Violence Survivor Empowerment Program
The Avon Foundation for Women for the second year in a row has awarded a $65,000 one-year grant to Sojourner Family Peace Center in support of its Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program, which provides annual funding for 20 full-time coordinator positions in domestic violence agencies across the United States.
The 2013 Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program is part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative, which launched in 2004 to help end the cycle of domestic violence. The Avon Foundation for Women has donated $33 million for domestic and gender violence programs in the United States, including support for awareness, education, direct service and prevention.
The Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program’s coordinator position at Sojourner Family Peace Center will support victims in the Milwaukee area by providing domestic violence survivors with the critical resources and economic empowerment tools necessary to develop self-sufficiency and guide them toward breaking the cycle of abuse.
Maggie Anderson (second from left), the founder of “The Empowerment Experiment” and the author of “Our Black Year,” which chronicles the year she and her family purchased exclusively from Black businesses, was the keynote speaker of the Milwaukee Urban League’s 53rd Equal Opportunity Day Luncheon held recently at the Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. Anderson is pictured above with (left to right) MUL Board Chairman Jerry Fulmer, Dr. Eve Hall, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce and MUL President/CEO Ralph Hollman. The luncheon is an event that helps reinforce the importance of diversity and equal opportunity. It also generates funds which help support all the organization’s programs. You can read about Anderson’s visit and her experiences as a consumer of all things Black in next week’s MCJ. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
The Edith Norman Finlayson Award for Volunteerism to Youth was awarded to community youth advocate Mavis McCallum (pictured above, second from left). She was presented the award by the Milwaukee Chapter of the Links, Inc. during its recent celebration of the organization’s 50 years of providing leadership, excellence and service to the community.The event was held at
McCallum’s volunteer work on behalf of Milwaukee’s youth is unparalleled. She is the past board chair of New Concepts Self Development Center, former board president of the Wisconsin Juvenile Detention Association, founder and past president of the Milwaukee Youth Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women, and a board member of the National Youth Law Enforcement Association.
Her philosophy is: “When you help a child today, you write the history of tomorrow.”
Professionally, she is the retired Deputy Superintendent of the Milwaukee County Detention Center (first African American female).
McCallum continues to be a community activist and resource for those involved with the juvenile judicial system. She has been married to Tom McCallum for 44 years. They have one son Garret.
During the ceremony, McCallum was presented with a monetary award for a community group of her choice that was presented by Links Chapter President JoAnne Williamson, UWM Vice-Chancellor and U.N. Delegate Dr. Joan Prince, Dr. William Finlayson.
A non-profit international women’s civic organization, are, the Milwaukee Chapter of The Links focuses on services to youth, the arts, national trends, international trends, and Health. Over the past fifty years, The Milwaukee (WI) Chapter of The Links Incorporated has been of service in the Community.
The chapter has gifted over $300,000 in educational scholarships, provided ACT/SAT prep courses for high school students, sent laptops in partnership with Jamaica and Africa for students and literacy, and adopted two Milwaukee elementary schools concentrating on social, academic, and cultural programming. It is active in community voter registration initiatives.
How to Have a Happier (and Less Hormonal) Holiday Season Post-Baby
If you have a new baby, the once-exciting holiday season can seem like yet another hurdle to navigate as you try to adjust to your new lifestyle as a mom. Princess Ivana offers some
tried-and-true tips to help you enjoy the weeks ahead without burning out or breaking down.
Los Angeles, CA (December 2012)—The holidays can be hectic, stressful, emotionally charged, and at times, overwhelming. You’re under a lot of pressure: for your house to be decorated a certain way, to look nice and be charming at social events, to host and feed family members, to buy the perfect gifts and wrap them flawlessly, and so (so!) much more. That’s under normal circumstances. And let’s face it: If you’re a new mom, your life is anything but normal. You’re hormonal, emotional, and easily frustrated. You’re tired all the time. And even though you’re overwhelmed with love for your child, you’re also overwhelmed by the new responsibilities stretching out in front of you.
Princess Ivana Pignatelli Aragona Cortes understands. Add a new baby to the usual December chaos, and you can easily have a recipe for the holiday blues on your hands.
“It may seem like everyone else around you is having a great time, and they expect you to feel the same way—after all, you have a brand-new bundle of joy in your life!” says Ivana, who is a featured blogger at Modern Mom, founder of Princess Ivana—The Modern Princess, and coauthor of the upcoming book A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year. “But if you’re feeling more like Scrooge than Tiny Tim, don’t worry. You’re normal, and so are the post-baby holiday blues.”
