Born A Girl

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Bishop Corletta Vaughn is no stranger to this blog. I have covered her extensively during the airing of “Preachers of Detroit” and also “Women Who Soar” her coaching and mentoring seminar for women. On April 9, 2016 she unveiled her latest game changer, Herself! In a brand new documentary “Born A Girl”, Bishop Vaughn reveals her struggle to become a world renown Preacher. Little did we know, her first struggle was being allowed to preach in the first place. Simply because she was a girl.

Being a preacher’s child often carries with it a natural knack for the word of God. So preaching her first sermon at the age of 4 in her mother’s salon should have been no surprise and was the first indicator that she will follow in her father’s footsteps. This would be no problem if she was born a boy. For in the Baptist church as well as other churches, women preachers were and still are strictly forbidden.  “Born A Girl” Takes you on a journey with Bishop Vaughn as she recalls the trials and triumphs that built the woman of God that she is. Everything from that fateful night her father Henry Lewis stood up for his daughter’s call on her life to preach to the murder of her brother in Memphis,TN. Nothing was easy. In this documentary, she exemplifies hard work and not taking no for an answer.

This is why she wanted this opportunity to tell her story. Because women are often told “No”.  Young girls with dreams of mighty things are told they can’t just because they are girls. Bishop Corletta Vaughn is seeking to destroy those barriers. You could tell by the faces of the guests in attendance, her message was getting across. So much so that once the credits rolled, a standing ovation was mandatory. Her mission, accomplished! Her documentary is arguably one of the most inspiring films any young girl can watch.

As a man watching this film, I felt even more compelled than ever to ensure that all women have equal opportunity succeed in this world. For man’s world would not exist without a woman’s contributions. In her documentary, Bishop Vaughn quoted an old African proverb “If you teach a man, you help a man. But if you teach a woman, you help a village”. This documentary will go a long way to doing just that. Because the first thing our young women need to learn is that being born a girl is the first step to becoming someone great! Holla if you hear me!

-K. Greene

UPDATE: I was so moved by the movie and the efforts of the Corletta J Vaughn Foundation, that I have decided Hollaifyouhearme.com will partner up. The tab at the top of the screen that says ” Support The Corletta J Vaughn Foundation ” will be there for you and anyone else to donate to their efforts to help women and girls! I will be pitching in and I hope you will also!

Power of the Black Vote

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I spent most of 2014 hosting a radio show called “We The Nation” on Urban Nation Radio. I focused on politics and current events. The most important message that I wanted to get out was the importance of voting. I had numerous guests and did a lot of great interviews but the voting numbers in the African-American demographic barely budged. When I went out into the community, I often spoke to young people about voting but many felt like their vote didn’t matter. They were unmoved by my knowledge and my words fell on deaf ears. I needed a bigger and better example. Thanks to Donald Trump and his meeting with those black Pastors, I may now have it.

Before the meeting ever took place, a backlash came from the African-American community once the flier was circulated. Eventhough Trump is a highly successful billionaire, many in the African American community see Donald Trump’s views as racist and unfavorable. Many of Trumps comments have done little to change this perception. Trump himself realizes that he cannot win the White House without the Black vote. So with the help of Pastor Darrell Scott from Ohio, Donald Trump reached out to African-Americans through the Church. It’s a well known fact that the church has been the center of the African-American community since the Civil Rights Movement. Also, since the Republican party has built their campaigns on Christian morals, it was a very sound strategy.

The post meeting fallout was even more explosive. CNN interviewed Black Pastors all evening and the following day. One Pastor that was featured prominently was Bishop Corletta Vaughn from Holy Ghost Cathedral in Detroit. She did not go to the meeting citing Trump has not visited the community she serves and especially his unclear views on women’s rights. What did Trump do in response? He now has a clip of two African-American women loudly proclaiming their endorsement of him for President.

Now, if you throw in the recent Senate battles on Gerrymandering and voter redistricting at the local level in urban areas along with Donald Trump’s campaign strategy, the picture is clear. Black voter power is big! The fact that African-Americans don’t embrace it is bigger! Imagine what changes in education and economic empowerment if African-Americans realize their voting power. Now that is HUGE! Holla if you hear me!

