Archive for the Black Lives Matter Category

Black on Campus: An American University Story

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

Bananas with “AKA Free” written on them were found hanging from nooses on American University’s campus after the student government voted in its first black woman Taylor Dumpson (a member of the AKA sorority) as president. 

But Black students have been terrorized at predominantly white colleges for years. I remember being at Penn State in the’90s, and nooses were found hanging from the door of two friends who were roommates in the boys dorm. We were only 18. Freshman. Shook by it all. I was the rare black member of the student government and helped create the Diversity Union so we could come together and just be together. As black kids, we didn’t really know what we needed. But we instinctively knew we needed support to deal with the racism. I ended up transferring to a HBCU after my freshman year. I always said it was because of my major that I transferred to Hampton. I wanted to be on the radio and play the black music we couldn’t find in the boonies of Central PA. But today, reading this story, I had a flashback and suddenly realized it was likely those nooses that heavily influenced my decision to leave. #BlackOnCampus

Looking Forward to This…

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

Looking forward to sitting on this panel tomorrow, Thursday April 27, discussing intersectionality with several minds I admire like Shaun King, Hill Harper, and Ilyasah Shabazz. Plus I’m excited about seeing the great Harry Belafonte honored at this year’s National Action Network Convention. #NAN2017

Mayor David Dinkins #BlackHistory

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

I had the honor of meeting NYC’s first and only black mayor, David Dinkins, at Mayor De Blasio and 1st lady Chirlane McCray’s Black History Month reception. I had a wonderful moment speaking to Mr. Dinkins about what the next generation of leaders should be doing now. He said they should find an organization to partner with and do the work within. He said, “See that turtle over there on that fence? That turtle didn’t get there alone. That turtle got there by standing on the shoulders of those who came before it.” #BlackHistory

Rise of the Woman: #WomensMarch on Washington

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

I experienced history in DC at The Women’s March on Washington. The energy was electric! The vibe was so warm and nurturing. The speeches were amazing. The march passionately shut DC and cities across the country down. I am so happy to have witnessed and been a part of something that will be in history books. These are just some of the pictures I took. #WomensMarch

I’m never getting rid of this badge. #History

Cheesing with the immortal Angela Davis!

Alicia Keys surprised the crowd

Janelle Monae addresses the crowd

Always good to see Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr

Honored to meet activist and former President of the NAACP, Hazel Dukes.

Michael Moore amped the crowd up.

Jake Gyllenhaal showed low-key support.

Uzo Aduba with her “What Meryl Said” sign

Building with Michaela Angela Davis & Beverly Bond

The largest protest in US history, 1 million strong.

Gloria Steinem (Photo courtesy of Bill Allen)

Jidenna, Janelle Monae, & Jordan Davis’ mother

Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem (Photo courtesy of Bill Allen)

Smiling with Deja Vu (Photo courtesy of Bill Allen)

Madonna brought the ruckus. (Photo courtesy of Bill Allen)

Always good to see the Rev. Jesse Jackson

Women’s March Co-chair, Tamika Mallory, delivering her amazing speech

Co-chair Linda Sarsour delivering a powerful speech.

Co-chair Carmen Perez leading the march on her birthday!

Met these amazing ladies who traveled 10 hours from Flint

Van Jones was in the house.

This elder marched with King on Washington in the 60s.

Senator Cory Booker took this selfie himself.

Maxwell performed for the ladies. (Photo courtesy of Bill Allen)

Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter, Dominique

Co-chair Bob Bland delivering her speech with her daughter.

The crowd behind me while marching.

L-R Deja Vu, me, Michael Angela Davis, Tamika Mallory, Mark Thomson, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, NY Justice League Family

Jidenna, Janelle Monae, and Jordan Davis’ mother (courtesy of Bill Allen)

Marching from darkness to light. It’s a marathon, not a race. #WomensMarch #OnwardUpward

#MLKDay 2017

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

MLK Day is not a day off. I was raised to know that today is a day of service. I’m blessed that the work I’m paid to do doubles as community service.

