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My Brother’s Keeper: Stop writing letters and start doing the work

gettowork 600Over the past few days my Twitter feed has buzzed about the letter signed by 1,000 women and girls urging President Barack Obama to broaden his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. The letter and subsequent commentaries attack the president, accusing him of any number of sins for not including women and girls in this program. Yes, the issues facing women and girls of color are significant, and while ignored in research and programming as the letter states, they do deserve attention and focus.
 
And that’s my problem with the letter. In short, would this letter have been written if this initiative had never been announced? I mean, the hash tag #WhyWeCantWait is problematic because people have been waiting for years. When it comes to waiting, #YesWeCan! And did.

Republicans should learn from Cantor’s mistake

rayjack 600The recent defeat of House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent shock waves throughout D.C. like I have never seen before.  But, in Cantor’s defeat, I see great opportunity for the Republican Party to make inroads into the black community.
 
Cantor represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which is a suburb of Richmond.  According to the 2010 U.S. Census, it has a population of 757,917 (74.3 percent white, 17.1 percent black), median income of $ 64,751.  In other words, it is the definition of a middle-class district.  The district is rated as a solid Republican (R+10).

African-American women are taking care of business

womaninbusiness 600WASHINGTON  – Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, African-American women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, African-American women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.
 
“Today, women of color are the majority owners of close to one-third of all women-owned firms in the nation,” stated the report. “Increased access to business capital – including microenterprises, venture capital- funded firms, and crowd funding – has helped the number of women entrepreneurs grow substantially.”
 
Traditional careers often come with cultural and structural roadblocks that devalue the work of women, especially African-American women.

Do-it-herself diva

doitherself 600As the heads of many American households, women are increasingly forced to reckon with not only the odd handyman job like mowing lawns or replacing sealants, but also more demanding household repairs including plumbing and electrical work. In fact, what was once considered the man’s terrain within the home has become a space where women actively flex their muscle.
 
According to a recent survey by the Home Improvement Research Institute, the number of home improvement products purchased by women has increased over the years. Women account for more than $70 billion worth of purchases in the home improvement industry, up from just over $55 billion in 1995. This rising trend is due to women owning their own homes and tackling their own home repair projects. Industry research shows that single women are purchasing new homes at twice the rate of single men, and within the first year of home ownership, women spend almost $9,000 on home improvement projects. Contributing to the growing trend of women purchasing tools are home improvement shows and hardware stores.

Melt away the belly

bellyaway 600Let’s face it ladies…in the summer, we are surrounded with holidays that “require” us to eat bar-b-que, potato salad, soda wada and the works! What does that mean? – more FAT to have to deal with because what do we do for the holiday? We eat, eat, & eat some more. 
 
And we all know that the fat tends to head straight to our midsection and just sit there and wait to spread. How can we get rid of our belly fat? It’s really hard to say because our wonderful bodies have minds of their own. Each individual body decides where it wants to burn off the fat and in what order.