broadcasting that looked like her.

Motivation While considering a new career choice, Dawn took classes in high school in abnormal psychology, but her inner voice was still speaking about her dream. That voice was louder and she just couldn’t seem to abandon her vision of becoming a news reporter. She shared her feelings with her grandmother, the late and former first Lady Martha Curry of Macedonia Baptist Church, where her grandfather, the late Rev. JC Curry, was pastor. Her grandmother’s strong words of faith were the motivation Dawn needed.

“I was a curvy girl. I was not a size two,” she said. “I didn’t see images that looked like me on television.” In addition to her own self-doubt, she heard negative things about her career choice. “There were people that told me that broadcasting was a very competitive career and that there weren’t many job opportunities.” Listening to those voices, she thought her ideas of becoming a news reporter were perhaps just a fantasy and that she should consider a more practical career, so she thought about becoming a psychiatrist, “that way I would still be able to listen to people’s stories.”

“If God be for you, then it doesn’t matter if the whole world is against you,” Her grandmother said, “You can do anything you want to do, as long as you have God on your side.” With those words, Jones moved forward in pursuit of her dreams. “I started to believe that I no longer had a second option,” she said. “I started hosting talent shows, getting comfortable with my voice and my look and I learned to love me.” “My grandmother spoke into my life so much that I couldn’t help but to believe in myself.”




Dawn attended Specs Howard School of Broadcasting in Southfield, Michigan. After graduating, she spent 13 years working in radio, including working at Flint’s WDZZ. While most news stations are not seeking to hire those over thirty, when Dawn began working at TV 12 News, she was in her mid-thirties, a wife and a mother. Former manager Jim Bleicher hired her after hearing her on the radio. She was excited about her opportunity, but she didn’t start reporting on air immediately. “Radio and television are totally different,” she said. “I had to get acclimated to working in TV. I started as a news room assistant, and that was more like a paid intern,” She said.

Dawn wants young people to know that they can persevere above any adversity. This Flint native proves that you can succeed even when the odds are against you. She wants young people to know that no matter what their shortcomings are, they can achieve their dreams and have their own success story.

“We all have our own stories and the only stories we are responsible for is our own,” she

says. “It doesn’t mean that you don’t love those around you that may not be doing positive things, you’re just not responsible for their actions.” Dawn knew she had to follow the paths that were best for her life, her own ambitions, and her own dreams and not carry the weight of her mother’s mental health challenges or her father’s legal troubles. “The cycle doesn’t have to repeat,” she says. “It’s all about choices, and the choices we make are going to yield benefits or consequences.” She wants to motivate the young people of Flint to make good choices.

“Then I became a producer and I learned how to craft a news show.” One day, her news director asked if she was ready to go on air. “No, I need to lose twenty pounds,” she said. Before long, a year had gone by and she hadn’t lost the weight. After telling her boss once again that she couldn’t do it, she was surprised when she came in to work one day and both her bosses Bliecher and Jayne Hodak gave her onair reporting assignments. She admits she was nervous. “What if I can’t do it?” she said. Both bosses insisted that she could, and she did. As a news anchor, Jones is very passionate about social issues and telling stories that impact everyday people and their lives, but what Dawn loves most about her career is being able to work in her hometown.


After twenty-five years in broadcasting, Dawn says she is happy about her accomplishments and her choices. Jones balances her career with her family as well—her husband Rodney and their kids, Rodney II, Dymond, Christian, and Courtni have all been very supportive.

“I am blessed and I feel worthy to have a great life and a great career.” Dawn

“I love representing where I come from.” She attributes her success to her

is looking forward to extending her career in public speaking with her own event, “Becoming the Boss of Your Own Brand.”

faith. “I have had God’s favor on my life all of my life.” She believes that everything the she’s experienced, from the happy times to unfavorable family issues, helped to shape the woman she is today. “Every experience adds to the sum of the whole,” she said.

She holds on to the encouraging words her grandmother spoke and the words of one of her favorite quotes by Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.”



