Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Only Direction Now is UP

When you are down, the only direction now is UP.
You may be tired… but stay inspired to press on.
GET UP, procrastination is a thief.
STAND UP and shake off the worry, stress, and anger.
SPEAK UP about your requests and concerns.
CHEER UP and COUNT UP your blessings.
THINK UP this too shall pass.
GIVE UP the depression, sorrow, blame, shame and anger.
LIGHTEN UP enjoy each day, let go of fear and stress. Share your smile.
BOUNCE BACK UP from setbacks. Only the strong survive. Begin again wiser and stronger.
GROW UP take responsibility for your relationships, choices, and the quality of your life.
Do not play the "blame game." LIFT UP your head.
RISE UP early.
KEEP UP with your goals and education.
Get FIRED UP about your possibilities and purpose.
POLISH UP your gifts and talents.
CLEAN UP your surroundings and get rid of clutter.
SHAPE UP your health is your first wealth. Eat healthy, fresh foods, drink water and exercise.
SAVE UP for unexpected emergencies and your peace of mind.
REACH UP for guidance, mentoring and coaching.
SHOW UP be dependable and punctual for your appointments. 
HOOKUP with people who are on-the-grow. Your associations can determine your destination.
BOOST UP your courage, self-esteem and confidence.
BUILD UP your ministry/acts of kindness/service to others.
FOLLOW UP on your tasks and your commitments.
MAKE UP your mind to stay focused.
Keep the main thing.. the MAIN THING' DON'T GIVE UP...anything is possible if you believe in yourself, and DO NOT GIVE UP.

by Jewel Diamond Taylor 1991

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 Rules For Being A Great Leader

by Anne Sweeney*

1. Show Up

Walk around the halls. Eat in the cafeteria. When you show up, it means you are paying attention. It means you want to make sure people know how their world connects to the bigger whole.
2. Hold Everyone Accountable For Each Other

We are stapled together. We live and die by each other's successes and failures.
3. Communicate as a Person, not simply as a Boss

Have a conversation.  Don't have it be a reporting relationship.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Taking Your Nonprofit to the Next Level

Size usually matters to organizations that don't have it.

by Jo Sullivan
How many nonprofits have you been associated with that have a dream to be bigger — and not just a little larger in overall operation but really big? And how- many nonprofits have you been associated with that have actually done it?    Ever wonder why the number is so small? What stops nonprofits from making that transition — that leap into another category? There must be a moment or moments in time that divert the course for success for some but not others. Aside from all that “on the bus, off the bus” chatter, there is some magic that some nonprofits seem to find that evolves them to a completely different playing level. Or is there?   Having had the opportunity to work with nonprofits that hit huge growth periods and those that wanted to and talked about it but could never achieve that takeoff, I offer the following observations.

 I’m not going to spend much time on this point. We all have relevant missions out there, or we wouldn’t exist. But the reality is -— because of time in history, really easy to explain case for engagement or powerful imagery — some nonprofits are positioned a little better than others. But I wouldn’t rule out any nonprofit with the desire and some key ingredients to grow.

A Desire To Succeed
 More importantly, a collective desire to succeed. If the organization is split on what the idea of success is, and if that disagreement is never confronted and met with a collaborative goal, it’s destined to fail. When one or two people are dead-set against something, their power to stop it is amazing. So before you assert that you want to be big, your leadership and key support team members need to come to agreement, stand behind that goal, and get truly excited and committed to making it a reality.

A Visionary
 Any nonprofit I’ve worked with that made that transition — that revolutionary leap in size — had one or two people really pushing forward the vision to do so. In some cases that person was the founder and in others a CEO, head of program or of development. It almost doesn’t matter as long as that person has a skill set, ability to pull together the correct resources, and that spark or spirit to keep pushing forward. And for every organization lucky enough to have a visionary, it’s imperative to have ...

A Blocker
 This is the person who helps the visionary stay on point, focused and building with the members of the organization who are most productive. The easiest way to detract an organization from a goal is to have a few personalities who just seem hell-bent on not succeeding — or at a loss as to how to even try! You know exactly who I mean! First there is the ...

