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Letter from the Mayor | February 9, 2017

Jae Alan

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Dear Washingtonians,

For more than two centuries, Washington, DC has played a pivotal role in the story of the African American experience, serving as a national stage to both our struggle and our progress. And I would not be here today if it were not for countless strong, proud and brave black women – trailblazers like Dorothy Height and Shirley Chisholm who taught the world that “tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Last week, my Administration kicked off Black History Month with two free screenings of the Oscar-nominated film, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ – one screening at Ballou High School and another at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This documentary uses James Baldwin’s commentary to shed light on the racial challenges faced by African Americans.

Of course, in Washington, DC, we not only celebrate and study black history in February, but we do so all year long. There is no way to tell the history of Washington, DC without telling the history of black Americans. And every day, we acknowledge that the fight for equality and equal opportunity is not over. In DC, we have 681,000 residents living in the shadow of the Capitol, yet we still lack a vote in Congress. We still fight off congressional interference in local matters because, without statehood, we are vulnerable to the meddling of representatives from other states who want to impose their personal beliefs on our residents.

As Mayor, I will continue to fight for all Washingtonians – to close the achievement gap and get more residents on pathways to the middle class. As we study and celebrate history, we cannot lose sight of the fact that every day we are still making history. Every day is a new opportunity to stand up for our DC values and to make our city and country a better place for people from all backgrounds.

Sincerely,

Muriel Bowser

Sign for Mayor Bower’s enews

Mayor Muriel Bowser

John A. Wilson Building | 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW | Washington DC, 20004

(202) 727-2643

muriel.bowser@dc.gov | mayor.dc.gov | @mayorbowser

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Blogs & Op-eds

How Adopting Mindfulness Can Benefit You and Your Business by Dr. Toya Wilson

Jae Alan

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What is mindfulness?

A simple definition could be stated as: the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.

Why should business owners care about mindfulness?

Top executives are starting to see by decreasing how much they stress out over today’s problems, and decreasing anxiety over tomorrow’s potential woes, they pave the way for mental clarity, creative thinking, higher-level awareness for better decision making.

But what about entrepreneurs: The startups, the one-woman show, life coaches, mentors, speakers, and authors— those out in the wilderness on their own, taking risks and trying to change the world in their own little (or big) way. How can mindfulness help these ladies?

When we give ourselves 10 minutes (or more) of space to quiet our mind we become better at noticing the opportunities that otherwise might pass us by as we go around in a state of overwhelm. As you create a regular time for yourselves you’ll notice that you can achieve more in less time, interruptions become less bothersome and life feels more effortless.

By creating time and space for you to think, to quiet your mind and focus you can grow your business without distraction and hard work. I don’t mean you don’t need to work hard, I mean it doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Here are 3 mindful practices you can incorporate into your day to help yourself and grow your business:

1. Create time for a ‘Creative Hour’ where you turn off all external distractions, gather your thoughts, settle into what you want to achieve for the day and bring your full attention to the tasks at hand. Perhaps you don’t need an hour – do what works for you.

2. Make time for regular breaks – get outside if you can and go for a walk around the block. It can transform your mindset and bring inspiration, focus, and insights.

3. Practice “active listening”. When we focus on listening fully to what the other person is saying we have to be present. Go into conversations with clients/potential clients/stakeholders with an open mind, trusting your intuition to guide you to say or do the best thing.

The benefits of all this on your business will be reduced stress, more time to think about your business and making decisions from a place of wisdom and authenticity, and strong working relationships with those you do business with and the clients you serve.

Read more HERE

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Blogs & Op-eds

#Winning by Dr. Deborah Tillman

Jae Alan

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For too many of us, perception has become reality, but perception is not always the TRUTH. The emergence of social media has afforded people the opportunity to become professionals at making their lives look like an awesome photo album of sheer perfection. We are bombarded with images of flawless faces, powerful positions, remarkable relationships and astounding abundance. All of which is wonderful and harmless if countless hours weren’t spent comparing and critiquing our lives based off of the “appearance” of someone else’s. We are not always the people we pretend to be which serves no purpose of showing the world what #Winning really means. Let me be transparent, it would seem in 2013,
I was #Winning. Founder and CEO of three schools serving over 300 children and families, the host of a Lifetime Television show America’s Supernanny, speaking and traveling all over the world and married for over two decades. However, the reality was within three years, I had to give up two schools, a show, and a 25-year marriage that left me with the broken pieces. But somebody said, broken pieces can still color. I have learned that #Winning is less about what we “get” in life and more about our ability to “give up” what we think serves our soul in order to “gain” life more abundantly.
#Winning requires us to Face Our Fears
Henry Ford said, “one of the greatest discoveries a man makes is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do. Never allow fear to stop you from being all that God has called you to be. When your knees are knocking, have the courage to do it afraid.
#Winning requires us to Fill our Hearts with Humility
It’s tough to be transparent and open–even those who consider themselves humble don’t want to look like they’ve messed up. But, as human beings we all make mistakes. It is through the lessons of life that we are able to provide value and be a blessing to others. As my Pastor would often say, we can’t heal it until we reveal it.
#Winning requires us to Focus on our Faith
We win when we believe that there is light at the end of a dark tunnel and
continue walking toward it even though we can’t see it understanding that if God brings us to it, He will bring us through it.
Finally, #Winning requires us to Finish Well
Read more HERE

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Blogs & Op-eds

Remembering Dick Gregory: Comedian, Activist, and Entrepreneur

Jae Alan

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Iconic comedian and activist Dick Gregory passed away on Saturday at the age of 84. Beginning his career in 1953, Dick Gregory used his comedy to convey his political ideals to white and black audiences alike.

For instance, he spoke for two uninterrupted hours at “Freedom Day” in 1963, which was a rally to drive black voter registration. He also unsuccessfully ran for president of the United States in 1968 as a write-in candidate.

Gregory eventually became a successful entrepreneur. A longtime vegan and healthy eating advocate, many may remember Gregory’s Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet—a meal replacement powder to help with weight loss.

Read more @ Black Enterprise

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