Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meet Me @ The Bell Tower - LOVE

Dear North End Fam

So we have ad 2 events and about 140 community members come out. We have had drum groups, hip hop artists and North Enders of every age, colour and size. We have initiated North End Rising the North End Youth Council and are planning on developing more solid strategies on how we can combat crime in our community.

Please share this event and inviate anyone you know who wants to lend their hands or support to meet all of us at the Bell Tower this Friday, December 2nd 2011 ay 6pm.

Together We Can stop the violence.

with LOVE.

Respect

MC

    • When
      Friday, December 2, 2011
    • Time
      6:00pm until 7:30pm
  • Description
    Meet Me @ The Bell Tower has become an opportunity for us as a North End Community to come together.

    In Week 1- Stop The Violence, we had 40 people come out and we committed to bringing one person back next week.

    In Week 2 - Hands of Hope, approximately 100 people came together to lend their hands to our Stop The Violence initiative. And we promised the same thing.

    Now, we must come together once more, as a North End community and stand together. We must keep the momentum going and try to make this the most successful Bell Tower event yet.

    If you want to join us, and help us plan our next steps and how WE can create a North End Crime Strategy. We can stop the violence in the best way we as a North End know how to...

    with LOVE.

What Happened at Hands of Hope?

Meet Me @ The Bell Tower has become an opportunity for us as a North End Community to stand together. In Week 1- Stop The Violence, we had 40 people come out and we committed to bringing one person back next week. In Week 2 - Hands of Hope, approximately 100 people came together to lend their hands to our Stop The Violence  initiative. We had drummers, speakers and artists lending their support to us as we rang the Bell, and marched to Salter & Selkirk to share our message. Our After party was hosted at Indian Family Centre and refreshments were donated by Robin's Donuts and the Champagne's. We shared some music as well, in the form of a drum group led by Chickadee & Ninoondawah and some live performances from Hip Hop artist Lorenzo.

What Happened?!

We gathered at the Bell Tower @ 6pm and proceeded to converse. We had some coffee generously donated by the Robin’s on Salter & Selkirk and some stickers, courtesy of AYO!. All in attendance were given the challenge to place their HOPE stickers in a prominent place in the community. We began with some words from community members, and a moving speech from Councillor Ross Eadie, community leader Kelvin and many others as well. We were honoured to share some songs, our spirit and our culture, on the big Drum, led by Chickadee. From there, we took our group photo and marched, being led by some of our young community members to Selkirk & Salter where there was recently and act of violence happen. We marched, and as we did those standing by the Bell Tower, with the drum, found a way to ring our bell. We will find a way to ring the Bell Tower again next week too!

And then…

We then gathered at the Indian Family Centre (470 Selkirk Ave) and were able to sit in warmth and enjoy some lemon tarts donated by the Champagnes. We also listened to a few more community members share their stories, and then proceeded to do the Opportunity Sharing portion of the night where we got support for several community initiatives for North End Rising/The FWD (NECRC), Healing Still Continues (AYO) and a Ralph Brown/St. John’s Youth Group. We will be able to mobilize these groups in the future, and we will share our hope…through their hands! Then, we were treated to a special treat when Hip Hop artist Lorenzo shared his words of hope with all of us. Our evening concluded amazingly with another song from our guardian Drum and a commitment to return to the Bell Tower, next Friday with a friend.


Our next event is happening next Friday Dec 2nd 2011 @ 6pm at the Bell Tower and our theme this time is LOVE. We are going to take our community action another step further and begin to put together a North End strategy to deal with violence and crime. Please bring your ideas and we will begin to put them together so we can have a crime strategy that works for our community: a strategy made out of LOVE. You can get more info on the Facebook event, here!

Thank you to all 140 of you that have attended the first 2 Meet Me @ The Bell Tower events. We will Stop The Violence (week 1) using our Hands of Hope (week 2); and we will do it with LOVE (week 3).

See you Friday.


