On Thursday, January 5, 2017, a Kwanzaa celebration was held at a venue in downtown Worcester. It was a makeup of the celebration postponed the previous Thursday because of inclement weather.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture. It is celebrated every year from December 26 to January 1. The name is derived from the phrase “matundayakwanzaa, which means “first fruits” in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language.

There are Seven Principles to Kwanzaa; 1. Umoja (Unity) 2. Kujichagulla (Self-Determination 3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility 4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) 5. Nia (Purpose) 6. Kuumba (Creativity) 7. Imani (Faith)

The program consisted of a “Call to the Ancestors,” a “Libation,” the Lighting of Seven Kwanzaa Candles, one for each principle, and a medley of Kwanzaa songs.

The guest speaker was Dr. Joyce McNickles, a social justice activist, college professor, and diversity consultant. The title of her speech was “Having Purpose (Nia) in the Time of Trump.”

Here are some excerpts from her speech:

“After eight years of the country’s first Black president, there’s been a “whitelash” that has resulted in Donald Trump.

A lot of people woke up on November 9 wondering how did someone like Trump get elected. But Trump is not the root of the problem; he’s a symbol and a symptom of the problems that were already there. People were asking themselves why so many Americans would vote for a man who is unapologetically racist, sexist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic.

The answer is simple. A lot of people voted for him because they share his views, and Trump did a great job normalizing these views in such a public way.

Some people have argued that most Trump supporters were motivated by their economic concerns rather than bigotry.

Honestly, I don’t buy it. It wasn’t just about their economic situation. A New York Times exit poll showed that Trump supporters identified immigration and terrorism, not the economy, as the most important issues of the campaign.

Immigration and terrorism are both about race—Mexicans and Arab Muslims.

And now some of these people feel emboldened enough to put their hatred and ignorance out on Front Street for everyone to see. No inhibitions. No filters. Straight talk, no chasers.

The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 867 cases of harassment or intimidation in the ten days after the election.

Some of you may have felt like me the first few days or weeks after the election. Even though I knew that there are people in this country who share Trump’s hateful views, I still felt like I was stuck in a really bad 3-D movie because I was feeling Disgusted, Discouraged, and Depressed…

Although Trump says he wants to make America great again, we all know what he and many of his supporters want. They want to make America WHITE again, and not just white again but make America the way it was in the 1950’s when gay people were in the closet, when women accepted sexual harassment on their jobs because they had no legal recourse, when signs in public spaces were written in English only, and when everyone said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays…”

What should be our goals as people of African descent?

I looked to Black Lives Matter to see how they were defining their purpose in the time of Trump. They put out a statement after the election:

“The violence he will inflict in office, and the permission he gives for others to commit violence, is just beginning to emerge. Our mandate has not changed: organize and end all state-sanctioned violence until all Black Lives Matter…until black people are free, no one is free…

Show solidarity with undocumented brothers and sisters by calling your city councilor to say you want them to make Worcester a Sanctuary City…

Take to the streets. There’s a place for protests. I’m sure there will be some protests in Worcester once Trump starts his shenanigans. Join them…

White people are going to put being bolder on their lists of 2017 goals. Some of the white people who supported Trump are being bold and saying whatever they want to people of color, immigrants, and Muslims. White people who want to be part of the resistance need to be just as bold by confronting and calling out white supremacy and racism when they see it…

And the final goal for all of us is perhaps the most important.

No matter how ridiculously insane things become over the next four years we can’t normalize it. We can’t accept it.

We can’t normalize crazy.”

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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