Gears ~by K.L.Williams

The title of M. Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less

Traveled, has become a descriptive phrase that beckons when the heart’s desire goes against the grain of our current reality. Its cryptic title invites us to ponder the alternate reality of what could be. Would it be a magical journey of dreams, selfdiscovery or, even better, an adventure? Flint native Angela Stamps, based her decision to take the road less traveled upon necessity, or so it appears at first blush. Having lost her car and forced to make new living arrangements, Stamps was in a whirlwind of personal challenges. Using public transportation as her sole mode of transportation, she carried on with her daily living activities, but after missing out on a significant opportunity, she fell into a momentary depression. A friend presented her with two gifts--a letter of encouragement and a bicycle. At a time of personal upheaval and transition, Stamps used her new resources to regain and balance her life. A vegan, (and now vegetarian) since the age of 25, Stamps has always loved food. She would bike to different restaurants, sampling vegetarian food and cuisines from Middle Eastern, Latin, African and Asian cultures. With a healthy, nutritious diet fueling her cycling expeditions, Stamps experienced Southern California intimately. While transporting herself physically across town, Stamps performed visualization exercises and spiritual transformations manifested within in her life. Friends complimented her new look. Curious, they asked, “What are you doing?” Her reply--“I’m loving life.” At a New Year’s party with family and friends, she noticed the children had biblical names, with two children sharing the same name, Joshua. Returning home from the party, she found the book of Joshua and left the rest to happenstance. She would accept the message from the verse her finger touched. Stamps cried for a day after receiving her prophetic message to return home and start the organization there. Returning home wasn’t on her agenda. But, Stamps could adjust to any situation. Raised by loving parents who were divorced taught her flexibility, and living with four older brothers toughened her resolve. She was tenacious and more than capable. In 22

her soul, she knew Flint was the place to start everything. Besides, she did not want to wonder what might have happened if she hadn’t given it a try! Stamps left a thriving hairdressing business and the natural beauty of Southern California behind. Yet, she was brimming with excitement and nervousness. Although she planned the venture for three years, there were doubtful moments. Stamps was a high school graduate without non-profit or computer skills. A few close friends didn’t fully support the idea. And, the community was wary of someone riding around on a bike in an automotive city that equated status with a vehicle. Stamps trusted the process and moved forward, believing “there is more than enough,” which has opened up a plethora of resources. Today, Kentakee Athletic & Social Clubs has several types of programming: The Berston Bicycle Club Project; the Family Ride; and Bike Teen Clean. As part of the educational process along with exercise, Stamps introduces students to nutritious foods that are often unavailable at the local market or at home. With many children and adults suffering from obesity Stamps advocates healthy eating. One student has lost 30 lbs. and has maintained the weight loss for more than a year. This young man has also become the program sweep (safety patrol for biking) for this year’s bike club. In addition to positive changes in diet, students have boosted their physical health and self-knowledge. For riders challenged with weight or physical issues, Stamps recommends the following: • Ensure a good fit; comfortable seat, frame is the right size (e.g. not too small or too big) • Start with a short and easy route (e.g. try to avoid hills, etc.) • Find a friend to accompany you the first few times. It is always fun to have someone to talk to while riding. Her advice to stay the course: “When I am riding and I am tired and my legs are burning, I think about Harriet Tubman. I think about how this illiterate woman walked, during the winter in the middle of the night to rescue people who were also illiterate and often times did not have shoes. I say to myself “Stamps, if these people could walk in the middle of the night in the cold, surely I can ride a bike up this hill”. These thoughts motivate me every time!” ~photos by Seven Seventy photography

