Freedom to Flourish

1. Veterans provided Freedom of Liberty, symbolized by National Veterans Day, created after WW II, and made it possible for more civil rights.
2. Human rights leaders and foot soldiers in the Civil Rights Movement helped provide more Freedom of Rights.
3. Because of these, Freedom Lives–we have Freedom to Flourish.
4. The primary cradles of the movements for National Veterans Day and Civil Rights Advanced in Alabama. To honor those sacrifices and to do our best, learning how we can flourish as our best-selves is another vital initiative growing so students and others internalize the history and take action to write Plans for School and Life to inspire and guide them.

Mission: To teach students and adult citizens of national historic contributions to Freedom of Liberty (National Veterans Day Movement) and Freedom of Rights (Civil Rights Movement) so we learn and take action on Freedom to Flourish with Plans for School and Life.

Vision: students and adults learn key historical points and internalize character traits for Freedoms of Liberty and Rights and take action on our Freedom to Flourish by writing Plans for School and Life, Plans for College and Life, and/or Plans for Professional and the other 7 areas of life. We learn and use principles and practices of Best-Self Leadership that help us do our best in areas of academic, professional, and other life choices. Schools add processes for planning and leadership. Students increase attitude, attendance, and achievement.

Alabama is the birthplace of National Veterans Day and cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.

Because veterans won WWII we have freedom of liberty and were able to spark a national movement for freedom of rights.

With freedom of liberty and freedom of rights, we have freedom to flourish–to succeed in more significant ways when we plan and lead our lives–with more inspiration, success, and joy.

Our vision: Teachers help students write Plans for School and Life and implement with Best-Self Leadership. We Advance Alabama before the World Games so the US and world know of Alabama’s positive contributions to not only college football but also to Veterans Day, Civil Rights, and Plan for School and Life, including personal leadership and character traits, increasingly effective developing citizens.

Roots and Callings

Background on Life Leaders involvement and a handout for students showing long term impact of school lessons

Freedom City

Birmingham has been known as “Steel City” and “Iron City” as well as “the Pittsburgh of the South” because of past thriving steel mills and iron works. Local businesses use “Iron City’ and ‘Steel City’ in their names. “Magic City” emerged as a nickname because Birmingham was growing so fast some said it was like “magic.” Iron as a natural resource and steel production at U.S. Steel, Sloss Furnace, and others contributed to the growth.

The 21st Century Birmingham Area economy has changed with more emphasis on education, banking, as well as technological and service industries. Sloss Furnace is a historic landmark, tourist attraction, and popular venue for events, though is not in production.

While good names for businesses, Birmingham is not distinctively branded for these nicknames.  An Internet search suggests Birmingham is not in the “Top 5” in the nation branded for any of the names.

If we are honest with ourselves, we admit many people do not understand why the name “magic”‘ is still used, though it is a nice nickname that some citizens like. An Internet search for “Magic City” shows an “adult club” in Atlanta. Birmingham does not seem to be branded as “Magic City” except in the minds of some citizens, many of whom grew up hearing the name and may not have considered how the world perceives the meaning of the name. Visitors are more likely to ask what “Magic” means. It seems like time to use “Magic City” as a local nickname and use a more sustainable name for those we seek to invite and attract to our city and state. We can stand and brand for Freedom, Patriotism, Rights, and more.

World Games 2021

When the World Games arrive, do we want the international media to try to explain what “Magic City” means or do we want them to know two of the most distinctive and positive national distinctions–Veterans Day and Civil/Human Rights, both connected by Freedom, a core value for most? The media has begun storytelling and will continue through 2021.

The Summary Story

After WW II, National Veterans Day started in Birmingham in 1947 to honor veterans of all wars. Many veterans and cities had the same basic idea though Raymond Weeks and Birmingham took action to lead the national movement that included endorsement and assistance by General Dwight Eisenhower. General Omar Bradley was the keynote speaker at the 1947 World Peace Banquet. The United Nations supported the parade in Birmingham providing flags of all countries in the UN, which were carried by native sons or Boy Scouts in Birmingham.

