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Great Things Happened in 2014, Even Better Things Will Happen in 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 720 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire. Care. Love.

After the decision was made last night, social media was almost unbearable. It was literally saddening to see the things that I saw on my timelines and news feeds. So I refrained from saying what I wanted to say… Until Now.

Before I begin on my thoughts about the actual decision with the Mike Brown case, I’m going to start with something much broader- “Us” as a whole. And yes, I use those quotations for a reason. We have to do better. Period. I think the biggest thing that makes me mad today is how we can do things to each other as black people, and get so upset when another race or group does it to us. Example, the word “Nigga.” And I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty as anyone else of this. We use the same term that was, and still is, meant to degrade us as a term of endearment.  Do you hear white people referring to themselves as “Crackers”? I know I don’t. This is the root of the issue.

Almost everyday, I tell Alex (the love of my life, my sugar butt, my baby, etc. etc.) to “pull his pants up” or “don’t curse so loudly” or something else that I feel will make him be seen badly by others. Because he is a “large, black man,” I know how he is looked at by people around us, especially since we go to a predominantly white institute. Anybody who knows him, knows he literally will not hurt a fly, yet I’m still barking for him not to do this and not to do that. I know who he is, but unfortunately we are very easily stereotyped, as many groups are. Many times we are not looked as individual people, but as a whole and categorized with every other black person. And we continue to further perpetuate this issue. We want to be respected, we want to be equal, we want to have our voices heard, but at the same time our voices are bellowing out harsh words, our equality is only demanded when we have been wronged, and we cannot respect ourselves any more than those who we are asking respect of.

I cannot count the number of conversations that one of my roommates and I have had about being black in a “white” world. With that being said, I’m not saying that the majority is racist or that we unfairly treated, but what I am saying is that ISSUES STILL EXIST, RACISM STILL EXISTS, AND WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT (which I’ll get to). Going to a PWI, I have been the only black girl in a classroom with only whites more times than I’m even willing to count. Personally,  I do not find it to be uncomfortable, because I know that I am capable. I know that I  can run with the best of them, actively engage in and out of the classroom, and my GPA is higher than probably all but a couple people in that room. So, no I don’t find it hard. But what I do find to be very uncomfortable is when I see those of my same color doing something that we already get criticized for, or when I hear a white person say that they believe black men to be scary and aggressive, or when a professor expects me to be the voice of all black people, or when I feel like I have no other choice but to be the voice for all black people because of ignorance in the room. That’s when I get uncomfortable, because I know we can do better, and I know that other racial groups can as well.

“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.”

So become the system. Sounds easy, but many don’t  think it isn’t that simple. I think it is. Instead of encouraging our children to curse and sing the latest Bobby Shmurda lyrics, give them the tools that they need to become those lawyers, judges, police officers, etc. We are capable. But, here’s why it won’t happen -we’re addicted to things that suppress us. We are addicted to “turning up” and “Nigga this and that” and “Fuck bitches, get money”  blah blah blah. Money makes the world go round, but I don’t think Dr. King’s motivation was attempting to “get the hoes.”  I’m sure Ms. Parks didn’t get paid to sit on that bus. But we just want the new J’s and Marc Jacobs watches, and for our hair to be on “fleek.”

With that being said, I’m not saying that we need to sacrifice these things (if they make you happy, to each his own), but be more than that.  Educate yourselves. Teach your children, siblings, parents, families about history. Find ways that you personally can help better society, and ultimately YOURSELF. And that’s for ALL races, not just a particular one. Try to be the best you that you can be.The root of evil is ignorance, so let’s not be ignorant. Encourage our friends to not make that one racist comment (even if they have “12 black friends” or “a Mexican cousin”). Challenge our own brains to not go directly to stereotypes that we tend to do.

Finally my feelings on the Mike Brown case…yes, absolutely this was wrong. Darren Wilson should most definitely have faced some consequence. I mean Adrian Peterson can’t continue his career for disciplining his child (another story for another day). The Mike Brown case was significantly larger than that, so for that officer to walk freely, there’s something wrong. So NOW WHAT? Let’s not be bitter, but pray without ceasing. Pray for our children to be able to live in a better place like our ancestors prayed for us to, pray that we can help others and ourselves to get rid of ignorance, pray that our children have the tools to BE the “system.”  Pray that as a whole, we do better.

