One Day I Too Go Fly: Documentary Spotlighting International Education

 
As producers, we’re tasked with creating material that resonates with an audience. We have the added responsibility to create content with a positive affect. One must always strive to feed minds with something nourishing.

For the past year, I’ve been producing a documentary, One Day I Too Go Fly, with my producing partner and director Arthur Musah. ODITGF, follows 5 African students as they complete studies at the Massachusetts institute of Technology.  Arthur, a native of Ghana, began this journey alone. Like his subjects, he too was a student at MIT. He endured rigorous studies and drastic cultural differences as he transitioned into adulthood in the United States. One Day I Too Go Fly stemmed out of his desire to document this experience, as well as show a new view of Africa.

It’s clear why Arthur would be interested in telling this story, but you may wonder how/why an Ohio girl and Berkeley* grad connects? I’m interested in this story because it sheds a new light on Africa and will, hopefully, expand our appreciation for education. I’d like to encourage youth in developing countries, to seek higher education. Our students at MIT are evidence of the opportunity that exists – their journeys will serve as inspiration to youth who aspire to achieve. On the other hand,  I’d like to alert youth in developed countries to the challenges faced abroad. Regardless of nationality, socio-economic status, or field, it is my hope that One Day I Too Go Fly will drive home the importance of education and cultural sensitivity  for every viewer.

What’s unique about this film is that we plan on following the students for their entire undergraduate careers at MIT. While they’ll be presented with the hurdles associated with their burgeoning adulthood, they’ll ultimately be forced to decide how best to contribute back home. This summer, we followed one student home to Nigeria where he served as an instructor for XRL, an MIT student initiative to revolutionarize education in Nigeria through robotics. Already, at this early stage in his academic career, he’s found a way to use what he’s learned to make a positive change in the world.

One Day I Too Go Fly’s first year of production has been self-funded. Today marks the first day of our Kickstarter campaign. Now, while you may not be able to donate, perhaps you’re willing to support us in a different way, through word of mouth. If this story resonates with you, or someone you know, please share. We aren’t solely looking for money to fund the project, we also want to create a sense of community, urgency, and engagement around issues of education, intellectual capital, and cultural awareness.
 

 
For more information, you can visit our Kickstarter, Facebook Page, or Blog. Please check out the trailer below!

Thank you for reading!

* UC Berkeley has partnered up with the MasterCard Foundation for the MasterCard  Foundation Scholars Program, an initiative to make global education accessible to financially disadvantaged students in the developing world. Sub-Saharan Africa is a primary focus.

~ Thankful

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The Un-Comfort Zone

 

Introduce, Intensify, Adapt, Shift. It’s what I did as a member of the CAL Track and Field team. I’m not entirely sure that I understood the concept when I started. I thought it was much more complicated, but soon learned it was simple. If I wanted to improve, I would never be comfortable. For just when I thought I had a handle on pace, the workout would intensify. And, just when I thought I could handle the level of intensity, the challenge shifted. At the end of each cycle, right when I thought I had things mastered, my coach would force me off a ledge.

This is rarely the case in life. True, we each work towards individual goals, be they professional, personal or other. Unfortunately, there isn’t always someone there to push us from the ledge when things get comfortable. There may, however, be a nagging inner voice, one that seems, often times, contradictory. In one moment, it’s courageous, fueling increased ambition. In the next, it’s fearful, cautioning slow and calculated steps into the unknown. One thing is for sure, the move from our comfort zones is necessary for change. We grow the most when we are forced to adapt.

As you move forward this week towards accomplishing your goals, be thankful for the challenge and the rush of accomplishing that of which you are uncertain. And, as always, remember that you are capable of much more than you can imagine. There are innumerable stories that serve to inspire, Manteo Mitchell’s 4×4 race despite injury, Barack Obama’s ascendance to the Presidential post despite cultural obstacles, or Gabrielle Gifford’s recovery after the shooting in 2011, just to name a few. But, if you take a chance and move out of your comfort zone, one day you will find inspiration in your own story.

