Inspire One Magazine - The Women's Issue

Page 1

What She Really Wants

A Painful Past

LaToya Purnell Re-election Bid

Vol. 1 Issue 2 FREE

March-April 2019




Cancer of the Heart Health Relationships Education

The Women’s issue

Money & Finance Arts & Culture Politics

March - April 2019


Inspire One Magazine, Eastern Shore’s Newest Magazine for people of color created to help educate all communities about important issues within the community of color. The purpose of this publication is to Educate, Engage, and Energize our community to develop awareness and promote conversations on real issues. In addition, Inspire One hopes to promote unity, support and love within our community through each issue developed. Articles presented in the publication are intended to bring about awareness and education. We apologize if the information may be offensive to some but with the climate of our country we must become aware of issues that we face. If there are story ideas or potential issues that you feel need to be raised, please call 410-621-9378 or email us at Inspire One Magazine is published and distributed throughout Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties and Accomack County of Virginia. All content of this publication is the sole property of Inspire One Group and may not be reproduced in any form without written consent of the publisher, Inspire One Group. Opinions within do not always reflect opinions of the editor and publisher of Inspire One Magazine. Thank you for taking the time in reading our publication and we hope that you will become a support toward the product.


Cancer of the


Teresha Sutton photos by Aisha Butler Photography

Risk For A Black Mother page



1 Health 8 Education 16 Empowered Women of the Eastern Shore 30 Arts & Culture 34 Technology 36 Finance 38 Real Estate 39 Religion 42 Travel 44 Food 46 Relationships 50 Sports




Sexual Assault page 7

Children &


A good or bad combination?

page 35

Website: Email: Phone: 410-621-9378 Social Media: FB- @Inspire1Group

The Administrators page 10

The Reality of Leaving a Loved One in a Nursing Home page 46




A Survivor of Domestic Violence ♦♦♦ by Dr. Joni A. Kindell


n a journey of a very painful memory that happened over thirty years ago, I have not forgotten the torment of the name calling, beatings, and humiliation of living in fear. I pray that telling my story will save lives and empower others to speak out and to seek help before becoming a silent victim without vindication from those who have an unwelcomed power of abuse. While residing in Massachusetts, married to a man in 1979 until 1989 who for the better part of that time was an abuser who tried to strip me of my dignity through verbal, physical, and mental abuse. For seven years, I struggled through many unpredictable days of the marriage and tried to learn the triggers that would cause my then husband to hit me or call me names that were unbearable and certainly undeserved. I did not believe in divorce and wanted to save my marriage; I made an appointment for us to see a marriage counselor, and he was against such a meeting, but showed up. The session ended in disaster and he cursed out the therapist; she told

me that in many years of practice she had never met such a person as my husband. The therapist advised me to move on with my life because I deserved better. By the summer of 1986, I had enough and decided the time had come to end the mar-

ame c “...he ob and y j the to m n i d waite g lot in n parki 86 with a 19 June .” gun..

riage. After hitting me again and threatening to kill me; my husband was removed from our apartment by The Boston Police and was told that he had to take everything that belonged to him. My daughter and I had the support of the apartment manager, they changed the locks, and we went about

our daily routine. However, he had let none of this go, and by the time that reality set in; this apparently put him in a murderous state of mind because he came to my job and waited in the parking lot in June 1986 with a gun on the seat and told me he had come to carry out what he promised - to take my life. I will never forget that event because my life flashed before my eyes and all I could think about was my daughter and what her life would be like to live knowing her stepfather murdered her mother. I fought for my life and I called on Jesus to help me and He answered my plea. There is so much to what happened after that, but too much to reveal at this time. I was 32 years old with a teenage daughter, without family in the state, but I thank God that my supervisor along with several friends, my attorney, and a relentless female police Sargeant got me through the many challenges of the process. I share my personal story to bring the hidden and unspoken to uncover the truth that domestic violence occurs daily in many families; no one is exempt. Many women, children, and

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some men are living in silence because they blame themselves for getting their loved one’s upset enough to lash out against them physically and verbally. The harshness of the beatings and words spoken penetrates into the core of one’s soul and makes the recipient feel unlovable, unworthy, and a failure. These feelings often lead to depression, addictions, suicide, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and so many other emotional breaks in spirit. So many people pretend that all is well, they protect their abuser, try to cover up the scars, make excuses they are clumsy and that the bruises resulted from self infliction instead of telling anyone about what happened. I am tired of hearing the saying “that what happens in this house stays here...” this old cliche’ is no longer valid when people are being tormented and killed. Protecting an abuser and keeping secrets is unhealthy and promotes generations of cyclical domestic violence. By tolerating and rationalizing such behaviors escalates into involving others. There are no racial, economic, or educational barriers with the subject of

domestic violence; however, African-Americans are prone to increases and the numbers are not always reflective in statistics. As a people, we accept that abuse is the norm since for over 200 years victimized by societal ills; therefore, domestic violence seen as one more problem we have to live with. Dependent upon where one lives, the court systems are not always empathetic to the concerns of those who finally speak out they are being hurt at home. Unfortunately, many women and children have died unnecessarily because no one would come to their aid. The subject of domestic violence has become taboo for some people who want to pretend that this is not a growing public health crisis, but needs to be exposed because exemption does not apply. Abuse can touch the lives of Christians and those who are not; this affects those from clergy to members. Everyone should have a stake in helping those who are crying out for help in our churches, neighborhoods, schools, families, jobs, and from those who we may sense are being abused. Do not ignore this problem just because it is not happening to you, or is it? Abuse is more than physical and often people settle for verbal attacks by making excuses such as “that is just how they are and we have to accept and not challenge them...” This is unacceptable because power is given to the abuser and those victimized are avoiding instead of confronting the situation. Living with abuse affects so many parts of well-being that brings on adverse health, isolation from family, friends, and social events especially when the abuser requires their loved ones to get permission from them first. These behaviors are demeaning, embarrassing, and threatening by intentionally keeping those in a relationship as being inferior. The strongholds of these dominant abusers may also use finances to manipulate their victims into keeping silent. According to National Statistics for the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an “intimate partner that equates to over 10 million

men and women.” Of these, the report showed that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men victimized, but not always considered being “domestic violence”; abuse is occurring between people are in a relationship together. The extension of many of these violent acts escalated to homicide that led to 20% of the victims to be family members, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders. 72% of all murder-suicides involves an intimate partner; 94% of the victims are females. Domestic violence is ongoing and data also shows the impact on economics (8.0 million days lost in paid work each year, 21-60% of victims lose their jobs because of reasons connected to abuse). 1 in 15 children exposed to violence with 90% of them as eyewitnesses that causes many of them to adverse reactions. Domestic violence is too serious and dangerous for victims to remain silent and passive. Over compensating by victims in relationships allows the continuous cycle of giving into the aggressor’s pleas to forget what happened and to keep quiet, accepting gifts, and these controlling behaviors strengthens mistreatment. The portrayal of change is often temporary for selfishness by the abuser and after a short time they resume the abuse of beatings, ridiculing, isolating, and going beyond the boundaries that may lead to death. My prayer is that those who read this article will not ignore the importance of the topic on domestic violence and by seeking help and prevent tragedies. There is always an opportunity for healing, restoration, forgiveness and a reckoning for those who are hurting others and for those who are victims of abuse. Reconciliation may not always be possible for partners involved in abusive relationships; however, taking a step to change patterns of violence, communicating respectfully and receiving counseling may break the cycle of abuse for children in families who experience domestic violence and for future generations.

Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties Life Crisis Center Hotline: 410-749-4357 PO. Box 387 Salisbury, MD 21803

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How to Manage

DIABETES and Stay Active


whether it is type I or type II, is a lifestyle disease for which there is no cure in allopath. You can only manage it. If you do, then you can lead a long, healthy and active life. Many people afflicted with diabetes rely on allopathic drugs or injections to manage diabetes but ignore other aspects. This can have a snowballing negative effect on health as drugs can damage kidneys and other organs creating more complications. Instead, adopt lifestyle changes and implement recommendations listed.

Exercise and stay active

One side effect of diabetes is lethargy. Overcome it. Design an exercise plan like this: Go walking or cycling in the morning. This increases metabolism rate and you digest food better.

Never sit for hours on end. Get up at intervals of a half hour or an hour and walk, stretch and exercise for a few minutes. Take a walk after a meal, especially your dinner.

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Eat right

If you eat a heavy meal, it imposes a load and results in a spike in blood sugar levels. Try this: Eat small portions. Split food intake into five six portions spread throughout the day. This way you maintain optimum glucose levels. Eat more fiber. Avoid refined flour foods. Reduce use of oils and fats but do not eliminate them. Eat more green leafy vegetables. A lunch of salad and paneer or curds with lentils and a sprinkling of nuts gives you everything you need. Stop eating rice. Ayurveda says you must chew and liquidize food in your mouth for proper digestion. So, do the same. Avoid spicy foods. Sugar is a no-no. Try Stevia instead.

Yoga and Pranayam

Start your day with yoga and Panayam. In just six months you will experience a noticeable change. Your stress levels decrease and you attain equilibrium. Panayam should include at least 10 minutes of Kapalbhati and then Anulom vilom every day. Sleep 8 hours at night and avoid sleeping during the day. Drink plenty of water. Warm water infusion of ginger tea and mint is better.

Ayurvedic remedies

Ayurveda recommends a variety of herbs to control diabetes. Try any or a combination of these A mixture of turmeric and Amla powder with warm water twice a day keeps blood sugar level in control. Make it a practice to eat a teaspoonful of Triphala half hour before dinner. Soak a spoonful of fenugreek seeds and chew it in the morning with some jaggery. Make a decoction of Neem leaves and consume two teaspoonfuls each day in the morning. A half teaspoonful of turmeric, half a teaspoonful of cinnamon and honey mixed should be consumed to manage diabetes. Include bitter gourd in your diet every day or every other day. Note: If you are on medication please consume Ayurvedic herbs with care and under advisement since they can reduce blood sugar too much! You do not have to try all measures. Use your discretion and select the one that suits you the best.


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Risk for a


Black Mother


he centre for disease control (CDC) USA has revealed that black mothers are 4 times more likely to lose their babies than Caucasian women. Infants born of black mothers are at a higher mortality risk than infants of white mothers. This holds true even if the woman in question is educated, aware and lives a standard urban lifestyle highlighting that immediate poverty and lack of access to resources is not the only reason behind this phenomenon. Infant mortality and pregnancy complication statistics are frightening for black women. Higher Allosteric Loads of Black women That black women and babies are more medically vulnerable even when they receive a same amount of care and cautious precautions as white women, may seem inexplicable. However, when one considers the underlying stress of racial discrimination and generations of hardships that blacks have traditionally faced the reason becomes clear. The genes of black women are preconditioned to more severe reactions against stress and physical distress (both common side effects of labour and pregnancy). Medical research has proved that ongoing stress (at a certain elevated level) may disrupt the body’s natural defence mechanisms and cause inflammation all over the body besides suppressing the immune system. It’s natural that this overload of stress will affect both mother and baby and it has a name now “allo static load”. It’s found that black females have significantly higher allo static loads than white females and this puts the former at higher risk of succumbing to chronic diseases and

talking about ways to ensure better birth outcomes for women of afro American origins. Optimisation of a woman’s health before and during pregnancy is important if a critical birth outcome is expected to be achieved. Many programs similar to the successful Californian health program “Black Infant Health program” has been launched that work on mother infant health issues. Support groups of women, obstructions, psychiatrists, counsellors and peer groups who can provide emotional support and anxiety resolution by experience sharing and mental boosts are one of the best ways to counter this global issue. Sensitisation of the deeper emotionally scarring effects of racial discrimination amongst different ethnic groups and members of the society is an initiative worth considering.

Listed below are information guides to assist your pregnancy knowledge. Always consult your OBGYN or general physician before making any decisions during your pregnancy. increases the chances of death during labour and other pregnancy complications. A cohesive support system for black mothers Organisations across the world have been

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Nutrition During Pregnancy The Pregnancy Book St. George’s Hospital Book_comp.pdf Early Pregnancy Guidelines files/pdf-library/early-pregnancy-guidelines.pdf Your Healthy Pregnancy and Baby Care Guide pennsylvania/assets/pdf/health-andwellness/extra-programs/abhpa-baby-book.pdf

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Whom it Affects and How to Sarcoidosis Manage the Illness Journey with this disease


arcoidosis is one of the rare illnesses that can affect a minority of human population. Unfortunately, there is no cure. A patient can only manage it to reduce discomfort. Some are genetically predisposed and African-Americans are more vulnerable.

What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis happens when cells become inflamed and develop into granulomas. This can happen on the skin, in the eye, in the lymph nodes and in organs. It affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40 and women are more affected than men.


It is believed that Sarcoidosis is a response of the body’s immune system to allergen. Inhalation is the route that excites the body’s response. The immune system attacks body organs, and eventually it ends up in granulomas and swelling.


Symptoms depend on which organ is affected by Sarcoidosis. The most obvious symptoms are red bumps on the skin, a persistent cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms vary according to the organ affected. There may be no symptoms at all sometimes or only a couple such as shortness of breath and it needs X-ray diagnosis to confirm the condition.

