Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I'm excited for this holiday season.  The national and local media are riddled with murder and missing persons, political wrong doing, war and rumors of war.  Stepping out of our homes is like stepping into the pages of the book of Revelations. 
Sadly there are family members who will not make it back home at the end of the day due to some horrific incident.  Others will be minding their own business and be acted upon in ways that will literally make the Lord shed tears for his children. We are living in dark and difficult times.  And despite some of our best efforts it seems as if the world is not getting better.
We are a wounded world. We are a world in need of healing.

We are a world struggling to survive morally. We, as a whole, are weary. And when you are weary you do things at a point of survival, not living.

 The world is in Survival mode because we have forgotten how to live.  The days go by slow but the years are flying before us. We are less than a month away from a new year. 2015 is upon us and are we better off than we have been spiritually? Emotionally?

We've taken to blaming the President, Congress and local leaders for the weariness of our nation.  They have very little to do with common courtesy, human kindness, manners, home training and good parenting.  I truly believe the fate of our country lies within the household.  Within MY house hold and within yours, and your family's and our neighbors.  I can't control the world and it's attitudes and actions. But I can control my home.  I have a say in my home. In my home I can get a handle on education and employment. I can discuss gun control and being for or against. I can teach about diversity, different cultures and races and their contribution to the world.  I can reiterate  my moral beliefs on what the media chooses to show and how they choose to spin it.  And because I have the opportunity to parent and teach within my home, in this weary world, I have a thrill of hope! And with each new day is comes a renewal of hope!

I have come to know that if you don't have hope, you really don't have anything.
Home is where we first learn to deal in the world.  We learn manners, obedience, hygiene, responsibility and accountability.  Or that's what we should learn.  We learn it in the home and with our families, how to treat others how to share and negotiate. How to love, fight and forgive.  With a thrill of hope we take these thing from our home into the world with us and we use them properly.  And when it's time to establish our own homes we plant these things into the foundation and pass them on to those in our own house hold.   By teaching these things we cultivate that thrill of hope to our generations.  And by being strong leaders we also become a sort of "thrill of hope!"
There is nothing more hopeful then someone so motivated that their enthusiasm births a call to action! And when we put our hope into action we create change. 

 I guess for me, this holiday season I have feeling the call to create change. To be so enthusiastic about change that I can create that hope in others.

The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the most epic event to bring a call of action.  A gift from God above he sent us a little baby who would  create such a monumental change on the earth that 2,014 years later his life still motivates us to change the world for the better because his birth and death are THE ultimate thrill of hope.  It is through him and his love and grace and mercy that we are able to experience the many miracles that come throughout our lifetime.

If nothing more this holiday season I expect to experience that thrill of hope in the kindnesses we extend to each other.  It's not a requirement to be friends with everyone. But you definitely don't have to be enemies eithers.  Being able to have your differences and dislikes and still act civil brings hope that we can all get along.
I'm excited this holiday season because I have such a welling of hope in my heart that I have a desire to find it. Create it. Share it.
If you don't have hope then you've lost so much more than you'll ever realize. And as long at you wake up each day, even in our weariest state, each day brings hope for the better.

... Long lay the world in sing and error pining
'til he appeared and the soul felt it's worth....

A Thrill of Hope Subway Art


Thursday, October 2, 2014


In the history of Los Angeles is a list of diverse women
Last year I, along with a few of my other Black LDS Sister Bloggers, were asked to  express why we felt  the Struggle for being a Black Women in the church was not that of the same struggle as those who were looking to Ordain Women to the Priesthood or to petition to have more women in more visual leadership and speaking roles in the church.
  The Church has women of every kind from all walks of life, with different perspectives and working toward differing causes. However our Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should at least bring us to the common goal of  supporting, strengthening and cheering each other on in those appropriate times.   No matter what else we do or what differing perspectives we have, if we can understand our differing struggles and  Support and Celebrate each other through them,  then we, as Sisters In Zion, will always be unified  and solid.
   A mere six months ago Myself, as well as a few other  Black LDS Female Bloggers were asked to submit Statements on our Perspective of why  we felt The Struggles of the Mormon Feminist Housewives and Ordain Women were not united with the struggles of the black sisters. Why was their not more support from Black sisters of these two organizations and causes.

