The only way to say the words and not fall to pieces under the crushing irony doled out by a double-talking justice system is to understand "Black lives matter" not as a slogan or a hashtag but as a meditation. A mantra. A prayer. Or...
As an employee of a bank offering a national student loan refinance and consolidation program, I often speak with recent graduates looking for guidance on questions regarding their student loans. So, for those of you who still don't fully understand how student loan refinancing works, let me help you out.
You've heard a lot of information about retirement planning basics: contribute regularly to tax-advantaged accounts like your 401(k) or IRA, choose the right mix of assets for your age and risk tolerance, and rebalance regularly. But you still can't help but wonder if you're missing something crucial.
"I can't breathe" speaks from the grave and describes the circumstances faced by many who are being choked by a system that treats different races and classes of people unequally.
On the surface, there is absolutely no reason to update the classic Broadway show Annie, which was already adapted for the screen in 1982. But this multicultural cast redux adds a hip swag to the classic kid's story. This Annie is urban, emotional and fun. But far from perfect.
We need to take a hard look at what is causing this income disparity. Is it prejudice? Is it lack of economic or educational opportunities? Is the system corrupt, and if so, where? And what questions need to be asked to change that?
All were willing to step up to make a difference, to lead when it could be dangerous, and to let their lives be shining examples for others. We should remember them when we face stormy and cloudy weather in our national life and become bright rainbows of hope like them.
Although everyone could probably benefit from a smart-spending lesson or two, today, we're talking to you 20-somethings. While you haven't had all that much time as an adult to establish your shopping routines and habits, you've had enough time to start developing some.
I honor the enthusiasm, the tenacity, vigilance of all who have marched, took rubber bulletts, made financial sacrifices, and found strength to go on anyhow. But as you assess where you are, and you find that this work is in your purpose, grab hold to your lane and stay in it with consistency and persistency.
Most of the news stories I've see about Ferguson market and sell fear, and many of the community reactions to the events focus on blame and retribution. This deeply concerns me because blame doesn't heal and revenge doesn't satisfy.
The news media--people in our society who could play a pivotal role in creating a "dialogue" about such injustices as police killings of young black men--have fallen short.
We will not move forward as a society until we can bring ourselves to listen and respond to the cries of those whose spirits have been crushed by the chokehold of poverty and racism.
At the same time, events like the ones in Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland, and the responses to them dominate the news. All of these things remind us of the truth that anytime anyone is treated less than equal because of who they are, we are diminished as people.
I believe the revolution has begun and we are ready for change and soon no one will be able to mislead us and we will take advantage fully of the voice we have on a regular basis. Not just in extreme times, so if you want to be a part of this revolution, look on your phone or computer.
I am not interested in using the unfortunate deaths of my black and brown sisters and brothers as a platform to advance myself or my "brand," rather I am much more interested in how I can lead from behind.
Wondering what story to tell when you preach on race? Tell the story of how your congregation came to be predominantly white in the first place.
Be the one. At your family dinner table. In the bar at happy hour. At your job. In the cafeteria. In the classroom or at rehearsal. In the courtroom, in a chat room. In your church, in the choir, in your synagogue or in your mosque.
One of the world's premiere dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will team with Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company for a new Worlds AIDS Day initiative.
"Fight HIV Your Way" is a contest designed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and inspire people affected by the disease to continue their fight.
The 10 first-place winners, who will be announced in July, will be the inspiration for a new dance performed by the troupe. The company's new artistic director Robert Battle, who will take over the role from Judith Jamison July 1, will choose a renowned choreographer to create the piece. It will debut during Ailey's New York City Center season in December 2011and continue to be performed as part of a 2012 national tour.
Jamison announced the contest in conjunction with the start of the season.
"Today, as we open Ailey's New York season celebrating 50 years of Alvin Ailey's inspiring 'Revelations' and announce the launch of the Reyataz "Fight HIV Your Way" contest, the poignancy of this date couldn't be stronger. We lost our founder, Alvin Ailey, to the disease 21 years ago on Dec. 1, 1989," she said.
The beloved company founder got his start on Broadway as a dancer in Truman Capote's 'House of Flowers,' and in the late 1950s, began choreographing work that explored the black experience. After appearing in the acclaimed film 'Carmen Jones,' the Texas native founded his modern dance troupe in 1958 and enlisted big-name dancers such as Katherine Dunham and Ted Shawn and choreographers like George Faison and Talley Beatty.
His most famous dancers were influenced by social protest and the black church, and his popular performances featured Negro spirituals and music from jazz great Duke Ellington.
Ailey died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Harlem at the age of 58 of a terminal blood disorder, which was the result of complications from AIDS.
Jamison added, "Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is proud to be paying homage to the thousands of individuals fighting HIV their way and look forward to unveiling this original collaboration next year."
National Minority AIDS Council and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who does HIV awareness through her annual concert 'Diva's Simply Singing' and her one-woman show 'Sometimes I Cry,' is also excited about the contest initiative.
"Dance is a transformational visual art that has the unique power to unite diverse audiences," she said.
"Bristol-Myers Squibb's Reyataz 'Fight HIV Your Way' contest provides people with a channel to express how they fight HIV their way. This year, with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's involvement, the photos and essays will, literally, move and continue to provide courage and strength for others with HIV," the 'Dreamgirls' star added.
People are being asked to submit their stories through a photo and essay to www.fightHIVyourway.com through Feb. 28.