George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.
I knew little about Vivian until I got here to Alabama and visited Selma and learned the details of Bloody Sunday and all that he did to ensure that I had the right to vote. I knew about John Lewis having covered many, many stories involving Georgia congressman during my days as a television news producer in Atlanta.
Sitting right here next to my desk is Walking with the Wind, Lewis’ memoir. I referenced it in my a recent research project.
Then in the Washington, DC area, longtime radio host Patrick Ellis also passed away. While he’s not associated with civil rights leadership, there are few who have hosted Sunday morning Gospel programs as long as he has.
WHAT THEY DID WE MUST DO
These men of God — used by the Almighty to create change in our world have now passed into eternity. But, what have they left for us to do?
I believe there is a call to action for those of us who believe strongly in the work to which they each dedicated themselves.
John Lewis spoke out about injustice, laid his life on the line and lived for decades after taken some physical blows in Selma, Ala. in 1965 that might have taken the average person out. He survived, thrived and kept on fighting for 60 more years until tonight. He lost his battle with cancer. But, he won so much more for the rest of us.
Likewise C.T. Vivian spoke up and challenged a Dallas County Sheriff in that same Alabama town. We owe to him to ensure that the right to vote is protected no matter what it takes. There are others now who are leading the 2020 fight to ensure all persons can exercise their right to vote.
And, Patrick Ellis left us a legacy of inspiring others with thoughtful words and sounds that reflect our Christian faith and the walk we take as a nation. Even if you were not in Washington, DC listening to Howard University radio on Sunday mornings, you would be inspired by reading Ellis’ story.
DOING MY PART
Tonight after about five years, I return to writing on this blog, called to action to do what I do– WRITE, RESEARCH, and ACT. Tonight I’m writing. But, the other things that I do in the researching and in my own actions as a black journalist and a Christian writer are the best way I can answer the call to take up the fight of John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, Patrick Ellis, Earl Graves and Joseph Lowery.
It’s time for me and you to do our part. If you’re already working, work more. If you’re not doing anything, it’s time to spring into action.
For those of us who teach journalism at the college level, THIS is the big conference of the year as AEJMC is a “one-stop” shopping place for updates on the cutting-edge scholarship in the field, teaching techniques that we can use to “freshen up” our courses that start in a couple of weeks and a place to learn trends that are influencing what we do as academic leaders in this arena of journalism education.
It will be my second trip to the so-called “Bay Area.” My last trip was for this same conference in 2006. My last trip was only for two days, enough time to present a research paper and make a visit to a local television station.
This time I will have an opportunity to do a couple of off-site visits this week in addition to catching up with my fellow journalism and mass communication educators from around the country.
Five Questions I Hope to Answer This Week
1. Is Googleplex really all that’s it’s cracked up to be?
The AEJMC Media Management and Economics (MME) Division is gathering for an daylong visit to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. this week. Looking forward to catching up with MME Colleagues and seeing what the Google campus is like. Google is definitely as important as any traditional media company in mass communication today.
2. What is Net Neutrality Theory and Can Tim Wu Predict What’s Going to Happen Next?
The matter of how to regulate the Internet has been a big topic of discussion in communication policy circles. The man who wrote the book on Net Neutrality Theory is kicking off our conference. Reading his book, The Master Switch, now and am looking forward to Professor Wu’s keynote address on Thursday night as the conference officially opens.
3. How much interest is there in media coverage of race in the wake of recent events in South Carolina?
I’ve been tapped to moderate a “Hot Topics” Roundtable on the recent events in Charleston, SC and the debate over the Confederate flag. We struggled to get this topic on the conference program at the very last minute. But, I’m interested in seeing just how many AEJMC members show up to engage in dialogue with our dynamic panelists.
4. Is The Weather Really Cooler in the Bay Area?
I remember last time in San Francisco it didn’t always feel like summer. The slightly cooler temperatures reminded me more of fall. Wonder will it be like that this time?
5. Which is better San Jose or San Francisco?
With a guest appearance on KQED-TV’s Equal Timelater this week, I’ll have to visit San Jose, California for the first time. The public affairs program is produced out of studios at San Jose State University. I’m just curious of the three major cities in this area– Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, which is best place to live?
Also, my colleague, Margot Lamme has been nominated for a top book award. We’ll find out if she’s the winner later this week.
