In Case You Missed It: The Beauty of Motherhood

motherhood

Being a mother is not easy. Motherhood requires women to wear multiple hats and live up to the unrealistic expectation of being superwoman. Even when moms make it look easy, it’s not. In addition to raising children, many are working moms, while others stay at home or work for themselves.

In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, here are a few stories about the impact of motherhood along with a few tips on how to celebrate your mom.

College Senior Born on Mother’s Day Now Saves Mothers

 

Student’s work addresses maternal mortality rate in Texas

 

(Image: Courtesy of Dominique Earland)

 

Dominique Earland wasn’t just born on Mother’s Day—in a sense, her birthright became her destiny. She developed a maternal health kit for Dallas-area women. Click here to read more.

 


Mother’s Day Gift Guide: 5 Thoughtful (but Easy) Last-Minute Ideas

 

Mom would love any one of these five great gifts

 

mother's day (Image: iStock.com/kirin_photo)

 

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, but don’t worry if the annual holiday has slipped your mind. If you have yet to get a gift for your mom, we’ve got you covered! Click here to read more.

 


After His Mother’s Murder, He Still Had an Advocate

 

The work of the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education is one of advocacy

 

advocate (Image: iStock.com/KatarinaGondova)

 

Read the head of Democrats for Education Reform’s plea to preserve the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education, an advocate of the underserved. Click here to read more.


The Best Mother’s Day Gift For Every Mompreneur

 

This Mother’s Day, give your mompreneur a gift that keeps on giving with a ticket to this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit

 

momprenuer (Image: iStock/FatCamera)

 

There’s no better present for an ambitious mompreneur than a ticket to the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit! Click here to read more.

 


Moms Mean Business: How To Become A Mompreneur

 

Learn key tips on how to succeed in parenting and business

 

motherhood (Image: iStock.com/ monkeybusinessimages)

 

Are you a mom looking to start your own business? Here are a few tips for full-time mothers who aspire to become a mompreneur. Click here to read more.

 


 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: 5 Thoughtful (but Easy) Last-Minute Ideas

mother's day

Just in case you haven’t checked your calendar, let us remind you that Mother’s Day is May 14—which is this Sunday.

But, don’t worry if the annual holiday slipped your mind, and you forgot to pick up a gift for your mom. We got you covered! Here are a few last-minute gift ideas that will surely make her smile.

 

1. For the Health-Conscious Mom

 

Why not order or create a delicious fruit basket for your mother? Not only is this a tasty and refreshing treat, it also makes a great gift for moms who like eating healthy or happen to be watching their calorie intake.

Plus, creating a basket from scratch will add a personal touch to your gift. To make a basket, buy an array of fruit from your local farmer’s market or supermarket. You will also need to pick up a decorative box or basket, along with stuffing and ribbon. You should be able to purchase these items from an arts-n-crafts store like Michaels.

 

2. For the Mompreneur

 

If you mom has her own business or side hustle, then consider purchasing her a ticket to the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit!

From May 17–20, this amazing four-day conference will offer exclusive access to some of the most powerful leaders in business. It’s guaranteed to empower attendees with the knowledge, resources, and tools necessary to expand their business. This will also give your mom an opportunity to network with small business owners and hear from a roster of dynamic business moguls, like Patti LaBelle, Vernon Jordan, Hank Aaron, and Yolanda Adams.

 

3. For the Mom Who Is Tired of Cooking

 

Instead of just taking you mother out to her favorite restaurant on Sunday, surprise her with a card and a gift certificate that will allow her to dine out at another time.

 

4. For the Stressed Out Mom

 

Is your mother in need of some self-care, pampering, or perhaps, a relaxing massage? If so, consider getting her a gift certificate for a day at the spa. And, if you really want to make her happy, add a subscription to try and taste new wines.

 

5. For the Mom Who Likes Looking Good

 

Many women of color know how challenging and frustrating it can be to find makeup for their complexion. But Kimberly Smith, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, has created a solution. She founded Marjani Beauty Company, a beauty and cosmetics e-comm site that sells beauty, skincare, and hair care products specifically designed for black and brown women. Having your mom pick out some products on you from this website would be a great gift!

