She Creates a Facebook Healing Space for 20,000 Black Therapists

Creating safe spaces for others is second nature for therapists and mental health professionals as they establish trust and build relationships with their clients. But finding a community for themselves to unwind is often an afterthought. That is why Deran Young, LCSW, founded Black Therapists Rock. In 2016, Young created a Facebook group as an opportunity to organize black therapists, community leaders, personal development experts, and clinical professionals toward action in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to mental health and emotional well-being.

As a therapist who grew up with adverse childhood experiences, Young is culturally informed and invested in serving people in underresourced communities.

“I grew up in the hood and my mother was mentally ill but I did not know that.” says Young. “What I knew was that she was on drugs. I was the oldest so that meant that I was always in charge. And I grew up taking care of everyone except myself—and that is very common amongst black women. We are taking care of, thinking, doing, problem solving, and saving everyone but ourselves,”

A lot of her work now and as a former therapist in the military has taught her the importance of not doing the work alone.

“I created the Facebook group and thought I’d be happy if I got 200 people. Three months in, we had 2,000 people. And by the end of 2016, we had 10,000 people. And by the end of the third year we had 20,000 people,” say Young.

Within the community, members can share their experiences, build relationships, and occasionally vent. With a community so unique and impactful, Young has been sought out by Facebook. In 2018, she was accepted for their Community Leadership Fellowship. As a fellow, her organization receives financial support and resources to promote their mission. Most recently, Young spoke about her work at Facebook’s Global Safety & Well-Being Summit where we met her and learned more about the work that she is doing.

“Through Facebook, we have a program called ‘Heal the Healer’ where we have 40 therapists at a training that is focused on social and emotional support,”

Black Therapists Rock has grown exponentially over the years, and Young says because it quickly became a healing space.

“We are making sure that we sustain ourselves because if we burn out (like I was) what good is that? A lot of us have our own issues we’re still dealing with and might not necessarily have the resources we need ourselves. The stigma is stronger for therapists because we’re ‘supposed to have it together’ and know how to deal with our own stuff, but, we’re human,” adds Young.

Keeping wellness at the forefront of mind for her community members and fellow black therapists, who are looking for a tribe of healers to join, Young offers the following advice for black therapists and mental health advocates during Mental Health Awareness Month:

  • The first thing is to know that depression can happen to you. Most of us don’t think that we can be depressed. We say we don’t have time for that. So, make time to take care of yourself.
  • Don’t follow the philosophy that it’s you against the world. You’re human and deserve care just like everyone else.
  • Seek the care that you’re giving.
  • Avoid Isolation. Don’t go at it alone. The same ways that trauma comes in through other people—we need to get it out with other people.
  • Know what you stand for and why you do what you do. If you, like me, care about people that no one else cares about [working with].
  • Find your people, connect, and get plugged in online and off. You cannot heal other people without someone supporting you.

Looking for more mental health resources? Click here.

Kamala Harris Vows to Fine Companies That Pay Women Workers Less Than Men

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to close the gender pay gap by fining companies that pay women employees less than men for equal work. The U.S. senator announced the proposal during a campaign stop in California on May 19, noting that white women working full-time make 80 cents for every dollar a white man is paid, while women of color earn even less.

“In America today, women for the same work – for the equal work, on average, make 80 cents on the dollar,” said Harris, reports CBS News. “Black women make 61 cents on the dollar. Latinas make 53 cents on the dollar and this has got to end.”

Under Harris’ proposal, corporations with over 100 employees would have to obtain an “Equal Pay Certification” from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within a certain timeframe. Companies would also be required to prove existing pay gaps are not based on gender, but merit, performance, or seniority. Companies that don’t meet the standard to become certified would be fined 1% of their daily profits for every 1% of the wage gap allowed to persist.

“Companies that fail to receive this certification will face a fine for every day they discriminate against their workers,” explained a senior campaign official in an email to BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Harris’ plan will force corporations to be accountable and transparent.”

Over the next decade, Harris’ campaign projects that the fines would generate $180 billion, which would then be used to help fund paid family and medical leave. The proposal aims to eliminate pay disparities between men and women on corporations by placing the responsibility on companies rather than on employees, who, under current law, must file lawsuits if and when they find they’re not being compensated fairly. According to Politico, Harris’ plan also mandates companies to report the percentage of women in leadership positions and how many are among the highest paid employees at the company.

The Harris campaign added that if Congress fails to pass the proposal, she would use executive power to force companies that apply for federal contracts to comply.

