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Children and innocent people are dying and the silence of church leadership is deafening.

Are church leaders forgetting something?

Last week on my radio show, just two days after the tragic death of Chicago Police Officer and war veteran Thomas Wortham IV, I identified churches as the one entity that could actually do something about the violence that is plaguing our city.  Little did I know that the conversation would start me on a personal mission to hold churches accountable for their silence and seclusion.  It seems that the residents of this great city think I’m right on target with this also.  Of all the years I’ve been in media I have NEVER received the kind of response generated by this conversation.  Dozens of facebook messages, emails, phone calls and texts came through on this.  It looks like we’re on to something here…

Given the fact that Chicago is well on its way to becoming the murder capital of the world, I wondered “what are churches–especially those in the high crime areas–really doing to stop this?

In short, the answer is: nothing.

Of the more than 10 churches I contacted, including my own, only one had a clear cut community outreach/anti-violence initiative.  That church was St. Sabina under the courageous leadership of Father Michael Pfleger.

The churches listed below either did not have an anti-violence initiative or have not responded to my call.  They are:

  • Christ Universal Temple; 119th amp; Ashland; Pastor Carlton Pearson;  NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Salem Baptist Church; 752 E. 114th Street; Pastor James Meeks; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Fellowship MB Church; 45th amp; Princeton; Pastor Charles Jenkins; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Apostolic Church of God; 63rd amp; Dorchester; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • The Apostolic Faith Church; 38th amp; Indiana; Pastor Horace Smith, MD; NO CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Trinity United Church; Pastor Otis Moss; Left messages
  • The Friendship Baptist Church; 5200 W. Jackson; Rev. Reginald Bachus; Left message
  • Third Baptist Church of Chicago; 95th amp; Ashland; Left message
  • Indiana Avenue Pentecostal Church of God; 35th amp; Indiana; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE BUT HOPING TO DEVELOP ONE SOON
  • Pleasant Ridge MB Church; 116 S. Central; Pastor Joseph Jones; NO INITIATIVE BUT HOSTS YOUTH PROGRAMS EACH SUMMER AND ATTENDS COMMUNITY MEETINGS
  • ALPHA amp; OMEGA MB Church; 4201 W. Jackson; no answer
  • Christian Life Center; Tinley Park, Illinois (my church); Pastor Jerry McQuay; NOPE, NOTHING…BUT THEY WILL DO A MISSION TO PERU IN A HEARTBEAT.  GO FIGURE.

Now let’s look at this for a moment.  Collectively, these churches probably have a combined “active” membership of more than 15,000 people and that’s being conservative.  God only knows how much money they collect weekly and the people of influence that attend these institutions is absolutely astounding.  Not to mention the political relationships that these pastors could leverage–I mean think about it.  The power in these pews could literally move mountains and change lives IF ONLY they would move beyond the church walls into the streets and touch the people who need to be churched the most.

It sickens me to think that with all the hoopin and hollerin that goes on every single Sunday, nobody is doing anything to stop our babies from dying on the streets.  Meanwhile you profess to be saved and sanctified???  Pleeease.

Churches absolutely MUST do more.  Church leaders MUST provide a vision for what they will do to protect our communities.  They have the audience, the influence, the money and a direct line to G-O-D.

“Oh ye of little faith!!!”

It is NOT all about who can build the biggest church!  All of God’s people must put themselves on the frontline to save the innocent.  We must sacrifice our comfort and witness to people who don’t recognize the GOD in them.  Will doing this jeopardize our safety and security?  Absolutely.  But if Jesus did it and we claim to be Jesus-centered, so should we.

I will continue my crusade to get more churches involved in the fight against violence because our children’s lives depend on it.

The Monique Caradine Show

Catch me live from 9 am – 11 am on 1690 AM WVON

You can listen globally at www.wvon.com

Do they deserve to die?

They deserve to live.

Just yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Holman Leadership Academy.   It’s a small school based in the basement of a non-descript church on Chicago’s South Side.   Quite honestly, I almost cancelled my visit due to sheer exhaustion, but i didn’t want to let the kids down, so I drank an extra large cup of coffee, prayed for strength and I went.   I am so glad I did.

From the moment i walked my grumpy self in the door I was greeted by two of the most enthusiastic students I have ever met.   7-year old Nayla gave me a big hug and a warm “hello!”   Monica, a 6th grader who was slightly more reserved eagerly  started my tour of the school.   From that point on I was in love.

Thereafter, student after student welcomed me and showed  off their genius.   They were full of personality and just couldn’t wait to share what they knew!   I was astounded when  2nd grader Anayah began to explain some of the laws   and concepts of  Physics, including gravity, acceleration, kinetic energy, inertia and all kinds of stuff.   Unbelievable!

Now mind you, this was not some well-funded magnet school filled with upper middle class children of doctors and lawyers.   These were typical  inner-city children, some of whom come from seriously financially disadvantaged families.   These are the kids that so many of us are quick to write-off.   But here  they were, already well-versed in geometry, political science and with a clear understanding of what it takes to be a leader against the odds.   I was beyond impressed.

Sadly, however, in the backdrop of this incredible school is a community that is constantly plagued with senseless violence.   Where not a week goes by that we don’t hear of some innocent child who’s life is cut short by some fool with a gun.

The sad reality is that some of the incredible children I met yesterday probably won’t make it to see the age of 25.   Somebody in that school could very likely become an innocent victim of gun violence, thus robbing the world of a brilliant mind who could potentially change the world.

It’s a damn shame what’s happening here in Chicago.   What’s even worse however is the fact that there is no clear cut plan on how to deal with it.   It seems that we have just resigned to taking a back seat to what’s happening.   We’ve given up.   We’ve decided that there’s nothing we can do and that is more tragic than anything.