Various conditions

Symptoms may develop suddenly and then subside within two months. They know this as acute Sarcoidosis. Symptoms may develop gradually over time and get worse to a point where it becomes severe and organ damage results. This is chronic Sarcoidosis. Early diagnosis and management increases chances of remission. • Lungs: Pulmonary Sarcoidosis causes shortness of breath and a persistent dry cough and pain in the chest. • Skin: Red bumps develop, swell and feel tender. There may be sores, and growth of nodules. This can happen on a few areas such as upper body and shins. • Heart: Chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue, arrhythmia, palpitation, swelling • Eyes: Redness, sensitivity to light, pain, blurred vision


Symptoms of Sarcoidosis are like those caused by various other diseases so it is difficult to tell at first glance. Diagnosis involves physical check, CT scans, X-rays, blood tests, lung function test and eye exam. Biopsy may be performed if deemed necessary to check whether it is Sarcoidosis or cancer.


Since there is no cure for this autoimmune condition they can manage it by early diagnosis. •Medication: they prescribe Patients corticosteroids, especially topical creams and eye drops followed by Methotrexate and Azathioprine. Other line of treatment may include Hydroxychloroquine for elevated calcium levels and tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors. •Severely damaged organs may give cause for an organ transplant. They recommend that when symptoms subside on their own medications should not be resorted to. Those with Sarcoidosis need to be careful and take precautions. They consider regular medical checks beneficial to know progress or regression. Depression is a common outcome of the disease and affected patients need to manage this with holistic practices like yoga (Veerbhadrasan) and family support. There are various associations such as the Lung Association that provide guidance and support. While skin Sarcoidosis is relatively benign, one needs to be careful to manage heart, lung and kidney Sarcoidosis to avoid long-term damage. Avoiding meatbased diet and switching to vegetarian, herbal based diet could help improve the situation.


If left untreated Sarcoidosis may cause scarring in lungs and make breathing difficult. Kidneys may eventually fail. Heart Sarcoidosis may lead to eventual failure. Eye Sarcoidosis may cause cataracts and glaucoma. Paralysis can result from Sarcoidosis of the nervous system.

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Sexual Assault


mmitt Till, the Central Park Five, the Groveland Four , any of our fathers, sons, nephews. All these men have the potential of being falsely accused of sexual assault. However, the harsh reality remains that for every Emmitt Till, there are thousands upon thousands of real victims of sexual assault. It’s more likely that you personally know a victim of sexual assault than it is

“67 percent of reported sexual assault victims are under 18 years old”

you know a man who has been falsely accused. Yes, unfortunately, even one person falsely accused as a predator is one too many but that in no way negates the fact that thousands of our men, women and children are being victimized. It’s time we have a transparent, honest discussion about sexual assault awareness and prevention. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, for every African American woman who reports being sexually assaulted, at least fifteen do not report. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 67 percent of reported sexual assault victims are under 18 years old, and 34 percent are under the age of 12. These numbers are both sobering and profoundly sad. It’s time to accept and admit, Houston, we have a problem. It’s time to admit that just as important as police brutality and profiling, wealth inequality, political gerrymandering, correctional justice reform and any other hot button issue to our community is the overwhelming number of victims of sexual assault. One has to wonder if in our well-intentioned quest to protect our black brothers from false accusations, we have sacrificed the most vulnerable members of our community at the altar of remaining silent. Perhaps, it’s just easier to tell ourselves it’s not true. Maybe, the sad reality of thousands of our men, women and children being sexually violated disturbs our psyche to the point that all we can do is look away. But, the fact remains, as we look away, more people continue to be victimized. April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and as much as we delight in all the wonderful accomplishments and milestones of members of our community, there comes a point where we must “take our own pulse”. If you see something, say something. Make it a priority to create an environment of open, honest discussion, stop blaming victims. Let’s be a people that puts the accountability squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, the Life Crisis Center, here in Salisbury, is here to help. Please contact them at 410-749-4357.You don’t have to suffer alone, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

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How to Improve Black Students Performance in Schools


he trend in America’s classroom has logical factors like family imbalance, incarcerchanged over the years and the chil- ation and violence, some stem from problems dren enrolled in public schools are within the school setting. A pattern emerges more culturally diverse. While Asian American where black students fall out of middle school, and Hispanic numbers have experienced a 20% high school and colleges as the number of those who enroll and those growth, there has been a who graduate vary. The 12% spike in the number of numbers are out there African American children Most black and black students get enrolling in schools (Bond, suspended or expelled 2015). The teaching patchildren at a high rate when terns adopted before would hail from compared to their white not accommodate the new culturally dynamism in high-poverty counterparts. Aside from this black students schools and therefore soluregions... witness a form of racial tions need to be sought to abuse in schools which make the system inclusive. increases their chances When compared to white children in schools, blacks are more vulnerable of dropping out or losing interest in the syswhen compared to mainstream students be- tem altogether. Most black children hail from high-povcause they lag in performance and attendance. The government and institutions that set the erty regions and this accompanied with a high curriculum and teaching environment need crime rate reported within these neighborto first analyze the numbers of black children hoods. Children from these regions respond in schools to find solutions to their failure to positively to and look up to successful individuals of color or even those in the position of perform. Analyzing the problem early enough in power.Therefore, when this strategy applied in their school years, black children’s perfor- schools, to recruit more teachers of color, the mance in schools is not as different as their outcome in performance may improve. There white counterparts. However, the problem is a need to create a balance in the teaching staff noticed later on as their test scores reveal how and even hiring principals/superintendents they struggle in performance (Dee, 2006). Al- are of color. Professor Thomas Dee proved this though some problems attributed to psycho- when his study, Tennessee’s Project STAR, ap-

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plied the random test of the student-teacher relationship. His study conducted within one year revealed that pairing students of the same race (Black) increased the test scores in reading and math by up to 4 percentile points (Dee, 2006). Teachers of color are more relatable and play a great role in acting as role models within learning centers. They not only create a positive vibe but also provide the psychological support that helps black students embrace school positively. More studies done show that the nurturing and support students get in schools help reduce cases of dropping out. Therefore, what this means is that black students can gradually improve and learn from both teachers and students that excel academically. Regardless of the color, African American teachers have to be qualified, skilled and experienced to handle the position someone hires them for. References Bond, B. (2015). ‘The Role Of Teacher Diversity In Improving The Academic Performance Of Students Of Color.’ Albert Shanker Institute. Retrieved from Dee, S. T. (2006). ‘Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment.’ The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 86 (1): p.195-210.

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EDUCATION child bullied because of their physical appearance or social background. At home, the low reported numbers apply and parents only know of half the cases when their child faces a form of bullying.



Definition ne of the most traumatizing experiences for a teenager or a child is bullying. For most people, bullying is a vice that should not be tolerated at all, especially in schools or even workplaces. Most bullying cases occur among kids in grade six to twelve, and only 28% of the numbers reported. They report that either a bully has faced a traumatizing event in their life, or just feel more superior to their victims. The result is always that the bully feels a high form of self-esteem or turn out to be an opportunist and social climbers. Therefore, it is not only physical or sometimes verbal aggression, but bullying may also involve the deliberate inclusion of a person from a group.

Who Experiences Bullying? According to the US government, a form of bullying in the workplace occurs when a person in a position of power deliberately use their position to undermine an individual because of their color, ethnicity or gender. I mostly bullying with the school environment, contrary to popular belief, bullying affects every person at some point in his or her life. In some workplaces, most cases of bullying go unnoticed. Most perpetrators are a male

and a reported 60% bully their colleagues are mostly of junior positions when compared to them. Unsurprisingly, 80% of the victims of the bullying cases are women who are sometimes threatened to lose their positions should the cases be made public.

In schools, younger children from grade 6-12 have experienced a form of bullying from their peers and this accounts for 28% of bullying cases in schools.Teenagers are bullied more and experience either physical bullying of a form of Cyber-bullying. With 30% of cases reported, teenagers are more secretive mostly because of peer pressure and the need to avoid a backlash. With reported cases dwindling, teachers only get to know about some percentage of bullying within the schools. At only 4% of known cases in schools, they mostly affect public institutions with a

What Makes a Bully and Who are the Victims? Bullies seek control, dominance, and complete charge of a territory, emotional appeal or favor. With bullies having an aggression, reactive or proactive, they normally have low empathy levels and low tolerance to forms of frustration. The victims become emotionally damaged; develop depression and anxiety. Bullying may also result in physical harm and there have been reported cases of suicide. They perceive most victims to be obese, underweight, gay/lesbian, children with a disability, children from immigrant families and those with a disability.

Solutions When a parent detects a case of bullying or suspects their child is being bullied, it is advisable to report to the school and try to monitor the situation closely. They have passed anti-bullying laws from 2015, with all 50 states passing strict regulations against bullying, including cyberbullying. Reference Stopbullying. (2019). Retrieved from https://

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Principal of the


trators. They are “graded” according to the rating their school receives. Webster’s defines value as the rate of usefulness, importance or worth. Plainly put, our values have changed in the black community. What once was important, education, the church and effort replaced by popular culture, status symbols and fame. When we devalue education or the role of the church in creating cohesive bonds within the black community, we are telling our children those entities don’t matter. When we raise them without self and familial respect, we send them into the classroom unable to properly navigate social interactions. State testing known as Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the national guidelines that public schools must adhere. Testing of students is necessary to determine the level of effectiveness of the curriculum however, when testing schedules or materials are stringent to the point

Children are a blank canvas that parents, caregivers, educators and anyone else that the child interacts with, will paint on.


hirty years ago, parents prioritizing the education of their children was commonplace. Chants of “how was school” or “get that lesson done” echoed to the children in their care. However, like most things in life, times have changed, and not always for the better. Inspire One recently sat down with four local administrators representing Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties and got their insights on the state of public education in the area, the challenges they face as school administrators and the current opportunities available to residents to “level the playing field” for our most important asset in improving our community, our children. While all but one woman felt a strong urge to pursue education as a career path early on, they each possessed a love for children that manifested in them working with children in education. Because of the wide range of experience in the interviewees, we could get a snapshot of how public education has changed in the Eastern Shore over the decades. According to the administrators, there are bevies of reasons children of color, in particular, face obstacles in getting a quality education. Not only are the challenges experienced by the children but also demands placed through federal and state guidelines on the adminis-

of being prohibitive to other avenues of learning, it can be very difficult for educators and the administrators tasked with meeting certain standards. Administrators carry the responsibility of maintaining an approved rating. School readiness is a major concern in local communities, especially among people of color. Parents must be cognizant that babies are not born with a predetermined set of expectations of what their life will be. Children are a blank canvas that parents, caregivers, educators and anyone else that the child interacts with, will paint on. An identity, values, expectations are all painted by the brush of what we spoke over and acted out in the child’s experience. The administrators are encouraging parents and caregivers to avail themselves of all the resources they have at their disposal. Ready At Five uses grants that offer disadvantaged parents an opportunity to expose their children to resources and events that increase their readiness for the beginning of school. Recruitment and retention of qualified educators of color are paramount to our children reaping the benefit of learning from others who look like them. Recruiting teams in all three counties travel extensively each year in an effort to get the best that our nation’s universities offer, however this is more difficult by the area not interesting to certain demographics as it might be to others. The administrators of color in all three counties have made it their mission to provide our children every advantage they can through immense obstacles. As a community, we need to support their efforts and see how we can assist the individuals who impart knowledge into our children.

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The Lack of Black Teachers


esearch indicates that there is a clear gap between students of color and their white counterparts when it comes to meeting educational goals and standards. One strategy that has successfully achieved results has been hiring more teachers of color that encourage more black students to stay in school. However, the number of black

83% of teachers in the US are white as compared to a significantly low number of black teachers, 7% teachers being hired is not enough when compared to the demand. Schools with black teachers experience positive results in standardized

tests done by non-whites and the attendance of black students is quite encouraging. So, why has the government failed in hiring more black teachers to improve graduation numbers among non-white and black students? Melinda Anderson in her article on The Atlantic interviewed Rian Reed a teaching graduate who identified as black on the reason why the numbers were dwindling instead of increasing. Reed explains the bias in the recruitment process where she failed to get an interview after applying to her school district and was not even considered for the teaching position.

The numbers could not lie because a whopping 83% of teachers in the US are white as compared to a significantly low number of black teachers, 7%. This is in contrast to the number of students in public schools where non-whites make up more than 50% of the number. Another alarming statistic is that of

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the 50%, black students enrolling in public schools are only 16%. It is no secret that black students prefer black teachers to gain motivation and encouragement to enroll in schools as compared to their white counterparts. Anderson also explains that black teachers relate more to students across all races as compared to white teachers. Still, the number of black teachers in schools is greatly hampered by various obstacles that may not necessarily be linked to the hiring process. The number of black teachers who leave their career as compared to white teachers is increasing each year. This is because most of them feel unappreciated or find better opportunities in the career trajectory and abandon the profession altogether. Looking at it from an inspiration point of view, there has been no serious programs aligned for black students early enough to encourage them to join the teaching profession. They lack role models and the fact that there are not enough black school leaders and motivators is a setback. Moreover, an increasing number of black teachers feel that the schools do not appreciate their impact and some are mistreated or even racially abused by their colleges/white students. To add to this, more teachers drop out as a result of the relatively low salaries for teachers and increased taxation for the procedure. According to The Education Trust, retaining black teachers in schools for a prolonged time requires a joint effort between superintendents, the government and school principals. First, there needs to be a proper strategy and pattern when placing black teachers in schools. This is because black teachers would prefer an environment where the number of non-white and black subordinate staff is higher as compared to a school with more white teachers. They would feel secure, motivated and less demeaned. Also, equal treatment goes a long way and it is not a smart move to assume that all teachers of color would automatically connect with black students. Providing a proper mentor and training to novice black teachers would help them settle and familiarize them to their teaching environment. Lastly, principals should encourage their staff

to openly engage in racial topics, discrimination, and equality, which would go along way to building trust. References Anderson, M.D. (Jan 2018). ‘A Root Cause of the Teacher-Diversity Problem.’ The Atlantic. Retrieved from archive/2018/01/a-rootcause-of-the-teacher-diversity-problem/551234/ The Education Trust. (2018). Retrieved from

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Segregation to Desegregation

Mrs. Nettie Hunt discusses the May 17, 1954 landmark Supreme Court decision ruling on segregation to her daughter, Nikie, age 3.

