Parents Share ‘Recipe For Success’ In Raising Collegiate Sons, High Achieving Daughter

John C. Dove Jr. and his wife Rhonda Caldwell Dove of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, are proud to share their recipe to success while raising three black boys to the ranks of successful, young college men. The Dove family resides in the Baltimore bedroom community of Gambrills.

Oldest son, Julian Dove, 22, is a recent Penn State graduate, majoring in cyber security and information science technology; Jordan Dove, 20, is a junior soccer player at University Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), studying finance and information science technology. Youngest son, Jared Dove, 18, graduated this year from Severn High School and is currently a first-year basic cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also on the Academy’s soccer team.

Youngest child, Riley Dove, 12, is the “baby sister” in the family and like her older siblings she is also an academic high-achiever. She is currently a 7th grader at Annapolis Area Christian School.

From left: Father, John C. Dove Jr., Riley Dove, Julian Dove, Jordan Dove, Jared Dove and mother, Rhonda Caldwell Dove.

Courtesy Photo

From left: Father, John C. Dove Jr., Riley Dove, Julian Dove, Jordan Dove, Jared Dove and mother, Rhonda Caldwell Dove.

In preparing for her sons’ achievement, Mrs. Dove says acknowledgement of family legacy and staying spiritually grounded, has developed a familial competitive aura of high-esteem amongst her young men.

“Kids tend to model what they see and what they hear,” said Mrs. Dove, adding that she and her husband of 27 years, John C. Dove Jr., “have always shared stories with our kids about our experiences in school and college— our mistakes, what we learned from those mistakes and our successes. I stress to my kids how their grandmother, Patricia B. Caldwell had to endure as a new teacher when schools were first integrated in Anne Arundel County; how she was bused to high school, attended Bowie Normal School (for blacks) because at the time she was not allowed to attend any college of her choice; and how her brothers and sisters sacrificed and provided her with financial means to attend and complete college.

“I’ve told them about the importance of their education, and never take it for granted, and to remember their grandmother’s journey and how she and others paved the way for them to have an equal education despite their ethnic race. I told them that they were just a generation from the out-house.”

Mrs. Dove attended Anne Arundel Community College and Towson University and was a committed stay-at-home mom, until recently. She currently works as an office manager for Infant and Child Loss for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The Doves stress the importance of a two-parent home and faith-based environment.

“We believe that having a strong father figure for both boys and girls makes a significant difference in how they deal with issues during their childhood,” said Mr. Dove, a graduate of both the U.S. Naval Academy and the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Baltimore’s Loyola University, Maryland. “I believe my children have always watched how I deal with everything that comes along in life— from handling pressures during work life, to tragedies such as death in our extended family. How I’ve been able to handle life provides a powerful message for our boys to reflect on when it comes to handling and reacting to their own issues.”

The ex-Marine currently works as a district medical sales manager for Minnesota-based Medtronic Corporation.

Reverend Herbert Watson, the pastor at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover, Md. has nothing but appreciative words for the Dove family who are longtime parishioners.

“It has been one of my great blessings as pastor of St. Mark for 20 years to have John and Rhonda Caldwell Dove and their family, as members. Their oldest son Julian was the first child I baptized upon my new appointment,” he said.

“On that same Sunday, John became a member of St. Mark. They and their family continue to be good and faithful members of our congregation,” Pastor Watson continued. “And, it’s obvious they have raised their children on a foundation of faith, family and friends.”

In addition to her mother, Mrs. Dove also credits her father George Caldwell for laying a solid foundation for his grandchildren to emulate.

“I’m very proud of our grandchildren and of the committed work of my daughter and son-in-law,” said Mr. Caldwell, 81, and a retiree of General Motors Baltimore division. His wife is a retired Anne Arundel County schoolteacher.

Mr. Dove’s parents have also been influential on their grandchildren. John C. Dove Sr. is a retired U.S. Army Warrant Officer and his wife, Barbara Dove, is a retired nurse. The older Doves live in Huntsville, Alabama.

NAACP Now Accepting Applications For 2019 NextGen Leadership Program

— The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is now accepting applications for the NAACP Next Generation program (NEXTGEN), the nation’s premier young adult leadership training program.

