Friday, July 24, 2009

A Fantastic Resource for Individuals that have Blindness or Low Vision Concerns!!!

I just got through reading the most recent entries on the American Foundation for the Blind's blog. The information they have posted there was great!!!

I'm ashamed to say that although I have the blog linked here on NuVision, I haven't visited their blog in a few weeks. I've been terribly busy. However, that's still no excuse. I should make it my business to stay informed about issues that impact individuals with blindness and low vision.

I strongly encourage my readers to check out AFB's blog! You won't be disappointed.

Much love to my readers!
Angie B.

Kathy Martinez: A Blind Woman That's Doing Great Things!!!

**i'm always inspired when I hear about people with disabilities doing great things. And it's even more exciting to me that Kathy Martinez is blind, a woman, and Latina. There's no doubt that being apart of three minority groups can make this road more difficult to travel. Ladies like Kathy Martinez are a reminder to me and others that professional success is achievable if you believe in yourself!**

From Diversity Inc. Magazine (March 23, 2009):

Obama Nominates ODEP Asst. Secretary Kathy Martinez
By Zayda Rivera

Internationally recognized disability-rights leader Kathy Martinez was nominated for assistant secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) by President Barack Obama on March 20.

Martinez, who has been blind since birth, specializes in employment, asset building, independent living, international development, and diversity and gender issues from her work as executive director of the World Institute on Disability (WID). Her impressive resume includes Proyecto Vision, WID's National Technical Assistance Center to increase employment opportunities for Latinos with disabilities in the United States, and Access to Assets, an asset-building project to help reduce poverty among people with disabilities.

She was also responsible for leading the team that produced the acclaimed
international webzine Disability World ( ) in both English and Spanish...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Preview of Black in america 2 (Part 3 of 3)

The date and time had finally arrived. It was 6:59 PM, and in less than one minute my preview of CNN's Black in America was scheduled to begin. My nerves started to shutter. I wondered what would all the people in the audience think about me, the unsuspected blind woman. I whispered to my pastor that I was nervous. He put the microphone in my hand, and reminded me that there was no time for fear and anxiety.

With less than one minute to get it together, I dug deep and pulled out one of my best smiles, stood with beauty and strength, and accessed my best voice. At 7:00 on the dot, I greeted my guest with confidence and pure humility. I was honored that so many, over 300, had gathered to participate in an event that I organized. I was thankful that there was no need to be embarrassed just yet. So far, the preview of BIA2 was off to a good start. I greeted everyone, Thanked CNN and my co-host, Dr. Cofield, and then talked a little about the Black in America special that was scheduled to air the next week.

Unfortunately, underneath my confident smile, nervous energy was rising up. I was so glad that I was approaching the time that I could hand the microphone to Dr. Cofield. I realized that even though my blind eyes could not see anything, I had at least 600 eyeballs looking directly at me. I forced my nervous energy under my feet, and smiled as I introduced Dr. Cofield.

Dr. Cofield had a few compelling words, and then the preview of Black in America 2 was presented to all that were in attendance.

It was great!!!

Although I watched the preview days before, it was still incredibly interesting and inspiring when I watched it at the church with my guest!!! I, in particular, enjoyed the segment on Malaak Compton-Rock and Steve Perry.

After the previewed aird, we had a fantastic discussion, which was moderated by Dr. Cofield. My distinguished panelists, which included a Harris County criminal court judge, an award winning radio personality, and a school board member, all did a marvelous job!!!

When the event was finally over, I sighed with relief. I had accomplished a few major things that would not have been accomplished if I hadn't connected with CNN.
A. I helped CNN market this very important documentary.
B. I, along with my friend, Chad, and my pastor, Dr. Cofield, successfully worked together to plan and execute a great event. I learned a lot about teamwork!
C. I met some great people because of this event!!!
D. I learned that fear is my enemy. And I, by all means, should never let fear be my guide.
E. At the end of the night, I realized that I'm ready to put myself out there. I'm ready to share myself with the world.
F. I discovered that the only thing that stands between me and great success is a lack of confidence.
G. I learned how much I really enjoy planning events! It was fun!!!
H. I learned how inspiring people are by my ability to perform despite my blindness. (I really do need to make that fact work for me!)

