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TENSE Journal Presents:Speak The Truth To The Youth:4th Annual TENSE SUMMIT Speakers “RAISING THE BAR” by A.J Donaldson

Posted by TENse on August 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

TENSE Summit is proud to announce all of our speakers for the 4th Annual TENSE Summit. These rising young stars are really “RAISING THE BAR” . This year we are “RAISING THE BAR” with the help of these nationally recognized speakers from across America as we seek to expose, empower, and equip our youth with the proper resources to challenge and change their community. This back-to-school initiative will provide scholarships, school supplies, food, and life-long connections for a deserving community. We welcome you to our 4th Annual TENSE Summit.

Harmony Cross

Bio: Currently representing the city of brotherly love as Miss Black Philadelphia USA, Harmony Cross is a native of Syracuse NY and a graduate of North Carolina Central University. During her tenure at NCCU, Cross served as Miss NCCU 2012-2013 where she had the opportunity to implement two initiatives that are still continuing three years later: Lady Eagle Development Mentoring Program and NCCU’s Annual Women’s Empowerment Symposium. During her reign, she was also voted into the Ebony Magazine as a Top 10 Campus Queen and also served as mistress of ceremony for First Lady Michelle Obama. Upon graduation from NCCU, Cross moved to Philadelphia, PA where she received her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Temple University. Harmony enjoys traveling the world any chance she gets, staying physically and mentally fit, meeting new people, mentoring, and, reading and watching videos on topics including: motivation, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development.

Topic Title: Be YOU. Do YOU. Be FREE.

Food preference: Vegetarian

Favorite song: Meek Mill, Dreams and Nightmares

Jena

Bio: Holistic Lifestyle Maven, Fitness Coach, NPC Figure Competitor, Speaker, and CEO are just a few ways to begin describing the talent that is Jená Emily Utley. She uses her holistic approach to fitness, to focus on building the person from the inside out, making them healthier as a whole being. Jená encourages her clients to live by four key principles; 1) Think positively, 2) Pray openly against negative thoughts, 3) Operate through a spirit of kindness, and 4) Surround yourself with a like-minded community.

Topic Title: Holistic Lifestyle Maven & Fitness Coach

Food preference: Vegan/Vegetarian

Favorite Song:

Electric Lady By Janelle Monaé

Danielle Veal

Bio: Danielle Veal is the fifth and sixth grade Learning Specialist. Last year, she taught elementary school English in rural South Korea. Prior to joining KIPP Vision Academy, she served as the chair of the Mathematics department at KIPP Sunnyside High School and as the ninth grade Team Leader at Kashmere Senior High School, both in Houston, TX. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Topic Title: Financial Literacy: The Numbers Don’t Lie, but the Lies do have Numbers

Food preference: Organic

Favorite Song: Any Song by J.COLE

Geoffrey Cooper

Bio: Geoffrey Cooper works with Cox Media Group in San Antonio, educating and assisting local businesses on ways they can maximize their marketing and advertising in the digital realm. Cooper completed his B.A. in Mass Communications at N.C. Central University in May 2009. He is also a May 2014 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his M.S. in Mass Communications from the Richard T. Robertson School of Media & Culture.

Topic Title: Collision Course: Intersecting Today’s Digital Media and Technology with Black Activism, Identity and Perception.

Food Preference: I have no major food preferences.

Favorite Song: “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis; “The Needle’s Eye” by Gil-Scott Heron; “God is Love” by Marvin Gaye

Will Anyu

Bio: William Anyu is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in, Mass Communication, and is currently working on a Master in Public Administration. William was born in Cameroon West Africa and came to the United States at the age of six to live with his mother Gladys Taku in inner city of Minneapolis Minnesota.

Topic Title: Leadership From The Root

Food preference: Vegan

Favorite Song: Glory By: John Legend & Common

Franceria Moore

Bio: Franceria Moore is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina but currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she is the Founder and CEO of Initiatives to Help Others Pursue Purpose and Excel (iHope) Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to the service and advocacy of children and their families in underserved communities. Since 2010 iHope has served over 500 students in the Baton Rouge

Topic Title: People, Places, Purpose and How to Change the World.

Food preference: No Beef or Pork

Favorite Song: River Rise by India Irie or It’s a New Day by Will.i.Am

Omoregie Okhomina

Bio: Omore is a teacher, writer, motivational speaker, poet, student and aspiring lawyer. Prior to attending law school and beginning in 2004, Omore served as a schoolteacher in the Washington DC area. A native of Nigeria, West Africa, Omore currently serves as a Juvenile Justice Intern for the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington D.C. Omore also serves as the youngest Director of the Lake Arbor Summer Enrichment Camp in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Topic: Justice Behind Bars: Hip-Hop lyrics for a Social Revolution

Food Preference: No Fast Food

Favorite Song: You’ll Be Alright by Musiq Soulchild

Dr. J Inwood

Bio: University of Tennessee Professor.
Specialties: Cultural Geography, Qualitative Methods, Critical Race Theory, Urban Geography
Joint Appointment: Africana Studies Program

Nduka Onwuzuruigbo, Jr

SPOTLIGHT PERFORMER:
Nduka Onwuzuruigbo, Jr.

Topic: World Star Famous
Nashville, TN

Supporting TENSE Summit is EASY as 1, 2, 3…

1. REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014 or someone else for the 3rd Annual TENSE Summit
For GROUP REGISTRATION: Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014

2. Donate TO TENSE SUMMIT 2014

3. WATCH TENSE PROMO VIDEO

Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
University of Tennessee
James A. Haslam II Business Building
1000 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST@ajTENsejournal
Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn
View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit
Email tensesummit@gmail.com

Please visit www.tensejournal.com to learn more about TENSE. Tense Journal is officially registered as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, thereby recognized by Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt charitable organization.

