Advocating Since 2005
Still doing it and then some- 2006-2007
Another year of being BSU President except this year I did a lot more with the help of my wonderful Vice President Teianna R. I mean we were knocking heads this year. We did so great with our assembly and we even starting fundraising and made enough money to get our own shirts!! We even went on a field trip to Cal State San Bernardino for the BSU Conference. This year I also had a vision of making more of a connection with the members so we went and changed the name to Brothas and Sistas United (BSU). Now for some they are like this is nothing, but for us High School kids who even struggled to maintain this club with the Vice Principal always trying to hold us back we did a pretty dam good job!!! I will always remember the great time I had being BSU President at that school!
Guess what, haha I also did another year of LINK CREW same thing as last year, but I really dug deep and tried to go over and beyond with these students. I got them little gifts in class and they were actually excited! It still is an amazing program that I wish I went through my freshman year of High School.
No it doesn't stop there haha, my need to help grew with this being my last year of High School Class of 2007! Remember its 2006-2007, moving forward though I became a Peer College Advisor! This led me to meet with the entire campus of students along with 5 other peers to discuss their college track and how they can use all the resources to get there! We had trainings and college visits to make sure we absorbed all the information needed and push it forward into the heads of our peers. It was a great program that helped me on my track to college and boy oh boy did it do some magic learning about financial aid!
Nothing Can Stop Me- 2009-2011
I put these two years together because so much happened in these two years as a whole. I will always though keep on pushing and pushing and pushing making sure I can save the world! This year I continued with LGBTA but I went over and beyond! I added two new features for LGBTA, one was from a past connect through my old board we connected with Polytechnic Franchis High School and created the Big Queer Little Queer! It was the most impressive and beneficial program for those kids I have ever partaked in. I mean we were allowing these students to see College is way safer and open than High School. It does not stop there though because then we work together in making that High School a safe place! Its like killing two birds with one stone =). The other program was the LGBT Resource Fair where we invited organizations around the LA/Valley area to show opportunites of involvement and jobs also for our Little Queers to see and take part in a campus tour and discussion. I loved riding on the bus with them and seeing all of their smiles when walking around campus or taking part in discussion. It was amazing in every way!
This year for LGBTA we also went over and beyond and got approved $36,000 for the LGBT Resource Center, yup I said it...we were finally on our way to the approval of a LGBT Resource Center at CSUN and the first permanent space in the valley. This took countless time of us taking surveys from people and even setting up a table that we sat at for at least a month to get support from the peers on campus. It was crazy the amount of energy I used for the Resource Center as well as making sure I keep up with LGBTA, but all in all I loved every second of it. On that note as well, I had surgery so I was out for a month in a wheel chair, but believe me when I say that did not stop me. I still went to meetings and even presented with a nice catheter and bag connected to me haha. Yes, I'm sure people were disgusted by the bag of piss hanging under my chair when I would roll in front of them to present on the resource center haha. Then later on in 2011 it was final the space and funds were approved and CSUN was granted an LGBT Resource Center to open for Fall 2012. Our hardwork and success paid off, I mean dammmm hardwork indeed!! Loved it...
We also had to do something for spirit day which was something that came to be from the amount of suicides being mediasized. We came up with the idea of one going to the President's TownHall meeting in all purple to educate them upon this information, then hold a Candlelight Vigil and LGBTQ Forum that would discuss various resources and ways we can step up to help stop the hate spread amongst the world. This was an empowering event that gave people hope for tomorrow and courage for today... well that day haha. It still continues as I led the second vigil as well and I will probably help with leading the 3rd one in 2012 as well.
Another program that I took very much pride in was Peer Health Exchange. It was a program that went to charter schools around the Valley to teach them about Decision Making and Communication and I also taught about STIs and HIV. It was great going every Friday to these schools and educating them on something they would need to know and actually find beneficial towards their life. It was a great program and it helped get me to my job today!
Transitioning from Change-
The year 2012 has been one of the most influential, emotional, productive years of my life. I'm making it through, but definitely it has been something worth talking about.
It started with another video for EraseDoubt.org that I did for LA's new sex symbol... A condom design contest!!! That actually took a lot longer than expected, but I love working in their studio and doing it for the world to be a "safer" place!
Then the long awaited Queer People of Color Conference 2012 finally took place. I mean those were the longggeeesstttt 3 days of my life. The amount of empowerment that i felt though, that a lot of the attendees felt was incredible. I mean we had over 600 people from around the world and I was apart of making that happen! That was one of the most challenging task I've ever had, but I'd definitely go and do it again! =)
After that I came to be the founder of The Colors Habitat a nonprofit for LGBTQA and Homelessness persons. It is something I am proud to start and something that is still in the works. I must definitely make sure that this is done and done correctly. You'll hear plenty more of this in the future.
Next is my summer fellowship I got accepted into. SNAP PAC (Students for a New American Politics-Political Action Committee). This was definitely hard work as a community organizer. I worked for Dr. Bera democrat who was running in one of the top congressional races of 2012. I spent 3 months in a new environment working 77 hours a week doing my best to committ to a change. Even during that time I got the opportunity to visit a homeless center and help which definitely helped to shape my direction for my nonprofit. I got the opportunity to manage volunteers and interns with setting goals and responsibilities. I also got to meet very important government officers who basically help to run our lives haha. Good people though and glad to had the opportunity to meet them and see they want the same changes I do and are directly working to get them.