Photos by Yusuf Bauswell

Photo by Tia Richardson


The Empower program focuses on youth programming. group of friends, all students at the local high Green’s approach to working with young people school, decide to forgo a party and instead return removes societal expectations. “Talking with them, to the skating rink to retrieve a friend’s purse. The being non-judgmental helps them open up.” following day, the teens discover just how that decision Deeply involved with the community, she must affected them--everyone at the party was killed. frequently remind herself not to venture into the “too Fast forward—a trusted friend moves back to Flint much” zone. Diagnosed with Pneumonia and Pulmonary and offers to chaperone children for a school event Embolism (a condition caused by the blockage of blood and take them home. She left a voicemail, there was clots of one or more pulmonary arteries of the lungs) a message confirming that the children were safe and two years ago, Danielle was hospitalized for nine sound at home. Before the friend could continue, days. The medical staff curtailed all physical activity, she was attacked. Her voicemail message now serves with a nurse matter-of-factly stating that she was as evidence for a criminal investigation. Time goes not allowed to do anything other than “blink.” With on and another friend is murdered. Her body is nothing but time on her hands, Green, co-director disposed of in a of My Dreams dumpster. These Do Come True, are not fictitious continued her accounts. In fact, work for the each scenario is organization, very real. Danielle but scaled back Green’s book, Wish her involvement. ~by K.L.Williams I Woulda Knew Me Released from Back Then is an anthology of the personal experiences the hospital, she remained under doctor’s care for of ten women. three months of bed rest. Danielle says, “There is so A woman of dedication and vision, Danielle is an much to be done. You can’t do everything and author of two books, actress, keynote speaker, that’s OK. You’re not supposed to. Listen to philanthropist, mentor and single mother of three your body. If it’s trying to tell you something, daughters. “Heartbeats,” an independently listen.” produced film in which Green is the main protagonist, Helping young people is her passion and keeps her brings awareness to the issue of domestic violence. going. Recently, she was invited to attend a graduation Both books and the film are under consideration for ceremony of a young woman she had mentored in the 2015 Sister to Sister Summit, which will address the past. Although her parents did not attend, the self-love and healthy relationships. “Polished determined young woman proudly walked across the Diamonds”, Green’s latest project, focuses on the stage to receive her degree. Another moment that epidemic of fatherless daughters. Danielle says rings true to her purpose occurred during a booklittle girls absolutely need a father to demonstrate signing event. A beautiful dark skinned girl attending how they should be treated, to set standards, with her mother paid Danielle a compliment, and requirements and expectations in relationships and Danielle thanked her. After signing the mother’s life. Green also discusses the success stories—young book, Green prepared to take a picture, but the girl women that are performing well and succeeding declined. She felt she was “too black,” and therefore expectations are often overlooked. “They don’t get not pretty. After a heart to heart conversation, quite a celebrated enough. We’re busy as a society focusing few pictures were taken, and, they still talk regularly. on fixing and repairing the broken.” Young people are at the center of her world! 23

At the Center

of Her World


Next Exit the

~by K.L.Williams

Momma said there would be days like this. Sometimes I dream of throwing in the towel and closing up shop. In my mind’s eye, I lock the door, draw the blinds, turn off the lights and just walk away. But, giving up has never been an option. This phenomenon seems to exist for women of all demographics, single women and married women with or without children are all plagued with overwhelming situations.

We are over committed and undervalued. Our mom’s generation believed and lived by a tireless work ethic. Expressing frustration was not an option nor a privilege so they moved onward privately, harboring feelings of desperation while suppressing their feelings of angst. Steadfast and compelled to stay the course, they renounced any thoughts that veered away from their obligations. There was no exit point. Blessedly, our path is free and clear–thanks to their hard work and sacrifice. The dilemma? Many of us have not reached our goals and fail to capitalize on options we have available to us. We support other people’s dreams, grooming everyone but ourselves. We start off strong, full of vigor but become consumed by life and return to living on automatic pilot, inattentive to our passions and oblivious to the demise of our true authentic selves.

blind sighted. This numerical value will provide a concrete idea of how you are either your own advocate or hindrance.

To flourish and move beyond the mundane requires that we do an introspective deep dive into our thoughts and motivations. What thoughts dominate your mental space? Assign a percentage to your positive, negative and neutral thoughts to discover where you are

exit immediately from any road that turns into a dead end!

