MAKING THE MOST OF WELCOME WEEK!

We know that students who attend Welcome Week are more confident when they start classes because they have had time to meet friends, navigate campus and get settled. Welcome Week introduces and builds upon various communities on Campus.

From Music and Magic to Hypnosis and Comedy…having a great time is what brings people together to begin forging friendships and making memories that will last a lifetime.

See our guide to find the perfect Welcome Week entertainment to enhance your Orientation and Welcome Week experience!

Check out our welcome week entertainment guide: https://spark.adobe.com/page/MO9w7VBsUtPKs/

Fear, Pride, or Acceptance?

Because you are taking the time to read this, you’ve felt the pain of being judged.

No matter how many times you’ve told yourself that other people’s opinions about you do not signify who you are, at one time or another, you’ve allowed the hatred behind cruel words to slice you into an emotional wreckage. I understand your pain. I was fired from my position as the assistant national team coach, because I was vocal about my coach sexually harassing me. The response from the United States Team Handball Federation was that my coach couldn’t possibly sexually harass me, because I was a lesbian.

Inside the Office of Civil Rights litigation room, the Federation lawyers wounded me with their words, making certain I knew that if I continued the lawsuit against my coach that they would announce my sexual orientation to the media. Maybe that doesn’t sound so awful to you today, but in 1988 if you were a known homosexual, you would never be able to coach on a high school or college campus.

Coaching was my lifelong dream.

Parents of high school and college athletes thought that you would turn their child into a lesbian. Yep, I possessed a magic homosexual wand, which upon my incantations would “turn” young women into loving other women.

NOT!

But the strange thing was that people once believed that I could!

They believed I was a horrible human being incapable of normal human emotions. We’ve come a long way since those days, yet LBGTQ people are still being judged for their sexual orientation. The moment we stop educating people about who we are—our connection to them and their human frailty—is the moment that the recognition and acceptance we have achieved will slide backwards.

There are still people who see us as dirty, sinners, scum of the earth, and sexual predators.

The reason they see the LGBTQ community this way is because they don’t know who we are. We are as diverse, complicated, soulful, and emotional as they are. We have families, values, jobs, friends, children, and feelings. Yes, we have feelings. People who don’t know us, judge us, because it is easier to judge from a distance. More than that, they have been taught that judging another human being is okay and even righteous. 

I was fired from my assistant national team coaching position in 1988, because I was courageous enough to stand up against the head coach who was sexually harassing me. BUT I wasn’t strong enough to remain in the lawsuit when I knew that my personal life would be exposed. Afraid of hatred, judgment, vengeance, and most of all, the fear of not being able to do what I loved the most—coaching—made me retract the lawsuit.

I am thankful for those noble LGBTQ people before me and behind me who had the strength to stand up for their rights, to walk holding hands in cities, malls, and restaurants, and who have advocated for the right to be recognized as marriage partners. When I was a teenager, there were no television characters who were gay. If an actor or singer was gay, they hid their personal lives. I had no role models to let me know that I was okay.

My father disowned me.

Friends abandoned me.

For two years the only way I could date a woman was to get drunk enough, so that I could blame my actions on alcohol.  

I was ashamed and embarrassed that I loved other women. I couldn’t even say the word, “lesbian.” The word sounded dirty to me. I thought about suicide. I held a gun under my chin with my finger on the trigger more than once. There are still young LGBTQ people out there who feel judged, hated, and wounded, and who turn to drugs, alcohol, or cutting, because they don’t know that they are okay. Some of those people will pull the trigger.

My prayer for us is that we continue to learn to love and accept ourselves so that we will not allow the judgment of the ignorant to determine our happiness or worthiness.

Coach Winn is a Two-Time Olympian and an Award-Winning Speaker and Author, who speaks on diversity, leadership, team building, and communication. Her diversity speech is titled: “From Tailspin to Olympian: A Made-For-TV Movie That Was My Real Life.” You can find her at www.CoachWinnSpeaks.com or contact Metropolis Management at 877-536-5374.

Learn More About Coach Winn

“ALWAYS” IS A CHOICE!