MC

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Winnipeg We Day Challenge

So today, 16,000 young people gathered at the MTS Centre rallying around a message that together, we can make change. This was We Day; an epic cultish type youth empowerment machine. it was equipped with choreographed dances for the audience, esteemed and well known local heroes as well as political people. Overall, I really enjoyed myself! My personal Top 3 moments came when:
  1. Paul Martin spoke about his Martin Foundation that provides opportunities for Aboriginal people to attend or finish school. He spoke about the inequalities and about how it is all of our duties as Canadians to support the education of our First Nations youth.
  2. Al Gore: spoke about the importance of  Respecting mother earth. He said that climate change IS possible, and those that say it isn’t are crooked. He said it is the youth that will change things….and I believe him.
  3. Michel Chikwanine: This one actually made me solidly shed tears. I couldn't handle the pain. This former child soldier shared his story and the action of taking a vow of silence on November 30th on behalf of the voiceless.
Well, that being said, I have a challenge for you, please see the Video Below




AND! This just in! Local Hip Hop Star Lorenzo has agreed to perform a couple of tracks! Please make sure that you tell your friends to come check out Lorenzo perform a couple of tracks. We even have some exciting opportunities to share about how all of us can start working together to give hope, and stop the violence.


Love & Respect

MC

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meet Me @ The Bell Tower - HANDS OF HOPE (Fri Nov 25/11)

That’s right. We asked you what you wanted and you told us. We need to do this more often. And so, as decided by the patented AYO! Voting system (aka dot stickers on a big piece of paper) we will be meeting again next week for an event called:



This event is an opportunity to take our positive message one step further and begin to make plans on how we put our resources together to make change. Some of the things you can look forward to learning about include:
  • AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) and the exciting opportunities you can get involved with, or the chance to share your own gifts and ideas with the community.
  • NECRC’s Youth initiative, North End Rising will be presenting an information session so that young people in the North End can learn how they can get involved with even more positive opportunities
    • The FWD: North End Youth Newspaper – a chance to get work experience, volunteer to put together a North End Youth Newspaper and develop your gifts as much as you want to.
    • A North End Youth Council – imagine, an opportunity to meet once a month with other young leaders from the North End. Hear from them about all of the exciting things that are happening in their neighbourhoods. You can join and represent anything, a resident’s association, a youth organization, a church group or more!
    • North End 5 Year Plan: learn about how YOU decided our community should go in the next 5 years, from 2011 to 2016. YOUTH are the # 1 priority but we also wanna do some fun stuff like Economic Development, which means more stores and money opportunities in our hoods and chances to get paid to share our many gifts!
    This is it. We in the North End have been waiting for so long for an opportunity to take back our community and this is it. if we can come together, we can bring the young people, the businesses, the parents, the Elders, the children together...we can beat this violence.  You guys already proved it last Friday when 40 of us battled the snow and STILL showed up. There will be more awesomeness to come, just check us on Friday.


    Please, Its NOT too late to get involved. We are doing it all again (and probably will be doing this for a while). Please check us out @ The Bell Tower, for Hands of Hope :)

    Love (simply love)

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    EKOSI/THANKYOU! (Meet Me @ The Bell Tower - Stop The Violence)

    Good morning folks!


    The speakers predominantly young, male and Aboriginal. Many people brought items to share and we have a list of thank you’s a mile long!

    1. HOPE T- Shirts – Designed by Kale Bonham, printed with support from Ross Eadie, City Councillor.
    2. Muffins & Cake & Gingerbread House – from the Champagnes, my amazing family
    3. Candles, Posters & Facebook power – AYO! the Anti-Gang we rocked it out and have
    4. The Media – too many for me to know right now, we attracted tons of media attention for the good that we are doing. Way to smash some stereotypes, more links will be posted later. For now, you can check out CTV here and the Winnipeg Free Press Here.
    5. Kale & the FWD: St. John’s Team – for providing awesome photos, Link to album HERE
    6. THE NORTH END – for being so full of amazing and supportive people who are willing to stand up to make a change, and are not afraid to talk about our children.

    I am indebted to the speakers tonight, your names I did not capture, but your messages were heard loud and clear: We are finished with the violence. If we see someone in the street who needs our help, we should help them. If we see a child in distress, we should reach out to them, if we see an opportunity to do good, we need to do it.


