Moments in 2017

Sooooo much has happened in one year. This is one of my longest posts to date. You’ve been warned.

I completed my time as a Better Together Coach for the Interfaith Youth Core co-facilitating at the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Atlanta, Georgia and Elon University’s Ripple Conference in North Carolina.

I wore green in honor of Meredith College’s Green Out day in support of the Muslim community since the election of 2016.

I performed “My Angry Vagina” in ECU’s production of The Vagina Monologues.

I performed poetry along with my poetry partner for our friend’s multimedia installation Bare Bones, which involved music poetry, a lot of dance, photography, and visual art.

I organized ECU’s second annual Interfaith Leadership Summit that had Chris Stedman (author of Faitheist) as our featured speaker; this was the first time we’ve had local news coverage about it:

I got out of a romantic relationship.

I competed in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) with my slam team in Chicago, Illinois.

Interfaith Pirates Better Together won the Identity Development Award for the second year in a row, and for the first time, my spoken word group and slam team Word of Mouth won the Civic Engagement Award at the ALANA Heritage Ball Awards at ECU.

I got to collaborate with Hillside Missions and the Interfaith Refugee Ministry in New Bern, North Carolina to volunteer in refugee relief under Interfaith Pirates Better Together.

I completed my semester long BSW internship with United Way of Pitt County where I developed storytelling programming for infants and toddlers and did grant writing.

I graduated from ECU with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Bachelor’s of Art in English Magna Cum Laude. For my English graduation, I gave a speech as a recipient of Most Outstanding Undergraduate in English.

I went to Windy Gap for InterVarsity’s Rec Week as a retreat for religious and spiritual growth.

My brother graduated high school.

I traveled out of the country for the first time to South Asia and had a long enough layover to look around England upon returning back to the states. You can read all about it here:

I moved to Portland, Maine and completed my first semester of graduate school at the University of New England and got all A’s my first semester.

I decided to go to therapy again after deciding to stop going for six months.

I started my first half of my yearlong MSW internship with Maine Inside Out grant writing and co-facilitating theater programming for incarcerated youth and formerly incarcerated youth. One of the letters of intent I wrote as a candidate to apply for a grant got accepted.

I have been contributing monthly videos for Multiracial Media touching on topics about mixed race identity you can find here from this year:

I shared a lot of people’s spoken word work on mental health and suicide online, including my own, in honor of Suicide Prevention Month; I got my second tattoo as well in honor of Suicide Prevention Month.

I became a Personal Support Specialist on the weekends.

I was a sacrificial poet for the Vox Slam for Slam Free or Die’s tournament in Manchester, New Hampshire.

I got to meet Leslie Odom, Jr. at Portland Ovations and he was wonderful! And he signed my copy of Hamilton: the Revolution.

I’ve had ups and downs in the dating world.

I got to create interfaith programming as part of my course work at UNE.

I was a sacrificial poet at the Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament (FEMS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and got to see old and new friends in an empowering space of fems.

I joined Portland’s weekly spoken word collective Port Veritas, won a couple of their slam contests, and I host every couple of weeks their open mics.

I got to co-feature with a friend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s Book n Bar with the Beat Night Band.

I have received a lot of mean tweets for a tweet that I made about a confederate flag waving near the highway in Virginia. Never thought I’d put something like that on this list.

Although this was my first Thanksgiving without family, I got to spend it with great friends in Montreal, Quebec; it was my first time in Canada and second time out of the U.S. this year.

I’ve had the opportunity to read so many of my friends’ books and love them and support them.

I watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Coco in movie theaters and I loved it!

Resolutions from 2017:

Have the concept of a book set in order to start writing a draft. (Achieved! It’s going to take forever to actually complete the book, but the more I talk about it, the more I’ll be held accountable in finishing it)

Read Scripture every day, along with writing prayers every day. (Beginning of the year was steadily maintained. In the middle of the year, not the best. However, since July, I’ve been consistent and I’m still going. I’m more consistent in going to church every sunday too; since August, I’ve only missed 2 or 3 Sundays. So I’ll say Achieved.)

Have a car for grad school. (Achieved! Thank you Dad!)

Expand topics in the Race Section of The Tempest. (Achieved? I did get to do a bit for a couple of articles edited and pitches I gave. However, I actually stepped down as editor in August/September. I still pitch to The Tempest when I can, they’re still so amazing!)

Outline an interfaith-related form of programming for Hillside Missions. (Achieved! Read above)

Work out twice a week starting January 9th, when school starts again. (Beginning of the year, steadily maintained. Summertime, none at all. Since August, I made it once a week. Once or twice since then I’ve done it twice a week. Achieved?)

Resolutions for 2018: (still trying to maintain the idea of realistic goals, and won’t berate myself if they’re not all achieved, but I want to achieve as much as I can)

Have a website to showcase myself as a poet.

