Amazing, Inspiring Video ‘Lift Every Voice And Sing”’ Receives Standing Ovations and over 1 million Hits on YouTube
Richmond, VA, October 19, 2012 – This election season, the video “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” produced by The Balm In Gilead, based in Richmond, VA, is getting a lot of attention. This moving video, which receives standing ovations at each showing, features images of significant African American individuals and historic moments. Set to the music of the Negro National Anthem, it has been played at national conventions, local rallies and at gatherings across the country.
Sunday, November 4 has been declared “Lift Every Voice and Sing Sunday.” Congregations are encouraged to include the showing of the video during their Sunday programming to encourage civic engagement by voting on November 6, or early voting as it applies to individual states.
This inspiring version of the Negro National Anthem, performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, (Mt. Vernon, NY and conducted by Derrick James) was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball (AACIB) in Washington, DC on January 18, 2009. The event was held in honor of the election of President Barack Obama, the first African American President in the nation’s history. Many of the dignitaries featured in the video were in attendance at the AACIB and were recognized for their monumental contributions to social justice. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC (www.ascender-c.com) at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.
Visit www.balmingilead.org to secure a copy of the video for a donation of $15. You can also view this amazing video at www.youtube.com/thebalmingileadinc . For more information, please contact The Balm In Gilead at 888-225-6242 or www.balmingilead.org.
About The Balm In Gilead, Inc.
Celebrating over 23 years of service – The mission of The Balm In Gilead, Inc. is to prevent diseases and to improve the health status of people of the African Diaspora by providing support to faith institutions in areas of program design, implementation and evaluation; which strengthens their capacity to deliver programs and services that contribute to the elimination of health disparities.
The Balm In Gilead is known throughout Africa and the United States for its insightful understanding of religious cultures and values and extraordinary ability to build strong, trusted partnerships with faith communities. With these unique partnerships, The Balm In Gilead has been entrusted to build the capacity of national faith structures to utilize their existing tentacles that reach into every urban center and rural village to deliver comprehensive health services.
— J. Varnie Barker Responds to the Housing Crisis and the Presidential Debates in His New Book Entitled, “New Rules of Homeownership For The 21st Century”. –
Nashville, TN (BlackNews.com) — Local real estate expert J. Varnie Barker recently expressed his views on the current status of real estate and the housing problems still facing America. Barker stated that the past vice presidential debate, just as the presidential debates before it, did not produce any solution for America’s real estate / housing problem, which leaves more questions for many Americans in this time of need.
Barker, who works as a real estate expert, has authored the new book, “New Rules of Homeownership For The 21st Century”. In this compelling work, Barker has responded to the housing crisis with an aggressive new paradigm: The 21st Century Model for Successful and Sustainable Homeownership. In this work Barker emphasizes to the reader that, ‘The old way has not worked’, and that there is an impending danger of a massive and cataclysmic loss of homeownership, our wealth and our equity if we continue to own buy and manage our homes in the way it was done in the past. Barker stated that, “people need to see that there must be a new approach – a more sensible approach to home ownership that reduces the risk of loss for all parties involved, which include bankers, homeowners and even the government.”
Barker’s new model for homeownership is an eight-part methodical process that assesses, reduces and mitigates risk of homeownership loss.
According to that model, it also helps one to ensure sound and responsible mortgage decisions by providing a unique and custom-designed strategy for successful and sustainable homeownership. Barker shows how to increase and sustain the net worth of homeowners and also how to eliminate all predatory potential. All homeowners, homebuyers, and those affected by foreclosure now have a blue print, a roadmap, and even a new vantage point to secure and maintain the American dream we all deserve.
When question were relayed to Barker about what is happening and how the current policies and debates are void on the housing market, Barker states, “I am overwhelmed with a feeling of nationalistic responsibility to ensure that we do not go back in the market place using the same old methods that led us to failure. I want to utilize my skills, knowledge, and experience to help the American homeowner overcome and win in this new real estate market environment.”
