Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When A Grandmother Calls

My maternal grandparents helped shape my thoughts, values, and paved paths for me even when I was not aware of them doing so. They gave me the audacity to dream and prepared me to take giant leaps in life by being loving and supportive. Now that I am a grandparent, I want 'Grand Prince' to have that same confidence to dream big and know he is loved. Being a grandparent has taught me a love that I would have never known existed and helps me appreciate the relationship I have had with my grandparents all my life. The love of a grandparent is like no other.

Being a card carrying member of the grandparents' club now, I know from first hand experience, when a grandmother is deeply involved in a child's life, the sky is the limit. The child is going to soar because a grandmother can will it to be. Or at the very least, try to pull the sky closer for her grandchild to reach it. Do not believe a grandmother  would not grab a corner of the galaxy to make things happen? Keep reading.

I received an urgent call from a dear friend who has a grandchild who has sickle cell. She said in a very determined voice, "I need you to get the word out about the petition on White House.Gov to declare sickle cell a national priority. We must let others know more about sickle cell disease. We can not let any more funding be cut from research. Nor can we let any more clinics be closed. This is very important!" In the next breath, she reminded of the power of a grandmother's love. "You know my grand-baby has sickle cell. This is not an issue or cause, it is my grand-baby's life we are talking about."


My friend, a grandmother of a young free spirit with sickle cell, was prepared to organize a ride to moon if that was what it was going to take to get enough signatures to get the attention of the President. On the day of the call, the petition had around 22,000 signatures. The petition needed 100,000 and the deadline was looming a few days away. With sickle cell affecting 90,000 Americans and 3 million individuals are trait carriers of the sickle cell disease, this petition was important to many families.
Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia.

Sickle Cell Disease is a major public health concern causing critical healthcare impacts in the nation. After talking through a strategic grass roots plan with my friend, I promised her that I would share her message and the information she had sent me with others. Within a few hours of us working our Rolodex, emails, and social media accounts, there was a noticeable increase in the numbers. Two days later, every Bam Mom, Big Mom, Gramma, Grammy, Grams, Grandma, Grandmama, Grandmother, Grandma, Grannie, Ma, Maw, Memaw, Mom-mo, Nanas, and one Grand Diva were contacted to sign the online petition. If they were not internet savvy, we suggested getting a grandchild to walk them through the process.

Alaira with her mother and grandmother.
 

Two days before the deadline and three days after the call, the Sickle Cell Disease Petition to the White House had met the required numbers and then some. It is amazing what happens when a community comes together for the greater good and the effectiveness of social media. It is even more amazing to see the love of a grandmother in action. It is a beautiful site to behold.

Thank you for signing the petition!
The little angel above thanks you as well as her grandmother (and the rest of the family) who loves her dearly!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Perry Wallace Part 2 on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes


Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Genma Holmes inspecting the arrival of Strong Inside at Vanderbilt Press Offices

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 tune in to hear the third interview that focuses on the book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Perry Wallace, the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference will share more about his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University and he will continue sharing with us his thoughts on the attention he has received over the years. Mr. Wallace will also share what it meant to him to receive a Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship while attending Columbia University.

We will also hear a thought provoking conversation between Andrew Maraniss and Dr. Edwin Hines, a graduate of Howard University and a Meharry trained dentist who has read Strong Inside from cover to cover several times. Listen to an engaging exchange of historical facts about Nashville, cultural differences, The Civil Rights Movement, and generational perspectives between Maraniss who has known Perry Wallace twenty-five years and Dr. Hines who arrived at Meharry around the same time Mr. Wallace was beginning his pioneering journey at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Hines and Andrew Maraniss
Dr. Hines will share with Andrew Maraniss how Strong Inside impacted him, a extremely shy young man coming of age in the tumultuous 60s, and his thoughts after hearing Mr. Wallace speak candidly about his life before and after Vanderbilt. Andrew Maraniss will share what he has learned since the earlier interviews and why his background as a journalist and researcher were vital to telling the Mr. Wallace's story. Hear Hines share why the "Perry Wallaces of the world" need more "Andrews" to bring untold stories to the forefront to empower, inspire, and motivate us to live our best life.