Along with receiving these awards, we’ll see our Former Interim Dean Jennifer Greer ascend to the position of vice president of the organization. Greer, who was my department chair in journalism for more than five years, is now the associate provost for administration here at University of Alabama.
And, on Saturday, I will accept the Robert P. Knight Multicultural Award from the AEJMC Scholastic Journalism Division. Excited to have a chance to talk briefly about some of ways we have worked here to turn pre-college students on to journalism.
Should be an great week all the way around. I hope to provide a few updates here along the way.
While things were winding down elsewhere in Tuscaloosa with Spring Break beginning at the University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College and the local school systems, it’s been just the opposite at Stillman College as the school’s sixth president Dr. Peter Millet was inaugurated Friday.
The weekend of inaugural festivities that included a Gospel concert on Thursday evening, a prayer breakfast on Friday morning and a sold-out masked scholarship ball on Friday evening, gave the historically black institution that serves more than 800 students a chance to be in the spotlight.
As a service learning instructor and community engaged scholar, I was pleased to hear that President Millet wants to make community service an official part of every Stillman student’s experience.
As an undergraduate student at Howard University 25 years ago, I vividly remember my days of service in Northwest Washington, DC as a member of the Community Action Network. I also did street ministry through my church, Metropolitan Baptist. But, my connection to the larger DC community was an important part of my development. It also helped me be a better journalist.
Path to Eminence
Often those of us at the University of Alabama or elsewhere in Tuscaloosa hear secondhand what’s going on across town at Stillman College. Fortunately, Friday, I got a chance to see firsthand some of the festivities formally marking the beginning of The Peter Millet era.
Even though he’s been on campus for more than a year, formally as provost and then as an interim President, this weekend was Dr. Millet’s chance to call the nation’s attention to what he is doing to take this institution established in 1876 to a new dimension in 2015.
He wants Stillman College to “Expeditiously Move from Excellence to Eminence.”
In his inaugural address Friday, Dr. Millet detailed how he would do that with academic excellence, community engagement, health and wellness and simply by “loving one another.”
Indeed, it’s a great day to be a Stillman College student and an occasion for pride if you are one of the thousands of Stillman College alumni. Those of us in the Tuscaloosa community celebrate with the Tigers on the West side of Tuscaloosa.
Those of us at the University of Alabama stand with you in our common goal of helping our students be successful
Time to say what I learned today about civil rights as I traveled to Dallas County, Ala where the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march began in 1965.
SELMA, Ala.– I don’t believe it was a mere coincidence that my NAACP Youth Council Adviser called me on my mobile phone at the moment I was approaching the Edmund Pettus Bridge today.
Mrs. Ora Lomax is still the youth adviser for the NAACP Youth Council in Richmond, Va. But, she didn’t know I was here in Selma.
My mother didn’t know I was in Selma as a faculty facilitator for more than 200 University of Alabama students traveling to the 50th Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
But, when I called her this evening, she said she saw the live coverage on the national news and asked my father “Where is George?”
Something told her that I probably was somewhere in the vicinity.
Only the good Lord could have orchestrated the chain of events that remind me of my upbringing as a NAACP freedom fighter, who learned about the hows and whys of civil rights marches and direct action as a high school student back in Richmond, Virginia 30 years ago.
The man who was once president of the Richmond NAACP Youth Council today is a life member of the NAACP and still actively seeking to change to world around me wherever it needs to be changed.
New Found Understanding and Context
As I approach my 45th birthday next week, I am reflective on traveling here to the city that was both a flash point and turning point in Civil Rights Movement.
Why me, why now? What does it all mean?
Last week, I tweeted that my voting in a Tuscaloosa, Ala. tax referendum was one of the best ways to honor those who were hurt on “Bloody Sunday.”
Now that I know who Jimmie Lee Jackson, a young black man murdered not far from Selma in Marion, Ala. just before “Bloody Sunday,” I can say my vote was for him.
If ONLY I had Known Then What I Know Now
In my years as a working broadcast journalist, I associated Amelia Boynton Robinson with Lyndon LaRouche and not with what happened here in Dallas County, Ala.
Seeing photos of Ms. Robinson this weekend at 103 as she was wheeled across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Saturday gave me a whole new view of this significant freedom fighter. I read recently about her experience and saw her depicted in the Eyes on the Prize “Bridge to Freedom” documentary.
