DC Department IG Employment Services – Community Conversations

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Community Conversations for Wards 4, 5, and 6 hosted by the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES). Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, the Interim Director of the DOES, provided the community residents an overview of the programs offered by DOES. Programs highlighted included: American Job Centers; Back to Work 50+; DC Infrastructure Academy; Learn, Earn, Advance, Prosper (LEAP); Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP); In-School-Program; Out-of-School-Program; and The Pathways for Young Adults Program (PYAP). One immediate observation is the major need to provide services for transitioning adults 30+ seeking career opportunities after unemployment for prolonged periods.

To learn more about the many great employment and training resources offered by the DOES visit here: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/page_content/attachments/DOES_Program_Guide_Web.pdf

Maryland Elections 2018

Wow! This election cycle has brought many surprises and well deserved wins!!! I would like to acknowledge all of the WOMEN that had the courage to jump out there and run for office!!! Congratulations to those who won this is your moment. I’m honored to know many of these elected officials. It takes a unique person to run for office and WIN. One that is genuine, one that connects with others, one that is willing to stand up for what they believe is right, one that is selfless and willing to serve. I look forward to supporting each of you as you serve our great state of Maryland and local communities. Thank you for your tireless Service!!! For real time election results visit here: https://elections.maryland.gov/county_status_page_root.html

How to Live a Joyful Life

For a long time I was stuck in a rut. Just existing. Living life but not truly living my best life. One of my mentors pointed out to me that I accomplished so much, but what is my goal? What do I want at this moment in my personal and professional life? She challenged me to figure out my “why” and connect biweekly with senior leaders, influencers, key stakeholders, and those that inspire me to create a powerful network.

The lightbulb clicked after talking with my mentor. I immediately took ownership of my life and my joy. After a long period of darkness (grief, sadness, anger, isolation, and denial), I finally found light. I became unstuck. Not solely through a clinical therapist but through traditional Chinese Medicine and Accupuncture. The accupuncture improved my mood by correcting the imbalance of energy in my body. I also found a Life Coach. My Life Coach helped me to identify my source of happiness: the little uninhibited girl inside of me. That little girl has no fear, she’s joyful, loves to have fun and travel.

Through the encouragement and support of my Life Coach I started to practice self-care and to do what brings me joy: travel and creating memorable experiences.

• I’ve traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge with my Dad, Baby Brother and Cousins and had the time of my life at the indoor heated water park! Watching the kids play and enjoy themselves brought me joy.

• I saw Anita Baker LIVE at her farewell concert with my elementary school best friend and spent time with a dear Air Force Friend. This filled me with an indescribable joy.

• I traveled to Hawaii to see my Air Force Sister retire. It was joyful witnessing her ceremony and feeling all the love from friends and family. The beach and spending time with my Military family brought me immense joy that I haven’t experienced in a long time.

• Next week I’ll be traveling to New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival to enjoy great food, Sister Fellowship, Great Drinks, and of course listen to musical icons like Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, The Roots, Escape, Mary J. Blige and Fantasia. This brings me exponential joy.

You see I was spending time “accomplishing goals” but I wasn’t living in the moment. That was my “aha moment.” My mentor helped me to realize that my toolbox of accomplishments was not my source of joy. I needed to rediscover what brought me joy. Not every treatment or method of therapy is going to help everyone the same. I’m a big advocate of traditional therapy as needed, but also incorporating naturopathic treatments and seeking mentors and life coaches. For me healing is a collaborative effort. We are all unique. I will eventually seek a grief counselor as I’ve suffered tremendous loss in a short period of time. For now my methods of treatment have worked tremendously to improve my mood and quality of life. I’m living in the moment with joy.


Simply Ebony

Dubai Travel Tips

I visited Dubai with the fabulous Kenna Williams for the #DubaiBlackOut in 2017. Our travel dates were October 26-31, 2017. All of the events started and ended on time (this is important specifically when organizing large groups.) There were 500 in our group, the #Chosen500.

I’ve chronicled for you the itinerary, optional excursions, and tips to make your trip to Dubai a memorable experience.