“New Rules of Homeownership for the 21st Century” brings that hope, courage, and solutions to all homeowners, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Homeowners can now truly employ a real strategy to keep, save, and protect their homes and turn their homes into a true wealth-creating asset.
Barker was inspired to write a moving nationalistic and inspirational poem titled, Carve Again, which can be read online at http://goo.gl/4Gvn7 This poetic work is a poignant reminder to everyone that the drive of the American dream and spirit lives on, and cannot be snuffed out. Barker shows that the American Dream is still possible and will become even more vibrant as the old way is thrown out and all homeowners implement the new model for successful and sustainable homeownership.
For more information, visit http://www.jvarniebarker.com
Employers reluctant to hire ‘citizen-soldiers’
by Chris Kenning, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal
Louisville — More than nine months after returning from a second deployment to Iraq, Kentucky National Guard Lt. David Doggette has been struggling to translate his broad military experience — ranging from driving a tank to leading a platoon — into a good civilian job.
Doggette, a 30-year-old from Park City, Ky. who wants a career in safety management, said finding a job in the tight labor market is made more difficult by his long deployments away from the workforce — and the possibility of more to come.
“Everybody’s been very quick to thank me for my service, and nobody’s saying outright they’re worried about (future) deployment — but it’s definitely an undercurrent,” he said.
Unemployment for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars remains a problem, even more so or National Guard members who juggle jobs and repeated deployments.
Although still higher than the overall jobless rate of 7.8%, the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans dropped to 9.7% in September, down from 11.7% a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Kentucky Guard’s “citizen soldiers” — who, unlike former active-duty troops, face the added difficulty of having to hold down jobs while being deployed overseas for what is often a year at a time — had a jobless rate last month of 16.3%, according to Guard figures..
Ross Cohen, senior director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes program, which has held about 100 job fairs, said there’s an array of new programs to help.
They range from Guard outreach directly to employers to job fairs put on by veterans groups, politicians and local workforce agencies.
One problem being addressed is showing vets how to bridge a “communication gap” as they try to translate their military skills into experience that employers can see will make them good employees.
Employers “need to know that you also learn to work well in teams, give and take orders, (can) be accountable for millions of dollars of equipment and respond to changing circumstances,” Cohen said.
Ted Daywalt, president of the Georgia-based group VetJobs, said it’s a national problem. While recent veterans are increasingly finding work, National Guard members — whose part-time role differs from full-time, active-duty troops, but who in the past decade have been mobilized at record levels — have faced steeper challenges.
Though few will openly admit it, “a lot of employers are reluctant to hire them,” said Daywalt, noting that many will volunteer for another deployment to help pay bills at home. “We get thousands of calls a month, and easily 40 to 50% of them are in the National Guard.”
Editor’s Note: For those who might have missed it the first time, here is a repeat of previous information we shared with you, our readers, in an edition regarding how to register to vote.
Wisconsin law requires every qualified voter to complete or maintain a current voter registration before voting in an election. Therefore, you must complete a voter registration application if you are a new Wisconsin voter or your name and/or residential address has changed since you last registered to vote.
If you are uncertain of your voter registration name, address or status, you may click this link https://vpa.wi.gov/ and select option one.
The City of Milwaukee provides four opportunities for completing and updating your voter registration: by mail, at any Milwaukee Public Library, at City Hall and at your voting site on Election Day.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION on the CLOSE OF REGISTRATION:
Registration by mail and at Milwaukee Public Libraries ends 20 days prior to each election (or the third Wednesday before each election). This is referred to as the “close of registration” date. You may still register to vote at City Hall during the 20 days before an election, or at your voting site on Election Day.
1. BY MAIL
Download and print the Voter Registration Application. Once complete, you may mail the application along with acceptable proof of residence, if applicable, to: City of Milwaukee Election Commission, 200 East Wells, Room 501Milwaukee, WI 53202
Registrations by mail must be postmarked prior to the close of registration date for each election.
