Tru Story Success

Tru Story Success
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African American History, Community

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day, is celebrated throughout the nation and as a state holiday in Michigan. This uniquely American holiday commemorates the day in 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved people in Texas and other parts of the southwest– June 19th, a […]

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Activism, African American History, American History, Community, Home 1, Inequality, Injustice, Life, Social Justice

Today was a historic moment for our nation.  Garry Brown, Tennessee District Attorney, announced that he has re-opened the investigation into the 1940 murder of whom some have identified as the “first martyr of the civil rights movement”, Elbert Williams. Mr. Elbert Williams was a bright, outspoken 31-year-old family-oriented man in the predominantly black community […]

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Life, Success

#FlashbackFridays Originally published on January 23, 2013 For the past 15 years, it has been virtually impossible to go and visit my grandma without seeing “Grandma Jennie”. Not only was she often outside or in the lobby when we arrived, she would often strategically need to open her door for something just as we hit […]

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Community, Life

A few years ago, singer India Arie penned a hit titled “I am not my hair”. My response to that? De hell. I’m not. Hair is a big issue for women. For African American women, hair can be life-impacting. Depending on how you wear your hair as well as the thickness, length, texture and curl […]

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Life, Poetry

Originally printed on Dec. 4, 2011 This may be a bit unorthodox, but I am posting a thank you note I posted on Facebook earlier this year. I was reflecting on these past couple years and found this note that I had forgotten I wrote. I am in a different place, but probably more in need of […]

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Success

It would be hard to have a conversation about success without mentioning Dick Clark. He is revered for his contributions to the music industry, but he was a lot more. He wasn’t the world’s oldest teenager for nothing. That connection with what is current while being respectful of what’s happened before as well as his […]

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Life

About four years ago, I arrived at my grandma’s to let her know in person that her little brother had passed away. Although she was sad, she was also very calm and reflective about it. She was convinced that he had left the world more peaceful than he had been in a long time.  Later that […]

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Community, Injustice, Life, Success

In July 2013, three young women were discovered after being kidnaped for years. The  YouTube video statement, submitted by Cleveland kidnap survivors Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight was amazing. In the video, the three women expressed gratitude over recent support since they were freed and asked people to “continues to respect [their] privacy […]

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Success

Quit Telling Yourself No How many times do you tell people no in the course of a day? Once? Dozens? Or..never. Recently, I was speaking with a friend about my current projects. Specifically, about how I need to back pedal on some of the volunteer and non-profit projects I have going on. She said something […]

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Community, Success

As I often remind myself, Thanksgiving is a mindset. Today is the first of May, The National Day of Prayer, and…Thankful Thursday! Each Thursday in May, I will focus on one person or organization that has been a positive connection on my journey. Today’s featured person is Rev. Dr. Deborah Mitchell. Or, as I endearingly […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsWednesday, January 29, 2014 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Nearly 300 beer enthusiasts came out sample some of the best brews at the sixth annual Rat Fest Saturday afternoon. Beer tasters got to enjoy 32 of the best beers created by eight homebrew teams in Michigan at Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery, formerly known as […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsWednesday, January 08, 2014 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Painters, musicians, singers, and writers were showcased on Sunday, Dec. 29 at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti’s historic depot town for the eighth annual MittenFest to raise money for programs at 826 Michigan. Brandon Zwagerman, co-organizer of Mittenfest, comes from New York each year to help.  “I’m […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsWednesday, December 25, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Volunteers and community residents came out during a snowy weekend on Dec. 14 and 15 to embark on an organized tour of nine historic  buildings in downtown Ypsilanti for the 17th Annual:  Holiday Tour & Downtown Stroll to benefit Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels.  “The committee […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsThursday, December 12, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It A group of 25 to 30 community residents gathered around Santa and his helpers to light a Christmas tree in front of Sidetracks Bar and Grill in Depot Town on Saturday evening. The event, hosted by the Depot Town Merchants of Ypsilanti, included caroling outside […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsThursday, December 12, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It A group of 25 to 30 community residents gathered around Santa and his helpers to light a Christmas tree in front of Sidetracks Bar and Grill in Depot Town on Saturday evening. The event, hosted by the Depot Town Merchants of Ypsilanti, included caroling outside […]

