Friday, July 27, 2012

Thinking about Thinking

What are we thinking?

I truly believe that thought is the architect of reality.  I experience this everyday.  I have a ritual wake up practice.  As soon as I realize that I am waking up, I close my eyes tight and say thank you.  Go ahead, call me Pollyanna.  I am used to it.  Some mornings I forget or wake up grumpy... its a practice.  But I tend to always notice the quality of my thinking throughout the day... and not starting my day with gratitude tends to bend my thinking into the hurried "realistic" or limited mind. A morning moment of gratitude gives way to a short 2-3 minute visioning of the qualities that I foresee for my day.  The specifics are not as important as the experience... I focus on gratitude, joy, compassion, confidence, mental clarity, creative thinking, and being present.  Throughout the day I see this preparation working in my favor.  And I tend to notice these qualities of my experience throughout the day and then I am having another moment of gratitude.  How often do we think about thinking?  How often do we teach about thinking?  What would be different in our world, in KCMO Public Schools if this practice or other similar mindfulness practices were taught?

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Big Bold Vision!

In Twenty Years... All Scholars in KCMO schools graduate in the top 10% of graduating seniors in the Nation.

From this Vision we have identified 5 Challenge Teams to develop projects that will build the foundation of this activated grassroots movement.

  1. Mentoring

  2. IEP (Individual Education Plans)

  3. Nutrition/ Food

  4. Community Culture

  5. Infrastructure

Challenge Embraced and Embodied by 21!

The Radical Openness Challenge Ignites a Movement!

What an honor it was to share space and time with 20 KC community members!  I was deeply moved by the outcomes and have just completed the process of digitizing the hard copy documentation of our Asset Inventory and Visioning work.


These are just a few of the capital assets that we have identified... (Capital... Built/ Institutional, Social, Human/ Intellectual, Cultural, Economic, Political, Natural/ Environment)

  • Father of 6, Known in KC Politics as an Activist, 269 family members in KC immediate Family, Nuclear Engineer, Board Member of Transitional Housing Corp, Urban Farmer Training, Green Home Renovation, Curriculum Development & School Creation, Rites of Passage instructor for young males, 3 time millionaire, cook, medical biller, computer builder & programmer, Auto Mechanic, Community Organizer, Peace Activist.
  • Urban Agriculture, Amen Par Ankh Healing, Charged to be a Steward of the Earth!
  • Habitat for Humanity, Grassroots Organizations, Kauffman Foundation, City of Fountains, Libraries, Harvesters, Churches, Universities, Medical Schools
  • Mentor/ Youth Advocate, Adaptive Strategist, Member of CSL, Connected to BEU, EC, Troost Alliance, KU Alum, Community Living Opportunities, Reconciliation Services, Troost Village, Hip Hop Academy/ Community, Shout KC, Bold New Poets, KC Youth Explosion Hype Night, Teach InterPlay, Embodied Cognition/ Mindfulness Education, Program Direction/ Management, Interdisciplinary culture/ collaboration, MECCA (Mindful Educators Catalyzing Community Allies) Mentor Program Design, Artist Educator, Screen Printing, Storyteller, Performance/ Experience Art, Sculptor (BFA) Building objects to express ideas, PUPPETS!!, Creative Problem Solving, Solutionary, Professional Development Trainings, Entrepreneur.
  • Digital Arts & Design, Community Activist, Coding, Connections to Mental Health, Fundraising Ability, Photography & Cinema, Connections within the inner-city, ethnic awareness.
  • Do Research, Writing, editing, some web work.
  • Transit Community, Construction (know means and methods)
  • Singing, Dreams, Resources
  • Neshamah Healing Energy Work, Create Your Own Reality Groups, Youth Volunteer Corps- national non-profit, Meditation & Internal energy practice, ACLU2 (the young folk connected to ACLU), Rime Buddhist Center, MOCSA- rape crisis center/ NP, Social Media content on FB, Twitter, Youtube, KC Crafters Society, Grant Writing & Editing, Parisole Arts Foundation in the Crossroads, online fundraising w/ no "limit" or minimum.
  • Civic Council, Compact 18th&Vine, Colleges & Universities, Black Chamber of commerce, City Depts and Staff, Crossroads Community Association, Downtown Council, BEU, 18th & Vine,NTDF, PIAC, KCIC, KCMOCDE, Social Media, Public/ Private Parnerships, Google Fiber, Rhythem n' Ribs, GDAP, Vine Steet Economic Dev. Plan.
  • Direct connections to several neighborhood and community groups, Ability to be available as a volunteer, platform to reach/ mobilize large # of older adults- Foster Grandparents, Ability to Facilitate Trainings, 
  • Experience with intentional community, relationship with director at IRS, Carpentry Skills, Food not Bombs, relationships with food banks and groceries, Basic education and Interest in Human Psychoneuroendocrinology, Ability to communicate effectively, artistic skill.
  • Soil, running water, empty buildings, vacant land, scrap metal, leaves and brush, trees, gardens, students, designers, healthy food, sustainable agriculture teacher, wind, sunlight, plastic, Garbage, people who can do work, teachers.
  • Illustration, Intern at American Jazz Museum, Chinese, Spanish & Japanese, Rosebrooks, DeLaSalle, teaching, West Bottoms, Downtown KC, Homegrown, Restart, Gardening, Music, Silk-screening t-shirts, marketing, popular culture.
  • Community Support Division, KCPD, Minister/ Mentor
  • Witness, Design with Purpose, abstract imagination in combination with deductive reasoning, leadership through advice, any composition of music
  • UMKC Economics Dept., community elders (retired), Urban Summit, UMKC Campus, Black United Front

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Orientation Location Update

Our orientation event will take place at
UMKC Haag Hall Room 301
Building Address:
5120 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
Get Directions to Haag Hall: Google Maps
Please remember that we are co-creating a Potluck for lunch.  Please bring food and drink to share, we will provide plates, utensils, cups, etc.
Reach Way Up High In the SKY... RADICAL OPENNESS!!

During TEDx18th&Vine we were given a small taste of InterPlay... it is an activating creative engagement method designed over 20 years ago in Oakland, Ca.  During our orientation we will experience a variety of opportunities to connect to each other through the ancient art of storytelling.  FYI, InterPlay was designed by an introvert and an extrovert.  These methods create space for mind sharing that in incremental and radically open to the diversity of ways that people can collaborate in community.