The Ghost Ship

Wow it’s amazing to see what is right outside your door.

Creepy Cincinnati

USS Sachem

About 20 miles or so down river from Cincinnati, in Petersburg, KY, sits what’s know as the “Ghost Ship”. Though there aren’t actually any ghost stories connected to it that that we’ve heard of, this rusted relic does have a lot of history behind it. Built in 1902 for Railroad exec. J.Rogers Maxwell, it was originally a yacht named The Celt.

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Do Civil Rights Organizations Belong in Today’s Society?

I was asked to write a paper for my Multicultural Advancement Scholarship, and I felt like I needed to share what I wrote. The following is how I feel about civil rights organizations in today’s society and if there is still a need for them:

The inequality of civil rights has been an issue in this country for as long as there have been people who have claimed it as their own. There was a time when people had no rights and they were taken from their homes and coerced into slave labor. In the 1860’s The country had gotten to a point where freeing the slaves was one of the only options to keep it together. Even as the slaves had been “Freed” the people who were once slaves never had true equality. In the 1950’s people saw this inequality and decided to take a stand for true freedom. This Civil Rights movement laid the groundwork for today’s equal society.

This is what I believed in when I graduated high school. Since coming to college I have seen that there is a whole lot more to the term “Civil Rights” than I thought. I believed that when the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed and put into effect, there was equality. I have since realized the falsehood in my original beliefs. 1713208There is still a Civil rights inequality not only for African Americans, but a whole plethora of people. People from Native Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, Islamic Americans, Arab Americans, Lesbian and Gay Americans, People who face mental health issues, even women and many more groups of people still do not have equal rights that they deserve. People are not free in today’s America and until everyone can be treated with complete fairness and equality there will be a need for civil rights organizations.

Civil rights organizations are important to the education of the people. Without civil rights organizations like Black Lives Matter and The Rainbow PUSH Coalition I would not know some of the issues that people actually face in this country. With the way that the news networks talk about what this country is facing there is almost a taboo when it comes to talking about inequality among this country’s people. I look at the websites for some of these organizations and I see issues that as a privileged American I would never have to think about. I see articles about how people are tired of being apologetically black, and there is a

problem that someone would have to apologize for being who they are because society doesn’t completely accept them. On a daily basis people are not being completely included in corporate practices because they are minorities and women, and something that a person could never help can hinder them. It is the issues like this and also just plain racism that plague the lives of countless Americans. Simply stated, I would have believed that the country was equal without further education.


I will not deny the fact that I am privileged. I came from an upper middle class household where money was never an issue and I am a white male. I never felt like I had a certain privilege until I started attending Central Michigan University. Through civil rights organizations people like myself can not only give to their cause by donation, but if one cannot donate they can volunteer. If one simply cannot volunteer they can stand with the organization, and they can spread the messages of the changes that people need to see in the world. Organizations allow people to help. They give people a way to have a voice and a channel to make a change and that alone gives these organizations a purpose in today’s society.

I firmly believe that all people deserve to be happy with who they are. The fact that people are treated differently because of who they are or what they go through sickens me. I want to believe that one day everyone will be accepted into society for who they are as a person and not be ridiculed or harassed for where they come from or what they believe is right. The fact that police officers, keep in mind it is their job to keep the peace, can treat a citizen differently because of the color of their skin, makes me think that there have to be some real strides made in society. People WorthyLIFEshould be able to love whoever they choose to love and feel however they need to feel without being judged by society. When these problems are dissolved there will be a day when civil rights organizations will no longer be needed in this country.

We still have to get involved and help people learn that the world is more than what is happening on their front porch. Simple conversations that could be had and articles that could be read are all at people’s disposal; however, people have a fear of being judged by the world. In order for the world to see a truly equal life we need to look past what is best for ourselves and help those around us, regardless of races, colors, and beliefs. The day individuals stop being selfish is when we will no longer need civil rights organizations, but that day is beyond our reach.

An issue that is around and is affecting the lives of Americans is police brutality. People in this country turn a blind eye to the fact that people are being treated differently because they are being stereotyped by their color. Many Americans simply do not know the facts and The Black Lives Matter Movement is giving people the information they need to understand the truth to the issue.

