by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA
Focus On Empowerment can be heard every Thursday at 1pm Eastern.
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This is written for an American audience; however, I know that many friends and colleagues around the world read my newsletter and visit my website. So feel free to adapt these tips to conform with your province, region, or country.
Part One of this blog post was published on August 11, 2011.
At the right side of this blog is an Archive list. Go to August 2011 and scroll to Part One.
6. Visit 3-5 Online Domestic News Organizations
My late Mother would turn over in her grave if she realized that her daughter, armed with a master’s degree, no longer subscribes to a newspaper. Although I do subscribe to a few magazines, I read all of my newspapers online...including The Boston Globe (www.boston.com). My Mother, a former educator, was a voracious reader, and thought every household should subscribe to at least one newspaper.
That era has ended.
Now I read several newspapers online every day. The Boston Globe, The New York Times (www.nytimes.com and the Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) to name a few.
Here are some other suggested news organizations to consider regardless of your political persuasion:
7. Visit 3-5 Online Domestic News Organizations
Breaking free of print newspapers allowed me to explore the world through news organizations outside of the United States. Now when I want to check out a story with international implications, like the rise of the “Arab Spring” (the widespread civil unrest in North African and Middle East countries), I no longer rely on American resources to verify and comprehend the story.
Two resources I heavily rely on are The BBC website (www.bbc.co.uk) and Al-Jazeera, the English speaking news organization covering the Middle East (http://english.aljazeera.net). The BBC website is EXTENSIVE. They truly cover the world with articles, photos, audio programs and video clips. And you can learn several languages FOR FREE at the BBC website (www.bbc.co.uk/languages).
Al-Jazeera is a Arab and English speaking news organization owned by the country of Qatar and operated by the Qatar Media Corporation. If something happens with the liberation of Libya, I will go to a source like Al-Jazeera to get more indepth news analysis from an ARAB Perspective...NOT an American perspective. They also have great articles and video clips...all FREE to the user.
Some other international websites to consider:
8. Write A Letter To The President
First of all, visit the White House when you go to Washington DC (That is Tip #1 covered in our August 11th blog). And visit www.whitehouse.gov, the EXTENSIVE website for the President of the United State. There are articles, descriptions of the federal programs initiated by President and Mrs Obama, photos galore, and countless video clips. ALL FREE to review and download.
Select ONE issue that resonates with your interests. And then write a letter to President Obama (or Michelle Obama). Maybe its your opinion on capital punishment in light of the recent controversial execution of Troy Davis. Or maybe you are passionate about climate control and energy efficiencies and want the government to do more to manage these increasingly important issues. Or maybe you are fed up with interviewing, have been out of work for a year, you’re 51 years old, and can’t find a job. Definitely write the President. Here’s his address:
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC. 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461
Comments: 202-456-6213 Visitors Office: 202-456-2121
Include your return address on the letter and You WILL get a response.
9. Get involved in ONE local/state/national issue
Please don’t tell me that your efforts won’t be valued. With so many issues on the table in this country from high unemployment issues, to job readiness, to health care, to homeland security, there has to be some issue or organization that needs your voluntary services. My local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta took a sleepy little issue of on REDISTRICTING and turned it into a day long conference at the Massachusetts State House. We then attended several public hearings around the state and crafted a Delta message to our elected officials with our concerns as we lose one Congressional representative in 2012.
What’s hitting your hot button? Depending on how much time you have (or don’t have) maybe you can donate one Saturday a month to read to children in your city or town. Or perhaps you can take that one day and help visit the sick or take meals to those in need. There are always opportunities to become a volunteer leader in a non profit organization that has local or regional chapters.
America was built on the power of ideas, volunteer efforts, and cause-related activities. Pick ONE issue and make this issue your own.
10. Write a ONE page article/report on YOUR perspective and give it to a child.
Pass it on. Pass it to the next generation. Your views on eduction. How you were impacted by your parents. Why school matters. The power of voting. Your first impressions when you traveled to “X” country. Why your family is the center of your existence. Why your faith has strengthened you in tough times. What you learned while working for your company.
You pick the topic. Keep it short. Write the letter. Give it to a child. Pass on your ideas and experiences to a young person you know...or don’t know.
Become informed. Make a difference. See the world. Connect with those who are culturally and ethnically difference that you are.
Remember that empowerment begins when YOU believe in YOURSELF.
Your Comments Are Welcome Below...
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.