Retrieve your goals. Ensure they are formulated into a plan of action – a step-by-step directive of all that you hope for, plan to become or desire to complete. Visualize a decorative scroll with your name or initials on it. As you unroll the document and examine it closely, absorb every detail. Own your goals. Now tear up the scroll and throw it away. Do you feel panic? Why? Revisit the goals you were unwilling to “throw away” and make each the target of your focus–your next destination. Now that you’ve identified your next steps, proceed with confidence. Watch out for potholes and roadblocks. U-turns are not illegal as long as you check your mirrors. Most importantly,

“K.L. Williams is a creative writer and principal of SocialButterflie, a freelance Marketing & Digital Strategy agency.


How to

Release Fear in any

Situation ~by Florence Edwards

Almost everyone suffers from fear or anxiety. It’s as common as a cold, yet more destructive. The truth is that fear is a learned emotion. Not everyone responds the same to fear. Some people are able to just cruise through life, feel fear and continue to conquer their goals. For others, fear immobilizes them and causes them to not live their full potential. • Fear can either be your friend or your worst enemy. Chances are, if you let fear control you in one aspect of your life, it will affect and possibly destroy other major areas and you will have a difficult time being a happy and successful person. • If you struggle with fear, don’t worry! You can successfully overcome it and live your dream life! You know you deserve more love, happiness, money and power. So, here are some tips on releasing your fear, and going after what you really want. • Make a decision to act, and act NOW! Regardless of your fear, make a promise to yourself to take a step towards your goal in spite of your fear! It may be the hardest thing to do, but once you take this first step, you will be less fearful and you will not allow fear to control you. • Change your focus. Instead of focusing on the fear, focus on seeing yourself succeeding at whatever it is you want to do. Write down positive affirmations and read them daily to re-program your mind. Listen to self-help tapes by authors like Iyanla Vanzant, Anthony

Robbins or Louise Hay to get encouragement. • Recognize that fear is not truth. Just because you have a fear, does not mean that it will be a reality for you. Look at your situation and be totally honest about it. See if your ideas about it stem from fear. If so, change how you see the situation. If you focus on truth, you may realize there is nothing to be afraid of. • Know that you have the power! Fear is not in control, you are. In a lot of situations, fear stops you from acting. For example, there are many people who dream of being a millionaire, launching a new business, or being the next Britney Spears. The issue is that most people don’t believe they can succeed and have a tremendous fear of failure, so they don’t even try to go after what they want in life. They settle for less and let fear control them. Don’t let this happen to you! You are always in control of your life. You make the decision to act or not act. Realize that the more you act, the closer to you will be to your goal. • Focus on feeling good rather than your fear. When you focus on your fear, you feel bad, discouraged and sometimes even hopeless. When you feel that way, you are actually attracting more negative experiences in your life and creating more of what you don’t want! When you focus on the things that make you smile and put your energy into doing what you want, fear will decrease dramatically. • Get strength from your Higher Power. Becoming less fearful or even eliminating it from our lives is possible. The best method is connecting to your Higher Power for strength and support. Prayer and meditation has been extremely helpful for people who want to overcome fear. Remember that when you are in fear, you are not in faith and you are expecting the worst. When you feel that way, take a few minutes out of your day to connect with God and visualize giving all of your fear to the Creator. You will feel much happier and will be able to go after your dreams!



Q. My business is growing. I want to hire some new employees. What are some permissible interview questions to ask prospective candidates?

Avoid asking questions about the candidates’ race, sex, national origin, marital status, or disability. These questions violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws, and are not relevant to the job duties.

A. To gain a general idea of the prospective employees’ work ethic and candor, inquire about their job history and reasons for leaving previous positions. Be on the lookout for any responses that bad mouth former employers, as these responses indicate a lack of professionalism. Ask candidates to discuss in detail, what skills they offer and how these skills will benefit the company. Use situational based questions to help determine their ability to perform the job.

Mary A. Bowen is a sole practitioner for the Law Office of M. Alexis Bowen, PLC. Her specialties include law, labor law and construction law. Bowen serves Genesee, Ingham and Oakland counties. You may contact her via email *Disclaimer: The material presented was prepared for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The use of this information does not create an attorney- client relationship between the Law Office of M. Alexis Bowen, PLC and the readers.




to watch: Kala Wilburn ~by Patricia L. Miller

If you would like to see what Kala is up to, check out her website: Also, look out for these upcoming events: Vehicle City Fashion Week Nov. 10 - 15th sponsored by the Fashion Against Violence Movement.