    We must tell our friends, and family and tell them to drop their colours. Forget about gangs and step into their beautiful North End Community. Volunteer. People can join in with AYO by checking out our facebook page. If you want to get involved with NECRC (North End Community Renewal Corps.), North End Community Helpers Network & MORE you can come check out next weeks event…

    That’s right. We asked you what you wanted and you told us. We need to do this more often. And so, as decided by the patented AYO! Voting system (aka dot stickers on a big piece of paper) we will be meeting again next week for an event called:



    This event is an opportunity to take our positive message one step further and begin to make plans on how we put our resources together to make change. Some of the things you can look forward to learning about include:
    • AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities) and the exciting opportunities you can get involved with, or the chance to share your own gifts and ideas with the community.
    • NECRC’s Youth initiative, North End Rising will be presenting an information session so that young people in the North End can learn how they can get involved with even more positive opportunities
      • The FWD: North End Youth Newspaper – a chance to get work experience, volunteer to put together a North End Youth Newspaper and develop your gifts as much as you want to.
      • A North End Youth Council – imagine, an opportunity to meet once a month with other young leaders from the North End. Hear from them about all of the exciting things that are happening in their neighbourhoods. You can join and represent anything, a resident’s association, a youth organization, a church group or more!
      • North End 5 Year Plan: learn about how YOU decided our community should go in the next 5 years, from 2011 to 2016. YOUTH are the # 1 priority but we also wanna do some fun stuff like Economic Development, which means more stores and money opportunities in our hoods and chances to get paid to share our many gifts!
    Ok. I will finish ranting for now by saying EKOSI. Thank you so much to everyone who came out and I am so excited for all of us to bring a friend next week so we can begin to build on what we started today. Aboriginal Youth are not apathetic and I am so proud of the warriors, the young Aboriginal men and women, and our families and our entire community for coming out to support our voices. Thank you for hearing us.

    Please, don’t think its too late to get involved. We are doing it all again next week. Please check us out @ The Bell Tower again, for Hands of Hope :)


    Love & Respect

    Meet Me @ The Bell Tower - Today @ 6pm!

    Dear North End (and friends)

    Wow. Look at what you have done. We now have over 50 people attending our event on facebook. Thanks to Councillor Ross Eadie, we have some T shirts for helpers of tonight's event. Thanks to Facebook, we also have a Hoop Dancer who will share a dance with us at the beginning of our rally.

    MEET ME - RECAP

    The initial article that got us going is available here. You can hear the story of how this came about, and what we really want for our community!

    Next, we clarified some details, telling people what our agenda is for tonight's events.

    Finally, we shared with you all of the love and support that we have been recieving for the event tonight.

    Since the last post, we have been able to receive more people who want to help with covering the event, we have had someone donate some hot chocolate, someone is making us cupcakes and even more people have sent messages onto our Facebook Wall for the event.

    I am writing this post to say thank you already. You are all amazing people and I know I can speak for the entire Anti-Gang when we say EKOSI for the support.

    Love, Respect & Courage Friends.

    North End MC

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    True Stories: North Enders DO Care!

    Dear World.

    We are already winning our battle. I have known, like many of you, that the North End is full of amazing and inspiring people. I happen to be fortunate to come from a community where we are all genuinely giving and caring people that do not believe that violence is the answer. I do believe that we have become fed up with the systems around us, and so for many of us crime and violence have been our only (apparent) option.

    Not Anymore

    In the past week, North Enders have been sending AYO support, sending me personal letters of encouragement and support, that I am moved to tears. I am so inspired by the showing of support that has come from our North End Family.

    True Stories of North End Style SUPPORT

    Here are a couple Facebook messages I received recently as a result of all the support media has been giving us and our cause. It feels like the tides are turning, read it for yourself:

    • saw your interview on CTV news, i live in North End, i support what your doing, its important that those who are scaring the crap out of us and our kids know that there are a whole lot of families that still believe, we can have a safer neighbourhood. Silence seems to be what makes things worse.
    • Hey!!
      I just heard what your doing for the city on CTV! It's really inspiring to hear what you're doing. And keep up the good work! That's totally awesome.
      And don't ever give up! :)  
    Check out these e-mail messages t
    • I saw you on cky news. I'm proud of you although I don't know u... I like  that you are trying to make a difference in people's lives. Not just native people but ultimately, everyone in our city. I saw a girl on the news that commented that your rally/march won't really make a difference. That attitude makes me a little angry but mostly sad. I'm sure u have to deal with alot of negativity but I sense you are a strong minded guy so I expect to see u evolve into a very inspirational leader in this city. ;-) So yeah, thanks for your passion and I really wish u well.
    And real live people from within our city have rallied to support us. Starting, amazingly, with one of our very own local elected officials!


