Archive for the ‘Alumni Connections’ Category


Its been a while for a Three Way Dance! And it’s a must NEEDED Dance. With all what is going on with many factors of concern it’s clearly that many folks in conscious are just being grabbed left and right. Oh did I mention that we’ve been here before. Of course! However if many are just late to the dance, or just in general don’t know or just didn’t know until the day actually comes. And they complain about not knowing or whatever. But for this though, I got dance cards on deck.

First Dance: The Leaky Tapes from the White House. Oh we all just woke up to this. Press play:

The Leaky Tape: Nixon and Reagan in 1971.

Show of hands right now: who didn’t know that this was a racial charged remark? And getting to the truth about Reagan and Nixon? Oh, that’s right many of us weren’t born in 1971 and didn’t know this. But there is one thing we all knew: They had racial angles! Nixon probably did but Reagan?! Really? The same “America is a Shiny Beacon on the hill” Ronald Reagan? The same Ronald Reagan that everyone probably voted up in the 1980’s with the same moniker of “Let’s Make America Great Again?” Guess who sampled that material? This Ronald Reagan that many watched to approve the MLK Holiday, gave Michael Jackson an commemorative award in the 1980’s at the height of Thriller, and he along with his wife Nancy had the Just Say No slogan on lock when Generation X were just kids? YEAH HIM! If many of you are Ronald Reagan Fans still backing the words of him during in his 8 years in office and you’re just now looking at this footage from 1971 there is one question to be asked? Are you shocked by this? And if you’re black, your perception has not changed about this man even after he left office. Want more proof? Let Roland Martin Unfiltered enlighten you:

Now many probably will be asking is how will Reagan’s family react to this? Their children, and grandchildren and many other in the Reagan Family Tree will react to this remark from 1971? Oh you know they will, but yet that was their father. Let them address that. But yeah MANY OF US knew this all this time. We’ve been knew it. But it’s others just chiming in on this youtube channels to not vote for Reagan in 2020.

CALLOUT- FYI: Reagan died in 2005, and Nixon passed away in 1994.

Even though that they had those angles, there are those today that would NOT forgive the actions that the Reagan and Nixon Administrations had done in their 4 to 8 years in office. Many will never forgive Reagan with the 80’s drug era that effected the country, including the areas of the POOR! Again, we known this angle for LONG TIME! If those whom are relatively new to the news, they are just learning. But for those of us relearning the story, we know it very well. It has not changed!

Second Dance: The #DemDebates Overall.

We’ve seen the Democratic Debates in the previous weeks and I must say that it’s all about bragging rights. It’s about the bragging rights that only ONE might emerge the candidate to take on 45 or the “Bad Trumpy Boy” in the 2020 Election. And yes we know who ever wins the prize will become president. We know this. But the debates as we know is like a firing squad. Or in this case there all on the same team, but WHO REALLY WANTS it more in order to make the case please-able to the voters? And yet many are looking at Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders (whom is Independent) and many others who feel that they can carry the party. Right now to me, it’s between Biden and I think Harris. I’m calling it right now because that I know it’s what the media is talking about. But however, when it comes to be the front runner, it’s probably Joe Biden. Of course I’m saying him. Nevermind the so-called gaffs about his opinions and viewpoints in regards the Crime Bill or any other that fact of the matter that harbors. So far it’s like a preliminary tryout for the football team. You have your veteran players, your mid-carders and those who have walked on the field to see what they can do. Don’t believe me? Ask the Wisconsin Badgers Football Team. They know walkons. And like the pros, they will be evaluated and see who makes the cut to the main roster. But in this instance, it’ll be narrowed down to that one candidate and that strong running mate. Nah, this is like the WWE Royal Rumble in which it’s every man and every woman for him or herself. That’s all it is. The winner left standing will be that one contender left to fight the champion. Which is of course is Trump. Ooops, I mean 45. We all seen the aftermath of the Democratic Debates and yet it’s not pretty. It hasn’t been. But the fact of that matter is someone is going to go big and might be a surprise pick to get on the ballot and to have a strong connection with the voters. Even to the Black Voters that are woke and conscious! BUT ALAS! Who ever that is, must be strong in all AVENUES! Not the usual groups that is always catered!

And last but not least: For all the Schools that claim that the Alumni needs to be at all the functions, you need to know something.

For quite sometime on WordPress, I have highlighted several times about the need for Alumni to join their Alumni Associations. No matter if it’s High School or College. We all know that many of us give back to our schools that our kids go to currently, but what about the schools we went to? And what about the Schools that are still out there that need the Alumni to stay informed? See this is what I’m talking about. I get information from my old high school, tech college and university mainly because I would like to know what’s going on since I graduated. And yet of course we get those donations in the mail to help contribute to the cause. Some or many of us do this, and yet many of us don’t. Say amen! And also many of us probably hear about a recent fight at our old high school and come up in arms in argument about the bad stuff on social media, and not offering a solution to get the problems solved. But that is another story. What ties in all of this is a recent problem: my high school alma mater recently advertised a flapjack fundraiser in regarding the school’s football team. Many of us in the Alumni had seen the advertisement a couple of day BEFORE the start of the fundraiser. The advertisement was labeled for July 27th, many of us got it on the 23rd. Which was WAAAAAY LATE! Later on in the day, we received a notification indicating that “the breakfast was a success, but no support from the Alumni Association.” Now personally that felt like an attack on the organization. But here’s the thing, I responded like this on the Milwaukee Marshall Alumni FB Page:

“Glad this was a great success. I really wanted to come, but I had to attend a meeting in Germantown with my church. Now I can’t speak for every Alum but I can say that only a few knew about this in the past week. I’m suggesting as a idea (I hope I don’t get in trouble here) make sure that this is advertised ahead of time. Like in a week/month advance. Many of us have different schedules with jobs and families and also many of us are not in the state. But I really wanted to attend. Plus you mentioned about submitting a donation. Even though this has passed, can we still donate? If possible reference the name of the individual that we can submit the donations to. Even though many of us knew about this and missed it, but still would like to contribute.”

See this is how I responded in a calm manner. I didn’t get pissed. Look what I just wrote. Yes, I’m glad the Milwaukee Marshall Football Fundraiser was good, and it was a successful event. But yet in their estimation the Alumni should have been there to come out. HOWEVER, I need the schools to understand something. We in the Alumni are not just former students. We are parents, grandparents, taking care of our kids, caregivers, travel, going to work, commute in and out of state, and many other schedule concerns and duties we endure EVERYDAY! We are human. We’re not Superman or Wonder Woman. We have schedules like you do in order to stay on task! Why am I saying this? I’m commenting this to be truthful. We all have a schedule. Heck, I told my church this. My father once said when I was in college, that “nobody knows your schedule but you”. He was right. And I’m here to tell those whom have been offended by these “you should have been there”speeches that many of you know your schedule. I don’t know the schedule of many but know of some. I know my own schedule based on what I do everyday. And I tell them. Many of us also that we have to know that we are not always going to show up to everything all the time. Now to the schools: LISTEN UP! You need to understand this. Don’t get angry or pissed that the Alumni doesn’t show up and get a revenge edge on us. That’ll look bad on the organization and also that will reflect on you. Trust me, you don’t want to go there. If you want to really get the Alumni involved, you need to come to our meetings, have the discussions to reach out on OUR Social Media platforms, etc. How many of you teachers, administrators, coaches, or many others have ever been invited to an Alumni Association Meeting within the past year? Or the past two years? Or have talked to an alum at a recent event for them to come back and visit? Don’t speak all at once! If you haven’t done any of this, then that’s on YOU! Don’t blame the Alumni Presidents, Treasurers, Secretaries, Acting Board members, or anyone that donated, contributed, supported or even identifies very well about being an alum of giving back. Don’t go there! Do you understand what I’m saying here? I want all schools to hear this, especially my own. Yes, all the schools should connect with the Alumni and vice-versa. Not too many are doing this. But to call them out like this in a dumb manner is just that: DUMB! If you have information that the Alumni can be notified of in various formats, let us know AHEAD OF TIME! And if we can’t make it to a fundraiser or an open house that features money, let us donate. Can that be done?


I almost forgot to do this, but this is for the Class of 2019. By now, you just completed your degrees, walked with your classes, heard the commencement speeches, and many of you totally admit that this was the last time you saw each other. This part is sad. But you have to stay in touch with your Alumni to keep up. For all of that, this is your blog letter.

Dear Class of 2019:

It’s me, Stephen. And you know who I am. First to the class of 2019, I say congratulations! You made it! Welcome to the club of the Alumni! Or for some of you, the Real World! I know the feeling of walking that stage and being admired of my educational accomplishments. But I have heard that you all had a tremendous year based on sports, academics and yes, getting to this point in your lives that will be remembered as long as you live. If you’re living, say amen.

Even though that this moment in your lives in your educational history is very sufficient, don’t be alarmed but many of you are probably influencing the next class or the next member in your families that is willing to go to that next level to be the best in your efforts. I’ve mentioned this before with a different class, but the reality is you established something that will be very influential. No matter if its your High School Diploma, Colleges Degrees of Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters, or Doctors, somebody is watching you and saying that “I’m going to do this!” My thing is: GO FOR IT! Do the thing that will get you famous with the pictures on the walls and comeback in 20 years to get another generation of graduates to hype them up for the next level. And most recently, we’ve seen elders up near 90 years old that had graduated years ago, and never received their diplomas that were in their 20’s 70 years ago! But the main purpose is that they lived longer to see this moment for those whom didn’t get a chance to see. But also saw it through their succeeding generation family members.

But I want to take a moment to reflect on your Graduation Ceremonies. Many of you had great ceremonies in which you weren’t dancing. Some of you did. And some of you almost got yanked off the stage. Some of you High School Valedictorians that graduated wanted to say your speeches that included some concerns about Sexual Acts of Harassment and other acts of concerns you wanted to say, was cancelled by the administrations of pulling your microphones away.  Even mentioning of names like Trayvon Martin or Tamir Rice. This crap of what you experienced was nothing of fear! The administrators of your schools were full of BS. They didn’t care. All they cared was like YET again: let’s talk about the good things, pomp and circumstance music, speeches, congrats, walk on the stage, tilt your tassel and go home.

