|Posted by WOMA on March 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
My name is Jan Hice-Smith and this is my womanifesting story.
In 1999, I received the inspiration to pair my passion for photography with my love of playing with words and create a book. This wasn’t to be just any book, but a book that inspired by sharing insights. This was my dream and so, my ‘dream book’. And so with the birth of the dream, the journey began.
At the time, I was a sales executive traveling throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. I had realized my first dream of traveling to Rome, Italy and the thrill of that experience propelled me into the pursuit of my next big dream. I began using my flight time to work on my ‘dream book’.
As I developed my manuscript and began selecting photos for the book, I found myself getting back in touch with my photography. I always loved art and had never really appreciated my own. A very dear friend of mine to whom I give credit for being my ‘believing’ eyes saw my talent and challenged me to acknowledge my photography. Following this dream reconnected me to my inner artist. I reclaimed my passions for photography and writing.
Fast forward eights years…Soul Work: Excerpts From My Journey made its way into reality and onto the coffee table. I was ecstatic to see the finished product! My ‘dream book’ features personal reflections paired with photographs that I captured at unique locations around the world over many years of international business travel and exotic vacations.
Realizing that dream was a journey into my heart to reclaim those parts that I had not fully accepted. I consider it my most unforgettable trip yet. I rediscovered my creative Self and the things that make me come alive- my heart’s joy.
Since self-publishing Soul Work: Excerpts From My Journey, I started a new phase of my journey. I now support others in discovering what makes them come alive. Heart alignment and Self-love are the basis of my coaching philosophy. I draw upon the depth and breadth of my education, life experiences, and unique skill set to support my clients in living their heart’s joy. I also coach groups in workshops that I personally design, develop and deliver. I integrate my artwork into my coaching practice and my workshops. I continue to explore my creativity through my photography and writing and am actively chasing my next big dream.
I invite you to support me in the following ways:
2. Read my blog.
3. Attend a workshop.
5. Share my website - www.janhice.com - and my book, Soul Work: Excerpts From My Journey by Jan Hice.
|Posted by WOMA on March 5, 2012 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
My name is Alisha Sommer and this is my womanifesting story. Something inside of me changed with the birth of my daughter. I wanted her to grow up with a strong sense of self. I wanted her to be fearless - to be able to stand up for her beliefs and to not be afraid to express her opinions. I wanted her to know that she is divine - to know that her dreams are worthy of pursuit. However, I needed to believe all of these things for myself.
So I set out on a path of self-recovery. I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and began to write everyday. Through the process of journaling, I remembered all of these dreams that at one time filled my heart, but had been stuffed away, packed up in boxes, and shelved for some indeterminate time.
Every page opened a box, each one containing the same dream that seemed unfamiliar, and yet felt so comfortable, that it could no longer be ignored. I was supposed to be a writer.
Last fall I spent 4 weeks in New Orleans napping, eating cake, laughing with family and watching Alfred Hitchcock every night before bed. I really needed this visit. My body needed it. My mind needed it. My heart needed it.
One Wednesday, I visited the New Orleans Museum of Art. Though housed in a beautiful building, with a nice collection, I was disappointed that a city with such a large black population did not have a significant representation of black artists.
I left the museum frustrated that once again I could not find a reflection of myself. And these feelings of disappointment and confusion have plagued me for the past year. I was so tired of not finding more work by more women who looked like me. After having a conversation with a friend about the need to help women of color gain access and give them exposure, I decided that it was time to act.
Blackberry is born out of my passion to giving others a voice. It will give African-American women a new platform to share their art. Our voice is one that is often silenced. Ignored. Pushed aside. And I am tired of feeling invisible.
This new age of publishing is an opportunity to make our voices heard and it is an opportunity not to be squandered. Our experience is a varied one and by giving our art more exposure we will enrich the entire creative community.
Blackberry is not just the fulfillment of my own dream, but the breath of life into the dreams of other black women.
Submissions for Blackberry www.storiesofsommer.com/blackberry/are now open for the first issue which is set to debut no later than June 2012. My Kickstarter proposal was approved and I will be kicking off my campaign in February 2012. The goal is to raise enough money to fund print and digital editions of the magazine as well as a corresponding website. However, regardless of funding, I hope to see this vision through.
