The Born 2 Win podcast highlights individuals excelling at high levels in their purpose and calling. This podcast is for anyone looking to get ahead in life and willing to take ACTION and reach their full potential. Using our C.H.A.M.P.S. Mentoring Model of the 3E's Education, Empowerment, and Exposure.
Today's guest is Pastor Rodney S. Patterson is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Rodney graduated from Hales Franciscan High School in 1977. Rodney’s service in ministry began under the tutelage of Pastor Gordon A. Humphrey Sr. Rodney began preaching in July of 1977 and Pastor Humphrey Sr. officiated his ordination, held at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, in August of 1986.Upon visiting Vermont for a job interview, Rodney realized that there were no black churches in the state. With guidance from Pastor and Mrs. Humphrey Sr., Rodney began holding worship services and in 1989, he founded New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church, the first black church in the state of Vermont. New Alpha is still in existence today. With support from Pastor and Mrs. Humphrey, Sr., and after beginning worship services in 1993, Rodney went on to establish a second church, Ebenezer Baptist Church of Lansing, Michigan, in 1994. Alongside his brother-in-law, Bishop Gordon Humphrey Jr., Rodney was instrumental in establishing Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Stockton, California. He served as the Executive Pastor at Olivet Stockton and at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church of Oakland, Ca. In 2007, Rodney returned home to work alongside his brother-in-law, the late Gordon Humphrey, Jr., as Co-Pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. In January 2015, the church affirmed Rodney’s transition to the role of interim pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. Then, on March 17, 2015 Rodney Patterson was confirmed as Pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
Rodney’s work history includes more than 30 years establishing himself as a notable facilitator and trainer in the areas of diversity, race, and employee engagement. He has also worked as a teacher at the elementary and high school levels, which included a position teaching at his Alma Mata, Hales Franciscan High School. He would eventually go on to become President at Hale’s Franciscan.In addition to his role as Pastor, Rodney is the Diversity Resource for Farm Credit bank and the CEO of The Learner's Group consulting firm. Rodney was a contributing author on the book, Men to Men: Perspectives of Sixteen African-American Christian Men, published by Zondervan in 1996. His chapter entitled, “Male Bonding: Men Relating to Men” is still a relevant piece of literature today. Rodney is anticipating the release of his first book, Trumping the Race Card - A National Agenda: Moving Beyond Race and Racism, that is due to be published in May 2015. Rodney has been married to his wife Charlene “Humphrey” Patterson for 26 years.
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born toe win podcast highlight individual was selling at high levels in their purpose. And calling this podcast is for anyone looking to get ahead in life and willing to take action and reach their full potential using champs Male mentoring, model of the three e's education, empowerment and exposure. It means you, too. Aboard way, way. Welcome back to the born to win podcast. My name is Bond L Singleton. I'm glad you tuning in. Guess what we own EPA. So member war and I am super excited about our special guest. So make sure that you remove all of your distractions and listen in. If you watching, you can watch this live on YouTube. But make sure you share this cause I guarantee this message is going to be life changing because our very next guest is a personal mentor of mine a friend, a big brother and a model not just to me, but to the city of Chicago.
After that, I got an experience as ah, pastor, where I started pastoring in for my first black church in the state's history, had no idea I was going to do that and then finally finally became a consultant, an author. And now I'm owning my own company. And I share this. This is because I
know that we showed on time it would invite anybody past the Rodney Paterson. Give it up. Welcome to the show, Rodney. How you feeling, my brother?
It's exciting to be here with you on so many levels, Man. First, let me say congratulations for the podcasts and finally giving this a launched. This has been a dream of your most of quite some time. And I'm excited for you. I'm excited for the people that you're going to reach the lives you're gonna change. This is a big deal, bra.
Yes, sir. It's a big deal having you all. Man, this is a really big deal. Thank you so much for joining us, man. So
I'm going to be in a number on the early side of this.
Oh, yeah. And we and we just land the foundation, you part of that foundation. So, you know, earlier own. It's important for me to have voices of people who can really connect, not just with the masses, but with the local audiences, with the youth with the parents in the middle of a pandemic right now. Um, and you've navigated something's obviously ah, born here in Chicago, Illinois, in the great city of Chicago. But I want you, man. Just let the audience know who you are. Tell us your story.
Yeah. So, Yeah, You said it. I was born and raised in Chicago. And what's interesting about all that is when I left in the eighties, I planned never to come back to Chicago. And in this pandemic season, man, I got to say that I am so glad to be back home. I would, uh, rather not be anyplace else, but here. Well, there's one exception. So a wife is in Omaha, Nebraska. She's finishing up our tour of duty as a director, the counseling center at U. N O. And right now, Nebraska happens to be one of those places that's the safest in the country. And so I would rather be there with her than have her here with me because you already know what the statistics are here. Yeah, but the same time. And I can't think of a better place to be then right here, back home, surrounded by the people that love me grew me and I love and grew up with and were raised by. And now, you know, I'm experiencing the luxury of past during the best people in the world, so yeah, yes, sir, We're in this time, you know.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. This time is a is a very, very riel time. And we talked a little bit before the podcast, How real it is, how many people was impacting and affecting. Um, and the thing is, it's a blessing. It's a tremendous blessing that we ableto wake up and still be a part of creating the version 2.0, of ourselves, which I've been talking about quite a lot. Um, And for you, pastor, so many people, um, have been touched by your calling your ministry, your life in this we can't even go through the list of people. Some people will trip out if we start naming names of the people that you've impacted. But can you just walk us through your journey from, like, thes education world? Um, you know, working achieve diversity of equity and inclusion toe like the ministry. How did all that come about? Pastor?
