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Category Archives: Girls

Cool Nerds

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Here I go again…

I have always encouraged my daughter to wear the moniker “cool nerd” with pride. This article highlights females who are just that. Several are STEM pioneers. My inner feminist is showing….

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Career, Education, Girls, Youth

 

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Science Girl

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A colleague sent this article to me this morning. I quickly forwarded it to my daughter with the subject line, Go Science Girl Go! This has our inside joke since her passion and command for science really began to reveal itself in middle school. As a writer, I was fascinated that she easily flexed parts of her brain that caused me such angst in school…she did NOT get it from her mama!

My daughter’s brain is a thing of beauty that works in mysterious ways. Don’t get me wrong, this has not always produced harmony between us. However, now that she is in college and coming into her own, I can appreciate it on a more regular basis. :)

Research and conducting experiments gives her the rush that finding the perfect word to evoke a particular emotion gives me. I am grateful that her teachers and the schools that she attended nurtured this love of science. So many girls still get re-directed from STEM in subtle ways. The stats remain dismal. Many thanks to the organizations and programs that realize what women and girls can bring to these industries.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Career, Civil Rights, Education, Girls, women, Youth

 

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It’s On Us

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1 in 5 women are assaulted on college campuses (that’s the reported number). Of course, the real number is higher.

Last week President Barack Obama launched a campaign to combat sexual assault on campuses. Based on recommendations from task force recommendations, the goal is to raise awareness and educate college students about the issue and what can be done to prevent it. Obama says that a key component will be to engage college-age men in the prevention process.

The new campaign will expand student-led efforts on campuses and partner with associations including the NCAA and athletic conferences such as the Big Ten, and large companies, including Viacom, which will promote the campaign on MTV, VH1 and BET. Over 200 colleges have signed on to participate in the campaign.

I talked to my daughter about it last week; the research stated that most assaults happened in the victims’ freshman or sophomore years. I reiterated the new rules: going to parties in groups, ALWAYS getting her own beverage (and not sitting it down) and encouraging her to use her self-defense tips. Talk to your college students, male and female. Encourage them to be safe and aware.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Education, Girls, Health, violence, women, Youth

 

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Five Months Later

Nigeria Kidnapped Girls
[Partial reprint of HuffPo article.]

Not one girl has been rescued

In the first days after the abduction, 57 of the girls managed to escape from their captors. But not one has escaped or been rescued since then.

Even though they were reportedly located months ago

In May, a Nigerian military official claimed he knew where the girls were being held. A month later, U.S. surveillance planes also spotted a group that officials believed to be the girls.

Stephen Davis, an Australian cleric and mediator, said in June that a deal to free the girls had fallen apart three different times in one month. He says that powerful people with “vested interests” are working to sabotage a deal, and he has accused Nigerian politicians of funding Boko Haram. Nigeria’s government has defended its approach to the crisis and warned that a rescue effort might risk the girls’ lives.

Other countries have made little progress

According to the Associated Press, it took more than two weeks for Nigeria to accept offers of international assistance to find the schoolgirls.

When other countries did start to help, they didn’t get very far. The U.S. sent 80 troops in late May to coordinate an aerial search from neighboring Chad. Canada, France, Israel and the U.K. also sent special forces to Nigeria. But six weeks later, the Pentagon press secretary announced that the U.S. mission would be scaled back, saying: “We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.”

The troops are still in Chad and the U.S. has surveillance and reconnaissance flightslooking for the girls each week. U.S. officials have expressed concern about sharing intelligence on Boko Haram given the Nigerian military’s poor human rights record.

Meanwhile, the girls’ hometown is still in danger

Residents in Chibok face the unrelenting threat of an attack by militants. In June, aBoko Haram offensive on nearby villages crept within three miles of the town where the girls were kidnapped.

Tragically, at least 11 parents of the kidnapped girls have been killed by militants or died of illness.

And Boko Haram violence rages on

Since April, Boko Haram claims to have taken over at least five towns in northeastern Nigeria, although the military says it has won some of these back. The militant group has also kidnapped at least three more smaller groups of girls as well as dozens ofboys and young men — some of whom were later rescued.

More than 2,100 people are reported to have been killed by Boko Haram since April 14, according to data from the Council on Foreign Relations. And during a span of 10 days in August, some 10,000 people were displaced by fighting in northeastern Nigeria.

Nigeria’s military has buckled under pressure…

Nigeria’s military appears ill-equipped to deal with the challenge. Complaining of a lack of weapons, at least 40 Nigerian soldiers reportedly refused orders to fight Boko Haram in August. And during recent attacks by Boko Haram in border towns, at least 600 Nigerian soldiers reportedly fled to Cameroon. The army claimed that some of the troops were performing a tactical maneuver.

…And been accused of grave human rights abuses

Nigeria’s security forces and state-sponsored militias have long been accused of horrific abuses, including kidnappings, torture and extrajudicial killings. Following the government’s most recent crackdown on Boko Haram, evidence has emerged that authorities have tortured and killed countless civilians accused of being connected to the militant group.

Meanwhile Nigeria worries about its image problem.

Nigeria’s government paid a Washington public relations firm more than $1.2 million to change the media narrative surrounding the schoolgirls’ abduction, according to a June report by The Hill.

#BringBackOurGirls

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Civil Rights, Girls, Politics, Race, violence, women, Youth

 

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Invest in Girls

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Pre-college Blues

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I am extremely proud of my daughter, as she prepares to begin the next phase: college. Nadiyah is headed off in seven short weeks and I have been excited for her. This was a great time in my life and I’m sure it will be for her.

With that said…I want her to leave…now!

I’ve had folks tell me that students do this to make it easier for them to leave. I’ve had folks say that kids get scared and anxious and lash out. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both and then some. I have never been as upset with her as I’ve been over the past month. Now let me state for the record that my daughter is only 17 and not past the hormonal teenagery bitchiness. BUT- all of a sudden – she does not listen, she does whatever she wants and cares about nobody but herself. The most interesting part is she’s only this way at home…interesting may not be the best word. Last week, I had a Bernie Mac out-of-body experience and all I wanted to do was “bust her head to the white meat!”

Seriously…I’m not liking her.

 

Phenomenal Woman

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R.I.P. Maya Angelou
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

Writer, poet, mother, performer, activist. You made many fall in love with themselves.

 

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