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Adam Cola: “Educate yourself”

Step 1 — Educate yourself. For those who respond to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter” especially without taking the time to research exactly why “Black Lives Matter,” you are contributing to the problem. Step 2 — Speak up. We live in an age where the ability to engage in conversation has entered into a heightened dimension with the […]

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Step 1 — Educate yourself. For those who respond to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter” especially without taking the time to research exactly why “Black Lives Matter,” you are contributing to the problem.

Step 2 — Speak up. We live in an age where the ability to engage in conversation has entered into a heightened dimension with the worldwide use of social media.

Step 3 — Reach out to black co-workers, friends or acquaintances and listen to what they have to say. Doing research and talking about it on social media are not enough to understand the reality that people have lived. Everybody loves to talk and have an opinion but listening to the people whose lives have been affected by injustice is what we need now more than ever.

Step 4 — Make charitable donations to organizations aiming to ending racial injustice and fight for the equality for people from all walks of life.

Step 5 — Be aware of your own thought processes and correct those who unknowingly make prejudice remarks. If we don’t keep each other accountable, how can we progress?


As part of our series about ‘5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Cola.

He is a singer, songwriter, and dancer based in Los Angeles, CA. His path was born out of happenstance while at summer camp. As a wide-eyed seven-year-old, Adam discovered his knack for picking up dance steps and he’s never looked back. Throughout his teens, he fueled his passions, participating in every dance/fashion/artistic event he could, developing impeccable style and a thoughtful sense of self. Cola’s hit singles “Dancin” and “Be Free” are tributes to the importance of self-expression. Cola is looking forward to releasing new music in 2020.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/20a1648de2632c2f592a3105de1482bb


Thank you so much for joining us again, Adam! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

It’s my pleasure. I was born in a suburb in Montreal, raised by Jewish Canadian parents. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors of Polish descent and migrated to Canada after WWII to start a new life. I come from a very tight knit family. I have two older siblings who are my biggest supporters aside from my parents. An artistic and creative kid by nature, I found myself getting involved in music and dance productions at school and partook in local music and dance productions starting at the age of 7 or 8. I always felt different from my peers because of my knack for art, music and dance and for having a mature sense of humor. I’ve always been a pretty shy person by nature but as soon as I’d ever get into rehearsals or on stage, the confident performer in me took over all of that self-doubt.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl made a strong impact on me. The book is narrated from the experience of renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl during his life as a prisoner under the Nazi regime. It strikes a particular chord in me given that my grandparents are Holocaust survivors. It’s a story about survival through spirituality and the human quest for life’s meaning.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss. This is a powerful quote that continues to guide me. Growing up, I struggled with feelings of inadequacy in my identity. Fear of how we are perceived by others can diminish our feelings of self-love; which is invaluable, and in my experience, comes from within. A big reason for me making music is to inspire people to live their truth and be proud of who they really are.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership to me is knowing exactly what you want, having a strong intuition, and having the courage to speak your mind. A good leader is able to decipher things they learn, see, hear and feel and make their own conclusions rather than allowing the opinions and actions of others to define their beliefs. A good leader questions the status quo.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Which particular crisis would you like to discuss with us today? Why does that resonate with you so much?

The fight against systemic racism is a very prevalent and important subject that’s been at the forefront of this nation’s public conversation. It resonates with me greatly first because of my personal belief that equality and equal treatment is something that must be enforced by the systems in place and secondly from listening and learning from the first-hand accounts of the sordid inhumanity experienced by my grandparents who survived one of the worst genocides in history. Furthermore, my sexuality is still being criticized by members of this country let alone some of the world’s countries who do not recognize rights of all gender and sexuality groups. I fully support #BLACKLIVESMATTER and stand by any group of people who endure mistreatment or who are prevented from experiencing the same quality of life as everybody else for the color of their skin, gender/sexual identity or for their religious backgrounds. I get really upset when I see people being treated unfairly on any level and I will never stop standing up for equality for all.

This is likely a huge topic. But briefly, can you share your view on how this crisis inexorably evolved to the boiling point that it’s at now?

The United States has had a major issue with racial inequality since its inception, but the Black Lives Matter movement seems to be reaching its boiling point now more than ever as it has been ushered into a new level of public consciousness by the widely known viral video of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by asphyxiation in police custody. This isn’t something new, sadly, and perhaps it’s taken a generation like my own to actually do something about it and influence others to do so as well.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience either working on this cause or your experience being impacted by it? Can you share a story with us?

What is quite interesting is that I don’t think I paid enough attention to what was going on beyond the world I know. I’ve always known that racism, anti-Semitism and violence against specific groups exist, but it wasn’t something I witnessed first-hand very often. Just because I’ve always treated others equally and never believed I was any better or worse for who I am, I’ve learned that this bigger cause is not about me at all. It’s about how others are being victimized and mistreated and about ending the very real existence of racial injustices. What troubles me the most about systemic racism is that Black people are automatically identifiable for the color of their skin and the fact that this trait alone creates a bias in how they are treated in society is utterly wrong. White supremacy is a global emergency that needs to be spoken out against and I believe legislation should be put in place that puts people in power through a screening process before they are permitted to make decisions about the fates of others.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

I want to make it very clear that I am not the guru on what to do to end systemic racism in addition to the slew of other urgent issues plaguing this country. These are steps that I have taken and that I recommend for everybody reading this, and especially those who are not a person of color.

Step 1 — Educate yourself. For those who respond to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter” especially without taking the time to research exactly why “Black Lives Matter,” you are contributing to the problem.

Step 2 — Speak up. We live in an age where the ability to engage in conversation has entered into a heightened dimension with the worldwide use of social media.

Step 3 — Reach out to black co-workers, friends or acquaintances and listen to what they have to say. Doing research and talking about it on social media are not enough to understand the reality that people have lived. Everybody loves to talk and have an opinion but listening to the people whose lives have been affected by injustice is what we need now more than ever.

Step 4 — Make charitable donations to organizations aiming to ending racial injustice and fight for the equality for people from all walks of life.

Step 5 — Be aware of your own thought processes and correct those who unknowingly make prejudice remarks. If we don’t keep each other accountable, how can we progress?

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but what can we do to make these ideas a reality? What specific steps can you suggest to make these ideas actually happen? Are there things that the community can do to help you promote these ideas?

I think the ideas I’ve suggested are very practical and I encourage everybody reading this to get uncomfortable and do things they haven’t done before. The community can help me promote these ideas by doing their part. I’m not the leader of ending systemic racism — we are all in this together and we all have a part to play.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

I sure hope so. I think the more shame and exposure that is placed on people who are mentally warped enough to perpetuate hate crimes and acts of terrorism against members of certain demographics needs to be increased. I think the issue has already improved because of this. People are realizing that their silence on these matters is actually a major threat to its resolution and if the masses can get over themselves (to put it bluntly) and tap into the greater good of our world, we may one day get to a point where love can be shared by all walks of life. I believe an aspect of American culture is very “me” focused and that is a danger of this as well, so it is up to the leaders of this nation and of the world to speak on these matters and be a positive voice of change for our people.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Be open-minded, attentive, and compassionate to others, and do not be quick to judge somebody unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would be interested in meeting Michelle Obama because she’s an unstoppable force and isn’t afraid to stand her ground about important matters. Not only that but she’s respectful and compassionate as well. I think she’d be a great person to talk to about aspects of North American systems. I’d also like to know more about her life story.

How can our readers follow you?

Instagram — www.instagram.com/adamcolamusic

Facebook — www.facebook.com/adamcolamusic

Twitter — www.twitter.com/adamcolamusic

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