Yeah, It was an interesting journey. It wasn't one bad Waas clearly delineated path was already carved out, and I took some turns and twists. If you ask me when I was growing up on the south side of Chicago is a kid, What do you want to be? That was not it. You know, like most kids, man, I had a dream of playing football. Originally, it was for Ohio State University and Woody Hayes, because that's who I saw on television and, ah, ended up instead of going, they're going to a small Luther an institution and not even playing football, you know, on. And I think in large part that was because the folks that are around you and connected to you are the ones that begin to influence your life. And so, uh, little did I know that the guy that was down the street, who pastor, a church that was in high part, would end up really tracking my steps and creating for me and carving out for me a legacy that would lead to what I'm doing right now. There's fell at the end of the block, Ning, Pastor Gordon Humphrey, senior and, ah, you know, he was just the giant of the guy, man. He only stood about six feet tall, But I thought he was the biggest man with the greatest personality in the world. And ah ended up being influenced by him and by his ministry. Uh, in large part because when I went to hell's Franciscan High school, friends of mine there let me to his church. I'd already known about him but didn't have the privilege of going there until after high school and, uh, and lead me to receive in my calling and ministry. Going to Valparaiso University, getting a degree coming back, teaching back inhales and then going to grad school at Michigan State because of my wife, who was a part of that family and her influence and connection to MSU that led me to the University of Vermont. Started doing some work there, started the first black church in the state's history when back to Michigan State and spent some time there. And fast forward to what I'm doing now ended up from near to California from their Denver back into Chicago here, and they're working for Corporates and now a passing a church and running my own business, man. So wow, you see the twists and turns that
cried right? It was not linear at all.
Now here's what's interesting. Now I feel like that everything that I did prior to set me up for everything that I was about to do next.
Can you say that one more time passes? Somebody need to hear? Yeah, exactly what you just hear. Can you just share that one more time?
Everything that I did prior to was setting me up for what I was about to do next.
Eso everything had meaning. Everything had value. Everything had purpose leading up to the next thing.
Exactly. You know, when you when people talk about God ordering your steps and God, uh, building your life and the way that he's designed, um, for me, that's not cliche. That's real talk. And I think that what has to happen is you got to be willing to avail yourself to go to places that you didn't even fat. I'm going to write. I never dreamed of living in 89 different states, man. Well, uh, when I was growing up in Chicago, I did dream of leaving, but I also dreamt of coming back at some point, and then it was a point in my life when I said, I ain't never going back to Chicago and here I am. The one thing that I feel like I've been open to is going wherever I felt like I was led to go to do whatever I was led to do. And what it did was it opened up some opportunities and made some some, uh, unfathomable realities manifests right before my very eyes. Man
s Oh, so, Pastor, I want to capture this because I think it's really important to really understand. Like, for a lot of people, this is a time of uncertainty and looking back over your life, I'm sure before you went to the next thing or move to the next state, it was probably some exile anxiety there or some level with the year or some level of stress. And I think it's important for us to let people know that the anxiety, the stress, the uncertainty that you experiencing that you feel in making decisions Israel. So can you walk us through what was like the thought process Before you say, you know what, I'm a go ahead and move. I'm a leaf and moved to Michigan or to Vermont. What was that process like for you? What did you go through?
Yeah, so I would start with going to Valparaiso. And when I went to Valparaiso, the luxury was it wasn't at far 60 miles away. So it wasn't that far. The challenge was it was predominantly white. You know, I grew up inner city of Chicago. Everybody black in my community, went to Hell's Franciscan, had a few white teachers. But, man, I was first time. I really felt like I met folks that were not black that were almost as black as I Waas. Wow. There wasn't the level of discomfort that you typically ran into when you went kind of white folks in the city because, you know, we grew up during secretary segregated times and and all of that. But when I got to Valpo, it was a whole different landscape, whole different ballgame. And so that was the first hurdle where I had to get to a place where, um I had to render beyond my comfort zone and see the value and staying even when times got most challenging and most difficult, worsen kind I had on campus was running with the clan. That's that right? And she
you had a run in with the Cool Klux Klan. The KKK. Tell us about that pastor. What happened?
I was walking with a friend of mine down campus. It was right on the heels of a brother, one of students on campus, unfortunately, having a real bad run run in with another of our coeds and, ah, they got into an altercation. He had a knife on him. Ah, he ended up stabbing a guy killing in. Um, you know, the plan always kind of lurked in that community from Crown Point to other areas around Indiana does significant presence, and occasionally they would pop up, creep up on campus. But we were just taking a stroll regular stroll down campus, and, uh, car drove up black Monte Carlo drove up on us and told us Guy made a comment. I smell something really nasty. You better fear the clan. You know, he had some expletives rolling out his mouth and he said, We're going to kill you. And you know, so we don't know, man. Youthfulness is crazy, right?
