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O ctober 2015

October 2015


The future favors the BOLD. Get involved!

The Confed era cy ma y ha ve b een d efea ted , b ut the b a ttle continues...

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Fr om th e Editor -in -Ch ief

Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell


he old saying "freedom is not free" will always be appropriate when one considers that the ability to publish our thoughts and opinions on various issues is due to the many sacrifices of the Veterans, enlisted soldiers, and the families who support them. We thank you humbly for your service particularly as we approach our annual Veteran's Day celebrations next month.

This second issue of BOLD Politics celebrates the many freedoms we enjoy in this country, yet fully confronts the work we have yet to do: work to ensure gender equality in our electoral process, work to ensure wellness in our educational system, and work to eradicate the fear and misguided loyalties in the Confederate flag debate. We are able to have this discourse of freely expressed ideas due to the foresight of our forefathers to create a democracy based on principles of equality and reason; such aspirations leave room for diversity in thought, religion, and cultural awareness, and we are forever grateful. Enjoy this issue of BOLD Politics, and remember: the future favors the BOLD. Get involved!

L ynita Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Esq., CPA, CCLC Founder and Editor-in-Chief Page 3

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I n th i s i ssue


A cademi c Wel l ness Dr. Constance D. Frank l i n

Th e Pol i ti cs of M oth erh ood



Women, Pol i ti cs, and th e Gl ass Cei l i ng

Feature: Th e Conf ederate Fl ag - Th e Battl e i s Ov er, but th e Controv ersy Conti nues

11 BOLD Politics is a publication of the Leading Through Living Community, LLC. We highlight people, issues, and policies that affect our community as a whole. Subscribe today at to all of our publications.

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by Dr. Constance D. Franklin

A cademi c Wel l ness Wellness can be derived from having a sound mind and body. When you are well you feel good inside and out, and as a result you look good. Wellness can be health, spiritual, psychological, or emotional, but what is academic wellness? Academic wellness takes on different meanings depending on your perspective, it holds a different dynamic for students, parents, and educators. If the wellness of one is not synchronized with the others, it can directly impact the proper operation of all three. When thinking of academic wellness, it is most likely that one automatically thinks of students. While they are the most obvious group, they do share some of the same characteristics of academic wellness for parents and educators. I refer to student academic wellness as effectively maintaining all other components of wellness (health, spiritual, psychological, and emotional) while in pursuit of meeting one's academic goals. Going to school in today's age of Page 6

of academic accountability, the pressures of earning good grades, and getting into the right college can cause even the most well adjusted student to get out of sync. When this happens, the student can experience a range of behaviors such as being on edge, emotional, temperamental, or withdrawn. The key to preventing or managing these behaviors lies in several strategies. First, methods of time management must be in place. Effective time management allows students to designate the appropriate amount of time and energy to all tasks on their plate. Next, reasonable expectations must be set for oneself. Biting off more than you can chew instructionally, athletically, or involvement in other activities seldomly ends well. Finally, maximizing breaks is important. While it is equally important to maintain acquired skills while on breaks, engaging in fun and/or restful activities will refresh a child's operating components and provide necessary academic wellness. For parents academic wellness is slightly different. Although mom and dad are not earning the grades, they are one of the main driving forces behind the scenes. This can be stressful for both them and their child(ren). The pressures of being an adult with responsibilities coupled with having a school aged child can be enormous. In achieving wellness it is important to acquire balance and not drift to the extremes of "hands-off" or "helicopter". In order to maintain academic wellness, and sanity, parents should implore some of the same strategies that are effective for students. Parents, if you take the "hands-off" approach to your child's education or the other extreme, you're a "helicopter" parent, in either case you are not well.

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Please find a balance, you and your child(ren) will be much better off. Setting reasonable expectations is an important strategy for students, but even more so for parents. Placing intense pressure on your child can have unintended consequences on their development and render you mentally and emotionally exhausted. During scheduled breaks from school it is important for students to have an outlet. However, it is incumbent upon parents provide the symmetry between video games and the mall with the 20 minutes a day of reading and the extra math practice. For the educators who make it all possible, having a lack of wellness leads to compromised instructional environments for those in their care. It is absolutely imperative that educators are academically well. When this does not occur, both instruction and the relationship with students and parents are affected. The numerous pressures in education can take a serious toll on educators. They can be on edge just like their students and if they are on edge at the same time it can be catastrophic. That perfect storm results in increased disciplinary referrals and "sick" days taken. Discipline referrals and and subsequent substitute teachers resulting from "sick" days can be a huge concern for parents. For educators, maintaining organization of the multitude of things on their plate and taking time during breaks to decompress are key. Education is a partnership between students, parents, and teachers. In order for the relationship to work well, everyone must must be well. The one strategy that is consistently effective for each group is maximizing breaks. While they sometimes seem few and far between, it is critical that each one is taken and utilized to the fullest.