NOTE FOR NEW WISCONSIN VOTERS: If you are a new Wisconsin voter (you have never previously registered to vote in the State of Wisconsin), you must include a photocopy of a proof of residence document, as listed below, with your application. If you do not include a copy, you will be required to show a proof of residence document before you can be issued a ballot to vote in an election. (This requirement does NOT apply to any person that previously registered to vote in the State of Wisconsin, but is completing a new registration application due to a change of address or name change.)
2. REGISTER IN PERSON AT ANY MILWAUKEE PUBLIC LIBRARY
All Milwaukee Public Libraries have voter registration applications and registrars to assist you with completing the voter registration process during regular hours of operation. You may view a list of Milwaukee Public Library sites by clicking this link: www.mpl.org.
3. REGISTER IN PERSON AT THE ELECTION COMMISSION
You may register to vote at the office of the Election Commission, Room 501, City Hall, 200 East Wells. Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
Any person registering to vote within the 20 days preceding an election (or after the close of registration) must provide an acceptable proof of residence document as listed below.
4. REGISTER AT YOUR VOTING SITE ON ELECTION DAY
You may register and vote at your voting site on any Election Day. To determine your voting site, click http://itmdapps.ci.mil.wi.us/electedreps/electrep.jsp and enter your voter registration address.
Any person registering to vote and voting on Election Day must have lived at their current address for at least 28 days before the election with no present intent to move and must provide an acceptable proof of residence document from the list below.
ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF RESIDENCE DOCUMENTS:
A proof of residence is a document used during the voter registration process to verify your name and address. Any document used as a proof of residence MUST include:
Your current and complete name
Your current and complete residential address
An account, document or identification number
AND must be from one of the following proof of residence document types:
A current and valid Wisconsin driver’s license.
A current and valid Wisconsin identification card.
Any other official identification card or license issued by a Wisconsin governmental body or unit.
Any identification card issued by an employer in the normal course of business and bearing a photo of the card holder, but not including a business card.
A real estate tax bill or receipt for the current year or the year preceding the date of the election.
An identification card issued by a university, college, or technical college in this state that contains a photograph of the cardholder, together with a fee payment receipt issued to the cardholder by the university, college, or technical college dated no earlier than nine (9) months before the date of the election at which the receipt is presented.
An identification card issued by a university, college, or technical college in this state that contains a photograph of the cardholder if the university, college, or technical college that issued the card provides a certified and current list of students who reside in housing sponsored by the university, college, or technical college and who are U.S. citizens to the municipal clerk, prior to the election showing the current address of the students and if the municipal clerk, special registration deputy, or inspector verifies that the student presenting the card is included on the list.
A gas, electric or telephone service statement (utility bill) for the period commencing not earlier than 90 days before Election Day.
A check or other document issued by a unit of government.
A residential lease which is effective for a period that includes Election Day (cannot be used as by first-time WI voters registering by mail)
Feisty president soundly defeats his GOP challenger in second presidential debate
The Obama swagger is back – and not a moment too soon.
A feisty President Barack Obama seized control of a critical debate with Mitt Romney Tuesday, showing voters the grit, passion and leadership necessary to guide the nation through an unsteady economic recovery.
In an overall contentious debate, Romney interrupted Obama on at least two occasions while Obama called out Romney for misleading voters and manipulating the facts.
And Obama, through his body language, also showed some annoyance toward Romney – even some anger at times. The president clearly came ready to mix it up.
“Governor that’s not true,” Obama said several times during the presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York. “…You can’t buy this sales pitch.”
Obama was much sharper on Tuesday; he was more focused, often combative, and he hammered Romney on Romney’s plan to cut funding to “Big Bird” and Seseme Street and Planned Parenthood.
In fact, in the words of James Brown: “Papa don’t take no mess.”
Both candidates became testy and Obama, in particular, looked particularly irritated when Romney spoke of his “5-point plan” to get the economy back on track.
“Gov. Romney says he’s got a five point plan? Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan, he’s got a one-point plan,” the president said. “To make sure that the folks at the top play by a separate set of rules.”
