Volume 2 | Issue 2
S P RING | S U MMER 2016
In This Issue: Tips for Achieving Holistic Health
CAREER & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE for women of color
Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supercoach & Body Language Expert
Linda Clemons By Sharon O. Williams
Can An Unhealthy Environment Lead to a Cancer Diagnosis? By Shanelle L. Smith
GROWING STRONGER COMMUNITIES. We’re putting down deep roots and giving back to the communities we serve.
We think it’s only natural to cultivate meaningful relationships
volunteering over 100,000 hours of their time. From refurbishing
in the communities where we live and work. And at Dominion,
homeless shelters to replenishing local food banks to cleaning
that means we do more than write checks. So while we’re
up parks to helping soldiers and their families, we’re donating
very proud to invest more than $19 million in our communities
the most precious resource of all: our energy. Learn more by
annually, we’re even prouder of Dominion’s employees for
From “I Quit, to CEO!” A Millennial Shares What Led Her to Start Her Own Business
She’ll be the JUDGE of that: Unique Perspectives from Two Sitting Judges
4 Gems You “Must” Add to Your Personal Book List
Local Poet Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz Shares an Inspirational Poem
Running Low on Faith? Some Critical Tips to Help You to Push Through 2016
Victims Speak Out on Making Our Communities Safer
Find Out Why YOU Should be Booking Your Next Vacation to Cuba!
Our Cover Girl: America’s Supercoach & Body Language Expert Linda Clemons
Can an Unhealthy Environment Lead to a Cancer Diagnosis? Yes, this Writer Knows First Hand....
“Ask Dr. Angela” Q&A with Respected Psychologist Dr. Angela NealBarnett
A Sexologist Weighs in on Our Sex Lives. Is it Possible that Working Out Could Lead to Better Sex?
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CL Magazine Team Publisher and Chief Editorial Officer Alexandria Johnson Boone Editor and Chief Researcher Simone E. Swanson Director, Production & Distribution Michelle E. Urquhart Creative Director Jennifer Coiley Dial Business Manager Paula T. Newman Assistant to the Publisher Bernadette K. Mayfield Photographer & Photography Editor Rodney L. Brown Database and Information Coordinator Cheretta Moore For advertising information please contact us at: advertising@CL-Magazine.com Subscribe online: www.CL-Magazine.com
/CareerLifestyleMagazine @CLMagz C L Magazine is published digitally on a quarterly basis, by the Women of Color Foundation (WOCF), a 501 (c) (3), tax-exempt organization, for the benefit of women of and girls of all colors. Our offices are located at 50 Public Square, Tower City Center, Suite 832, Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Toll Free Phone number: 866.962-3411 (866.WOCF.411). Copyright © 2014-2016. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be distributed electronically, reproduced or duplicated in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher. Subscription price is $16 per year. Readers and advertisers may subscribe at: www.womenofcolorfoundation.com/clmagazine Magazine Production: GAP Communications Group
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Vote America, Please Vote!
HH H HHH My Fellow Americans, We are indeed at a crossroads in America. A crossroad that intersects our personal values, morality and patriotism with the policies, initiatives and perspectives of our Government leaders and the empty rhetoric of local, regional and nationally elected officials. Most importantly, this crisis knows no gender, race or religion. Simply stated, it is pervasive in all sectors of the community and business across the United States. But now, we have the opportunity to take back control of this great country. It’s not perfect, but it is, still great. In order to attempt to maintain some form of democracy, we must vote in the upcoming presidential election, even though there is no clear choice. This year’s campaign circus has left us bewildered, confused, complacent and angry. We’re wondering why the candidates are focusing more on each other, rather than the critical issues facing our communities and crippling our economy. Issues like community violence, and safety & security in our own homes, neighborhoods, and even at work. Jobs creation, unemployment, and outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. The fighting amongst the candidates mirrors the lack of civility, cooperation and sense of collaboration that has eroded our faith in humankind. However, our individual vote is the only vehicle that gives us a voice in what happens in America going forward. All lives matter. Community peace matters. Keeping jobs in America matters. And believe me, your vote matters. At the end of the day, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the outcome that we will all have to live with. Vote America, Please Vote! In the spirit of the greatness in us all,
Alexandria Johnson Boone Publisher and Chief Editorial Officer C L Magazine
Editor’s LETTER Dear Subscribers, Many of us are familiar with the saying “take care of yourself.” After a family function or a get together with your girlfriends, it has become routine to utter those four words without even thinking of their real power. We have become desensitized to the saying and unconsciously let the reminder to “take care of yourself” go in one ear and out the other, after receiving a distracting text, email or social media notification.
who provides helpful tips to get women back on track to completing their vision boards, bucket lists and New Year’s resolutions.
In this issue, our team wanted to approach the topic of Women & Health by incorporating content that would empower our subscribers to do something they probably rarely do… take care of themselves.
As always, we are extremely grateful to the subscribers, contributing writers and supporters of C L Magazine. And, a special welcome to our newest production team member, Jennifer Coiley Dial.
Hopefully, our readers will be inspired to make a career shift after reading our “Startup Business Profile” on a woman who was struggling with fulfillment at her job, so she decided to take a leap of faith, quit her job and start her own graphic design company.
Finally, to subscribe to C L Magazine, please visit: www.cl-magazine.com or if you want to write an article for our next issue, please email me at email@example.com.
Also in this issue, you will hear from a psychologist who answered questions and provided tips for serial entrepreneurs struggling to find the balance between career and family life. You will find encouragement through an article by an Associate Minister
Through reading these impactful stories, interviews and articles from successful and educated women of color, we hope you are encouraged to “take care of yourself” because as you know, in order to take care of others, you must take care of yourself first!