How This Lawyer Created an Online Beauty Destination for All Women of Color

Marjani BeautyBrands like Maréna Beauté are featured on Marjani’s website (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

Remember the name Marjani Beauty because it just might be the black and brown girl’s answer to Sephora.com. This e-commerce beauty destination, dedicated to the beauty and skincare needs of women of color, was created over a span of six months by Kimberly Smith, a Washington D.C.-based attorney who was tired of seeing big-name makeup brands treat black and brown skin as an afterthought.

“This came out of frustration. I was doing my normal beauty run looking for products and couldn’t find exactly what I needed, I couldn’t find products for my skin tone,” she told Black Enterprise in a phone interview. “I thought it would be cool if women of color had a go-to beauty site where they can find all their products.”

Marjani, which means “coral” in Swahili, aims to be that platform. Launched in February, the digital cosmetics and skin care retailer carries a selection of quality products for women of color made by people of color. The brands are curated from all parts of the world, from Morocco to the Caribbean, the U.S., and even Sweden.

Kimberly Smith, Founder and CEO of Marjani Beauty Co. (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

Smith’s avid love of beauty and travel also compelled her to create the site. Whether traversing through countries in Africa, Asia, or South America, she noticed that all women of color face the same challenges.

“Colorism and how fair and dark you are comes into play anywhere. When you’re trying to find a foundation for instance, the darker you are the more difficult it is to find the right shade,” she said. “This is the No. 1 issue when it comes to makeup.”

Though she noted that some brands are extending the brown shades they offer, she stressed that a space like Marjani is still needed; where all of the brands are made by people that look like and understand the unique challenges of their potential customers.

“How cool is it to patronize a brand that from the jump, had you in mind as part of what they were formulating when they were creating that product?” Smith said, noting that when women of color visit Marjani, they can feel confident that every product was created with their specific beauty needs front and center.

To determine which brands will make it to the site, Smith and her team sample products to make sure it reflects a particular brand’s promise.

“The fun part is that I am a consumer, what I would want to see and what I’m interested in, a lot of women like me would want these things too,” she said. “We want people to have that boutique experience. When you go to the site, we want to give a taste of luxury made for you.”

Smith wants Marjani Beauty Co. to be known as a leading global beauty platform, accessible to all black and brown consumers regardless of age, hair texture, skin tone, nationality and geographic location. She also envisions it as a global ecosystem that empowers women and encourages them to realize it’s beyond makeup and more about how they feel about themselves.

This is her first run in retail but she’s fortunate to have the help of loved ones on her journey. Her mother runs the operations part of the business.

“Growing up, she was a mentor; she operated her own small business,” Smith said.

The site has already received a lot of praise via personal emails as well as social media, where Marjani has a following of almost 5,000 on Instagram.

“This shows you that it’s beyond superficial. There are many women who are wanting something more,” she said. “We aim not just to be a retailer, but a community.”

 

Some of Marjani’s black-owned beauty brands

 

Marjani currently offers 20 brands from around the world. These products reflect Smith’s natural love of collecting various beauty finds when she travels across the globe, from ayurvedic oils straight out of India to cocoa butter from Costa Rica. Her aim is to introduce American women to brands they don’t usually have access to.

 

AfroDeity

 

AfroDeity’s Caribbean Hair Mask (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

Since this mother-daughter owned brand hit the site, it’s been a hot seller and is one of Smith’s favorites. The U.K-based Caribbean hair and skin care line is known for their luxury Joliette collection. The ocean-inspired Joliette Caribbean Coconut Hair Treatment Mask is made with sea kelp and prickly pear seed oil. The Joliette Caribbean Radiance Facial Wash offers a two-in-one blend of a cream cleanser and a foaming face wash. It’s perfect for uneven skin and made with natural fruit extracts like coconut.

 

Urban Skin Rx

 

Urban Skin Rx’s Purifying Pumpkin Pore Mask (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

This skincare brand was designed for women of color and their specific skin care issues, particularly the issues that are faced by women who have more melanin. The Even Tone Cleansing Bar offers a blend of kojic and azelaic acids to help fight inflammation and promote even skin pigmentation. It can be used as a mask or daily exfoliator and the brand’s promise is that with regular use, skin tone appears more even. The Purifying Pumpkin Pore Mask combines minerals, enzymes, and vitamins to reduce pore size while cleansing and hydrating.