Romney appeared to cross the line on one occasion and, in fact, Romney seemed rude and disrespectful to the president. At one point, as Obama stood up, Romney reprimanded him: “You’ll get your chance in a moment, I’m still speaking.”
Obama used his second debate with Romney to tout his accomplishments since he took office and outline his vision for the next four years if he’s re-elected to the White House in 20 days. The president was also more assertive in Tuesday’s debate, holding Romney accountable for his dishonesty.
“You can make a lot of money and pay lower tax rates than somebody who makes a lot less,” Obama said. “You can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.”
“That’s exactly the philosophy that we’ve seen in place for the last decade,” the president added. “That’s what’s been squeezing middle class families.”
For Romney’s part, the Republican billionaire rarely flinched. He pounded the president on the economy, saying Obama’s policies are flawed and will prevent the economy from growing. More Americans under an Obama administration, Romney said, will remain unemployed.
“Well what you’re seeing in this country is 23 million people struggling to find a job. And a lot of them, as you say, Candy, have been out of work for a long, long, long time,” Romney said. “ The president’s policies have been exercised over the last four years and they haven’t put Americans back to work.”
Obama needed a good night – and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The president entered Tuesday’s debate playing catch up to Romney who enjoyed a bounce in the polls following last week’s first presidential debate. While most national polls show the race neck-in-neck, many surveys are also showing that Romney is slowly beginning to chip away at Obama’s lead in crucial swing states.
The president’s poor performance in the first debate clearly allowed Romney to climb back into the race. Romney’s aides say campaign contributions have increased significantly and crowds are swelling at Romney’s campaign rallies.
Tuesday’s debate also comes as a Washington-Post/ABC News poll shows that likely voters are split — 49 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney. The poll shows that traditional groups that backed Obama in 2008 — including Democrats, non-whites and younger voters — are far less interested in the campaign this year.
But a new USA Today/Gallup poll on Tuesday has Romney leading Obama by 4 percentage points among likely voters in 12 battleground states – a survey that has some Democrats deeply concerned.
The poll finds Romney leading Obama 51 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, Obama maintains a slight lead — edging Romney 49 percent to 47 percent.
Mitt Romney’s town hall debate response to a young woman’s question about women and
equal pay went viral. With the flurry of attention on women’s issues, author Kendal Sheets
notes that now is an important time to take a look at the Mormon Church’s views on
women. He urges voters to consider how its views might affect Romney’s positions.
McLean, VA (October 2012)—Binders. Full. Of. Women. There were many heated exchanges during the recent town hall debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. But these four words uttered by Romney set off an Internet firestorm almost immediately. And since the debate, they’ve brought a renewed focus on Romney’s positions on women’s issues. One thing voters should consider, says Kendal Sheets, is what effect Romney’s Mormon faith might have had on his views on these important issues.
“It cannot help but be noted that Romney is a devout Mormon,” says Sheets, coauthor along with Meredith Ray Sheets of Book of Mormon, Book of Lies (1811 Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-9391790-0-5, $24.95, www.BookofMormonBookofLies.com). “And that Mormons, in general, have very traditional views on women’s roles.
“One can’t help but wonder whether Romney’s views on women have been shaped by the Church,” he adds. “Especially when he seems to think, as he intimated in the debate, that being a champion of women in the workplace means making sure they can get home in time to cook dinner.”
Sheets is an expert on the Mormon Church. He’s spent many years researching and writing Book of Mormon, Book of Lies, which shows that The Book of Mormon, written by Joseph Smith and published in 1830, is nothing more than a cleverly disguised plagiarism of The Travels of Marco Polo, the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World as recorded by his son, histories of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and travel journals. Sheets’ experience as an intellectual property and patent attorney makes him uniquely qualified to uncover plagiarism and fraud and compare content from historic books with the content of The Book of Mormon. The results are astonishing.
