Annual campaign brings awareness to sexual assault amongst women
Apr26

Annual campaign brings awareness to sexual assault amongst women

Since 2001, April has been recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) website, the goal of this month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. The focus of the 2013 NSVRC campaign is to practice healthy sexuality as well as child sexual abuse prevention.  The slogan for this year’s SAAM is “It’s time…to talk about it! Talk early, talk often. Prevent sexual violence.” According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted and about 207,754 people are sexually assaulted every year. WomensHealth.gov defines sexual assault as anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. There are many events and programs that cater to spreading knowledge on Sexual Assault Awareness. Shareia Carter, Interim Director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is just one of many people putting out a helping hand. Carter’s original life plan was to become a judge, but this all changed when she took a class entitled ‘Women in the Law’ at the University of Michigan. Carter now has her undergraduate and masters degree in Women’s Studies. “I want to see women do better and be better. I want to be there to support them,” said Carter. UM-Dearborn’s Women’s Resource Center is an outlet for women who are dealing with multiple issues including sexual assault. This center partners with outside services such as First Step, Haven, and Turning Point to get abused women help. The program has put on numerous events for SAAM to educate students about protecting themselves and others. A popular project the Resource Center sponsors called the ‘Clothes Line Project’ has students decorate t-shirts as they wish pertaining to SAAM and then they hang them all over campus to be viewed by others. “Sexual assault is a continuum,” said Carter. “We hope that these programs we have can encourage students to get the help that they need.” However, it is not just college students that need to be educated on Sexual Assault Awareness. According to RAAIN, 40 percent of victims are under the age of 18. Also, only about 46 percent of sexual assaults are actually reported to the police. For more information on Sexual Assault Awareness, visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam. If you or someone you know is currently a victim of sexual assault, don’t join the statistic; report it and get help. By Jade Gonzalez Photo Courtesy of National Sexual Violence Resource...

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Empowerment organization gives the ‘pinky promise’ pact a new meaning
Apr24

Empowerment organization gives the ‘pinky promise’ pact a new meaning

As children, we learn to pinky promise that we won’t swear or tell a lie or reveal a secret, but there’s an organization that gives that private pact a  new meaning. Pinky Promise is a movement that teaches young girls, teens and women to know their worth, uphold their morals and commit their lives to God. Michigan native and Michigan State University graduate Heather Lindsey is the founder of the Pinky Promise organization, which was established in January 2012. Her sole purpose for creating this movement was to “send messages of being devoted to God and keeping your body and life pure whether single or married.” It is a promise to honor God by not indulging in pre-marital sex and being faithful to Him in every way. Additionally, it is a promise to God that they will serve him and remain devoted to their marriage. The idea sprouted as Lindsey critically analyzed her life and noticed that her self-worth revolved around being in unhealthy relationships. In a blog post titled, My Story: When I was Single, she details her journey of finding true happiness and becoming a devout Christian. Now, she is married to her soul mate and leader of an evangelical ministry and is a burgeoning entrepreneur. The organization’s first conference, “Heart to Heart” was held in Atlanta back in January. It was coined a “big slumber party filled with girl talk and seminars.” The conference was comprised of several workshops that entailed in depth conversations about finances, beauty demonstrations, shopping on a budget, exercising activities featuring Zumba classes and even Lindsey’s baby shower. The atmosphere was filled with devotion, support, encouragement, and inspiration. There are over 8,000 members globally and if you become apart of the website you can post topics to the forums and get conversations, groups and networks started that way and set up meetings because the organization is steady growing. If you or anyone you know are interested in learning more about the Pinky Promise Movement, please visit the links below. www.pinkypromisemovement.com www.heatherlindsey.blogspot.com www.heatherlove.bigcartel.com  By Khulela Byrd    ...

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White House Internship program provides opportunities for African American collegians
Apr23

White House Internship program provides opportunities for African American collegians

The 2013 White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program provides current undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to learn about African American-focused education policy, communications, and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Collecting and compiling research and data on African American education, institutions and communities; Performing data entry and managing the office database; Greeting and escorting visitors to meetings; Participating in strategic planning and staff meetings and other Department policy briefings and meetings relevant to the work of the Initiative; Responding to constituent inquiries verbally or in writing; and more. Throughout the course of their internships, students will have the opportunity to attend and potentially lead in the planning and management of meetings, briefings and other special events on the Hill, at the White House and in other federal agencies. To apply for the 2013 White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program, visit: www.findinternships.com/2013/04/white-house-initiative-year-round-internship-program.html To search hundreds of other internships, visit: www.FindInternships.com   Information provided by Black...

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All Dolled Up: Pretty Brown Girl reflects young women of color
Apr19

All Dolled Up: Pretty Brown Girl reflects young women of color

One day Detroit native Sheri Crawley and her daughters went shopping in a popular doll store in Chicago and Sheri noticed that all the dolls were light skinned. Not only did a variety of the dolls have lighter skin, but the only brown doll in the store was labeled as the “freed slave.” Sheri and her husband Corey also experienced self image issues with their oldest daughter Laila when she was in kindergarten. Laila was the only African American girl in her class, and this was slowly starting to take a toll on her self esteem. She became introverted when she was around the other children in her class and began to make comments at home about the girls on TV, saying she wanted their long blonde hair just like her classmates. Both of these experiences inspired the Crawley’s to create the Pretty Brown Girl Doll, which debuted in 2012 and was named after their daughter. The Crawley’s wanted to create a brown skinned doll so that young girls could have something that illustrated their skin color in a positive fashion. Every detail of the doll was carefully planned out because they wanted it to look as realistic as possible. The name “Pretty Brown Girl” also has a sentimental value because Corey has always called his daughters that nickname. Pretty Brown Girl has gradually morphed into an entire brand with T-shirts, posters, bags, and umbrellas, all of which help to spread the mission of their company, which is to serve the world and become the voice of girls in cities around the U.S. “The Pretty Brown Girl doll is all about self esteem, embracing who you are and loving the skin you’re in,” said Sheri. Along with their products, they created the Pretty Brown Girl Student Ambassador Program, which allows 100 high school and college teens to become leaders in their church, school, or community to promote Pretty Brown Girl projects and events while gaining  leadership skills. ColorBlind recently spoke with  Sheri, the Founder and CEO of Pretty Brown Girl about the company and her future plans for the business. CB: What is the best memory you have of a girl that bought your Pretty Brown Girl Doll? Crawley: My best memory is of children in a small village in Ghana. We donated dolls there and both the girls and boys were so excited because of all they had been given. It was their first time actually seeing their own images in a brown skinned doll. We also host workshops and speak to girls about our five principles: Dreaming Big, Remembering You’re Beautiful Inside and Out, Enjoying Learning and Laughing and Making...

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Can a woman make it in the NBA?
Apr15

Can a woman make it in the NBA?

Wouldn’t it be great to see a woman dominate the polished hardwood floors next to players like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony? Baylor University college hoop star Brittney Griner could be that woman. At 6’8 and 207 lbs. , Griner has dominated college basketball with impressive stats and broken records that have already impressed recruiters in the WNBA and NBA. She is predicted to be the number 1 pick during tonight’s WNBA draft. Recently, Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban left open the possibility of drafting Griner to his team. Many people thought his comment was ludicrous and a joke. While it would be epic to see Griner suited up in an NBA jersey, certain questions arise. Would it be more for publicity and the pure entertainment of the NBA rather than the chance for Griner to showcase her skills? The decision to make that transition would be historical, but it needs to happen for the right reasons. I believe something this big could change people’s views on the talent and strength of women and it could also bring a lot of revenue to NBA teams and venues. Women have never been seen as equal in the eyes of men, but this opportunity could change all that. Women’s basketball does not get the same recognition as men’s. Many female basketball players like Lisa Leslie and Swin Cash dominate their arena, but they don’t get the same acclaim as NBA players. I think it’s time for a woman to be given the chance to prove that men are not the only ones who can move swiftly, play tough defense and even dunk. It’s time women get to show that they can compete on the same level with the best athletes without receiving special accommodations. The first woman to ever be given a shot to play in the NBA was Ann Meyers-Drysdale. Meyers- Drysdale tried out for the Indiana Pacers in 1979, but did not make the team. If Griner is at least given the chance to try-out in the NBA, whether she makes it or not, she has to be ready to withstand criticism from both the players and the media. She has to go in with thick skin and determination to get the job done and dispel the stereotypes that women don’t have the mental capacity or physical strength to play in the same arena as men. Men will feel intimidated if Griner does earn a contract with an NBA team because no man likes to be upstaged or lose to a woman. She has to be ready to deal with whatever ignorance is thrown her way. If Griner...