 

AJ Crimson

AJ Crimson’s Chasing Saturday matte lipstick (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

One of the most trusted names in the beauty industry, Crimson is usually the first choice for celebrities like Missy Elliot, Regina King, and Angela Bassett. Marjani carries a range of foundations, highlighters, and a finishing powder from this Los Angeles brand. Don’t forget to add his #NoFilter and Chasing Saturday lipstick colors to the cart.

 

Maréna Beauté

 

Maréna Beauté’s Blush Tarou (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

This Swedish brand formulates products exclusively for darker-complexioned consumers. The highly-pigmented blushes are sure to be a show-stopper whether at the office or on a night out. The Blush Tarou comes in six hues, from high-powered Cambi Berry to the warm, Sweet Brown. The brand was founded by makeup artist, Diarry Maréna who is originally from Senegal.

 

True Moringa

 

True Moringa’s Black Soap Moringa (Image: Marjani Beauty Co.)

 

Named after the Moringa tree in Ghana, which contains numerous health benefits, this brand is 100% vegan. Moringa is rich in zeatin, known for stimulating cell division, growth, and delaying aging of cells. The Magic Black Soap is True Moringa’s modern take on the traditional African black soap. It is handcrafted in small batches using raw shea, moringa, neem, and essential oils. Their Ultra-Light Whipped Body Butter is made of a blend of wild-crafted shea and moringa.

As Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, check out Marjanibeauty.com for some quality last-minute, confidence-boosting gifts.

‘American Race’: Charles Barkley Reveals Why He Made the Show [VIDEO]

American Race Charles Barkley

Last week, Charles Barkley, the executive producer and host of the new TNT series American Race, sat down with a handful of local activists, who had been featured guests of the show, in a sneak preview of the program.

In American Race, Barkley tours the country to explore the issue of race from different perspectives, to engage diverse Americans in dialogue that aims to build a sense of mutual understanding.

“It’s a hard show,” Barkley said. “I needed a beer after every interview.”

Despite the bumpy ride, Barkley felt that the show about race relations needed to be made. Here, he tells why:

 

 

Barkley, a Sports Emmy winner and a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, also joked that friends asked if he was nuts for taking on such a difficult and controversial topic, when he could have chosen to produce anything.

Here’s what the former NBA All-Star and current host of Inside the NBA on TNT said was the motivation behind his decision:

 

 

The conversation, which took place at the Paley Center in New York City on May 4, was moderated by Bakari Sellers, CNN commentator, and former South Carolina state representative. Also on hand to share their experiences while filming  American Race were:

  • Dan Partland, executive producer
  • Gerald Griggs, civil rights and criminal attorney from Atlanta
  • Sharmina Zaidi, activist & and restaurant owner from Dallas
  • Peter Jae Kim, activist and actor from Los Angeles
  • William H. “Billy” Murphy, civil rights attorney from Baltimore
  • Justin Normand, activist and sign maker from Dallas

A two-night event, the four-part series will air on broadcast May 11 and May 12. However, subscribers can watch currently watch the series via video on demand or the TNT app.

 

Study: Cannabis Can Reverse the Aging Process in the Brain

cannabis

As if marijuana users needed another reason to smoke a joint, a new study reveals that cannabis may actually reverse the aging process in the human brain.

In the study, which was led by researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany and was recently published in the journal Natural Medicine, scientists found that cannabis helped older mice retain certain cognitive abilities that usually digress with age.

According to the study, older mice were given a small amount of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, over a period of four weeks. In turn, the mice regressed to the mental state of a two-month-old mouse. On the other hand, younger mice who were exposed to THC performed slightly worse on tests that measured their memory, behavior, and ability to learn.

“[The] results reveal a profound, long-lasting improvement of cognitive performance resulting from a low dose of THC treatment in mature and old animals,” the study reports.

Andras Bilkei-Gorzo, a neuroscientist who participated in conducting the study, told Voice of America that they were bedazzled by their findings. “The treatment made the young brain old and the old brain young. So, that was something that was above our imagination,” Bilkei-Gorzo said, as reported by voanews.com.

