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Photo by Classic Portraits-Paul Hood

From the


From the


Happy Holidays! It’s the holiday season once again. It’s a time to be thankful and a time to be cheerful, despite anything unpleasant that may have occurred this previous year. Don’t count any negative occurrence you may have had as failures, instead, count them as lessons…I know I am! Create a new slate and set your goals for the New Year. I am looking forward to a COURAGEOUS NEW YEAR. Thank you so much for your support of our first issue. I am excited about the upcoming issues, as well events we are planning for 2015. Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Happy Holidays! Our second print issue is here! I am excited to present a feature on Flint Gold Medalist Claressa Shields, along with inspiring thoughts on joy from local residents. We also have holiday etiquette tips to keep your stress level low and thoughts on how to be single and happy. I hope you enjoy this issue, and look forward to your comments! With Courage,

~Telishia R. Berry

~FaLessia Booker


Courageous Woman Magazine is an inspirational magazine created to uplift, encourage, entertain, and motivate women.


Until now, CW Magazine has been an online magazine with readers around the country. Now we’re available in print in the Flint Michigan area. This is our second issue! Next issue will be “Jan/Feb”. 4,000 copies will be printed and distributed locally in doctor’s offices, churches, salons, boutiques, restaurants, and more.

Staff Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

I Telishia Berry

I FaLessia Booker Graphic deisgners I Nena Muhammad & Joyce Hayek Writers I Walethia Aquil - Deria Brown - FaLessia Booker - Wantwaz Davis - Lady Tonya Dixson - Florence Edwards - Dr. TaMara Griffin - Cynthia L. Hatcher - Ann Kita - Donnell Cornelius - Minister Tarnesa Martin - Patricia L. Miller - Pastor Vanessa M. Pringle - Elder Patrick Sanders - K.L. Williams Cover Photography I Rynelle Walker of Studio 18 Editor


Tis the Season to Get Contacts and Contracts

-By Walethia Aquil

So here’s the scenario…You received an invitation to a holiday party, hosted by a colleague or prospective client. It is that time of the year: time to eat, drink and be merry right? Wrong. Committing a major faux pas at holiday parties that also serve as business networking opportunities can be a big blow to your business. Follow these basic rules and you are sure to make a favorable impression with friends, colleagues, and potential clients.

1. Have a purpose. Set clear objectives when you attend a networking event. Is there someone in particular that you want to be sure to meet or speak with? Do you want to get known within a certain circle? Are you simply trying to determine whether a particular group is worth joining? Are you seeking information about a particular person or group? Are you trying to identify potential prospects or strategic alliances? Do you want to make one or two good connections? Having a clear objective will help you determine whether the event was worthwhile.

2. Read the invitation. RSVP in its simplest form means to respond. Food and refreshment are planed according to the number of people expected. So please RSVP. Some organizations allow for additional guests, some do not. Again, read the invitation--does it say Mrs. Aquil and Guest, or Mrs. Aquil?

3. Arrive on time, arrive on time, arrive on time. Arriving on time is a power networking strategy. When you are on time, there are fewer people and that makes it easier to connect with the hosts and key people. If you are shy, it is much easier to manage a room of 20 people than 200.

4. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. It’s at these social events that managers, clients, and colleagues tend to see our true colors and get to know us on a personal basis. Drinking too much can be counterproductive to your professional ambitions. Besides, you don’t want to be the girl or guy that everyone is talking about the next day!

5. Don’t assume everyone celebrates the same holiday. Don’t go overboard with “Merry Christmas.” Many people have different beliefs, and you do not want to alienate a vital contact. "Happy Holidays” or “Season's Greetings" is the appropriate greeting during this time of year because it incorporates ALL religious and cultural holidays.

6. Do not answer your cell phone or text at the party unless it is an emergency. If you must take a call, leave the room and go to a private place to talk.

7. Do not head straight to the buffet table. I always eat before going to an event--that way I am not hungry, and my mind is not on the food. One way to destroy your image is having food in your teeth or greasy fingers from eating.

