By Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
The Civil War ended in 1865, and now more than 150 years later the battle flag of the Southern states is still at the crossroads in South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia and elsewhere. From license plates to T-shirts to flags, the "stars and bars" remains a hateful symbol of slavery to the Black community.
With the execution of nine innocent African Americans merely attending Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, the killer was a 21 year old White supremacist who cherished the Confederate flag.
With racial hatred and gun violence robbing this country of true progress, it’s time to take down the Confederate Flag and park it in a museum where it belongs.
For More On The Various Versions of the Confederate Flag Visit:
by Michelle Porchia
The earth is preparing to rest from all the splendor (and turbulence) it gave us this year. It has been a year of extreme weather and extreme changes. Even more so, I encourage you to slow down and rest, relax, rejuvenate yourself.
"I just don't have time to do the personal things I want or need to do for myself."
Have you ever said that? If you have, it is time for you to take an Innergize Day. It is a day set aside for you. It is a time when you can devote some attention to your own personal endeavors—a "do anything you want to do for yourself" day!
My goal is to get people to start with one day per year, progress to one day per month, then one day per week, and eventually an hour per day. It is a time of "self-celebration" to be incorporated into one's daily lifestyle. Nowadays everyone is so busy going and doing instead of being. Below are five steps on how you can innergize. It is scheduled for the day after Autumn begins every year (this year September 23) because that is when the earth goes to rest. I want you to rest.
Step One: Give Yourself Permission (I've said this before). Give yourself permission to put yourself first and NOT feel guilty. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. When you rest, relax, renew, rejuvenate, you have the energy and clarity to do what you want to do.
Step Two: Schedule an appointment with YOU. We put everyone else on the calendar. It is time to put YOU on the calendar. Start small; schedule 15-30 minutes a week to do something for yourself. Try to expand it to 15-30 minutes a day.
Step Three: Take Your Breaks. There is a tendency to skip lunch and breaks while we work or we eat while we work. It is important to take periodic breaks to rest your
body and mind. When you rest your mind, you are more productive
and creative. It is also important to eat properly (this does not mean eating at your desk and working through lunch).
Step Four: Entrepreneurs: You Are Your Business. Investing in taking care of your mind, body and spirit is investing in the foundation of your business. If you are not able to work, your business will suffer. It is crucial to make health and happiness a priority while developing your business. If you work 24/7, you will burn out. You need to schedule time for you in the same way you do for your clients. You can't give 110%, you don't have it to give.
Step Five: Celebrate. There were two very popular songs out this year, "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen and "Happy" from the movie Despicable Me 2. Both songs talk about being yourself and enjoying life. You need to celebrate yourself. Celebrate life. Celebrate the little things as well as the big things. You don't have to celebrate elaborately. You can do simple things like treat yourself to flowers, a new book (and allowing yourself to read it), buying a Pumpkin Spice Latte, going to bed early, watching a movie in bed, etc.
Your Comments Are Welcome!!
by Carole Copeland Thomas
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration. Described as a blue eyed soul sister, Rev. Katherine Brooks, a Harvard educated pastor and theologian of the African Methodist Episcopal Church delivered a spellbinding message entitled "Shine" at the Missionary Annual Day Service at Grant AME Church in Boston. Trained by Rev. Alvan Johnson (in the background of the video clip), she masterfully weaves the purpose of a lighthouse into the duties of missionaries, with rousing choruses of "Amen" shouted by the congregation.
Enjoy this short clip...and Let The Church Say Amen!!
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Last week I had the privilege of working with seven remarkable young teenagers who participated in a FREE week long workshop called JSHOP. Sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. JSHOP transformed these students from curious young adults to working journalists in five short days.
The vision of veteran journalist Russell Lacour JSHOP is in its fifth year, with a goal of bringing out the best in student critical thinking.
The NABJ JSHOP is an opportunity for high school students all over the country to experience a hands-on journalism workshop in conjunction with the NABJ national conference.
Held in Boston between the Hynes Convention Center and Boston University the students crafted story ideas, were given deadlines and covered key events during the 39th Annual Convention of the National Association of Black Journalists.
At the end of an intense week, the students completed a newsletter and several video clips featuring their personal profiles and the convention's Town Hall meeting.
I congratulate Russell and his team of seven faculty members, the parents who encouraged their children to participate and the students themselves who worked long hours to complete their assignments. No one dropped out of the program. Every student graduated! It was indeed a joyous opportunity to shape the lives of student power in action.