This scientific discovery could help researchers find ways to slow down or even reverse the cognitive aging process of humans. It may also lead to a medical breakthrough when it comes to treating age-related diseases like dementia.

“Cannabis preparations and THC are used for medicinal purposes,” the study reports. “They have an excellent safety record and do not produce adverse side-effects when administered at a low dose to older individuals. Thus, chronic, low-dose treatment with THC or cannabis extracts could be a potential strategy to slow down or even to reverse cognitive decline in the elderly.”

‘Get Out’ and ‘Moonlight’ Won Big This Weekend

Moonlight

MTV changed up their annual awards ceremony a little this year. Instead of just being the “Video Music Awards” or VMAs, the 2017 edition included more in the movie and television realm (hence the name MTV Movie & TV Awards).

Previous award shows that took place in 2017 gave a little foreshadowing to who was going to take home hardware in this one as well. A few new possible winners were added to the list to make things interesting, including Get Out and Moonlight, who won big.

Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome won “Best Kiss” for their lip lock in Moonlight. The movie also won “Outstanding film – wide release” at the 2017 GLAAD Awards. Jordan Peele’s Get Out took home some awards as well, including Daniel Kaluuya’s win for acting’s “Next Generation.” Lil Rel Howery also won the trophy for “Best Comedic Performance.” In total, the two films grossed nine nominations.

Stranger Things also did well, taking home awards for “Show of the Year” and “Best Actor in a Show” (Millie Bobby Brown).

Rounding out, Black excellence was rewarded in the more woke realm as Hidden Figures won “Best Fight Against the System” award while Ava DuVernay won “Best Documentary” for her epic, 13th. Trevor Noah won “Best Host” for his work behind the desk of the Daily Show.

If you’re wondering who took home “Movie of the Year,” it was Beauty and the Beast.

(Shrugs).

Check out a full list of winners below.

______________________________________________________________

Movie of the Year

 

Winner: Beauty and the Beast

Get Out

Logan

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Edge of Seventeen

 

Best Actor in a Movie

 

Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out

WINNER: Emma Watson — Beauty and the Beast

Hailee Steinfeld — The Edge of Seventeen

Hugh Jackman — Logan

James McAvoy — Split

Taraji P. Henson — Hidden Figures

 

Show of the Year

 

Atlanta

Game of Thrones

Insecure

Pretty Little Liars

WINNER: Stranger Things

This Is Us

 

Best Actor in a Show

 

Donald Glover — Atlanta

Emilia Clarke — Game of Thrones

Gina Rodriguez — Jane the Virgin

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — The Walking Dead

Mandy Moore — This Is Us

WINNER: Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things

 

Best Fight Against the System

 

Get Out

WINNER: Hidden Figures

Loving

Luke Cage

Mr. Robot

 

Tearjerker

 

Game of Thrones — Hodor’s death

Grey’s Anatomy — Meredith tells her children about Derek’s death

Me Before You — Will tells Louisa he can’t stay with her

Moonlight — Paula tells Chiron that she loves him

WINNER: This Is Us — Jack and Randall at karate

 

Next Generation

 

Chrissy Metz

WINNER: Daniel Kaluuya

Issa Rae

Riz Ahmed

Yara Shahidi

 

Best Duo

 

Adam Levine & Blake Shelton — The Voice

Daniel Kaluuya & Lil Rel Howery — Get Out

Brian Tyree Henry & Lakeith Stanfield — Atlanta

WINNER: Hugh Jackman & Dafne Keen — Logan

Josh Gad & Luke Evans — Beauty and the Beast

Martha Stewart & Snoop Dogg — Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party

 

Best Kiss

 

WINNER: Ashton Sanders & Jharrel Jerome — Moonlight

Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling — La La Land

Emma Watson & Dan Stevens — Beauty and the Beast

Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard — Empire

Zac Efron & Anna Kendrick — Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

 

Best Comedic Performance

 

Adam Devine — Workaholics

Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson — Broad City

Winner: Lil Rel Howery — Get Out

Seth MacFarlane — Family Guy

Will Arnett — The LEGO Batman Movie

 

Best Host

 