Educate. Encourage. Sympathize. Uplift. Inspire. Care.  Love.

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How To Manage Social Media Effectively

As many of us know, social media can be our best friend and our worst enemy at the same time! Over the semester, I have had the honor of being able to manage the Facebook and Twitter pages for JMU’s School of Communication. In the beginning, this task seemed daunting and hard to handle, especially considering that I can barely manage my personal pages; however, I did learn a few things in the process that would be beneficial for anyone who will have to manage social media for an organization.

1.) Have a plan

When starting my management period for Facebook, I knew where I wanted to go, but not really. If you know what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it, you will be prepared for success. Don’t wait until you have already began to tweet and make posts to say, “Well what do I want my followers to get from my page.” Make sure your plan includes your overall objective, how you will meet that objective, and very specific tactics that say what you will do.

Make it easy on yourself. Plan first, execute effectively.

2.) Interact with your friends and followers

This might sound very obvious, but really interact with them! If people feel that you care about them visiting your page, then they will keep coming back. Respond to those reach out to you. Make sure that you make your followers and friends feel like you are phased by their presence on your page. Along with this, reach out to other organizations. If you support them, they will support you.

3.) Use pictures and other visuals

People like to see things. If you include visuals with your posts, your followers and friends are more inclined to look at the post. A picture will catch their eye more quickly than words will. If you do use visuals, keep in mind that they should be tasteful and relevant. Your personal Halloween costume probably wouldn’t be the best to use for  your post about staying safe on Halloween.

Hopefully these three rules will help your page be as successful as you want it to be!

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Love the Life you Live…

As I prepare to write my blog story for the JMU SCOM blog page, the Harrison Connect, I’ve been working diligently to learn as much as I can about Dr. Jennifer Rosier. Rosier is a professor, here at JMU, and has published research about romantic relationships.

What better topic to showcase in a blog story aimed at college students than romantic relationships- I mean, everyone is looking for love right? Which is how I chose what topic to do this big project on. Not only  does she have this expertise, but Jennie is also a radiant individual.

So during this interview, there were two main things that stood out to me: this woman’s love for life and her ability and desire to express that love. When asked if there was one thing that she could tell her children that she would want them to remember for the rest of their lives, it would be to “Love the life you live, and live that life you love.

As humans, we often forget to do this. We get so caught up in the menial things, that we forget to love what we are doing. We forget to live the life that we love. We tend to do things because we have to, rather than because we want to; but this is the only way to be effective at what we are doing- to love what you do, and do what you love.

If I had to compare the overall effectiveness of a person who loved their job versus someone else that did it “just to do it,” I’m sure the former person would rank pretty highly.

What’s my point here.. as aspiring professionals, whether that be PR, television, marketing, etc. We all have to do what we love! If not, then what’s the point.

Nobody ever liked a grumpy publicist anyway 🙂

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The iCloud isn’t so Fluffy

This past weekend, a number of celebrities became victim to actions of an undeniable genius. Unfortunately, this genius is using his/her power for harm rather than finding the cure for cancer.

Someone has been hacking the iClouds of celebrities and leaking their personal, nude photos.  Those such as personality Kim Kardashian, singer Rihanna, singer Ariana Grande, actress Gabrielle Union, actress Jennifer Lawrence, and many more have found themselves susceptible to dealing with an issue that no one ever thought could happen.

See full list of those hacked here.

The iCloud is known to be a very complex thing to understand, but many of us believe that once we delete something from our iPhones, it is gone forever. We’ve learned that is not the case. Many of these celebs have made statements saying that these personal photos were deleted long ago. Gabrielle Union, along with husband and basketball player Dwayne Wade, released a statement:

“For anyone out there also being affected by these and other hacking and hate crimes – We send our love, support and prayers. We have done nothing wrong.” -G. Union

Full statement: http://www.vibe.com/article/gabrielle-union-dwyane-wade-release-statement-after-nude-photo-leak

Of course, the FBI has gotten involved to find the culprit. I’m sure this person is some sort of genius, unfortunately just not a genius working to help us figure out what we should do about ISIS.