Ivana speaks from experience. While she’s a modern-day princess, she comes from modest means and met her Prince Charming while on scholarship at Pepperdine. What’s more, she has worked with children for over twenty years, has a master’s degree in education, and is a digital strategy consultant. But Ivana’s most valuable source of education by far, she says, is her experience as a mother of two.
“When you have a baby—especially your first—you can feel like you’re being constantly bombarded with lessons from the School of Hard Knocks, no matter how many books you’ve read or pieces of advice you’ve been given beforehand,” Ivana points out. “You’re operating on low (or nonexistent) margins of time and energy. Your hormones can make you feel like a weepy, angry, irrational alternate-universe-version of yourself. So yes, fulfilling holiday expectations and obligations can definitely turn from cheer to chore in a hurry. Adding more things to your to-do list when you’re already exhausted and just trying to make it through each day can seem totally overwhelming.”
If you’re feeling more blue than red-and-green as you consult your holiday calendar, read on for ten of Ivana’s tips to help you minimize stress…and maybe even enjoy the season more than you thought you would:
Know the signs. First, it’s important to acknowledge to yourself that feeling tired, overwhelmed, emotional, and less-than-festive is normal. There’s no need to worry—and definitely no need to beat yourself up—if getting one more load of laundry done before your baby wakes up (or before you crash) is more important to you than preparing the perfect hors d’oeuvre for the upcoming family potluck.
“However, it’s important for all new moms to know about and watch for post-partum depression,” Ivana warns. “If you are feeling altogether detached and uninterested in the holidays, if you notice a big change in your attitude from last year, or if you feel persistently sad and/or angry, you may be experiencing something more serious. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.”
Make a (reasonable) to-do list. As is the case for many things in life, being prepared for navigating the holidays is half the battle. When you have a plan in place, those inevitable bouts of stress, frustration, and sadness will be less likely to derail you. So as soon as you can, make a list of the things you want to do and accomplish over the next few weeks, whether that’s attending certain events, putting up your favorite decorations, or hosting friends and family. Most of all, make your list REASONABLE.
“Writing out pages and pages of tasks to accomplish will make you more crazy, not less,” Ivana promises. “So choose five or six things to accomplish, max. When it comes to your holiday-with-baby plan, less is best. You can always add on more as you go if you feel up to it. I promise, having the most important priorities listed in writing will help you to feel more in control of things, especially during those moments when it’s tough to focus on anything other than soothing the crying baby in your arms. Also, keep in mind that now is not the time to list big projects or cleaning tasks. Wait until after the new year to finally clean out your closet or scrub the baseboards, for example!”
Buy in bulk. Even without a baby, it’s practically inevitable that you’ll forget to pick up a present for someone, need something for a Secret Santa exchange, or have to scrounge up a hostess gift. Save yourself some hassle and buy something generic and universally appealing in bulk. For example, you can kill two birds with one stone and grab a case of wine while you’re out picking up the economy-size box of diapers. Or buy some gift cards to your favorite coffee shop while you’re (most likely) grabbing a caffeine fix to help you power through your errands.
“Needing to frantically find a last-minute gift can cause a meltdown even when you’re not burdened by an infant carrier and diaper bag,” points out Ivana. “Having some just-in-case gifts on hand will give you peace of mind, which money can’t buy. And if you don’t end up using them, just save them for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. in 2013!”
Let go. In other words, let yourself off the hook. Remember, you are not Martha Stewart, and no one’s holiday actually looks like a real-life Pinterest board. You don’t have to put out every.single.decoration. Your tree does not have to be magazine-photo worthy. You do not have to bake cookies or have the best dress at your husband’s holiday party. It’s okay if everyone on your list gets gift cards this year. Most importantly, it’s fine if you’re a little more frazzled than usual, and it’s perfectly acceptable to focus more on making it through the day than celebrating the season.
“Don’t set crazy expectations for yourself,” urges Ivana. “As a new mom, your most important responsibility is taking care of yourself and your baby, not decking the halls. And realize that if some (or all) of those things on your list don’t happen, it’s okay. The holidays will go on. No one will die. Be okay with that! Give yourself a pass—to back off, to leave some of the decorations packed, to be less social, to cry—you just had a baby!”
