Abstract: Don’t work at North Park University without an exit plan. Don’t attend North Park University as a student of color without being prepared to advocate for your needs—often alone.
Please accept this as my letter of resignation from the Assistant Director of Student Success, Careers, and Internships role at North Park University.
If you only read the above summary and commit to learning from that viewpoint—I’ve been vindicated. But if you choose to continue reading why I am leaving NPU, please note that this resignation is also an open letter is a nod to the students I had hoped to impact and help them greatest achieve their career goals.
Last weekend, I was invited to for an interview on WVON 1690AM – The Talk of Chicago’s Community Health Focus segment for “Uplifting Our Youth During the Pandemic!”
It was a dope experience to have someone I respect asking about my work alongside some exceptional co-guests who’s work I follow. Shout out to host Dr. Doriane Miller, Dr. Sonya Dinizulu and Ernest Sanders!
To hear the entire interview about ways we are uplifting youth and parents in our every day work, click the following link: https://fb.watch/4Q2mAlBSNK/
We prided ourselves on productivityuntil “produce despite a pandemic”became our reality.Into the dawn like bird songs, nowpangs of insomnia beckon us.Mistaking insanity for invincibilitycausing us to be more recklessduring the day. “Black folk the new robots.” All the while paving the way,for heavier workloads.They’re writing the code on our souls.Imputing and uploading mixed messagesin ourContinue reading “Chicago’s Pain.”
Is there someone in your life you who could use a reminder about how strong/creative/blessed they are? If you are a Black woman reading this, what are you speaking over yourself this morning, Queen? Here’s a poem I wrote years ago to speak over myself when I needed an extra bit of encouragement. My onlyContinue reading “Send this poem to a Black Woman 🖤”
I stayed up a little late last night finalizing my monologue for this weekend while on the Art of Transparency Tour stop in Memphis. It’s a gritty take on my life story. Raw, real… and I hope I don’t ugly cry at the end… 🥴😂 For tickets: bit.ly/aotmemphis —Sincerely, Tyra **COVID protocol will be followedContinue reading “Oh, But After This!”
I like to call my full-time job, the “not-so-9-to-5-9-to-5.” I know it’s a bit clunky, but it’s true since I work in the out-of-school time/youth organizing realm. As the Community Resource Manager for Gary Comer Youth Center on the Southside of Chicago, I have been able to plan, organize and facilitate some dynamic events focusedContinue reading “In-Person or Remote Learning? A Solution-Focused Conversation”
You know, I think I’ve always wanted to start a clothing line. I vividly remember sketching designs for our cheerleading uniforms in grammar school and re-designing all the hottest Nikes I couldn’t afford. I was customizing Nike’s before it was ever an option on a website. So earlier this year when I decided that IContinue reading “New Quarter = New Goals Accomplished”
We’re excited to announce that our mother company, EbonySun Chicago, is partnering with this dynamic group of Black-owned businesses next week to offer you all NEW merch (like new NEW… not even on our website… exclusive NEW) and of course, boxes of Sincerely, Tyra-authored books! Join us and share the good news! Happy Sunday! —Sincerely,Continue reading “ISSA POP-UP EVENT!”
So I’ve been listening to a lot of Drake and Anita lately. But somehow in between them, I was able to come across this song, Sacred Space, by India.Arie. Honestly, between her and Anita’s Tidal playlists, I’m rethinking the type of love that I need and want in my life. There’s a lyric in thisContinue reading “Love: A New Inquiry”
I want to hide… Literally just want to get under the covers, ball up like a baby and hide. Why? Because of this feeling of rejection—and how I chose to respond to it. Disclaimer: This post is going to share my flawed reactions to a recent male friend’s choice to be in a relationship withContinue reading “What About Self-Awareness?”
