Iyanla Vanzant In Baltimore to “Fix IT” As More Protest Continues over a Proposed $30 Million Juvenile Jail in Baltimore City

A call for help has been made for Baltimore and Iyanla Vanzant has accepted the call.

Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland; the 26th-most populous city in the country, and the largest independent city in the United States. However, what happened in Baltimore on April 12, 2015 when Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old African-American man died after being arrested by police for allegedly possessing an illegal switchblade, still remains a mystery. Splintered in pain and turmoil, the residents of Baltimore are divided over the incident of six police officers, who were involved in Gray’s arrest were indicted. Frustration increased recently when an announcement was made by newly-elected governor, Larry Hogan to cut spending in public education, and instead invest to build a $30 million juvenile jail in Baltimore City, despite campaign promises. Combined with a continuing a run of violence in the city making the month of May – Baltimore’s deadliest month since 1999.

To help stop the hemorrhaging of anger and mistrust and to start conversations of healing, Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple church, has enlisted the help of talk show host, Iyanla Vanzant of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) hit TV show, Iyanla: Fix My Life.

OWN’s hit TV show, Iyanla: Fix My Life, features the talk show host helping people to overcome difficult situations in their lives. Vanzant, an accomplished author, life coach, inspirational speaker, and talk show host is a living testament to the value in life’s valleys, and the power of acting on faith and empowerment. Plans are to lead residents of Baltimore in conversations of emotional healing and an empowering breakthrough.

The 3-day “Fix My City” Healing Service will be held at Empowerment Temple Church, 4217 Primrose Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 this week, wrapping up today, Thursday, May 28, 7:00-9:00 p.m. for the community. All of this comes as a result of Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant inviting Iyanla Vanzant to participate in current collaborative and strategic efforts to move the residents of Baltimore City toward open dialogue and restoration.

Dr. Bryant was heavily involved in the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray cases as the family’s advocate and spiritual adviser. He has witnessed firsthand how communities can become disillusioned without a catalyst for healing and trust. “Iyanla Vanzant is that catalyst,” says Bryant. His hope is that these 3-day sessions will stimulate encouragement, optimism and empowerment.

How to Talk to Your Kid About Politics!

During an election cycle that’s as heated as this one, it’s nearly impossible for kids to avoid hearing about politics in some way or another.Political ads. Signs on a neighbor’s lawn. Current events class. The news in general. How do you talk to your kids about what it all means, without spoon-feeding them your own opinions?

  • Start by explaining how the political process works. Stick to the basics: The United States is a federal constitutional republic, where power is shared by the President, Congress, and the judiciary. Though other political parties exist, either the Democrats and the Republicans have held the White House since the American Civil War. Talk about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights. Break out those old “School House Rock” videos if you have to — they do a pretty good job.

 

  • Explain commonly used political terms. It’s difficult to explain what the pundits are saying if you can’t explain what a pundit actually is. Scholastic offers a great list of political terms for teachers that work equally well at home.
  • Discuss the news in an age-appropriate way. When it comes to hot-button issues, the depth of your conversation depends on the age of your kids. While an 11-year-old may be able to think logically about the news and understand cause and effect, they’re usually not able to see the big picture clearly; Scholastic News’s Kids Press Corps offers a great take on the news, written for middle-school age kids, by middle-school age kids. Younger children may be curious about the issues but are able to process only general ideas about money, healthcare, jobs and other “grown-up things.” Pre-schoolers often assume that what they see on TV is happening, nearby, in real time, and that reenactments are new events, so it’s a safe bet that they’d be more interested how you vote than what you’re voting about.
  • Explain big issues in terms of how they affect your family. Healthcare reform in general may not mean much to your 14-year-old, but the idea that he or she won’t be turned down for coverage because of pre-existing conditions might. The deficit may be too big to fathom, but knocking off several zeros and talking about the national budget in terms of your own household budget can make major money issues easier to understand. Taxes and government spending issues are complicated; recasting it in terms of their allowances, chores, and household bills might make it easier to understand.
  • Discuss the basic platforms of both parties in a neutral way. Why bother to stay neutral? You’re also giving your children — especially if they’re teenagers — an opportunity to learn how to discuss issues calmly, politely, and rationally, to form their own opinions, and to respect those of other people (like their teachers, or their friends’ parents), even if they disagree with them.
  • Make your family’s values clear. Just because you’re trying to discuss the Democratic or Republican party platform in a neutral way doesn’t mean that you have to ignore your family’s values. This is a great time to have a frank discussion about how you, personally, feel about certain issues — just be sure to do it in an age-appropriate way, and be prepared to answer questions from your kids.
  • Take your kids with you when you vote. If you choose not to vote, then you’re choosing to let someone else decide who wins the election. Underscore the importance of doing your civic duty by bringing your smaller children with you into the voting booth, if possible.