  • “That’s never going to happen around here... You never will get the board to agree to ...” person. Hearing that 10 times a day could drive even Gandhi to give up and grab a nosh at Cracker Barrel! There’s nothing wrong with a member of the team providing a little reality check. The problem with visionaries, after all, is that they sometimes get — well — visionary.
  But a blocker can be an effective tool in weeding out what’s just negative and what’s really a risk. I could get all arm-chair Freud here and talk about the overriding personality traits of the naysayer, but I’ll move on lest somebody decides to Freud me! But, the reality is these people are usually the most dangerous to seeing vision in the success. They slowly eat away at the excitement and passion until little is left. A blocker in a relationship like this is very important.

  Moving on from the naysayer is the ...
  • “We need a protocol. We need a process. We need infrastructure. Everything is moving too fast... We have to slow down!” person. Also very valid, these types can be immensely helpful in exposing program weakness, poor building blocks that will cause problems when real growth hits, etc.

  But if they walk around yelling about the fire and don’t bring a hose and ladder to put it out, they’re not very useful. A blocker can help direct and ask these folks to draft those crucial pieces of protocol for consideration. It gives the infrastructure to come forward with a plan a little more robust than Chicken Little’s so the leadership can review and implement as changes happen — rather than before or after.
  And lastly, we have the most well- meaning but equally troublesome ...

  • “I’m not sure what to do, so I’ll just sit quietly in the comer and wait for you to come tell me. Otherwise, I’ll just be here doing what I’ve always done” person. No. Unacceptable. Everyone in key roles in an organization that has agreed collectively to transformative change must contribute arid must make his or her own work. And if someone is currently in a role he or she may not have the skill set to do ... well... that’s another point. But a blocker can encourage project development, offer continuing education opportunities, and keep these people engaged and moving forward with something new. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
  Remember, the blocker may be the executive director, and the visionary may be from development, HR or operations. Unconventional partnerships breed unexpected success. Don’t always look to do things the way you’ve done them (see above for the definition of insanity).

Holy Grails
 Now that you have your visionary and blocker, you can look at the rest of your organization and tackle a few more very common and very, challenging Holy Grails:

1. A wonderful, dedicated team of people who all roll up their sleeves and do what’s asked (aside from one or two from the above list) and now need to see things differently. This is another key place I’ve seen growth fall apart in organizations. Say you have a fantastic program manager who also happens to like to write or take photographs or even worked at a previous organization in HR. Or the opposite, a great development person who decided to make the leap to field work but still manages the direct-mail program because he    or she has the knowledge. Those roles need to be clearly, concisely and completely defined, and those roles and responsibilities need to be put where they belong.
  It’s uncomfortable just reading it, isn’t it? You’ve been there before. We all have. Some of the most heartbreaking moments are when a practitioner from one area has to stand up to a well-meaning and passionate colleague and say, “Actually, that’s my job.” It creates a chasm immediately, and sometimes that trust is never rebuilt.

  It’s natural. We don’t like to let go of things — even if holding on costs us a collective rate of growth because we can’t expand into the roles we’re most qualified and needed to do. I used to have a saying with team members: “Do your job. No, your job. Not mine, not his, not ours. If you think you’re better qualified, wait until someone gets beat down or quits and send in your resume.”

  It really is painful to watch a burgeoning nonprofit hit this rock wall over and over and over. If we spent more time thinking we’re glad somebody else is an expert in XYZ than taking a session at a conference and thinking we are now qualified to do XYZ, partnerships between divisions would be a lot smoother and the end result of changing the fate of whomever or whatever we serve would happen a lot quicker.
2. A general adversity and deep loathing of “change” of any kind. It’s human nature to some extent, and while it’s one of the key brick walls organizations hit, it’s also the easiest to overcome. Ask yourself, if you don’t change, what becomes of the mission you serve? If you are unwilling to see a future in which you are different, operate differently, perform differently, does it affect your organization’s ability to one day close its doors and go home? When you take a moment and consider the alternative, it becomes a little easier to accept that changing your organization really can change the world.

