sassysage's Blog

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.

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‘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…

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  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: #MarchforScience

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

march

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  • Comments Off on Hot off the Press: enjoy family time

many people are celebrating religious holidays this weekend. besides the significance of those days from a spiritual standpoint, it’s usually a time to gather with family to eat and enjoy each other’s company.  

cherish the moments kissing babies, hugging grandma, swapping stories and dodging nosy questions from uncle so and so.  this weekend and holidays like it are all about sharing love.

enjoy…

easter

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  • Comments Off on Hot off the Press: What about #Syria’s children?

airstrikes may seem a benign activity like a video game.  but what goes up must come down.  huge bombs are landing on soil where innocent people live; many of them children.

the children of syria have cried until there are no more tears.  they have spent their entire lives ravaged with war.  a few weeks ago, Save The Children, released a shockingly brutal report about how millions of children who have been left in syria are surviving.  they interviewed hundreds of children and humanitarian workers.  what they write is beyond heartbreaking.  children are scarred so badly that it has been determined they are now in a state of toxic stress; likely emotionally wounded for life. 

and now with the latest violence they may be enduring the worst all over again.   these children need our help.  we cannot sit and act like this is not happening…

syria

 

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  • Comments Off on Hot Off the Press: the forgotten prison population of women & girls

womeninprison

i’m sitting at a conference filled with doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers who are passionate about providing good health care to people in prison. most people think don’t of prisoners unless they know someone.  they get locked away and often left to fend for themselves while in prison and when they get out.  what i’m learning at the conference is the story for women/girls in prison is much much worse.

women/girls who become incarcerated are much more likely to be a victim of physical or sexual abuse as a child than men/boys who are incarcerated.  women/girls who become incarcerated are much more likely to have had multiple types of traumas like child abuse, rape and domestic violence.  these traumatic events happen to many of them over and over while they are growing up.  this leads to mental health problems, attempted suicide and using drugs. once they get on drugs things turn. they may get with a boyfriend involved in crime who abuses and presssures them to sell drugs or even worse sell their bodies.  this sad and tragic life circumstance is how they end up getting locked up.  

does it make sense to put a victim of abuse in prison?   does it seem okay to jail a person for being forced by men into those behaviors? 

over 1 million women/girls are involved in the criminal justice system and this is most of their stories. ignoring that is a crime within itself. 

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