~Thankful

A Little Daily Inspiration: Jenny McIver, Round the World in 30 Days

Jenny McIver, RTW in 30 Days

I spent this past Sunday evening planning my ‘Round The World’ trip on Star Alliance. Please note that I did not purchase my ticket, I only planned. On my itinerary? Santorini, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Barcelona, Florence and on. So, what contributed to my sudden urge to indulge in my wanderlust? Jenny McIver and her travel site, RTWin30days.com. Jenny has managed to have a full-time career, with ESPN, while taking adequate time to visit over 120 countries and help others plan their own trips. All in all, she’s taken 7 Round the World trips. She plans to take her 8th in January 2013. Each trip spans 30 days and she works remotely.

Her brazen determination to travel has inspired many, some who never thought they’d have the time or money to take a trip, and others who are continually on the hunt for their next adventure, to make giant leaps forward in their exploration of the world. And, as fate would have it, her commitment to do what she loves has turned into an unlikely business venture that may just continue to expand.

So, what advice does Jenny have for those looking to balance work and their love for travel? Keep reading!

 

Q&A

 

How did your RTW in 30 days website begin? 

I took my first trip around the world 7 years ago. It was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip and, though I’d never really written anything before, I wanted to keep a journal of the trip. I used a website called MyTripJournal.com which allows travelers to keep an online journal of their travels. The next year when I decided to do another RTW trip, I continued using the MyTripJournal site but by the 3rd year I realized this was going to be an annual event and I needed to transition to my own site where I could better control the content. The one thing that made my travels unique from other RTW travelers/bloggers is that I managed to maintain a career at home while working short (by RTW standards) month-long trips into my schedule. Thus the name, “Round the World in 30 Days.”

 

 

RTW has expanded into a travel advice guide of sorts. Did you imagine or intend for the website to take on this scope?

Not really. At first the blog was merely intended to keep my friends and family up to date on my travels and provide me with a written journal of my travel experiences. With each RTW trip, the readership circle continued to expand to the point where the site began to attract travelers planning their own RTW trips and looking for advice. I love giving readers advice on RTW tickets, destinations, etc. I remember how much guidance I needed when I was planning my first trip. You’d be surprised how many people have done one RTW trip but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else who’s done seven! I’m also proud to say that the website has even inspired people to start planning a RTW trip. That’s my ultimate goal. To get people who never even dreamed of taking a trip like this to realize that it’s not a crazy idea. Anyone can do it and you don’t have to quit your job, sell your house and take off for a year for a RTW trip to be worthwhile. You really can fit the trip of a lifetime into your life.

 

How open have resorts and travel organizations been to partner?

Companies are really just starting to recognize the power of bloggers as a marketing medium. I attended a travel bloggers conference (TBEX) this summer with travel heavy hitters like Expedia and American Express in attendance and looking to partner with bloggers. TBEX is only 4 years old and this was my 2nd year attending. The corporate interest in that conference has exploded in the past year or two and it continues to grow as destinations and travel-related companies begin to see concrete, measurable results from their work with bloggers. I am currently in talks with a company that would be my dream sponsor and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to work out a deal soon.

 

You’ve managed to build an incredible lifestyle where traveling is a priority and financially feasible. How would you suggest someone with two weeks best utilize their vacation time?

It really is all about your priorities in life, isn’t it? For me, travel is obviously a priority. I carve out time in my schedule for it. Something I’ve learned, though, is that the main reason most people think they can’t take more than two weeks off is because they’ve never asked to take more than two weeks off. In the U.S. it’s just assumed that two weeks in the norm and it can’t be exceeded. However, if you want to plan a big trip, there are lots of alternatives. Some companies offer sabbatical time or try combining vacation time with telecommuting to extend your days away from the office. It’s possible to work from anywhere; I work daily on every trip. And as I like to say…why work from home when you can work from Rome?

But if you absolutely can’t get more than two weeks, a RTW trip is still well-worth the effort. A RTW ticket is the single most efficient way to see more of the world in less time and they’re not as expensive as you think. How much can you really see in just two weeks, you ask? Here’s a two-week snippet from the middle of my first RTW trip:

 

Cape Town, South Africa – Cairo, Egypt – Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt – Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Agra, India – Bangkok, Thailand – Phuket, Thailand – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 
During those two weeks, I hiked Table Mountain, took a safari, rode a camel around the Pyramids, snorkeled in the Red Sea, spent a night at the world’s only 7-star hotel in Dubai, marveled at the Taj Mahal, explored the gleaming temples of Bangkok and the pristine beaches of Phuket and visited the Petronas Towers. So what can you see in just two weeks? More than some people see in their entire lives.

 

What’s been key in building your life as an entrepreneur?

Paying my dues early on. Right out of college I spent 7 years working back-to-back jobs with 80-hour weeks and very little pay. I didn’t have the time or money to travel and I didn’t dwell on it. But it was those years that allowed me to make the connections that ultimately led to starting my own business in 2000. Since then, one thing I’ve learned about having my own business is that I’m never on vacation. That may sound ridiculous since most people think I’m always on vacation but when you’re a company of one – the office is always open. Of course, that office may be an overwater bungalow in Tahiti…but it’s open.

South Pacific



 

In all of your travels, what’s your all time favorite destination?

Tough question! But one that I get a lot. If I had to choose one country, it would be Thailand with New Zealand and Greece as a close tie for 2nd. I’m a big fan of islands, especially in the South Pacific, and I’ve visited some incredible ones like Easter Island, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. My next big travel goal is Antarctica.

 

 
Three things: My family & friends, my health and my U.S. passport. My family and friends are the primary reason I have no desire to travel the world for a year like most RTW travelers do, I would miss them too much!  Without my health, I wouldn’t be able to travel to many of the places I’ve gone. So many people take that for granted, but I don’t. And never underestimate the power of a U.S. passport. It’s an all-access pass to see the world and I’m thankful to have it.

 

Thank you, Jenny!

Even if traveling isn’t a priority in your life, Jenny’s journey is proof that one can plan for and have the life they want.

If you’d like to read more about Jenny’s travels, get information/advice about planning your own trip, or just take a welcome break from your day, please find the information for RTWin30Days below.

And, as always, be thankful.

~Thankful

RTW in 30 Days Website: www.RTWin30days.com

Twitter: @jennymciver

Facebook: RTWin30Days

Star Alliance Trip Planner: Just in Case…

MAKERS Nationwide Search

A few months ago, I interviewed Filmmaker Dyllan McGee of “MAKERS: Women Who Make America” (Check out the interview here). Well, now they are on the hunt for new additions to the MAKERS family.

Read below to find out more information. You or someone you know could join Condoleeza Rice, Alice Walker, Violet Palmer, Vivian Stringer, Faye Wattleton, Nichelle Nichols, Faith Ringgold, Marian Wright Edelman, Barbara Smith, Bylle Avery, Ruth Simmons, and many more women in this exciting platform recognizing female role models!

~Thankful

SUBMISSION INFO:

MAKERS.COM is conducting a nationwide search for six women who are transforming America through leadership, activism, and positive social impact! Though these women are unknown to the masses, MAKERS will afford the six finalists $10K grant money to continue their work, film their inspirational stories for an upcoming PBS documentary, and feature them as “Next MAKERS” on the AOL developed interactive website. Anyone can submit an entry for either themselves or for someone they know through September 27th on MAKERS.Com/NextMAKERS.

Hope, Gratitude, The Olympics, and You

LONDON 2012-

It’s remarkable. Numerous Olympic athletes, along with their friends and family, have livened up the atmosphere in London. I was here last summer and today there’s a marked difference; the town is filled with hope and positivity. It’s too bad I can’t bottle this up and take it home.