5 Decade Report Card


n the summer of 1954, the highest court in the land, the United States Supreme Court, handed down a ruling that would eventually change the landscape of racial relations and serve as a turning point for the burgeoning civil rights movement. Brown vs The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas, 347 U.S. 483, was a landmark historic decision that stripped away state sanctioned segregation in public schools. However, while laws foster equality and safety, they are not equipped to change the hearts and minds of a citizenry. That would require a shift in the collective conscious of a nation.While the court ruled that segregation violated the 14th Amendment, many states, including Maryland, fought to

stay tethered to a system of “de facto status quo”. It would take another decade from the high court’s ruling before desegregation made its way to Wicomico County. As students of the darker hue trickled into what was then Wicomico High School, the clarion call of change echoed in the dawning of a new day. The decades since that monumental decision by the Supreme Court would see social upheaval and unrest, yet many strides in the individual lives of African American families in Wicomico County. It is without question that integrating public schools on the shore and across the entire nation have been for the betterment of the black community and a society. Finally, receiving a semblance of equality, they would give black students access to the same opportunities as their white counterparts. In the five decades since Wicomico County implemented the mandate to integrate the public school system, African Americans have seen exponential

increases in college enrollment, post-graduate degrees and business ownership by minorities. Without a doubt, this led to blacks having more opportunities for academic and financial success in impoverished communities. However, change never comes without growing pains. Some in our community viewed the increased access to opportunity as “cultural assimilation” and steadfastly believed that the dark side of desegregation would one day rear its ugly head. One would think with all the integration and access rightfully given to blacks through legal rulings, the financial and academic gap between African Americans and their white counterparts would have shrunk tremendously since 1964. Many people falsely point to integration as a complete equalizing factor and dismiss the current systemic racism that still exists to this day in some factions. Even with all the progress made on limited fronts, research suggests that African American students nationally and in Wicomico County still lag behind their white counterparts. In a questionnaire compiled and given to parents here in Wicomico County, the overriding sentiment was that today’s schools are not equipped to give our children the tools they need to succeed. Some parents stated that although their children

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excel academically, schools do not recognize their efforts as readily as their white counterparts. Most respondents were not even aware of the resources available to assist students struggling either academically or behaviorally. Most respondents only interaction with the Board of Education involved addressing corrective behavior of their child or a child they knew. The data reflected little positive interaction between the school system as it pertains to the black community. In the words of one respondent, “ In Wicomico County, not enough effort is made in the schools for our children to see people who look like them”. The recent violence in area schools has been highlighted in the local media and this has left many parents and caregivers feeling as though their children are not safe in what they should deem a safe zone, the classroom. So the question remains: What has gone wrong? Perhaps a better question would be what mitigating factors have prohibited our community and by extension our children from experiencing the growth we imagined would be a byproduct of integration? While there are exceptions to every rule, most children excel when circumstances are ideal in the areas of home and school. Most people recognize that two supportive, encouraging parents, whether together, provide the most conducive environment to meet a child’s needs. Howev-

er, real life bears witness to the fact that most of life’s circumstances are not ideal. An uncertain economy, the breakdown of the traditional family unit, and changing societal norms have all played a substantial role in our community and the lives and future outlooks of our children. In the last fifty years, this country has not experienced a single decade where millions did not feel the financial sting of at least one recession or economic downturn. They thrust those who permanently live below the national poverty threshold into dire straits when the nation’s purse strings close even tighter. What once somehow met basic necessities has now become unreachable overwhelming burdens? The financial stress of parents transferred to the children, negativity impacting the child’s ability to focus at school due to hardships felt at home. And then the cycle begins, one academic step forward, two steps back. Single parents especially can

attest to the strain it puts on the family unit when the economy constricts and they leave the family vulnerable with no safety net. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) 42% of black children in Maryland raised in low-income families, compared to 18% of white families. It raises even more crippling to the family unit is that more than half of our children in Wicomico County in single-parent homes, usually the mother, with only a high school diploma, limiting the ability for financial progression or career advancement. Far too often in our community, we look to the media, society, popular culture, anything outside of the traditional stabilizing family unit seeking an identity. What once stood as pillars of the black community, the family and the local church, now viewed by many as antiquated relics with no real purpose or the propensity to be manip-

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ulated for individual gain. We have felt the impact the most by our black boys. Instead of graduating from the playground to the schoolyard to the college dorm, there is a slow migration from the crib to the juvenile facility to the prison cell. We lose right or wrong when financial access stymied by life circumstances and personal choices. It is clear from the current conversations on social media that the situation seems bleak. The public perception for a substantial amount of our community is that those in power do not care or even worse, have perpetuated the conditions our young people now find themselves in. We live in a world where the Facebook news feed has become the primary source of news gathering and more often than not, its stance skewed by the perspective of the individual generating the post. Instead of going to the source to assess what resources are available or what is the most beneficial plan of action for our children when difficulties arise, we scroll through social media and become angered by what we perceive as a racial injustice against our children and our community. Being transparent, sometimes a situation reeks with the stench of injustice or racial bigotry, however, we must remain engaged within the system to determine whether that is the case. Most teachers give wholeheartedly of themselves and their limited individual resources to provide our children with the best educational experience possible. However, that made more tenuous by the academic and behavioral issues of children not being addressed in the home and working with school officials or accessing available resources to ease the problems. When a child is disruptive or noncompliant in a school setting, it impacts their education, the effectiveness of educators, and it catches other students in the crosshairs of an issue not addressed where it ema-

nates from, the home. Fortunately, there are several resources available in Wicomico County to help families who need it the most. The Wicomico Mentoring Project, headed by Mark Thompson, is an on-site school-based mentoring program offered through the Board of Education of Wicomico County. The aim of the initiative is to foster a supportive, encouraging a relationship between a child and a responsible adult willing to be available to a child one hour a week. It could be as simple as a consistent weekly presence in the school cafeteria to talk and be a listening ear, telling the child what school was like for you, how you made it through difficult times in an age appropriate manner. Mr Thompson stated that he is confident more citizens would volunteer if they understood just how rewarding and impactful it is for the child and the adult. He urges willing participants to get in touch with the local schools admin teams or guidance counselors. The program desperately needs volunteers to supplement the rising need. Local faith-based groups have stepped up to the plate and while Mr Thompson is tremendously grateful, there are thousands of children enrolled in our local schools. We need more willing hearts and hands on the front line. He also is asking residents in the target zones of violence or low performance to call the school, speak to administrators and find out firsthand how you can offer help. Outside groups should attempt to form community gatherings where strategies can be most helpful for struggling families. While the Wicomico Mentoring Project is accessible to any child enrolled in grades K-12, there are other local school-based programs such as Kids Klub, which is an after-school program in seven local elementary schools. While there is a

fee, they can use child help resources to cover the expense. The Birth to Five program in Wicomico County is a family centered, community-based program that helps families with children experiencing developmental delays or have the potential to exhibit delays. Using a holistic approach, involving the caregivers, it’s a graduated step-by-step program which gives each serviced child the most advantage preparing them for the beginning of their school life. We can find any contact info on the programs listed on the Board of Education website, by googling the program or by contacting your local school to get additional information. Proactive parents working in collaboration with the school system provide our children with the best chance at success.You are your child’s best advocate. Remain engaged, have a regular dialogue with your child’s teachers, educate yourself on all the resources available to you and your family, consider teaching life skills to the younger generation, mentor, volunteer. Get in the game! Let’s make it a priority to instill respect in our children, sending them into the classroom exhibiting the same level of respect we expect from them. Things change, society has evolved since that summer in 1954, fluctuations are a constant, but one thing remains the same: you get out what you put in. Our children are worth every investment, every bit of time, sweat and tears we pour into them.

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HOLLAND “She readily admits that she would not experience the success she does today without God,...”


ifferent avenues have led her to this road. Even before starting at Cedar Chapel, she worked in educational environments that included inclusive settings, co-teaching, and a middle school. When the opportunity to join Cedar Chapel arose, she admits having been nervous because of the overwhelming needs of the children. Being in the classroom at Cedar Chapel, seeing that all children, whether non-verbal, cognitively limited, teeming with self-awareness or not, all children want to be loved, noticed and understood, allowed the initial fear and hesitancy to dissipate and connections to blossom. Mrs. Holland’s perspective of her students is grounded in their immense capabilities rather than their limitations. She readily admits that she would not experience the

success she does today without God, always inviting him into every moment of her day, whether challenging or cheerful. Forming a prayer group at her school, she respectfully acknowledges that while everyone may not view faith as their sustaining force, the invitation is always open if they would like to join in the prayer the group holds every Monday. As amazing as it was on a personal level to have her efforts publicly recognized, her greatest takeaway from the TOY award was the remarkable impression it left on her teenage son. She feels that this has empowered him, seeing his Mom, a person of color make history in being the first to achieve this honor in Worcester County. Anything is attainable with hard work. Teaching any child is never a simple task. However, teaching children with special needs is not for the faint of heart. With em-

pathy, Mrs. Holland believes that extended mentorship programs could greatly assist new teachers, already under immense pressures. Her own mentor, Mrs. Brooks, is someone she enjoys an encouraging relationship to this day, also encouraged her to go back to school. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. From Inspire One and the entire community, we salute you, Karen Holland. For going in the trenches every day, for being open and loving with our children, for being willing to do whatever it takes to get each child you encounter to a place where they feel seen, heard, loved, we say thank you.

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EMPOWERED WOMEN OF THE SHORE vehicle to getting to the most authentic version of ourselves, the challenges and opportunities of being a small business owner and the legacy she wants to leave from not only this venture, but all those still to come. Starting from a viewpoint that fashion

Dee Copeland


the right hands, with the right heart, we can use anything to help others bring about a transformation in their lives. Take the online boutique, My Naava Soul, for example. My Naava Soul offers women the opportunity to supplement an already established sense of fashion or explore new avenues with several items. From the understated yet fun and comfy basic styles and prints to the over the top, bold jumpsuits, every woman can see a

version of herself at My Naava Soul. At first glance, it’s all about the fashions.Yet, dig a little deeper, and you’ll soon discover that the owner has mandated a personal mission to highlight not only the different kinds of beautiful while championing the beauty that seems elusive to so many, the kind that never fades. I recently sat down with Salisbury’s very own Dee Copeland and listened as she extrapolated her views on why fashion is a remarkable

“Dee has learned to use her God given gift of communicating grace to encourage.” should reflect all the diversity of life itself, Dee has purposefully chosen models of all colors, shapes and sizes to model her wares. She is adamant that any of us, all of us are much better versions of ourselves than we could ever try to be someone else. The purpose being to enable women to grow comfortable in their own skin, while still appreciating the skin of the next woman. Rather than a weekend road trip, this destination is only reached through a lifelong journey. Her cause, if you will, is to help women discover the mastery inherent in their individual bodies. In her own words, masterpieces are by their very nature unique. That’s exactly how Dee feels God has created each of us and her prayer is that we start to view ourselves in that same light. My Naava Soul launched 2 years ago, when Dee decided to “not play it safe”, step out in faith and walk into the vision birthed in her heart long ago. While she loves all things fashion, she embraces her role of a trauma therapist during the day at the Life Crisis Center. With a seemingly effortless penchant for assisting others to draw out that which keeps them emotionally stuck, Dee has learned to use her God given gift of communicating grace to encourage. She feels it’s essentially important, especially for women, to think outside of the box and use all of their combined gifts and talents to bring forth the change in themselves, their sphere of influence and the world around them to bring about the positive impact they want to see. This journey has not been without its challenges and Dee quickly realized that business ownership could be a two-headed monster. Fashion, picking out the perfect outfit with