Ellen DeGeneres — The Ellen DeGeneres Show

John Oliver — Last Week Tonight

RuPaul — RuPaul’s Drag Race

Samantha Bee — Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

WINNER: Trevor Noah — The Daily Show

 

Best Hero

 

Felicity Jones — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Grant Gustin — The Flash

Mike Colter — Luke Cage

Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things

Stephen Amell — Arrow

Winner: Taraji P. Henson — Hidden Figures

 

Best American Story

 

Winner: Black-ish

Fresh Off the Boat

Jane the Virgin

Moonlight

Transparent

 

Best Villain

 

Allison Williams — Get Out

Demogorgon — Stranger Things

Jared Leto — Suicide Squad

Winner: Jeffrey Dean Morgan — The Walking Dead

Wes Bentley — American Horror Story: Roanoke

 

Best Documentary

 

Winner: 13th

I Am Not Your Negro

O.J.: Made in America

This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous

TIME: The Kalief Browder Story

 

Best Reality Competition

 

America’s Got Talent

MasterChef Junior

Winner: RuPaul’s Drag Race

The Bachelor

The Voice

 

Trending

 

“Sean Spicer Press Conference” feat. Melissa McCarthy — Saturday Night Live

“Lady Gaga Carpool Karaoke” — The Late Late Show with James Corden

“Cash Me Outside How Bout Dat” — Dr. Phil

Winner: “Run the World (Girls)” feat. Channing Tatum as Beyoncé — Lip Sync Battle

“Wheel of Musical Impressions” with Demi Lovato — The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Winona Ryder’s Winning SAG Awards Reaction — 23rd Annual SAG Awards

 

Best Musical Moment

 

“Beauty and the Beast” — Ariana Grande and John Legend, Beauty and the Beast

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” — Justin Timberlake, Trolls

“How Far I’ll Go” — Auli’i Cravalho, Moana

“City of Stars” — Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, La La Land

“You Can’t Stop the Beat” — ensemble, Hairspray Live!

“Be That as It May” — Herizen Guardiola, The Get Down

WINNER: “You’re the One That I Want” — ensemble, Grease: Live

 

This article was written by Paul Meara and originally appeared on BET.com.

Removing the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health in Blacks

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the founders of The Black Brain Campaign are working to remove the stigma of mental health through education and advocacy.

People who identify as black or African American make up 13.2% of the total U.S population and of those, over 16% had a diagnosed mental illness in the past year. That is over 6.8 million people suffering with a mental illness. Too often, as blacks and African Americans, we suffer in silence.

 

Source: MentalHealthAmerica.net

 

The Black Brain Campaign is an initiative to dismantle the stigma of mental health in the black community through education and advocacy. The Black Brain Campaign was founded by Farida Saleem-Boyer and Jaynay C. Johnson. Both women are marriage and family therapists in the Philadelphia area. Saleem-Boyer and Johnson realized many weren’t receiving the help they needed due to the stigma attached to mental health and therapy.

 

Image: Founders Farida E. Saleem-Boyer, MS and Jaynay C. Johnson MS, MFT

 

The pair collaborated to create The Black Brain Campaign. The campaign’s goal is helping the community learn more about mental health and to advocate to ensure treatment is culturally competent.

African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population. Common mental health disorders among African Americans include:

  • Major depression
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Suicide
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Blacks are Suffering in Silence

 

Saleem-Boyer says, “In the African American community there are not as many people actively involved in treatment that probably need it and should be in some type of therapy. The stigma most prevalent in the community is that if you’re going to see a psychiatrist, a therapist, or psychologist there’s something wrong with you. Most people have dealt with some type of traumatic experience and need to talk to someone. You matter, you’re important, and there’s help out there, utilize the resources. We’re here in the community prepared to provide you with information and professionals who can help.”

In a 2013 study titled, African American Men and Women’s Attitude Toward Mental Illness, Perceptions of Stigma, and Preferred Coping Behaviors researchers found that blacks can hold beliefs related to stigma, psychological openness, and help-seeking, which in turn affects their coping behaviors. The participants in this study were not very open to acknowledging psychological problems, but they were somewhat open to seeking mental health services.

Removing the Stigma

 

Johnson says that it’s important to break the stigma so that we can heal overall as a people. She wants our community to know that there are things you’re going to go through in life and it’s OK.

