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.


Domonique Meeks
AmbassadorNique Productions

#PayItForward: $1 for Domo and Diana Support Room 16

Diana and I are happy to announce that we will be mentoring 3 fifth grade students from Northgate Elementary school this spring! We will not only assist these students as mentors but we are also committed to helping them financially make it to Washington DC this May 31, 2014! While in DC they will have the opportunity to tour the entire city where they will see monuments and learn the history of our nation. It is our task in the next 2 months to raise $600 in total and we need your support!

First Hike of 2014: Heather Lake

First Hike of 2014: Heather Lake

Diana, Jennifer, and I went on our first hike of the season this past weekend to Heather Lake. I was unprepared for the snow that we came across on the last third of the hike, but we still had a great time. I am excited to continue to go on more journey’s with close friends this season. Come one, come all! Northwest Forest Pass Required..

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! 😉


Life Hack “Creating Positive Change” (Day 22)

1. Write down 3 gratitude’s.

I am grateful for lasting friendships. Some of us are lucky enough to have friends who come through for us and understand our ambitions. For those of us who are young and trying to get it, often times we can’t make it to every celebration, event, or get together. I’m grateful to have a few resources of my own that I’m able to share. Lastly today I’m grateful for the happy feeling I’ve had lately. I guess that was the point of this project. 😉

2. Journal about 1 positive experience you’ve had over the last 24 hours.

In the last 24 hours a positive experience I’ve had was taking Jessica (who is like my little sister now) to her first class here at UW. Its awesome to know that the amazing woman she is today will blossom into something even greater with her commitment to education. 

3. Exercise: Yes

4. Meditate: No

5. Write one positive email praising or thanking someone in your social support network: Yes

Edward McClain, “the Real Change guy” dies at 69

The real change guy outside of the UDistrict Safeway passed away. His back story is very interesting considering where he ended up. 

In 2009 he was Vendor of the week and left with this: 

“You only go around one time in this life. Live it to the fullest. When I die, I don’t want them to say I didn’t do this, I didn’t do that. When I die I want them to say, he didn’t leave a rock unturned. Life is so fragile; you don’t know when it is going to end, so enjoy your life. ‘Cause you won’t go around twice. Once you pass 14 you’ll never see 14 again. I wish for the whole world that they get a chance to enjoy their life. So that when they get to be 60 or 70 years old they can say, well, I did this, I did that, I achieved this, I achieved that. That’s what I’d like to wish my customers: The very best of everything.”


Edward McClain, “the Real Change guy” dies at 69

How does your identity affect your experiences and perspective (both professionally and personally)? (Written By AmbassadorNique)

Recently a friend of mine who will soon be finishing his Graduate degree in school counseling sent me a few questions about identity. I did my best to be as open as possible and telling my truth. In the coming days I hope to share my responses. Right are wrong these are my personal experiences, my thoughts, and my assumptions. I found that answering these questions became therapeutic and I hope they can help shape me as I grow closer to discovering my purpose here.  

QUESTION: Worldview Perspective and identity development: How does your identity affect your experiences and perspective  (both professionally and personally)?

My identity affects me every day. Race and how it affects my everyday life is something I am conscience of during most moments of the day. I believe not learning enough about my identity as a k-12 student lead me to wanting to learn as much as I could as an undergraduate. After my first Sociology class once I discovered there was a whole major that spoke to me I knew I had to take as many classes as possible. Knowing the major would never make me any money was okay with me, and to this day still is because knowing myself and becoming a better person was more important to me than how much money I hoped to receive. I became a Sociology and Criminal Justice double major primarily trying to understand institutions of oppression that have effected those whom share my brown skin. This oppression has gone on for years and continues to go on today with no signs of slowing down.

Growing up in Washington State and always attending schools where the hall ways were dominated by white faces exposed me to the good, the bad, and the ugly race relations. While Washington State to many outsiders is considered progressive, many times kids have no filters and the bigotry from their parents shared behind closed doors often end up on the playground.

Growing up with two African American parents from the south I was always proud of being black, and wore the black struggle as a badge of honor. This badge may have lead the younger me into falling into the traps of chasing what mainstream media defined as “cool” or “being” black. Having two parents whom pushed education, eventually I would learn that black was much more than what my television showed me. It was more than a hair style, a dress code, and coded slang.

I still feel to this day the discussion of race scares most white people. The younger me could never understand the disconnect between what I was experiencing everyday living as a young black male, and the image that most of the white people I came across assumed I was experiencing. As I get older I realize that interaction and collaboration is the only way to stop these assumptions. Understanding that social justice isn’t a priority to most people as it is to me.

