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April 17, 2024 70 mins

In this episode, Tamika D Mallory and Mysonne discuss various topics including the importance of taking care of one's health, the influence of the MAGA movement on the Republican Party, the need for comprehensive education reform, and the impact of supportive parents.  Later in the episode, they were joined by Dennis Mckesey an educator and CEO of  Off School Grounds (OSG) is a non-profit organization that focuses on leadership development for school leaders leading communities. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
I'm Tamika D.

Speaker 2 (00:01):
Mallory and the ship Boy my Son in general.

Speaker 1 (00:03):
We are your host of t M I.

Speaker 3 (00:05):
Tamika my Son's Information, Truth, motivation and inspiration, New.

Speaker 1 (00:10):
Name, New Energy. What's up, my son, Lennon, what's up?

Speaker 2 (00:16):
Tmika Mallory?

Speaker 1 (00:17):
That's me.

Speaker 2 (00:18):
That's who you be. You know, I'm to me.

Speaker 1 (00:21):
I'll be making him change that on like checks and
you make sure that D is this because that's my name.

Speaker 2 (00:28):
You made sure that you ain't gonna miss the D.

Speaker 4 (00:30):
I'm dead to you. I'm just saying, I mean, are
y'all serious about.

Speaker 2 (00:37):
It's the thing? People do it? Why? Because it's just
it's a nature. You don't want to get caught saying.

Speaker 4 (00:42):
But what if you're a grown person that's gonna be
fifty years old into you.

Speaker 3 (00:46):
Grown people is the ones who've been doing it. It's
started with the grown people.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
O my god, and Dame das.

Speaker 4 (00:53):
Odu style do it right because she's saying it. But
like I was going to get ice cream, Paul, He's like,
that is not what it's supposed to be.

Speaker 2 (01:02):
Useful. That ain't it. I love you, but that ain't it.

Speaker 3 (01:06):
Speaking of ice cream, I ain't been eating no ice cream.
You know, my workout like it's gonna be tough this summer.
You know what I'm saying, because I'm back. I'm tired
of the dad bought. I had the dad buy for
about two three years. I couldn't really see my six pack. Yeah,
my six pack wasn't it wasn't right, you know what
I'm saying. I felt my stomach over my pants. It

(01:28):
was like, nah, this ain't me. So, you know, the
last few months, been getting it right. I see my
six pack again. It's tough. I'm down about ten pounds,
almost eleven pounds. You know, ramadan't helped me get on
that that road. You know what I'm saying, So that
that exercise. Man, y'all be trying to cheat. Everybody want

(01:50):
to cheat the ground. To me, I want to do that.
Don't don't cheat the ground. You don't really cheat. First,
you have been working out.

Speaker 4 (01:59):
I have, and I have curved a lot of my
bad habits in terms of eating.

Speaker 1 (02:05):
I need to do better.

Speaker 4 (02:06):
I realized that sugar is my addiction like I have really,
I mean, I didn't listen.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
I have traded in other addictions.

Speaker 4 (02:16):
For sugar and it's serious, Like I now am beginning
to see that if I don't have sugar, or if
if I don't have something sweet, I get agitated, and
that is a problem. So now apple slices is my
new thing, or you know, some type of fruit to
try to help me. And then you know what I
also eat, y'all know, because I keep them around all

(02:38):
the time.

Speaker 1 (02:38):
Crab babies. Baby. I got to have me a crib baby.
That's my that's my job. I was eating.

Speaker 4 (02:44):
Let me tell you, let me tell y'all this story.
So I used to keep a bag of.

Speaker 2 (02:48):
Double bubble gum, double bubble.

Speaker 4 (02:51):
Yes, the individual double bubble gums. First I used to
have bazooka gum. But them joints just be too stale,
like they I don't maybe people don't eat them as
much as they used to, so they just leave you.

Speaker 1 (03:02):
Just buy you a box of rocks and soil.

Speaker 2 (03:05):
You know that.

Speaker 1 (03:05):
Come on, can't do that.

Speaker 4 (03:06):
By the way, eating gum, I don't think it's healthy anyway,
But eating gum. See, eating gum, that's why this is
how I chew gum.

Speaker 1 (03:13):
I eat them.

Speaker 4 (03:14):
So then I went to double bubble and I got
somehow I lucked up and out of the CBS store.
I found the bag of double bubble gums, but it
also had the hard ones that you buy from because
I'm one of those people, as you know, because y'all
have seen me.

Speaker 1 (03:34):
We could be.

Speaker 4 (03:35):
One time we were in like the back roads of
I don't know where the hell we were, and my
ass was running all around trying to collect twenty five
cent to get one of them gums out of the
You know, that was something we wouldn't talk about here,
but it was like a thing going on in the community,
and they wanted to inform us, but they didn't want
to talk out in public, so we and I'm running

(03:58):
around instead of the meeting, I'm out here trying to
get twenty five cent to get some bubblegum out of
that dirty machine that never gets cleaned.

Speaker 1 (04:05):
And the inside I like bubblegum.

Speaker 4 (04:07):
So when I got the bag with the double Bubbles
in it, it had.

Speaker 1 (04:10):
The cry Babies was in there too.

Speaker 4 (04:14):
It was Crybabies and a few of the little other
hard ones. So then I took the whole bag of
double bubbles and took it to the hand salon and
say I can't have this no more. Ordered me some
cry Babies and now I'm just loving a bag of crimebait.

Speaker 1 (04:30):
I know, I gotta get I.

Speaker 3 (04:31):
Know this is a lot. I was told with my
six pack and you went to crabbabies.

Speaker 1 (04:35):
Well, I'm just saying sugar.

Speaker 2 (04:37):
Sugar is a problem.

Speaker 3 (04:38):
Listen, man, Health is wealth for real, you know, and
it's it's and I'm just enjoying my health journey again.
I'm back like inspired with my workout and just being healthy,
eating healthy. Well, I'm still fast and technically because I
do intimate and.

Speaker 1 (04:53):
Faster than anyway you lived like that.

Speaker 3 (04:55):
Yeah, you know, and I just feel I feel, I
feel myself being a lot more stronger.

Speaker 4 (04:59):
Y'all don't really eat like the girls eat. I'm not
gonna lie like men do not eat like women. Because
being on the road with y'all, Linda and I can
put down.

Speaker 3 (05:10):
Some I don't even know how Linda listen to me.
I don't even know where Linda fit the food. She
she gets a plate. See the thing about you is
you pick.

Speaker 2 (05:21):
Off your pate.

Speaker 3 (05:22):
But I order to me order four plates, four main
plates entrees. She ordered steak, she ordered ribs, and then
she orders shrimp in this and it be with mashed
potatoes on heres on here did she go two spies,
two bites to each of them?

Speaker 2 (05:41):
And then she just keep going around and she'll pack
it up.

Speaker 1 (05:47):
So don't think people that I don't.

Speaker 3 (05:50):
Linda will ordered the whole entree with like to a
double eat the surf and turf?

Speaker 2 (05:56):
What what do the fries and all the stuff? Finish that?

Speaker 3 (06:00):
And then start picking on to me get school because
she knows she ain't gonna eat it. And I'd be like,
how did she eat all that? I couldn't eat all that?

Speaker 4 (06:08):
We do eat, but we but we are better and
this is so this behavior ended as of December of
twenty twenty three, and now we're getting two meals, not
four vegetables, not a lot of carbs at all. I
have cut back carbs and it's killing me. I had
carbs today. But they and they say you can still

(06:31):
eat certain things, but you really do have to work out.
It's a lot of people that's out here on the zimpee.

Speaker 2 (06:38):
The zimbi, and I'm with them.

Speaker 4 (06:40):
I don't zip Harrold they on the ZIMPI I feel you,
but you have to work out because you're looking a
little weird.

Speaker 2 (06:48):
If you ain't still getting that work out. And you
just on that zimpie you.

Speaker 4 (06:51):
Looking, you got that look that it's a look got
to work out. So I mean, I literally have had
a full lifestyle change, but I don't drink soda at all, juice,
none of that stuff. So you know, it's a new thing,
but I do. I can't tell the difference. I can
tell the difference. So anyway, it is.

Speaker 2 (07:11):
What it is.

Speaker 1 (07:12):
My thought of the day.

Speaker 4 (07:15):
I saw Donald Trump Junior and he made a very
very powerful statement. He said, the Republican Party that we
once knew is no longer. He said, the last step

(07:37):
is for MAGA to take over the rn C, which
is the Republican National Convention, where he's talking about going
there and overthrowing the whole joint.