Until next time……take care of yourself!
Simone E. Swanson Editor and Chief Researcher C L Magazine SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 5
Startup Business By Simone E. Swanson
Profile HER RESUME.....
It really is my goal to not just design for someone, but also to educate them so that after they are done working with me, they have the tools and confidence to make important decisions on their own, that will establish their brand going forward.” – Brittney L. Fells
Name: Brittney “Bee” Fells Industry: Graphic Design, Marketing & Branding Company: Bee Fells Creative, LLC Unique skills: Equips new and established female entrepreneurs with visual branding to rise above competition Website: www.beefellscreative.com Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Age: 28 Education: B.S. in Visual Communication Technology from Bowling Green State University; M.B.A in Marketing and Communications from Ursuline College Organizations: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Engage! Cleveland Family: Wife and mother of two young children (ages 1 & 3) Hobbies: Netflix and naps
HER INSPIRATION….. Growing up as a child, what did you want to be? I wanted to be the person who designed billboards. I knew what I wanted to do at a very early age. That was my dream job! When did you discover your passion for graphic design? My senior year of high school, there was a class where they taught us graphic design. Initially I hated it, but by the third week I had fallen in love.
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THE DECISION….. What led you to quitting your job and starting your own business? I was stuck working in a position that had no room for advancement, challenge and it wasn’t suited for my personality. I struggled for about two years before I was able to take the leap. One day I went out to dinner with a few successful women and I casually talked about my dream to start my own business and said it would probably never happen. My friend responded by saying, “why not?” So I stopped and thought to myself, yea why not? What’s stopping me from doing what I love? So, for five months, I was fully-dedicated to giving my business my all. I gave myself one year before I would quit my job. During that year, things got so terrible for me mentally that I could not bring myself to do the job anymore. I knew it was time to go. Who supported your decision? My husband. He kept talking me out of my funk. He would tell me, “this makes you happy, so stop being scared and just do it.” He would not let me have pity parties.
HER NEW LIFE….. What is a day in the life of a CEO like? Everyday is different. I wake up, take my kids to daycare and I get myself in the mindset of work. I work on one or two projects a day and take client calls; it’s an all day grind. Monday through Wednesday I’m hustling be-
cause my one and three year olds are away. On Thursday and Friday I have them home with me. Sometimes I have to cram one week of work into three days. Who was your first “real” client? One of my best friends. She decided that she was going to start a hair and fashion company. She came to me and told me she believed in me and she trusted me. She took a chance on me by giving me my first break so that I could have something to show for myself. Why do you focus on female entrepreneurs? After being unsuccessful focusing on a broader audience, I thought to myself who needs help? And the answer was people who look like me. My clients need someone who can speak their language and I am obviously able to do that.
THE CHALLENGES….. What challenges do you face as a young, woman of color in this business? Being young isn’t a problem, when clients find out that I’m young they are excited and feel that I have a fresh perspective. Being a woman of color isn’t a problem either because many of my clients are women of color and they want to work with someone who looks like them. Really, the biggest challenge is competing with other people who do what I do. How did you conquer that problem? I thought about the
things that are most important to me. For my clients it’s the same. They want someone they can trust, afford and with whom they can discover fresh ideas. I try not to think about the competition, because I know that I am unique in my approach to meeting the needs of my clients. Where do you find the balance between career and personal life? I get to spend time with my kids two days a week. But I do sacrifice a lot of sleep to do all of the things I want to do. My husband is very hands on with our kids which gives me time to get work done. What has a client said or done recently to fuel your passion? I had a client do an audit to determine what was working for and against her company. After a consultation with me, she came back two weeks later and said “because of all the things you told me and designed for me, I had three people call me in one day and I’m booking out.” It felt good to know that I helped her discover her confidence through the tips that I gave to her.
HER ADVICE….. What one piece of advice would you give yourself and others? I would say, define your purpose and stick with it. When I first started out I wanted clients and I would take business from everyone. But I didn’t really become successful until I secured my purpose.
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Being a Black Woman
Serving on the Bench
On November 8, 2011 I was honored to be elected to serve as a Judge on the Cleveland Municipal Court. Some people refer to Cleveland Municipal Court as the “Peoples Court” because for many adults, it is their first introduction to our criminal justice system. As a municipal judge, I preside over misdemeanor offenses, including, but not limited to traffic or driving violations, such as Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI); and offenses against individuals such as Domestic Violence, Endangering Children, and Assault.
last case I prosecuted prior to my election in 2011 was the serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the senseless and depraved heart murders of eleven African-American women.
Everyday I encounter people from every race, religion, social and economic background and for many of them it is their first introduction to our criminal justice system. Since I am a “people person,” I enjoy making people feel at ease by being humorous. After all, the majority of the people who appear before me, are upset they are missing work and, they As a Judge, I evaluate the evidence in each had to pay for parking. case and render a decision based upon the law. In reaching a decision, I have a duty to render Once a case is resolved, I take into a fair and impartial decision to ensure justice consideration an individual’s inconveniences is the outcome and the law is equally applied in formulating my sentence. Depending upon to each matter and each individual. Not only the nature of the crime, I utilize creative do I rely upon the law in reaching a decision, sentencing because I believe the punishment I also rely upon my common sense and life or sentence imposed should fit the crime. As experience. My life experience includes being I Judge, if I deter someone from engaging in a lifelong resident of the City of Cleveland; further criminal behavior beyond his or her a graduate of the Cleveland Public School legal matter before me, I feel I am serving System; the product of divorced parents; and the public with honor and prior to election to the Courts, an eighteen- distinction as an elected jurist. year legal career in the public sector as a civil attorney and criminal prosecutor. The Judge Pinkey Carr Cleveland Municipal Court SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 9
Being a Black Woman
Serving on the Bench On several occasions, I have been told by people who are judges that they always wanted to be a Judge for as long as they can remember. I do not fall into this category. The best that I can remember, I only thought about being a Judge and contemplated what that would entail when someone else broached the subject with me well into my legal career. From this experience, I learned that there are times when it is others who have a better perspective of what you should do or where you should aspire to be in life. Of course you have to want to do it, but more importantly I think you must feel guided to pursue a certain path. That path for me was the Appellate Court.
court’s jurisdiction to perform a certain act or prohibit the same from doing so.