 
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TENSE Journal Presents:Like Father,Like Daughter:Dr.Barber to Keynote 4th Annual TENSE SUMMIT “RAISING THE BAR” by A.J Donaldson

Posted by TENse on July 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

TENSE Summit is proud to announce Dr. Sharrelle Barber as our 4th annual and first female keynote speaker. Dr. Barber is a rising star and has been considered by many to be one of the nation’s top 30 black women under 30. This year we are “RAISING THE BAR” with the help of Dr. Barber as we seek to expose, empower, and equip our youth with the proper resources to challenge and change their community. This back-to-school initiative will provide scholarships, school supplies, food, and life-long connections for deserving youths. We welcome you to our 4th Annual TENSE Summit.

Sharrelle Barber received her doctoral degree in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard University School of Public Health. While a doctoral student, Sharrelle was involved in a number of research projects and also taught as an adjunct lecturer at Brandeis University and served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College.

Prior to completing her doctoral work, Sharrelle earned her MPH in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Sharrelle graduated summa cum laude from Bennett College for Women in 2007 with a degree in Biology. Sharrelle also served as Student Body President at Bennett College. Sharrelle is currently working as a research fellow at the Drexel School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities.

She strongly believes that unto whom much is given, much is required and intends to use all she has been given to address issues of health equity and social justice among poor and marginalized communities. Sharrelle is the daughter of prominent international Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of North Carolina NAACP. Dr. William J. Barber, II has received national attention as the convener of HK on J Street (2 million in membership) and founder of Moral Mondays. Sharrelle is thankful to God who has, throughout her life, divinely ordered her steps, walked with her along this road, and has never ceased to provide strength for the journey.

Dr. William Barber

As one with a deep commitment to her faith and a strong passion for social justice, her ultimate goal is to conduct research that both broadens our understanding of health equity issues in the context of communities in the South and informs the development of social and economic policies necessary to eliminate inequities in health in our country.

Supporting TENSE Summit is EASY as 1, 2, 3…

1. REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014 or someone else for the 3rd Annual TENSE Summit
For GROUP REGISTRATION: Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014

2. Donate TO TENSE SUMMIT 2014 any amount directly to TENSE at
Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com.

3. WATCH TENSE PROMO VIDEO

TENSE SUMMIT 2014 REGISTER

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT

Saturday, August 22, 2015
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
University of Tennessee
James A. Haslam II Business Building
1000 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST@ajTENsejournal
Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn
View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit
Email tensesummit@gmail.com

Please visit www.tensejournal.com to learn more about TENSE. Tense Journal is officially registered as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, thereby recognized by Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt charitable organization.

 
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TENSE Journal Presents:Was Kendrick Lamar Right? From Sharkeisha(WORLDSTAR) to Walter Scott, an Era of Video Violence by TENN

Posted by TENse on April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?
When gang banging make me kill a ni@@a blacker than me?
Hypocrite!

-Kendrick Lamar,
Blacker the Berry (To Pimp A Butterfly)

How do people know if recent police shootings were racially motivated?
Did not the court find these men innocent of any crime?
Is one innocent until proven guilty?
And if the court finds one innocent then are they still guilty until public opinion finds them innocent?

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?
When gang banging make me kill a ni@@a blacker than me?
Hypocrite!

Allegedly, George Zimmerman stood his ground against Trayvon Martin. Allegedly, Officer Darren Wilson feared for his life.

But one may argue dead men can’t speak and perhaps Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown may have offered a different perspective had they lived to tell their side of the story. What if we had a video of their final moments? Recently, video evidence has made a difference.

July 17, 2014 video footage captured Eric Garner gasp “I can’t breathe,” as officers choked him to death and less than a year later cops told yet another victim Eric Harris “F&*k your breath.”

On April 4, 2015 Walter Scott was shot several times in the back by Officer Slager as he ran away. Regardless of the pending court verdict, public opinion finds the officers guilty of using excessive force. And the numbers support these claims. In April 2013 the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement released a statistic that claimed “every 28 hours” a black was killed at the hands of the law. The calculation was simple: 8,760 hours in a day divided by 313 reported deaths equals an average of 1 death per hour. However, the Washington Post revealed that only 44 percent of those men killed in 2012 were unarmed. Does this mean 56 percent of the deaths were justified? And if so, where is the proof? Police credibility has been compromised by the new age of video. Videos help balance police power, and unlawful killings matter not without video evidence. Unfortunately, this wave of discontent with police is nothing new.Video justice precedes the era of social media of Instagram, Facebook Vine, and Twitter.

Police Forces Across the U.S. Get Low Job Ratings in Many Areas

March 3, 1991, marked the genesis of video justice with the beating of Rodney King. Even though it was not the first video to record injustice it was perhaps one of the first videos made public that captured the breadth of police brutality in black and brown communities. In addition, it spurred national outrage tantamount to Civil Rights and Black Power demonstrations of the 1960′s. The video led to the 1992 race riots that brought the country at a standstill after the white officers were acquitted of all charges. Spike Lee said Do the Right Thing, Public Enemy said Fight the Power, and N.W.A said F#*k the Police. The racial tides were high. In addition, a brilliant writer by the name Cornel West reached national fame after he released Race Matters. After spending years in the academy explaining the conditions of black communities, West finally broke free to deliver his message directly to his subjects.

Similar to the 92′ race riots, recent killings of Martin, Brown, and Scott have led to public demonstrations. Protesters, both black and white, have taken to the streets, stopped traffic, set die-ins, and a plethora of “black-lives-matter” rallies. But despite public outrage these events and episodes of discontet are not new. So why are people so surprised? Why are protesters stopping traffic and lying in the streets? Why does it matter if black lives matter if black life doesn’t matter to blacks?

By focusing exclusively on the killings, which indeed are most important, one may overlook a glaring detail: the paradox of black behavior. People are sensitive to police-video-violence, but desensitized to community-video-violence. In this day and age if you hear the words “WORLDSTAR” chances are you lost the fight. As noted in the first chart white on white violence is statistically equal to black on black violence. However, the subject of recent murders revolve around black bodies, precisely black men. In fairness Martin and Brown were portrayed as thugs, and in 1999 Amadou Diallo was shot 19 times with no criminal record. Although some may argue Brown was a thug, Diallo was clearly not. Scott was a 50 year old man evading child support and Eric Garner was selling cigarettes. But in 2006 Sean Bell was shot at over 50 times on the day of his wedding. Either way these men were killed by police officers who were not convicted. The anger is justified. But there is a new movement of video-violence taking place right before our eyes and we can identify the perpetrators, yet we celebrate the culprits. If communities fear police and at the same time doubt video evidence will convict them in court, then what options remain? Furthermore, what happens when we lose faith in the police and the community? If the answer to police brutality is to remove them from neighborhoods then who will replace the police? A generation of “WORLDSTAR” viewers? Do we take justice into our own hands like the WORLDSTAR video-vine sensation Sharkeisha by slapping other people? Lets take a trip down video-violence memory lane.

