#FilmMajorFriday: The Merze Tate Explorers Club Is Empowering Girls Through Writing, Photography, and Videography

Last week, I had the opportunity to be the personal videographer and videographer instructor for the Merze Tate Travel Writers Club‘s 2016 Tate-Stone Travel Writers Academy.  IMG_0041The Academy is a program for 4th-12th graders, and is a 6-day residential academy on Kalamazoo College’s campus. The program provides travel opportunities and interaction with women where they work while serving as reporters to capture the adventures through writing, photography, and videography for the annual Girls Can! Magazine. The program was created by Sonya Bernard-Hollins.

I must say, it was one the greatest and most rewarding experiences that I’ve had to date. It was an amazing feeling being around so many girls that were as passionate about traveling and media just as much as I am, and girls who really wanted to advance their skills in writing, photography, and my personal favorite, videography.

IMG_0003Throughout the week, I filmed the events that took place throughout the week. We went to the Whirlpool headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan where the girls had the opportunity to meet and interview the CEO. We participated in Youth Day at Bible Baptist Church as part of the Black Arts and Cultural Center’s 2016 Black Arts Festival.  Later in the week, we traveled to Detroit, Michigan and went to the Motown Museum and ate dinner on the Detroit Princess River Boat. We ended the week by traveling to Niagara Falls, Canada where we were able to take a tour and ride the boat through the Falls!

IMG_0237

My favorite part about the Academy was just simply being a positive influence and that person the girls could look up to not just as a videographer, but a mentor as well.IMG_0110 Representation matters, and when you see someone who looks like you, doing what you want to do, and desire to be like, it gives you all the more reason to chase your dreams. If she can do it, so can I.

I feel so blessed to have been a part of this fantastic week with girls who are inspired and passionate about traveling, writing, and media. I wish I was a part of a program like this growing up. I think that it’s incredible that these girls are gaining these experiences at such a young age. We need more programs like this that give children the opportunity to learn, explore, and see the world. There’s so much out there and if more children were given opportunities like this, I know that it would give them more hope and motivation to work hard, achieve their greatest aspirations, and reach heights higher than they could ever imagine.

IMG_0022

 

 

Are You COOL Enough?

[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
It’s easy for a person to ask, “What is fashion?,” but how many of us really know exactly what fashion is?

Fashion is an art form. It’s fun. It’s unique. It’s a peek into a personality. Who’s personality? Well, yours of course! Fashion presents an individual statement of expression for you and I.

Cool Club Clothing was developed to create a cult amongst the youth to better promote the musical sounds of its founder, Cyrus B. What Cyrus, a student at the University of Michigan, didn’t know was that those few shirts, with their “cool” and colorful design, would become a hit within his hometown in Detroit, MI.

[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
“I did not realize that I was entering the fashion industry until a few months after I started making clothes,” said Cyrus. “I looked up one day and said ‘man, I think I’m a clothing designer.”

In August of 2012, Cool Club Clothing was established as a limited liability company in Michigan. As the brand developed so did their inspirational slogan, “Be You. Be Cool. Join the Club.” Judging by their fan following on social media and demand in product many people have already joined the club.

“The true purpose for creating C.C.C was to advocate the idea that with an open mind, one can reach limitless heights,” Cyrus says.

[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
The brand’s most  successful product, by far, has been its collection of first generation beanie hats. These eye catching knitted hats feature the Cool Club signature logo with each letter a significantly different color.

Cool Club customers have also developed a high interest in the brand’s upcylced vintage wear. Each garment is given a unique and refined look as it mixes new school designs with old school fashions.

So what’s next for the brand?

Supporters can expect to see a new and improved collection of hats featuring revamped designs of the original first generation beanies and new snowball beanies! Along with the release of the new hats will be the release of two new sweatshirts.

In January, be sure to look out for more information about the EnspiRED Annual Fashion Show featured at the University of Michigan. As a way to kick off the new year, the brand plans to debut many special designs as well.

For more information about the Cool Club Clothing brand click here, and remember to Be You. Be Cool. and Join the Club!

[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]
[Credit: Cool Club Clothing]

Fight Breakout At Webbie Concert

[Credit: Hype Alert Media]
[Credit: Hype Alert Media]

“No violence gentlemen; no violence, I beg of you! Consider the furniture”,

Was probably  what the manager at Club 20/20 in Odessa, TX wanted to say when a fight broke out during a Webbie concert.

Odessa police tell TMZ, things were calm as Webbie got into his set when a fight between fans turned into a full-blown riot. Why? Well for no particular reason of course! Some people were using metal stools as weapons.

Authorities were able to gain control over the situation. Once things began to settle down, loyal fans crowded the stage cheering for Webbie to begin performing again.

Sources confirm that the 20/20 manager was quoted saying that he does not like that kind of “ghetto stuff” at his club and has banned any future rap and hip hop shows at the venue.

What a night! How do you feel about bar fights? Comment below.