March 23rd, 2015, Atlanta, GA / Giselle Ave. Media — This past weekend was nothing short of amazing! By now, you may have noticed I have a thing for using my superpowers for social good. If not, here is a heads up: I love doing work in the community that aims to positively impact lives. I don’t care who is the recipient of the goodness, as long as it is spread throughout the world. After all, our primary job as humans is to be a good person. Do cool things to help other people. It’s never just about you. If you’re the type of person that is always chasing a check, or doing it for the money, or completely driven by monetary gains—- then you’re cutting yourself short. You’re pretty much doing this thing all wrong, but that’s just my opinion on it.
In February, I participated in “Goodie Hack,” which is a mashup of skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. It was by far the most intense 24-Hour community service project I’ve ever experienced! Goodie Innovation is the same concept, only this time it’s for the students! Teenagers and young adults, ranging from 15-25, took part in a hackathon competition, where they created a cool tech-driven project to help #SaveATL. I served as a mentor for this exciting day of superpower exchanges. As a Minority Millennial Founder, I think it is extremely important for young people to see someone near the age–who dares to live their dream.
The day was staged at General Assembly, and was filled with empowering conversations and hungry youth. The teams were divided based on which cause they focused on. I joined the “Social Change” team. Goodie Innovation introduced students to social entrepreneurship– a business established to find solutions to social problems. I was truly inspired by their willingness to be at Goodie Innovation on a beautiful Saturday in the Spring. They could have been anywhere else– doing anything else– but they were at Goodie Innovation. How Dope!
HBCU vs. PWI…. Again
I never thought I would feel so alienated in a room full of black people. What triggered this emotion? Being the one of the few people who raised their hand when this quesiton was asked:
Q: “How many graduated from a PWI?”
A: Me! Roll Tide!
Crowd: Oh, OK…. Chirps**
My story is this. I attended predominately black schools from Kindergarten to Senior year in High school. Although I enjoyed my experience, I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. I over-excelled and was highly active all through school. While my passion was to be a leader at an HBCU, by senior year, I was having second thoughts. I wanted to be in a new environment. I was always told “I didn’t act like a black girl,” —whatever that means. Anywho, by the time decisions had to be made, my mind was set on The University of Alabama after visiting the campus one time!
As an alumnae, my goal is to represent the New Black Student of the Digital Age. I represent the power that lies in strong minority students at PWI’s. Nikki Giovanni said it best:
“We fought this long battle so that you all could go to this schoool. You all are the integrators.”
Since then, I find myself remembering these wise words shared as a student at The University of Alabama. I personally think we are slowing down the conversation of a progressive movement if we continue to isolate degrees based on who confers it. On the flipside, there’s nothing wrong with College Pride—- Roll Tide!
The team I mentored, alongside several other mentors, won 2nd place for their concept– “#BeUP the Black Experience UpWard!” I won’t give too many details, but check out the image gallery below!
Our team will move forward to compete in the United Negro College Fund Competition, learn more here!
Ahhh.. another awesome weekend On The Avenue….