This series about Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Intersection of Race and Sports in the South have captured the hearts and interests of thousands from sea to shining sea. Your texts, emails, and phone calls have been encouraging. Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes has shared your responses with Mr. Wallace and Andrew Maraniss. You can purchase the book here.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST

Strong Inside-Book Trailer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Perry Wallace Discusses "Strong Inside" on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Audio of Perry Wallace's Interview can be found here.
Previous post and audio about Strong Inside with Andrew Maraniss can be found here.

Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
 On Saturday, October 11, 2014 tune in to hear the second interview that focuses on the soon to be released book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Perry Wallace, the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference will share from his early childhood, his life in Nashville, and his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University. Unknown to Mr. Wallace at the time, his decision to attend Vanderbilt University would forever change sports in the south and become a defining moment in race relations in our country.
Listen to Mr. Wallace share how his mother prepped him at an early age to overcome the challenges he later faced in life by teaching him to cope with his asthma. She taught him a relaxation technique he calls "prayer and preparation" which he practiced daily while at Vanderbilt that helped him to manage the intense stress that came with the constant threats and scrutiny. Hear him talk about "getting on the plane to Ole Miss" and why he was determined to see the mission to the end, even if it meant the end of his life.
Mr. Wallace also talks about how he dealt with naysayers by surrounding himself with "friends and friendly people" who supported him. Mr. Wallace will address the isolation that came with being a pioneer and the role of his family in his life. Hear him share why attending Vanderbilt was much bigger than playing sports and why can loose sight of the true purpose of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mr. Wallace will discuss why he left Nashville after his collegiate career at Vanderbilt and how he revisited "Throwback Theater" at an awards ceremony a few years ago that led him to write an essay on bullying. Mr. Wallace talks about being intentional in helping others learned from his defining moments that are etched in our country's history to teach reconciliation and forgiveness of the past while addressing the present and preparing us to have honest dialogues about race relations.

This is part one of a two part interview with Mr. Wallace.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST


More About Perry Wallace




Professor Perry E. Wallace received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and engineering mathematics from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering in 1970. He received his law degree from Columbia University in 1975, where he was awarded the Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship.



Professor Wallace was for several years a senior trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, handling cases involving environmental and natural resources law. He has also served as a securities arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., and has also been a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, Inc. In 1992, he was appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. He is a tenured Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law of the American University, where he teaches corporate, environmental and international law.

 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Andrew Maraniss on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

 Update: Audio of show can be found here.

Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers embody "Be the change you want to see in the world."


On Saturday, October 4, 2014 tune in to hear one of several interviews that will focus on the life Perry Wallace and "the Collision of Race and Sports in the South" with Andrew Maraniss who will discuss his first book, Strong Inside.  Maraniss will share about Perry Wallace's, (the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference) early childhood, his life at Pearl High School, and his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University. Unknown to Wallace at the time, his decision to attend Vanderbilt would forever change sports in the south and would become a defining moment in race relations in our country.




Maraniss will share how he first learned of one of America's unsung pioneering heroes during his sophomore year at Vanderbilt University. Maraniss wrote about Wallace for a Black Studies class. That initial paper lead to more stories on Wallace by Maraniss when he became the sports editor of Vanderbilt's student newspaper. Maraniss relationship with Perry Wallace continued even when his pen was not writing about him.


Tune in to hear the engaging conversations between the show host, Genma Holmes, and Andrew Maraniss as they  discuss Perry Wallace's great achievements in higher education and his stellar performances on the basketball court that came with isolation, constant worry about his life, and delayed satisfaction. They also discuss the contrast between many Civil Rights Era leaders who were often marching with others and trailblazing Wallace who played alone in arenas filled with taunting jeering crowds while he played basketball games as the only African-American in the SEC.

Stong Inside chronicles not only Perry Wallace's life before and after the game of basketball at Vanderbilt, but time stamps events in Nashville and around the country. The author and host believe that Strong Inside can be used to initiate healthy race relations discussion while giving us an insight into present day events.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST.