Before I end this series of posts about me hosting a preview of BIA2, I must thank the following:
Dr. D.Z. Cofield
Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church
Chad K. Brawley
Judge Michael Fields
Madd Hatta - Host of the Madd Hatta Morning Show (Radio One 97.9 FM)
Patrick Ngwolo
Rose Bell
Wanda Johnson
Stephen Brown
Dr. Wendy Johnson
Michelle Stephenson
Ingrid Ashley
Rosetta Mayes
Crystal Reagans
Art Hooker
Dave Donaldson
Friends and Family

**I watched Black in America 2 last night and tonight. Tomorrow, I'll post a review. Here's a teaser... I think that it was actually very, very good! **

Angie Braden

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Preview of CNN's Black in America 2 (Part 2 of 3)

As soon as I received my package from CNN, I called my friend and told him the great news. We immediately began strategizing on how we can plan and execute a successful prescreening of BIA2. We agreed that approaching our pastor with the idea of co-hosting the event would surely ensure a successful event.

That afternoon, we approached our pastor, Dr. D.Z. Cofield, who is also the Vice President of the NAACP-Houston Chapter. Being a person that is quite concerned about the condition and progress of African American people, Dr. Cofield quickly agreed to co-host the event with me, and to allow me to use Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church to show the preview and conduct the panel discussion.

We hit the ground running. We had only a week to market the event, to invite panelists for the discussion, and to make all the final arrangements with CNN. A few of us teamed together and made Facebook and Twitter work for us. I worked closely with Dr. Cofield to select a range of distinguished panelists that would offer insight, wisdom, and expertise in our discussion. I commissioned a very talented filmographer, by the name of Arthur Hooker to capture the event with his camera.

A week later, after sending dozens of e-mails, making countless phone calls, updating my Facebook and Twitter status several times each day, and inviting nearly 2,000 people on Facebook, the time had arrived. It was Thursday, July 16th; and this event that I had worked so hard to plan was finally at my fingertips.

**Stay tuned for the final installment of this series of posts.**

The premier of CNN's Black in America 2 will air tonight on CNN. Don't forget to watch!!! I promise you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 on CNN
*All times Eastern

7:00pm – 8:00pm Moment of Truth: Countdown to Black in America 2

8:00pm – 9:00pm Presidential News Conference

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Preview of CNN's Black in America 2 (Part 1 of 3)

This month, an amazing opportunity presented itself to me. Because of my blog and my connection to other larger African American blogs, CNN became aware of NuVision for a Nuday. Simply amazing!!!

Perhaps a year ago, I started getting updates from their PR folks about many of the specials and news stories that are deemed to be of some interest to African Americans. I always thought it was cool to get e-mails from CNN. But I must admit that I thought it was some sort of robotic, mass mailing service to bloggers of color; and I just happened to be one of them.

One day, I decided to reply to one of the messages to see if it would just bounce back undeliverable. I asked them why they were sending me programming updates via e-mail. Honestly, I don't know why I replied to the e-mail at all. I truly didn't expect a response back. Ten minutes later, I received a personal message from one of their PR folks, explaining why they selected me to receive notices of interviews and programs that would be interesting to African Americans.

I was immediately impressed! I thought it was amazing that CNN:
A. cared enough about African Americans to make an attempt to consider diversity in their programming initiatives.
B. understands the power and reach of the African American blogger.
C. is progressive enough to tap into the boundless marketing possibilities of blogs and social networking sites.
D. employs a personal touch when communicating with bloggers.

A few months after receiving that personal message, I started getting updates about their groundbreaking special, Black in America 2. Even though I didn't really enjoy last year's Black in america, I started looking forward to this year's. Many of the e-mails that came from CNN provided teasers of some of the things that would be covered this year, and I was impressed. I traveled to the website, and the content there seemed wonderful also.

A couple weeks later, some of my blogging buddies were posting status updates on Facebook, commenting on prescreenings of Black in America that they had attended in their hometowns. I bounced over to my e-mail and sent a message to CNN, asking them if they could let me know if any screenings were going on in Houston.

I got a response in about 5 minutes. Impressed again!!!

They told me that the prescreening in Houston had already occured, but I could host one myself if I wanted to. Of course I wanted to!!! So, I told them that I absolutely wanted to host a prescreening of the special. And three days later, a package arrived on my doorstep from CNN!

**This is 1 of 3 posts. I'll post the rest later today or tomorrow.**

Random Reflections About Very Specific Things

These are my random reflections.

