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Category Archives: Political Opinions

Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community by Gregory L. Harris

Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace
A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community
by Gregory L. Harris

Imagine a world where prejudice and past discrimination’s impact in the workplace don’t exist. Not reality, but this book, Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace: A Primer for Minorities in the Business Community, helps minorities deal with the real business world as it is.

Bias and racism won’t just slip away in our country. It takes a combined effort to change patterns of beliefs and practices fostered and entrenched for some centuries. Each person deals with these realities every day in their work space to one degree or another.

Individuals can take a stand and make a way—converting one person at a time—if necessary, while thriving in their environment, job, and career. We can accomplish that goal while being successful in our day to day work responsibilities. Not as a new burden, but in ways that make all of us better.

Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace by Gregory L. Harris
https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Bias-Racism-Your-Workplace-ebook/dp/B01NGYK676

Non-fiction > Self-help > Management & Leadership > Discrimination & Racism > Motivation & Career Development


About the Author

An author, a public speaker, and businessman, Gregory pens his new book Overcoming Bias and Racism in Your Workspace. Using his experiences with racism as a child raised in a military family in the poor coal and steel region/area /country of eastern Ohio, as well as his professional experiences at IBM and Wang Computers, Gregory shares tips and tools to effectively deal with the challenges of racism and bias head on.

A proud graduate of Morgan State University with over 20 years career experience as an executive, Gregory knows what it takes to survive and thrive in the world of business. A former Global Vice President of Business Development and Marketing in the corporate realm, he continues to work as a consultant and coach encouraging success for all in the high tech arena.

With a passion for writing and reading, Gregory hopes to inspire and motivate others toward change. A youth sports coach in his spare time, Gregory always encourages others to be the best image of themselves and to stay true to one’s beliefs.  Contact Gregory online at http://www.gregharrisauthors.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

#WritingWithPurpose: God’s View of HEALTHY by Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley

God’s View of HEALTHY
by Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley

Imagine you could walk through an imaginary door, and on the other side you would magically and immediately be completely healthy. Would you do it? Would you recognize yourself? What, if anything, would be different about you from what you are right now? And does God really care about you beinghealthy?

Think of the billions of dollars spent and the entire industries built around people trying to get healthy or feel better in some way. That includes weight loss systems, nutritional supplements, plastic surgery, life coaching, marital counseling, stress management and wellness seminars, retreats, and products, and much of the healthcare industry itself. Makes you tired just thinking about it! It’s only in the last several decades that much of this phenomenon has come to be. Come to think of it, what did people do before self-help groups, General Nutrition Centers, and bariatric surgery?

I’m being only slightly facetious. There’s much of value in the various products, services, and industries trying to help people experience a better life. But what are we really after? What kind of “health” are we trying to achieve?
“If you aim at nothing,” someone has quipped, “you are sure to reach it every time.” While God never shows us every detail of the future He has for us, He allows enough sneak previews to make us hungry for it. He calls us to a life that’s more challenging, meaningful, and abundant than anything we could ask for or achieve on our own.

I believe healthy is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  Here’s what that looks like physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually:


Fully Alive Physically

God cares about your body. He created it. It’s His temple through His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). When He was here on Earth, Jesus spent much of His time healing people physically (Mathew 4:24; Luke 6:19). God wants you well!  That doesn’t mean He isn’t with you when you’re sick, or that He guarantees a completely illness-free life in the here and now. We still live in a sinful, messed up world. But as your healthy lifestyle and God’s blessing work together, your physical body can be vibrantly alive (Romans 8:11).  That looks like:

* Generally strong and energetic a majority of the time
* Physically able to fully engage in the purpose God has for you
* No addictions or lifestyle illnesses
* Free from destructive lifestyle behaviors, such as substance abuse or unhealthy sexual behavior

Your physical body, and how you care for it, can be a demonstration of God’s restoring, healing, and sustaining power.


Fully Alive Mentally and Emotionally

God cares about your mind and emotions. Rather than fear, He promised “power, . . . love, and . . . a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). He goes about transforming and renewing your mind as you continue walking with Him (Romans 12:2; 1 Peter 1:13).

Many of the challenges you and I face in this world come through our thoughts and emotions. Remember that Jesus experienced fatigue, loneliness, and sadness (Mathew 26:37–40; Mark 4:38). We will continue to experience negative feelings as long as we’re in this world, but we don’t have to be controlled by them. You can have a sound mind and a healthy emotional life.  That looks like:

* Able to experience the full range of human emotions—sadness, grief, pain, joy, love, hope
* Not being stuck in a state of anger, fear, anxiety, bitterness, or other destructive emotions
* Mental and emotional ability to fulfill the purpose God has for you
* Mental clarity in discerning and interpreting God’s voice

God promises you can have a mind like Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5). That’s not some nebulous spiritual idea; it’s the result of His renewing of your mind.


Fully Alive Relationally

God cares about your relationships. God Himself is relational, and He desires relationship with you (Jeremiah 31:33,34). Families are a part of His plan (Psalm 68:6). The relationship between husband and wife is a picture of how close He wants to be with you and me (Ephesians 5:31,32), and our love for others is a demonstration of our connection with Him (John 13:35).

There is probably no bigger factor in your own well-being, or in the impact your life has on others, than the quality of your closest relationships. Those relationships can be characterized by the same quality of love and strength God demonstrates to us.  What that looks like:

* If you’re married, your relationship with your spouse characterized by love and respect
* If you’re single, living a full and vibrant life connected with others in healthy ways
* Living with sexual integrity, whether married OR single
* Having a full range of connections with others, characterized by mutuality, love, and growth

You’re going to be living in relationship with other people for eternity. The richness of that life can begin now.


Fully Alive Spiritually

God cares about your heart, your innermost being, your soul, your spirit. That’s the part of you that connects with God most directly. It’s precious, and it’s worth protecting with everything you have (Proverbs 4:23).

There’s an all-out assault going on, a battle for your heart. As long as we live in this world, heart wounds and battle scars mean that we’ll need God’s presence to keep, preserve, and make alive this most unique and valuable part of who we are. Regardless of any other circumstances, God will strengthen our hearts (Ephesians 3:16–19). What that looks like:

* A relationship with God that is resilient, growing, and real
* Continuing to experience God’s transforming power in all aspects of your life
* Participating in the advance of God’s kingdom on Earth
* Demonstrating hope for the future in the midst of troubles now

God’s presence making your inner being fully alive will “leak out” and make the other parts of you alive as well.

Does that picture of “healthy” sound like an impossible dream? It isn’t! It’s never too late to get better, and it’s never too early to start.  Rather than becoming discouraged by such an ambitious goal, let it inspire you, encourage you, and motivate you to work together with God more than ever before in finding and living the full life He has for you.


About the Author

Dr Carol Peters-Tanksley M.D., D.Min.
, is a licensed practicing OB-Gyn physician, and also an ordained Christian minister. As an author and speaker she is passionate about helping others discover the full and joyous life Jesus came to bring. Find out more on her website http://www.drcarolministries.com. And join her on Twitter or Facebook.  Dr Carol and her husband Al make their home in Austin, Texas.

Listen to the radio show: http://www.drcarolministries.com/radio-archives/
Shop for the Live Healthy, Live Whole book:  http://www.drcarolministries.com/live-healthy-live-whole/

 
 
 
 

Rewind: Development of Political Controversy

The Development of Political Controversy
By Laura Major

During an election year, a potential candidate’s perceived flaws and strengths are put on display for all to see. The public scrutiny is not limited to the candidate alone, but is broadened to include the people closest to the contenders. It reinforces the meaning of the old proverb, “Birds of a Feather Flock Together.”

Throughout this long election campaign, many are interested in the types of birds that flock with our candidates. Hilary is constantly haunted by the professional and personal misdeeds of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, while Barack was called to justify his friendship and respect for militant preacher Jeremiah Wright until that very friendship was fractured under the pressure.

