February 2015 ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES
IN THIS ISSUE
National President Greeting In 1974 during the Fourth Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Weekend, 14 spirited women met in a hotel and organized a forum to articulate the needs and concerns of Black women and children. Led by Dr. Arnita Young Boswell, these women formed the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. Today, the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. (NHBW, Inc.) has not only become the voice of all women and their families but have evolved into community advocates. Through community-based health and human service initiatives, promoting projects to improve lives, preparing women for leadership, advocating for community improvement, and providing scholarships - NHBW, Inc. has become a recognized name within many communities.
Initiatives NHBW, Inc. has vowed to support causes such as literacy, domestic violence, and mental health. READING FOR LIFE The Reading for Life initiative has provided thousands of books to families since its inception in 2010. Today, NHBW, Inc. has
opened 28 reading rooms and corners in various chapter states.
Happy 40th Anniversary! How blessed are we to be together again entering into the year 2015.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE NHBW, Inc. is tackling domestic violence by providing workshops to men, women, and teens. The goal is to provide prevention education and resources to all Teens Overcoming Pressure (TOP) As part of the domestic violence initiative, the TOP program aims to educate teens on how to identify healthy versus unhealthy relationships and identify early warning signs of abusive relationships. It is NHBW, Inc.â€™s goal to promote healthy relationships while reducing the incidence of teen dating violence.
2015 Annual Meeting Join NHBW, Inc. in beautiful Orlando, Florida, April 16th thru 19th at the Rosen Ce
MENTAL HEALTH Mental health challenges continue to affect the African American community at an alarming rate. NHBW, Inc. is working with health professionals to help educate communities of the prevalence, attitudes, and treatment available for mental health.
Welcome New Chapters Page 6
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2015 Annual Meeting ORLANDO FLORIDA
Sun Up, Sun Down, Sisters Still Rise Celebrating 40 years of service! The 2015 Annual Meeting will be held in sunny Orlando, Florida beginning Thursday, April 16th through Sunday, April 19th. This year’s meeting will take place at the Rosen Centre Hotel located on the popular International Drive. Registration information is available online at www.nhbwinc.com. Sisters from NHBW, Inc.’s 21 chapters are being asked to converge for this momentous occasion as the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. celebrate their milestones over
the last 40 years. The host chapter in Orlando, Florida has extended a personal invitation to each chapter president and has guaranteed fun, leadership development,
and loads of opportunities for sisterhood bonding.
National President Greeting Mrs. Deborah Summers How blessed we are to be together again entering into the year 2015. You ended the year with a bang by updating all reporting and putting the organization in full national compliance. National President Mrs. Deborah Summers
Let us not forget that the charge this year was for each chapter to design a strategic plan to improve communication. This year we look forward to taking advantage of a variety of media to expand our impact of service throughout. This will definitely support NHBW, Inc.’s desire to be the strong community empowering organization envisioned. Your continuous dedication and commitment is appreciated. I look forward to seeing you in the “Sisterhood Circle” in Orlando.
Happy 40th Anniversary! This year’s annual commemorative souvenir booklet will be a keepsake. As a result, when submitting your $100 donation, we will also need the following from each chapter: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Chapter name Date chapter was founded Founding President and members 3-5 significant historical facts about the chapter 1 current fact about the chapter 5-10 photos (photos should represent a photo journey from the past to the present)
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Did you know… Twenty-six percent of children were read to three or four times a week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. (RIF)
Did you know… Families play an important role in their children’s reading success. Where parent involvement is low, the classroom mean average is 46 points below the national average.
53% 53% of African American 4th grade students scored below the “Basic” level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading tests (NCES, 2009).
$2 Billion More than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
FOR MORE INFORMATION National Council of Teachers of English (www.ncte.org/aari) AFRICAN AMERICAN READ-IN
Reading for Life From birth, the need to tell stories are inherent. Parents tell stories about families and the world they live in. These stories, as well as childhood myths and fables have helped children to grow and develop. Most importantly, it has helped develop the foundation of reading. This foundation helps build basic speech skills, better communication, logical thinking, and prepares the foundation for academic excellence in formal education. Since 2010, NHBW, Inc. has been on a mission to attack the systemic reading epidemic by being a resource for children starting at an early age. By placing books in every home and supporting parents as the child’s first and most important teacher, we will promote the child’s successful transition into the educational school system. Reading is Fundamental (RIF) states “One of the most effective approaches to helping young children develop literacy skills is having a home environment that supports literacy”.1 Through workshops, NHBW, Inc. continues to provide parents and guardians with the tools necessary to create an effective enviroment. To support this cause, NHBW, Inc. accepts monetary and book donations through its national office and local chaper affiliates. Each year, the Reading for Life Laps for Literacy Fundraising Event brings communities together to support the organization through monetary pledges and local book drives. For more information visit www.nhbwinc.com/laps.html.
