Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Tuesday, February 9
Benefit Concert at the Warren City Club
818 N Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta - Above Dark Horse, Directions at http://www.thewarrencityclub.com/
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
TICKETS ON SALE AT HTTP://WWW.VDAY.ORG/ATLCONGO
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 http://www.vday.org/
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.cartercenter.org/conversations 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 www.cartercenter.org/conversations. 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
(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
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 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
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Jemima looks blank. "So anyway," she says at last, turning back to me. "I'd be delighted to help. Revenge is actually quite a specialty of mine, though I say it myself..."
I avoid Lissy's eyes. "What did you have in mind?"
"Scrape his car, shred his suits, sew fish inside his curtains and wait for them to rot..." she reels off instantly, as though reciting poetry.
"Did you learn that at finishing school?" says Lissy, rolling her eyes.
"I'm being a feminist, actually," retorts Jemima. "We women have to stand up for our rights."
~ (276) from "Can You Keep a Secret?" by Sophie Kinsella
This statement is, of course, ironic. "We women" do need to stand up for our rights, but standing up for our rights is not the same thing as exacting revenge, but popular culture seems to have this issue confused. I remember when the movie "The First Wives' Club" premiered-the movie was about a group of wives who had been cheated on and so exact revenge upon their ex-husbands. This movie was touted as being very feminist, but I was uncomfortable for revenge is NOT the same thing as feminism. True feminists want equality, not revenge. We want men to understand that the patriarchy hurts them too. As Emma, the main character in Kinsella's book later explains, "[...]a real relationship is two-way. A real relationship is based on equality. And trust."
I think it is very interesting that the character that grows into more of a feminist never claims to be one and I find that to be telling of life in general. Watch advertisements closely-if something tells you outright that it is a feminist material, examine it to see if it actually is or if it is pseudo empowerment, like the movie "First Wives' Club." True female empowerment will use words like "self love," "equality," and "trust," instead of promoting violence.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
On the way back from Maryland, which is a twelve hour drive, my family listened to a Janet Evanovich book on CD titled, "To The Nines." This is the second time that I have listened to one of her books and they are good in that they make you laugh while driving, which helps one not to fall asleep. I loved listening to my dad laugh! But Evanovich relies too heavily on stereotypes. Every bit of her writing is a stereotype and the woman who reads aloud makes me uncomfortable with her caricature of a black woman's voice. But what I really do not like about this particular book is the references to "crazy" people, especially with those who have paranoid schizophrenia.
Twice, when a character is suspicious about the killer being around, she is asked if she had seen a "paranoid schizophrenic around back." The meme about paranoid schizophrenic being dangerous and violent is not true, but it is a very damaging stigma. I know that mysteries are often formulaic and use stereotypes and that's fine, but I do have a problem when the stereotypes enforces a dangerous idea. People who happen to have paranoid schizophrenia usually are not violent. In fact, since they are experiencing paranoia, they are usually more withdrawn. There are some people with paranoid schizophrenia who are violent-just like there are violent people who do NOT have it, but it is rare. Some of the nicest people I have known have paranoid schizophrenia.
I hope you have noticed that when I write about this that I always write about people with paranoid schizophrenia and never "those paranoid schizophrenics." People that have any kind of disease have more to them than just their disease-a person with paranoid schizophrenia may be artistic, studious, humorous, etc. When one reduces someone to just their disease, then one disregards their humanity and the possibility to see Christ in their eyes.
Another thing that just kills me about saying something like that is that Evanovich alienated her reader, which as any writer knows, is the biggest writing no-no. I have schizoaffective disorder, which has similarities to paranoid schizophrenia, so every time I heard the characters talk about paranoid schizophrenics in a derogatory manner, I felt a little stigmatized myself. "Crazy" people read and listen to books on CD! We do many things-our repertoire of activities is not limited to pacing up and down mental hospitals, contrary to popular belief.
Eventually, I would like to be published and I get a little scared sometimes when I realize what sells and that my standards are higher. But I know that I must keep on writing, even if nothing I write ever gets sold.