“You can be sad today, and tomorrow too. And then you can be happy on Thursday, happy on Friday and then find yourself anxious on Saturday…it’s all OK because life is a journey and there’s no way we can all stay on the same path every single day of our lives forever. So that’s what I want this campaign to do, I want this campaign to highlight the various highs and lows of just being a human and understand that it’s OK either way.”

To learn more, visit The Black Brain Campaign.

 


Elisha Lowe is a registered nurse, business strategist, writer, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker with two decades of experience in healthcare. She works with top healthcare organizations to grow novel products and helps healthcare-based entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life. You can follow her on Twitter @ElishaLoweRN or learn more at www.elishalowe.com.

 

Taste and See: The BCA Global 13th Annual Food & Wine Experience

Eating my way through some of NYC’s best restaurants supporting small business and diversity.

While most of the nation was sipping margaritas and throwing back shots of tequila, I had the pleasure of sampling sweet wine and cocktails, and tasty, bite-sized delicacies that would send any foodies’ taste buds into overdrive. My Cinco de Mayo celebration led me to the BCA Global’s 13th Annual Food & Wine Experience. It was the perfect way to close out Small Business Week with more than 30 local restaurants and distilleries showcasing the best of their menus. Check out some of my favorite bites.

The evening kicked off with BCA President and CEO Alex Askew welcoming more than 200 attendees. He recognized this year’s recipient of the BCA Vision in Wine Award, George Carbonell of Empire Merchants and called attention to the deserving culinary students working alongside celebrity chefs and premier NYC food professionals at the event. Around this time, I had my first experience with caviar atop a light salad paired with a sweet rosé. Two thumbs up for both.

Barbecue pulled pork slider in hand (straight from the Lincoln Center Kitchen), I headed upstairs with my fellow foodies to take in an overwhelming display of food, wine, and spirits vendors. My first stop was a well-known, go-to spot whose restaurant is located in downtown Manhattan.

Negril Village

Negril Village’s Chef Dwayne served delicious oxtail pasta. I had to stop myself from taking more than one.

Solomon & Kuff


Next up, I visited the Solomon & Kuff table to try their Bluefish Ceviche. Located in Harlem, my part of town, the restaurant boasts a selection of more than 100 rums and features Caribbean-inspired cuisine. I will definitely be paying them a visit in the near future.

Just Soul Catering


Not only did they have their elevator pitch on point, Just Soul Catering had the literal recipe for success. Jambalaya Stuffed Cornbread with options: shrimp, chicken, or vegetarian. Need I say more?

Gifted Hands Catering


Being the shrimp and grits kind of girl that I am, my heart jumped and mouth watered when I saw the Blue Cheese Grits w/Smoked Sriracha Buffalo Shrimp that Gifted Hands Catering’s Chef D. Palmer was offering. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds. I’m not telling, but I’m pretty sure I saw several hands grabbing for seconds.

Nadege Fleurimond


It wouldn’t have been right to leave without dessert, so I gladly obliged in sampling a healthy portion of Nadege Fleurimond’s Bread Pudding with Coconut Rum sauce.

Led by Askew, the BCA’s mission is to consistently build a broader platform for diversity within the culinary, hospitality, and food service industry. They seek to diversify the talent pool of young professionals of color by providing exposure as well as professional and educational opportunities. The Annual Food and Wine Experience is the only culinary event in the country that focuses on diversity. To learn more about BCA Global, go here, or contact them at info@bcaglobal.org for membership and donation inquiries.


Rochelle Turner is the Marketing and Audience Development Manager at Black Enterprise. For more bite-sized tips on marketing and life, check out her website at rochelleshante.com.

Shaunie O’Neal: Inspiring Women to Build Together With ‘Let’s Talk About It’ Events

As one of the executive producers and stars of VH1’s Basketball Wives, Shaunie O’Neal often finds herself in the middle of a lot of drama, but that’s far from how things are in her personal life.

