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September 2010 - Celebrating Life & Another Year
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Happy Birthday Cesar Chavez! "Si, Se Puede"

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 03/26/17

This week marks a time to celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez. In 2014 President Barack Obama proclaimed March 31st to be a Federal commemorative holiday celebrating the civil rights and labor movement activist Cesar Chavez. Chavez was an American farmworker who, over the years, became a civil rights activist. In 1962, Cesar Chavez and fellow activist Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, later becoming the United Farm Workers Union (UFW).  Mr. Chavez was truly an icon that should be recognized and honored for his work to promote fair wages and fair treatment of farmworkers.  

Years ago I had the opportunity to work with Community Coalition, a community based organization in Los Angeles that works to transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy. During that time, I had the honor of meeting Dolores Huerta who was very kind and gracious. Although I never had the privilege to meet Cesar Chavez, this past weekend, I had the honor of meeting his son, Paul F. Chavez, who served as the keynote speaker for Claremont Lincoln University’s Commencement ceremony on Sunday, March 26th. Paul and his siblings all grew up with their father in the commitment to the struggle. Today, Paul is the President and Chairman of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

Cesar Chavez has often been compared to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dolores Huerta has often been compared to Rosa Parks. Similar to King, who was strongly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Chavez encouraged non-violent tactics as a means of negotiation. Although I believe they all stand on their own merits, I understand why people often make the comparisons. Society and communities often long for leaders and people who they admire and can look up to.  Cesar Chavez was definitely one of those leaders, and not only in the Latino community. 

Chavez was a man fully committed to social justices. He once said, “It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice.” Many have been influenced by the life and work of Cesar Chavez, including our former President himself. Barak Obama’s inspirational campaign slogan, “Yes We Can” was adopted from the phrase made popular by Mr. Chavez (in Spanish) “Sí, se puede.”

Happy Birthday Mr. Chavez and thank you for all you did to help make the lives of farmworkers better generation after generation. And in that same vein of celebration, I also want to wish my daughter, Courtney Sabra Marie, a happy birthday. You stand on the shoulders of those who came before you to help you have the life you deserve. Always remember, whatever you put your mind to, “Yes, you can!” 

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Jerome Dean Releases New CD!

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 02/17/17

We’ve all heard the saying that music soothes the savage beast.  Well I would take that one step further and say that music can also heal the brokenhearted, give encouragement to those who feel down, and spark a memory that takes us to the moon and back. Love and music often go hand in hand, and in February, both love and music are celebrated all month long with Cupid’s favorite holiday (Valentine’s Day) and the ever-entertaining Grammy Awards. Even with the upcoming 89th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, love and music are central themes to the movies we know so well. In fact, the movie “La La Land” is a love story wrapped inside a musical and has earned a historic 14 nominations, including for Best Picture!

Love and music, for me, are one in the same. Those who know me know that my husband, Jerome Dean, is a singer and entertainer and I would be remiss if I did not share the wonderful music he just released called, “Songs for You (Vol. 1).”  His passion for bringing joy through music inspired him to write five original songs, encompassing everything from the cycles of love to an anthem for senior citizens. He also included six cover tunes that have been a part of his journey since he first started singing close to fifty years ago.

Jerome started his love affair with music at the early age of nine singing covers. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, he has traveled throughout the United States singing and performing as a solo artist, as well as with professional groups; seven years with the world-renowned Drifters and four years with the world-renowned Platters. Jerome has also been a regular on the Casino circuit across the country from Atlantic City to Las Vegas. Currently, he performs for private parties, weddings and special occasions. He will leave you "dancing in the streets."

All of the cover tunes he sings have a story or message that are special and unique to him.  He decided to feature several of his idols or mentors including Sammy Davis, Jr., Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valli, Frank Sinatra and Lionel Richie.  Jerome had the opportunity to not only meet a few of these great men, but also form relationships that have transpired over time.  Just this month he was able to be reunited and support his long time mentor Johnny Mathis as he was being honored and celebrated by the City of Los Angeles and Our Authors Study Club for Black History Month at Los Angeles City Hall.

In the climate we have in the world today, music is a universal language.  It is something that we can all feel and understand no matter our culture, socio-economic status or ethnic background.  Maya Angelou once said, “Music was my refuge.  I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”  Music is definitely in my ears.  #JeromeDean.com

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Do You Have a Vision For The New Year ?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 12/31/16

This year I gave as gifts to several family and work colleagues vision board kits. As I look back over the year I reflect on all that transpired, the good, the bad and the ugly and at the end of the day the fact that I am still standing makes me feel grateful.  Life is filled with many twists and turns and sometimes we don’t always understand how they fit into our journey, but everything has an impact on how we think, what we do and the impression we leave on others.

At the close of each year many of us sit down and write out goals that we hope to accomplish in the year to come. Statistics share that less than ten percent of people actually achieve their new year’s resolutions or goals.  If this is true why are we so compelled to set new goals each year?  It is my opinion that for some of us setting goals make us feel hopeful.  It gives us something to hold onto and aim for, but oftentimes we don’t really prepare for what we put down on paper.  We don’t think it through and understand the commitment that goes with achieving the success we desire or even pretend to desire.