10/26/17 (Thursday) Hotel Check In/Dinner/Happy Hour

10/27/17 (Friday) Saffron Brunch at Atlantis Hotel Dubai (12:30PM-4:00PM)

10/28/17 (Saturday) Yacht Cruise (4:00PM-8:00PM)

10/29/17 (Sunday) Abu Dhabi Day Trip (9:00AM-9:30PM)

10/30/17 (Monday) Meet and Greet on the hotel rooftop (11:00AM-1:00PM)

10/30/17 Sundowner Desert Safari (Experience the magic of the desert at sundown on a 5-hour safari, and enjoy a dune drive at sunset. Afterwards, go to a traditional Bedouin-style camp for a delicious buffet dinner and live entertainment.)

10/31/17 Departures!!! Go home or travel to popular destinations: (i.e. Egypt and the Maldives.)

Important tips:

Dress is casual. You do not have to cover up or dress in traditional Muslim garb. Just be respectful. ***The only time you have to wear full Muslim garb is while visiting the mosques.***

Transportation: Use UBER, Request hotel shuttle service, use cabs sparingly (MAKE SURE you have internet reception or download google maps and have the directions to desired locations BEFORE you get in the cab.)

FOOD Delivery Service: The Talabat APP allows you to order food 24/7 delivered to your room!!!


Bu Qtair: BEST Fish Restaurant https://www.zomato.com/dubai/bu-qtair-umm-suqeim

Ting IRIE (Jamaican Restaurant): http://www.tingirie.com/

De La Mer Spa-(Ladies book appointments with the spa): http://delamerspa.com/

Make your reservations via the website or email for more info and group packages at: info@delamerspa.com

Optional Excursions: (Special Tip – Allow lots of flexibility into your schedule for shopping/and other interests.)

Souks: https://www.visitdubai.com/en/shop-dine-relax/shopping/souks

Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building): http://m.burjkhalifa.ae/en/index.aspx

High Tea at the Burj Khalifa: http://www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com/high-tea.aspx

Burj Al Arab (Most luxurious hotel): https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/burj-al-arab/

Dubai Miracle Garden: http://www.dubaimiraclegarden.com/

Cost for Excursions:

Safrron Brunch $155


Abu Dhabi Day Tour plus brunch and yacht cruise transportation $40

Abu Dhabi Day Tour (Request shuttle/transportation from your hotel concierge or book tours here): https://www.arabian-adventures.com/experiences/)

Must-see attractions in Abu Dhabi:

• Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. The key word about this place is ‘Grand’! (YOU MUST WEAR FULL TRADITIONAL MUSLIM GARB)

• Emirates Palace. The Emirates Palace is a must see stop on your Abu Dhabi day tour from Dubai.

• UAE Heritage Village.

• Desert Safari Experiences in Abu Dhabi. (BEST EXPERIENCE would recommend you wear TRADITIONAL MUSLIM GARB for a photo shoot).

• The Corniche.

• Yas Waterworld.

• Ferrari World.

• Musandam Tour.

Yacht Cruise

Cost: $170


Desert Safari $108 (This is a great EXPERIENCE!!! Wear TRADITIONAL MUSLIM GARB for a Desert Photo Shoot).

Sundowner Dune Desert Safari with Dinner and Show: https://www.arabian-adventures.com/holiday/sundowner-dune-dinner-safari-shared-vehicle-4df3ae2b0a03eb8e7b5f4b42d82a2599/overview

Recommended Hotel:

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai


Rate for entire stay $1250

Special Note: This hotel offered daily breakfast, and easy access to the nearby Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Opera.

This information will hopefully get you on your way to a life changing experience in Dubai. Please comment and tell me what you think or provide additional suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.


Simply Ebony

Mastering Civility in the Workplace

Moment of truth. My Civility in the workplace and in my personal relationships needs improvement. Based on feedback from my peers and management, I decided to take action to correct this gap. Today at WORK (yes I have a 9-5 lol), I’m taking a course on “Mastering Civility in the Workplace,” by Dr. Christine Porath. The Treasury Executive Institute offers great training AND Coaching for mid to senior government leaders in grades GS-14, GS-15, and the Senior Executive Service (SES). Just because we make the grade doesn’t mean we stop learning. My challenge to myself is to improve my Civility score over the next few months and work more on respecting others, being attentive, respecting people’s time, being inclusive, and giving more. There’s a lot of work to do!

If you want to find out your Civility score visit here: http://www.christineporath.com

Tips I was provided to improve:

• Use less Email and more Face-to-Face.

• Openly acknowledge the contributions of others.

• Respect others time and don’t keep people waiting unnecessarily.

• Stop talking down to others.

• Accept responsibility when I make mistakes.

• Stop spreading rumors and/or contributing to gossip.

