Reflections: July 2017

July was an amazing and very active month! So much has happened and I wanted to share some of it with you all. Below are some highlights.

Our daughter turned a year old on the 4th of July!

Our little cutie has turned 1 and she's walking! We had an intimate family gathering where our little Bella was able to indulge in her favorite... banana muffin/cake (which was very delicious by the way!). Shout out to Khyvana Dowell and her baking skills!

Our son participated in the Buffalo State College KidBiz Market.

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Our little entrepreneur created lego fidget spinners, sketchbooks, and buttons to sell at KidBiz which is a program that teaches youth (3-6th grade) the skills necessary to be young professional entrepreneurs. This will be Isaac's second year participating! We are very proud of his growth and development in this area of his life! 

Dropped a video for the track: Pick em' Up featuring Selah the Corner (Directed by Kre8tor)

a.i & Selah The Corner of God Over Money collaborate to deliver a gritty track from her project Sever Threads titled "Pick Em Up". *Directed by Kre8tor (Double Edge Ministries). Check out the video here.

I spoke on the Cornell High Road Fellowship panel: The Role of the Arts in Economic Vitality

My fellow panelist and I focused on "Buffalo Arts: Creativity, Innovation and Community."  I was able to share my story on how, during my teenage life, my exposure to arts through local (Buffalo NY) youth art programs played an important role in the increase of my self confidence.  

We each shared our experiences and career paths, the importance of narrative and storytelling about place, the rise of creative place-making, innovation in the arts, increasing accessibility, and addressing issues of social justice and diversity through the arts.

Presented and performed at a teen summer internship program located at Canisius College.

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It's always my pleasure to share my story of perseverance to youth because they are able to look at my life as an example of how though it looked as if there were major odds against me, ultimately through God I endured, strived and I am still pursuing perfection. My desire is that my story gives them hope to endure as well.  

No matter what cards you were dealt you have a choice on how you play the game.

She's Next (All female set & cypher) at the Legacy Conference

I am really thankful to God for the opportunity to rock the Rapzilla stage in Chicago as part of the Legacy Conference with my sisters in Christ (L3xDivine, Aasha, & Mahogany Jones). Special thanks to L3xDivine for reaching out to me and inviting me to take part in this event. May God continue to give us more opportunities to share His truth through music. Check out the full cypher here.

I also enjoyed the many workshop opportunities that were available during the conference. Due to my timing in arriving to Chicago I was only able to attend one of the workshops which was titled: Is Christianity a White Man's Religion? (Vince Bantu). Bantu tackled some of the challenges and broke down the misconceptions that many express when discussing Christianity and how it was used during slavery.  He explained the origins of western cultural captivity, how Christianity had no geo-cultural center, and how it was equally spread across the world.  (For more on this topic check out Christianity a White Man's Religion?)

Presented and performed at Kingdom Bound

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Special thanks to Donna Russo and Mike & Julia Peace for presenting the opportunity to participate in Kingdom Bound again. It was exciting to have the opportunity to present my "Power of Words" workshop where I discuss how my pain pushed me to discover my passion which led to the understanding of
my purpose.

When you give in to the potter it's very painful. Because to change is painful. He presses and molds you and it's straight up uncomfortable. However when you finally submit and you realize that He has given you the guide (bible) to persevere, you find pleasure in the pain of change. -a.i 

Toledo Ohio Perfomance

Shout out to Allen Jackson for bringing the team (Rebel Against the World) out to Toledo Ohio to perform at their Community Outreach event. What I enjoyed the most was being able to speak to some of the members of the crowd and hear their hearts and stories. My desire is that what I shared on and off of the stage will lead them to the well that won't run dry. Amen.

Christ Crusaders Assembly (CCA): Youth Sunday & Outreach

I was so proud of our youth at the church I am a member of.. CCA! We have been working on the basic knowledge of the first five books of the old testament. Our theme was Truth Rules the House (main text 2 Timothy 2:15). Each of our students were expected to memorize the main text and study the outline for each of the five books. Then they had to stand before the congregation and put their knowledge to the test. Though they were nervous and shy they proved that they took initiative and studied beyond Sunday School. Each student received a certificate.

Also our Wednesday Night Community Outreach at CCA has been going really well! I've been working with the community youth in the surrounding neighborhood. There are a couple lessons and art activities that I create and implement each week. Our youth learned about respect, temperance, tact and unity. Each Wednesday I teach them a game that pushes them to exercise teamwork/unity skills, then we work on an art project. The art projects that I implemented in July were: button making, sketchbook creation, and painting on canvases. So far this has been a success in that our neighborhood youth are engaged in educational activities and from week to week and it is evident that they are growing through the way they interact with one another. 

I cannot wait to see what is in store for August!!  Keep me in your prayers as I continue to grow in knowledge and wisdom through God's Word/Truth.

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