8. Dress appropriately. For social business functions with your business associates, it is always better to play it safe and wear a conservative outfit that is not too revealing. How you look—your appearance– can either make a great impression, or a leave lasting negative impression!

9. Follow up. For networking to be effective, you need to follow up with those you meet at a networking event. Some ideas: • Send a handwritten thank you note reminding the recipient who you are, where you met and what you discussed. • Contact a new connection and suggest meeting for coffee to learn more about their business.

10. Thank the host. They went to a lot of time and effort, and not only is saying thank you the courteous thing to do, it makes you stand out from the many that do not. Walethia helps you build a new kind of wealth, “Social Capital” by equipping professionals and other service providers with training in proper business decorum and protocol’s in a step by step system that is specific to your industry. Learn how you can move from ‘Invisible to Impeccable’, visit Grace and Charm today. E-mail Walethia at:, direct number 1-810-820- 9455 or 1-866-610-3746.




Photo byPhoto Silvia by Ayala-Jones Silvia Ayala-Jones

Photo by Silvia Ayala-Jones Photo by Silvia Ayala-Jones


-By Deria Brown -By Deria Brown -By Deria Brown

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~by Patricia L. Miller Destinee Duncan is someone we are going to have to keep an eye on! She is a talented little powerhouse with a lot of experience under her belt at the tender age of 10. She is already enjoying success from runway shows in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Austin Fashion Week. She’s been in local commercials and has done national work for Chuck E. Cheese. She’s even done an independent film called Once is Enough, where she played a ghost. Since she has been sketching since the age of five, she released her first handbag at the age of eight. Then she started working on clothing. By nine, she started working with a seamstress to turn her sketches into a clothing line called Glossy Girls. Destinee is always busy acting, designing and participating in runway shows. She has upcoming shows in Dallas and Houston where her Spring 2015 line will be featured. Destinee would love to do a runway show in Flint, showcasing her clothing line with area girls participating in hopes that it would inspire them to dream big. Her dream is to be among the top fashion designers in the world and one of the top actresses in the world.

Looks like she is on her way!

Who Dropped You?


By Minister Tarnesa Martin

The time has come for you to move forward and break the cycle of unforgiveness. You have been blaming people for too long. just because you were “dropped” by those you loved and trusted does not mean you have to live the rest of your life singing the same old song. It’s time to change the lyrics and get a new beat that refreshes you, to be picked up by the power of the spirit that’s living on the inside of you. To paraphrase 1 John 4:4, you are from God, and because you are the children of God, you have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Why are you still blaming people for dropping you, when God has given you the Grace to live through the misery, strife and pain? In this life we will have ups and downs, good days and bad days but in the midst of it all, we must be willing to hear a voice that presses us forward and encourages us to be Victorious. We can no longer allow ourselves to be defined by who dropped us. A few years ago, I was in a comfortable place preaching the gospel. I thought everything was perfect and going according to God’s plan. All of a sudden, I was removed from the pulpit and sat on the front row. I was disheartened and upset. So with tears in my eyes and a broken heart, I found enough strength to walk away. And one day while crying out to God, I heard Him say, “Had you not been dropped by people, you would have never discovered how to be picked up by your Heavenly Father!”


