MIC Blog


The MIC Blog is also known as Michael’s Veranda, because when Michael was a child he lived with his grandfather, Melbourne, and they would relax on the veranda together.

It was here, outside the concrete house with its tin roof, that Melbourne liked to sit in the evening with a view of the neighboring hills and the other houses dotted here and there on the slopes.

Michael would join him, and they'd spend time chatting; Michael as a young boy learning through talking with his grandfather, and Melbourne as an elder passing on his own wisdom and knowledge.

A bond was created there, a bond that would last and now forms the legacy that is the Melbourne and Michael Folkes Foundation.

An out-of-body experience

Sometimes, while speaking of the many goals I’ve still set for myself, I feel as if I could leap right out of my own skin! While talking to my Team, I’ve been known to rise from my chair, grinning from ear to ear, my voice growing louder and my enthusiasm filling the room.

Many of the projects are already in place; I just need to continually fine-tune…

“My” day


That’s the word I’ll be using for the rest of my life each time someone asks me to describe how I felt to receive a Proclamation from the City of Cincinnati on August 5, 2015.

My Team and I arrived at City Hall just before lunchtime. We were greeted by Councilman Wendell Young and his chief of staff Sedrick Denson. Then Patchy, the Melbourne and…

Looking forward to the sequel

On Sunday, July 5, Mount Waddy Primary School held its annual sixth grade graduation ceremony at its Methodist Church. Ten proud students were celebrated by equally proud parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. Two children, Alliana Ferguson and Britney Henry, were honored for their academic achievement and for epitomizing our five Mighty In Character values––truth, faith, courage, kindness…

A public reprimand

We who were children growing up during the 1960s and 1970s never imagined that those decades would someday be perceived as a relatively innocent time. Yet when we compare then with now, so many differences form a virtual parade of oxymorons and character deficits. 

No avalanche here

I’m sometimes asked if I don’t occasionally feel overwhelmed and overextended––with so many projects demanding my immediate attention, so many people to see, places to go and tasks to complete. (An avalanche comes to mind.)

Well…no, I don’t. Not really. Rushed, certainly. But not overwhelmed.

That’s because everything is compartmentalized into individual areas to be…

“Michael, you really should write a book.”

I heard it many times over a ten-year period from a variety of people. Yet I hesitated––first, weighing over and over whether anyone would be interested in what I had to say. Second, wondering if people would misinterpret my motives as some far-fetched ego trip. Finally I relented

––but not for the reasons you might think.

First, I needed to travel back in time to my childhood of…

A few thoughts on Father’s Day

Anyone who knows me (or who has read my book, Driven By Desperation) is aware that the most profound male influence in my life was my grandfather Melbourne. He was the person who taught me, as the saying goes, how to be.

Hindsight, always 20-20, has revealed to me in colorful detail his kind demeanor, his quiet nobility, his devotion to family, his unshakeable…

Rags to riches…the rest of the story

I am not a celebrity. Not a sports phenom, not an award-winning entertainer, a renowned Ph.D. or a rocket scientist. Yet somehow, with very little formal education, having been born into Third-World poverty and deprivation, being a member of a minority race that still endures systemic discrimination, I have attained a level of success that most people can only dream of.


Grateful for adversity? Really?

I speak so often of gratitude nowadays that some listeners/readers may speculate that perhaps I’ve become a tad obsessed. Well, I probably have. The fact is that I’ve learned a lot since I began concentrating on plusses rather than minuses. 

Insight #1: Compiling a roster of things to be grateful for will nearly always result in a long list. Start with having a roof over your head (however…

Patchy postings

Patchy, that little guy who personifies our Mighty In Character program always has plenty to say. But he says it in short sound bites, so that other children can follow him. One thing that adults seldom realize is that the longer their speeches, the less children remember. (The solution, of course, is to talk less but say more.)

So I’ve collected some simple one- or two-liners…

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