Warning: The following video is footage of a memorial that was built to honor Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter activist from Florida who’s body was found dead one week after she went missing. What does it mean to protect the Black woman at all costs??Physically…Spiritually…Emotionally…Can we finally have a conversation about this?Continue reading “Protecting Us…”
Here’s a question: What does it mean to “match energy?” The other day I was writing and reflecting on a few things and a thought came to me: “Vow to never again reciprocate anyone’s negative energy….” It’s no secret to the people that know me the best: I don’t “match energy” well. When someone doesContinue reading “Prayer for Inner Peace”
So, “The Goddess of Self-Care” looked up and realized I’d been taking care of everyone else’s needs first. I love to help others and am usually the person friends and family run to when they want something done. I also really struggle with saying the N-word, at times. You know, “no” is not as easyContinue reading “Know Your Worth: A Self-Care Update”
Good morning Family! I pray that you are all healthy, happy, and adhering to the Shelter-in-Place guidelines in your area. #StayAtHome (as much as possible). There has been so many movement-building moments happening in the past couple of weeks. I have been participating in marches, reading up on the Black Panthers and Toni Morrison, researchingContinue reading “Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us”
Dear God,Sometimes I wonderwhat You think of me.Am I pleasing You?When look at me,do You smile? Is Yourheart satisfied? Teach mehow to live out life like You.Hold my hand, ordermy steps, and set a firein my soul for Your ways.Consume me, filling allthe cracks and crevicesof my being with Your Spirit.Make Me Better,in Jesus’ Name.—Amen.
We’re on these conference calls and you can literally hear the fear and angst in people’s voices. I know we all have obligations and deadlines (in spite of/during) this pandemic…. But I just want to remind you that it is okay to not dial-in or to dial-in and stay on mute if you are notContinue reading “COVID & The Conference Call”
Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity! If you can, take the babies with you to vote today. It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time! It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something. My Joy hadContinue reading “Go Vote—with Your Children!”
This womb was created to create life These hands made to make magic These feet and legs, stand stronger than a pyramid, immovable during struggles This heart pumps blood of Ghanaian warriors and American freedom fighters This hair grows closer to the sun each day, vivid reminder of my royalty She sustains a legacy farContinue reading “The Black Woman | Poem”
I promise to show you how extremely talented you are.I promise to listen before I say no.I promise to hear your point of view.I promise to make room for your heart’s desires.I promise to remind you that you are the princess (and yes, I’m The Queen—although it sounds softer when you remind me).I promise theyContinue reading “Promises to My Joy, The Princess”
(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.) (Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.) Is it stillContinue reading “Chicago Peace Project Revisited”
“If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”
I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.
Dear Righteous and Holy Father, I’m sure You heard me say that I would close out this year on “Cloud Nine,” praising You and blessing Your Name for all this goodness that You have done thus far…. I think right as I was saying that the devil asked You if He could try me. ThereContinue reading “You are INSPIRING | #GRWM”
I’m on cloud nine and I don’t wanna come down. | Natural high, haters can’t make me calm down. | Hunting for it and I could eat it right now. | These mf’in poems ain’t gon sell theyself na. | 😂… (Okay, I got it out of my system! I watched the entire season ofContinue reading “Living on Cloud Nine”
Honestly, I haven’t been feeling like myself lately… Then, I remembered I’m cut from a different cloth: I’m a Queen. I’m genuine and caring. I have goals achieved and that are making progress. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. AND, I know my purpose. So despite everything, I was born to win. WomenContinue reading “#DearSelf”
Dear Self: Stop trying to compact your love in their tiny box. It’s too huge; too vast; and too much a thing to be marvelled. Not at all a fixture to be hidden or revealed by decision of a weak ego needing to be stroked. –Sincerely, Tyra
Writing this post thinking of some of the ways that I have blocked my own blessings in the past: A. By moving too fast, B. by trusting too quickly (yes, there’s a difference between trusting people and being naive like I was), C. by doing my own thing out of pride, D. and by notContinue reading “Worth the Work”
She is gospel and spoken word all at once. Healing and remedies summonsed at her command. Who would dare stand in doubt about her strength? Or the length of her care? The type you pray that you stay in her prayers. —Sincerely, Tyra
Bruh, here’s a not-so-secret secret: I struggle with being in control. If I’m being real, I can paint a picture for you. Give me a second… Okay, so: A. Sometimes, I roll my eyes at people who I think don’t know what they’re doing instead of helping them. B. Although I’ll say when I’m wrong,Continue reading “Comments on Control and Being Still”
Dear God, Help me bring everything to You FIRST. Every dream. Every concern. Every responsibility. Every decision. Every relationship. Every battle. Every opportunity. Every obstacle. Every health issue. Every need for healing. Every trial. Every step outside my home. Every job promotion. Every difficult conversation. Every worry. Every idea. Every victory. Every sin. Everything, God.Continue reading “Breakthrough Prayer”
Yo I’m tired now that I’m actually sitting still —BY MYSELF. Finally. Hosted an event, facilitated class today, and an hour and a half-long admin meeting. But God gave me the strength… This is a Gal. 6:9 moment. Just being able to sit still, alone. Grateful for a day filled with great conversations, but IContinue reading “Happy Mother’s Day!”