More About Andrew Maraniss


Strong Inside is the first book by Andrew Maraniss. A partner at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville, Andrew studied history at Vanderbilt University as a recipient of the Fred Russell – Grantland Rice sportswriting scholarship, earning the school’s Alexander Award for excellence in journalism and graduating in 1992. He then worked for five years in Vanderbilt’s athletic department as the associate director of media relations, dealing primarily with the men’s basketball team. In 1998, he served as the media relations manager for the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays during the team’s inaugural season, and then returned to Nashville to join MP&F. The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, Andrew was born in Madison, Wis., grew up in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and now lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife Alison, and their two young children.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @trublu24 and visit his website at andrewmaraniss.com.

Photo credits:  Vanderbilt University, Andrew Maraniss, and Genma Holmes

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Xernona Clayton, General Consul Randy E. Rolle, and West Point on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Join Living Your Best Life as we celebrate the lives of men and women of our military. We will hear from active duty and veterans who will share personal stories and highlights from their military careers and the next chapter in their lives. All have roles that made them the "first" in many endeavors throughout their lives and in the military. We will hear about their many acts of courage and sacrifice that embody servant leadership that will empower, inspire, and motivate listeners.

On Saturday, September 13, 2014, hear from three individuals who are leaders from various sectors like philanthropy, government, and our military.

Founder of Trumpet Awards, Xernona Clayton
We will hear from the legendary Civil Rights and trailblazer, Xernona Clayton. Listen to her share stories from chapters of her life that have captivated our country for several decades. From Civil Rights to adviser to Ted Turner to Founder of the Trumpet, Ms. Clayton has Been Marching All The Time.
General Consul to Atlanta, Randy E. Rolle
Ms. Clayton inducted the Prime Minster of the Bahamas, The Honorable Perry Gladstone Christie, into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in January 2014 during the 22nd Trumpet Awards. Shortly after meeting Prime Minister Christie in Atlanta, the idea to bring the military families to the Bahamas was birthed. Hear more about the Islands of the Bahamas from The Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta, The Honorable Randy E. Rolle. Listen to him share about his leadership, mentoring youth, and helping bring the message of a peaceful nation to our airwaves.


And lastly,  we will hear from Captain Bryant L. Waston of West Point. Hear him give the history of the 200 year on military academy founded by President Thomas Jefferson. Listen to Captain Waston share how West Point has molded leaders of our country for two centuries and why he chose to attend West Point. Listen to his passion for leading as he shares how West Point prepared him to help seek out the next generation of leaders for West Point and our country.

As Living Your Best Life Radio embarks on an adventure of a lifetime, sponsoring a wedding for one lucky military couple to be married in the Bahamas, stay tuned for weekly updates and more great interviews from leaders who have globe influence. Living Your Best Life Radio is heard on 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, the Inspirational Network, military bases, Tune In, and streamed live at Ustream.TV from 9-10AM CST.


More About Xernona Clayton

Xernona Clayton at her 84th Birthday Party in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Xernona Clayton is the Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator and Executive Producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards.  The Trumpet Awards is a prestigious event highlighting African American accomplishments and contributions.  Initiated in 1993 by Turner Broadcasting, the Trumpet Awards has been televised annually and distributed internationally to over 185 countries around the world.

Ms. Clayton began her television career in 1967 and became the south’s first Black person to have her own television show.  The Xernona Clayton show was a regular feature on WAGA-TV, CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

Xernona Clayton was employed at Turner Broadcasting for nearly 30 years where she served as a corporate executive.  In 1988, Xernona Clayton was appointed Corporate Vice President for Urban Affairs with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.  In this capacity, she directed internal and external projects for the Corporation, and served as liaison between Turner Broadcasting (TBS SuperStation, CNN, Headline News, TNT, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks) and civic groups in Atlanta and across the country.  As a corporate executive, Ms. Clayton was one of the highest-ranking female employees in Turner Broadcasting System.

Xernona moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Ms. Clayton also traveled extensively with Mrs. Coretta Scott King on her nationwide concert tours.

More About the Islands of the Bahamas





The Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of ocean starting just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. The archipelago is an ecological oasis featuring 2,000 breathtaking islands and cays and boasts the clearest water on the planet—with a visibility of over 200 feet. You can see your toes as easily as you can the world’s third largest barrier reef.