This issue has caused much awry and many are losing faith in the level of privacy that Apple has to offer. Apple released a statement basically saying that this was not a breach in Apple’s system, but a creep targeting certain people through entering username and password codes. Overall, I’m sure Apple is definitely working to make their users more secure, but I’m not positive that this is great for PR purposes. In my eyes, this is definitely a crisis. Apple should be ensuring that things that are deleted are not accessible in the iCloud at all.

Hopefully, this hacker finds something better to do than lie on their couch and find nude pictures of strangers.

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Change is Good!

Change is good…unless no one realizes the change.

Today I decided to take a trip down to our local PBS broadcasting station, WVPT. Most JMU students and faculty have seen those four letters while driving onto main campus, but recently JMU has bought out the space that was previously known as WVPT.

As a Centennial Scholar (a scholarship program at JMU)  I am required to do 100 hours of community service and this year I have decided to volunteer at the news station and gain some experience through it. But there was one problem…There was no news station when I got there! After doing a little research I’ve found that Harrisonburg’s WVPT has made a major move!

At their new location on MLK Jr, Way, WVPT is sitting beautifully on the corner and very hard to miss for a passer-by. For those of us who never realized they made such a move, it was actually very easy to miss. I am very excited to be able to work with WVPT at this new location and it will definitely allow me a chance to better my public relations skill with helping get the word out about the move. Also, after speaking with the director there is a great possibility for me to be able to add some publications to my portfolio as a volunteer/intern!

 

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The Puerto Rican Princess

So anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE good, messy reality TV show- definitely my guilty pleasure. BUT, I must say, this past week after watching Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, I was simply appalled and…to be honest… heartbroken.

Our “Puerto Rican princess” Joseline Hernandez-Jordan (I’ll let her have her fake marriage today) has done it again. If you keep up with the show, you already know how these reunions normally go down, but I don’t think anyone anticipated what she had in store for us this past Monday night. 

Video: LHHATL S3 Reunion Part 2

It was honestly very heartbreaking to watch a woman with so much power to influence the people that she reaches (and I must say she  shockingly has more following than I’d ever imagined her to have..but I digress) act like a complete fool. I mean, seriously. It was as if she was some sort of monster waiting for anyone to even BLINK the wrong way. But beyond her horrific behavior, here’s where my issue lies– VH1, Monami Ent., and every cast member sitting on that stage gave her the exact power and attention that she was starving for. 

From the moment “Joseline Hernandez Baby” was kicked off that set, she was THE ONLY THING DISCUSSED. Nobody ever got to anything else. Now I haven’t seen previews for next week’s part three, but i sure do hope they let this Joseline issue die for 60 minutes. And if not, why hasn’t a bigger and more important conversation been started.

Although Sommore (the host) gave her little disclosure on behalf of VH1 saying that they do not condone the type of behavior that Joseline exemplified, I’m still concerned that that portion of the reunion was showcased just to get ratings and to get people talking about the show– especially considering the fact that Love and Hip Hop Hollywood is soon to air (and I don’t know anybody interested in what Lil Fizz has going). Another fabulous blogger, Funky Dineva, explored the way the Joseline was portrayed in this reunion with no holds barred.

Funky Dineva Talks About VH1’s Portrayal of Joseline Hernandez

But honestly, is this the way to boost ratings now-a-days? In my opinion, this serves as a perfect opportunity for cast members and producers (maybe even Joseline and her partner Stevie J) to start something that actually matters like a mentoring program, a campaign designed to increase bullying awareness, or even something dedicated to informing people on the risks of drug-use (considering drug-use is what Joseline’s behaviors are being charged to). It’s obvious that after this some reputations are going to need to be rebuilt and some faces are going to need to be re-branded. 

Now I don’t know who would look up to Joseline as a mentor, but hey… it might keep her out of that strip club Stevie keeps trying to send her back to.