WAIT A SECOND! I written about this before years ago about top seniors in High School almost got yanked off the stage for the concerns about the violence, sexual harassment, and many other FEARS that many will talk about after leaving school. My thing is, you should be concerned! This happens almost EVERYDAY in the real world! You read about it online, in the papers, the news, and yes you hear it from other folks whom have their problems in the families in school! But alas: it’s graduation season. I need to tell these so-called Superintendents, Educators, Secretaries, Principals, Vice Principals, Dignitaries, and yes so-called supporters who favored the yanking of speeches: YOU ARE SO STUPID! You’re all about the one-sided affairs. But not about concerns! When I heard about the students making their speeches about the violence and racial N-words this 2018-2019 school year and many others across the country: where were you administration? Were you listening to the students?! If you were NOT LISTENING to the kids and especially those whom were Seniors, there is something wrong with you! This is our future! This is our next leaders to might be better than us in which they will be in control of the game. And oh, you stripped their right to speak about the concerns. You all need to WAKE THE F//**+ UP! Yeah I said it! Many of you are worried about your wallets instead of your instincts! I thought “the schools” are a part of “the community.” When the community of Children and Youth are concerned about the world of Donald Trump insults on many occassions, and the violence of innocent people being harassed, bullied, killed,  or even traumatized about their classmates’ experience, WE THE SO-CALLED GROWN FOLKS need to LISTEN! They are our future! They are not just on Facebook, or their phones texting or playing Fortnite! And as far as the University Commencements are concern: When the graduates in were dancing around after hearing the names called, one of the folks put their hands on the graduates (black ones) and try to get them off the stage! REALLY?! I get it. Its a day full of joy. And yes the University had apologized to the graduates for the act. Lucky some of the HBCU’s (the Black Colleges) didn’t see that as a distraction or a problem!

Class of 2019: Word from one of my late church members: DON’T LET NOBODY STEAL YOUR JOY! If I had to come to a graduation and speak to most of you, I’m letting those words be the anchor. Not just for graduations or commencement services but everyday! Spoiler Alert: You’re going to put up with folks whom don’t care about your academics, your sports,  your music days in the choir or band, your family background, your heritage, your gender, your issues of whatever, religion, history, and etc. THEY WON’T CARE. It might seemed racist, sexist, shaming, in all. They will not care. Although they might acknowledge them, but many will not care about it! But I say this, be proud that you made it. Let the haters hate, sulk, lose, and suffer!

If they hate that you got a masters or a bachelors from a crappy school that they couldn’t pass, guess what? SORE LOSERS! Same thing with the High Schools. They couldn’t cut the mustard then and not now. That’s why they complain. That’s why they go on the blogs (not this one) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others piss and moan about guys like you making it. And here is a shocker, some of them could be your former classmates, and I dare say: your church members that never cared about you growing up, your other friends, and even this might hurt, your kinfolk family members. It’s a well known fact of hate!

Real talk 2019, always continue to be the best in all what you do! Be real in all what you do! And don’t let NOBODY or anything stand your way towards that goaline. You have made it this far. Keep going to that next level! Oh, one more thing: since many of you have your degrees, and got all that grad money and I’ve mentioned this before. Get involved with your school’s Alumni Associations. Get involved with them. Attend a board meeting, receive newsletters, email blasts, view social media posts about your class or school. Tour the school for an open house, attend a homecoming game. Just to clarify that Homecoming is really for the Alumni! And for those whom are way younger than 42: I was told to do this at 18, and I’m telling you here: Go to your reunions. And also, donate back to your schools that gave you love in the first place! Now a days if you have not heard, Alumni Groups or Alumni in general now wants to give back to their schools. And also, the schools want to reach out to the Alumni. Either way, GET INVOLVED!

Younger alums: I know that many of you will be busy with family and college. But the Alumni Committees needs to hear from you about what you want to see in your alum orgs. My advice, get to know your Alumni Committee. Get to know at least one member. Visit the schools, get the info that is current! Buy a T-shirt, form your own Alumni groups and events/reunions, and have the elder alumni to talk to you about why you should be a future Alumni Board Member. And like I said in many Graduation Blogs years ago, you might be on the stage in the future giving a keynote address to a future class that might be looking at you as an example while getting  or presenting an Alumni of the Year Award. Which would echo your work in the community.

In conclusion, 2019 you made it this far. Congrats to all of you. Like I said on the night of my father’s wake in March of  2017: Stay in the fight! And to quote Nipsey Hussle: The Marathon Continues!

Sincerely,

Stephen


I want to address all the students of MPS. And no, the adults do not count in this one. I want to address this with you because of what was said about you that made you upset. It’s a matter of stating that what James Widgerson calling you collectively “little convicts” was very disturbing. He is an indeed a racist calling you that. So with that, here is a blog letter for you. 

Dear students of MPS:

It’s me, Stephen. And I am an Alum of the Milwaukee Public Schools.

In the last couple of days, and weeks you have been in the classrooms and I must say I wish your semester well. But in the last day and a half, you have been attacked by a grown man who labeled you as “little convicts” over the performance that continues to give the district of MPS a bad name. And the man that said it was a former students way older than you and I put together. The man, James Wigderson as I speak of was way out of line labeling you as failures being set up for the jail system. We knew what he said in his blog story. And what he said to the majority of you was again clearly stupid. It’s not your fault. And by the way, he’s an alum of MPS.

One of the Milwaukee Youth Council members had really to speak out on this matter and I must applaud the young lady, Emoni Gambrell-Toliver a student from Riverside University High School and President of the Youth Council for a chance to do that. If you have not read her statement regarding this matter, it’s a must read! Even if you are a critic of MPS.

I really hope that the build-up from all of this will decrease and also the value of our education in Milwaukee continue to rise up and prove those that it can be viable just like the outline areas outside of Milwaukee.

But we all know that today, James Wigderson was not apologizing for his remarks in the blog. He also stated that his words as a whole were not directed towards the entire students of MPS. It was about this one player, that went to Washington High School. I have to say that it was not factual. He knew what he was talking about. But just don’t want to deny that part of the truth of hating on all of you that WANT to make a difference in the world. Yes, I will agree he was hateful. He also claims that he backed school choice and charter schools and such. But he was not solid on you in general! For an extra commentary, he’s a coward. And even though his last days of education was at Vincent High School, I want to be clear that he has some soul searching in discovering that what he thought he saw was not just a concern, but to also ask what can be done to change it! I hate to say that there are those in the Alumni are real losers. Jealous that the opportunities you’re getting many of us didn’t get. And James is included in this also. He’s a loser! A racist vile hypocritical loser! And he does not care about you.

In the schools, we know there are things are not sharp enough. And I know that we see and read about the negative about MPS. But the thing is, what is missing from all this is positive! We need to read and see about your positive stories of what is going on into the schools. We need to read and see what you’re up to in a positive manner about what is up in the schools. Show us the receipts, as many of you would say! Show them to us at an Open House, a Concert, a Play, or even yes the football field or basketball court. For academics, I know that math, reading, and science are one of the subjects at hand, but show us what you’ve learned! Prove it to yourselves and us that you can do this!

MPS Students, you are indeed the future of our district. Future Alumni, Future Scholars, and future whatever it is that you want to be. Let us know what is happening in your schools. Your Games, Band and Orchestra, Debates, Communications, Mechanical Classes, and many others that you’re doing. Many of us alumni folks are so busy raising families and working to get very busy. We do. And we assumed what is taking place at the schools now is mostly negative. We want you: and I’m giving you an ongoing homework assignment here. I want you to tell us grown people that been there and done it, really tell us what is really going on in the schools. Tell us and show us your open house projects, your performances in concerts in all. Tell us how we the MPS Alumni can still support your schools! Tell us! We need to do this thing!

Before I leave you this message, I want to share this video clip from 1989:

This is from the movie called Lean on Me, which told the story of a high school in New Jersey that was once a prominent best school in the state was going poorly. But the principal played by Morgan Freeman had to do whatever necessary to get the school in the positive form. Morgan Freeman’s character was Joe Clark. And he had to lock down the school, dismiss the bad students that disrupted the school for a lot of years. Mainly drug dealers. He even challenged the students to reach their potential even if he had to make them sing the school song. This movie is based on a true story of a huge turnaround that captured the state of New Jersey. The reason why I put this clip here because Freeman’s Character Joe Clark was describing to the students what the rest of the world or the society thinks about them that want to succeed. Sound familiar?

I encourage all of you, who are high school students to get this movie. If not, ask your parents to get this movie for you and watch it over and over again. Don’t just watch the clips on youtube, watch the WHOLE movie! But I must warn you, it’s a bit graphic, mixed with overtones that might not be suitable for many. BUT GET THIS MOVIE! The prime example of this movie is the same example of this situation right now with MPS.

And also: gain from the “woke” moments of the movie that really stood out. Study them!

Finally, as I close, continue to do the things you do in the schools. Make it happen! EVERYDAY!

Sincerely,

Stephen


Call it another exclusive.

Since 2016, the Milwaukee Public Schools has been doing an intuitive of a thing called Rethinking High Schools. Part of this is engaging a group of folks that know the feeling of that previous work, the Alumni.

Us Alumni in the MPS world have been long forgotten in terms of the Students, Staff and Parents whom seem to be the bulk of Milwaukee’s largest school district. In 2015, there was a meeting at my old high school about this intuitive, and it was good to see the various ideas then to flow. But until 2016, as we knew, that changed a step further. It changed with the first MPS Alumni Reunion in which many of the MPS High School attended the Bradley Center and greeted by the dignitaries, and even Mayor Tom Barrett.

From there, we even had a Alumni Summit in discussing about our Alumni Associations and various ways to reach out. Plus even we discussed about the name changes of the schools, such as why John Marshall High School became “Morse*Marshall” and the reasons behind it. Not a very good one by the way. Even we discussed about those wanting to start an Alumni Association or Foundation that involves commitment from those that want to keep them open and active. We also had networking series events, Alumni luncheons/picnics as well as Panel Questions/Answers at the MPS Headquarters.

That was in the first two years since the idea was launched. And it worked.

Callout: Now the question is: why does this matter? Why now this idea? And also why didn’t we didn’t get this treatment when we were coming up in MPS?

This should matter to a point that the MPS Alumni Forever Family is part of the community. We are in our careers, families, activities and yes we do hold our titles to a prompt thought. We have been long forgotten in other means, but I think it’s time to celebrate us no matter where we are.

Why now this idea, you asked? Again it’s about us. If we can celebrate our kids and parents of the Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as teachers, principals, staff workers, recreation in all, even other schools; this also SHOULD include the Alumni. Many of us whom are alums probably have connections to MPS in some point based on experience, lessons and also support. As former students.

And why didn’t we get this treatment when we were coming up? Easy answer. It was never thought about. It was never indicated to the times that we had those great times in High School and frankly it was never invented the thought that MPS should create an Alumni Group for every alum that has graduated from Milwaukee’s largest school district.

I mean if the Colleges and Universities can do this, and they do this a lot as we know based on the mailings, emails, Social Media Posts in all, why not Milwaukee Public Schools? I mean we got successful alums in medicine, politics, journalism, science, architecture, business ownership, ministry, and many more areas of work we are currently in. We know this very well.

