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Food Sovereignty And The Divided State Of BIPOC In America

Our Panelists:

  • Omowale Afrika
  • Earlier this year, Filmmakers Omowale Afrika & Frank Edwards, traveled to Mississippi in search of information about, Baba Hannibal Tirus Afrik, a profound Black educational activist, to reintroduce his mission and vision to this generation. In June, on what would have been Baba Hannibal’s 88th birthday, the filmmakers released their findings in an article titled, Reparations, Food Sovereignty, and Starvation in America. Omowale and Frank are now in the pre-production phase for their new film project, Hannibal: The Fight for Food Sovereignty in the South. The goal of this new project is to heighten the level of awareness around the global food crisis, and to make it clear to Black America that food self-sufficiency is our only path to sustaining and protecting our freedom.
  • Sonia Martinez

The State Of American Culture And Our Politics

GUESTS:

  • Wuhan Dansby
    • Lives in DC | Owner of DRE Partners | DRE Partners offers a range of consulting services including providing expert advice, assistance, guidance or counseling in support of agencies’ management.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors NCBA/NCBA Housing Management Corporation, (affordable housing for seniors).
  • Maya Valentine
    • Congressional staff | Leadership | Washington, DC insider, trend-setter and influencer | her background also includes her work for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s internship program. And Maya also serves as the Communications Director for the Congressional Black Associates, a Congressional staff association on Capitol Hill.

Mother: The Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior

“Who is the happy Warrior? Who is she that every man in arms should wish to be? It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought among the tasks of real life, hath wrought upon the plan that pleased her girlish thought; Whose high endeavors are an inward light that makes the path before her always bright; Who, with a natural instinct to discern what knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn; Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, but makes her moral being her prime care; Who, doomed to go in company with pain, and fear, and bloodshed, miserable train! Turns her necessity to glorious gain; In face of these doth exercise a power which is our human nature’s highest dower; Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves of their bad influence, and their good receives; By objects, which might force the soul to abate her feelings, rendered more compassionate; Is placable—because occasions rise so often that demand such sacrifice.” – William Wordsworth

Dear Mima,

I’ve been meaning to write, I’m sorry. Perhaps it was my fear. I was afraid to make real your death with written words. Even so, as I commit to this dreadful journey of acceptance, I hold on to my faith and my deep love for you to guide me.

So, what does your number one fan say about you? How can I adequately capture all the bends and curves that make up the 77 years of your travels on Gaia, mother to all life? Truthfully, I could never capture all of you like a child and firefly in a glass jar. Because you are free and always have been. And you made me free, too. Free to believe I can fly and shine my light like a firefly despite the dangers even a child with a glass jar can pose. I fly free, fearlessly, because of you.

Mom, there’s so much more I wanted to say. So much more I wanted to experience with you. Is it unfair to be angry; perhaps, but I am. However, your wisdom has anchored me to solid ground. You faced life with fear, fearlessly. You were truly a magic woman, Mom. Life was harsh but somehow you forged ahead, making new paths that others continue to follow. You were an entrepreneur in a time and place that deliberately stunted your growth as the rare flower you were born to be. And yet, you forged ahead with fear, fearlessly. I’m still entranced by your magic, Mom. You sprouted unique roots and rose to meet your calling apart from the people around you. You loved a stranger with fear, fearlessly. For love, you chose to disobey your teachings and forged ahead, with fear, fearlessly. When you bore children, you carried each one of them to solid ground despite the rising waters threatening you. You cared for us with great lack and fear, and you did it fearlessly. I can never repay you for all you did for us, but I can show you through my own life how much you have shaped and inspired me.

Mom, when I think back to old days, I regret that I could not come to your rescue sooner. You suffered tremendously. Mom, you suffered for years right under the noses and in clear view of those who speak of their love for you. Many were even comforted by your state of despair and hurt. And yet, you forged ahead. You moved mountains despite it all. You lived a life exemplary of dignity, kindness, respect, duty, loyalty and most of all, love. You gave love freely and fearlessly, even to those undeserving of your grace and mercy. This is your legacy, magic woman. You didn’t just teach us to always love and forgive, you taught us why. Maar neem me niet kwalijk, Mima, the why is still an uphill battle for me.

Mom, despite your illness, I am comforted by the life you got to experience in America. You said I gave you relief. I wish I could have brought it to you sooner. We went to Canada, made new friends and discovered a world previously closed to you. Our mutual appreciation for the spirits made the ride that much more memorable. You fell in love with George. I’ll never forget the twinkle he put in your eyes that night you two danced like long lost lovers reunited. It was beautiful Mom, and I’m so grateful you got to dance and feel a love only shared by lovers.