The Court of Appeals is the intermediate court in the state of Ohio, and reviews judgments made by all divisions of the Court of Common Pleas (general, juvenile, domestic relations, and probate), and the municipal courts throughout Cuyahoga County. It is also the court of original jurisdiction in some matters – for example when a party requests that the court mandate a governmental entity or official under the
By no means is our judicial system a perfect one. But it is the one we have and one of which I am proud and privileged to be a part. And with any profession that entails some form of judgment, attributes like individual backgrounds, perspectives, and implicit bias can impact how one views any given scenario. Keeping this in mind helps me to be better at doing my job.
Judge Melody J. Stewart Ohio Court of Appeals, 8th District
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Every day, I learn about events in people’s lives that have brought them into the fold of the judicial system – be it a civil or a criminal matter – and I am both honored and tasked with the responsibility of making sure I have a full understanding of the facts and background of each case; that each party’s position is understood and considered; and that the law is appropriately applied to resolve all issues. My colleagues and I (the court of appeals reviews cases in three-judge panels), then issue a written opinion which is binding law for our county.
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My Epic Trip
to CUBA! By Alexandria Johnson Boone
Geographic and population statistics: • 42,426 square miles, located in the Caribbean Sea • With a population of 11,400,000 and a life expectancy of 80 years
Earlier this year, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Cuba as part of an educational and cultural delegation organized by Insight Cuba and Odyssey Media. What I saw, was not at all what I expected, based on the United States’ storied history of relations with Cuba. Travelling from one end of the island to the other; from Santiago de Cuba all the way up to Havana, what I saw and experienced was simply amazing. Beautiful green landscapes, clear blue water, beautiful art and museums, people of all sizes and hues, music, dancing, historical buildings (many in disrepair, but still something to see), an endless number of smiling faces and a boundless appreciation for food and culture. But I will let you be the judge, when you go to Cuba and see it for yourself. Please go now, before this truly beautiful island caught in a “1955” time warp, succumbs to commercialization. I hope some of my photos will truly depict the beauty and charm of the people and places in Cuba. Enjoy!
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L inda Clemons Imagine a bright, energetic, precocious eight-year-old girl who wants a bicycle so badly that she becomes the number one candy seller at her school. Imagine that along the way she discovers her natural gift for communication and persuasion. Now imagine that same little girl grows up to be such a voracious reader that she has bookcases built in her garage to house the 10,000 books that she has read.
That is a tiny glimpse of a singularly unique and highly accomplished black woman. Linda Clemons is among the most respected sales and body language experts in the world today. As CEO of Sisterpreneur, Inc., an international business organization whose mission is to empower and enrich women entrepreneurs, Linda is known for her extensive mastery of non-verbal communication. For over 30 years her audiences and clients have included U.S. Customs, FBI, United States Postal Service, Major League Baseball, Fortune 500 companies, executives, celebrities and political figures. Her skill as a trainer and motivational speaker has taken her into some of the most exclusive venues and resorts around the world. She is a regular speaker at Women of Color of Foundation events, the PowerNetworking conferences, CEO Space and many others. Linda loves her work because she understands the power of a skilled communicator. She wants to help people understand that their non-verbal communication speaks volumes. It overrules their words. So how does such an accomplished woman think? How does she view life? How does she manage her life? That is a much more complicated answer than this short article can cover. Suffice it to say that Linda is a spiritually grounded eternal optimist. One of the many things she loves about her work is that “you never know where you might sow a seed. You may be going on a mission for one thing, but God may be sending you there for something else. Someone comes up to you and says, ‘you don’t know how your message was meant exactly for me at this time with regard to my life and in my business.’” From Linda’s perspective “anything is possible.” As she describes it, all it takes is to look at what has already
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been accomplished by the super computer we call the human brain. “Someone looked at the desert and said hmmm, what if... or someone else looked at a dark room and tried 10,000 times to bring light into it. What if they had given up after the 9,999th time? Even more astounding, if only one of the 200 - 600 million human sperm can fertilize an egg that eventually becomes “you,” that alone means that “anything is possible!” Linda’s extensive international travel gives her a broad perspective on the world and the United States. “We live in the land of plenty, the land of freedom,” she says. “We don’t realize it until we go to another part of the world and see certain restrictions on what they can or cannot do… how religions dominate.” She describes how for instance in Dubai, the streets are so clean you can almost eat off them, there are no homeless. But there are certain freedoms here in the U.S. that others don’t have. “It has caused me to appreciate the freedoms that I have. And let me remember that the freedom that we have as a people, was not free. We as adults need to teach that to our young people.” she remarks. Linda relaxes through meditation especially when there is a storm blowing outside and she just sits still. She also loves a massage. That is a time when one must give up control and surrender.