-By Elder Patrick Sanders

Have you ever said to yourself, "I have had enough!"? Are your dreams not coming to pass? Do people seem to not be working with you on the job? Has your heart been broken by loved ones? Have you had enough? Without the frustrations, broken promises, and people hurting us in our lives; we will never be able to reach our full potential. It's in these moments that we find who we really are and begin to look deep within ourselves and listen to the small voice that guides us. In Bishop T.D. Jakes' latest book he says that in these moments we find the real purpose, the real person, and the real dreams that we are created to perform in our lives. But it’s only when we’ve had enough. In a movie I watched called Enough, where Jennifer Lopez is a battered wife, she's driven to discover her inner strength because of a hurtful relationship. In the movie, when she stopped running, put a plan together, and executed the plan, she was then able to gain control over her life. In our lives we sometimes find ourselves running from things, people, and places; but, if we stand still long enough and realize we can do all things through our Creator we can understand that we are able to conquer any mountain, circumstance, or situation. It's the failures and lies that we have to use as steppingstones to move forward. It is the hurt in our lives that give us the opportunity to understand and discover who we really are. It's through the hills we climb, the mishaps in life, and the let downs in life that we learn to overcome. I want to encourage someone and say to you that you can make it regardless of what hills are in your path. To my sisters I say, "Hold your head up. You're the queen that God created you to be regardless of your education, background, or possessions. Success is still within your reach. You just need to put a plan together and not be afraid to execute it. Don't let the criticism of others hinder or stop you from reaching your greatness." You may even believe that it is too late to begin anew, but I have news for you: It’s not too late! Whether you are 60 or 16; start today! Start right where you are: on the couch, in the coffee shop, in your cubicle. You have the time, talent, and perseverance. You are the woman God created you to be. Find something you are passionate about and always dreamed about doing. Do what you believe you were created for; surely, where you are right now is not the end of your life. There is more to you, something bigger and stronger than you. Don't let where you are now hold you down. Ladies get out of the box! Think outside of it and create dreams and have visions to fulfill your destiny and purpose. Elder Patrick Sanders, Pastor New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church


by FaLessia Booker

Claressa says, “My dad helped me understand a lot about myself-the things I was curious about, like why I laugh so loud, and why I had a quick temper. When I met my father, those questions were answered. Me and my dad laugh the same, very loud and my dad can be mean at times, but he’s sweet and loving, just like me.”

Although she is only 19, Claressa Shields, the feisty fighting phenom from Flint (say that five times fast!), is poised to once again take the Olympic world by storm. In the 2012 Summer Games, Shields won an Olympic middleweight gold medal against Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova. Though the Summer Olympic Games in which she competes as a women’s boxer don’t take place until 2016, for her preparation begins now. In fact, it never stopped…

Claressa hasn’t always wanted to be a boxer. When Shields was little, she wanted to be a singer. She says she’s a good singer, and she could really sing Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going ” from the movie soundtrack, “Dreamgirls.”

Growing up on the North side of Flint, Michigan, as the second oldest of four children, Claressa kept herself out of trouble by Since the Olympics are two years staying focused on schoolwork. A Photography by Rynelle Walker of Studio 18 away, Claressa needs to keep quiet child, Shields began boxing competing to keep in top physical at Berston Field House at the age condition. Despite recovering from a nasty episode of 11, which also kept her out of the streets. Claressa of food poisoning which sidelined her for two days, was introduced to boxing by her father, Bo Shields, Claressa won her most recent fight in Mexico against who was also a boxer. She became close with her father after his release from prison when Shields was nine. Flavia Figueiredo from Brazil at the 2014 Elite Women’s CW Style Team

Clothes Compliments of FAIM Boutique

Make-Up -

Hair Stylist -

Fashion Stylist -

Photographer -

With her makeup, I wanted to do a natural glam on the eyes, and Claressa has such a beautiful smile so I wanted to make it pop with a red lip!

For her hair, I wanted to create a natural, chic, and classy look that fits her phenomenal personality inside and out!

I wanted her clothes to be sexy and to look amazing, because she is always working out or training. I wanted to give her a girly, ready-forthe-world look. I definitely wanted to take her out of her element!

My goal was to capture both sides of Claressa-- in and out of the ring, the Beauty and the Beast. I wanted to capture images on a more professional level.

Serenity Walker

Tanieka Lyles

Marquitta Harris

Rynelle Walker

Continental Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, bringing her record to an impressive 46-1, with 18 knockouts. “Well, that fight was amazing to me,” Claressa says. “My opponent had an advantage because I was sick, but God pulled me through. I’ll be way better in South Korea!” Most people would be surprised to learn that Claressa is a loving mother to a baby girl that she adopted. She is named after her mother, with a slight change in spelling: her daughter’s name is Klaressa. Shields said that she wanted to have a baby when she turned eighteen, but of course her active boxing career prevented that. However she was able to adopt the daughter of a family friend, satisfying her urge for mother in a way that wouldn’t derail her boxing career. Despite a busy training schedule, Shields is a typical teenager. In her spare time, Claressa likes to go to the mall, text on her phone, and plan outings with friends.