3. The leap organizations need to take with their donor files. Also a growth killer. The larger we become and the broader and less personal our marketing efforts have to be just due to size and management, the more people will complain. If your team, you or your board isn’t prepared to swallow that fact and build infrastructure to mitigate it, you become a program of one. You allow a very loud, single, angry donor or maybe a few donors you were able to have a more personal relationship with set the path of your program.
  And before you try to tell me I don’t care about donor service ... quite the contrary. We should absolutely be accountable to our supporters, responsive to their questions, respectful of their requests and transparent in our actions. But donors should not drive strategy, communications standards and overall program direction. Our job is to hire very smart people who know how to build these things and provide strong customer/donor support simultaneously to continue to grow.

  It’s another one of those things that’s shocking to me: A nonprofit is willing to give up exponential growth opportunities to the voice of a few. With flag codes, analytics, donor modeling, inbound call centers and an influx of consumer experts into our world, it absolutely, positively does not have to be either/or.
  If you make the choice to become “a program of one,” you can expect it will absolutely impact your vision and desire for growth. Nobody said the growth wouldn’t be respectful to donors. Just different.

4. The mix of talent, employees and skill set. This one is very hard and cuts against our compassion and hearts, which brought us all to this world in the first place. But we have to acknowledge that there may be a time in which the team you start with, no matter how good the members were at being a small nonprofit and how much they know about your organization, does not translate into the next generation of leadership.
  It’s uncomfortable just hearing it and no need to elaborate. It is why we train, offer conference opportunities and hope the people we value the most elevate, with us. Good visionaries and blockers make every opportunity available for that to happen. But if there is a time that comes in which those difficult and painful changes aren’t made, it either falls to one or two to carry it all, or the vision falls short.

  If any of this sounds familiar to you, and you and your organization find yourselves stuck at any of these points, you know how frustrating it can be. The beauty of growth and change is you never know what role you may serve, so whatever presents itself — if you remember first and foremost to serve your mission — the rest is easy.
  Good luck! There is a whole world of need out there waiting for the next big nonprofit. Hope it’s one you work for!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Phi Beta Sigma 100th Celebration in Los Angeles

It’s only 116 days until January 11, 2014

So let’s get the word out to every Sigma and Zeta in California so the Sigma’s 100th  Celebration in Los Angeles is second to none!!!  Here are the details from the State Director of Phi Beta Sigma:
1. Centennial celebration Jan 11, 6PM TICKETS should be purchased as soon as possible as the price is will be higher as we get closer to the event -

2. We will have a host hotel downtown for brothers and sorors coming in from out of town. TBA
3. We need all brothers/soros to be a part of informing all Sigmas/Zetas know about our event and to purchase tickets.  Blue & White family and friends are invited to attend at the 6PM time. All others (NPHC) 9PM

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Unification - Grand Unified Theory

This is the attempt to describe the workings of all four fundamental forces of nature, and the relationships between all elementary particles in a single theoretical framework. In physics, forces can be described by fields that mediate, or carry, the interactions between particles. These are known as field theories. For instance, in 1915 Albert Einstein developed general relativity, a field theory of the force of gravity. At subatomic distances, fields are described by quantum field theories, which apply the ideas of quantum mechanics to the fundamental fields associated with the other three forces: the electromagnetic force and the strong and weak nuclear forces.
The aim of researchers now is to discover whether quantum chromodynamics-the field theory of the strong nuclear force-can be unified with the electroweak theory that describes the electromagnetic and weak forces.

