#BlackLivesMatter. Period.

 I wrote this last year and it still stands true today — 

Ummm…I won’t just sit back and be quiet! The person I was before all this is the person I am today. It took me years to find my voice and I am going to use it to stand for what I believe in. I will not silence my voice to please others when my daughters are looked at differently than I am just because of their skin color, my best friends are black males and my kids father is a black man and I pray for all of them and every other black man and woman in America that they realize #BlackLivesMatter..Period.

Yes, ALL lives matter. I matter. YOU matter. WE matter. BUT until BLACK lives matter we cannot say ALL LIVES MATTER because that is not the truth.

As a white woman, I have no idea how it feels to be black. I can sympathize from what I have seen happen to those closest to me, but I cannot empathize because my skin color is not hated upon every day. They do not watch me closely when I go into a store thinking I’m going to steal something. I don’t get pulled over and shot at just for being me. Although I wasn’t born into the privelidged life and money has always been kinda funny and I’ve had my share of struggles, my skin color makes me privelidged. I don’t have to worry each moment that my father or brother will get shot at the hands of those who are supposed to protect our community. The sad reality of our society is what my three beautiful daughters who I love with every inch of me will face these facts and have to worry (already do) about their father who is a black man and their 3 brothers who are young now, but will one day be black men in America.

Yes, this is a racial problem that started wayyyyyyyy before the last two murders and is happening every day regardless of whether it was videotaped or not. To conquer the hatred we must come together. Killing innocent cops is NOT the answer and there are good cops out there who believe in the oath they took to protect and serve. Each of them has a family and kids that love them and killing them only destroys more lives and makes things worse. 

We must join together to start supporting one another and creating positivity in the world and in our communities. It’s action time not sit back and look at social media all day feeling bad time. If you want things to change, then it’s on YOU. And ME. And every other person to take a stand for what’s right. Our country is about to go to war within its own borders and WE are the only one who can change that. Stop talking and start taking positive, intentional action. Go to a rally, but instead of creating a riot protest in peace. Start a black owned business. Support black owned businesses. Eat produce from black owned farms. Stop feeding the pockets of already rich CEOS by purchasing expensive shoes and purses and save your money to get off government assistance. Keep on saving and buy your family a home. Educate those around you and spread LOVE in your own communities. You are the light that your community and family needs. Do not dim your light, but shine brightly for them to see the love, strength, peace and knowledge that you bring to the table to support them on their journeys. 

I repeat…I will not silence my voice on issues I believe in just because it makes people uncomfortable. I love everyone and pray for each of you even those who disagree with me. 

YOU are enough. PERIOD. Stand in your power to positively affect change in the world and have a blessed day. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

We demand JUSTICE for #PhilandoCastile!ย 

According to NPR.org…

After five days of deliberations, a jury has found a Minnesota police officer not guilty of all counts in his deadly shooting of a black man during a traffic stop last July in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minn.

That black man was 32 year old cafeteria worker, Philando Castile, who was driving home with his girlfriend and 4 year old daughter when police Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled them over. 

“Seventy-four seconds after Yanez activated his squad lights, he fired the last of seven shots into the car,” Minnesota Public Radio’s Matt Sepic reported.

Castile’s Girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds went live on Facebook during the deadly shooting. Clips from the video are below. Beware because it is gruesome. 

“The system continues to fail black people, and it will continue to fail you all,” Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, told reporters after the verdict. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away. … I’m mad as hell right now.”

Many are outraged at this outright injustice, including myself. When is enough, enough? This is not even close to the first time a police officer has killed a black person and got off with no repercussions and no justice. 

……….

#PhilandoCastile = No Conviction

#SandraBland = No Conviction

#EricGarner = No Conviction

#MikeBrown = No Conviction

#TamirRice = No Conviction

#FreddieGray = No Conviction

#AmadouDiallo = No Conviction

#TrayvonMartin = No Conviction

#JohnCrawford III = No Convocation 

And (!!!) this is a partial list. Now, talk to me about how All Lives Matter. I’ll wait.

……….

The above list was shared on Facebook and is only the shortlist of black people killed by police officers in recent years. It is a damn shame that this is happening over and over and the police officers ๐Ÿ‘ฎ are getting off.

