The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

From Pain to Power; motivational speaker talks pathway to positive change
Motivational speaker Caliph Assagai addresses students, staff and faculty about making positive change in the wake of social injustice. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Ben Irwin | Editor-in-chief | [email protected]

Motivational speaker Caliph Assagai said that students can put themselves into positions to succeed and make positive change in the wake of social injustice when he addressed City College students, faculty and staff in the Student Center May 1.

Assagai acknowledged the pain from the loss of Stephon Clark and the recent decision to not charge the officers involved in his shooting death, as well as the string of hateful and racist graffiti incidents that have plagued City College in the 2018-19 academic year. He was brought to campus by Eric Williams, business administration major and president of the Business Society at City College.

“As students, we are in a special position to be activists now, to make a difference now on this campus and people around us—not only for the impact it will have on Sacramento City College, but for the impact each and every one of you will have when you leave this place,” said Assagai. “I know that learning and understanding different perspectives and most importantly understanding your power is the way to make that happen.”

Assagai, a law school graduate and former lobbyist, commented on the big-picture view of Clark’s death, citing compassion regardless of race or ethnicity.  

“If you care about other people, and you see someone die unnecessarily, it’s going to hurt you,” said Assagai. “We want accountability for the loss of this life.”

Assagai acknowledged the reopened wound in March after the Sacramento County district attorney declined to charge the officers involved in Clark’s death, despite community demands for accountability.

“When something has caused such a tremendous hurt in your life and in your community, and your in a place of pain and don’t have accountability on the account of those people who were acting, and the people who made the decision are still in charge,” said Assagai, “the question that we have now, and that I’m here to talk about is, what do we do now?”

Assagai said he understands the desire to stamp out systemic racism, hatred and bigotry, but that these things happening at the local level are a symptom of a much larger societal problem, and to actually make meaningful change, the first step is to recognize who you can be and empower yourself.

It’s the matter to know to what degree the erections last. tadalafil 40mg You have to keep in mind that you can improve your performance simply by following a healthy lifestyle. soft cialis mastercard This happens because the man either ejaculates early or is levitra online not able to maintain the erect posture as required by his partner. In order to reimburse the costs, big producers set a higher price that allows them generic viagra tab to return their investments with some profit. “It’s going to be a long fight,” said Assagai. “It’s understanding this entire game that is being played out there and to get involved. [We may not like the game, but] if we want to change the game, we have to play the game.”  

Assagai recalled the experience of his mother’s sudden death the day after he graduated from UC Davis and applied his story of pain and loss to empowering students in the wake of social injustice.

“[Moving forward with my life] I knew this was not about me, but for a greater vision for my life,” said Assagai. “The most painful experience I’ve ever had in my life I turned into power, and that power was to overcome, the power to be resilient, the power to focus, work on and fix myself, to deal with those things that were preventing me from achieving greatness.”

Assagai explained what he called three types of power—personal, economic and political—and how students can build themselves up in a community college environment to create meaningful change.

“Part of personal power is being able to succeed despite [hateful, racist incidents] happening on campus,” said Assagai. “The way the system wins is getting you to quit. The way the system wins is getting you to say, ‘I’m not going to worry about school; I’ve got to fix this racism,’ and they’re like, ‘Gotcha, because that’s not going to happen,’ understanding that you have to pick your battles, where you put your focus on advocacy on campus, but mostly where you put your focus on academics. The best thing we can do to honor the life that was lost and start to interrupt the corrupt system that allowed for no accountability after a life was lost, is to put ourselves in a position to infiltrate the systems that control our lives, and that takes success right here [at City College].”

Money talks, and to play the game, Assagai said, aspiring advocates will need some.  

“Where we need to be going, it’s not just ‘I want to run for office,’ it’s not just ‘I’m going to always vote,’ it’s not just ‘I’m going to give $5 to Bernie,’” said Assagai. “It’s understanding that there’s this entire game that we need to be getting involved in. When it comes down to it, there’s always somebody on the other side who’s putting their money where their issues are, and we need to be able to do the same.”

Assagai encouraged students to continue to advocate for change on local issues, but not let local hate, bigotry and racism derail them from the goal of building themselves to combat these systemic issues on a bigger playing field.

“That [change] begins with us stepping into our personal power now, gaining economic power, flexing our political power and forcing this system into what we want it to be, because it will only happen with us. Eventually we will have the America we all dream of, but it starts with you.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express

Comments (0)

All The Express Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *