CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Tales from the 2.9 — Year 3

Many want to slow things down as they ease into the new year, but with Black History Month mere weeks away, we’re into full swing planning for the third annual Tales from the 2.9—Black Canadians Sharing Their Stories in a Digital Age.

After two years focusing on Black Canadian people, I’ve realised there’s a far bigger picture that needs exploring for the Black Canadian Experience, looking at the stories and ideas that shape our community in what promises to be the most thought-provoking series yet. If you’re interested in joining and giving your two cents, please check my ask out in the pitch below! Any questions, feel free to hit me up at!

Hopefully, I’ll hear from you soon!

–case p.

Tales from the 2.9, Year Three — The List

  • Thu Feb 1 — We Don’t Die; We Multiply — Tales from the 2.9, Year 3
  • Fri Feb 2 — How Did We Get Here? A Primer in Black Canadian History
  • Sat Feb 3 — “Where You From?” — Canada’s Cultural Mosaic and how Black Canadians REALLY Identify
  • Sun Feb 4 — Where We’re AT — Reality by the Numbers for Black Canadian People
  • Mon Feb 5 — Why We Still Need a Black History Month
  • Tue Feb 6 — African-American, We’re NOT — Defining Black Canadian Identity
  • Wed Feb 7 — Canada SEES Race; We Just Don’t TALK About It — Why Racism’s Still Alive and Well in the Frozen North
  • Thu Feb 8 — IS Black Beautiful? Our Skin Colour and How it’s Valued
  • Fri Feb 9 — Growing Up Black in a World That Ain’t — The Trouble with Tokenism
  • Sat Feb 10 — Working Twice as Hard to Get Half as Far — It’s Time to Change Our Narrative
  • Sun Feb 11 — Power in Numbers — Why Black Organisations and Associations EXIST
  • Mon Feb 12 — Buying Black — The Benefits and Barricades in Supporting Black Business
  • Tue Feb 13 — Black Rage for $ale — Why We Need More Black Faces at the Table
  • Wed Feb 14 — Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours — Modern Black Love and What it Looks Like
  • Thu Feb 15 — A Minority’s Minorities — Why it’s Important We Accept Our Own!
  • Fri Feb 16 — Living Outside the Box — The Pros and Cons of Travelling While Black
  • Sat Feb 17 — The Rise and Fall of Caribana — The Changing Landscape of Black Canadian Celebration
  • Sun Feb 18 — Praise — Faith and Why it Plays a Huge Role in the Black Canadian Community
  • Mon Feb 19 — The Ballad of the Black Dad — Why Yes, We DO Exist.
  • Tue Feb 20 — Of Mental Health and Melanin — Why We Can’t Keep Denying Our Problems
  • Wed Feb 21 — What’s Black and Right and Read All Over — A Literary Journey Through Black Canadian History
  • Thu Feb 22 — Don’t Disturb the Groove — Canada’s Love Affair with Urban Music
  • Fri Feb 23 — Get Up, Stand Up – Creating the World We Want to Live In
  • Sat Feb 24 — Yam It Up! — Black Canadian History as Told Through its Cuisine
  • Sun Feb 25 — Fix Up, Look Sharp — Why Fashion’s So Central to the Black Canadian Experience
  • Mon Feb 26 — Healing the Black Community — Why it’s Important for So Many of Us to Get Fitter FASTER.
  • Tue Feb 27 — Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Wed Feb 28 — We Deserve Success — The Quest for Black Excellence
  • Thu Mar 1 — February’s Over, But We’re STILL BLACK.

Tales from the 2.9, Year Three — The Ask

  • Pick one (or more) of the topics above and create a piece about could be written, audio or video — I’m just looking for content from more people than myself to really flesh this out
  • Send me a high-resolution photo of yourself and any for the topic you’re discussing to for use in the post
  • Share it with your friends, peers and contacts! What makes this project grow each year is engagement, and after sending the finalized proposal out to everyone today, the next job is working on the press release and reaching out to my media contacts!