Every four years Olympic athletes serve as an inspirational beacon for their countries. But ask any athlete, their success is never unhampered by extenuating circumstances: injury, financial hardship, family issues, etc. But no matter, something inside of them, the love for their sport, their will to be champions, or their hope and belief that anything is possible, keeps them going. Many of these athletes, especially American Track and Field athletes, compete for little to no financial gain. They aren’t compensated like basketball players. Some have modest contracts, while others hold down part-time jobs to make ends meet. They are forced to stay physically in tune while working. For those of you who find it hard to go for a jog after a day of work, just imagine training at the elite level. Simply put, Olympic and Elite level athletes do what they do for the love of their sport.

There’s another side of the Olympics that’s not-so-inspirational, but definitely present, the definition of failure. So much emphasis is put on ‘medaling.’ And sometimes, more than just medaling but winning Olympic gold. Placing 4th is often regarded as failure, but someone has to get 4th right? As someone who’s not competing in the Olympics, it would be hard to imagine considering myself, or anyone for that matter, a failure for getting anything less than a gold medal. For those who place 4th or 23rd at the Olympics, they’ve competed at an unbelievable level and are among the best in the World. But we all know that success is bred from hunger. So, if you have the desire to perform at a high level, no matter your profession, there’s very rarely a sense of contentedness. We achieve one level of success and always want more.

So what’s the take away for non-elite athletes, for those working in finance, as doctors, as assistants or writers? There’s a saying, “Do what you must to do what you love.” I undoubtably agree with this but only under two conditions, that one have hope and gratitude. Like these athletes, everyday won’t be perfect, some days you’ll see professional or personal setbacks. But if you’re on a path, you must have hope that you are capable of achieving what you’ve set out to achieve. And if you have gratitude, you’ll find satisfaction on every level of your journey as you steadily climb higher, take a step back, and everything in between. Otherwise, what’s the point?

~Thankful

A Little Daily Inspiration: Lindsey Day and Serena Watson, Co-Founders of Made Woman Magazine

Lindsey Day, Serena Watson, Co-Founders Made Woman Mag

The media hasn’t provided much by way of entertainment for Women. Case in point: Hollywood Exes. Content providers seem to believe that women are craving drama, catfights and the excesses associated with the celebrity lifestyle. Thankfully, Serena Watson and Lindsey Day have created online magazine, Made Woman Mag, to as Lindsey says, “Provide progressive, positive content that’s still fun and interesting.” What started out as a newsletter distributed among friends, has grown to become a full source of online entertainment with nearly 1,200 followers on Twitter and over 1,000 followers on Facebook. These two University of Southern California grads managed to build something wonderful from scratch. They even plan to turn MWM into an online social network for young female professionals. (See their IndieGoGo campaign video below)

I had the opportunity to interview this dynamic duo to see how they turned a newsletter into a trusted online resource for women on the move.

 

Q&A

What were your first steps as collaborators?

 

Serena

First we defined the roles we knew we would need. Then we wrote a detailed outline for our business. Our mission, goals, company philosophy… We took a 30,000ft view of the company. Not just where we were at that point but where we wanted to go. We had to work hard to merge both of our dreams and goals into one plan. The outcome is a brand we feel will support huge growth in multiple areas. There is a lot in store for Made Woman!

But of course it all starts with the content. We knew we wanted people to connect with our unique tone and  interact more with our brand. So we put a lot of thought/discussion into crafting something we think is completely different from everything else on the internet. All of our articles are honest, witty, useful, and relevant.

Lindsey

Serena is absolutely right; defining roles early on was so important to the flow and forward progress of the magazine. Since Serena has a communications background and I studied business, it was pretty clear who should handle what, which helped. As far as the overall direction of the magazine, we were blessed to really be on the same page from the start. We had a clear idea of the tone and style we wanted to convey, so we jumped in there and researched to make sure there was a market for what we wanted to offer. At that point, we focused on our branding and making sure it would be immediately clear what Made Woman is all about.

 

Have there been times where you’ve had doubts about MWM? If so, how’d you overcome them?