Earlier this month, Harris introduced legislation to help students from underrepresented communities gain access to educational materials, mentorships, and work experience related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Under the 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act, $40 million would be authorized to fund a competitive grant program for school districts to improve participation in STEM education among girls, students of color, LGBTQ students, disabled students, and kids from low-income neighborhoods.

 

Not Reaching! A Pouch to Combat Police Brutality

Philando Castille was murdered on the day Jackie Carter was celebrating her son’s birthday. Carter told NBC BLK, “I’m more fearful for my son in a car here in America than when he’s serving in Afghanistan.” Castille and others, were killed by police as they reached for the proof that was requested of them. These tragedies, many deemed incidents of police brutality, led her to create something that can assist in providing a solution to these all-too-frequent crimes; because she too fears for the life of young black men and women. 

In taking steps to protect her son, Carter created a small, clear identification pouch which attaches to the driver’s side air vent of any vehicle. The pouches holds a person’s license, registration, and other necessary documents that may be needed in a random traffic stop. She calls it the “Not Reaching!” pouch; hopefully it will help in decreasing potentially dangerous interactions with police who seem to have a deep seated, intrinsic fear of black men and women. According to NBC Washington, Carter has so far sold over 1,000 units since launching the product in 2016.

The website where the Not Reaching! pouch is sold, is not just an e-commerce entity, but also a place for statistical information about the disproportionate number of traffic stops and potentially fatal encounters with police affecting black drivers in comparison to white drivers, and the bare minimum black drivers can do to protect themselves and hopefully make a random traffic stop as easy as humanly possible. The website has this message:

‘Not Reaching’ Pouch: A Solution

A solution to the fatal traffic stops experienced particularly by young, minority males throughout the country. Not Reaching! is an identification system allowing motorists to remain stationary in their vehicles during a traffic stop by eliminating reaching for identification after the request of law enforcement. Not Reaching is a start to a safe traffic stop and helps to de-escalate a tense situation.

no reaching pouch

(Instagram)

One of the biggest fans of this invention is Philando Castille’s mother, Valerie Castille, who has lent her full support to Jackie Carter’s product. She is, no doubt, still grieving the death of her innocent son.

If the Not Reaching! pouch is something you’re unable to invest in, then simply go to Staples, or any other store, and purchase a clear pouch where the important information is easily accessible.

Additionally, in the aftermath of recent violent confrontations during police traffic stops, AAA is offering guidelines on what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop:

  • Keep hands in plain view of the officer.
  • Avoid reaching or making sudden movements.
  • Never reach under your seat. Always carry proper identification: a valid driver’s license, proof of vehicle registration and current proof of insurance. Do not retrieve or reach for documentation until instructed.

Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The Challenges Of Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplant is a recent invention as far as medical history is concerned. The first cases of BMT were perhaps done in the early 1970s. It was done for the treatment of acute leukemia and aplastic anemia. However, as technology and research have moved on, Leukemia bone marrow transplant or BMT is now being recognized as one of the most effective ways of treating patients who suffer from improper formation and inadequate formation of white blood cells, red blood cells and also platelets. All this has been possible because of advances in the fields of transplant immunobiology, patient supportive care and also prevention of instances of graft-versus-host diseases. In many cases, BMT has given a new lease of life to thousands of patients because without this approach, these patients would have had very little life left ahead of them. Hence, there is no denying the fact it certainly is a path-breaking invention. Hence, if there are any patients on the lookout for the right AML bone marrow transplant options, then it is quite likely that the next few lines could be useful and knowledge enhancing.

How Is This Done?

When a patient is diagnosed with acute leukemia or blood cancer, aplastic anemia or other such life-threatening diseases, he or she might become a potential candidate for BMT. However, there are other factors such as the age of the patient, his or her general medical conditions, pre-existing diseases, and health problems and so on. The doctors led by a team of blood specialists are the ones who will decide whether the patient is good enough for bone marrow transplant.

Once the patient is found medically fit, bone marrow from the donor is injected into his body, through an intravenous process. We have to bear in mind that there is no surgery involved and it is all done by injecting healthy bone marrow and cells into the body. It takes a few days time for the healthy bone marrow to find its place. If the recipient’s body accepts the BMT then the body starts producing quality blood cells and that too in the right quantities.

The Challenges

While the above information is encouraging and good, there could be any complications along the way. Rejection of bone marrow is one of the biggest challenges that one faces when they go in for BMT. It is quite common and when this happens, the doctors have a problem at hand. Further, before BMT is done, the patients have to be put on chemotherapy. This again is a complicated process and patients in bad health may not be able to withstand such harsh courses of chemotherapy. Immediately after that if the patient has to be put through a process of BMT then this again could lead to severe complications.

There are a number of side effects including the risk of organ failure. Lung diseases and malfunctioning of the pulmonary tract is quite common. Patients with impaired kidney, liver and heart functions could also be at risk of severe side effects. Hence, the challenges, risks, and benefits must all be evaluated in totality and only then should the right decision be taken whether to move forward or not.

Contact US:

Gift of Life Marrow Registry
Address:  800 Yamato Rd suite 101  Boca Raton, FL
Phone: (800) 962-7769

Abortion Bans Are a Health Crisis. For Black Women, They Mean Devastation

As President Trump promised during the 2016 campaign, he would make overturning Roe v. Wade—the landmark court case giving women the constitutional right to have an abortion—part of his mission. Six states thus far, have passed or are trying to pass draconian laws banning abortions. Abortion ban is bad for all women and a crisis for black women.

It’s well-established that there is inequity in healthcare. “The sexual and reproductive health of African American women has been compromised due to multiple experiences of racism, including discriminatory healthcare practices from slavery through the post-Civil Rights era,” writes researchers in the report Racism, African American Women, and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of Historical and Contemporary Evidence and Implications for Health Equity.

Those discriminatory practices exist today. Black women, many with limited resources, often have unequal access to quality healthcare. For example, the above study found that black women often are subjected to unnecessary hysterectomies. Infant mortality, pregnancy complications, and access to vital prenatal care are all issues affecting black women’s reproductive health.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a rich and famous black woman as we discovered when Serena Williams opened up about her life-threatening pregnancy complications. In fact, black woman’s reproductive health status is at such a red alert that Sen. Kamala Harris introduced legislation to address the black maternal mortality crisis.

What the anti-choice advocates conveniently leave out of their hateful, misogynistic narrative is that the same facilities that provide abortions are also safe havens for women to receive prenatal care, sexual education, and pregnancy care. These facilities are particularly crucial to low-income black women and those in rural areas.

Yet, the states with high populations of black women—and some with the worst records on black women’s healthcare—are the ones pushing hardest for abortion bans: Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia. As a result, many of these states are closing facilities that not only provide abortions but other critical women’s health services. Currently, only one abortion clinic remains in Missouri; three in Alabama; and one in Mississippi.

Missouri, Alabama, Ohio are ranked among the worst states for black infant mortality rates in the aforementioned study. From that report, “Mississippi has the largest proportion of babies born with low birth weight among Black women as well as all women (16.1% and 11.5%,  respectively). The states with the next largest proportions of babies born with low birth weight to Black women are Louisiana, West Virginia, Colorado, and Alabama.”

What is the impetus to place women’s reproductive freedom back 50 years? Anti-choicers cite their religious beliefs as justification—bestowing personhood onto fetuses.

But perhaps the underlying reasons are even more sinister. America is becoming browner. With the influx of immigrants from Latin America, and more people open to the idea of interracial relationships, millennials and Gen Z are the most diverse generations ever.

It stands to reason that the powers that be, the network of old white boys, are panicking over the darkened hue of the American populace; and over the demands for economic and political diversity and equity. And there is power in numbers. Force more white women to have white babies and make America white again…perhaps?

Of course, that is speculation. What isn’t: Abortion bans do not stop women from having abortions. These bans only make it more dangerous and expensive for women to terminate pregnancies. These bans shut down healthcare facilities that provide reproductive services and support that extends far beyond abortions. These bans, while detrimental to all women, will be devastating to the well-being of black women, as we still struggle to gain equal footing in a world that is so quick to hate us.


The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

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Get the Real Wendy Williams Experience at Black Enterprise Event

Mother, media mogul, fashion designer, philanthropist, entrepreneur, performer, and best-selling author, Wendy Williams will be a featured speaker at BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s conference for entrepreneurs, FWD.

During her session at FWD, ‘Wendy Williams: More Than Just Talk,’ moderated by BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s Chief Branding Officer of Women of Power, Caroline Clarke—the Queen of All Media will talk about her entrepreneurial journey. The session is your perfect chance to “Ask Wendy.”

Decades of Media Success

Wendy is best known for her long-running Daytime Emmy nominated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show. Recently extended through 2020, the show has been nominated for multiple daytime Emmy awards, has memorabilia in the Smithsonian Museum, and broadcasts in 53 countries.

Taped live in New York City, the show reflects Wendy’s entertaining personality and distinctive sense of humor. The focus on entertainment and pop culture exemplifies Wendy’s passion for those topics, and the show’s signature segments include “Hot Topics” with Wendy’s take on the juiciest celebrity headlines; “Trendy at Wendy,” showcasing the hottest brands; and “Ask Wendy,” where Wendy offers real advice to audience members.