I knew about Alabama State University because it was an historically black college in Montgomery. Until today, I didn’t know that it was the place that birthed so many civil rights leaders and where Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King stayed after their Montgomery home was bombed.
Alabama State President Gwendolyn Boyd told the “ASU Story” in her remarks at Brown Chapel AME this morning.
Her speech set the tone for others who followed in a 3-hour service that was played on a jumbotron on Dallas Avenue as thousands gathered for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
I knew the Rev. Jesse Jackson as the 1984 Presidential Candidate/Operation PUSH Leader who’s often over-covered in the media. Today I saw him lift an offering and quipped about his own fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, Inc.
I knew the Rev. Al Sharpton as the very outspoken African American leader who has his own show, PoliticsNation, on MSNBC. Today I saw him “preach” for the first time at the Brown Chapel AME Church. He took a Biblical text and developed it well even as he made some strong points about the current state of voting rights in America.
My journey to learn more civil rights history isn’t over yet. But, I promise you it will definitely inform my civil rights present.
As a diversity instructor, who also teaches media literacy, there is an inherent social justice component to what we do. It’s not enough to sensitize students to poverty or injustice if you don’t advocate for them to use whatever tools they have to do something about it.
I believe that comes through in my work as a faculty member at the University of Alabama working to inspire students of from all racial backgrounds, regions of the country and world. It’s one of the GREATEST privileges I have.
Journalist and Freedom Fighter
You can be a freedom fighter and be a journalist. You can use the power of the pen to tell important stories.
You can use your skills as a scholar to create knowledge and provide context, sometimes context to spur a reader to take action.
That’s my story.
At 44 years, 11 months and 20+ days, I have learned at least that much.
The 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” with events in Selma, Alabama that drew tens of thousands from around the nation provided lessons for students and journalism and mass communication faculty alike.
SELMA, Ala– On multiple levels, the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” presented a gold mine of opportunities for those of us who teach journalism and mass communication.
Hats off to my faculty colleagues at the University of Alabama and elsewhere who spent many months planning reporting projects around this weekend’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee that brought President Obama and the first family along with members of Congress and the national media here to Selma.
I was absolutely thrilled that my former graduate school classmate Dr. James Rada of Ithaca College and his students from the Park School of Communications appeared in the credits of NBC Nightly News last night as they reported on events in Selma for the nation’s most-watched network evening newscast.
Closer to home, University of Alabama journalism students have been reporting for weeks on communities in Dallas County.
Another team of students working with UA Journalism Professor Chip Brantley and Telecommunication and Film Professor Andrew Grace produced a documentary “A Call from Selma” on how the murder of a white minister in Selma was a catalyst in the Civil Rights Movement. The Digital Media Workshop course gave journalism students a chance to take their multimedia reporting skills to a whole different level.
While these were all planned, multi-day team projects, what I saw today involved little planning other than students deciding to get a bus with the intention of learning something in a place they’d never really visited. A smartphone, a digital camera and maybe a pad (Although many of them didn’t have one of those– scary for me, as a traditional journalist) was all they carried along with them.
I was only planning to be on the bus tour as a faculty facilitator. Low and behold, I had public relations and journalism students and some journalism and communication minors roaming the streets of downtown Selma taking it all in.
While we had viewed and discussed the PBS documentary, “Bridge to Freedom,” this morning, I had no idea what they would do when presented with the opportunity to do journalism and be more than a visitor to a festival or large-scale event.
Nothing Like a Live Event
As we started today’s bus trip, I didn’t realize that the team of UA journalism students live-tweeting for The Tuscaloosa News with the hashtag #TuscSelma50 all weekend were on my bus traveling from our Tuscaloosa campus to Selma.
One of the students, Alessandra Delrose, had been in my multi-platform reporting class. She was tasked with helping to write a story even as she live-tweeted the events. I got a chance to see her gathering interviews and photos and video, the very skills we teach in our journalism classes.
No classroom assignment could ever replicate this kind of event– with crowds swelling to 80,000 and a lot of things changing minute-by-minute.
Taking Photos Vs. Getting Quotes
In the midst of a throng of Bridge Crossing visitors, our students were watching a church service from Brown Chapel AME Church that turned into a Pre-March Rally as speaker after speaker talked about the events at the Edmund Pettus Bridge long before Rev. Al Sharpton got up to deliver the morning message.