We invite you to explore all of our islands. One step and you’ll realize our beauty extends far beyond our extraordinary natural wonders. It’s the smiles on the faces of the Bahamian people. The unique sounds of our rich culture. The warm hospitality of our heritage and our colorful history.

More About Captain Bryant L. Waston
 
Captain Bryant L. Waston

CPT Bryant L. Watson graduated in 2010 from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.  At West Point, he double majored in Economics and Arabic. His most memorable experiences were studying abroad in Morocco , solo piloting a helicopter, and spending weekends with fellow cades in New York City. After graduation, he joined the 172nd Infantry Brigade in Grafenwoehr, Germany and deployed with them to Paktika Province, Afghanistan. There, he led an Infantry Platoon and partnered with local Afghan forces to interdict enemy movement. Returning to Germany, he helped deactivate the 172nd as both a platoon leader and adjutant to the Battalion Commander. CPT Bryant Watson joins the admissions team by way of Fort Stewart, Georgia where he last served as an executive officer. He and his wife, Anna, have one-year old daughter, Eleanor.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Genma Holmes To Speak at Inaugural Art Camp Nashville

I am super honored to share how to help passionate volunteers find their purpose with non-profits. Music City is filled with many hearts who want to serve with their time and talents to help meet the needs of the community and individuals.


With the Middle Tennessee Region being one of the most philanthropic areas of the country, many non-profits look for ways to attract and keep engaged volunteers. Creative volunteers who are servant leaders are often looking for a purpose and do not want to be a "body for a day".

So how do we match non profits' needs with the gifts and talents of strong volunteers? Join me at the Inaugural Art Camp Nashville to hear me share from my treasure chest of ideas that worked and did not work for me as a volunteer. Also hear what I look for in a cause or non-profit to donate too and the various ways I have raised funds for several organizations.

This is going to be a "different" session but very special. I hope to see you. My session is from 2:15-3:20 at Nossi College of Art.

Follow me:
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#Livingtogivenow


Bahamas' Director of Religious Tourism on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Update: Audio can be heard is here.
Join Living Your Best Life as we celebrate the lives of men and women of our military. We will hear from active duty and veterans who will share personal stories and highlights from their military careers and the next chapter in their lives. All have roles that made them the "first" in many endeavors throughout their lives and in the military. We will hear about their many acts of courage and sacrifice that embody servant leadership that will empower, inspire, and motivate listeners.
On Saturday, September 6, 2014, tune in to hear from the Director of Religious Tourism for the Bahamas, Mr. Dwight Armbrister. Listen to Mr. Armbrister describe vividly the beauty of The Bahamas, and why so many military families seek respite in a "peaceful nation" after their service to our country.


Hear how 400,00 Bahamians have made their country a land where solitude and adventure go hand in hand. Mr. Armbrister will share why even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, sought the Bahamas as a place for inspiration and motivation. Mr. Armbrister will discuss why he believes "the Bahamas is where God is".

Mr. Armbrister will talk sports for football lovers who want tropical sun with their tailgating. Hear the latest on the Inaugural HBCU game in the Bahamas between Central State University and Texas Southern University on September 13, 2014 and an upcoming Gospel Celebration with Tye Tribbett.


Mr. Armbrister will also share why having a destination wedding in the Bahamas is the only place you should want to have a wedding and why Living Your Best Life Radio will have the "full weight of the Bahamas Government" behind our surprise announcement for a lucky listener and their immediate family. Hear Genma Holmes share about an inspiring conversation at the 2014 Trumpet Awards with the Bahamas' Prime Minister, The Honorable Perry Gladstone Christie, and the First Lady of the Bahamas, lead to this wonderful partnership with the Islands of the Bahamas and her outreach to military families who listen to Living Your Best Life Radio. You do not want to miss the big reveal!


This show promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life while you pack your bags for The Islands Of the Bahamas...where "God lives."

Living Your Best Life Radio is heard on 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, the Inspirational Network, military bases, Tune In, and streamed live at Ustream.TV from 9-10AM CST.

More About The Bahamas


When your home resembles paradise, it’s pretty easy to see why so many Bahamians have a laid-back attitude. In general, we like to say, let’s worry about the bad things tomorrow. So today, we embrace life with a warm smile. We are a humble people who love to celebrate. Weddings and funerals are both important social events here. It is an opportunity to celebrate the new life starting and the life lived. Bahamians take great pride in our storied past.