We kept a garden, raised chickens and fished with PJ. You danced with Nick and was there for his graduation. Open hearted and full of grace. I will always remember you surrounded by the love you so deserved all along the way of your incredible life. Mima, I have no words to comfort myself let alone all those you left behind. Your passing has left me shattered. Unhooked from the dock of your safety and anchored to a pain I have never experienced. I want to accept but it’s simply too final. And so, I will remember you, always. I will remember your laughter, your kind and sweet smile that spoke of a love so pure, it can only be supernatural. Mom, you were infectious. Mysterious and beautiful, inside and out.

Mima, I will miss you and forever regret your physical departure. You left me standing as the strong woman you nurtured, protected and loved. And in your giant footsteps, I will forge ahead with love and kindness, fearlessly. May you Rest in Power, Queen Mother.

Mother; Noun: Secret keeper, friend, peace maker, teacher; Keeper of the family, angel, saint.

Catch-A-Pig 5K Race For The Boys & Girls Club

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

On your mark, get set, chase the piglets!

Rod Bourn is rolling out the 9th annual Catch-A-Pig 5K Race to benefit The Boys & Girls Club of Harford and Cecil Counties. The highly anticipated event raises money to support local kids, as well as provide an opportunity for families to come together for some much needed fun and of course, bacon.

All you need to know can be found by clicking the links below:

Catch A Pig Details

Sun, Aug 29, 8 AM – 12 PM

Ma & Pa Heritage Trail, Bel Air, MD

ePa spoke with Rod Bourn, the event organizer, about the importance of the race that’s more of a chase.

PETITION: Remove J. Edgar Hoover’s Name From FBI Building

Editor’s Note: please sign  and share our first change.org petition for deliberate social change in America ➡ http://chng.it/CxBCVrLd

J. Edgar Hoover is responsible for terrorizing Black people and countless civil rights activists. His reign of terror across America must be remembered and taught as part of the Critical Race Theory movement. The truth of his evil acts toward Black people must be brought to light in every classroom in America. The truth about his personal life must also be brought to light. He was a closeted gay man who targeted and terrorized the LGBTQ community. The tactics he employed to smear the names of so many, including MLK and Malcolm X must never be forgotten. J. Edgar Hoover was an American made monster. And yet, his name remains a shameful stain and hurtful reminder of America’s relentless racism on the FBI building in Washington, DC. It’s time to rename the FBI Headquarters to reflect the future all Americans deserve.

ePa Sponsors April DEI Virtual Event

As part of the mission of ePluribus: America to help advance diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging in every aspect of American culture, we are proud to announce this partnership to teach the core concepts of diversity. This DEI event is structured to help CEO’s, HR officials, Diversity Officers, thought leaders, policy makers and everyone with a stake in DEI initiatives recognize and overcome the barriers of organizational inclusion and belonging. In many cases, we have to unlearn in order to learn better ways of expressing our collective humanity for the sake of a better world for all. And ultimately, that is the purpose and focus of ePa’s DEI initiative and collaboration. And as a thank you, subscribers will get a $20 discount that reduces the ticket to $39.00. The discount code for ePa subscribers is EPLUR.  

Yours Truly,

Jeanette Lenoir

April DEI Virtual Event!

Join these business professionals virtually as they learn and discuss strategies for shaping the work culture with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
10:00 am – 12:00 pm EST

Registration and the full itinerary for the event can be found here: www.thestrategiesthatwork.com

“When we open communication up, down, and across our organization, we enhance our ability to recognize and value our differences and similarities. Communicating effectively requires observation and empathetic listening to ensure understanding. As we identify our own listening skills and cognitive biases, we will become better equipped to mindfully acknowledge our barriers and intentionally work to put them aside, cultivating a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace. Lynda and Kashonna collaborate to provide engaging and informative sessions in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with a focus on improving communication. After forty-five minutes of content and engagement with breakout activities, we will entertain questions and share ideas for the remainder of the hour.”

My interview with Larry Wilner, Organizer:

Navigating The Labyrinth Of Grief

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

One day, a woman went to see Buddha. Her infant child had died during the night and she pleaded with Buddha to help her revive her dead child. Buddha sympathized with the devastated woman and told her to go to every home in the village and ask the people living there for black mustard seeds. However, she can only accept the black mustard seeds from homes that have never experienced a loss of a family member or a servant. The distraught mother went to every home in the village to beg for the seeds. Many were willing to give the woman the black mustard seeds, but she could not accept them because each one had lost someone in their home. Exhausted from her search, the woman went back to the Buddha and described how she went door to door looking for the seeds without luck. Buddha then explained that he sent the women to look for the black mustard seeds knowing she would not find them because no one is immune from the conditions of life, and because death is part of life, one is never alone in their grief. And this shared experience eases the path through our sorrow. The woman, still grief-stricken over the loss of her infant child could not comprehend that every home in the village had lost someone they loved, too. Though still mourning the loss of her child, Buddha’s enlightenment helped her find comfort. She went home and buried her child.

