This is The Screamm Project, a global campaign that brings together a collective of diverse individuals to express their truth through vulnerability by sharing experiences of overcoming obstacles through ART, COLLABORATION, and EXPRESSION to drive the future of ending depression.
FEATURING Reginald Matthews who was born and raised in Michigan, Educated in Georgia and Louisiana
I AM…WHO I AM! I am a culmination of wins and losses, struggle and accomplishments, sacrifices and gains, inspiration and disenchantment, hardwork and laziness, skill and incompetence, ignorance and knowledge, motivation and procrastination, and most importantly perfections and imperfections. This is who I am, this how I got here, this is how I will progress, and this is how I will remain. I love who I am, I wouldn’t change who I am… I am who I am.
What event or moment occurred that led you to your passion and what is your passion?
It is very hard to pinpoint a “moment” that led me to my passion, only because my passion is ongoing, growing, and evolving. I can say that my experience in journalism as a high school student was the start of the culmination of my passion for entertainment, sports, and media. My time at Morehouse nurtured that passion, but also added a new passion for giving back (especially in the form of mentorship, charity, and educating). My time in law school nurtured the previous passions and created a new one for business, advocacy, and civil rights. So, when it comes to “that moment”, I can’t really explain it, but I pride myself on taking my interactions, experiences, and the people that come, gone, stayed, and will be in myself as inspiration and motivation for how to put all my passions in the gumbo pot ( there is a little bit of my time in Louisiana showing) and either create or be a part of something amazing. I take every experience and interaction as a gift (yes, even the bad ones) because there is something more behind it; there is a lesson, a story, a vision, and motive, something that is going to help me understand and grow my passion(s). Which can help me help someone else understand their passion.
What key elements, actions, etc., helped you overcome the obstacles in your life?
As a lawyer, we love categories, subtopics, and headers. So I will break this down the best way I know how.
Realness & Honesty of your decisions – There is a point when you realize that no one else is responsible for you, but you. Life is full of choices and decisions that you must make and they are all you! You may see the affects of your decision instantly or you may see them in a week, a month, 6 months, a year, or 5 years. I’ve learned to stand by your decision whatever it is and own it. Learn from the decisions by taking an objective view and understanding the pro’s and con’s, because there are always pro’s and con’s, and continue in your trek forward. Understanding what you did, why you did it, the affects of it, and how things could be different or improved will only help you move forward in your journey toward your goals and aligning with your passion.
Make it Happen (Within Reason)/Figure It Out – Anyone that knows me, knows that my catch phase is “I will figure it out”. Now, that does not mean that I am out here in the world doing things on a whim and not having a plan or goal in mind. “I will figure it out” means that I am going to take the tools in my tool belt that I have prepared over the last several years through experiences and interactions and how am I going to make what I want happen. personally am a stickler for a plan, understanding the advantages and disadvantages for different avenues that I am going to take to make it happen, how I am going to make it happen, who is going to be involved in making it happen, and why making it happen is so important to my growth and development now. With all of that being said, I think one of the most important parts of making it happen/figure it out is the “when”. When am I going to make it happen, but most importantly understanding and being okay with the fact that your “when” and the right “when” maybe two separate time stamps. We all want it now, but taking, executing, doing, moving, or doing anything prematurely is something we call in the legal community as ripeness. What we call doing something too late is called mootness. Ripeness and mootness are terms in constitutional law that focus on when is the right time to file a lawsuit. Ripeness means that it is too early and mootness is when your window of opportunity has passed. You have to wait for when the opportunity is right; and trust me, when the opportunity is right, you will know it.
Find Your Tribe–Tribe is something that my Spelman Sister Maura Washington created. She has this amazing organization called Tribe that focused on meaningful connections and space for where woman could grown both professionally and personally. Her organization has always stuck with and I have modified it to fit life today. You need your tribe or your team around to make it through those rough days and to help you reach your goals. No one can do it alone, which is why I am a firm believer in making sure that I have the right people in my corner to help uplift, motivate, and inspire you professionally and personally. Now, it may take some time to find your tribe. You may have to boot some people off the island, but once you find them. They will help carry you through the rough times.
Ask For Help - There is a negative connotation with asking for help and I myself have fell victim to needing help and not wanting to ask for it. Please note that when I say ask for help. I do not mean just in the professional sense of looking for a job or having some look over a résumé. Mental health awareness is extremely important and is why I am personally an advocate for people seeking help and talking to people. Whether that is therapy, talking to a friend, or something as simple as going for a walk. As for help when you need it. It does not mean that you are weak, feeble, or unable to handle life’s pressures. It actually means that you are strong enough and smart enough to understand that you need help and that you are asking for it.
I think that Self Awareness and Reflection in Nature are the two components that I most align with. Like I stated above, you have to be self-aware of the decisions and the choices that you make and understand them. The understanding portion comes with the reflection in nature. Reflecting on why you made the decisions and how it has impacted your life for the detriment or the greater good.