1. Last week, July 12th, to be exact, I walked into a new age range. No longer will I be able to check the box on surveys, where my old age used to live. Now, I'll be checking a new box. And this new box is reserved for the more mature crowd. And you know what? I'm cool with that.

One of my closest friends was shocked that I was coping with getting older so well. I tried to explain to her that I simply made a decision that I wasn't going to let it get me down. Plus, I realize the only way you can live is if you get older. The two actions are conjoined, and there is no separating them.

2. I read an article the other day that said that only 20% of blind folks were employed. I'm so glad to be in the number! Yeah, I wish I made more money, but at least I do make some.

3. I wish I could get a job that paid me what I'm worth. Being broke all the darn time is nerve wrecking. Not to mention, it's quite unfair to me as a professional, college educated, competent woman. Somehow, someway, this has got to end!

4. My social circles are expanding. And for that, I thank God!

5. Crybabies make me sick!

6. Even though three planes have fallen out the sky this summer, I still wish I was on one of those metal birds. I need a vacation!!!

7. I only like homecooked breakfast food. Breakfast from fastfood joints is yucky!!!

8. I only put on a bra and shoes when I have to. LOL And right now, I wish I wasn't having a "have to" moment. This bra is getting on my nerves! LOLOL Just keeping it real!

9. I need a good book to read. Any suggestions?

10. I wish I had someone in my life that would romance me a little. I'm not really interested in marriage right now. I just want someone I can connect with in a more intimate, loving way.

Why am I not interested in marriage right now? Well, my family life, my responsibility to my mother, makes it difficult for me to think about being responsible for one more person. And when you're married, you have to give so much. Right now, I can't give what I think is required out of a "wife". So, I'll reframe from trying to be what I can't do well. But I have no doubt in my mind that I can be a good girlfriend.

11. I'm sitting here at the hospital with my mother. She just told the docs she wish she could just die. That's something she says often when we're around the house. Honestly, I don't really think she means it. But this time, I think she meant it. and that, makes my heart so sad.

12. Thank God for an internet connection at the hospital!!! Sitting at the hospital with family is so much easier for me than it used to be, simply because of my lap top and the hospital's internet connection.

What I think is interesting is that the hospital's server has blocked access to Facebook. I guess the hospital's staff were using social networking sites too much. Hilarious!!!

**Angie Braden**

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Still a Virgin

I'm sure that most of you can remember your first time.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I've been fortunate enough to have that unforgettable experience.

Why haven't I?

Well, various circumstances and a lack of opportunity have left me void of that first experience that most people have by the time their 21.

I'm told that the "first time" can be somewhat clumsy and rigid. But once you push pass your trepidation, it is awesome!

Too bad that I'm relegated to remaining a virgin for the rest of my life.

Be optimistic, you say?

Well, at this point, I don't ever expect to get my sight back, not unless a medical miracle occurs in my lifetime. So, as long as I can't see, I'll never get a chance to sit behind the wheel of a car and drive it down a street.

(You thought I was talking about sex, didn't you?!!!! LOL that’s not the only kind of virgin a person can be. Expand your thinking!!! LOLOL)

Last month, my sister bought a new car. I rode with her to take the final paperwork back to the dealership, so that her purchase could be final. When we rode off the car lot, my heart unexpectedly started to quake.

There I was, sitting in the passenger seat of her shiny black car, feeling an emotion that I’m not quite familiar with. Jealousy... And as we rode down FM 1960, that jealousy morphed into a twinge of profound sadness.

I silently considered why I was feeling this way. I've been the passenger in plenty cars and trucks. So, why did this particular ride bother me so much?

I realized at that very moment that I, Angela Braden, never got a chance to sit behind a wheel and drive. I never had the chance to have a driver's license. And I will likely never have the chance to purchase a vehicle that I will be able to legally drive. For a few profound minutes, on that sunny afternoon, it was hard for me to accept that large dose of reality, which was violently splashed right in my face.

But because I refuse to host or attend any pity parties, I quickly tore up the invitation to be depressed about my aging virginity. I angled the air condition vents directly on me, leaned back in my seat, and enjoyed the heat from the Houston sun across my face as I was being chauffeured back to my house in a shiny, new car. How many folks can say that they have a team of personal drivers?! LOL

Take this bit of advice from a blind woman... It's all in how you "choose" to see it!!!

All the best to you!
Angela Braden