The majority of Bahamians live on New Providence Island, home of our capital city, Nassau. Here, you will find most are of West African descent whose ancestors were enslaved and brought here to work on cotton plantations. The majority of our other residents are descendants of English settlers. Some are even related to Loyalists who fled the southern U.S. during the American Revolution.

When Britain abolished slavery in 1834, life here on our islands changed dramatically. Plantation life ended and locals tried their hand at sponging, fishing or farming. Our lack of fertile cropland led our people to become a nation of seafarers. More info about the beautiful Islands of the Bahamas can be found here.

Stay up to date on all the latest news from Genma's Bahamanian Venture:
Twitter
Facebook
Living Your Best Life
Living To Give Now

Special thanks to Consul General, The Honorable Randy E. Rolle, and Denise Hales Harrod for their facilitation to make this show possible. 

Photos Credit: Bahamas Department of Tourism

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Caroline V. Clarke on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

 Update: Audio of the show can be found here.

For several months, I have shared with anyone who would listen about the book, Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail. I fell in love with this amazing story from page one and have read it several times. I highly recommend reading it for several reasons. Tune in to Living Your Best Life Radio to hear why I as well as many women in my life loved reading it as well.


On Saturday, August 30, 2014, Caroline V. Clarke, author, award-winning journalist, and the host of Black Enterprise Report, will join us to share her journey to find her birth mother. Listen as Caroline shares how her initial inquiry about her adoption with Spence-Chapin Adoption Services was because of concerns about her health that could be hereditary. Concerned about the unknowns that could affect the health of children, she made an appointment to meet with a social worker at the agency.


Only expecting a few general answers, hear Caroline share that she was given a file that was several pages single typed that gave her clues to who her mother could be. Her journalistic background lead her to realize she knew her birth family. Caroline V. Clarke's birth mother was Carol "Cookie" Cole, the daughter of Hollywood's legendary crooner Nat King Cole. Caroline will share several stories that she did not discuss  in the book. Listen as she talks about the journey of others who have opened up to her about their own adoption stories. She also shares about her own vulnerabilities as she sought to build a relationship with her birth mother without hurting her mother and father who raised her to be the woman she is today.

This show promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life!

 Living Your Best Life Radio can be heard on 760 AM in the Middle-Tennessee Region, Tune In, military bases, and streamed live on U-Stream.TV from 9-10AM CST. This show will also air on WTST, a member of the HBCU radio network (XM 142)

More About Caroline V. Clarke


Caroline V. Clarke hosts the Black Enterprise Business Report, a weekly, nationally syndicated television show that offers unduplicated reporting on black business, careers and lifestyles to today’s consumer. Black Enterprise Business Report reaches 80% of black households, in 52 broadcast markets and 145 cable markets; it can also be seen online via BlackEnterprise.com. Prominent business leaders and newsmakers interviewed by Clarke include RUSH Communications' Russell Simmons, NBC Universal executive Paula Madison, Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, Teen Nick CEO Nick Cannon, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Soliz.

An award-winning journalist whose experience spans print, digital and television platforms, Clarke is also Executive Editor of Black Enterprise, influencing the production of content across all platforms, including her blog, Winging It: Work. Life. Balance? for BlackEnterprise.com. In addition, as co-editorial director of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, she determines the editorial direction and theme of the nation’s largest annual conference targeting African American women executives. She was instrumental in creating this event and has held this position since the inception of the Summit, in 2004.

In more than 20 years with Black Enterprise, Clarke has served in a number of other key roles including senior editor and editor-at-large, Black Enterprise magazine; editorial director, Black Enterprise Books; and general manager, interactive media, where she helped to run Blackenterprise.com as well as launch other digital platforms for Black Enterprise content delivery.

Clarke is the author of Take a Lesson: Today’s Black Achievers on How They Made It & What They Learned Along the Way. Her second book, entitled "Postcards from Cookie," debuted from Harper Collins in March.  Prior to Black Enterprise, Clarke worked at The American Lawyer and several newspapers.  She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College and a master’s degree with honors from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
(Source: www.Iamempowerd.com)

Photos: Caroline V. Clarke