Applications will be accepted online for the 12-month leadership development, training program for young adults between the ages of 21 and 35. The program is designed to prepare members who are young adults for leadership positions in the NAACP. NEXTGEN features a series of trainings, including leadership development, legislative action, unit administration, advocacy and program planning consistent with the six NAACP Game Changer areas.

Members can apply for the NAACP NEXTGEN program by completing the online Application at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf32ste2H9ma0NWE3GDK123DrwP3G8-1VpbjV3KGnESqZZ5ag/viewform. The application process closes on December 1, 2018. Applicants will be notified by February of 2019. The 2019 NEXTGEN Training will commence in March of 2019.

The NAACP encourages young adult members of Adult Branches, At-Large members and former youth council, college chapter and Academic, Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics of the Mind (ACT-SO) members interested in being leaders in the NAACP, to apply for the NEXTGEN Program. Graduates of the training will go on to participate and contribute to the NAACP’s Leadership 500 (L500) Program. The NAACP NEXTGEN Program will work in tandem with L500 and the NAACP’s Youth & College Division as a vertically aligned leadership development initiative.

NEXTGEN launched its inaugural class last year with 233 young adults from 33 different states. Of those 233 members, 97 of them lived in 13 key battleground states critical to the Association’s GOTV Civic Engagement Plan for the 2018 Mid-Term Elections.

Nominate a young adult or former NAACP youth by completing the Nomination Form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEi8gWqdE-CeVeZ4IcTnGnomYYG5MdGBtkxOrmyirs0B82gg/viewform

Parental Engagement Secret to Academic Success

The National Family Engagement Summit of 2018 was held in Richmond, Virginia. Throughout the summit, multiple opportunities were provided for attendees to interact with some of the nation’s leading experts in parent and family engagement. Participants came from near and far. Over 300 teachers, parents, administrators, and community activists participated, presented, networked, taught and learned strategies to increase family engagement. One presenter described the difference between involvement and engagement as the level of commitment, stating, “It’s like you’ve got a ring on it! You’re not just passively attending a few parent-teacher meetings, but you’re planning, making decisions, running for the school board and more.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) speaks specifically to parent and family engagement. Data highlighted examples of the successful impact parents can have when they are present in their child’s school. One presenter pointed out that, “Parents tend to be extremely involved with students in the early elementary grades. They bring them to school, speak with the teacher frequently, and are more likely to volunteer for field trips, classroom activities, and attend parent-teacher meetings.” However, around the third grade, parents start to reduce their involvement. They attend fewer meetings, volunteer for fieldtrips and other events less, and seldom spend time in the building. In some cases, they may have only met the teacher just once.

When students reach third grade and began to socialize more independently with friends, parent engagement, often wanes. It’s not surprising that after requiring almost, constant supervision that parents breathe a sigh of relief when their children gain newfound independence. However, these are the times when our children require increased attention, specifically our young black males. There is significant data to show a correlation between K-12 completion, literacy, and adulthood incarceration. The NAACP reported that African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites and nationwide, African American children represent 32 percent of children who are arrested. Blacks make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. Patterns such as, absenteeism, delinquent behavior, and academic apathy, correlate with high suspension rates and subsequent incarceration.

ESSA places increased priority on parental engagement and requires states to provide innovative strategies to incorporate parental and family engagement into a school’s decision-making, and planning. ESSA stresses two-way communication. This requires teachers, and administrators to reach out to parents in clear, concise, relatable ways that encourage feedback and input at every level of implementation. Some non-traditional communication strategies include social media use, e-newsletters, and short surveys. Administrators and teachers are encouraged to schedule meetings that accommodate parents with different hours of availability.

ESSA does not dictate the ways in which schools are required to engage parents. However, educators should recognize the crucial role parental partnerships play in preparing students for college and careers.

This summer, the National Newspaper Publishers Association will host its second National Black Parents’ Town Hall Meeting on Educational Excellence. The conversation on parent engagement will continue at the Gethsemane Community Fellowship Church on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. ETS. This event will be livestreamed and for the first time, NNPA ESSA will host two viewing rooms in California— one in Los Angeles, and the other in San Francisco. If you are not able to join us in Norfolk, Va., you should certainly make your way to the viewing rooms in California or join the livestream online.

