Connections Matter to Voters!

By Dr. Sheila Pope

I had the opportunity to watch Judge Fredricka Phillps(she was an attorney at that time) become Vice Chair of Texas Democrats Convention in Dallas (Royce West hosted) in 2008/2009. Since her election as Vice Chair, her career has sky rocketed. I have seen her actively make the rounds with Democrats too.

When she came into SD11 Caucus yesterday before we began to vote and announced she was moving forward in her journey, I realized I was witnessing a transferring of power. I was able to see how two African American women were able to obtain one of the most coveted seats in the Texas Democratic Party.

I was grateful I was able to see Judge Phillips groom and actively support her possible replacement, Dr. Carla Brailey (won nomination at Black Democrats Caucus). Women helping women is critical in any endeavor. Black women supporting each other in politics and business is powerful on many levels.

Both of these ladies are beautiful, smart, and ambitious. They were active in their communities and excelled in their careers before they earned the right to get on the ballot for Vice Chair of Texas Democratic Party. More important, they understood the power of working together to ensure their agenda becomes a reality.

If no one else was woke, I was! To have the outgoing Vice Chair support you speaks volumes to the entire party. Carroll G. Robinson provided a fantastic introduction to Dr. Brailey. Deborah Peoples gave an outstanding speech at the Black Caucus. The crowd loved her speech. You could support her just as well as Dr. Brailey if you were voting based on speeches. Mr. Robinson added credibility to Dr. Brailey. I knew him and I have followed his political career for years. Their connection was important to me.

Yet when I asked my children who they wanted me to cast my vote for, London said Dr. Carla Brailey because she said she “knew her”.

Dr. Brailey and Judge Phillips came to Pearland Democrats Club’s June meeting and spoke to the club and both of the ladies spoke with me about being a mom and teaching our children early about serving the community. I had a connections with Judge Phillips from 2009 and from her work with Adrienne Bell. I discovered Dr. Brailey and I worked at TSU during the same time. I helped students in the sociology department with their research papers. She spoke to my children and London loved the way she looked. A girly girl is London’s Shero!

Dr. Brailey made a connection with me and my family. When I saw her at the convention she again spoke with us. Her team was nice and gave us goodies. I also observed how she and Judge Phillips were working together. Voters need to see who you are connected to and with and voters need to see candidates working before an election and after an election. If you googled Dr. Brailey like I did, you could see she was on her grind for years.

I understood after watching this tranference of power between two dynamic African American female democrats at the 2018 Texas Democrats Convention, connections matter! If you want to hold a seat of power, it is vital you have the right connections.

Superwoman with Flaws

by Dr. Sheila Pope

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This week something happened to me and I cannot ignore it. I met a man with x-ray vision! Yes, that’s right Superwoman met Superman.  He used his x-ray vision to see straight through me! I was naked figuratively within two hours.  How does that happen? It happened while talking.

I was having a great conversation when boom out of nowhere his x-ray vision spotted my secret weapon, my strength. I was asked a simple question: Why are you not married? I was caught completely off guard. I laughed because I could only laugh. What do you do when someone touches on that secret question you had been asking yourself the Sunday before the phone call. As a matter of fact, I have been asking myself the question for a couple of years.

Not only did he ask the question, he gave me his answer to his question. He simply said, “You are a strong woman.” My reply, “How did you know that I was strong?” In that conversation, I was not spitting out my crazy rhetoric. I was not running a meeting. I was not saying, “I do not tolerate this or that”. I was just talking about something we both share a common interest. I was shocked that he knew my  KRYPTONITE. Yes, being a strong woman to some men is not appealing. They love your ability to get things done and to take charge, but they also want you to ALLOW them to be the man in a relationship and to respect them in their role.

He said he could hear my strength via my conversation. Then he asked another question that indicated he also had the ability to cut right through my stuff. He asked, “Can you take your cape off when you enter into a relationship with a man? cape off

At this point, I am rolling my eyes up and in my head and asking myself if I should I answer truthfully or tell him what I KNOW he wants to hear. I decided to shoot straight. My secret cover was blown. I said, “Yes! I can take my cape off when I hit the door.” What he did not know was my cape was barely hanging on my body. Being Superwoman, Bat Girl, and Wonder Woman is tiring! I am tired of blocking all of the unfair, disrespectful obstacles that come my way on a daily basis as a businesswoman, a mother, a single woman, a black woman, and as a friend. Some days I feel overwhelmed with fear and concern for my financial future. Sometimes I feel lonely.

I listen to folks in bad marriages and on some days I think at least you have someone. That thought flees quickly because I would rather be single than married and miserable. Then, I put my cape back on and get back on my grind and say to myself: Don’t Settle! There are days when I am wondering how am I going to meet my budget for the month and I ask myself where is the man who will rescue me? Then, I admit he does not exist; then, I put on my cape and carry on like business as usual.

The last thing he said floored me. He said, “You are the type of woman who will look at me when I say something you do not like and challenge me.” I laughed so hard at his summation of my behavior. He was RIGHT! I have had to really work hard for the last year to truly understand men MUST be treated with RESPECT and KINDNESS.  

I know how to respect men. I talk with men all the time. I am friends with several strong men, but I have not always treated the men I loved with the level of respect they deserve. I have not always allowed them to have the last word. I have wasted too much energy trying to tell a man he must respect me instead of quickly leaving him when he does not. I have stood up to controlling men and lost my control in the mist of the battle. I have used my strength to help build up my men, while they have spent too much time trying to figure how to decrease my strength.  When women spend too much time trying to please the wrong men, they lose respect for all men. My greatest downfall was partnering with men that needed my strength and utility to maintain, but they could not stand my inner strength. Free-spirited, strong women work best when they are given the ability to soar. We need our capes to soar!

It has taken me two years to get my Superwoman outfit on straight. I  understand the power that I have as a woman is not to have the last say, to defend myself at all cost, to run towards drama, to create discontent in my home, and to make a man feel like he is the “woman” in a relationship.  My mission in life as Superwoman with flaws is to ask more questions while getting to know a man. If he has flaws that I cannot live with, then I should maintain the friendship and immediately disengage a relationship.  When I feel the need to say something hurtful, shut my mouth and walk or run away if necessary. I must maintain PEACE in all my relationship. Finally, as Superwoman carrying my cape with flaws, I can be VULNERABLE anytime and anywhere.

Like most superheroes, I have secret powers too. I am using my wisdom, my critical thinking skills, my passion, my kindness to build men up and to encourage them. I too can see men’s strengths and some of their weaknesses. I have decided to accept them for who they say they are. I am being honest and I am listening. I am on a mission to teach other Superwomen to listen to men when they talk to us about us. I am not ashamed to say, I needed to work on me before getting married. I have embraced the fact that not all men can handle a strong woman. I am strong and that will not change. However, I can take my cape off and gladly let a man step up and make decisions. I will always use my influence to shape those decisions.  I gladly welcome the man who can see my strength, see my beauty, respect my intelligence, and recognize my flaws, and still build and love me. I am rare individual: I am Superwoman with flaws.

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Proud CEO! by Dr. Sheila Pope

Today, I have a few items on hand that make me feel extremely proud to say I am a proud CEO of a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB).  I have my new business cards and my company T-shirts. They can be purchased off my website see featured items. Yes, they come in 3x-5x sizes too! 

To rock my own T-shirts at different events is important to me. I have to promote my products because this company is a reflection of me. You can see me holding up the white and orange T-shirts too!

I partnered with Susan Gonzales, CEO of Chic Blessings, to design and print my T-shirts. Women can do great things when we come together. I look forward to adding more items to my brand in the near future. Today, I am going to rock my green T-shirt and smile knowing I am making boss moves as a the CEO and founder of The Resource Center.popesresourcecenter.com

VOTE EARLY!

Written by Dr. Pope

Ladies, let your voice be heard in this election. This is not the time to sit on the sidelines. We have too much at stake. We must participate in this historic election.

Sisters if you want a change in your community, your government, and your socioeconomic status, we must vote. I want my daughters to know they are capable of running their households and running the country too. I want my sons to know women are more than mothers and wives.

More important, I want my daughters   to feel respected and safe from predators, abusers, racist and sexist men. A man that feels it is acceptable to grab women by their private parts or uses derogatory names to abuse women should not lead this country. A man that promotes a racist agenda should not control the USA.

Vote your convictions this elections. I want a country that embraces differences and supports equality. America is great and will always be great!

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Dr. Pope VOTE EARLY @ Tom Reed’s Library in Pearland.

A New Challenge by Sheila Pope, Ph.D

After years of struggle, I finally finished my doctorate degree. In the photo, I am standing in front of tiny pieces of paper that represent  huge chunks of my life. I am standing in front of teaching certificates, state licenses and four degrees that I have willingly sacrificed my love life, happy hours with the girls, and family time with my children. I do not regret one missed event. I have become a Capella PhDiva! I rock that shirt and all that it implies.

