A Message from Mr. MOJO

Youth Leadership & Anti-Bullying Speaker

“To all you bullies out there … healing comes from helping, not hurting. You want to heal that pain that you have … find somebody else and help relieve their pain, and I promise you that pain [you feel] is gonna start to go away.”

OutServe Magazine sat down with Travis Brown, renowned leadership and anti-bullying speaker last month. Brown, who goes by Mr. MOJO, has been travelling across the country to spread his message of healing and helping as part of a 75-day, 200-school speaking tour.

During his speeches, Brown often uses the term “MOJO up” to encapsulate his message. When asked about the meaning of this contagious phrase, Brown replied, “When I say MOJO up, I’m talking about carrying the highest level of positive attitude because you’re excited and enthusiastic about life.” Throughout his assemblies, students often adopt the phrase and chant it back. “It’s a battle cry for our students. When I say it’s time to MOJO up, I mean that it’s not time to make excuses, but to speak up and stand up, decide to help someone out.”

Brown also calls for people to evaluate their actions and the effect of their actions on others. “We all have the power to help or the power to hurt, simply by the words that we choose or the actions that we take. And we don’t understand how powerful those words are — how harmful they are to our “core.” We need to be aware of these things, be willing to do everything we can to create positive experiences–at work, at school, in the community. If we’re really going to make change, it takes everybody’s help.”

After discussing the successful repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and passage of several anti-bullying laws this past year, Brown explained why he focused his efforts at the grassroots level. “I really appreciate the attempts that legislators are currently making to create better schools [and a better military]. But it’s not legislation that can make the change in the end.” To him, individual examples of leadership work best. “When people in leadership positions are willing to accept others, more people will embrace that change as well. With more people accepting, it will become a universal way of life to accept people for who they are.”

Born and raised in Indiana, Brown admits that he “grew up in ignorance [of] gays and lesbians.” He adds that he is a Christian, but that his role is to “love everyone even if I disagree with their socks, shoes, hair, car, or how they live their life. Even if I don’t have an understanding, I can still love and respect everyone different from me.”

When told that many OutServe members and other LGBT military personnel are afraid to come out, even after the repeal of DADT, he responded, “A lot of that is your own confidence and your own security in yourself. I’m not going to tell you that there aren’t people who won’t agree or don’t like or say nasty things.”(Brown calls these people “haters.”) “Some people will go to extreme measures to let you know that. But your life isn’t about who likes you. It’s about finding people who are okay with you being yourself and your being happy with yourself. When you can accept yourself, others will too.”

Brown can often be spotted wearing a camouflage t-shirt with the words “Operation MOJO: Live, Learn, Lead,” a message that resonates strongly with servicemembers.

Learn more about Mr. MOJO by visiting www.nobullyingtour.com

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