Support Deserving Young Students and Professionals with $1 or More

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Diverse Teens

(Photo Credit: Videezy)

By texting YU to 41444, you can donate $1 to $2,000 to help The Why You? Initiative, a tax-exempt non-profit organization, provide essential funding, resources and support to deserving young students and professionals across the nation who primarily emerge from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Yes, even your $1 can make a serious difference in the lives of students and professionals who don’t have the economic means to purchase the phenomena necessary for their success. When your $1 or more is combined with thousands of others who will make the same or greater donation as you, the potential amount of money that can be amassed can exceed your wildest imagination. People express that they wish they could do something to make a real difference in people’s lives. Well, here’s your opportunity. Give whatever you have today to support numerous students across the nation who desire not to become a part of undesirable statistics. Your donation today goes a long way to ensuring that they become valuable contributors to civil society. You can claim every dollar you give to the organization on your taxes and receive that money back when you file your taxes.

The Why You? Initiative prides itself on being able to take numerous students with GPAs below 2.0 and transform them into 3.0 and above GPA students. One of the distinguishing characteristics of this organization is it gives 100% of donations directly benefit the young students and professionals the donors intended for their donations to support. Every dollar you give, therefore, is used to purchase items for disadvantaged students and professionals. The Why You? Initiative, affectionately known as “[YU?],”is staffed with distinguished researchers, engineers, educators, lawyers, social scientists, doctors, computer scientists, community leaders, and etc. who have demonstrated success in ameliorating the progression of young students and professionals from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. [YU?] offers young students and professionals mentoring based on empirical assessment and best practices, tutoring, financial assistance for the purchase of essential items, valuable resources, opportunities to become well-connected through the organization’s extant well-connected network and etc.

You have the power to make a true difference in the life of a young student declared “at-risk” today by making even the smallest donation. Don’t just talk about what you want to do to help deserving people—do it! Take a brief moment and text YU to 41444 and make your donation to The Why You? Initiative today! The organization is striving to raise $2,000 this weekend to support the immediate needs young students and professionals have across the nation. With your generosity, the organization can shatter this modest financial goal. When you donate, you will have the option of easily giving on a recurring basis, or you can simply make a one-time donation.

Thank you in advance for your support of The Why You? Initiative and the deserving young students and professionals we serve throughout the country. I encourage you to visit the organization’s website and spread the word about the organization and its aspiration to raise $2,000 this weekend.

Best wishes,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

Research & Development Director

The Why You? Initiative

daniels.antonio@whyyou.org

www.whyyou.org

Postmodern Fashion Resists Tradition

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Postmodern Fashion

(Photo Credit: Postmodern Gentleman)

If one desires to stay in harmony with postmodern fashion, then he or she cannot be beholden to traditional matching strategies. In Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Fredric Jameson (1991) posits that we reside in a historical epoch where fragmentation is celebrated in virtually every area of life. Fashion is not exempt from this celebration of fragmentation. One of the most vivid ways we see this fragmentation in fashion is in how people intentionally pair colors that have traditionally been considered inappropriate. For example, a man may have on a purple shirt, burnt orange jeans and brown shoes. While those colors may seem to compose a disjointed outfit, postmodern fashion finds value in challenging traditional color schemes and aesthetics.

Home décor is a serious dimension of postmodern fashion. Just as it’s common to see a resistance to traditional color schemes in the clothing postmodern people wear, we find this similar phenomenon in home décor. A homeowner can have a dominant color scheme of brown in his or her living room, but can have a stylish red chair in the corner of the room to disrupt the monotony of the central color scheme. People often refer to this as adding a “pop of color.” Postmodern fashion views this fragmented “pop of color” as a beautiful contribution to one’s living room or outfit.

Although the postmodern impulse opposes more conservative color schemes and fashion styles, one should not feel compelled to conform to these schemes and styles. One’s style of dress and home décor can still look appealing and creative without embracing many of the elements of postmodern fashion that can reflect a lack of maturity. Even though postmodern fashion strives to efface the traditional notion of “tacky,” you and your home can still be quite tacky—if you succumb to many of the pressures of postmodernism.