Alisha Sommer is a 20-something mother of three and a writer on a journey to examine the power of her words by sharing stories from the soul. She is a truth-sayer, a soul-whisperer, a seeker. She is a deep thinker, an illuminator and a dreamer. She is an encourager, an inspirer, a word-crafter. And she bares it all at www.AlishaSommer.com
|Posted by WOMA on December 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
I’m thinking of rooms,
A large resemblance of rooms,
All the hours spent in rooms.
Someone has been downstairs
In the kitchen soaking chicken flesh
And skin in a steamy bath,
Vegetable oil seeping into napkins
Thin squares, cubed, six of them
Make another room in which
A baby is sleeping, his skin is full
Of soft, repetitive leaks, licks,
The orange cat is cleaning its fur,
Violent, mechanical head throws
To catch all sides of its coat,
Raspy cartilage of its tongue,
Housed in the dark room of its mouth,
A box of moving images buzzes
So steadily it hums, in a room
With no occupants or time worth record.
I scrape the dead,
from his fatted forehead,
Roll the night’s story
from his eyes,
& set him on the closed toilet seat.
Under his soft weight,
air whistles from the sky
I reach over aged porcelain,
water the bristles
until dripping is rushed to ease
The widening of his binding
strands, raise the boar
above his head of still-closing plates,
Unravel brief fuzzy rivulets, again
& again, and when
all is smooth & shiny,
I part my son’s hair,
just above the left temple
like the older women tell me
It is right to do.
Elegies for New York Avenue poems by Melanie Henderson
ISBN:978-1-59948-330-6, 96 pages
Cover/List price: $14 (Only $12 if purchased from the MSR Online Bookstore)
Release date: November 27, 2011.
Melanie Henderson was born, raised and lives in Washington, DC. She is an alumnus of Howard ('04) and Trinity ('07) Universities. Prior to earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, she studied poetry at the Voices Summer Writing Workshops (VONA) in San Francisco, CA. Her paintings, photography and poems have appeared in Drumvoices Revue, Fingernails across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora, jubilat, and Southern Women's Review among others. She was selected as a featured reader for the 2009 Joaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series and as a recipient of the Larry Neal Writers' Award (DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities). She is the Managing Editor of Tidal Basin Review and the mother of a charming little boy.
|Posted by WOMA on November 8, 2011 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
My name is Gina Santiago and this is my womanifesting story.
I'm so excited about sharing my journey on starting my business with the world. And if the world doesn't show up, at least I know my mother will read this. So here it goes…do most people say that? Ok, let’s try this…let’s start the journey….
Almost two years ago, I started cooking more in my kitchen instead of on my lovely grill. Now this wasn’t a bad thing for me but a little new so to speak. You see, I’m a grill master and I did most of my cooking on that grill. I would cook inside a few times and had a few “signature” dishes I would brag about but my heart was on that grill. But I decided to cook more meals inside. It started becoming more of a joy to cook on the stove and my meals were pretty darn good. Then I saw a documentary called Food Inc and it changed my eating life. I was taken aback by what I had just witnessed. It was amazing to find out what I was eating and what I was feeding my kids. So as a family, we made a conscious decision to make changes on what we were putting in our bodies. I then experienced the supermarket of all supermarkets…Trader Joe’s. I was in food heaven. It was great and so enlightening that I could buy food and it didn’t have 75 ingredients listed. I was never a label reader but after I watched that documentary, I started to briefly look at the amount of ingredients in my food. I didn’t know you needed a hundred things just to make cheese, apple juice or a green pepper…ok maybe not the green pepper. But have you seen the size of a green pepper? So organic and all natural food became my life. The flavor was amazing! I mean my taste buds were like what is this pleasure happening in my mouth right now?
Now two years later, I’m still cooking up a storm and loving it! I’ve cooked countless dishes that have a flavor just to die for. And of course I’ve made them both on the grill and on the stove. I decided to go back to school to become a Chef and now I’m starting my own business. I’ve finally found my passion and that is to cook. Not only cook but cook with fresh ingredients that just burst with flavor. Now I want to share what I’ve made for my family with the world. If the world decides not to hop on this food bandwagon, you know who will be my number one customer (mom). I’m ready to go all out and give this my all. I’m ready to fall and get back up if need be. I’m ready to succeed at this too. I’m also ready to share the entire experience with you. We will be excited together through this journey that is about to take off. Only joy and laughter will be allowed here because there is no crying in cooking. Well, there is when you dice those onions. But besides that this is going to be a positive adventure that I know you will enjoy. Thanks so much for taking this ride with me!
