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some birthdays i’ve cried the whole day…felt like nothing was going right in my life. other times i just wanted to be alone; needed the quiet time to reflect on how much i’d overcome.   of course there were years of elation and glee too. but through it all; i’m still here.

even though it’s clear usa is going through growing pains, we will come out the other side better and stronger. this july 4th, regardless of how you feel things are going with the country; celebrate anyway.  faith in the celebration will allow us to pull through.

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some people think STEM is really boring.  but that’s because they are learning by reading about STEM. STEM is an action sport.  it’s about doing.  you’ve got to get in there and play. 

that’s why the new web diy series ‘Hack along with Goldie Blox’  is so great. Every Friday a new episode is gonna come out with fun fixes that any girl with a can do attitude can make themselves. 

Check it out

i give a huge congrats to mom from philly who spent more than $25,000 for her son to have a dubai themed prom party.  by now i’m sure you have heard about this situation , since IG and youtube has been aswirl about it.  most of the comments are shock and horror that someone would spend that much money on a prom. someone from anywhere but not a mom who by her own accounts didn’t have that type of money. but i see this as genius…

i believe philly mom, aka saudia shuler, had a master plan.   my guess is that she really threw the party as a kick off for her new party planning business.  how brilliant a marketing plan would that be!  she has thousands of people sharing video and photos of her event.  news and sites around the world are talking about her idea.  it’s clear the woman is super talented. as it took so much creativity and time management to plan something of that magnitude.   i can’t imagine other people not wanting to hire her. if this was her thought process and i really hope it was…she took a risk indeed but potentially a risk that may pay off BIG

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scenarios-e1496434652301.jpgi had the pleasure last summer of being asked to serve on the committee to select the best script for the next film line up for scenarios USA.  scenarios USA is a non profit organization which take ideas written by teens and helps them produce hollywood quality short films. in fact the films of often made by well known award winning directors.  the films are then used as part of curriculum in schools to help students learn how to address serious issues they face but are often not discussed in school or with family.  the scripts were soo good, it was very hard to pick.  but when we did, we were all excited to see what was to come.  two teen girls won the best scripts and we are so proud of them.

fast forward one year later and even though i knew the scripts were good, i cannot believe the talent and creativity of these teen girls.   they both created films that are intense, real and compelling.   

for the month of June you can check out the films on youtube. 

take a look at the short film cut in half.  written by the amazing leen shumman and directed by famed susan seidelman.

‘you never expect to be killed by your own father’  says a teen girl living in syria who was interviewed by katherine zoepf, a journalist who spent many years covering the middle east. 

katherine witnessed the strength and courage of women who took tiny but mighty steps to elevate the lives of girls/young women despite the odds.  she yearned to tell their stories which are often unheard.   i had the chance to attend a reading and q & a about her new book, excellent daughters: the secret lives of young women who are transforming the arab world.  

during the reading, katherine describes interviews from girls at a juvenile prison.  in addition to teens who have been caught in illegal activity, this prison also houses girls who are in danger of being killed by their families.  they were afraid of being murdered as part of honor killings which are allowed in some parts of the middle east. an honor or shame killing is when others believe the victim has brought dishonor to the family or has violated the values of the community.  this is often done to girls/women for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, becoming the victim of rape or even dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate.

as katherine reads, i’m in horror at the fact there were enough girls in danger of honor killings to warrant a special place to house them.  i’m also struck by sadness at the fact their place of refuge is a prison.  but because of the stigma of being a girl who has dishonored her family, it was the only place that would take them in. despite the harsh environment, the girls are given sewing/knitting classes, food and love by mona. mona and other brave activists spoke up to provide a place for the girls. mona tries in her small but mighty way to make a difference.  

mona and stories of other courageous women are told throughout the book.  these women speak in a world that often tries to shut them out. they are fearless leaders creating change and shaping a better future for their communities from the grassroots up. 

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can we give shea moisture another chance?  i know many of you are shaking your heads no.   but hear me out…we have all made mistakes in our lives including offending when we never intended. this is what it seems happened to them.  

if you haven’t heard, shea moisture is a natural hair care company that has primarily been focused on products for women of color, specifically African American women. they’ve had a huge following for decades. so much so the company has soared.  as with any company that is looking to grow, they decided to expand their market.  they were about to roll out a new ad campaign and when one of the ads came out, it featured little to no African American women.  this angered a lot of women (and men) in the African American community who decided to drop the brand. 

the company has apologized saying they never intended for the ad to be viewed outside of the context of the entire roll out.  giving them the side eye for sure…but this is a very real possibility.  they are a growing company and perhaps they weren’t quite ready for the big roll out.  perhaps they didn’t have as tight a vetting process as they should have. perhaps they hired the wrong marketing firm to assist the growth campaign.  but these things happen with any organization or company or person as one learns what and how to do next level things.  

growth takes risk and being places that are unknown.  that will lead to mistakes, mistakes that may unintentionally upset others.   if you are willing to fly united again after their fiasco, shouldn’t you be willing to give shea mositure another try?   if they had a track record of delivering high quality products that work for so many years, isn’t it worth giving them a second chance?

listen to ceo rich dennis on the breakfast club and decide for yourself…

support scientists and those that believe in the importance of what we do…

march


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