Author: Larrell Wilkinson

Fatherhood: Black Men are Challenging Negative “Daddy” Stereotypes

Watching TV, the other morning, I came across an interview of leaders of “The Dad Gang.” According to their website, thedadgang.com, the mission of the Dad Gang initiative is partly to “shatter myths and celebrate black fatherhood everyday.” Started by Sean Williams in November 2016, The Dad Gang started as an Instagram page focused exclusively on reflecting positive images of active black dads. In learning more about this organization, I am reminded a little about what active dads do. Deuteronomy 11:19-21 (NLT) instructs leaders of their households (men) to “Teach them (decrees from God) to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.”

Active dads are leaders of their children. Active dads are ministers to their children. Active dads are protectors of their children. Active dads are providers to their children. Active dads are teachers to their children. Active dads have fun with their children. Active dads are involved with their children. Active dads train their children (in the way they should go) [Proverbs 22:6]. Active dads develop the character and talent of their children. Active dads serve their children. Active dads love their children. I appreciate the men of The Dad Gang Initiative and encourage US to work to promote a positive and healthier fatherhood for all to see and witness. Let’s do it, together!

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Reflection on the Killing of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery

I walk/jog/run most days of the week. I walk/jog/run for my health & well-being. I encourage other men who look like me to walk/jog/run for their health & well-being. I encourage ALL people to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” & “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV).

I cannot explain the tragic circumstances of #AhmaudArbery. My hope is WE can ALL work towards LOVING our God and LOVING our fellow MAN. Perhaps when we treat each other the way we would want to be treated, then these tragic events will decrease and end. Heavenly Father, I pray for peace, love, strength, encouragement and comfort for the family of Ahmaud Arbery. I pray the same for all the many families who have lost loved ones due to violence. God, grant us the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Lord, please embolden men and women in solidarity with each other, in You, to champion the causes of the just, the good, the defenseless, and those experiencing unfortunate circumstances. May we speak up and judge righteously. Amen.

Reflection on the Killing of Mr. George Floyd

To all my Brothers | Sisters | Those I Have Yet to Meet: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’…’Love others as WELL as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them” [Matthew 22: 37-40, MSG].

No matter one’s skin color or social standing, I encourage ALL to at least value the lives of others while working toward loving others. If you find it challenging to value the life of another and/or LOVE others, then my prayer is that you will open your heart to God and allow Him to “transform your heart & mind.” Let us work to not believe all the negative stereotypes about people we don’t know. Instead let us challenge our thinking, be intentional about overcoming biases, and work to do “life” with one another. In the process, we will learn to love one another. Strength, Encouragement, & Comfort to the family of Mr. George Floyd. #georgefloyd #racisimisasin

A Call for Solidarity, Working against Racism & COVID-19

By Larrell L. Wilkinson

On April 8, 2020, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for greater unity in efforts to combat COVID-19. Since taking office in May 2017, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General outlined five priorities for the WHO: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO. Dr. Tedros previous experiences included serving as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016 and Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012. Dr. Tedros holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London.

Earlier today, Dr. Tedros remarked about the first 100 days of the WHO’s efforts to address COVID-19.

In his remarks on April 8, 2020 regarding WHO’s effort against COVID-19, the Director-General focused at least some of his comments on racism and unity. “I can tell you personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or Negro. I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” exclaimed Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus related to comments and threats made against him in the wake of this pandemic and questions regarding WHO’s response. He also called for solidarity in efforts to address COVID-19, stating “My message to political parties: do not politicize the virus. If you care for your people, work across party lines and ideologies.”

A lot has been learned since the reception of the first reported case of pneumonia from an unknown cause was officially received at the WHO on December 31, 2019. This case was first detected in Wuhan, China and received from the WHO Country Office in China. As more has been learned and efforts have been made, public health officials and leaders around the world have continually refined their initial and subsequent efforts to address COVID-19. The WHO is no different in their process of “learning as they address, refining towards progress.”

All of us have a role in this fight (COVID-19) that threatens our health, our humanity. Let’s work to not add to the unfortunate circumstances by exploiting differences among us. Instead, let’s build on our common humanity, show the love of Jesus Christ, and work towards solutions together.

Lizzo Sponsors Lunch for Emergency Room Staff at Several Hospitals

As many across the country are quarantined due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and as the number of deaths due to COVID-19 continue to rise, it is good to remember our men and women who are on the frontlines of this health battle. Many of the nation’s health workers are laboring long hours with minimal resources to confront this new disease. In an awesome gesture of gratitude, the recording artist Lizzo sponsored lunch for emergency hospital workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. Lizzo posted on Twitter her remarks to the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, “thank you so much…you are keeping us safe, you are keeping us healthy.” Lizzo sponsored lunch for several hospitals. See the pictures and appreciations below.

Shout out to Lizzo for this amazing gesture. Thank you, frontline workers, (i.e. health care, grocery, trucking, mail, warehouse, etc.) for caring for our health and well-being during this time of uncertainty and vulnerability. The uplifting acts of generosity that individuals from all walks of life are doing is making a positive difference for individuals, communities, our country, & the world. We are all in this fight (against COVID-19) together. Let us all continue to live, work, play, and pray together…keeping in mind social distancing of course!

Larrell L. Wilkinson

Love is a Noun & a Verb

What is “Love” to you?  How do you describe Love?  How do you define Love?  We have read, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7 New International Version).  Or we have observed definitions like, Love is a “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”, and/or “attraction based on sexual desire, affection and tenderness felt by lovers”, and/or “to hold dear”, and/or “to like or desire actively” (“Love,” 2019).  Tina Turner in her ballad, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” referred to love as a “second-hand emotion”.  What’s that?  By the way, I love the hit song from the 80’s and Angela Bassett in the movie (1993) was phenomenal.  But back to the point… a second-hand emotion?  So, love is something that is received after being used by another?  Maybe this is a post for another time.

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Choose to Be Healthy!

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as the “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being” and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Although other descriptions of the word “health” exist, overall most people understand what it means to be in good health or “healthy.”  Look at the following questions:

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Positive or Negative: Choose Positive

Positive or Negative: Choose Positive

Circumstances in life can weigh US down.  As individuals, we not only experience challenges inwardly, but also face difficult situations externally.  Although it may be difficult at times, we must be positive [over negative].  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8 New International Version).

One aspect of being positive is addressing the negativity within and/or around us.  To do this, a person might:

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