One white student admitted having never attended a predominantly black church service before and yet realizing the public relations strategies that were being used by some who got up to speak.
And, yes, as a diversity instructor, I think it’s relevant and appropriate to mention the ethnic backgrounds of the students in this case.
Another Asian student was furiously taking down notes and whispering questions to me about the speakers as the event went on and hundreds gathered on Dallas Avenue behind us. She was not aware of some of the players from civil rights history in America.
Some students struggled to figure out ‘do I listen and take quotes and take photos or both?’ How do I balance the two?
Ah, the dilemma so many of us have faced in this era of social media, multimedia and traditional journalism rolled into one.
Ray Allen, a senior journalism student was working the crowds before and after they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge snapping photos and working on multiple news pieces at a time.
This is the same student, who a few months ago would say very little in class. He would admit today that this was a new experience for him.
But, he rose to the occasion like a champion! I couldn’t have been more proud.
Allen and Delrose are just two examples of students who gained more experience in doing journalism and mass communication TODAY than they did all semester completing assignments and projects in my class.
They both showed up and showed out in a big way, demonstrating the multi-platform reporting skills that are so important in today’s newsrooms.
But, the events in Selma today and this past week were not just about learning journalism.
The lessons about politics, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and recent Supreme Court rulers that change parts of the Act, poverty and race were endless.
What we’re doing today is offering students a lesson about social justice and that transcends their major, school or college affiliation. It’s up to us educators to utilize gold opportunities like to be unconventional in the strategies we use to facilitate learning.
Some Lessons I Learned From Selma
So here at FIVE Takeways from Selma for Educators, particularly those who are charged with preparing professionals who want to work in media industries:
Lesson #1 Plan, Plan, Plan While the lessons today happened without much preparation on my part. Teaching
moments are often more likely to come when you as a faculty member take weeks or even months to build relationships that can result in great long-term projects. The New York Times’ mini-documentary was not a spare-of-the-moment “go cover this” decision.
Lesson #2 Expect the Unexpected YES, this is a cliche. But, I use it anyway because we as faculty can’t plan
everything no matter how hard we try. I didn’t deliberately check the list of students registered for the free bus trip
funded by University of Alabama to see how many mass media majors were going. Even if I had, I couldn’t have orchestrated today lesson. I have to be ready to look for the teachable moments in the unexpected and the uncertain.
Lesson #3 Non-majors Can Learn Media Too Often we think those who have had our classes, the ones in the sequence that we as faculty have designed deliberately for professional preparation are the one most equipped to learn in a breaking news environment. But, I was amazed at how many other non-media majors were taking in and picking up today’s event. And, yes, I was doing a little “recruiting” for possible minors or second majors among the student group (Never, miss a chance like that)
Lesson #4 De-brief, De-brief I found myself doing a lot of checking in with the students along the way. It was great to kind of be in that quasi-producer, news manager, media manager role at the scene of a breaking story like the one today.
Lesson #5 Be Ready for Questions You Can’t Answer Today’s 50th anniversary celebration was filled with opportunities to teach history. I am NOT a historian. But, media history inevitably gets integrated into my lessons. As much I had learned from reading about Selma, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and that era, there were several questions students asked today that I couldn’t answer. It’s ok for us Ph.D.s to not be experts in everything, even though journalists like be well-rounded, widely read individuals.
The lessons in the signs and t-shirts worn by attendees were endless.
I think this day and this past week Selma became the BEST JOURNALISM and MASS COMMUNICATION Classroom in America!
Between The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network Annual Summit in Tuscaloosa and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, I worked with college students in crossing bridges this weekend.
Thanks to a carefully-timed national summit for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network and a University of Alabama field trip, I have spent the last 48 hours figuratively and literally crossing bridges with students from near and far.
What a great way to engage college students who are learning how to foster conversations that lead to inclusive environments on college campuses all around the country.
On Saturday, we wore t-shirts asking “Are You Crossing Bridges” as we participated in intensive planning and strategy sessions for introducing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ability to students in various models with the goal of enacting change.
The students attending the conference had a chance to screen the 1980s PBS documentary “Bridge to Freedom,” which was part of the Eyes on the Prize series.
