Trayvon Martin Inspires a Voting Movement, Hoodie Vote

voteinmyhoodie-570x380Trayvon Martin. Remember him? A lot has transpired in the world since the 17-year-old was shot and killed by George Zimmerman but the case against his killer is not over — attorneys for both sides are still filing pre-trial motions and a hearing on the “stand your ground” self-defense immunity has yet to occur.  The impact that Martin’s death has had on communities across the country is not over either, with many young people, people of color, and others donning hoodies of their own in solidarity with the teen whose own hoodie was cited as cause for suspicion and likelihood of guilt. In the days and weeks after Martin’s death, everyone from Howard University Law School students and representatives of Congress wore their hoodies. Today, the deep meaning and symbolism of a person of color in a hoodie is being carried right into the voting booth by a grassroots movement called Hoodie Vote.

So if I Don’t Want Kids, Now I’m Selfish?

amber-rose-wiz-khalifa-92812-575A recent op-ed in the Canadian paper, the National Post, literally  made me LOL and say ‘Ooh, somebody’s salty’ aloud to no one in particular in my office. You can read it for yourself, but to summarize, writer Joe O’Connor asserts that couples who choose not to have children are “just plain selfish” because they’d rather spend their lives taking vacations, buying white furniture and plugging things in without first having to remove a safety cap from the socket or whatever. O’Connor pines for the good ol’ days when, he writes:

Beyonce, Obama and the Politics of Respectability

beyonce-jay-obama-92412-575hc-570x285Jesus, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the fictional Clair Huxtable are widely considered to be good role models, those individuals, according to definition, whose behavior, example, or success is worthy of being emulated. Your personal role model might be a family member, a teacher, an athlete, artist, or actor — it’s totally up to you. What makes for a good role model is quite subjective as it depends on what you value and what you would like to achieve in life. That’s why, when people wereshaking the table over President Obama’s recent comment about pop superstar Beyoncé I was reminded of what some folks value and hold up as worthy. “[She] could not be a better role model for my girls,” said the President. “She carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent.”

I’m Over AIDS, Aren’t You?

aids-funding-protestors-72912-575hcDid you know there was a huge international AIDS conference going on last week? Yep, the aptly named International AIDS Conference, held in Washington, D.C., drew world leaders, activists, public health professionals, people living with the disease, and other concerned individuals to talk about prevention, testing, treatment, a cure, and all the surrounding policy. All week long, I’ve been seeing tweets and articles about the conference but I just can’t get too worked up about what I know to be good work going on down in D.C. Why not? This is not very popular to say but I’m sovery over talking about AIDS.

Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll, Juanita Bynum Challenge Lesbian Stereotypes

Lying is a tricky thing. When we lie, it’s rarely just once or just a little “white” thing, because lies are ravenous – they require sustenance or else they threaten to blow up and expose you. Lies are greedy and once you get started, you either have to go big or go home. I’m going to say that Florida’s Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carroll, was lying about something when she was caught allegedly engaging in inappropriate intimate behavior with a female coworker. Carroll went big. Too big, really. In her own defense, Carroll basically told the media that she’s simply too fine and too married to be a lesbian. No really.

Temporary Victory for Mississippi Abortion Rights Activists

Pro-choice advocates all over can breathe a tepid sigh of relief. U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan has extended a temporary order to allow Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic to stay open, despite efforts by that state’s government to close it’s doors. It’s not a total win – we won’t really be able to relax until the judge completes his review of how Mississippi plans to administer the law. Fingers are crossed that the ultimate ruling reflects the fact that this law, House Bill 1390, imposes undue burdens upon the state’s only abortion clinic and by extension, the women of Mississippi. Had things gone the other way, Mississippi would have become a shining example to anti-choice forces in similarly-situated states looking to ban abortion by targeting the sole facilities providing that service within their borders. Since that’s still a possibility, you should understand what this is all about?

Kameron Slade Proves That When It Comes To Gay Marriage, Kids Are Smarter

Youth and innocence – two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Cephus and Reesie. We generally seek to prolong the innocence of youth for as long as possible, shielding our children from sights, sounds and experiences that might force them to grow up too quickly, shattering their idyllic and tender worlds. After 30 years on this Earth and a childhood that was anything but innocent, I understand this and support it to an extent. However, there’s a difference between stalling the harsh realities of adulthood and sheltering kids from, oh, I don’t know, the fact that gay people exist?

Professor Anita Hill Inspires At Girls For Gender Equity’s Anniversary: Here’s What She Said

“I am, I was, and I will always be a catalyst for change,” said Professor Anita Hill, paraphrasing Shirley Chisholm last week at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Hill was honored as Woman of the Decade along with nine other “Justice Warriors” at Girls for Gender Equity’s (GGE) 10thanniversary celebration. In 1991, the world came to know Anita Hill as a catalyst for change when she stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee with allegations that (soon-to-be) Justice Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her during his tenure as head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Beyond the controversy of those hearings, what has withstood the test of time and touched women so deeply has been Hill’s dignity, elegance and intelligence in the face of unrelenting public scrutiny and pressure. It’s no surprise that Girls for Gender Equity, a youth-development organization committed to “remov[ing] barriers and creat[ing] opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives” would recognize Hill with this honor.

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