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What Oprah (and South Africa) taught me about failure

On the last broadcast of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah said that the people who were seeking to get on her show over the past 25 years were looking for some form of validation that what they were doing mattered. She then said quite emphatically that we were all validated when we were born. As a youth motivational speaker, I’ve shared that notion with thousands of people with whom I have spoken across the globe because most of us never heard this growing up.

Chavez: a champion for the poor

Video on CNN.com:
In this video on CNN.com, I talk about the late Chavez being a champion for the poor. Like any leader, or any person for that matter, Hugo Chavez was a flawed individual. We should not let his opposition to many policies of the United States blind us for seeing the good he did for many people. He was not a hero for every Venezuelan by any means, but ultimately, I believe his intentions were generally in the right place.

POPE & Circumstance: Sandusky should have been a priest

Video on CNN.com: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-934171

In this video, I speak about the Catholic Church. While I wish Pope Benedict the best in dealing with his health issues, I am frustrated with the great celebration he is receiving right now. The Catholic Church should be ashamed of itself for its part in destroying the lives of so many children but the Church is acting now as if nothing is wrong and that's not right.

My American (continuing) journey

My name is Omékongo Luhaka wa Dibinga wa Yenga Kakesse wa Tshintunkasa. For American cultural purposes, my first name is Omékongo and my last name is Dibinga. Writing my full name may be irrelevant to you but it means everything to me. You see, when I was growing up in Boston in the 1970s & 80s, I was beaten up for just saying my name by my classmates and other neighborhood kids. Nowadays, however, I say my name with pride as a motivational speaker who inspires others to be more accepting of people of diverse backgrounds.

It's a girl (lyrics to the hip-hop song)

200,000,000 missing, not talkin’ ’bout money see
Talkin’ about somethin’ worth more than currency
Talkin’ about missin’ girls the foundation of a nation
But born in India and China brings damnation
Desperation, having a girl brings trepidation
So being born a girl leads to deadly devastation
Baby girls bouncing from the womb to the tomb
Delivery room delivering gendercide too soon
How have we forgotten that the woman is key
To open the future’s door for our children to see?

Before you commit suicide, read this...

...I’ve been there. I've been suicidal and I can tell you without a doubt that it gets better if you just hold on. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was growing up in inner city Boston at the height of what was called the “Crack Epidemic.” Across America, inner city neighborhoods in particular were being ravaged by crack cocaine.

Bring a face to the faceless

The man with a voice that’s unused is as voiceless as the voiceless
The woman with the mouth who does not speak is as powerless as the powerless
Across nations and races the faces of despair are vast and tragic
Imagine an hour without power,
A day with no water,
A week without heat
A lifetime without laughter
This is the daily life for names we may never know
But you can indeed lead the charge and give a face to the faceless
If you have 3 minutes make a call to your local mall
5 minutes write Congress

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