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An Open Letter to Black Women Who Are Lovingly Devoted and Committed to Supporting and Protecting Robert Kelly

This one is heavy. Let me set the table in love and understanding and start by saying that by the time you are done reading this you will either appreciate the letter or not. I am okay with that, as silence breaking can go either way in a community where silence has been a protector […]

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I Have Nowhere Else To Report This

Monday, August 3, 2015:  I’m sitting on a plane on my way to DC for an organization wide event. My stomach is knotted as I think about seeing a co-worker who I have filed a sexual harassment claim against. I am a Dream Director. I empower youth and my community to believe that anything is […]

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Wearing Our Truth: Shetroit’s Raw Evolution

I am Detroit. My heart beats “Papa Was a Rollingstone”. I feel lost–displaced. Everyone tries to tell me what my story is. And I can’t get an accurate reflection of myself. Time Magazine tells me that I am ruin porn. CNN keeps telling me that I am bankrupt. 60 minutes says that I am corrupt. […]

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How to Take Charge of Those Uncomfortable Moments When You’re Compared to a Porn Star

‘Noooooo!’ I mentally yelled in slow-motion. I imagined my arms stretched out in front of me, palms outward, pushing against the air … pushing him away. This young man was finishing one of the oddest comments a stranger had laid on me in a long time. “…I’ve watched Bridget the Midget porn. You know, out […]

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“Accessible” Wedding Plans: Wheelchairs and All

This week, my partner, Ryan, and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary.   After a year, I am happy to report that: a) I love being married and b) I’m glad I never have to go through the process of planning a wedding again! As with all big projects, planning our wedding was quite […]

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How Grandma Reacted When I Told Her I Was Gay

On one of my last visits to see my 90-year-old Grandma Pearly before she died, I decided to take the plunge and tell her I’m gay. I hold on to that complicated and intense conversation so dearly now.  It was a tough one for me because while I loved her deeply, we didn’t always get […]

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It was Either Curling into a Fear Ball or Launching into Action (Guess What She Chose)

It was getting late – about 8pm last November. Varsity basketball practice had wrapped up and Detroiter Alyssia Akers couldn’t catch a ride home. So 18-year-old Alyssia (pronounced: A-lee-see-a) decided she didn’t have much choice and started walking the five miles home from Central High on Detroit’s Westside.  What happened that night has shaped the […]

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Here’s How to Get Up, Admit Your Self-Worth Fears and Own Your Greatness

When was the last time you curled-up into in a ball of shame and let those judging voices in your head tell you how inadequate and pathetic you are? If that sounds familiar, read on … as this Detroit woman, a leader in our community, rescued herself from the scathing criticism of a total stranger. […]

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Delighting Detroit Parents with an Edgy New School

“I didn’t know this was here!  I never knew this Detroit existed!” 19-year-old Desmond Burkett was both shocked and delighted – with a tinge of regret as he said that. Desmond is thoughtful and outgoing but dropped out of school in 10th grade defeated and angry over the crumbling condition of his Detroit school and […]

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A Tailor-Made Mother for a Child with a Disability

When I was young, other kids occasionally made fun of me for being short or walking differently or using a wheelchair. My mom helped me emotionally and intellectually understand a world that could be unfair and discriminatory. She always took the time to talk to me about how this made me feel, letting me cry, […]

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