Other than the obvious, winning a gold medal, Shields is most proud of graduating last year from Northwestern High School with a 3.0 GPA. Claressa is taking a break this semester from Olivet College, where she was studying business and journalism. She found the college life to be too busy with her training and fighting schedule, and special concessions weren’t made for her to train and go to school simultaneously. Claressa plans to return soon and focus her studies on business. She says that even though she could, she definitely does not want to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games. She wants to pursue boxing professionally, and after retiring become a sportscaster. Her next fight is at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju City, South Korea to be held November 13-25. In regards to the upcoming bout, Shields says, “I feel very confident and prepared. I love boxing, and I’ll leave it all in the ring to stand in first place on the podium.”

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11

19 Photo by ILE

Cynthia Hatcher It is written in Psalms 5:11, But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. The definition of joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune; delight or a state of happiness. Joy is a sentiment those in the Lord have dwelling deep inside of their being. It is there because we know of Him in who we trust and we also know that He will preserve and keep us. Other things in life can bring us joy as well such as: the birth of a baby, good grades on a test, loving healthy relationships, good hearty laughter or the innocence of children at play.

Lady Tonya Dixson

Kingdom Ambassadors Ministries Joy to the World One of my favorite songs during the Christmas season as a little girl was “Joy to the World.” Christmas is truly a season to celebrate the joy that we have as they find it in the good things that God has given to us so freely, but the Christian knows a higher joy. As you celebrate this Christmas season with loved ones, remember the words of the song: “Joy to the world, the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room.” Acknowledge Jesus as King, and prepare your heart for Him to occupy a place there.

Vanessa M. Pringle

Assistant Pastor Abundant Life Community Church Sharing the Joy Within Galatians 5:22 reminds us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Knowing this, as a woman of God, I have to remember that joy is a part of my spiritual DNA. My heavenly Father has placed Joy on the inside of me. I have the ability and responsibility to display His Joy. The absence or lack of joy in our lives implies that we are working in the arm of flesh or have forgotten what we possess. You have joy based upon who God is in you. Don’t wait for the manifestation of things--show and share your Joy now!

As women, we should pursue a life of joy. It is good for our souls.

Red and Green Peppermint Bark. Recipe Compliments of The Sweet Shoppe. G-4175 S. Saginaw St. Burton, MI 48529 810-742-7670

Ingredients 1 lb. of white Chocolate. 1/3 bag of crunch. Directions. Combine melted chocolate in a bowl

with the red and green peppermint crunch. Pour mixture on waxed paper and spread thin Place in the freezer until firm. Break into pieces.

Black Women and

What can be done to reduce our risk -By Dr. TaMara Griffin

Black women account for 66% of new AIDS cases among women, although black women constitute only 14 percent of the US female population. The rates of diagnosis among black women are 20 times higher than White women. While Black women are no more likely than other women to engage in behaviors that put them at risk, social determinants like poverty, lack of access to health care/insurance, distribution of wealth, food security, housing, unemployment, etc. play a huge factor in increasing Black women’s risk for HIV. With these alarming statistics and increasing rates of infection, apparently the current prevention messages, programs and interventions, etc. are not working! We know how to protect ourselves yet more and more Black women continue to become infected. Why? We must do a better job of integrating holistic, comprehensive and culturally relevant program and interventions that addresses

not only the entire woman, but her environment and lifestyle as well. The programs/interventions must incorporate knowledge, skills and tools in all the Dimensions of Wellness: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social & financial. Such programs and interventions should also address institutional, political, social/cultural and economic barriers that women must face in order to access proper healthcare.

