Philly Trip Testimony
The trip to Philadelphia was nothing short of amazing. I attended this trip with two other brothers that attend Georgia State University Damian and Stephon. When we arrived in Philly we met another brother by the name of Robert. Robert was from New Orleans we connected as soon as we entered the van to drop us off at the hotel. The first day we were able to get settled in the hotel, attend the welcoming conference, and have the rest of the night to enjoy ourselves. Damian, Robert, and I walked the city of Philadelphia the first night. We enjoyed the night with Philly cheese steaks and great conversation that was spiritually uplifting. Robert shared his transition to the Islamic religion while me and Damian gather information from being a listening ear. Damian and I come from a Christian background were we shared information about the religion. I was able to share my background and what I learned about both of the religions. The next day we had a packed full event of workshops. I was able to sit in on the Black Panther workshop where they discussed the movement of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party provided breakfast for communities that needed it. When you think of the Black Panther Party you may think of violence, but the party was very helpful to the communities it served. They taught young females self-defense and how to use weapons for protection. Later that day a 3-year-old young man came to me and we begin to read a flyer that he had in his hand. After I explained to him what the flyer was about he said I should teach at his school. This made me realize the importance of a black male figure in the world of educating our youth. After the workshops ended we were able to enjoy the rest of the night. Another conversation with Robert and I about his family situation in New Orleans broke out after a stroll through downtown Philadelphia. Katrina wiped out Roberts home and he was force to finish school in Arkansas. The last day of the trip I attended breakfast with the Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). I sat at the table next to the group and they invited me over to sit with them. I shared my experience with the group and we discussed what we could do as educators to better ourselves and the ones we teach. The trip to Philadelphia was spiritually, emotionally, and beyond satisfying. Being around like minded individuals expressing feelings and how we could better the world around us is exactly what was needed.