#MorningPageByDomo 12.7.16

thisiswhoweare-videostill-05a

If you are reading this, please note that this is a brain dump. Well, now I am thinking out loud, most of this blog started as a brain dump. A place to collect inspiration and leave some disorganized thoughts as I try to know self and the world around me.

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about connecting the dots. I have not been blogging, not writing and not collecting my thoughts in a significant way. I have however, been creating. In connecting the dots I made a note that I have always been fascinated with migration. I believe this fascination comes from my father, but he is fascinated about a lot of things. How did you and I arrive at this point at this time? I believe in the power of the universe to connect souls in perfect timing for maximum impact.

I believe we can learn a lot when we study patterns and the histories of beings. I’ve tried to get out of my head and comfort zone. I will admit, this challenge is great. As a stubborn millennials who feels as though I am finally finding my bubble to challenge everything I know is difficult. What if everything we were taught was wrong? What if what we assumed was good for us, really was not? I grew up in a country that built a public education system that reaffirmed that our country was the greatest country on earth, yet people who shared my skin color were somehow less than, but I should be grateful because I grew up in this country. Oh yeah, and this has been happening for centuries and still does.

That being said I do not overlook the importance and willingness of my people to survive and innovate. It is because of this, I strive to innovate. Grateful for the perserverance of folks of color in the midst of doubt, the perserverance of  my family tree and the situation I was placed in and my own personal privileges and guidence. For this reason, it is not enough for me to reach back and assist those who follow in my footsteps, however I believe it is important to continue to break down barriers and innovate.

I work on projects that connect community in ways that allow folks to build. That being said the more I work the more I begin to understand that as much as I am about building and innovating, often times folks need time and space to heal. Nevertheless, the work must go on. I am not dismissing the notion that healing  must happen somewhere, sonme how and some way, but many communities do not have the luxury of spending time trying to close damaging wounds. These scars remind me that nothing was easy, nor was it given. Many have sacrificed their lives literally and figuratively, mentally and physically for me to have a seat at the table. Much to be grateful for, much to fight for, and so much work to be done.

Even as I understand all of this, I still understand there is so much more to learn.

-Domo

Writing inspired by the above photo credit to Inye Wokoma

Advertisements

New Orleans to Alexandria, Louisiana (Written By AmbassadorNique)

What is this place? The beautiful, the ugly, the gift, the curse

Since birth Id heard tales about Alexandria. This is where my parents called home. Some memories happy and others not so much..

We were told to be thankful that we did not have to grow up in poverty and were fortunate to live the life we lived. Nevertheless every Saturday regardless how they feel about each other both my parents route for the LSU Tigers and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday’s. Depending on the week you may even smell delicious gumbo coming from the kitchen.

Although My fathers father died When I was just 2 and a half, I’d always known he was very smart and I found out sometime last winter he even attended college in Arkansas where he was raised.

Fast forward years later I am now 27 and a half and have made quite a few
More trips down south to Louisiana

Last year I was able to visit my uncle in Angola for the first time ever, and my brother hosted this thanksgiving in New Orleans.

Just 2 weeks later my lovely girlfriend and I would come back to New Orleans to celebrate her birthday for an entire week.

While we did everything from eat binese and po boys to go on a swamp tour, have lunch with a friend whom we randomly ran into on the flight down, to the French quarters market, burbon street, and the river walk; our 3 hours each way road trip to Alexandria louisiana was by far my favorite part of the trip.

We’d stop in opololusus to buy boudan while discussing life and our future.

The trips purpose was to see my grandmother and interview her about her life, our family, the origins of her moral compass and values and whatever else she’d share

I also wanted to show Diana where my family had started and properly introduce granny to the young woman I love dearly.

We’d get to Alexandria around 1 and Id first meet my fathers oldest sister aunt glen standing in the door way. I’d have to go next door to meet granny at the church where she was assisting them in wrapping up a fundraiser where they’d been selling gumbo all morning. I’d notice folks under what my father refers to as “the tree”.

We’d meet my grandmother in the middle of the crossings of 17th and Reed. She’d point out that this was the same block that she’d been born and raised. She told us stories of how my grandfather moved back with her after she had gotten sick and they’d raise their kids here. She’d point out the four churches in a one block radius, abandon houses and some history of the neighborhood.

Diana and I would later talk to my uncle and look through pictures my grandmother had gotten out for us. I’d also have the opportunity to interview her on camera and ask her about her childhood and upbringing.

On our way back to New Orleans that night I began to think about the importance of community. No matter how much money you have or where you live, our participation in our community can be vital to our survival. My grandmother stays in Alexandria because she feels important to that community.

I am thankful to have her and I am thankful for her acceptance of Diana and our relationship. Love is love.

AmbassadorNique

IMG_4929

IMG_4944

IMG_4950

First Impressions (Written By AmbassadorNique)

I’m a grad student! WOAH! The wait is over, and classes have started. My inbox is overflowing with e-mails that I get by the minute, and I am doing my best to balance work, school, my social life, on campus talks, meet and greets, my hobbies, writing, photography, my family, my girlfriend, sleep, exercise, hygiene and oh yeah… READING! Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I complaining… I am loving every second of this! Actively thinking about where I will be interning next summer and what my capstone project will be. I have some cool ideas up my sleeve that I will save for a later date.

I’ve met so many people in the last two weeks I cannot even begin to remember everyone’s name. Nevertheless I hope I have left a smiling impression and I will do whatever it takes to stay committed. I am very fortunate to be in a position to learn, grow, and move closer to achieving my goals with each passing moment. I am the author of my own story and while I can’t be everything to anybody, I can commit to myself and be exactly the man I want to be.

Be GREAT,

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

Inspiration: Smoking Kid (Thailand)

This is old, but its new to me! A great reminder of the importance of digital story telling. Sometimes how we present information is just as important as the information we are presenting. Around the world the innocence of a child’s future and the universal language of love hold greater priority than almost anything else on this planet. I hope we are doing our part to not only take care of their futures, but our own. Enjoy the Seattle sunshine. -AmbassadorNique