Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2 is better than 1 (and 3 is not a crowd…it ensures success every time)

Who is 1: Me
Who are 2: Richard and I
Who are 3: Richard, me and God = RADiKL (RA+Di+KL -Radical - (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online) - Fundamental; marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional; extreme; tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions or institutions; of relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change; excellent; cool.)

April 9 gave me new perspective on teamwork, partnership and divine intervention.  For the second year in a row, the National Action Network (NAN - http://www.nationalactionnetwork.net/) hosted their “Measuring the Movement” panel and conversation during their almost week long convention at First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC - http://www.fcbcsermons.com/).  The event was covered by TVOne and other media outlets. 

In a follow-up counseling session w/Richard (RP3) and I, our Pastor (Mike) offered the assignment of interviewing the panelists as a news piece for the church.  I gladly accepted. (I wonder if I knew how the day would run, would I still have accepted so quickly).

I  stayed up until about 4:30am the morning of the panel conversation, researching the panelists, their views and affiliations and preparing questions.  After a nap, Richard woke me up to get our day started at 6:30am.  Our first stop was to our friend Malaika’s house to have my make-up done.  Immediately after, Richard and I headed to FCBC.  We arrived to find there had been a disconnect in communication. The church’s media team with whom we planned to work with were not at the church and had no plans of attending.  RP3  and I looked at each other, but did not panic.  We began to strategize.  We had two and half hours until the panel ended, to get a camera, mic and possibly a tripod and lightening to complete this assignment.

Our starting point was in the balcony of FCBC. I began taking notes in case the solution for our assignment would be a print story instead of a broadcast story. Richard began taking pictures and video with out SLR and recording the live audio with his cell phone.  He also kept in communication with the church administrator for any updates on progress of getting the needed equipment to shoot.  In true RP3 form, my scientist and researcher of a husband located a member of FCBC media team, Lorianne.   

(Enter the beginning of divine intervention)

Lorianne identified another member of the team, Ian who also provided in the crunch assistance.  Ian delivered one of the church’s studio cameras, some batteries and a mic.  We’re almost in business. However, we didn’t have someone to shoot and we needed a live person because we didn’t have a tripod.  Richard then downloaded and read the manual for how to operate the camera onto his cell phone. With less than 30 minutes until the panel ended, we began running mock interviews so that RP3 could get comfortable with the camera and its settings.  He served as the videographer for the entire shoot. We still didn’t have lighting but God blessed us with a beautiful bright and sunny day, so we went outside to get in position on the corner where the church is located.

Once we were in position, Richard took my hands and asked me if I wanted to pray. We bowed our heads on the corner of 116th and Adam Clayton Powell and petitioned to our Father for His strength, His guidance and courage. We thanked Him for bringing us to this point and praised Him in advance for getting us through the rest of the way.

The list was in from Pastor Mike of who he wanted interviewed. Lorianne managed the list and time the countdown to executing this assignment had begun.  First up to be interviewed was heir to NAN and the National Director of Membership Dominique Sharpton.  We then prepped for her father, the Reverend Al Sharpton, by his right hand woman.  After our interview and exchange with the founder of NAN Rev. Sharpton, our next experience was a bonus and a bit unexpected.  It was test and gave real color to the calling of journalism.  It is sometimes (most times) not glamorous, but should always be that of an activist.  A woman who did not attend the conference but had an earlier exchange with Rev. Sharpton approached him immediately following our interview. The only thing standing between she and him was me.  She was very emotional and appealed to him for help on this crowded corner in Harlem for help to track  down her son’s murderer. She was hovering over me, crying, almost falling and using me as an anchor to stand.  I began holding her up with one hand and still holding the mic in the other. We (Richard and I) and a community of spectators were forced to switch gears.  Real life was taking place.  A woman in pain, still grieving her son’s death, seeking help to publicize his case and track down his killer.  Rev. Sharpton responded quickly and immediately assigned one of his pastoral staff to her case.  As the situation calmed, Richard, Lorianne and I regrouped for the next interview, NAN’s Executive Director Tamika Mallory.  Soon after, we interviewed CNN and TVOne Correspondent Roland Martin who also hosted and moderated the panel.  Next in our line up was NAACP President Ben Jealous. His interview stood out as he has a jovial nature, but is committed and passionate to getting the hard work done.