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cute accessories to match comes naturally to this five foot dynamo, but, the actual business side of business is a horse of a different color and one must educate themselves on the intricacies of marketing strategy if you are to survive. In the ever changing multi plethora world of women’s fashion, the prospective customer is never without options for shopping. Business owners, especially the small business owner, must be savvy enough in this social media age to corral business away from the firmly established giants, who can buy in bulk and sale for a cheaper rate. The last few years found her having to learn about SEO, social media marketing strategies and trying to stay ahead of the curve in order to remain a viable option for potential customers. While all this can be daunting for someone essentially doing it alone, her strong faith in God and the vision he has for her journey has sustained her throughout the periods of wilderness. Even in the seasons of wilderness, Dee has shifted her focus from spotlighting the difficulties she faces to leaning more into the Lord as the ultimate source of her strength. As a faithful fixture at Emmanuel Wesleyan here in Salisbury for over a decade, Dee sees this new venture as more of an opportunity to let “God be God” and her sincere prayer is to walk out her faith in business ownership, as a ther-

apist, in everyday living.You can’t get the fruit without planting the seed and Dee has worked tirelessly to grow her business. This in particular, led to another caveat which the owner did not expect: what if her real purpose in starting My Naava Soul was actually the foundational platform to spread her message of the discovery of inner beauty? What if her real message was bringing to the forefront we do not tie real beauty to clothes or accessories or fashion seasons but the ability to walk into one’s authentic self? Dee has expanded her mission and is launching an online blog along with a YouTube channel to highlight the epicenter as she sees it, for real beauty. Not trying to recreate what beauty is, just expanding its circumference. Her Beauty Is Campaign does exactly that. In the spring, over Mother’s Day weekend, My Naava Soul hosts an event at the Centre of Salisbury, right outside of Macy’s department store. The campaign, in its simplest form, is an opportunity for loved ones to memorialize living mother’s day cards, to “write out” the beauty they see every day of the year in their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, etc. Walking in purpose is not without work, sometimes difficult work, hard work. While Dee will readily attest to the fact that every day has not been an easy one, she also will quickly relate that My Naava Soul has been enriched by putting in the work, day after day. If not for the daily grind, she might not have figured out the true purpose. Hard work and sticking it out when success seems far off in the distance is part and parcel of the legacy she wants to leave to her son, Madison. While monetary

gain would be great, it can fleet but an awesome work ethic is not quickly given away. Dee wears many hats, but the one of quitter will never fit. Finish what you start, take a chance, be willing to step out of your comfort zone to experience success that has been carved into the mission statement of her personal journey. In this day and age of a prodigal son “give me my portion now” mentality, hard work and waiting on God’s timing seems counter cultural. It deems anything less than overnight success is a failure in the eyes of the world. But maybe this small business owner is showing us that the soil of perceived adversity is actually sprouting up gardens of opportunity if you are willing to put in the work required and remain faithfully connected to the one real source, God.What first appeared as a “passion for fashion” was the vehicle to drive home the impetus for real lasting beauty, acceptance of one’s self exactly how God created you and discovering the beauty you’ve been clothed in all along. Keep your eyes open in next several weeks for upcoming projects from Dee Copeland such as the launch of her blog and the eagerly expected YouTube channel. Want something fun and different to do for that special lady for Mother’s Day? Come on out to the Centre of Salisbury on Saturday, May 11th. My Naava Soul will host the 2nd Annual Beauty Is Campaign. Don’t forget to bring Mom!

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lives by, deep-rooted in her faith. She desires to see more economic growth in Snow Hill and believes the path is through new businesses with the ability to offer more jobs. Instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining about the efforts or lack thereof of others, this young lady has decided to “get in the game” and actively be the change she wants to see. Because of her apparent outgoing nature, she can communicate on a level understood by both the young and the seasoned. However, she realizes that not everyone will readily embrace



undits on every major network referred to 2018 as the “Year of the Woman”. It forever changed the political landscape when a record number of women were elected in our nation’s midterm election in the fall of 2018. However, even before that, in a quaint little town, nestled on the Pocomoke River, a year prior, a 27-year-old African American woman was making some history of her own. Prompted to run for office to ensure a level of diversity, Latoya Purnell became one of the youngest members of the Western District City Council. She fondly recalls the immense support she received from the mayor and the council at her election. A youth Pastor at Leading Church Transformation Ministry, Latoya has a heart for the young people. One of her major goals in

pursuing public office was to give a voice to her generation and show them positive change is possible if you work together. That’s not a narrative often attributed to millennials in the public eye, however, this young lady seems determined to chart a course to bring about necessary change. A 2005 graduate of Snow Hill High School, Purnell states she knew very little about the inner workings of government before joining the Western District City Council. That alone serves as an encouragement to someone who might consider public service as a career path. People often say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and LaToya is personally acquainted with God. She believes that God equips each of us with gifts for the edification of His kingdom. In her own words, one of her gifts is the ability to encourage and spur young people into action to be a positive force. Though the road to change is never an easily walked one, Ms. Purnell is emphatic that none of us have to walk it alone. Her willingness to be transparent and open to other ideas ensures the voters of Worcester County that they have elected someone to speak on their behalf who really cares. Wise beyond her years, she understands that sometimes, to do the most good, it needs compromise. With no sense of entitlement, she readily admits to wanting to reach across the aisle and find common ground. However, she is adamant to never compromise the values she

“She believes that God equips each of us with gifts for the edification of His kingdom.” change. While she does not share their sentiment, she believes that the best way to keep the lines of communication open is a willingness to listen to those who you think has an opposing point of view. Along with serving on the Western District City Council, she currently works as a bookkeeper for the Worcester County Board of Education. This young lady serves as a role model to the young people that if you keep pursuing positive things, positive things will keep pursuing you. Her faith also allows her to standalone when the going gets tough and she admits sometimes the members of the Council have the hand to standalone when their decisions were not popular. While that is not a great feeling, she accepts that with a spotlight comes an enormous amount of scrutiny. As her first term draws to a close, and she pursues reelection in May 2019, she strongly believes the integrity with which she fulfilled her office will have the opportunity to complete the mission she came to do: bring people together for the betterment of everyone.


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Doncella S.


helps encourage others to move forward with their education, if they feel that’s the path they must walk. Wilson, a main figure in The Key’s Foundation (an organization that comprises several organizations who have come together to work towards several common goals). She has helped organize and head 100 Men of Distinction, 100 Ladies of Elegance, 100 Youth on a Move, The Key’s Foundation African American Boys College Tour, and The Key’s Foundation African American Boys Conference. Each event powerful in being able to show love and empower others. Having the will power to understand that it’s not just about her in this walk of life, but her true purpose is to be an asset to her community. To fight for the people who are afraid, don’t know how, or just won’t use their voice. In 2015, Wilson appointed by Governor Hogan to the Uninsured Employers Fund Board, volunteers on the Equity in Excellence Committee for Caroline County Board of Education, volunteers on the Wellness Coalition and the Mental Health Advisory Committee with Caroline County Health Department, and she is the Vice-President of Caroline County Tuckahoe Habitat for Humanity, Inc., a member of the Caroline County NAACP, and the Auxiliary with the American Legion Mannie Scott Post 193. She credits her success and demeanor to the foundation that her parents William & Phyliss Wilson provided.

A Moment with Doncella S. Wilson


by Jaabari Aatami

oncella S. Wilson has over fifteen years of experience she brings to the table in the Human Service Profession. She is an Eastern Shore native (Queen Anne’s County), also current resident and council member of the Town of Denton, Maryland. Wilson’s day involves time in several organizations, groups, boards, and committees and showing that a life of service can be very rewarding. The President of Fireflies Denton, she has created a lot of connections, networks, and programs through her community work which stretches across the Eastern Shore. Having an Associate’s Degree from Chesapeake College in Human Services. A Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Salisbury University in Social Work. Wilson leads by an example showing that there is no excuse to accomplish higher education goals, especially when you have local institutions as resources to take advantage. Being an example

“I often think back and say that I don’t have the right to be tired or the right to only work within my community and not seek the change in all communities.” Watching them work as a partnership, treating people fair and kind has followed her through all her endeavors. Now we take the time to have questions and answers with Ms. Doncella S. Wilson. Questions & Answers 1: What’s your name and current title? Doncella S. Wilson, LMSW, Councilwoman for the Town of Denton 2: What made you get involved in what you do? I got involved in what I do because I have always had a love for the community and people. I’ve always wanted people to be successful by their definition. 3: What motivates you to keep moving forward? Motivation to move forward comes from working with young people, knowing they are watching my every move, keeps me motivated. It also comes from other community leaders who continue to challenge me to keep doing some of the most difficult task.

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4: Out of all your accomplishments, which one sticks out? The accomplishment I am most proud of is completing my college Degrees and becoming a Licensed Social Worker. 5: Who is a person who inspires you? and Why? I don’t have one person who inspires me; I am inspired by our Ancestors resilience, and I often think back and say that I don’t have the right to be tired or the right to only work within my community and not seek the change in all communities. 6: What if any are some projects you’re working on? Coalition for Justice for Anton Black (Police Reform and changing Laws) 100 Ladies of Elegance, African American Boys College Tour, African American Boys Conference, Mental Health Awareness Campaign. 7: What’s your favorite quote? “When you learn teach, when you get give”--Favorite Quote-Maya Angelou 8:What inspirational words would you end with for the readers? Inspirational Quote: My message to young people and old alike, “is to listen and continue learning,”. “Being the loudest person in the room doesn’t make you the leader”.

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he opioid epidemic and related challenges such as mental illness, poverty, and trauma can be exhausting and demoralizing. How to find wellness in the storm-where to find hope? Fortunately for the Dorchester County residents, they have an individual that exhibits the compassion and care and strength to guide them through the storm. Ikeia Cornish works for the Dorchester County Health Department as the Opioid Misuse Prevention Program (OMPP) Coordinator and the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Specialist. “Substance abuse hits to the core for me,” she notes. “I am a child of a parent in longterm recovery. My mother suffered with an addiction for four years. It disrupted our entire lives-it turned my entire world upside down. I went from a gifted and talented student to failing all subjects. I wasn’t offered any counseling. Everyone ignored all my self-­ destructive behavior not realizing how I was acting was not who I was. I was acting out, and I felt abandoned. I was hungry a lot of nights. I didn’t feel safe and nobody came to rescue me. My mother and I were close, and I was hurting. My mother went to treatment and successfully worked the program. I only turned it around because my mom turned it around.”

“I felt abandoned. I was hungry a lot of nights. I didn’t feel safe and nobody came to rescue me.” It has affected Ikeia’s children, Destiny (age 18) and Andre (age 19) in different ways. “My son Andre lost his father to an overdose in 2016, and I adopted Destiny, whose biological mother was an active addict.” Andre is a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as a Psychology major with a concentration in addiction, and Destiny is a senior at Cambridge-­South Dorchester High School planning to pursue a career as a social worker after graduation. “We all have been through something and the three of us have stood together.” Ikeia’s passion is young people. “What I’ve always wanted people to know is, there are chil-

dren in our communities that nobody is paying attention to. These children who show up in schools and other places with certain behaviors are getting labeled and ignored. They are hurting. They need us.” From April 6 through 27, 2019, Wellness in the storm presented by The Dorchester County Opioid Intervention Team, New Day Campaign, and Dorchester Center for the Arts-and with the goal of engaging the Dorchester County community on the opioid epidemic and related challenges-Wellness in the Storm is all about stories. Two sections dedicated to the Opioid exhibit are the front gallery and the remaining spaces in the building. The front gallery displays, a photo essay created by Peter Bruun (founding director of the New Day Campaign and curator of this exhibition) with photos by Phylicia Ghee that illuminate inspiring personal stories from within Dorchester County. The remaining spaces, artists from across Maryland share art and words on their own experiences with addiction, mental illness, and trauma-how they find wellness in their own storms. Anyone interested in more details about this project can visit the project website

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Cancer of the

HEART by Teresha Sutton

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hile setting in church during Sunday morning worship I heard these words, “Cancer of the Heart”. I became overwhelmed as tears uncontrollably flooded my face in fear of what God would say next. Thoughts began to run in my mind like a marathon, I kept pondering;

Anger and bitterness had taken root in my heart and was metastasizing rapidly.

and continual disappointment, nothing could penetrate that awesome cavity, the heart. Not only did I block God, but I was completely resistant to what God wanted to do. Thankfully, God waited patiently for me to open and receive Him in my heart. As I welcomed Him, He readily rid me of everything that was not like Him. It was then that the LOVE of God captivated my heart. I could no longer afford to let the cares of this world, envy, jealousy, hatred, bitterness, discord, in-

justice, etc. take root in my heart. Confrontation is paramount, you must do it TODAY, or it may kill you TOMORROW! Cancer of the heart cannot be treated with traditional medicine. Unforgiveness can only be treated by forgiveness. We must deal with it by going to God first and confessing our faults to Him. We then wait for His instructions on when and how to proceed. As we obey, the healing process begins. I am now FREE to BE!

“Cancer of the heart”? Now, wait a minute God, in 2014, You healed me of breast cancer, so stuttering, I quietly asked once more,” What are You telling me?” I prayed for a revelation of what He was saying. Shortly thereafter, again the voice said to me; “Cancer of the heart is an aggressive form of unforgiveness”. How is it that families can go weeks, months, and even years without speaking to one another? When did it get to the point that we can’t stand our siblings or parents, or one another? What happened to friendships? Why are we arguing? What have we allowed to invade our hearts? The words that come out of our mouths are synonymous with what’s in our heart. (Matthew 15:18, 19). Anger and bitterness had taken root in my heart and was metastasizing rapidly. By this time, I knew I had to confront my “it”. As a believer, I knew that some things only come out through fasting and praying, (Matthew 17:21) and thus my journey began of letting God show me how to flush my heart. My prayer was, “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew THE right spirit within TERESHA.’ He so badly wanted to reveal Himself to me, but I was more concerned about protecting my heart rather than flushing it. I was so busy trying to guard against hurt, pain,

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HARRIS ditionally, being intentionally mindful of the ability she has to inspire others with her vocal gifts. Music is the universal language that cuts across all barriers. God has blessed her with a ministry that enables her to touch the hearts, minds and souls of those who experience her craft.


hile family legacies may provide an established platform to showcase one’s own abilities, it does not come without its challenges. To fly away from the nest, and eventually soar to one’s own heights, you have to step out of a shadow of what came before. Toneisha Harris has done exactly that. Music is in the DNA of this vocal powerhouse just as much as any physical attributes she inherited from her family. Not, simply a byproduct of her musical pedigree, the world famous Veney Gospel Singers, it exposed her to gospel music from the time she was born. With the advantage of reflection, granted only by time, she can now fully embrace

“God plants a seed and gives provision, however, each of us is tasked with the responsibility of developing and maintaining that seed in order for it to reach fruition.” and appreciate her musical and spiritual roots. Understandably, she felt the attachment made in the minds of others would create an unrealistic bar she thought was unattainable. With a perspective gained only through toils and tears, she now is grateful for the grounding her upbringing provided. Having such a closeknit family allows her to have a wide circle of support and encouragement in her individual musical pursuits. Many a vision gets muddled by not having a defined “why”. Toneisha credits her family, specifically her husband and their children as one of the main reasons she can continue on this journey regardless of the trials. The desire to leave a legacy of her own, a lasting impression on them motivates her to keep going. Ad-

While many believe the path to success is laid by bricks of careful planning and determination, Toneisha states that her desire to be in the music industry was organically birthed from a willingness to follow a calling she felt placed on her life by God. Any artistry requires a “pouring out” of oneself. Many artists all over the world have found themselves ensnared by the trap of seeking a refilling in unhealthy ways. Popular culture filled with tragic tales of beloved artists choosing a wrong path or lives cut short in a quest to get back the parts of themselves sacrificed on the altar of entertaining the masses. Toneisha has

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learned the secret of not losing yourself is to stay connected to your “refilling station”. For her, that means having periods of solitude with her thoughts to re-center back to the core or essence of the woman God created her to be. Her second home is Quantico, Maryland and provides the quiet serenity necessary to refill her tank. Covering the music of other artists is commonplace in the music industry, and Toneisha does this brilliantly, making each rendition her own. Starting from respecting the integrity of the original version, she masterfully adds her own flair and invites the listener on a new journey they were not expecting. Having musical abilities the likes of which Toneisha possesses is a gift given only by God. Being given the stewardship of the gift is not a matter which she takes lightly. Appreciation and gratitude enables her to constantly seek ways to stretch herself vocally and artistically. A great artist in any genre understands that because of the arts, they will never master the melody. God plants a seed and gives provision, however, each of us is tasked with the responsibility of developing and maintaining that seed in order for it to reach fruition. This is a constant, ever-evolving process. She states that it’s important to maintain good mental, physical and emotional health, as all these areas impact gifting. We live in a talent and gifting obsessed world. Unfortunately, many cannot tell the difference between the two. Fortunately for Toneisha, she realizes that what she has, while developed by mentors like her mother and aunts, originally given and sustained by God. In her opinion, it assigns more value to the hard work inherent in talented individuals, however, too often this overlooks the gifts freely given. Maybe the same level of appreciation is hard earned because people view it as somehow easier. Nothing could be farther from the truth but Toneisha feels that regardless of whether talented or gifted, or even talently gifted, everything and everyone has a place to bring glory to God’s kingdom. This young lady is definitely using all of her gifts to do just that. Gaining a personal relationship with God for herself, allowed her to

operate out of her anointing and it shows. While she enjoys all kinds of music, gospel has her heart. In her words, gospel will always be relevant because the message never changes. The gospel always brings good news, it’s not dependent upon the times. The ministry of gospel music sets it apart. If Mrs. Harris is any sign, the gospel industry is definitely in good hands!

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graduating with her Associate’s in Hotel Restaurant Management. The next stop was the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, known for its standout culinary program, receiving her Bachelor’s in 2011. During this time, it would test the future chef’s mettle when personal issues culminated in her being incarcerated for drunk driving. When she left school for a semester to recalibrate her life, she knew t’s not possible to go through life withthat this was not her destination, just a detour. out experiencing some kind of adversity. Stating that “quitting was not in her DNA, What separates those who succeed from Tosha dusted herself off, remembered who those who do not is one thing: perseand whom she was, and fought her way back verance. Salisbury native, LaTosha Bateman up again. With a refreshing degree of transis a shining example of why your past does parency in this current age of appearing pernot get to determine your future, you do. fect and without fault, Born in Salisbury Tosha embodies the noand reared by a that life can still be “Tosha dusted herself off, tion doting and beloved beautiful and lived out grandmother, ‘To- remembered who and whom loud, mistakes and all. sha’ realized early One of her passions is that she had in- she was, and fought her way being a role model for herited the ‘cook- back up again.” those in our communiing gene’ from her ty to share her message grandmother. Many of ‘keep fighting and days spent underfoot, watching the elder never give up’. If you want something in display mastery in the kitchen, the seed was this life, work hard and never stop learning. planted to follow in her footsteps. Success is not a destination, it’s a journey. Ms. Bateman recently became the ExWhile her current position as an Executive ecutive Chef at Bayleigh Chase, a retirement Chef brings her much joy and satisfaction, community in Easton. Set against the backher ultimate goal is to be the proprietor of drop of beautiful scenery and lushly appointed her own restaurant or food truck, right in landscapes, this 35-year-old culinary servant the heart of the town that has embraced her works her magic, overseeing the preparations with open arms, Easton. As busy as this young for nearly 600 meals daily. Although she inilady is, she still finds time to travel to exotic tially gained her “cooking chops” from her locations, recently returning from some well grandmother, Tosha received her formal trainearned ‘fun in the sun’. And let’s not forget ing in the culinary arts, first at Wor-Wic Tech,

about the music, she’s a local DJ, performing under the moniker DJ Tosh. But her first love will forever be cooking. It’s her personal therapy, providing delicious, nutritious meals to others is definitely her love language. It’s obvious that this young lady has a very bright future. While the highest echelons in the culinary world continue to be dominated by men, Ms. Bateman has carved out her own niche, in her own way, through all the ups and downs, letting us all know anything is possible, if you believe in yourself.


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FAIR BURKS by Linda Duyer


erhaps Salisbury, Maryland, ought to find a new way to honor the late Dr. Mary Fair Burks. That force of nature graced this city; she apparently graced a lot of places. Burks came to UMES, then called Maryland State College, in 1960, after having been pressured to resign from Alabama State College, in Montgomery due to her high profile Civil Rights activism during the bus boycott there (1955-56). Burks had been close friends with Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King and sought their assistance in finding work. It is believed Martin Luther King successfully helped get Burks the position at UMES; he had spoken the year before at the school’s commencement and knew Maryland State President John Taylor Williams. She was born in 1914 to Gustavus “Gus” Samuel and Ollie (née Williams) Fair. During the 1930s, she challenged the Jim Crow system of segregation by insisting on using white-only elevators, rest rooms, and other facilities in what she later called “my own private guerrilla warfare.” She received her B.A. in English literature at Alabama State Co llege and later her M.A. from the University of Michigan. She returned to teach first at a high school and then at the college. She married a high school principal, and she later earned her doctorate in education at Columbia University.

But the above does not begin to fully describe her education. She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Oxford University and St. Peter’s College in Oxford, England, Harvard University, Middlebury College, University of Indiana, University of California, and Tele Aviv, Nairobi, Tokyo and Yale universities. She received fellowships from Amherst College, Columbia University, and the University of Indiana. She obtained a wide range of grants. And she advanced her scholarly work by travels to Egypt, China, Japan, Israel, Africa, Greece, Russia, Italy, England,

“Little did those of us who knew Martin Luther King, Jr. and worked with him dream that a young, 25-year-old unknown minister of a small unknown church in Montgomery would one day transform a nation...” Switzerland, and Holland. Phew! Notably, she created the Women’s Political Council which she led from 1946-50, and she described the council as “the outgrowth of scars I suffered as a result of racism.” Her work there laid the foundation for the bus boycott. She published numerous literary works listed as 10 articles, 42 monographs, among

others. She contributed to the book titled Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1941-1965, ed. Vicki L. Crawford, Jacqueline Anne Rouse, and Barbara Woods (1990), contributing the section, “Trailblazers: Women in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.” She was a professor of English at UMES for 26 years before retiring in 1986. Upon arrival to the Eastern Shore, Burks quickly got involved with her community and lived in Salisbury. According to the obituary when she died in 1991, she had been a correspondent contributor to the Daily Times and was apparently outspoken in interviews. In 1986, she contributed a lengthy and insightful article in the Daily Times, on the occasion of the first national holiday honoring the memory of Martin Luther King, writing about her earliest memories of King in his early days before becoming a minister at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where she had been a member. Wrote Dr. Burks, “Little did those of us who knew Martin Luther King, Jr. and worked with him dream that a young, 25-year-old unknown minister of a small unknown church in Montgomery would one day transform a nation and influence world opinion so that ‘We Will Overcome’ would become a second national anthem.” As an example of her contributions to the Daily Times, is her column “Whimsically Yours.” In her 1987 article, she reviewed the book Hold On, Mr. President by Sam Donaldson, the White House correspondent for ABC. She noted, “After reading the book, I decided that Donaldson is a darn good reporter, but a lousy writer.” Later in the article she added, “I don’t mean I didn’t like the book.

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It just wasn’t worth the price,” though she conceded that he did shed light on the presidency and about television journalism. The title of her article says it succinctly, “Hold On, Mr. Donaldson,” a funny rebuke to the book title. In 1988, she was asked to join the National Advisory Board of the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta at the invitation of her longtime friend Coretta Scott King. A 1989 article in the Daily Times describes how she was one of three judges for a creative writing contest for seniors on “Why Maryland is Beautiful to Me.” The other judges were Betty Gardener and Mel Toadvine. She was reportedly “active with and occasionally held office in the Wicomico Historical Society, the NAACP, the American Association of University Women, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Salisbury and Professional Women’s Club, National Council of Negro Women, Inc., the Links, Inc., and the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council.” She was a member of Bethesda United Methodist Church and volunteered at the Peninsula General Hospital Medical Center. Her son, Dr. Nathaniel W. Burks, lived in San Diego. The Eastern Shore and UMES were incredibly blessed to have known Dr. Burks. In a real sense, we can thank the Civil Rights movement and the Kings for her presence here. And we thank Alabama State College for forcing her out because of her activism; their loss and our gain.

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Mothers’ Day What she really wants? N

By Michael Douglas

o matter which part of the world you come from, mothers are always the most valued members of society and in a family. This is because they make sure we have everything we need and are protected always regardless of their situation. Therefore, women treated fairly and given equal treatment because they eventually become mothers who raise future generations.

Black Women and Entrepreneurship

The numbers do not lie when analyzing the rate of growth and numbers of successful entrepreneurs in the last 10 years. Women have been on the forefront and more black women are taking up more leadership despite the lack of equality in the positions. The last ten years have seen a spike in the number of female-owned franchises with a 58% increase as compared to the other decades. Black women have

Women Vs. Senior Positions

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Sadly, there are still milestones to be achieved before women can fully realize their potential. When you look at leadership positions, they are fully male-dominated with only 26 women occupying CEO positions in the top 500 listed companies of Fortune Magazine. This is just 5.2% of the entire women population and the numbers do not change if you go further and look at the top 100 listed companies (Forbes, 2018).

Women Growing Challenges

Despite the challenges, most women still thrive through these difficulties and successfully manage great businesses. Some women receive half the working capital men have access to and even grow their business as they take care of the family against all odds. Women must have some kind of super-power.

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brought about this change with a whopping 164% rise in the number of black women moguls (Marinna, 2018).

Black Women Challenges

Despite the increasing number, black women still face the challenge of recognition and appreciation. Regardless of their track record and qualifications, they are still asked to prove themselves to both their associates and clientele. This is probably why more women are finding it easier to connect with fellow women in similar positions or career ambitions because they feel supported. The other challenge black women face is that they do not have enough mentors to help them grow their business or career. It is even more difficult for black women because they face both racial and gender challenges. We force most black women, at a young age to attend conferences or do their own personal research to get the help they need. Regardless of the challenges, crowdfunding has been one of the most reliable platforms to offer an opportunity for creative in getting investors. Also, some angel investors have shown interest in attempting to fund women of color support their business ideas. The other challenge that women of color deal with is balancing their career and family roles. The most affected have been single mothers and those from poor backgrounds and need to support a large family. WLB has contributed to the rising rate of depression among black women and this either leads to marital instability or eventual loss of jobs. Eventually, black women must find a way of completing assigned tasks, especially in schools or at the workplace. They end up outsourcing or using someone else to do their work for them and this limits their potential.

What is the Solution?

In summary, black women face challenges that most women face across the country. The only difference and a big one is that they face discrimination and racism. It is never easy to make it as a woman but with some changes implemented by various groups, women are recognized more gradually. Through networking and establishment of more support group by those women who have made it, young black women may find opportunities to become successful. Therefore, as we celebrate Mothers’ Day, it is important to celebrate women, moguls and young entrepreneurs. After all, what they want is a chance to lead and innovate. Black women who are at a disadvantage because of racism need special attention because, given the opportunity, they can truly make it. Just look at the numbers in the last decade that shows a massive 164% increase in back women entrepreneurs. References

Marinna, K. (2018). ‘Top 4 Challenges Faced By Black Women Entrepreneurs and How to Overcome Them.’ Medium. Retrieved from score-3-angel-network/top-4-challenges-faced-by-black-women-entrepreneursand-how-to-overcome-them-cbabcf200fd0

Forbes. (2018). 15 Biggest Challenges Women Leaders Face And How To Overcome Them. Retrieved from

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Dr. Gladys WEST The Black Woman Behind




or the Global Positioning System is something we use every day. From finding your local supermarket, checking your directions if you get lost or mapping out your daily commute to avoid traffic, GPS is with us everywhere we go. It has literally changed the way we work, play and live. While billions of people use GPS in their car or on their phone, many don’t know that a Black woman is behind the creation. That’s right, Dr. Gladys West, a Black woman from Virginia helped to create the device we use today. And now, she’s finally getting her recognition that’s long overdue. On December 6, they inducted the 87-year-old West into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneer Hall of Fame by the United States Air Force during a ceremony at the Pentagon. As a girl growing up in Dinwiddie County south of Richmond in the late 1930s early 1940s, all Gladys (maiden name, Brown) knew was that she didn’t want to work in the fields, picking tobacco, corn and cotton, or in a nearby factory, beating tobacco leaves into pieces small enough for cigarettes and pipes, as her parents did. “I realized I had to get an education to get out,” she said. When she learned that the valedictorian and salutatorian from her high school would

earn a scholarship to Virginia State College (now University), she studied hard and graduated at the top of her class. She got her free ticket to college, majored in math and taught two years in Sussex County before she went back to school for her master’s degree.