Everyone should get up and face life everyday like they are on a runway.

For more information go to; Girl Get Real Conference (in partnership with Daughter of the King) September 20, 2014 at Foss Avenue Baptist Church.

~Kala Wilburn

Patricia L. Miller is the owner Owner/Designer Reaction Designer Jewelry + Accessories

Kala Wilburn Photo by Deirdras Jones

Kala Wilburn, a fashion architect and owner of Fannie Lucille, a custom-made apparel and handbag collection, loves to create. Her career in Fashion was inspired by her grandfather, Willie Ben Anthony, Sr. who exposed her to the world of sewing. While studying at Central Michigan University, Kala was able to travel to some of the fashion capitals in the world, including London, New York, Paris and Spain. Traveling helped her gain insight about the world of fashion which helped her develop her own style and design techniques. Her design experience includes menswear for Marc Ecko in New York City and footwear for Rocawear Urban Apparel. She is also the founder of the Fashion Against Violence movement and Vehicle City Fashion Week in Flint, MI, along with being an educator in the Flint community to high school students interested in fashion and business. Kala wants one day to develop her business into a fashion house that will not only help her personal business, but will also help other up and coming designers. Kala wants to be an example to people in the world, to inspire and motivate others to know that it is possible to live your dreams.


Cycle Quitting Overcoming the of

~by Deria Brown wasn’t the only one afraid of my success. Satan was too.


Once again I had “dropped the ball” I noted in disgust as I sat down on December 31, several years ago. In a few hours, I would go to church to worship and pledge my resolve to do better the next year. This year was different. A deep sadness enveloped me because I was getting closer to 40. A realization hit me that for nearly three decades I had made excuses, prolonged, delayed, analyzed and criticized myself and my potential until there was no logical action to take to reach my destiny. I blamed others mostly, not daring to think I would sabotage my own life. My life had been a series of exciting starts and depressing, jolting stops. I would begin each year fresh and new, only to quit on myself shortly after. The reasons would change, but not the behavior. Some days it was procrastination; other times, indecision; yet always at the core of every delay was fear. My time of reflection on that day led me to examine my family history. I made mental notes of all the smooth talkers and big dreamers we have in our family--dreamers who year after year would talk a pretty good game, but never took action. They had such great potential. I know that because it is virtually impossible for potential to go unnoticed. At any rate, I discovered a pattern of quitting and giving up that began long before I was born and would endure long after I was gone if I didn’t do something about it. I wanted to identify the root of the problem, so I could snatch it up and destroy it. I was ready to change course and be the one who did something BIG with their genius. I knew somewhere along the way I had been duped and distracted by a force designed to delay my destiny. This spirit had been at it for generations, robbing my family of the wealth and wisdom a successful dream can produce. It was clear I 30

The revelation that I could change my family’s destiny and that I was a big enough deal for Satan to distract gave me just enough juice to launch a comeback! I could no longer make excuses, blame others or scrap my plans and start over every year. I had to finish something, QUICK to begin to train myself to succeed. The cycle of success has to be learned. The cycle of quitting must be unlearned. I had to replace the daily actions that led to my defeat with energetic action steps that lead me to victory. In order to chart a new course that doesn’t end in an epic fail, you must first identify the root of your problem. If the problem has persisted for generations, be prepared to dig deep, but don’t stop. Whatever it is you discover, remember, it’s going to be your problem, not someone else’s. Own up to and address the issues that keep you from fulfilling your dreams. Secondly, find an accountability partner. You are not able to motivate yourself--period. None of us are. And finally, celebrate your progress. As a former quitter, nothing motivates me more than savoring victory, even the small ones, like looking forward to December 31 this year!