Speaker 1 (07:48):
And them taking over right, And he.

Speaker 4 (07:51):
Said, once we accomplish that, it is going to be
the MAGA Party. This man said this himself. So when
people start going back and forth we arguing Republicans versus Democrats,
we're not even really arguing Republicans versus Democrats anymore. We're
arguing Republicans versus I mean, Democrats versus MAGA.

Speaker 1 (08:14):
That's really what we're talking about.

Speaker 4 (08:19):
Independent even some Republicans, some moderate Republicans, because the way
that Marjorie Taylor Green and the rest of those right
wing Republicans it's his name, Mark Gatz, he's from she's
from Georgia, and he's from Florida. The way in which

(08:42):
they are they super maga. They're not even a little maga.
The way that they are pulling, the way that they
are pulling and shifting the Republican Party towards this extremist mindset.
It is not the same Republican Party that you could

(09:03):
play with and be like, oh, we could kind of
possibly work with them. There's no working with them. They
do not They vote against everything that has to do
with us and a little bit of what we deserve.
We can't even get everything that we need from the Democrats, right.
We don't even have them in there one hundred percent
advocating for like real substantive change. It's only a few

(09:26):
people within the Democratic Party that's going to do that.
These maga folks at every single angle, they are turning
it down, They are pushing.

Speaker 1 (09:35):
Back against anything.

Speaker 4 (09:36):
Then in fact, they want to roll it all back,
and unfortunately our people sit up there and support it. So,
you know, some of our people, let me be careful
with absolutes. So my thought of the day is that
I hope people understand that we're not sitting up here.
I'm not because you have your own mindset around this.

(09:56):
I am not arguing that it's the Democrats are better
than the Republicans. I'm saying that I will never support MAGA.
And when Donald Trump's own son says that the Republican
Party is becoming that and that they intend to take
over and make sure that MAGA is the order of

(10:17):
the day, that bullshit make America great again, which ultimately
means going back to a time when black people had
even less rights than we have now. I can never
align with that. And their party leader is his father,
Donald Trump. So no, I don't support them. What does
that mean? Does that mean I'm puking on myself about

(10:39):
having to continuously be involved with a party that I
also does not feel like. I also don't feel that
this party deserves my vote, my energy. Absolutely absolutely. It
makes me sick to my stomach. But at the same
time I realize that whatever comes out of not just

(10:59):
this year election, but every single election, you got Congressman
Jamal Bowman and Corey Bush, Congresswoman Corey Bush, Angela Asselbrooks
running for Senate in Maryland.

Speaker 1 (11:13):
You have Hill Harper running for office. I mean, you've
got people that are under attack by.

Speaker 4 (11:18):
MAGA and a PAK, which MAGA and APAK are aligned
in many ways. Okay, this is some serious shit, and
I know that my granddaughter's future is directly connected to
the decisions that we made, so we could talk all
of this.

Speaker 1 (11:36):
Don't care, don't matter. I get, I hear you, I
feel you.

Speaker 4 (11:41):
But I'm just telling you that these people have a
plan and a design and a strategy that includes the courts,
whether they be federal courts, state courts. They try they
are attempting to take back everything that anybody you respect
fought for.

Speaker 2 (12:00):
That's a fact.

Speaker 3 (12:01):
I can't even That's not even something that's even worth.
I mean, it's even arguable. Nobody can't argue that. The
only thing what they try to say is well, we
don't need that. We don't need Brown Person or the
board edge game, we don't need we don't need Roe
Versus Weight, we don't need de Ei, Like.

Speaker 2 (12:18):
It's just stupid.

Speaker 3 (12:19):
Look, what do you mean The reason why we got
it is because we needed it.

Speaker 2 (12:22):
Have to fucking the people that you do.

Speaker 3 (12:25):
You celebrate our imposition that have been able to change
the future, I mean change and make change and create
a better future for us because they were forced to
put them in. They didn't never want to put us
in a position of power or anything like, they were
forced to do it. So you just giving them the
opportunity to say, you know what, we're just gonna make
this company one hundred percent white again. We're gonna make

(12:46):
sure these schools is one hundred percent white again. You know,
maybe one if you got an IVY League black kid
that grew up that actually had access to wealth, then
maybe we'll get them in. But we don't have to
do none of that shit.

Speaker 1 (12:58):
You know what DEI is. D I is women.

Speaker 4 (13:05):
Having the opportunity to really make money, to take care
of themselves and their families and create and and and
have businesses. Right, that's de I. You know what else
de I is, let's go back beyond that. Oh, actually
it would be in the same time, voting rights was
de I. That was us having the ability for the

(13:29):
for the voting pool to be diverse where white people
did not control everything. They might have called it d
I at the time, but that's what the language developed
to be later on. D I is a lot of things.
D I is even our ability to get on certain
college campuses, to get to get the resources that our

(13:50):
schools deserved.

Speaker 1 (13:52):
I is so much bigger than this.

Speaker 4 (13:55):
Now, this this thing that people keep talking about, it
means that you aren't quite qualified. Like what like, we're
we're more qualified. And I'm gonna keep saying this. We're
more qualified, you know, And I and and and and
the sad part is I and.

Speaker 1 (14:12):
I will leave it here. One of the things we
talk about all the time.

Speaker 4 (14:17):
And I said this when I was addressing Daniel Cameron
after he did not do justice by Brianna Taylor, her family,
and the community of Louisville, Kentucky, and Kentucky overall and
ultimately America by allowing those offices not to be prosecuted
for murdering that young beautiful girl.

Speaker 1 (14:40):
Okay, I said this to him.

Speaker 4 (14:41):
You just like the ones who were a part of
selling us into enslavement, even because you are ignorant, for real,
willfully ignorant whatever they've offered you, you believe that somehow,
if you align with you have the proximity to whatever
they have their wealth, their power, their whiteness. So you

(15:06):
go get married to them and then try to work
alongside them and throw your own family, your own people away,
You are complicit. So I'm saying that while we sit here.

Speaker 1 (15:17):
And and and and and.

Speaker 4 (15:20):
Own the talking points of those who want to be
our oppressors, we are in the process of selling ourselves
right back into the same loop that we have fought
so hard to get out of. So I just hope
that black men who hear that know that love me
for real, don't love me just in the bed, don't
love me just you know.

Speaker 1 (15:41):
We cool and you you support me? And yes, sis, no,
our bodies, our rights.

Speaker 4 (15:46):
Everything about us, everything that you claim you love is
under attack. And you out here talking about we were
not qualified.

Speaker 1 (15:53):
Enough to get the job. Brothers, Let's be for real.

Speaker 2 (15:57):
That's a word there.

Speaker 3 (15:58):
I don't even know what to say, but I feel
a little bad to bring some music after that.

Speaker 4 (16:02):
Well, you know, we we deserve the balance of a
little musical, little music by lighting it up.

Speaker 2 (16:08):
What you got artist from Philadelphia og like, this is
what I call real og Like.

Speaker 3 (16:16):
Somebody sent it to me and it just touched me.
This brother is lyrically dope. His message is really trying
to wake up the youth. Reminds me of pretty much
my message. His name is Saint Basil. He's dope. He's
a dope artist. And he has this song that he
released the video for where he took the Somehow some

(16:39):
Way jay Z and Beanie song. That one of my
favorite songs. He took the beat and he made it
into his own, and it's just it's him schooling these
young boys and just talking to them about the streets
and the reality and just trying to inspire and motivate him.

Speaker 2 (16:54):
And it's lyrically crazy.

Speaker 1 (16:55):
Sot Basil, Saint Basil Basil. So it's somebody. It's like
my speed.

Speaker 2 (17:06):
It's you love it, the old speed, you love it.

Speaker 1 (17:08):
You know who I like as an artist, Lola Brook.

Speaker 3 (17:12):
Lola shout out the way she come out. Lola is
shout out to my main eighty, who is she signed to?
Eighty is one of the main those best friends. And
eighty got shot a while ago. He's been in the wheelchair,
but he's always been like my heart, and he started
his own company. He signed Lola and they've been doing anything.

(17:33):
So shout out to eighty. Shout out to Lola, you know,
the first time, Like I've always been a fan of HRS.
When I first met her at Yankee Stadium when they
did the concert, she gave me a.

Speaker 2 (17:43):
Big hugs, like, yo, all love it? What do you do? So?
And her energy.

Speaker 4 (17:47):
She came out on the stage for the uh what
was it? She's a cold concert? Oh my god.

Speaker 1 (17:54):
And scarlet scarlet. I love Scarlet.

Speaker 4 (17:57):
I happened to see her not long ago, and I
was and she was with og Bar at Brooklyn chop
House one night. And in Brooklyn Chophouse is a black
man's restaurant that is in the middle of Times Square
and it's several floors and it's very fabulous.

Speaker 1 (18:13):
And she don pooh, that's right.

Speaker 4 (18:15):
And she was at a table sitting down with og Barr,
who's like the uncle to us all.

Speaker 1 (18:20):
And you know you could tell O g was.

Speaker 4 (18:22):
You know, yes, you know, he was schooling U, telling
them what it is. And I just walked over to him.
I was like, you are beautiful. Don't letting anybody make
you feel like you have to defend your beauty. You
just beautiful. And she was so beautiful in person, just
a beautiful spirit, so sweet and kind, but that Internet
has you feeling like you gotta get on there and

(18:43):
be like stop stop saying how I look, and stop
saying you know, because she was going through that for
a while.

Speaker 1 (18:47):
But it looks like the.

Speaker 4 (18:49):
Bar probably sat down and say, don't get there, explain
yourself another get well, listen, don't fuck our kids. Okay,
don't fuck go over our children.

Speaker 1 (19:01):
Okay.

Speaker 4 (19:01):
We're about to talk about education in New York State,
which should be what we're going to talk about today,
needs to be all over the nation and ultimately all
over the world.

Speaker 3 (19:12):
Yes, a brother's doing something very revolutionary, so stay tuned.

Speaker 1 (19:16):
Let's bring him on.

Speaker 2 (19:18):
So today our.

Speaker 3 (19:19):
Guest is a friend of mine, another friend, you know,
a brother that for the last couple of years that
I've worked closely with, watched him do so many things,
you know, within the educational system and just in the
community period, like just watching him be very hands on
and supporting everybody that's doing anything from hip hop artists

(19:42):
to elected officials, and also inside education because that's where
his background is. You know, my brother, Dennis Makizi is
an experienced educator who's worked every level of education from
daycare to college and most recently because people will say
think that this all he's done, But most recently he
is the founder of OSG, which is short for off

(20:05):
school Grounds, you know, and it's a revolutionary organization.

Speaker 2 (20:09):
And I want to thank you and welcome you to
the show.

Speaker 5 (20:13):
My pleasure, family, my pleasure. Yes, yes, yes, I appreciate that.
It's an honor to be here.

Speaker 6 (20:18):
You know. Obviously my brother might sign up known for what.

Speaker 5 (20:20):
And it's funny to me, I've been meeting I've been
wanting to meet you, or to at least talk to
you for so long because we we we have you know,
mutual friends like.

Speaker 6 (20:30):
Jamility Davis of course, and you know this is truly.

Speaker 1 (20:34):
Davis is all my friend's friends exactly exactly.

Speaker 6 (20:37):
So it's honor to be here.

Speaker 1 (20:38):
Most certainly, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 3 (20:41):
So give us a background, let us know what it
is you're doing. Because serial educated from daykid all the
way to come. That's a life, So give us like
a background.

Speaker 5 (20:50):
My entire family we're postal workers, right, so my grandfather,
my mother, my father, my sister, my twin brother and
I all worked at the post office at one time
or another. And you know, just getting up every night
going to work. Man, it just you know, to make
a dollar. It just wasn't fulfilling enough for me. And
then one night, you know, I just say, you know what,

(21:11):
this is probably this is probably not the move I'm
gonna make, and I'm going to make a career switch.
So the next morning I got up looking the newspaper
and I saw an opportunity to work at a school
in Westchester, you know, because I grew up in Mount Vernon,
and I said, you know what, let me, let me,
let me try that. I left the post office making
eighteen dollars an hour to make it seven dollars and
thirty seven cent at the school because I believed in

(21:33):
it so much, you know, I felt that that was
my passion. That's what I what I was going to do.
And so I remember when I made that jump, my
mom bugged out on me. She was like, yo, you
buggin Like how you gonna do that? Because at that
time I became a father. When I was seventeen years old,
I had my first son, who's now thirty three. I
had him my last year in high school. And so

(21:53):
to be able to do that and then say, you
know what, I'm want to make a career shift. You know,
he probably been two or three years old. It was
truly a leap of faith for me to do so,
you know, so being able to say to myself, I
wanted more. I wanted to do more than what my
family were able to do. I look back now, almost
thirty years later, and I feel like it was a
dope move for myself because from May I went from

(22:15):
the daycare to school aid to teacher, to assist in principal,
the principal to executive director of an all male school
in Brooklyn, and then most recently, for the past twelve years,
I've been running my own consultant firm. Why I support
school leaders across the nation, so you know, I mean
I'm supporting principles from New York all the way to
Compton and everywhere in between, and then also to for

(22:38):
the past two years, I've been an adjunct professor at
Columbia University. So really I've done it almost from creative
all the way through through college at this point in
terms of my career, so it is, it has been
one heck of a journey. You know, I'm only fifty
fifty years old, and you know, but to say that
I've run the gamut when it comes to education as
an understatement, and I'm just really, you know, really blessed

(23:00):
to have said that I can, I can speak about
education in the most scholarly fashion that I could also
tell you what it means on a street level as well.

Speaker 4 (23:09):
It's funny that you say your mom was like, what
are you doing? Because you know, black folks, it's like,
you ain't gonna give up that good job, you know
what I mean, that good city job, absolute stable job.
So seven dollars in yes, yeah, that's that's taking a
cut for sure. And it's funny that we just interviewed

(23:32):
not long ago Congressman Jamal Bowman who was talking about
how the federal minimum wage is still seven dollars is
some change seven twenty fives or whatever, right, So we still.

Speaker 1 (23:44):
Have not it hasn't changed much.

Speaker 4 (23:47):
In fact, at that time, it probably was five dollars
or four dollars in change, and you were making a premium.

Speaker 6 (23:53):
And you know what to be I forgot to tell
you it was part time. Oh lord, oh my, So
I was at.

Speaker 5 (23:58):
That time going to I was working at that school
in the morning for seven dollars and thirty seven cent
and then I would take the train down to Halem
and work at Harbor morning Side Daycare for I think
another five dollars and something. So I literally working two
jobs in the profession that I loved for basically a
total of thirteen dollars, you know what I'm saying. So

(24:19):
it was I would basically work in the morning to
basically pay because at that time it wasn't driving to
pay the commute to get down to Harlem to work
at the daycare. So I forgot to I left that
part of it out because it wasn't a full time,
full time job.

Speaker 3 (24:34):
So when did you realize that you had a love
for education like women?

Speaker 6 (24:38):
You know, it was funny my son.

Speaker 5 (24:40):
I always felt like I had a passion for people, right,
And I remember at that moment my brother and I,
my brother and I we went to Hopstu University. We
went to Hopstra for a semester. Right But because at
that time I had my son, you know, going to
Hopshire playing football and stuff like that, I just felt
awkward about leaving my son to go to school, to

(25:02):
go away to college because we stayed on campus. So
then I came back, I said, you know what, the
same for me to be away. So I came back
to Mount Vernon, and in Mount Vernon they had just
opened an extension site for Mercy College. Was in the
basement of an elementary school at night, so from six
to nine o'clock I would go to school in this

(25:25):
extension site. And I remember there was this big, broadly
white guy who's my counselor. He said, I think you
should really consider working not only with people, but with children.
And because he saw me, you know, he spent so
much time with me as my counselor, he was like,
I think you should give it a shot. And I
trusted him, and I guess from that point the rest

(25:47):
is history. Because I've also had great experiences in school,
right I had Miss Shannon, who's my third grade teacher.

Speaker 6 (25:53):
Miss Bracy was my fourth grade teacher.

Speaker 2 (25:55):
Ms.

Speaker 5 (25:55):
Joffrion, who's my fifth grade teacher. I remember black educators
who poured into me. In addition to my father being
from Jamaica and my mother from being from Belize. They
had a you know, it was a high respect for education.
So that in conjunction with you know, great teachers when
I grew up, really pushed me in that area. But

(26:16):
I think Jim McGowan is his name. He was the
one who really told me that I would be.