The search for controversy has no statute of limitations as even the bachelor’s thesis of Michelle Obama, which examines the changing attitudes of middle and upper class blacks in Ivy League white academia toward lower class blacks and the black community during various stages of academic attendance, was a target for ridicule and judgment. Understanding the political climate and the inevitable existence of dirt digging and mud slinging, Michelle attempted to reduce the potential impact of her racial research from 23 years ago. It is not unreasonable to investigate to whom the presidential candidates are coupled and Michelle knew her words could have an impact on her husband’s campaign. It is an example of another old saying, “you are judged by the company you keep”. As a result, it has been reported that she requested her thesis be removed from the Princeton library until after the election in November 2008.

In a respected move, the Obama campaign quickly released the thesis upon request of media outlets. Some judged this act as Obama’s attempt to capitalize on the the controversy surrounding the dated words of his wife, the very words she was trying to keep private for the benefit of his campaign.

Upon reading her thesis firsthand, I had trouble detecting the controversy. It became apparent that the point of contention rested in what the thesis might say instead of what it actually said, which explains why the Obama campaign released it. The speculation is always worse than the reality. Once it was made available, some of the silliest remarks were made regarding its validity and its ability to convey Michelle’s findings. I read comments like, “well there are no white history classes” and “that thesis was full of grammatical errors”. I found humor in these meaningless judgments. My first thought was, there’s no white history classes because nearly all history is white history. It makes sense that at a predominantly white academic institution of the 1980s the majority of classes, clubs, and activities would spotlight white culture, placing all other cultures in the dark.

What Michelle’s thesis really focused on is the attitudes of middle class and upper middle class blacks toward the black community and the white community prior to, during and after attending a predominantly white affluent Ivy League institution like Princeton. The sample was compiled of 400 names of black Princeton alumni collected by choosing every fourth name in a list of 1200 obtained from Princeton’s Alumni office. A survey of 18 questions yielded a 22% response rate or 89 respondents, which consisted of 60% males and 40% females. Ms. Obama delved into the lifestyles and the perceptions of these undergraduate alumni, considering their dating and religious practices, their friendships, as well as their comfort level with whites and other blacks. Their economic and educational backgrounds prior to admission to Princeton was also considered.

She wanted to discover the following:
· Attitudes of black undergraduate alumni and the intentions between blacks and whites.
· The Ivy League Black’s feeling of obligation to help lower class blacks
· Interaction with white students on campus
· How experience at Princeton changed personal values
· How the obligation to give back to the black community was affected by social practices while attending Princeton

Her research revealed that a black alumni’s loyalty to the black community had a lot to do with whether integration and assimilation took place while attending Princeton. Those from lower class families and neighborhoods felt more comfortable with other blacks and were more likely to participate in separatism, thereby not interacting with whites by choice. As far as giving back to the black community, Michelle determined that benefiting a given group had a lot to do with the time invested in getting to know that group. Those who integrated and assimilated into white culture were more likely to give back to the community of whites and blacks as a whole rather than focus on black society specifically.

Other theories such as the need to band together within the black culture before integrating into white society were discussed. In the introduction, Michelle wrote about her experience as being on the fringes of Princeton academic society but not being welcomed to embrace it.
This study analyzed the affects of the white upper middle class academic experience on blacks and how that experience shaped their evolving views of black culture, the black community and their obligation to contribute to that facet of society during various stages of the academic experience. In the end, Ms. Obama had to derive several new hypothesis models that spoke to the general social climate between blacks and whites which were in effect regardless of economic class.

Finally, social research studies such as this are designed to encourage analysis of society, it’s effectiveness and one’s place in the evolving entity that is our environment. As with any research study, Ms. Obama posed a question that spoke to her own experiences and curiosities while attending a upper middle class Ivy League school as a black woman in the 1980’s and determined based on the responses that her hypothesis had to be adjusted as the outcome was not solely based on each person’s social history or economic status. In fact, Michele Obama’s thesis and the social scrutiny of the presidential candidates demonstrates how a person’s character and value go beyond those in their current inner circle by taking into account their past and present social environments.