November 19, 2013 in Houston,TX Sharkeish sucker punched 17-year-old Shamichael Manuel. November 26, 2013 Sharkeisha had 400 followers, by November 27, 2013, Sharkeisha had over 20,000 followers. What difference a day makes. The video of the fight went viral and instantly Shakeisha basked in the glory. However, there was only one problem. Sharkeisha showed no remorse, and the public court of opinion cheered her on and found the defendant not guilty. There was no twitter jail. In fact she was rewarded for her “bad girl behavior”, and she could careless about the police. In fact, she said #fu#kthepolice. What does this mean? This was black on black video-violence recorded for the world to watch. Even celebrities added to the memes of fun. Cornel West referred to this as “nihilism” — the sense of worthlessness that exists among most Black. In fact a hoax spread that Shamichael committed suicide, but Sharkeisha was undeterred, numb, nihilistic even.

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?
When gang banging make me kill a ni@@a blacker than me?
Hypocrite!

The truth is that America has been accustomed to violence, thus it is not a race-specific phenomenon. However, race is a factor when it comes to justice. A system designed to execute fair justice has disproportionately excluded black and brown people from fair judicial processes. One does not have to read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow to understand the depth of racial inequalities. However, one should read their own social media timelines to notice a movement of video-violence within your own community. This age of video-justice has taken matters into their own hands. And to be quite frank it has been effective to some degree. The only problem is the outrages has been reduced to police-specific-abuse and often times ignore other acts of video-violence and bullying. A couple of years ago I saw a young lady post a general comment “the world is crazy, but you have to keep your head up and keep it moving.” It seemed to be a harmless post. Within 3 hours some girls showed up at her door, summons her to a fight, stabbed her, and uploaded the video to Facebook the same night. The video received 20, 000 views, yet none of the witnesses testified because they refused to be labeled a “snitch.” I knew the girl personally. And when asked why ________ did it. She looked at me and said “WORLDSTAR.”

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?
When gang banging make me kill a ni@@a blacker than me?
Hypocrite!

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3rd Annual TENSE Summit Does it Again. Hundreds Support.TENSE Recap of Pictures, Videos, and Testimonies. Thanks Again. by Geoffrey Cooper and A. J. Donaldson

Posted by TENse on August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

“To be honest man this TENSE S#*%…I mean stuff changed me bruh. My bad for cussing but that session had me thinking. This was a great use of my time. I didn’t want to come at first, but I figured I would come for the free food at least. Mr. Keith Glass f$%# me up…I’m sorry Keith Glass had me emotional” the young man words cut through my soul.

I wasn’t sure if I understood the level of his words until the Keynote Speaker Keith Glass pulled me aside and told me something that I would never forget. Keith Glass was moved by the TENSE Summit. But more importantly the TENSE Summit was moved by Keith Glass.

“Man, I was expelled from school” he told the room full of TENSE participants. “Nothing was funny about that” he said as if he wanted to cry. The room was so quiet you could hear the chill bumps pop on several bodies as it cooled the room. The ice was thick and no one wanted to break it.

TENSE Summit Planning

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard

Brain Games

SAY CHEESE...STAY TENSE

Who is KEITH GLASS?
Getting into Morehouse College was supposed to be the crowning achievement of Keith Glass’ young scholastic career.
Growing up in Atlanta, he researched how Morehouse College’s student body played a fundamental role in the Civil Rights Movement, even producing revered alums civil rights pioneers like the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He listened closely as locals described the institution as a pipeline for producing Rhodes Scholars, doctors, lawyers—men of distinction.
So, when his admission letter finally arrived in 2011, and he found out he wasn’t accepted, it nearly shattered his world.
“I was feeling really down,” Glass said. “Anytime you’re told no to something you really want, it’s always a bad feeling.”
Keith told the Summit audience that it was this moment that defined his response to failure. “I refused to quit” Glass said.
Glass had few options: take the knockout and accept defeat; or get up off the mat and regroup.
Thankfully, Glass chose latter.
Fast forward to 2014, and the incoming Morehouse College freshman and motivational speaker took the audience to inTENSE levels as he had everyone on the edge of their seats. “I could feel their energy” Glass said.
“I felt like Keith was talking directly to me” one youth said. “I couldn’t understand how he survived, but then I thought I too can make it if he made it. To be honest my heart is racing right now with tears of joy” a young lady said.
Glass, 22, said his focal point was in his address was to encourage students to pursue their dreams—confidently—and accept responsibility if they falter. That’s something Glass admits he failed to do during high school.
Glass fit the profile like many of his peers growing up in Atlanta—lived in a one-person household; absent father; surrounded by rampant drugs and crime.
“I’m someone a lot of people counted out,” Glass said, adding that stunted his confidence and gave him more reason to not take school serious.
“I didn’t value education,” Glass said. “Education was something that me, and a lot of people in my neighborhood, didn’t see anything to do with our everyday life.
“Ultimately, no one denied me. I denied myself.”
He said he viewed his denial into Morehouse College as part of a bigger plan—to encourage children to make success a part of their everyday lives.

TENSE Summit Registration

Tiffany

ALL THE WAAAAAAAAY TURNT for TENSE!!!

ME4UT Support

Ready for the day

Great NIA Leadership

Leslie Upton helping students

Leading the Blind?”]

Thanks to our TENSE Support

TENSE Presenter Changed Lives

Keith and the Kids

John gets a break to smile. Hard work paid off.