And I have to say that yes, MPS has problems. MPS has issues. And MPS has concerns with the Teachers, Staff Workers and most of all: our Kids! As an alum of the district, yes I recalled that MPS had concerns about Me. But however as I looked back, even though I had to highs and lows from grades to activities. And a one time suspension from fighting of being provoked and bullied in High School. Overall, I survived being a Milwaukee Public School Student. And I’m sure that many had survived that as well. The thing is many forget that yes, there are good things that MPS provides. And there are bad things. Just like the real world. Do I think about the bad things about the District? All the time. But I also remember the good as well.

So what can I expect at this new year of the Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni thing? What can I expect this year overall even more?

First I think that the idea must flow and continue into every single Milwaukee Public High School Alumni Association and Foundation. Period. They are the foundation for the MPS Alumni and hopefully they are the way to get those whom are engaged, stay engaged.

Second, the younger alumni must work! Like every group from Churches to Organized companies, even Alumni groups must need to have young folks. This is an Achilles Heel in all groups. If we want groups to survive, it’s the need for the younger alums to continue. Now I heard they don’t do Alumni Council Meetings, or be at a Reunion full of older folks. But what do they really want to see? They are MPS Alumni folks too and they need to be at the table voicing their ideas to support. For you younger MPS Alums between 18-35, we need to hear you. We know this is not your thing, but still we need to hear what you have to say. Seriously. Fill us in! There was talks about an idea of having their own Reunion Get Together. Have them! Organize it. But the seasoned vets would like to stop by and give you some tips to keep the Alumni ship going. Hear them out of respect.

And also: this needs to be said, if you say you would to come out and do this and that, and don’t put in the work, that is a problem! Regarding reunions, events and planning. Take notes, young Alumni!

Back in 2011 when my old high school was about to turn the golden age of 50, I was selected to be a new board member at 34 years old. And the date: May 2nd, 2011. 7 years to the date. I’ve worked my way up the ladder and I’m still learning. Plus I serve as a treasurer. I take pics and go to my 90’s reunions and share those whom are not familiar with that decade to give them some insight of who we are and what we did. And here is the kicker, for a while, my Alma Mater’s Alumni group never had anyone from the 1990’s to represent as a board member. But that changed in 2011 when I joined. Again, at 34 years old. And I’m from the Class of 1995. Go figure.

Now for all those that escaped from Wisconsin to go to Texas, Georgia, Illinois, California, New York, Tennessee, or even overseas. If you’re just now looking at this, and still asking what this is, and you are living in your new digs, and still are just wondering what this is: yes you’re missing out! But you can still support your alumni groups.

If I were one of you, I would go to this site right now: www.mpsalumnihub.com

This is the website for the MPS Alumni that has all the information in regarding the reunions, profiles, Alumni Directory, and other events.

Another is social media. If you haven’t killed your Facebook Page or Twitter handles you should be following them via MPS. Including Instagram.

Plus since many in the Alumni has a JOB, and likes to DONATE, this is an idea from one of my uncles who is an MPS Alum: “If I don’t come, I will donate!” I urge you the transplants of the MPS Alumni (as well as living in the state) to donate to the MPS Foundation or even donate to your Alumni Associations/Foundations to whatever area of the school you want. For example, if I lived let’s say…..Utah, and I’m just now reading about the MPS Alumni stuff and I can’t make it to a Networking event, or the Alumni Reunion due to distance in all, I would EXTREMELY donate to the cause of music of my Alma Mater or MPS! And I remember being in Band Classes back in the day. I’ll either send in a check or pay online. Why is that so hard? It’s not! You pay your bills online in all, right? You tithe online to your church, right? Why not this?

Folks, newsflash: It’s not rocket science.

One of the things about the ongoing suggestions that if you are going to be apart of this, it needs to be pushed and examined.

Pushed as to a point to let those know of what is going on in their Alma Maters. I’ll bet many others are asking, “How is the school now after 30 years since I’ve been gone?” Or “Does the school do drill squads, or music?” “Does it still have a football team?” Or, how can we the Alumni support this cause of Education of the school? We know this. We hear it all the time!

Examined as an example to preview and attempt to take part in some sort or many capacity. Now a days, when folks hear about certain events, or groups, they need to see it. Show the receipts, as the young folks would say. If a person that is interested in their Alma Mater Alumni Committee, and/or the MPS Alumni Hub to support or partake, I think he or she needs to see what’s going on. I think they need to ask questions, get information about the status of the Alumni Groups, even if they never heard of one. I think all Alumni Groups needs to have meetings, specifically interest meetings with the Alums to get a clarity of who they are dealing with. From the Chairperson, President on down. They need to see faces, and shake hands. And yes, Skyping.

They also need to go out into the community, particularly the school’s community to the events or meetings and support ideas of fundraising or services. If it’s for a Football Team, or a Jazz Ensemble it does not matter. Even if it’s a bake sale or a Open House, go and do it. Let them know that you (the Alumni) are here to donate your time and money to support this cause. The faces will lit up! Trust me. Many schools do have websites, and again Social Media Pages. Feel free to explore them! If they have an alumni page online, check that out also! If they have an Alumni Badge Lapel or shirt, wear that everywhere you go! Also let the future Alums know at their graduation ceremonies, and grad parties!

Even if you hear about a class reunion or another some sort of get together announcement, see if you can attend and get a table for the Alumni Association.

*Sidenote: Alumni Associations/Foundations, you might want to update your online pages to keep current of the news and contacts. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!!!

This is an also an idea: If you are an MPS Alum that is out of state, and the MPS Alumni Reunion is going on, take a pic of yourself with the school colors/MPS Alumni Lapel Pin. Let them know you represent the school district that gave you your first break! And it doesn’t matter where you are working. Even send a video message!

If you are in the working world and a MPS Alumni Member, guess what? You can network! You might want to do that to keep potential and future alums engaged in the company you are working in. Colleges do it all the dang time! Even network with clubs and organizations like Fraternities and Sororities. Veterans Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Elk Clubs, American Legion Family, Toastmasters, and more. How many of the MPS Alumni are in these organizations? And still active?

*Second Sidenote: If you are asking about a milestone reunion or a ideal reunion, and heard nothing back about it, you need to organize and also get assistance from the Alumni Association/Foundation. That goes for everyone!

Finally as I close, with the 3rd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion is coming up on Mother’s Day Weekend, I hope that the ideas would continue to flow beyond the event. I know that there will be pics taken and memories added. And contacts made. However, after the event is over, I also hope that the event would encourage others who have not yet came out once to actually try. This is still a young event, but eventually it will grow and be successful. And it has to start with the foundation of us Alumni to begin the engagement!

Plus I’ll save a piece for the Class of 2018 after they graduate!


Haven’t done a blog letter in a while, but its time to bring it back to the forefront. This blog letter is for the now graduated class of 2017. Yes, for you High School Seniors and College Seniors whom have now gone on to the next level, yes it’s your turn to shine. Like many classes before you, we too have to had to get our chances. And many of us are still getting chances! But 2017, not to spoil things, but many of you will be faced with challenges ahead no matter who or what comes up. So I’m dedicating this blog letter to you and yes, you have to give back to your alumni.

Dear Class of 2017:

It’s me Stephen. An alum from way back of 1995, 2000, and 2006. Yeah, I’m old school now.

First, let me say to you that it’s good that you have graduated. You have not only graduated from your high schools and colleges, but you have graduated to the next level of life! Of course you may have made it, but like video games, you will have to conquer different levels.

And second, during this past year, you have accomplished feats and did them in the last portion of President Obama’s final term. But yes, many of us are somewhat fearful of the now 45 reign as the current President. No telling what or whom might happen, but to quote me telling my mother the night of my father’s wake: stay in the fight.

Yes, 2017 you will have to face those challenges, even if you have to face the act of racism. Where I’m going with this? The recent acts in this era of “45”, video games and social media really proves that yet even though it’s cool to have those things, and to play around with them, there will be problems. Just like having problems because of a name, an upbringing, your viewpoints on religion, voting, the economy, or even your skin color! Especially recently when the 23 year old, Richard Collins III was killed at Bowie State due to a hate crime from the ALT-Right! Oh, you thought that Racism was dead, huh? Explain to me that is such rubbish! Class of 2017, this is ONE EXAMPLE to deal with, not just when you get that first job, but when you get that car, that house, or maybe when you get new neighbors. Let’s be honest, there are haters around you and you need to know it!

But there are good things to be proud of as a new graduate: you are setting an example. You probably set some examples of getting the degree is not just a thing, it’s a  way of life. Many of you probably got a bookcase at home full of past degrees and motorboards. Maybe you have been looking at them for a long time growing up. But now, you see an empty space on the shelf. And it’s reserved for you! Maybe it’s a saving space for someone who wanted you to have it when you get your degree(s). WELL THAT DAY IS HERE! It’s come. It’s go time. And hopefully, you inspired those in your family or friends to go to school or go back to school to either obtain or finish the degree. No matter how many years ago it was, or whatever. I’m sure they were paying attention when watching you taking the walk with your class. I’ve said this before last year and I’m saying it again.  Its time.

In my Public Schools, College and University graduations, yes I had the feeling to walk across the stage and get my degrees. I felt happy of them. But I also had the question of what happens next? 2017, no matter where you go in life always remember these words, in which were the same words I said the night of my father’s funeral wake:

Stay in the fight! Be empowered. 

Stay in the fight everyday. Be empowered all the time! If your family member or friend died this year before you graduated, I hope you did it for your loved one of best friend. If your family member had waited another 18 years in a era full of Social Media that wanted to add something special, well you got it. If your bestie watched you taking that walk and you want to do the same for him or her, you just did it. And I hope they were watching! If you are the parent, grandparent, aunt, niece, nephew, cousin, stepson, stepdaughter, foster son, foster daughter, adopted, a lifepartner’s guardian of a child, a young ward’s guardian, a mentor, a minister, a community person, or whatever you played a role as a Godparent, YES this was the day you wanted and you got it. But don’t stop at 18 or 23 years old. Go with them ALL THE WAY. Support them ALL THE WAY. And yet, help them ALL THE WAY. It’s does NOT STOP! My parents backed me and sister up and yet we are in our 40’s. Not matter if it’s financial or etc. That’s the thing! Don’t EVER forget that!

Finally for you the Class of 2017: Get involved with your Alumni Groups. Register with your alumni associations and be in the know of what’s going on and ways to get involved in your former schools. Even though that you’ll be going to the next level, but never forget the levels that got you here! Many of you had to go through pain and pestilence just to get that one degree. Many of you probably got attacked by a grown person mentality or psychologically all because of what you’re trying to do to complete a degree non-traditionally and folks were messing with you or just being jealous or hateful, you came along way and there was NO STOPPING YOU! Believe me I know. Reference how I was attacked unfairly in getting my degree from UW-Stout. Oh, and I’m still talkling about it because some of you or many of you probably went though the same thing! For those of you whom had to visit your campuses for the first time by using Distance Education and about to graduate.