“I realized I had to get an education to get out,” In 1956 West worked at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, where she was the second black woman ever to be employed. West collected data from satellites, eventually leading to the development of Global Positioning System. Her supervisor Ralph Neiman recommended her as project manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project, the first satellite that could remotely sense oceans. In 1979, Neiman recommended West for commendation. West was a programmer in the Dahlgren Division for largescale computers and a project manager for data-processing systems used in the analysis of satellite data.

(Photo credit:

In 1986, West published “Data Processing System Specifications for the Geosat Satellite Radar Altimeter”, a 60-page illustrated guide. The Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC) guide was published to explain how to increase the accuracy of the estimation of “geoid heights and vertical deflection”, topics of satellite geodesy.This was achieved by processing the data created from the radio altimeter on the Geosat satellite which went into orbit on 12 March 1984. She worked at Dahlgren for 42 years, retiring in 1998. Her contributions to GPS were only uncovered when a member of West’s sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, read a short biography West had submitted for an alumni function. West’s humble nature actually kept people from knowing how instrumental she was in the development of the device for decades. West admits that she had no idea, at the time, when she was recording satellite locations and doing accompanying calculations—that her work would affect so many. “When you’re working every day, you’re not thinking, ‘What impact is this going to have on the world?’ You’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to get this right,’” she says. And get it right she did, according to those who worked with her or heard about her. Ralph Neiman, her department head in 1979, acknowledged those skills in a commendation he recommended for West, proj-

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TECHNOLOGY (Photo credit:

ect manager for the Seasat radar altimetry project. Launched in 1978, Seasat was the first satellite designed for remote sensing of oceans with synthetic aperture radar. In a 2017 message about Black History Month, Capt. Godfrey Weekes, then-commanding officer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, described the “integral role” played by West. “She rose through the ranks, worked on the satellite geodesy [science that measures the size and shape of Earth] and contributed to the accuracy of GPS and the measurement of satellite data,” he wrote. “As Gladys West started her career as a mathematician at Dahlgren in 1956, she likely had no idea that her work would impact the world for decades to come.” “I was ecstatic,” she said. “I was able to come from Dinwiddie County and be able to work with some of the greatest scientists working on these projects.”

(Photo credit:

Posted on December 18, 2018 Derrick Lane

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MODERN Technology Saving YourLife


id you know that modern technology is saving two weeks or more of your life each year? It is amazing what people can think of when bureaucrats get out of their way. Digital technology and the “smart” revolution have made life a lot easier by enabling savings not just regarding time which they would otherwise be spend in commuting for chores enjoy shopping and conducting regular banking work, but also by enabling financial savings. Time is a precious commodity in today’s hyperactive modern world and each second counts. And with commuting times increasing for the average US worker, the impact on productivity and work-life balance can be stressful. However, with the proliferation of digital technology and “smart” devices, users are enjoying savings both on their time and money. If you haven’t given a thought to how modern technology is helping you save both time and money, consider the following. Mobile devices are a technology boon. You use your smart device to help you navigate, to keep updated with traffic jams, or to find the shortest route to your destination. You can quickly check up on travelling times, mode of transport, make travelling plans in minutes which includes hotel and flight bookings. Now imagine having to do all of that without using your phone or any internet enabled device. Let’s take banking or shopping as another example. 61% of Internet users in the US, prefer to bank online. They can do simple banking tasks such as checking your account, or transferring money online. They expect the online grocery market in the US to hit 29.7 billion dollars by 2021. An increasing number of users prefer online grocery shopping as opposed to having to go to a physical market and standing before a check-out when they can order their choice of groceries online, pick their desired delivery date and time, and have their groceries delivered to their door-step. 60% of online shoppers use a tablet while 50% use their phones to

make purchases. 83% are satisfied with their shopping experience online. Mobile apps allow users to look for deals/discounts, coupons, and promotions at local stores. Mobile app usage does not stop here. Users tap into their apps for information on health and diet, gym workouts – easy access to desired information when you want and where you want, all on your fingertips. If you remove the ease of technology from each of these activities, and count the number of minutes or hours each task would take, you might be surprised with the time and money savings you enjoy on a day-to-day basis!

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Children &


A good or bad combination?


re smartphones bad for kids? Before we get into this, let’s make peace with one simple fact - smartphones aren’t going anywhere. It’s like rain, instead of trying to stop rain for good we instead invented umbrellas and roofs to avoid getting wet. Smartphones are just like rain - they have their uses but too much can become hazardous to life. Whether smartphones are good or bad for children is a loaded question and to answer it fully, we must consider a variety of variables:


If a child is spending all of their free time glued to the screen of a smartphone, then it doesn’t take a genius to realize this is a bad thing. Too much screen time means that children aren’t engaging in other more substantial activities enjoy bonding with others and exercise. The AAP (American Academy Of Pediatrics) suggests that children under 6 should have at most an hour of screen time a day and then from there a very limited exposure. I should note here it that while a plethora of medical bodies suggest guidelines for children and screen time, it also matters what they watch during that time.

An hour of intellect building games such as Sudoku or reading books will be more beneficial than say, perhaps, Peppa Pig episodes.

While there is no way to fully protect your child from the blue light in their screens, limiting the time exposed to it can cut down on any health problems.


Where a child spends their screen time and the setting is also of great importance. Watching a screen with other children in a classroom is better than alone in a dark room. In a classroom a child is not only still socializing with others but the screen is most likely in a corner of the room. In a room alone, the child is completely immersed, unsupervised with the screen very close to their eyes.

Eye Health:

Opthamologists (doctors who specialize in eye care) have recently been noticing a dramatic increase in dry eye and eye strain in children. They have attributed a lot of this eye damage to the blue light that the LED screens of our phones emit. To take you back to science class for a sentence or two, light is made up of different lengths of waves that emit energy. Blue light is a short wave that emits a lot of energy...straight into your child’s eye!


When we hand a child our smartphone we naturally think they will be doing normal child stuff - like playing games or taking silly pictures. We don’t imagine a predator may be trying to contact them. There are many apps these days that afford predators the opportunity to contact children who naively think they are just making friends. Adults must take every precaution available to ensure that while their child is on their smartphone, they are safe and away from negative proclivities of others. This doesn’t just stop at predators, adults need to consider that their child is being targeted by online bullies a.k.a “Cyber Bullying” In conclusion, there is no real answer for whether smartphones are good or bad for a child. More so, the real question is “what can one do to ensure a child’s time spent on a smartphone remains as positive as possible?”

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The Financial Value of

CDs or Bonds as Investments


he actual real answer to this puzzle is that it depends. Sometimes the market, as volatile as it can be, forces you to settle for the CDs (Certificates of Deposit) and bonds which settle as safe havens. These two types of investments usually entail lower levels of risk compared to the other forms of investments such as stocks. However, the brighter side to the CDs and bonds investments is that they also produce interest income. Only not at the same rate as stocks and other types of investments do. CDs and bonds are also not as identical as some people may think them to be. Plus, the same events can also affect them such as rising interest rates or changes in the market. So, to determine whether you need to have either or both forms of investments in your portfolio, you need to understand each of them.

Measuring CDs and bond returns

As mentioned earlier, these two types of investments operate differently with generating returns. The two also affected differently by the current interest rate environment. So, it is best you don’t confuse the two to be one thing. When, for example, the rates of the Federal Reserve Institutes hike, you find that

banks increase their CD rates correspondingly. What this means is that a higher rate equally translates to more interest being earned. Just, when the interest rates go low, then the rates on the CDs will drop. This means that there are lower yields for investors. Investors who put their money in CDs always pray for the interest rates to rise and keep rising. However, the same isn’t necessarily the case for the bond investors. With bonds, it works inversely with interest rates. To mean that when the interest rates go low, then the bond prices will shoot high. And when the interest rates rise, the bond prices plummet. So, if you are an investor of bonds in a rising rate environment, then you should expect your bond prices to decline. You may also be interested in knowing that bonds aren’t all affected equally by the rising rates. By this, we mean that the longer maturity term bonds felt more impact than the shorter maturity term bonds. Take a 10-year bond, for example. These bonds are usually more sensitive to any changes in the interest rates compared to the 2-year bonds. Inflation is also another factor to consider in both the CDs and bonds investments. When inflation rises, higher CDs returns have trouble keeping up. And the rising consumer prices can also potentially impact negatively on the return rates of bonds. So, when you combine inflation and rising rates, the bond investors get a double whammy.

Safety vs. Liquidity

The safety and liquidity of these two forms of investment is also another critical factor to consider. As always, CDs and bonds are both safer forms of investments compared to stocks, mutual funds, and other investment types. Bonds, however, be more of a gamble especially when the interest rates rise. This is mainly because their yield potential diminishes when this happens. To mean that there is always a high probability you may not get back some or all of the investments you put into bonds when the rates rise. CDs are on the opposite end of this risk spectrum. The government usually insures CDs investments. So, you need not worry even if the bank you invested with goes bankrupt. Your CDs investments will be secure. The only advantage that bonds may have over CDs is on their liquidity. Banks charge a penalty when you liquidate your CDs investments before their maturity date. These penalties may even erase any benefits you might have accrued during that time. Turning your bond investments into cash before it matures is, however, a less expensive process. CDs and bonds are both attractive forms of investments to venture into. Yes! The two yield much fewer benefits compared to other investment types. But heck, at least your money will be safe.

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Is It Necessary?


ome people may assume life insurance is unnecessary and not important. After all, you keep paying premiums throughout your life and someone else benefits. Even if you have no dependents or survivors to take care of, life insurance can come in handy and you may consider it as a way to save. So, why get insurance?

Life insurance is necessary You have a wife and children to take care of. There is no knowing what the future holds. Should you pass away then you have the comfort of knowing that your life insurance will provide for them to a certain extent? Probate If you have made a will and your property will go to your inheritors, there is the probate process. This takes time. They tie your assets up, and it is up to the court to decide if they should give survivors an allowance until they reach a decision. Proceeds of life insurance do not fall under the purview of probate and the proceeds can go to the inheritors immediately. However, if your estate is large enough, the policy proceeds are taxable but there is a workaround to transfer life insurance and decrease estate tax. Funeral costs If your property goes for probate, then there are funeral costs to pay. Your insurance will come in handy at this time. They can use the insurance money to pay off debts and income and estate taxes. If you have cash in the bank you do not have to worry about estate taxes since it must pay these nine months after the funeral.

You get a lump sum If you outlast the tenure of the policy, then you will benefit by getting your hands on a lump sum amount.You can use this for investment or to enjoy life in your retirement with no worries. You have money to pay for medical expenses or any such immediate cash needs. Sell your policy You retire and want money to pay for medical expenses or you want to enjoy life. You may not have sufficient money to keep paying a premium on your life insurance policy. In such cases you can always sell off your policy well before its maturity date. You will get less than the full value of the policy. However, you get cash immediately and you will thank yourself for having opted for insurance. Life insurance can be useful in different ways at different times. It is worth it.

Business If you operate a business, then your successor will need cash to continue the business after paying taxes and under liabilities. If you do not have insurance and if you have debts and have to pay estate taxes, then your business and its assets may have to be sold and you get much less than the going market rates. Loan If you pay premium regularly then, when you face a need for cash to pay for schooling or medical expenses, the life insurance policy comes in handy.You can get a loan against the policy.

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The Best Way to Keep Yourself Safe

he rate at which property fraud is rising is alarming. Fraudsters continuously come up with newer, more sophisticated ways and methods to target homeowners and take advantage. If you are not too careful, you may also end up falling victim to this new method of stealing. All the more reason to gather all relevant information about this issue and equip yourself and mortgage accordingly. What is mortgage fraud? This is a case where a fraudster purports to be the owner of a particular property and plans to sell it illegally. In most situations, you find that the actual owner of the mortgage isn’t always aware of what is going on about the sale. Not until it is too late that the duped buyers realize they were scammed. Unfortunately, some instances and cases do not always hold enough evidence to deter or hold the sophisticated scammers. Many conveyancing solicitors and real estate agents have been active in the campaign to combat property fraud in the industry.

How to prevent mortgage fraud Below is a list of concrete ways you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. 1. Keep your identity safe With the point at which technology has advanced today, fraudsters can easily forge identity documents without any hassle. So, if you are not too careful, then it is relatively easy for scammers to steal your identity and use them for some fraudulent or other illegal jobs. Always keep your personal documents safe at all times. Never leave any important documents lying about carelessly even if in your residence.

