Empowerment Blog

Loyola Marymount's GALE Convention Welcome and Keynote Speech

"Education without Empowerment is Enrichment of Ego" - Dr. Gimel

This past weekend, I was invited to speak at the GALE Convention at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The purpose of the GALE convention is to allow alumni and graduate students in the School of Education at LMU to collaborate, build interpersonal relationships and share insight on experiences and ideas. It allows the opportunity for graduate students to present their knowledge, network with alumni and other professionals, and be involved outside of a class setting. Additionally, it promotes diversity in leadership to help future educators respond to our culturally diverse schools.

Education without Empowerment is Enrichment of Ego

Today we honor these 10 women of African descent who are empowering others through education. These bold women have turned failing schools into high achieving academies. They have set new precendents at prestigious universities all across America. During this women's history month, I am following these trialblazers to empower students at Loyal Marymount University tomorrow to talk about Education without Empowerment is Enrichment of Ego. Below is a little snippet.

Education without empowerment is enrichment of your ego. We have come here today to learn how to separate out our ego when we educate. To understand the importance of empowering our brothers and our sisters, those who look like us and those who do not. To ascertain how to educate using tools that do not discriminate, marginalize, and segregate. We have come here today to recognize that even though it is 2017, there is still much work to be done in our system; and that when we educate we must empower because if we are not empowering we are falling short of the call that has been put upon us. If we do not empower, we are contributing to the systematic oppression that has been lying in our system for hundreds of years. We have come here today to realize that without empowerment education does not exist, and progression of people will be dismissed. To know that it is not our ego that we are feeding to say that we have taught at the most prestigious schools or taught hundreds of youth, rather we must comprehend we are called to empower. For education without empowerment is enrichment of your ego. To distinguish between empowerment of self and empowerment of others, that we do not get our credentials to power our egos, but for the generations before us. As change agents, educators, professors, mentors, and directors, we are charged with not only fulfilling our duties in our careers, but most importantly the call that has been put upon our lives. For education without empowerment is enrichment of your ego.
— Dr. Gimel

Recognizing the Difference: Complicated versus Chaotic

As you continue your journey of seeking wholeness in 2017, I encourage you to identify the differences in your life between complicated aspects and pure chaos. According to dictionary.com, complicated is defined as, "consisting of many interconnecting parts or elements; intricate." Whereas, chaos is defined as, "complete disorder and confusion." Simply stated, complicated means the situation is complex due to the various factors involved, and chaos underlines a situation of havoc and turmoil. 

In life, you will face complicated situations because they assist with growth, insight, and problem-solving skills. Complicated situations are actually healthy. On the contrary, chaotic situations are unhealthy. Chaos induces confusion, self-doubt, disorganization, and sometimes a deep depression. Today, as you reflect on your situations and relationships in your life, I encourage you to write down whether they are complicated or chaotic. Whether it's a friend of over 10 years, a spouse, a partner, a parent, a co-worker, or even a child; I challenge you to be honest with yourself about the dynamics of the situation. As you continue to take steps toward a healthy mind, a healthy spirit, and a healthy body, I pray that you will be fortified in the clarity you receive to make the hard yet right decisions.

January's Temple Talk: The Year of Completion

Join us Friday, January 20 at 7:00p.m. PST for our monthly Temple Talk, The Year of Completion: Going Higher in 2017. One Temple Fitness is all about assisting you to becoming your healthiest and being the best you that God has destined you to be!

Preservice Teachers, Social Class and Race in Urban Schools: Experiences and Strategies for Teachers

Andrea D. Lewis, Ph.D., C’96, assistant professor and chair of education at Spelman College, has published her first book, “Preservice Teachers, Social Class and Race in Urban Schools: Experiences and Strategies for Teachers.” The book is an autobiographical and research-based exploration of the perceptions of Black middle and upper class preservice teachers about teaching and learning in high-poverty urban schools. 

