Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fox 5 Live, DV Awareness and My DC Television Premiere

 So my first DC television appearance was both a blast and impromptu. My Phenomenal Executive Director asked me to take her place on Fox 5 at 5 Live, and I must admit, she has big shoes to fill, and so I was nervous...but with a little prep and a lot of heart, thank the Lord, I did what I love!

I joined our Band of Brother's presenter, Rodney Gray and spoke about our "Band of Brothers" event and the work done by the Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County.

It's amazing to think that a year ago, all of this was just a promise I knew I had from God, and now, it's a reality. It pays to believe in God. It pays to never give up. It pays to choose faith over fear. This is just the beginning.


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Take the Advice You'd Give to Your Sister

Tres de mis cuatro y todas ellas son mis favoritas. Mis Hermanas. Circa 06/2017
...because it’s usually better than the advice you’d give to yourself. Isn't it something? The way we would absolutely lose it if we watched others that we care about go through the hell and the chaos we allow ourselves to experience? Insert the little chocolate girl emoji raising her hand because I’m guilty of it also. I think at one point or time in life, we all are. 

We let others use and take advantage of us. We keep our mouths closed when we know we deserve the promotion or the opportunity. We stay silent, all in the name of love or at the desperate hope that things will get better in a toxic relationship. We hold on for dear life to our comfort zone. …we settle for less…way less.. way way less. We dance with fear even though we desire to be consumed by the faith to do something we’ve never done or to pursue the impossible…and yet our actions don’t match the advice we’d give to the ones we love. So then, is this a question of how much we value and love ourselves? If you have an idea or answer, I'm seriously asking.

Why is it that we’ll endure or put up with and settle for treatment that we know isn’t right? Why don’t we stick stubbornly to our standards with full confidence, and be our very own cheerleaders, protectors, defenders, and support systems first and foremost?  It takes serious effort to decide that come what may, you’re going to put yourself first, and do what’s best for you- aside from what someone else thinks. Being human requires this balancing act of being vulnerable and sensitive enough to give and receive from others but fierce enough to "clap back" when necessary. It’s the perfect chemistry of being wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove, and it’s hard to master.

I hate not having solutions. In the last few years of life, I’ve embraced some solid advice given to me by my mother “be who you were made to be, not who you were raised to be.” Her words are a consistent wake-up call and a personal reminder of who I am and what I deserve. I’ve decided to just try my best. Even when I don’t make the right decision, get back up and try my best. When I’m wary of what others may think or say, make the best decision for myself- and try my best to put my heart’s desires first- this is my life.
I’ve learned that if we try our best, in the end, we win. We grow. We learn. We forgive ourselves. We understand ourselves. We become our best selves. That was the advice I was giving to an amazing young mind today, and it’s the advice I will take for myself. Just try my best, and take peace with that. One thing my soul reminds my heart of is that the words I give to others as valuable inspiration- is what I too am worth.


"Risks vs. Reward" (When the Journey Get's Rough Series)

I filmed this video blog back in February. It's amazing to see how much my life has changed since this moment. I took on a new work opportunity that has given me a bigger voice, and the opportunity to give a voice to those who need it most. I started hosting my very first talk show, I've done things that I've waited years to do, and it feels good to not only be alive but to LIVE. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ep. 6 Pt. 2: The Impact of DV on Children

This is THE episode you want to watch if you know a child who is in an abusive home. Many times, loved ones, teachers, and friends are traumatized by the fact that they don't know how to help. Chats 4 Change Expert Host Sophie Ford and Maryland/DC Clinician Patrick Crawford have some "must hear" solutions.


Ep 6 Part 1: The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

Part 1 of episode 6 introduces a new segment to Chats 4 Change called the Wake-Up Call. Watch and Listen as a young girl, calls 911 to report that she is witnessing her step-father abusing her mother. After the Wake-Up Call, Host LaToria digs deep with Expert Host Sophie Ford, to get a full break down and understanding of what most children experience when they witnessing domestic violence.


Episode 5: Misconceptions of Men and Domestic Violence

The hosts welcome guest Kenneth Baldwin and chat about issues surrounding the perception of Men and domestic violence. 


Episode 4: Community and The Power of Sisterhood

There's strength in numbers, and there's strength in sisterhood. The hosts sit down with executives of the National Coalition of Black Women of Prince George's County and discuss how sisterhood can change (or maybe even save) a woman's life. 


Welcome to Chats 4 Change

It's not every day you accept a life changing position as a Community Outreach Specialist, and it leads to the birth of a dream come true, your first TV Talk Show. For me it's a reality, one that I knew would come; although I didn't know how, and I know it's nothing shy of a blessing from God.  

It's a real conversation. A necessary show. Domestic Violence is like the elephant in the room that's destroying everything but no one wants to talk about it...we are. We're making the conversation one that you can have amongst friends, over coffee, at the dinner table. We get real with reality, and even more, we've got a solution source in Sophie Ford, our Expert Host. 

Chats 4 Change is a great start to my hosting career and a show that not only Prince George's County, the state of Maryland or the U.S. needs, it's a conversation the world needs. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Who You Were Created to Be

"No one is you and that is your power." - Dave Grohl

Since I was a kid, I’ve always looked for the line- the fine line between keeping everyone happy and not offending anyone. 20+ years later, I still haven’t found that line. We live in a world that's a whirlwind of emotions, events and unexpected actions, all created from a multitude of peoples' decisions. I don't know about you but through the years, I have struggled to "get in where I fit in." Often we line our integrity and character against other people's expectations of who we are. If we have a respected voice- we're expected to uphold a specific image, the rules all based on the opinion of others...and when I realized this? I discovered why I've struggled.

I've always been good at speaking for myself. I've never done well at falling in the lines drawn by someone else. I just wasn't made for puppet strings. On and off, I have (figuratively speaking), spent moments playing tug-of-war with others over the reigns of my life. Paired with my big voice, has always been a compassionate heart and submissive ears. I am sensitive to others. This all added to that aforementioned struggle. I fought the challenging questions of "how do I speak and live honestly but without offending anyone? Can I keep everyone happy?" The answer: it's impossible. Living in this world requires a balance of submission and what the world often calls "rebellion." We have to stand behind what we know is right and be willing to stand against that which is wrong. Having integrity requires courage, not being a "yes man" in any capacity.

My mother recently said it better than I ever could: "You have to be who you were created to be, not who you were raised to be."

    A mouth muzzled, is creativity stifled.

Creating media and starting conversations that build people- that's where I shine. Maybe your thing is writing books or music. Perhaps there's a business idea in your gut that you can't find the strength to produce. Maybe there's a decision you need to make but the uncertainty of the outcome has you paralyzed. How do we free ourselves from fear and discouragement, and take a chance on ourselves? We each face moments where we have to zone out the external and tune into the internal. This is your life. You don't live it more than once. It is vital that we are open to the wisdom of those meant to inspire our journeys; still, there's little time to be limited by the opinions and judgment of others.

 I was once given a personal request to "dim my light," and I shamefully confess I tried. I tried to become what was requested of me. I failed miserably at silencing my voice and taming the flame that burns within because as a good friend once told me, "Candles burn on top of tables, not under them. You were never made to be mediocre." I am who God made me and I will never again try to change that. No apologies, no explanations.

I never found that fine line between keeping everyone happy and offending no one; however, I did discover my balance: A courageous spirit, compassionate heart, focused mind and honest integrity. At the collaboration of those traits is from where I speak, and without concern of who will hate or love me. There’s a peace that comes with finding your voice but boy is it a process! Now that I've found the courage in saying what I need to say, my mission is to use my voice to help others.

We each have a purpose, and in order to have an impact or leave a legacy, we have to take ownership for our dreams, our actions, and our efforts. Who are you? What are your dreams and desires? What are you going to do with what you've got? How will you bless someone else's life? I hope you'll own your existence, value your time and simply be who you are- for that is where your true worth resides.

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