Henceforth I will refer to Hurricane Harvey as 'The Kraken' because thats exactly what it was- a Monster.
The good-Spirited bloggers over at Houston African+American Bloggers Association compiled an extensive Resource Guide for those needing and wanting relief from the Kraken... I mean Hurricane Harvey. #SorryNotSorry
I promise Imma blog about the storm and the flood and the billion dollar After-Math. In the meantime, check out today's,
Special Edition Wealth & Abundance Podcast with Sis. LaNée Javet, Mogul Impact. Click the "Podcast" tab to listen to the archive.
We need it y'all.... Valley low, Mountain high.
As a (former) social activist, these times are ripe for commentary. However, in most situations I reserve my thoughts. Mostly because I know they will fall on deaf ears. Cee, thats the problem, been the problem. Not enough people care enough to create the momentum for large-scale change. I blame public education. And bloodlines. I began to address the education component on my old blog: www.guidinggeniuses.blogspot.com. It is illogical to think free, public education will produce free-thinking, independently creative individuals. Thats just naivety. And romanticism. And the farthest from the truth. Public education, in its origins was sponsored and authorized by private corporations, with intentions to separate children from their Nationality and to produce competent castes of skilled laborers.
[Note: In a system that requires the trade of capital for food, clothing and shelter, Im all for schools that produce laborers. Having certification of desired skills is the difference between exchanging labor for wages and forced begging for charity due to not being hirable.]
But yeah, public education is baby sitting at this point. American schools are a joke to the rest of the industrialized world. And the human products of the education system are under-educated, with under-developed critical thinking skills. So, true Political Education (PE) conversations are difficult to have.
Which leads me to the point of this post: Solidarity. If we want to talk about changing the laws, swaying politicians and organizing PACs, we need a specialized skill set (not taught in public schools. Those with this type of information pay thousands of dollars for it.... "Invested" they "invested" thousands for this information.) This information is not given freely. And again, public education does not teach how to change the system. Just theory. The theory of how a bill becomes law, the clean cut children's version. Not the facts: Lobbyists and PACs- In Solidarity.
Schools also don't teach liberation theology- they only force feed rebellions that were instigated and ultimately 'won' by the winning team- #TEAMUSA. Solidarity is not placed in a political context or studied as a vocabulary word. Actually as I type and continue to process my thoughts, Im seeing Solidarity as a curse word to the power structures. Its an anti-tactic. And tactics for separation from the established Orders are not taught. Duh.
Solidarity is a lifestyle that is only taught outside the classroom and in the streets; the grassroots movements. My first encounter with Solidarity came by way of a group of Sisters teaching Political Education (PE) classes. They taught the imperative of operational unity; Solidarity. The craft of envisioning ourselves and our places in the grand scheme. Seeing our individual struggles juxtaposed into the grander world view. Understanding that lands are privatized all over this planet and therefore all of our resources are being held for ransom. Of course some jerks are plain stupid and therefore there is no understanding, there will be no collaborations. (Bloodlines...) Yet, to understand their fear masked as hate- fear of losing their strongholds on resources, and fears of not being able to compete for access to those resources. Again, no kumbayah. Just humanizing...
Solidarity means we constantly seek understandings. It means we can reach out to other communities with compassion and intentions. Although tactics differ in the ways we address not having full access to the necessities of life because demi-gods of capital have decided our lives are worthless in relation to the costs of maintaining their legacies.... It means we stand in Sisterhood & Solidarity with other Nations striving to reclaim all that was taken.
My daughter is finally old enough for Mommy to have a social life. Go Me! Since my social life and my entrepreneurial life have to be one-and-the-same due to my responsibilities, Blogging made perfect sense. I can cover events, interview folks, recap Outings and share my thoughts on a plethora of topics (#Thinkpieces), with Mini Me in-tow. Ive already maintained 2 blogs in the past and have experience with live interviewing as a former host on The Conscious Mindset (Pacifica Radio). So, with my Little One being old enough to communicate her needs and keep herself entertained while Mommy works, I began podcasting. Then came the Blog Page... Insert <Life>. And here we are.
"Here" is a recap of the first event Ive attended hosted by a professional group for Content Creators. (Thats what they call Bloggers now, 'Content Creators.' Sounds important right?) The Blogging Bootcamp was hosted in a beautifully furnished office space with an open community room that proved the perfect location for this event. We were comfortable and well accommodated while overlooking the North-West part of town. The chairs and couches were plush and comfortable, while the speciality tables were ideal for real-time blogging while passively listening to the speakers. Bonus: The rental space and the event caterers were Black, Women-Owned! Kudos to the HAAB Planning Committee.