Finally, these programs and interventions must also empower women with the self-esteem and self-efficacy to take control of their sexuality! Teach them the skills to be more selective with whomever they decide to have sex with! Incorporate skills on how to ask the “right” questions of sex partners, i.e. asking partners if they have been tested and know their status, or if they have “sex” with multiple partners versus are they “sleeping” with multiple partners etc. Incorporate safer sex education and tools. For women who may be in an unhealthy and

potentially threatening relationships and/or environment, teach them the skills to reduce their risk within the context of their situation. Encourage, offer and increase accessibility to HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing. Finally, reducing stigma, normalizing conversations about sexuality and creating safe and non-judgmental spaces for women to receive care and treatment will help to reduce the transmission of HIV. We must begin to see HIV as NOT an issue of morals, but rather as a disparity of public health. And while we may think that HIV is just an individual issue, it’s NOT. Although the individual is infected, the family, the community and society at large is affected as well. We have to begin to address the medical, political, spiritual, economic and social implications of HIV. If not, people will continue to suffer in silence, families will be torn apart, communities will be ravished and the lasting economic impact on the society will be profound. Black Women...We are Greater than HIV! Respect Yourself Enough to Protect Yourself!

Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her website is


Saving Conversations


~by K. L. Williams

A successful husband and wife couple sit on opposite sides of a bed, engaged in a major confrontation. The husband, feeling backed into a corner, tired of living a double life, clarifies his position…“He is a man that just enjoys having sex with another man.” Although anguished, his words indicate only denial and he remains unable to identify himself as bisexual. The wife reveals she has tested positive for HIV. Sadly, this scene from Tyler Perry’s movie “For Colored Girls” is reenacted in many relationships. Bettina Campbell, Executive Director of “Your Center” is a highly knowledgeable resource about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and prevention. She suggests women initiate open and honest conversations with their partners about their sexual history. Start “the conversation” by removing the fear of judgment. Second, assert the right to know, informing your partner that it’s important to know about any possibilities that would place your life at risk. To reduce risk and protect themselves, people must not be in a state of denial about the activity of their partners and must find ways to reduce risk. She explains that any mind altering substance, even prescription drugs can lead to life changing decisions. Prevention for youth is introducing sex education and providing access to make an impact among teens. As a cancer survivor of 11 years, Mrs. Campbell understands first-hand the debilitating effects of chronic disease. As a Christian, she understands the importance of faith and the effect of prayer. Mrs. Campbell practices servant leadership and is an advocate for the empowerment and well-being of others. A MCSW (Masters of Clinical Social Work), Mrs. Campbell has developed several successful programs to address the needs of the community. The “Signature Program,” which provides HIV/AIDS education and mentorship to faith based organizations, services 80 churches of nine different denominations. Other community-based initiatives are “Your Blessed Health,” a program targeted for youth (ages 14-18) and “H.O.P.E.,” which serves the young adult populations (ages 18-24). Mrs. Campbell is also co-author of the “HIV/AIDS Manual” for faith-based organizations, which was approved by the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

7 Tips to Surviving Heartache during the Holidays and Find Your Bliss By Florence Edwards You can’t believe it’s really over. The person you thought you would spend the rest of your life with is no longer in your life, and you feel like someone has crushed your heart and soul into tiny little pieces. It may seem like the end of the world, but life does get better and you can find happiness through your pain. How do you stop crying and start looking forward to the holidays after you and your ex-love has parted ways? Here are a few tips to help you on your journey towards happiness.



