Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

Archive for October 2013

Iota Profile #15: Gray Matter

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Editor’s Note: This next brother of Iota was nominated by a Sweetheart who holds him in high regard, and judging by his Facebook page and amount of friends and supporters (over 5100 at the time of this writing!), she isn’t the only one.  I could list a bunch of his accomplishments, aspirations and job title here, but I’m going to let him tell it.

What I will preview, though, is that this brother needs the support of everyone reading this to help him reach his fundraising goal.  He is one of the featured participants competing for the title of Mr. Black Universe in Atlanta, GA, coming up at the end of this month on October 25-27th.  And he could still use as much help as possible from anyone able to contribute.

In the meantime, though, here are some words from an intelligent and motivated brother who is using his abilities on and off stage to better his community and himself.  Folks, meet Cameron Black, government name: Antonio Gray.

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Antonio Gray [performs under the stage name Cameron Black.]  Line Name: “Spotlight”. I.S.A.O ACE Club, Fall 2008. Delta Eta (Alabama State University).

What drew your interest to Iota Phi Theta?

The brothers on my campus were very cool and laid back. I appreciated their approach and their service, and genuine brotherhood. They were small in numbers but stuck together and in being a very ‘not the norm’ type of person I was drawn to that. Upon research, I related to the founders in starting college later, and in being a military man also. I applauded Iota’s stance on Political Social Activism which inspired me even more how there was an organization actually born out of a movement.

What is your current job title/business, and why are you in that field?

Leasing Agent Kennesaw State University, upcoming Professor of Cultural Studies/Political Science at KSU.

Please name one aspiration you hope to accomplish in the next 20 years.

In the next 20 years I hope to have graduated law school, have become Dean at a known university, and have a practice in family law for underprivileged families in the urban community. The goal is to provide reasonable law services to the communities who otherwise may not have these services available, in an effort to educate and promote knowledge.

How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?

Iota has provided a platform of networking that has come second to none. The brothers I encounter on a daily basis have all helped to steer me in the direction that I am headed in life. Brothers have been there for me and advised me politically and personally as to the steps I should take to get to where I am going. I appreciate the fellowship of Iota Phi Theta because the brothers whom I associate are very uplifting, positive and encouraging. “It always helps to have brothers in high places” is a common verbiage of mine. Lol.

What would you say to anyone considering membership in Iota Phi Theta/Iota Sweethearts?

I would say think about what you are doing. Iota Phi Theta is a fine organization to be a part of, however, like most organizations, we are going through growing pains of being an even better organization. It can be easy to get discouraged which is why we must consider our pledge. The promise and oath that we made must be kept in mind. The saying, “YOU GOT TO DIG,” holds very true. We must continue to dig and and build upon the foundation in which our founders have laid before us, not only dig, but do it as a collective unit in order to maintain our future. Remember, this for a lifetime, it’s a commitment, not an obligation.

More from Cameron:

On October 25th-27th, I will be competing for the title of Mr. Black Universe. This is the top black contest in the country. I am a former Mr. Black America and now ready to take on the task of ruling the universe. These competitions are very expensive seeing as how a lot of it is based on fashion and talent, if you anyone would like to donate, please click the link and follow the directions. I am 70% away from my goal at the time. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. OW OW!!!

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(Photos courtesy of A. Gray-Facebook)

Iota Profile #14: The World Is Mine

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Editor’s Note: I remember this brother from our roadtrips to Carbondale, and the times that he made it to visit my chapter in Edwardsville.  As one of the most enthusiastic new members I’d met at the time when I met him in his neophyte days, his love for the organization and motivation to make Iota Phi Theta the best it could be has carried over into his work as a graphic designer and budding entrepreneur.

Between LOFTT WORLD Clothing (run with Anthony Russ and Laron Wash), and crafting designs for clients, this brother gets busy.

Meet Carl James.

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Carl James.  Line Name: Executioner, Untouchable Upsilon (Mother of the Midwest) Chapter, (Southern Illinois University at Carbondale), Summer 2005.

What drew your interest to Iota Phi Theta?

The love I was given from a certain individual in the organization, we played ball at the rec center and always hung out. He always came over with this paddle and letters on and I was curious what this organization was all about. I had my mind made up of being in another organization.  But when I saw the cockiness and the stereotypes they were living up to, Iota Phi Theta drew me closer by being a collective organization, [combined] with the individualism that makes us who we are today.

What is your current job title/business, and why are you in that field?

I’m a freelance Graphic Designer. I make designs for several businesses, artists, organizations and for Nationals, like for the 50th Anniversary that just passed. I am currently coming out with a clothing line name LOFTT (Leaders OF The Trill World) Clothing with two brothers Anthony Russ & Laron Wash (support me please, at www.facebook.com/lofttworld) & also making Greek designs with my brother Laron Wash from SIU Carbondale at his Greek store. So I have BIG DREAMS!

Please name one aspiration you hope to accomplish in the next 20 years.

[To] own my own business & be financially secure, so that my kids will not have to struggle, like any parent [would] want for their next generation.

How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?

Well, networking (or I would be tiring my fingers out doing this, LOL!) Also, helping me through the good and the bad. They are always there when I need them.  I [got] a lot of perks and excitement from joining the organization.

What would you say to anyone considering membership in Iota Phi Theta/Iota Sweethearts?

Honestly, do your research first. I don’t bad talk any organization, at all. We are the fastest growing fraternity and because we are so young and part of the ‘Divine Nine’ that we get a lot of haters–and I LOVE HATERS!!!  They help us get stronger and build even faster. You can always be yourself and not live up to any stereotypes you hear about other organizations….If you enjoy building and working for a cause and not just living off riches, this is the organization for you.

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(Images courtesy of Carl James-Facebook)

Written by aceviewblogger

October 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

Iota (Sweetheart) Profile #13: The Write Stuff

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Editor’s Note: Before I introduce this next profile, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I am a fan of this person as a fellow blogger and writer.  She is an Iota Sweetheart and runs not one, but TWO awesome blogs (LaDulceLocura.net and kenzaashley.com), the former being how I was introduced to the recently profiled Terrika Foster.

Channeling her immense knowledge of entertainment, fashion and music into her websites, she has ambitions one day of running her own public relations firm.  If talent and passion are indicators of future success, she is well on her way to achieving her goal. 

Without further ado, allow me to introduce Kenza Ashley.

Please introduce yourself to the readers.

Name: Kenza Ashley.  Court Name: Songstress, a.k.a., SweetWRATH.   Epsilon Chapter, (New Jersey City University), Spring 2008.

What drew your interest to Iota Phi Theta?

My mother’s first cousin was a Charter Member of my undergraduate chapter (Epsilon, which turns 45 in December), so I grew up around Iotas and his line brothers. My high school assistant basketball coach was an Iota as well. And, ALSO, my mother was a Sweetheart. So I’ve pretty much been surrounded by Iota all of my life. So when I went to college, it was just natural.

What is your current job title/business, and why are you in that field?

For a paycheck, LOL. I work for the Jersey City Department of Recreation. But a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to start doing what I wanted to do. I have always been interested in the entertainment industry (music, movies, TV, fashion, sports). People would always come to me and ask me what was going on because I somehow always knew. So I figured, why not do it for real, and that’s what I started La Dulce Locura. It was named something else when I started (something a little corny), but let’s just say we’ve come a long way.

Please name one aspiration you hope to accomplish in the next 20 years.

In 20 years, I would LOVE to have my hands in the behind the scenes aspects on entertainment (styling, makeup, event planning, and of course blogging) and own my own PR firm.

How has Iota helped you in your endeavors, personal or professional?

I have met great people who are just as ambitious as I am, that drive me further than I thought I could go. Iota bought me to my two editors on LDL. Without it, this would be a boring solo ride.

What would you say to anyone considering membership in Iota Phi Theta/Iota Sweethearts?

Iota is a FAMILY that goes through anything that a typical family goes through. But you will make lifetime bonds that you will treasure. It’s the best choice I ever made.

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(Images provided by Kenza Ashley)

Written by aceviewblogger

October 7, 2013 at 11:02 am