Traveling to The Bridge
Then, this morning, we showed the film again, but to more than 200 University of Alabama students who were part of a caravan of buses traveling from Tuscaloosa to Selma for the 50th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
We heard speeches from those challenging us to “go beyond the bridge” and to “not stop on the bridge” before literally walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the same place where voting rights demonstrators were beaten 50 years ago this weekend.
To see my multicultural crowd of University of Alabama students listening to the rally speeches, which were given at historic Brown Chapel AME Church and beamed via closed-circuit television out to the tens of thousands who gathered at the Bridge was something I will never forget.
Nervous as we were about taking 200 students on a field trip to a small town not used to 80,000 visitors, we were relieved that it all worked out. Thanks be to God, we had perfect weather and wonderful interactions on the bus, during the rally and even on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
This weekend will truly be one of the highlights of my 12 years as a resident in the state of Alabama.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 23 years since I first met Juan Williams, the legendary author of Eyes on the Prize, the book that accompanied the 14-hour award-winning television series with the same name a quarter century ago.
Williams, formerly of National Public Radio and The Washington Post, now co-host of Fox News Channel’s “The Five, and fill-in host “The O’Reilly Factor,” spoke to a soldout crowd at the Hotel Capstone .
He used the occasion to share some of the comments from generations of readers of Eyes on the Prize who often are in disbelief about much of what Williams shares in recounting the Civil Rights Movement.
A year after the 25th anniversary of the publication of Eyes on the Prize, Williams says people still ask “is that really true?” what he reported happened in the period between 1954 and 1965 “was it really that bad?”
Even as he shared stories from his Eyes on the Prize readers, who he says get “younger and younger” he lamented how many want to analyze what he calls the “complicated story of race in America today” by drawing comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement.
COMPARISONS TO FERGUSON
Months after the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and the unrest following a grand jury’s decision not to the indict the police officer responsible, Williams says with an African American in The White House, an African American United States Attorney General and an African American executive editor of The New York TImes, there is no comparison.
“People want this period now to be just like the Civil Rights Movement,” Williams said. ” We have a different of problems.”
The 60-year-old Panamanian born political analyst says, instead of drawing those comparisons, we should take inspiration from those who accomplished much a half-century ago.
“It’s not necessary to say we were back where we were 50 years ago,” he said.
This afternoon, neither of us could recall The Washington Post story on Former Howard University President Franklyn Jenifer published in September 1992 for which he interviewed me as the editor-in-chief of THE HILLTOP, Howard’s student newspaper.
The subject of that news story wasn’t important today.
What is significant is that 23 years after he sat in my office at THE HILLTOP in Washington, DC talking to me as I was weeks away from finishing my undergraduate degree in journalism, I’d be an assistant dean at the University of Alabama and Williams would be giving the keynote address here, the same place that he wrote about as being one of the last institutions to integrate.
It was neat showing him Foster Auditorium where George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and today where the University has recognized the accomplishments of the late Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood, the first blacks admitted to the University in 1963.
What a great start to our Martin Luther King weekend!
While those of us who literally grew up listening to Andrae Crouch’s music were saddened, he wouldn’t want us to be sad that he’s passed on from this life.
All we have to do is listen to the words of “Soon and Very Soon” and know that he’s had his head pointed toward heaven for many, many years. It is the ultimate confidence that we as children of God have.
As Christians, our whole attitude about death and passing from this life on into eternity is different and we know and testify to that just by singing some of Crouch’s songs.
I can vividly remember learning how to play the piano by playing some of Crouch’s music. Like Crouch, I too played piano (and the organ) in church as a teenager.
There are so many songs from the 1970s and 1980s–“Take Me Back,” ” Through It All,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, ” “My Tribute”– that taught me the power of music to minister to one’s soul.
As a singer, songwriter, choir director, Crouch set the tone for what it meant to worship through our witnessing about what He means to us. He showed us how to let the words of our testimony minister to others.
One of his last greatest hits– “Let the Church Say Amen” is a song that like dozens of others resonates with people to the point that they are sung not only in sacred, but also secular environments.
Crouch reached across racial lines with his music, touching those from all walks of life.
Even though he has passed on, he’s left so much behind for us as music ministers of the Gospel to carry on. Some have called Andrae Couch the “Father of Modern Gospel Music.”