 

Serena

Well, I’ve never had any doubts about MWM as a company or a brand. But personally, I have a lot of competing interest in my life. In addition to the magazine, I work fulltime for Sony Pictures Imageworks Interactive. I love my job a lot and it takes up a lot of time. I also shot a full length indie film during the time I was working on Made Woman. So yeah, I have a lot going on! But I balance it all by realizing that I am living my dreams! I love every aspect of the work I’m doing so I really can’t complain. I focus on balance and managing expectations. But everyone in my life is very supportive so that helps.

Lindsey

Like Serena said, I’ve never had doubts about the company itself. I think that’s the greatest thing about our partnership: we’ve both gone through tremendous struggles in our personal and professional lives since we started the mag, but we’re both beyond committed to this project. There’s no going back or cutting corners. So having that understanding is crucial. In challenging times, it’s just important to do something. Having consistent forward movement is important and keeps things from getting stagnant. That, and getting used to sleep deprivation!

 

What are your favorite aspects of MWM?

 
Lindsey

I love that Made Woman is a collective of amazing, inspirational women. This began as a business venture, but it has grown to be much more than that. It has opened us up to connecting with movers and shakers of all industries, from remarkably different backgrounds. It’s exciting and empowering—for us and our readers—to find that you’re not on this journey alone, that there are so many women choosing to really go for it, who aren’t settling, and who are working to fulfill their wildest dreams. You can’t put a monetary value on that.

 

Do you think the world of online publishing provides the opportunity for diverse and higher quality content? What are the pros and cons to online publishing?

 
Serena

Definitely! There are a lot of wonderful blogs and online magazines out there doing their thing. Writing things that wouldn’t be possible in a corporate owned print mag. But the downside is that everyone thinks they are critic. You see a lot of people using their forums to just tear people down. I think that if the power of online publishing is harnessed correctly, it can change the world for the better.

 

What’s been the greatest asset in increasing readership?

 

Serena

Social media has definitely facilitated our growth tremendously. Through Facebook and Twitter we were able to get the word out about our content and find new (wonderful!) writers. There are so many social media sites out there it is hard not to get lost or feel overwhelmed. But we picked the sites that were best for us and came up with specific plans for each. We saw huge increases in readership once we had a cohesive plan.


 
If you could give yourselves one piece of advice at the beginning of this venture, what would it be?

Serena

I think it would be “don’t wait, just do”. We spent a lot of time at the beginning worrying over each step. We didn’t realize that it would be easier to fix a mistake than to get back all that wasted time. Of course it is important to do your research and to make informed decisions. But it’s also important to move forward in order to see progress.

Lindsey

I would also say not to underestimate yourself. Sure, there may have been (and still are) a ton of competitors, and there was a lot to learn about the technical aspect of things; but along the way, I realized that I knew more than I gave myself credit for. Trust in your skills and abilities and don’t downplay them.

 

What does the future look like for MWM?

 
Made Woman is more than just a magazine, it is a lifestyle brand and networking platform for young, female professionals. Using the funds we raise from our Indiegogo campaign, we plan to launch a networking calendar so that young professionals can find great events and make real life connections. We also plan to launch a mentor match and job search functionality. Later, we will also host our own networking events and seminars. Basically, we want the useful, fun, and connecting aspects of the site to translate into the real world.

 

 

Serena

I am so thankful for my family and friends. Without them I would not have been able to accomplish any of this. I’m also thankful that I am able to see my dreams come true more and more every day! So blessed!

Lindsey

I, too, am thankful for the support of family and friends and for the opportunity to even do any of this. So many have come before us, whether our ancestors striving to provide a better life for their children, or those who have fought to secure our basic human rights. And I’m humbled every day that people are connecting with something I would work on for free. Thanks for having us!

 
I can honestly say Lindsey and Serena have gathered a wonderfully diverse group of female writers. As a contributor myself, I’m happy to be a part of a magazine dedicated to providing positive content for women! Most importantly, If you’re looking to embark on a huge project, I hope you’ve learned one thing from these women, begin small, end big, and start now!