In addition to the Alumni Associations, who knows maybe you might serve on the Alumni Boards or maybe give a future speech to a future graduation class. Get cracking on the jobs and activities now! And even if you get an internship job later on in life, it’s not too late!

Finally as I close, never forget what got you here! Never forget what gave you life. Never forget the magic you got going, and most of all, never EVER FORGET YOU!

Congrats class of 2017. Be blessed!

Sincerely,

Stephen

 


Well folks. The year of 2016 is closing up shop. Hope everyone had a great Holidays of celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa. The year of 2016 will be retired and to be put in the throwback archives for future generations to come. There has been alot of the Good, Bad, and essentially Ugly in this leap year of 2016. The year of the monkey will be back in the cage. As far as the issues: we know what they are.

It’s time, folks. It’s time for the Traditional Stephen’s Spot Annual Review of the 2016! So here we go.

The Good:

Most recently on December 27th, 2016: The Dow  hit 20,000 points. Under Obama’s watch.

The Affordable Care Act got new folks to sign up for the  insurance. Way before someone is about to takeover the White House.

A first for the Obama Crew: Cuba and the US are talking again, plus the Prime Minister of Japan visits the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor for the very first time.

President Obama gives his State of Union Address for the last time.

The Chicago Cubs won something that they haven’t had in a loooooong while: a World Series Title.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won something that was long overdue: A NBA Championship.

For the NFL: Denver Broncos. Superbowl 50.

For the NCAA Men’s Basketball: Villanova beat North Carolina.

For the NCAA’s Women’s Basketball: Connecticut beat Syracuse.

For the 2016 Olympics: Team USA won more medals of 120+ and 1,000 gold medals. Oh, names like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps (now retired), Simone Manuel, The USA Men’s Squad of Basketball and Women’s Squad of Basketball got the gold yet again, the events of Shooting for the females caught on with gold, a chance to see the US Fencing Squad winning silver and bronze, The Track and Field Women’s Squad hit the reset button and got into the Gold Medal Relays and WON the gold medal,  Shot Put was won gold by a Shot-Put diva named Michelle Carter. Plus US Rugby debuted. And even Wisconsin’s OWN Gwen Jorgensen winning GOLD!

Hamilton still rocks. Even the Mixtape rocks.

Again: Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Empire, The Haves and Haves Nots, If Loving You Is Wrong, and Blackish still dominates.

Underground on WGN: Strong Debut.

And yet, Modern Family continues to roll.

Yet again the Hallmark Christmas specials came back for another year.

Netflix brought back Voltron, but also gave us Luke Cage and Fuller House.

Roots was remade.

Harley And The Davidsons was on Discovery.

The Smithsonian National African American History Museum in Washington DC opens up to the public. And that was LONG OVERDUE!

WWE Raw and Smackdown brought back the brand extension, and of course, Goldberg and Shane McMahon.

Milestones in 2016: The USA celebrated 240 years of life. The Black Panthers, Star Trek, Kwanzaa, the Country Music Awards (featuring Beyoncé and Daddy Lessons)  and the Superbowl all celebrated 50 years. Pearl Harbor marked 75 years since 1941. Black History Month celebrated 90 years.

For us Gen X’ers, Transformers: The Movie turned 30. Learn it, Millennials.

Top Gun also turned 30 years old.

The Simpsons made a TV milestone: 600 episodes! And that 600th Show was a Halloween tradition of the Treehouse of Horror #27.

MTV turned 35 years old, and also launched a channel to play nothing but………..Classic Shows like The Real World.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was revamped. Let’s do the Time Warp Again!

Macy’s (like the Milwaukee Holiday Parade and Tony Bennett’s Age)  Thanksgiving Day Parade turned 90 years.

Toward the end of the year: Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve turned 45.

Nintendo made waves this year: First the company brought back the NES….The NES Classic.  And also the Nintendo Switch which will come out in March of 2017, via their video preview.

North of the Border: The CN tower also celebrated Black History Month (their 40th year)with the Red, the Black, the Green.

For the Movies (my only picks I should say):  

Barbershop: The Next Cut

Angry Birds Movie

The Magnificent Seven

Deadpool

Race

Suicide Squad

Almost Christmas

Ghostbusters

The Birth of the Nation

Office Christmas Party

and When The Bough Breaks, all came out this year.

 

When the BET Awards this year happened the most: The tribute to Prince, and Jesse Williams busted out his Humanitarian Speech. I’ll bet many were listening.

American Idol had it’s final season after 15 years, and the last winner was Trent Harmon.

AT&T and DirecTV have debuted DirecTV Now. Unleash the cord cutters.

For the United Methodist Church: the General Church Conference took place this year in Portland, Oregon. But also featured a Black Lives matter Protest. The United Methodist Church also was represented during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

2016 was also a leap year.

For the music: Well not that much but I’ll take this here:

The Hamilton Mixtape – My Shot

Beyonce/Kendrick Lamar – Freedom

Alicia Keys –  In Common

Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

SATE – What did I do/Warrior

Mary J. Blige – Thick of It

Leela James – Don’t Want You Back

The Rolling Stones (YES THE STONES) – Commit A Crime/Just Your Fool

Eric Benet – Insane and Sunshine.

A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…..

Anderson.Paak- Come Down.

Drake- One Dance.

Bad Rabbits-How High.

Prince – 1000x’s and o’s.

Sharon Jones – Midnight Rider

Charles Bradley – Aint it a Sin

Well known to retire: Kobe Bryant, Charles Woodson, Tim Duncan, Peyton Manning, Kevin Garnett, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Phelps, Ray Allen, Amar’e Stoudamire, Charles Tillman, Makayla Maroney, Kyla Ross. All hung up the jerseys and cleats and unis.

Protests at Standing Rock took place. #NoDAPL!

 
Straight Outta Wisconsin in a good way:

Mayor Tom Barrett, Jason Fields, Lena Taylor all retained and/or won their seats back in office. And yes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore is still the congresswoman.

My Alma Mater, The University of Wisconsin-Stout turned 125.

Several Milwaukeeans created designs of The People’s Flag, and well….here was the winner.

The Milwaukee Streetcar is still on point. To be continued until 2018.

Train maker Talgo made a comeback: in repairing trains in the same area where it was pulled out due to politics.

A Reality TV Show, Milwaukee Blacksmith was filmed here.

The Bublr Bikes still expanded.

The Northwestern Mutual Tower is nearly completed and is expected to open in 2017.

The Wisconsin Job Center had multiple units for jobs that were accessable to various neighnorhoods.

A revived Black Panthers Group debuted in Milwaukee. From protests to celebrating Kwanzaa. Actually called the Revolutionary Black Panther Party. And no, they are NOT A RACIST PARTY!

The Milwaukee Bucks new arena is in full swing of construction. To be continued until the 2017-2018 season.

Attention Black Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites: We have Outdoor Afro in Milwaukee and Madison.

The Milwaukee Admirals moved out of the Bradley Center, into the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. (For you old heads, the Mecca Arena)

For the black radio stations in Milwaukee: WNOV 860 AM’s “The Forum” surpasses 1000 broadcasts in 4 years in November.

The Community Journal, a African American publication in the city celebrated a milestone of 40 years. Been around since the year I was born: 1976.

The Milwaukee Public Schools welcomed back the Alumni: An Alumni Class Reunion, Summit and Networking event all happened this year. All a first of its 170 years.Expect a handbook for the Alumni to get scholarhips, reunions, and other ideas in 2017.

Speaking of that: Milwaukee turned 170 years old this year.

My Alma Mater, John Marshall High School (or should they say Milwaukee Marshall High School) is 55 years old and the Morse*Marshall name is no more.

And speaking of that: MPS will have a new Calendar to work with next semester.

For the retirees in Milwaukee: Charlie Sykes retired from 620 WTMJ AM radio after 23 years. (Non fans rejoice!) Two of our Milwaukee television personalities: Vince Condella and Katrina Cravy of Fox 6 have also retired this year. Vince Condella worked for 33 years, and Katrina Cravy work for 18 years.

CBS 58 debuted their news coverages via Drones. Yes! Drones are in effect.

Fox 6’s own, Jenna Sachs is now doing Contact 6. Going after the scammers like Katrina Cravy and Tom Hooper.

Milestone: Speaking of Fox 6, it’s 60 years of broadcasting this year.

Our Milwaukee Holiday tradition of the Christmas Parade….er Holiday parade reached its 90th year.

In the response to the shootings of Orlando this past summer: The City of Milwaukee was featured with the LGBT flag at City Hall, and also on June 2nd several monuments and landmarks in Milwaukee were featured in Orange.

For the Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a 4 year deal: A $100 million dollar contract to continue play for the team. Talk about own the future! Plus also signed Thon Maker.

For the Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Thames is in the Keg, and scouting young players to add for the crew to get the wins.

For the Green Bay Packers: In addition to signing Jared Cook at the Tight End position: still surprising the opponents. Ty Montgomery made waves as a Running Back,  Jordy Nelson got his groove back,  Aaron Rodgers is still a baaaaaaad man, Clay Matthews is still the Claymaker, Damarious Randall is getting his game on and of all players improved: Davante Adams! As of right now, the team is tied with Detroit at 9-6. But  previously:

Jacksonville: Win

Minnesota: Loss

Detroit: Won

Then after the Bye week:

Giants: Won

Cowboys: Loss

Bears: Won

Falcons, Titans, Redskins, and Colts: a four game loss

Eagles: Win

Texans: Win

Seahawks: Win

Bears: Win

Vikings: Win

And as usual: The Packers OWN December.  And the new monkier of “Run The Table” is a test thus far.

For the Wisconsin Badgers Football team: Say what you want, they are a good team. Making the record of 10-3 in the AP ranks/regular season. Winning back the Heartland Trophy, retaining the Freedom Trophy, and the Axe for the 13th time. Sorry, Minnesota. And beating LSU at Lambeau which looked good in Red and White.

The players from Bart Houston, Rob Wheelwright, Corey Clement, Leo Musso, Troy Fumilgali, Dare Ogumbawale, the Freshman takeover of Alex Hornibrook, and Bradrick Shaw doing the mix is rebuilding the structure of the Badger Crew.

During the election, Sen. Bernie Sanders bested Hillary Clinton, which Bernie won the state.

Our station Channel 18 has gone back being “Super”. As in Super 18.

 

The Bad in 2016

ISIS or ISIL was a problem. Either in person or online.