Personally looking back over the goals I set for 2016, I accomplished approximately 80% of what I set out to achieve.  When I looked at the twenty percent I didn’t complete they included items that seem to roll over from year to year. If this is the case why do I keep putting them on the list?  We sometimes have a hard time letting go of what we either think we want or what we even allow others to say we need to have or do. When I went a little further I realized that ten percent of what was on my list were things I couldn’t really envision and therefore how would I be able to accomplish them. I’ve realized that sometimes it is time to just drop some things from the list all together.

Vision is vital if we want to achieve a goal.  The book of Proverbs says, where there is no vision the people perish.  We have five basic senses that include hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. We learn and achieve many things from our senses.  For me I am a visual learner that’s why I love vision boards. When I can really see something it makes it more achievable for me.  I have to really see it in my mind and in my heart and then I can put it down on paper or on my vision board.

What is important to you?  What are your goals for the new year?  Have you really thought them through? Can you see them in your mind?  Can you feel (touch) them in your hands?  Can you hear them in your heart? Are they so real that you can even smell them? Can you taste the success? If you really want to achieve your goals in the coming year you need to really embrace them with all you’ve got and make sure they fit with your overall purpose.  A great place to start would be to lay your goals out on a vision board.  Keep them in front of you and review them on a regular basis.  Let’s get started and Happy New Year!

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Hope For Our Children This Season

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 12/05/16

Whenever you are talking about helping someone it is never the wrong season, however, there is something special about the holidays that make people more aware, compassionate and philanthropic.  Just this past week I had the privilege of attending the Children’s Defense Fund Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Founder Marian Wright Edelman was in attendance and she shared words of encouragement to all in attendance that now more than ever we have to be diligent to make sure we leave no child behind.

The Children’s Defense Fund began in 1973 with the purpose of providing a strong voice for all children.  They put an emphasis on the needs of poor children, children of color and children with disabilities.  Marian Wright Edelman tries to encourage preventive investments before children get sick, or drop out of school or suffer from the breakdown of families.  They have continued in their mission by promoting the Leave No Child Behind. The mission is to ensure every child has a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life encouraging a successful passage to adulthood. 

This past week I also attended the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) Winter Wonderland Gala & Fundraiser at the California African American Museum where I was honored for the work of Forgiving For Living, Inc. (www.forgivingforliving.org).  NCRF was founded by Theresa Price and their mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and or reenrollment among underserved and underrepresented youth.  They are able to achieve this by providing intervention, mentoring, tutoring, college readiness and much more.  To date they have served and helped over several hundred students with scholarships and gap fees.

Forgiving For Living (FFL) fits right into the middle of both the Children’s Defense Fund and the National College Resources Foundation missions.  It is FFL’s mission to help at risk girls between the ages of 12-18 overcome behavioral and mental health issues in addition to low self-esteem due to depression, abuse and or abandonment.  We achieve our goals through mentoring, teaching life skills and showing the power of forgiveness and letting go of what we can’t control.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act…it is an attitude.”  To date Forgiving For Living has served over 3,000 girls and has given away thousands of dollars in scholarships.

If we want to ensure a hopeful future for our children today, we must all do our part to make sure it happens.  If you are not involved in an organization that helps or works with children, you can still help and be part of the difference by volunteering or sending donations this holiday season. The choice is up to you.  You can make a difference!

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy.gladney@gmail.com.

Now What?

by Wendy Gladney Dean on 11/14/16

The race is over and the election has been decided and now we must all figure how we will move forward.  The country is definitely split and there are even some families that stand on both sides of the fence.  No matter how any of us feel we have to learn, adapt and accept the results of the election.  I believe many of us will be challenged and we are going to have to really fall on our faith and values.  The people have spoken and yet healing will still need to be done.

Out of fear and concern for the American people, as well as for the global economy, many are seeking answers including Fortune and Time Magazines who will assemble a hundred of the world’s top business leaders, along with other voices to meet in Rome next month to discuss basically now what?  Their goal is to have a conversation about what the private sector can do to make the global economic system work better for everyone.  This conversation needs to continue with all of us.

Since the election many have taken to the streets to show their concern by protesting the results. What I find interesting is probably no matter who would have won citizens would have taken to the streets. Civil Disobedience is our right and we should let our voices be heard, but we also have a responsibility to respect the electoral process even when we don’t agree with the outcome.  We have to respect the office even if we don’t agree with the person. However, we have policies and procedures in place that can guide us on how to protest if we desire to change the system.  For years there’s been concern about the power of the Electoral College over the Popular Vote.  If we feel the true voice of the people is not being heard, then what do we do?

After the election when Donald Trump visited the White House, President Obama actually shared, “we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”  We all have to do our best to do our part to continue to make America great.  America even with all of its faults is a great country and yet we have many that are still disenfranchised.  The question becomes will we all rise or will we all fall?  It is said history repeats itself, I hope we don’t go back in time and reinstitute negatives that so many people fought, died and gave their lives for.

Now what?  Now is the time for us to keep pressing forward.  Now is not the time to give up or even point blame.  Now is a time for no excuses.  Now is the time to become the best we can be and reach back and pull someone up with us.  Now is a time to return to the basics and remember our core.  We must show compassion, mindfulness, hope and love to those that might feel sad, depressed and beaten down.  Now what depends on each of us.  What will you do?

Healing Without Hate:  It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on!

Visit www.WendyEnterprises.com and www.forgivingforliving.org.  Wendy is a coach, consultant and speaker. You may email her at wendy@wendyenterprises.com.