The result would be the so-called grand unified theory, or GUT However, a successful GUT will still not include the force of gravity. The problem is that physicists still do not know how to formulate a workable quantum field theory of Einstein's theory of gravity. One possible candidate for such a "theory of everything" is called string theory, but we are a long way from knowing whether it is right or not.
 by Jim Al-Khalili, 30-Second Theory


Quantum Entanglement theory

When any two quantum objects, such as electrons or photons, come into contact with each other, their quantum states (the mathematical information describing their properties) combine, or become entangled. Thereafter, their fates remain intertwined, however far apart they move in the future. This bit is not so strange, perhaps, since it is easy enough to believe that, having a shared past means two entities will have affected each other's properties in some way at the time of their interaction. The effect of this interaction can still be seen when we check the particles afterward.
However, entanglement becomes much stranger than that! In the quantum world, entities can exhibit two or more conflicting characteristics simultaneously, such as spinning in opposite directions at the same time. This is called "superposition." Now, if a photon, say, is entangled with another it can "infect" it with its superposition so that they are both in superpositions. However, once we look at one of them, this constitutes a measurement, and we force the photon to decide which way it is spinning. But, because it is entangled with its distant partner, we also force the other photon to make the same choice. This happens instantaneously, even if the two photons are now millions of miles apart.

 by Jim Al-Khalili, 30-Second Theory

Dionysus / Bacchus

A figure connected with both physical and social phenomena, Dionysus was associated with wine, ecstasy, communality, mystery cult, and death. Classical Dionysiac myths communicate the joys of a god who, according to one epithet, was the "Liberator" (Eleutherios). Under his power, women rushed to the mountainside, and men practiced hedonism. The various disastrous attempts to resist Dionysus are illustrated by the punishment meted out to Pentheus, Dionysus' cousin, who was torn apart by his mother and aunts. Meanwhile the daughters of Minyas, who remained at their looms after their fellow Boeotian women had dashed off to the mountainside in bacchic frenzy, came themselves to be so thoroughly inspired by Dionysian madness that, in some versions, they tore apart one of their own children. Distraught, they roamed the mountain until Hermes transformed them into bats. As the "twice born" god, Dionysus was torn from the womb of Semele as she was being incinerated by Zeus' lightning.
The fetus was sewn into the thigh of Zeus, out of which the god was eventually born. He was born yet again after the Titans dismembered him, Athena producing a reconstructed Dionysus from the still-beating heart

 by Susan Deacy, 30-Second Mythology


Hermes / Mercury

As shining, slippery, and mercurial as the liquid metal to which he gave his (Roman) name, Hermes was the messenger of the gods.  Flying between Olympus and earth on the wings of his broad-brimmed hat and sandals, and carrying his snake-entwined herald's rod (the caduceus), he took messages to mortals from his father, Zeus. Sometimes he brought help, as when he showed Odysseus the magic herb that saved him from Circe's enchantment.

Other times he brought stern divine commands, as when he told Aeneas to leave Dido and establish the future site of Rome. Talker, trader, traveler, trickster, and thief, Hermes presided over all forms of exchange and communication.  His skill with words made him the patron of writers and orators, of academics and diplomats.
He saw to the circulation of goods by merchants and thieves (not that dissimilar, in the ancient Greeks' view), and watched over travelers and border crossers. As he himself crossed the boundary between heaven and earth, he also crossed the one between life and death. As psychopomp, or spirit guide, he conducted the souls of the dead to Hades-and, very occasionally, back again. In the Hellenistic period Hermes became associated with wisdom, hence the term "hermeneutics": the study of the principles of interpretation.

 by Geoffrey Miles, 30 Second Mythology

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Scholarships For Black Students

 AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program
For women 40+ seeking new job skills, training and educational opportunities to support themselves. 

Academic Competitiveness Grant
For first-year and second-year college students who graduated from high school. 

Actuarial Diversity Scholarship
For minority students pursuing a degree that may lead to a career in the actuarial profession. 

Akash Kuruvilla Memorial Scholarship Fund
For students who demonstrate excellence in leadership, diversity, integrity and academia. 

American Copy Editors Society Scholarship
Available to junior, senior and graduate students who will take full-time copy editing jobs or internships. 

AORN Foundation Scholarship
For students studying to be nurses and perioperative nurses pursuing undergrad and grad degrees. 

Automotive Hall of Fame Scholarship
For students who indicate a sincere interest in an automotive related career. 

AWG Minority Scholarship For Women
Encourages young minority women to pursue an education and later a career in the geosciences. 

AXA Achievements Scholarship
Provides more than $600K in annual scholarships to 52 students - one from each state. 