Speaker 6 (26:22):
Good at this, and.

Speaker 5 (26:24):
I can honestly tell you he was right. He was
the first one to tell me that. And you know,
like I said, I owe a lot to him and
people like him who saw something in me that I
didn't even see in myself. Right, because from our communities,
it's tough sometimes because all we see is what we see.

Speaker 6 (26:42):
We saw hip hop, you know, we.

Speaker 5 (26:44):
Saw we saw hip hop, we saw app you know, sports,
we saw those type of things, and we looked at
a teacher or principal and we was like, I don't
know if I want to do that. They don't look
like they're making no money. I look at when I'm
coming to school. Their cars don't look fly. So I
don't know if I want to do that.

Speaker 6 (26:58):
So it really.

Speaker 5 (26:59):
Pushed me in that space after hearing hearing my counselor
giving me that advice.

Speaker 4 (27:06):
Wow, So you tell me you said your mother was Jamaican.

Speaker 6 (27:11):
No, my mother was from Belize.

Speaker 1 (27:12):
Your mother's from.

Speaker 4 (27:13):
Belize and your father from Jamaica. It's from Jamaica. We
did a show not long ago when we were talking
about how all most of my friends that are from
whether they are Haitian or Jamaican or whatever, there is
such a focus on education.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
What do you think that is?

Speaker 5 (27:32):
You know what I think because for them they realized that,
you know, and to go to a great school in
those areas, you have to pay for it. And I
think my father in particular would say, you know, for us,
not to take it for granted, because in order to
get the kind of education we'll get here in America,
people have to pay for it in other areas of
the world.

Speaker 6 (27:51):
So I think that was the thing.

Speaker 5 (27:53):
But I also feel like, just like most parents, you
want more for your children than you.

Speaker 6 (27:56):
Had for yourself.

Speaker 5 (27:58):
Like I think he was, he was so much ingrained
that education was it was ingrained in the education was important.
But I also felt deep down inside that he just
wanted more for us, and so that's where the push
was when it came to that. I don't think it
was much more than that to me. I don't think
it was something where we you know, he had this,
he had this vision that education would taken me this far.

(28:20):
Because my father, who passed away six years ago, didn't
never really seem didn't know the work that I did.
He didn't understand that I was already doing some revolutionary
stuff and education had no idea my mother, which was crazy.

Speaker 6 (28:34):
My mother from Belize, she had a really unique.

Speaker 5 (28:37):
Way of saying how she felt about us as her children.
I defended my dissertation for my doctorate two and a
half years ago.

Speaker 6 (28:48):
My mother and I did it virtually.

Speaker 5 (28:49):
My mom and about ninety other people were on their
zoom after the zoom call for and they and they
announced me as a recipient or the tooral degree. My
mom said to me, I didn't know you was that smart,
and it was. And I had to take what she said.

Speaker 2 (29:07):
It understood that she just hadn't been engaged. Yeah.

Speaker 5 (29:11):
Yeah, And that was a crazy part because again I
never took it as I never took it as she
was trying. Yeah, she wasn't trying to play me. It
was just her saying like, yo, I'm proud of you son,
you know. And on that particular and on that particular zoom,
I had Mayor Sean Patterson from Mount Vernion where I'm from,
who was there also to to support Dame dash was
on it. And you know, you're talking about only ninety

(29:34):
educators to see me do this, but she was like, man,
like I didn't know you was that smart? Like I didn't.
But neither one of them, I think, really had the
opportunity to understand what I was doing in the world.
They had no idea. It's recently, mind you, my twin
brother doesn't really understand what I'm doing. My sister the
other day was scrolling through Instagram and realized, like, wow, bro,

(29:56):
you doing it? Like can I get some oeg year?
Like can I get that stuff?

Speaker 2 (30:01):
Oh?

Speaker 6 (30:01):
No, I got you, I got you. I got something
for both of y'all.

Speaker 5 (30:03):
But it's crazy that when people staying that close to
you they kind of take you for granted and said
they have no idea what I was doing.

Speaker 1 (30:12):
But like I'm a big deal out here.

Speaker 5 (30:14):
Yeah, And but you know what's funny, Thank God that
I'm reminded of it every day and I don't ever
get big headed about it, but I most certainly, you know,
periodically because both my parents have passed. Now, I would
go to the cemetery and have those conversations now. Right,
just even three weeks ago, I was in a space
and I say, yo, let me just go pull up
on my parents and save us up and just tell them,

(30:34):
thank you for giving me this opportunity to be out
here making this difference in the world.

Speaker 6 (30:39):
So I truly can tell you that.

Speaker 5 (30:41):
It's the people that staying closer to you, closest to you,
that have no idea as to what it is that
you accomplished. So my parents, most certainly, I think had
a great you know, they knew they were doing something.
I don't think they had a clue as to the
type of battery they put in my back and the
influence that they made on my life because you know,
when it was happened and they were still a bit
detached from from from my world.

Speaker 3 (31:03):
I mean, that's that's common most people, like you said,
most people closer you don't realize you know exactly what
it is. Because my mother used to say that to
me all the time. She used to really look at
me and people we we walked somewhere and people are like, hey,
that's mine and they want to take pictures on it.
She just be looking like you really, somebody, you know
what I'm saying.

Speaker 6 (31:20):
But let me tell you that.

Speaker 5 (31:21):
But let me tell you a quick story about that though.
So after after so I got my doctorate in February.
My mom in April, probably the last week in April,
was in Mount Vernon and she was going to the
store and she saw Mayor Sewan Patterson and she stopped

(31:41):
Maya Seawan Patterson and say, hey, are you doing this
is Dennis's Dennis Dennis's mom, I met you on a
zoom and stuff like that, and she already knew who
my mom was.

Speaker 6 (31:50):
My mom didn't know she knew who she was.

Speaker 5 (31:52):
And what was so dope is that my mom was
really bragging on me to Mayor Seawan Patterson.

Speaker 6 (31:58):
She that was her.

Speaker 5 (31:59):
That was her moment to say how proud I am
on my son because may Ha told me. But unfortunately,
the very next day, my mom had a massive, massive stroke.
The next day after meeting Mayor Patterson and saying that
to her, she had a massive stroke and have never
recovered from it and unfortunately passed away a few weeks later.
But I but what was so dope about that is

(32:20):
that I had the mayor able to tell me what
my mother said about me, you know what I'm saying,
And then she came and spoke at my mother's funeral
and all that stuff as well.

Speaker 6 (32:28):
So it was dope.

Speaker 5 (32:29):
To know that even as she was departing this earth,
she was willing to tell somebody like, I'm proud of
my son, even if she wasn't willing to tell me
you no, nothing.

Speaker 1 (32:38):
Like a Caribbean mother.

Speaker 4 (32:43):
Yeah, it's there's such a it's so it's just so
hard felt as beautiful. We have a friend. His name
is Michael Blake, you know, Michael Blake. Okay, so his
mother obviously a Jamaican woman, and when she talks about
how proud she is she loves her son, and it
is just a beautiful sound it is.

Speaker 3 (33:02):
It's a beautiful So tell us about OSG like it?
First of all, what made you just say?

Speaker 2 (33:09):
So?

Speaker 3 (33:09):
You went through every level of education you teach, Like
who wakes up and says, I'm going to create an
organization that I pretty much deal with educator like pretty
much actually teach educators Like, yeah.

Speaker 2 (33:22):
So explain to us what it is because I guess
I gave a little bit of it.

Speaker 5 (33:25):
Yeah, no, no, no problem. So, so OEG was birthed
out of a labor of love. Let me just start there,
like there is there is nothing else to be said
as to why what happened was Like I said, For
the past twelve almost thirteen years now, I've been running
my own consultant firm where I'm supporting school leaders across
the nation.

Speaker 6 (33:41):
So when COVID hit those people.

Speaker 5 (33:44):
That I was traveling across the country to go and
see and spend time with and help them to transform
their community and transform their schools. Unfortunately, nobody was moving
at that time in the world in.

Speaker 6 (33:58):
History.

Speaker 5 (33:59):
This is the first anybody's ever experienced something like this
where legit, you know, superstars in the educational field was
out there on silos, was out there on islands by themselves,
and they were like, yow do I how do I
stay connected.

Speaker 6 (34:17):
To the people that I helped build?

Speaker 2 (34:19):
Right?

