Posts from the ‘Community’ Category

Chescaleigh weighs in

I love Chescaleigh. That is all.

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Happy Centennial Delta Sigma Theta!!

Happy Centennial Delta Sigma Theta!!

Congratulations to the Devastating Divas of Delta SIgma Theta Sorority Inc. on reaching 100 fabulous years!! Enjoy your year ladies!!

Martin and Davis Discuss Image of Black Women in Media

A few days ago, political and cultural analyst Roland Martin welcomed image activist Michaela Angela Davis to his program Washington Watch with airs on TVOne. The two discussed the image the of Black Women in the media and the damage it is causing.

Watch below:

Sistas Represent at Nerdland!!

I have been watching Melissa Harris-Perry every Saturday and Sunday (when I can) on MSNBC from 10a-12pm for some time now. (Shameless plug, I know.) Professor Harris-Perry covers a wide range of political, economic, and social issues that affect not only minority communities, but America as a whole. Her guests reach across both sides of the political arena as she welcomes guests from various viewpoints and with many different opinions.

During this past Saturday’s episode, “Nerdland” as Prof. Harris-Perry has coined the program, focused on issues such as family structure in America, what President Obama’s second term means, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s agenda. There were three particular segments that caught my attention. Prof. Harris-Perry welcomed Ms. Emily Carpenter from Girls for Gender Equity, INC (GGE) and they discussed the impact that Malia and Sasha Obama growing up in the White House has had on black girls across the country, especially since Malia will be able to vote for her father’s successor in 2016. Prof. Harris-Perry also welcomed Rochelle Ballantyne, a former student of I.S. 318 here in Brooklyn and 4-time chess champion, along with assistant principal John Galvin to discuss the new documentary Brooklyn Castle which chronicles the lives of students at I.S. 318, a low-performing school, as they win National Chess Championships and deal with hardships at home. For her weekly “Foot Soldiers” segment, Prof. Harris-Perry featured Southern Louisiana University junior Whitney Cristy and her initiative #Swabbin4Robin.

Emily Carpenter Courtesy of GGE

18 year-old Emily Carpenter, a youth organizer for GGE, discussed how seeing Malia and Sasha grow up in the
White House impacted her and how Malia is serving as a role model for young girls. She also mentioned how she has become more educated about the political races now that she is older.

Watch Emily here

Rochelle Ballantyne Courtesy of Black Celeb Kids

Rochelle Ballantyne and I.S. 318 assistant principal John Galvin talked briefly about Brooklyn Castle and some of the challenges she faced being a young lady playing chess as well as some of the lessons she learned.

Watch Rochelle here

Whitney Christy Courtesy of SELU

Finally, Prof. Harris-Perry introduced us to Whitney Christy, founder of SLU’s National Society of Leadership and Success, Be The Match Foundation supporter, driving force behind #Swabbin4Robin and Bone Marrow Donor. Christy helps organize bone marrow drives on her college campus and has added over 250 names to the national bone marrow donor list. Her #Swabbin4Robin campaign, an ode to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, who recently received a bone marrow transplant from her sister Sally-Ann, has begun to pick up steam and gain national attention.

Watch Whitney here

I would like to thank Prof. Harris-Perry and everyone at Nerdland for showcasing such beautiful, positive images of young black women. Also, thank you to Emily, Rochelle, and Whitney for doing great things within the community. Keep up the great work.

Catch Prof Harris – Perry every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 12pm on MSNBC.

2 Years Later….

An January 12, 2010 a massive earthquake rocked the island of Haiti. Even though progress has been made, help is still needed.

*This video is from last year*

RIP Sonia Pierre

Photo Courtesy of US Department of State

 

Source: MSN News: International
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Sonia Pierre, a human rights activist who bravely fought discrimination against poor Dominicans of Haitian descent since she was a child, died Sunday, according to colleagues. She was 48.

The renowned activist died outside of the municipality of Villa Altagracia while being rushed to a hospital after suffering a heart attack around noon Sunday, said Genaro Rincon, a lawyer who works with Pierre’s Dominican-Haitian Women’s Movement.

Pierre’s chronic heart troubles were first discovered in 2007 when she was in Washington to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award honoring her work securing citizenship and education for Dominican-born ethnic Haitians.

Through the decades, her activism made her the target of threats in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, but it earned her recognition from overseas as a fierce defender of human rights, including an award from Amnesty International in 2003.

Pierre was one of 12 children raised in a dirt-floor barrack in a Dominican migrant worker camp and was just 13 when she was first arrested and threatened with deportation for leading her fellow Dominican residents of Haitian descent in a march for cane cutters’ rights.

Since then, Pierre tirelessly fought to secure citizenship and education for the beleaguered minority of Dominican-born ethnic Haitians.

