September 26th, 2012

Homemade Solutions

The Growth Project is back! We’ve been gone for awhile (growing of course) but we are ready to get back in the swing of things just in time for a presidential election, football season, fall tv shows and anything else we feel like addressing….in other words we’re drivin’ tha bus!

Indulge me for a moment as I attempt to kick-start things on a more serious note. We have an upcoming presidential election where voters will have to choose between Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or whether to vote at all (according to a few recent studies many people are planning on sitting this one out). The debate between liberals and conservatives often centers around the role the Federal Government should play in our lives. Wherever you land in the debate, I think we should all support programs like the Family Independence Initiative (FII), an organization which helps struggling families in a number of communties across the country get back on their feet.

FII’s strategies emphasize self-determination and local interdependence but that doesn’t mean they or I am advocating for a smaller Federal Government. I believe we need a balance between Federal Government assistance and resources and local engagement. Programs such as FII simply debunk the myth that struggling communities and families depend solely on government handouts and aren’t doing anything to help themselves.

Check out the well-written Boston Globe article here to learn more about the work of FII and other local organizations in Boston and across the country.

I also want to give a special shout to my brother and fellow Growth Project co-creator GAMMA Man for his work with FII and for making us all aware of their great contributions to various communities.

Like I said…we’ve been growing…stay tuned


December 2nd, 2011

Why I don’t like taking public transportation


Why I don’t like taking public transportation

(via the-planet-pluto)

November 30th, 2011
Need we say more?!GAMA Man 

Need we say more?!


November 6th, 2011

Do I need to say anything?

(Source: frankocean)

Fucking beautiful!! No matter how bad things get, take a step back and appreciate how blessed you actually are. 


This Made Me Happy lol.

(Source: bonvivantx, via frankocean)

November 2nd, 2011

Shaq & Kobe

Shaq Uncut: My Story, the Diesel’s new autobiography written with noted Around the Horn personage Jackie MacMullan.

Checkout some of the exerts from Shaq Uncut. This is one of the first book in a while that I’ve been excited to purchase……..I might fuck around and cop a Kindle for this.

P.S. “Kobe tell me how my ass taste” (pause)

November 1st, 2011

Taste it!

Do I need to say anything?!

All I can think of at this time is a line from the urban poet Cam’ron from hit poem “Is yu suckin, or not?”.

stop, cough Hop on, hop off, lollypop off I know it’s white but here comes the hot sauce (Killah)”


October 29th, 2011

I’m Just Saying…You Can Do Better.


In the months before I packed up my brand new, cheap-as-hell Dell desktop and went off to college, *insert anonymous, responsible, sweater-wearing Bill Cosby-like adult* told me that my level of success would depend on how well I managed my time. In other words, I could get good grades and still have fun if I could figure out how to juggle (in a manner commensurate with their importance) the books, the sports, the homies, the PS2, the single life, my first semi-adult relationship,  and — let’s be real — the excessive amount of bullsh!tting that takes place on any and every campus that isn’t BYU. Looking back, I think I struck a decent balance of having a good time and doing what I needed to do. Still, I never really pushed myself to be the best “manager” I could. 

College is now an increasingly distant memory, but some things don’t change as much as you’d like. Why have I still not fully figured out this time management thing? 

In the last few months, my procrastination has had some especially annoying consequences. Annoying to the point that I can’t help but wonder how insane it is that I refuse (on a pretty frequent basis) to make my life easier by just getting things done as soon as I think of them. Seriously, it’s a disease. There really is no excuse. There are enough hours in the day. It’s just straight underachievement, fam. That’s right, I’m calling myself out.

Each time I put myself in these situations, I acknowledge what I could have done differently. The question is how long that acknowledgement lasts before I put myself right back in a hole like a fallen dictator (too soon?). What good is acknowledgement if you’re not ackin’ on the knowledge? To be fair, I’m trying to write things down more often, be thoughtful, proactive, blah blah blah. It means contradicting my nature and breaking habits that have been formed over the years and truthfully haven’t negatively impacted me to the extent that would force a change of attitude. Still, at some point, enough is enough. 

This post isn’t leading to to any grand conclusions. I’m not gonna sit here and act like I’ve figured this out, declare that I have a brand new life ahead, etc. However, it’s a conversation that I’ve needed to have with myself for awhile now. One thing I will say: if you’re anything like me, do yourself a favor this coming week, take one thing you have been putting off and just bang it out. And don’t half-ass it either. Treat it like it’s a defenseless Victor Ortiz after he intentionally and inexcusably head-butted you in the mouth. Treat it like it’s Obama and you’re the director of Fox News. Treat it like it’s a large group of NBA fans and you are a season-crippling lockout. You get the idea.

The Growth Project: it’s really just about getting better every day, even if only a little bit. We ain’t perfect. But if you’re trying to be better than you were yesterday, you’re part of the Growth Project just like I am.

-Clever’s Advocate

August 15th, 2011

What is really happening in England?

Can somebody please explain to me why the international news coverage of what is going on in London has been so seemingly lackluster.  My family and friends in London are telling a very different story about what is really going on.  In short, they tell me the riots in England are in response to racial and cultural discrimination combined with a lack of opportunities for young people (instead of being random unsolicited acts of violence and vandalism as is being reported).  And whats going on with the inquiry about the death of Mark Duggan, the black taxi driver that was killed by police earlier this month — an event being pointed to as the catalyst for the subsequent rioting? Why are our news sources not covering the various angles of this story?

I am not one of those people who likes to blame the media for everything nor am I the type of person who likes to assign blame/culpability before all of the facts of a situation have been properly assessed.  I am rather shocked, however, that our news sources do not seem to be covering every relevant and available angle of this story as I believe responsible journalism would dictate.  Are there racial, social, and cultural undertones behind the uprisings in England?  What are the relevant social conditions surrounding the rioting?  What are the facts surrounding the killing of Mark Duggan?  and, what are the rioters/protesters actually saying? 

Based on the discrepancies my family and friends living in England are making me aware of, the wool is being pulled over the international communities eyes in terms of exactly what is happening socially in the country. 

My father was Born and raised in London and he left England for America 20 years ago after his Boss at the English telecommunications giant he was working for told him he could not advance to management because he was black.  What, if anything, has changed over the past 20 years in terms of race relations in Britain?  These, no doubt, are difficult questions that can only be answered by evaluating various somewhat complex factors but I think it is important that we engage in the discussion.

My fellow Growth Project creator and current resident of London (he has been living there for just under a year) had this to say about the cause of the ongoing riots, 

"I think its a combination, D. Some people are along for the ride. Others understand the issues (lack of opportunities, institutional discrimination, etc.) and are upset. Either way you cut it, if young people were involved in things that left them feeling a sense of responsibility and accountability, I don’t think they would be bussin’ store windows! The sense I have gotten here (to be taken with a grain of salt as it has been less than a year) is that something is missing from an “education transitioning into CAREER” perspective. It’s something that locally, I could stand to learn more about.”  REB
Special thanks to Growth Project contributors, Malik Lewis and Edgar James for providing the following video from an Al Jazeera broadcast discussing the riots and its implications. Interestingly, my contacts in London tell me that Al Jazeera is one of the few news sources that is covering the story completely.

Inside Story: London’s Burning

Also, take a look at the following video from a BBC News Broadcast. The gentleman being interviewed is, Darcus Howe, a West Indian writer and broadcaster.  Notice how the interviewer seems to make an unreasonable implication about Mr. Howe’s comments and is overly sensitive to the possibility that Mark Duggan’s death was the result of police misconduct.  Special thanks to Growth Project contributor Kim Alston.

London Riots (BBC)
By no means am I contending that these videos and comments accurately represent a total picture of what is happening, rather, they are a few perspectives among many that don’t seem to be surfacing in the international news community.
What are your thoughts? I invite you to comment about your perspective on this developing story as we all attempt to gain insight about exactly what is happening and what needs to be done.
I am going to continue to follow the story and I will update this post as I find out more.  Stay tuned….DLJ

August 5th, 2011

Question: What was your favorite Nickelodeon teen comedy series, and favorite Nick cartoon as a kid?

My choice would be Solute Your Shorts (Checkout the theme song….it brings back hella memories), and Rugrats. 

Now it would be easy to say All That was my favorite, but the Solute Your Shorts theme song made me think of this question. 

~GAMA man