Currently, the super busy mother of five is putting a lot of effort into a series of empowerment events called “Let’s Talk About It,” which she hopes will inspire women to live their dreams beyond their circumstance. “Let’s Talk About It” will make stops all over the country, and feature a panel of phenomenal women such as Mielle Organics founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez, Single Wives Club founder Koereyelle DuBose, and TV producer Stella Bulochnikov, among others.

During a recent chat, O’Neal and I discussed “Let’s Talk About It,” her other television projects, and balancing family and career.

How the Idea for the “Let’s Talk About It” Events Emerged

 

After attending a few events last year and actually sitting on a panel of an empowerment event, I felt they were still missing a few components that I thought would’ve been impactful and helpful to our audience. I felt like the women that were at this event wanted to hear more about our stories, how we reached the pinnacle of success, how we handle failure and fears, and how we juggle family and career since they both can be very time-consuming. One day, I was sitting in the car thinking and talking to a friend about how to touch the hearts, empower the minds of women, and on that day I decided I would commit to doing a multi-city empowerment tour.

The “Let’s Talk About It Empowerment Series” includes a range of topics from parenting advice, women’s health, entrepreneurship, self-esteem, love, and awareness. I want women to walk away not just empowered for that moment or that day, but ready to put whatever they learned into action. That’s something we don’t really do much, and I know a lot of people will say it sounds so contradictory to the show you have on TV.

Unfortunately, that’s not what good TV is to people nowadays. They don’t want to see too much good—you can sprinkle a little good in there, but they want to see some drama, tears, and fights and things like that. So, I think that’s what’s shown, despite some good being done, a lot of times it doesn’t even make it because that’s not what sells good television. But in my personal life, it’s so very important to me to do this—to do something that empowers other women because that’s who I am.

What She Hopes Women Will Take Away From “Let’s Talk About It”

 

I definitely hope they will take away that we actually can work together, we actually can uplift each other, and it’s OK to compliment each other. It’s OK to share your knowledge with one another. We have an issue with hoarding things, you know what I mean? If I have a good attorney, I’m not going to let you use my attorney because my attorney got me some great deals, and I don’t want you to get them—that type of thing. I think we just gotta get out of that mentality, so I’m hoping that if five people sitting in that room got that message, then they can tell five of their friends, and we go to the next city, and the same thing can happen. Maybe it can just start to peel away at the BS that we deal with just as women working with each other, especially women of color. And I find that it’s not just women of color, but it’s just women, in general, being able to work together because I feel like men can do it so easy. They seem to be able to work together so much easier than we can, and we have to do better, and maybe this could be a start—a little piece of a start—of peeling away the BS.

Her Other Television Projects

 

I’m constantly working on new stuff, selling new stuff, shopping new stuff—when I’m not filming, that’s what I’m doing. Now, we have the ‘Let’s Talk About It’ events that will start taking a lot of my time as well but, yeah, I’m still working on things from other reality shows, to scripted stuff, to TV movies.

Balancing Career and Family

 

You know, people ask me that all the time, and I just don’t have an actual answer. I really just push through. Sometimes I do get overwhelmed. I’ll just kind of sit and just be like, ‘Oh my God, how am I supposed to get all of this done?’ But in the back of my mind, I know I will, so it’s kind of like sometimes I’m just winging it. I know I have to accomplish 17 things in the next 24 hours, and I’m going to get it done, some way, somehow. I might be exhausted…and that’s another thing. I’m so wound up by the end of my day, that I usually don’t even go to bed to like 2 o’clock in the morning because that’s the time I get to calm it all down, and maybe finish some emails, and check homework and do stuff like that that I couldn’t do while I’m moving around the city. Like today, I had two interviews and two meetings, and I had to go order birthday cake, and take my daughter cupcakes for school for her birthday. Things like that, I just make it happen. I get myself a calendar, and I just make it happen. I don’t think there’s a correct answer, but you just push through.


Black Enterprise contributor Mara—”The Hip-Hop Socialite”—is a headline-grabbing entertainment journalist, radio personality, and creator of “The SCOOP,” an international entertainment news and lifestyle column. Follow her on Twitter @HipHopSocialite.

Nurse Alice: Could Social Media Be Stressing You Out?

social media

According to research nearly 80% of Americans are on social media. Its fun, entertaining, informative and a way to connect with family and friends… but could it be causing more harm than good and be the cause of unnecessary stress?

