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Impact Award

I wrote earlier this year about doing two things I had never done before. Two things that I thought were too cheesy for me. Two things that I saw as more of a depressor if they didn’t happen rather than watching with excitement as they did happen. Those two things were creating a vision board and having a word for the year. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Each month, the team I work with within Juice Plus+ awards a partner with the IMPACT Award. This is for someone who has had an impact on their community, friends and our team. In June I was honored to have received the IMPACT Award for our team. I honestly was taken back by it. My business had slightly declined because I became so involved with what was happening in the country regarding the killing of George Floyd. I had a conversation, just TWO days prior to his murder, with my best friend’s husband about how black men in America have to think and act different. He really opened up my eyes to the way he HAS to look at things. Every single point he made was valid. If a black coach is fired for indiscretions, he won’t be hired for a very long time, if ever again. If it is a white coach fired for the same thing, he will be hired within a couple months and the reasoning will be “rehabilitating.” It happens all the time. It was one of those conversations where I knew the information he was telling me, but it just registered different this time and I UNDERSTOOD it this time. His words had an impact on me.

A week later, my best friend Gigi and I went to a protest in Fayetteville that she just so happened to drive through. She called to tell me about it and I told her I could me her in 15 minutes with some paper and markers. I never thought twice about it and decided on the way that one of the signs I would have would be something for her husband. I wanted it to be something powerful, something that would have an impact on people, like his conversation had on me. I thought that this meant it had to be something long and thoughtful. I came up with “I’m standing for him” with an arrow pointed to the side. Not as thought provoking as I had wanted it to be but it is all I could come up with. Later that night I posted a picture of me holding the sign next to Chris and one of his professional athletes.

I did this because I wanted people to see that I AM standing for and WITH him. He also represented all of the other black men that are close friends or like family to me. That post apparently had an impact on someone else as Pastor Dexter Howard text me that night, asking if I would be willing to sit in on a town hall like zoom meeting discussing the current events and my picture.

Sunday evening I shared the live zoom on my Facebook page and shared my story as well as my heart. I had no idea who would be watching. I was hopeful it would reach at LEAST one person and make them think a little more. Little did I know, Ali, one of our team leaders, caught a few minutes of it before our team call. I missed the team call because I was still on the town hall meeting, however I was able to get on our leadership call later that evening. I had already decided I wanted to bring up the current events affecting so many of my close friends with this leadership call. I didn’t even have to. Ali mentioned to the group that my live video was something worth watching and encouraged them all to do so.

The next day, one of our team members sent me a message voicing her feelings about it and how it positively impacted her. She was brave enough to share this with another leadership call on Tuesday. This second leadership group asked me to share it with them as well. Wow. All I was doing on Saturday was being me, showing my love for someone I consider family. I was using my voice and platform to show others. Again, I got several messages from people saying how the live video impacted them.

It came to me as a little bit of a surprise that I received that Impact Award and at the same time it didn’t. When we are being our authentic selves, sharing our heart and using our voice, we can have a far greater impact on people that we could ever imagine. I was very honored to receive that award because it wasn’t something that I was “working” towards. I was simply being me.

Back to that vision board and word of the year. I have my vision board in my bathroom at home, guaranteeing I see it multiple times a day. Drinking plenty of water ensures that I do. There are a few things on there I know I won’t be able to accomplish this year and that is ok. One of them being traveling to Asia. That will have to wait. However, there are several images on the board, that at the time I made it, I had no idea what it would mean. One image I cut out is a caricature of several women, different nationalities, holding picket signs that read “Make the World a Better Place” In the middle of that vision board, in large green letters, is my word for 2020. That word…IMPACT.

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