Read Time: 1:56
Because you can refer to the previous post I won’t go too much into a recap. For contextual purposes I will share that we are diving into our driving force tagline which is, Family Is All That Matters. We covered Family our last time together. This week we’re covering is. I can see in my minds eye your proverbial eye roll. You’re wondering how on earth is Jacqui going to share anything of significance that warrants my spending my precious time reading this post? I’m so glad you’re pondering that because I promise you I have something for you. Big talk, right? I realize we’re just starting our relationship however, this will be worth your read. I’d be remiss if I don’t reference Bill Clinton’s popular grand jury quote, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is is” (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1998/09/bill-clinton-and-the-meaning-of-is.html).
In looking up the definition of is two items stood out: 1) is is commonly identified as a verb and 2) it’s close relationship to the word be. Not one to typically promote slang or ebonics I decided not to resist so in this instance because it offers a layer of depth, I’ll indulge. I’m going to publicly ask my 12th grade English Literature teacher, Mr. Shugard to forgive me in advance. Here goes, Family Be All That Matters. When I looked up the word be, here’s what I found: to exist or live; to take place: occur, to occupy a place or position. If I stopped there you’ve received enough to justify reading the prior sentences. Now, if you’ve decided to hang in there with me it’s about to get juicy.
I LOVE that is or be in this instance is an action word. As we go a little further together I’ll be sharing with you specifically and generally the things that FIATM is achieving in local communities. F.I.A.T.M. is definitely occupying a much needed void by positively impacting one family at a time. Consider what happens to a family when a little girl that feels invisible is encouraged to participate in a mentoring session and she finds her voice. She emerges as a leader at school and a change agent. Behavior that she would have shrugged her shoulders at days and weeks prior are now met with deliberate and respectful machinations to solve and resolve untoward actions. Or the young man that was completely fine with C’s and being average aspiring and reaching A’s and A+ status. These results are commonplace with the students that F.I.A.T.M. both teaches and mentors. By the way, if you have any connections or influence with your school district, feel comfortable providing their contact information, mention F.I.A.T.M. to them and I’ll make sure they are contacted to discuss F.I.A.T.M. establishing our mentoring program to their students.
Next week we will be taking a look at the word All. If you have any questions or want to explore how you can help us help more youth, feel comfortable emailing me: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.
Byline: Jacqui Dobens is known to provide the right word at the right time, love kayaking even though she can’t swim and be the first to say hello and check in with you about how you're doing/feeling.
Read Time: 2:20
Recently the cornerstone of the F.I.A.T.M. team sat down for a podcast interview on Be Inspired Today. CEO, Kuba Brown, COO, David Layne and Advisory Board President, Yundra Thomas shared about the importance of the first word in F.I.A.T.M. which is Family. Feel comfortable taking a look at it, hitting the like button and leaving a comment.
For the sake of this conversation we’re going to take a look into an expanded definition of family as was so eloquently expressed in this interview. dictionary.com describes family as: a group of people or things that are related by common characteristics, features, or properties. Another definition that fits is: a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals.
Family. Family is the foundation of F.I.A.T.M.. It’s in essence what makes us, well us. At F.I.A.T.M. we believe you can pick your family that are related to you by common characteristics, attitudes, interests or goals. This means that you can join our family as we unify communities one family at a time. What does that look like? What can that look like? For example, you may have heard of the disparate rumblings in the media regarding inherent tolerations of racial superiority mindsets expressed through, of all places, High School Sports (https://www.pe.com/2021/10/28/after-racism-allegations-temecula-valley-high-making-changes-at-games/) and (https://www.pe.com/2021/09/02/moreno-valley-volleyball-team-racially-harassed-targeted-with-monkey-noises-at-hemet-game/). I share this with you not to shock or polarize you, dear reader. I share this with you to convey that sometimes as a family conversations can get a little complicated. Uncomfortable. Messy. However, I’m a firm believer that on the other side of it is understanding, embracing, acceptance and ultimately at times, love.
F.I.A.T.M. has been leading the charge on initiating progressive conversations regarding race, challenging students to level up, mentoring youth, encouraging emerging talent, teaching and training technology, financial literacy, tutoring, athletic excellence and much more since before 2005 in some iteration or another. Think of the landscape of our country in 2005. In looking at Gallup polls (https://news.gallup.com/poll/1687/race-relations.aspx), a 2005 Race Relations Report (https://issuu.com/jcci/docs/05_race_relations_progress_report) and the Immigration debate (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0896920511421030). Ironically, in 2022 these same or eerily similar conversations are still being had. Albeit in many instances laced with rhetoric. F.I.A.T.M. has been stealthily meeting latent needs in response to these often overlooked topics. We are focused on positively impacting communities by infiltrating often times broken familial dynamics. That can be demonstrated by assisting a young man in obtaining his driving permit and license. Imagine. Or perhaps remember how you felt when you passed your written and driving test. Remember the sense of accomplishment? Freedom. F.I.A.T.M. is consistently in classrooms across various districts on a weekly basis ushering a safe space to express, heal and grow for the youth. Teaching our young men how to treat a young lady appropriately may seem like a no-brainer to you. However, how and when is that taught? Recently on one such school visit a group of young men were throwing rocks at several unsuspecting young ladies. Talk about a teachable moment! Fortunately, F.I.A.T.M. was on campus that day and discussed very openly how and why this behavior is not okay. These are a few examples of tangible ways that F.I.A.T.M. is impacting local communities one family at a time.
Next week we’ll be exploring the second word in our tagline, is. I’m serious. We will be discussing what the defintion of is is. If you’re old enough to know that reference, feel comfortable leaving a comment. Next Tuesday, before 10 a.m. the post will be live and ready for you to check out. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining the F.I.A.T.M. family or have questions on how to become involved, feel comfortable emailing me: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.
Byline: Jacqui Dobens is a lover of words, curious bordering nosey, published author, public speaker and recovering sassy shoe addict. She can be reached at: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.