 My #MLKDay 2017 to do and got-it-done list:

 1)  Sent my kid to a youth leadership conference. 

2) Worked on a speech I’ve been hired to write for the Women’s March on Washington. #Speechwriter

 3) Wrote & edited campaign materials for Amnesty International campaigns against Police Brutality & The Syrian Refugees Crisis 

4) Soul food dinner with family.

 Dr. King would be proud. :+) Productive. Busy. Satisfying. Today was a good day.

Meet Taraji P. Henson’s character in Hidden Figures: Katherine Johnson

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

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Check out Taraji’s real-life character, Katherine Johnson in the upcoming film, Hidden Figures about black female NASA scientists. I was happy to read her story in Vanity Fair. #BlackHistory #BlackGirlMagic

READ MORE: Katherine Johnson, the NASA Mathematician Who Advanced Human Rights with a Slide Rule and Pencil.

The Man to Meet: Colin Kaepernick

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 8, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

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I’d really like to meet this man, fellow scorpio and activist, Colin Karpernick. Would love to build with him on so much, especially his new “Know Your Rights” camp he created in California, inspired by The Black Panther’s youth camps.

READ MORE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/colin-kaepernick-black-panther-youth-camp_us_5818b31ee4b0390e69d2935f?

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My First Visit to The White House!

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

Stepped into The White House for the first time thanks to Beverly Bond and her amazing new initiative #KingMe! Partnering with Obama’s #MyBrothersKeeper, King Me Works to empower black boys to rock in the same way Black Girls Rock brings love, support, and encouragement to girls worldwide. Had an amazing time at the stimulating panel discussions and the post reception. Check the pics below!

 

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Posing with the DJ bringing hip hop to the White House, the amazing Beverly Bond.

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Taking over the White House corridors.

 

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Stic from Dead Prez was in the  building.

 

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Guess who took this pic of Stic? Yours truly…

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Black Girl Magic at the White House with power lady activist Rahiel Tesfamarian; Author and Principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, Nadia Lopez; & Black Girls Rock’s Glenda Smiley

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First person I met at The White House

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Youth Focused panel discussion

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Youth advocates from different genres spoke

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Preparing for when they invite me back to speak one day. 😉

 

Having fun posing with a couple of long-time friends (Chuck Creekmur and G-Rock) at the post-reception

 

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Beverly Bond looked and sounded amazing.

 

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Sitting in the audience, happy to be there.

 

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The view from the window.

 

 

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Ended the night at the post-reception eating these cream cheese-covered presidential Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

 

 

 

Newark NJ Declares #SayHerName to Fight Violence Against Black Women

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 7, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

I had a wonderful time attending the closing night panel and festivities for #SayHerNameNewark. A young women’s empowerment event, in Newark NJ, dedicated to giving voice to the issues, causes, and names of black women killed by violence – police brutality, domestic – sexual and physical violence. Adults and youth spoke along with assorted art performances and displays to represent the struggle. Shout to Kim J Ford & Leah Jackson for inviting me to this amazing event. Check the pictures below!

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Posing with my fellow panelist, a powerful group of women all active in their community

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Young black girls packed the building. Based on what I’ve heard from these kids, the future looks very promising.

 

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Kim Ford did an excellent job hosting and moderating.

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Co-host Leah Jackson was also amazing. Especially when she shared her empowerment poem with the audience.

 

 

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Powerful pieces of art colored the room.

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Meet Gail Marquis: Olympic Star, Wall Street Executive, Activist, Star of The University of Phoenix Commercials

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 3, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

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Saw the amazing Gail Marquis in a University of Pheonix commercial about her life from Olympic Champion to LGBT activist to Wall Street Executive. I was standing in front of the TV screaming with happiness taking pictures. If you don’t know this lady, you need to. Proud to say we performed together with so many other amazing women, years ago, off Broadway, in “The Vagina Monologues.” But this commercial? So much bigger. SO AMAZING. So inspiring. Wow. #Dope #GailMarquis#BlackGirlMagic

SEE THE COMMERCIAL HERE: Still I Rise – Gail Marquis – University of Phoenix Commercial