My Beloved World – US Supreme Court Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor

My Beloved World - US Supreme Court Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor

On Monday, March 10, 2014 I was able to hear United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak about her life and brand new memoir My Beloved World at the University of Washington’s HUB Ballroom. The event was packed. She gave us many words and lessons to live by and showed us what a world class leader looks like. Although I’m already halfway through her book I really wanted a signed copy. They ran out of copies, but guess who’s face showed up the morning after in the Seattle Times! šŸ˜‰

-AmbassadorNique

#BlackHero Thurgood Marshall

#BlackHero Thurgood Marshall

Brown v. The Board of Education… Need I say more? Thurgood was a Supreme Court justice in the highest court of the land. Dedicated to justice, equality, fairness and freedom for all.

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

#BlackHero Martin and Malcolm

Martin and Malcolm

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitableā€¦ Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” -MLK

“The mediaā€™s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and thatā€™s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” MX

PhotoVoice Eagles With Cameras: ā€œProject on Identityā€ Who Are We? Session One

PhotoVoice Eagles With Cameras: ā€œProject on Identityā€Ā Who Are We?

Session One

Wednesday was my first day back in front of a classroom of children since my Japan English teaching days. Honest, I started off a bit rusty, I was nervous, tight and a bit on edge. As the class went on Iā€™d like to think my performance improved. The students were there to learn and have fun and I hope thatā€™s exactly what they received out of it. A HUGE thank you to my assistants, Diana, Jessica, Jackie, Domonique, Mr. Stowell and a parent I never had a chance to introduce myself too.

We started off with an overview of the project as a whole and moved into trying to understand how complex identity can be. It was my goal to inspire interactions and dialogue. There were no wrong answers.

The students really seemed to open up during the slide show session where we discussed perception and what stories photoā€™s were telling. We used everything from the historical photo of JFK in the drop top, Martin and Malcolmā€™s first meeting and Aliā€™s triumphant stance over his opponent. I also found current photoā€™s as well, LeBron James dunking as the Laker team sits back in awh, pictures from the Egyptian revolution, Malala, and a photo from the typhoon in the Philippines. I was surprised at how engaged they were and while I knew they were smart, but still some of their answers blew me away.

Above all the best part for the students seemed to be going into other classrooms at the school and take pictures of other students hard at work, capturing the identity of the classrooms and the entire school. Hands on for the win!

It is my opinion that when we speak about social change it starts from within with identity. Next week we will examine their photoā€™s and dig deeper into their personal identities and allow students to write out what they believe represents them, their school, and their community. We will also start thinking about what pictures students will want to take for their projects. Stay tuned.

***CREDIT****
The idea for calling the project Eagles With Cameraā€™s was inspired by Prometheus Brown (Blue Scholars) and Thig Natā€™s (The Physics)Ā Rappers W/ Cameraā€™s. Northgate Elementary Eagles.

Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions
www.AmbassadorNique.com

PREVIOUSLY:

My PhotoVoice Project at Northgate Elementary (Starting November 13, 2013)

President Obama Speaks on Trayvon Martin

One man cannot change this broken system, its always been on us to go above and beyond in order to create a more just society. We all know politics can be dirty and corrupt, and until we find ways to understand, infiltrate and put the people that look and think like us into the system, this fact will remain the same. There is no greater time to be young in this country than NOW! Thank you President Obama for sharing what people that look like myself go through way too often! WAKE UP!

Want change after the Zimmerman verdict? Youth must take the lead ā€” MSNBC

One day they’ll learn to respect these youngsters. We run the world! Believe, Speak and Seek JUSTICE for ALL!

Want change after the Zimmerman verdict? Youth must take the lead ā€” MSNBC

Connecting the dots (Written by AmbassadorNique)

This feels differentā€¦ This past weekend while spring cleaning I had an epiphany. Forced to think about life, and wondering what could I be doing better to achieve different results than the ones I was getting, I came up with a solution. The issue reached its peak Friday morning when I received a denial letter from the University of Washingtonā€™s iSchool for their mid career program. Obviously I was a bit angry and down, butĀ realisticallyĀ  I definitely applied knowing I didnā€™t have the years expiereince they were looking for in aĀ ā€mid careerā€ student. This is definitely not to say that I couldnā€™t hang with any other student in their program intellectually, or that my perspectives andĀ experiencesĀ could not provide them with new outlooks. I knew I was taking a shot in the dark, and unfortunately I missed. At that point you can either stop shooting and go home, or you can continue to map out a way to make things happen.

What was my epiphany?

My epiphany was I donā€™t need anyone to validate my vision or my aspirations. Paying $30K+ for aĀ pieceĀ of paper is not a down payment on happiness. In my opinion happiness is something we make happen for ourselves. There are things I could be doing NOW to get to where I ultimately want to be.

Furthermore, I started thinking more about identity, and how Iā€™d been blogging my truths and my life under an alias in order to protect myself from those who wouldnā€™t agree, or take offense to my truths. Was I afraid to share? What would people think? What if I had gramatical errors? lol

I guess through my journey of finding out who I really am I became someone whom could care less about who found my gramatical mistakes, who was offended, and whom just didnā€™t agree.

Naturally when IĀ separatedĀ my government name from my beliefs, it was for acceptance, thinking about the consequences if someone with power found my blog posts on social justice and discussions on race and fighint against institutional oppression? At the time I was unemployed, I just wanted to be someone a job would hire! Wow, how wack is that? I would beĀ embarrassedĀ  but this is my truth and I KNOW that I am not the only one who was hiding.

Great women and men stand behind their words and their truths. They are students and life long learners able to admit what it is that they do not know. My goal is not to be famous, or even to change the world anymore. Today, my goal is to tell my story, tell my truth, express my opinions and find out more about myself. So today I merge my brand with my name and I stand behind my thoughts, my passions, my words, as a progressive and forward thinker. Yes, I still have a lot to learn, but who doesnā€™t? I predict I will useĀ languageĀ that could offend, I will say things that may be incorrect or inaccurate, but I wont be the first and I am sure I wonā€™t be the last.

Today I know who I am, and I know the power of my words, do you?

-Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

Supreme Court Justices Signal Reluctance On Gene Patent Case

This case definitely makes me think of TheĀ ImmortalĀ Life Of Henrietta Lacks. If you haven’t already… READ IT!

Supreme Court Justices Signal Reluctance On Gene Patent Case

Md. Assembly votes to repeal death penalty

Not quite sure how I feel about this yet. On one hand we obviously have a broken Criminal Justice system that unfairlyĀ criminalizesĀ people of color, but on the other hand I’m not sure if that means ALL crime should not be punishable by death.

Md. Assembly votes to repeal death penalty