Do any of the children in the photo you see deserve to die senselessly?  Or, since I like to operate in the affirmative, a better questions is:  don’t they deserve to live?  The answer of course is yes.  But if we do nothing, the blood of the next victim will be on OUR hands.

Lynn Richardson to reveal how to go from “broke as hell” to living well on Perspective

A few weeks ago I appeared at a women’s empowerment event in Chicago.   I had the pleasure of being featured with some amazing and trailblazing women–all with powerful stories!   One of those women was Lynn Richardson.   She’s known nationally as the “mortgage guru” thanks to her real estate background, but she is so much more than that!   She’s also an author, a  business and life coach, personal wealth expert and an awesome speaker.   These days she works with hip hop guru Russell Simmons and Dr. Ben Chavis as the Chair of the National Home Ownership Advisory Council of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network.

At the event Lynn talked about getting your financial house in order.   Now I’ve heard A LOT of speakers, but Lynn’s personal story and her “homegirl” approach blew me away!    I like a smart woman from the hood who can talk in a way that ANYBODY can understand…that’s Lynn.

As she spoke I thought she would be the perfect guest for my TV show Perspective.   She gave simple and practical tips on saving, budgeting and investing.   I really think she is the next big thing when it comes to personal wealth building–even bigger than u know who!

Needless to say, we booked her and we’re taping the show tomorrow.   So post your biggest money questions here on the blog and I’ll take the best questions and ask Lynn for solutions tomorrow.   If you have a minute and a half, watch my behind the scenes video…

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Lindblom High School Career Day – I’m there!!!

I just confirmed my appearance at my alma mater, Lindblom H.S. for their career day!!!  I’ll get there at 12ish…after i do my show.

6130 s. Wolcott

How to succeed even when you from the hood.

Should be fun!  Can’t wait to go!

Me, re-incarnated.

Today was a coming out party for me. I did a segment on WGN-TV Channel 9 with my amazing trainer John Hall. We’ve been working out together for about a year now. Since then I’ve lost 27 lbs of fat and gained 15 lbs of muscle.  I went to him at my absolute worst and he helped me transform my body from the inside out.  I still can’t believe my results.  Starting next week, I will chronicle my weight loss story for you in detail.  You will be inspired…but for now, watch this.

 

Why Michael Baisden was one of the BEST guests I’ve EVER interviewed and what authors can learn from him.

Radio Host, Michael Baisden

When I first started in radio back in 1997 I was fortunate enough to meet and interview some of the most dynamic people — many of whom have since carved their own niche in media and have become world-famous.  One of those people was author, TV personality and radio host Michael Baisden.

Michael was by far one of the BEST guests I have EVER interviewed.  He first came on my show when his book “Men Cry in the Dark” was out.  It was self published and he literally sold copies from the trunk of his car.  This brutally honest book changed the way women related to their boyfriends, husbands and lovers.  Little did Michael know that he was setting a whole new standard for relationship books.

Now keep in mind, before Michael became this famous author and media personality, he drove a bus for the Chicago Transit Authority!  So here he was, back in the late 1990s, just an average guy, writing about his experiences with women and relationships — the good, the bad and the ugly.  No one had ever done it the way Michael did.

To be honest with you, when I first had him on my show I had never heard of him but boy did he make an impression!  He had swagga, a big, magnetic personality, a lot of confidence and he would speak the cold, hard truth about women (according to him) whether you liked it or not.   Michael Baisden knew how to get my phones ringing off the hook!

So what can authors and other publicity seekers learn from Michael?  A lot.   I have about 10 tips I could give you, but for the sake of time, here are 3:

1.) Be passionate about your topic or title: Let the passion ooooze from the essence of your being.  Get excited about it because when you’re excited, it becomes contagious.  Michael would be so excited he would be sitting on the edge of his seat throughout the entire interview.  He commanded control of the microphone and he just flowed with it.

2.) Speak from your unique experience: The reality is, you may not be the only one writing or speaking about your chosen topic.  There may be a million others with books on the very same thing you’ve written on.  However, no one has the exact same experience as you.  Share your story in a compelling way as a means to connect with the audience.  Speak from your heart.  That’s how you build loyalty, trust and likeability.  Michael did that perfectly.  He talked about mistakes he made in his own relationships, how he was hurt and what turned him off in relationships.  As a result, people began to relate to him.

3.) Be controversial: If you have some juicy dish, an unreported or alarming statistic or a crazy story that illustrates your point, don’t be afraid to tell it!  Talk show hosts LOVE this!!!! Put all your cards on the table and spill the beans, honey!  Michael Baisden was (and still is) a genius when it comes to this!  He would tell women exactly what they were doing wrong in their relationships and exactly why their men were cheating on them.  Sometimes folks didn’t want to hear those harsh truths, but they listened because he gave it to them straight no chaser!!

So if you want to become a fixture on radio or TV and you think you have a great message to share, remember these 3 tips and you will be off to a great start with your publicity.  I’ll have more tips soon.  In the meantime, what great interview tips have worked for you?  Leave me your comments.

The prodigal daughter returns…

Yesterday, I returned to WVON to host a weekly show airing Fridays @ 9 a.m. It is great to be back home! Chuck Goudie, a veteran reporter from ABC7 was my first guest and he talked about his recent report on crime in Chicago (the biggest story in town right now). Here’s a clip from the start of the show.

The Monique Caradine Show Debuts on WVON from Monique Caradine on Vimeo.

Perspective Taping

Another hot show!  Details on the topics coming soon.  Watch Perspective every sunday on My50 Chicago, WPWR.

 

 
 
 
 
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