JOHN BALDWIN
Take a long drive through Knoxville, and John Baldwin says it’s only a matter of time before one will notice some disturbing divisions.
The 2012 University of Tennessee-Knoxville graduate notes that the city’s divide shines a light on its major social and economic disparities. While West Knoxville continues to thrive, East Knoxville is considered a hotbed for widespread poverty.
Rather than remain idle, Baldwin, 23, is returning to his alma mater to continue his service, outreach, and self-discovery through this year’s TENSE Summit.
The Summit piqued his interest but wasn’t exactly sure how impactful it would be.
After that Summit concluded, one thing was certain—he was a believer.
“I was surprised by the (Summit’s) effect it had on our audience,” Baldwin said. “The content was strong and it harnessed strong community support. I realized this was something special and it wasn’t your typical event.”
“With (the TENSE Summit), all of these people have these special traits. They’re all intense in various ways. All of these people have gone through obstacles to get where they are.
“The beauty of it is, they live intense because they understand it’s not about them … I’m in debt to serving to others. I know I would not be where I am if someone else didn’t help me somewhere along the way,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said his work with the TENSE Summit helped him further discover there’s a drastic need for youth development. He said he understands how important that concept is, especially in impoverished communities—where minorities like African-Americans reside.
As a student at Tennessee, Baldwin said the black community was small and opportunities for individual mentoring were slim. Partnering with the TENSE Summit was a way to connect with like-minded people for a common goal—reaching at-risk youth.
“We’re all on the same playing field saying, ‘Here’s our message,’” Baldwin said.
Because of faith, Baldwin said his goal to becoming a doctor is within Baldwin’s reach. Yet, he knows his success is limited if he’s not able to reach back and help others get to the top.
Baldwin said coming back to the Nashville area to pursue medicine helped widen his eyes to the social and economic ills his hometown continues to face. He said he wants to implement a similar community outreach initiative like the TENSE Summit in Nashville.
“There’s a same need for that (attention) in Nashville like we‘re giving in Knoxville,” Baldwin said. “I believe we can make drastic change. “ As African-Americans, we have to give back just more than money. We have to give our time, our mentorship, our talents, and time to develop (younger generations).”

Lyric Flood and Jeremy Flood drive 15 hours to present

LYIRC FLOOD AND JEREMY WILLIAMS
Most languages are often complex, layered with words that hold multiple meanings and often difficult to decipher.
The consequence is thick barriers which, unfortunately, stunt meaningful interaction.
For Lyric Flood and Jeremy Williams, music is considered the supreme language. Whether it’s the lyrics from head-banging, heavy metal rock, or the supersonic bass melodies of hip-hop, both agree: music binds, inspires, transforms, and defies systems in place.
“If power (of music) is the ability to influence or change behavior, then it’s one of the most powerful tools,” Flood said. “It’s something you can’t stop or shut out.”
The educator-duo from Houston ventured to Knoxville as guest speakers for the TENSE Summit to challenge hundreds of students to think critically about the music they consume. The ever-expanding genre of hip-hop was the focus of the discussion, as Flood and Williams dissected how the art form continues to play a pivotal role in shaping young minds.
“Now, it’s a contest of ‘How flashy can I be,’ and ‘Can I tell you how much I have?,” he said. “I want (children) to think critically and ask questions (of the artist). So when they hear something on the radio, they ask ‘Why is (this artist) being played so much. What makes (this song) more appealing to a radio listener than another song?’”
When it comes to integrating music into daily instruction, it’s a notion Williams fully adopts. Williams–a teaching leadership development manager for Houston’s Teach for America corps—said he’s seen some of his colleagues use rap lyrics from artists like Lauryn Hill in their lesson plans to discuss literary concepts like rhyme, tempo, and verse.
“When the kids are using something like that … it is sometimes easily transferable (versus) something they may not be familiar with, like Shakespeare or Moby Dick,” he said.
Williams said a majority of the kids at the Summit easily identify with hip-hop, because it’s embedded into their daily lives. However, he said, it’s up to them to form a stream of consciousness beyond the beats.
“(Music) can have an effect on … how you perceive the world,” Williams said. “Every time a song comes on, and they start to bob their head because the bass is loud or the beat sounds nice, we want them to be mindful enough to listen to a song and really ask themselves, ‘What is this song asking me to do?”

TENSE TWEETS!!!

DJ Stearl The Pearl Show TENSE Love with Chris Wiley and Sedrick Twitty

WILL YOU BE HERE NEXT YEAR?

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@ajTENsejournal
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TENSE Summit Announces Youngest Keynote Speaker Ever. REGISTER NOW for (25 days away) 3rd Annual TENSE Summit

Posted by TENse on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

“Who is the Keynote Speaker Keith Glass?” a young lady asked.

I saw Keith Glass in Atlanta, GA. He received a surprised scholarship for over $7,000 from his former teacher Warren.

“I asked ‘Who is Keith Glass?’” the young lady clarified the question.

“I didn’t ask where you met Keith Glass” she made her point more clear.

At the time he was a kid with a dream to attend Morehouse College. I was less impressed by the money Warren raised and more interested at Keith’s reaction to the money raised. The room fell silent for what seemed like an eternity. As time elapsed the crowd wondered if the young man was grateful.

“Why is he so quiet?” I thought to myself.

“Ummm…Who is Keith Glass?” the young lady was impatient.

I asked her to be patient. Two full uncomfortable minutes evaporated until Keith’s voice cracked. His eyes stayed open to fight back tears. He was too emotional to speak. He hugged his mentor as cameras flashed and hundreds clapped. We all smiled for 30 seconds, but no one could’ve predicted what Keith would say next. What he said next changed the course of the moment. We discovered the story of Keith Glass?

WHO IS KEITH GLASS?

Well I asked him to tell me who he was 6 months after we left Atlanta and this is what the young man had to say:

“My name is Keith “Mr.46″ Glass, and I was born and raised in Atlanta GA. I am a 2011 graduate from South Atlanta High School of Law and Social Justice. I continued my education at Georgia Perimeter College and just recently been accepted into Morehouse College for Fall 2014. After graduating high school, I discovered my passion for public speaking, but more specifically I discovered my passion to be the voice of the unheard. The following school year, I went back to my middle school, Price Middle School, where I founded my first mentoring program entitled “Males on the Move”. In 2013 I went on to start an organization and empowerment tour entitled “The Rise from 46″ with the mission to motivate and incentivize at risk youth in the Metro Atlanta school districts. I also serve as an ambassador for Teach for America, an organization leading the movement of closing the achievement gap. I have addressed over 3,000 teachers and students and had the honor of being the opening act for John Legend at one of his concerts in Atlanta. I live to serve others and being an inspiration to those who doubt their own abilities is what continues to push me to persevere. A quote that I live by is ” I Didn’t Wait for an Opportunity, I Created One” and I instill that idea into all those who I am fortunate enough to encounter.”

Supporting TENSE Summit is EASY as 1, 2, 3…

1. REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014 or someone else for the 3rd Annual TENSE Summit
For GROUP REGISTRATION: Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT 2014

2. Donate TO TENSE SUMMIT 2014 any amount directly to TENSE at
Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com.

3. WATCH TENSE PROMO VIDEO

OTHER SPEAKERS

TENSE SUMMIT 2014 REGISTER

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR TENSE SUMMIT

Saturday, August 23, 2014
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
University of Tennessee
James A. Haslam II Business Building
1000 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST@ajTENsejournal
Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn
View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit
Email tensesummit@gmail.com

 
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Will You Attend/Support (30 days away) 3rd Annual TENSE Summit? PICTURES!!! VIDEOS!!! and PROGRESS!!! Please REGISTER/DONATE by TENN

Posted by TENse on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

PLEASE CLICK ON PIC TO HELP OUR STUDENTS REACH THEIR GOAL!!!

Supporting TENSE Summit is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Donate any amount directly to TENSE at DONATE TO TENSE Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com.

2. Support TENSE via GO FUND ME (students) to help students travel to TENSE from Houston, TX. They have already raised over $500. They need your help. GO FUND ME

3. TENSE SUMMIT REGISTRATION. Register yourself or someone else for the 3rd Annual TENSE Summit at www.tensesummit.org. Email us at tensesummit@gmail.com.. We’d love to see you there!

What has TENSE done to raise money?

View pictures below to see our TENSE Summit FUNDRAISER efforts.

Mr. Donaldson and Ms. Sanchez’s former students GO FUND ME CAR WASH

Click the link below to donate!
GO FUND ME (DONATE)

Help Mr. A.J. Donaldson's and Ms. Kellee Sanchez's former students travel from Houston, TX to Knoxville, TN for the 3rd Annual TENSE Summit. Lets make both these teachers and their former students dreams come true as they reconnect for a purpose and promise honored to them years ago. Please support this initiative. We cannot do this without you.

Show your support by donating any amount to our GO FUND ME account. Every dollar counts.
GO FUND ME

OXYMORON Open Mic Experience FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS

Read the review and view pictures from this amazing event!

OXyMORON OPEN MIC FUNDRAISER

What does TENSE need from you?

I am writing to you on behalf of TENSE Summit Community Outreach Committee. TENSE, Teaching to Eliminate Negative Stereotypes through Education, is a non-profit organization where we intend to counter the pathological culture of young people with E.M.S. (Education, Music, and Style). We will be hosting our 3rd Annual Summit on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Please click to watch a video that further explains our mission. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiqhRdr4rZo

Upon returning to their respective locations, the attendees will be able to showcase their new wealth of knowledge to their communities as well as positive memories and lessons from their experience at the Summit. As a parting gift we would like to provide gift bags to our 250 attendees. This is where we are in need of your help. We are in need of reusable shopping bags and items to put in our gift bags. Some of the items that we are looking for are as follows:
250 backpacks
250 lime green or black socks
250 pens and pencils
200 rubber wrist bands
USB Flash Drives
We believe that these items will help encourage our participants to tap into their creative sides.

Please see below for the benefits you will receive as a sponsor of the 3rd TENSE Summit.

DONATE TENSE

You can also donate any amount at www.tensesummit.org. I would like to thank you for considering this opportunity to partner with our organization. If you have any questions regarding our organization or the project itself, please feel free to contact me at the address given above or at tensesummit@gmail.com.

Live Your Life in TENSE,

A.J. Donaldson, Founder and Director, TENSE Summit

TENSE SUMMIT PROMO VIDEO

TENSE SUMMIT 2014 REGISTER
Saturday, August 23, 2014
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
University of Tennessee
James A. Haslam II Business Building
1000 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST
@ajTENsejournal
Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn
View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit
Email tensesummit@gmail.com

 
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TENSE Journal Presents: TENSE Summit OXYMORON Open Mic Fundraiser Pictures and Recap (Coming Soon Saturday,August 23, 2014) by TENN

Posted by TENse on July 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Friday, July 4, 2014 at exactly 7:38 p.m., the Sky Box on Gay Street was filled with 21 candles, 21 pieces of original art, 21 performers, 21 TENSE volunteers, and ummm…ok I can’t think of anything else that captured the essence of “21.” However the ambiance was set for an unforgettable night. The OXYMORON: GOOD INTENTIONS, BAD DECISIONS had another standing-room-only crowd of TENSE supporters throughout the night with hundreds of dollars raised for the TENSE Summit. DONATE HERE

Rewind to 7:08 p.m.: TENSE supporters strolled in on time. Sir Marlon Brooks a.k.a DJ Slyme provided the perfect music to accentuate the ambiance. August Alsina blared from the speakers, “I’m way too young to be living like this. Ask me why I do it? I’ma put it like this….” The mood was set. The room filled up as fingers snapped and the flames flickered. The lights were dim but the spot light beamed center stage. It was show time.