Linda enjoys working with young people and shares her knowledge and experiences through the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP). The organization’s members speak at high schools Clemons with Apple and at Historically co-founder Steve Wozniak Black Colleges and Universities. Linda is like a big sister to many of the young people she works with. They say to her “What we like about you Ms. C, is you keep it 100.” She describes them this way: “I see life, energy, future, and hope, but hope-on-hold for some because they are not clear about their destination.” Because, as she observes, so many of them were raised by very young parents. Which brings us back to Sisterpreneneur Inc., an organization whose mission is “to help women entrepreneurs enrich and empower themselves mentally and financially for their businesses so that they can give back to their communities to the nation and have an impact on the world through their products and their services,” it is uniquely positioned to be a destination for at least some of those young people. Who better to greet them than Linda Clemons. Like many high achievers, Linda works a lot and she works very hard. “My goal is to go full out with what I have to share and give. So that when I leave, I leave empty. So that when I stand before my maker, I want to have nothing left because I’ve used everything you have given me.”
L to R: Shirley Smith, Alexandria Johnson Boone, Linda Clemons, Paula Boggs, Dr. Joel Martin and Dhomonique Ricks at the 2016 Women of Color Foundation Executive Development Retreat.
For anyone interested in her choice or reading material, at this writing Linda recommended The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Three Gaps: Are You Making A Difference? by Hyrum Smith. Sharon O. Williams SharonOWilliams@acnibo.com SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 21
2016 Calendar of Events CLEVELAND, OHIO 5th Annual “Speaking of Women! A Dialogue Series for Women in Leadership” Wednesday, March 23, 2016 ■ 12:00 noon – 1:30pm Special Women’s History Month Program Cleveland Clinic – Main Campus – Bunts Auditorium 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
CLEVELAND, OHIO th 14 Annual Personal and Professional Development Retreat for Women of Color “Connections, Community and Career 2016” Wednesday, April 13, 2016 ■ 8:00am – 5:00pm Cuyahoga Community College - Corporate College East 4400 Richmond Road, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128 CLEVELAND, OHIO 5th Annual “Speaking of Women! A Dialogue Series for Women in Leadership” Thursday, June 9, 2016 ■ 11:30am – 1:30pm Women’s Leadership Symposium Dominion East Ohio 1201 East 55th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44103
CLEVELAND, OHIO 1st Annual Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) Women’s Leadership Symposium Thursday, August 18, 2016 ■ 11:30am – 1:30pm NEORSD Cuyahoga Heights Facility 4747 East 49th Street Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio 44125
MARYSVILLE, OHIO (BY INVITATION ONLY) 2nd Annual Women of Color Foundation - Special Prison Outreach Program Thursday, September 8, 2016 ■ 11:30am – 1:30pm Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) 1479 Collins Avenue, Marysville, Ohio 43040 CLEVELAND, OHIO (FOR STUDENTS ONLY) StarFish Foundation 2016 PowHERful™ Summit with Soledad O’Brien Saturday, September 24, 2016 ■ 8:00am – 5:00pm Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center ■ 11038 Bellflower Road ■ Cleveland, Ohio 44106
CLEVELAND, OHIO th 11 Annual Women of Color Leadership Development and Training Institute & Awards Luncheon Thursday, November 3, 2016 ■ 8:00am – 2:00pm Cleveland State University – Wolstein Center – Grand Ballroom 2000 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
For More Information Please Visit: www.womenofcolorfoundation.com Or Call: 216.391.4300, ext. 307 ■ Toll Free: 866.962-3411, ext. 307
Editor’s Booklist by Simone E. Swanson Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney-Whetstone For the last twenty years, the beautiful Verdi Mae has led a comfortable life with Rowe, the conservative professor who rescued her from addiction when she was an undergrad. But her world is about to shift when the smell of butter lingers in the air and Johnson — the boy from the back streets of Philadelphia who pulled her into the fire of passion and all the shadows cast from it — returns to town. In “this story of selfdiscovery that moves seamlessly between the early 1970s and early 1990s” (Publishers Weekly starred review), acclaimed writer Diane McKinney-Whetstone takes readers into a world of erotic love, drugs, and political activism, and beautifully illustrates the struggle to reconcile passion with accountability and the redemptive powers of love’s rediscovery. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf’s inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis’s wife. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. Their brave adventures—their pleasures and their difficulties—are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature. Destiny by T.D. Jakes Remember feeling a pull, sensing a divine guide that was leading you to the right place or person? DESTINY, that inner compass, directs you to fulfillment of your highest purpose. When you reflect on your life, you may be amazed that your greatest moments resulted from circumstances that you did not control or initiate. You were destined! Stepping into your destiny means fulfilling the role you were created to play in life. You thrive and find the great elixir of contentment when you have the courage to pursue your true purpose. Life offers more when
destiny is our focus! Our divine purpose maneuvers us past challenges, pains, and shortcuts and even what appears on the surface to be failure. On deeper reflection, we understand them as catalysts that shift us toward authentic self-identity, greater exposure, and bold life adventures. Whether you are just starting out, starting over, or wondering if there is greater success than what you’ve already accomplished, now is the time to reset your inner compass. Clear your path of distractions and disruptions. Correct places where you have veered off course. Get unstuck. Embrace your God-given purpose and, with this revelatory guide from T.D. Jakes, dare to pursue the unseen order in your life circumstances that is your DESTINY. Market Women by Cheryl A. Smith In stark contrast to popular belief, women of the African Diaspora have engaged in economic and leadership activities throughout the course of history. Black women around the world draw from a tradition of thousands of years of strategies that have enabled them to face and conquer the challenges of life as women of color. And yet today, black women are marginalized by an economic and financial community still dominated by white men. In Market Women, educator, activist, and entrepreneur Cheryl Smith sets the record straight, applying insights from a variety of fields to trace the roots of black women’s entrepreneurship, as it is currently practiced in the United States. Featuring in-depth interviews with 19 present-day entrepreneurs (in ventures as diverse as catering, bookselling, millinery, and construction), Smith reveals an approach to business that is based on personal relationships, pooling of resources, a sense of humor, apprenticeship and mentoring, and strong mother-daughter bonds that defy traditional definitions of business success, wealth creation, and power. In the process she gives voice to a long-disenfranchised group whose struggles and triumphs in business illuminate universal themes that transcend race and gender. The result is a rich and unique study of business from a fresh and eye-opening perspective and an inspiring account of achieving success against tremendous odds. All books and full summaries can be found on www.amazon.com. Enjoy! SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 23
By ...THIS COULD BE YOU - Advertise with Us! Some of your best content deserves to be displayed and offered to the public or on someone’s coffee table for a while. You can reach more people online, but at what cost? Based on an informal survey and a bit of research, FreePort Press hoped to better understand today’s readers and what they like. For the people reached with this survey (done online via email and social media outreach), print is the clear preference; 25% of respondents read five or more print magazines in the past month. Only 1.8% of those same people said they read that many digital magazines. Readers engaged significantly longer with their print publications, 50% saying they spent at least 30 minutes per issue. Only 12% said they spent that much time with each digital publication. Respondents subscribed to an average of 2.02 print magazines each, while they subscribed to far fewer (an average of .6 editions) via digital channels. All the respondents had at least one device (smart phone, tablet or desktop computer) on which they could read digital magazines, so access to the digital magazines is apparently not an issue when determining preferences. Of the ones who did read digital magazines, their laptop/desktop was the preferred method over smart phones or tablets.