Beacon Partners Healthcare IT Scholarships
Awarded to a student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the IT Healthcare field. 

Best Buy Scholarship
For students in grades 9-12 who plan to enter a full-time undergraduate program upon high school graduation. 

Burger King Scholars Program
For high school seniors who have part-time jobs and excel academically in school. 

CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Developed to assist minority and disabled students, but open to all who meet the requirements. 

Coca-Cola Scholars Program
Four-year achievement-based scholarships given to 250 high school seniors each year. 

Davidson Fellows Scholarship
Recognizes and awards the extraordinary who excel in math, science, and technology. 

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
Need-based scholarships for college students are part of the progressive movement in their community. 

Dell Scholars Program
For students who demonstrate a desire and ability to overcome barriers and achieve their goals. 

Development Fund For Black Students in Science and Technology
For students studying science or technology at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

Discovery Scholarship
Annual scholarship for high school juniors to support continued education and training beyond high school. 

Ed Bradley/ Ken Kashiwahara Scholarships
Open to full-time students who are pursuing careers in radio and television news. 

EMPOWER Scholarship Award
Designed to increase diversity in the medical rehabilitation field by awarding students of color. 

ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship Program
For minority and female students majoring in a field related to computer and video game arts. 

Fulbright Scholar Program
Sends faculty and professionals abroad each year to lecture and conduct research. 

Future Engineers Scholarship Program
For students pursuing a career in engineering who shows outstanding academic performance. 

Gates Millenium Scholarship
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; established to help low income minority students. 

Go On Girl Book Club Scholarship
Supports authors of the Black African Diaspora who wan to write their way to college money. 

Google Anita Borg Scholarship
For women who excel in computing and technology, and are active role models and leaders. 

Hallie Q. Brown Scholarship
For African American women who have a minimum C average, and can demonstrate financial need. 

HBCU Study Abroad Scholarship
Provides travel opportunities for students of color who are traditionally under-represented in such programs.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program
Provides fellowships to students who excel in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. 

Javits-Frasier Teacher Scholarship Fund
To increase diverse students' access to talent development opportunities through teacher training. 

Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund
For low-income women who have a vision of how their education will benefit themselves and their community. 

Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship
For cosmetology and barber school students who can demonstrate a financial need. 

KFC Colonel's Scholars Program
For college-bound students who can demonstrate financial need, and have a GPA of at least 2.75. 

Lincoln Forum Scholarship Essay Contest
A writing contest pertaining to the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era. 

McKesson Pharmacy Scholarship
Designed to assist pharmacy students who plan to continue their education.

National Achievement Scholarship
Established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding African American high school students.

National Black Police Association Scholarships
For students pursuing careers in law enforcement, criminal justice, and other related areas.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship
For students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing science and health-related research.

National SMART Grant
Available to full-time students who are majoring in science, math, technology, engineering, and more.

PMI Educational Foundation Scholarships
Established for students in the field of project management or a project management related field.

Ron Brown Scholar Program
Seeks to identify African American high school seniors who will make significant contributions to society. 

Ronald Reagan College Leaders Scholarship
Seeks to recognize outstanding young people who are promoting American values on college campuses. 

Siemen Competition
Competition for individual or team research projects in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships
For first-generation students majoring in business, finance, science, engineering, and more.

Tri-Delta Scholarships
For students who excel in chapter and campus involvement, community service, academics, and more.

Tylenol Scholarship
For students pursuing a career in health care who can demonstrate leadership and academic qualities.

United Negro College Fund Scholarships
Administers 400 different scholarship programs so low-income families can afford college, tuition, and books.

U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship
For high school seniors planning to enroll or college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors already enrolled.

USDA/1890 National Scholars Program
For students seeking a Bachelor's degree in agriculture, food, or natural resource sciences and related majors.

Vanguard Minority Scholarship Program
Provides merit-based scholarships to minority students studying business, finance, economics, and more.

Writer's Digest Annual Short Story Competition
Contest for writers who can compose the best fictional short story, written in 1,500 words or less.

Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
For academic high-achievers in science, engineering, a math.