...If you've followed me on social media for sometime, you’ve probably seen me share my favorite hashtag: #TrustTheProcess. The trusting of my process began in 2014 when a still small voice told me to forgo my doctoral studies on the East Coast and instead, come home to Los Angeles. After coming home in 2014, I saw how much trustworthiness I had to have in the process as I found myself career-less, sleeping on my Grandmother's couch, working a part-time job - making $9.25/hour at my local YMCA with a master's degree. If you need a refresh er, here is my 2015 year-in-review. As you can recall, 2015 had its highs and lows, but 2016 took me to new career and social heights in ways I couldn't have ever anticipated! Hopefully, this will convey to most just how good God is!
Here's my recap of how I trusted the process in 2016:
In the month of January, I came across an image of literary giant Octavia Butler's handwritten notes from 1988 that conveyed her desires and dream to be remembered as one of the greatest writers of all time. Her list of self-actualization and affirmation was powerful to me and I decided to replicate one for myself and use the same words she used: "So be it. See to it." This practice in self-actualization would prove to be the best thing I've ever done.
In January, my partner, Makiah, and I went to New York City as social media managers for #MLKNOW with United Blackout - a network of concerned artists, entertainers, advocates, religious leaders & citizens united to end human rights violations against fellow Americans. With an amazing turnout online, we were able to have it trend #1 in the country.
Afterward, we wrote about the event’s social impact on us and the rest of the country for Huffington Post. #TrustTheProcess
In February, while still teaching at CSUDH, I was selected by Fusion's inaugural Rise Up Be Heard Fellowship as a journalist and reporter for Southern California.
I also wrote about Cam Newton and White America's issues with Black athletes.
One of my goals for 2016 was to fly regularly - and have people pay for it - and I had the amazing opportunity to do so several times. I went to Miami to cover the Power Moves conference for Black Tech Week. I went to Louisiana to cover the inauguration of Xavier University newest President. Heck, I even went to Ohio for a business trip. 3 words: #TrustTheProcess
In March, I wrote one of my most important pieces regarding politics: "Are Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders Exploiting the Families of Black Victims for Votes?" In conducting research for this article, I had the honor of speaking to #SandraBland's mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, to get her thoughts on the subject. Although this piece was a labor of love over many hard and sometimes frustrating weeks, it was completely worth it. #TrustTheProcess
In April, I had the pleasure of serving on my first panel for NPR's KPCC at CSU Fullerton regarding student activism + politics.
Moreover, I wrote my first piece for Fusion's Rise Up Be Heard Fellowship, in which I interviewed Black Millennials, Pastors, and Clergy across the country to ask why Black millennials were hopping from church-to-church. #TrustTheProcess
Inspired by the trip I had taken in February to Miami for the Power Moves Conference and Black Tech Week, I finally decided to step out and start a venture of my own, Black Book LA.
From events and concerts to museums and Black-owned businesses, Black Book LA is now the one-stop shop for everything Black in LA. But it's more than a newsletter–it's a community. Currently, we reach over 7000+ Black millennials in LA. #TrustTheProcess
Moreover, in the same month, I was invited to Greater Harvest Church in Bakersfield, California, to speak to their 2016 graduates about how they, too, can #TrustTheProcess out of school.
After providing commentary on NPR several more times on The Black Family in Southern California to MLK and the future of Black activism, I was asked to deliver a keynote address at CSU Bakersfield's Black Graduation for the entire class of 2016. Wow! Just 4 years out of undergrad, and I was up there encouraging people to face what laid before them. It's so crazy how things came full circle. #TrustTheProcess
In the month of July, ready and willing, I embarked on a 4-day investigative reporting assignment for Fusion to cover Police & Detention Centers. While there, I was able to speak to victims of police violence. I later learned that our video piece went viral, receiving over 5 million views.
Crazy enough, in the same month, it was confirmed that in October, I'd be a featured TED Talk speaker at Los Angeles' TedxCrenshaw! Yes. There's no way this year could get any better. #TrustTheProcess
August was even more lit! With #BlackBookLA fully underway, Makiah and I decided to step out of our comfort zone to do our first event, #JAMBALAYA. Crazy, right? What started out with 10 subscribers now reaches over 7,000. Here’s a snapshot from our first mixer.
Moreover, in August, I was featured in a Fusion Documentary that followed my journalism assignment in Bakersfield that aired on NATIONAL TELEVISION. #TrustTheProcess
Out of all the months, September was hands down the most epic one of them all!
Chiefly, Twitter finally decided to verify me.
I was selected as the California African American Museum's newest Curator & Program Manager of History and Culture! From here on out, I have the esteemed pleasure of curating the dopest exhibitions, programs, and lectures that will reimagine and reclaim the beauty and illustriousness of the Black experience in the U.S.! I'm so honored to do so and assist CAAM in making its mark in the art world!
It was also in the same month that I went to the NMAAHC in Washington D.C. for the grand opening and had my life changed by the beauty of the edifice and the exhibitions. #TrustTheProcess
In October, out of 20,000 applicants, the White House invited me to attend the first ever #SXSL festival with some of the best and brightest. Humbled is not even the word. Gratefulness is all I have.
In addition, within the same week, I shared my Ted Talk to an entire auditorium full of people - which will be available online in 2017! (Note: Doing this #TEDtalk was one of the hardest things I've had to do. I was stretched, contorted, challenged and pushed to produce the best speech I possibly could. And it was. It was me sharing my frustration, love, and passion for my PEOPLE in this complicated place we call our country. With this one, I gave my all and felt lifted with every word off my lips.) #TrustTheProcess
November + December
With such an amazing year under my belt, I told myself for the last two months of the year i would finally rest and recalibrate to focus on my work at the Museum and my next creative projects. Why? Because I've learned that resting is equally as important as working to any process one is undergoing.
2016 has been quite the year. Not only did I reach career and social heights that I could only dream of, I found purpose. 2015 year was not easy, but I now see why. 2016 was being prepared for as I was learning significant lessons along the way. So, for all those who find themselves in the middle of a difficult process, I encourage you to keep trusting and never give up! Theres something always better on the other side.
If this was 2016, I can't imagine what the process has for me in 2017!