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Chicago - We Have to do Better 

We dream of a different Chicago with the P.A.R.T.N.E.R.S.H.I.P. O.F. P.E.A.C.E. 

Establish collaboration among community, government, & educational institutions 














Prepare children at all grade levels for the social aspects of life by incorporating classes about: The Value & Significance of Life, Conflict Resolution, Consequences & Repercussions, and others into the educational curriculum 

Allow those in our community with stories of trial, triumph, and tragedy to share with students in targeted schools on a monthly basis 

Require community and faith-based organizations to serve neighbors and/or provide mentoring, tutoring, stipends, donations, or scholarships to students to maintain 501c3 status 

Train students in governmental process by requiring candidates to include students in their campaign 

Nominate, celebrate, and compensate communities that serve as an extraordinary example in the city 

Expand staff and resources for after school, special education, and mental health programs 

Reward teachers with increased salaries and free tuition for their children at state schools 

Engage companies to come alongside and improve the condition of communities 

Service abandoned buildings to be used for round-the-clock usage as Chicago Solution centers and shelters. 

Hire minority contractors to rehab these buildings who are required to teach the trade to community youth looking to learn the trade, giving them on the job training. 
Install Internet Sites for each Chicago community to serve as the source of communication for all community happenings and provide opportunity for residents to sign-up for initiatives 

Persuade businesses and residents to invest in the betterment of their community by financing these Chicago Solution centers, shelters, training, and jobs with refunds & recognition 

Encourage companies committed to community with incentives and opportunities 

Offer tax breaks and incentives to companies that recruit, hire, and reside in urban communities 

Financially reward companies that train and hire reformed felons with governmental stipends 

Ensure the safety and security of our communities 

Provide surveillance and satellite technology to capture major outdoor criminal activity. We use it for traffic already, why not to find criminals. 

Enlarge police and volunteer presence in high crime communities in the evening 

Align police officers and community residents by requiring all police trainees to attend community meetings and walk the blocks to get to know residents in these communities prior to being sworn in. 

Compensate police officers in “good standings” serving in high crime communities with increased pay and free tuition for their students. 

Encourage community residents to do community service with tax breaks and incentives 

! Accountability across the board.  Mandatory family counseling for parents/guardians of juvenile offenders of serious crimes as part of sentencing. Mandatory mental health counseling for officers due to the stress of the job.  Mandatory mental health counseling for any serious criminal offenders in prison and beyond.

Who Said Getting F'd Up Can't Make You Happy!?  

People always ask me how come I seem so happy because I'm usually smiling, laughing, joking, or just seem to be having a good day. I usually tell them it's because I chooseto be happy.  Happiness is definitely a choice but the more I think about it, it's a choice I make because I can't lie, I tend to stay F'd up on a regular basis.  Now before you start organizing an intervention for me, let me exlpain what I mean about staying F'd Up!  I'm no preacher or I'm in no way qualified to tell anyone how to live their life but I'm just sharing how staying F'd Up help me find happiness and maintain it. 

Getting F'd Up! - The Key to Happiness

  • Forgive those that have caused pain, stress, and/or turmoil in your life from childhood to adulthood.
  • Forgive yourself for feeling a certain way about those aforementioned indiviudals because of the pain "they caused' you. 
  • Forgive yourself for the way you treated yourself due to that pain
  • Find out who you are and what you love. Do your best MJ impression and start looking at the "Man in the Mirror"
  • Easier said that done but Find your Purpose. 
  • Find friends that share your ideals, beliefs, and values as well as people that think differently from you as long as they are their to enhance the happiness that should be already present within you. 
  • Once you find out who you are you will begin to truly understand what it means to love yourself and therefore love will find you in return in the form of friendship, companionship, and matrimony if that is your ulitmate goal. 
  • Face the music: Once you FIND out who you really are, in many cases, you are not who you thought you were. Don't be afraid of YOUR TRUTH. 
  • FEAR IS False. Evidence. Appearing. Real so in the words of Public Enemy "Don't Believe the Hype!" 
  • F*ck Fear - Don't be afraid of trying or change because you are afraid of the unknown, failure, or even success for that matter. 
5. FIX
  • Fix what is fixable and what is worth fixing. I speaking more about the core of who we are. I don't mean botox, a$$ injections, nose jobs, tummy tucks, but I'm not judging. if you got the dough and REALLY feel that is what you need, go right ahead. 
  • Focus on what you love about yourself and began to enhance those qualities. 
  • Focus Forward and stop living in the past. Its wise to remember the past but don't live in it. 
  • Get your Janet Jackson on & Focus on what you can CONTROL. If its out of your control, find a way to manuever around it, plan for it, or LET IT GO!
  • Freedom is the product of knowledge and understading. The more you learn about you, others, the world around you & not around you, the more you feel a sense of freedom.
  • Free your mind and the rest will follow. (En Vogue Reference) Take time out for YOU & meditate, walk, read, or whatever frees your mind. Rest does truly follow in the sense of you will actually sleep better, your body will respond to your mind's peace, and yes those around will follow your lead & help your perserve your knew found freedom to the energy you project. 
7. FUN
  • Fun is essential. As long as your good time doesn't mean spoling someone else's good time, do that sh*t! Enjoy life and find time to do what makes you happy in your personal life and career if possible. 
  • Fortidude is showing courage in the face of pain and adversity. Bad things will happen but its how you deal with it that matters  
  • This takes us back to FOCUS. When bad sh*t happens, focus on the solution and not the problem.  It keeps us moving forward which leads us to number 9. 
  • Forward was not just the Democratic slogan for the 2012 Presidential Election. We must always move forward.  
  • If you are a driver that keeps looking in his/her rearview mirror, you will not be prepared to react to whats in front of you. 
  • Learn from your past, live and moment, and shape your future. 
  • Expect the best and don't be FEARFul if you fall short of "The Best." If you fall a little short of "The Best" you are still in a good place. Nothing wrong with planning for a rainy day but people that expect the worst usually get the worst.  
  • Pay it Forward: Once you acquire the knowledge, build on the knowledge, and pass it on to someone else. 
  • Last but not least: Faith is believing, hoping in, embracing, and seizing the truth based on evidence of the seen and unseen. 
  • Whether you believe in God, Allah, Nirvana, Ganesh, the Universe, Evolution, or whatever you must have Faith that you were created for a purpose. 
  • Faith gives you enough confidence to lead and direct as well as enough humility to learn and follow
  • Finally stop waiting on a miracle to happen and be the miracle that makes it happen! Faith in yourself gives you an abundance of power. 


Stop the Violence -Possible Solutions 

First and foremost, I'm saddened, frustrated, and completely sickened by the violence going on in Chicago and the world for that matter but right now I just want to focus on Chicago because it is the city that raised me.  Here are few ideas I had about stopping the violence in our beloved city. 

1. Understand that Love conquers Hate because we Suffer from one of the worst cases of Self-Hate. 

2. Walk -the -Block Program - Black Men have to be more present in the community..Period. The village mentality has been cast away from the often preached "individuality syndrome" which it is important to be an individual but we must be willing to serve a purpose bigger than ourselves. If our Fraternities, Churches, Mosque, Atheist, etc. came together each weekend and lets say 30 Men picked a hood to walk through on a Saturday and first listen, then advise, and give tough love where it is necessary that would create a strong presence in the community.  It's not to go out and preach, its to go out and show we care. Its more of us than it is of the "them" and most thugs are insecure and scared when they are outnumbered.  They will give in the the will of righteousness as long as we come from a a place of tough love and not more hate. 

3. Black men & women first being present in numbers eliminates the "Individual" fear many us have due to dumb ass retaliation from the misguided youth.

4. Better standards of hiring & pay for police..The police that are hired to "Serve & Protect" us don't have to pass any real psychological test & they don't make enough money. Not all police but many are rejects that failed at other task so becoming a police was the fall back plan in order to make a living & therefore they project their insecurities, prejudices, and problems on the same community they serve. Part of their training should include the meeting residents of the community they will be serviing prior to being placed their. That would help to eliminate some of the preconceived notions from all parties involved. 

5. Investments in education; we build more prisons in this country than schools. Prisons have become a business while public schools have become breeding grounds for prisons. When I say investment in education, I mean from the people & not just the government. We have to set up our own tutoring & mentoring programs because we can't expect them to do shit unless we are willing stand up like they did in the 60's.  

6. Churches, Mosques, Temples, & Atheist need to stop letting their belief "Systems" divide us especially among people of color. In the end we all want the same result so lets find a way to build collectively. Also, many places of worship often make "sinners" feel like they don't belong. They often say, we need to bring people to us. NO, we need to find the "sinners" just as Jesus did. The church is not based inside those 4 walls, it is temple inside every believer which has the potential to reach out to another human being. We follow the rituals but not the true ideals.

7. Stop the whole "Niggers" vs. "Black People" argument. As ignorant as some of us are, it is still "us" in my opinion & not "look at them." The problem with thinking it's "us" against "them" is that it creates more dvision and whether we like it or not a large part of society still looks at the educated Black man and the Nigger in the same light. They can't see the difference.  Also, one those Niggers we ignored may be the same person robbing us or killing one of our children later.  

8. Open & honest dialogue between Black men & Black women to truly address our "Love/Hate" relationship that is perpetuated in our communities, music, films, etc. We have to mend our relationship & stop feeding into the "us" vs. "them" mentality.

9. Stop waiting on someone else to make the first move & begin your movement in the immediate world that surrounds you. It starts with one person. 1

10. Last but not least, Learn to love yourself & gain knowledge of self & once you do so guide those that are ready to take the next step into that realm with you. Everyone is not ready & some may never get there but if we become the majority then the minority will slowly have to assimilate to our movement just to feel comfortable. 

11. Show them better.  The hood suffers from a lack of options or the perception of a lack of options.  We have to show them better via music, television, film, and most imporatantly in person.  