Professionally, being one of two blacks in my department I constantly find myself losing my masculinity inherently knowing there is a fear of strong black men in mainstream America, This can be intimidating to anyone that feels as though their power is being challenged. When I catch myself changing my tone it constantly pisses me off, because I know that I am not being true to myself. I know that I should not care about such a thing, yet I find myself putting on my “corporate voice” or “white voice”. As ignorant as it sounds, and as educated as I am, I suppose it just happens. It’s definitely a habit I am trying to break. I suppose I am guilty of looking at and judging myself through the eyes of white people. This is known as double consciences a term that was coined by W.E.B. Dubois

Eddie Huang – Fresh Off the Boat (Written By AmbassadorNique)


Last night the one and only Eddie Huang spoke at Town Hall Seattle. He is currently doing book lectures for his memoir Fresh Off the Boat. Last night he was joined by Seattle’s own Blue Scholars, Sabzi and Geologic. The talk was a good one. I write this in the least critical way. He spoke on topics from his life, culture, identity, technology, Hip hop, and food to critics. Eddie talked about how we as Americans can be so engulfed in our judgments and miss the moments that we are supposed to enjoy while loading  pictures of food on Instagram. (Interestingly enough I’ve been having the same feelings and thoughts specifically after seeing the film Jango.) Everybody has an opinion of why they either like or don’t like something but at the end of the day its just art that is to be digested. Hate something or love it, save the criticism for the critics who get paid to criticize.

The one hour Q & A format hosted by Gio (and later the audience) delve into his upbringing in Orlando. He talked about how the city was married to “The Mouse.” This concept never really crossed my mind. Eddie spoke about how Disney World basically left Orlando cultureless. He said there was a danger in having a city being ran by a corporation and used the example like Seattle being married to Microsoft (or Amazon for that matter), or how Portland is to Nike. Eddie noted this concept is dangerous when a corporation gets so big that they become larger than the government itself.  

*Disclaimer* Start Tangent…

Interesting enough on the way to the show from Beacon Hill my girlfriend and I were talking about her culture and the diverse background of her parents being Chinese coming from Cambodia moving to Thailand and eventually to America where her father would be assigned a Vietnamese last name and they would eventually attend a Vietnamese Christian church. We spoke about her trying to make sense of it all while creating and forging her own Chinese-American identity that she hopes to share with her younger sisters. Very heavy and a lot to think about, but nothing easy is ever memorable ;).

My girlfriend and I also spoke about the gentrification that is taking place right before our eyes as we passed through Yesler here in Seattle. It’s shocking that large parts of Rainier and MLK have been gentrified and the same thing is happening currently to Yesler before our eyes. Is the International District next? While there is a lot of history, the same can be said about the previous places here in our city. I hope we can all wake up and get active about keeping Seattle’s rich culture before Paul Allen owns the entire city and leaves it cultureless.

End Tangent

The audience Q&A was better than I had expected. Aside from the disappointed female that wasn’t to happy about him having a girlfriend, most of the questions were good. He managed to give good answers to the ones that were not. Eddie said the goal of an artist is to bring the audience into your world and let them see what you’ve created, they will judge it, break it down and indulge, but the hope is that you can let them out so that they can create a world of their own. He compared old school hip hop to the WWF in that it always had its characters that were fun with big personalities and ego’s. There were rappers that had the illest fantacy’s and created their own worlds like Harry Potter books. He compared his cooking style to the likes of a Kendrick Lamar who managed to make the world fall in love with him for showing a different side of a familiar story. A quote that stick with me is, “Always mix some sugar with the medicine to go down because Robitussin is some nasty shit.” His spin on Mary Poppins.

When speaking about food Eddie said that he would tell the youth to put their health first and make them read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (about the Chicago meat packing industry). Understand the impact of a slaughterhouse, and teach nutrition. Most importantly be creative.

Also Eddie was big on JUICING. He reiterated that was what he was into was juicing! He stressed the importance about not being swayed by critics and yelp reviews and to make your own decision about what you like and to learn the real history behind these foods and just to enjoy. So much of his talk could be related to so much that we do in life.  

In closing one thing Eddie said towards the end is that he was never afraid of being broke. The thought is an interesting one to think about, because based on your background broke and rock bottom can mean really different things. However, in all definitions that lack of fear and a lot of dedication to yourself and your art is what makes legends. This superior belief in yourself that nothing can stop you is what will fuel your passions. While there may be different dynamics and layers to this, life is nothing without sacrifice, hard work, belief in the impossible, and dedication.

Thanks for inspiration Eddie Huang.


As tent city struggles, Seattle has no easy answers on homeless | Local News | The Seattle Times

This was a very interesting article about the delima in what is going on in my city of Seattle. Very eye brow raising to say the least. While something NEEDS to be done about the homeless problem in Seattle I am not sure if letting people set up tents wherever they what for 90 days at a time is the right answer. A homeless looking man accompanied me this morning to the door of the Columbia Tower asking me for just a quarter, meanwhile another man waived a “Real Change” paper around. I supported neither in their struggle to chase the American Dream, however the question that’s been on my mind is What should we do? In one of the most progressive cities in the nation that gives the most social service to those in need, how do we answer to the high level of homeless that roam our city everyday?

As tent city struggles, Seattle has no easy answers on homeless | Local News | The Seattle Times