After a brief pause we switched our location from the corner to the front and center of the church to gain better light as we were experiencing a shadow.  Once repositioned we interviewed Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable Intergenerational Public Policy Network.  Last but not least was our interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins (http://www.boycewatkins.com/). We had technical difficulties on his interview and he was the right person to have them as he was very accommodating and didn’t mind when we asked him to do his interview a second time.

At this point we finished our round interviews although we were asked by numerous people and citizens of Harlem to be interviewed. We wrapped after taping the intro and outro and seemingly completed the task and assignment presented to us.

Richard and I inhaled and exhaled the day’s events.  We started with almost nothing except our availability and willingness to complete an assignment and ended with our assignment done an experience together, better than we imagined.  God’s hand was upon us the entire time. He never left us.  Actually, he guided us the whole way through.

Whether it was a test of humility or a test of teamwork or a test of faith…we passed. 

Here’s to a three fold cord – not easily broken.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Majesty of Holy Matrimony

With 3 months into marriage, I am daily encountering the beauty of marriage.

I am part of something greater than myself. I have another child of God, depending on me to meet many of his needs. The same is true for me. The last month has been a testimony to the majesty of marriage and simply how blessed I am to be married to my husband Richard.

A little over a month ago, I had to have a minor procedure which would leave me in great pain almost immediately following for about a week.  A couple of days after the procedure, I began a month long fitness boot camp with a personal trainer at 6am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  For me, it was very important that I took on this challenge as my transition from single to married and city girl to suburban wife had consequences…extra pounds.  One day after the boot camp began; I started a month long television reporting continuing education class on Tuesday evenings.

(Even when I looked at Richard, like why you let me do this, he never looked back at me like I was crazy.)

During this time of heavy movement and activity, my husband stepped up tremendously.  On days of extreme pain, he made sure that I was taking my medication and was comfortable at home.  On mornings when I had boot camp, he saw me off to class and greeted me with open arms as I limped to the shower from an intense workout.  At the end of every Tuesday night class he made the journey from Connecticut to the lower east side of New York City to drive me home from class.  Even more on days of shooting footage, he was right there to document every moment.

(Side note: Richard thinks every day should be, “take your husband to work day.”)

At the beginning of April, I participated in a seminar, mentoring Broadcast Professionals.  Since I have not been on air regularly in a few years initially I was a bit discouraged to attend.  My better half encouraged me to go and get the most out of the experience.

Within this month, Richard and I somehow found (made) time to keep our date nights, host a couple’s game night and have quiet moments at home.  We also had our first big argument since being married during this time.  It hurt me to my core to argue and be at odds with my best friend and greatest ally.  Friends, counselors and keepers of our marriage were there to lend support and reassure me that I was being too hard on myself and us.  We did the best thing we knew how to do. We repented to God and to each other…and moved on.

More and more, I learn that “2 is better than 1.”

Stay tuned for my next entry as I elaborate more on this…
Be Blessed!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've Been Dealt a Winning Hand!

...which means I can't lose!  This is real to me in practical terms.

Even those things, events in my life and incidents that might appear to be failures are not.  They are all apart of my journey to escort me to a destined place in my life.

Where am I?

I AM in my skin and loving it.
I AM on a journey with my husband, discovering sacrificial and selfless love.
I AM walking out my divine assignments. 
I AM confident, secure and beloved.
I AM RESTORED, REDEEMED and the Lord's plan for me is being REVEALED daily.

One of the greatests revelations is, "The Majesty of Holy Matrimony." To hear more on this, stay tuned for my next entry...

God is Moving! (right now)
Kristen Pope