I used to be “the quiet one” in the family. But my fam knew how to uplift me stoically. Voice is still only revealed or reeled in when necessary—mostly to heighten the sound of another’s. It’s tougher out here for the introverted mind that’s alerted by the time we usually tend to run out ofContinue reading “Voice and Freedom”
“From the Desk of Eartha-Ntozake: Interesting how that works for a woman—brown-braided and radical like myself. I can be as fragile as flower and as submissive as a servant. And yet, it’s always been the ones that said they want a woman who has something to offer the world that leave me abandoned. So they’llContinue reading “Eartha-Ntozake Mashup”
“Light, space, zest!” This whole idea that God our light, the creator of every space, and our zest/spice of life is really special. It’s a simple reminder that God is really everything and with Him, I should have no fears! I mean in the NIV version it literally says WHO shall I fear? Well, whom actually, but you feel me. This reminder that if the CREATOR OF EVERY CREATURE, the PRODUCER OF ALL LIFE has my back… WHO gon stop me if God be for me?! Like WHO? I’ll wait…
I had the opportunity earlier today to pick the brains of forty Howard University Alt Spr Break students about our work! I can’t lie, it was dope/my job is dope. BUT, their insight, questions, and mere presence makes me wanna do more/create more spaces for these types of opportunities for my teens to serve ourContinue reading “Get Out of My Office!”
I read somewhere that God can’t heal what you are unprepared to reveal. This is an interesting concept that requires us to do a bit of work. Mainly, if you are not in the mindset to be self-reflective and confess your flaws and sins to God, they’ll remain thorns in your side. As my relationshipContinue reading “#HealitGod: Fear of Love”
No one wants a free woman. They want us to be small and contained, unopinonated and ashamed of all our own ideas. When I say, “Stop that. It hurts me.” They’d rather recall how strong I was before and parade my wounds around like a trophy. I just want to be a free woman, fullContinue reading “Free Woman”
Sometimes I look at my stomach and cannot believe there used to be a living, breathing being inside of it… at least until My Joy decides to randomly pat it and says “I used to be in Mommy’s tummy” or “I wanna be in Mommy’s tummy” or… the most infamous one of all: “its looksContinue reading “Bellies & Babies”
After tub time, My Joy likes for me to pick her up and stand in the mirror and hug her—like I did when she wasn’t half my size. Last night— My Joy: Pick me up, please. Me: I did pick you up (literally sitting on the side of the tub with her wrapped in herContinue reading “My Joy the Mastermind”
I think I’ve just now decided to call this what it is. I’m not a preacher, not an evangelist or a even a great intercessor. But I am consistent. And I’ve been consistently praying over us. Yes, even you–who I may not know. But you’re reading this right now–so yes, definitely you, too. There’s aContinue reading “I talked to God in Public.”
I took some time to reflect on my relationships. This list represents the love (and sometimes lackluster love) that I experienced in the form of my family ties, friendships, and more intimate relationships. Ultimately, I realized that I should pay special attention to the ones that were blessings and found some important lessons in the rest. Please take what you need.
Dear Self, 1. Sex will not sustain you.
I love when people talk to My Joy likes she’s an actual person. Don’t treat my big girl princess like a four-year old that’s not up on game. She is too smart for that and will let you know as much with her level of conversation. Honestly, we should make it a practice of treatingContinue reading “Not Your Average 4-Year Old”
If you’re reading this, it’s 2019. Dope things happened for us in 2018. Don’t let the mishaps, missteps, mistakes, or even the misfortune fool you into to believing that you didn’t make it through gloriously. It’s time to reflect, be grateful, increase your faith and do even more this year! —Sincerely, Tyra #SlayTheDream #ChiPeaceProject
Today, I had an important appointment earlier with an associate which ended up in me having to reflect on a few of my past mistakes. I had to remember times when I thought poorly of myself and times when I allowed other’s perception of me to infiltrate my own self-image. In fact, I used toContinue reading “Kujichaguli-whaat?!”
We have ten days left in 2018. You’ve made it this far despite this year having been a test of of your patience, your strength—and possibly—your sanity. But there is definitely something to look forward to and many more things for which to be thankful. Remember, my words you’ve made it THIS far. Keep going!Continue reading “Dear Self Project”