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.