2. Register your property Fraudsters are also commonly attracted to residences that aren’t registered. Property that isn’t registered is usually at high risk because the owner or bank always keep all evidence of ownership. There isn’t usually any evidence of ownership kept at the land registry. So, this can leave your land open and susceptible to attack by scammers. The land registration fee is usually relatively small considering the dangers you might avert. The fees can range between £30 and £680. But this depends on your property value. 3. Sign up to property alerts After registering your property, you can also opt to sign for the free property alerts by the land registry. These alerts can inform you whenever there is any activity that involves your property. These alerts will, however, not prevent the fraudulent action from taking place. But they will give you ample time to take action and stop the fraud from occurring. 4. Register a restriction You can also register a restriction on your property title. Doing this will make it a requirement that a conveyancer or solicitor be present to certify and actions being made on your property. This prevents any deal from being made on the property on your behalf. Your solicitor will also take extra precaution when meeting you to verify your identity. Mortgage fraud is real. And many people have lost significant portions of land because they didn’t take the precautions against property fraud. Do not be the next victim of this heinous act. Protect your mortgage today.

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Why are Black Women the Most Religious Group in the Country?

poll conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that black women are the country’s most religious people. Only 57% white women are religious. Many people use religion to get through hard times and plays a major role in the lives of African American women. From education to career to family life, religion is a priority.

Demystifying Potential Reasons

Most black women grow up listening to gospel music, with elders in the background who insist going to the church on Sundays and encouraging them to attend summer schools with Christian centric teachings. Connecting black women more to their faith is their history, where they find inspiration from their slave ancestors who often used religion to maintain their integrity and honor in the face of abject poverty and unjust treatment. Oppression it seems has played a very complicated role in the lives of black women. As they continue to fight their society and culture both outside of their community and from within, the collective mistreatment forces them to seek respite, redemption and relief from religion. Every black woman will deal with sexism and racism, and religion is the only way out.

seeking a more active representation. Despite black women spending resources, time and money into their churches, they really hold none substantial authority in male-dominated institutions. Some black women do become frustrated enough to leave from the systems that oppress them, choosing to adopt a more humanist approach to life; while others hold on tight to the hope of religion, believing in the power of a higher authority. In that moment, their personal relationship with God becomes of utmost importance. An all powerful God would understand every person individually and provide guidance for them. And if need be, chastisement to cleanse sin.

Oppression within the Church

Many churches remain male dominated and shudder at a woman being in charge. This isolation creates the feeling of apathy and general disconnect between those in power and those

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e knew the traditional black church in days gone by for tent meetings and prayer services. The saints of old would gather together and pray for hours on end for a breakthrough. Prayer was as commonplace as breathing. However, some believe that as fortunes have changed, prayer has become not so much a staple of the black experience but rather an add-on or accessory for today’s upwardly mobile Christian. It begs the question do we fully understand what prayer is and its importance. Is prayer our first line of defense or a last resort when trouble arises? 2 Chronicles 7:14 lays out a blueprint for healing our community. In its simplest form, prayer is talking to God. A conversation. They build relationships on getting to know the person you’re trying to establish a connection with. Prayer requires a humbling of oneself and maybe that’s why consistent prayer is difficult for so many. It’s hard to humble yourself enough to be willing to acknowledge an entity which cannot be seen. Relationships are a two-way street, yet, when someone says God talks to them, more often than not, they’re met with a “where’s the padded room” glance. However, if you find yourself presenting God with a laundry list of grievances or mistaking Him for a genie, asking Him to grant your every wish, you don’t know what prayer comprises. Prayer is not a monologue, it’s a conversation. Prayer is a daily invitation to God to do life with you. It’s recognizing that as your creator, He knows better than you do what’s best

for you. It’s admitting that you cannot survive this life on your own terms and you give an authority of your life over to your creator. I once heard a sermon that said everyone has self-control, it’s just a matter of who or what you will give control of yourself too. Daily conversations with God is giving control of yourself to Him. Imagine trying to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t make it a priority to talk with you, get to know you, only asks you for things that benefit them. For many of us, that is our prayer life. Have a new opportunity on the horizon, pray. Want to get a new car, pray. Boss driving you crazy, pray. While God specializes in giving us the desires of our hearts, all those instances are one sided. The focus of prayer is to get to know God. God already knows us, knows what we need and what we want. Prayer can change the trajectory of your life. With a renewed perspective, one can use prayer as the source of strength God intended it to be. When we view prayer as a daily, continual conversation, it decreases the time and attention we give to distraction. Walking hand in hand with God shifts your focus because what is important to Him, becomes important to you. With inner peace gained through a rigorous prayer life, outward chaos loses its ability to overwhelm you. Making prayer a priority, starting off your day talking to God, connecting to His presence throughout the day and ending your day thanking Him for his love and mercy and another opportunity to show the world Him through you, that’s how you maintain a relationship. That’s how you maintain your first line of defense.

Firstof Line DEFENSE

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TheMain Thing

ave you ever heard the saying, “make the main thing, the main thing”? Well to me that means dedicating the majority of your time and energy into one thing. What is that one thing you may ask? Well, when it comes to goals, I believe it’s the main goal that everything else stems from. You may have heard the question asked, “what is your why?” If you can answer that, you’ll have an idea of what your main thing should be. A friend of mine recently asked, “what motivated you and kept you motivated to start your business and finish your book?”. For me, it was finding my why. My primary goal is to help people overcome depression and anxiety. That depression and anxiety could stem from a variety of things such as dead-end jobs that aren’t providing outlets for a person’s creativity and ingenuity or unmet goals or goals that seem difficult or impossible to reach. They could even stem from something deeper such as unresolved issues from a person’s childhood or not realizing/understanding a person’s place or purpose in life. These are all things that I have dealt with at one level or another. Because God helped me address and overcome

them, I feel it’s my obligation to help others do the same. What is your why? It may or may not look like mine. You don’t have to have a “save the world” mission in order to have purpose. And you shouldn’t feel like your vision is any less important than anyone else’s. We need small things to make big things works and vice-versa.

What is “your why?

It may or may not look like mine. You don’t have to have a “save the world” mission in order to have purpose.

However, it’s important to find your why if you ever hope to build any momentum. Finding your why will give you the motivation you need when times get tough. If you don’t know your why, I suggest doing some soul-searching or self-exploring. You may have to dig deep and it may take you some time but once you figure it out, the answer to your why will be a light when times get dark. I don’t want you to think that your why will automatically cause your life to change, but it will give you something to build on. I knew that I wanted to be a counselor for awhile, however, it takes time to become fully licensed. As I took classes and researched the profession I found other ways to make money as I pursued this goal. Becoming a life coach, blogger and author were not part of my original plan. I discovered that they were outlets that I could use as I work towards my ultimate vision. The same will happen for you. While you research and reflect, you’ll find things that you were once passionate about and things that you aren’t as passionate about anymore. Bishop T.D. Jakes refers to it as finding your core. You’re going to discover things you’ve done to cope with life versus things you actually care about. It’s the things that you actually care about that will empower you to keep going. If I didn’t actually care about helping people, there’s no way I could do what I do on a consistent basis. Think about it like physically digging a well. You have to dig deep before you’re ever able to find water. It’s the same process of finding your why. It may take YEARS before you truly discover a full answer to your why, but don’t let that discourage you. I personally feel that simply making the decision AND taking action to discover your why will release motivation you may not have had before. There’s something energizing about tapping into your authentic self that I just can’t explain. Finding your why is a process and that’s a process that I’m willing to help you with. If you feel like you would like more assistance than this article alone provides, I am more than willing to assist you. I offer free 30 minute consultations that you can register for by visiting my website Happy Digging!

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Cool Things to do in


oronto is the largest city of Canada and a commercial hub. However, it does hold delightful surprises for tourists. There are famous landmarks to visit and also cool places to visit and cool things to do in Toronto. Ma in Things It would be decidedly un-cool to ignore the main attractions so set out to explore the magnificent things Toronto is so well known for: Niagara Falls: The Toronto side view of the Niagara is stunning. Get to the Table Rock site and you are standing above the Falls. CN Tower: A visit to Toronto is incomplete without visiting the 553.33 meters high CN towers and admiring the city from the lookout level at 346 meters and then walking on the glass floor. Hockey Hall of Fame: Canada is a Hockey obsessed nation and visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame gives you an insight into this national sport and a wonderful animated view of goalies. Royal Ontario Museum: Ignore others and visit this one to view the extraordinary collection of minerals, fossils, Roman antiquities and fashion exhibits.

The Haunted Walk: Midnight could be the best time to go on this walking tour and explore haunted places in the company of a spooky guide who carries a lantern. St Lawrence Market: From shops selling a variety of consumer products to food stalls to farmers, this Market has everything to keep you pleasantly engaged. Casa Loma: The Goths swept all over Europe but not Canada so architect EJ Lennox designed it for Sir continued on page 43

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TRAVEL continued from page 42

Henry Pellatt to recreate that atmosphere. Visit to know what luxurious indulgence is. Garden Theatres: This is Canada’s equivalent of Broadway. Take in a play or a concert. Now, for the cool things to do… The Monkey’s Paw Stephen Fowler is the man running The Monkey’s Paw on Bloor Street where you can find a grand collection of books on hundreds of topics. Feed the vending machine $ 2 and you get a surprise vintage book. The Merill Collection Continue with the book theme and drop in at The Merill Collection on College Street for the largest collection of science fiction and fantasy books and magazines. You could get to browse a couple of books here. Bamboo Forest Also on College Street is the bamboo forest inside the UOFT Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Bio-molecular Research. Walk through a bamboo grove about 4 meters tall and you are in a different world. Necropolis Cemetery This cemetery is home to the beautiful Gothic Revival architecture style chapel and pavilion. It is also supposed to be haunted by ghosts. Maybe you will feel their presence here. Sewers of Toronto Descend underground to take a walk through the network of sewers that served Toronto faithfully for decades. Food Even if you do not live to eat it is obligatory to sample the various ethnic foods in Toronto starting with coffee crisps, mashed potato filled walnut cakes, pea-meal bacon, sushi at Sake Bar Kushi and Hungary & Thai Bar for its unique combination of foods.

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Going Vegan


Affordable Plant Based Diet


ust open any social media and you’ll see buzzwords such as “plant based”, “veganism” and “compassionate eating” have been trending everywhere. You may have even seen countless debates on your timeline featuring themes relating to the health benefits of veganism, what plant based eating is, and even far-fetched debates concerning the mental / physical condition of those choosing a plantbased diet. Celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Serena Williams, Andre 3000, John Salley, Lauren Hill and many others claim a plantbased lifestyle. All of this talk about veganism and plant based may have you curious. Some people choose a plant-based diet because of its claims to a healthier you. Maybe you are more interested in the weight loss effectiveness some people say it has. Still many more of you may feel that plant-based diet is necessary for a better earth, compassion to animals and or many other social justice causes. Whatever reason you consider plant based eating, it’s overwhelming to see all these perfect pages of well thought out meals, creatively presented plates and sometimes foods you have never heard of. Social media has a way of over dramatizing its subjects so it can make plant based eating look difficult to attain and expensive to maintain. While eating plant based meals may seem to hit the wallet harder than meat eating, there are ways to make it affordable and practical for everyday living.

⸙EAT IN SEASON⸙ All fruits, vegetables and grains grow in March - April 2019

a seasonal rotation. This makes it easier and cheaper for you to incorporate more into your diet regularly. The math behind it is simple, suppliers have more of certain fruits/ veggies/grains to offer during different times of the year so they can sell it at a lower cost because of its abundance. Winter usually includes foods like bananas, mushrooms and yams. Spring is common for apricots, mangos and spinach. Summer will get you the largest variety including peppers, cherries, cucumbers and tomatoes. Fall harvest include apples, mushrooms and yams. To find which things are seasonal a Google search will do or consider using the USDA guide to seasonal finds. Continued on page 45

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FOOD Continued from page 44

⸙BUY IN BULK⸙ Once you have decided what plant-based foods are your favorite, consider buying them in bulk.You need not go to a large package distributor like Costco to meet this need. Many grocery stories offer daily sales, like Buy One Get One (BOGO) free or half priced. Look for coupons in your weekly local flyers or online. If you buy in bulk, the price per piece is usually lower cost than if you purchase a single item. The other benefit is that you can freeze most any fruits/vegetables for several months so you will always have food on hand. The Mother Nature Network, a site dedicated to environment and responsible living offers this “The Many Benefits of Buying Bulk Food” to start you in the right direction. ⸙COOK IN BULK⸙ Not only should you buy bulk quantities buy you should also prepare food in larger quantities using the seasonal produce you have gained. This is helpful not only for leftovers but it allows you to combine buying seasonal foods and buying bulk foods for maximum savings. When doing meal prep casseroles, crock pot dishes and baked dishes make a good stretch for your wallet. It also makes meals quick so you are less tempted to eat junk food. These types of dishes are easy to prepare and freeze well for the leftovers. In the long run you could save more on preparing, gas/electric bills from cooking and save yourself a few hours a free time. Just don’t forget to label frozen prepped meals with dates so you can rotate food before it expires because food in the trash is a 100% a waste of money. One Green Planet, a network dedicated to “green living”, offers recipes to make batch cooking simple and fun. ⸙AVOID VEGAN JUNK FOOD⸙ Vegan junk food is like non vegan junk food because it comes in eye-catching packaging, taste delicious and cost more than it’s worth. Sure a vegan granola bar or ice cream pint stand out as junk food, however beware

that packaged vegan meals similar to tv style dinners are also junk food. They lade most with soy and other non-essential nutrients to give that feel good junk food feeling. Prices for many plant based packaged foods also cost more because, as we’ve considered, plant based eating is trendy. Retailers know that most people buy on trend and will often jack up the prices of these “novelty foods”, think of it enjoy buying designer clothing. Christian Henderson, a NYC based Registered Dietician and Nutritionist weighs in on soy-based products at; “Consuming too much soy-based vegan ‘meat’ is arguably worse (than) consuming high-quality animal products,”. When approaching a packaged vegan meal mostly think, of the three P’s; the amount of preservatives, the prices and the planet. If plant based packaged foods must make their way into your diet, at least do so smartly, only engaging when it’s a BOGO deal or similar couponing. No one has ever died from not eating packaged junk food, so you’ll live without it and hopefully find whole foods such as fruits and nut/nut butters to ease your cravings.

their produce at the same places as big box retailers, they have a tendency to buy items directly from the source. Less hands touching the products means you save money because there is fewer people to pay out. Besides the cost, you may find new and interesting recipes to try out. Now you see how easy and affordable plant based eating is perhaps you want to take the plunge. There are a myriad of sources to cheerlead you on with your convictions including Blacks Going Vegan or try PETA’s hilarious and entertaining list “11 things to Expect to Happen if You’re Vegan While Black”. Most of all do what you are comfortable with, even swapping a few items out of your diet for plant-based items will make a huge difference. I applaud you for going the extra mile whether it is for yourself, the animals or the environment. Keep up the good work!