-K. Greene

 

Detroit Women on a Mission

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There are times when I look around and wonder what direction are our women are going? I see some who are goal oriented and achieving yet social media paints a different picture, Women and young girls twerking by shaking their butts in G-Strings or very short shorts get 500 “Likes” on Facebook. It also appears that “Girl Fights” are the new rage on social media as well. It doesn’t matter if its 1 on 1 or an all out brawl. Hair pulling and clothes ripping excites the crowd as the female combatants provide plenty of action for everyone’s camera phone, Even the older women join in. Then, it goes viral!

For two of Detroit’s most influential women in the community, This is unacceptable! Ber Henda Williams is a noted poet in the city and her passion for spoken word only pales in comparison to her passion for mentoring young girls, June 6th she will be hosting her annual Power of Girlhood version 5.0. She will have special performances from poets One Single Rose and Dimonique Boyd just to name a few. You can find more information here: http://www.thepowerofgirlhood.org/. If you have a young girl, do not let her miss this event and It is totally FREE!

Nobody took the world by storm like “Preachers of Detroit”  cast member Bishop Corletta Vaughn. She has been an inspiration for women and young women alike. Bishop Corletta Vaughn’s story of perseverance to become a Bishop in the male dominated pulpit has empowered women world wide. Bishop Vaughn wants to do more for women and young girls. In one episode of “Preachers of Detroit”, Bishop Vaughn invited the women on the show to her “Women Who Soar” conference, On July 8-12, she will be doing her conference again and it’s open to all women who want to attend! Also, for the first time, this will be her expansion summit! Ladies are strongly encouraged to bring their daughters for an enrichment summit that will stay with them for a lifetime! There is a fee for this summit yet it is a small price for the information and enrichment women and their daughters will receive! This is a can’t miss Mother-Daughter outing opportunity!

I encourage all women reading this post to attend both events! Let the “Power of Girlhood” bond you and “Women Who Soar” empower you! As men, we have to support our women and encourage them to attend, Our daughters can benefit greatly from interacting with strong and talented women. Encouraging your wife to go to an empowerment summit is the perfect way to show your support for her goals. In return, she strengthens the household so that both of your goals become a reality!

My hat is off to Ms Ber Henda Williams and Bishop Corletta Vaughn. I am thankful for these women of faith and purpose serving as guides and mentors to our community’s most valuable asset… Our women. Holla If You Hear Me!

– K Greene

Preachers of Detroit: Winds of Change

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I admit that sometimes I get stuck in my ways and change becomes a bad word. It’s not that I am apposed to change. I enjoy comfort. However, in my experiences, I have learned that change is needed when you are the most comfortable. It is only then that you truly grow.  We see Pastor Bullock make his case to the Detroit City Council on why he should be one of them. Even with the support of members of his congregation, his bid for a seat on the City Council fell short. I had a feeling he wasn’t going to make it. The intensity by which he pursued this post exposed his flaws. It was refreshing to see him at the table with Bishops Langston and Ellis a bit more subdued. He was no doubt disappointed but patient and receptive. If Bullock wants to pursue a City Council seat, now is the time for him to change some of his methods.

More often than not, change is painful as in the case of Pastor Shelby’s eldest daughter. After much declaration of saved lifestyle, it was revealed that she lost her virginity while a teem. She didn’t run form the truth when it came out. In fact, she embraced it. She changed the perception of her personal failure. From a painful memory to a valuable lesson to teach. Her ability to change a positive to a negative may prove valuable to all young people. Yet her parents may have the toughest time changing and Bishop Corletta Vaughn is the symbol of that change.

The Shelby’s and the Vaughn’s went out to dinner together and I knew this would be a clash of ideologies rooted in their very beliefs. You could already tell throughout the season that Bishop Vaughn being a woman and serving with that title and authority was an issue for them. It is an issue in a most churches. Not just in Detroit but worldwide. Bishop Vaughn has been a force for women’s rights for years whereas Pastor Don Shelby Jr, Is a traditionalist.. Pastor Shelby believes in a woman’s place is by her husband’s side and defiantly not in the pulpit. He even said “I wanted to marry a woman and not a Bishop!”. Mrs. Shelby has the greatest problem with this. Bishop Vaughn is the total opposite of herself. It became obvious during their discussion, Mrs. Shelby became defiant. Not because of anything Bishop Vaughn said, but because Bishop Vaughn represents a direct challenge to the Shelby lifestyle, Bishop Vaughn represents a mirror of what Mrs. Shelby could have become. What dreams or goals did little girl Shelby have that were put aside in favor of becoming Mrs. Don Shelby?

As I watched this heated discussion, I realized Hilary Clinton is going to have to have the same discussion with America. If Hilary Clinton wants to win the White House, She has to follow Bishop Corletta Vaughn’s lead and convince America that change must come again. Time has come for women to use their gifts and talents on the same platforms as us men, How long are we as men going to continue to blame the daughters of Eve for the apple? How long are we going punish the women for our absence of paradise?  Its time to embrace change. Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden together for they both ate the apple and only by working together as equals can we get a piece of that paradise back. Holla if you hear me!

K. Greene

Preachers of Detroit: Community Counselors

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Last Friday evening, we got a look at the most important part of ministry. That is Stewardship to the people. Back in the Civil Rights Movement, White supremacists firebombed Black Churches. Not because Black folks were in them, but because those churches meant everything to the community. Those churches were the gathering places. Community news was shared. During the Civil Rights movement, all marches and protests were planned at the church. They were shelters in a vicious world. The Pastor ensured the churches remained safe havens where he tended to his congregation on a personal level.

As we see in Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole, this can be a huge undertaking. Her schedule stretches her very thin. In the process, she becomes very tired and old wounds start to surface. With the help of her sister, a therapist, and reassurance from her daughter, Dorinda found peace to endure the road ahead. Pastor Shelby and First Lady Shelby deal with one of their own at Burning Bush International. A young woman named Christian who struggles with homelessness and addiction not to mention trying to raise a very young child on her own. Things started off rocky at first but they were able to get her the help she needs. Only time will tell if they were successful.

A successful community is the goal of all our Preachers. For Bishop Corletta Vaughn, success for her community will be imported from Peru. Multi-Millionaire Fernando Palenzuelo purchased the old Packard Plant which is walking distance from her church Holy Ghost Cathedral. Bishop Vaughn met with Mr. Palenzuelo and thought it will be a great idea to have a town hall. There, Mr. Palanzuelo can meet the community and outline his plans for development including jobs for the community. Bishop Vaughn also spoke to Pastor Bullock about the town hall. Pastor Bullock is known for his work in the community and bringing him in would be a good move. Pastor Bullock jumped at the chance when he found out City Council President Brenda Jones was going to be in attendance. This was his chance to make a political contact. A political contact he will desperately need if his hopes of getting elected to the Detroit City Council is realized.

I had the pleasure of covering the town hall and you can read about it on this site in the archives: “The Packard: An Answered Prayer for Prosperity”  . On screen, we see what my spot at a table could not. I was dismayed to say the least. I know or met just about all of the community leaders and activists in Detroit through covering events and hosting a show on Urban Nation Radio. Needless to say, getting them all on the same page is difficult at best.  Yet they all share one thing in common. They let their work speak for them. Self promotion is not more important than the causes they champion. I saw no such thing in Pastor Bullock. While the night was clearly for the community of East Grand Blvd and Mt Elliott, Pastor Bullock’s sole focus was on himself. Even left early when it appeared to him that meeting City Council President Brenda Jones seemed unlikely. He missed that opportunity as well as the opportunity to meet Mr. Palanzuelo himself and voice any community concerns he had. Youth and energy are great assets but often betrayed by a lack of patience. I like Pastor Bullock’s passion for the community but his lack of seasoning is getting in the way of him doing mighty things.

Oxygen network is already hyping the next episode as “Bullock vs. Vaughn”. The events of the town hall will be discussed. I hope Pastor Bullock really listens to Bishop Vaughn. Pastor Bullock has to become the key to Detroit’s future. He has to realize that after the last episode of this show airs, it’s his deeds that people need to see. The Pastor Bullock that he is currently showing everyone echoes the self-centered politicians that got Detroit in the mess it is in today. The people have seen enough of that. Holla if you hear me.

-K. Greene

Preachers of Detroit: The Past vs. The Present

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A Friday night in Detroit is a guaranteed great time and this past Friday night was no exception, I had the pleasure of attending a “Preachers of Detroit” watch party hosted by the most popular cast member, Bishop Corletta Vaughn. The Signature Bar and Grill was pack with fans and family as Bishop Vaughn greeted everyone with a hug and a smile. Her larger than life personality spread throughout the room. However, once the clock struck 8pm, all eyes were fixated on the televisions for “Preachers of Detroit”.

This episode brings in seldom seen cast member Pastor Tim Alden along side it’s most controversial Pastor David Bullock. Pastor Bullock invites Pastor Alden to his Safe Sex talk night at his church and the clash of ideologies began. Pastor Alden believes in the traditional path of abstinence. So much so that he himself is a 50yr old virgin. Pastor Alden came up to the podium excited to share his story and promote abstinence. However, his excitement would be short lived as was his message. Before Pastor Alden could get far into his speech, he was abruptly cut off by Pastor Bullock. Also, Pastor Bullock proceeded to hand out condoms! Pastor Bullock is okay with premarital sex as long as protection is used. The look on Pastor Alden’s face was of humiliation with borderline rage. We will have to see this Friday how this turns out.

Pastor Don W. Shelby Jr. is fighting his own battle and holding on to his traditional views when discussing his kid’s careers in music. Pastor Shelby’s kids formed a singing group called “The Shelby 5”. They are very good too!! More importantly, they see the need to improve to become successful. That means possibly working with producers and artists who perform secular(non-Gospel) music. That doesn’t sit well with Pastor Shelby. Anything outside of traditional, old-school church values is a no go in his house.

The same goes for the women in Pastor Shelby’s house as well. The Shelby women were invited to cast member, Bishop Corletta Vaughn’s women’s conference. Mrs. Shelby and her daughters were already not on board with Bishop Vaughn being a Bishop. Now, asking them to come to a women’s empowerment conference is asking too much. A young lady on Twitter asked me “Why doesn’t Bishop Vaughn respect Mrs. Shelby’s position?”. Since I had Bishop Vaughn 10ft from me, I asked Bishop Vaughn herself. Bishop Vaughn Replied ” I respect Mrs. Shelby’s position for her, but not for all women”. In the question and answer session after the show, Bishop Vaughn went on to say “As women we are just to diverse and talented to only be housewives. All women should be able to have a choice.”
The past and the present will always clash. Why? Because the future is at stake. The past got us here but the present is all about change. Without change, there is no way we can make ourselves better. Our future is depending on that. This Friday, Bishop Corletta Vaughn will fight for the future of one of her own. I hope everyone watches and learn something very valuable. Holla if you hear me!
-K. Greene

Preachers of Detroit: Love and Old Wounds

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If you asked me last month, if “Preachers of Detroit” would be one of the highest rated TV shows on primetime Friday night, I would have said no. I would not have thought that a faith-based reality show set in a small market could hold the nation’s attention. I would have been wrong, very wrong. “Preachers of Detroit” has taken the world by storm and I couldn’t be happier. This show is one of the top trending topics on social media every Friday night.

Last Friday, Another event took place on the show that I couldn’t be happier about. Bishop-Elect Clarence Langston and Pastor David Bullock patched things up. Their initial meeting was tumultuous to say the least. Before Bishop-Elect Clarence Langston can become a full Bishop, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson gave him a directive that he must do before he can take office. Before Langston can become Bishop, he must make peace with his life. Including healing an old wound left by the murder of his mother when he was a child. As Bishop Langston stood over the grave of his mother, I came to a realization. If Bishop Langston ever wanted to see what Pastor Bullock is trying to accomplish, he need only to look at himself.  Pastor Bullock’s work in the community is to prevent children from going through exactly what Bishop Langston went through. Pastor Bullock believes that Preachers have to get involved in the community. Their influence can help deter drugs, increase hope, and cut down crime. The community needs that leadership. Reaching out can change anyone’s situation or even save a life.

The life of “Preachers of Detroit’s” most popular cast member is coming to the forefront. Marriage is difficult. Especially between successful people. Bishop Corletta Vaughn and Pastor Gilbert Vaughn are those people. The Vaughns have been married 30yrs. I have known them for the past 15yrs and in those 15yrs, I never had reason to doubt their devotion to one another. Yet, I will never underestimate the demands of ministry on any couple and The Vaughns are no exception. I admire Bishop Vaughn’s bravery in allowing everyone to see those difficulties. All married couples go through rough patches. My wife and I included. It was through one of these rough patches that I learned a valuable lesson. Old wounds and miscommunication can cause rifts and arguments. The important thing that you have to keep your focus on what you are fighting for. If you fighting for respect, pride, or to prove a point, I guarantee your marriage will end. If you fight for your marriage and your spouse, you will endure. Over the next few weeks, we will see Bishop Vaughn and her husband endure some difficulties. All married couples have dreams of prosperity and greatness. Yet we don’t consider the stress on a marriage quadruples when one or both become successful. I will be watching and praying we all learn a valuable lesson. Also, in the process, learning to value each other even more. Holla if your hear me.

– K. Greene