Below Sheets provides a few noteworthy talking points on the Mormon Church’s views on women:
The Mormon Church doesn’t allow women to hold leadership positions. When Joseph Smith and his father organized the Mormon Church, they created an ecclesiastical structure with distinct purposes and privileges for Church members. “They called the privileges ‘priesthoods,’ and only male Church members could receive such honors,” notes Sheets. “Even today, Mormon women cannot join the priesthood. No woman is on ‘Area Seventy,’ a governing group representing the Quorum of Twelve, an LDS Church governing body, or can ever be a president or prophet of the LDS Church.”
The Mormon Church gives men power over women. For a woman to enter a Mormon temple for any reason, including a ceremony of marriage (Marriage is a Mormon woman’s path to entering the highest level of heaven, Celestial Heaven), she must have a “temple recommend,” which is valid in one-year time windows.
“The LDS Church’s ‘Relief Society Personal Study Guide 1988,’ (Relief Society is the Mormon women’s alternative group established by Joseph Smith) explains that this ‘recommend’ is given to women by men who determine a woman’s ‘worthiness,’” says Sheets. “Thus, men in the Church hold the power over women to enter the temple and to reach Heaven.”
The Mormon Church believes a woman’s place is in the home. It is still a widely held belief (and practice) that Mormon women should be homemakers and produce the children, while Mormon men should be the breadwinners. “Thomas Monson, the current president of the LDS Church, believes that a family should remain patriarchal,” notes Sheets. “In other words, a man should have a profession, and a woman should be the homemaker. If a strife or problem arises in the home, it is the woman’s fault, not the man’s.”
Sheets presents as evidence Monson’s explanation presented in Pathways to Perfection: Discourses of Thomas Monson. Monson writes:
How might we as leaders live righteously? I believe first of all there should be a good relationship between each man and his wife. A man cannot be an effective teacher, leader, or counselor if at home there is bickering and quarreling, if his wife is forever nagging him and suggesting that he should have been an engineer, that he should have been an architect, or should have gone into this field or that field. But if the wife is supportive, if she lets her husband know that he is engaged in the greatest work that a man could possibly pursue, that she sustains him with all her heart and with all her soul, I have a feeling that he will do the same with her and sustain her in her role as a homemaker, as a companion, as a wife, as a mother.
The Mormon Church opposed the Equal Rights Amendment. In the ’70s, the ERA was put forth as a Constitutional amendment to guarantee equal rights regardless of sex. At the time, Mormon Church leaders vehemently opposed the amendment because of the effect they said it would have on “moral issues.” The Church famously excommunicated outspoken member of the Church Sonia Johnson for speaking out in support of the amendment.
The Mormon Church holds a pro-life stance. From the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
In 1973, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement regarding abortion, which is still applicable today:
“The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.”
The Mormon Church holds that a woman gets to Heaven via her husband. The Church’s doctrine states that the only way for a Mormon woman to reach the highest levels of Heaven is for her to be married. Her husband is her way to paradise, not her belief in God.
“Relegation of women to second-class status began with Joseph Smith’s revelation of polygamy, which forced women to accept the practice by men or be punished by God,” explains Sheets. “In 1843 Smith produced a revelation called ‘For Time and Eternity,’ which claimed God ordained him and other men in the priesthood with rights of polygamy. The LDS Church leaders still believe this was God’s commandment during that time period and have never denied the validity of Smith’s doctrines, but hold that in 1890 the LDS prophet of the day was told by God not to follow polygamy any longer.”
“It’s certainly true that many religions have questionable histories when it comes to women’s rights,” notes Sheets. “Those who think Romney’s religion shouldn’t be called into question ask why we aren’t asking President Obama about Christianity’s history of discriminating against women. But we know where President Obama stands with women, don’t we? We know he’s pro-choice. We know he believes in equal pay. It’s difficult to achieve that same clarity when you start examining Mitt Romney’s past statements and constantly changing views on women’s issues.”
(USA TODAY and 24/7 Wall Street)
The U.S. is currently facing a severe shortage of doctors.