12. Finally, adults cannot be afraid of children and remember the elders are the Village Leaders. 

Cypher Lounge Radio is Proud to Host SummerPalooza to Help  



We are partying with a purpose to raise money for in an effort to help stop the senseless violence in Chicago while simultaneously celebrating the birthday of Cypher Lounge Radio – Hassahn Phenomenon

WHEN: JULY 21, 2012 7PM – 11PM

WHERE: Private Residence (Chicago, IL)

WHY: Because we love to eat, drink, dance, mingle, & do it all in the name of Changing the word for the better. Donate a $1 and help change the world around you. 


The Control Factor 

2011 was a year that was filled with a multitude of circumstances and emotions. Whether you experienced the glorious feeling of triumph, the agony of defeat, the confidence of stability, the daily stress of financial hardship, the joy of life, or the emptiness and anguish of loss, the fact of the matter is, you were here to experience it. The experience of life in general is filled with various ups, downs, smiles, and frowns but it is how we deal with each situation that determines the true outcome of those circumstances and our life as a whole.

We have heard and we will continue to hear the phrase, “Focus on what you can control,” and hopefully these words are not dismissed as metaphysical mumbo jumbo or corporate rhetoric. In these six words, I, along with many others, have come to find peace and happiness within myself. That is not to say, that all it take is embracing this phrase and life magically changes but it truly is a first step to dealing with everyday occurrences that we have absolutely no power to change. We cannot change traffic, we cannot change the days of the week, and we cannot change people. We can change ourselves which in turn can change our situation and influence the people around us. The ability to change ourselves literally starts the second we decide to do so. Whether it’s a change in attitude, a change in the time we wake up in the morning, or a change in the way we view the world and ourselves in it, we possess the power of choice. Once we choose to focus on the things we can control, we put less energy into the factors in the life that we have no dominion over.

With that being said, we can take authority over our lives and emotions once we begin to leave the past in the past and focus on the moment, which in turn allows us to have more control of our future. Just as 2011 brought us a multitude of circumstances and emotions, 2012 will definitely do the same. This year does not have to be last year if we choose for it to be different. In 2012, let us not let our situations control us, but let us control our situations.

Love Life, Live & Learn,

Is it Harder to Raise a Black Child in America?  

The answer is yes. Due to the historical ramifications surrounding African Americans in this country as well as the current social injusticies that still exist, it is absolutely harder or we must agree that it is at least different to raise a Black child in America.  That is not to say that raising children of other ethnic backgrounds is easy, but Black parents have to deal with other issues that  many other parents don't.  This is not just my opinion, this is actual fact based on years of research and the current state of social conditions surrounding many Black communities. 

I personally come from a middle class Black family where I was surrounded by options that varied from the street life to  college life.  I chose the latter based on my upbringing but many of us don't have positive examples to follow. Instead we follow what has been taught to us and passed down from our ancestors.  For example, many Black parents still whoop, whip, or hit their children as a primary form of discipline.  Although, I have never had a whoopin', I was raised in a large family where that was the general rule of thumb.  For years, I never really saw anything wrong with it until I got a little older.  Truthfully, it is a form of discipline passed down from slavery that I choose not to utilize. I don't condemn anyone for the way they raise their children as long as they aren't abusive but I would suggest trying something new or at least adding depth to the disciplinary repertoire.  With that being said, I was introduced to amazing program created by  Dr. Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D called the "Effective Black Parenting Program."  After speaking many parents that went through this program, I was convinced that Dr. Alvy had something here.  I was so convinced that once he offer me the opportunity  to co-write a book with him that would tell the life-changing stories of  these parents,  there was no way I could turn down this amazing opportunity. 

With that beind said, written by Dr. Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D. with Earnest Harris, Lisa Nicole Bell, and myself,  The Soulful Parent: Raising Healthy, Happy and Successful African American Children brings the excitement and goodness of what the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC)’s Effective Black Parenting Program has done for numerous parents nationwide, through stories about how they have used the teachings of the program to create happier homes and happier and healthier relationships with their children. Their stories are accompanied by illustrations of what the program teaches, so that you too can make use of the skills and parenting ideas of the program in your relationships with your children.

I Wanna Be Down With The King! 

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."  This aforementioned quote is from the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  These are the words that resonate within my soul on a daily basis.  If anyone knows me well, they know that I feel my purpose is to serve humanity by making them realize the joy and wonder of life.  Although we all enjoy the "finer" things in life such as a nice car, house, good relationships, and stability, the truth is that the real joy, wonder, and essence of life comes from within. 

The one thing I've realized is that we must learn to love and understand ourselves before anyone else will love and understand us. But the absolute key in this is that once we learn, it is our moral duty to teach and pass on the knowledge.  We must be confident enogh to lead, teach, and belive in the power of ourselves yet humble enough to learn and serve a purpose bigger than ourselves.  Dr. King breathed these principles through his words, actions, and spirit and for that reason and various others, I remain Down with the King.  With that being said, Happy Birthday Dr. King (Although it was really on Saturday) and to all of you, instead of waiting on a miracle to happen, be the miracle that makes it happen!  Oh yeah...and by the way, welcome to my new website.

Love Life, Live & Learn,