One Need…One Request… One Answer… Treva Scott has dealt with the demons of her past and is ready to move ahead with her life. Brian Chin can’t envision his future without Treva in it. Looking toward the future, he feels that there’s nothing that can take them backwards—or is there? When current circumstances begin to look like her past, Treva is forced to answer her own hard question—Can I live without him? Her Gifts by Linda F. Beed – October 2014. www.lindabeed. com

Break Every Chain: Powerful Prayers to Cover Your Husband is a resource for married women and those preparing for the journey of marriage. This book not only teaches women how to intercede effectively for their husbands, the journal sections that are included also allows the woman to take a deeper look at herself and her walk with God to make sure she is doing her part as her husband’s helpmate. This book will not only change your marriage, it will change your life and your walk with God! You can f ind more information Brittaney Pleasant at

Author Karen Smith’s debut book, “The Little Girl In Me,” is not just an inspiring story for all women, it’s her testimony. Born into a world of abuse, abandonment, and broken promises, “The Little Girl In Me” is a powerful, heart wrenching, true story of survival, but for the grace of God. Given away as an infant, the little girl somehow survives all the tragic misfortunes of life and learns to reclaim her life, fighting her way to freedom. Fighting to save…”The Little Girl In Me.” “A story that had to be told…a hurting that had to be healed.”–Karen Smith. Visit the website

Deacon Wilson tries to keep his four children on the straight and narrow, but his strict, religious practices only ignite a pattern of rebellion for Brenda, the youngest. The day she loses her virginity, she conceives a child. Being sixteen and pregnant out of wedlock is an issue a 1968 society uses to reject young girls. After the pregnancy is revealed, the father of her unborn child rejects her, the church shuns her, and her father’s words, “You are ruined!” send her on an emotional tailspin. Her tumultuous journey of poor choices takes her from the church house, to the dope house, to the whorehouse, and eventually the jailhouse. Will this good girl lost f ind her way and redeem herself and her faith in God? The Baptist Junkie by Telishia Berry at


Photo by Karima Moore

God’s Timing

Photo by Reggie Anderson

What has your eyes? ~by Minister Tarnesa Martin

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…”(Genesis 3:6) Are you at risk for becoming this woman? This article focuses on a woman named Eve, whom I am sure many of us today can identify with. She was a woman that didn’t consider the consequences of her choices. Instead, she focused on the fulfillment of an “unhealthy” desire which lead her to believe the hype. She was the first woman on earth and the mother of all living things. She was her husband’s companion, his helper, the one who would complete him and share equally in his responsibility over creation. She was born with purpose, power and a plan. However, this was not enough. Eve was deceived into doubting God’s goodness. She had been misled to focus on the one thing she couldn’t have. She lost sight of the pleasurable things that God had blessed her with.

~by Lisa Mills

Psalm 91:16 (NIV) - With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. SIX MINUTES!!! I stood in the Kroger parking lot for six whole minutes while I thought to myself, “Now Lisa, c’mon you can do this. Where would you be if you were a green Toyota?” All I could think of was how just days before I started to buy some vitamins that claimed to support memory health but decided that I was much too young for such a purchase. But how right now, I would tear the cap off the bottle with my teeth and inhale a handful of them if I thought that they would help me find my car. Since I couldn’t seem to locate it in a reasonable amount of time and since people had begun to stare, I did what any self-respecting woman of almost forty years of age would do. I curbed my cart full of groceries and pretended to take an unexpected call on my cell phone as I also continued scanning the parking lot for my car! God is the giver of life. His desire for you and me is to live a long fruitful one. Although society sometimes paints an unflattering picture of aging, we know that the alternative is worse. To not age means to not be here and, yes, that is absolutely worse. The reality is that age accompanies the most beautiful things that this life has to offer. No one has the privilege of appreciating endless true love, a lifelong best friend, or an adoring grandchild without the gift of aging. Decide today to embrace your age. Live whatever number that you happen to be with great appreciation. You haven’t seen anything yet. Your best is yet to come!