Today more than ever you must understand your audience, engage your readers, and provide the highest level of editorial content. Our magazine captures the readers’ undivided attention. The ads are not an interruption, but an integral part of the learning experience. Consumers want to be educated before they buy. Content builds reader loyalty, credibility, and trust. Why The Cleveland Women’s Journal? Because it works! Call us at 216.228.1379 to schedule a marketing consultation to see if our magazine is a fit for your marketing needs.
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TO CLEVELAND! SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY Tinkham Veale University Center 2nd Floor Ballroom 11038 Bellflower Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106
ABOUT • PowHERful™ is a FREE, FULL day conference for high school and college-aged young women • Sessions and keynotes moderated by journalist and Starfish founder Soledad O’Brien • 8am – 5pm • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks provided • Attire: business casual • Speakers and panelists are local leaders and experts from the community
SESSIONS ON TOPICS LIKE… • COLLEGE READINESS AND SUCCESS • MENTORS AND MENTORING • MANAGING STRESS & ANXIETY • STEM/STEAM • THE FAFSA FORM • ENTREPRENEURSHIP • FINANCIAL LITERACY & STUDENT LOANS • NETWORKING • INTERNING • DRESSING FOR SUCCESS
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Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz Poet and writer, Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz has worked with government, non-profit and now private sector, in Cleveland’s urban communities for more than 20 years. Her experience in housing has given her a raw look into poverty, homelessness, and the human instinct of survival. A first-generation born Cleveland Puerto Rican, Marilyn grew up in a bicultural, bilingual world. Taught in the oral traditions of storytelling family history, her mother’s influence planted the seed of creativity in Marilyn’s formative years.
Divine powers, celestial bodies bodies with no form seen by few felt by so many deep in the walls of their souls unexplainable happenings sight out of darkness, sound out of deafness life into limbs, voice into silence Ave Maria, Madre de Dios, Hail Mary Mother of God I make a pilgrimage to see you the eyes of the believers have witnessed your coming You’ve made a passage into a worldly paradise with so many woes They come to the well, where miracles flow Your visit has made the natives thirsty “Ave Maria Escucha Mis Penas,” Hail Mary Hear My Sorrow Grey clouds unmask the sun, “agua cera,” sunny rain begins to fall Sabana Granda una milla, one mile An endless winding road, a holy place of silence Drenched clothes, a flame ignited and a candle is lit Curious eyes absorbing details of those who have come before I feel a presence, “Is it you Madre de Dios”? Knees fallen, deep prayers of conviction “Ave Maria,” I hear my mother whisper Union of mind and spirit A miracle in this physical world placed before me A small breeze of holiness My mother smiles in solitude, her prayers answered Peace and comfort forever bounded by faith © 1989 Marilyn Oliveras de Ortiz. All rights reserved. Published with permission of the author.
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Can an Unhealthy Environment
Lead to a Cancer Diagnosis? From very early in my life, I experienced the intersection of environmental pollution and economic barriers. Today, as Deputy Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, I help lead efforts to build a sustainable, socially equitable and environmentally protective economy. In my role as Deputy Director, I am responsible for enhancing job creation and economic growth efforts by collaborating with businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to develop programs incorporating environmental sustainability into business and government practices. Prior to starting a career in sustainability, I did not realize that my work would end up being directly tied to my past. I grew up one-half mile from a petrochemical plant. To me, loud explosions and odd smells were normal. My reality meant that when a chemical explosion or fire occurred, toxic substances were dispersed into the community, and depending on the chemical, would stay in the air, water and soil for quite some time. For the first 25 years of my life, these chemicals posed no harm to my life. By the time I was 30, I endured two bouts of Hodgkinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lymphoma, a blood cancer, and a bone marrow transplant, all likely linked to prolonged exposure to air pollution. There is a belief that we all breathe the same air. We do not. The truth is that because nearly 21.3% of African Americans live within the fence line of petrochemical plants, and 78% of African Americans live within 30 miles of coal fired plants, we experience air pollution disproportionately. My sister and I, and many others who live near these petrochemical and coal-fired plants, can attest that yes, an unhealthy environment can lead to a cancer diagnosis. Not only can emissions lead to cancer, they can also cause asthma, bronchitis, and even premature death.
continued on next page
Shanelle L. Smith Deputy Director, Department of Sustainability Office of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 27
According to an NAACP report, “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People,” living in such close proximity to coal plants has serious consequences for [low income and communities of color]. Coal plants are single-handedly responsible for a large portion of toxic emissions that directly poison local communities in the United States. While the full extent to which coal-fired power plants are associated with fatalities is difficult to precisely quantify, a conservative estimate is offered in a 2010 report by the National Research Council (NRC) which calculates that approximately 1,530 excess deaths per year are caused solely by particulate matter pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants…. ” Driven by the many living within the fence line, my work at the county is centered on bringing together unlikely partners to fight for a clean energy future. The County’s Department of Sustainability is preparing for climate change by proposing to use its purchasing power to support LEEDco, an effort to build an offshore wind pilot on Lake Erie – the first offshore freshwater wind project in North America. Also, through our Clean Energy Financing Hub, a clean energy project facilitator, we are proposing to install 14,000 solar panels on 25 acres of vacant land.
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Through my work, I am also helping the the City of Cleveland Heights with energy upgrades for more than 100 energy conservation measures, including LED lighting, window film for city hall, new boilers and roof repairs. Our department cleared the way for the launch of the #UHBikes bike sharing program when it was awarded $357,000 in federal funds. #UHBikes launched just before the 2016 Republican National Convention hosted in Cleveland. During that week, more than 300 rides were taken, an estimated 60,000 calories burned! To foster social cohesion, we created the Sustainable Cuyahoga Toolkit. This toolkit has useful recommendations to help busy public officials learn about best practices, get help from local experts, and take action. As a kid, what was “normal” for me was smokestacks, loud noises and odd smells. As an adult, I want the “normal” for future generations to be wind turbines and solar panels. By transitioning to a clean energy future, I can only hope that the answer to ‘Can unhealthy environments lead to a cancer diagnosis?’ is unequivocally, ‘no’!
Running Low on
While out shopping at my favorite store, TJ Maxx, the words on a plain grey t-shirt caught my eye. It said “Live the life you love.” As I stood there staring at it, I was not trying to figure out if I wanted to buy it, but rather I found myself drawn into the words, “Live the life you love.” I asked myself, “Am I living the life I love?” As I continued to walk around the store, I could not get these five simple words out of my head. I started to think about all of the aspirational goals I had for my life, and the “bucket list” I created in January. On my list were eight things that I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year: visiting with college friends on our annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard, and losing 10 pounds by August. While I had great intentions, here it is August and I have to forego the trip and I am nowhere near losing 10 pounds. What about you – are you living the life you love? Are you accomplishing the goals you want to achieve? Are you checking items off of your bucket list? If not, then what’s holding you back? For some of us, we may have experienced setbacks with health or finances. Maybe we didn’t get the promotion we had hoped for. Or that relationship didn’t turn out as we expected. And we find ourselves in the midst of feeling disappointed and a little discouraged about our current situations. Wherever you find yourself, do not lose hope. If you are alive and breathing there is always hope. My dad always said, “Keep your faith strong and your hopes high.” I didn’t understand that as a little girl, but as I grew up and life became more complicated, I understood that my faith would keep me grounded and hope would keep me moving, no matter the situation. So, I say to you today, you don’t have to stay stuck feeling disappointed or discouraged. Living the life we love requires being intentional about how we live. If you want to start living the life you love, become intentional and:
Take time to be silent. We are bombarded with noise through conversations, advertisement and social media. Statistics shows that we tolerate silence for 30 seconds before feeling anxious. The one thing that we resist is usually the very thing we need. In the silence, we are able to process our emotions to help understand why we responded to a situation in a certain manner. Or why an emotion reared its ugly head while speaking with a co-worker. In the silence, we determine if we are on the right path or if we are on autopilot, not being intentional about the direction we are heading.
Take inventory of your life. How do you spend your time, your money? Are your friends helping or hindering you? Take inventory of the words that you speak, first to yourself and then to others. Are your words uplifting and encouraging? Does your conversation add to the problem or add to the solution? Taking inventory requires the courage to let go of some habits and some relationships that may be holding us back from really living the life we imagine.
Take the next step. Whatever that step is to achieving your goal – take it. Do not procrastinate. If you want to start exercising – don’t wait to join a gym. Get up right now and take a walk for 15 minutes. You want to start eating healthy – start right now with what you put into your mouth next. The next step is waiting for you. If you never take it – it will never happen.
Take the time to be grateful. Be grateful for life as you know it, for someone else would love to be in your shoes. One of my favorite quotes is, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” I have learned that even in the midst of heartbreak and disappointment there is something to be thankful for. It is a choice I make every day. I ended up buying that t-shirt. But instead of wearing it, I covered a pillow in my bedroom with it. Every day I want to remember that I have the power to live the life I love by the choices I make. You too have that same power. Natalie Brown Rudd is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where she serves in the women’s ministry as a small-group Bible study leader. She is a student at Ashland Theological Seminary and is the Founder of Because of His Grace Ministries, which seeks to influence the spiritual growth of women. Natalie is the author of Stormy Weather: Twenty-five Lessons Learned while Weathering the Storms of Life. Natalie Brown Rudd, RN, BSN
SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 29
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ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON BOONE PRESIDENT & CEO • GAP COMMUNICATIONS GROUP FOUNDER • WOMEN OF COLOR FOUNDATION PUBLISHER • CL MAGAZINE
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Crime and violence affects Americans from all walks of life. One in four people have been the victim of a crime in the past 10 years, and half of those were victims of a violent crime. However the people most likely to be victims of a crime are young, low-income African Americans.