“She was like a sister to me,” said Edwin Paraison, executive director of the Zile Foundation, a Haitian group that tries to improve relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. “The Haitian community has lost someone who was a huge advocate in the fight for Haitian rights.”

An estimated 500,000 to 1 million ethnic Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, many in isolated village slums that dot the countryside. Most of those born in the Dominican Republic are descendants of Haitians who crossed the border fleeing violence or seeking economic opportunity.

When she won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2007, Pierre denounced what she said were “massive abuses” in the Dominican Republic against people of Haitian descent, particularly children.

“They suffer discrimination from the moment they are born,” she said during the award ceremony in the U.S. Senate. “The authorities refuse to recognize them as Dominicans.”

While Haiti has been plagued by poverty, violence and political instability, its eastern neighbor, with a population of more than 9 million, grew out of its own early struggles to be seen as a comparative land of opportunity even as many Haitian migrants are exploited as cheap labor.

Police arrested Pierre in 1976 when she led her fellow Haitian-Dominican neighbors in a march to demand rights for those who cut sugar cane. She was jailed for a day and threatened with deportation to Haiti, where her mother was born.

“I was crying because I didn’t know anyone in Haiti,” Pierre once recalled.

Her advocacy also has made her and her family targets in the Dominican Republic. She was once chased out of her Santo Domingo office by a man waving a pistol. She was also punched at a stop light by another man who told her, “I know who you are.”

Pierre insisted she was trying to help her people and not malign the Dominican Republic. “I am not a critic of my country, and this is my country,” she said. “I am a critic of my government.”

Paraison, a former minister of Haitians living abroad, said Pierre is survived by three children.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Entertain Me Mondays: L’Renee

YOOOO!!!! How are all my Kings and Queens?!?!? Yes, I’ve been gone for a while. I had some other responsibilities to tend to, and I got a new gig, but I didn’t forget about you all!! I’m so sorry for the extended leave of absence, but I’m back, so let’s get to it!!!

Photo Courtesy of L'Renee

If you didn’t know by now, I’m a Detroit Girl In A New York World. I love living in New York, but Detroit will always be my first home. I still rep my home teams (yes, including the Detroit Lions) as well as hometown music. I introduced you all to Detroit Rocker Steffanie Christi’an, now meet 313 soul sista L’Renee. Born and raised in Detroit, L’Renee credits heavy weights such as Sade, Stevie Wonder, and Karen Clark-Sheard as being her influences. L’Renee had been writing her own music for sometime, but it was a performance in Columbus, OH that pushed her to the front of the stage. “For the longest time I actually tried to deny music as a career” says L’Renee “The turning point for me was during a show in Columbus, OH that I landed as a fluke and when I came off stage there were so many request for people to purchase the music that they’d just heard. I was floored because at that point I was just writing music for recreational purposes. I’ve been writing and singing professionally ever since.” Even though she may have not been trying to pursue a career professionally, L’Renee has always been one with music. “My first fond memory of music is from a performance I did singing “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” performed by Diana Ross during an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz while in Kindergarten.” L’Renee also recalls how music played an intricate role in her upbringing in Detroit. “I remember many nights that my father would practice with his funk band in the basement. I used to always try and stay up in order to hear the rehearsals and sometimes sneak a peak at what they were doing. I used to think that they were so cool and all I could think about was being like them when I got older. In my neighborhood, the fondest musical memory that I have was during a Brazeal Dennard Youth Chorale performance. The thing that made it so special was being able to sing with people who have become some of the most important women in my life, Angela Birchette, Dr. Lori Hicks, and Yalonda “JD Green” (Davidson)Green.“ It’s those influences that have helped L’Renee become one of Detroit shining stars.

In addition to performing around the globe and opening for the likes of Ledisi, L’Renee is also giving back to young women in Detroit. “Detroit is a very special place. There’s a pulse here that can’t be accurately described simply with words. I don’t even believe that it can be fully understood until you live here. I am exceptionally proud to be from here and just like any other significantly urban area we are going to continue to make mistakes, but we will learn from those mishaps.“ L’Renee started her own non-profit L’Renee GirlPOWer Non-profit which works towards improving the self-esteem of young teenage girls. The organization had its official launch last week (October 28th) in Detroit and included a full concert featuring R&B artists Gwenation, Elle, and L’Renee.

We here at Reclaim Your Queendom salute L’Renee. A beautiful songbird who is using her talent and skills to help educated and uplift women, and doing it damn well. “I always try to remember to ask God to help me change the things I can, accept the things I can’t, and to have the wisdom to know the difference.“ Make sure you visit her website L’Renee.Net and subscribe, follow her on Twitter (@lreneedetroit), like her page on Facebook, and watch her videos/listen to her music on YouTube. “I am releasing a couple more projects over the next couple of months as well as featuring on a couple of great projects.“ We can’t wait.