So many amazing, almost unbelievable, things: Ghana, The White House, Berklee MLK Celebration 2016
Hello friends and family and friends who are family
Happy Happy HAPPY New Year! I know this will be our best one yet.
So many amazing, almost unbelievable, things have transpired over the past few weeks so I'm writing to share a few updates.
Many of you already know that I'm heading to Ghana tomorrow with a delegation of students (undergrad and grad) and faculty from Berklee. This is my first trip to the continent and I am beyond excited for that reason. I'm also incredibly excited because the project I'm working with, MusicXChange Ghana is incredible.
I am writing to tell you about MusicXChange™ Ghana, a brand new non-profit project aimed at bringing music therapy to Ghana, while also documenting and preserving traditional music and culture.
I have been working on it with a great team of volunteers from USA, Italy and Ghana, and we are now running a crowdfunding campaign to help achieve our goals, and make a positive impact in many people’s life.
I know you are passionate about music and care about humanitarian causes, so if this interests you, please consider taking the following steps to help us out:
Participate - Buy the album, and support our crowdfunding campaign
Connect - Visit our website to find out more, and follow our social media pages
My meeting at the White House (the one in DC)
I still cannot believe it really happened. There's no real short way to tell this story so I'm going to skip the details and just share that due to my work in the community around inmate justice and education I was invited to participate on a task force for President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative. A few week ago we had the first of two, maybe three, meetings in DC to discuss the next steps for the initiative. It was absolutely unreal. Besides being there the highlights were:
*I got turned around inside the Eisenhower Executive ???. While making my way to the gift shop I needed help to find my way. There was only one person in the hall with me so I had to ask them, a Secret Service officer in full military gear with a huge firearm, for directions to the gift shop. As I walked away I starting laughing aloud at the absurdity of the exchange.
*Meeting community leaders from around the country who are doing the good work. Our seating was not assigned so it was coincidence (or divinely ordained) that I sat next to a gentleman who does job placement for returning citizens and he produces independent projects in film, visual arts, writing, music, spoken word, etc. specifically that "Destroy traditional media stereotypes for the African American and Hispanic audiences."
*Sitting on the Navy steps overlooking the West Wing for at least an hour and a half and being overwhelmed in the best way possible that I got to visit the White House while the first African American president is in office.
Berklee MLK Celebration 2016
Suffice it to say I've had way more personal (I <3 my condo!!) and professional wins in 2016 than not. Thanks be to God for the good and the "bad." …but really it's all good. I'm wishing all of us a professionally, personally, and spiritually rewarding 2016. My guiding principle for 2015 was dream big. In 2016 it's dream HUGE!
Take good good care.