I posted this tweet earlier this evening and I believe it with all my might. Had Philando been white, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now because he would have made it out of the car alive. 

I truly believe Philando was murdered. Point. Blank. Period. Someone please tell me what he did to be shot in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter? Comply? Be polite? Tell the officer upfront he had a gun? 

And where the hell is the NRA in all of this. No comments, not a peep from them…Go figure! 


Many others also took to Twitter to share their disgust about the jury’s decision to acquit Yanez of the murder of Philando Castile and the system of oppression that allows for this repeated injustice. Here are just a few of the reactions: 

Currently, on the evening of the jury’s decision, Many people are marching in memory of #PhilandoCastile and for justice in Minnesota.

People need to speak up and stand up against injustice all the time, not just when it’s a trending hashtag. Justice must be demanded and we must not back down. 

Moving forward, what are your thoughts on how we can handle/prevent racial injustice from happening? Any ideas on how we can come together to make a change in the future? Comment below. 

It’s in our hands now because the justice system is broken and one-sided. 

Authenticity Shines in Today’s Social Media Driven Society

One thing I have learned about today’s social media driven and crazed society is that AUTHENTICITY stands out more than anything. People have uber amounts of choices when it comes to who they follow, engage with, and purchase products and/or services from. While social media has given everyone the opportunity to connect with others around the world like no other time in history and become an expert on any and every topic imaginable, it also has flooded the online marketplace making it harder to stand out among your competitors. 

In a time in history where you can connect with an audience with the press of a button, what makes you stand out from the crowd is you engaging regularly being uniquely YOU!

As a Digital Media & Visibility Specialist, I have seen and assisted many brands in showing up and growing their engagement across social media platforms and one of the MISTAKES that I see often is canned content. Yep, I said it. Content that is too impersonal, not shareworthy and doesn’t show the person or company’s personality. People want a personal connection with those they follow. They want to feel like they know you to a degree and resonate with you as a human…not just a brand, service or product. 

Why do you think so many top entrepreneurs and businesses are now utilizing Facebook Live and Periscope to chit-chat with their audience? Many times the broadcasts have little to do with the service or product they sell but more about them, what’s going on in their life and behind the scenes footage of a project they are working on. 

It’s fun. It’s interesting. It builds a trust and connection between them and their audience. 



Here are my Top 3 Ways to Authentically Show Up and Engage with Your Audience

1) Be clear on who YOU are. 

It’s kind of hard to show up in the world authentically if you aren’t even sure who you are. 

If you have a hard time with being clear on who you are, then I suggest you take sometime to talk to yourself intimately and you can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you enjoy? 
  • What are you most grateful for in your life? 
  • What are the most important things in your life? 
  • What are your values? 
  • How would you describe yourself? 

Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings focusing on the most powerful question, “Who Am I?”

2. People connect with your struggles and flaws.

Perfection is highly overrated in today’s world. As I browsed through my Facebook Newsfeed earlier today, I pondered on what drew me to certain people that I follow over others. I, like many (I would almost bet you to be able to say MOST) people, follow people who aren’t afraid to admit their flaws and struggles and don’t put up a persona that they are perfect. Vulnerability helps people connect to you on a whole other level. 

Plus, honestly it is just plain too darn hard to keep up with trying to be someone that you’re not all the time. It’s easier to just be yourself from the jump. 

3. Use the power of video to your advantage. 

Video gives you the opportunity to show up as you are to you audience at anytime on any day. Share your experiences, the good and the bad. But also be sure to not make your videos a pitty party of everything going wrong in your life or a drawn out sales pitch either. Connect your story to your message. 

What experiences in your life can you connect to the topic of your video? Don’t try to be someone your not by showing up as who you think your audience wants you to be. Be genuine. 

For years people tried to tell me to change my accent because it’s too southern and would say that the only people who make it out of New Orleans (where I’m from) are rappers…which is so not true. If I had of listened, I would have put out a message that I don’t value myself just as I am and as you may already know, I am all about self love and knowing that you are SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL without any apologies. 

See this is why it is KEY to know who you are FIRST and show up just as you are whether it’s online, in video or in person! ๐Ÿ’‹

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