Commited to innovative leadership and institutional change
My name is Kylila (Ka-lee-la) which means beloved. I am one who loves, or at least tries to. I have had many titles, Poet, Photographer, Videographer, Writer, Cadet, Private, Athlete, Leader, Director, etc. I have learned that the greatest successes are born from the most tremendous trials. Everyone has beauty in their life story.
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Recently, I have taken interest in learning how to code............. Why?
Because Coding is AWESOME!
So awesome, that it allows one a greater depth of freedom, and I LOVE FREEDOM!!
Can you tell that I'm pumped up to acquire this new skill? :-) Good.
The most important tool that we have is our story. There is power in telling our truths, because it creates connection. Your voice matters. In fact, it matters so much that our founding fathers wrote extensive provisions to protect it in our Constitution of the U.S. In fact our entire government structure runs on the voice ( vote) of those who make themselves loud enough. Think about it, our very first amendment protects our freedom of speech.
Why? Because it is the source of our power.
We should not be afraid to speak, even if it makes others uncomfortable, because as a human and an American, we have those rights.
It is unconstitutional to have our voices suppressed, but it keeps happening. Don't believe me?
Look at the charges justified by the Patriot Act and brought to the family of Michael Brown, and the countless other families who have lost loved ones due to excessive police force. But yet, the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are allowed to make direct hate filled threats, under the guise of the freedom of speech.
Voting Rights Act Timeline:
I have always said that I love the ideals , principles, and values by which the United States was founded. I do not love the inequality as to how these freedoms and rights have been historically applied. It wasn't until 1787 that black and poor people voices were recognized under the 3/5 compromise. Many interpreted this act to mean that one male black or poor person 's voice was the equivalent to three-fifths of that of a wealthy white male . It was not until August, 18, 1920 that wealthy white women's voices were acknowledged through voting. 50 years ago, in 1965, a black person's voice, and story was finally counted as of equal importance to their fellow Americans. However there still exists great barriers to even being qualified to vote. 1965 is also when our country began a rapid stride toward progress and equality through beginning to break down the socio-economic and political barriers that were the foundation pillars of oppression.
Our power is in our ability to not only tell our stories, but to be heard. The great equalizer and amplifier is the tool of technology. Today we are equipped with tools that our ancestors would have killed for. Imagine what more Fredrick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, or Martin Luther King, Jr would have done if they had the organizational tool of Black Twitter, or were able to amplify their voice through the internet.
We have a responsibility, in the name of freedom, equality , and accountability to become educated about both histories, ( Our personal stories, and the greater communities in which we live) to learn what is missing. Then we must amplify our voices. We must speak, un-apologetically. It is not only your constitutional right, but your responsibility as a citizen .
Now do you understand why I am so excited to learn how to code?
To sum it up.... .FREEDOM!
I will no longer have to ask for permission, or wait to have someone else speak for me.
Through coding, we can create anything that we want.
Oh, and guess what?
I'm not the only one who has figured out that technology is the next tool to be used in our arsenal of progress and civil liberties. ..........................................................................
....... So have most code schools.
A friend from General Assembly- a startup code school- sent me a list of scholarships for those who have been historically under served.
Yes, Military Veterans, are included too!
Check out these opportunities and grab you a slice from the freedom pie. :-)
Ok, I'm done lol.
But really , check it out.
and Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Black Girls Code
Free resources for anyone
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There I was...... Sitting in Harvard Square, listening to the guitar of a street performer while rewarding myself with a $2.00 cup of frozen yogurt for completing the day's goals. An older gentleman wheeling an oxygen tank and amp sat next to me. He started a conversation about my shirt that read "Wicked Smaht" ( really smart)- SN I saw the shirt in the Harvard Coop ( school bookstore) thought that it was funny and bought it. ... don't judge, lol.
This gentleman wanted me to acknowledge that he is smart as well, which I did . We agreed that intelligence is a relative concept because there is much to be learned from everyone. Intrigued that I was open to listening to his ideas, he began explaining his life, his study of classism, his dissection of Plato's republic and other philosophers ideas of the perfect society ( showed him Jake's blog on the Peaceful Republic) , his educational background, his love of art, and how he eventually became homeless. Intrigued, I asked if I could videotape him, and he happily agreed.
Below is the first of many videos that I recorded.
Disclaimer: Harmonica Tom contributed to this video in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Poetic Change or any affiliates.
Now, I did my best to research Harmonica Tom, and to check the validity of all that he stated. While I could not find evidence of his academic records from 30-40 years ago, I was able to find some of his homeless activism work. If you are interested to find out more about Harmonica's Tom past, you may check these sources :
And the Homeless People Network , which is an online organization that was founded by Harmonica Tom http://hpn.asu.edu/.
I don't care as much about one's past as I do about one's present and future. I'm am thankful that Harmonica Tom decided to open up to me, and I look forward to many more conversations.
Also, if you have any information to add to this series on Harmonica Tom, please email me at Kylila@poeticchange.org
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Members of Poetic Change have noticed a problem, that there are too many leaders who under utilize the talent that is present on their teams. Conformity and uniformity has its benefits. But an environment that is too rigid, is not conducive for innovation. Innovation is born from diversity - diverse talents, different ways of thinking, and diverse people. When a leader does not know how to properly lead and embrace a diverse team, that leader will not receive their full investment from their human capital.
Our Poetic Change Agents set out to change this dynamic in a creative and entertaining way. Our first solution is to bring awareness to the under utilization of talent, and then discuss solutions with our fellow Americans. Our first prototyping of this idea was conducted in Washington D.C. - the home to many Poetic Change Agents. One of our Agents- Ian Tran of Michigan has a background in sustainability and leadership development. He also is a classical violinist with an amazing ear for music and a heart for fusion.
Below are highlights from our first Creative Leadership Pop-up Concerts.