African American Read-In NHBW, Inc. local chapters and individual members everywhere are being asked to read and organize friends, family, and others to read on college campuses, in other organizations, at places of worship or anywhere in their community. The Black Caucus of NCTE and NCTE are urging interested citizens and organizations to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting an African American Read-In.
During the month of February, NHBW, Inc. will host various events in respective cities encouraging all to pick up a book and read.
Issue2015- 1 Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behaviors, and further domestic violence.
Throughout the month of February, teens and organizations across the country will be working together to raise awareness about teen dating violence. 1 in 3 teens in the U.S. is the victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse by a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds other types of youth violence. Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence (almost triple the national average).
On Tuesday, February 10 wear something orange to show your support for healthy relationships. Encourage friends and family to wear something orange as well. Organizations like Break the Cycle are working to empower youth to end domestic violence. Every young person has the right to a safe and healthy relationship, but not every state defines dating violence or dating abuse in the same way. As a result, not every state provides the same protections for minors suffering from abuse.
common warning signs of dating abuse: - Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission - Extreme jealousy or insecurity - Constant belittling or put-downs - Explosive temper - Isolation from family and friends - Making false accusations - Erratic mood swings - Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way - Possessiveness - Telling someone what to do - Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex If you or someone you know sees warning signs in their relationship, contact your local agency or call 866-331-9474. FOR MORE INFORMATION
Let’s start the conversation about dating abuse and healthy relationships. Learn the difference between healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships. There are many signs to pay attention to in a relationship, look for
Break the Cycle www.breakthecycle.org Love is Respect www.loveisrespect.org
American Heart Month 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. Celebrate National Wear Read Day with For Red for Women on Friday, February 6, 2015 to help save women’s lives. Heart disease in women is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer.
Cardiac Arrest VS. Heart Attack Cardiac Arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. A Heart Attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. When Cardiac Arrest occurs, a person becomes unresponsive, is not breathing or is only gasping.
Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and include intense discomfort in the chest or other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweats, and/or nausea/vomiting. More often, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The longer the person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
In both cases, 9-1-1 should be called immediately. Every minute matters.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Signs of a Stroke
- Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
You should never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you experience one of the signs below. You could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination - Sudden severe headache with no known cause
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NHBW, Inc.’s Reader-Writers
Syreeta Washington from the Cherry Hill
Yvette Chatman, with Parent Educator &
Chapter and Eastern Regional Co-Chair has a Masters in Counseling Psychology and has worked as a therapist in a variety of settings with individuals and families. Her book is inspired by her love of reading and extensive work with children presenting with myriad diagnoses from ADHD to Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Her message to anyone with a psychiatric diagnosis is, “You are NOT your disorder.” She is currently a full-time psychology professor at a community college where her favorite courses to teach are Abnormal and Developmental Psychology. Syreeta resides in New Jersey with her quirky family and their awesome dog who she is convinced was a superhero in another lifetime.
Community Literacy, is the founder of the Birmingham Chapter of NHBW, Inc. Her first love was “reading”, even before her first crush or nervous kiss, she was involved with books. As a child books helped her to understand the world. “I read about kings and queens, animals, faraway places, things and people… but there were very few if any, people who looked like me. My parents and that small little neighborhood in Joliet, Illinois, showed me that people of color could be ministers, teachers, business owners, and laborers.” Yvette goes on to say they built her up, kept her sane and encouraged her to dream. That is why she wrote “THEY DARED”, so young people could see themselves in the books they read and learn about people of color who dared to dream and “Do”. “I have had the wonderful opportunity to lay across my bed and read to my children and grandchildren; we read about folks who look like them. I tell them about my childhood and they tell me about their day and I promise to keep them sage and encourage them to dream and… we eat ice cream.”
Rev. Dr. Renita Allen Dixon, the Pastor of Ecclesia Ministry, is the President of the Tallahassee Chapter and the National Ambassador of Sisterhood. She has a BS Degree in Business Marketing and Doctorate Degree in Pastoral Counseling and Christian Education. Her book, Finding Yourself, is a book for individuals to develop and compile tools to find oneself. “Each person is a unique individual and this book can help anyone to focus on how to be a better you.” Some topics are Exploring Your Moral Compass, Widen Your Circle, and Unfolding You. Dr. Dixon’s book has been used to run empowerment workshops and leadership circles.