Funai rolls out the last of the VCR’s.

Nintendo rolls out the last of Wii U.

Racism happened again in 2016. Yes racism.

Fake Stories SUCKED! Ask Google and Facebook on that.

FBI Director James Comey goes after Hillary Clinton and those darn EMAILS!

The Legion of Police wanted to ban the “Bulletproof Black Lives Matter” shirts from Walmart’s website. Oh, the idiots!

Speaking of Walmart and Amazon: Like them, but give Run DMC their respect when it comes to BRANDING THEIR LOGOS!

Black Lives Matter still was a burning hole in those whom have the hate.

The 2016 Election had the worst turnout. Low Voter Turnout that is.

Baltimore had a shooting.

Hillary Clinton lost the Election and Donald Trump won the White House. Which left the Clinton Machine in stoppage.

Chicago’s murder rate as of this year by the numbers: 750+ Higher than LA or any other city.

Chicago’s Murder per capita: 3.8 (as in earlier in the year).

Donald Trump’s cabinet members will feature those who don’t have enough experience. Even if the name is Linda McMahon. Yes, Vinny Mac’s better half will be serving with Trump.

No he didn’t! BET Founder Robert Johnson believes that African-Americans should give Trump a chance.

 

Straight Outta Wisconsin in a bad way:

Lincoln Hills continued to be an eyesore of concern.

Milwaukee’s murder per capita: 4.0

Carjackings was so bezerk in Milwaukee.

Fighting in Mayfair Mall after Christmas: dumb.

Former Police Officer, Dominiquie Heegan-Brown shot Slyville Smith during the summer of 2016 and a pre lead the unrest in the Sherman Park area.

4 inmates die in a Milwaukee County Jail. Under the watch of Sheriff David Clarke.

Wisconsin is a “red state” because of Donald Trump’s win.

Sad news if you are a Russ Feingold fan: Ron Johnson still retained his seat. And other sad news: Paul Ryan and Reince Preibus are still hanging around.

As many know, that Wisconsin still remains a “worst state for black people.” Whereas Milwaukee still remains the most  “Segregated City” in the United States.

The problem with the Milwaukee water system with lead still remains a hot-button topic that must be addressed every time.

Hillary Clinton DIDN’T show up to Wisconsin to campaign when getting her second wind as trying to become President along with Tim Kaine.

The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t win the Big Ten Championship, after winning the B1G West Title.

Midtown Walmart in Milwaukee: closed. And all I bought was a Straight Outta Compton DVD and Oreo Cookies.

Flat out Ugly in 2016

Been to a Donald Trump Rally? ugly. Matter of fact it was the most ugliest rally that was produced and seen. Even fighting and taking away black folks.

Zika Virus happened.

Samsung discontinued one of their smartphones due to exploding concerns.

Flint Michigan and the water issues.

For you Brits: Brexit.

Michelle Obama was a target of those who called her “ape in heels.” Oh that was ugly!
Russia and the “Election hacks”.

A footage from 2005 on Access Hollywood, over hears the words: “Grab them by the P***y from whom? Donald Trump.

The rise of the Alt-Right. Oh yes, they’re on the spot.

Oh and that DL Hughley mama joke: that was way you guess it.

 

Ugly for Wisconsin:

140. The amount of homicides in Milwaukee in 2016.

Milwaukee had and still has ongoing effects of lead levels in the drinking water.

The Real UW: in which the University of Wisconsin Madison had an ugly side when it came to race. And the hidden stories of why it happens.

UW-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi was killed near the campus on the weekend during the Halloween holiday. A spoiler in the 125th Anniversary.

After the recounts in other states like Wisconsin, Donald Trump is still the victor.

 

We Say Their Names. Those whom left us. 2016 had this moniker of having no chill. Some of the famous fallen left and right.

Abe Vidgoda

Justice Antonin Scalia

Maurice White

George Kennedy

Denise Matthews (aka Vanity)

Nancy Reagan

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Arnold Palmer

Trey Walker

Garry Shandling

Patty Duke

Merle Haggard

Will Smith (Football Player, New Orleans Saints)

Balls Mahoney

Doris Roberts

John Saunders

Joanie Lauer (aka Chyna)

Muhammad Ali

Lemmy Kilmister

Kimbo Slice

Pat Summit

Garry Marshall

Bill Nunn

Don Marshall

Janet Reno

Robert Vaughn

Ron Glass

John Glenn

Craig Sager

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Debbie Reynolds

Henry Heimlich

Ricky Harris

Florence Henderson

Carrie Fisher

Prince

Alan Thicke

Phife Dawg

Doug Banks

The victims of the Florida Nightclub Shootings.

The victims in Los Angeles shootings.

Thomas Mikal Ford (aka Tommy from “Martin”)

Aldon Sterling

Philando Castile

Gwen Ifill

David Bowie

George Michael

Gene Wilder

Here in Milwaukee, we also lost those who gave the city a voice, and a reminder:

Eric Von -known for being on WNOV, 1290 WMCS, and the health initiative of Brain, Brawn and Body. He was 58.

Slyville Smith – a 23 year old shooting victim that was killed in Milwaukee that also erupted portions of the city that was engulfed in flames.

Za’layia Jenkins was only 4 years old after a bullet struck her, while watching TV.
Colin Demge- well known DJ in the Riverwest Area, died at 33.

Jay Anderson, killed in Wauwatosa by a police officer, At 25 years old.

 

My highlights of the year

And as usual: I want to put on my 2016 moments. I feel a need to say this because I’m hoping to have a year of better opportunities. 2016 was a year of milestones for me in this order:

20- the amount of years that I am my Church’s techie. I started out running the church sound system in 1996, and worked up to taking photos, and social media. The proper name is Commutations Chairperson and I was awarded an appreciation award for what I still do!

10 – the amount of years that I celebrated as an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Plus serving as a Election Inspector for the City of Milwaukee. All since 2006.

5 – the half milestone that I served as a board member for the John Marshall High School Alumni Association. Since 2011.

And yes, I turned 40 on December 5th.

In addition: I was the Official Photographer for the 46th NCJ-BMCR Jurisdiction Meeting in Milwaukee. And had networking implications of course.

Plus adding on another board title for a scholarship committee here in Milwaukee.

Sidenote: Oh I didn’t noticed this but, I appreciate the 20,275 views on my blog. This is great, BUT: the “same old reading stuff” bubbles must be busted in 2017!  I will find a way to do it, or maybe not. We’ll see.


It’s a been a minute, but I’m back fresh and new with a Three Way Dance. For this, it’s all about the three things I’ve been reading about lately. As well as everyone else.

First: The saga of the kneeling, siting down during the National Anthem of Colin Kaepernick.

Yes, the same Colin Kaepernick whom was a dominate player when running the Pistol Plays with the 49ers, member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity of the Divine 9, a guy that was beating the Green Bay Packers twice, and oh, here’s something: He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And grew up a Packers fan. Yes, Colin was a Packers Fan when Brett Favre was running the show. In the recent Preseason game between the Packers and the 49ers, there was a scene during the national anthem in which usually every stands during the playing of America’s Theme Song. However, there was only one player who did not stand, and that was Colin Kaepernick. Colin was sitting down during the anthem. And when that shot of him sitting down was shown on pics, oh guess what: You so-called Americans had to go in on him just because he didn’t stand up. Wow. Oh, when the Niners were in their next game, he kneeled. Another Niner player kneeled also. Plus one of the Seattle Seahawks, Jeremy Lane sat on the bench while the national anthem played on. Yes, as crazy as it seems, there are those who are using the sitting and kneeling thing to exercise their constitutional right to protest about the injustices about the effects of People of Color that goes on everyday.

Now let’s talk about Colin’s thing. He says and I quote: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

That was the lighting rod. Of course that many who heard that didn’t sit well with being “OVERLY PATRIOTIC” in a sense that yes it’s about the recoginition of our military who fought, served and died for our freedoms that we dance around like Pokemon Go fans in a park. I’m just kidding on the Pokemon thing!  Hey, if you like Pokemon Go, nothing against that. But what I’m saying is that the flag/anthem protest thing in athletes have been done before. Espeicially Black Athletes! Remember Mamoud Abdul-Rauf: Who was formally known as Chris Jackson before converting to Islam of the Denver Nuggets, yeah that guy. When he was with the team way back in the 90’s, he was standing during the anthem but was not looking at the flag. He was praying with his hands close to his face. And yes, there were folks were mad at him for the disrespect per se for the flag. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were famous for the Black Power Salute in 1968, but also got targeted because of their protest. Keep in mind also, that 1968 was also the year that Martin Luther King was assassinated. And segregation was still running amuck. So stuff like this is nothing new, but with those who are just now new, and being recent, you are getting a first hand education on why stuff like this happens and will appear in your textbooks. And yes, school is back.

When I was listening to the commentary about Colin Kaepernick here in Milwaukee, on the black radio stations via WNOV and other black related outlets, I’ve been hearing the callers pouring in their commentary about “Oh, Colin Kaepernick did it for all the black people in America!” “Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee….” And many others. Folks in Milwaukee: I’ve mentioned this years ago when Colin was on scene with Pistol Plays, and making the Packers miss, and couldn’t win a freaking Super Bowl, what has Colin Kaepernick done for Milwaukee?  What has he done? What has Colin Kaepernick done for Wisconsin? Yes, Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, but NEVER CLAIMED Milwaukee as his home! Never! His family of course moved when he was young due to high school and college. But never claimed the city as home! The late great Gene Wilder, whom recently passed was born in Milwaukee, and went to one of my rival schools: Washington High School. And  yes there was a movie reference about Milwaukee in one of his films. What does it take to give back to Milwaukee you ask? Try volunteering in an area that you know VERY WELL in Milwaukee.  I don’t care about the schools or community centers you know because of your childhood or where you used to hang out in finding some dude /chick for a date. If you know that Church that you go to for volunteer work, or neighborhood or whatever thing you know well in Milwaukee to go to, THAT IS WHERE YOU START! You start that and build up. Real talk folks! Yes, I see the famous folks whom were Milwaukee born, raised somewhere else, but some of them do come back to give back. Eric Benet was here years ago to make an album in the same neighborbood that he grew up in Milwaukee. He even helped served food at a local McDonalds and that restaurant was jammed pack!  Tank, the R&B singer that you see on the show, Born Again Virgin on TVOne, he came back to a concert here in Milwaukee to perform. He was born here. Now I probably might in the future that I might get those “I’m sorry you were born in Milwaukee”quotes but I’m going to comment that later on in the third part of the story. But seriously folks, what has Colin Kaepernick did, was for himself. HIS constritutional right. Not for all in the black community in the country, per se!

The second dance card: The Truth of ITT Tech.