Participants who pre-register and are present in either location are eligible to win grand prizes. Register today by visiting: www.nnpa.org/essa/events.

My Sons Were Racially Profiled on a College Tour

It’s not easy to accept that two of my sons are now nationally known, not for their sharp humor, musical talent, or academic achievements, but rather for the humiliation they recently endured on a campus tour. Moms are supposed to have all the answers, but it’s hard to explain why they, as Native Americans, were treated at a public university like they “don’t belong.”

So when Starbucks closed 8,000 stores last week to conduct a racial bias training, the news gave me hope, which is something that I’ve struggled with lately. I’m under no illusion that a four-hour session can fix racism. But I hope that more institutions, including colleges and universities, will take important steps to protect people of color from the consequences of white suspicion.

It’s been a month since the incident, but April 30, 2018, is a day that will live with me forever. I was worried from the start. My two sons, 17 and 19, were adamant about taking the seven-hour drive in our road-worn family car from our home in New Mexico all the way to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where they were scheduled to attend a campus tour. I didn’t like that they’d be navigating miles of unfamiliar roads and unbearable Denver traffic alone. But they had worked hard to raise the travel money and CSU was their dream school, so I didn’t stand in their way.

They checked in with me every few hours as they went from Taos to Raton to Pueblo and beyond. When they finally reported in a text that they were on the tour, I was relieved: My boys were safe on campus. I would soon discover that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Not long after receiving the text, I answered a frantic call from my older son. “Ista!” he said, (Ista is Mohawk for mother) “someone called the police on us because we were quiet!” No mother should have to hear what my sons told me over the phone — that campus police pulled them aside because a woman on the tour thought their shy demeanor and t-shirts were suspicious; that they were frightened and embarrassed by the interrogation; that the tour left them behind as they were being questioned; that they went back to the admissions office afterwards for help, only to be flippantly told, “There’s nothing we can do. You can do a self-guided tour if you want.”

As a Native American woman, I am part of a community that endures racial bias every day, and I resolved that this injustice would not go unnoticed. Several calls and a rant on Facebook later, my sons’ encounter with racial profiling went viral.

Critics wonder why I would blame Colorado State University for the actions of a campus visitor. But I challenge them to imagine being young, hours away from home, and confronted by campus police due to a ludicrous report from a stranger. Body cam footage shows that the tour guide led participants past the detained boys as if they were invisible. If I can’t trust staff at CSU to keep them safe and respect them for one hour, how can I trust them to ensure their safety and success for four years?

Of course, I am upset by the actions of the unnamed 911-caller. But I am also upset that the police officers didn’t address the tour guide to determine if my boys belonged on the tour. Going forward, the CSU administration

should draw up guidelines for university employees on how to deal with teenagers or other people on campus who are on the receiving end of 911 calls that could be based on bias.

They should also consider the trauma that can ensue when young people of color are pulled off a campus tour and detained like criminals. After determining that my sons were wrongfully accused, unnecessarily detained, and unfamiliar with the campus, the least that the officers could have done as public servants was help them catch up to their group.

If our story had not received global attention, the 911-caller would have walked away proudly, feeling that she had done the right thing and saved their group from young men who didn’t belong. And CSU may have never started thinking of ways to protect people of color from 911 busybodies.

We are determined to stop dangerous actions like these by “nervous white people.” What happened at CSU could happen anywhere. What happened to my sons has happened to thousands of native people and other people of color for centuries. We feel it is our duty to take a stand and make the country aware that we’ve had enough.

The concept of “see something, say something” is often abused in America to target people who are simply existing in their skin. This bias must be checked. And institutions ranging from Starbucks to CSU can help. I particularly hope that universities— if they truly want to support inclusion— will do the work to keep other young people from experiencing what my boys did when they were 500 miles from home.