Say no to something. Depending on your personality type, cutting back on your holiday celebrations may come as a welcome relief. On the other hand, the thought of not following through with your typical holiday plans may cause you to fight back panic! If the latter sounds familiar, don’t worry; no one is going to force you to stay home. Still, says Ivana, you need to make concessions to the fact that your life is fundamentally different.
“The one thing you can be sure of is that with an infant, lots of things won’t go according to plan,” she assures. “And with the cocktail of hormones, lack of sleep, and major change you’re dealing with, you probably won’t be able to consistently predict your own moods and preferences, either. So even if you’re a social butterfly, give yourself some wiggle room by choosing just one ‘major’ thing to cut this year. Don’t send out Christmas cards. Don’t have a big bake-a-thon. Don’t host Christmas dinner. Taking even one thing off your plate can help to relieve stress and anxiety…and chances are, you’ll be glad you cut yourself some slack.”
Order online. Being out and about in large crowds, bombarded with bright lights, noise, and (possibly) cold temperatures can be overstimulating and overwhelming even when you’re alone. If you’re shopping with an infant, the ante is upped tremendously. In addition to the pressure of checking everything off your list in time, you’ll be worried about your new baby: Is she too cold? Is he comfortable? Does she need to nurse soon? Not to mention the facts that you’ll be more tired than usual, and dirty diapers and tantrums tend to happen at the most inopportune times.
“Avoid situations that may trigger anxiety by ordering gifts you can get online or in a drive-thru (restaurant gift cards, for example) to save yourself some stress,” Ivana advises. “Chances are, most of your family and friends will be more excited to see the new arrival than they will be to open a gift, anyway!”
Don’t overdo it. When you are feeling vulnerable or overly emotional, it’s all too easy to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Overeating and overspending are two very common culprits, and the holidays are full of opportunities for going overboard on both.
“I definitely don’t want to lay a guilt trip on you if you happen to slip up over the next few weeks,” Ivana clarifies. “My point is simply this: Be honest with yourself about how you’re likely to handle extra stress, uncertainty, and frustration. If you know that holiday treats or super-sales will be a temptation, be extra wary, and don’t be afraid to ask for support and help. Having a healthier support system in place can head off a lot of regret, which might only perpetuate the overeating or overspending cycle after the holidays are done.”
Know your triggers and designate a go-to supporter. We all have triggers that make us angry, upset, or frustrated. And it’s a fact of life that a lot of those triggers are present during the holidays: your impossible-to-please mother-in-law, the brother you’ve never really gotten along with, the social unease you feel at big events, and much more. Since it’s normal for your emotions and anxieties to be magnified after having a baby, it’s important to identify these triggers beforehand so that you can avoid as much stress as possible.
“Eliminate as many triggers as you can,” Ivana suggests. “For instance, as I’ve already mentioned, you don’t have to go to every party, so pare down your social calendar. And for triggers you can’t eliminate, such as a disagreeable relative, have a strategy ready to nip trouble in the bud. You might say, for example, ‘I know you disagree with some of my parenting methods, Aunt Edna, but my husband and I are doing what is best for our family. Let’s talk about something more pleasant.’ And no matter what the situation is, remember, you can use the fact that you’re a new mother with an infant to care for as an out—after all, it’s true! And your well-being, as well as your child’s, should be your first priority.
“Lastly, I recommend setting up a support system before the holidays are in full tilt,” she continues. “Have someone, whether it’s your husband, a friend, or your mother, you know you can talk to when you start feeling overwhelmed. When I was a new mother, I found it helpful to talk to girlfriends who had been in my shoes and knew what I was going through. They didn’t mind listening to my rants and worries, and they were able to assure me with the voice of experience that I would make it through the present crisis!”
Ask for help. Whether you make a list and send your husband out to do the shopping, hire a mother’s helper or babysitter so you can catch up on chores or run some errands, or invest in a house-cleaning service, give yourself the gift of help.
“No matter how well prepared you were for your baby’s arrival, the bottom line is that you have a lot to do, and at times, you’ll feel like you literally can’t add another thing to your plate,” Ivana points out. “Chances are, you have some family and friends (especially women who have been in your shoes) who would love to help share the load. And as long as you stay within your budget, trading some money for extra time or saved sanity is a great investment.”