Dr. Janette Hoston Harris, founder and first president of the Washington, DC Chapter, is an author amongst many other distinguished titles. In 1956, Harris earned her high school diploma from Carroll High School in Monroe, Lousiana. From 1956 to 1960, Harris attended Southern University. In 1960, during her senior year, Harris and six other students were arrested for attempting to desegregate an all-white lunch counter. The arrest resulted in her expulsion from Southern University and, by the order of the governor, her being prohibited from attending any college in the state of Louisiana. Harris completed her education at Central State University in Ohio, where she earned her B.A. degree in psychology in 1962.
While attending Central State in 1960, Harris’ case challenging segregation, “Hoston v. the State of Louisiana,” went to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Harris’ case eventually became part of a larger court challenge, “Garner v. Louisiana,” that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961; the case was argued and won by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1962. Dr. Harris Hoston is the author of Black crusaders in History, Congress and Government; Charles Harris Wesley: Words of Wisdom; and Words of Passion for the Romantic.
Coffe’ Summers the National Facebook Administrator for NHBW, Inc. and a member of the Joliet Chapter.. She graduated from high school with honors and began college that summer at Tennessee State University for Architectural Engineering. She returned home to receive her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Coffee’ then began taking numerous college courses to further her career in the graphic arts and even teaching until enough was enough. She always wanted to deal with the growing someone’s business. She continued to buy magazines and started reading online. Then it came to her, COFFEA. Starting anew as a single parent, she began studying magazines and had an official launch of COFFEA in November 2009. The mission explains it all. “We hope to alter thinking of the alliterate. To insure the success of those entering the future reading is very essential.” COFFEA is a minority and woman-owned business. As well as teaching by example, she strives to be used as a networking tool to provide people with an outlook on who is doing what in their community. Currently circulating in the Chicagoland area, COFFEA is involved in projects to broaden readership by focusing on entrepreneurship and promoting community awareness. COFFEA Magazine focuses on shedding light on those that may be overlooked but deserve much more than “15 minutes of fame”. Great business changes things. www.coffeamag.com
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Welcome Birmingham, AL Chapter Founder Yvette Quarles Chatman began organizing and planning in October 2014. During the first meeting at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on November 15th Ms. Chatman formed the Birmingham, AL Chapter of NHBW, Inc., with 37 charter members. The members consist of community activists that have a concerted heart for community change and the NHBW initiatives.
NHBW, Inc. is always accepting members to further exemplify its mission and achievements. With 21 chapters in cities across the United States, the organization thrives on the work of its’ dedicated members who reflect a rich diversity of women from varied business, professional, and community disciplines. Benefits of membership include educational conferences and seminars, exclusive networking and social events, organizational leadership experience, special celebrations of the achievements of black women, and a lifelong sisterhood with women in your community and beyond. Associate membership is open to men whose interest upholds the mission of NHBW, Inc. To learn more about how to join NHBW, Inc., or to start a chapter in your area, please visit our webpage at www.nhbwinc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome Mid-Cities Texas Chapter Sisters Lucrezia Rochon and Crist Coleman, dedicated and long-time members and officers of the North Central Texas Chapter, are excited to announce the launching of the new Mid-Cities Texas Chapter of NHBW, Inc. They have answered the call to grow the region, in response to “when will there be a chapter in my neighborhood?” Sisters Rochon and Coleman diligently planned and implemented information meetings to gain interest, and were formally elected President and 1 st Vice President respectively. The Mid-Cities Texas Chapter begins this year with over 15 members and associate members, to meet the demands for an organization that supports women and families in the Tarrant County area (and surrounding counties), and bordering cities on the Ellis and Dallas County side. The Mid-Cities Texas Chapter will celebrate the achievements of the women entrepreneurs, establish partnerships to fight domestic violence, and participate in other endeavors to support the vision and mission of NHBW, Inc.
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Women and Estate Planning Estate planning is important to families, however it often affects women more profoundly. On average, women live longer and tend to marry older spouses. And since they usually survive their spouses, women more often have the last word about how much wealth goes to family, charity, or taxes. In preparation for an inevitable event, there are good reasons to set up a plan to distribute one’s estate after death. This consists of all of her property and possessions, including bank accounts, real estate, furniture, automobiles, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, pensions and death benefits. Proper planning can be accomplished with fewer costs and difficulties than a more complicated and expensive probate process. Nearly 1 in 10 of Americans without an estate plan say they do not have one because they do not want to think about dying or becoming incapacitated. According to LexisNexis, 68 percent of black adults and 74 percent of Hispanic adults do not have one.