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ThePoliticsof Motherhood

It is a constant struggle, our balancing act as working mothers: how to ensure our careers do not overtake our most important job ? raising our children. A few years ago, Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen stated that Ann Romney, wife of (then) Republican nominee Governor Mitt Romney, had never worked a day in her life. I don?t believe Ms. Rosen meant to belittle Mrs. Romney with this comment; I truly believe she was just making the point that Ann Romney had not worked outside of the home. Yet Ms. Rosen?s comment set off a firestorm of controversy that stimulated a heated conversation about what it means to be a working mother, and what it means to be a good mother. The debate is still alive today. As a working mother, I go through a daily mental conversation as to whether I am doing right by my little one. And after an informal poll of family members and friends in similar situations, we are all going through a struggle that goes a little like this: ?I really enjoy my job. Actually, it?s more than a job, it?s my career ? what I want to do for the foreseeable future. ? ?But what about my kids? Who?s going to raise them, instill the moral fiber and values that align to my thinking? My mom stayed home with me and I turned out pretty well (if I say so myself). Am I really going to leave these major life lessons to the school?? ?But I can?t stay home. Our budget doesn?t allow for the standard of living that I want on one income. I have goals, hopes and dreams of my own. Besides, If I?m happy, then my kids will be happy and I?ll be more successful and therefore, able to provide more in terms of opportunities for my children. And that includes better schools, stronger social networks, and the possibility to be more successful than I.? You get the point. There has always been tension between those who stay home with their children and those who work outside the home. The tension is caused by different ideas as to what makes a woman a good mom. Is it the woman who is home when her children arrive home from school, the mom who is able to attend all her children's games, and the superwoman who is available to serve as class mom? Or is it the woman who is able to afford the tuition for those various activities, the mom who can save for her children's college education, and the superwoman who will introduce her children to people in her network who will enable them to get better jobs than the children's grades say they have earned? Most women in each

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camp have second thoughts as to their decision on whether to work outside the home or not. This is largely the reason there is such tension between these wonderfully hardworking people. I think we do a disservice to all mothers ? stay-at-home, working, and those in between ? when we do not honor the intense struggle that ultimately led them to their decision. So how do we help this stop this battle of the ages? By reframing the question for moms from ?Do I work or not?? to ?How many jobs am I going to juggle at one time?? Because make no mistake, mothers are more than just great multi-taskers who manage jobs (or a businesses), families, and households; they are Super Women who ensure several trains running are clearing the depot successfully and on time. Both major political parties ? Democrat and Republican are trying to win women, the largest voting bloc by far, in 2016. They want to know who she is, and how they can win not only her vote, but her loyalty. Women now make up 65.7% of eligible voters, and 71% of all mothers with children under 18 work. These statistics tell a story of power - Woman Power - because it will be women to decide who will be President of the United States November 8, 2016. The battle for political control is fierce, and all mothers will be challenged to enter it. But no matter which side we choose politically, we will continue to make the choices that are best for us and that of our families. And that includes respecting and supporting one another as we perform the most important, difficult, yet joyous job on earth: raising our future ? our children.

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Women comprise 65.7% of eligible voters, and 71% of all mothers with children under 18 work.

Politics, Women, and TheGlass Ceiling I recently read an article regarding the disparity between male and female donors, specifically the differences in not only the amounts donated to political campaigns, but also the recognition given to mega donors and the influence those donors have on candidates?platforms. It is not surprising that the number and percentage of men who donate to political campaigns outmatches that of women donors 3 to 1. Even in 2015, women on average earn less than men for the same work, so one would expect amounts contributed to such efforts to be less. However, it does raise eyebrows to think that a woman who contributes the same amount ? or bundles the same amount ? as a male donor would not be celebrated as the toast of the town. This is an incredible opportunity to energize more women to become involved in the political process ? not only as donors, but also as candidates, policy supporters, and policy makers. When I discussed this trend with a group of friends, there were arguments put forth that women give less to non-profit/civic organizations in general. However, research has shown that women tend to give more to causes rather than campaign-influenced organizations. For example, a woman is more likely to give to a shelter that serves victims of domestic violence than they are a campaign in which the candidates running for an office would have a direct and substantial impact on policies that affect legislation and funding to protect domestic violence victims. The reasons for this vary, but the most significant appear to revolve around these two: 1. In general, women distrust politicians and their willingness to stand by pledges made during the campaign so there is less likelihood that the people in need will directly benefit from the contribution; and that funds donated directly to the cause will be better managed and Page 11