You see, like birth, death is a solitary journey that each of us must walk. And how we grieve and cope with death divides people in many ways, including culturally. Some whale in agony and throw themselves on the ground. Others curse God or end their own life due to the inability to cope with the pain of losing someone they love. Different customs and religions tell diverse stories of how Man copes with death, grief and the ceremonies surrounding it. From New Orleans, where death is mourned with celebrations of a life lived, to Africa, India, Asia, South America, the Caribbean’s and West Indies where death comes with strict customs for those grieving the loss of a loved one. The spectrum of grief is vast. And yet, despite knowing it will happen to each of us, death remains taboo in the human mind.

Brooke James is changing that.

When James lost her father to cancer, she found herself drowning in grief. There was no escape from the reminder of her tremendous loss. Even well-meaning condolences wounded like broken glass on delicate skin. She decided to turn her grief into advocacy. Similar to the Buddha’s wisdom shared with the grieving woman, James found solace and community, grieving the loss of her dad. She created a Podcast, widening the avenue people see as taboo: talking about death, planning for life after death and all that comes with the process of grieving. Brooke James became, The Grief Coach.

BHM: Holistic Health And Wellness In The Black Community

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

As we close the month of February marking Black history in America, it’s important to reflect on our collective journey since the Diaspora out of Africa. And the stories that highlight our diverse experience as Black folks, like Anansi folktales, continue to shape our culture and humanity. The anthem, “I’m Black and I’m proud” takes on a whole new meaning when put in proper perspective these days. Our ancient life lessons are evident in countless modern stories, including that of Nathanial “Nate” Mines, a holistic health guru, retired firefighter and owner of Dynamic Health & Wellness in Washington, DC.

Nate, as most people affectionately call him, for years has advocated a return to nature and holistic living, especially for Black people. “Natural living is what I advocate for my people,” he said during our interview at his H St. NE location. And his holistic health and wellness business is growing, especially amongst his target audience: Black folks. And it’s a welcome sign Nate says, especially when data continually show African Americans have the greatest need for improvement when it comes to their health. And long-standing social factors—racism, poverty, education, housing, access to healthy foods, environmental exposures, violence, criminal justice—are still the main determinants of these health disparities.

Nate says our salvation lies in nature. And when we can’t access nature, supplements, exercise and healthy eating can make a difference. He says the holistic supplements, oils, herbs and books he carries have personally changed his life and he works to share the blessings of nature and holistic living and healing with others. “Everyone has a calling and this is mine.” Nate and his grandsons are planning to open another store in Atlanta and they’re in the middle of planning a Grand Opening in the coming days for the newest Dynamic Health & Wellness in Waldorf, MD. In addition to his herbs, oils and supplements, Nate leads a weekly Chess Club with fellow instructor, Vaughn Bennett. The two advocate teaching Chess to Black youths as a way to overcome structural racism and to break barriers. Bennett recently started a petition in partnership with Change.org to help end systemic racism in Chess.

To learn more about the petition click HERE.

Here’s my conversation with the wise holistic health guru, Nate Mines:

Brad Kane: A Post Election, Post Trump America

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

My conversation with author and veteran political analyst, Bradford R. Kane on a post election, post Donald J. Trump era.

Who is Brad Kane?

Bradford R. Kane has developed policy, legislation, and initiatives in Congress, California state government, and the nonprofit and private sectors. He was a speech writer and researcher for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, counsel to Congresswoman Cardiss Collins and counsel to the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce & Consumer Protection.

Kane was a member of President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform. He was Deputy Controller for Legislation, and Deputy Secretary of Information Technology for the state of California. As a member of the Nielsen Media Research Task Force on Television Measurement, he created the Bipartisan Bridge and developed environmental, economic and racial equity initiatives. He was also a member of the United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development, CEO of the International Commission on Workforce Development, and Director of Strategic Initiatives and International Development at TechSoup Global.

His book, Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America, is an examination of the political forces that led to the current form of faux populism in America. The book also evaluates the evolution of demographics and racial dynamics, the media’s role and impact, increased activism, bipartisanship and globalization.

     Click HERE to purchase Brad Kane’s book.