Tales from the 2.9, Year Three — The Original Pitch

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS — Tales from the 2.9 — Year 3 — Casey at a Radio Interivew

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 wrapped up on a positive note, and that you’re well into the work to build the 2018 you’re looking for. If you don’t know me, I’m Casey Palmer—a Dad Blogger who runs Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, working hard to illustrate my journey as a Black father of two to a world that doesn’t always get it. With January upon us, February’s hot on our heels, and for me that means I’m sourcing for my third annual Tales from the 2.9 project—something I do for Black History Month, featuring stories from Black Canadians, and featured in Metro, on CBC and in talks across the city. I’m hoping to make its third year better than ever—but I need your help.

What I need are stories. In the past couple of years, I’d always start with a questionnaire and focus on the individual—Benny the Banker, Serena the Sculptor—the same questions across the board to show how diverse we can be as people.

But our story’s bigger than that—there are broader themes to explore that do us more justice. A generation breaking ground in fields entirely different from the opportunities available to the generation before. Growing up Black in a world that’s definitely not. My goal is to put out a month of content that let us speak our truths, and I hope you’ll be game to join me in building something we can all be proud of!

I’m looking for submissions. Interviews. Vlogs, speeches and ideas—whatever helps get the ideas across.

If interested, feel free to either drop me a message here or send a high-resolution photo and your idea/submission to, and we’ll put something together.

I look forward to working with you!


–Casey Palmer

The 2K11 24/7 CLXVIII: The Inner Child and the Outer Buffoon

The fifth and final post of Andrea’s five-day run of guest posts for the 2K11 24/7 Honeymoon Series. This is one I think we can all identify with – acting a fool and how to deal with it!

Back to our regular programming soon, boys and girls! Hope you’re ready for it!

–Casey E. Palmer

No matter your age, whether you’re still in high school, struggling through your first working year, taking care of your family or resting after retirement, you all have an inner child. Whether or not you choose to embrace it falls entirely upon you. I believe a healthy connection between you and your inner child is beneficial on a mental and emotional level for everyone. Children in essence are more carefree and easygoing than any adult could ever hope to be. And why not? They have people to look after all their hardships and smooth over all those bumps and holes in the road.
Connecting with your inner child allows you to be silly and naïve if only for a few brief moments when you acknowledge it. Going to see the newest Disney or Pixar flick, that’s your inner child! That temptation to swing through the toy department with the excuse that you’re looking for something for your nephew? Inner child! You can get down in the dirt and swing through the trees when you have your inner child out. You aren’t afraid to be a ninny, act silly and laugh uproariously!
The line needs to get drawn at the point where your adult nature takes liberties with your inner child and creates your outer buffoon. You’ve all seen the OB. That guy in the theatre throwing popcorn at people in front of him or kicking the back of your chair. If you haven’t seen the OB….maybe you’re the culprit? In any event, you need to learn to see the line before you cross it. You may not catch on immediately but experience will always tell where it is. Here’s some tips:
1. Watch other buffoons. Do not imitate them!

  1. Think on what you’re doing either before or as you’re doing it. It’s never too late to stop being the OB abruptly.
  1. If you mistakenly act as the OB, make sure to apologize for any harm caused.
  1. Reflect and remember. If you’ve acted as an OB before, remember what triggered the crossover and avoid it at all costs in future.

These four tips should keep you swaddled nicely with your inner child and away from falling into your outer buffoon.
Now go watch your favourite Disney movie and connect the dots!

The 2K11 24/7 CLXVII: eRead or Not eRead?

Andrea MacFarlane’s fourth installment in a series of five, focusing on an area she knows better than most – books.
–Casey E. Palmer

As the book industry goes through changes many people will embrace the new while others dig in their heels and cling to what already works. Books are no exception to this.

The 2K11 24/7 CLXVI: Caffeine’s a helluva drug!!!

The third of Andrea MacFarlane’s posts on life improvement – this time we cover the ills of caffeine!

–Casey E. Palmer

Are you reading this in the morning? Afternoon? After a long day at work? Did you get your fix this morning? Coffee? Coke? Tea? Are you the kind of person that would say, “Without my morning cup I just can’t start the day!” Congratulations, you’ve just become another slave to the crave!.