Focus on your family. Commercial hype does its best to make us forget this fact, but the truth is, the best part of the holidays isn’t gifts or décor or parties—it’s the chance to focus on your loved ones. If you’re a new mom, you have lots to celebrate on that front.
“Make sure all the ‘other stuff’ that comes with the holidays doesn’t become first priority,” Ivana urges. “Set aside time to be with your family. Whether it’s a quiet night in enjoying a movie, sitting around a lit tree, attending a religious service together, or sharing a meal, focusing in on what really matters this year will give you peace and help you to tap into that joy you’re looking for.”
“Yes, banishing the ‘bah, humbugs’ can be a challenge with a new baby,” Ivana concludes. “But feeling the fa-la-la spirit is possible. The key to navigating the next few weeks is knowing what to expect, being reasonable, planning ahead, and most of all, cutting yourself some slack! Above all, stay in tune with your mental and physical needs, as well as those of your baby, and don’t be afraid to make whatever changes are necessary to keep both of you healthy and happy.”
About Princess Ivana:
Ivana is the author of the upcoming book A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby’s First Year, which was cowritten with her mother, Magdalene Smith, and her sister, Marisa Smith. Their blog, Princess Ivana—The Modern Princess, is a blend of humor, practical advice, and lifestyle tips on the essentials. Ivana is also a featured blogger on Modern Mom.
Mequon, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) has named Marsha Thomas the new Director of the Miller Park Way Center in West Milwaukee. Thomas was working at the Center as the Student Services Advisor prior to her promotion.
In her new role as the Miller Park Way Center Director, Thomas will be responsible for academic advising, working with faculty, facilities management, and retention services.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the students and the community in this new capacity and look forward to the continued growth of the Miller Park Way Center,” said Thomas.
Founded in 1881, Concordia University Wisconsin’s main campus is located on 200 acres of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline at 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive, Mequon. The university and its 10 educational centers and classroom locations are home to 7,485 undergraduate and graduate, traditional, as well as non-traditional students from 46 states and 28 foreign countries. The University offers 60 undergraduate majors, 14 master’s degree programs, and doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Nursing Practice. The University also offers a variety of adult learning opportunities.
The university is affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and is a member of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of colleges and universities. For more information on Concordia University Wisconsin, contact the university at (262) 243-4300 or visit their Web site at www.cuw.edu.
The Terry McCormick Gallery of Contemporary Fine and Folk Art hosts Blanche Brown: Celebrate Obama–Forward America Exhibition & Sale on Saturday, December 8, with a reception from 12 Noon through 5 pm. The location is 2522 North 18thStreet, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Enthralled by political perceptions, self-taught artist Blanche Brown intuitively conveys the electric chaos of psychologically loaded commercialism, kitschy clichés, sundry slogans, and multi-layered symbolism surrounding the election of America’s first “Black” president. Plus, integral to this body of work, each collage includes President Obama’s image. Unrelenting drama, energy bombardment, and visual eye-candy simulate environments, in her art, that affect viewers differently. In some instances, the work creates deeply disturbing confusion and in others, it creates exciting aesthetic gratification.
President Obama’s monumental election impacted Brown to embrace this historical event as a theme in her collages beginning in 2009. She feels, “Despite ‘hateration’ in our nation, President Obama’s first four years have resulted in several significant accomplishments. The pieces speak to and applaud the fundamental ideology of progressiveness and change while also encompassing the dignity and humanity of all people. This is at the heart of Barack Obama, President of the United States. It is in this light that my collages were created.”
Brown, a native of Chicago, currently resides in Milwaukee with her husband and family. A professional artist for almost 10 years, she exhibits both locally and nationally, while sometimes teaching as an artist-in-residence at schools and community sites.
Also being exhibited is artwork by Kevin Boatright, Shana R. Goetsch, Ras `Ammar Nsoroma, George Ray McCormick Sr., Jacqueline A. Richards, Anwar Pruitt, Mikal Pruitt, and Evelyn Patricia Terry.
Former NFL Cheerleader and Milwaukeean Paige Annette can be seen in the on-line and national television commercial with Nicki Minaj. Minaj is marketing her new fragrance, Pink Friday, now available at department stores nationwide. “I’m excited about my first national commercial and more thrilled to have worked with Nicki Minaj,” said Paige Annette. Paige Annette is one of the featured dancers in the fragrance commercial.