Speaker 5 (34:19):
I helped build many of them to the space that
they were in, so being able to say what can
I do? What can I do to bring them together?
It was something simple. My sort is like, Okay, let's
put them on a virtual virtual call every single week
leadership development, but give them a safe space to actually
share best practice and their emotions and.

Speaker 6 (34:38):
Stuff like that.

Speaker 5 (34:40):
Like I said, what it turned into four years later,
what wasn't what I expected that. Really, I just wanted
to give them a space every week to be part
of a group of other leaders across the nation that
was feeling the same thing that they was feeling, the
same hurt, the same pain as fear, all that was
going on.

Speaker 4 (34:58):
Describe the pain, the fear and what's it like dealing
with parents.

Speaker 5 (35:02):
Yeah, so I think the thing about, you know, the
fear and the hurt and all those things. You got
to remember people were dying around school leaders every day,
whether it was their staff members, whether it was their
the children, the children's parents, the people in the community,
their own family. So you have to say, you know,
as a school leader, people were still expecting you to

(35:22):
come to work and do what you got to do.

Speaker 1 (35:23):
So people were dying during COVID. I just want to
know nothing.

Speaker 4 (35:27):
The world said, not the world, But there were people
who said, nah, this is not that, it's not it's
not different from the flu.

Speaker 1 (35:35):
It's the same thing.

Speaker 5 (35:36):
It's real to me that that we're talking about communities
ravaged by COVID, and where it's funny there was a
point where churches were the hub of the community, and
during COVID, even they were shut down, even they were closed,
the one place that remained opened on COVID with schools,

(36:00):
people made sure that kids ate during that time that
principles had to go to schools sometimes to make sure
that the that the technology the kids needed for remote
learning was happening, but at the same time leaving their
own family at home.

Speaker 6 (36:13):
So you can imagine the fear you didn't know.

Speaker 5 (36:16):
If you walk outside, that that COVID was gonna jump
on you the moment.

Speaker 6 (36:19):
You step out the door.

Speaker 5 (36:20):
But that's what people had to deal with, and so
the fear of them catching COVID leaving their house was
something that they were fearful of. But the more and
more you realized that you weren't dealing with this by yourself,
when you was dealing with it with a collective other
group of people. Then we can cry together, we can
laugh together, we can talk about this stuff together, we
can share best practice on things we're doing. But I

(36:42):
think what really tell what's the teller, the telltale, the
telltale of this right now is when I think.

Speaker 6 (36:49):
About why it was necessary.

Speaker 5 (36:51):
It was necessary because nobody else was doing nothing for them.
They was expected to go to work, they were essential workers,
and nobody called them a send workers.

Speaker 6 (37:01):
You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 5 (37:02):
Remember this, not only were kids expected to learn, but
kids were expected to eat. Many of our students were
coming to school every day if nothing else to eat.
Now you got COVID that shut it down for eighteen months.
Somebody got to go make sure that door is open.
Somebody got to go make sure that, you know, the
kitchen staff is preparing lunch and breakfast for kids who

(37:23):
may not be able to eat. So during those times,
it was a space where school leaders just didn't have
they didn't have a support group.

Speaker 6 (37:31):
Everybody had a support group.

Speaker 5 (37:32):
With them, and I just felt like, you know what,
I have to do something about it. And that's the
you know, the idea of off school grounds. Just to
think about it this way, all the problems that we
were dealing with in the schools, where did it happen
off school grounds? We talk about food and securities all
school grounds, tech gap off school grounds, financial literacy issues
all school grounds. So it was it was I think

(37:54):
a fitting a fitting name for an organization because during
the pandemic, everything that was done was done off school grounds,
and the principals needed a space in which to come
and actually share their best practices and stuff like that
as well. So that's where it came from. The whole
the whole concept of off school grounds.

Speaker 2 (38:12):
So so so explain to what is what is it now?

Speaker 5 (38:16):
What is Yeah, so I'm it's now it's an it's
actually a non for profit organization right now, that focus
is on leadership development, with the focus being on school
leaders leading communities now, right, Because again, during the time
of the one of the one of the biggest tragedies
of this of this of this country's history, who was

(38:38):
there doing it? You know, everybody talked about leading communities.
But the one period, one group of people I was
always leading communities were school leaders, right, And so I
felt like I needed to do something more after the pandemic,
which was let me allow for people to start learning
from school leaders.

Speaker 2 (38:55):
Now.

Speaker 5 (38:56):
So if you were if you were mayor if you
are if you're a city council, if you a senator,
instead of thinking that you have the answer, why don't
you sit down and talk to a principal and allow
principal to provide the leadership development that you need to
understand how to run a community. Right, the greatest intel
about what's happening in the community is coming from schools
and school leaders. So why if we're going to change communities.

(39:18):
Don't you have school leaders at the table. It makes
no sense to me exactly. And so now we've had
we've gotten to that place now where I'm saying that
there are now when when mayors and chancellors and everybody else,
before they go into office, most of them come on
my weekly zoom meeting with the principles.

Speaker 6 (39:40):
Why because they need to know what they need to do.

Speaker 5 (39:42):
When they get in office. You know, I had a
conference at Columbia University this weekend to begin It was
I mean, well over five hundred leaders from across the nation.
And one of the thank you, and one of my
one of my brothers who's now mayor of Gary, Indiana,
Eddie Melton, was an attendance. He came all the way
from Gary to learn from these these leaders, and he said,

(40:05):
I put him on a panel with four other school
leaders to teach him and to tell him how to
now do that stuff in his school district. And so
the leadership, I felt like it needed to be done
by way of what's happening with the schools. And I
think the school leaders themselves are the true community leaders now,
not saying that they're not that that other people aren't

(40:27):
there other leaders aren't trying and aren't doing great things.
I just say that most of what we're trying to fix,
you can be it can be found in schools.

Speaker 2 (40:36):
Right.

Speaker 5 (40:36):
If we say there's issues around poverty, how do you
see that? Where do you see that? Mostly you see
it in school.

Speaker 6 (40:42):
And their families. Right.

Speaker 5 (40:44):
So that's why I think the concept of off school
grounds is a not for profit organization is now to
create the space where educational leaders are the ones teaching
other leaders throughout the community how to lead, how to
lead young people and things like that. And so that's
what that's what it's, you know what, it's what it
has become, that has become.

Speaker 1 (41:02):
So so how important first of all, do you engage parents?

Speaker 6 (41:07):
Yes?

Speaker 4 (41:08):
And how important would you say parent participation is in
the process, Like do you believe I know some parents
that their kids are doing really well and they're not active.
It's not they don't have time, they got two jobs, this,
and that they may or may not be a dad
or mom, more than likely not a dad, and they
just don't have the time.

Speaker 1 (41:26):
But they tell their kids don't have that damn.

Speaker 4 (41:29):
School, call me about anything, and that's when they get involved.
The point that the phone r Yes. So what would
you say about parent involvement? Is it parent involvement or is.

Speaker 1 (41:39):
It just having a good household?

Speaker 5 (41:42):
Like, Yeah, I think it's I think it's both. I think,
you know, parent engagement is important. I think having a
you know, a solid household is important. However, in many
instances that's not the case, right, And that's why I
say schools have become the hub. Schools have become in
some instances, parents have become the family, have become that person.
I was experienced. I experienced something about two weeks ago

(42:03):
in a school where there was a young lady who
came to school and she began to ask the staff
members and then ended up with the principal and ask
could they adopt her because she was being bounced from
foster care to foster care and she wanted something more stable.
That she got to the point, at thirteen fourteen years old,

(42:23):
of feeling comfortable of asking them to be her parent.
And so I think I think parents do as good
of a job as they can in many instances, and
I think we should hold them account. But I also
know that if a person's working two jobs, if a
person is doing their very best I think as a
school we can do a little bit more and we

(42:45):
can't look at it from the traditional sense of what
parent engagement is. Coming to a PTA meeting isn't always
about parent engagement, you know what I mean? Sometimes you
got to say to yourself, if that parent just again
drops their child off in the morning and you say
good morning, they say good morning. Engagement, Right, it don't
have to be let's go sit down at a bake
sale and cookies and all that stuff like that. But

(43:06):
I am saying that the schools I put great I
put a great emphasis on school leaders stepping in in
areas that there are there are these voids because our
community has been this way forever.

Speaker 1 (43:19):
Right, anybody adopt the girl, you know what.

Speaker 6 (43:22):
It's funny.

Speaker 5 (43:22):
And I actually had somebody in another borough reach out
to the principal and they were looking to place a
girl in this new household. So yeah, so it was
it's one of those things, you know, family that we
got to get to the understanding that what things used
to look like and be it's it's not the same

(43:44):
no more.

Speaker 6 (43:44):
It's not the same that when we say.

Speaker 5 (43:47):
Again, parent engagement again, if a mom is doing the
very best she can as a single mom or dad
as a single dad, and you and their child is
having difficulties right with the mental anguish that many of
our kids are going through.

Speaker 6 (44:04):
A parent can't help that all the time. What are
you gonna do? Beat them?

Speaker 5 (44:07):
Like, you got to say to yourself, the way the
world has changed over the past.

Speaker 6 (44:11):
Three to four years, and they people talk about learning laws,
guess who else experienced learning laws? Parents?

Speaker 5 (44:19):
A parent is now expected to do things that they
didn't expect, didn't know how to do. You send that
kid on for eighteen months and you tell this parent
to now teach.

Speaker 1 (44:27):
That's how long we were out of school.

Speaker 6 (44:29):
And eighteen months.

Speaker 5 (44:31):
And so you got to say, if we talk about
learning loss for children, we got to think about learning
loss for every adult that was responsible for working with
children as well. Again, a kid is home with one
hot spot and four siblings and a mom and a
dad who is trying to just you know, pay bills.

(44:52):
You know, it's a very difficult concept to understand and grasp.
And we got to become honest about that that the
majority of parents out here that are doing the best
that they can need to be acknowledged for that. And
in the schools. We got a lot of resources. We
got a lot of money in schools. People say we don't,
but there's enough money for us to think about ways
to support families and communities, and so I say that

(45:15):
parent engagement is one of them. I also think when
another thing that is evolved and changed is how children
are learning. There is this new generation. It's out for
generation of young people. This is a new generation. They
were born with iPads and iPhones in their hands. And
what happened was we send them to for eighteen months
they use iPhones and iPads and laptops. Now they come

(45:37):
back to school, you take away the laptops, the iPhones
and iPads, and kids are expected to learn through textbooks again.

Speaker 6 (45:43):
So they're in lies again. A need for us to
have those conversations with people that are making the real
decisions for our children.

Speaker 5 (45:50):
Because if you're not an educated don't know this, If
you don't see this every day, you don't understand that.
So the evolution of education has gotten to a point
where we have to become really radical about our approach now,
and let's stop blaming people for that stuff. Let's stop
diagnosing the problem and saying, well, you know, parents aren't involved.
We've been saying that for as long as I've been

(46:11):
as long as I've been alive. Right, Oh, parents aren't involved.
Parents aren't involved. But there's still people who are successful
as a result of it, you know what I'm saying.
So at one time, it was because the church helped,
it was because of basketball programs helped, the YMCA's help.

Speaker 6 (46:25):
And when those things went away, the one thing that
say constant was a school.

Speaker 3 (46:28):
I'm just amazement because I remember during COVID when you know,
I first met you and I came on to the
zoom yeah you know, and that's when I had my
first book, Yes you know, I know my rights and
it was all these educators on it and it was
just and I was like wow, and everybody was engaging.

Speaker 2 (46:44):
It was deemed dash.

Speaker 3 (46:45):
It was so many different people and the experience was
just amazing, just experience. And a lot of people reached
out to me. A lot of principles reached out to me.
I built relationships with them. They brought me when school
got back in, they brought me to this schoo you
know what I'm saying. It created a network. So just
watching Full Circle, going to the conference and being in

(47:07):
the room with all these educators and the dope educators
black and mainly black and Hispanic educators that come from
where we come from, and the brilliant individuals, and it
got swag. You know what I'm saying, And it's like,
understanding is this is the education that our kids are
going to respect. And then when you go into you
brought me into each of the rooms where the educators

(47:28):
are teaching their classes or they're having their seminars in
each room and each breakout session, and one is talking
about how you engage the kids and about understanding that
they're gonna be people that push back. And then one
is giving you methods and strategies to understand on how
the when of the kids learning and what needs to
be present. And then there's one talking about how do

(47:49):
you use the internet and hip hop to teach the kids?
And it's just like wow, this is innovative ways of
thinking that I've always understood, especially young Black boys.

Speaker 2 (47:58):
Because they say that we are the ones that are
not engaged. What do you say about that that?

Speaker 5 (48:04):
Well, you know what, again, I think that's where you
break down the silos and that's when you allow other
you know, other professions such as hip hop and and
you know, politics and other things in the room. Right,
because young people, especially boys, what they they gonna be
what they see and if they don't see themselves as
anything other.

Speaker 6 (48:24):
Than basketball players, drug dealers, or rapters, that's all they
gonna be.

Speaker 5 (48:27):
One of the things I wanted to make happen is
I want you to understand that being a principal is cool.

Speaker 6 (48:32):
You know what I'm saying. Being a school leader is cool.

Speaker 5 (48:34):
Like running your own educational culture consulting firm is cool.
And I'm gonna do it in Jordan's and I'm gonna
do it in air Max and I'm gonna make sure
that I'm I'm you know, swagged out with it.

Speaker 6 (48:44):
But I think I want to keep pushing the narrative.

Speaker 5 (48:46):
Is that what we thought principals and school leaders were like,
that's not the real that's not the real deal. When
people say that educators there's only two or three percent
of educators that are black males, that might be true
until you put the two percent in a room like
you saw at the conference. When you see two hundred

(49:08):
black male educators in the room, that changes the narrative now, right,
But it also means if we all pull up to
somebody's school as black educators, that kid who was saying,
you know what, what do y'all do, He's not gonna
look at me as homicide. He's not gonna look at
me as a detective because I'm now telling him, no,
I was a principal for ten years. I've been in

(49:28):
education for thirty years. So now he aspires.

Speaker 6 (49:30):
To be that.

Speaker 5 (49:31):
And so I think one of the things that I
talked about at the conference was us in us stopping
this this reputation.

Speaker 6 (49:41):
Bashing around education.

Speaker 5 (49:43):
Right, we keep passing this dirty needle about education being
a bad thing. We don't get enough money, it's just
stressful job, it's challenging, all that stuff like that. I'm like,
why would a kid didn't want to be me? Why
would a kid want to be me when he just
heard you say how bad of a professionist is? So
I'm saying, let's be real about it now. Let's talk

(50:04):
about education from the perspective of real being game changers
and us being able to do it and say be
our authentic selves and doing so. But when you see
it for yourself as you did this weekend, and have
you been seeing and again, Tomika, you've been in You've
been in a lot of schools too, of course, and
you see it. You see a lot of black educators.

Speaker 4 (50:23):
I see a lot of black but I do not
see a lot of black male educators. Yes, and certainly
not a lot of black male principles, although I probably
know more male black male principles than I do black
mail teachers.

Speaker 5 (50:35):
Yes, but you see, that's the thing, right, because we
are out here. It's just that we just don't have
a platform to be showcased.

Speaker 6 (50:43):
Hence, that's why I have.

Speaker 5 (50:45):
A conference, That's why I do my weekly zooms, That's
why I do my best to bring hip hop and
advocacy and everything into the into this space because we
need your voices to amplify that they are out here,
you know, because when my song can, I mean every
Friday in New Jersey with our boy Ocball Cook principle
of Westside High. You've met Principal Rod from Compton, one

(51:06):
of my other principal friends who's a principal at a
jail in Chicago mcgron.

Speaker 6 (51:11):
But we don't see it.

Speaker 4 (51:13):
Right and and no one is going to exploit it.
If you will, they're not going to promote it. They
don't want that. I mean, how does that work in
favor of those who don't want to see black men succeed?

Speaker 1 (51:27):
And you know, just speaking of that as.

Speaker 4 (51:29):
We wind down, were talking or you mentioned politics several times,
and during our recent interview with Congressman Bowman, who was
also a principal, he talked about wanting to run for
office because he understood from a policy perspective that everything
happening within the school, whether it's the children that needs

(51:50):
to eat to your point, whether it's the you know,
the abuse that kids are suffering, or families that are
not secure, housing insecurities, all of that is directly connected
to policy decisions at the local, state, and federal level.
So how does your organization consider that as part of
you know, your advocacy and what you're attempting to do.

Speaker 6 (52:12):
Yeah.

Speaker 5 (52:13):
So, so again I'll mention that at our conference, we
actually had the we had the New York State Border
Regions Chancellor Lester Young, doctor Lester Young, who was our
keynote speaker, and one of the things that he and
I are working on currently is to is to get
OSG and principles from across the nation to actually come
up to Albany more frequently to lobby for what needs,

(52:37):
what the needs are in our community. And so I
use him as an as an example because we do
have people in those places. Right, you know, we're talking
about the border regions of New York State. That man
is over every city, every school pretty much in New
York State. So in conversing with him, he sees this
and he says, I didn't even know this existed this way.

(52:59):
So that means when I have something that needs to
be lobbied for, I can call on always g to
come up and to be a part of that. And
I said, absolutely yes. But because we're you know, Tomika,
we we talked about a minute ago, because we're not
seen in that space.

Speaker 6 (53:16):
They don't know we exist.

Speaker 5 (53:18):
So needing you all and other you know, that's where
the hip hop, you know, that's where the hip hop
you know, family comes into play. Is because somebody's gonna
listen to my song as he stands close to me
a little different than I'm standing by myself. Right, They're
gonna stand They're gonna listen to Freeway and Dame and
Jada and all those other people if they stand next

(53:39):
to me about education, and so I think in terms
of politics, I'm also engaging and that's why the conversations
around leadership and that if a if a mayor, or
for an elected official are speaking to principles now and
they ask us, well, what's the problems, and we tell
you what the problems are, and they said, we just
need y'all to come and lobby for it, and we.

Speaker 6 (54:01):
Take a picture. Then let's go do that.

Speaker 5 (54:03):
So I do think that politics and education actually go
hand in hand. I think again, we make people run
away from politics because of some of the politicians that
we see that have you know, been in the history
of this country.

Speaker 6 (54:15):
We don't want our kids to get into it. But
we got to.

Speaker 5 (54:18):
Make it cool again, right, you know, we got to
make everything that we do cool, you know, from again
being a politician to being an educator. We have to
be able to make it look cool. So I do
push this narrative once again that as an educator, what
works for me is to be able to say, you
know what to me. I mean, I've been in space

(54:39):
with you and Yandy, you know, coming to the schools
and doing some dope things with children. But as an educator,
that makes me proud because I know they didn't come
on the strength of them just themselves. They came to
be a part of a community, you know what I'm saying.
They were part of the whole hub of the school
at that moment. So I just I just think in
terms of politics, I just try to keep things real simple.

(55:01):
You know, a lot of times things aren't happening because
people don't really know what's happening. And I do have
a thing that I tell people there's an inner city
and there's an inner inner city. Right, most people never
know what's happening on the inner inner city. You don't
really know what's happening in Brownsville, you know what I'm saying.
Do you know what happened in Ocean Hill? You don't
really know what's happening in the South Bronx. You know
what's happening in the North Bronx while White Plains Road.

(55:23):
You don't always know what's happening in Mount Vernon because
you think it's west Chester and you don't understand that,
you know, we would we were transformed from money earning
Mount Vernon to Murderville, you know, during that time. So
people don't quite get it, and I don't expect them to.
But then that's when we all collectively have to tell them,
tell a story. You know what I'm saying, tell the

(55:44):
real story, and that the things that are being rapped
about or talked about in conjunction with us standing alongside
of you said, that's real.

Speaker 6 (55:52):
You know, we got one of our principles.

Speaker 5 (55:54):
Just two days ago, was dealing with a shooting outside
of his school, and that got some local press. But
it's not the same as if they if this was
a shooting in some other community, like it's almost normal,
they normalize it, or when they do it, they bring
they when they bring the media there is to tear
him down. It's not to tell the story of the

(56:15):
gun violence and the community that they have to he
has to fight through every day just to educate children.
So I do think that there has to be a
stronger emphasis on us partnering with all the everybody who
makes up our community, our black community, and you all
are most certainly the people that we turn to to
help us to do that. Because my conference was dope,

(56:37):
But my conference was dope because my song came, and
Earn Your Leisure came, and Dame Dash came, and Freeway
came and graft came because they no one has ever
seen a collective group of people like this doing what
we did for young people. So that's really you know,
my story about this is that this is you know,
a conversation about how we got to be more inclusive
about the changes needed.

Speaker 3 (56:58):
Contributor to what you think that conference was dope because
y'allays did. We was looking like wow, and all of
us and your leaders like, yo, this is dope. Just
seeing educators in the room like that have that much
energy and really wanted to learn, like they were sitting there.
They want to be able to You can look and
see these people that just got a job and they're like, yo,
I got to go to this.

Speaker 2 (57:17):
No, we wanted we want to educate our kids.

Speaker 3 (57:19):
And I've seen them taking notes and I've seen when
they heard something good and it was writing it down
like that.

Speaker 2 (57:24):
That's what I want to see for educators.

Speaker 5 (57:26):
But I want you guys also to ass as artists
to understand too that we have been transformed because of
what y'all did for us too, you know what I'm saying.
So that's what I'm saying that let's not get into
that into the habit of believing that art in competition
of who Yes, exactly exactly, because I know as a principle,

(57:48):
I'm driving to work listening to the hip hop and
I know principles are still doing that.

Speaker 6 (57:52):
So you all are part of who we've become.

Speaker 5 (57:54):
And so you all look at us and all we
look at y'all and all, and everybody's like, Yo, this
is dope, and that's what this.

Speaker 6 (58:00):
You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 2 (58:01):
So well, I want to say I appreciate you, thank you.
Let them know where to find you. Absolutely, give them
all your socials.

Speaker 1 (58:07):
Yeah. So is it a nonprofit?

Speaker 6 (58:10):
Yes, nonprofit.

Speaker 1 (58:10):
People can send you money.

Speaker 6 (58:12):
They can they can.

Speaker 5 (58:13):
So go to the Official Off school Grounds Official OSG
on Instagram and Facebook. You can find me Dennis mckezy
on LinkedIn.

Speaker 4 (58:20):
Here's a brother right here, Dennis mckeesy, who is doing
something about our young people. And and and you can't
help anyone if you if you can't heal, if you
are not healed. And so to provide a space for
educators to go and leaders to go so that they
can pour out all the things and the ideas and
the creativity and the pain and frustration and then be

(58:42):
poured back into so that they can go and pour
into our children. I think this is critical work. You're
doing critical work. We support you one hundred percent.

Speaker 6 (58:53):
Thank y'all. Family.

Speaker 5 (58:54):
I appreciate y'all. Thank you, thank you, my pleasure, thank y'all,
thank y'all.

Speaker 2 (59:00):
Shout out to my boy Jennis mackezie. Man. The work
he's doing is evolutionary, revolutionary.

Speaker 1 (59:05):
You get tell he's passionate about it.

Speaker 2 (59:08):
Listen, man, like you got to see him in his mold.
You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 3 (59:13):
He's in the schools, he's mentoring, and he's dealing with
the teachers and the principles, and they engaged.

Speaker 2 (59:19):
You know what I'm saying.

Speaker 3 (59:20):
You could tell he actually loves what he does many
and they just recently celebrated four years. So that's it's
been four years since COVID because that's when it started
during COVID, and that's when I was first on the episode.

Speaker 1 (59:34):
I'm so glad that he has helped to dispel the.

Speaker 2 (59:37):
Myth that ain't no black men teaching, no well.

Speaker 4 (59:40):
Also the COVID thing. But you know, I think it's
important to mention again. And I didn't want to cut
him off, but that a lot of people didn't die
because they had COVID. They died because America and our
systems are incompetent.

Speaker 1 (59:57):
Someone said to me the other day, let us.

Speaker 4 (59:59):
Have aspirational language versus having using language that is always
so so much of an indictment. So, yes, there are
many things that are done properly within the healthcare system.
People's lives have been saved. Healthcare workers are doing an

(01:00:19):
incredible job with a little bit they have.

Speaker 1 (01:00:22):
When I say the system, I am not.

Speaker 4 (01:00:25):
Talking about nurse and even doctor so and so, I'm
saying that America, fundamentally the systems the way it is designed.
There is so much racism. There is so much just
inequity that exists that even if you are nurse or
a doctor that is attempting to do the right thing,

(01:00:47):
you don't always have the tools that you need, or
the support that you need, the resources that you need,
and the research that you need to work, especially in
certain communities. And so hopefully what we learn earned from
a pandemic. And by the way, everybody's oh, you know Trump,
it was better because we got a check with his
signature on it. Well, guess what other checks he cashed

(01:01:10):
While he was or sent out to people while he
was in office. He sent the check out of delaying
the process for people to even get the healthcare support
that they needed.