Until next time!
Enjoy your food with True Flavor
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same - Marianne Williamson
|Posted by WOMA on November 8, 2011 at 8:55 PM||comments (1)|
My name is Benita Robinson Osbey and this is my womanifesting story.
I am Kevin’s wife, Barbara’s daughter, Bennett and Barton’s sister, Willie Edward and Deborah’s niece, and Jeremy, Deven, Joel, Taylor, and Jordyn’s auntie. I am a cousin, Godmother, friend, classmate, UCLA graduate, ardent Obama supporter, diehard Lakers fan, dynamic Soror of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, and Christian woman of strong faith. I hope this is how people see me, and not as Benita with cancer. Cancer does not define me, it is something I live with, but it is not who I am.
March 1, 2011 will forever be etched in my mind. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. What I had on and how I felt before I walked in to the Oncologist’s office. We were having an early spring, so it was a little warmer than it normally is in March. I still recall thinking, “I can’t be sick. Why I am going to see an Oncologist?” That day, I felt like a crisp spring salad with peaches and strawberries on top. Everyone knows I am a hybrid of California and Georgia, so I call myself a strawberry peach girl. In the words of my dear friend Meri Culp, I was looking “fruit sassy.” I had on the cutest dress with bright blossoming colors and some cute peep toe shoes. Because after all, this was some sort of mistake, I could not be sick. When the Oncologist said to me, “You have Ovarian Cancer,” my big brown eyes just stared at him as if he was speaking a foreign language. I remember him taking my hand, placing it on my lower abdomen and pelvis area and saying, “Couldn’t you feel that lump?” I told him, “No, because no one has ever told me to feel there. I have been taught to feel my breasts, in my armpit and even down my arm, but never my abdomen.” He then went to say, "Didn't you notice that your stomach had gotten larger. I turned to him with a head roll and replied, "All of me has gotten larger. My butt, legs, and hips. Why would my stomach getting larger be a cause for alarm?"
“No! This is not happening to me. I went to the doctor regularly,” was all I kept telling myself. A friend’s sister was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in late 2009 and passed away in June 2010. I remember her telling us, as her sister was battling the disease, that her sister had not had a pap smear since the sister's kids were born, 15-20 years prior. Well, I didn't think I was at risk because I had a pap smear on a regular schedule. My OB/GYN had moved me to every other year since I had had a partial hysterectomy and was perimenopausal. So I go along on my merry way not thinking I was at risk. I prayed for her sister and her family. Kevin and I attended the funeral. Nine months later, I was diagnosed with the same thing. My diagnosis was slightly less advanced than her sister’s was. My cancer had spread to other parts of my abdomen but Praise God the cancer was not in the lymph nodes.
After being stunned and in a fog for weeks, I asked God, “Why me?” He whispered back, “Because you have a voice and I need you to speak for all the women who no longer have a voice or who don’t have the strength to speak.” I began to do more research and knew that God had given me a voice to speak up and speak out; to be an inspiration. I began to form a closer relationship with my oncologist, Dr. Alfred Jenkins, asking him question after question. When he informed me that you could not detect Ovarian Cancer with a pap smear, I was stunned. This was further evidence that I needed to become more vocal about Ovarian Cancer.
Five months into my journey, after a diagnosis of Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer, three surgeries including an ileostomy, 3 rounds of chemotherapy, a bald head, a fierce wig and some cute caps, I realized that I was pregnant with THE idea, my baby, TEAL BUTTERFLIES. Eight months in, I have had more chemo, minor setbacks, more surgeries, and some difficult days, but my baby continues to grow. TEAL BUTTERFLIES is on its way and soaring.
Before I share more about TEAL BUTTERFLIES, I would like to say thank you to my husband, Kevin Osbey, who has been my caregiver for the past 8 months. He has made me feel special and loved during my entire illness. I ask each of you to remember the caregivers in your prayers because the disease takes its toll on them as well. I cannot express enough thanks to my mom, Barbara Robinson Knox, who has travelled back and forth from California to Georgia, over and over again to be by my side. My Aunt Deborah, a health care professional, has been a sounding board and a cheerleader, asking everyone she meets to pray for me. My brothers, nephews and nieces have lifted my spirits on the days when my faith waned. My niece’s words, “Auntie , you are beautiful!” always brought a smile to my thinning face. My uncle, calling me just to check in and flying to Atlanta to take me home from the hospital, reminding me he brought me home from the hospital when I was born and he was there to bring me home again.