This groundbreaking book is the first in the sector to explore the experiences of middle and upper class Black student teachers who, like their white counterparts, also may lack experience interacting with low-income students. Through the narrative, Dr. Lewis provides her audience heavy introspection of her journey and offers unique insights from former college students and teachers who experienced the same boundary crossing in their first school-based teaching experience. If you are working with or interested in being an educator of students from diverse backgrounds, this book is highly recommended!

Andrea D. Lewis is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Education Department at Spelman College. Lewis has received awards for exemplary community service and excellence in education from numerous organizations, including Atlanta Public Schools, the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, United Negro College Fund, Turner Broadcasting, and Outstanding Atlanta. 

December's Temple Talk & Group Workout

Join One Temple Fitness for our Monthly Temple Talk! This month our topic is "Pour Me A Drink!" We will explore how alcohol affects our metabolism as well as our mental health! In addition, come learn how to make a tasty yet healthy holiday drink ~ Sugar-Free Mojito Punch.

The next day, we will try our monthly recipe while sweating with an intense workout. Come join us at 2525 Trinity Ave in Los Angeles at 9am! See you there!

November's Temple Talk: S.T.R.E.S.S. Is Not Your Friend

If you missed One Temple Fitness's Temple Talk watch this awesome video and don't forget to download the tip sheet. This month's topic focused on the impact stress has on your workout, the impact alcohol has on your mood and weight, and featured a recipe. This month's recipe is Garlic Lemon Kale Salad.

November Temple Talk: S.T.R.E.S.S. Is Not Your Friend

Join us Friday, November 11 at 7:00p.m. PST for our monthly Temple Talk: S.T.R.E.S.S. Is Not Your Friend. One Temple Fitness is all about assisting you to becoming healthiest and being the best you that God has destined you to be! This year all of our Temple Talks will be held online, so zoom into us!

Join the community. Join the movement.

The Prison to School Pipeline

This article highlights five individuals who are changing the statistics on the outcome of education for incarcerated individuals. Spelman College and University of Michigan Law School Alum GeDa' Jones Herbert is the site manager at Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a nonprofit that has a 12-week program for system-involved youth. Read about the great work that she and others are doing below, as they are the true definition of F.I.R.E.!

These five alumni—lawyers, educators, analysts—are working to improve the part of the pipeline that receives less attention: the one leading from incarceration back to the classroom. And from there—with some work—to a brighter future. 

CHRISTINA GRANT is assistant superintendent of Philadelphia's alternative schools and has placed a big bet on the power of career and technical education to improve life prospects for incarcerated youth. Will it pay off?

EMILY FOX is drafting an updated Juvenile Justice Local Action Plan for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families. 

GEDÁ JONES HERBERT teaches students about the law and how to navigate it, even in a system that often seems set up against them.

RACHEL BRADY is working to ensure incarcerated students with disabilities are receiving the same accommodations they would receive at school if they weren’t in custody. 

RAHEIM SMITH is a special education teacher in Brooklyn serving adolescents awaiting trial and those already sentenced to detention.

October's Temple Talk Video: The Power of Our Choices

If you missed One Temple Fitness's Temple Talk watch the video below. This month's topic focused on the power of our choices, the impact water has on your mood, and featured a recipe. Our featured recipe for this month is Infused Water.

October Temple Talk: The Power of Our Choices

Join us this Friday, October 14 for our monthly Temple Talk: The Power of Our Choices. One Temple Fitness is all about assisting you to becoming healthier and being the best you that God has destined you to be! This year all of our Temple Talks will be held online, so zoom into us!

Join the community. Join the movement.

Monthly Temple Talks and Group Workouts are back in September until May!

One Temple Fitness Monthly Temple Talks and free Group workouts are resuming in September until May! Be on the lookout for the dates and times and we hope that you are able to join in on the movement! Get mentally, spiritually, and physically fit with #OneTempleFitness

Join the Community, Join the Movement

F.I.R.E. Celebrates Akilah Johnson

Today as I opened up Google to search the internet, their picture caught my attention. Immediately, I clicked on it and was drawn to read the article about the Google Doodle winner. As I was reading about the contest and Akilah Johnson, the winner, I immediately said to myself, she's a F.I.R.E.!

Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in Northeast Washington, D.C. unapologetically expressed her culturally rich lifestyle through art. She is an example of the mission of F.I.R.E. by being a Fearless Individual Resistant to Entrapment of being culturally muffled!

One Temple Fitness Week in Review

Thank you to everyone who have supported us over the many events we have had this week!

Thursday: Erin, Co-founder of One Temple Fitness, tabling at the Women in Leadership Conference.


Friday: Co-founders of One Temple Fitness discuss strength in numbers and the importance of maintaining the temple.


Saturday: Gimel, co-founder of One Temple Fitness, sharing an effective exercise to work the core (stabilizing), side obliques, glutes, and quads. Watch the full video below and if you're a beginner complete 5 on each leg everyday, holding onto a wall or chair if you need to, and assess how strong you become over time: by increasing the reps and not holding onto anything.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

Please continue to support us by LIKING our Instagram page @onetemplefitness.fire and Facebook at www.facebook.com/7FIRE8

For daily inspiration follow on Twitter and Instagram @_F1R3 and for exercise challenges follow @fitgirllife_23 on Instagram

Self-Love: One Temple Fitness Meet-up

Often times we get bogged down by the stresses of life and start losing ourselves. It's time to evaluate, discover, rebuild, and renew your self-love! Please join One Temple Fitness this Friday, as we start to explore how to wholistically care for ourselves.

We hope that you are able to join us for our next meet-up, Friday, March 4, 2016 from 7:00p.m.- 9:00p.m. PST in person at 2525 Trinity Street Los Angeles, CA 90011 or virtually - Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/680646110?pwd=BgstZpGIte1uAnPbS5EHeQ%3D%3D - email us at 7.f.i.r.e.8@gmail.com for the password.

Follow us on IG @onetemplefitness.fire

Follow us on IG @onetemplefitness.fire

Exercise Does More Than Energize, It Aids in Combating Symptoms of Mental Illness Too

Often times many people exercise to feel good about themselves, whether it's achieving a certain physical appearance or the desire to gain more energy. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that interact with receptors in your brain that trigger many positive feelings and results in: increase relaxation, aid in controlling addiction, sharpen memory, boost brainpower, alleviation of anxiety, prevention of cognitive decline, improvement of self-confidence, and reduction of stress. Endorphins are capable of accomplishing all of this because they reduce the perception of pain in your body. Therefore, engaging in activities that frequently release endorphins is extremely helpful to your mental health. According to NAMI (2015), "approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year; approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities; approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, and for children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%; 6.9% of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year; 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias; and among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—had a co-occurring mental illness."Considering the statistics, exercising would be beneficial to combat symptoms of disorders like anxiety and depression. Ultimately, exercisecontributes to an overall health and longevity of life! Therefore, One Temple Fitness by F.I.R.E. is inviting you to our Group Meet-UP, this Friday, January 8, 2016 at 7:30p.m. to continue the discussion of the benefits of maintaining the mind, body, and spirit through exercise.

Tweets for the Soul: When Life Falls Apart

Thema Bryant-Davis has done it yet again! After reading Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide, I was excited to read her next work! She took an innovative approach to transform lives using 21st century technology! Taken from her own healing journey, clinical expertise, and intrinsic resource as an Womanist Theologian, she uses "twitter therapy" as a launchpad for inner wisdom to enter into our daily lives. She divides the book into several topics, one being, "When Things Fall Apart," and provides little golden nuggets like, "No more running, hiding, avoiding, denying. Walking through it is the way to get through it. Face it so you can be healed." As a fellow mental health professional, this statement sums up the very mindset that is needed for transformation to be ignited inside of one's self. Therefore, I encourage you to not only read this book but engage in "twitter therapy" so your mind can be renewed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated to jump start the transformation inside of yourself!