Made Woman Mag: www.madewomanmag.com

MWM on Twitter: @madewomanmag

MWM on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madewomanmag

MWM IndieGoGo:  http://www.indiegogo.com/MadeWomanMag

~Thankful

A Little Daily Inspiration: Lena Waithe, Producer, Dear White People

 
This is not a post about race. This is a post about independent filmmakers bringing a “non-commercial,” “non-mainstream,” labor of love into the national spotlight. As a filmmaker on the outskirts of the studio system, one must be entrepreneurial, innovative and have a lot of faith in their project. Justin Simien (Writer/Director), Lena Waithe (Producer), Ann Le (Producer), and Angel Lopez (Producer) have done just that with Dear White People. The idea for the feature grew from Simien’s satirical tumblr and twitter @DearWhitePeople. For the last two years he’s used the handle to comedically address varying issues of being a minority, or as he explains “a Black face in a White place.” After gaining a steady following, he decided to write a feature length script, with the hopes of providing a Tyler Perry alternative to Black audiences. The film follows a group of African American students at a prestigious and predominantly White University (See the trailer below).

 
Since the launch of their IndieGoGo campaign they’ve raised $38,245 of their $25,000 ask (this will serve as seed money for their $1 million budget). They’ve gotten press from outlets including but not limited to: Washington Post, IndieWire, Huffington Post, Racialicious, TV One Online, The Grio, and had a recent interview with radio station, KPFK. Press has been crucial to the momentum of this film. And, if the filmmakers weren’t already certain that audiences were craving a new voice, this solidified that fact.

 
Thankfully, I got the chance to ask Producer, Lena Waithe a few questions about DWP, collaborating and becoming a successful DIY filmmaker.

Lena Waithe



 

Q&A

 

The title “Dear White People,” may immediately cue some to balk away from the project. What would you say to engage those who are apprehensive about the film?

In our experience it’s been the opposite. When we mention the title most people laugh and are really intrigued. Particularly, white people. If someone is apprehensive about the film, I would probably suggest they watch the ‘concept’ trailer. That would give them a true sense of the kind of film we intend to make. It’s satire. And if they don’t feel like watching the trailer I’d just tell them, “Hey if you dig shows like THE BOONDOCKS and THE DAVE CHAPPELLE SHOW you’ll probably like our movie.

 

How did your collaboration with Justin begin and how has it evolved?

I first met Justin three years ago in a writer’s group. Which is basically when a bunch of writers meet at someone’s house once a week and give each other notes on their scripts. At the time he was developing DWP as a TV show, and back then it was called “2%” (because the black student body only made up for 2% of the population) I was so impressed with his work and his unique voice we became fast friends. Justin has edited all three of my short films, we don’t send out scripts without getting each other’s stamp of approval first, and I hope to produce his second feature which is really going to take the world by storm. Justin and I are best friends who are passionate about the same things so our relationship will always be half work, half play.

 

What did you anticipate being your biggest challenge in completing DWP?


The thing I thought would be most challenging is the script. Most scripts have simple stories, with only a few characters talking at them. DWP is an ensemble piece in every sense of the word. There’s a small group of characters the reader has to follow, every storyline is layered, and the jokes are extremely smart. So we always knew we would have to ‘show’ people the potential this film had. Lucky for us Justin is such a talented writer/director he was able to get his vision across in our concept trailer, and the trailer was so enticing people actually wanted to read the script.

 

Your fundraising effort has been epic. In Hollywood, filmmakers can wait around forever for a studio greenlight. How do you advise DIY filmmakers infuse momentum into their projects?