However, I find myself in a new tricky spot. I am at peace with my journey to become Dr. Pope, but I am not sure what to do next. You see, I set goals constantly and I never have too much free time. I have tons of things that I want to do, but I question the timing of each goal. I do not have a clear direction and that is scary for me. It is easier to stay in my bubble of education. I control the outcome in education. I going to disclose a secret: I have five degrees and multiple certificates. I excel in academics! Real life cannot be controlled by me. I do not control the outcomes of relationships.

I purchased Shonda Rhimes’ audio book,  Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. I have been too tired to read anything and my eyes are always jumping which is my signal to let me know my eyes are strained. I loved listening to her book; it made me think about writing, being a single mom and my self imposed limits. It motivated me to say yes to my next challenge.

As I enter 2016, I am thinking about what I want to accomplish personally and professionally. I have things that I talk about with friends and I have dreams that I do not share with anyone. My next challenge will not include school. I am clear that I want to take a break from “going to school”.

Capella’s PhD program was an online program, but I spent hours every day for three months with tunnel vision focused on completing my dissertation. From July to September 2015, I breathed and ate my dissertation. I worked with my mentor from Capella consistently. I never saw his face, but I looked at his words daily. I feared his editorial comments. It is amazing how energy I put into becoming Dr. Pope. I was left depleted after I submitted my last edits. I am still unsure, if there were errors that I missed. I was left with one clear thought:  There is no desire burning within me to complete another degree!

My career and personal life are my next challenges. My family life needs a fresh perspective. My body need to be cared for in many ways. My business needed a new direction and my mind needs rest. My desire to write for fun has been tugging at my heart. Shonda Rhimes says, “If you are a writer, you should write.” I am going to write more and share more while not sharing too much. I am getting ready for my next challenge. I am ready to leave my comfort zone and stretch myself more.

 

Capella Sisters Finishing Their Journey by Sheila Pope

A Coca-Cola, Smartphone, Burrito, Pen, Note Pad and other Published Dissertations

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I met Deirdre through Capella University. We met in Dallas, Tx during a colloquia. We bonded instantly. Dee is attractive, ambitious, a leader, smart, funny, and determined to obtain her PhD. We share the same characteristics and determination. We met almost six years ago.

Along the way, I became seriously ill, divorced, and ran out of student loan money. Dee was promoted on two jobs, dated, and traveled around the US. However, we managed to speak to each other regularly. Our friendship grew because we needed each other.

We found the journey to complete our doctorates from Capella University required support and understanding from true friends/supporters. We learned we needed to surround ourselves with people who understood our plight. We have heard horror stories along the way. Some of our Capella Sisters graduated and some quit their programs to complete other goals.  As a matter of fact, Dee quit for one year. I had to stop for a year due to health issues and financial setbacks. Yet we came back to Capella and decided we would complete what we started.

I went to Dallas as a delegate for the Democratic State Convention. However, I wanted to see my family and my Capella Sisters. I met with Deborah W., Wanda M., and Deirdre Hill. The four of us share a special bond: we are single African-American females completing a PhD online. All of us enrolled in Capella University with the goal of earning a PhD in psychology.

Deirdre was about to complete her dissertation before me this summer. However, she realized she needed to make some serious changes before she submitted her dissertation to her committee. So, we met on a Sunday morning on June 29, 2014 to edit her draft.

Luckily, I was able to obtain some participants for my study. Therefore, I could write-up my cases and finish this summer too. I knew how I wanted the format of my dissertation to look. Dee gave me vital information to help me write my dissertation. I gave her my two cents on edits. I had not planned to stay another day in Fort Worth, but my friendship with Dee is a true sisterhood. I knew we could help each other finish what we started six years ago.

Capella Sisters Finishing What We Started

Looking at our photo tells the story. I did not comb my hair; Deirdre was doing the natural look. We were a hot mess! We were in Starbucks inside of Tom Thumb Grocery completing the journey. It has taken me almost 10 years to complete my doctorate. Dee has been my friend for six of those years. We have searched the literature, shared our frustrations about collecting data. We have shared our ah moments. We see ourselves in the literature. We call each other Dr. Hill and Dr. Pope.

We are currently writing chapter four and five of our dissertations. We will complete our journey by the end of this quarter. We are both single, determined and grateful for our journey through Capella University. She will walk across the stage ahead of me at our graduation (Hill before Pope). Yet we will both stand by each other after graduation and throughout our lives. #Capellaproud