Speaker 1 (01:01:22):
So there were people who he wouldn't send masks.

Speaker 4 (01:01:25):
And by the way, the Republican Party voted against even
giving people checks. As much as I can challenge Nancy
Pelosi and all of these folks, I will tell you
that they were the ones that fought to get checks
into the pockets the bank account true and the pockets
of American citizens. And that was because Donald Trump was

(01:01:46):
either ignoring the crisis and his administration and or they
were trying to cover it up because they did not
want during a political season for his legacy to be
impacted by COVID. And so it's so much that can
be said about that. But I guess we got to
close the show.

Speaker 1 (01:02:05):
Gave you the PPP, but not.

Speaker 2 (01:02:10):
You got the pop. That's dope. That was a good one.
But that brings me to my I don't get it.

Speaker 1 (01:02:17):
What don't you get mister Lennon?

Speaker 2 (01:02:21):
I want to know what is the infatuation that the
world has with who someone's fucking.

Speaker 1 (01:02:29):
Right?

Speaker 3 (01:02:29):
Why do you care about who somebody else is having
sex with What is the infatuation with other people in
their sex life? That this world like everywhere you go,
somebody's telling you, oh, such and such as having sex,
and this person's like, why do people kids so much?

Speaker 4 (01:02:45):
Most people who are highly successful and busy or trying
to be successful don't. They might hear about it in
passing and laugh about it and maybe share mean with
a friend, but they don't. They don't really care that much.
So it's just certain types of people that are so
into other people's lives.

Speaker 1 (01:03:05):
And I don't really know because it isn't.

Speaker 4 (01:03:07):
Really the way that I see it in life is
that everybody, unless you are abstinent, is sleeping with somebody
hopefully are engaged in consensual behavior.

Speaker 1 (01:03:19):
Let's please God, please. But I don't know why people
care so much. I don't know why people care so
much about who's gay.

Speaker 4 (01:03:30):
It's like the most it's just so I don't I
wouldn't at first of all, I don't believe in outing
people or trying to force people to say who they
sleep with.

Speaker 1 (01:03:39):
I would. I would like to know that if you
are in.

Speaker 4 (01:03:42):
A relationship with me, you know, or with a person,
that you do your due diligence to let them know
about your lifestyle choices. But I don't know why it's
such a big deal. So and so it's gay and
such and such, like why why do you want to
out people in that I never I'm never understood that.

Speaker 2 (01:04:01):
I think. I think in that term, it's that people
not being honest. Well, nobody else but you.

Speaker 3 (01:04:09):
The thing is, if you, if you're around, even if you,
if you're not in a sexual relationship with somebody, and
you in somebody's face commonly, and that's something that people
should want to know.

Speaker 1 (01:04:20):
It's not it is.

Speaker 4 (01:04:21):
I don't agree with that. If first of all it
is it is sexist. Let me tell you why it's sexist.
And in this case, I'm gonna say it's sexist for
men against men, because most men do not care who
a woman sleeps with. In a group of friends, a
group of friends, I'm hanging out with you, Janis Anastasia,

(01:04:45):
I'll crewe everybody, and I sleep with women as a woman,
and I'm telling you that nobody is going to.

Speaker 2 (01:04:55):
I would feel weird, like why would you worry about why?

Speaker 4 (01:05:00):
So now let me turn the eye, don't get it
back on you. Why are you infatuated with who I'm
not with. That's my business.

Speaker 1 (01:05:06):
Its like Tabitha Brown said, that's my business.

Speaker 2 (01:05:09):
If we close proximity, we call ourselves friends. So I
gotta tell you what if you got to tell me?
But I'm just thinking if you didn't tell me, then
that would make me wonder why.

Speaker 4 (01:05:19):
Maybe because I'm a private person and I just don't
want anybody to know what I do.

Speaker 2 (01:05:23):
But at that point, then, is the only time that
I friendship.

Speaker 4 (01:05:26):
The only No, it's not, because friendship doesn't mean that
you have to know every single thing about me. The
only time that I need to tell you that I'm
sleeping with anybody or whatever, whatever my situation, My preferences
are my whatever it is is if now I'm about
to sleep with you, but if long as you and

(01:05:48):
I are not together, who I'm sleeping with should not
be your concern.

Speaker 2 (01:05:52):
I don't know if it shouldn't. I hate what you're saying.

Speaker 4 (01:05:54):
I just think, and I think it's sexist towards men
because what usually what generally happens is that men who
are around other men feel that they should know that
one of the guys is gay.

Speaker 3 (01:06:09):
Because what happens is it's also because it's also perception
right right, because if I'm hanging with somebody that's gay
and everybody else knows they're gay except me, then what
happens is there can be some people can draw a
conclusion about something that might not be there.

Speaker 4 (01:06:26):
Okay, but what if the person doesn't talk to people
period about what they do. They do their thing with
whoever they people are, but they're not a person like
most people around.

Speaker 2 (01:06:35):
Don't know.

Speaker 4 (01:06:36):
I'm saying people should until a person is actually sexual
or in an intimate relationship with you, they should be
able to.

Speaker 2 (01:06:44):
I think it's different from Yeah, I know it is.

Speaker 3 (01:06:46):
I think it's different for men. I don't know if
it's sexist. I just think there's a reality that's based
on society, that reality that.

Speaker 2 (01:06:52):
We deal with right now.

Speaker 4 (01:06:54):
Answering your own question, well, the question you have asked
and answer the question that society places different values.

Speaker 3 (01:07:05):
But on we are somebody else on the internet or celebrito,
that's a different thing than somebody said it's that's inclosed
to It's.

Speaker 4 (01:07:12):
The same mindset that people have decided that they have
a right to know about someone's personal thing that they
might want to keep to themselves. Right that they shouldn't
want to the only time you should want to know
about somebody.

Speaker 2 (01:07:28):
I don't agree with that.

Speaker 3 (01:07:29):
I'll tell you it's different from it's different from men.
If the reality that we live with in America is
if a straight man hangs up with a gay man
on a daily basis, nobody believes that they're not there's
not something going on. That's just the reality. Unfortunately, that's
just the fact. If you see a straight man hang
out with a gay.

Speaker 1 (01:07:47):
Man, we don't use the term straight.

Speaker 3 (01:07:49):
Okay, if you see a heterosexual man hang out with
a gay man, then there's an assumption that there's some
level of a relationship there.

Speaker 2 (01:07:57):
That's just the reality that we deal with.

Speaker 3 (01:07:59):
So under standing in that reality, I think a man
who understands that he's gay and likes man should give
you the opportunity or.

Speaker 2 (01:08:07):
To know that.

Speaker 4 (01:08:08):
I just all I would say to the is sexist brothers.
Fight for yourselves. Don't let these people make y'all feel
like y'all got to tell people stuff. But don't be
out here having sex with people and not telling people.

Speaker 1 (01:08:20):
Who you are and.

Speaker 4 (01:08:23):
What you are, what your preferences are, because that ship
is dangerous.

Speaker 1 (01:08:28):
So that's that's it. So you answered your own question.

Speaker 2 (01:08:31):
I don't think I answered. I answered another question. It
wasn't my own question. No you did.

Speaker 4 (01:08:35):
That's why people are infatuated, because people place value on
certain things. They want to know who you sleep with,
They want to know how much money you are.

Speaker 2 (01:08:44):
I guess if you say so. I don't think it's
the same thing.

Speaker 3 (01:08:46):
But another episode in the books, shout out to Dennis
mckezey brother OSG. Make sure you follow him. He's doing
great work. Invest in his organization.

Speaker 2 (01:08:58):
Do that.

Speaker 3 (01:08:59):
It's about kids, about and they're doing the work. They're
empowering our community, our educators who don't get the light
and aren't even paid the way they should. But he
has a group of incredible educators and his program is amazing.
So shout out to him and another episode down the books.

(01:09:22):
You know t M I the number one podcast in
the world to beget my songs, information, truth, motivation and inspiration.
I'm not gonna always be right. Ms Mathvey's not gonna
always be wrong, but we will both always and I
mean always be authentic. Check out the video version of

(01:09:53):
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Speaker 1 (01:09:53):
Every single Wednesday on Iwoman dot TV.
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