Do You Have the Eyes of Eve? Eve became discontented, feeling sorry for herself because she could not share in God’s knowledge of good and evil. She went from being purposeful to pitiful, all because she wanted to be all-knowing. Had Eve trusted the plan that God had purposed for her life, she would not have fallen captive to “unhealthy desires.” We all have an unconscious desire to obtain what we want and forget to value what we have. We learn from Eve that we must consider the consequences of our choices. We must be prepared to confront opposition without compromising a woman’s worth. I recommend you make a list of your desires

and your needs. Evaluate “what has your eyes?”


to accept that some people won’t like it. Ever. That’s their problem – not mine.

e Fear g a r Cou of your it is not


Being afraid that it simply won’t be good enough. Usually when I have a feeling that my idea isn’t good enough, it’s because it’s not. That’s my own internal signal to go back to the drafting table and make it better. Once I have given it all I can, I must accept that it still might not be good enough.

g Rid ng in Spite of n n i t t e G nso lly Swa Jumpi dian Ke d Come about It’s


ker an

al Spea

ation by Motiv

Envision the fear realized. Often I will envision the worst case scenario. I will actually walk through that horrible ending I am so afraid of. And as painful as it is, I see myself surviving in the end. Now that I’ve faced it, I see it’s not so bad. Never let them see you sweat.

People ask me all the time if I’m afraid when I get up to speak and the answer is always yes. Fear is always part of the process. We just need to make it work for us instead of against us. Fear is not a weakness. Honor your fear. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re human. Courage isn’t about removing the fear, but jumping in spite of it. If you are going to wait to feel one hundred percent ready, then you are waiting for a day that will never come. Jump anyway. Make your dream bigger than your fear. Acknowledge why we often feel fear. Fear is a valid emotion given to us to help protect us from danger. Your brain says, “No. This doesn’t make sense. Don’t do it. Ignore your brain. Fight your desire to be like the others.”

The only thing worse than bombing on stage is admitting that you are bombing. I love it when George Burns said that if his joke didn’t get a laugh, he’d just pretend that it wasn’t supposed to be funny. If I show my discomfort, it makes the audience have a miserable experience. Keep your cool. Learn from the failure. Forgive yourself. It’s not in the failure itself where we fail, but in not learning from it. Failure is what taught me how to be good at what I do. Learn from it, and then forgive yourself. Try again soon. Get back up on that horse as soon as you can. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be. With each failure, you get stronger, and each jump comes easier. Remember that it’s not the most talented who succeed – it’s the most persistent. There are plenty of people in life who would have made it to the top but they quit too soon! About Kelly Swanson

When we are afraid of being different, we look around and copy those around us. Fight the desire to copy, no matter how comfortable it may seem. Face your fear. Define It. The first task is to uncover what you are really afraid of. You can’t embrace your fear until you define it. Being afraid that we will look stupid – and risk looking stupid anyway. Public speaking is one of the top five fears – I think even ranked higher than our fear of death. But I don’t think that it is speaking in public that people are afraid of, but rather looking stupid. I’m still afraid of looking stupid and I’m a comedian! Get used to acting stupid in front of people. You’ll learn it’s no big deal. Being afraid that our idea won’t work – and doing it anyway. That’s the thing about new ideas. We don’t know if they’ll work because they haven’t been tested. So go ahead and accept that it might not work. Commend yourself for trying. Trying new things means you have to allow for failure. Being afraid others won’t like it.

Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, and author of “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale?” from High Point, North Carolina. Her shows have charmed audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. For more about Kelly go to, find her on facebook (“funny motivational speaker”) Sign Up For Her 2014 Storytelling Master Class :

I wear this fear like a faded old coat. I can have an audience give me a standing ovation, and still I will be afraid that the next group won’t like it. I have


“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 O’Neil D. Swanson II Cremation packages starting at $595

Photography by Anne Savage

Photography by Bill Jones

3 of Flienot’us s Courag


Reverend Jessie McIntosh Reverend Jessie McIntosh is a native of Flint, MI and a graduate of Hamady High School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master ’s Degree in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. He is currently enrolled at Midwestern Baptist College in Auburn Hills studying for a Master’s in Theology. Reverend McIntosh has been ministering since 2011, and currently serves as an Associate Minister and Sunday School Teacher at Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle. McIntosh serves as President of the Board of Commissioners for the Flint Housing Commission, and is employed with Conway Menlo as a supervisor.