People talk about this issue as if it is not even happening. Most of the people that I have had conversations with say “If you run from a cop it’s all your fault” or “ninety percent of all police force is doing their duty to protect this country.” Now I do give them some credit because I used to believe and say the same things, but people have to realize that there are about 1.1 million police officers in this country. Rudimentary math tells us that ten percent of 1.1 million is still 110,000. So yes, ninety percent of people are doing their jobs correctly but that still leaves over a hundred-ten thousand police officers who are racial profiling and treating citizens of this country unfairly.

People who do not truly understand what is happening started using the #alllivesmatter tag on social media. People have the argument that “this generation of people is weak and you all just need to get over yourselves, so why should only black lives matter?” Someone once told me the story as follows: so all the kids in a classroom get ice cream except for one child. The child goes to the teacher and asks for his ice cream cone. The teacher responds with “all the children here, not just you, deserve ice cream.” The teacher didn’t solve anything except sidestep the question. While everyone else was treated fairly the child was left to suffer without any help. This is basically what is happening to Americans, and people are so selfish that their first thought isn’t “What are the true details and why is this as big as it is?” it is “Doesn’t my life mean something too?” this selfishness and misunderstandB8NekbWCcAA8Xk7ing could be all resolved if more people were educated.

This issue should be addressed by the government to get rid of the over one hundred thousand cops that are doing their job terribly. I can say that but no government official will do anything until they are correctly educated on the issues. Spreading the word at an interpersonal level will help people realize what is actually going on and maybe bring some rightfully deserved justice.

Civil rights movements are more than just people standing up for racial injustice. Civil rights movements are meant to allow people to be who they are and not be torn down by society because of what they want.


LAS in the D: After the Trip

The LAS in the D trip allowed me to really experience Detroit for the first time in my life. The first thing we did was go to the Jalen Rose Academy for Leaders. We got there and the first thing that I noticed was that there was an instant divide between the LAS students and the Jalen Rose students. So I went over to my friend Nate who was already getting to know some of the high school students. After a short chat we broke up into our groups and did some small group building activities. We followed this up by doing three service projects, Letters for Veterans, goodie bags for the Children’s hospital, and some signs for special Olympians. Basically we just did what seemed to be a little bit for each project but overall we did some major work and got a lot of change, and I mean that’s always the goal. I got to know a couple of the Jalen Rose students but I didn’t get to a very personal level with any of them. I did however tell them that they can do other things to change, they just have to find out what they are passionate about and spread the word.

Then we went to the DIA to see some art and I really loved going through the Art of Dance exhibit with my favorite dancer Kylie.

We then went to the Detroit Outdoor Adventure Center, and that was really amazing. I loved seeing that the DNR was doing something to show the beauty of northern Michigan to the inner city students and people who never really get to experience the world.

The next morning, we went to CASS, which helps homeless people get jobs and housing or all sorts help they could need. I really enjoyed the job I got to do. I had the opportunity to make doormats out of recycled tires. They employ people to go collect tires that are polluting the earth, cut them up, and make them into doormats and sell them. I got to have some conversations with people who have either been homeless or are currently homeless and it can happen to anyone. They were no different than me or anyone in LAS.

3 Hours of Leadership

What goes into being a leader? I know this blog is geared toward leadership and I know I have asked questions similar to this before, but what is the science to being a leader? I had to figure this out during my LDR 200 class. So leadership studies were not really a thing till about the 1950’s and since then it has really taken off. We have discussed throughout this class different theories and strategies that people have found to help them soar as leaders. Some examples of this are trait vs skills leadership and even some broader topics like gender and cultural differences in leadership.

Here’s the kicker. Almost every different theory of leadership that we have learned for this class has been presented by our peers who had to do all their research and presentations by themselves. We had to present one workshop which is a 45-minute topic (mine was gender and leadership) that goes deeply into the topic and kind of
breaks down misconceptions and shows how to genderequalityhandle situations and try to make more ethical and successful leaders. We also had a smaller 15-minute initiative activity to help show a smaller topic like inclusion and accountability. This was usually like a video and a debrief or something along those lines.

Through this class I have also gotten to know myself a little more. I have created my why statement: Inspire others to step out of the darkness, and see the colors of the world. This goes off of my leadership philosophy to as a leader, make everyone feel appreciated. Basically as a leader you are not entitled to anything and I am no better than anyone who chooses to follow me. Looking back on this class I’m not going to lie, I thought I would hate a three-hour leadership class on Wednesday nights. As I have been learning and leading it has not only come in handy, but also became one of the better classes in my week.

