Mary J Blige Opens Women’s Empowerment Center

Congrats to MJB and Steve Stoute for partnering with the Westchester Jewish Community Services to open the Mary J. Blige Center For Women in Yonkers, NY. Their Foundation for the Advancement of Women [FFAWN] seeks to help “all women gain confidence and skills they need to reach their full individual potential“. They have future plans to expand the centers nationally! I say let’s support the efforts of any woman trying to give back and do something positive specifically for other women – especially when an African-American woman is doing so for other black women and women of color. Now it’s up to those women who seek to thrive not just survive to take the opportunities presented.

“Most of my life was centered around living for the moment. I had very few resources and very little real life education to make good decisions,” says Mary J. Blige. “What I did have was a voice and that ultimately became my vehicle of growth.  I, with Steve Stoute, created FFAWN: The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc.   because I believe every young woman, if given encouragement and a helping hand (a hand filled with resources), can reach her greatest potential.  It is my great hope that FFAWN will be a vehicle to help other woman reach greater heights despite their environment, despite low self esteem, despite their immediate circumstances.”  Westchester Community News

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Blogger Beware: David Merfield of Upload Robots Uses Twitter and Social Media To Exploit Workers

I engage a variety people across social media platforms. Twitter is one of them. They are without a doubt the most popular micro-blogging site that exists right now. And, if you’re a frequent user, you can gain a lot of insight into any number of industries based on those that participate and exchange information. I’ve had memorable interactions on Twitter.

From general conversations to just reading links as others share their time and expertise. One person I follow is Sarah Evans has emerged as an authority in social media (Update: that of course was later called into question). So, when she posted a message (referred to as a Tweet by regular users) about a job listing last month for Upload Robots, I immediately applied.

When “Give A Brotha A Chance” Goes Wrong

Since the arrest of Phillip Young for his latest charge of sexual assault against a minor it has been revealed his employer had failed to conduct any background checks on all of  their hires.

If this was a small mom-and-pop business one might, might be able to excuse such gross negligence but since that employer is the Urban League they should get no such caveats.

A registered sex offender who managed to get hired as a family caseworker and expand his role to mentoring young boys several years ago is now charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Buffalo boy, authorities said Tuesday.

Police said Phillip T. Young, despite becoming a registered sex offender in 1995, was hired in 2000 by the Buffalo Urban League to help work with families experiencing difficult times. The hiring raises questions about why his background was not thoroughly vetted.    Buffalo News

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Meet Your New Social Media Examiner

I made it 24-hours without my site crashing! Gotta love WordPress though. Lots of things are poppin’ behind the scenes here. I have some good news to share: I’ve got a new writing gig with the Examiner! I’m the Social Media columnist for San Francisco. It is a telecommuting position so I can live anywhere – which is a must as that may be my next announcement :0)!


Let me know if you’d like any specific topics covered and be sure to visit. I’ll let you know when my first article is published. Just remember it’s onward and upward despite personal foibles, obstacles presented by others, the economic instability and anything else going on. At the end of the day we will triumph over adversity as long as we don’t give up!

In The “Battle” Of The Sexes Women Win Says Maria Shriver

My response:  ORLY?

I’d like to quantify that for $500,000 Maria.

  • Salary gap has NOT been closed.
  • Race disparities.
  • Education disparities
  • Unknown intangibles (networking, associations, mentoring  you know HELP)
  • Nepotism – yeah I said it

My first thoughts are to immediately think any such report will need to be challenged. Although many women have progressed last time I checked men are still running the show. One white woman’s viewpoint – a woman who’s part of the Boomer generation, 1% wealthiest, politically connected, virtual royalty, top journalist and First Lady of CA may know some things about struggle (after all no one’s life is perfect) but she doesn’t know JACK about financial inequity and has never lacked for opportunities.

The report isn’t about Shriver though – but nice move to get your name on it, girl! That’s a power move we should be taking notes on, ladies. It’s in conjunction with the Center For American Progress as well. That’s all good because we all have our own unique gifts, talents and life paths. I wouldn’t exactly be jumping for joy at the prospect of being married to an infamous womanizer (alleged) and the guy who gets the gold star for derailing CA after staging what was tantamount to a coup when he was (s)elected for Governor.  But I digress.

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Where the Criminal-Minded Can Go

I like to watch docu-series that slightly disturb me and only because it’s a reminder of how our choices impact lives.

Some people enjoyed watching The Wire for that reason but regardless of how realistic the show seemed it was still television.

MSNBC’s Lockup is REAL.

Now with a rough estimate of 30% or more of inmates being black males compared to a 4% population this is no joke.

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Would You Like A Little Sade With Your Saturday?

So this was the Old School Friday meme as well. I’m still resolving my computer issues/blogging platform migration so I’m posting off the cuff (like at the Apple store for example).

It’s a rainy Saturday and Sade totally fits the bill. There was an announcement a few months ago that the band was in the studio and a new release would be forthcoming next month. I believe that’s been delayed until after the new year.

Who cares…it’s Sade!!! Who else can make us wait 8 years for a masterpiece and still leave us wanting more great music? Maxwell perhaps but I really miss his afro.

I cannot pick one song of hers that I love more than the other because I like them for different reasons. When I lived in the UK I was shocked to find out  many fellow Britons just think she’s “average” because we adore her so Stateside. Also Anita Baker credited Sade for helping pave the way for her own jazz-influenced career.

Maybe one day I’ll tell you how I got backstage at one of her shows, hung out with the secondary backing musicians (who had their own tour bus) and got a ride home and an open invite to all the shows that year.  I also bet Sade has had an interesting life that is only hinted at in her music.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Here’s the live performance from Live Aid – gosh she sounds amazing here!

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When Your Primary Influencers Fail You

How can anyone be surprised by the disproportionate number of out of wedlock births amongst teens of color – of a certain class strata? When adults fail to parent and a community drops the ball this is the end result.

While the out of control violence that is affecting male youths has garnered a lot of attention, it is very telling when the daily lives of young girls is ignored.  Robeson High School in Chicago has nearly 1 in 7 students pregnant. They’re not operating in a vacuum.

Lauren Lake of WEEN Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network and Dr. Brenda Wade provided a great intersection of analysis that’s worth viewing.  Dr. Wade specifically mentioned intergenerational patterns and how they affect the family structure.  I really liked the dialog between them and the host.

Why Being A Woman Shouldn’t Be A Pre-Existing Condition

I was invited to participate in a call at the White House on health care reform for women this past Tuesday. More than 700 women or advocates for reform for women participated. This is a far cry from the days of previous administrations’ vilifying people for contracting HIV or from being shut out of the process entirely. So I’ll give kudos to the Obama administration for doing this.

My desire is to see results come from this – that requires ALL of our ACTIVE participation against those that would deny us. I was waiting for the post-conference meeting minutes but decided to post from my notes. I may come back add names from the Q&A session that followed.

Women of Color United Coalition For Health Care Reform

  • National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) – Health Reform Panel with Tina Tchen, Executive Director for the White House Council on Women and Girls & Caya Lewis, Outreach Director for the HHS Office of Health Reform
  • Silvia Enrique – Nat’l Latina Inst. for Reproductive Health
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • National Asian & Pacific American Women’s Forum

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