Pop music standard “You Always Hurt the One You Love” has been performed by many artists over the years, each putting their own unique spin on the tone of the message. But when it comes down to it, far too often, the sentiment is unfortunately true. Many people do hurt the ones they love the most. But the question is why?

Here are several possible reasons for why the saying rings true:

  • We have much greater access to the ones we love. It’s more access than we do with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and of course, strangers. Since we interact with them more often, and more intimately, it gives us additional opportunity—be it intentional or unintentional—to hurt them.
  • We know them well. Over time, as we’ve grown closer to them, we’ve been exposed to their strengths, weaknesses, opinions, victories, defeats, and political stances, and as such, we can say and do things we know will annoy, anger, agitate or disappoint them.
  • We know their hot buttons and how they will react when pushed. We know what words, actions, and experiences would hurt them the most, and we can decide whether or not to use that information against them.

So, how do we break the cycle?  By choosing to make purposeful decisions. By choosing to live with one heartbeat. By choosing to love, respect and admire the ones we love and care for instead inflicting pain or hurt upon them. It means we must exercise intentional self-control at the precise moment the choice faces us —to hurt, or not to hurt, and make no mistake it is a choice. The more we model this behavior for others, the more it will become the norm and possibly cause a change to the name of the song to, “We sometimes hurt the ones we love” because no one is perfect and mistakes will be made, even when we have the best of intentions.

Learn More about David here: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/david-coleman/

Black Music is American Music!

Just about every genre of music has, in some way, been touched and influenced by African-Americans. That’s why on June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month. First inducted 39 years ago today, it was created to recognize and celebrate the historical influence African-Americans have had on the music industry and is intended to pay homage to the many artists, writers, songs and albums that have shaped American pop culture and the inspiring musical moments that have brought citizens—white, black and every other skin color—together.

It was brought to life by Music-industry icon and radio personality Dyana Williams, along with her ex-husband, Kenny Gamble.

In an interview between The Root and Dyana Williams, she is quoted:

Gamble is the father of Black Music Month, and when we were a couple, we conceived the idea. Gamble established the Black Music Association, and one time he made a trip to Nashville[, Tenn.,] and observed the Country Music Association and how they had created an entire industry and city and made it known for being the capital of country music. Gamble was inspired by that idea. He was inspired by the unity of country artists and wanted to replicate that in the black community…

Gamble reached out to Clarence Avant, the godfather of black music, who has always had strong relationships with the major players. And through the efforts of Clarence Avant, through Jules Malamud, who was part of the BMA, they petitioned Jimmy Carter to host this reception.

Nothing like that had ever happened at the White House. Chuck Berry, Frankie Crocker, all of the who’s who in the music industry were there. It was a great day.

Dyanna later got a bill to the Senate floor in 2000 with the help of Congressman Chaka Fattah to make June officially nationally recognized as Black Music Month. Signed by President Clinton, It is now known as the African American Music Bill.

As we celebrate this June, Let’s acknowledge the foundation of artists that have shaped the sounds of our nation, as well as the current music makers and future generations who will continue to advance Black music.

All genres including Gospel, the Blues, Rock, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Hip-Hop, EDM, Pop and any hybrid forms of these genres are significantly American. Black music is American music! We should never forget that fact.” — Dyanna Williams

We honor the following musicians this month.

Ivy Roots

Kenneth “Xclusive” Paryo

B2Wins

Jason and Zaena

Life in a World Touring Band

Contributed by Daniel Freiburg

It is amazing to have the opportunity to tour nationally and internationally. A lot goes into organizing a good tour, so it is very rewarding to play the shows and connect with such unique audiences everywhere we go.

We’ve completed our second successful tour in Morocco recently, which we are very excited about. It took lots of planning and logistics, especially taking the language barrier into consideration, but the hard work certainly paid off. Morocco is so different from the USA in so many ways, but when we go there, we are reminded that music is a universal language that brings everybody together. No matter who you are, your body will move to good music, and our responsibility is to bring an energizing and memorable performance to all the audiences we play for.

We’ve also had the amazing opportunity to play in Brazil. Two of our band members are from there, and it was incredible to play in their home country. The crowds were extremely responsive and welcoming, and the experience was unforgettable.

As a band, we have a strong message of inclusion and always respecting other people’s unique differences. We believe that as long as you respect others, you can be free to do whatever you want. It brings us great joy to be able to spread that message in so many places around the world. It also gives us the opportunity to meet so many people with such distinct personalities. Fans end up becoming our friends in so many situations, and that just makes everything fall into place and make sense for us.

Tour life is not glorious all the time though. Even though lots of people think that show time is the only time of the day we really need to work, we would argue that it is the complete opposite. We see the show as the reward: a time to let go, forget everything, and just focus on connecting with the audience through the magic of music. Aside from having to carry lots gear around, sound checks, extensive drives and flights, and lots of planning for the group/tour managing, there are always problems that pop up along the way. We’ve had a van break down on us on the side of road for example, and had to be towed into our gig by a Triple A truck! Traveling a lot is tiring, and takes a hard toll on the body. Not to mention when you sleep little and move around a lot, your immune system doesn’t always hold up very well.

Through challenges, triumphs, sweat, and tears, we bring our best and most energetic show possible everywhere we go. We know that what we do is unique and requires a certain kind of personality, and we all think we fit right into the requirements. We absolutely love what we do every single day, and are thankful that the art we love so much takes us around the world and allows us to meet such incredible people. If you are reading this, I hope we will have the opportunity to hang out at an Added Color show very soon!!!

Learn More about Added Color: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/added-color/

 

Six Words to Live By, Contributed by Nash Fung

“I’m proud to be an immigrant”, those six words and the following story are what I tell my audience in every show. It is because when I first immigrated to the USA, I was everything but proud of being an immigrant, being an outsider.

For 100 years, Hong Kong was a colonial state of The Great Britain, and yes, I grew up learning the proper “Queen’s English”, and no, it didn’t help my communication when I first step foot in the US at the age of 14. It was the summer of 1997 when our step-mother England gave sovereignty back to our biological parent China, this is when my family left Hong Kong and started our new chapter in Seattle. There are many lessons I had learned from being an immigrant, but the one I share in all my shows is one of self confidence and embracing one’s difference.

Being an immigrant at the age 14 means I was immediately thrown into a very unforgiving environment called the American high school. How you look, how you talk, how you act were judged on a daily basis. As an outsider, I was different from everyone in every one of those aspects. I barely understood what anyone was saying for the first 6 months, doing a presentation in class was terrifying especially with other students snickering at my accent.

I feared that people would reject me because I was different, that’s why I tried to hide my differences. I feared that people would look down on me because of the negative Asian stereotype, that we were the “uncool” minorities. This is why I discovered magic; magic gave me confidence by deflecting people’s attentions from that which makes me different, magic made me look cool so people wouldn’t dismiss me as another nerdy and unattractive Asian immigrant.

A lot of life choices I made as an immigrant were stemmed from my fear of other people’s judgment, but looking back, I honestly don’t think anyone has ever really looked at me negatively because I was an Asian immigrant, or because I was different. Ultimately my idea of people’s perception of me was an illusion that was conjured up in my head and rooted in my own insecurity.

If we constantly live to pass others’ judgment, we’ll forever be unhappy. My experience as an immigrant taught me the value in truly embracing one’s identity, and most importantly, embrace that which makes you different from others. It is ok to be an outsider, it is ok if other people think you are “uncool”. But if you know who you are authentically and live out who you are unapologetically, you will be infinitely happier. I know who I am, I am an immigrant, I bring a different angle of perspective and life experience, and you damn right, I am proud to be one.

Contributed by Nash Fung, award-winning magician

Learn more about Nash! http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/nash-fung-premier-magic/

Growing up Multi-cultural: Reflecting Back

Growing up in the “Bay Area” region of California, I was the only girl in our suburban elementary school who couldn’t easily identify her origins. I grew up around the traditions and customs of my family, while at school, I integrated into the norms of my school environment. When curious minds asked about my background, my answers flip-flopped between being Indian, South Asian, American, Fijian, Pacific Islander and a cousin (Islanders think we are all cousins). “Which is it?,” they would ask when I gave them more than one answer. My multiculturalism meant I didn’t fit in any one category, that my roots couldn’t be explained by checking one box. My identity is complicated – an Indian girl born in the United States to parents from the little Fiji Islands.

In elementary school, I was treated as the “Indian girl.” Classmates would often call me “Gandhi dot,” referring to the red dot usually placed on married women and on the forehead of Indian Hindus after a prayer ritual. As I got older, I’d get the oddest questions like “Why do your parents arrange your marriage for you? Isn’t that against the law?” At the time, I was still learning the ropes and wasn’t prepared with a meaningful answer. My best retort was to inform the inquirer that, despite this tradition, Indians continue to have a lower divorce rate than Americans. Over time, I became wittier and even watched Indian-born comics include arranged marriage jokes in their sets. I’ve since learned an array of smart ass comebacks.

My family and friends might be surprised to know that I still face these kinds of challenges. It turns out that, in some places, Indians from Fiji still face classism and casteism from those from India.  Unfortunately, there are some Indians from the motherland who ignorantly view Indians from Fiji as second class. To them, we are not to be socialized with nor should we be allowed educational and employment opportunities.  I’ve experienced this phenomenon first-hand. A suitor’s mother once casually told me that “no reputable Indian man would marry a girl from Fiji.” Recently, an Indian actually turned down my job offer simply because he did not feel comfortable working for someone from Fiji. These experiences have definitely given me pause and made me reevaluate my moral compass as well as that of those around me.  

When I was growing up, diversity and inclusion weren’t part of the curriculum at school.  I don’t recall a book, TV show, or elder providing me with advice on how to explain my culturally rich background in a manner that wouldn’t be confusing to the uninformed. Integrating into American culture was often simpler than trying to explain who I am and where I come from. While this made everyday life a little less complicated, my brown skin and Pacific Islander features meant I would still always be viewed as different.

As it does for everyone, life went on and I landed this job as an agent, which has been a time of great learning and awareness. I’ve immersed myself into the world of Student Affairs, leading to exposure and friendships with people at many different colleges and universities – people who spend their days educating and spreading awareness about inclusion and diversity. Through this network, I have been able to make some sense of the inadequacy I felt and now have closure from that time. Most importantly, I’ve been empowered to help and educate so many others who feel as if they don’t fully belong.

Ironically, it’s the values embraced in Fiji, a small island in the Pacific Ocean where my Indian parents hail from, that has helped shape my understanding and compassion for myself and everyone around me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve actually taken on even more facets to my identity – wife, mother, business owner. I now welcome these different labels and have learned to cherish and be proud of all the characteristics that uniquely make me who I am.

While I may not have realized it when I was younger, I now know I’m lucky to have such a diverse background. I celebrate American, Indian, South Asian, and Fijian holidays. I watch Bollywood movies and sing Hindi songs. I have beautifully embroidered clothing and glittery jewelry. I eat cassava and listen to my family share stories around a bowl of kava.  And, we even partake in the chaos that is Black Friday and Christmas shopping. All of these rich and rewarding experiences were made possible for me because I am an Indian born in America whose parents are from Fiji.

-Contributed by Joyce Jiawan

Owner/Regional Account Manager

Metropolis Management

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). Each year Mental Health America releases a toolkit of materials for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from  depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the negative attitudes and misconceptions that surrounds mental illnesses.

Studies have shown that Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. Whether we know it or not, people struggling with mental health may be family members, neighbors, teachers, friends, or coworkers. We can all take steps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by doing the following:

  • Learning more about mental health: allows helpful support to those affected in our families and communities.
  • Advocating within our circles of influence: helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other members of your church, school and community.
  • Showing individuals respect and acceptance: removes a significant barrier to successfully coping with their illness. Having people see you as an individual and not as your illness can make the biggest difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health.

During the month of May, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.

The theme for 2018 is Fitness #4Mind4Body.  During the month of May, the main focus is on what we as individuals can do to be fit for our own futures – no matter where we happen to be on our own personal journeys to health and wellness.

You can find more information from Mental Health America about their #4Mind4Body Challenge or download their mental health toolkit by visiting their website.   http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

 

CELEBRATING APAHM

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)! We all can join in celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

If you didn’t know,  the description Asian/Pacific heritage encompasses a wide variety of wonderful people and places. Here is a comprehensive list of the areas that comprise the term Asian/Pacific.

  • All of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia including New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
  • Polynesia, Including: New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island.
  • Micronesia, Including: Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia.

As you can see, there are many diverse regions with many reasons to celebrate their beautiful heritage, but where did Asian Pacific American Heritage Month get its start?  

Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage week. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” The following month, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Spark Matsunaga from Hawaii introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration.

During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990, when President George H. W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend the week-long celebration to a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

We can all be thankful for the amazing achievements and contributions as well as celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

3 Skills All Women in Leadership Need

Leading from a Woman’s Perspective: Coach Sherry Winn

Women have come a long way since the days when my Olympic Teammates had to wear the hand-me- downs from the men’s team. Because the elastic was worn out, they were forced to duct tape their waist bands, so that their shorts wouldn’t fall off when they were running down the court. Those were the days when women reporters were banned from male locker rooms, when women were ridiculed who wanted to coach men, and when the thought of a woman president of the United States was so far from mainstream thought that no woman would even consider running.

Life has changed. And yet, women are far from having the opportunity to lead that men do. Less than 4.2% of the top CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are women. Even though 57% of the population of colleges and universities are women, only 26% of college presidents are female. And 42.8% of all coaches who coach women are female while less than 5% of all coaches coaching males are females. Because women are not afforded the same opportunities as men to lead, women must show superior leadership skills to gain opportunities.

What type of skills will bring you to the top? The three main leadership skills to bring to the table are assertive communication, conflict resolution skills, and motivational skills.

1.ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION

When I taught leadership skills to Anytime Fitness, their women leaders struggled with the label that many women receive when they are strong—the “B” label. When you are a strong woman, you might face men who suggest you continually suffer from PMS, or women take your words personally complaining that you are too mean. As a student female leader, you have a tough line to walk, but when you learn assertive communication skills, that line gets easier. Assertive communicators are confident, open-minded, good listeners, and respond rather than react. They possess the ability to gather information, ask team members for suggestions, and determine the best course of action. They are inclusive but will take decisive action when needed.

2.CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Team members look to leaders to resolve issues. If you cannot resolve the issues that student team members bring to you, chaos will ensue, and nobody will follow you. When I ask student leaders at leadership retreats where they learned communication skills, they normally respond, “Our parents.” When I ask them how many of their parents had great conflict resolution skills, one or two students out of a hundred will raise their hands. Most of your student members will do exactly what their parents did: play the blame game, use the silent treatment, or throw a temper tantrum. If these are the skills you use, you will not get ANY students to follow you. The secret to conflict resolution is to provide yourself with these five ground rules:

  1. Let the other person finish speaking before you speak;
  2. Focus on the current issue only
  3. Keep open body language
  4. Use active listening;
  5. Concentrate on the solution rather than the blame.

3.MOTIVATION

Zig Ziglar said, “Some people say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does taking a bath. That is why you do it every day.” Students love to remain in their comfort zones, because it is easy. If you allow your student team members to sit back and take the easy route, they will enjoy the ride until they realize they didn’t accomplish their dreams. Then they will blame you. You are the one responsible for exuding positivity in tough times, offering solutions to challenges, and holding the vision toward your goals. To accomplish any goal, you will find dips in the momentum of reaching that goal. If you allow your team members to dip in enthusiasm, the goal is lost.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The only way that women will have more opportunities to lead is if more women are willing to take leadership roles, and if we support the women who are in leadership roles. Women don’t support women like men support men. We are awesome at assisting our female friends when they are sick, hurt, or their boyfriends break up with them, but we fail to support them when they run for office or seek higher roles in organizations.

Now is the day to support one another and to change the percentages of women in leadership roles.

About the Author

Coach Sherry Winn is a Two-Time Olympian, National Championship Coach, and Amazon Best Seller. She is one of the nation’s foremost speakers on winning in life, love, and leadership sharing over 2,000 hours of WINNING WISDOM with audience members.

For More information about Coach Sherry Winn, Her Programs, and Booking Inquiries, Clink Here: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/coach-winn/

 

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