The Honorable Dayne Walling, Mayor, City of Flint, Michigan Dayne Walling is serving in his second term as the Mayor of the City of Flint. He is committed to bringing new jobs, making neighborhoods safe, and supporting great schools in Flint and across Michigan. Under his leadership, the City of Flint has adopted its first comprehensive master plan in more than 50 years.

Photography by David Lienemann

Mayor Walling serves on the Executive Committee for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and is Chairman of the national Manufacturing Alliance of Communities. Mayor Walling is an active member of Court Street United Methodist Church in Flint. He and his wife Carrie, a faculty member at Albion College, have two sons, and a dog named Bruno.

Bryant “BB” Nolden Bryant “BB” Nolden is a proud product of the Flint Community Schools, graduating from Flint Central High School in 1983, and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio in 1992. In 2013, Nolden graduated from the University of Michigan, Flint with a Masters of Public Administration in Education Administration. He is a teacher with Flint Community Schools for over 20 years, as well as the volunteer director at Berston Field House. Nolden is 3rd Ward Councilman and Vice President of the Flint City Council, and won the primary for the seat of 1st District County Commissioner.





~by Bishop Neal Roberson

Life can sometimes appear to have dealt one a bad hand, but we must understand that life isn’t a mistake; rather all things work together for the good of every individual that has discovered their purpose in life. One of the unique characteristics I discovered about my mother was that she always took time to show my sister the advantages of prayer. While she encouraged her to pray, she also told her that one day she would have a family and where money could not buy joy or peace, prayer would always prevail in any and every circumstance. She encouraged my sister to pursue the God given purpose for her life even when the odds were stacked against her because she was a woman. While, it seems a bit strange to make such a statement in 2014, the reality is that we live in a world that isn’t fair. After so many years of fighting for what is humanly right, it is important to remember that through prayer, women can and will prevail. Women today have been abandoned and left to raise their children alone. In many instances, we find that they end up working, taking the children to school games, cooking, cleaning, going to college, and the list goes on. Through all of this, prayer has helped women have stood the test of time and succeed in every area! Like my mother, it is my heart’s desire that women would discover their purpose and pursue it with every fiber of their being. One must remember that prayer isn’t an option in life--it’s a necessity. Either you discover it now or you discover it later. There once was an older mother who lived in Arkansas and she had three children, two sons and a daughter. This mother was a praying woman as she often prayed that one day her children would have the opportunity to further their education by going to college. When her daughter finally graduated from high school, she prepared to go away to college. However, before she left home in pursuit of her purpose, her mother prayed to God for one thing which was that God would bring her daughter back home safe after graduating from college. The daughter left and after four years she graduated from college. Everyone back home

Photo by Tony Trischler

was so proud and excited about her accomplishment and also because she had made the decision to head back home. The family headed to the airport with signs and banners awaiting her arrival. While they were waiting in the airport for flight number 221 to land, the attendant came on the public address system and announced that flight number 221 had just crashed. The family members awaiting her arrival were quite heart-broken, weeping and distraught because of this news. After a while, everyone noticed that Mother was missing. Subsequently, she was found in a corner at the airport on her knees in prayer. Mother was reminding God about what she had asked him prior to her daughter going off to college. Just then, an airport attendant tapped her on the shoulder and told her that she had a telephone call. When Mother got to the telephone, a voice on the other end said, “MOM, I MISSED MY FLIGHT.” This is what happens when women PRAY. Bishop Neal Roberson is the Pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Flint, Michigan and the CEO of Broken Chains Entertainment Music Group, Inc.



Courageous Woman Magazine September/October 2014 digital issue  
Courageous Woman Magazine September/October 2014 digital issue  

The inspirational magazine that highlights the accomplishments of extraordinary women and encourages women to live more purposeful lives.