As many around  the country know, yes, school is back in session. But however, ITT Tech recently has been coming under fire about their educational concerns. The recent closing of ITT Tech around the country shocked many who have gotten started or continued with their majors is disappointing and will take their educational experience elsewhere. But I’m here to tell you that my experience began with ITT Tech, was in late 1994 when I was still a Senior at John Marshall High School. They came to the school in one of my English Classes, in talking about the classes and majors and they wanted to have some insight from the students at the time. Later on, I got a phone call from one of the recruiters from ITT, a black man if you will, to have to meet me at home for a well rounded interview with my parents. The interview went well, and also giving me an overview about ITT to have those connections with Archtietture, the Military, and many others. Later after that, the school picked me of course and I was selected to come to the school for a visit. To see the classrooms and labs. The ITT Tech thing seemed very interesting. And I got my financial aid thing set up and I had to take a test to have a fit per se in getting a spot on the campus.I flunked the first test, but passed it on the second try. After I graduated from Marshall in 1995, I had a short summer rest. Real short. When June 12th came, I started the classes right away. Yep! Sure did. I wish I had taken a year off to process my brain like Malia Obama is doing now. But in between the classes, I remember taking the Bus from 41st and Capitol to 63rd and Layton which was an hour ride listing to my CD player in all. The classes I remember were lectures and labs. Success in Learning, was one of the subjects was well known. Other classes of Drafting lectures and labs, were so-so Ok. But the harder stuff was seeing the Educational Serivces Area to see how much progress was made. Most of that, was not that great. There were times I stayed after class to catch up on classwork of the draft drawings to get the extra credits, but usually that wasn’t enough. And plus I got my first MLK Scholarship in January of 1996.

So in the summer of 1996, I withdrew from the school to go to the one Tech college I know: Milwaukee Area Technical College. When I got to the MATC Downtown Campus, I remember taking their asset tests to see where I would stand in getting that extra start. Here is the thing: I took the Basic Skills Courses for ONE Semester and passed them all. Plus also, I took the Accuplaer Test on Campus, passed that to get into the Printing and Electronic Publishing Program in 1997. And that transition of that was alot more simplified than ITT Tech. In 2004, way after I graduated from MATC in the Y2K,  I was already taking distance ed courses with UW-Stout. Plus when I was in one of the Teleconference Rooms before linking up with one of the classes at the time, there was talk about ITT Tech not being a good school. And I lend in my experience about what happened, MAINLY with Basic Entrance Qualifications that ITT didn’t have. One of my male UW-Stout classmates was at ITT one time, that in his experience, was his comment:  “ITT Tech is Full of Sh*t.” So we got one thing common on that. But yes that was my expereince that happened in 1995-1996 in Greenfield, Wisconsin.

Note to myself: I should have gone to MATC in 1995!

In the wake of the closing,  I need to ask: Should ITT Tech payback ALL THE MONEY that many were robbed of years ago? (No question is a dumb question) Especially those who withdrew years back? If anyone from ITT can read this, I WANT MY MONEY BACK! What ever was paid back then, I WANT BACK! Since you guys are closing up shop, give all the former students their free transcripts and a check. Even for those who didn’t graduate. Plus for those whom are in the struggle at ITT and having the closing of the school on you, my heartfelt sympathies. But just to let you know that your experience may have ended, but your Tech Colleges will take up the slack to help you out. For those in Milwaukee, go to MATC and finish your Associates. Or any WTCS 2 year school. If you were taking the classes for Bachelor’s Degree for ITT, I would transfer those credits to a University. Take it to any UW-School. Even UW-Stout! Yes, I said Stout. Take that! If I were you, I would consider either finishing your Education at MATC and/or a University. Manily at the University of Wisconsin whatever! It ain’t over, folks. You can begin again, but your journey is not yet broken!

Third dance on the card: The still ongoing saga of the Milwaukee Unrest.

As many of us in Milwaukee are trying to adjust to our daily lives of work, school and play, we are still dealing with the ongoing unrest that is a constant struggle we know. For all the REAL citizens whom are praying for the city from the outside, I speak as a citizen to say thank you. Keep praying for Milwaukee as well as any other city that is going through an Unrest Session that is against People of Color to go through.

First, I was reading a Op-Ed story from CNN about Milwaukee recently. But the thing was, it was coming from a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Journalist, Sarah Hoye. Many of us remember Sarah writing for the JS Columns way back, but what we didn’t know the most was her upbrining in the Sherman Park area. It was titled, “The Milwaukee You Don’t Know” and Sarah being the native born was on point. As I was reading her opiniion piece on the site, I was clearly amazed and shocked that she had to go through all that hate growing up. Not getting a date for the Prom or Homecoming. Being called a Nigg*r or Monkey while being hated on, and she also writes that there were those who told her that she couldn’t mount much to anything that she can accomplish and etc. Reminds me of my childhood when folks were telling me that I can’t do certain, or can’t comeback of a certain behavior problem. Isn’t that right Milwaukee Urban League’s Betty Speed and Manpower? After all, isn’t that part of Milwaukee’s problem with all the unrest of crabs in a bucket? Let’s be honest here: we still have that today! You still have black folks hating on black folks even if they were brought up in a household full of educators, and you look at a male member of the family thinking he aint sh*t. I don’t care who is reading this part, you might be that person that is doing it.And you sit behind a desk telling him this! And I’ve seen white folks do the same thing. Oh there will become a time that when your end comes, you may be BEGGING HIM to apologize or to admit of any wrong doing. Trust me, I’ve seen it and I’ve read about it. Just watch it! Later on in the article, Sarah highlights her opinion piece by these words, and I STRONGLY AGREE!

But here’s the thing: I am not sorry for being born and raised in Milwaukee.

Can anyone say “Praise the Lord!” Listen: I’ve heard folks say, I’m from the Chi, folks cheer. I’m from the MIA (or Miami), folks cheer. I’m from New York, the BK, Jersey, Philly in the house! I’m Straight outta LA or Compton, or Atlanta, and other city that folks will cheer for. Why is it that when Milwaukee is in the convo, folks had to bow their heads as being sorry?! What is this?

Am I sorry being from Milwaukee? HELL NO!

Am I sorry being born, raised, educated, worked in Milwaukee? HELL NO!

I am not sorry for being born here for any reason. Yes, Milwaukee may have punk haters who don’t give a two cents about your upbringing, like other cities in all. But there are those in Milwaukee that want to give you a chance! Even if you think you might scoot to the other cities, but there are those who will give you a chance, here! And it REALLY depends on who you know. Now some are probably are going to say, “Who in the hell in Milwaukee can help me?” Who?!

My question is: who in the hell that knows you very well in Milwaukee?

Who knows you, your family, your Alumni, your neighbors, your school where your kids play, your community center, your church, your local officer that comes by your neighborhood or church, your insurance person, your store owners, musicians, or others. Even a Funeral Director at a Funeral Home that also does communty work that YOU KNOW VERY WELL! That is what’s up. We got them here!

Even those who that volunteers or spends time tutoring your children after school, but again, it depends on who YOU KNOW! Even those who are finding jobs. Especially for city likes to take in those who have more experience than those who don’t. And those that want the skills to improve. Again it depends on who knows you! That is what it needs to figure out. Link with those who YOU KNOW that KNOWS YOU! Plain and Simple. Then from there, then you can connect with those you don’t know that expand.

Now getting back to the Unrest: I was watching a special on our local station, CBS 58 about the subject, “Milwaukee at a Crossroads”.  Before I get into the commentary, review this video from the September 7th, 2016 showing. No Commercials! It’s part 3 of the special that was aired this week.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/181647676″>Milwaukee at a Crossroads Part 3</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user47145479″>CBS 58 News</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

The entire 1 hour special that was aired in no commericals, was centered around the subject of those losing their children and teens in gun violence in the past. The mother of the late Marcus Debak was on the special. Marcus was killed on a Milwaukee playground back in the mid 90’s. The mother knows the most, on how that a child like Marcus can be taken out with despair. The many other parents and Great-Aunts were sitting in the room with the pictures of their loved ones that they have lost. Everyone of them has a common story of how they were killed. Many of them believed that Guns weren’t the problem. It was the people behind the barrel that caused the problem. Most of us haven’t heard that in a while. And no, it was not about about having those right to bear arms things. And many of them had asked the same question about, how can something like this be stopped or preventable. I think it’s going to take an ongoing effort to have this to stop. We can create all the programs, the getting the church folks out, the jobs stuff all we want. Event the activisms. But WE NEED to stop running in circles in what we really want and just go get already!

As far as the orange fence around Sherman Park, I’m glad it’s down.  I can understand that Sheriff David Clarke had it up to increase the curfews or law and order. But it has been going on far enough. Personally, I think the County Executive had made the right call by removing it. Of course, it didn’t sit well with all wtih David Clarke, but when the judge made the ruling about the removal, that was it! Nothing more.

Milwaukee is still in progress. In order to complete this progress, the work must be done. It will take a long time, but still it must be done!

 

 

 

 

 


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I know that the DNC and the RNC had their Conventions, but guess what: It’s time to talk about what’s up in Milwaukee: In relation to the first MPS Alumni Summit.

Coming off the heels of the first All-Alumni Reunion, the summit was gathered at Bradley Tech High School on July 22nd, and yes: IDEAS were flowed about how can we the MPS Alumni can combine our forces to be one voice and one experience to give our ears, our EXPERIENCED ALUMNI EARS to give out to the current district of our schools. I know I’m a Marshall guy. But others were King, Hamiltion, Tech, Vincent, Lincoln High School, South Division, West Division (or Milwaukee High School for the Arts), and many others all under the MPS Alumni Umbrella.

This Summit was all about our Alumni Associations. Our Alumni Groups. Us being combined with many talents, ideas, truthful comments, and a host of collaborative ideas to remain ACTIVELY INVOLVED! – You will see this again towards the end.

When we gathered at Bradley Tech’s Entrance way, we were greeted by members of the Milwaukee Public Schools. They directed us to check in which we were given packets with information about volunteering, upcoming events, an overview how the 2015-16 provided the successes of the academic performances, an overview of Universal Drivers Education, a program that was missing from MPS for a while, is now making a comeback into the high schools. Plus an overview of what Milwaukee Public Schools is doing now to improve the outcomes of students: from White House Turnaround Arts, Community Schools, Partnership Schools, Trauma Sensitive Schools, College and Readiness, and M3 – Collaborating with MPS, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

However: that was just the first wave of info. We were later divided into groups and were in discussing about the experiences of our Alma Maters. We talked about various experiences of Alumni Associations being an influence and a liaison. We also talked about why those in the Alumni don’t always contribute or gain interests in joining the Alumni Associations. From the lack of interest, to not revealing so much about the past. Even breaking the ice of the saying “Alumni Associations are for old people” commentary. REALLY?! One of the directors, of the committee is a 1997 HS Graduate of the Milwaukee Public Schools and currently active with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Central Services areas. Plus also many might realize that Alumni Groups are in need of the young folks. Those whom are late 80’s – 00’s that are alive and active. We also learned that there were commentary about not enough knowledge about Alumni Associations in terms of not hearing of one, not being knowledgeable about their purpose. Some of us commented about haven’t got started on joining Alumni Associations due to job starts or raising families. Many of us joined Alumni Associations well after 15 -20 years after graduating from High School. Me for example, I joined the John Marshall High School Alumni Association as a board member in 2011 which was about 16 years after my 1995 graduation. We also talked about collaborating with other high schools in the district. As many know here in Milwaukee, Rufus King and Riverside for example have Alumni Competitions in Flag Football, and year after they compete in raising scholarships and charitable causes. With other schools, Bradley Tech has the Turkey Bowl Alumni Classic on Thanksgiving Weekend and usually other schools of Bay View, King, Hamilton, and Riverside all compete under sportsmanship. Plus also, besides the trophy, it’s also about the value of education to the current students, with scholarships and career opportunities.

Also in the first part, we talked about that ALL Schools should have an All-Alumni Reunions every year. This needs to happen. For example: Rufus King has their annual Alumfest on the school grounds each year during late July. Bradley Tech has an All School Cookout and they have been doing it since early 80’s. There was two points that Marshall had an All-Alumni event in which the school celebrated 50 years in 2011. Plus along with the Soccer Game which was organized by a former Marshall High School Coach, the school also had a mini open house in which brought back some Eagles Alumni to view the merchandise and the soccer game as well. Even though there were some of the interests that was successful, but many should have came out or donated to the school for fundraisers. We also talked about the naming of the schools. In keeping the names of the schools to have that connection on the Alumni level. For example: this portrays about in one school in particular, my Alma Mater, John Marshall High School. Just recently the school got it’s original name back.

But what took to long get it going again?

Back around 2011 as most know, I blogged about the name of Samuel Morse*John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented. Why was it again? Two things – Low Enrollment and also MPS was viewing the Gifted and Talented Program on the Middle School level in which everyone know that Morse was known for, but there was not one on the High School Level. Henceforth, that’s how Morse was fed into Marshall based on the Gifted and Talented program. And the school was going back to it’s 6-12 Grade roots. Just as a reminder who don’t know, Marshall started out as a 6-12 grade school, or a Middle and High School that was established in 1961. Furthermore, according to the history, the thought of Marshall being a Middle School/High School goes back to 1929, when then MPS Superindent Harold S. Vincent was in charge of the school district. Yes, the same Harold S. Vincent that has a school in his honor of Vincent High School here in Milwaukee. The school was placed on a land once owned by the Archdioces of Milwaukee at the time in which it was vacant space. There was no Dominos, no Citgo, no Wendy’s, not even a Mautz Paint Store that was placed. The School itself was state of the art, and once had over 3,000 students enrolled. Even some of the students had to go to the 65th Street School (now the Milwaukee Envriomental Sciences Academy) just across Capitol Drive.

Marshall has gone through it’s naming transformation over the course of the 55 years. It started out with “John Marshall Junior-Senior High School”.  Then around in the early 1980’s, it became “John Marshall Senior High School”. Around the Mid 80’s to the late 90’s, it was “John Marshall High School”. For the early 2000’s, the name and the school was split in three sections with W.E.B. Dubois High School, The Milwaukee Academy of Aviation and Technology or MAAT. Which the building was named “John Marshall Campus”. Thank former MPS Superintendent William Anderkopolus, a Marshall Grad for that. And most recently between 2010 and 2016, “Samuel Morse*John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented”. Yes, John Marshall has been on the building for 55 years. The Gifted and Talented thing with Morse really had worked. The enrollment was building, the academic of Project Lead the Way, STEM, and many others really clicked. It was budding.

A point for the Alumni was asked in a sense from the staff, regarding the Alumni Association. I remember one of the former board members getting word in a question that asked “The Alumni Association: All they do is come to graduations thanking the graduates, with speeches and having their pictures on the wall. What have the done for us?!”

Ooooh! We were called out.

The Alumni Association had been called out and woken up by the then Morse*Marshall staff. They wanted to see us. They wanted to talk to us. They called us out. For the record, we visited their open houses, their Homecoming Games, Basketball Games, Marched on parade, visited their art galleries, musicals, and partake in their concerts of Winter and Spring. Even represented at their Graduation Ceremonies. So yes, we were “called out” and responded. And supported the students of their gifts and talents. Around last summer, there a flyer going around in regarding the “Morse” side of “Morse*Marshall”.  Early on,  I was approached by a former Parent Coordinator that MPS might pull the Morse Students out of Marshall sometime in the 2015-16 School Semester. I asked is the school going back to the 9th – 12th Grade, and the answer was yes. Later on in the year, the notice was approached to the Alumni Association in regarding a public meeting at the old Burroughs Middle School. Some representatives from MPS showed up at the meeting and talked about the pros and cons of Morse. There was some positive pointers, but the negative pointers of the stats and data was a concern. A concern that had to be examined based on academics and overall performance. One of the parents in the Public Meeting that her children wanted the “Middle School Experience”, in which she wanted a stand alone Middle School. Just 6th – 8th Grade. The data and notes of the meeting were later passed on to the district board for review. Last October, MPS reviewed the notes of the meeting, and it was approved that the district will move the Middle School of Morse out of Marshall to the Burroughs Middle School Building in the 2016-17 year, while Marshall will grow as once again as a 9th – 12th Grade High School. My Alma Mater will also reopen some classrooms and get new textbooks just to name a few upgrades. Later on, the school got another visit from MPS, this time from the Alumni Student Engagement area. Plus this was with the Alumni Association. One of the highlighted reasons I got from meeting was a new way to help strengthen the Alumni through their schools. And the featured part of the meeting what I got out of was the name of “Morse*Marshall”. Personally there was a disconnect between the name of Morse and Marshall. And partially it was due to the identity of the school. Many of feedback, partially from the Alumni wanted the school’s name to return to John Marshall to have that connection not only of the school’s history, but also with connection with the Alumni. When the school name of “Morse*Marshall” came out, not many in the Alumni was not too pleased with it. NOT MANY!  Majority wanted the old name back to reconnect as in once again a sense of identity that many know.

Furthermore, as of now, a new school year is coming, and the name of “John Marshall High School For the Gifted and Talented” is coming to open another chapter in the school’s history. I shared this link on Facebook on my private page, and later on two Milwaukee Marshall Alumni related group pages, and the results HAVE EXPLODED! And currently the word is spreading. So for you Marshall Alumni that wanted the name back, you got it! But I asked this question: Should we back this up? And make it stick? This portion of the news just came in time before the MPS Alumni Summit.

Other parts from the first meeting came about with some ideas to flow to all MPS Alumni:

  • Discussions about Go Fund Me, a page that could use in assisting in fundraising, etc.
  • Questions that might arise of “How can I help” Mixed also with being proactive.

Highlights of three versions of Small groups – These are the small groups that are very common as we know:

  1. Gung Ho – Those whom are always doing the work. Mostly the grunts.
  2. Actively involved or still involved
  3. Waiting List – those who waiting to assist or work with Alumni Associations.

Suggestive Ideas. And all should know:

Again: Have All School reunions every year. Host them during a week or month. Mostly during the summer months as an example.  (King Alumfest, Tech Annual Cookout every summer)

Help marketing to gain interests.

Have highly motivated people.

Help the system/help the school.

Use parent engagement.

Have 2 schools to collaborate: (i.e. – Marshall/Washington)An example raised about the Alumni Games of King and Riverside.

MPS Mentoring Program – Mentoring students while in school. Keep track on their progress, goals, objectives, etc.

Have businesses/trade colleges fairs and career fairs in the schools. This would be excellent for the Alumni to collaborate.

 

The second part of the meeting was more of what could be about our ideas to reach out as a MPS Alumni Member. One the things I said in the part of the meeting was these two words: “Actively Involved.” That is what EVERY MPS ALUMNI Member must do to be paying attention of what’s going on in our Alma Maters. Mainly some just come for party and glory which is fine, but many of us want to work! That should send signals to those that we want this to happen.

Reach out to businesses – mainly around the schools. Many of the businesses that the schools know, should support. For example, if a small business or well know business knows Marshall High School or Washington High School very well, that business needs to be reached out. This is where sponsors and support needs to happen! The same for those whom are well known Alums that work for a business that the schools really need to reach out.

Adopt a school. Some alumni can get together and form a group to adopt a school in the district. It could be a Elementary, Middle, or High School.

Identify the products of MPS: Add High School and year on business cards. (As in with Colleges and Universities) EVERY ALUMNI NEEDS TO DO THIS! Even though its not wanted, but still everyone in the MPS ALUMNI needs to add the their MPS ALUMNI to help connect and advertise. As an example: Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni: 1995; Milwaukee Area Technical College Alumni: 2000; University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni: 2006. And matter of fact, that needs to be added on LinkedIn. Just saying.

Put a “good news” newsletter for the MPS Alumni Hub. Over the course of the year, we hear about all the scandals of Milwaukee Public Schools. Fights, suspensions, bringing a gun, racism etc. No matter the scandal, it seems to say “NO MPS FOR MY CHILD!” Or “Oh, it’s a fight at Marshall with all the gangs, or Bradley Tech got some word of N*GGER on the front of a locker”. “Or Riverside High School had some crazy fights on Facebook Live or Periscope. And Vincent joined in with King.”

Stop me if you heard this before. Why is it that when stuff like this happens it’s bad for the district and everyone goes hysterical about one MPS Fight strikes everyone to fear?! We ALUMNI need to talk about the good side of MPS, and what we the ALUMNI need to talk about that is positive, uplifting, inspiring, and a good opening reach to get us going for our kids that are currently in MPS and doing great things.

Speaking of that, I kept scratching my head on this, and it’s for us music folks. I know that MPS has an Alumni Choir, is there space for making an MPS Alumni Band? Think about it, MPS! An Alumni Band with horns, keyboards, drummers, guitar players, a DJ if you mind that can play instrumental music. And the idea can be formed with those who want to play for concerts with the Alumni Choir, have you Alma Mater Colors in full force, and even play at the MPS Music Festival. Or Summerfest. THINK ABOUT IT! Even an MPS Alumni Orchestra needs to be formed. I’m just saying. Who’s in?