As best I can summarize, the themes for #HAAB2017 Bootcamp were:
(1.) Creating and Growing Relationships for Branding ($$$).
All the speakers emphasized mastering the skill of leveraging relationships. Most of us in attendance agreed we were interested in working with brands and obtaining repeat clients- folks wanting to pay us for access. The speakers shared their personal experiences building their blogs and how they carved a niche for investors to recognize their worth.
(2.) Technology 4 Bloggers.
In 2017, technology can make or break a business. From eye-catching photo designs to protecting data to software for marketing to apps for scheduling posts to navigating social media. Bloggers need to have a basic understanding of what's available and how to effectively incorporate technology into their blog(s) and their business model(s). Mmmmm, I will be honest... I listened attentively to this panel. And I really want to be more tech savvy.... B.u.t. much of this panel's discussion went over my head. The speakers started talking like the pro's they are and I kinda got lost. See, I need tutorials for the tech stuff. For instance, I understood what they meant by 'analytics' and the significant of accessing them and considering them in the creative process... Something about HootSuite..... Lost. Lol. Eventually I will be there; not there yet. Next year, with more #bloglife experience and more studying what works, I plan to grasp more of the blogger-podcaster techno jargon.
Yep. Count me in for next year....
Check out the captures:
Honestly I don't know where to start. This expo was awesome. There was so much to experience. From the early morning Speed Networking Breakfast to the multitude of vendors offering varied products and services, this expo was phenomenal. Perhaps that is to be expected considering the founder of this event, Sister Leola Anifowoshe, is also the founder of the Nzuri Natural Hair Festival. I wasn't familiar with her prior to this event because Im more of a street festival kinda chick. Lol. I did hear about the festivals on the radio and from word-of-mouth. Since Ive started hosting my own gatherings, I was very interested in participating in this event- from behind the scenes. And y'all, I so impressed. (I have a picture of Sis on my #BossLady Vision Board.) Sister Leola's mission to promote Black businesses and Black beauty... Yassssss Honeys!!! She said her vision is for Texas Black Women's Expo (TBWE) to be comparable to the Essence Festival. Do it BIG Sis!
Her team was professional and friendly. It was obvious they shared the same vision. At the Meet & Greet they were welcoming and reached out to the other Sisters in attendance and asked us to help as volunteers. Of course I was on board. It ended up that I was too busy snapping photos to 'volunteer'.. I was really helpful directing folks to the restroom... if that counts.
The Speakers were informative and inspirational. One Sis told the story of how her perseverance in her passion, turned into her creating the life she envisioned. She was stressed at work to the point of health concerns, so she quit and started her own business. That wasn't making major money but she convinced her husband to trust her through the process. She said she was asked to speak on her experiences as an entrepreneur and although the audience was only 25 people, she gave them herself.. Fast forward a year and one of the women in that small room connected her with a speaking engagement that had 2500 people in the room and paid her over $5000 to speak. From that point she has travelled the world and makes a living sharing herself.... Selah. "Grow where you are planted." There was another Sister speaking on How to Trade Money on Forex. #TBWE did not come to play. They came to what? #Slay.
And the Fashion Show and the Children Pageant simply gave me life! I know Im past my daily limit of exclamation points, I know. Im just expressing how superb this expo was. The clothes these designers showcased were fly (and available for purchase). And the little girls were cutie pies. So much self-esteem and self-care; Life. My daughter was so inspired by the models and the catwalk that she ran to the stage when they asked if anybody wanted to model their own attire. The DJ played "I Flip My Hair" by Willow Smith and my Mini-Me rocked the crowd. I am a proud mother. #werk
Did I mention the vendors? We often speak of 'Black Economics' and 'Buy Black' and 'Black Businesses.' Take a glimpse at the posts linked to #blackeconomicsmatter. For small businesses that do not have storefronts, or are traveling vendors and online businesses, expos are one of the best ways to connect with target markets. As we walked the aises window shopping and making purchases, plenty of products we use on the daily were available: toothpaste to tennis, feminine products to farming. (Ok. Not really farming per se. There were women there with fresh produce delivery services.) BONUS: Black- & Women-Owned and Operated products and services were apart of this event from beginning to end. The Sisters made sure to express that they were empowering and enfranchising other Sisters.
Im emotionally connected to this event. I so proud of the Ladies for this experience. And Im thankful I was trusted to be apart of the Media Team! If you haven't already, listen to the archived *Circle Sisters Podcast* from August 07: "Texas Black Women's Expo 2017: Little Miss Happy Head Pageant w/ Astoria Stubbs."
Enjoy the captured moments: