For those with a savior complex like myself this questions could be so thought provoking almost to the point of causing a panic attack . I mean , who are we if we don’t care about our community or simply care about the people around us . I feel as if it is my personal responsibility to give back to my community . Once you commit to caring , then the next obstacle is to actually do something that will cause change . I grew up in the Bronx in Monroe Projects . Don’t let the word projects fool you trust me it wasn’t scary it was just not lavish . The Bronx raised me and it makes me so sad how it gets a bad wrap. I always promised myself to always give back to the Bronx community. Not sure how but I know I wanted to give back in some kind of way . In my mind I always thought the words “make a change” meant money . Meant giving money or getting money to give money , ok but the way my checking and savings is set up … I don’t got it like that ..Yet. Nonetheless, something inside me knew I had to make a change some how . My love for entertainment lead me to creating a open mic called Bronx Poetry . From my radio show i would often meet artists who wanted to perform but didn’t really have a positive outlet in the Bronx. In the back of my mind i would always say i cant wait until I get some more money do I cant give back to my community praying I win the Lottery or something . It wasn’t until 3 years in when I received an award from LDM Network I realized wait I’ve been making a change all along . You mean to tell me this whole time I’ve been feeling like crap from not doing more I was actually giving back but in my own way . Then i was able to truly see how I created this safe space that people didn’t have before . All this to say …use what you have to make a small change . Don’t focus only on the big things, a change can start anywhere . Something as small as a zoom meet up or a dance lesson . Any information or service you have access to that could be shared can positively impact a persons life . You never know who’s life you may change , and maybe that person can go one and change more lives . Each opportunity we have to impact at least one life , that can make a change .
“ A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one” William Shakespeare
Thought until my brain hurt as I sat reflecting on the question “What are you an expert on?” Who me ? Yeah I do a lot of stuff but what do I do so good that I would honestly consider myself an expert on . I thought of my radio show … Nah that ain’t it . I thought about my poetry collective … nah that can’t be it …all the varies events I throw … My Tv show … O no because I have no idea what I’m doing there . Then something flickered in my head like a switch . I am an expert at bringing people together. Yes ! Now that sounds about right . Firstly, nothing brings me more joy than to see artists who have bet at my event network and work with with other . Also, being able to connect a person to the right person to get there business going . I am the first person my friends call to help them find or do anything related to art , music or entertainment . And no I’m not the plug , But I do know how to get people around the type of people that can grow with . I’m often criticized by my family about how many different projects I begin . Nonetheless , in my community they see value in being a jack of all trades . I would have it no other way . My happiness resides in my artist community and I have dedicated my life to shining the light on others and connecting them with people who will love and appreciate their artistry .
By Shanell Goring
Speech Language Pathology Major
Written in AAVE African American Vernacular English and SAE Standard American English