U of M: Education in Honor
on May 28th, 2018
I’ve often been asked how I “do it” with a husband who is away from home so much for work; how do I manage everyday life as a working mother to a young son, with virtually no family members living in our vicinity who could lend a hand if need be. I would just as often answer with the analogy of a military family, whose life circumstances I considered very similar: when one parent is required to le...  Read More
Building a Capacity for Resiliance
on February 26th, 2018
by CJ Kirkland Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was the Great Pyramid of Giza nor our capacity to withstand hardships and recover from the harshest of losses. As Ronan Tynan states in his latest keynote, “resilience is not a trait we are all born with.” It is the repeated action of getting up after we’ve been knocked down, reassessing methods after ours have fallen short, and permitting others ...  Read More
Top Social Justice Keynote Speakers
on January 28th, 2018
As we approached 2018, our society experienced a shift in consciousness which materialized in numerous movements against personal, community, social and workplace injustices, including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. More people than ever before were speaking out against the injustices committed both publicly and privately by some in positions of power. Those who once felt powerless to speak no...  Read More
Stone of Hope
on October 5th, 2017
​I sat on my bedroom floor and cried, wishing that the world would just pause so that I could catch my breath before having to face it again. This was after my friend and neighbor assured me there is much more good in the world than not, and after I read Psalm 30, desperately seeking confirmation of her words: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning…” I wasn’t sure how any j...  Read More
The New Memphis
on October 22nd, 2015
For the first time this past Sunday we visited Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis. My son got a bit timid when it came time to walk up the aisle with the other children en route to Children’s Church. To no avail I tried to convince him that there was nothing to fear; then the gentleman who had greeted us at the door walked over. He held his hand out and said to Luke, “Come. I’ll walk wit...  Read More
When To Quit
on September 16th, 2015
Maybe the best time to quit is when late-payment notices outnumber the “Thank you for your payment” slips. Or when those whom you hold in highest esteem repeatedly ask that you please consider getting a real job and start pursuing a career worthwhile.   Perhaps the best time to quit is when you’ve grown tired of fear lurking over your shoulders: Fear of never achieving the success for which you ha...  Read More
on September 10th, 2015
​While working out this morning Beyoncé’s song “Irreplaceable” came on. I always think about my friend Tonia when it plays because this is the last song to which she and I danced. With our arms raised and index fingers pointed high in the air, we swayed back and forth on the side of the road at Smith’s Point Fish Fry in Freeport, Bahamas. “You must not know ‘bout me, you must not know ‘bout me,” w...  Read More
I Weep
on March 16th, 2014
Sometimes I weep. It used to be a source of shame for me until two words finally helped me conquer that self-condemnation. Jesus Wept. I weep because my best friend has to beat this cancer. There are a few things we’ve put on OUR Bucket List over the past twenty years that haven’t yet materialized. I am certain we are supposed to see Hillsong perform live in Australia before we’re too old to look ...  Read More
Letter of Apology
on December 14th, 2013
Dear Moms,Apologies sometimes don’t come easy for me so please forgive that it has taken me this long.I’m sorry for being that person who looked at you with the Eyes of Fire when I saw you sitting with your baby in the airport terminal, awaiting our flight. While chatting away on my mobile phone the pleasant, laughter-filled conversation was interjected with the bitter “Ugh, I hope that woman and ...  Read More
The Facebook Place
on August 20th, 2013
It is a place where people can add you to their lives as friends without really being your friend. The neighbor who rarely speaks to you can be vocal in your life by clicking the Like button- or not.  It is a mecca for those who have mastered the art of being passive-aggressive: their status updates filled with reprimand for The Person Who Shall Remain Unnamed.  Photos and posts are made Public so...  Read More
A Man's Character
on December 11th, 2012
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”~John Wooden, legendary basketball player and coachMy son’s vocabulary has increased dramatically in the past few months and he has begun to repeat much of what he hears me say. One of the phrases he’s picked up is “go, go, go, go, go.” The first time he said it, we were heading out the door on our way to school. I laughe...  Read More
First Thing's First
on September 10th, 2012
At the end of the day, first thing’s first. Before I begin working on the new assignment - deadline tomorrow, I read a bedtime story to my son. Tonight, his book of choice: Dinosaur Roar. Before I dissect the article - written two days ago, I lay my son in his bed and pull the blanket over his little legs. His blanket of choice: Cars, set against a blue backdrop. Before I attempt to fuse toge...  Read More