constituents better served because the organization has a vested interest in doing so. 2. In general, women give to improve a circumstance (i.e., a box of clothing donated to a clothing shelter clothes the less fortunate); men give to control an outcome (i.e., a financial donation to the clothing shelter prompts a meeting with the director and conversation regarding the shelter?s future in the community). We have to change this way of thinking. If we could rally more women to give to political campaigns, we could influence the politicians who create the policy and laws that directly influence the causes and organizations we care about. Policy emphasis is determined by donors because candidates need money to run. How do we get more women to financially invest in politics? 1. ASK! A state representative who I consider a dear friend asked me to serve on her host committee ? and I said yes. Another representative, who is also a friend, saw the flier and asked why I was not on her host committee ? and I responded that she had not asked me to serve. ?Ask and you will receive? ? 2. Educate. Definitively link legislation and policy to politicians/candidates, and the organizations that are affected by those policies and laws. Share this information with family and friends. Some may not be interested, but others will be ? and they will start doing the same. A groundswell begins as a small pond. 3. Commit. We must commit to engaging and empowering more women to be actively involved. It is imperative that we have more women influencing top officials in our policy discussions. This will take time and patience. But I am not discouraged ? as my grandmother used to say, ?Rome wasn?t built in a day!?

555-555-5555 1234 5th Ave. NYC, NY 00000

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Th e Battl e I s Ov er, but th e Controv ersy Conti nues...

by David & Myesha Good Page 13

In the wake of the racially charged and deadly shooting of 9 people at a historical AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, conversations and movements to eradicate the confederate flag from public buildings, monuments and stores have increased, probably more than we have seen in many years. After the shooting, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley ordered four Confederate flags to be removed from the grounds of the state's Capitol. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley stated, ?It was time for the flag to be removed,? and took measures to ensure that the flag was removed from its post on the grounds of the state's Capitol on July 10, 2015.

Interestingly, conversations about the flag have come up before, but it took 9 lives for legislators to wake up and do something about it, it seems like they see the pain behind the flag that so many Americans experienced. For instance in 2001, Mississippians voted two-to-one in favor of keeping the flag. In 2000, people who treasured the Confederate flag in South Carolina worked out an agreement that removed the flag from above the State Capitol dome, but placed it in a doubtfully

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more noticeable location, atop a Confederate memorial in front of the Capitol.

Fast forward to 2015, Amazon and Walmart announced that they will no longer sell Confederate flag merchandise. Even Ebay announced it will stop offering Confederate items for electronic auction on their website. Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi called the state flag, ?? a point of offense that needs to be removed.? The Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, stated that a statue of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis in Kentucky?s State's capitol building, which is his home state, belongs in a museum.

No doubt that the confederate flag has long been unsettling for many people throughout the US, particularly for many people of color. However, descendants of Confederate soldiers who served in the Civil War, including African Americans who ancestors fought in the war or served in some capacity, argue that the flag is an emblem of their heritage and serves as a symbol of freedom. Others say it carries a symbol that

is intimately linked to racism and hate, especially since it has been adopted by many neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.

Here is a little history about the Confederate flags that represented the Civil War, and the confusion that seems to be behind the one that is mostly seen today that wasn?t part of the war. The 13 stars represent the 11 states of the Confederacy as well as Kentucky and Missouri, two slave states that were claimed by the Confederacy but never actually seceded during the Civil War. While the Southern Battle flag was carried into battle, the Southern Nations had 3 different National flags during the course of the war. According to, a website dedicated to Confederate history, the First National flag of the Confederacy was changed due to a resemblance to the US flag. The Second National flag was subsequently modified due to the similarity to a flag of truce. The Third National flag was the adopted flag of the Confederacy. These flags represented the flags of the Confederacy during the Civil War, pictured below.

(Pictures sourced from Yahoo News Online)

The Confederate Battle Flag (right), which we mostly see today and the most recognized in the South as a symbol of hate and dissension was never a National Flag of the Confederacy. It was carried into battle by several armies such as the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee. It closely resembled the second Naval Jack used by the Confederate Navy.

Our question is this, if you?re going to flaunt a flag that symbolizes heritage of the Civil War, why not flaunt the ones that were adopted during that time? Let?s get this clear, we believe in the freedom of expression and speech, but if you?re going to defend southern heritage and a flag during the time of Civil War, wouldn?t you flaunt the ones that represent that time? Why associate yourself with a flag that symbolizes hate, dissension, white supremacist groups, and neo-Nazi groups just to name a few. These questions may never be answered, but we do hope that we can live in a country one day where symbols and the spirit of hate will be abolished. Even though the selling of confederate flags are being discontinued in some stores and taken off government grounds, we as a nation must work on our hearts and work on loving each other.

555-555-5555 1234 5th Ave. NYC, NY 00000

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BOLD Politics October 2015  

This issue of BOLD Politics explores the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, the importance of wellness in our educational system,...

BOLD Politics October 2015  

This issue of BOLD Politics explores the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, the importance of wellness in our educational system,...