Cultural loyalty is affected by the overall social climate of the period. Much is the same in our current political climate, as each candidate’s potential to successfully carry the presidency must be analyzed by their intelligence, a commitment to their values and their ability to convey and personify a sincere message of hope for all those involved both within the United States and around the world.

Written by Laura Major
Website: LauraMajor.com

___________________________________

Reference:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8642.html
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/02/23/michelle-obamas-princeton-thesis-reveals-doubts-about-her-own-integration/
http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=1182

 
 

Why President-Elect Barack Obama Needs Our Prayers

Why President-Elect Barack Obama Needs Our Prayers

Today’s commentary is from blogger Andy Freeman

The election has concluded. While there will be many with sore feelings, everyone who walks under the banner of Christ must come together and intercede for Barack Obama. We are specifically instructed to do so in the Word of God. During the Clinton Presidency, Christians spent more time criticizing and hating the man than lifting him before the Lord.

Why does Barack Obama need your prayers?

#1. He will make decisions that influence countless people in signficant ways.

#2. He faces incredibly difficult challenges in our economy, as well as two difficult wars in the Middle East. Barack Obama is an ordinary man who will require extraordinary wisdom and strength to deal with these serious issues.

#3. He will be surrounded by many people who have their own agenda or simply want to be “yes” men to him. We must pray for wise counsel and truth to be presented to Barack Obama as he leads the nation.

#4. No matter what I Timothy tells us to do as believers, plenty of saints and sinners will slander and attack Barack Obama because he was not their candidate of choice or he does not represent all the policies they hold for government. The Bible clearly states that “the heart of the King is like a river in the hands of the Lord, that He turns whichever way He wishes.” Prayer changes things – hate and slander only fuels evil.

#5. There will be many temptations that the new President will have to face. Power, wealth and compromise. Still others will wish him ill. We must pray that the Lord guards his heart, protects the President and his family and steers him on the path of truth and righteousness during his time in office.

The Bible is full of examples of leaders who knew the blessings and guidance of God almighty and others who made the mistake of accepting bad counsel, falling to temptation or simply going their own way. Still others appeared to be ready to take nations on a path to destruction but found God’s blessing, direction and favor.

The next President of the United States is Barack Obama. The leadership he provides and decisions he makes are waiting to be affected by the prayers of the saints.

What will you do to honor God’s direction in I Timothy and help write the story of the next four years of American history?

 
 

Express Your Opinions and Opposing Views

1) Do We Still Need Affirmative Action?
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King spoke these words in 1963, and they still resonate today. Affirmative action programs were established to create this very type of equality, but have they brought us closer to Dr. King’s dream or hindered it?
http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/do-we-still-need-affirmative-action

2) Should Same-Sex Marriage be Legal?
The tide of marriage for same-sex couples has ebbed and flowed over the last decade with no end in sight. Because marriage sits squarely at the intersection of religion, law and society, the discussion around same-sex couples’ inclusion into the institution of marriage has been one of the most complex and hotly contested topics in America.http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/should-marriage-for-same-sex-couples-be-legal

3) Can the Obama Presidency End Racism in America?
At the start of the American Civil War, there were still more than 4 million African-Americans living in slavery. Now, approximately 150 years later, an African-American will become president of that same nation. There is much discussion about how such a presidency will affect America, but will an Obama victory usher in a new generation of tolerance?http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/can-the-obama-presidency-end-racism-in-america

4) Is Spanking Children OK?
You have probably heard the expression, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Do you agree with it? Perhaps you were spanked as a kid. Was it appropriate? Some people see spanking as an outdated method of punishment or even child abuse, while others view a swat on the bottom as a parent’s prerogative. Where do we draw the line when it comes to disciplining our children?

http://www.opposingviews.com/questions/is-spanking-an-acceptable-form-of-discipline

 
 

We’ve Only Just Begun

We’ve Only Just Begun: The Day after Election Day ‘08
By Cheryl Lacey Donovan


Elated, hopeful, encouraged, inspired all of these are descriptors for how I feel one day after the Presidential election of 2008. It’s amazing to believe, however, the fearful, leery, and watchful are also feelings that reside in my heart.

Yes, change has come to America . Now what? The election of Barack Obama as the first African American President of the United States has sent shockwaves around the world. People as far away as Japan were celebrating a black man in the White House. His election has released a new spirit of goodwill towards the United States , the likes we haven’t seen in years. Many are in fact amazed that we as a nation have come so far in spite of an ever present racial divide.

Frances Junior Minister of Human Rights likened Obama’s election to the falling of the Berlin wall.

As I think about it, I wonder how white people must feel. For years, they have essentially run the country. Yet, never before, at least as far as I can tell, there has never been this much world wide celebration over our election process. What does this really mean? Were people around the globe waiting for change just as much as we were?

Secondly, I think about black people. What’s the next step? Do we really believe Obama will be able to solve all of our problems? Will he be able to single handedly make the changes we so long for? Is it even fair to expect him too? After all, he was elected for the people by the people. That includes all the people, not just black people.

Obama faces global challenges as momentous as the hopes his campaign inspired ― wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , the nuclear ambitions of Iran , the elusive hunt for peace in the Middle East and a global economy in turmoil. He literally bears the weight of the world on his shoulders. The change we are expecting must begin with each of us. We are individually and collectively responsible for effectuating our own changes. The election itself is a great example of what can be done when a people, any people, come together to make a difference.

It is this sense of collective responsibility that Barack Obama symbolizes. Therefore, if we are truly to realize change, we must embrace the fundamental ideas of teamwork, collective accountability, and individual responsibility.

Gone are the days of blaming the white man for our failures. If you refuse to get off the couch and look for work, then you can’t blame the white man because you have no job. If you believe you are too good to work menial jobs, (even though many of our ancestor’s work whenever and wherever they could to make sure their families survived) because they don’t pay enough, yet you refuse to go to school to get an education. Shame on you not the white man. If you drop out of school because you become pregnant and continue to have baby after baby after baby by men who have no intentions of being responsible towards you or your children. It’s not the white mans fault that you are on welfare. Just because the white man may have brought in the crack cocaine did not give you a right to sell it among your brothers nor did it mean you had to use it. No, you crack addiction is not the white man’s fault either.

It’s all about choices. The time is now for us as a people to choose to do what’s best for ourselves, our families, and our people. Stop looking to the next guy for change. Let the change begin with you.

Fostering and protecting healthy families is the most important responsibility a community can assume. Family is the first school, and family members are the first teachers. Strong families are the cultivators of the habits that make reliable workers, entrepreneurs, and employers. Caring families create the characteristics of effective political and social leaders. Education, economics, and politics are all of great importance, but without family and community leading the way, they fall short. The family is the common denominator for change.

Talking about the youngsters on the street corners with their pants hangin’ around their ankles may be commonplace, but it doesn’t lead to change. Instead try talking to the teens and making an effort to understand them. Take a lesson from Barack and seek to bridge the gaps that exist. Instead of gossiping about the teenage mother who lives down the street with her children, why not reach out to her, offer her some support, some respite, some guidance. We must change our mindset as we attempt to change the world.

Barack needs our help to build one nation under God. Our time is now. Are you ready for the challenge? Will each of you who stood in line for hour to vote, to caucus, or to volunteer, continue to stand up for yourselves? It’s time to turn Obama’s inspiration into activism.

By Cheryl Lacey Donovan

 
 

OBAMA’S SPEECH

OBAMA’S SPEECH

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference. It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you. I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.

We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college.

There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.

And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.

Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too. And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope. For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old. She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can. When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can. She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Warmest regards,

Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder

 
 
 
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