We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean Sheppard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sean, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Faith in God. I never planned to do any of the things I’ve done to serve the Southern California community. I simply reached a point in my life where I looked in the mirror and didn’t like who was staring back at me. I wanted to be the best person I could be, but it took a lot of time to figure out how to do that. 5 years later, I still didn’t like who I was, didn’t like what I was doing, and didn’t feel like I wanted to live anymore. I prayed for God to either take my life or change my life. That was 19 years ago, Since that time, I’ve done nothing but bring diverse groups of people together to collectively work toward improving relations and serving others.
Any “success” I’ve personally experienced has been a direct result of actions taken based on prayer asking to turn me into the best person I’m capable of being.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I utilize sporting events and community residents to train members of law enforcement in the art of communication and behavior change. The model, which is accredited by the state of California, is called Game Changer, and is the premiere law enforcement/community relations program in the country.
The program started with thoughts to end officer involved shootings and violence between law enforcement and communities of color in particular. It has been extremely challenging to convince members of government that they have a problem, that they are often the root of the problem, and that I have a never-before-done solution to the problem. Convincing community residents that it is worth their time to engage with the police has been difficult as well.
I am consistently overcoming challenges by remaining focused, remaining humble, believing that this work is what God created me to do, and that God will provide all the things, people, and circumstances that will allow me to do my part to solve this societal issue.
What do I want the world to know about me and my story? That in 2022, God is dope and that having faith in God is the best choice a person can make. It may not seem cool to others, but in the long run, people will be asking you how you got where you are. Your answer may inspire them to take a path that few choose to take: God’s path.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d go hiking at Runyon Canyon for sure. Coffee at Sip & Sonder in Inglewood has the goods and the vibe. Cholada Thai on PCH in Malibu has great food at a great price with a great view of the ocean across the street. Dessert at The Sweet Red Peach in Inglewood is a must, especially if you love Peach Cobbler like I do. The Metro Cafe in El Segundo for Sunday brunch is a solid choice. Checking out my boy perform at the Comedy Store in Hollywood is always a good time, and before Covid, The theatre at the Santa Monica Playhouse is great. Latin Jazz Saturdays at the LACMA was a must during the summer. Any concert at the Hollywood Bowl is a great experience. Sunday Church service at Empowered Faith LA.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Two books: The Bible and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle are the two most influential things in my life. The Bible has taught me to raise my bar as it relates to how I think of myself, how I think of others, and how I treat others. It literally has a life lesson for every situation a person will encounter on this earth. The most important thing it teaches is to love one another. Period, end of sentence. Somehow too many people who call themselves Christians have forgotten that or never read it in the first place.
The Power of Now made me realize how chaotic my internal life was and how to quiet my mind. It taught me to focus on the moment and not to waste time fretting about the past or worrying about the future. From the moment I woke up in the morning, my mind would go from one thought to the next, nonstop, until I went to sleep. It was an affliction. My mind controlled me. Tolle’s book inspired me to learn how to meditate so that my mind would have ZERO thoughts – on command. Having an empty mind allows for many great, pure ideas of service to enter, and has kept toxic, harmful thoughts from residing there. The book changed my life.