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That’s right, our communities, the ones most affected by increased incarceration are also the ones most affected by crime. With upward of 2.2 million incarcerated individuals costing the United States more than 80 billion dollars annually, our streets should be the safest around. Unfortunately this is not the case. We suffer as we see our families torn apart by disparities in the criminal justice system and watch helplessly as another generation is locked up for too long. Yet our neighborhoods and communities are no safer. Longer sentences and putting more people behind bars has not made my community safer, and I suspect it hasn’t made yours either. No one wants crime in his or her neighborhood, and no one wants to be a victim, but this is realiity for far too many of us. While you may expect crime victims to want revenge, the truth is an overwhelming majority just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again to them or anyone else. The Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) conducted the first-ever national survey of crime victims. According to the survey, for every victim who thinks our criminal justice system should focus on punishment, there are two who prefer a focus on rehabilitation. The system relies too heavily on incarceration. This reliance leaves many communities, particularly African American ones, with a depleted workforce, heightened income disparities, and an increase in childhood poverty for those with a parent in prison. According to the survey, a strong majority of victims, across all demographics and political party affiliations, want government spending to focus on prevention and treatment rather than more prisons and jails. By a margin of nearly 3:1 crime victims believe prison is more likely to make people commit future crimes. Victims would also like for prosecutors to stop just focusing on convictions. We need them to become part of the solution to help our communities stop the cycle. In fact, seven in 10 victims
prefer that prosecutors focus on solving neighborhood problems and repeat crimes through rehabilitation, even if that means fewer convictions and prison sentences. The survey finds that victims of crime experience significant challenges in recovery and healing— eight in 10 report experiencing at least one symptom of trauma. The survey found that two out of three victims did not receive help following the incident, and those who did were far more likely to receive it from family and friends than the criminal justice system. Furthermore, people with the lowest levels of education, income and economic status are more likely to experience repeat victimization and serious violent crime. Let’s invest in community programs and education rather than prisons. Crime victims support this plan by a margin of 15:1. Let’s start planning how to create more jobs, and how we can prepare our at-risk youth for a successful life. Knowing that crime victims support this type of investment 10:1 and 7:1 respectively, to increasing spending on prisons and jails, is icing on the cake. Let’s look for alternatives to incarceration. We are doing everyone a disservice by continuing to lock up more and more people, for longer and longer sentences. By making a call for new safety priorities, groups like the Alliance for Safety and Justice are building a new movement. Joining together to help policymakers stop the cycle of crime; help victims recover; and invest in smart safety strategies that better protect our communities, we are seeing a push for victims’ voices to be heard. The majority of criminal justice reform occurs at the state level, and in many states momentum is already building. Community leaders, lawmakers, law enforcement, and crime survivors are partnering together like never before to advance reform while keeping the interests of the victims in mind. It is time for our criminal justice system to work better for all of us. Throwing billions of dollars into prisons and jails isn’t working.
Shakyra Diaz Regional Director, Alliance for Safety & Justice www.allianceforsafetyandjustice.org SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 33
Silence For as long as I can remember, sister circles have been a part of my life. From watching the women who congregated in our kitchen to help my mother do the hair of her three daughters, to the women who gathered in my great room to plan, decorate, and execute my daughter’s recent high school graduation party, I have always been part of a circle of women who uplift, support, encourage, and help one another. My lifelong experience with sister circles led me to partner with the Women of Color Foundation in a National Institutes of Mental Health study of sister circles as an anxiety and stress intervention. At WOC retreats across Ohio, we ran focus groups to determine women’s perceptions and thoughts on stress, anxiety, and seeking help from mental health professionals. The results were eye-opening. Women shared their beliefs that stress leads to depression, but panic attacks (a common form of anxiety) equals crazy. The women also revealed the reasons they were reluctant to seek help for stress and anxiety: they did not want to be perceived as weak and wanted to receive help from someone who looked like them
and understood what it meant to be a woman of color.
anxious/stressful thoughts using their smartphones.
Armed with this knowledge, we developed Sisters Offering Support (SOS) sister circles. Within organizations, we trained women to lead sister circles for other women within their organization. An SOS kit has been developed containing a manual, journals, music, handouts and worksheets. Over the past six years, we have trained women to facilitate sister circles in non-profits, churches, sororities, and corporations. As a result of this psycho-educational intervention, women have learned to recognize the symptoms of anxiety and stress. They also have been given strategies and tools to manage and overcome these difficulties.
My work with sister circles has provided irrefutable proof of the power of women working together to protect and reclaim our emotional health. Far too many of us are suffering in silence, afraid of being thought of as weak, or crazy, or both. The truth is we are neither, but simply anxious, stressed, or depressed and in the company of our sisters we can began to heal.
The changes in their lives resulted in women encouraging us to develop an intervention for teen girls. “Dr. Angela,” they said. “If we had SOS when we were kids, it would have made a profound difference in our lives going forward.” Our teen program, Sister United Now (SUN) is in its third year in several schools across the region. One of the hallmarks of the intervention is the SUN app that helps girls manage their
Dear Dr. Angela, I am a 53-year old small business owner and I recently took over my family bakery. The bakery has been in our family for several generations and after the passing of my parents, I decided to quit my job in corporate America to keep the business running. I thought that by leaving my job and carrying out the business, it would help with the grief of losing my parents and give me a sense of independence. I was wrong. For the past year we’ve seen a decrease in sales, I’m never home with my husband and children, and I’ve completely lost control over my life. I’m afraid that if I don’t find a balance soon, we will lose the business and even worse I will lose my family. How do I deal
Disclaimer: The advice in this column is for informational purposes only. The author is not engaged in rendering medical, health, psychological or any other kind of professional services or advice, in this column. The reader should consult their own medical, health or other competent professional before adopting any of the suggestions in this column, or drawing inferences from it.