Martin Luther King Jr. Wanted Equal Treatment For Blacks, Not Special Treatment

As the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I reflected upon the legacy of the iconic civil rights leader, I was reminded of two columns I wrote years ago in the form of poems. Yes, I do have a poetic side that most of the public has not seen unless they have read my book, “Writing Wrongs: My Political Journey in Black and Write.”

The first column was written in January of 2005 titled, “Letter to Dr. King.” Please remember the context in which this piece was written. George W. Bush had just won a second term as president; Barack Obama was just sworn in as the new senator from Illinois; Bill Cosby was being vilified for his now infamous “Pound Cake” speech before a NAACP awards program in Washington, D.C.; the speech was about Blacks being more responsible for what happens in their lives.

Even though Bush named Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice the first black Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, respectively in the history of the United States, liberal blacks still called Bush a racist; Former President George W. Bush also had a more diverse cabinet than former President Bill Clinton.

The second column was written six years later, in 2011, and titled, “The State of the Dream.” In this piece, I was very critical of how blacks awarded the contracts to design and construct King’s statue on The Mall in Washington, D.C., to a Chinese sculptor and not an American; this is why I will never visit it—ever. They even imported the granite from China, even though they could have gotten the same quality of materials in the United States.

One of the most prominent sculptors in the U.S. is Ed Dwight, Jr. who just happens to also be a former Air Force test pilot and the first black to be trained as an astronaut. Why was he not commissioned to do King’s sculpture?

With this as a backdrop, I think if King were living today, he would be totally embarrassed and ashamed of the black community; and he would be totally disappointed in the white community, as well.

When people called King the “n-word,” it was not a term of endearment; it was a term of death, as in, “Kill the n—ger!” I am quite sure that Jesse Jackson never walked up to King and said, “Yo, what’s up my n—ger!?”

Now, you have blacks all over television, movies, and public spaces using the word in mixed company. Then blacks have the nerve to want to get angry when a non-black does the same thing. N–ga, puh-leeeze!

No one should be using the word.

Period. The very use of this word is an affront to everything King represented.

Another thing that would embarrass Dr. King, would be the blatant mistreatment and degradation of black women. When did it become okay to call our women bitches and hoes?

Or what about the way some young people dress? Do you really think King would have approved of us walking around with our pants hanging down to our knees or our women showing all manner of body parts at work, church and on the street?

To my white folks: I think King would be disappointed that insidious social engineering through programs like welfare systematically have contributed to the destruction of the black family and the emasculation of the black male. Some of these perverted programs have also had a negative impact on the rest of America.

America, with all the strides that we have made, continues to hand the blacks the same check returned with the words “insufficient funds” stamped on its face ever time they try to cash it.

King didn’t want special treatment for blacks; he simply wanted equal treatment. He didn’t want blacks to become a protected class; he simply wanted America to enforce the Constitution.

We already had the right to vote; the right to live wherever we want; the right to eat at any restaurant; and the right to walk through the front door. The problem was that the Constitution wasn’t being enforced when it came to blacks.

God had already endowed us with these inalienable rights that were codified in the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, America has come a long way from where we used to be, but we still have a long way to go.

But, to my liberal friends who constantly posit, “When was America ever great?” I simply say that America was great when Lincoln freed the slaves; America was great when we passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964; America was great when we passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965; America was great when we passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968; America was great, when we elected the first black president in 2008.

So, as I reflect on King’s assassination and his legacy, I can hear him telling both blacks and whites: “Boy, go get me a switch, because you have brought shame on America.” After we start crying from his love taps from the switch, I can then see him grabbing us in his arms and lovingly saying, “Now, go do better.”

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org

Earth Day isn’t Just for Rich, White People

For most of my life, Earth Day has been a stark reminder of yet another American tradition in which the basis was formed without people of color in mind. In 1970, the first Earth Day, like the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act and the founding of the United States Environmental Protection Agency that same year, was held in response to series oil spills throughout the 1960s.

Earth Day in particular was prompted by an oil spill off the Pacific coast of Santa Barbara—a predominantly white, affluent beachfront community. To me, Earth Day has been less about promoting the public health and well-being of all individuals through conservation and environmental protection and more about protecting the pristine land owned and occupied by wealthy, white people.

