...If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen me post the now infamous hashtag, #TrustTheProcess. This process began in 2014 when a still small voice told me not to pursue my doctoral studies on the East Coast and, instead, to come back home to Los Angeles to be with my Grandmother. After coming home, I saw just how much the process needed to be trusted as I found myself unable to find gainful full-time work, living on my Grandmother's couch, and working part-time, making $9.25/hour at my local YMCA, even with a master's degree. Although 2015 had its ebbs and flows, I have plenty good news to share and want to chronicle the months to show you just how much has transpired over the last year.
Here's my recap of how I trusted the process in 2015:
In March of 2015, I started my first podcast entitled the #TheCut with the support of my lovely girlfriend, Makiah. I also wrote what would become one of my most popular blog posts: On Mo’ne, SAE, & The Burden of Black Forgiveness, which was shared by my professional role model, Marc Lamont Hill! #TrustTheProcess
In April, I was invited by Huffington Post Black Voices to become a blogger and contributor for their site! Being excited from the responses to my writing, I decided educate Raven Symone on the importance of knowing what continent you come from in 5 things Raven-Symonè Still Doesn’t Know About Africa | List. #TrustTheProcess
In May, I wrote my most poignant essay entitled, The Theology of Black Unrest. Though it wasn't as widely circulated as I originally anticipated, it allowed me to grapple with how my faith informs the rising social unrest in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. #TrustTheProcess
In June, I still found myself working diligently at the YMCA part-time. While there, I was configuring ways to use my writing as an outlet to chime in on cultural matters while still looking for full-time work.
Shortly afterward, I was inspired to write about Rachel Dolezal on Huffington Post in a essay called: Post Rachel: 5 Things Rachel Dolezal Taught us About Race. In the same month, I also was featured on MadameNoir's #AskABlackManLA video shoot (dropping in 2016). During the same month, I also got to meet a major inspiration of mine, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill at Th BET's Experience Genius Talks. It was quite clear that the process was being trusted and I was right where I needed to be. #TrustTheProcess
In July, I wrote my next piece,The Color of Hatred, an essay surrounding the failure of the media to portray the humanity of the nine African-Americans killed in the Charleston attack.
Shortly after writing this piece, I was unexpectedly invited to become an Adjunct Professor at Pacific Oaks College to teach Race + Culture courses.
In the same month, while working on a fellowship application, my Macbook was stolen at my local Starbucks.:( Primed by friends to start a GoFundMe to raise donations for a new one, I created #TheBounceBack Campaign, and by the grace of numerous friends and loved ones, I raised enough money to buy a BRAND NEW laptop! #TrustTheProcess
On a high from July, I was even more excited about August 2015! As I made preparations to begin teaching at Pacific Oaks, I received an opportunity to host a screening of Ava Duvernay's Selma at the California African American Museum.
Shortly after that, I was invited to attend Amnesty International's Human Rights Leadership Conference in St. Louis. While there, I went to Ferguson to support the activism surrounding Michael Brown, who had been murdered a year prior. #TrustTheProcess
Upon my arrival in California, I was invited to teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills Africana Studies Department, and by the grace of God, was finally able to resign from the YMCA! #TrustTheProcess
September of 2015 was even crazier in relationship to the process! As the beginning of the quarter started at both CSUDH & Pacific Oaks, I wrote Dashikis and Face Paint: Decolonizing The African Cultural Line. This essay was so popular, it became the top post in the country on Huffington Post Black Voices. And graciously, because of that essay, I was then invited for an interview on Philadelphia's 900AM WURD. #TrustTheProcess
WURDFM Radio Interview - September
In October, I hit more of a stride regarding my process. Inspired by Ta-Nehisi Coates' Book Between The World and Me and the classes I was teaching,I decided to create a book club for Black millennials called #BarnesAndNobleAndChill.
In the same month, I got invited to meet Ta-Nehisi Coates and cover his talk at the California African American Museum in LA.
Then, I was randomly was named a Herb Carter & Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke Distinguished Lecturer of CSUDH, where I gave the first public lecture of my career, On Dashikis and Face Paint: Decolonizing the African Cultural Line, based on my article.#TrustTheProcess
November was even more turnt! Inspired from reading and teaching about Harold Cruse and pluralism in my classes, I decided to challenge myself to model economic solidarity in my community. So, after a discussion with my wonderful girlfriend, Makiah, we decided to create a list to support Black businesses in Los Angeles: 15 Black Businesses for Black Friday in L.A.
Because of that list, I was invited for an interview in the The Wave newspaper regarding the power of Black businesses. #TrustTheProcess
As the year came to a close, I decided that addition work was needed to further advance Black culture in LA. After approaching the Executive Director of CAAM, I created the museum's first Millennial Advisory Council.
While visiting the memorial for Nicholas Robertson, a young man who was senselessly murdered by the LA County Sheriff's in Lynwood, I was interviewed by the New York Times regarding #BlackLivesMatter and the unjust treatment of Black people by the Los Angeles Police Department. And last but not least, I was interviewed by 2Urban Girls regarding my thoughts on the plight of minority students in higher education. #TrustTheProcess
2015 has been quite the year. Not only did I find growth in trusting the process, I found strength. This year was not easy, but it was worth it and I've learned significant lessons along the way. For all those who find themselves in the middle of a difficult process, I encourage you to keep trusting and never give up!
If this was 2015, I can't imagine what the process has for me in 2016!