Being self-absorbed is a dominant characteristic of postmodernism, and one of the most crippling results of being self-absorbed is a failure to have a felicitous appreciation for history. While postmodern fashion gurus see themselves as creating “novel fashion,” they’re really not producing anything new at all. Jameson (1991) has asserted that what numerous postmodern artists, including fashion gurus, do is recycle styles, traditions, and art from the past in simplistic and random ways. You should, therefore, embrace only those elements of postmodern fashion that are useful and concatenate them with elements of the past to generate truly productive fashion styles and strategies.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: How to Use Facebook to Grow Your Small Business

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Facebook Image

(Photo Credit: PMC Network)

What impact has your use of Facebook had on your small business and your non-profit corporation?

Facebook is an incredible social media source to use. Almost every age and ethnic demographic uses Facebook., even though many have recently (the past 3 years) learned the basics: how to update a status, how to change a profile and cover photo, and how to use the hashtag (#). From small business to non-profit, Facebook has provided beneficial engagement and interaction between consumers, non-profit contributors, and I.

In what ways can Facebook be used to grow a small business?

Facebook can be used to grow small businesses in the following ways:

Personalized web address – Some small businesses do not have established websites or blogs for customers to peruse. When a small business owner creates a free Facebook business page, Facebook provides a website address that consumers can use to find said business; for example, https://www.facebook.com/magnoliassweethaven was created for Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC.

Networking – Creating events, sponsoring giveaways, and connecting to other industry professionals present excellent networking opportunities. Cross-promotion of small businesses is an additional way of networking on Facebook. At Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, for instance, we work with cake pop, linen, and custom cookie vendors to create dessert tables for our clients’ weddings.

Be resourceful – Being an expert in your respective industry is information that should be shared as well as information that is wanted by consumers or readers. Facebook can be used to publish engaging industry information. The amount of times per day that small business owners choose to post is relevant to how often they appear in their followers’ Facebook feeds.

Market events – Consumers who follow a small business on Facebook are sometimes given incentives for free products or services. Food trucks will often post partial photos of where they are and ask consumers to comment with a correct guess for free food.

Link love – Small business owners should use their personal Facebook pages to link back to their Facebook business page as well as their website in the “Work and Education” bio section.

Are there any reasons a small business should not use Facebook for professional purposes?

I do not foresee why most small businesses would not want to use a free resource, marketing tool, and website for their entrepreneurial venture. Sometimes people find using social media off-putting, and there are some who find using social media will not contribute to betterment and success of their business. Bullhockey! You can reach a wider targeted demographic and make additional connections with the use of social media.

For an economical fee, would you be willing to help small businesses setup their Facebook business pages? For a monthly economical fee, would you be willing to help small businesses to maintain and add content to their pages?   

I am actually in the midst of launching a consulting and public relations firm with YOU, Dr. Daniels. I’m not sure if this is the appropriate time to announce it, but I just did. Services will include helping small business owners setup and maintain their social media pages, public relations, and start-up business plan writing. As time progresses, we SHALL make a more formal announcement.

Stay Connected with Dr. Glass…

Facebook: Magnolia’s Sweet Haven

Website: www.pamperedsweettooth.com

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

A New Past, Present and Future in Jesus

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Black women in church

(Photo Credit: Black Youth Project)

Under the New Covenant of Grace, you receive a new past, present and future when you receive Salvation. When Jesus died upon the Cross, He died for you to have a new past, present and future. The most vivid evidence of this new past, present and future we receive through Salvation is found in II Corinthians 7:2: “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.” If you understand the Apostle Paul’s history, dating back to his unconverted days as Saul, you recognize that Paul persecuted and killed more Christians than any person in history. The question becomes, therefore, is Paul lying when he says he has not “wronged no man,” “corrupted no man,” and “defrauded no man”? Not at all. The reason why Paul says this is he has fully received his new life in Jesus Christ. Through the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, Jesus has bought for us all—through His precious shed blood—the right to have a completely new past, present and future.

We enter into this blood-bought Grace Covenant with Jesus when we receive the Salvation He has made available to everyone. After you receive Salvation, Jesus says that not only are your sins forgiven but He will also never remember them again: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Receiving the Salvation that Grace has made available allows you to no longer live in the condemnation of your past, present and future sin: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). As a Believer, Jesus no longer remembers your sins. Why would you choose to remember them? Why would you continue to hold on to the condemnation attached to your past sins when Jesus knows nothing about them?

When your sins are forgiven, Jesus expects for you to no longer live a life where you’re sin-conscious: “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Hebrews 10:2). When you’re constantly worried about sin threatening your position of righteousness in Christ Jesus, this sin-consciousness causes you to receive bondage and fear—this bondage and fear is not a part of your reborn spirit in Christ Jesus, but it is bondage and fear you receive from Satan when you fail to Rest in the fact that your righteousness is eternally secure when you continue to place your Faith completely in what Grace has made available to you. Romans 8:15 states, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” When we receive Salvation, we become a part of God’s family; He becomes our Daddy—all because of what Jesus did at the Cross and our receiving of His Finished Work. Receiving Salvation means we receive God as our Father. A Believer can never be separated from his or her Father—you’re eternally connected to the Father, even sin cannot separate you from the Father because when God sees us He sees Jesus—not our sins.

Ephesians 1:4-7 state, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Because of Jesus and what He did at the Cross, our righteousness in Him is eternally secure. Again, not even sin can ruin our position of righteousness in Christ Jesus. If our sin could ruin our position of righteousness in Christ Jesus, then John 3:16 would have to be a lie, and we know God is not man who has ever lied and will not ever lie (Numbers 23:19).

After receiving Salvation, your eternal life is secure and all that Grace has made available to you is secure. The more you sin in this life, however, can unravel your life in this present world—sin cannot unravel what has already been laid up for you in your eternal life in Heaven.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Health Concerns and the Sweets Industry

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Woman Eating Chocolate

(Photo Credit: The Guardian)

When consuming sweets, it’s important for you to exercise moderation. If you make the choice to constantly overindulge in sweets, leading to excess levels of sugar in your body, you have no one to blame but yourself. While most of us love sweets, we all have a responsibility to consume them wisely. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a successful small business owner in the sweets industry and a small business and social media expert, about health concerns associated with sweets and how she works to mitigate those concerns in her own praxis. Dr. Glass also divulges Valentine’s Day specials Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC is offering, so you should certainly check out those specials to experience what “Pampering Your Sweet Tooth” really is about—without depleting your bank account.

In what ways, if any, do you attempt to make your sweets as healthy as possible?

One of the main things that I and my interns strive for and execute is using fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. There is a massive difference in the taste of baked confections when using the best and most readily available ingredients. We do not offer any sugar-free desserts, but always encourage our clients to indulge in moderation with our addictive confections.

What is your response to those who say it is those in the sweets industry who are helping to make us an increasingly unhealthy nation?

You cannot blame an entire industry for the nation’s problems with obesity. As with delicious savory dishes, one must consume sweets and desserts with limits. I believe in using good, unsalted sweet cream butter and advocate celebrating life with something sweet; perhaps cheesecake, in moderation.

What special plans does Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC have for Valentine’s Day?

Magnolia’s Sweet Haven is running Valentine’s Day specials for the Savannah/Hilton Head areas. “Pampering Your Sweet Tooth” is something that we delight in doing year-round with mini-cheesecakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, wine-infused and traditional flavored cupcakes as well as dessert tables and candy buffets.

Connect with Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC:

Website: www.pamperedsweettooth.com

Email: msweeethaven@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/magnoliasssweethaven

Instagram: instagram.com/magnoliassweethaven

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Small Business

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Instagram and Small Business

(Photo Credit: Hype Beast)

Small business owners need to engage with Instagram to unlock the power and growth this social media platform offers to their businesses. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a social media and small business expert, about how to use Instagram in profitable ways in small business. Her doctoral research and dissertation investigated the power of using social media, including Instagram, in small business to promote growth, sustainability, and success.

What are some of the ways in which small business owners can use Instagram to grow their small businesses?

There are several things small business owners can do in using Instagram to grow their business:

FREE! – Instagram is free. Why are small business owners NOT using it!? Some people lack the knowledge of how to use Instagram, others feel Instagram would not be beneficial to their small business (and that’s alright), and some people are just lazy in pursuing absolutely free means of marketing for their small business.

Capitalize on the power of a hashtag – I implore business professionals, specifically those in the food, hospitality, and beverage industries, to USE HASHTAGS! Jason Miles wrote, “A hashtag is represented by the “#” preceding a word or several words without spaces in between them.  It allows simple categorization to be applied to an image.” This means small business owners can create brief or extensive, funny or serious, colloquial or formal hashtags for their brand.  Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, for example, uses the following hashtags that I’ve created:

#Sweetspreneur

#TheKitchenIsMyHaven

#DrGBakes

#EpicureanSweets

#PamperedSweetTooth

Unlocking the full potential of hashtags helps with gaining new followers and reaching a larger demographic.

Visual platform advantage – Instagram offers small business owners more than a filtered or non-filtered portfolio of photographs. A great photograph accompanied by a catchy caption or, as I often use, mouthwatering descriptions draw potential followers to the Instagram (IG) business or brand page feed. Instagram provides an immediate virtual portfolio for future clients and current patrons to peruse.

Linking back to website/blog – When people post pictures, they often use the location feature per post to link back to their website or associated blog post.

@ing other business pages in bio link – I do have more than one Instagram profile and I often “@” each of them from my personal page. Most people DO read the brief bios that small business owners are able to provide at the top of their IG profiles. I maximize on both my personal and business Instagram pages by #GoalDigger @magnoliasweethaven and #GoGiver @cheesecakeforthecure in the bio section.

Connecting with other industry professionals – I cannot stress how many awesome industry professionals and hobbyist I’ve met on both my personal and professional Instagram pages.  Individuals who I would have never potentially connected with had it not been for their pictures or hashtags drawing me in.

What has been the impact of your use of Instagram on your small business?

Using Instagram for Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC has proven beneficial, specifically “the power of the hashtag.” The visual commerce does help in selling mini cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, boozy berries, wine-infused and traditional cupcake flavors as well as marketing dessert tables for special events like bridal showers and weddings.

Are there any potential pitfalls small business owners should watch out for when using Instagram? If so, what are they and how can they be avoided or mitigated?

One of the disadvantages of small businesses using Instagram is operating their business page as a private account. Not only can this be off-putting to potential clients, but it could also hinder the development of the small business brand.  On the one hand, an immediate rebuttal would be that depending on the number of followers and IG posts shown on the business page, people should “request to follow” such an exclusive account. On the other hand, most people want to see the immediate loading of photographs, especially if the business page had a food or dessert-specific, catchy name of curiosity. Private business pages are missing out on unlocking the full potential of the hashtags they are using if the general public isn’t able to view them when they use the “search” feature on Instagram.

Is there any empirical research available pertaining to Instagram use in small business? If so, share what the professional literature has said about this area of research?

Yes! There is a wonderful book by Jason G. Miles that discusses using the power of Instagram to your advantage.  Also, I’ve always enjoyed this infographic from Social Times about the power of the hashtag.

What are some of the critical gaps in the professional literature pertaining to Instagram use in small business?

There are few dissertations of reference that address Instagram as well as the use of social media in small business. There are also numerous industry professionals who have proven to be successful as social media marketers and social media consultants.

STAY CONNECTED TO DR. GLASS…

Email: msweethaven@gmail.com

Instagram: instagram.com/magnoliassweethaven

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Getting to Know Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

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Cancer Awareness

Photo Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

What led you to found Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.?

Cancer is an atrocious beast that has impacted my family and friends, and I am a resilient and boisterous fighter who wants to bring awareness through baking cheesecakes as a medium to communicate awareness, so in March 2014 I founded Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

I knew I wanted my first venture in philanthropic work to be based in food. There is something about a connection that exist between a cook . . . a chef and his or her cuisine, between an artist and his or her canvas, between a baker and his or her confections, between a musician and his or her instrument. I wanted to embody the word meraki, a Greek verb often used to depict what happens when an individual leaves a piece of who he or she is (his or her love, creativity, soul) in his or her work; simply, the adoration of doing something from the core of who you are and embedding that into your passion. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it—that’s the essence of what meraki means.

Without funding for research, it’s difficult to seek any form of advancement in treatment for each cancer awareness. Why not explore “Pampering your Sweet Tooth” for “Year Round Cancer Awareness” through baking or purchasing some darn good cheesecake!? I want there to be more awareness, education, information out there about ALL of the cancers battled during the awareness month.

I noticed that Breast Cancer (pink ribbon), for instance, is recognized vehemently during its awareness month of October by local communities, professional sports, and celebrities, but not every cancer has a celebrity face to it. October is also Liver Cancer Awareness Month (emerald ribbon), and most individuals aren’t aware of this nor do they acknowledge it during the month of October. One of the main reasons, therefore, that I started Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is to bring “Year Round Cancer Awareness” to each cancer during the awareness month.

What does Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. do?

The mission of Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is to generate an interactive and educational platform about the various cancer awareness causes that take place throughout the year. This is accomplished through the baking and selling of individual portioned cheesecakes during the respective host month where significant contributions by Baking Ambassadors through donations to cancer research and cancer research facilities can be made.

January, for example, is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month with the cancer ribbon colors of teal and white. The color of the ribbon is taken into consideration for flavor profiles and decor of the mini cheesecakes. Part of the proceeds from the sales of CFTH, Inc. and the organization of the Baking Ambassador will go to the local charities, research, events, etc. specific to the cancer awareness month. Most people don’t know that every month of the year, except August and December, has a national cancer awareness and ribbon color(s).

What distinguishes Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. from other non-profit organizations?

All cancers, no matter how rare or lesser known, have an immeasurable impact on the individuals who battle them daily as well as their families. The research, however, for most of the cancers are underfunded.  YEAR ROUND CANCER AWARENESS, funding, research, education and empowerment are needed to provide ALL individuals battling cancer a FIGHTING chance for a cure.

Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is different because in the spirit of love, compassion, darn good cheesecake, and hope we will foster empowerment, gratitude, the healing power of laughter, revenue, and community to lead efforts across the globe in promoting “Year Round Cancer Awareness.”

Where do you see Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. in the next five years?

In the next five years, my desire is to see Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. trending on Twitter and Facebook, flourishing on a national and global scale with Baking Ambassadors from various states and countries, established grassroot events for each respective cancer awareness (races, walks, bake sales, etc.), funding grants and new treatments for various cancers, and scholarships for cancer patients and survivors in pursuit of higher education.

How are you able to balance running a successful for-profit small business and a successful non-profit corporation?

Again, as I stated in our last interview, “No success is ever an individualistic act.” Yes, on most days, I find myself having late nights and early mornings processing thoughts and organizing all I want as an empire builder, but the power of laughter and just letting go of the reigns helps tremendously. I ask for help from those I trust, seek advice from mentors, ask as many questions as possible from other cancer non-profits based in the food industry receptive to answering, TIME MANAGEMENT, I say “no” without qualms to some extended opportunities, hard work in keeping up with both organizational cultures, volunteers, interns, and libations.

What do you need from others to reach optimal success with Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.?

One of the main things I need from other individuals is to capitalize on the power of social media and good old-fashioned running your mouth to others: follow Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. and use hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, share Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. posts on their personal and business Facebook pages, tweet/retweet about the cancer awareness for each month, and purchase the cheesecake flavor(s) featured from us and our Baking Ambassadors in each respective month. Oh! If someone could let Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Fallon know about Cheesecake For The Cure, I’d be forever indebted.

Stay Connected with the Power of the Hashtag . . .

#CheesecakeForTheCure® – #CheesecakeForAwareness® – #TheKitchenIsOURHaven® – #Sweetspreneur® – #YearRoundCancerAwareness® – #FudgeCancer

Site: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Instagram: cheesecakeforthecure

Facebook: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Twitter: cheesecake4cure

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison