Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am in a bit of mourning for I have decided to merge this blog into my other blog, Hope is Real! I wanted this blog to be a community effort, but it hasn't happened. In fact, it's not getting many views either. My other blog doesn't get many views, but it does get more-it even has a few regular commenters. If you do stop by here from time to time, please check out my other blog, as I will be doing the postings that I would ordinarily do here, other there. That means there will still "Womyn of the Week" and event postings. If you know of an event, you would like me to promo, you can still do that too-just at now. Slowly, I will be making the change from two blogs back down to one and I am sad, and yet excited at the same time. This will probably be my last real post on this blog, so go check out my other blog soon!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Music for the Women of Congo Benefit Concert

Join V-Day Atlanta and Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Acclaimed Playwright
Tuesday, February 9
8:00-11 PM
Benefit Concert at the Warren City Club
818 N Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta - Above Dark Horse, Directions at

Entertainment by Arlington Priest, Dres tha Beatnik, Roxie Watson, Joi, Gina Loring, and More
Speaker Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Author of The Vagina Monologues

This event will sell out, get your tickets early!

Join us as we raise awareness about violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and V-Day’s special new facility, the City of Joy in Bukavu.

Help us change the story of women in Congo be a part of the worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls. To learn more about the City of Joy, visit

Co-Chairs Jane Fonda Pat Mitchell Laura Turner Seydel
Host Committee Angie Allen Phyllis Abramson Wendy Babchin Glenn Bean Mary Beth Byram Wendy Belkin Linda Bryant Enid Draluck Ken Goldwasser Katie Graham Jade Guanchez Alyson Hoag Stephanie Jolluck Leslie Koerdt Randi Layne Gina Loring Carlton Mackey Adam Malm Maggie Mermin Carol Moore Lewis Perkins Kim Singer Kristi Warren Evans

Special thanks to the Chelko Foundation, the Warren City Club and the Emory Center for Ethics.
Contact - Nikki Noto,

Conversations at the Carter Center - FREE!

If you plan to attend.
Prepare written questions ahead of time.
Write questions on index cards provided by the Carter Center.
Questions answered will be from cards collected.

Free reservations are now available at for "The Mental Health Crisis in Georgia," which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, from 7-8:30 p.m. at The Carter Center.

More than 130 patients have died under suspicious circumstances in Georgia's public psychiatric hospitals over the past seven years, according to an exposé by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Carter Center has been a leading voice for change in Georgia's mental health system since this crisis came to light, and has worked to identify strategies to transform Georgia's shame into a model for the nation.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit against the state of Georgia, the status of which will be discussed during the Feb. 16 Conversations at The Carter Center. Former First Lady and Carter Center Mental Health Program founder Rosalynn Carter will provide remarks. Carter Center Mental Health Program Director Dr. Thom Bornemann will moderate a panel of key stakeholders who will discuss the challenges facing the state mental health system and explore potential solutions.

This Conversation is free but reservations are required to attend, which you can make at At the same link, you can also read about the rest of the Conversations at The Carter Center season or watch webcasts of previous events.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Womyn of the Week - Ella Baker

Yesterday, I posted a video of the group, "Sweet Honey in the Rock" singing the song, "Ella's Song," which was named after Ella Baker. The main words in the song are, "We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes" - one of her famous sayings.
(painting by Robert Shetterly for the "Americans Who Tell the Truth" project)

The painting has this quote:

“In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become a part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you can change that system. That is easier said than done.”

Ella Baker was born in 1903 and was a major civil rights activist. She believed it is better to work behind the scenes than to have centralized figures of authority. She is famous for saying, "Strong people don't need strong leaders."

In 1927, Baker graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. She then moved to Harlem and started organizing consumer cooperatives during the Great Depression. In 1938, she became part of the NAACP's staff. She traveled South to build up local branches, which became the start of the Civil Rights Movement. But by 1946, her duties for the NAACP were more focused on integrating New York City public schools.

In 1957, Ella Baker helped create the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which helped establish Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a major Civil Rights figure. Baker and King clashed, for Baker thought that King was too controlling and did not put enough energy into empowering others.

Baker founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, when four students were denied service at a university cafeteria. This committee led sit-ins in cafeterias across the country and opened the doors of activism to people who had previously been overlooked, like young people and women.

In 1964, Ella Baker moved back to New York and worked tirelessly for human rights until her death in 1983.
Ella Baker was right-"We who believe in freedom cannot rest." She is also right in that human rights leaders should always be more concerned for the people, and especially the most marginalized people, of whatever group they represent than their own ego. I think of how Pat Robertson, who is so obviously misguided and is nothing like Martin Luther King Jr., recently said that the Haitians are better off now than they were, because now they have a chance to repent. He has said similar things about every kind of natural disaster that has occurred since he has been in a public position. What a fool! I wish that people did not listen to him. I wish that his idiotic sayings were ignored by the media and that the Ella Bakers of this world were the ones uplifted, but that is not how this world works-those who do the truly great works in this world are never verbally given the credit they deserve, for they are the ones who know that receiving credit is not what is truly important.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sweet honey in the rock - Ella's Song

I am sorry that I did not post on Martin Luther King Day. I worked that day and was really tired when I came home. Ella's song is named after Ella Baker, and we sing this song at my church every Martin Luther King Sunday. It uplifts my soul and spirit. Later this week, I will do a post on Ella Baker, as our "womyn of the week." Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

If You Have Money...

If you have extra money to donate, then the organization ServeHAITI is a great organization to donate to, especially now, in light of the earthquake. According to, it "is a non-profit faith-based organization working together with the people of Grand-Bois, Haiti, to achieve a better quality of life." According to my friend, Elizabeth, whose father works for the organization,
"If you are looking for a way to donate money that will directly benefit Hatian relief workers and doctors with no administrative cut, and whose uses will be dictated by the Haitian folks who are on the ground, you can donate to ServeHaiti. They will be channeling all funds directly to surviving clinics and medics in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas.

Another worthy cause, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV), is hosting a celebration that marks its 35th anniversary, at its annual Hearts with Hope (HWH) gala. The gala will highlight PADV’s achievements in eliminating domestic violence in metro Atlanta. HWH is PADV’s signature fundraiser and stewardship event that raises more than half of its general operating budget annually. The gala will feature a gourmet dinner, drinks, live and silent auctions and entertainment.

Avon Products Inc. will be honored with the Hope Award in recognition of its long-term commitment to improving the lives of women.

When: Saturday, February 20, 2010, 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Where: InterContinental Hotel Buckhead, 3315 Peachtree Road

Attire: Black-tie optional

Ticket Price: Per person: $250 (Sponsorships are also available)

HWH Host Committee Co-Chairs: Susie Trotochaud, community volunteer, and her husband Scott Dorfman, founder and CEO of Innotrac.

To learn more about this event or to get involved with PADV, call 404.870.9616.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Womyn of the Week - Mette Ivie Harrison

I have a job where I sort of tutor a teenage girl and we were in the library trying to pick out a book for me to read to her. This is a girl who does not read a lot and I really wanted a book that's both new and has a strong female character. What I did not want is to be reading is a cheesy teenage romance and I was really afraid that that was what my tutee was going to pick. I knew that she likes fantasy and the librarian recommended a book called, "The Princess and The Bear" by Mette Ivie Harrison and I am glad she did. The book is about a hound that turns into a princess and a king that turns into a bear and the friendship that forms between them.

I like this book, because the female character is incredibly strong. She is not afraid to get dirty, loves physical activity, and how she loves to hunt is described in detail. She is the most logical character in the book. It is absolutely thrilling to read a book aloud to a teenage girl where the role model is an actual role model and not a "moony"-eyed, overly romantic fool.

I commend Harrison for writing a book with such a strong female character. Apparently, "The Princess and The Bear" is the second book in a trilogy, with the first being, "The Princess and The Hound." The third will be out in April this year and is called, "The Princess and The Snowbird." I will probably be reading all of these books, as reading about such a strong heroine just makes me happy! You can even read an excellent article for any aspiring writer, "How to Write a Strong Heroine," by Harrison.

Harrison herself is a strong womyn, both metaphorically and physically. On her website, she talks about loving to compete in triathlons and about becoming an Ironman. Even more importantly, she talks about how one can overcome harmful ideas from childhood about what success is. Success is not about the having the ability to measure up to someone else's ideas about their version of success, but rather, it is trying out a bunch of different things and finding out for yourself what your bliss truly is and then following it to the best of your ability.