Yes, we’ve been very lucky with the overwhelming response the film has gotten. You can’t buy this kind of buzz. It’s been nothing short of amazing. My advice to DIY filmmakers would really be to sit down with your producing team and figure out what the basic theme of your film is, and then once you have that answer start basing your marketing campaign around that. We’re not experts, we just knew who our audience was. Everyone can’t just start making trailers and expect for their films to get noticed. Filmmakers have to think outside the box and create a marketing tool that’s specific to the type of film they want to make. Whatever you do it has to really grab your audience’s attention, but you’re more likely to grab someone’s attention with undeniable talent rather than just shock value.

 

What do you hope the “Dear White People” audience will take away from the film? What do you hope the industry will take away?

I hope people will come away feeling like they’re not alone. We all struggle with identity. All of us. So I hope people can watch the film and see themselves and I hope they walk away knowing that the only person that can define you is you. Who knows what the ‘industry’ will take away from it. Our dream is they’ll look at our film and make a conscious decision to make more like it. But folks like me have had that dream for a long time. Maybe it’ll finally come true.

 

How should those interested in donating, after the end of your IndieGoGo (7/13), do so?

Well, they’ve got a few more days left, but after that the best donation is really ‘word of mouth.’ The more you talk about our film the better it will do. The biggest problem black films face is lack of attention. We need people to tweet about us, post links to our trailer on their Facebook walls, email their friends about the movie. The best thing people can do for our film is to keep the conversation going. You can’t put a price on being the most talked about film that hasn’t even been made yet. Help us make it a movement. And they can do that by purchasing a DEAR WHITE PEOPLE t-shirt.



 

I’m thankful for Justin Simien’s brilliance. Without his talent, vision, and unique point of view I wouldn’t be doing this interview right now. I’m thankful for Ann Le (DWP producer) who was one of the first people to say DWP is a movie that needs to be made. I’m thankful for Angel Lopez (DWP producer) who always knows exactly what to say and the best way to say it. And I’m thankful for all of the people that have supported the DWP movement. You’ve donated, you’ve tweeted, you’ve Facebooked, you’ve bought t-shirts, you’ve left heart-warming comments on our YouTube page, you’ve pinned us to your Pinterest walls. From the bottom of our hearts, we’d like to say, “Thank you.”

 

Thank you, Lena for being so candid, and thank you to the entire team for taking a chance on something fresh and providing an inspiration for other young filmmakers!

Check out their trailer below.
Also, If you’d like to keep up with DWP’s progress you can check out the following sites:
Tumblr: http://dear-white-people.tumblr.com/
Twitter: @dearwhitepeople
Facebook: DearWhitePeople
IndieGoGo (Last day is Friday, July 13th): http://www.indiegogo.com/dearwhitepeople

~Thankful

Older and Wiser

 
I hope to come away from every year having learned something. Last week, I asked for a little ‘Birthday Advice.’ I figured, with seven days left, I wanted to learn as much as possible!

A many of you know, my goal is that Thankful For a Million serve as a positive and inspirational online space. I realized that with my musings and interviews, readers are always getting advice from someone else. So, today the advice comes from you. I’ve compiled the best life advice submitted over the last week. If you have any to add, write your advice in the comments section.

Thank you to those who’ve contributed! Enjoy!

~Thankful

 

Alex

Always trust that there is enough – enough time to do what is important, enough support to do what is right, enough strength to help others, enough stuff to share with people in need, enough grace to cover your mistakes, enough love to keep you going.

 
Christina

Cherish the ones that matter.
 

Skylar

Your mom is 99.9% right about every suggestion/advice she gives, listen to her and do what she says.
 

Anonymous

Do what you can for people, when you can, and don’t keep score.
 

Francesca

Always be able to laugh at yourself and never take life too seriously.
 

Laura

Do what you like and like what you do.
 

Charlotte

Do what you love in life. But be practical about it. Approach your area of work/expertise with generosity and gratefulness. Know life is short and care for it and all those around you.

 

Kevin

You are enough, Whatever it is you want to accomplish you have all the ability to accomplish these goals within yourself. You are enough.

 
Steven

I wanted to share a piece of advice in the form of a poem. I was introduced to this poem in 7th grade and it’s been an inspiration to me ever since.

    If – By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!