A Part of the Team

So for my Lead team I was on the Special events lead team. It was my job to help spread the word about special events the LI was hosting through the year.

There were a couple special events this year to help bring LAS together. We were trying to host a LAS bowling night but due to bad weather it was cancelled. One event that did happen that I believed was a big hit was LAS on Ice. Basically it was a chance to escape the college campus in the middle of the semester to go ice skating and goof around with the LAS cohorts.

I liked being involved with My LEAD team, however I wish I would’ve been more involved. I missed one of the meetings because I had split my head open and when I got to where the meeting was it was already over. I feel like I could’ve been a little bit more involved, so next year when I am assigned to my LEAD team I will definitely put in the extra effort to make it a great event. Even though we only had one special event was happy to be involved, but I wish I felt like I was helping a little bit more.

History and Her Leaders

As I approach the end of my second semester at Central I am taking a look at some of the classes I took this semester. I took an American history course from the beginning of life on North America to the present. This class had a certain emphasis on the leaders and revolutionary thinkers through this country’s history. I believe now I know not only the political leaders in this country’s history, but also the social and business leaders who helped shape what America is today.  I felt like the essays we wrote for this class not only compared and contrasted what leaders did for this country, but also their visionsabraham_lincoln_november_1863
for what this country could become.

With the knowledge I gained from this course I can identify the leaders who helped shape America and know their visions for this country. This way of thinking has made me look into how I see the world and what I need to think about as I try to leave my mark in history. Now I am not about the fame and the fortune, but looking at history very little people who helped shape America were in it for the fame.  They simply wanted to make the world the place they wanted the world to be, and others either agreed or were scared of them and they went down in history. Basically with the way that I want to see the world, will I be remembered in history? Only if people want to remember what I did.

I want to change the world. Learning about all the people who have helped shape America into the place it is, has made me think about how this country can be improved into the rogersplace that people remember it as. If
I can be a part of the change that the people of this country deserve then I feel like I need to do it by inspiring. Scaring people is a way to get followers but it is also a way to destroy great things. Inspiration is how I envision change and that’s how people have looked at some of the best leaders through history. People inspired to change the world like Abraham Lincoln, Mister Rogers (Wanted to see the youth grow up to be the best they can be), and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are written into history and remembered for a reason, and hopefully I can lead and help like they envisioned people of this country helping one another.

LAS in the D: Before the Trip

Tomorrow I embark on a service trip for LAS. This trip is called LAS in the D and basically we will be volunteering in Detroit doing various different service projects for about two days. We will be doing service in many ways from facilitating service project for high schoolers to possibly building mats out of old tires. Looking into this service trip I feel a plethora of emotions from excited to nervous.

Looking into Detroit and what we will be doing I noticed that I have such a limited view on the social issues about what is going on there. I hide behind the fact that I’m from Ohio and I’ve only been to Detroit once or twice before, but honestly I am just under educated about what type of help they need. I could feel so much better about going to help if I actually read an article or had chats with people about the help that the city needs. I feel like now there is not a whole lot that I can do, but in forty-eight hours I will be able to inform people of the help people need.

I feel like a trip like this directly relates to what CMU’s Leadership Institute’s Purpose and Vison statements. Let’s start with the Purpose of the LI: Central Michigan University is committed to preparing Michigan’s students and citizens for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and challenging society. I feel like a trip like this is meant to help people see the challenges that our fellow human beings face on an everyday basis, while we go on blindly as if their struggle doesn’t matter. Society is complex and challenging and it needs the help of powerful leaders who are prepared to face these complex challenges head on. The eye opening experience of this trip is to make students aware of just a few places that they can leave their stamp on the world.

The Vision of the LI: The Leadership Institute prepares the next generation of individuals who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live and work. So let’s think about what this means. The LI wants to help students grow to be a change for good in quality of their own life, for the good of the economy, and the communities the live and work in. A third of what the LI wants to see from their students is an improvement in the communities that surround them.  I think being aware of the issues in our surrounding communities would be a great place to start with the improvement process, but also knowing that even the smallest help can make a change. I like the phrase: “Many hands make for light work.” This shows that even the smallest effort to make a change from many volunteers can help change the world tremendously.

So after talking about if I see the purpose and the vision of why we are taking a service trip to Detroit, I can actually say that I believe I will grow as an individual when this is all said and done. I hope that I can walk away saying that I actually got involved to make a difference, even if it was not a high caliber event where I will go down in the history books. People need to remember that in communities where people need help half the battle is helping, and half the battle is awareness. I know close to nothing about what these people need, and that is a huge problem. One that can be solved with a simple dialogue. I want to be able to take this trip and share what needs to be done to see a change. That being said, I know that being educated and seeing a change I can make with my own tow hands will help me know that I can do my good in the world. And that… well that’s a hell of a personal change if you ask me.

Leadership: A Yes or No Question

Does a leader emerge from a yes or a no? Leaders arise from being told no. They see a world that can be changed for the better, and their lack of satisfaction in the world leads them to lead. Leaders who are told no to what they believe in would not be leaders if they gave up. Their passion to help change their lives, and the numerous lives around them for the better will overcome any naysayer. A no challenges a leader.

The leaders who are dedicated and that will make a change can do one simple thing: earth_with_rising_sun_bthey have the ability to face any challenge that hinders them and say yes to that no. My personal stance as a leader comes from a no. Too often I hear people in this world say that this is a ruthless and unforgiving world, so I do everything in my power to help people see the bright new day that is right around the corner. Instead of just living my life in a negative way, I try to make room for the positive day.

As the reader of this document I want you to say one thing, “I Can.” No matter what tumblr_nz7lrp7lkB1tk1x7jo1_500is being said or who is saying it, if you feel uneasy about it know that you can work for change. Remind yourself that Walt Disney was told that his cartoons were not creative enough or that Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career, and these people found the power to overcome the No and ended up becoming the best in their fields. Anyone has the power to be told no, but leaders take the no and make it a yes.

Why Are You Doing That?

I was instructed to watch a TED Talk for my leadership class. This TED talk was given by Simon Sinek and it said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This talk shows why some companies who know why they do what they do strive compared to some companies who just do what they do without making their why known to the consumers. The following YouTube clip is Simon Sinek’s TED talk:

Using The Golden Circle, many companies have become very successful for the reason they do things. A couple examples of this are Puravida, and Sevenly. Puravida makes bracelets that give money to certain charities depending on the bracelet you buy, and Sevenly is a company that gives seven percent of the price you pay to their charity of the week. These companies are followed because of why they do business; they have developed a brand. With this one starts to think “What do I stand for?”

brighten the world
The world is brighter than it seems.

This TED talk lead to some deep thinking of what I stand for. I stand for things like equality, education, love, a sense of family, support with depression, and helping others. With all of this being stated I came up my own why statement. My why statement is to inspire others to step out of the darkness and see the colors of the world. Now I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do for the rest of my life, but whenever someone asks my “Why are you doing that?” I can tell them what I stand for. Brighten the world for those around you.

A Leader in Today’s Society

Macklemore-black-and-whiteWhat constitutes a leader in today’s society? A major issue on a national level in this country is the #BlackLivesMatter movement. There are many influential people that are involved with this movement but there is one person that I can stand behind as a leader. Macklemore is a Musician from Seattle, Washington who is very prevalent in pop culture. He has taken firm stands on political issues through his music, with One Love being a view of his stance on LGBTQ movement. Macklemore recently released a song called White Privilege II, which shows his personal struggle of where he stands with the #BlackLivesMatter movement as a white person.

black livesHe is a leader because he is showing that he supports black liberation and wants to stop injustice on all levels. He is a leader simply because he chose not to be silent on the issue, he states the being silent is just a crime in itself. I am personally motivated to follow the ideas and suggestions of Macklemore because I can relate with him. I want to support the black liberation movement but I just don’t know how to get involved, and he is actually doing something about it. He is a leader because he is using the media and his art to bring a lot of attention to the issue even if he is putting his career on the line. He is asking people to get up and off the sidelines and bring up the issue. That’s what the black lives matter movement is, an issue. He is motivating others to get up and have a conversation, even if it’s just with friends, or reading an article, just get educated and show that this isn’t something that shouldn’t be pushed under the rug.

Macklemore may not be at the head of the #BlackLivesMatter movement but he is doing what he can to make the change and I believe that is what makes a leader a leader.  “We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?”