The show also includes a diverse mix of interviews with celebrity guests from television, film, music, and sports. In 2015, both Wendy and the show earned Daytime Emmy nominations for “Best Talk Show Host” and “Best Entertainment Talk Show.”

Prior to achieving success in daytime television, Wendy built a devoted fan base throughout a successful 23-year career in radio, with “The Wendy Williams Experience,” a top-rated daily radio show. Syndicated nationally, it aired on WBLS in New York and was listened to by an audience of more than 12 million. One of the most popular personalities in radio, Wendy was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November of 2009 – one of only a handful of women with that honor.

Wendy Williams: Entrepreneur

Expanding her media footprint, Wendy and her husband Kevin launched the non-fiction television programming company, Wendy Williams Productions (WWP) in 2013. Recent projects include the Lifetime original movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B and Death by Gossip with Wendy Williams, which premiered on Investigation Discovery.

With TV, Broadway and film to her name, Wendy is a seasoned performer — both as herself and in character. Her television credits include appearances on NBC’s 30 Rock as herself, competing on Season 12 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, hosting Game Show Network’s original series Love Triangle, and appearing as a featured guest on ABC’s One Life to Live and Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva. Wendy also appeared in the major motion picture Think Like a Man, Think Like A Man Too, and took center stage as Mama Morton in the Tony-winning revival of the musical Chicago.

In the spring of 2014, Wendy released her seventh book and first romance novel, Hold Me in Contempt (Harper Collins; $14.99). The book became a New York Times Best-Seller the day of its release and sales continue to thrive among her fans.

In recent years, Wendy has also added fashion designer to her resume, becoming a number one selling brand with HSN through her Wendy Williams collection.

Register Now for FWD

 

 

 

 

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Reports: Is Bey $300 Million Richer from Uber IPO?

Last week, car-sharing service Uber went public and Beyonce is rumored to have scored big money as a result.

People magazine reports that Queen Bey received $6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at an event.

With the IPO, speculations abound that she made $300 million from her shares.

MarketWatch calls Uber’s IPO, “the biggest in years” and that the company “raised more than $8 billion”; the IPO still fell short of an expected valuation of $100 billion.

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has proven time and time again that there is nothing that she cannot do. At 37, the multifaceted entertainer has earned 23 Grammy wins, the 2019 Vanguard Award at the GLAAD Media Awards with her husband Sean “Jay-Z” Carter, and her second Entertainer of the Year Award at this year’s NAACP Image Awards. Yet, in spite of her mounds of success and accolades, the mother of three doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

In 2017, Black Enterprise reported that Bey and Jay-Z had an estimated combined net worth of $1 billion. With the Uber IPO and her deal with Netflix worth $60 million, according to Variety, the power couple may be destined to exceed $1 billion net worth in the very near future.

—Additional reporting by Selena Hill

The post Reports: Is Bey $300 Million Richer from Uber IPO? appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Google and Legendary Dancer Bill T. Jones Create Interactive Dance Experience for Anyone

Bill T. Jones and Google Creative Lab have collaborated to launch Body, Movement, Language, a collection of experiments that have resulted from a two-way residency between the writer, dancer director, and Tony Award winner.

Inspired by Jones’ long history of intertwining live, improvised speech and dance, these open-source experiments use AI to invite people to explore the creative possibilities of their bodies and make new connections with Jones’ iconic works right at home, using nothing more than a laptop and webcam.

When asked why Jones partnered with Google he said, “The idea of machine learning intrigues me. The theme of our company’s Live Ideas Fest this year is artificial intelligence. AI is supposed to take us into the next century and important things are supposed to be happening with this technology, so I wanted to see if we could use it to stir real human emotion. Maybe it’s ego, but I want to be the one to know how to use PoseNet to make somebody cry. How do you get the technology to be weighted with meaning and import?”

The series of four experiments include:

Manifesto

An intimate message composed in digital space

Bill T. Jones is famous for improvising with speech and movement in performance– deftly weaving together deeply personal stories, and commentaries on culture. Manifesto allows the user to create a trail of words that respond to their movements in real-time. If you exit your camera’s frame of vision, the trail of words will suspend on screen. With this process, you can compose a statement, a poem, or letter to someone you know. Jones has his dancers use this experiment to tell stories about their lives or write a letter to someone.

The Game

A kinetic conversation

This concept was discovered accidentally when Jones’ dancers began playing with a glitch in PoseNet that allowed them to “steal” the shape rendered on screen from one another by modulating their poses. Inspired by their experimentation, Jones asked them to think of three words with strong relationships to each other that would imbue this new game with meaning and weight. This game begins with his chosen triad: “lover, stranger, friend,” but you are encouraged to enter your own collection of words to give The Game more significance to you.

Hold That Thought

A soliloquy with digital props

Inspired by Jones’ work with language and movement, this experiment started as a visual pun on the significance of speech. As the words you say appear on screen, they become part of your body and are affected by your movements. While developing this experiment, Jones prompted his dancers to speak and feel the physicality of the words in the stories they tell. Hold That Thought invites you to speak freely while contending with your words as if they were physical objects that you can enlarge, shrink, or tilt with your movements.

Naming Things: Approaching 21

A new way to experience one of the most iconic pieces in the history of American dance

Debuting in 1983, 21 has become one of Bill T. Jones’ signature works. Jones cycles through 21 poses with spoken titles and improvised associations in a commentary on the body and its symbolism in culture. This dynamic performance is rooted in the time and space in which it is delivered. It is never executed the same way twice, making it impossible to archive. This experience, Naming Things: Approaching 21, is a complement to the live performance. This experience pays homage to the structure of 21 and allows you to experience each section uniquely. First, you watch him perform each pose. Second, you participate in the piece and must match his pose to advance the video and learn each poses’ title–a function powered by Google PoseNet. Last, you hear Jones’ reflections on the piece.



This project is an example of an innovative, socially responsible application of AI and even more specifically, the use of AI to explore and better understand the black and LGBTQ+ experience through art and dance.

 

The post Google and Legendary Dancer Bill T. Jones Create Interactive Dance Experience for Anyone appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Why Hire Lawn Care Professionals

Is there a need to hire lawn care professionals or can the job be done by the owners and occupants? This is a common question that comes to the minds of many people and getting the right answer without any doubt is not easy. On the one side is the cost that we may have to incur by hiring these professionals. On the other hand, is the problem of a dirty and unkempt looking lawn and this could certainly be a big eyesore. If we do a close study of DIY lawn upkeep and maintenance and hiring of professionals, you will realize that the latter is always a better option. There are many reasons for this, but we are sharing a few of the most obvious reasons for hiring professionals for upkeep, maintenance and extending of lawns. We are sure it will help you to clear your mind and make the right decision based on your specific needs and requirements.

 You Save Time And Effort

 Most of the homeowners are busy with their own jobs, businesses, and careers. Hence, it is quite unlikely that they will be able to devote time and energy for taking care of the lawns. They might get weekends free, but most homeowners would love to spend the time with their family members or visiting some relatives. Hence, in view of practical difficulties of time and effort, it always is a better decision to hire professional lawn keepers to do the job on your behalf. It might cost some small money but it is worth it because it helps to keep your lawn in the best of condition throughout the year.

They Bring In Expertise

 These professionals also bring in experience and expertise when you hire them. There are some tough lawn-cleaning jobs that are best handled by professionals. They have trained manpower to do the job on your behalf. They will be able to identify potential areas of future problems and have it nipped in the bud. Further, they will ensure that the lawn remains in good condition for months at length once they have undertaken the job. This certainly will not be possible when you try and do the job on your own.

 They Increase The Value Of The Property

 A well-maintained lawn will most certainly increase the value of the home by a few thousand dollars. When an outsider, neighbor or friend or relative visits your home, he or she will first see the lawn. If the lawn looks dull, drab and dirty, it will send a wrong impression to him or her. Hence it is always a much better decision to hire these professionals for a small amount rather than lose the chance of selling your property for a few thousand dollars more. Valuation specialists also pay a lot of importance to the quality of your lawn when they estimate your property.

 New Trends And Styles

 Like all things, lawns also change with time as far as new trends and styles are concerned. You will stand to benefit when you hire these professionals because they will put in place the most modern trends of lawn care in and Nichols Hills this will certainly work to your advantage.

Contact US:

Diversified Lawn Services, LLC
Address: 5030 N May Ave #201,Oklahoma City,OK
Phone: (405) 306-2272

10 Black Documentaries Not to Miss in 2019

There are several cutting-edge and groundbreaking documentaries that will likely be released this year focusing on black leaders, controversial figures, and issues of importance to the black community. Take a look at the video to get a sneak peek of 10 black documentaries you will want to keep on your radar when they debut in the upcoming months.

 

 

The post 10 Black Documentaries Not to Miss in 2019 appeared first on Black Enterprise.