Jan 21st, 2019

On January 21st, 2019 we celebrate Martin Luther King the man and the vision he had for our nation.

Yesterday, was one of the coldest days this winter. The temperature dropped to about 1°F. However, that did not stop my community from getting together and discussing development in the City of Newark.

“I Have A Dream”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Before our meeting they showed a clip of Rev. King’s “I have a dream” speech. It was incredibly poetic, the room was full of a variety of enthusiastic individuals from different races listening to his speech. My only thought was “look at the effects of his speech, he made this moment happen.”

Life has a funny way of making things come full circle. When I was a little girl, I would hear the story of his life and I would cry. I would think about my mom her struggles and how much harder it would have been for us. He put his life on the line to make a statement and disturb the status quo. The Civil Rights movement gave minorities like myself the opportunity to be counted as an equal.

We still have a long way to go but just thinking about the impact he still has on my community, on my family and myself is truly amazing. I hope one day I too can give back and “Pay it Forward” like Dr. King.

Thank you for everything . Steph.

Pick a cause/Pay it Forward

If you clicked the link I shared on my first post, one of the things I need to accomplish this year is picking a cause I am passionate about.

See link below. https://gentwenty.com/bucket-list-30-things-to-do-before-you-turn-30/

Here’s a little history about my debate career: In HS I didn’t get to debate but while I was in college I tried out and trained for the RU Debate Team. During that time, I was attending NJCU and due to my situation I was unable to join the team. For Rutgers it would have been too complicated to get me involved with RU Debate since I was in a different University. However, I chose to stick around and aide the Jersey Debate League as a judge. For 3 years I spent several weekdays and weekends helping out Newark debaters. I would compare it to a family you randomly visit but look forward to seeing.

Fast forward 8 years later, this weekend I went to the Newark Policy Debate Invitational and to my surprise it was EXTREMELY DIFFERENT. To the point that it the re-occurring question during the tournament was “WHAT HAPPENED TO NEWARK DEBATE?” We went from having 6-7 competitive HS policy debate teams to now 1 debate team (Newark Tech HS) showing face and competing at our own invitational.

It was quite emotional for me, why are we losing debaters especially in such a huge city. Why does NY have to come into our house and sweep our trophies?

People become complacent and conform.

I’m not giving up on the NDA !
(Newark Debate Academy or former Jersey Debate League)

Going back to the beginning of this post. I have picked my cause! I will come back to Newark Debate to revamp/revive/ what ever you want to call it. I will not rest till we are a force to be reckoned with. This will also be my way of “PAYING IT FORWARD.” As my former principal and now superintendent of Newark Public Schools used to say “I want you to learn and succeed here and what ever you do make sure you PAY IT FORWARD!”