Yes. Yes, it is
instead of us walking back home, we want further down campus. And then on our way back up campus was when they literally tried to run us off the road and we ended up having a diet into another building for safety. And then following that, I got a lot of the phone cause this is way before cell phone days, I'd get the call at the dorm and nobody would be on the other end and they'd hang up or they say something crazy and, you know, so that went on for a little while to man. My old man said, No, you got to come home. And But I stuck it out, graduated, got the degree, came back, started teaching at my alma mater, you know? Wow. So then it was Michigan State. Michigan State was probably the easiest transition. Okay, But then going from Michigan State to Vermont, and at the time Vermont was with White s state in the country.
You said the widest state in the country at the time.
Yeah. I'm not talking about snow. I'm talking about people, brother.
Okay, okay. I can see that
2000 blacks in the entire state of Vermont at the time, 2000.
And about what was the overall population in Vermont, Would you say
in the entire state, there were, Ah, a couple 100,000.
Ok, so we're looking at very small percentage is okay,
but yeah, it was less than 1% man. Yeah. Yeah. And that's why they got characterized as the smallest, smallest population of blacks in the entire country. Uh, Ebony magazine, front page cover all of that. And I met the folks that were in that brought up that that publication when I was interviewing, you know, um, but I got to tell you that probably that move in Michigan State, those two were probably the most significant, pivotal, transformative moves that I ever made in my life. You know, the next one, probably most significant to that one was Denver. Okay, but each of these represented real significant milestone levels of discomfort. High levels of anxiety. Uh, man, I remember I was Ah, at the time that I went to for mine, I was, ah, planning to marry Charlie. And so we drove the U Haul out and she laughed when she left, bro. I broke down like a baby,
I think. Yes, sir.
It was such a traumatic kind of experience, you know. But I do believe the more trauma and anxiety that you experience, entrant in transition, the greater the benefit greater
than a on, you know, And so, walking through the fire, walking through the pain, the frustration of not having all of the answers figured out could be good. And they talk about, like, the good stress and bad stress. And these things are really, really its search dresses that actually help you perform better. Um, and without those levels of stress is, sometimes we won't move like it can push us in the direction of making a decision. But when you talk about, like, Colorado and Vermont and as an African American man who's like ah ah ah, special diversity equity and inclusion expert like you actually know what you're talking about because these are not places where you hear most black people say they want to live or go. No,
man. It was definitely some baptism by fire. No question, Right?
Yes, sir. Lived experiences? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So you have a book, right? And the book you talk about some strategies like 10 strategies like, Can you just give us a couple of those strategies when we talk about Ah, broad spectrum of concepts designed to move us collectively beyond race and racism? Because it's a it's a major topic. I think this pandemic has exposed some systemic racism. Ah, that we've had experienced hundreds of years, right? And and I think like often the ones who are in the communities where we're poor, we're less educated. Ah, high forms of incarceration are the ones who struggle the most in major crises. So can you just kind of walk us through some practical strategies or tips? Concepts on How do we navigate this system?
Yeah, So since you mentioned book, I'll do the shameless plug thing.
Showed a book, but I want everybody to know that I did not pre programmed this. I didn't pay the
knew it all. But I appreciate you for for raising it and asking me about it, because I tell people that I know that one of the multi purpose is that I have in life. One of those is to really help us to as a society, figure out how do we deal with and solve the problem of racism in society? Right. And when I wrote the book, it was my intention to write it in a way that it ended on strategies to help fix. So a lot of times, you know, when people write, all they do is they talk about the problem. They don't talk about the remedy. And I didn't wanna wanna go out like that. I wanted us toe have at least some ideas about things that we could do.
So in essence, and And when you ask me, Von Del what was helpful was I went back and I looked at those strategies, and I didn't even realize this man when I wrote it, At least not as clearly as I thought about it today. But some of those strategies were probably more specifically directed towards white people, and some of those were more directed towards people of color. Okay, right, cause you mentioned this Even with the pandemic, there's no denying systemic races, and the pandemic shows the disparities that have already existed. And so it's not surprising that it's impacted segment of the population in more devastating ways and others because of the reality of systemic racism. At the same time that systemic racism exists, there's some internalized manifestations that cause us to have contributed to our own problems. And I'm not gonna go into that too tough when I would say is I would have some closed door conversations with our people that I wouldn't have publicly because it's not for public consumption. But there's some things that I would say there are folks that are people need to hear to prevent us from contributing to the problems that have exacerbated the spread of the virus in and mass within our community. You know what I'm talking,
sir? Yes, I have
to go into it. But you know what I'm talking about. So even as I think about the strategies, what I'm suggesting is that I wrote some of them for us. I wrote some of them for them and I wrote some of them for all of us. So I think about, for instance, strategy number seven, because that's where I would start strategy. Number seven is continuously educate yourself and it could say continuously, educate yourself about racism. Good. So why people need to continuously educate themselves. His average white person has no clue of what racism is. And my big mama said You can't fix what you don't understand.
Right. So it starts with education. But then when I got to tell you, is that there's some of us that don't know what racism is, either. Man.
You ask the average, not the average. More black people probably are aware of it. But here's what When I know or when I know that we don't have the level of sophistication around understanding of manifestation of institutionalized and systemic racism, racism that we need to when we start referring to ourselves as races. That's the first signal to me that, uh, we we've lost something.
thinking of lost in translation.