Visit their website and read the student articles and learn more about JSHOP:
To learn more aobut the National Association of Black Journalists visit:
Your comments are welcome.
Carole Copeland Thomas' Radio Program
Broadcast Live on June 19, 2014
On June 19, 1865, emancipation was finally granted to the remaining slaves in the rebellious state of Texas. Two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in the confederate states, the hold out White plantation owners grudgingly and reluctantly gave in to the pressures of the US government, but held onto the racial hatred embedded in their hearts.
Fast forward to 2006, a short eight years ago, when Black financial tycoon, Mellody Hobson, was mistaken for kitchen help while in New York City on a campaign fundraising trip for Harold Ford. The manager who made that awful blunder needed to clean out the cobwebs and realize that Black people have significantly advanced since the rough-shod days of our Civil War past.
Mellody recently created a TED Talk about her experience, urging her audience to move from being color blind to becoming color brave. We’ll talk about this lingering issue with veteran consultant and former Chair of the National Black MBA Association Bill Wells, Jr.
It’s an American issue that simply won’t go away.
Your comments are welcome below.
How AME India Was Founded
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
The adventure of traveling to India as an exchange student would have been enough excitement for most seminary students. However, for (now) Rev. Karla Cooper it became a door-opener to a much larger launch into AME history. The African Methodist Episcopal Church (www.ame-church.com) founded in 1787 by freed slaves, has always been a global outreach denomination. With churches in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central/South America, Europe and Africa its membership of 2.5 million represents one of the oldest historically Black denominations in the United States.
Asia, however, was always a distant outpost with few opportunities to save souls in that region of the world until 2003 when the door opened even wider for this mainstream church organization. That was the year seminary exchange student Karla Cooper met and formed a friendship with another student at Gurukul Theological Seminary in Chennai: Indian born Rev. Minnie Sarah (Peddiny). Rev. Cooper shared church history with Rev. Sarah and told of the visionary leadership of the church’s co-founder, ex-slave and first elected and consecrated bishop Richard Allen. It was a match made in Heaven.
At that time Rev. Sarah and her husband, Rev. Abraham Peddiny, were shepherding a dozen or more independent “family churches” in India, especially Southern India. Many of the members were Dalits, one of the lowest categories in India’s long history of the caste system. Many were also dark skinned Indians, making it difficult to advance the socio-economic ladder in an ancient and complex social system. When the Richard Allen story was shared with Rev. Sarah, her husband and others, the similarities were too remarkable to ignore. Slaves purchasing their freedom to become entrepreneurs, business leaders, abolitionists and church leaders in an independent Christian denomination. Marginalized dark skinned Indians looking for respect and dignity in a nation that systematically overlooked their humanity.
From 2003-2007 the idea was floated to invite the Indian churches into the fold of the AME Church. By 2008 when the AME General Conference was held, the church voted to accept the 20 Indian churches into the AME Church. Originally a part of the Fifth Episcopal District “AME India” was shifted to the Fourth Episcopal District at the 2012 General Conference under the guidance of their original executive sponsors and advocates Bishop John and Rev. Cecilia Bryant. Rev Sarah and her husband were to become the AME Church’s first Presiding Elder couple.
In less than seven years AME-India has grown from 20 to 105 churches located across India. Their commitment to Christ is unwavering and their devotion to their brothers and sisters throughout the denomination is unquestionable. AME India is one of the fastest growing regions in the entire denomination. The combined cultures, traditions and vision form one of the most unique collaborations in modern church history.
Gratitude is paid to two classmates from different parts of the world who were nurtured and supported by a Bishop and his wife who valued and respected the global outreach of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In May 2014 a group of 40 AMEs from US, Canada and South Africa attended the Fifth Anniversary of AME India. The week long trip included the Annual Conference attended by more than 200 members of AME India from around the country, a visit to one of the AME India churches and a mission visit to an orphanage in Channai, Tamilnadu. This all took place during the conclusion of the India national elections, the largest democratically held election in world history.
I will have complete photos and details from the 2014 AME-India Annual Conference in the coming days at www.tellcarole.com.
From Left to Right: Atty Tanisha Sullivan (Moderator), Atty Juan Concepcion, Carole and Melanie Brennard Mueller
by Carole Copeland Thomas
I had a wonderful time serving as a panelist at this weekend's Educator of Color Leadership Conference at the UP Academy in Boston. Nealy 200 educators attended this second annual conference and my session was titled: "Leveraging Best Practices for Diversity and Inclusion In the Workplace."
Below is my presentation and my thoughts on why educators matter in the diversity equation.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.