The 2K11 24/7 CLXV: Keeping Your Job Close and Your Happiness Closer

The second of five posts from Andrea for the 2K11 24/7 Honeymoon Series!

–Casey E. Palmer

Keeping Your Job Close and Your Happiness Closer

When we are young our minds and hearts are full of possibility. When we get older the world comes into sharper focus. Outside sources start to hem in our choices. The one thing that can’t ever be closed off or driven away is your happiness. I know some people who have married both their job and their happiness together. And others who have to keep them separate in order to live through one and keep the other safe.

The 2K11 24/7 CLXI: Achieving Without Assistants – Part 5

Today I present Niya’s final post of her five-day series of achieving
without assistants! I hope you’ve found them just as useful as I have!

–Casey E. Palmer

Inspiring Support

How is this different than marketing? How is this different from step
3, about mobilizing your network? Is this last piece tacked on because
she promised to write five posts for Casey, and only had enough “real”
material for four? All reasonable, possible questions.

This post is just as real as the others. I promised five posts, and
didn’t intend for any of them to be fluffy. Hopefully you haven’t
found them that way. If you have, please say so. I’m more than happy
to clarify and concretize concepts for you. Some of this has been high
level, and a bit abstract. That works for some people, but doesn’t
work for everyone. I get that. If it’s working for you – say so. It’s
never too late to make amendments.

The 2K11 24/7 CLX: Achieving Without Assistants – Part 4

Part 4 of Niya’s highly useful 5-day guest post series! Enjoy!

–Casey E. Palmer

Maintaining the Vision

It sounds preachy/cult-esque and vaguely multi-level marketing
oriented, doesn’t it? This isn’t about divine vision, or drug induced
vision, or biological vision. Those are all things you can maintain on
your own, should you decide you want to. I’m sure there are other
reasonably well written blogs that can help you with those things.

This is about the vision that you had when you made that plan.
Remember the one, way back when, with a project charter, and Gantt
charts? Okay, so many you don’t have a Gantt chart. Regardless, that
vision of the project that you’re working on, the one of what it’ll
look like when it’s complete. That’s the vision I mean.

The 2K11 24/7 CLIX: Achieving Without Assistants – Part 3

Part 3 of Niya’s 5-day guest post series! Enjoy!

–Casey E. Palmer

Networks and the importance of mobilizing them.

This is and isn’t about marketing. Contradictory? Sure. Confusing?
Hopefully not by the end of this post.

You started this exercise with the intention to have the sort of life
where you can make extraordinary change, and that you can manage
gracefully, and easily, without an assistant. You made a plan. You’re
keeping your word to other people (and ideally to yourself). So now

Nothing that makes a serious impact happens in a vacuum (the science
may be wrong, but the metaphor works for the moment). The best way to
make real change, and to make it happen quickly and effectively, is to
tell people about it. I don’t mean in an annoying sales pitch,
marketing sort of way. I mean genuinely sharing opportunities, stories
and information. Talk about what you’re up to, especially those
impossible things you’ve committed to making real.

The best people to tell are the ones you know. I’ve tried it with
strangers and the return on the investment of your time makes talking
to your friends about the stuff you’re up to seem very attractive.
Plus they’re your friends. They like you, and are generally interested
in the things you’re doing…and if they’re really good friends,
they’ll help.

This help is why mobilizing your networks is a crucial part of having
this sort of life, and doing it without an assistant. You’ll get the
help you need, from people who love you. This is extra important,
because sometimes you’ll make promises that you can’t quite keep.
You’ve committed to keeping your word, and you’re aware of the impact
it’ll have when you break it. So use that life line, phone a friend.

There are of course ways to do this gracefully.

Be upfront about the situation. If you don’t give them all the
information, they’ll find out eventually and probably won’t like you
nearly as much for not trusting them.

Ask for help, not for favours. Favours pile up and can lead to a lot
of resentment down the road, especially if your friends are the sort
who keep score. Also, they’re your friends, they aren’t going to judge
you for needing help.

Don’t abuse the help, or the friendship – and know that you have to be
willing to offer them the same in return.