No matter what your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place to ensure your family and financial goals are met after an inevitable event. An estate plan has several elements including a will, assignment of power of attorney and a living will or health care proxy. In some cases, a trust will make sense. Trusts aren’t just for the wealthy. Discussing your estate plans with your heirs may prevent disputes or confusion. Being clear about your intentions will help dispel potential conflicts after you’re gone. Select an attorney to handle your estate plans who regularly handles matters in the areas of concern in your particular situation, and who will know enough about the other fields to question whether the action being taken might be affected by laws in other areas of law. Contact your state bar association to find out if the attorney is in good standing.
Educated, Encouraged, and Exercised educated and encouraged to exercise their right to vote. Voting is the most powerful way to be heard. Educating voters about candidates in federal, state and local races each year is the key to democracy.
Civil rights activist and NHBW, Inc. Shero, Fannie Lou Hamer, was active in encouraging blacks to register the vote during the 1960s. Her involvement with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee came at a high price for Hamer, forcing her from her home of nearly two decades. Hamer dedicated her life to the fight for civil rights. This year NHBW, Inc. will be pushing the “Fannie Lou Hamer” voter education and registration. The goal is to keep voters
Sources like votesmart.org, vote411.org, ontheissues.org, factcheck.org, politifact.com, candidate websites, and major media outlets can be used to retrieve information about candidates and key issues to allow voters to make an informed decision. Stay up to date www.nhbwinc.com for more information on Educated, Encouraged, and Exercised.
NHBW, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in, or make contributions to any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. All voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides), voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives are conducted in a non-partisan manner.
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Colorism: Make It Go Away
Film ‘Selma’ very real for Tallahassee eyewitness…Tallahassee Chapter member, Preferia Range was a 15-year-old girl on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on March 7, 1965. In what is known today as Bloody Sunday, Range was one of the 600 marchers that faced the brutality at the hands of Alabama state troopers and local law enforcement officers. View Ms. Range’s account of the event at http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/201 5/01/16/flawed-film-selma-realeyewitness/21881965/.
Happy birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! It’s Black History month in February. These are times in the year that we are redirected to focus on African Americans as a nation. 2015 is no different. For many in the United States the larger issues have been those related to blacks’ and whites’ racial tensions, usually named as racism. However, an ‘ism’ that is new, to many, and returning to the forefront is colorism. What is colorism? Let’s review. Most remember the stories about the brown paper bag test and how fraternities and sororities would select members using the color of the bag as an entry determination. That process alone is reason to understand why some of our black youth grew up with issues of insecurity and low self-esteem. The paper bag test confirmed the insecurities. In the 21st century we see an upswing in the number of interracial couples and marriages which often times lead to children born of mixed heritage and color. Recently a special on the Oprah Winfrey network or OWN called ‘Light Girls’ highlighted women, not children, who were traumatized about not being black enough. Not being black enough?! Although this writer did not know of girls who felt like this, it is clearly something that was on the horizon in many circles of blacks. The Light Girls special showed the way these girls were psychologically damaged and the many tears shed due to the pain and suffering they felt. The special was informing but the most important piece of information gained was there are many more light girls that could experience the same hurts. We, as a community, must ensure that all of our girls are uplifted and supported. Encouraging a strong self-esteem for our girls is a must.
Marita Golden’s 2012 article published in the Washington Post entitled, “The color complex in black communities: It’s time for all shades to unite says it all.” She wrote, “I have begun more and more to conclude that colorism is the most unacknowledged and unaddressed mental-health crisis in communities of color around the world.” She went further. “...it’s (sic) negative emotional impact on people of all hues is so serious that it needs to be called what it is--a disease.” Now the question is how we cure it. Golden notes one way that her family began to turn this around. She said “my husband and I wove discussions of colorism into conversations about media presentations of African Americans, African American history, race and life in general so that our children developed the ability to comfortably talk about colorism, recognize it and reject it”. A place to start is at our own table. Just as Marita Golden and her husband began the process so must we as a community and as an organization of Black Women. So NHBW, let the mirror shine in our faces first in order to let our girls be able to light the world. Let’s begin to have those conversations with our girls and allow them to express their views and do as Marita Golden did with her family, “talk about colorism, recognize it and reject it”. Brenda Thompson King, Ed. D. NHBW, Inc. Nashville Chapter NHBW, Inc. Health Chairperson Central Region Health Project Manager
National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. 1809 East 71st Street, Suite 205, Chicago, Illinois 60649-2000 Tel: 773.667.7061 Fax: 773.667.7064 www.nhbwinc.com @nhbwinc The National Hook Up of Black Women Inc (Organization)
NHBW, Inc. February Issue Celebrating 40 years of Service