And the last point: Strengthen all of our schools. All of our neighborhood, charter, special, and many other schools in Milwaukee Public Schools need to have strength to carry on. Never forget, we have to do this for the kids. We Alums had our day way back when, and yet we need to have that power to support. For many years, it was the parents, tax payers, staff, and neighborhoods that stood up. Now adding the Alumni to the mix is really going to generate new ideas to thrive. Think about this: many tax payers, educators, business owner, worker, parent, veteran, ambassador, or other title might have gone on to better things, but MANY started at Milwaukee Public Schools, and this would be a great time to support this new energy!

The last part of the Summit was more like a summary. In which what was discussed and what was learned. I think part of my summary was described above when I said the words “ACTIVELY INVOLVED”. That is what we need to do as MPS ALUMNI the most. I mean already we got the tools and talents. We need to put them to work.

Also, for anyone is a MPS Alumni Member, a website on the website has been created for us who want to be further engaged. The Milwaukee Public Schools has created the MPS Alumni Hub  for us Alums who want to know about any upcoming events, news, reunions, activities and many other we can keep track. There is a sign up sheet online in which you can register and the info will be delivered to your inbox. And for the record, this new areas of Alumni and Student Engagement been active since last September. And it took off since.

Overall, I’ve gained some insight about this. And I’m glad that I got the chance to get this info. What I have learned that we Alums can be valuable in the district based on what we do. I think also the idea of creating an Alumni Hub or an Alumni Area per se, is not to forget about us. But also realize that there is more we can gain. Of course we got our schools to upkeep, but combined with our stenghts and ideas, we can say that we are so MPS PROUD!

So MPS Alumni, its time to be real, be legit, and be giving. Our ideas must work to gain new ideas and to continue to spread “NEW ENERGY!” in the district that many of us grew out.

Oh, ask the MPS Alumni Office for a MPS Alumni pin to add to your collection!

 


The time has come: Class of 2016 you are about to go to that next world that many of you have been dreaming of. And yes, for some of you, many of you will be making that mark so badly. I know this. But guess what, before you or some of you will walk across that stage: Just know that many or some will or will not have your back. But also, as newly fresh grads as you are, it’s time to claim “your Sweet 16” in a way that is known: your opportunity. So here is for the newly grad class of 2016: your blog letter.

Dear Class of 2016:

It’s me Stephen. You know, that black blogger guy from a city like Milwaukee.

Congrats to you! Many of you have finally made to the final level about to be graduates and soon to be, Alumni Members of the schools that you have to give back to.

I’m assuming that many of you will be getting your plans together . The same ol’ “after college” plan that will be asking you even after you get your degree. You know what they are. However it is something that is going to be asked of you every day just to keep in mind. Just a sidenote to you High School Grads making the next level: you’re in this too! No matter if your next level involves College or the Armed Forces.

But yes, it’s your time to be recognized. It’s your time to be appreciated of the four, sometimes 5, or 6 years of work that you put into. No matter if it was High School, College or University, you made your stamp on history! And no one can never take that away from you. NOBODY! Defend your degrees. And also, there will be folks will might say, “So you think you’re so fresh or better than me just because you got a degree from some school!” Just a word of warning. But don’t let some goober with a half-pint brain never tell you any different. Many of you had to go through hell, fire, and brimstone just to get to the commencement. Some of you, who had to drop out years ago, for some other reasons, probably made the journey back to finish and get your degree! Some of you whom had served in the military, came back or entered college to finish the goal that was previously started. Many of you who are 1st gen, 2nd gen, or 3rd gen who are from various backgrounds of historical accomplishments in family education, are adding something new to the trophy case. And some of you, (kind of myself) are graduating just to prove a point to belong or actually proving some goobers wrong with all the negativity that was swirled around with bad unethical thoughts who are now just eating crow. That happened to me 10 years ago this month graduating from UW-Stout. Graduating in the area of Industrial Management and used Distance Education to do it. Don’t front old school trads!And by the way, 2006 still rocks! I should also point out, that you might inspire someone from the audience that watched you walk with your class to go and work on their future degrees to get. I’ve seen it happen and it worked.

But in all seriousness, you have your power. Just use it. Not just for you, for those who got you to the dance. Just like President Obama said at Howard University, the very same Howard that Diddy said his address, he spoke about: “be confident in your blackness”. Since Howard is a HBCU, why not he spoke to that notion. And of course the Obama haters via Fox News had to say something dumb. But yes, the President was on point when  he said be bold in your blackness. I know that yes, the College has other folks walking the Yard, but in that speech, I knew whom he was talking to. Sort of like what Jamie Foxx said on the BET Awards years ago when he said “This is for all the Black People! ” Not racist! Understand that.

Now I need direct my attention to the jack off idiots whom are “Soft Administrators” and idiots who feel that high school seniors who got Valedictorian status and many other status that many will not obtain.

CALLOUT: Louisiana: I’m calling your non gotee facial rules what it is. Flat out BS!

CALLOUT: And to the school district who wouldn’t allow a senior to walk across the stage with her class all because she said some poem with the N word printed. You have jumped the gun, but obviously failed to realize that this could be a warning that she might go through once leaving the school. Matter of fact this happened to a white kid at my High School 10 years ago, but the dude almost didn’t graduate because the truth he wrote on MySpace about the crime and concerns of Milwaukee. Um hello! The date was 06-06-06. No kidding. And were still taking about it 10 years later with the crimes taking place now.

*Just a sidenote, that senior who almost got yanked for not walking with her class, has now graduated.

And the last thing, why would any school administrators would take away a black dudes chance of graduating, and having on a Kente Cloth?! As in representing the black culture?! Really?!

Man, some of our school administrators in the schools are so soft! I’m sorry. As a Alum I feel disgusted by which these silly rules are being enforced by the schools to not allow our Black children to participate in the event they worked hard for. And I also blame these scared racist voters whom feel afraid or anguish against black folks trying to make to grad day. And I’ll bet those same folks whom are stuck on stupid with not making it themselves. Watch your back, 2016 grads! Keep making the haters mad by doing your thing. Sooner or later they will realize that your success will turn heads and crack skulls! Trust me! And watch overtime how they disappear. Knowing the thought, some might even be kissing your butt for a spot on the job line. And I know many of you are VOTERS! If you didn’t like to be yanked from your Graduation spot because of facial hair, a poem that reflected the truth, or having a Kente Cloth on your graduation gown, THEN YOU MUST VOTE to change the game! Let your Administrators, or Council Members, or Mayors, or School Superintendents know that this matter does not sit well and yes you have a right to complain. These person(s) work for you, and you have a right to hold them accountable of what they do. If they don’t work for you, as in progress, VOTE THEM OUT! Or matter of fact, you can challenge their seats to compete for their jobs!  And if you’re not yet a voter, it’s time to become one.

Well Class of 2016, you’re Alums now. And every single year, I come on here to tell you that your old High Schools and Colleges/Universities need your help in support the future causes. I urge all of you (even though most of you are younger than me) to join your school’s Alumni Associations. Donate to your alma mater by donating some of your time and effort to support this life long cause. I know many of you are getting some of those Grad Dollars of checks or cash from your mama and them. I mentioned this 2 years ago, why not donate some of your grad cash to your alma maters to support a lab, library materials, or new gym lockers, new computers, or donate to the arts that need new instruments, or just donate some cash to help a new cause to your old school like mixers or metro area alumni groups, or future Alumni Chapters. Even start a subgroup Alumni Chapter like African-American Alumni Chapters or Black Alumni Chapters  and alike. I know one school needs one! And also, you can go to your reunions or meetups. Even serve on Alumni Board of Directors to read scholarship essays, select future speakers,  fix up your old classroom/dorm or go to a homecoming game, and maybe as a idea: you might be called to speak at your old high school or college at a future commencement ceremony! Better get cracking on the donations, philanthropic needs and JOBS now!

And yes you can still buy that swag of stuff!

Class of 2016: take a freaking bow! The celebration has been summarized and concluded. Time to get to work.

 

Sincerely,

Stephen

 

 


Guess what? I’m back. Had to take a blogging break. But just in time before Mother’s Day. Now for every mother in the building have a great Mother’s Day. But before that happens, I’m about to scratch my head again of the most recent events.

If all lives really matter, again what is up with the still hate of Black Citizens?

I heard that a member of the US Navy passed. And I’ll bet many have to bust out saying “I’ll honor him than some Entertainment dude.” Really?!

Still can’t stand the hypocrites in church huh? Do those have hypocrites in the workplaces also? I’ll wait. Especially if you are on Facebook or Instagram talking comments.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around “fat shaming”. Like it’s a new phrase. Have we always been fat shaming folks? Stop me if you hear “yo mama is so fat”…. Hello?

Note to Adele: we know the love, but you know that Beyonce is not Jesus Christ, right?

So Donald Trump is the main Republican Representative. What’s the move Democrats? Hillary or Bernie?

It’s stupid. Those that hated Prince for years are now liking him. Like Michael and Whitney, where was the likes when they were alive?

Is Milwaukee ready for the new reincarnation of getting things done?

Now since the spring election is over in Milwaukee, can I please ask why former Alderman Joe Davis had to endorse Bob Donovan?!

“We built this city.” Why that for an Milwaukee Election?

On the radio in Black Milwaukee: Wheaton Franciscan has a 30 second radio spot: “Get a Doc”. All jazzy in the background. My question is to say does everyone really know?

Is America really that great, that can be great again?

I see those I love Mom pics. Will the I love Dad pics show up for Father’s Day?

Man listen: why do folks hate birthdays being celebrated?

So Scott Walker wants us Wisconsin folks to take a drug test while collecting unemployment. Are you the “not going to vote” folks that blind?

Class of 2016: are you ready?

Dang what is up with these folks still trying to get folks hooked up in the wrong places?!

Can the Singles have a day or Month without all the marriage hassle?

Can Milwaukee have real meaningful jobs like of Chicago, DC, New York, LA, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, NASA, or Facebook?

Is Big Mama still alive? Or has this Generation killed her?

Should all Universities have African-American Alumni groups?

No offense, but why is Mother’s Day is slightly higher than Father’s Day?

Is the workplaces as well as highly Extroverted groups ready for Introverts?

We know the Milwaukee Streetcar is coming. Yes! Can the state at least review why the high speed rail really was scrapped again? Hint: Racism was in play.

One last thing: Why are folks calling this racist? Seriously?

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Let me just have one comment on this. For all of those so-called patriotic Americans who feel that there is no Racism or “All Lives Matter” or feel that when Black Folks are celebrated, they get mad and protest after feeling offended by black fists in the air? I had a cousin that was a Vietnam Veteran and he had a fist in the air! He is deceased now. But look: with all due respect to the uniform regulations which I understand, but this is not politics West Point! And I speak as a son of a West Point Graduate that went into the Army and served in the Vietnam War! Don’t play me!

Other than that, enjoy your day Mothers.