Meet Keoni Gray
Tell us about you:
I'm a military brat that was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.....hence my name. Although, I've lived in a few places, I was primarily raised in Mississippi and I currently reside in Dallas, TX. I am Business Development Officer with over 17 years of experience in banking, community development and financial services. As an extrovert and creative at heart, I am also the founder of Key to the City Media, LLC - a rising, boutique media company.
Tell us about your brand and why people should keep their eyes on you:
My brand is Key to the City Media, where our mission is to become one of the premiere voices for black culture by controlling our own narrative through the production of various forms of digital content. Our flagship platform is 'Key to the City Podcast', where we honor those, both locally and nationwide, who go against the grain to chase their dreams or spread their message. Key to the City serves as an advocate for the community of creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, community activists, and many others. In short, we aim to celebrate those that are making a positive impact within the community and understand that we all possess responsibility in pushing the culture forward.
What is your definition of having a positive attitude and leading a positive life?
My method for maintaining a positive attitude is understanding that 'Everything is temporary'.....Everything....your life included. Therefore, I try to remain at an even keel and live within the moment. I understand that all moments and experiences are fleeting so we must be fully engaged when those moments occur; whether good or bad. Lastly, I'm a very spiritual person so I rely on the Most High to keep me in a spirit of peace and joy at all times. When I experience a rough patch in life, I reflect on a past obstacle that I was able to overcome and I realize that "this too shall pass".....it's just a matter of time.
Tell us about a time when being positive was the furthest from your mind but somehow you were able to make it through whatever you were going through:
I reached the lowest point of my life in 2017. My family lost everything during Hurricane Harvey in Houston, TX. During that period, we lost our primary source of income, transportation, housing, etc. I had to move my entire family in with my mom as a 33 year old man. I never felt so worthless. I attempted to work a minimum-wage job to get back on my feet and my leg was crushed by a forklift on the very first day! I just knew that I would never recover or bounce back. I relied heavy on my faith and I prayed for an opportunity to turn things around. I'm thankful that I was vulnerable enough to accept mental-wellnesss counseling and assistance from friends and family. I've never had the spirit of a quitter, even when I wanted to. I just focus on what I can control and make progress with each day I'm afforded. Fast forward 7 years later and I'm in the best season of my life. Everything I lost.....I regained that....and more. God is the greatest!!.
Share with us a stereotype that you have been put in but you continuously do your part to not fit the characteristics of the stereotype. Explain:
"Black men are lazy, sex-crazed deadbeats".......
This could not be further from the truth when it comes to myself and other black men that I know. I am one of the hardest working brothers I know and it is imperative for me to protect and provide for my family. I recognize that I have many people depending on me and I don't take that for granted.
When times are hard, how do you remain positive?
I remain connected to my spiritual source and reflect on past obstacles that I've overcome; which provides me with the security of knowing that I can overcome any current or future obstacles.
What is your favorite quote or song? Why?
This is tough. I have so many favorites that can apply to many different periods in my life. However, I love songs that really allow me to reflect on my journey, so I'll go with 'Optimisitc' by Sounds of Blackness. No matter what I'm dealing with, this jam always encourages me to keep on moving. We never know what tomorrow may hold.
Share a word of advice that you think can inspire someone else:
Do what you can until you can do what you want......
Do you know someone who is doing the DANG THANG and deserves to be showcased? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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