Perform at 3 to 5 venues as a poet that aren’t in an open mic setting or a competitive slam setting.

Complete at least half of my book.

Get my LMSW after graduation and have a job where I can put my license to practice after graduation.

Get out of my comfort zone creatively by trying stand up comedy, dancing, more singing, and maybe other forms.

Go to the Mixed Remixed Festival in June since I missed it last year.

See A Wrinkle in Time in theaters.

Publish a poetry chapbook.

I enjoy writing these posts to look back on as much as I’m willing to share about with others. Overall, I have had a pretty good year, and an exciting year. On a larger scale, I know that this year has been so so rough for a lot of us. It hasn’t been easy for any of us to always maintain optimism, and we shouldn’t be obligated to. Cheers to us who still found light the best way we knew how to.




Poem: What to Do When You Have Suicide Ideation Again

Retreat to music.

Retreat to loved ones even if they’re not there physically.

Focus the majority of your energy on someone else’s mental health issues

instead of your own.

Lie to yourself about not being depressed,

and then tell yourself the truth upon realizing that you just don’t want to

experience it again.

Remind yourself that you’re broken and not broken

at the same time.

Write it down because you can’t scream it.

Your thoughts are all trapped inside your body,

so at least get it out on your phone screen,


Listen to Third Eye Blind…and be disgusted

at how cheesy and cliché you are about

suicidal thoughts.

Remind yourself that these thoughts are not

as bad as the ones from the first time around.

Be thankful that you listed your struggles with anxiety and depression

on your application for the last

biblical missionary training you went to.

Remind yourself of how much it hurt when loved ones attempted and/or


Remind yourself of how when your best friend attempted,

You reminded them of how you’re all out of poems for death.

Remind yourself how you reminded them

that you will not write a poem for them.

Therefore, you friends will not

write poems for you.

Don’t tell your mother about your

suicidal ideation

because she can’t go through that a second time.

Sure, she may do better than the first time

if you tell her,

but your point still stands.

Listen to Christian music…

but not too much.

Because you refuse to be a cliché


Write your prayers because you’re more honest with God

when you’re writing.

Use Twitter for random rants

because it’s the oddest form of venting,

and sometimes validation.

Pray for friends who don’t respond to your messages

of checking in;

especially when they’ve told you that

your persistence mattered to them.

Thank God for the one friend who did finally respond.

Remind yourself not to be a hypocrite,

because your friends are going through a similar journey as you;

up and down

in mental health,

whether circumstantial or not.

Tell yourself that you’re not alone,

and it’s normal to feel how you feel.


Poem: A Tribute to Princess Leia

Note: This was a draft from 2015 when I was preparing for a Nerd Slam at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational at Virginia Commonwealth University. I never I got to perform it, and it’s been in my laptop since then. One of my friend’s convinced me to watch Star Wars after I started college, and Princess Leia has been my favorite since then. When I saw Episode VII in theaters for my birthday in December 2015, I shouted “Nobody has love for Leia?” Because Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker all got their cheers and shouts, but I was the ONLY one cheering for General Leia! What the heck? I’ve watched movies with Carrie Fisher in it before watching Star Wars, and I liked her characters, but Princess Leia touched me the most.

A woman in modest garb and high buns that show your face,

Your presence on Star Wars has humbled men and women everywhere,

Your highness.

Princess Leia Organa,

I thank you.

You gave orders on a space ship full of men

With such affirmation and confidence,

Instead of a TV screen,

Little girls hoped it would be a mirror.

You made that reflection possible

When Hollywood still had trial and error of

Straying from the stay at home mom,

Or glamour girl,

Facades of how women were “supposed to be.”

In Episode VI,

I wept for you when you were enslaved to the hideous creature, Jabba the Hut.

Stripping you of your dignity into half nakedness,

Villains interpreted it as sexy,

But I knew the truth.

Strangling in your chains you portrayed the honesty

Of the chains by men labeled “virgin,” and “slut,”

“Model” and “Housewife.”

Yes you did look beautiful,

But beauty isn’t always safe or right.

And then you used those same chains to choke Jabba to death

That alien man who tried to weigh you down in insecurities

And Constructs

It was glorious!

It would not surprise me if you were the inspiration for Merida,

A princess of messy hair that flowed as a windy river to represent

Unorthodox beauty.

Peggy Carter,

A woman ahead of her time fighting along fellow supermen and mortal men.

Princess Elsa,

The first Disney princess that didn’t have to rule a kingdom with a man!

Your Highness,

You changed film history in the moment of fear and anxiety

Hammering through you to crush you flat upon being captured,

Instead of playing a maiden,

You are pure royalty as you give Darth Vader a glassy stare

Of readiness and courage.

You didn’t say it,

But I’m pretty sure you thought,

“Go screw yourself.”

Yours truly,

A fan.

