Monday, April 9, 2012

To Police Forces Across America

Hello, my name is Kimani Emmanuel, and I am sixteen years old. Only one year off from the age of a certain young man who was killed by a Caucasian college student.

I have a simple question: what stops me from never seeing my eighteenth birthday, or even my seventeenth? This question has been asked may times over by the African American community, and we still do not have a satisfactory answer. We are only given promises and momentary victories, and it repeatedly shows in the sudden and unforeseen deaths of both the old and the young. When will we be able to walk where we wish to walk without such risk, or smile upon enforcement officials in genuine respect, and not fear? If we cannot trust the police to help us when we are murdered by the common man, how can we expect them to help us when they are the murderers themselves?

I’m going to be honest. I feel very uneasy whenever I see a police officer, or a member of the armed forces. It is not because I am doing anything suspicious, or that I am in danger, it is because I do not know what to expect from these people. In short, I do not feel that my safety is guaranteed, or that my life will be valued and protected. This is not the feeling that I want to have, or that I should have. Protectors of the people should not inspire fear, uncertainty, and feelings of insecurity. The fact that they do in the eyes of not just myself, but many people throughout several communities throughout the country implies that there has been a failure regarding the public image and private practices of protection-related agencies across throughout. Should you value the opinions and support of the people that you protect, then it would certainly help to start by changing your image drastically.

What you do at this point is entirely up to you. The public cannot change your image for you. The choices that you make from here on will shape many things, and not just your image in the eyes of the public. The easiest and best way to go about it would be to do what’s right. Ultimately, it is still your choice, not ours.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Children and Disaster Situations

I have come across a few very interesting articles on the psychological effects of a natural or man-made disaster on children. The effects vary in different ages; as one of the articles reports:

" * Preschoolers—thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, fear of the dark, regression in behavior, and withdrawal from friends and routines.
* Elementary School Children—irritability, aggressiveness, clinginess, nightmares, school avoidance, poor concentration, and withdrawal from activities and friends.
* Adolescents—sleeping and eating disturbances, agitation, increase in conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior, and poor concentration.

A minority of children may be at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms can include those listed above as well as re-experiencing the disaster during play and/or dreams; anticipating or feeling that the disaster is happening again; avoiding reminders of the disaster; general numbness to emotional topics; and increased arousal symptoms such as inability to concentrate and startle reactions. Although rare, some adolescents may also be at increased risk of suicide if they suffer from serious mental health problems like PTSD or depression. Again, adults should seek professional mental health help for children exhibiting these symptoms. "

These are the kind of children who need HappyPacks, who need joy at this time. These children may survive the disaster, but what is the point if you do not feel happy?

Links to two of the articles have been included below.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Concert Trouble...

As you know, we have been trying to organize a benefit concert for Haiti. Unfortunately, we have run into various problems regarding a place to hold the concert. We are still trying to find a space inside of the Riverside Church, but it seems like we may not have a space in the Church as soon as we would like. If we are unable to find space in the Church, we will start looking elsewhere in New York City. If anyone knows of any location in the city that would be willing to donate a reasonable amount of space for a benefit concert, please tell us about it! Thank you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

An Update on the Latest Project, Saving the Harlem School of the Arts, and the launch of an Updated Website!

We are absolutely certain that it is going to happen. We have over 5 bands that are willing to play, and all we need now is the space. We are still hoping to secure a space in the Riverside Church, but if we cannot, we are hoping that there are people elsewhere in New York City who are willing to donate the space for the Concert to happen.

Our plans were put on hold because a beloved institution by the name of the Harlem School of the Arts was threatening to close down. The Harlem School of the Arts is an institution for children that was founded by Opera singer Dorthy Maynor. The school started in a church basement, and eventually moved to the building next to the church.

A lack of funds emerged, and the school was almost closed. What saved the school was the combined efforts of staff, parents, and children. Children put up signs, wrote letters to the media and the board members, and participated in rallies.

This goes to show that not only can kids have a major role in saving a school, but also that they can have a major role in anything that they deem important. This is what OnEartHeart is about. Showing kids that yes, they CAN make a difference in anything that they put their mind to. I would like to personally congratulate the kids of the Harlem School of the Arts for caring about their school and its closing, and doing something about it.