Yes, sir. Yes, I
remember you saying that. We've got to do ourselves. And the last thing I would say about that is I don't care how knowledgeable you are about the subject. There's still more to learn, right? You call me an expert. People say because I wrote a book. I'm an expert. OK, I'm gonna take that title. And where very loosely.
It's every single day there's more information for me to gain, right? So the first strategy is continue to educate yourself the 2nd 1 And this is the one that's white folks redistribute the power.
Okay, talk about that, sir,
At the base of racism is the imbalance in power and only reason why institutionalized or systemic racism stays in place is because of the presence of power. So as soon as you strip power out of the room rate, you automatically began the dismantling process. What should happen and what should manifest does happen and does manifest, in a way, this equitable and supportive of all people.
Okay, so that's the next thing. But then, for our community, what's important for us is, um, to maintain what I call the guiding principle. That strategy number one. Okay. And and that's to see the oneness in all humankind. So I would say to our community, it's so critical for us to remember at all times that as India fiery says, we all come from the same grain. We all come from the same thing, and and this is the work that you're diligently fighting to do in the community, man, which is to remind us that when we see ourselves in each other, we're less likely to take each other's lives. Just say, because if I see you as my brother or if I see you as myself and I love you like I love myself, then I'm not going to take my own life. And I'm not gonna take your life right. We have the lowest suicide rate of anybody on the planet. Black folks, We don't kill ourselves. We should. When you think about how bad quote unquote we have it right. But it's interesting that we don't We don't do it to the same degree or ST to the same extent as other communities. So there is a certain amount of self love that we have of ourselves, even living in these oppressed times, right? So if I love myself the way I do and I'm not going to kill myself, if I see you like I see me, I won't kill you. Eat it.
That's right. That's right. That's a whole another level of thinking passed yet, Um, because that the issue is I don't value myself. Yeah, so we talk about like the first step of social emotional learning, the self awareness, being aware of self and having a healthy, positive conscious with self confidence and self efficacy. Right? And so a lot of people have pigeon themselves into traditional thinking. And what I mean by that is, Well, Daddy did it. Granddaddy did it. He dropped out. I'm a dropout. They dropped out. And then it becomes a generational mindset that we have to really work harder to pull ourselves out the mindset of how we see ourselves and not seeing ourselves based upon past failures or past generations of failures. And so what you're talking about is you 90 saying, Yeah, I am my brother's keeper. I love you, but that takes time. That takes work that takes energy. And my question is, what is Cem riel? Tangible ways that we can actually start to feed ourselves positive, self talk, thinking, stand around the right systems of support and various things of that nature.
Yes, so here's something that's really interesting. And this is why education is the first party games, bro. So the approach that I take in this book when I teach about racism is I say, in order for us to really understand racism. We got to go back to the room and the origin. Right? So the root and the origin, any time you're trying to break down any word atom ology 101 You know this you in school, you're an educator. Entomology 101 they taught us. When you want to understand what a word means, you've got to go back to the root of the word and the origin of the word of the root of the word. Racism is rates when you look at the origin how race waas created and constructed. What you understand from an anthropological in a biological perspective is that it does not exist. There is no scientific foundation or undergirding for the word race. And so we fictitious Lee brought something into existence that God did not create.
Wow, we did that.
We did that. Mm. Humans did that. And to be specific, European white man, we're the ones that gave break birth to this concept we call race now. What they did was then, once they gave birth to it, then they started giving value to it and extrapolated it to the place and degree where we started believing that academic prowess was associate it with rapes.
Okay. Yes, sir.
How can academic prowess be associated with something that doesn't even exist? Are you hear what I'm saying?
Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Part of what we have to teach kids like me way back when Waas, um, your race doesn't determine your academic capability because we were taught black folks can't do math and black folks came do science. Well, here's the first flaw. Black is not a race. You know why? Because there's no sex thing as race. No, we got ethnic markers. Yeah, but ethnicity is a is a matter of culture, and culture is something that's learned. It's not something that, uh, that is naturally given to us. Is war matter of nature, right? Yes, sir. But part of what we gotta do is we got to teach young black boys and young black girls that this does not define your academic capacity because all this is his melon and content. And then they got nothing to do with here. So I go back to help people to understand that if there's no such thing as race than race, can't top determine or decide, or, uh, predetermined. How smart or how dumb you are. You'll be smart as you want to be or you could be is dumb as you allow yourself to be. It's more matter of, uh, what you choose to do versus what you choose not to do.
Yeah, So decisions and choices come into who I am, what I value my attitudes and my beliefs about myself, about my potential, about my power, about my again going back to decisions so we can't limit ourselves based upon something that was made up race. Right. And often times it has been this stigma and going back to generational curses or generational, um, struggles that we've had Your daddy was like this. Your granddaddy was like this. You're going to be like this and so a kid, we have to almost get them in a place. That's why three e's education, empowerment and exposure and your first strategy, I believe, was education. Education, right? The formal and the informal part of education.
Yeah, man. General generational curses are not D and a driven. They're based upon socialization patterns. So yeah, uh, the closest we can get to d n A. Is mind mapping. Yeah, all right, which means that you've been socialized to think, in a certain way in a certain pattern. But that's why you got folks like Eric, who used to talk about breaking cycles, all right, when he when Eric first came on the scene, everything was about breaking the cycle.