    Many of us felt those groups were more geared toward the  White sister of the church because so little mention, if any, of the  racial struggle in the church and how it effects the black sisters is a taboo issue.

   By now almost everyone knows the History of the Church concerning it’s black members, and how  certain blessing on Earth and in Eternity were said to be withheld from the African/African American Race. Finding the true reasoning behind it is even more of a taboo conversation that, thank goodness, more people are now willing to have.
 My black sisters and did our best to educate our bloggers, twitter followers and Facebook fans on things like Wearing Pants to Church and Speaking out about having a Women Pray in a more Popular Session of General Conference.   Even if we didn’t do it ourselves we spread the news, educated those around us. 
  When General Conference came around last Spring and a Sister gave one of the Prayers, Social media lit up with  excitement and praise! I mean my phone, lap top, Tablet and every other gadget I own  that allows social media buzzed and beeped and sang and rang for days regarding this monumental occasion!  PROGRESS, my sisters, and we all worked together!

5 days ago  on September  27th, 2014 our General Conference Season started, as it typically does with our General Women’s session.
For the most part it started as it typically does:
  Prelude Music , Announcement of show is conducting,  which Choir would be singing for that session and so on and so forth.
 Announcements are made The Agenda presented,  The opening hymn was sung and the announcement of the who would be opening up our World Wide General Conference. 
Unbeknownst to the majority of us was a Sister from South Africa who had taken her place in the Red Velvet seats reserved for those who  would have a part I that session of conference. 

Sister  Dorah Mkhabela a member of the LDS Young Women’s General Board, is THE FIRST BLACK Sister to ever pray in a session of General Conference. Not the first Sister Of Color, but the FIRST BLACK SISTER, African Descent. She is also the first black women to be on any General Board of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
 Given The History in this country and in the church. This is MOMENTOUS!  THIS IS AMAZING. THIS IS HUGE! And  THIS IS HISTORY!

I was reminded of a time in  1978 when I heard on the Radio that President Spencer W Kimball of the LDS Church announced that EVERY  Worthy Mail would be able to receive the priesthood! Because this meant that. 
 So that you can understand the magnitude of this let me explain a few things from my point of view:

Black families have been ripped apart since before they set foot on this land.  We have been torn away from our families in Africa and brought to this country. Then while I this country stolen away and sold from the family. And after slavery, taken away to travels hundreds of miles and states away to find work to provide for a family many would not have the luxury of living in the same home, if the family were to survive. Degraded, demeaned and belittled in a place where thought to be less than human, yet still drafted to fight for the very country that held it’s thumb on their neck while they, trying to survive. This very country partially built with the blood, sweat ,tears and flesh of so many people of color.
  When my family joined the church back in  1972… a church where black people “could never” excel to the point of the highest degree of Heaven, it was baffling.  Until “Could Never”  turned into… “in the Lord’s time.”      And while we waited for “The Lord’s” time, my family pressed on.  With the help and love of our ward family we pressed on in this church.     

 When it came time for my siblings in I to be baptized at the age of 8 we each, in turned, chose a brother from within the ward to guide us into the waters of baptism, while our father sat and humbling watched another man bring his children into the Gospel. He must have felt some kind of way! If I know my father, he was simply just grateful to those ward brothers for accepting the invitation and providing a way for his children, since he could not. I’m sure he felt the same way when having to call upon those men to come to his aide in blessing his family in times of illness and other hardships the family faced.  We had to go outside of he, who should have been partnered in spiritual authority in his own home, to seek out someone else and bring them into our home to partake of those blessings of the priesthood.
    The Brethren in our ward and stake Did “whatsoever is gentle and human!”

   I ask you as a member today, how willing would YOU be to bypass your husband or father to bring another man in your home to bless you and your family? How willing would YOUR husband or father be to do that? You’d probably do it, but I tell you eventually you would begin to feel some kind of way.

In  1978 that long promised day arrived! My father and brothers would then receive the priesthood!    The phone rang off the hook FOR DAYS!! Those on the other line laughed and cried and shouted for joy. They blessed us and thanked Heavenly Father.  What did they care? They already had the gift of the Priesthood in their home!    These are the moments when you know you are loved. When you know you are heard. When you know you are supported because they  “cheered and blessed in humanity’s name!”  I still don’t think that in 36 years we fulfilled all of the dinner invitation we rec’d.
5 Days ago on Saturday September 27, 2014. THIRTY-SIX YEARS after the first black man had the priesthood restored to him, a black woman opened up our General Conference Season with Opening Prayer!  How exciting to share this with my other brothers and sisters of the church!  I expected much like the celebrations of the church membership back in  1978!  Oh, what a mistake that was!  Of course the my Black LDS Sisters would be rejoicing! It is the first time we’ve seen a representation of who we are in those red velvet seats.  What a POWERFUL IMAGE to see Sister Dorah take her place among the leadership.  She not only took her place… she essentially in doing so, RSVP’d a place for the rest of us.  And to those of who have been watching those red seat decade after decade fill with every face but your own, it was an overwhelming state of grace and redemption and Heavenly Father’s love.
But wait…. My gadgets weren’t  buzzing and ringing or beeping or Singing. I went to my black Mormon blogs and they were all afire.  I went to the Ordained Women and  Mormon Feminist Housewives blog, and the places that sought us out 5 months ago to help rally their cause and there was a “woot or two.”   I think quite a few of my Black Sisters were in awe at the lack of support.  After all we had worn pants to church. We had blogged about the push to have women pray in conference.  Some are active on the Ordain Women cause.  So excuse when I ask… WHERE THE HELL ARE OUR WHITE SISTERS????
 Where is their Conversation and Dialogue? Where is their praise and excitement? Where is their sharing and educating of  Our Moment the way we shared and educated theirs? Where is the “CHEERING IN HUMANITY’S NAME?” 
 So we pumped the breaks on our celebration to ask them.. .HEY, where are you? Where is the “go tell it on the mountain” team that came to us six months ago and asked US to “go tell it on the mountain?”  You invited us to help you host this party. And then you bailed on us after your portion of the Grandstanding was finished.   In essence it feels like the we were invited to the big house, only to be left there alone after the main party moved on to another house on the plantation and forget about us.

Having to stop the celebration to educate others about it, turns less  into a celebration and more like the usual let me explain this so you’ll “get it.”   Did it dampen our  Respect for the situation?  Absolutely not! Did it stop OUR celebrating? No, not at all. What it DID do was show us why truly why the Sister in Zion will probably  not be standing together in solidarity for a long, long time. It let us know that if we aren’t in a position to be our own champions or stand up for ourselves we just do not know that we can count on our white sisters to stand up in our behalf.

  Until those sisters fighting for Equality in the church begin to SEE US and be included on our Turf, the way we took up their invitation our their turf and treat us as their equals and stand with us, the same way they stand with each other, we will have a difficult time seeing ourselves and benefactors for their cause.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Playing the Cards We Are Dealt...

I'm not normally an overprotective mom.  I'm a proud mom, but not over protective.

And now that my Daughter is in a more secure situation I can Unleash.

  Most of you know my daughter Graduated May of last year in early childhood education. She graduated from USU with honors. Some of you came to her Graduation Open house.    She was hired immediately by a school who was excited to have her. Their first black teacher in a school with a very diverse student body.   Her hard work has paid off. Her dreams were just beginning!
Soon after the school year began she  noticed that wasn't getting the support she needed by the very principle that hired her.

 She had a very difficult student who would throw chairs, desks, hit and spit at her and the other kindergartners. When she would follow protocol to call down to the office for help, the help would either never arrive or help would be delayed 20- 30 minutes. It got to the point where when this student was acting up, she would have to designate another student to lead the class out of the room to another location for their own safety, while she dealt with this child.  It was difficult for her to teach a class that is constantly being disrupted and where kids are in fear of being hurt. 

When another child was hurt because of it, she would then have to follow protocol and notify the wounded child's parents and have to deal with them being concerned about the safety of their child.  She would speak to the principle and vice principle every day about this student. She would speak to the student's parent  about their behavior.  Other teachers would speak to the Principle and VP  about the disruptions in her class. They spoke in her behalf to which admin still did nothing or "assumed" it was an over reaction of a first year teacher, OR feeling the importance of it was not properly communicated. I'm not sure how  " I have  student throwing chairs, spitting and hitting other students and myself" could be miscommunicated, but  then again, I don't know the kind of people she's dealing with.  My daughter, being who she is, documented everything. Every time she called for aide, how long it took the to respond, when they didn't respond, and their resolution when they did respond, if there was one.
It took administration from the district to come into her classroom on one of her observation days to jump into the behind of this principle to move her into action. They, were in shock at the constant disruption and the lack of support my daughter had in her classroom.