Thank them properly. Appreciation, both immediate and over the long
term means you’re more likely to get the help you need when you need
it in the future.

So put that network to good use. Tell them what you’re up to. Tell
them what you need to make those impossible seeming things happen. If
you don’t ask, you absolutely will not get anything. And if you do
ask, the worst you’ll get is a negative response. You’ve a healthy ego
– you can deal with it. It’s not you they’re turning down – it’s what
you’ve asked for, when you’ve asked for it. So hop to it already! And
come back, because there’s more on this next time!


The 2K11 24/7 CLVIII: Achieving Without Assistants – Part 2

Day 2 of Niya’s series!

Words with Friends and the importance of keeping them.

This post isn’t about iPhone Scrabble. I’m not about to give you
strategies, tips and tricks to boost your score, have your friends
curse you as you wipe the Scrabble board with them, or generally make
you a better Scrabble player. Frankly, I’m a terrible Scrabble player
because I don’t play strategically, so I’m the last person who should
be giving advice.

No, this is about words in a different sense. It’s about those
promises that you make, those things you commit to, those words that
become your bond. At it’s core, this is about integrity. To clarify, I
don’t mean integrity in any sort of moral sense. If that’s what you
want it to mean, that’s perfectly fine. Integrity in this case,
however is about consistency
( It’s about deciding what
you you’re going to stand for when it comes to your actions, values,
methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes – and then
actually standing for it. This means not making promises you aren’t
going to keep, both to yourself and others. These are differences from
promises you intend to break. These are the ones that you didn’t
realized you didn’t have the time, resources, skills etc to keep.
Essentially, do what you say you were going to do, when you said you
were going to do it. Stick to that plan. Scary as it sounds, commit.

It’s so much easier to say these things that it is to do them. We
spend so much time talking that words have ceased to hold real meaning
– which is why being your word and maintaining your integrity is so
important. Life gets really interesting when you get a sense of which
promises you keep, and which ones are easier to break than others. I’m
known for serially breaking the promises I make to myself, but very
rarely breaking my committments to other people. It probably says a
lot about me. Think about your pattern when it comes to keeping your
word. What does it say about you?

When you learn to only make promises that you can keep, and about how
far you can push the bounds of the reality you know, in order to keep
the more unreasonable promises you want to make, you’ll find yourself
in a life that’s more feasible. Not overcommitting (i.e. Yes, I’ll
proofread your paper even though I have 5 other priority items that
actually matter), or being guilted into things (i.e. Yes, I’ll spend
the weekend with your parents because I love you even though I’d
rather be doing anything else), or agreeing because social convention
dictates you should (i.e. Of course I’ll volunteer for your
fundraiser, even though I’m working on 6 others, because if I say no,
I’ll look like a terrible human being) means you can stick to the plan
you created.

What does integrity have to with making an impossible seeming life
workable without an assistant? If you only make promises you can keep,
you’ll have a much easier time remembering them. Also, knowing which
promises you can keep means you have to have a pretty good handle on
your time and resources, which means you’re aware enough not to need
an assistant.

So keep your word. It’s vital for the next part of how to achieve
really mind blowing things without an assistant: Networks and the
importance of mobilizing them.


The 2K11 24/7 CLVII: Achieving Without Assistants – Part 1

Shortly after really getting to know Niya, I realized that I’d likely
discovered thevfemale version of ME. However, unlike yours truly,
she’s organized, she doesn’t take CRAP from ANYONE, and she’ll hold
you accountable for whatever you do.

So who better to educate you on the ways you can sort out that crazy
life of yours without an assistant?

No one, that’s who. Enjoy her 5-day series – you’ll be a better person for it!

–Casey E. Palmer

First off, I’m so thrilled that I’ve been allowed to write not one,
but five (yes, you read that correctly!) guest posts for Casey! It’s
quite the expression of trust. Hopefully you find this series as
useful and informative as you find the regular content here. Frankly,
I was a bit intimidated at the thought of writing this many guest
posts since my blog ( is a rather
eclectic collection of musings, inspiration pieces and though
triggers. I knew that just wouldn’t do for this exercise. Then I
realized I actually had stellar inspiration for this series of posts.