• Avoid belittling others non-verbally.

• Stop shutting people out of my network.

• Pay more attention to others’ interest and opinions.

• Be a good listener.

• Stop insulting others.

• Show up on time to meetings.

• Don’t speak unkindly of others.

• Don’t interrupt others.

• Appreciate others’ efforts.

Rest In Peace Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

Rest in Peace to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain that took their lives. I’m exasperated over all of these FaceBook statuses. People pretending to care about others. Posting hotline phone numbers. Really phone numbers? How about post your own number? Or send someone a message that’s hurting to check on them. Okay? These suddenly caring people see a person in distress they are the first to not just kick a person when they are down but laugh, joke, isolate, stigmatize and demonize any person who doesn’t fit inside this perfect box.

People everyday suffer from depression. Not everyone is happy daily. Yes people are suicidal and take their own lives. Stop acting surprised when the person you bullied, harassed, turned your back on, kicked when they were down takes their life. That misperception that they haven’t sought help or haven’t received treatment is just that an assumption. They probably called you and you were too busy judging or talking about them on a Facebook status to pick up the phone or answer their inbox for help.

Many suffer in silence for years while you post statuses saying you’d never date or befriend a person that suffers from mental health conditions. While you call them crazy and other hurtful names. Remember you told them to get over it? It’s ironic most times the people that say these hurtful things also suffer from severe mental illness as well. Please stop with the fake caring. The world and so many people are messed up. You don’t really care at all. If you did instead of a FaceBook post you’d at least have the decency to call and check on a friend. You won’t though so stop being fake. Let’s be real and actually show compassion not just a FaceBook post. 💔💔💔

Employment Readiness Tips by Ebony Johnson

Getting Started: To start inquire with your state sponsored employment services. For example in Maryland we have the Maryland DLLR that provides career training, résumé writing and review, career search help, college/trade programs and grants for unemployed workers to receive training. All of these services are free and state sponsored. Also, look up local non-profits that specialize in job readiness training.

Résumé writing: Every single one of you needs a résumé. Even if you are unemployed include activities such as volunteer work. Do not forget to include your credentials and experience such as college, certifications, and Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access). Write the résumé to fit the job. If you possess those skills in the advertisement make sure it is highlighted on the résumé. Invest in résumé writing books or do a google search for resumes fitting your job skills.

Employment options: Consider owning your own business. Take free or low cost courses on starting your business via your state sponsored Small Business Association. Apply for positions via Temp Agencies. You earn income and this may land you a permanent job.

Job Fairs: Do a google search and look for job fairs in your area. Dress to impress and bring several resumes. Research the employers before you go and ask questions. The recruiters are there to hire but are also willing to answer any questions. Get names of the recruiters and submit your cover letters addressing them to the recruiters.

Career Resource Advisors: Colleges have career advisors and offer job search assistance for alumni students. Use them!

Social Media: Create a LinkedIn account. Join groups relevant to your career. This is one of the top recruitment tools. Ensure your profile is complete with your résumé and make it stand out with your skills. Chose a professional picture.

Networking: Carry business cards and be ready to hand them out to any and everyone. Include your name, contact info, LinkedIn profile, job title, and three or four billets of your skills. Attend networking events. Gather lots of references and ask everyone you meet if they know about any employment opportunities. Most companies offer recruitment incentives, it pays to ask friends/associates about job opportunities.

Job Search: Great sites include USAJobs, Indeed, Monster, Craigslist, and your State/City employment websites.

In Memory of Kate Spade: Suicide Has Many Faces

Kate Spade, an innovative designer that created a fashion empire that transcends generations, was found dead on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in what police characterized as a suicide by hanging. This left many on Social Media to ponder: What does depression look like? What does that woman that has everything look like? What does a woman that suffers from deep sadness and loneliness look like? What does the face of someone who suffers silently with grief and loss look like? What does a person who has contemplated taking their own life look like? That face has many covers. Yesterday, that face was Kate Spade’s.  Oftentimes, you just don’t know the battles that people go through behind closed doors. Stop making assumptions and show compassion. It’s okay to call, text, or send a message to someone just to ask how they are doing. Simple empathy and love makes a difference. Rest in Peace Kate Spade.  May your legacy continue to carry on and may your death encourage others to seek help if needed. Suicide and depression has many faces. #RIP #KateSpade

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and seek help. Your life matters. Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.  The lifeline is available 24 hours everyday.


Simply Ebony