Ladies and gents welcome Maarefa Arnette. “Brotha you up first!” I announced. Anxiously, Maarefa meandered through the crowd without hesitation. “This is what I do. Say no more,” he said as he grabbed the microphone. Polly J was next as she lit up the room; her entourage of 20 chanted as she approached the spotlight. “Polly! Polly! Polly!” they screamed in unison. I believe they were there for Polly J.
Courageous had the gumption to glide from the furthest corner of the room to make his presence known. His extended entrance did not disappoint. The ladies giggled and whispered as he spoke languages of love. Black Atticus was no rookie to the spoken word scene; the crowd chattered about his previous performances before he ever reached the stage. A seductive poem written by OXYMORON artist coordinator Natiah Finnikin was performed by Carla Rogers. It was an excerpt from Finnikin’s play Mrs. Magaha Boarding House adapted from Sandra Donaldson’s book “This is Between Us.” S.T.A.R.R sung about the pain of the struggle but spoke about the grind to riches. The crowd sat and stood still as Sanford a.k.a Smitty, Brendan Javon, Warren, Josh Outsey and Tiekel Finnikin sang songs that pushed to the depths of their souls.
9:57 p.m.: DJ Slyme energized the supporters with a series of line dance tunes: The Wobble, Electric Slide Cupid Shuffle, DJ Unk’s 2 Step, and the Nae Nae.
11:30 p.m.: TENSE team and volunteers Deidra Harper, Laukia Houston, Brittany Anthony, Jenae Anderson, Eric Stokes, Shaunie King, and plethora of other supporters sat on the couches after the last group of patrons departed the in TENSE experience. We sat long enough to hear some say “So when is the TENSE Summit again?” We laughed as we thought about the question. We laughed even harder before one of us had the energy to simply say “the TENSE Summit is Saturday, August 23, 2014.” (REGISTER HERE) In the end it was good reminder to remember why we gathered there in the first place. We did it again. First Raleigh, NC, then Houston, TX, and now Knoxville, TN. From the bottom of our heart, TENSE Summit thanks you for everything. Where will we take the TENSE Open Mic Experience next?

REGISTER ASAP

TENSE SUMMIT 2014 REGISTER

Saturday, August 23, 2014
9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
University of Tennessee
James A. Haslam II Business Building
1000 Volunteer Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37996

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST
@ajTENsejournal
Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn
View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit

 
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TENSE Journal Presents:The Billion Dollar Racket…I Meant Billion Dollar Bracket:Why College Athletes Who Can’t Read Should Take the Money and ‘Run Forest Run’ by TENN(back from hiatus)

Posted by TENse on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“I heard NCCU basketball coach Levelle Moton got offered more money by other schools” I told a prominent athlete. He was into sports no matter what school. He followed NCCU’s amazing NCAA tournament story on ESPN. They were in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever.
“I’m not surprised” he said.
“Most Coaches take the dream job” he continued.
“Can you read?” I asked the 300-pound gifted gladiator and collegiate champion at a MAJOR university. This had nothing to do with anything I said.
“What?” he asked. He looked at me as if I was the wrong person asking the wrong question.
“Can you read?” I was in danger of losing a friend and possibly gaining an enemy. I wasn’t thinking about his feelings. I was running off of passion. I wanted to get to the point.
“Dude if you don’t get out of my face with that mumbo jumbo,” he smiled to disguise his anger. I didn’t get an answer, but then again he never gave me one either. He never said he couldn’t read, but then again he never said he could.

“May the odds ever be in your favor.”
-Hunger Games

Let me back the story up a little.

Facebook Post
March 31 at 6:57pm

“…Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Aaron Gordon, and any other lottery freshman please take the money and not the education. I am not being sarcastic. I support early departure if they won’t pay you at school…”
-anonymous 1

Facebook Response
April 2 at 8:31 am

“’in all thy getting, get understanding… I am sorry to hear this perspective… What about what is optimal for them and for society? If everyone just does what is best for them then this whole world goes to hell in a hand basket and quick.”

-anonymous 2

Reflecting on this response from an anonymous writer, I realized this person had a good point. If we all served our own interest then we as a society will perish from selfishness. The word that stuck with me was ‘optimal.’ What is ‘optimal?’ What is optimal for society? In other words, how do we maximize value to best serve society? I reckon this is the thesis of the anonymous writer’s argument. We disagreed but he had a good point.

What are ‘dumb jocks’ worth? My educated people would argue that an education is more valuable than money. But ask those same educated people with student loans if their debt was worth the degree and you may get a different answer. But I digress. Let’s focus on the optimal task at hand.

1.) Sometimes what is optimal for “society” isn’t as important as to what is optimal for one’s own family and an oppressed people ((i.e. black, brown, red, and occasionally our white workers) who represent parts of the whole society. So then we must ask do we satisfy the whole (society) before we satisfy the parts (underserved people) of that whole? or do we serve the parts (people) before we satisfy the whole (institutions)? or are the two inseparable, thus do we serve both? The anonymous writer would agree with the latter, “optimal for them and society.” However, my concern is reserved for “the least of thee” and 21-year old men who can’t read despite their acceptance into a MAJOR accredited University. Illiteracy is not optimal to society, but we can’t ignore that same society didn’t teach them (illiterate athletes) to read. What does this mean? This means uneducated men has a better chance (odds) of creating an optimal opportunity for their family and self rather than expect a “society” that has failed them for generations to support them in an optimal way.

Perhaps President JFK disagrees with me too “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country” –John F. Kennedy.

Does it make sense to serve a country (society) that didn’t teach you how to read before you serve yourself? You beat the odds despite the lack of resources. And I am not blaming the country but rather, I am looking at the whole versus the parts of the whole, the oppressed (illiterate man) vs oppression (societal failed education system). Is this selfish? No, because you can’t help society until you help yourself and family first.

“May the odds ever be in your favor.”

2.) High School Basketball Players: 545,844

High School Senior Basketball Players: 155,955

NCAA Student Basketball Players: 17,500

Average NCAA Freshman Roster Positions: 5000

NCAA Student Athletes Drafted: 48

% High School to NCAA: 3.2%

% NCAA to Professional: 1.2%

% High School to NBA: 0.03%

(Courtney Campbell, www. traintoball.com)

To add to these stats I would add the graduation rates of our urban youth in this society.