The shift toward intentional inclusion of frontline communities in the environmental movement over the past few years makes this Earth Day different for me; it will be different, because when I look around the country and see oppressed populations rising up and staking their claim in this movement. One prominent example of this has been the increased national capacity and presence of NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. That will be evidenced this Earth Day as NAACP chapters around the country are hosting activities to engage communities of color in ways tied to deeper social justice and civil rights efforts that are taking place year-round. Needless to say, you won’t just see us planting trees on Earth Day 2018 and going on hiatus until the Earth Day 2019.

As we wrestle with various environmental issues in Michigan, we enter Earth Day with our eyes on the prize— clean air to breathe and safe water to drink. As local oil refineries, trash incinerators, and corporate and municipal utility companies continue to pollute our air with toxic emissions, the Michigan NAACP continues to challenge coal-based permits to install, permits to increase toxic emissions, and the expansion of facilities who already have unchecked violations. Recently, we also undertook efforts to protect our drinking water sources by providing substantive written public comments on Michigan’s proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule, lifting up our most vulnerable communities and calling for the standard to be zero parts per billion, because we know that no level of such a contaminant in our drinking water is safe.

To learn more about the NAACP’s environmental justice initiatives, visit: www. NAACP.org.

Jeremy Orr is the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Chair for the NAACP Michigan

President Trump, GOP Can’t Afford to Ignore Black Blue-Collar Workers

President Trump was voted into the White House in 2016 on the backs of the so-called, blue-collar workers, who live in the industrial Midwest of the country and a few southern battleground states. These folks reside in states like Wisconsin (Trump +.7), Michigan (Trump + .3), Ohio (Trump + 8.1), Florida (Trump + 1.2), and Pennsylvania (Trump + .7), etc.

Just like when discussing illegal immigration, most people think of people from Mexico; similarly, when you say blue-collar worker, most people think of white factory workers.

The Trump political operation and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are both making a flawed strategic calculation by not recognizing that blacks are also a part of this blue-collar pool of voters that are open to Trump’s plans and the Republican message of economic nationalism.

Just like with whites, blacks in the above states were devasted with the closing of the steel mills and the automation of the auto industry in the 80s and 90s. Many were high school graduates who didn’t go to college, but were good with their hands and were able to make a middle-class living the old fashioned American way—through hard work.

What Republicans fail to realize is that many Blacks are against amnesty for those in the country illegally and would also like to limit legal immigration.

The mainstream media-appointed, radical liberals of the civil “entitlement” industry have been bought and paid for by the Democratic unions. In my opinion, groups like the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Congress, etc., do not reflect the views of the black community— those groups merely reflect the views of their members.

When you look at the margin of victory by Trump in the five above states, you can plainly see that targeting black voters could increase his margin of victory.

If Trump were to give a series of speeches in front of black blue-collar workers in these five states, there is no doubt that they could insulate him from the typical liberal attack lines that he is a racist and only cares about his wealthy friends—as though there is something wrong with being wealthy.

I would go a step further. Can you imagine Trump giving a series of speeches with black blue-collar workers alongside black entrepreneurs?

Just picture a couple hundred blacks in a room; a black carpenter in overalls sitting next to the tie and jacket wearing CEO of a black IT firm; or a black electrician sitting next to the managing partner of a black CPA firm; or the black owner of a landscaping company sitting next to the owner of a black construction company.

Wow! What a visual.

What do all these blacks have in common? They all have been negatively impacted by illegal immigration and would be devastated by giving amnesty, i.e. citizenship, to those in the country illegally.

Can you imagine if President Trump were to ask someone like Harry Alford to organize such an event? Alford is the President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

Alford’s Black Chamber of Commerce is by far, the most preeminent black chamber in the U.S. If you want to get the pulse of the black business community, one need only reach out to them. They have some of the most insightful data on the state of the black business community; they give the most insightful analysis on major policy issues and their impact on the black business community.

Here is a message to the Republican Party: Blacks are not opposed to the Trump administration’s agenda; simply put, no one is speaking to them in a language they understand and in a manner that is relevant to them.

