[In Progress] Planning an African Festival in Austin, TX

I’m building a team in Q1 2015 to explore the viability of a large scale African festival in Austin. The focus is to expose the positive and empowering aspects of major African cultures, to influence the African narrative positively on a large scale, and to create a forum where Africans both at home and in diaspora can seat with leaders and change agents from other cultures to discuss opportunities for business, education and mutual economic growth through the private sector. Also, an experience centered around some of our major entertainment exports – music and film.

I’m not looking to discuss details around key components yet since we’ll figure it out together, but we should learn lessons and model around SXSW. We might consider having a SXSW experience together and doing some ideation during that period.

I’m looking out for people with experience handling event management and ops for large scale events (dibs if you’ve been involved with SXSW), branding and design, public relations, entertainment/talent management, finance, marketing and social media. All with a positive attitude and the innate ability to have fun while getting important stuff done.

I’m doing Starbucks runs on me through Q1 to look for good fits, figure this out and start coming up with an execution plan. There are no dates set yet for kicking off an actual event, just the planning for now – figuring out who the right partners are, our value proposition and a solid execution plan, even if an actual event doesn’t happen until 2016 or later. As long as we do something extraordinary.

Hit me up, or refer people to me – don’t have to be African, just need to have an open mind.

I am. Who are you?

We can’t be everything to everyone. We have to decide who we want to be, and then live that reality.

The ego says, I need to look good, so I do everything to keep up appearances. I will undermine other people to make myself look and feel better. I will do anything to protect this character I have developed, because the world is all about me.

The I says, I need to be good, so I stay true to myself. I recognize that we are all divine souls on a physical journey and I should only yearn deeply to make a positive and empowering impact on the world around me and the generations after me. I help people make progress, I resolve conflicts amicably without stirring the pot. I am open and transparent, I will always do what is fair, and make decisions as such. I always only seek the best in people, and I will always give them more opportunities to live their personal legends through the resources I have available to me. I realize that I can only be, when we can all be.

I am. Who are you?

On Leadership

A piece on leadership, so well articulated by the folks at Acumen.org.

“Leadership is a sacred trust like priesthood in civilized, humane religions. No one gets into it lightly or unadvisedly because it demands qualities of mind and discipline, of body and will, far beyond the need of the ordinary citizens.”

True leadership requires a spiritual grounding, the humility to cultivate a shared consciousness that we are truly connected to one another.

It requires confronting our own internal fears and external resentments.

It means moving from a place that holds sacred the notion that “I am, because you are.”

The work of change can be bone-tiringly difficult. And there are no roadmaps, just a few newly worn paths in some places, wide open fields of possibility in others.