So part two of me and Jayla’s last hoorah for the summer was a spur of the moment invite to visit the Apollo Theatre to hear Van Jones speak. I found out that Jayla had already visited the Apollo before, but for me, this would be my first trip. I am not going to front, I was low-key hype because I instantly thought of allll the greats that had performed at the Apollo and I got emotional (SUPER SOFT)! Greats like Jimi Hendrix,  Ella Fitzgerald, the Isley Brothers, Patti LaBelle, and Lauryn Hill are among the stars that began their careers on the Apollo’s stage… and last but not least THE JACKSON5! If you ever saw the American Dream Movie when the Jacksons’ visited the Apollo and rubbed the Tree of Hope stump… All in My Feels! I wanted to run down there and rub it solely because MJ had rubbed it (GEEEEEK) I texted my Mommy like, “I’M GOING BACK TO INDIANA”! She got it… if you don’t well I’m sorry fo’ ya! J5 actually made their debut on the Apollo Stage in August 1967! 50 years ago! So, all in all, very special for me! RIP MJ!❤️ – To check out some other cool facts about the Apollo click here-> 11 Facts About the Apollo Theater ! Okay MJ/Apollo love session over. I need to now transfer the love over to my girl Amy who made this possible! Thank you so much for thinking of me. It truly was such an honor to be in the room with such AMAZING PEOPLE, you being one of them! 😌😉❤️

So you may know Van Jones from CNN, as a 2X New York Time’s Bestselling Author, or for you newbies, you’ve seen him on all the 4:44 footnote videos. (Tidal Users Only!) Right now he is out on the We Rise Tour leading the #LoveArmy, an array of artists, athletes, thought leaders and local leaders through action-provoking discussions around the issues facing our communities. Topics that matter to us! In former cities he has had the likes of Meek Mill, Nick Cannon, TI, Russell Simmons, the list goes on and on! On our stage we had the honor to hear from, DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Senator Cory Bond, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez (Founders of the Women’s March), and the incomparable Rev. Al Sharpton! LIT! Each person on the panel talked about their role in society and their everyday approach to our current cultural climate. They each shared personal stories about their past and spoke on how their experiences have shaped them to become the people that they are today. They painted extremely vivid pictures of loss, struggle, and hardships, that they  still carry with them regularly, but how these setbacks catapulted them each into working for the greater good. I think there were a few themes that I could take away. 1. Would be never let your upbringing or your hardships define you. You can’t rejoice without going through some stuff. 2. Would be don’t let the current state of our country with Cheeto, and racism, and sexism, (the list goes on and on ) define us! Van painted a good picture using Michelle Obama’s When they go low, we go high”…  He pointed out that a lot of  us were (still are) sooo upset with the election results we started to go lower than the low (which was lets face it -underground/beneath and then under that low)! Lashing out and starting arguments and just being downright nasty to those we don’t agree with whether their points are valid(typically they are aren’t ) or not! Theme no 3. would be to LOVE! It’s what God put us here to do! To love one another. Rev. Sharpton pointed out that we should reflect on the times that Dr. King and Jesse Jackson, our parents, grandparents had to endure. Those inequalities cannot and will never add up to the mess is on Cheeto, so we need to boss up! We are stronger together and we are stronger with love. After each guest on the panel spoke, Van spoke also for about 30 minutes or so. One thing that he spoke about that struck home with me was how there were people that were sitting in that theatre not living out their dreams due to fear. He said, “Your calling could be the thing that helps to save or motivate us as a unit”. Go after it, and he is so right! Life’s too short to have regrets. Change your mindset, change your LIFE! After that a video with Alicia Keys aired that was very powerful and then we were sent  on our way by thee AMAZING group, Infinity’s Song They sanggggg two songs. Listen, I don’t know who these kids are but…they gotta be next up! Please, please, please check them out! I know this post is a little lengthy, but I do think a positive mindset and not entertaining the small minded is the way to go… We Can Rise above the crap this country is putting out if we just come together and believe! I’m not going to get all preachy…but just think about it … To check out more on Van and the We Rise Tour head on over to vanjones.net ! Peep the videos on Van’s and the Apollo’s IG pages too! Love you!

-VKV-