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MY TRUTH: Some sense of “normal”

We know there’s a pandemic. There will be challenges, obstacles and roadblocks that will cause us to face, overcome and pivot.

We also know that in spite of what is going on in life, we must continue to live until we take that last breath.

You’ve heard people say be- fore, “I don’t know how I can live without _.”

Well, guess what, although there are painful days ahead and some are tough, we still manage to live on; until it is our time to transition.

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We have definitely had some tough times over the past 22 months and in order to navigate through all the drama, we have to do the time and not let the time do us!

Which brings me to my truth.

Prior to COVID -19, the Don’t Believe the Hype foundation, along with other sponsors, began hosting the Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo. Initially held in December and featuring the incomparable Dick Gregory as the headliner, the event was moved to Dr. Martin Luther King Day and partnered with the annual parade commemorating his life.

This year the Avenue Proactive Resource Center is joining with the Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation, in conjunction with I Messenger Media LLC (Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger), Comerica, African American Museum and others, to host the Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo because together we want to build stronger communities.

The 5th Annual Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo is scheduled for Monday, January 17, 2022, at the African American Museum in beautiful Sunny South Dallas. This family-oriented, fun and message-filled event is a wonderful way to pay homage to the man who worked to make this world a better place.

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Dr. King had a dream and he wanted a better world. In order to live in a better world, we must be healthy in a number of ways: mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, socially and holistically.

Through the Healthy Living Expo, we will be addressing all of those areas. We will have vendors, speakers and programming geared toward building stronger families and communities. There will be community activists, educators, advisors, and just like in the past, we will also have entertainment, screenings and opportunities to assist attendees in bettering their lives. There will be college representatives, insurance and financial planning advisors, voter registration and education booths and much more.

According to Dr. King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

He also said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

The Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation and other partners will be filling a void on January 17. Thousands and thousands come out annually for the Parade but this year the City of Dallas will present a virtual parade.

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Meanwhile people want to get out and experience some form of normalcy, whatever that is.

Many are looking for places to eat and something else to do on this national holiday and we’re providing the venue, the information, food, entertainment and programming that will engage the masses.

In 2020, the Expo featured inside and outside vendors, the MAVS MAANIACS, health screenings, giveaways and fun and excitement for the entire family. The food vendors served everything from gumbo and fried fish to monkey bread and vegan dishes. There were several workshops dealing with health, finance, social issues and more. To top it off, several attendees won DNA kits!

A highlight was the quest for the best Macaroni Cheese in town.

Blogger Lindsay Tigar wrote: “A few days before MLK’s assassina- tion, he was due to have dinner with a pastor at the Monumental Baptist Church, Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles. Kyles and his wife had been preparing for this welcome dinner at their new home and wanted to make sure they served MLK’s favorite foods. One of those was macaroni and cheese, which originated in the South.”

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The winners were announced and then attendees were able to sample the entries in three categories: Traditional is the macaroni and cheese that your mother or grandma made. With a Twist is that special something you add, like asparagus, spinach, or a family secret that is not a meat. Then there’s the meat-lovers, that could have anything from brisket or shrimp, to bacon, chicken or hotdogs.

Two Podners, Olive Garden and Eatzi’s walked away with honors.

Now unfortunately because of COVID-19, we will not be having a cooking contest but there will be plenty for you to engage in.

Also, please know that there will be plenty of safety measures in place and this is important because as late as this week, Dr. Phil Huang, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services ad- dressed Dallas City Councilman Casey Thomas II and members of the Black COVID Task Force and discussed the importance of getting vaccinated, wearing masks and keeping safe distances.

“We need to not let our guard down,” he said, adding that there is the potential for the numbers to go back up if we don’t take precautions.

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And while we know that there are so many who are concerned about whether they should take the vaccine, Dr. Huang pointed out that 100s of millions of doses have been administered.

Yes, people are concerned and so, in addition to financial literacy, food deserts, employment opportunities, healthy eating, CBD and more; the Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo will provide answers, support and opportunities.

Plan to join us!

WHAT: Realizing the Dream Healthy Living Expo

WHEN: Monday, January 17, 2022 – 10am-5pm

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WHERE: African American Museum in Fair Park

Admission: LOVE

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