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with the loss of my parents, maintain a successful business, be present with my family, and keep my sanity all at the same time? It is extremely difficult to lose one parent, losing both in a short period of time is devastating. You saw running the bakery as a way of coping with the grief, instead the stress and strain of running the business has resulted in you being buried in grief, loss, profits, and family stress. You cannot regain control of your life alone. You are grieving. Grief counseling is designed to help one recover from loss. Grief counseling is brief, 4-6 sessions. Your local funeral home director or your minister can recommend a grief counselor in your area. There are also many books on grief recovery. One I recommend is The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman. Remember, you have a family who loves you. Find a time when you are not too tired, turn off your phone, sit down with your husband and share your fears, concerns, and the current situation with the bakery. This is not a “come up with solutions” discussion but a “baby, here’s where I am at” talk. You may be surprised to learn he has similar fears and concerns. Once you and your spouse are on the same page, together you can then begin to generate ideas and solutions for the business and your family life.
and trying to raise my 13-year-old son as a single mother. In the past year, I have gained more than 20 pounds and suffer from frequent dizziness and headaches. I take care of my cousin around the clock with no help from my family. She recently received news from her doctor saying there was nothing else they could do and now my cousin has taken a turn for the worse. I cry day in and day out and pray more than ever that she will be delivered from her pain. This has all taken a toll on me. I don’t know who I am anymore, I have completely lost all sense of my identity and have poured my blood, sweat and tears into getting my cousin better. I’m angry that she is giving up, especially considering all that I have put on the line to help her. People think I’m superwoman and can do it all, but my relationship with my son is suffering and I can’t stand to look myself in the mirror. I’m afraid if my cousin does pass on, I will feel like a failure. How can I take care of myself when I’m already taking care of everyone else around me? Take off the cape, sister, take off the cape. You are so busy being superwoman, you have forgotten to take care of yourself. The good news is you have taken the first step in putting yourself first – you’ve asked for help.
Dear Dr. Angela,
First things First: You cannot take care of anyone if you cannot take care of yourself. Call your doctor and schedule a physical. Make sure you tell him or her about the weight gain, headaches and dizziness. Then, follow the doctor’s instructions exactly.
I am a 41-year old caring for my cousin who was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. In addition to caring for my cousin full time, I am also working
Next, write down the different ways that your relationship with your son is suffering. Then, set aside time for a mother/son chat.
Choose a time when both of you are alert and focused. Tell him in simple terms what you’ve observed, “I’ve been so busy helping Cousin X, that I haven’t had time to ____ with you.” Then, listen to his response and decide on the next step. Once you have taken care of yourself and your son, then it is time to focus on your cousin. There are many resources available for her, and these resources will also help YOU. Hospice. Many people believe hospice is for the dying, but hospice is for the living and to improve the quality of life. Hospice services could mean spiritual, physical, and emotional support for your cousin. More importantly, they provide support for you in caregiver groups. There you will learn that you are not alone. Many other caregivers are experiencing the same sense of loss and failure that you are and you will learn how to manage and alleviate those feelings. Finally, because we are women I have to say this. There is NOTHING wrong with putting yourself first. In doing so, you, your son, and your cousin will benefit, immensely.
Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett is the author of Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Angela is the CEO of Soothe Your Nerves, Inc. and a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Kent State University.
Dr. Angela Neal-Barnett CEO of Soothe Your Nerves, Inc., and Professor at Kent State University SPRING | SUMMER 2016 | 37
Maintaining a fitness routine and good eating habits will most certainly help you to lead a longer and more active life; but a welcome side effect of having a healthy lifestyle is that it can lead to great, mind-blowing sex! In fact, sexual enjoyment is almost always positively correlated with physical fitness level.
Here are this sexologist’s top 5 reasons why:
Detect Heart Disease: The arteries in the penis and clitoris are so tiny that these structures are the first to be affected at the beginning stages of heart disease. Men may experience erection issues and a woman’s clitoris may also have problems staying engorged which can affect desire.
Have Stronger Erections and Orgasms: Men can gain longer and stronger erections simply by losing their spare tires! Keeping cholesterol in check prevents clogged arteries which also aids in keeping that erection nice and firm for an extended period of time. The same goes for women. Yes, women also get erections! In fact, the clitoris is made out of similar tissue as the penis! The healthier you are, the longer your clitoral erections and the more likely you are to have explosive orgasms!
Become Body Confident: The fact of the matter is that the more fit you become, the more confident you’ll be with your body. This is not to say that the more voluptuous you are today, isn’t equally as hot and sexy as the fit version of you, but mirrors are just more alluring when your booty is sitting at attention just the way you like! A confident person is also more comfortable naked, and being comfortable with your body during sex is of the utmost importance if you want to achieve orgasm.
Longer Lasting Sex: Being fit involves developing a routine of eating healthy, working out and stretching those muscles giving you the endurance to enjoy the ride for a longer period of time without passing out or cramping! Become Sexually Adventurous: People who feel good in their bodies and who maintain healthy partnerships tend to gravitate toward more exciting options in the bedroom. These couples are usually great at effectively communicating their sexual needs and they genuinely enjoy exploring new ways to become more intimate with one another.
So if you want great sex, renew that gym membership and be sexually adventurous today! Trust me, you’ll thank me later! Erika Harper CEO, Sexual Performance Academy www.facebook.com/bestsex007
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