Black blue-collar workers and black entrepreneurs both have been and are being devastated by workers who are in the country illegally. Why hire a blue-collar American worker at $25 per hour when you can hire an illegal worker for a lot less?

Entrepreneurs are being undercut on government contracts, because big companies are hiring engineers from India through the insidious H-1B program, while small business owners have to pay American engineers a lot more in order to compete.

Liberals have tried to equate Trump’s America First promise with America alone. America is the only country on earth that is putting others before its own national interest.

If this White House were to speak directly to black blue-collar workers and black entrepreneurs simultaneously, I can guarantee you that this effort would be quantifiable at the ballot box in this year’s congressional elections, as well as the presidential election in 2020.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow him on Twitter @Raynard1223.

‘Black Panther’ Showcases Power of STEM Applications

As I sat in the theater mesmerized by Marvel’s record-breaking “Black Panther,” there were so many moments and messages that filled me with an overwhelming sense of pride. The Black Girl Magic was palpable. King T’Challa was a strong, thoughtful king who loved and respected all of his leading ladies. Erik Killmonger was the best supervillain I’ve seen in a really long time. And of course, I want my next trip to the continent to include a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Wakanda. However, all of those moments paled in comparison to my fascination with the STEM applications and the genius of Princess Shuri.

I am convinced that we can use Black Panther and Princess Shuri to help young people imagine their own STEM futures and the role they can play in driving innovation as we all prepare for the fourth industrial revolution. This revolution will be characterized by a range of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and digitization. This revolution can be led by the next generation of “STEMinists.”

The Wakandan princess is the youngest of the strong, female characters showcased in this Ryan Coogler-directed blockbuster. She is unapologetically smart, funny, brave, and beautiful. Her language even demonstrates her tech-savvy leadership of the most technologically advanced nation in the world. As Shuri emerges as an unlikely “Shero,” her position is challenged when M’Baku tries to dismiss her as a mere child. Yet, we are introduced to energy spears,

kimoyo beads, sound absorbent sneakers, variations of the Black Panther suit, vibranium cars, and virtual modes of transportation— all out of the imagination and innovation of the young, hip princess.

In her very first scene, after lovingly teasing her brother, she snaps back, “just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.” Hence, our first glimpse into her engineering mind. Yes, we fell in love with the way she proudly showed off her latest advances in her lab, but hopefully you took note when Agent Ross expressed his skepticism stating that, “bullet wounds don’t just magically heal overnight.” Shuri chided him, saying, “They do here: but not by magic; by technology.”

For now, I will forgo my strong desire to layout the numerous parallels between vibranium (the fictitious precious metal) and natural gas and oil, but I will say that they are not only driving our

advanced manufacturing renaissance in this country, but are also the building blocks of innovations that will support prosperity, discovery and human

advancement across the world.

The energy industry is and will continue to be a major source of job opportunities in STEM fields. The natural gas and oil industry supports more than 10.3 million U.S. jobs, and recent reports project 1.9 million job opportunities by 2035, nearly 40 percent of which will be held by African Americans and Latinos. In addition to the large number of engineers, more than a million jobs can be characterized, as semi-skilled and skilled craft trades positions. I like to say that every job in our industry is a STEM job, because they will all include technology and problem solving (engineering).

More than ever, I am convinced that jobs are the solution to so many of our national and global challenges. Jobs

(careers) are not only a way out of poverty, but they also give people’s lives purpose, meaning, and a reason to get out of bed every morning; when we’re really fortunate, jobs fuel our passion.

The future belongs to those innovators who are preparing now to address the challenges of tomorrow. That future is a STEM future— no matter what career or profession we choose. Based on everything we understand now and contemplating the disruptions we haven’t yet imagined that are sure to define this fourth industrial revolution, we know that our future will be characterized by constantly evolving technology.

I imagine a future where our children thrive on innovation, work in labs like Princess Shuri’s and participate in

making choices for how to make our communities safer and better. I am passionate about our industry’s workforce of the future and the role I get to play in building awareness that I hope will lead to more jobs for more women and people of color. I hope you are raising or mentoring the real-life Shuris, who will push the boundaries of what’s possible and lead the innovations of the future. I can’t wait to meet them.