⸙SHOP DIFFERENTLY⸙ By shop differently I mean, go outside of your comfort supermarkets. Large retailers, including the local supermarkets often bump up the prices of items so they can make a profit. That’s fine for them because everybody’s got to keep a dollar, including you. Instead of shopping at a local supermarket look for ethnic-based stores in your neighborhood or close by. Authentic Spanish markets, Indian store fronts and Asian markets and many others already have whole plant based items for cheaper prices. Two reasons for this; most cultures outside of the US already eat a diet closer to plant based so the population shopping at these ethnic markets are usually coming to get grains/fruits/ vegetables and that is what those markets will rely heavily on. The second is because ethnic markets rarely get

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The Reality of Leaving a Loved One in a Nursing Home


eciding to place a family member in a residential, long-term nursing home is one of the most heart-wrenching decisions anyone is in that position ever has to make. Ideally, most of us would love to have our elderly family members and relatives with us safe in our homes. However, this is almost always never the case. Most people would argue that keeping their older loved ones at home can really put a toll on them. What’s with all the ever-increasing caregiving and attention that these older adults need at all times. Adding this on top of your intensely demanding job can even push you to the brink of insanity. But have you ever sat back and thought about whether it’s worth it? You know, taking and leaving your elderly parents in a nursing home. There, they will get nothing short of professional caregiving and attention they need as you focus on other more important tasks in your life. But, when you think about it, are you also in a position to afford all the bills that come with having your elderly parents in home-based care? If not, then the only next best option is usually to opt for the best care facility to enroll them in. It’s not as inhuman as some people put it. It may even be for the best. Both for you and for your elderly parent. Why have them in your home if you won’t even be there to take care of them all day every day? What if they need something but can’t get to it and you are not around? Or they suffer a serious health condition like a heart attack or stroke and you are at work oblivious of what’s happening at home? These are scenarios that when you think of, you might think having your loved ones in nursing homes is for the best. That is if you cannot afford to pay for their 24/7 home-based care. But if you can afford it, then you can also opt for it. It gives you more time to spend with your older parents and relatives. Still, you find that the decision to admit your loved one into a nursing facility, even if it’s a fantastic one, can still put you down in tears. There may be nothing as emotionally heart wrenching as leaving your older parents in a nursing home. The feeling usually accompanied by grief, guilt, panic, terror, shame, and second-guessing. Sometimes, this

may be all the reason you need not enroll your older folks in nursing homes. But then if you choose not to make this move, how will you care for them? It’s already clear they are too old to take care of themselves. Because you’re even considering enrolling them into a care facility. For most people, the reality of having to enroll your older parents into a nursing home may not seem shocking to you. Maybe if you have never had to enroll anyone before or haven’t ever had to do it yourself. But when it is you who now have to do it, you will get the full weight of making this decision. People get old. That’s a fact. And if you are one of the lucky ones and live to see your grandkids and even great-grandchildren. Then you will know and want to have someone take care of you then. By this time, your whole body remains exhausted and tired almost all the time. Your legs may not even be able to support your whole weight sufficiently. So, you must have someone support you every time you need to move from one point to another. This alone will hinder you from doing other things enjoy cooking, showering, etc. Someone will have to be doing all these things for you. So, if everyone else seems extra busy about their lives to care for you, then the nursing home would be the next best option. The question now lies; how will you or your loved one’s take it? And that’s when the reality hits and you realize that you need to decide on this, and fast.

“There may be nothing as emotionally heart wrenching as leaving your older parents in a nursing home.”

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sailing rocky seas


situ-what now?!

A situationship is what all the cool kids are doing now. They can define it in a variety of ways but essentially you’re together but not together.Yup. I got confused just writing that. Back in the day (ugh, feel so old) it usually went a little something like this - boy/girl meets boy/girl. They hung out. A few bases covered to (maybe a home run *wink wink*). Then you were basically together. In 2019 that’s not the case. There are now so many more steps between meeting in person (yes I have to mention that as now a lot of couples are meeting online) to being in a relationship. Therefore, we now have *dramatic drum roll* the rise of the “situationship”

So what does this look like? Netflix & Chill: One person messages

the other to come over and “chill” while they watch Netflix. This is literally coded for “come over and have sex while some pointless film plays in the background”. There is nothing wrong with casual, safe, consensual sex but it’s

different when one is in a situationship - there is an etiquette to it. Instead of just being honest and messaging your other half that you want to tear their clothes off, as you would in a relationship. Nope. In a situationship you have to pretend and play games which leads me onto…

Games: People are extremely complicated individuals made up of desires, likes, hates and insecurities - we’re all pretty much hard work. Which is where love comes in to ease the toil? In a situationship because the boundaries are so loosely defined, games abound, especially with social media. People will often “blue tick” a message on WhatsApp and pretend they’re busy yet on their Instagram story they’re partying hard into the night. Or they may refuse to put up pictures of themselves with the person they are in a situationship with, because they still want to look open and welcoming for other potential mates. Exclusivity:

Loyalty is one of the main pillars of a relationship. We all know

temptation is everywhere, yet most of us remain steadfast in our promise to stay faithful. Yeah, about that. Without the title of a relationship, faithfulness in a situationship can become very skewed because, well, they’re not your boyfriend/girlfriend. Leading to confusing arrangements like… “You’re together but not together. You’re sleeping with each other but nobody else.” “You’re together but not together.You can sleep with others if you want but must tell each other. Otherwise that’s a betrayal.” “You’re together but not together.You can sleep with others but you can’t tell each other as that will ruin everything”. If you choose a situationship - good for you. No judging here. Nothing wrong with two awesome individuals coming together and boarding the situationship on its voyage to the land of a potential relationship. Though one word of advice... situationship should be discussed before hearts (and maybe car windows) get broken.

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Shift Your

Gift F


Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful – Proverbs 27:6 KJV

riendships can be amazing. You find a person you like and adopt them into your life. However, friendship also makes you vulnerable. It is place where you share the most intimate details of your life. Things with which you may or may not have told family members. That’s why when you feel betrayed by a friend it hurts so much. I’m a friendly person and I honestly can’t say that I don’t know of any enemies, although I’m sure there are some somewhere. I try my hardest not to be hateful and spiteful person and to make amends, if at all possible. However, not everyone you encounter will hold the same values as you. People with whom you’ve shared secrets could divulge them simply because they were bored lol. In

chapter 6 of my recent book, The Disciplined Dreamer, I talk about an ideal friendship. But life has taught me that not everyone will fit this mold. There truly are different types of friendships and Bishop Jakes explained it best: constituents, comrades and confidants. Constituents are people who are against what you’re against. You might not even like each other but they are not necessarily your enemy. They are acquaintances and associates. These are NOT people that you should share things that you don’t want repeated because they don’t value you. They value what you can do for them. They could be friends of friends. They could be people that you’ve gone to school with since elementary school or worked with for years. However, if that as-

“You need people that can pour into you at the level you pour into others.” sociate-ship has not progressed into something more, I advise you to keep it the way it is. True friendship takes time to build and time also brings about a change. Just because you knew a person in one season of your life, doesn’t mean they’re the same person. People grow and people change. Take that into consideration before you try to reconnect with people from your past. Next are comrades. Comrades are your friends. They stand for what you stand for and they actually like you or at least something about you. These are people who could have been with you through some really tough times. They may know your family members and you guys may have shared some significant events in your life like graduation, or getting married and having children around the same time. You need these people in your life. They may not believe in your vision or your dream but that’s ok because everyone you meet isn’t intended to. Just because someone doesn’t believe what you believe in doesn’t automatically make them your enemy. They may have their own visions or dreams that are occupying their time. Allow them as much space as you desire for yourself. The only thing I caution you to do is not to confuse them with a confidant. A confidant is more than a “best friend”. A confidant is someone who believes in you as well as your vision. A confidant continued on pg 49

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RELATIONSHIPS continued from pg 48

doesn’t only stand with you through tough times, they coach you through them. They help you grow and evolve. They help you to become the person that you were truly meant to be. They love you in the good as well as the bad times. It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed because they’ll be right there to help you get back on track. In my opinion, your spouse should be your confidant. I honestly believe that’s the way that God designed it to be. However, that’s just my opinion. Some people marry for looks or status. I can’t knock them, to each their own. If you share something with a confidant, it won’t go any further. They will NEVER sabotage you intentionally because they care for you. This was the friendship that God described between

David and Jonathan. A confidant doesn’t only refer to a romantic relationship. There are people that you will encounter that will pour more into you than people you have known all of your life. It’s not that your other friends don’t hold any value. It’s just that these confidants hold a different type of value. You need people that can pour into you at the level you pour into others. Confidants are few and far between. You may only meet one or two in your life time but when you do please hold on to them. Don’t push them away because you’ll need them more than you need any type of friend. I chose to name my business, Confidant Coaching services, because I want to convey this type of dynamic in my coaching. I believe that everyone out there has some type of vision. As a coach, I want to be able to be a confidant. I want to help people believe that their dreams are viable and valuable. They may simply just need someone else to believe right alongside them. If this is something that you feel that you need, please schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me by visting my website

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The Trick to Succeeding in

take at least one hour of every Sunday to plan how your next week will be. When you do this, you set yourself both physically and mentally for even the busy schedules ahead of you.

College Sports


is no easy task being a college sports athlete. Sometimes, even balancing between your school work and college sports can get the best of you. Often, you lean more towards your sports and forgetting about your education which is basically what took you to school. However, with the hectic schedule of having to travel to competitions, stay in shape, and sometimes even get scholarships at the benefit of playing sports in the colleges. It’s easy to get carried away and forget what your primary aim of joining school. If, however, you make it into the college sports team, then you ought to know by now that student athletics isn’t so tough. All it takes is practice, positive vibe, and patience. Before you know it, you are playing in the big leagues.You need to be ready to put in 20+ hours every week into training. And that’s before you even talk about the time you put into traveling and other competitions you must attend. All this is enough to increase your stress levels significantly. Enough to make you think you are not cut out to make it as a successful student sports athlete. But think again. Consider these tricks to make you rethink your options.

1. Set Goals

3. Sleep

Getting sufficient rest is also another crucial aspect towards ensuring you succeed as a college sports athlete. It is, therefore, essential you develop good sleeping habits to ensure that you are active throughout the day. If you do not get sufficient sleep, then you will most definitely not function optimally. The effects of getting insufficient sleep seem endless and end up affecting your performance not just in sports but also in the classroom. If you are the person who waits for sleep to come instead of following a proactive sleep schedule, then you are not getting that much sleep.

4. Meals

Eating a healthy diet is also another crucial element to ensuring you have a successful student athletic period. What you eat will also profoundly impact on not only your college sports life but also your classroom work. It is, therefore, essential you have a healthy diet at all times. A healthy meal will provide you with all the right nutrients to see you through the hectic training and competition days. And still spare energy to get classwork done.

5. Keeping

up the resolve

Never give up. If you have a well-set out the plan in place, know that this is what you want, then never give up. Keep up the resolve and know that everything will happen as you plan for it. You only need to stay disciplined and not lose sight of what you are after. Balancing between college sports athletics and classroom work is not as easy as it may look. But with discipline, a good plan, and dedication, you can succeed in your efforts and become a successful college sports athlete.

Almost everything you do should start with the setting goals process. It is essential you set goals on what you want to achieve in your education and sports life. Remember, you are in college to learn first, sports come second. However, you realize that many people skip this process and jump right into the sports itself. The first default goal is that you finish and graduate college. Then you can set your other goals regarding sports and work to ensure you meet all these goals.

2. Plan

To successfully achieve your set goals, it is essential you zoom into your life and see what specific steps you can take to ensure you meet them. To manage this successfully, you will need to have a plan. If you set up a concrete, bulletproof plan on how you can manage both your schoolwork and sports, then you’ll be good to go. The best plan is to

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