If that is so, then we the “children of modern Gospel Music” have to carry on Crouch’s work in our own singing of his songs, sharing the lyrics with those who are unsaved and writing our own songs that God places in our spirit and heart.
We’ll see Minister Crouch again one day “Soon and Very Soon.”
Time to pause on this Thanksgiving Day 2014 to list just how many reasons I have to say “I’M THANKFUL.”
RICHMOND, Va.– As we reach the noon hour on this Thanksgiving Day 2014, time to pause briefly and reflect on the reason our nation breaks with routine to celebrate each year on the fourth Thursday of November.
Millions like me travel back to their hometowns to re-connect with family and join together in giving thanks. There’s no place like your home to remind of who you of how far you’ve come and how far you have yet to go. I came up with 10 REASONS I am giving thanks today.
How many of them do you share with me?
1. I am Thankful for Life and Health
So many people have come and gone since last Thanksgiving. In today’s Thanksgiving Day Message, Dr. A. Lincoln James, reminded us of the importance of just celebrating being here. We cannot take for granted life itself and good health.
2. I am Thankful for A Family and A Home
Later this afternoon, I’ll sit down at a Thanksgiving Table with my extended family, some of whom have encountered health challenges over the past year. But, it’s a joy to be able to break bread with them another time. My home of 44 years is intact, something a lot of people cannot say this Thanksgiving Day.
3. I am Thankful for A Great Work Environment and Co-workers
While I’m a long way from it today– Reese Phifer Hall where I work with a fantastic faculty as the assistant dean of administration for the College of Communication and Information Sciences is place of pleasure. I am thankful to have a job and to be able to work every day with students, faculty and staff who are truly committed to what they do. This past year I’ve worked for both an interim dean and a new dean who challenged me to be better at what I do. They’ve set a standard of excellence and lead by example. I look forward to getting back to my co-workers and students next week. I don’t take for granted this opportunity to love going to work every day at The University of Alabama.
4. I am Thankful for Safe Travels.
So far 2014 has been characterized by a good bit of travel to places near and far. In spite of lost luggage along the way, I am thankful that I have arrived at each destination safely and mostly, on time (smile). Even in the hustle and bustle of my journeys, I have seen and experienced parts of our nation and world for the first time. From Western Canada to Western North Carolina or two different regions of Texas and parts of Central Alabama, the travels have expanded my view of the world around me. Whether by car, train or plane, I thank God for safe travels to all of these places.
5. I am Thankful for the Opportunity to Make a Difference
I like the fact that in my work, I have the privilege of working with dozens of students every day. I have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and the lives of those in the community where I serve. So I am thankful for the chance to see that I can make a difference every day that I’m alive.
6. I am Thankful To Be A Mentor and Be Mentored
Both in my role as a faculty member and in various community organizations, I am blessed to be able to mentor young men and women even as I look to those who ave more experienced in life and can mentor me. Both roles- mentor and mentee– are equally important and I’m grateful to be positioned to be and do both.
7. I am Thankful for Four Seasons
Here in Virginia, not too far from here, there was snow yesterday. Early talk of a White Thanksgiving for Central Virginia went away even as those west of here experienced snowy weather 24 hours ago. Usually I have to come home to Virginia to see snow, but in 2014, I experienced measurable snow in West Alabama last winter. For the first time, I have leaves to rake in the backyard of my Tuscaloosa home and we’ve had our share of 90-degree heat. It’s nice to have the four seasons even in the Deep South.
8. I am Thankful for A Vision to Make An Even Greater Impact on the World Around Me
God has given me a vision to be great at what I do so that I can impact those with whom I come in contact. That vision has yet to be fully realized. But, I am thankful that God has picked me to do such great things.
9. I am Thankful for Wisdom of 12 years in West Alabama
While many of my colleagues have shifted and re-adjusted in their work from place to place, now for more than a decade, I’ve been able to call West Alabama home away from home. There’s something to be said for stability and being settled where you are even as you take in the wisdom of those around you. I am thankful for job and career that places me in contact with those who have wisdom to share and shape my whole lived experience.
10. I am Thankful for 33 More Days to Get It Right in 2014
For all of those things I still need to and want to do this year, I still have time to make waves, accomplish more great things THIS year. Even as I write this, I am setting some 4 1/2 week personal goals for what I believe God will have me do before the New Year begins. Stay tuned!