Paige Annette is a former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader and 2006 alum of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She toured this summer as one of two back up dancers with Tyrese, danced with Beyonce’ at the Billboard Music Awards and has performed internationally. Visit Paige Annette at www.paigeannette.com.
Mequon, Wis. – On Tues., Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) will be hosting a benefit, dodgeball tournament (Dodging for a Cure) in its Fieldhouse, with all proceeds going to the LeRoy Butler Foundation which helps women diagnosed with breast cancer. Butler, a former Green Bay Packer, will be at the event, which will consist of competing teams of six.
CUW Professor Michael McKinnis, along with the students in his LA 105 class, organized this event as a service project for the class. Servant leadership and giving back to the community are major concepts that are taught to CUW students in LA 105.
“We are thrilled that a group of CUW freshmen are organizing this service endeavor to support LeRoy Butler’s Foundation,” said Dr. Randall Ferguson, assistant vice president of Academics for Student Success at CUW. “It reflects how our freshman seminar connects students with our mission statement for positive change in our world, via servant leadership.”
The LeRoy Butler Foundation is dedicated to helping women going through breast cancer treatment obtain the assistance they need to focus on the job of healing instead of the financial impact to their families. For more information on the LeRoy Butler Foundation, visit http://www.lbf36.org/.
Founded in 1881, Concordia University Wisconsin’s main campus is located on 200 acres of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline at 12800 N. Lake Shore Drive, Mequon. The University and its 10 educational centers and classroom locations are home to 7,618 undergraduate and graduate, traditional, as well as non-traditional students from 46 states and 28 foreign countries. The University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors, 14 master’s degree programs, and doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Nursing Practice. The University also offers a variety of adult learning opportunities.
The University is affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and is a member of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of colleges and universities. For more information on Concordia University Wisconsin, contact the university at (262) 243-4300 or visit their Web site at www.cuw.edu.
Continued airing of court hearings puts victims at risk
Waukesha/Milwaukee (October 24, 2012) – Victims of domestic abuse deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Whether it’s a law enforcement response, treatment of a story by the media, handling of a case by the courts, or the way that friends, family, co-workers and employers respond to disclosures of abuse, we have an opportunity to help. As a community we can support victims and encourage their safety by acknowledging the injustice of the violence and sending the message that they are not to blame. We must understand their strategies for surviving abuse within the context of the abusers’ tactics. Our focus should be on the perpetrators and holding them accountable.
With this in mind, Sojourner Family Peace Center and the Waukesha Women’s Center ask that the media stop playing the recording of the Domestic Abuse Injunction hearing during which Zina Haughton asked for a final restraining order against Radcliffe Haughton. This type of reporting discourages other victims in our community from coming forward. We understand that the recording is part of the public record, but we ask the media to consider that the negative consequences outweigh the value of playing it. Continuing to play it is unacceptable.
The public discourse about domestic violence as a result of the Brookfield mass shooting is important and must continue. We are concerned about messages that assert that employers should release victims or forcing victims to take time off as a strategy for making the workplace safer. For many years, advocates for victims of domestic abuse have been educating employers about recognizing warning signs and responding to safety concerns at work. Punishing victims who disclose abuse to their employers only creates more barriers to safety. This approach forces victims to keep silent, further isolating them, or risk the loss of income and potential financial independence.
Violence in families is an extremely complex issue. Those who hear Ms. Haughton’s testimony or consider the appropriate response of an employer without a deep understanding of abuse run the risk of misunderstanding victims, blaming them instead of the abuser.
We encourage employers to learn more about community resources, work to create a plan that will allow them to proactively respond to domestic violence in the workplace and adopt policies that make it safe for victims to come forward. We are dedicated to helping local employers in this process and welcome their calls for assistance.
The African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) recently held its first Women in Business luncheon series: Hands Touching Hands,” which is dedicated to supporting and advancing women entrepreneurs. The luncheon was held at the Women’s Club of Wisconsin, 813 E. Kilbourn Ave. The guest speaker of the luncheon was Renee Amoore (pictured at far left standing with AACC President and CEO Eve Hall, who is standing to Amoore’s right), the founder and president of The Amoore Group, a conglomerate consisting of four thriving entities, Amoore has earned a reputation as a knowledgeable and hard-working entrepreneur, healthcare advocate and political advisor. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Johnson Controls, Inc. The AACC’s mission is to develop programs to strengthen and grow businesses owned by African Americans. (Photos by Yvonne Kemp)