President Reagan made Birmingham’s role more official when in 1982 he honored “Raymond Weeks of Birmingham” as the “driving force” for establishing America’s holiday, Veterans Day. The U.S. Senate confirmed this history through a resolution in 2012 proposed by the Patriotism in Action program of Life Leaders on behalf of Birmingham, Alabama, and National Veterans Day. Other cities claim to have started Veterans Day, though they sponsored their founding events seven years after Birmingham started.

Birmingham, Alabama, and Veterans Day stand for Freedom of Life and Liberty. Because of freedoms protected by WWII veterans and others, America was motivated–and able–to aim higher to improve civil and human rights we honor.

The Civil Rights Movement reached its tipping point in Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Tuscaloosa in 1963. Now, “50 Years Forward,” Freedom Lives at a higher level. We stand for Freedom of Civil and Human Rights in our city and state. Birmingham is often called the “Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.” Numerous cities claim that nickname and historical distinction, though Alabama seems to be the only one with four cities playing such key national roles in the movement.

Birmingham is the only city and Alabama the only state in America known as a top leader for both national movements—Veterans Day and Civil Rights. The core value linking the two is Freedom.

Because of the freedoms of Life and Liberty plus Civil and Human Rights, we can aim higher at Freedom to Flourish at our Callings. With that freedom, we can Plan for School and Life seeking, writing, and acting on our callings and choices. Freedom Lives. It’s a known fact a student with a plan is more likely to discover her purpose and priorities than without one. It’s common sense that will help our citizens and state once we implement. If students write and use plans for school and life, attitude, attendance, and achievement in Birmingham City, Birmingham Area, and State of Alabama.

Plans for School and Life is required for Freedom to Flourish if we do our best.

Life Leaders launched a third national movement—Plan for School and Life—to equip educational leaders, teachers, and parents to help students write plans for life while in school that inspire and guide them through character education, academic plans, and the Seven Areas of Life so they are more prepared for College, Career, and Citizenship.

We have worked in Birmingham and with State educational leaders and made progress. But, much more must be done for students, city, and state, which also serves the nation. We believe we can serve as a “driving force” until we are not needed anymore–with plans and personal leadership emphasized in school lessons, assignments, and requirements for development, plus tourism benefiting from branding.

Attitude, Attendance, and Achievement will improve in Alabama, then the USA. Most say they “know” about the value of goals, plans, and best-self leadership–the call now is for leadership to put that common sense into place so students are expected and rewarded for taking action on their freedoms by identifying their purposes and plans.

For many students, the plans will long be drafts with as many question marks as statements of goals and actions. But, what a meaningful tool for mentoring of students by parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors. When a parent sees the written list of values and vision of a student, he or she will know to what extent they have succeeded imparting a legacy preparing their child. The discussion and guidance that can follow can not only help with parenting but also student development in school, college, career, and citizenship.

We welcome your ideas and action: We invite you to Follow Plan for School and Life, Freedom to Flourish, Freedom City, and Advance Alabama on Facebook. Thanks for reading our message and considering possibilities.

We have Freedom of Liberty and Freedom of Rights. Now, we have Freedom to Flourish. What will we do?

Life Leaders and those we serve help empower people to Plan and Lead their Lives and Serve Others so we can flourish at our callings.

This is a calling of mine. If this is or might be one for you, I hope to work with you. –David

Advance Alabama

Advance Alabama

A proposal to leaders of Alabama, particularly in government, education, tourism, commerce

Alabama has opportunity to be branded positively in our nation and globally as a leader creating and honoring freedoms of liberty and rights, as well as freedom to flourish, before the World Games in Birmingham, 2021. Also, history and character education can improve in presentation and in impact on student attitude and achievement. Read more…



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