I also don't want to forget that I got my originial spoken word "Woh" published into a Research Journal and I thought that was amazing. The Journal was the work for Black and AFrican American persons. That poem did work and most people enjoy it a lot when I perform it, glad it was great enough to be published!
At the current moment of October I am working on getting to AIDS Walk LA, scheduling the Volunteer Appreciation Reception and hosting the "I'm Coming Out" show to be held at Cal State Northridge. They have me singing a beautiful song and also hosting the entire show so I'm going to give it my all and give people a show they will definitely love to see!
You shall see more to come soon.... (while you wait check out the videos =P)
Where It All Begins- 2005-2006
Let just say that when you start to get fed up with people talking and you hate to wait for people to take the lead you begin to be the leader!
Upland High School Junior Year I became the Black Student Union(BSU) President. For one it was no one who wanted to be lead on it so it would of just fell through the cracks. I also kept getting made fun of because I am Nigerian hence the last name so I decided that I would do my best to enlighten my peers on what it is to be Black and/or African and yes I have an entire thing on Blacks and Africans/African-Americans. Doing BSU considered mentoring my peers on establishing an identity and also putting together an assembly to be performed in front of the school for Black History Month. My first year was a success and truly made we wonder what other types of things I can accomplish!
There was also LINK CREW which was a mentoring program I did to receive almost ten mentees to help through their freshman year of High School. We did freshman orientation for them and even a Parent Day. It was actually an amazing program that built upon my leadership skills and the freshman were pretty cool peps once they got over the fact that I was cool haha.
HS Graduate, ready for more- 2008-2009
Yeah I skipped a year and due to a whole bunch of things going on in life. I'm actually surprised that I picked up my life in the direction I want to go. So this year I did a whole track of things, but before I jumped into being President of LGBTA I started the very first LGBTA Showcase at CSUN. This involved people to be educated of the LGBT culture and history while also being entertained. It was quite amazing if you asked me and I loved the fact that my ideas were behind all of it!
Moving forward I took the President position of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance at CSUN. This position was not one to play with as I would be leading over 60 individuals who were committed to the social, political, etc etc advancement of LGBT students on campus. Most importantly, I would be enhancing a created space to make sure students would feel safe at CSUN. This organization built upon my communication, organization and leadership skills. I mean wow the amount of work that we accomplished at CSUN was amazing, we even started the push for a LGBT Resource Center that many LGBT's before us have tried to do. It also gave me an opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for the Campus Progress Conference for 3 days which I finally got to ride on an airplane! Did some good progressive work there and even met other LGBT students that summer from around the nation!
Then I became a New Student Orientation Leader that is a mentor to incoming college freshman... sound familiar haha. Yes it pretty much Link Crew all over again, but 2 weeks straight compared to 2 days. A LOT LONGER AS WELL, but definitely well worth it! I took it to another step though and became a TAKE XXI cast member. I mean dannnggggg 9 months of my life was meeting with my cast members and writing our scripts then living with them for the summer, going on retreats to understand the perspectives of body abuse, relationships, transitioning to college and prejudice, and to top it off we shared our personal stories with each other. I mean all of this was life changing indeed and created a memory to last forever. When we created these scripts though it was based on our lives... perhaps I'll post one of the scripts up in my blogs. TAKE helped incoming freshman though to understand that your not along in the events that occur while in college and you can get through them with the resources we point out to students.
Doing it and Doing it right- 2011
This year I decided to take it easy considering I am in college and its about time I graduate haha. Last year we won the bid to host the National Queer People of Color Conference 2012. You can check out that site here www.qpocc2012.org, its basically a conference to open the doors to your mind about the queer people of color. I took a lead role on the conference and boy oh boy is it a lot! Watching over four committees, while rasing money for a national conference from scratch is difficult. Yet, we are accomplishing it pretty well and I think that is the best anyone could ask for.
My next role is a Queer Ambassador making sure that we get together with other LGBTQ organizations to form a collective and make sure we can work together to become a united force on campus since our campus has grown completely progressive towards LGBTQ students!! It is in the making right now, but it is leaders from other LGBTQ organizations coming together and trying to give guidance! I'm excited for it as it is the strong force for the National Queer People of Color Conference 2012 (QPOCC 2012).
During this year I also did a research with a professor which involved coming into my home and video-tapping me in my habitat. It was a research from what I remember based on Black Men and being raised masculine. I still cannot wait to see the documentary, but it has years to go!
This year I also did two very big things in regards for safe sex. Erasedoubt.org an organization to promote the awareness of HIV/AIDS choose me to do a photo shoot to be boardcasted around the LA area. Look in the photos section to see one of the posters I was displayed on. I also did a commercial with my best friend that would also be played on LA channels and in buses. I felt a bit famous not gonna lie and I was doing a good deed free of charge of course to promote safe sex and getting tested! Made me proud to be an advocate!!! Look in the YouTube Videos tab to see the commercial. Other than that I am now just focused on QPOCC and Queer Ambassadors until...