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Beyoncé is still a role model for young women
Apr08

Beyoncé is still a role model for young women

The Internet was set ablaze when Beyoncé released her new single “Bow Down/I Been On” in mid-March. The song showed true versatility as the singer rapped, used chopped and screwed effects to pay homage to her Houston hometown and even incorporated a little opera. Many people had their own interpretation of the song. Some thought she was throwing shade at other female entertainers while other people’s interpretations were way off base. There was a divide among people who had no issues with the track while others like Keyshia Cole and Rush Limbaugh bashed the songstress and expressed their opinions loud and clear. Cole felt the song was unnecessary and was a contradiction to the “girl power” movement that Beyoncé represents. Limbaugh felt the song was representing Beyoncé’s new mindset. He felt that she was sending a message to all women to be submissive to their men when she made it known that she’s not just a wife, but much more. There was also a lot of talk about the song tainting her image as a role model, but that’s not the case because she has always showed her fans that her biggest priorities are carrying herself with pride, dignity, respect and always maintaining humility when being in the spotlight. The song doesn’t change the way she represents women or herself. She’s always graceful and is always thinking about her fans. She has never been misrepresented in the public eye with a scandal attached to her name nor has she ever acted in an inappropriate manner that would have the media question her behavior. Beyoncé gave girls and women anthems like Survivor, Independent Women, Bootylicious and Run the World. She encourages women to love their bodies, express what’s on their minds and not to accept anything less than they deserve. She’s not only a beautiful woman, but a wife, mother,  entertainer and mogul. She shows women that they can have it all without sacrificing their morals. Although I am a die-hard Beyoncé fan, I am not a fan of this song because it seems that she is out of her element. I don’t like when a singer suddenly becomes a rapper unless they are truly gifted, but in this case I think this song should have stayed unreleased. However, the song is still an anthem regardless of how raw the content may be. The purpose of the song is to tell the critics to respect what she has done in her career because she has the throne and doesn’t plan on giving it up. It shows her evolution not only as an artist but as a woman. One song that may not...

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Tips for Coping with Stress
Apr04

Tips for Coping with Stress

Everyone deals with some form of stress at some point in life. The stress may stem from facing a daunting exam, problems at work, issues with a relationship,  family or financial woes. Although everyday stress can be harder to handle than others there are ways to deal with them in an appropriate manner. Don’t give into a breakdown. Instead follow these useful tips on how to cope with stress effectively. When faced with an overwhelming situation the first thing to do is breathe. Never face an issue head on when you’re anxious or excessively overwhelmed. The outcome will not be good. Talk to someone you trust. It’s always best to talk about what you’re feeling. Seek support from those closest to you, perhaps your partner, a relative or a close friend. They will listen intently and provide any advice they can lend in this stressful time. If you don’t have someone who you can count on, find a therapist in your area that can help you sort through your problems. Steer clear of negativity. Negative energy, spending time around argumentative people or people who enjoy drama can be emotionally and mentally draining. When you are surrounded by nothing but negativity, there’s no avenue for positivity to seep through. Don’t let negativity consume you. Trust positive thoughts. Avoid drugs and alcohol. As much as it may appear to soothe your nerves or ease your mind, these things can be more harmful than helpful. After the effects wear off, the stress, worry and problems still remain. Don’t rely on temporary fixes that you may end up paying for later. Don’t isolate yourself. Make a point to continue being social. Don’t isolate yourself and sulk and think about all that you’re going through because you will dive deeper into a depressed state of mind. Spend time with those you love and attend fun events to lessen the burden of stress. Don’t neglect yourself. Getting an adequate amount of sleep will help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. Eating a healthy diet is also important. Refrain from a fast food or junk food diet because it slows you down and is unhealthy. Don’t skip meals either because in order for your body to do its job it needs fuel. In addition, exercising regularly can help relieve a lot of stress and tension and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take time out for yourself. Pamper yourself. Visit a spa, go for a walk, watch a movie or even take a trip. You could try things as simple as taking a soothing bubble bath, reading a good book, listening to...

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NASCAR seeks minorities for summer internship program
Apr02

NASCAR seeks minorities for summer internship program

Nationwide– The NASCAR Diversity Internship is a 10-week, full-time, paid summer internship program that is designed to expose diverse college and university students to the many career opportunities within the NASCAR industry. In addition to NASCAR, this program involves several NASCAR sponsors and licensees, NASCAR teams and tracks, and other motorsports-related companies. The program is designed to support deserving students with an interest in the NASCAR industry, who are of Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic, or of other racial minority descent. Over 150 interns from across the country have participated in this program, some of whom later accepted full-time positions in the industry. Marcus Jadotte, Managing Director of Public Affairs, NASCAR, comments, “This program is one of several NASCAR diversity initiatives aimed at introducing the professional opportunities available within the industry to diverse students. For six years the internship program has successfully matched aspiring students with full-time positions in the NASCAR industry. The support of NASCAR partners has helped keep the internship program running strong.” For more details and/or to apply for the program, visit: www.findinternships.com/2013/03/nascar-diversity-internship-program.html Search hundreds of other internships at: www.findinternships.com Courtesy of...

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