I recently voiced my rejection to vulgar remarks and a lewd photo which was displayed in a private Facebook chat room. One of the purveyors of the lewd photo said to me that we were in a private room and thus no one was seeing what they were talking about. Another participant called me “old school” and remarked we were in the “barber shop.” So, should I have assumed that anything goes in the barber shop? I ejected myself from the vulgar atmosphere and wonder why some Facebook users believe that because they are in a private chat room spewing filth no one is seeing their content. The recent NSA debacle should have alerted us. Also, having read George Orwell’s book, “1984,” I believe we are always being watched. If the participants in the Facebook chat room don’t believe me then they should pay attention to the present spying incidents which are being reported in the news or they should ask the former CIA chief, Michael Hayden, who was overheard by a fellow passenger bashing the current United States of America (USA) Administration while travelling on a train, why did he surmised speaking on the phone in the USA was a private activity. Nuff Said!
The New York Observer in its October 14, 2013 edition reported that a 2012 report from private equity mavens, Veronis Suhler, predicted public relations is the fastest growing segment in the $1.4 trillion communications market. It is wonderful to note public relations (PR) has generated a “buzz” for itself.
Public Relations is often thought to be interchangeable with Marketing. While public relations and marketing oftentimes operate in a synergistic manner, they are not synonymous. Public Relations is the process by which a company, organization or person enhances its reputation to specific audiences or manages negative publicity the aforementioned entities may have received. Therefore, it takes skill and strategy to execute a successful public relations campaign. Marketing is the process by which the entities attempt to entice consumers to purchase a specific product or service. Currently in just about every phase of the customer experience marketing is being celebrated as the process where a mutually beneficial connection occurs between the marketer and the consumer.
The emergence of social media has placed public relations at the pinnacle of the marketing mix. Gone are the days when public relations was the step-child to advertising. Public relations practitioners are now able to create and tell their stories themselves through YouTube, Twitter and Blogs to name a few. No longer do they have to “exclusively” depend upon journalists to tell their stories. Digital media has opened up a plethora of platforms for public relations to re-emerge as an important component of marketing. And, publicists are rejoicing because of the new opportunities.
With all the peculiar behaviors currently being displayed in the United States of America (USA)Congress, it is refreshing to note some organizations are pressing ahead with their missions serving the communities where they exist. The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Pasadena – Foothill Valley Chapter is one such organization. I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Draine, Project Manager for YWCA Pasadena – Foothill Valley Chapter, last week and she inspired me. Over the last several months, I have observed the invaluable service the YWCA offers to junior and high schools girls, who are enrolled in Pasadena Unified School District. The YWCA has got to be the “best keep secret” in Pasadena, California. On a daily basis, you can find 25 – 50 young girls visiting the YWCA’s office for assistance with tutoring, computer skills development and empowerment classes. Since over the last few months I have been planning to scribe a blog on violence, I decided last week as a tribute to the YWCA Week Without Violence 2013, which is set to begin on Monday, October 21 through Sunday, October 27, 2013, to dedicate this week’s “Curbing Bad Behavior” to Ms. Draine and all of the young women who worked with and for the YWCA Pasadena – Foothill Valley Chapter.
The YWCA Week Without Violence is a staple program for all YWCA’s chapters across the USA. The YWCA’s programming is a stark reminder of the violence which women suffer daily, predominantly by men’s behaviors. Mental health issues and family upbringing where individuals, mostly men, have observed violence are the main triggers for violent behaviors. It was instructive to learn that TV, movies and social media are small contributors to violence in our communities. I experienced an enlightening moment when Ms. Draine remarked some of the kids she mentors don’t have televisions or computers in their homes. Oops…then media is not the main culprit of violence in our communities. Gangs, low emotional self-esteem and surroundings are much bigger contributors to violent behaviors. Gone are the days when children and young adults can be disciplined by members of the community (it takes a village to raise a child). As the USA has progressed, the laws governing corporal punishment have become more restrictive. So, today the villagers are “minding their own businesses” and remind silent regarding their neighbors’ children behaviors. To curb some of the violence in our communities, the villagers must again “speak up” when children are misbehaving.
Here are some statistics you might want to know: 160,000 kids miss school each day because of bullying; one (I) in five (5) American women have been the victim of rape in their lifetime and 40% of domestic violence victims are male.
As the YWCA Pasadena – Foothill Valley Chapter continues to empower, provide a safe place, advocate the importance of education and provide life skills to young girls, who attend Pasadena schools, I am eager to spread the word that the programs Ms. Draine and her colleagues administered, on behalf of the YWCA, are “free” to those families who are willing to engage the YWCA’s generosity.
To show your benevolence, you can attend the YWCA Women for Racial Justice Breakfast on Monday, October 21, 2013 at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel, which is located at 168 S. Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA. The program starts at 7:30 am and ends at 9:30 am. I hope to see my fellow Pasadena residents there.
If you are a fan of watching great movies and you have not seen “Prisoners,” I recommend you hurry to a movie theater and see this crime drama before it goes to video. Set in Pennsylvania in a suburban neighborhood, the movie traces the aftermath of the kidnapping of two seven (7) year old girls. Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello, who acted brilliantly) are parents of one of the young girls and Franklin and Nancy Birch (Terrence Howard and Viola Davis‘ portrayal of their characters are outstanding) are the parents of the other young girl who was kidnapped. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) rounds out the cast of the movie’s top bill thespians. “Prisoners” is one of the best thrillers I have seen this year.
Without giving away any more of “Prisoners” plot, I will remark it is electrifying, frightening, insightful, well-written, frantic, sympathetic, intense, brilliant and suspenseful. The aforementioned superlatives are more than appropriate for director Denis Villeneuve‘s film. In my viewpoint, Mr. Villeneuve squeezed every ounce of emotions from the actors, who were amazing playing their characters. You know you have seen a great movie when after it’s ended, the audience (strangers to one another) find themselves discussing the film; this was my experience seeing “Prisoners.”
One more thing, character actors Melissa Leo and Paul Dano are also members of “Prisoners” outstanding cast.
PHI BETA SIGMA FRATERNITY, INC. LAUNCHED NATIONAL ANTI-HAZING WEEK CAMPAIGN
Collegiate and Alumni Chapters Hosted Anti-Hazing Prevention Workshops from September 22 to 28, 2013
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (PBS) launched its National Anti-Hazing Week. The campaign occurred September 22 – 28, 2013. The Anti-Hazing Campaign has grown in its second year from a day to a week of activities. During this week, all collegiate and alumni chapters were instructed to host an Anti-Hazing prevention workshop for their members. The expectation was collegiate Chapter Presidents and Chapter Advisors will facilitate the training. Chapter Presidents and the Intake Chairmen will facilitate the training for alumni chapters.
As PBS prepares to celebrate its 100 years anniversary, the leadership is determined to eradicate the plague of hazing which has affected the community service organization in recent years. Because hazing threatens the existence of the proud legacy that PBS founders envisioned 99 years ago at Howard University, PBS has instituted a comprehensive program to engage its brotherhood in non-hazing or pledging behaviors.
“Over the past year, Phi Beta Sigma has produced anti-hazing sensitivity training materials for our chapters and for other organizations that are committed to ending the culture of hazing,” said Jonathan A. Mason, Sr., International President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “In launching the Anti-Hazing Week, we are further demonstrating our commitment to end hazing throughout our organization,” Mason added.
In 2012, the Anti-Hazing Campaign was introduced via a partnership with the National Action Network at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. As part of the campaign, supporting documents were developed (along with a video), a town hall meeting was held on the subject, workshops were facilitated and chapters were encouraged to participate in the National Anti-Hazing Awareness Day held on September 6, 2012. These activities educated and empowered PBS Brotherhood to serve as agents of change in the battle against hazing.
“We recognize the challenges the start of the fall can bring as many chapters are resuming their activities for the first time in months. To assist our members in executing the Anti-Hazing Campaign within their chapters, we have placed all the resources that are needed on the Fraternity’s website,” intimated Michael Cristal, International First Vice President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Anti-Hazing Campaign Chairman. “We expect 100% participation from our chapters,” Cristal remarked.
As PBS continues to be leaders in extinguishing the scourge that hazing brings upon individuals, communities and organizations, Anti-Hazing Chairman Cristal is encouraging PBS members, globally, to visit the organization’s web site to obtain more information about the campaign. http://www.phibetasigma1914.org/anti-hazing/
“Within a short time, we will be celebrating a monumental occasion within our fraternity’s history, we must stay steadfast in the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, and service as college educated men,” said Profit Idowu, International Second Vice President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. “In honor of the late past President Honorable Demetrius C. Newton, Sr., Esq. who said ‘a man in his lifetime should be able to love his fellow-man sincerely and act in honest motives purely,’ we entered Anti-Hazing Week, keeping these two points within our hearts to uphold our organization with the best in conduct. Let us not beat the life out of a legacy that has truly endured the test of time,” Idowu added.