054: Nehemiah Frank and the Black Wall Street Times [Podcast]

054: Nehemiah Frank and the Black Wall Street Times [Podcast]

Nehemiah Frank left Tulsa as a child, became an elite gymnast, struggled to graduate from high school, blossomed in college, and returned to Tulsa as a young man to become a new voice for equity in education and social justice reform.

Nehemiah established a blog in February 2017 to express his observations about educational inequality and social justice reform. Little did he know that The Black Wall Street Times would get national and international attention and put him center stage in his efforts to educate the public about these important issues.

In this episode of The Spirit of Leading Podcast, I talk to Nehemiah about his journey, how it has helped him to evolve as a public advocate, and the impact he hopes to have in improving education for all citizens, and especially the under privileged.

My thanks to Joel Wade and Blue House Media for hosting the recording of The Spirit of Leading podcast. Blue House Media is a video, audio, and web development media company and recording studio. www.bluehousemedia.tv

 

053: State Rep. Ajay Pittman–governing for future generations [Podcast]

053: State Rep. Ajay Pittman–governing for future generations [Podcast]

Freshman Oklahoma State Representative Ajay Pittman will be in familiar territory when she answered the gavel for the first session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature. She has been a familiar sight around the capitol building for more than half her 24 years of life. She proudly states that she attended her first legislative conference at age 7. That’s because her mother, former state senator Anastasia Pittman, and recent Democratic Party nominee for Oklahoma Lt. Governor, would bring Ajay to work with her at the capitol.

But Ajay is definitely her own person, as you will hear in this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast. I caught up with her on the fifth floor of the House of Representatives wing between sessions, and before the new representatives began moving into their offices. As you will hear, she is optimistic that Oklahoma can getting to make strides toward solving the state’s most perplexing issues in a spirit of bipartisanship. Garland McWatters, Ajay Pittman, Spirit of Leading Podcast, INPowered to Lead, Oklahoma Legislature

052: Daniel Pae-22 year old freshmen Oklahoma state representative [Podcast]

052: Daniel Pae-22 year old freshmen Oklahoma state representative [Podcast]

Daniel Pae,  the newly elected State Representative for Dist. 62 in Lawton, says that he and his fellow incoming colleagues, “Aren’t interested in playing politics. We want to get the job done for the voters who sent us to the state capitol.”

In this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast, Daniel talks about what led him to run for this office and what he hopes to accomplish as the chamber’s youngest legislator. Daniel is a native Lawtonian, elected as a Republican, and willing to work across all divides to unify state government into a functioning body.

He joins 46 other new legislators in the 101 seat House of Representatives tapped to sort out some of Oklahoma’s most challenging issues such as public education and criminal justice.

Daniel greets new freshmen students at OU as the Student Government Association President

Daniel interned for U.S. Rep. Tom Cole in his Washington, D.C. office.

Daniel volunteered to serve Thanksgiving meals a the H.C. King Center in Lawton.

Thanks to BancFirst of Lawton, OK, and local president Mark Brace for making their board room available to record this episode of the Spirit of Leading.

051: We the People [Podcast]

051: We the People [Podcast]

In this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast, I comment on what I believe are the three most important words of the U.S. Constitution. They form the premise of why we have the constitution.

Our elected leaders, uniformed military, and naturalized citizens swear to defend the constitution. When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we pledge allegiance “to the republic for which it stands.” The republic as defined and explained by the U.S. Constitution.

A constitution is the supreme law of the land. Yet according to research (see link below) a majority of Americans know little or nothing about how their government functions or any details about the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution. 

We talk about freedom and democracy and how much we “love” them. Then, when it comes to voting (actual participation in the democracy) we fail to show. American voters are more likely to vote in high profile presidential elections than in any other (about 60% in 2016). When it comes to local elections, participation drops to 20% or less (see article below).

America is great when individual citizens are informed and engaged. After all, we aspire to “liberty and justice for all.”

 

050: I’m a Progressacon [Podcast]

050: I’m a Progressacon [Podcast]

I am among the majority of Americans who are becoming increasingly more unsettled over the negative tone of political discourse. According to a Pew Research Center report (link below), 61% of Americans say respectful discourse is very important, but only 25% say the current discourse is appropriate.

We can do better if we want. In this episode of The Spirit of Leading podcast I declare myself, as a political independent, to also be, what I call, a PROGRESSACON. Listen to learn what that is and why I have coined the label and claim it for myself and others who believe as I do–that we must turn the corner on our incivility in political discourse. Garland McWatters, Spirit of Leading podcast, author, Tulsa leadership teacher

Related links

Article: Few Americans see national political debate as ‘respectful.’