“The report finds that the 47 percent national graduation rate for black males is nearly 28 percentage points lower than that for white males. In 10 states, the report said the graduation rate gap exceeds 30 percentage points, led by Wisconsin, with a gap of 51 percentage points between the graduation rates of white males and black males.” (By Tim Weldon, CSG Policy Analyst)

Now apparently what’s respectable is to graduate from high school or college and apply what you learned to society in the most optimal way. In business, we are taught that with any investment the greater the risk the greater the reward, but in life the lesser the odds the greater the return. For instance everyone signed up for the Billion Dollar bracket sponsored by Billionaire Warren Buffet. The odds of guessing every team right in the bracket was 9.2 quintillion to 1. I repeat 9.2 quintillion to 1. This opportunity was free but the odds increased exponentially. The cost for opportunity to win a free billion dollars was impossible odds. In other words you could not win even if you were given a billion chances.

How does this relate to student employees taking the money over the education? By capitalizing on a less than one or two percent chance by entering the NBA before being subjected to injury, sex scandal (i.e Jameis Winston whose speech was mocked by educated fans), or gift violations (Peter Ward, Reggie Bush, Johnny Manziel, and more) I would argue they are optimizing their opportunity and society’s too by creating an avenue for a group of people with less odds in life to overturn their socioeconomic condition. To forego that rare chance is in fact criminal and more likely to send us to hell in a hand basket. Everyone doesn’t get those chances. Actually, i stand corrected: everyone DOES get those chances (odds) but not everyone wins them.

Look at what happened to Marcus Smart. He almost lost everything by coming back to school. Even though, he made the decision to push a wealthy fan who could afford front row season seats, that almost cost student “employee” Marcus Smart his livelihood, not a season ticket. He was a #1 or #2 pick last year. This year he dropped to like #8 or #9. Big deal? Who cares he still getting drafted? Well would we have this same conversation if Smart didn’t get drafted? Ok better yet where is Maurice Clarret? What about the other Ohio State players who sold their championship rings? Where is Lynn Bias? Did we forget about the great dunker of all time, Earl Manigault? My point being its a tragedy student “employees” (who can’t read) are held to a higher standard by an organization (NCAA) that don’t hold the same standard for themselves.

“Can you read?” I asked one more time before he rose to intimidate me. I wasn’t afraid but his shadow sent the message.

“I gave you 3 chances to stop talking to me crazy” he warned me. He was right. I had taken it too far. After all he was on pace to enter the NFL draft.

“You did give me a chance. I apologize. ‘May the odds ever be in your favor’”

I was certain he hadn’t READ the Hunger Games.

-TENN

DONATE TO TENSE Summit HERE: Its never too late www.tensesummit.org
3rd Annual TENSE Summit Saturday, August 23, 2014 University of Tennessee
REGISTER NOW!
www.tensesummit.org
Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST @ajTENsejournal Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com
Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit

For more on this topic click here to watch

REAL Sports Episode on Academics in Sports (UNC,Memphis, etc..)
watch?v=rrVdYbHI0x4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrVdYbHI0x4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrVdYbHI0x4

 
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TENSE Journal Presents:”TENSE Summit 2013 Recap:From the Eyes of Young Brother” by Geoffrey Cooper

Posted by TENse on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Big brothers often carry a heavy weight of responsibility in our society. As the younger sibling in my family, I can attest.

Between the two of us, my older brother was often the first to get in trouble with my parents – even if I was the one caught red-handed. Somehow, the blame would always circle back to him as my parents scolded, “You should have watched after your brother.”

Tough break for him.

Yet, I’ll admit, there’s a certain badge of honor connected to being the older sibling.

Accomplishing feats like being the top athlete, scoring A’s on that report card, or getting into that stellar college is enough to make any parent beam with pride. They believe their older child’s accomplishments are also theirs because of good parenting.

In return, parents hope the actions of their older kids rub positively on the younger ones.

This Saturday, I traveled to Knoxville for some positive action with my big brother, A.J.”Donaldson, for the 2nd annual TENSE Summit. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s James A. Haslam Business Building was full with conscious minded volunteers, local and abroad, connected with youth and young adults through discussions on education, music, and style.

It was like some movie reel made real as I witnessed his vision flash with florescent lime green colors throughout the building. Over 200 participants rustled through the halls with excitement and purpose. As I looked at AJ it was obvious he had no time to bask in his own achievement. It was strange. While everyone seem to celebrate the success of the summit it seemed my big brother smiled to mask a deeper thought. He didn’t seem satisfied. For some reason he looked like he expected more and that this was just the beginning. But what else could he be up to?

The TENSE (Teaching to Eliminate Negative Stereotypes through Education) Summit is Donaldson’s brainchild, partnering with former high school classmates to bring the summit to fruition in 2010 yet the first summit was held 2012. Donaldson, a Knoxville native, steps into that big brother role as a mentor, encouraging self-expression, confidence and awareness among his younger peers.

Across the nation, we continue to witness a practiced apathy toward public education and deterioration of its schools, particularly in majority black communities. Alarming dropout rates, plummeting test scores and the lack of quality teachers have become a normality and continue to cripple our young children before they even have chance to compete in society.

Big brothers – particularly in these black communities – are one of many lifelines who ensure our youth can thrive without interruption. Positive role models in those troubled neighborhoods can mobilize youth to steer clear from the gangs, say “no” to drugs, excel in school, and sow fruitful seeds for future generations.

I’m not saying these individuals can and should bear the job as the superhero, swooping down with their mask and cape to “save the day” every waking moment. These troubled times call for more hands on the deck.

Still, when a problem occurs and the stakes are high, two options are readily available – stand on the sidelines and do nothing or take action.

Thankfully, I have a big brother who defy the status quo and go with the latter. I never knew what he was thinking behind the appropriate smile and nor did I bother to ask. Why? Because sometimes a younger brother would rather not see, instead of a sneak peak we just believe. However, when asked how he managed to put together such a monumental event. His response was more serious than ever,

“If you honestly believe I did this alone with over 20 lime green shirts surrounding the room and over 200 people sitting in those chairs, and a random DJ scratching records in the back of the room for free, then I must admit my friend you really need to stop waiting on superman” he said as the audience chimed with light hearted laughter. The mood was sober.