 She is good at what she does so she pushed through and the end of the year after having worked so hard on this child and his behavior it turned out he would listen and respond positively to only her.  She then requested to have him in her 1st grade class to created and continue on with his progress and to give him that same stability for a second year in a row. The principle decided to not allow him back to the school because of all the "issues" he caused.

She was inundated with communications from this principle and the other Kindergarten teacher that  were labeled as "misunderstandings" and "miscommunication" and so on and so fourth. The other Kindergarten teacher would be upset with my daughter when my daughter wouldn't take her advise or or teach the same schedule.  She would literally burst into tearful dramatics about it. My daughter was then requested and strongly suggested to take a personal interest in this other teacher. To "be her friend" and "have lunches together" and Spend time with her." Things that professionally shouldn't even be considered or asked of her.  To the point where my daughter was no longer comfortable meeting alone with the principle or the other teacher. She then wanted to start requesting for her mentor or a member of her union to attend each meetings .She finished the year with high scoring evaluations, and comments to which the districts and her mentors  were highly impressed with her. To which her principle would respond... 'you did pretty good for being a first year teacher.'  By the time summer came she was stressed and exhausted. But she finished. She decided to take the 1st grade spot that opened up in her school for this next year so as not to have conflict with the other Kindergarten teacher who tried to push demands on her.

 At the end of the school year was also told by the principle if she didn't take a certain class over the summer she wouldn't have a job next school year.  Being a first year teacher she didn't know any different so she took that class over the summer. Typically she has 3-5 years to take this particular class.
Turns out that was a lie. She had time to take that class(she had the typical time line for taking it) and her job was never dependent of her taking it  this summer.  
 Last month she returned to the same school as a first grade teacher.   On day one when she went in to set up her class room the principle let her know that her student numbers were low.  And just about every day after that the principle let her know that their numbers were low. She wasn't too worried about it because she had 1 year seniority over the other 2 teachers who were just hired and she was a k-3rd grade teacher.  While having lunch with the other teachers she mentioned about the numbers being low.  None of the other teachers knew anything about it. Which apparently when this kind of thing happens the faculty as a whole should be notified and then they come together to discuss that solutions and then vote on it as a faculty.   In My daughter's case, this didn't happen at all. She was being singled out and was encouraged to contact her teachers union. The numbers cannot be helped, that, she knew. But she actually had seniority over the 2 new teachers who just started. So she didn't really pay too much attention to the numbers.

The 2nd week of school during a faculty meeting as the principle was addressing an issue and asked for questions or suggestions from the teachers.  My daughter raised her hand and offered a suggestion to which the Principle  angrily spouted back "YOU can do that if YOU want to...."  or something to that effect. There was an audible gasp in the room from her coworkers and the teachers who had their hands raised to offer other suggestions, quickly put them down.
  When she privatley confronted the principle about afterwards, the principle was "shocked and horrified"  that she came across that way to her.  However the staff was receiving "a clue."

                                                       Discrimination IS NOT DUCKY!!!

  It was after that faculty meeting that the rest of the staff "got the picture" which then became so OBVIOUS to them.  No less than 4 teachers came to my daughter afterwards and remarked  on how  looking back at the last year and how the Principle has treated her and has been treating her they believe my daughter to discriminated against and the principle and the only reason that made sense was because she was "brown". They began to tell her about little comments and disapproving looks "Daggers" they've heard and seen come from the principle within the last year regarding my daughter. One of them being "we have a  brown teacher to go with all of little brown kids at this school don't we?"