The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that by 2020, the shortage will amount to more than 90,000 doctors, including 45,000 patient care physicians. Why such a shortfall?
The baby boom generation is getting older and will require more medical care in the coming years. The newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will soon require most people to obtain health insurance, leading millions more to seek care. Finally, a third of all doctors plan to retire this decade.
24/7 Wall St. looked at the 10 states with the highest ratio of patient care physicians and the 10 states with the lowest. The differences are stark. Massachusetts had 314.8 patient care doctors for every 100,000 residents. On the other hand, Mississippi had just 159.4, or just half the figure for Massachusetts.
States with a higher doctor-to-resident ratio share some common attributes. Generally, the states with high median incomes tend to have more doctors per capita, while poorer states tend to have substantially fewer. Among the 10 states with the most practicing physicians per capita are five of the six wealthiest states by median income in the country.
The ability to pay has a major influence on whether people have health insurance. Each of the 10 states with the highest concentration of doctors has uninsured rates lower than the national rate of 15.5%, while seven of the 10 states at the bottom have uninsured rates higher than the national rate. When doctors treat insured patients they are paid more than when they treat uninsured patients, incentivizing them to move to highly insured states.
Between blow-drying, teasing, flat-ironing, highlighting and lowlighting— there are many ways to change what Mother Nature gave us. But whether you’re regularly straightening curls, lightening darker hair or vice/versa, there may be a price to pay for rebelling.
But most women don’t think twice about the hair habits they’ve had for years and years, says longtime hair-care advocate and health scientist Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.
“Lackluster, frazzled, overworked hair—that’s the price we pay for handling our hair like a pair of jeans. Hair is a fragile fiber that needs to be handled more like a silk blouse,” says Davis-Sivasothy, author of “Hair Care Rehab,” (www.haircarerehab.com). “Oftentimes, the style we feel the most comfortable with reinforces our bad habits. It’s a problem with all the earmarks of an addiction.”
Substances of choice include:
• Toxic chemicals (perms, relaxers & colors)
• Hair OCD (excessive combing, brushing & heat use)
• Environmental lifestyle (too much exposure to sun, surf, bad air and water)
• Nutritional/dietary (fad diets, smoking, low water consumption)
As with a drug addiction, once you’ve kicked your habit, you’ll liberate your bad hair, unlocking new dimensions of hair potential, says Davis-Sivasothy, who has also authored the popular “The Science of Black Hair” (www.blackhairscience.com).
She offers a five-step rehab for damaged hair:
1. Chelating your hair: Products containing oils, conditioners, serums and pomades (or minerals), which make you feel better in the short term, can build up and actually prevent your hair’s ability to hydrate. That’s why the first step in detoxing hair is the use of chelating shampoo, which is typically clear and lifts stubborn buildup from products and hard water. While many chelating shampoos are sulfate-based, there are more sulfate-free products entering the market to accommodate sensitive scalps and hair. Clarifying shampoos are a good substitute when chelating shampoos cannot be found. Moisturizing shampoo should be used for general use after detoxing is complete.
2. Deep conditioning your hair: After chelating, deep condition for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be done every seven to 10 days using moisturizing conditioners such as instant and cream-rinse, deep conditioners, protein treatments or leave-in conditioners. To go the extra mile, consider an apple cider vinegar rinse to close the cuticle and enhance your hair’s shine.
3. Moisturizing your hair: This step adds a layer of leave-on protection. You can use either leave-in conditioner or a dedicated moisturizing product, or both. For thick, dry or curly hair, this step hydrates and adds “slip.” For fine or oily hair, these products should detangle strands while encouraging volume.
4. Sealing your hair: This is the last major step in your hair intervention. Sealing with an oil or butter product locks in moisture and solidifies the gains of rehab. It smoothes out the cuticle and keeps hair moisturized for a longer period. Always use sealant on slightly dampened or misted hair, or pair the product with a water-based moisturizer to maximize the benefits. If you have naturally oily hair, you can skip this step.
