I recently had the opportunity to attend a private concert performance by Shanice Wilson
in Atlanta! We were treated to exquisite cuisine prepared by Mali Hunter, a Q&A w/ Shanice and hubby Flex, followed by a powerful performance. Shanice's voice! Check out the video below:
Independent Music Artists are some of my favorites. Singer Marck Angel has a brand new single, "Love Jones" from his latest album "Angel Dust." "Love Jones" has a smooth groove, catchy harmonies and a sexy, whispery vocal delivery reminiscent of a Janet Jackson smash. The video for this track is certainly his sexiest, most provocative visual interpretation to date.
The single and album are both now available in iTunes. Check him out and show your support!
I must give a heartfelt thank you to The Gentlemen's Foundation for listing me as one of this year's nominees for Gentlemen Of The Year. I am shocked by the nomination but thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as the other honorees; men I admire and support their ongoing contributions to community and service.
You can help select The Gentlemen Of The Year by voting for your favorite candidate. Simply click on the photos, linked to the Foundation's Facebook page. You can comment and share the photos on your pages to help generate more visibility. These may also be shared on Twitter and Instagram. Here are the esteemed men who are nominated for Gentlemen Of The Year 2014:
Rahim is best known for starting the D.C. based non-profit organization, Al Sura. Al Sura’s mission is to train a new generation of HIV/AIDS activists to become advocates within their community. The organization also supports and publishes research papers on HIV/AIDS, seeks to increase funding for HIV research and unites ethnic/racial minority groups with allies to end HIV/AIDS.
"Jay Rome" is a community activist and volunteer at heart. He has been on the scene for years volunteering and supporting many organizations such as Georgia Equality, Human Rights Campaign, Equality Federation, Lambda Legal and Delta's Volunteer Network to name a few. He is best known for starting the "For Couples Only" networking group which is a positive, supportive group for those in committed relationships for discussions, retreats, events, vacations, networking, etc...working together to support & sustain SGL Couples.
Anthony is a performance poet, community activist and recognized trailblazer of the LGBT Music Scene. He has worked on the front lines of HIV/STI Prevention for Atlanta with a extremely heavy focus on MSM Communities.
Darnell is an educator, writer, mentor, nationally recognized speaker and diversity trainer among other things. He is better known for his non-profit organization "You Belong", which is a social enterprise that seeks to encourage inclusion through the provision of innovative youth development programs, training and consulting services, and diversity initiatives.
Lonnell is best known for his webseries “Pillow Talk”, which highlights the Movers and Shakers of the LGBT community through candid interviews, all while lying in their bed. How else can you have “Pillow Talk”, right? The ground breaking series can be found on his site3lwtv.com. Lonnell is known to be the “Oprah” of the LGBT community and will never fail to remind you to “Stand In Your Light”!
The Gentlemen's Ball is one of my favorite galas and I always greet the event with excited anticipation...this year even more so! The Ball occurs December 7, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta.
The Foundation is a non profit organization dedicated to strengthening the quality of life, leadership ability and mental & physical health of primarily minority LGBTQ individuals. Their mission is to eradicate stigma and radically reduce the cases of depression and suicides affected by this target group. I applaud the Foundation and support them wholeheartedly. You can visit their website for more information and to donate.
For tickets and info visit: The Gentlemen's Foundation
Forgiveness is a powerful tool to have in your spiritual arsenal. Amy Baumgardner's story is proof positive of how mighty a tool for healing forgiveness is. She continues to demonstrate its power and her book, From This Day Forward, is a must! Though we correspond regularly she has not idea how her story encourages me.
Personally I've been doing forgiveness work over the past year. In fact, I feel I'm in a pretty good place with it. Of course whenever we have these feelings, life always presents an opportunity to practice what we preach.
Spiritual leader, Iyanla Vanzant announced she was conducting a six week e-course on Forgiveness. I've supported her recent endeavors but didn't think I needed this particular course. As soon as my ego began to rest comfortably in this arrogance, I came across some activity of a former friend who's betrayal I was sure I long ago let go. This individual's actions served as a trigger..I immediately realized I had much more work to do. Admittedly, I was in resistance...I was not trying to hear anything about forgiving this person. NOTHING. I entertained this for a few moments, then acknowledged that more work was still needed. Within minutes of this surrender, Iyanla Vanzant reached out to me personally to encourage me to take the class! I signed up and one of the motivating factors was the work I saw her do with Amy Baumgardner on an episode of Oprah's Life Class.
Amy Baumgardner had a unique opportunity to share her story with the world when she was a guest on Oprah's "Lifeclass,” working with the dynamic and confrontational life coach, Iyanla Vanzant. On a segment focused on overcoming guilt, she shared her two-year struggle with alcohol, its horrendous effect on her marriage, and living with the crippling guilt that followed a car accident that left her five-year-old daughter in critical condition.
Since then, with her husband Matt, she has written From This Day Forward: A Love Story of Hope, Faith and Forgiveness, in which she bares the details of her struggle, her newfound sobriety, and the rebuilding of a marriage that was also near death.
From This Day Forward combines the heart wrenching blow-by-blow devastation of Beautiful Boy, and the inspiring devotion found in The Vow. It has all the drama of a Lifetime Movie, with a universal message for anyone who strives to love one person no matter what happens.
With heartrending honesty, Matt and Amy tell a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. It is a story with the power to help others find the strength to take that first step in the right direction, to start a conversation with the one they love, to repair, rebuild, and restore, because once we understand the power of forgiveness, no relationship is ever past hope.
Some might say, it's a story of miracles.
Please watch the video of Amy on Oprah's Lifeclass at: www.mattandamyb.com. There you will also see the emerging foundation that the Baumgardners have started to help people in treatment complete their programs when money is an issue; The4GiveFoundation.
Amy and Matt your story continues to inspire and let us all know that the true power of forgiveness is alive and thriving. Do yourself a favor and be inspired by their testimony. Amy, Matt keep standing in your light!
Anyone who follows my Twitter
platforms knows....Oprah's The Life You Want Tour
is the highlight of the season! This two day event is a game changer. If you are truly ready to do the work, Oprah
and her trailblazers give us tools for manifesting the life of our dreams. During the Houston tour stop, Oprah gave my friends and me quite the surprise when she photo bombed our pic (see photo above)!
After chatting and taking pics with Lady O, my friends, Charles
, & I stepped into another room where we ran into Oprah's make up maestro, Mr. Derrick Rutledge
. We caught up with him, sharing laughs and love. Preparing to leave the VIP lounge Ken suggests we take an "ussie." We squeeze into the frame then look to the right of the iPhone where the camera is located. It was then Oprah snuck into the shot...Charles was the only one who noticed, thus his facial expression. I was not aware until Ken showed the pic to us for photo approval. LOL I STILL did not see Oprah, even after we snapped the photo. She'd already disappeared into the next room, where I saw her again a few minutes later. Such a humble, beautiful spirit....'I love me some HER'!
What do I love most about the tour? While the highlights are too great in number to mention in their entirety, I would have to say, seeing Oprah basking in her element has to be what I love most. This is not just an event...The Life You Want Tour is a large classroom where Oprah's passion for teaching is completely evident.
There are two stops remaining, Seattle and San Jose. The Life You Want Tour is not to be missed!