And by the way, everybody for those of you don't know. He's talking about Eric Thomas ET, and we're gonna get to him in a second. But I just wanted to add that in when he's saying, Eric, he's talking about Eric Thomas.
Yeah, So when when in first came, uh, to Michigan State and I was spending as much time as I Waas, he was always talking about the importance of breaking the cycle of his parents and his
Hollow, Hollow, Hollow hollow. Just just set, set up the story, tell us how in the world does. He just threw Eric's name out, and I want to give you some context of what he's saying because for those of you who don't know, this is actually one of Eriks mentors one off, So I want you to just won't walk us through. How did you guys meet? And I've heard the story. But there people in the audience that have no clue on how you met and how you able to just even just talk like candidly about breaking the cycle and how that started. I did not meet.
Okay, so, uh, we both attended the same conference, which is called the Black Man Think tank. This was in Cincinnati, man. It was either in the nineties, late nineties or around 2000. I can't remember. But every year Dr Eric Abercrombie used to have this, uh, conference for black men all across the country. Man. And there were mass. She probably couple 1000 of us there. Uh, but there was one fellow that had impacted significantly impacted many of us. And you asked me a question about books. A couple of books that have significantly impacted me. Yes. No. And I want to give a cliche answer of the Bible. But bar nine, no comparison. Yes. No, that's That's a given. Uh, the other two were, ah, Autobiography of Malcolm Axe. But then as a fellow named Dr name hot borrow know if you ever heard of it. Yes. Breaking chains of psychological slavery. And he's the one that influenced me to write books, Espen as I do. Mm. Because he used to say, If you're trying to get a message to our people, black people don't write a big, luminous piece of work because we'll pass it by. We won't even pick it up off the shelf, but keep it small and pack it with a lot of information. So Eric read this guy's book and they gave him the stage to introduce him. That was it. Just introducing. And I'm
telling you, this big, well known motivational speaker that we see today,
nobody knew who this guy Waas. Yes, he had three minutes, and in three minutes he lit it up.
And what year around was this about past
nineties? In the 90. So he lit it. Eric setted off, right? And, uh and so I made a beeline to that guy as he was coming off the stage. I was making my way toward him because we had our own version of this black man blackmail conference on our campus of Michigan State. And we knew we needed to get this guy especially for young guys. Yeah, because he had such charisma. And we knew that he his message would resonate in such a powerful way, particularly with that group. So I made a beeline to him and I said, Man, I need to know you He said, Where you from? And he saw I had some gear on and said, Michigan State, he said, No, brother, I need to know you him and he started telling me a little bit about a story growing up in Detroit. He was down it Oakwood, and he said, Man, my dream is to go to Michigan State University I said, Well, you probably get to Michigan State University before you get a chance to go. And from that moment on, that was the beginning of our rate relationship. Fast forward to He finally graduated, and I set him up to have a graduate assistant's. Yet now, when you were talking about anxiety about moves, Eric can tell you the same story. I hope you asked him the same question because he's going to talk to you about the move from Alabama to Michigan and what he gave up in Alabama to come to Michigan cause he didn't have nothing. He had a graduate assistant ship and
help set up for him,
man. I tried to set him up as best as the eyes I could cause he was married. Yes, I was telling him. Then listen, if you want to do this right, you got to take care of Mama. I told your job is to take care business. My job is to make sure, Mama String.
If my was straight, then move is good. And so, you know, I had to make sure he had a place to stay and to make sure he had money toe feed, the family, uh, had the ability to go to school, could pay for schooling. The whole nine yards, man. And so, you know, we got him set up and he was working in my office and, ah, he had already started his speaking career. So he was doing some stuff, so people kind of knew he waas, but they didn't really know who he waas. And it wasn't until uh, he graduated with the Masters and started the advantage program and was doing some speeches. And the Kiva, which was part of his job that he created. And through the advantage program, somebody took a camera and ah, videotape them and put it on YouTube and it went viral.
It went viral.
It went viral. And then all of a sudden people started knowing what we knew. But I'll tell you, what's so powerful about this guy saying God he was then is the same guy he is now. Yes, so much so that when we met for the first time,
you got to tell everybody this story because hey, listen, I want I want people to understand something. There is a power that's taken place even in a world right now. Today, the power of connection, the power of a mentor ship, the power of discipleship. And that's why you have to be open to these connections. You have to follow through. And then I had no idea how one thing would lead to the next. It's so so we got here because one of the brothers whose a member off Pastor Rodney's Church was is also a Champs mid tour, and he kept telling me about the church parking lot like he would come on. Saturdays is like a I needed champs to come over and help with our church parking lot. We need some help. We need some help. We need some help with the church parking lot church parking lot. And he was like, Yeah, I got an amazing pastor. But it was like the church parking lot. And so I think he was selling you some guns that can come over and with the church parking lot. But he was talking about chaps mentoring as well. So can you just walk us through how we connected?