I often joke with Casey that he should get an assistant. He does so
very many things, and could use at least one, perhaps even two. I’ve
actually had this conversation with a number of incredibly bright,
talented, charismatic young men who take on the world every day, and
are really committed to making a huge difference in their spheres of
influence. Given that I may be unemployed soon, I’ve offered them my
services, but I know I can do better than that. I can give (and you)
some insight into how I’ve made my life incredibly workable, without
an assistant.

Of course, you may wonder what makes me qualified to give this sort of
advice (other than the fact that Casey likes and trusts me enough to
publish this). I’m one of the co-organizers for Toronto Bakes for
Japan (, a weekend long
bakes sale for the Japanese Red Cross Society. We recently raised over
$30,000. My partner planner and I put it together, while holding down
a full time day jobs, making it to the gym, going to our
extracurricular activities (she’s taking FSL classes, I sit on other
planning committees) and maintaining some semblance of a social life.
We were nice to people, and to each other during the whole process.
And no, we don’t have assistants. Granted it was only a bake sale –
but it’s a great example.

So here’s how you can change the world, or just make your life more
workable, without an assistant.

  1. Plan
    2. Words with Friends and the importance of keeping them
    3. Networks and the importance of mobilizing them
    4. Maintaining the Vision
    5. Inspiring support

I’m a big fan of planning and I love lining up dominoes. Knowing
exactly how the story is going to progress and end is the biggest
rush. I know not everyone feels this way. Some of you are far better
at executing plans (I’ll confess to getting a bit lazy when it comes
to this) and others of you like the spontaneity of diving headlong
into things and figuring it out as you go along. These approaches work
for some things – but if you’re going to change the world, or if you
don’t have someone to take care of all the little things (like booking
appointments, following up on correspondence, doing laundry) entropy
will eventually take over and life will get chaotic and stressful. It
doesn’t have to be that way.

I’m not saying you’ve to plan out every last detail, though I won’t
ever advise against it. I am suggesting you take a page from your
favourite project manager’s book and come up with a project charter.

Define exactly what it is you are going to do. This means  the scope
for your project (and sticking to it within reason!). Set your
objectives and be SMART (
about them if you can.

Determine your resources. This means time, man power, budget,
supplies, mentors etc. This will help you see what holes need filling
(which is important for part 3 and 5). This will help when you
allocate tasks.

Figure out your tasks. Sure you know what you’re going to do…but how
are you going to make it happen. Everything is a process, and
processes are historical. If you’ve never done whatever it is you are
going to do before, look it up. Better yet, talk to someone who has
already done it. I know you’re fabulously innovative, wonderfully
unique and that there’s no possible way anyone could have done what
you’re setting out to do…but just like there are no original
thoughts, just fantastically creative amalgamations, someone else has
probably done something quite similar to what you’re going to do. And
it really couldn’t hurt, so tamp down that ego a bit, and talk to

Delegate. You can’t do it alone (that’s why you think you need an
assistant) and you have friends. They have skills, so ask for their
help, and then trust them to do things that you need done. Remember
that they aren’t your assistants, but they are your friends. So long
as the arrangement has some degree of reciprocity or reward, your
friends will want to help you succeed.

Schedule! This will make all the difference. Use whatever scheduling
tool you know works for you. I like my moleskine, because I can layer
in lists, drawings, business cards etc. Maybe you love your google
calendar, or your smart phone. Whichever you choose – make sure it’s
one you check regularly (by which I mean every few hours/once a day).
I prefer to schedule every last thing because the devil is always in
the details, but you know yourself best.
Track. Use a Gantt chart (,
build a critical path
(, or create a
work-back schedule
( Remember to
build in buffer days so that things can go awry and you can fix them.
Put the dates in your calendar of choice (with reminders 48 hours
before the deadlines).

So now you have a plan. Congratulations on getting into action on
creating a workable life that you can live with grace and ease. Watch
for my next post on realizing this plan. I’ll fill you in on the
surprising importance of words with friends.