Tears come to my eyes when I speak of long-time girlfriend, Lori Blackwell, who flew out from Los Angeles to be with me during chemotherapy. My Atlanta bestie, Yolanda Owens, who has been there every step of the way; making sure we wanted for nothing and called everyone she knew to be at my 50th Hospital Birthday Party. Yes, I was in the hospital on my 50th birthday. My partner-in-crime, Tony Hunter, calls me every day just to see if I am okay and make me laugh. Then there is Regenia Cooper, who made sure we had house cleaning services during my illness.
Let me not forget two people who ha
ve been instrumental in providing me excellent care, Dr. Kyra Harvey, Primary Care Physician, and Dr. Alfred Jenkins, Gynecologic Oncologist. I thank God for Dr. Harvey. She did not dismiss my urinary tract infection as routine, went a step further during my examination, and sent me for further testing. There are not enough words that I can write that would sum up Dr. Jenkins. He is brilliant, knowledgeable, precise and honest. He saved my life. I know that I was probably one of his toughest patients and pried into his personal life one time too many, but I needed him to see me as a person and not just a patient. I think I accomplished that.
So many people have prayed for me: from the East Coast to the West Coast and the North and the South; my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, immediate and distant relatives, in-laws and extended; those I've known for a lifetime and a hot minute; friends who I met in Los Angeles and Atlanta; Pastor William Watley, Rev. Larry Jones, Retired Pastor George Moore, and the ministerial staff at Saint Philip AME; Reverends Robert Shaw, Anne Shaw, Robert Hendricks, Daryl Walker, John White III, and Kenneth Paden; church members from Saint Philip AME, First AME, St. James AME, New Philadelphia AME, New Testament Church of Christ Holiness, and Living Word Church of God In Christ; colleagues I worked with while working for the City of Los Angeles, the American Cancer Society, and Macy’s; classmates from Carson High and UCLA; my unwavering sorors of Delta Sigma Theta, especially the jewels on the mountain at Stone Mountain-Lithonia Alumnae Chapter; the dedicated men and women who work with my husband at Clayton County Water Authority; and all the wonderful people who I met on MyBarackObama.com, facebook, Womanifesting, and the Porch. It is because of the prayers of the many that I am able to share my journey. I am humbled and grateful for each and every person who is in my life and who has been on this journey with me. They have made the journey endurable.
More about TEAL BUTTERFLIES:
TEAL BUTTERFLIES was born as a voice for all the women who are no longer with us, as the wind for those who are still soaring and as an educational resource to prevent another woman from taking this journey. I am striving to use the voice that God has given me; and live by the words that many of us have heard sung in church on Sunday mornings: "If I can help somebody, as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody, with a word or song, if I can show somebody, how they're travelling wrong, then my living shall not be in vain." I am not sure what life holds for me, but what I am sure of is that you have to “cut the rope” from this disease, step into your destiny without doubt, take hold of your life, only looking toward what the future has to offer because God is still in control!
TEAL is the color that represents Ovarian Cancer. BUTTERFLIES represent resilience. Butterflies go through many journeys as they soar. Those of us with this disease will go through various phases and journeys, but we will SOAR!
TEAL BUTTERFLIES was created as a vehicle to garner more attention to Ovarian Cancer and as a medium to increase awareness about the disease. It serves as an inspirational tool to share your hopes and success stories, as well as an opportunity to raise money for research and programs specifically focused on Ovarian Cancer. TEAL BUTTERFLIES is dedicated to educating women about early detection of Ovarian Cancer and empowering them with resources and information to become intimate with their bodies and bring awareness to the early symptoms of this disease.
