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Good Morning and Happy New Year Family. This New Year has ushered in the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. How amazing as we are on the eve of the 2nd Inauguration of the 1st black President of the United States. But as much as I am in favor of the acknowledgement and celebration of both occasions, my prayer is that we don’t spend the year getting lost in them, vs. convicted by them.

Imagine that 150 years ago, in the midst of civil war that the first wave of men and women, enslaved in American states that were rebelling against the Union were freed. Imagine their thoughts, desires and visions. What can I, we do with this freedom? And from the remedial to the revolutionary they had a vision of what the future would look like; and worked to make it real. In 2013 we honor them most, by not only remembering them, but by solidifying and developing strategy around OUR vision for the NEXT 150 years.

So I want to provide a three-part commentary (this week included) on The Next 150, where do we go and how do we get there. I will not propose a silver bullet, ONE issue that I think is more important or an order to address them. But rather issues I believe should be addressed and ways we can address them.

The first is education and its effect on the economy. Slaves braved death to learn to read and now many of us have more TV’s in our homes than books and wonder why our babies can’t read. What does quality education look like? The ability to matriculate through a pre-primary and secondary system that prepares you for college, trade school, entrepreneurship and/or another future that allows you to make a livable wage hopefully all while following your passion. Are we as a nation in that place, with that kind of education system? NO.

We are:

25th in math

14th in reading

17th in science

16th in the world in college attainment

According to a McKinsey report, “Job Creation and America’s Future,” the U.S. needs 21 million new jobs to return to 5% unemployment by 2020:

*       More than 60% of all jobs in the future will require some post secondary education.

*       Over the next 10 years, half of all jobs will require education beyond high school.  To compete globally and fill high paying, high skill jobs, U.S. students will need more than a high school diploma.

What are the policies we need to fight for and the solutions we need to create a culture of educational excellence for our community? Join me this SUNDAY on my weekly show THE INTERSECTION @ as we dig deep. And then meet me right here next Tuesday as we lay out the direction for education, social movement, economic development and playing the political chess game beyond electing a President.

If we want to celebrate the wins of the last 150 years, lets plan for the victory vision for the next 150. This is the only morning show in the land that wants to put the purpose in the party. It’s the TJMS and that’s my truth.