I suppose my big brother doesn’t want to be Superman but I doubt he will ever be Clark Kent.

2nd Annual TENSE Summit Saturday, August 24, 2013 University of Tennessee DONATE PLEASE www.tensesummit.org if you missed the chance to HELP the TENSE MOVEMENT. WE STILL NEED YOUR SUPPORT TO HELP MORE YOUTH!!!

www.tensesummit.org

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST @ajTENsejournal

Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com

Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit

Geoffrey Cooper is a seasoned writer, reporter, columnist, and graduate student at VCU. Please feel free to email him through tennsejournal@gmail.com or follow him on twitter

WATCH TENSE SUMMIT 2013 HERE with music provided by @7th SOANA

TENSE Summit 2013

READ THE PRESS!
The 2nd Annual TENSE. Summit of 2013 made the press! Take a look at the mentions and share with your friends, family and colleagues!

WATE – TV- 6: http://www.wate.com/story/23246918/young-volunteers-hold-tense-summit-to-try-and-stop-youth-violence

KNOX NEWS: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/aug/24/youth-learn-strategies-for-success-at-tense/

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/aug/24/letter-knoxville-natives-serve-local-youths/

WBIR – TV: http://www.wbir.com/news/article/285856/2/UT-hosts-educational-summit

ALL FOOD for TENSE Summit was provided by The Taste of Heaven Soul Food and Catering
To have this professional groups serve your organization please contact:
Master Chef Lonnie Cornelius (865) 951- 5922
PO Box 20012
Knoxville, TN 37940

NCCU 2013 Homecoming FORBIDDEN RETREAT COMING OCTOBER 19, 2013
get tickets ASAP www.forbiddenretreat.com

 
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TENSE Journal Presents:Scholar/Activist Dr. D’Weston Haywood Announced TENSE Summit(Aug 24th)Keynote Speaker “The Time is Now” by Geoffrey Cooper

Posted by TENse on July 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

For D’Weston Haywood, the classroom is where he feels most at home.

Armed with a chalkboard, ambitious lesson plans, and rich idealism, the 30-year-old college professor wants to challenge his pupils daily to unleash their academic prowess and erase the status quo. Despite harsh fiscal cuts nationwide to public education, Haywood continues his pursuit unfazed, knowing that teaching isn’t just another 9 to 5 gig, it’s a moral duty.

Haywood will bring his messages of empowerment and “seizing the moment” to hundreds of young black men and women next month as the keynote speaker of TENSE Summit 2013. The TENSE (Teaching to Eliminate Negative Stereotypes through Education) Summit is the brainchild of Knoxville native Anthony “A.J.” Donaldson, a close friend of Haywood.

Donaldson – a graduate of Austin-East High School and currently a public school teacher in Houston – partnered with former classmates to bring the summit to fruition in 2010. Haywood said he first learned of the summit from Donaldson as the movement was still gaining traction. Haywood said Donaldson’s sense of urgency regarding the direction of today’s youth and his unselfishness to serve the people of Knoxville were cues for him to also aid the cause.

The summit aims to connect with youth and young adults through discussions on topics concerning education, music, and style – three pillars Haywood says is critical among the development of today’s children.

Haywood said he remains concerned with the country’s continued apathy toward education, particularly at inner city public schools, which are often majority black. He said the trends of low test scores and college placement, and dismal high school graduation rates will continue to hinder black youth if more advocacy is not pursued.

“Knowing how A.J. is, and knowing how committed the brother is to executing the things he sets his mind to, I just knew it was a matter of time before it materialized,” Haywood said. “I like (Donaldson’s) idea of bridging what would otherwise seem like these very separate categories of education, style and ambition, and putting it all together to bring it back to young people.”

Haywood grew up in middle-class home in southeast Raleigh, N.C., learning the value of education early on by his grandmother and mother – a principal of an elementary school and a social worker respectively. Despite the exposure, Haywood said he often struggled academically and socially while a student at Southeast Raleigh High School.

Graduating in 2001 with a low GPA and few college choices, Haywood said he knew he had to make a change. Haywood credits mentors like his former high school teacher, William Walker, for the about face.

“He pulled me to the side and said, “Hey, stop! Stop what you’re doing and get it together,” Haywood said. “It was him pulling me back and pulling me in under his wing that really reshaped me life. What he was able to do for me through his own teachings made me want to be a teacher.”

Haywood double majored in political science and history at North Carolina Central University, a public historically black university located in Durham, N.C. It was there he sculpted his leadership skills and social consciousness, serving as student leader and activist, notably Student Government President during his senior year. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May 2005 with high honors.

After graduation, Haywood ventured into educational initiatives and speaking engagements targeting at-risk young black males. Haywood would later pursue his master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American History from Northwestern University, focusing his research on black culture, black masculinity in America, social institutions, and gender. He currently serves as a tenure-track assistant professor of history at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

With the summit in its second year, Haywood said his message to the younger crowd will deal with the importance of education and that finding their path in life will often take time – something Haywood knows all too well.

“It’s truly a journey,” Haywood said. “You start on the path thinking, ‘I know the trajectory. I know the endpoint. I’m going there.’ Then you realize during the process there’s so many detours and so many times you miss your exit.

“You might complete one leg of the race, but there’s more laps,” he said.

TENSE Summit 2013 will happen from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 24 at the James A. Haslam II Business Building on the campus of University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The event is free to the public. Those interested in attending can register at www.tensesummit.org.

DONATE TO TENSE Summit HERE: Its never too late www.tensesummit.org

2nd Annual TENSE Summit Saturday, August 24, 2013 University of Tennessee REGISTER NOW!
www.tensesummit.org

Follow TENSE on Twitter and get it FIRST @ajTENsejournal Also Email TENSE Team or submit articles at tennsejournal@gmail.com

Follow TENN on Instagram @ajtenn View TENSE Summit Pics on Instagram @tensesummit

Geoffrey Cooper is a seasoned writer, reporter, columnist, and graduate student at VCU. Please feel free to email him through tennsejournal@gmail.com or follow him on twitter

WATCH TENSE SUMMIT 2013 HERE with music provided by @7th SOANA

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