TEAL BUTTERFLIES is working toward becoming a 501(c)3 organization. In the interim, we are working with other organizations, like the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance, to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer awareness. September is designated as Ovarian Cancer awareness month and TEAL BUTTERFLIES accepted the challenge. On Friday, September 2, 2011, we participated in the National Wear Teal Day. People all across the country painted their towns teal from urban America to suburban American, from every hamlet to every hood, from the outhouse to the White House. Some put on a teal shirt, while others dolled up in a teal dress, painted their toe nails sparkly teal, or added a piece of teal jewelry to bring about Ovarian Cancer Awareness- the "other" silent killer. We also participated in an Overcome Ovarian Cancer Walk and raised $4100 dollars to help towards awareness. Team TEAL BUTTERFLIES consisted of approximately 20 dedicated walkers made up of family and friends, who donned their teal tee shirts, caps, and beads in my honor, waving teal pompoms as they canvassed the course. Additionally, we sponsored a Teal Toes Pedicure Party to bring about awareness. This is an event where friends get together and get teal pedicures as a vehicle to spark conversation about Ovarian Cancer. We had fun, made our toes cute, discussed Ovarian Cancer, and raised money. Each guest received a bag of goodies with Ovarian Cancer awareness information along with non-carcinogenic teal nail polish. This event raised enough money to purchase four Ovarian Cancer Bags of Hope for women who have been recently diagnosed.
If you would like to give hope to a woman who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, go to www.gaovariancancer.org and donate in my honor or in honor of someone else. You can also go to my website www.tealbutterflies.org and find other organizations to support. Also, check out my Teal Butterflies facebook page to stay abreast of Ovarian Cancer information and don’t forget to follow Teal Butterflie on Twitter.
TEAL BUTTERFLIES Tidbits:
Feel your abdomen and pelvic area! Become intimate with your body and not just your breasts!
Don’t just check the “girls”, also check the girls’ best friends ….your ovaries. Talk to your OB/GYN about early detection.
Ovarian Cancer is known as the “other” silent killer of women, most women being diagnosed at Stage 3 or Stage 4. Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 3 percent of cancers in women. While the ninth most common cancer among women, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers.
Ovarian cancer symptoms:
• Pelvic and abdominal pain
• Urinary frequency and urgency
• Increased abdominal size and bloating
• Difficulty eating and feeling full
Other symptoms may include:
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Indigestion or gas
• Abnormal vaginal bleeding
• Unusual fatigue
• Unexplained weight loss or gain
• Shortness of breath
• Low back pain
Who is at risk for ovarian cancer?
• Women with close relatives with ovarian cancer, such as your mother, sister or daughter, especially if she was diagnosed before the age of 40. Having several family members with ovarian or breast cancer also increases risk.
• Women with a personal history of cancer of the breast, uterus, colon or rectum, or a family history of these cancers.
• Women over 55 years of age.
• Women who have never been pregnant.
• Women who have been taking estrogen after menopause for at least 10 years.
• Obese women, particularly if they carry excess weight around the waist.
• It used to be believed that fertility drugs increased a woman's risk of ovarian cancer. Using talcum powder in the vaginal area was also considered a possible risk factor, but neither of these is now felt to produce significant risk.
|Posted by WOMA on June 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM||comments (0)|
My name is Monique Halley and this is my womanifesting story.
I want to first thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story. I am filled with gratitude that I was able to discover the things that I am passionate about, then to find a way to express them. It wasn’t an easy path. I got sidetracked occasionally, I became discouraged because of fear and a lack of confidence, and I was indecisive and confused about what I wanted and who I was. However, I always knew that something was in me to do more. I had to be patient and honest with myself. I did a lot of reading, journaling, taking classes and asking questions.
I first thought selling self-help books was it. I started an online bookstore. The books I sold focused on the spiritual, financial, emotional, physical and social areas in life. That didn’t go anywhere; the search continued. Then one day I had an “Aha” moment. I would create questions covering the same topics of the books I was trying to sell. I didn’t know what I was going to do with those questions, so I kept searching and journaling in pursuit of an answer. Then one day it all finally made sense! I had an epiphany-- an idea to make a journal and infuse those important questions within the journal. The idea developed into a Self-Check journal, which allows you to evaluate key areas in your life and create balance. I have been an avid journaler for many years and this was the perfect match in every way!
Since then I have created Simply Bliss, an online stationery store. I hand-make unique selections of journals, sketchbooks, notecards, and notebooks. My tagline is “Take Note of Your Life!” because I believe that it is very important that we reflect on and document our lives in our own way—journaling is the ideal way to do so! This quote illustrates the passion that underlines each creation. Simply Bliss is a collection of stationery characterized by beautiful style, unique craftsmanship and quality materials.
Because I have journaled for so many years, I know how valuable it has been in my life. I want to make an impact on people’s lives by showing them the benefits of journaling and helping them write, illustrate and bring to life their own individual hopes and dreams.