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Activism, Community

Yesterday, was Giving Tuesday. So far, local results are showing: *COTS (Coalition of Temporary Shelter in Detroit, Michigan) received a $25,000 donation from someone who was inspired by Giving Tuesday. * ATAMI (All Things Artistic Ministries, Inc.) raised over $400 on their Go Fund Account. *Kiwanis raised 75% of their fundraising goal. *Peace Neighborhood Center received a donation of […]

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Community

Ypsilanti Courier newsMonday, November 11, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It The Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP held its annual Freedom Fund Dinner Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton Hotel. About 300 people gathered to hear about African American and civil rights history and achievements in its “journey to freedom.” The evening’s freedom […]

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Poetry, Writer, Writing

Ever since my third grade librarian helped me to form my first publication, I considered myself a writer. At the wild and brazen age of 9, I didn’t understand how ridiculous it was to consider yourself a writer at such an early age. I mean, there are retirees that have been writing for years that […]

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Community, Social Justice

Ypsilanti Courier newsThursday, August 29, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Southside Ypsilanti’s Parkridge Park was home to the 2nd Parkridge Summer Festival and Joe Dulin Community Day on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. Over a thousand people attended this free, all-day event which featured local entrepreneurs and artists, a car show, kids’ face painting, games, food, […]

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Community, Social Justice

By Leslie McGraw, Staff Writer Ypsilanti Courier, Aug. 22, 2103LesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Eighty-nine participants of all ages and abilities showed up Sunday, Aug. 18 for a mini-golf competiti on to raise money for the Community Alliance special needs fund. The fourth annual Community Alliance Classic was held at Putterz Mini Golf, 2675 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti. The […]

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Community

By Leslie McGrawSpecial Writer. Ypsilanti Courier, March 21, 2103 Community members joined alumni and students from Ypsilanti and Willow Run High Schools in a public forum to discuss the mascot and school colors for the Ypsilanti Community Schools. Maria Sheler-Edwards, who is a professional communicator and trustee on the unified school board for Ypsilanti Public […]

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Community

Dexter Leader newsFriday, February 15, 2013 By Leslie McGrawLesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It About 30 Dexter residents attended Tuesday’s town hall meeting at the Dexter District Library. “Our town hall meetings are informal so people can ask questions,” said Councilmember Jim Carson, “There is no particular topic.” Cityhood Up for a Vote What seemed to be put on […]

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Life

  Rose-Red Quartz Crystal. Sparkly, Beautiful..but not finished. Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 Opening weekend for the movie, Sparkle, just ended. I will see it later this week, but first I had to watch the old 1976 version just one more time. This has been one of my favorite movies since I first watched it as a teen […]

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Health, Life

I have spent the last several months positioning myself for my new healthy life. This is just the beginning.   A Healthy Les  When: April 16 through August 20, 2012 (90 days excluding weekends)   Daily Affirmation: My Love For Myself Drives My Desire to Be Healthier. Daily Goals:                 […]

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Health, Life

I snapped this photo as I was breaking into Ohio territory after a trip to West Virginia. I felt so alive…so Awake! My morning prayer call began with “I woke up with a thank you on my mind”. The opening was so profound to me that my eyes and head were forced open and upwards. […]

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Health, Life

I couldn’t sleep so I went to the gym this morning at opening, which is 5 a.m. I got on the Elliptical machine and tried a new program which simulated going up a mountain. Every so often, the prompt on the screen would say “Prepare to stop”.  Several seconds later, the prompt on the screen […]

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Success

One of my generation’s most widely used clichés is “how are you?” I have noticed a lot of people use this as a greeting instead of hello. Consequently, if you are naïve enough to answer with something other than “fine” or “okay” then people may look at you like you are from Mars. That is, […]

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Life

Friday, I used my lunch break to explore downtown Charleston, West Virginia while at a convention. After a few steps, I noticed smoking was apparently the norm. Outside the back door of the hotel, there were a dozen employees talking and smoking.  Walking along the street, employees were seen forfeiting minutes from their lunch break […]

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Success

A couple years ago, my water bill started to increase a little bit each bill cycle. Last summer, my son noticed a leak in the basement. When a family friend came over to inspect, he said it was because of the toilet. He fixed the leak, and consequently the water bill, but said eventually the […]