Make a decision to be happy. When you get up in the morning, write down 10 things you can be happy about. It can be something as simple as, “I am happy that I have my eyesight today.” Although it is not easy, switching your thoughts and focusing on what you are grateful for can help you feel better in an instant. Be your own lover. We often feel like we have lost love when a relationship ends, but we can give love to ourselves. Choose three actions you can do every day to help you feel more loved. Give yourself what you felt your ex gave to you. If he cooked for you, cook yourself a hot meal. If he pampered you, pamper yourself. We often look outside of ourselves for happiness, but true happiness comesfrom within.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Spend time with people who show you unconditional love. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel loved during the holidays can help you get through the holidays and fight off depression. Go shopping with your girls, attend holiday functions, or start a new holiday tradition with your BFF’s. The key is to get out of the house and become active. Give yourself an ego boost. Tell yourself how hot you look in your clothes, how beautiful your smile is, or what a great catch you are. A lot of us beat ourselves up when a relationship ends, but the more you say and think positive things about yourself, the stronger and happier you will feel. Face your grief. Decide that you will commit to spending 20 minutes a day to crying or releasing your emotions about your break up. Yell, scream, cry or hit pillows. Do something that doesn’t harm yourself or others, but make sure you are feeling your emotions and that you are present. If you do this for at least two consecutive weeks, you will begin to heal your pain, embrace the holidays and become open to the good things that God has planned for your life. Know that you are not alone. Hundreds of people are single during the holidays. Find a support group and connect with other people who are struggling with loneliness and grief. You never know whose life you’ll touch or who you’ll meet! Start laughing. Make it a point to watch your favorite comedian, watch funny movies, or talk to a friend who has a great sense of humor. Laughter is healing and can help you turn your sadness into happiness.

Florence Edwards is the owner of Publicity 911. Visit for more information.

‘Tis the season to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. If you like to read, check out these books by local authors. They are available on and at Pages Bookstore in Downtown Flint.

Faithful Liar By Sophia Janell Taylor

Ever been faithful to a portion of your life, but dishonest in another? 'Faithful Liar' tells stories of real life situations that happens with real life couples. Once you start reading, you won't stop! The Meeting By Melecia Scott

The Meeting offers motivation, inspiration, encouragement and hope to readers, empowering them to stay strong in the faith, hold on and move on in spite of challenges and tumultuous times in their life. Misfit and Heroes By Kathleen Rollins

In Misfits and Heroes: West from Africa, West African explorers cross the Atlantic to the Americas 14,000 years ago. It's adventure, romance, warfare, and spirit magic, one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2011. The Baptist Junkie By Telishia Berry

This Christian fiction drama is about faith, family, and redemption. It is told through vivid characters, from street thugs to holier-than-thou church folk. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Disturbance By Mya De’Ann

Disturbance is full of excitement, drama, love and romance. You won't put it down until you have read the last page! Disturbance holds 4 1/2 stars at Barnes & Noble's. So You Survived Cancer, Now What ? By Theresa Kilpatrick

Bring hope to those who have had cancer touch their lives: patient, caregiver, health care professional. Written by 2 cancer survivors, one of whom is also a stem cell transplant survivor.


For more information

CALL 877.235.5203

-By Ann Kita

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior by one individual focusing only on gaining power and control over their intimate partner. The batterer will do everything possible to gain that power and control. The The idea that the one you love wants violence is not just physical--there can power and control over you is really a be emotional, mental, or economical difficult piece of truth to accept. One abuse, or sexual assault. will try and find reason for the violent, emotional abusive behavior. Does this When an individual uses coercion and threats; intimidation; or minimizes, sound like you, or someone you denies or blames their intimate partner know? for everything in the relationship, it is Oh, he has been working overtime domestic violence. As the pattern continues, the victim becomes more and not getting enough sleep… isolated from the healthy supports in He is only that way when he drinks her life: family, friends, faith with his buddies after going out to community and/or co-workers. the bar… What does one ask themselves when they find they are in a domestic violence relationship? The most frequent question is, “Why is the one I love doing this to me?”

He is bi-polar.

There is help, from the National Hotline of Domestic Violence to local domestic violence services in the community; advocates assist victims each and every day. Once a victim allows a healthy support system to assist them in leaving a domestic violence relationship, the question one begins to ask themselves turns from, “Why is the one I love doing this to me?” to: I don’t deserve to be treated in such a way. I am worth more happiness and peace in my life!

Another popular question is...

