Today is “Taking it to the Streets” day for Strong Start, an organization dedicated to educating young people about healthy relationships and ending teen dating violence. Eleven organizations in Atlanta,, Austin, Boston, Bridgeport, the Bronx, Idaho, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Oakland, Providence, and Wichita will be helping spread the message about healthy relationships. According to the website, Start Strong is also encouraging people to join the conversation online – “We are asking for your best thinking, your best advice, your best observations to get this country learning about healthy relationships, how to have them, build them, keep them and ensure that violence and abuse are never tolerated.”
It’s great that Start Strong is doing this work and even greater that they’re taking it to the streets today during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to help people see that teen dating violence is truly related to domestic violence overall. A lot of the time we focus on the negative when trying to create awareness by telling people what they should NOT be doing or by showing them how jacked up their lives and relationships are. This campaign builds off of what many advocates know already and what President Obama said in his official National Domestic Violence month proclamation on Oct. 1:
During this month, we rededicate ourselves to breaking the cycle of violence. By providing young people with education about healthy relationships, and by changing attitudes that support violence, we recognize that domestic violence can be prevented. We must build the capacity of our Nation’s victim service providers to reach and serve those in need. We urge community leaders to raise awareness and bring attention to this quiet crisis. Together, we must ensure that, in America, no victim of domestic violence ever struggles alone.
Even amidst all this positivity, I’m kind of saddened. As a soon-to-be 28 year old woman (Nov 1!), I realize that neither I nor many of my peers know how to articulate the characteristics of a healthy relationship. So few of us have seen them or been in them. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll see that this is a true statement. How can we be mentors and teachers to young people starting out? Start Strong’s target audience is 11-14 year old boys and girls. Good, it’s not too early. Clearly we all needed some help learning how to love ourselves and one another in a supportive, encouraging, uplifting and healthy way. I’m going to keep an eye on this organization and I hope that you do too. Try following Start Strong on Twitter.
Here are ways that YOU can participate ONLINE on October 22nd. It’s easy and will only take a few minutes of your time:
- Give Start Strong your relationship feedback. They need to know what you know. Click Here to give your feedback!
- Post a conversation starter to your Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/yfxr7yl) or Twitter profile. This will have a major impact.
You know who Joe Wilson is by now. He’s the Representative from SC (R) who, in a most bizarre and disrespectful outburst, shouted “You lie” during President Barack Obama’s address to Congress yesterday. Joe Wilson must be crazy. Joe Wilson must have underestimated the power of the internet. Joe Wilson is having a bad day. Joe Wilson is a jerk. Joe Wilson peed in your soup.
Ok, I can’t verify that last one (unless you’ve recently had soup with a republican legislator from South Carolina). That’s from the Joe Wilson Is Your Preexisting Condition meme. Check the site reminiscent of the always fun Barack Obama Is Your Bicycle site. As if you needed more reasons to dislike Joe Wilson. Ha! I think the homies Snoop and Dr. Dre said it best, “You tryna check my homie, you best check yaself cuz when you dis [the Prez] you dis yaself. (muhfucka!)”
Once again, here’s a way that you can participate in that CHANGE our new president was yapping about as well as help women and families. Please read and contact your elected officials. I will.
Swiped from Ann over at Feministing:
Both statistically and anecdotally, incidents of violence against women increase as the economy falters. As Obama prepares to release his budget, now’s the time to ask him and Congress not to reduce funding for preventing violence against women and helping survivors. According to Women’s eNews:
Congress is currently authorized to spend up to $175 million a year for the program. But the actual allocation of federal dollars is subject to a congressional vote, and lawmakers last year set aside $123 million; over $50 million less than was approved. That was a slight cut from fiscal 2007, when Congress spent $125 million on the program. Women’s safety advocates also want Congress to fully fund the Violence Against Women Act, a broader anti-violence law originally passed in 1994 that provides some funds for domestic violence shelters but also sets aside money for a wide range of other services relating to sexual and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. But with an ailing economy curtailing federal revenues from taxes, and lawmakers focused on economic-stimulus efforts, more money for discretionary social programs that combat domestic violence could be hard to come by.
In other words, the tanking economy means there’s a greater need for these services, but less money to provide them. Marcella at abyss2hope writes,
I am asking each US citizen who reads this post to contact President Obama, your 2 senators (or 1 if you live in MN) and your representative and ask them all to support the reauthorization and the funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. After you contact your representatives, please ask those you know to do the same.
Again, contacted your elected officials HERE.
Swiped from J&J Politics:
Is it funny if you knew the cartoonist was Black?
So remember how I was all womp womp about not being able to be in DC with all of you for the inauguration? Well, I’m still womp womp. Even more so after I had to go to bed last night knowing everyone stateside was just gearing up to watch everything (from the frigid Mall or gathered around their TV sets).
I woke up around 8:30am (6:30pm est) and watched a replay of the President’s oath and speech on MSNBC. I caught up on reactions via Twitter. I flipped through blogs and I skimmed photos. While I was glad for the Obamas and proud of the historical moment we are living through, I was kind of pissed because, well, it just didn’t feel like much. Folks on Twitter were talking about their tears and the shivers up their spine. They were all on and on about the electicity in the air, even while their toes froze off of their feet.
Granted, I’m not much of a crier unless I’m going through my ever-3-months breakdown and I’m still like two months away from my next due date.
Then I got back on Google Reader and saw some more blogs. I came across Barack and Michelle’s first dance as President and First Lady, boppin’ to the beat of Etta James’ classic “At Last,” sang by a more restrained than usual (but still fabulous) Beyonce.
I might just be sitting in the study room on campus in Tokyo, JPN with my earbuds in, volume turned down low, but I was cheesing the whole way through. Right at the end, when Michelle threw her arms around her husband’s neck, I got that tingly, stingy feeling in my eyes like MAYBE I could have dropped a tear. I’ll take it.
Swiped from SheenaSays (who swiped from HuffPost), check out these Obama masks being manufactured in JPN. I should stock up on these babies while I’m here, pack a suitcase full and bring ’em back to the US, selling ’em for a profit in 2012!
The Ogawa Rubber Inc factory, north of Tokyo, said it had produced and sold more than 2,500 Obama face masks since December, and 1,000 more are being manufactured, making it their fastest selling product.
“I believe that unlike Japanese politicians’ masks, Obama’s mask radiates something that grabs people’s hearts. I think many people do feel that energy,” said executive director Takahiro Yagihara. The mask is sold for some 2,200 yen ($24) at toy and costume shops across Japan.
Japan’s toy manufacturer Ogawa Rubber employee Yuka Nomura paints an eye on a rubber mask of US President elect Barack Obama at the company’s factory in Saitama city, suburban Tokyo on January 7, 2009. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
read more here.
Filed under Swiped, travel
I’m kind of bummed that I’m not going to be able to hang out with EVERYone at the inauguration in DC this week. I keep seeing all kinds of talk about the events so far this past weekend and the events to come all on Twitter and via all the blogs that I check out. True, I’m over here in Tokyo and you’re probably thinking I have a million other things to do, but really, who wouldn’t want to be in DC right now? Ok, probably people who live in DC but you know what I mean. Election night, when the results came in, we were already talking about being in DC. The next day, hotels were already booked solid and people were scamming on tickets. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever even known when an inauguration was taking place, let alone tried to plan to attend one! This is clearly a major historical event and who wouldn’t want to say “I was there when…” twenty years from now?
I was thinking it’d be cool to spend the day in Obama, Japan but that’s hours away from Tokyo. Sike. There’s an event going on in Shibuya with a group of folks meeting up to watch a recorded version of the President’s speech, but I’ll be in class at that time (skip day?). Thankfully, you all keep me informed with your blogs and tweets so I’m sure I’ll get the entire rundown even before I want it (you should see how hard it is to NOT hear about sports scores or tv plots before we get a chance to watch it over here!).
I hope you all have a great time and, most of all, keep it classy. I was so happy with the way things went down on Election Day. I hope that we can carry over that same sense of pride and celebration without turning the event into Freaknik ’09, knowwhati’msayin?