Tyra Metoyer is a Manager of External Mobilization for the American Petroleum Institute. You can follow Tyra on Twitter @tyram02.

Annapolis Native Serving Aboard Navy Warship In San Diego

— An Annapolis native and 2011 Annapolis High School, Old Mill High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Russell.

Ensign Demond Brown is an operations information division officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.

As a Navy operations information division officer, he is responsible for 16 sailors who track surface and air contacts to assist the ship in anti-air and anti-surface warfare.

“I have a lot of pride in my hometown, being in the Navy, and the work that I do,” Brown said.

More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.

“The success of our Surface Force ships is measured by our ability to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters,” said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “It’s hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea— it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I’m extremely proud of the each and every surface warrior’s contributions to the Navy’s enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world.”

A Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.

Brown has military ties with family members who have previously served, and he is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My cousins joined the military, and there is a lot of pride in that they joined because of me,” Brown said.

Brown’s proudest accomplishment was earning the Officer of the Deck qualification in a short period of time.

“Serving in the Navy has made me a more disciplined person,” said Brown.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Brown and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

“I am proud of my service to our country and the security I help provide,” Brown said.

Celebrate Black History Month By Circulating Black Dollars In Black Communities

Once and for all, let’s get this straight. America has gotten out of the black people business! No help is coming from Washington, D.C. No help is coming from state government. No significant help is coming from city and county municipal governments. No useful help is coming from foundations and corporations. We, black people, are on our own. And, really, for centuries, we were always on our own.

Most jobs once held by blacks in America are now being done by computers, machines and robots. Many of the other jobs that we used to have are now taken by immigrants or have grown beyond our collective skillsets.

Black leadership is still using protest tactics and methodologies from the 1950’s to address 2018 economic problems. Those tactics won’t work. There is no more cotton for black people to pick but our leadership teaches us to have a have a cotton picking and sharecropper mentality.

Even if black people continue acquiring wealth at our present rate and white people stop acquiring any additional wealth, it would take 228 years to close the racial wealth gap.

As of 2013, white households had $116,000 in median household net worth and black families had $1,700.00 of median household net worth. Regardless, it is projected that by 2053 black median household net worth will be at zero dollars. Black people’s net worth will be at the same level as when we came out of slavery in 1865.

Good news: black people in America have a gross national income of about $1.3 trillion. Bad news: only two percent or about $26 billion of those $1.3 trillion are re-circulated in the black community.

If black dollars were re-circulated more in black American communities, black dollars would produce black companies, help hire black employees, support black families and rebuild black communities.

Instead, our $1.3 trillion income makes other people rich including: whites, Arabs, Koreans, Pakistanis, Indians, Latinos, Chinese, Polish, even blacks from the Caribbean and the continent of Africa.

Black people need a simple plan to alter our trajectory.

Here is a plan:

  • Join with The Black Star Project in the “Circulate Black Dollars in Black Communities” and receive a “Black dollar stamp.”
  • Stamp all of your paper money with this stamp (legal according to Title 18, Section 333 of United States Code and Title 18, Section 475 of United States Code) and use your dollars as you normally would.
  • make a conscious effort to spend your black “stamped” dollars with black people for at least one year.

You will be reminded to spend your black dollars with black people every time you see a “stamped” dollar.

If 43 million black people consciously move their spending efforts from two percent with black people to four percent with black people, $26 billion more would be infused into the black economy. If black people can move their spending habits from two percent to 10 percent with black people, an additional $104 billion will be generated.

Theoretically, $104 billion would produce between 400,000 and 750,000 new jobs and geometrically accelerate black financial and social wellbeing.

As black spending becomes more intentional, our social and economic issues will disappear. We won’t have to wait for others to give us financial permission or support so that we might fix our own problems. We will declare a new freedom and help take control over the lives of everyone in our communities.

Your dollar is your most potent weapon in a capitalistic society. We must learn to use our dollars to reward those who help and support us, and to punish those who don’t.

Circulate black dollars in black communities!

Phillip Jackson is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Black Star Project in Chicago, Illinois.