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Success

Getting Connected Sometimes I think it would be cool to go on a reality show about weight loss where I could just focus on weight loss for a couple months. A few years ago, my favorite show used to be Celebrity Fit Club. Each season, 8 overweight celebrities were taped over a course of 16 weeks while […]

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Life, Success

“People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous… Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain.” – Jim Morrison Jim Morrison died before I was born but his words […]

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Success

Where Did the Week Go? I can’t believe it’s Wednesday! There was Friday. Friday morphed into Memorial Day. Then Memorial Day became Wednesday. At least that’s how I remember it. Luckily, I have been using DailyMile.com to track my workouts. Last week, after I realized I was stuck at the same 6 pound weight loss […]

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Life

The First Step I am sure I have broken a record on the amount of weight loss and exercise books and literature I have consumed through the years. Every couple years there is a new breakthrough method or diet. Many things are different, but all the major ones start with the same step: Love Yourself. […]

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Health, Life

I have to keep reminding myself of why I started this challenge in the first place. When starting a new goal, it is important to have a system of support in place. It may hurt to find out that this support does not come from where you expected it to come from. That does not mean […]

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Health, Life

Day 16 of 90. 8 pounds down, many more to go! Scaling Back My overarching goal this week is to scale back. That’s scaling back on food, portion sizes, commitments, and conversation.  I have been stretching myself too thin and it has been wearing on me mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Each day last week lasted […]

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Life

Untamed and Unafraid This past week has been all kinds of disappointing and stressful. I have had some success; I am down 6 pounds and I have met my daily commitment 7 days out of 11, but I could feel myself slipping last week. Death of a family member on Thursday was the final straw […]

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Life

 Have you ever found yourself in the same position that you started from? Whether it’s trying to lose the same the 30 pounds you lost two years ago or (another) first date or moving…it can feel like you haven’t really made any progress. The last few years have been full of change and transition for […]

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Life

Day 1 – April 16, 2012. Completed First Workout of 90. I hope that you enjoyed the first series of 2012 – The Tru Story: Explicit. The next series will begin in the fall. In the meantime, I have a journey that I am inviting you to take with me. As we learned from Devin Partlow, […]

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Activism, African American History, American History, Community, Injustice, Life, Social Justice

Clipped from: news.gather.com (share this clip) Social injustice versus Racial injustice? That’s the question that I keep trying to answer in my head. In fact, as more and more evidence, news, and views emerge about the Trayvon Martin case – I find myself with more questions each day.   Question 1. Is this a black […]

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Community

By Leslie McGraw, A2 Journal, Heritage News, Feb. 16, 2012LesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Slauson Middle School in Ann Arbor was one of several schools in the district that provided a special celebration in honor of National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) on Monday, Feb. 13. Slauson’s demographics are closest to those of the overall district, with […]

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African American History, American History

By Leslie McGraw, A2 Journal, Heritage News Feb.10, 2012LesGo4It@gmail.comTwitter: @LesGo4It Each year, upwards of a million people participate in the National African American Read-In during the month of February to highlight African American authors. Locally, literacy and entrepreneurship were the two focal points for community members who came out Monday evening for the 8th Annual […]

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Health, Life

I Let “It” Go Christmas morning and table grace have been my only prayer since Friday. I don’t know…no reason really…just been so busy worrying and trying to take care of everything that prayer seemed less active, less kinetic. Last night, I was a little stressed and frustrated that I wasn’t able to complete what […]

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Failure, Life, Success, Writer

I quit. I Quit. I Quit!! That’s it! I am emotionally drained. Mentally Stressed. Physically Tired.. That’s how my draft post started out on August 24. Fortunately, I did not publish it, make it permanent. I am not sure what glimpse of hope appeared – or if there was. What I do know is I kept […]

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Life

Last night, during what seemed like a moderate storm, the biggest sturdiest tree in my backyard succumbed to the destructive winds. When the tree came crashing down on my shed, my son and I just stood in amazement. Me, with some amazing shriek I’ve never heard out of me. My teenage son, with an amazing […]

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Health, Life, Writer

For the most part birthdays were always great growing up. Plenty of food. Plenty of attention. Plenty of cake. My eighteenth birthday was a page out of a dream with my date cooking me dinner at his place and singing me a song on his guitar for dessert. After that? Blech. The next note worthy […]

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