Daily Dose #17

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Did your calling prepare you for this crisis?

In 2012, I was nominated to join a group called the Young Elected Officials Network (YEO). They were only two requirements to become a member, 1) elected to public office and 2) be under the age of 35. During that time I have been able to become good friends with some extraordinary public servants, one of them being the 46th Mayor of Saint Paul, Melvin Carter, and is Minnesota’s capital city. Since his undergrad days at FAMU, Melvin has been advocating for equal representation and justice throughout his state and nation. As the protests resume over the police killing of George Floyd, he has shown the brand of leadership we could only wish was coming out of the White House. Melvin is the voice of calm and tempered anger with the expectancy that justice will prevail. Also, he is the son of a retired Minneapolis policeman, so he understands the delicate balance of praying daily for the safe return home of his father and wanting justice for bad actors. You can learn more about Mayor Melvin and his story at

Daily Dose #16

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Did crisis enR.A.G.E. you into action? (DAY 16/30)


Most people witnessing their community being demolished house by house, block by block would probably have decided it was time to move. Political corruption, poverty, and gentrification nearly decimated the Englewood black community on Chicago’s southside. However, there’s one person who pushes back on the false narrative that no one cares about rebuilding and making Englewood a great place to call home. “You can’t complain about gentrification if you don’t own anything,” says Antoine Butler and husband of Ay-Sha Butler, affectionately known as Mrs. Englewood. With a collective of residents and homeowners, R.A.G.E – Resident Association of Greater Englewood was born and they have been on a mission to single-handedly redevelop Englewood by buying up blighted properties one parcel of land at a time. She has been a catalyst for change and has received numerous honors including being on the Good Governance Transition Team for Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. You can learn more about Asiaha and her story at and

Daily Dose #15

#CrisisProvesCharacter: What season is your crisis? (DAY 15/30)


Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I was able to listen to the Inspirational Perspective radio show hosted by Linal Harris on WVON 1690AM – The Talk of Chicago. During this COVID-19 pandemic season, we’re in, his message is so timely. On this show, he was discussing personal development and why it is the answer to your current uncertainty. He mentioned the 4 Major Seasons of Life, by entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn.

  • WINTER – learn how to handle winter because you know that it’s coming.
  • SPRING – learn how to take advantage of it (time to plant)
  • SUMMER – learn how to protect your crops
  • FALL – learn how to reap your harvest without complaint

You can watch the episode at or learn more about Linal and his story at

Daily Dose #14

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Did crisis test your agility? (DAY 14/30)

The COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on everyone’s quality of life and no one has been immune from its devastation. Change can come abruptly and depending on the perspective determines whether that can be a good or bad thing. Small businesses deemed non-essential have laid off employees and most will not recover, once they can reopen for business. In most cases for Black-owned businesses, this has been catastrophic. For co-owner, Keeana Barber of WDB Marketing, being able to adapt their printing business will allow them to go from pandemic victim to victor. “6 months ago you never could have told me we’d have to shut down or furlough our workers but in life change is inevitable and the only way to survive is to ADAPT” says Barber. Now, instead of screening t-shirts or business cards, they are now printing COVID safety and warning signs. You can learn more about Keana and her story at

Daily Dose #13

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Was crisis the wakeup call you needed? (DAY 13/30)

We all want to believe that we are the authors of our own fate but if you’re not signing your own paycheck, then stop kidding yourself. “Heavy is the head that wears the crown” and while everyone doesn’t desire that responsibility, a crisis might leave you no choice. Five years ago, Tara Childs McDowell was fired by her employer, even after being award-winning for her leadership and performance. Her life then spiraled out of control for more than a year without any savings and no solid job leads. So as she put it, “I decided to create my own way and go after things that inspire me. I vowed to not allow a single job to define me.” Now, Tara is a globally-certified project manager and back to winning ways. She is working on her terms under her own business as a Project Manager Consultant. You can learn more about Tara and her story at

Daily Dose #12

#CrisisProvesCharacter: Has crisis affirmed your faith? (DAY 12/30)

There are moments in life that will completely knock you off feet and as you look up towards the sky, a sense of calm rushes over you. In the bible verse, Psalm 46:10, God tells us “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” In the midst of a storm, it’s wise just to stay put and allow it to pass because the sun will shine another day. Jake Larson is a friend of mine from Iowa State University, that I’ve known for more than 20 years. On February 14, 2020, Jake’s wife, Courtney 42, died from an aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma multiform. She was the mother of two young daughters ages 2 and 5. Courtney was just diagnosed three weeks prior on January 27 and Jake had to prepare for life without his better half.

This would be crushing news to anyone else, but not for Jake, he found strength and comfort in his faith and trust in God. I recently spoke with him to express my sympathy and to let him know that he’d been on my mind since I started this series. During our call, Jake talked about life with Courtney and their future plans for a trip abroad. As I listened to him, I could feel his faith and see with so much clarity, his positive outlook on life. Jake has always been a very cheery guy and the only thing that has changed about him is that he has found his purpose. You can learn more about Jake and his story at