In other news, an updated OnEartHeart website will be launched soon! You will be able to check it out very soon at!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Help for Haiti

As you may or may not know, one of the worst earthquakes in modern history has struck Haiti. Reading 7.0 on the Scale, this is one of the biggest disasters ever. The Offical death toll still has not been released, and neither has the casulties. Officals are still counting. With most of their country in ruins and nowhere to go, most Haitian residents have taken to the streets. We are putting the Books project on hold in order to address this issue. The "HappyPack"book event will not be cancelled, just postponed. Instead, OnEartHeart will start a charity concert for the children in Hati. I hope to raise enough money to not only help the Haitians rebuild, but also take care of the children there. It has been shown that over 50% of the population of Haiti is comprised of children, and that there are now 400,000 orphans. It is crucial that we help these children. What we are doing here is the essense of OnEartHeart, Children Helping Children. We should be able to count on each other. After all we have one big thing in common, Our Lives Together on this Planet!

One Word, One Earth, One Heart. OnEartHeart. Together, we can make anything happen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

OnEartHeart is back in action!

Welcome back to school everyone! You've heard about what we did in Brazil, and we're gearing up to do it again, but more about that later!

For this term our main focus is a "HappyPack of Books" event for children in long term hospital care units. For all of you Yankee fans, Mr. Ray Negron, a New York Times Bestselling Author of childrens books, and personal consultant to George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees, will be joining us. He will be signing his latest book "One Last Time: Goodbye to Yankee Stadium" and has offered to add copies of his books The Boy of Steel: A Baseball Dream Come True (#2 on the NY Times Bestseller List) and The Greatest Story Never Told: The Babe and Jackie, to the HappyPack of Books. So save your books, join us, and pass them on. Make sure to check the blog for the date of the HappyPack book drive. It will be around Thanksgiving, which is an excellent time to reflect on what we have, and what we can do to improve the lives of others. I will keep you posted!

We will be going back to the Vo Flor orphanage in order to give more gifts to the children there. If you did not donate the first time around, now is your chance! When we went the first time, the children all lined up and we gave out HappyPacks
However, by the time we reached the end of the line, there were not enough HappyPacks for the small group of girls who had patiently waited at the end of the line. There were more children at the Orphanage than we expected, but Asha and Jasmine from Saint Ann's, as well as Jonathan from Stuyvesant, started giving out their personal belongings to the children. Although they were very happy with what we were able to give them, we know that they were still disappointed at the fact that they still did not get a HappyPack. The kids lined up in a certain order, and whoever was in the back would not be getting anything. The little boys were first, then the big boys, then little girls, and then the big girls. It was very unfortunate that we did not have any more packs for the last few children. So, because of this, the next trip will be centered around Happy Packs for these Teen Girls. The next trip will be in December. You can also find out about upcoming tours for 2010 by contacting the Founder of Art Helping Life, Sherri Donovan or Velly Bahia at
Check here, for more information on the trip.
Brazil is truly an amazing place.

On our trip to the Vo Flor orphanage, we saw the rooms that the children used to sleep in. Where there used to be beds are now empty spaces. The government may shut the orphanage down, because Lady Vo Flor cannot afford to keep doctors on the premises, and there is not enough space for each child to have their own room. I saw only 2 bedrooms in the building. One for the girls and one for the boys. The government now requires that each child has his or her own room. How do they expect her to go from 2 rooms to 50 rooms with no resources? The only people who help her are neighbors and friends, and people like us. She needs money in order to buy the building, and possibly make more rooms inside. She has to chase away the kids at 5:00, because they cannot stay there if she does not follow the new rules and regulations. The choices for the kids are to either stay on the streets, or go to the facilities that the government is providing. They choose to come back every day, because Lady Vo Flor, who they affectionately call Grandma, is the only person that ever showed them love, or made them feel appreciated. In fact, the name Vo Flor means Lovely Grandmother. Those kids need her. She is their only mother. Could you imagine leaving the only place you know as home for the night, and being alone on the streets? It's not a very happy thought. That's why we need to help these children. They go through our nightmares every day. They don't have a mother or father to guide them and reassure them, all they have are each other and a kind old lady who opened up her heart for these children on the street.

These private run facilities don't care about the kids, they just care about the cash. For every child that they have inside, they get paid. The kids are just another resource for money. They aren't loved, they aren't cared for, they're just kept.

This is what OnEartHeart is about. KIDS Helping KIDS!!

Read more about OnEartHeart

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Next Project in Fall '09

Our next project involves everyone. We want kids everywhere to donate books to the children in long-term hospital care at their nearest hospital, and if possible, read to them. The children there live in the hospital, and they just need a friend. You can be that friend by visiting them, reading to them, and helping them heal. A specific time zone for the project will be posted once finalized. Look for it!