Friday, November 9, 2012



"As an Ambassador for Goodwill’s Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health division, Liya Kebede knows a thing or two about motherhood. In addition to having kids of her own, Liya serves as an advocate for thousands of mothers needing guidance in the way of child nourishment and development. The Ethiopian designer and model recently talked with Elizabeth Street about her experiences as a parent and her passion for helping less fortunate moms around the world.

Motherhood and its career affects. 
“Being a mother puts things in perspective and informs everything that I do. It makes everything hit much closer to home. Being born and raised in Ethiopia, I have helplessly witnessed the devastation a family goes through when a mother dies, many times. Living in the Unites States now I see and understand that we can prevent the deaths of those mothers.” 

Issues moms face in developing countries. 
“Giving birth is one of the most joyous gifts to a mother. But sadly in developing countries, giving birth can mean death. Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the main reasons that mothers die in developing countries; they die from preventable or treatable conditions because they do not have any access to basic medical care. Most women around the world do not deliver in clinics or hospitals; this is due to the lack of access, the lack of education among the communities, and the lack of policy makers and international donors that focus on maternal health. The statistics show a devastating need for well-equipped and well-staffed hospitals in developing countries.” 

Hence the Liya Kebede Foundation. 
“The Liya Kebede Foundation is committed to ensuring that every woman, no matter where she lives, has access to life-saving care. Saving mothers’ lives requires the strategic coordination and deployment of resources, skilled doctors and midwives, ambulances, roads, clean sheets and basic medical tools, just to name a few. This year we have successfully equipped a maternity center in the Hawassa region in Ethiopia and have helped train the staff so that the women in the community can have access to quality care. The center started as a pilot program and aims to be an example for other similar maternity centers across the country.” 

What can other moms do to help? 
“Getting the word out is essential, and donating to the Liya Kebede Foundation is a great way to make your voice heard as well. Even as little as $1 provides a woman with a dose of medicine that can stop a hemorrhage, which is the leading cause of death for mothers.” 

 Liya and her husband Kassy Kebede have two children, Suhul and Raee, together."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Justice for Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old Black male who was murdered a month ago in Orlando, FL by a 28-year-old white male who claimed the child looked suspicious. While visiting his father during NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Trayvon had just left his father's home, in a gated community, to buy a bag of skittles and can of iced tea from a convenience store just down the street. What Trayvon, nor his family knew, was that he would never make it back home that night.

On his way home, Trayvon, who had his hood on because it was raining, was spotted by self-appointed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman. Zimmerman called the local police department while he was sitting in his vehicle supposedly conducting his watchman duties and told the dispatcher, "There's a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he's up to no good, on drugs or something... He's checking me out." "These a**holes always get away," he adds. Zimmerman then proceeds to get out of his vehicle to follow and confront Martin. The dispatcher asks, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman replies, "Yes." And the dispatcher is heard trying to discourage Zimmerman, saying, "Okay, we don't need you to do that."

Authorities are uncertain of what happened next, but a series of 911 calls from local residents reveal that Zimmerman did in fact confront Trayvon, a scuffle ensued, and a life was lost. "They're wrestling right in the back of my porch," one frantic caller says. "The guy's yelling help and I'm not going out." A 13-year-old witness claimed, "I saw a man laying on the ground that needed help, that was screaming and then I was going to go over there to try and help him, but my dog got off the leash, so I went and got my dog, and then I heard a loud sound and then the screaming stopped." Many of the calls reveal a voice screaming for help (more than likely Trayvon) and then a single gunshot followed by complete silence. Trayvon was murdered and George Zimmerman has admitted to killing the teen. Yet, he has yet to be arrested or charged for the violent crime.

It was exposed that Zimmerman made 46 calls to police in the past 15 months, most often to report a suspicious person. What Zimmerman had been doing was racial profiling, assuming that a person of color, usually Black, walking in the neighborhood had to be up to no good. And in this case, Zimmerman's actions and misconceptions misguided him into believing that he could take a child's life to fulfill some selfish entity.

There is absolutely no reason that a child should have to lose his/her life because of someone else's ignorance.

We not only need to educate ourselves, but those around us as well. All Trayvon's family is asking is that their son's murderer be brought to justice. Help their voices be heard, sign the petition at Stand up for Trayvon and let justice be served!

**UPDATE** George Zimmerman is FINALLY charged with 2nd degree murder in the case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (4/11/12)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Feature Friday: Red Tails

Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen. "In the fire and chaos of World War II, the U.S. military recruits a fearless group of African-American fighter pilots to help reclaim the skies over Europe. Discriminated against both as citizens and as soldiers, the Tuskegee Airmen take flight in planes distinguished by distinctive red tails, and fight to defeat the tyranny of the Axis powers. As a result of their bravery, the pilots emerge as true heroes."
Directed by Anthony Hemingway. Screenplay by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Dream Lives On

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why Derrick Rose IS A Role Model

Why Derrick Rose IS A Role Model (Especially In Today's NBA)
This is a really good article in contest to the Mark Yost article from the Chicago Tribune last week (,0,5657899.story).

Let me just say that Derrick Rose is a great role model: he’s humble, sincere, consistent, amiable, admirable, an all around class act. Everyone’s ascribed a certain amount of talent and savvy to pursue whatever it is that they are passionate about and they can achieve it with the right work ethic, and it just so happens that Rose was destined to be a ball player (and one hell of a ball player!). There are several routes to success, some accomplished through acts of selfishness and others through acts of selflessness, and I think Rose’s ascent to fame and fortune qualifies as the latter. Just because there are allegations that Rose’s SAT scores were falsified doesn’t make him a bad person or immoral; that is one act of deceit to all of the acts of class and benevolence that Rose has shown repeatedly. And face it, the SAT is a biased assessment of test-taking skills, not an assessment of competence or ability; it’s just another scheme in our capitalistic society to help the rich get richer and the poor to remain poor. So what if Rose had to bend the rules a bit to prove himself on the court. I don’t think his affairs with a “standardized test” qualifies as a good judge of Rose’s character. Not to mention that the Yost article is coming from someone with a very biased opinion and perspective. (Has Yost ever been a low-income minority youth living in and attending public schools in the inner-city? I think not.)

And on that note, going back to my original argument on talent, passion, and persistence. I don’t think it’s false hope for youth to aspire to be athletes like Derrick Rose (they have just as slim a chance of becoming the next Barack Obama, although they should also be encouraged more often to pursue other professional and philanthropic careers). As long as they have the right attitude, understand the probability of experiencing success, and don’t neglect their academic success. And that they get the right attention and assistance. Because it’s those that instruct and assist them along the way that should also come into question when they make such poor judgments/decisions.