    MC

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Meet Me at The Bell Tower Agenda


    Thanks so much to everyone who has been supporting our event so far. The media has been amazing. Shout out to CTV for featuring MC on the news tonight (check out the Nov 15 News Player). We are expecting close to 30 people (if not more!!) to attend.  The Agenda is loosely planned, but I will share with you the rough agenda.

    Inter-Friends

    Thanks so much to the folks at Burrows Resource Centre for listing our event on their page! As well, thank you so much to Red Power United for listing this on their events page as well. We also have several Twitter friends that have been keeping our tweets together by following @AYOantigang!

    AGENDA

    6:00pm – 6:30pm        Rally @ The Bell Tower (Selkirk & Powers)
    -         Smudge
    -         Eat Food
    -         Live Entertainment
    -         Listen to Speakers

    6:30 – 7:15pm        March Around the North End
    -         we will be walking on the side walks
    -         please bring signs

    7:15 – 7:30pm          Reconvene @ The Bell Tower
    -         Candle Vigil
    -         ‘What’s Your Problem?’
    -         Next Steps

    So we will be walking outside. Please make sure that you dress warmly the weather says it is going to be a low of minus 9, and a North wind of 25 kilometers/hour. So please dress warm and be prepared to march around and be loud. MAKE BANNERS AND SIGNS IF YOU CAN!

    You may also bring a picture of a loved one for the Vigil.





    MC

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    No Judgment!

    I don't normally like it when people on facebook post really long status updates that make you feel bad. But sometimes I come across one or two that move me to the point that I'd like to share them too.

    I'd like to thank my friend Pam for posting this where I could see it!

    ---

    she's emo? you'd cut too, if you've been through what she has.
    she's anorexic? you'd be too, if everyone called you fat everyday.
    she's a whore? she made one mistake that cost her, her reputation.
    she's a show off? her parents abused her & she's never heard of praise.
    she's loud? she's invisible at home, & she wants to be heard.
    ... she's quiet? she's afraid to speak, because she's scared to get made fun of.
    she's fat? she binges, because she misses her dead brother.
    she's a geek? she wants to get into college, so she can support her poverty ridden family.
    she doesn't wear brand names? her parents have been out of work for months, clothes aren't her top priority if she can't even afford food.
    she's ugly? tell me, what is the definition of beauty?
    who are you to judge them? you may know their name, but not their story.
    Speak up when you see injustice, and remember...

    NO Judgment!

    ----

    I hate bullying. I love Respect.

    MC

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Meet Me @ the Bell Tower


    So today, AYO! Leadership met at Paressa restauranton Selkirk Avenue.  We planned and were able to discuss a variety of things, but most importantly we were able to plan an exciting event that we want to invite the world to...


    The bottom line is we are sick and tired of how much violence is happening in our community. All of us are. I am sick and tired of having to bury the people that are important to me. I am sick of people feeling hopeless.

    There is HOPE

    On Friday November 18th young North Enders are fighting back. If you want this violence to stop, come with us. Please, we are asking that anyone, but especially young people come to the Bell Tower on Salter and Selkirk at 6pm and meet with us.  We are currently working on getting HOPE/AYO Anti Gang T Shirts for people who are interested in coming as well as other forms of merchandise or advertising.  There will be live entertainment at the event, as well as some type of free food. So far we have agreements from a Twitter Friend from the Winnipeg Free Press who is interested in covering the story, and we are working on getting more radio/media press.



    If anyone is interested in helping us organize or advertise for this vent, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail to aboriginal.youth.opportunities@gmail.com.  We are currently looking for assistance in purchasing the T Shirts…and buying the food.



    Love, Respect & Courage

    MC

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    A LITE Breakfast (Celebrating the 15th Annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast)


    And what a pancake it was.
     

    Yesterday, supporters of LITE (Local Investment Towards Employment) held their 15th annual Blueberry pancake Breakfast, which is their largest fundraiser of the year at the Indian & Metis Friendship Centre at 45 Robinson.  LITE Began in the late 90’s as a response to the dramatic decline in grocery store sales during the Christmas season due to the high rate of donated hamper usage in the inner city.  As a result, they created a hamper program that purchased products from inner city businesses.


    This event took place and was a fantastic opportunity for Winnipeg’s Inner City to come together.  The Masters of Ceremony for the event were Bubba B the MC and yours truly, Michael Redhead Champagne. The entire City of Winnipeg (on Twitter) was also kept alive as @northendmc with the #winnipeg hash tag. There were many opportunities to eat, enjoy some awesome live entertainment and engage in the beautiful gifts that the inner city of Winnipeg has to share. There were raffle tickets to Winnipeg Jets games, tickets to any place WestJet flies and a variety of other basket prizes. We were able to serve THE most delicious pancakes ever.

    We also had an excellent range of entertainment including:

    We also had the likes of:





    As you can see, it was a ridiculoursly awesome occasion and my personal highlight came when Fred invited myself and Bubba up on stage to sing a REMIX of some of his biggest hits! Fred Penner was the person who gave me my very first Cassette Tape when I was going to David Livingstone Elementary School on Flora Avenue. Represent the vintage, and shout out to Fred Penner!

    Volunteers Made the LITE World Go Round

    The event was indeed a rousing success. We had several live feeds to HOT 103, presentations from the Winnipeg Foundation and Assiniboine Credit Union and of course, tons of fun courtesy of your MCs.  Thanks to the hard working volunteers that organized, cooked and sit on the Board of Directors and continue to steer the ship, set a trend and provide hope and LITE for inner city employment.

    The Horse and the Pig (Value vs. Success)

    This story was shared with me by my good Friend Charlene whom I met on the Canada-Caribbean Emerging Leaders Dialogue earlier this year. She is a strong woman, a lawyer, a member of parliament and a shit disturber. Her support helped me learn what I needed to learn while I was far from my home...

    HORSE and the PIG

    There once was a farmer who collected horses; he only needed one more breed to complete his collection. One day, he found out that his neighbor had the particular horse breed he needed. So, he constantly bothered his neighbor until he sold it to him.

    A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian, who said: "Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I'll come back on the 3rd day and if he's not better, we're going to have to put him down." Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation. The next day, they gave him the medicine and left. The pig approached the horse and said:
    "Be strong, my friend. Get up or else they're going to put you to sleep!"

    On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left. The pig came back and said: "Come on buddy, get up or else you're going to die! Come on, I'll help you get up. Let's go! One, two, three..."

    On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said: "Unfortunately, we're going to have to put him down tomorrow otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses."

    After they left, the pig approached the horse and said: "Listen pal, it's now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage! Come on! Get up! Get up! That's it, slowly! Great! Come on, one, two, three... Good, good. Now faster, come on.... Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you're a champion!!!"

    All of a sudden, the owner came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting: "It's a miracle! My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let's kill the pig!"

    ...

    This often happens in the workplace. Nobody truly knows which employee actually deserves the merit of success, or who's actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen.

    LEARNING TO LIVE WITHOUT RECOGNITION IS A SKILL!

    DON'T LOOK TO BECOME A PERSON OF SUCCESS, LOOK INSTEAD TO BECOME APERSON OF VALUE!

    (And when it's our turn, speak up for the pig.)

    MC

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Under the Influence: Flo Rida, Avicii & Etta James

    Woa-oh, sometimes…I get a good feeling!

    ‘Good Feeling’ by Flo Rida (2011)


    So Flo Rida recently had a top 10 hit on the BillBoard Charts with ‘Good Feeling’ I really like this song and feel its important for me to acknowledge that I LOVE IT how many hip hop artists are presenting new music that is danceable AND positive. I got such respect for Flo Rida for his lyrics in this song, the video shows him having lotsa fun doing things that give him a ‘good feeling’. I laughed a few times while I was watching it out loud (LOL for real!).

    ‘Levels’ by Avicii (2011)


    This is actually sampling a song by 22 year old Swedish DJ Avicii. This guy was mentored by people like Eric Prydz and Swedish House Mafia who are both killer producers that have released some wicked beats in recent times.  Most Recently Swedish House Mafia did a song called Miami to Ibiza’ with London, UK Rapper Tinie Tempah.  I Love it how modern artists today, from across the world are taking the old and making it new. They are musical pioneers sharing the sol of past generations with today’s youth.

    ‘Something’s Got a Hold On Me’ by Etta James (1962)


    This is where soul came from eh! Wow. You Go Etta. Xtina recently did a cover of this song for her movie Burlesque. I love it when we take the old, and make it new. Its like a modern musical representation of ‘Respect for Elders’!

    Music = Life

    MC

    North End MC

    My photo
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.

    Tetris