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What Success Looks Like

Many years ago, when I was the Executive Director of the Human Services district in New Orleans, a production company was filming a commercial for our agency.

During a break in filming, a young African American man, around twenty years old, came over to me and introduced himself. He was an Opportunity Youth – at-risk, out of school, and with no real job prospects. They are the kids who can go either way.

The production company, owned by one African American and one white man, hired a number of these young men during the summer to keep them off the streets and to give them a trade.

This young man came over to me and asked, "I've never been in an office this high, and I've never met a CEO. What should I call you?" He had heard some folks call me Ms. Webb and others Ms. Yolanda. I stood up, shook his hand, and told him to call me Ms. Yolanda because all my friends do.

After the shoot (which I nailed. I missed my calling. I'm sure there is an Academy Award in my future, but I digress) ... The young man returned to my office.

"Ms. Yolanda, can I ask you a question," he said quietly, whispering so the crew, who were putting away equipment down the hall, couldn't overhear him. He asked, "What do you call success?"

He was looking at my awards, the size of my office, the view from my windows, my suit, etc...

I knew he thought it would be material because that's what our children equate with success. It's all they see - the media profiles of athletes and entertainers, and the magazine covers of influencers and those who get rich quickly. They rarely see those who have worked for their success. They rarely see those who understand that it's life-work balance rather than work-life balance. Life always comes first, even in the dictionary. Our work lives should always be the complement to our life, not the other way around.

I smiled at him and said, "I define success as peace in my life. At the end of the day, if I have done one thing to change someone's life or give them a hand, it makes my life better. And you should always do what you love and love what you do, and you'll be able to define your success."

He smiled this big grin and said, "That's awesome! I've never heard that. I'm going for peace now, and I love doing this production work! I'm going to stick with it! Thanks, Ms. Yolanda!"

I hugged him and watched him walk with a new confidence back towards the film crew. I knew I would never see him again, but I'm certain he will be a success.

Opportunity Youth... nah, I think Opportunity Life.

Today, take an opportunity to change a life. Remember, opportunity exists all around us. It simply takes our willingness to share our humanity.


Attention Bias

What is attention bias? Attention bias is our tendency to prioritize certain types of stimuli/information over others. At any given moment, an individual's senses can perceive countless stimuli in our immediate surroundings. Threat-related attention bias refers to the tendency to prioritize the processing of threats over benign or neutral stimuli. Is it no wonder we have biases related to race, ethnicity, disability, and more?

Each of us individually generates more information than ever before in human history. We take in almost 90,000 pieces of information daily, yet our brains can only filter in about 10 percent of that information. The rest, well is stored in our subconscious minds and often when we perceive a threat we act upon it.

How do you perceive the world around you and how can you understand your attention bias?


The WEBB Advisory Group Presents

The WEBB Center For Social Impact was developed and designed from more than 50 years of lived experience as a Black Woman in America.

Focusing on domestic policy specifically, our institute provides a global worldview perspective for black and brown women from the diaspora living in America today.  

Using research data, lived experiences, and stories of impact, policymakers and leaders can understand the social impacts various policies have on black and brown children and women, today and tomorrow.  

In response to various incidents in our country's recent history, history mustn't repeat itself.  Therefore, the WEBB Center For Social Impact strives to provide voter information, information on issues for policymakers, information for community activists, and information for anyone who seeks to understand the social impacts of public policy on individuals and communities.


WEBB Advisory Group

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"Inspired (In Spirit), we live and move and have our being."

Learn More About the WEBB Advisory Group

Prayer for the Week

Dear God,

Dear God, as we begin our day, we ask for your guidance and strength to help us serve others. Please remind us that every person we encounter is created in your image and deserves to be treated with love and respect. Help us to see the needs of those around us and be willing to step in and help in any way we can. Remind us that every act of service, no matter how small, can make a big difference in someone’s life. Amen.

"Inspiring Humans...Changing Communities."

"And So It Goes..." is a weekly blog post. We welcome the voices of all people. Are you interested in writing for us? Let us know.

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