If you pull out your phone to check Instagram while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association (APA) calls a “constant checker.” And chances are, it’s hurting your mental health. The APA released a study earlier this year finding that Americans were experiencing the first statistically significant stress increase in the survey’s 10-year history and largely from what they believe is related to social media.

Social media use has skyrocketed from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those in the 18 -29 age range, the increase is larger, from 12 percent to a remarkable 90 percent. But while an increase in social media usage is hardly surprising, the number of people who just can’t tear themselves away is ridiculous! Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4. 

The highest stress levels were reserved for those who constantly check their work e-mail on days off. Their average stress level is 6.0. So those of you who think it’s somehow pleasant to work from home on a Saturday afternoon, you’re actually fooling yourself. About 42 percent of constant checkers specifically point to political and cultural discussions as causing stress. And the impacts play out in real life—35 percent of constant checkers say they are less likely to spend time with family and friends because of social media.

So how is it stressing you out and what can you do about it?

 

Use Social Media to Share NOT Compare

 

A recent survey of Facebook users found that the most common source of frustration on the social media site was envy caused by browsing others’ profiles. To turn down the social media stress in your life, avoid turning Facebook into a game of keeping up with the Joneses. Instead of browsing through classmates’ photos to see who had the best summer ever with their bae while you were at home working (and single), use the network exclusively to talk to friends and share fun updates on your life.

 

Be Careful NOT to Overshare

 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap chat, and other social media sites are a wonderful way to share photos, observations and life updates with your friends and followers. But be selective about what you post for the world to see — does everyone need to know the details or your recent break-up, or cryptic song lyrics that describe your anger and confusion over it? Probably not.

 

Be Positive

 

The golden rule is as important on social media as it is in every other part of life: Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Negative or sarcastic comments are best kept to yourself. Also, when posting your own statuses, try not to vent your feelings too much. Studies have shown bad moods are “contagious” via social media — Facebook users can directly impact the emotions of their friends for up to three days.

 

Keep Your Love Life Offline

 

Whether you’re single, happily coupled, or breaking up, keep your love life off Facebook. It might be fun for a while to post #RelationshipGoals and #Bae statuses, but they’ll likely annoy your friends and make your relationship a whole lot more complicated. According to Mashable, 25 percent of people had found out their relationship was over because their #Bae changed their relationship status to “single.” You don’t want that to be you.

 

Keep Your Photos Clean

 

If you wouldn’t want an employer or a teacher to see it, keep it offline. No exceptions. Risqué or incriminating photos are best kept to yourself (or not taken at all) — you don’t want to leave a digital footprint of all your mistakes, especially the ones you don’t even remember.

 

Choose your friends wisely

 

Studies have shown that having more Facebook friends leads to increased stress levels, finding a link between larger online networks and social anxiety. Don’t worry about getting everyone to follow you on IG or Twitter and friend you on Facebook. To minimize social media anxiety, periodically go through and delete friends and followers you may not know very well or no longer want to share updates with. Hit delete on the trolls.

 

Take time to unplug

 

When social media is stressing you out, sometimes the best thing to do is walk away from your phone or laptop and just unplug for a few hours or a couple days. Temporarily disable your account if you need an intervention. And that includes unplugging from your fake account that you have on the down low for your trolling expeditions.  And no, don’t ask your girlfriend to use her account to look for you. (And don’t front like you’ve never done that)

Stress is a contributing factor for multiple physical, psychological and emotional unhealthy conditions.  Try these social media detox tips to keep your mind, body and spirit in order. Too much of anything is never a good thing and that includes social media. How do you avoid social media stress? Share in the comments below and tweet @BlackEnterprise @AskNurseAlice using #StressLess

 

 


nurse_alice

Nurse Alice is a nationally board-certified and award-winning cardiac clinical nurse specialist with nearly two decades of experience in cardiovascular health. She is a community health activist and freelance media health expert. She has appeared on various national radio and TV shows including Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Dr. Drew, News One with Roland Martin, Tom Joyner Morning Show and more. She is also the author of “Curb Your Cravings: 31 Foods to Fool Your Appetite.”

You can follow her at AskNurseAlice.com and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @AskNurseAlice