Moments in 2016

I got to meet poet, educator, and activist Sister Sonia Sanchez. I also got to meet Matthew Vines, writer of God and the Gay Christian, and founder of the Reformation Project.

I participated in the #ECUWithoutMe Campaign, speaking out about visibility of multiracial identity.

I got to compete in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational for the second time in Austin, Texas with fellow Word of Mouth Slam team members. I saw Rudy Francisco and Neil Hilborn again–seeing Neil was great especially before opening for him in a spoken word performance at our university–and I met Sierra DeMulder for the first time.

My interfaith organization, Interfaith Pirates Better Together, organized East Carolina University’s fist Interfaith Leadership Summit as a space for people to discuss and put into action social justice through interfaith dialogue. It will now become an annual conference.

Interfaith Pirates has been recognized in local and national nominations and awards for our hard work.

My InterVarsity staff worker left his position to work at Third Street Community Center in Greenville, NC, and he left someone just as awesome as him in his place.

I became a contributor and editorial fellow for The Tempest, where diverse millennial women take media by storm. I later became the Race Section editor for The Tempest.

Another sister of mine graduated high school.

I was invited to share my work at the Mixed Remixed Festival, and was on the Mixed Millenials Panel at the Festival in Los Angeles, California. I also got to meet Taye Diggs at the Mixed Remixed Festival.

I interned with Hillside Missions for the whole summer serving refugees in the Richmond Area and learning more about cross cultural missions work, and how to change the narrative of missions work, which has inspired me to go to South Asia in June 2017:

I was accepted into the Interfaith Youth Core’s Better Together Coach Program, helping facilitating different students’ learning in campus interfaith work all from around the United States. I also had the honor to read a speech at the annual Interfaith Leadership Institute in Chicago, Illinois about my growth as an interfaith leader.

I got to meet activists Angela Davis and Kate Bornstein. A friend and I got to open for Angela Davis through spoken word performance.

I saw Zootopia and Moana in theaters and I loved it!!

I having been blogging for over two years.

Resolutions from 2016:

Score well on the GRE when I take it in February. [Achieved!]

Intern over the summer with Hillside Missions in Richmond, Virginia. [Achieved!]

Be accepted to at least one out-of-state graduate school. [Achieved! I will be attending the University of New England in Portland, Maine in August. I will be in their Advanced Standing Master’s in Social Work Program along with their certificate program for Applied Arts and Social Justice]

Find new ways to to take time for myself while also finding new ways to use this blogging space. [There were moments when I haven’t blogged in a long time, however, this was still able to be accomplished. Achieved!]

Meditate more along with writing prayers and being more active in prayer. [Achieved in being active in prayer. Not Achieved in writing prayers as often as I used to, or in meditating. Could have been better]

Read my great grandpa’s work on the missions he did in Africa. [Not Achieved]

Continue learning how to be more honest. [Gradually Achieving]

Audition and perform in a play. [Auditioned, yes. However, the performance for The Vagina Monologues won’t be until February of 2017. Achieved?]

Resolutions for 2017 (trying to stay as realistic as possible):

Have the concept of a book set, in order to start writing a draft.

Read Scripture every day, along with writing prayers every day.

Have a car for grad school.

Expand topics in the Race Section of The Tempest.

Outline an interfaith-related form of programming for Hillside Missions.

Work out twice a week starting January 9th, when school starts again.

This is the first time I actually post this the day of the New Year. This past year has been rough in our global climate, and this year may be even more rough, but it’s still going to be great. Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Poem: Spirituality

**a workshop piece

Speaking from the mountain tops from my mind,

I know it can be hard at times.

Is that truly fine?

I don’t want to become stagnant.

I don’t want to be okay with not pursuing

A greater good in the constant ripple effects of my life.

It’s okay not to be okay,

But it’s not okay to continue perpetuating the idea

Of nothingness.

Prayers are good.

But prayers without legs willing to run,

Or hands willing to climb

In order to reach for the hands that

Pray the most while receiving the least

Is the definition of nothingness.

A black hole of inactivity tempting you by

By blaming the chaos in this world we live in

To tie your hands behind your back

As your source of comfort.

Being a masochist for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, it can be hard to remember

That there is still good in the world to strive for,

Just please don’t forget on purpose.

Don’t fall into the rhythm of a meaningless routine

Because this world fails you.

All you need to know at the end of the day,

It’s going to be 11:59 pm.

Just a minute away for something new

Each day to appear.

I’m Going to South Asia!

Disclaimer: Yes, I know it has been awhile. After my summer internship, senior year of college and writing/editing for The Tempest and Inter has taken up my time. Hope to be blogging again soon! In the meantime, feel free to check out my GoFundMe below!

Since my internship ended, I wanted to find a way to continue that kind of work. To see the course of my internship, you can visit right here:

And, of course, here’s where you can help me complete my goal to continue the work outside the U.S.: