“A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” (aka VPHP) was initiated as a National Program of Alpha during the 1930’s when many African-Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process.
Voter education and registration have remained a dominant focus of this outreach activity for over 65 years. In the 1990’s, the focus has shifted to include political awareness and empowerment, delivered most frequently through town meetings and candidate forums.
President Barack Obama called on people to vote during his speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, by saying, "don't boo vote" when the topic turned to the Republican candidate Donald Trump and the crowd of 1000s began to boo. This is so fitting for 2020.
Black Lives really do Matter and the Mayor of Washington DC made it a point to let the world know right there on 16th Street. And while she was at it, she made a proclamation to change the name of that portion to be called Black Lives Matter Plaza.
I had no choice to distant learn... But what I didn't know was how much I actually would learn. Working with the other vice principal to determine a sense of normalcy in this unprecedented learning environment, I found myself getting familiar with new technologies (WebEx, Zoom and TEAMs) to maintain a supportive presence within our local school community. Collectively the administrative team at Berry Elementary created a schedule designed to meet with staff for them to stay abreast with the most current information regarding distant learning and overall school operations as we were all now working from home. Through this communication we were able to identify those families that lacked the basic needs to participate remotely because of their deficiency in resources. With the help of our PPW and other school-based personnel we were able to provide nearly all of those families with the necessary tools to participate remotely with little to no delay in their learning process. The collaboration with my administrative team was invaluable for me as I was navigating my first year as a school administrator. It provided me an additional level of confidence in the transition from classroom to front office. We worked together with our staff to interact and participate with students on the various platforms during their distant learning experiences.
I tried to hang on to Charlene for as long as I could. From the onset of our relationship we didn’t always see eye to eye. But it was only because we were very much alike: introverted and creatively talented and always looking for the best in others whether it be in the classroom or in the streets. As Charlene embarks on the next chapter of her life and begins her journey “Into the Woods”. I leave her with some parting words of encouragement. I’m not allowed to have favorites, but if I did, she would have some of the qualities that she has. When Keenan came into the picture, I knew he would be the one to sweep her off her feet but allow her to stay grounded, focused and motivated to do better and be better. I’m just glad that he is someone that can handle her mood swings that she will most certainly exhibit, from time to time. As they begin this journey, I will keep a keen eye on them as they continue to grow together and travel “Into the Woods”.
Wedding is scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2020 in Hagerstown, MD
It has been highly documented that I have been blessed with four best daughters in the entire world. I now would like to introduce to you Kyle, Klye is the son of my best friend of 30 years. This weekend I was asked to be the God Father of him, I did not hesitate to accept. He turned one on the 27th, so I have yet another Blessed December baby. I had to goggle what it all meant... google gave me: In both religious and civil views, a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development, to offer mentorship or claim legal guardianship of the child if anything should happen to the parents. And after doing that little bit of research, I still accept. This has to be one of the highest honors yet to be bestowed upon me.
Not everyone gets to choose their own kids, but back in 1999 when I met her mother I was able to do just that. It was Stephanie that gave me the name of DIT “Daddy in Training" slowly but surely the in training was dropped and I was just Daddy. I got to raise Stephanie [minus the dirty diapers] and got to see her transition into the wonderful woman that she has become. We have experienced it all, me being her art teacher [and she ignoring me in class], taking her to the ER for broken bones [arms and leg; she had to quit Cheerleading] you name it we did it. In 2010 she gave me another title when she became an AKA and I became her forever “Frat Daddy". Fast forward in time and along comes Tony and once again here is Stephanie giving me yet another title, this time Papa and Father-In Law! It has been amazing watching Steph and Tony growing into adults and as a couple that love each other and their family. I feel secure knowing Tony will be there to provide and protect my daughter and for that reason he’s my son! Congrats Steph and Tony!!!
I'm more than my title will ever be.