National Hotline of Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

“What is wrong with me?” Which leads into statements such as, “I should be a better girlfriend and more understanding” or “Maybe I am just nagging too much.” Many victims of domestic violence feel that they need to change, asking themselves, “What can I do to make him love me more?” The key to eliminating the blame on oneself is to understand what exactly is domestic violence?

I don’t know how to get out of this situation…

Need help locally? Call the YWCA of Greater Flint: (810) 238-7621 Once isolation begins, she may tell herself, No one would believe me… Everyone thinks I am stupid for staying with him…

The YWCA of Greater Flint is located at 310 E. Third Street, Flint, MI 48502. Ann Kita is currently a service coordinator and a crisis counselor for the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services of the YWCA of Greater Flint. She provides crisis counseling to survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault.



November/December ous Courage



~by Patricia L. Miller

In the last issue we talked about, prayer, meditation and how to stop complaining. How’s that working for you? Aren’t you feeling a little better? Good. In keeping with the theme, here are some more tips that are good for your soul.

DO Forgive

City Councilman

Wantwaz Davis

Wantwaz Davis has a very unique story and accomplishment. He was shipped to the Michigan Department of Corrections for 19 years, from the age of 17 to 36; after pleading guilty to second degree murder against a young man who had allegedly sexually assaulted his mother. Davis was uneducated, and couldn’t read or write. After he educated himself, Wantwaz realized the desire to help build the moral value in youth. Wantwaz was released from prison in 2010, completed parole in 2012, and was elected to Flint City Council in 2013. After being elected, he has rebuilt vigor in constituents who were always resilient but voiceless due to inadequate leadership. 28% of Flint residents have felonies on their record that make it difficult to find employment. Davis strives to keep this issue at the forefront, while bringing some resolution to other, equally pressing issues that have crippled the City of Flint, Michigan such as high water rates and loss of property and income taxes, which are the two income streams that keep a city afloat. If these men and women are refused to be a part of the work force, Flint, Michigan will never rebound, but only regress.

The first thing that comes to mind are people that have ‘done you wrong’. There is more to forgiveness than just overlooking hurt from others. True, you should forgive no matter what and it’s not easy. What helps is realizing that everyone’s perception is different. How one views themselves, what they’ve learned and experienced in life influences their actions. We don’t know why people do or say what they do, but knowing that we all have different perception makes it easier on your own process of forgiveness. If someone hurts you, think to yourself, ‘they must be going through something’, or ‘I wonder why they feel so bad about themselves?’ This will help you develop compassion and help you overlook what they’ve done. It’s also good for you, because none of us are perfect and we want to be forgiven when we err. Forgive yourself. We can’t operate properly if we’re holding on to guilt about the past. It keeps you from blossoming into the person you really are. You may have done things that you deem unforgivable, and you keep condemning yourself, but who are you to judge? It’s done, move on. There can be no love without forgiveness; to love yourself is to forgive yourself. Forgiving is essential to emotional, physical and spiritual health. Just let it go, you do not want to make yourself sick. Whoever you are holding grudges against at this moment is probably not even thinking about you. Clear some space in your head and in your heart, and forgive, so you can be happy and healthy. DON’T


This may be difficult initially, but once you make the decision to do it, you will find yourself monitoring your thoughts and conversation. Then you will find it very hard to be around negativity. No matter who you are, your thoughts and conversation affect what you see and how you feel. We know what it is. It is seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full. It is seeing the rain as an inconvenience instead of a necessity to the flowers, grass and trees. You get the point. Negativity only makes things seem worse than they are. Remember, there is life and death in the power of the tongue; as a man thinks, so is he; you will have what you say. This speaks for itself. You know when you’re being negative. Just stop it. If you think you are no good, then you will be and no good will come to you. Stop focusing on and talking about the things that don’t seem right in your life. You’re only giving them more power over you. Negativity is like a virus once it in your spirit, it takes work to get it out.

Courageous Woman Magazine  
Courageous Woman Magazine  

The inspirational magazine that highlights the accomplishments of extraordinary women and encourages women to SEEK, FIND, and LIVE their pur...