5. Styling your hair protectively: Imagine wearing a favorite sweater every day; washing, drying and ironing it several times a week – it would look pretty worn out after a few years! This is exactly what happens to hair that is bleached, colored, blown dry with artificial heat, ironed, weaved and on and on. Don’t do this anymore! There are several measures you can take to preserve the health of your hair, including wearing it up more often, cleansing it cautiously, detangling strands with a large-tooth comb, protectively using blow-dryer heat, reducing chemical use and not coloring your hair more than three shades lighter or darker than your natural color. In general, be gentle. Do not pull to hard or rapidly when styling it, too; be slow and steady.
About Audrey Davis-Sivasothy
Audrey Davis-Sivasothy is a Houston-based freelance writer, publisher and longtime, healthy hair care advocate and enthusiast. Sivasothy holds a degree in health science and has written extensively on the science of caring for hair at home.
We, the people.
Throughout our history, we’ve expanded the meaning of our nation’s founding phrase, to include more and more of our citizens because we believe that the American dream isn’t about any one person or segment of society. It’s about all of us, working together to move forward.
That’s also what this election is about. And it’s why I’m voting for President Barack Obama.
For me, like a lot of American women, this election is a very personal one, because the stakes are higher than ever before. This election will decide the fate of the rights our mothers and grandmothers fought for, rights we’ve fought for—not just our right to choose, but our ability to get an affordable education, equal pay for equal work, access to quality health care and a lot more.
President Obama knows the importance of women’s rights and women’s health. He was raised by a single mom, and he has been surrounded by smart, strong women ever since—he’s married to one and he’s a father of two. So for our president, women’s issues aren’t just political, they’re personal for him as well.
When President Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the very first bill he signed—he did so because he believes the hard work of our daughters is just as important as the work of our sons. He fought for Obamacare so women can access quality, affordable health care. He put two more women on the Supreme Court because he believes women should have an equal voice in the decisions being made at the highest levels of our democracy. And he knows we still have work to do.
President Obama is fighting for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help stop pay discrimination before it starts, and he has a plan to cut the growth of college tuition in half over the next 10 years. He’ll also recruit 100,000 more math and science teachers, in order to prepare and empower more girls to pursue high-paying jobs of the future in careers like science, technology, engineering and math.
Our president’s strong belief in women, and in the equality and opportunity we deserve, is without question. However, where I see bold exclamation points in President Obama’s values, accomplishments and plans for the next four years, I look at Mitt Romney and see mostly question marks. There are a lot of answers Mitt Romney still hasn’t given women. Why won’t he stand up for equal pay? Why won’t he support renewing the Violence Against Women Act? And while I am surprised that Romney won’t commit to those things, I’m even more concerned about what he will commit to.
Two weeks ago, Romney told a newspaper that eliminating a woman’s right to choose isn’t part of his agenda. Within two hours, his staff had to correct him, confirming that, yes, the real Mitt Romney would “of course” support legislation to restrict and deny that right. Romney can’t hide that he once called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history,” and has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood. Romney also supported one bill that would turn women’s health decisions, like having birth control covered in our health plans, over to our bosses, and he even once said he’d be “delighted” to sign a bill that banned all abortions.
Almost every day Romney promises to repeal Obamacare. Doing so would let insurance companies go back to charging women more than men for the same care and would deny insurance to millions of Americans with preexisting conditions at the very moment when they need coverage the most.
Not a single one of us can afford to be silent. Suffragettes went to jail so that women could vote. Unless we exercise that right, our democratic process becomes irrelevant. If we don’t use our voices this year, we will waste our hard-fought political power and we will risk losing many more precious rights and freedoms.
We, the people, especially us women, have to make sure our leaders know how we feel, what we think and what we care about. Together, we need to stand up for the kind of America we want—one where women and girls are equal, strong and proud, and where we all have a president who has our back.
Go to vote.barackobama.com. Register. Volunteer. Vote. Make sure our next president is one who is thinking and caring about all of us.