Through journaling one can capture ideas, mark an important milestone in one’s life, or show appreciation for another by giving the journal as a gift. One can select from my catalogue of themed journals, notecards, envelopes and specialty paper goods, or embrace an individual personal style or need for a specific look, design or theme by choosing a personalized item. I can create the journal that fits your own specific needs and desires!
A portion of the proceeds from each sale is donated to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, in support of my son, and others who have Sickle Cell. Please visit their website to learn of this important mission.
My journey did not end at journals and stationery. I realized that I want to do more than create a great product – I want to encourage others to begin journaling. It became clear that the best way was to blend in another passion of mine--self-awareness, with journaling. Hence, the birth of my blog Simply Bliss Life. Through the blog I will share helpful concepts from great authors, offer e-courses, link to inspiring articles, list journaling prompts, give action items, interviews and loads of fun and creative content. My mission is to Encourage Self-Awareness through Journaling. That became my goal because that is what I had to do to find my passion--to uncover greater self-awareness. Journaling helped me get past the discouragement, fear and lack of confidence to become decisive and clear about life.
My Desire is to: Support you in finding out who you are through exploring the truth.
My Goal is to: Help you experience a more authentic and fulfilling life.
My strategy is to: Always communicate, stay connected, maintain a sense of humor, and remain optimistic, have an open mind and give unselfishly of myself.
I also feature great personal development books, with inspiration for the mind + soul at Bliss Books.
Recommend Simply Bliss to a friend, make a purchase, or send us a note about which items catch your eye.
In my efforts to encourage journaling I am offering a free e-course on 7 Ways to Get Started Journaling, check it out. Simply Bliss Life Blog
Thank you to WOMA and the online community!
Monique, we are taking note and we wish you the best. Thanks for sharing your womanifesting story and thanks for donating a Simply Bliss package to the 2nd Annual WOMA Awards and Silent Auction.
You are SO WOMA!
If you would like to share your womanifesting story, please contact us. Your story is sure to inspire others.
|Posted by WOMA on May 12, 2011 at 8:37 AM||comments (0)|
Sisters of call response
and silver spangles
born to sing of love
You let Roma woman bleed
through bell and handclap.
But mama raised good girls,
so you hip dip, two step to the side,
flamenco your hands, and extend your
desire through the line of a fingertip.
what did you know of riding
in cars with boys after the show?
What do good girls know
of shame? of new disgraces?
And sisters left untouched
what can they do
but hum you into living
then carry your blue note
of a body
You were girls together
like Nell and Sula.
What do blood sisters know
of unraveling desire from a lyric,
holding a smile over
faining heartache with a handclap?
Flo, did you grant forgiveness at the grave?
Did they say your name
like Nell said Sula’s?
Oh Lord, Flo then
girl, girl, girlgirlgirl.*
Blue Light Alchemy
(for Michael Jackson)
inside a circle
worn in the floor
into new element
spun into a black
light and gas
a spinning top
lock and pop
your vinyl self
that sweet tenor
into the blur
of a black boy’s
Dr. Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English and director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Chicago State University. Her first collection of poetry entitled Tougaloo Blues was published by Third World Press. She is also co-editor of Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on AIDS/HIV. She is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets.
|Posted by WOMA on May 10, 2011 at 7:48 PM||comments (0)|
WOMANIFESTING (WOMA) hosted “WOMA’S 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon” on May 7, 2011 to support survivors of domestic violence who are clients of the non-profit WEAVE (Women Empowered Against Violence). This event was designed to uplift and encourage the women by providing them with support and encouragement in a relaxed, fun setting. Approximately 25 women and children attended the event. The program included a welcome by WOMA Founder and Executive Director Tracy Chiles McGhee and Deputy Director Lindsay Young, a catered lunch, a presentation of gifts and prizes, and impromptu dancing. And just like last year, everyone of all ages loved the teddy bears donated by Hugs Across America.
One attendee, Maria, stated “Gracias por el opoyo y por darnos fuerzas para sequir adelante y ensenarnos a que la vida es muy linda. (Translation:Thanks for the support and for giving us strength to move forward and teaching us that life is very beautiful.) Another attendee, Sally, added “Thoroughly enjoyed your presentations both last year and this year. Hope you continue to get sponsors for events like this. Thanks for sharing.” At the conclusion of the event, a very pleased McGhee stated that “WOMA will continue to partner with WEAVE and other organizations to produce events that promote self-empowerment, sisterhood, and service.”
WOMA would like to thank the event committee for their fruitful efforts: Lindsay Young (WOMA), Sasha Ariel Alston (WOMA), Liz Harens (WEAVE), and Anna Garcia (Corazon)
WOMA would also like to thank the following for in-kind and/or monetary donations: Africuria (caterer), Naline Salone, Helen Lewinski, Constance Young, Courtney Young, Michelle Morales, Hatshepsitu Tull, Caira Woods, and Samah Elsayed.
|Posted by WOMA on April 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM||comments (0)|
WOMA CELEBRATES NATIONAL POETRY MONTH WITH INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP
To celebrate National Poetry Month, WOMA & DC YOUTH SLAM TEAM, in collaboration with the Watha T. Daniel/ Shaw Neighborhood Library branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, hosted a Spoken Word Poetry Workshop for YOUTH titled:
“Girl, You Be Killing Em”/Defining Beauty Through Poetry.
Award-winning, Spoken Word Artists Jonathan Tucker & Hadaiyah "Ya-Ya" Bey used poetry to lead an interactive workshop on how we see and define beauty. Students participated in a discussion and engaged in creating and sharing poetry regarding the workshop’s theme.
Although geared toward youth, poets and poetry lovers of all ages were welcomed to participate. Our youngest participant was 9 years old. He and his older brother, age 13, were visiting the library when they discovered the workshop and asked if they could join. They were excellent budding poets among others, including high school students, college students, and young professionals. Thanks to Jonathan & Ya-Ya for leading a thought-provoking workshop that got our creative juices flowing and helped us explore beauty in unique ways.
Thanks to Mahogany Books for serving as a sponsor and for the book give-away.
|Posted by WOMA on March 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
My name is Aiesha Turman and this is my womanifesting story.
I was coordinating an afterschool cultural arts and literacy program for high school students in Brooklyn when I observed that my female students were experiencing a lot of the same issues that I faced when I was their age and thought it would be a great idea to explore these issues with them in a girls-only group because it was important for other young women and girls to realize that they are not alone and there are ways to reach out.
My passion urged me to do more. So I decided to do make a film---First I needed to learn how to make a film, and since I learn by doing, I came up with the idea of having our culminating project that year be, well, a film. I found a curriculum from the Directors Guild of America and set about spending two and a half months teaching a group of 20 12th and 10th graders how to write a movie while I served as director. After we made the film and had our "premiere", it gave me the confidence to do make The Black Girl Project.I called on the help of the young women I initially worked with who were now all either in college or entering college. It took two years, but I made an hour-long documentary, but I wanted to do more.
Knowing that I wanted the film to spark dialogue, I sought fiscal sponsorship and the organization, The Black Girl Project, whose mission is to help equip young women andgirls with the tools needed to become healthy, self-actualized women, was born. I then called on the help of some fabulous scholars, educators, business-womenand creatives to be on my advisory board. Our first big accomplishment was pulling off a big premiere screening at the Spike Lee Screening Room on LongIsland University's Brooklyn campus. We faced challenges with having a very little budget, but what we did have was will. I am fulfilled because of the feedback I have received from the film and the work that the organization hasbeen able to do, such as safer sex outreaches, workshops, and more.
Right now, we are planning an all-girl youth-symposium, co-leading twice-monthly workshops with the Urban Yoga Foundation, and developing a workshop series with the hopes of: expanding, duplicating and packaging the film so that it can get into the hands of as many wonderful folks as possible. I'm creating mini-docs or digital stories of between 10-12 minutes each which will take you a bit deeper into the lives of the young women featured in the film; Publishing a book! The BGP book will explore the why's, what's and how's behind the origins and process of the project, as well as take a look at the young women's lives since the initial filming; and creating curriculum and screening tool-kit. The whole of The BGP is intended as a teaching tool and the curriculum will explore the themes that were explored in the film: family, obstacles, dreams, love and relationships, the media andmore. The screening tool-kit will assist anyone who's interested in hosting a screening create a memorable, educational, and enlightening experience.
How can you help? We're on Kickstarter until the end of March to help raise funds to do all of this, and if you pledge support, there are many tangible rewards you can receive at any level. But we'd also love to hear from you. We're on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Now this is some pretty awesome womanifesting. PLEASE SUPPORT The Black Girl Project. Also, if you have a womanifesting story, please share it with us at email@example.com. You may be feautured in a future WOMA blog.
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