Yeah. So? So Kevin got us together. And then I came and hung out with you with school and heard your story and your story sounded too familiar. And I said, Man, you remind me of one of my proteges from back in Michigan State and I need this guy to know you, and I need you to know him because you two are too much alike. And I used to do that with young guys all the time, and and, uh, if I felt like he could help them knowing to pass him on the air for young brothers, people in general, but especially for young brothers. Then I felt like I was obligated to try to connect folks with him, cause that's what he expected of me. And I knew that if it was gonna be transformative to them, getting connected to a guy like that was gonna lead to all kind of personal transformation. Right? So when I mentioned him to you, you said E T. The hip hop creature
is actually And I was saying, That becomes I got Teoh set this up for you all, um, as an educator administrator who's working in a school at Gary Coma College Prep. I love the work that I'm able to do. Noble has provided that opportunity, forced to engage in a very high level in the inner city of Chicago. And I knew that once we formalised our program, we had to build our program in a way where it became cool to be a part of our program. It's cool to be a Champs member. You can acts, are boys they love. Being champs member is cool to be a Champs member. So in 2015 we won the White House Film Festival. President Obama invited us to the White House. We went. We took 35 young men from Chicago to Washington, D. C. Most of the young man have never left the two mile radius of the South side of Chicago. So we got into the lobby the next day. That Saturday. It was March 21st 2015. I'll never forget it. We got into the lobby of the hotel because on March 20th a few of us have the opportunity to be in the White House with the president for hours, just walking through the White House. It was just like, amazing, amazing opportunity. But I kind of felt some remorse in my heart because I knew of all of the other young men still in Chicago who didn't get a chance to experience this. So I felt like I needed to extend this opportunity. So I remember gathering everybody together in the hotel lobby and asking, How do we take a piece of what we experience back to Chicago? Why is because we got to go back and live our lives after this? We can't stay in. Do you see in the White House the rest of our lives, we have to go back and we going back to war. So what do we do to take this energy, This excitement that we've experienced and So we came up with the born toe win conference, and so I said So I began to engage the young man. Who do you want to come speak at the conference? The first name? Eric Thomas E. T. The hip hop preaching. I had heard of him. And obviously it's like that's not gonna happen. I don't have a way to get to this guy at all. Right? And when you said that and I say E t the hip hop preacher is your protege is No. Minty is a guy you helped and you were saying, Like, I see similarities between your two. Yeah, I have to make the connection.
Yes. So then what happened? Waas? I called him on the phone, and this was during the days that when I called, he he would ask and he asked the phone and you had a conversation, man, that led to the relationship you have now, which is just phenomenal to me, you know, and ah, I even wear that that, uh, moniker of being his his mentor lightly, cause all I did was what I was supposed to do. I did with folks did for me. That's right. um when I was on campus, there was some folks that helped me to get through. And it was my obligation and my pleasure in my privilege to be able to set my boy up to do everything that God wanted him to do in his life and more. You know, at the time what we were thinking about his aspiration was to be a high school principal.
Yeah, I remember you telling
and, you know, I don't know, Uh, maybe e had this in mind. I don't know. We've had a couple of conversations about it. I don't remember him having this in my, uh as we talked about this and he had a conference not too long ago on campus. And he asked me to come back because he thought it was so important for the folks that came to that conference to know who he was before he blew up, you know, and, ah, before anybody was calling a meaty. And when he called me, that's how I referred Teoh, you know, and ah, it's just amazing, man, because the point that you made earlier about how God is orchestrating are stabs and moving us in and out of places and all of that, uh, it's when we're willing to avail ourselves to do whatever it is we're supposed to do wherever it is that we're supposed to be. Then one supposed to happen will happen, was supposed to manifest, will manifest and and I've come to the place where I really believe that to be true goes back to conversation we were having about 10 minutes ago. And and so when I think about how I've been able to have success as a pastor, as an educator, as an administrator, as, ah, business owner and whatever walk of life I find myself in its been in large part because I was willing to go wherever I was supposed to go to do whatever I was supposed to do, uh, to be open to meeting wherever I was supposed to meet and open to helping whoever I was supposed to help. And the rest is taken care of itself, brah.
Yeah, and you know, and and what's so what's so interesting about the connection that you may? And it's really important for people to understand how we are so interconnected when we are on our purpose. Yeah, we're in the right spaces in places. So when you connected me TT and we started to talk, it was something very familiar about him. And he said the same thing about me. What happened? Waas come to find out my mentor also Yeah, connected with E t. And I was like, an e t was like, Yeah, your mental Help me get one of my first motivational speaking contracts. Get out of here. No, this can't be happening like this now. I talked to about Mentor. He was like, Yeah, I said, why? You never And he was like, you were in college at the time, but I did. My part helps you get to worry. And he was coming up. Nobody knew it. And so I was just like, wow. So it gave me much gratitude when we were at Marquette, all four of us, Steve Robertson, all four of us. And we took that picture and we had that conversation. It was really, really powerful. It made sense how you were able to take what you received from other mentors and influences and how you were able to pay it for how he was able to take what he got from others and pay it forward. How we all kind of collectively understood that we hear through the power of mentor ship that right there was so powerful.
Yeah, man. And that's why, for me going back to that number one principle of us all being one is so essential, especially in our community, man there, that when we began to see ourselves is one and allow the manifestation of that to take place in a really kind of way. Man, it connects us to the word that I learned through, uh, folks like akhbar was synergy. Uh, we acquire what's called a dynamics energy, which is us taking our differences and bringing them together, too. Ah, amount, Mayes. One huge entity that has the ability to do unfathomable stuff.
Synergy. I love that when we synergize and we able to bring that synergy together from parts to a sum of the parts to create the whole Yeah, eso is so so So we got to get into this. Um, I know you talked about some of your books, but I also want you to kind of lean in with this for me. Like, how has ah, Ah, failure or the apparent failure in your life, um set you up for success. Ah, and the reason why I'm saying that is because ah, lot of people think that this is a failure moment, this pandemic. This is a slow your moment. I can't do the things that I need to get done. I'm limited in my ability. Where I think this could be where you see failure. I think this could be opportunity. So if you could just share that you have a favorite failure moment that you've learned from, and if so, what was it?
Yeah, I love the question. When I read it when you asked me because it caused me to stop and think about that for a minute. And then when you put it in the contacts of thinking about my favorite fell leader moment that that really I had two big be, you know, I had to excavate the Jack Campbell. It's just Guinness Jebel leave back in the recesses of my mind. And man, I remember when I made the decision as key. It, um that I wanted to go to another high school than the local high school. My sisters went to her shy school because that was the local high school and I really didn't have a problem with hers, and I used to go up there and hang out with them. So I knew a lot of the folks and so many folks were from the community. So I really didn't have a problem per se would go on hers. I didn't consider it to be a bad school. But one day in school, one of my best buddies decided he wanted to goto Mendel, and when he said he was going to mend oh, and he was going toe play football and I remember I got a football dream Right then I came home and said to my dad, I want to go to mental high school and I want to play football. And his first response, Um, Iwas don't that cost money? Uh
huh. How much it costs,
right? Cause he's think about this free education down the street instead of paying money for me to go to school. But fortunately, man, I had to kind of Dad who was supportive of his oldest son, and he gave me the option to consider it, so I took the entrance exam and all of that kind of stuff Letter came back, got the letter, took it to a neighbor cause I didn't want to open it myself, who just happened to be a teacher. Lived across the street, and she opened up the letter and gave me the most devastating news I had received in my life at that time that I did not get admitted. No, I tested it in, uh, think it was like the 69 75th percentile. But because I wasn't carefully, my score wasn't admissible for me to get into Mendel Catholic high School, okay? And so I was destined to either go there, uh, hurts high school, or I talked my dad into the possibility of going to finger high school. And only reason wise would let me go there was because my auntie lived right across the street from the high school and my thought was they've got a football program to and ah, maybe I'll have a chance to play there because unlike hearse high school, they got some white guys over finger a greater opportunity.
and it just so happened, man and I got a letter in the mail from Hell's Franciscan High School. And they said, Um, we want you, Teoh, consider coming to our school and not only what we admit you, but we will admit you into the honors program.
And so my mom and I went. We sat with the print with the president and know the principle and talk to the principal. And by the time we left, even though they didn't have no football, my mama decided you're going to Hell's Franciscan High School and was transformative man, while it was what I would consider to be the first significant transforming experience in my life because it provided me with this, I mean, the kind of specialized environment that I need it. And back then, you know, there's a whole stigma going school with a whole bunch of guys. Yeah, I was some you didn't do, but it gave me the kind of concentration and focus that I needed. But because they were so invested in teaching black males and their model at the time was in Varun perfected unto perfect manhood, they were teaching us how to be men in our community that really significantly shifted things for me, man. And so, you know, I cried over not getting in. And what was birthed in me was the greatest opportunity that set me up for the greatest success moving forward for the rest of my life. Wow, it movie right to the foundation. I needed to stand over a
And that's important for people that listen in here that some of our greatest failures turned into our greatest successes. Like the thing that we think we need or we want or is good for us when it doesn't happen, we look back and we say, I'm glad that door was closed. Right? Um, so I've been asking this question to all of our guests. So if you had a gigantic billboard that's going to be there, you by millions or billions of people were ill. Why, what words would you put and tell me why
I loved? I loved the billboard question, too. That was one of my favorite questions. I even had to write mine down, just in case I get to buy Billboard one day. Yes, and, uh, really, really connects to the message that I find myself trying to communicate to everybody now, especially in my role as CEO and its transition into the work that I do in my church, and that would be to live to give discretionary effort and all your endeavors
mm discretionary efforts and all your endeavors. Got it.
Yeah, personally, professionally and spiritually is when you talk about discretionary effort that's going above and beyond. What's expected or required right or was was requested. So if you're always striving to go above and beyond with people, request or expect of you in every aspect in every area of your life, you probably don't do more and better than 75 80 85. 90% of folks in the world is that Is that Mamba mentality
a mom. But mentality love, Love it, man, that's that's so powerful. We're gonna have to make sure we put that on the screen so people can make sure they jot that down. We want to add all of the billboard quotes and and share him out because these are things that I believe our guiding principles that are leading us to be, who we are to become, who we are to read, innovate, um, and to evolve as people. And so if there was, ah place. And we talked a little bit about this, You know, your high school years. But I specifically want to draw upon the the youth that are watching this and listening to this. So if you can describe an experience you have between the ages of 14 to 20 that you would say was transformative outside of the experience that you shared on a favorite failure, Um, what would you say? Helped you, um, or was instrumental in building your identity on who you were and who you are.
Yeah. So I would say beyond the high school experience, the next one would probably be making this decision to go to college and for me what it did. Waas It put me in a place where I had to grow up outside of the confines of the familiar. Yeah, right. What was so great about college and continues to be for those who have the opportunity to go, I would say, if you have the opportunity to go and you may even have some uncertainty about it, you know, some folks operate from perspective college ing for me or I'm not sure if it's what I want to do? Um, I would say anything as a substitute, if not that anything is a substitute that positions you tohave to operate outside of the of your comfort zone. And you're familiar place of being that stretches you to really have to try to make a goal, Abbott on your own. Not necessarily totally on your own, cause college doesn't. There's still some safety gaps. Uh, our safety measures in place. You know, it's kind of like, um, uh when you go to a bowling alley and they got the bumpers in the lane, College is like going away from home with the bumpers in the lane, right? Ah, so you still have the appropriate amount of support in place, uh, to to sustain you. But you've got enough independence, and you've got enough runway to be able to begin to explore some things on your own and venture out on your own. You you gotta learn how to manage your own time cause they nobody baby sitting. You, uh you gotta figure out how to navigate relationships because nobody's forcing you into relationships with other people. And so, uh, it is it is a significant rite of passage Yeah, that has already been pre programmed into our society that I wish more folks would take advantage of especially black brown folks.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. So you kind of you kind of answer both questions on, like, the advice that you would give. You know? Ah, college student Who's young? Whose energetic Who's excited about going into the real world. And I think, like, for us, you know, we have to continue to push the envelope in our communities about taking advantage of advanced education, right? So that maybe college for some, it may be getting the tray for another. It may be getting certification or something, but we have to advance our sales. It's really vital is really important. And what better time to do it then? Now, like the biggest concern that I have on. And I heard about ah, brother who actually had a robbery yesterday at his restaurant. He was robbed at gunpoint yesterday here in Chicago. And my heart just broke because this is the thing that I saw when we were not in the schools. When the youth are not working and they're not engaged mentally, physically or spiritually, like they say the idle mind is the devil's workshop, right? And so for For us, this is also again an opportunity for us. If we have access to the Internet, let's not use it just to get on social media and be consumers of it. This is the opportunity to become producers. And so for me, I think, um, having you on the kind of just provide a wide range of perspective for us is going to really help So many people say, you know what? The first strategy is to educate yourself and we going back to this education piece because I think it's so paramount. Like to educate yourself and then take the education and empower yourself and then exposure. Expose yourself to other opportunities to other people. Reach out like this is a great opportunity to build your network, right, like people are at home like get on getting If you on social media get an instagram star DME people that that influence you, that you look up to you that you may not know and they may give you time. And when you take that time, make sure that you prepared toe asks the right questions to help you advance yourself so, man. Thank you so much, Pastor Rodney. Ah, for joining us. Can you give us any last words anything you want to share?
Yeah, and And you talked about the advice to the unfolds, you know, going in. Um, I was also thinking about the advice to the young folks that are coming out. Yeah, Good. You talked about a NASA question earlier about when you coming out and you re entering into the quote unquote rial world kind of device that they need. And I would say the one thing that I would encourage all of us to do. Not just young folks, but what pandemic has showed us at this point is we gotta live every day like it's our last day.
People day, like it's our last day. And if we're fortunate enough tohave another day try to live it so that eventually we find, ah, what I call the intersection between our purpose and our passion and his way ever purpose and passion. Me if you live in in that space than your living to fulfill your life in a way that's going to make a difference not only for you, but for everybody, you know. And when you close your eyes and you on the other side of your
life casks Sorry. Yeah. Oh, no, you're good. I was just talking with my wife. I may edit that part out. She just walked in.
Uh, yeah. If you're living your life at the intersection of purpose and passion, then on the other side of it, when you close your eyes, man, you be able to look back and say, I live like I was supposed to.
I live like I was supposed to because I live in the intersection between purpose and passion. The intersection Whoa, I'm full. I don't just had steak and potatoes that's going to stick to me. That's a real meat. That's, um, Riel. Listen, the reason why we've created the Born to win podcast simply we believe that you are born a win in every situation in life, right, But again is going to be up to you that you own these messages, right? And to apply the messages. Why is because you want your situation to change even if you feel like everything is blissful in your life, there other levels that you have to get to because they're other people that are attached to that next level. Don't miss. Understand what I'm saying? You have to get better. You have to go to the next level because there are other people on the next level. So the people that you're influencing now is for now, the people that you're going to touch, your touching them now. But there are people that you've never met that you never had a conversation whip that we need to glean from the version two point over yourself. So let's start now. Let's find what that passion is that purposes. And if you don't know, axe or help acts for help. If you don't know, um and so thank you so much, Pastor Rodney Paterson, for taking out your time man to join us on the Born A Win by cast. We believe that every young person is born a win in every situation in life. Thank you for listening to the born to win podcast. Would you consider making a donation to Champs Way? Are looking to provide senior class care packages and other essential items like food, hygiene and toiletries for the families of our champs mentees. You can donate via kashef at Dollar Sign, champs mentoring or pay pal at paypal dot m e slash champs mentoring. Or you can always visit our webpage champs mentoring dot com and click on the donate button. Thank you.