 These teachers, so disgusted with the principle, started calling in to the district and their union in her behalf. My daughter was encouraged to call her Union by the other teachers, which she did immediately. Her union stepped in right away she described to them the situation and they recognized it to be discrimination. The Union rep flat out said.. "Oh, no, this is discrimination...."  Interesting enough, the principle called that same day...a few hours after my daughter.  Which the district agreed was suspect and suspicious.
. In the end, my daughter could continue on at that same school in a different capacity that would be less than favorable for any teacher, not to mention a 2nd year teacher Or she could put her name in the district pool  and be sent to another school while they determine what course of action to take with this principle.  She only had about 24 hours to decide.  Staying and battling and putting up with  this principle who is now being looked at and reviewed by the district.

 I told her THIS is why we stayed in Utah, to be pioneers and to help pave the way for those who could come behind us and to help fight discrimination (race, gender, religious... whatever form it takes) even if just by being a presence to be seen.   
She volunteered as tribute to leave and  will be moving to another school.

Timeline: Last Monday was when she first called the Union. By Tuesday she had to make her decision. Last Thursday it was announced in their faculty meeting she would be leaving.  She said everyone was in tears at the announcement and it felt like she was going to the Hunger Games.
 Even the principle pretended to cry. (Several teachers commented to her about the lack of sincerity in the principle.) Friday she was wondering what her next move would be. They spoke of sending her to Magna.  However Magna has it's own issues with race. So she will not be going to Magna.
    She did finally receive knowledge of where she will be teaching, however, there is no classroom for her. She will be teaching in a portable. Which she has no problem with. Actually will welcome the isolation.  The only issue is that her "RELO" (relocated classroom)will not arrive to her new school for another week.   She starts teaching at her new school tomorrow..

3 days ago She had to tell her First grade students she was leaving them. They were scared and some cried.  Yesterday she spent the day reassuring that change can be good. And she has to go be a teacher for some kids that don't have a teacher. And that it's ok to be scared about the change but they will be taken care of by their new teachers. Then at the end of the day she packed up her student and took them to their new classrooms. They were scared and confused as she dropped each one off and left them. 

   I took the day off work today so I could help her pack her class room. Her  former students would stop and peek in her door with sad faces and wave to her through the window of the class room door. 
 It was really one of the saddest things I've seen.

  Several teachers came in upset and  teary eyed with their desires for her to stay.  They let me know how much of an asset she is and how she will be missed. They also let me know how they were about the situation.  I assured them she was not happy either and as a mother I would rather have her leave then continue to be abused and mistreated.  They all agreed.  I'm also finding out that parents are ringing the phones upset about her leaving and the district is continuing to get calls and complaints regarding this principle.

   I have been silent waiting for her to be located to  a different school so as not to make it more difficult for her.

 But now that she is off the clock today  leaving that place I don't mind saying I AM MAD AS HELL!

  Why did this woman hire my daughter just to mess her around, make her experience as a first year teacher hell, full of  frustration, tears, stress and discrimination?  THIS is not what I wanted for her. THIS is not what she wanted for herself. THIS is not what anyone who knows and loves her wanted for her.     People like that can only hide who they truly are for so long because truth speaks loudly in actions and in expressions. Truth will manifest itself always. ALWAYS.

We are told that in life to play the cards we're dealt. Except, when it comes to that Race card.  It automatically makes you a victim, dramatic, one who antagonizes and is a hater. They say that black people are ALWAYS looking for a time to play the race card.  MY daughter not once mentioned her race in all of this.  She refuse to play all the cards she was dealt. People would have expected her to play it.     However those who know her and the kind of person she was and the amazing teacher she is, they grabbed her hand and played that card for her.  THEY recognized it. THEY  saw it and THEY played it in my daughter's behalf. And it meant something to the district. It meant something to her as well.

 I remember when she experienced something like this in high school and was so upset I got a call from the school to come right over. A student had singled my child out for bullying that day. And she stood up to this bully, but ended up in the office.  Her Counselor asked if she was hurt or harmed. She wasn't.   After speaking with  her and her counselor for about an hour her counselor asked her what she felt was the worse part of this experience.
My daughter said, "I don't care about the person who was trying to bully me. But, it was watching my friends sit back and do nothing at all, they didn't stand beside me, come to my defense or my aide. They just watched and did nothing." 
Her counselor asked her is she wanted to have her friends called down and have a discussion about that.   Props to the counselor for allowing her to have that conversation with her and providing a teaching moment.


                                                            OH  AND SERIOUSLY:

  *drops mic, exits stage left*

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!