Where is Your Sense of Nationalism, Women?!

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Why Women Aren’t Being ‘Selfish’ When They Wait Longer To Have Kids
"Yet another article has been published bemoaning the declining birthrate in the United States. Perhaps as a result of treating anecdotal evidence gathered from four people at a hookah bar as if it were actual research, this latest piece gets a number of things wrong."

History of the NAACP

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded today in 1909, a century after the birth of Abraham Lincoln.  A group of white liberals horrified by the violence against blacks, particularly after a race riot the previous year in Springfield, IL, issued a call for a meeting to discuss civil rights.  60 people answered the call, including Ida Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. Du Bois.
They began a campaign against lynching, promoted voting rights, and economic parity.  Thirty years later, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund was established as the legal branch to challenge segregation in both schools and public transit.  Over the years, the goals of the NAACP have expanded to encompass the growth and needs of African Americans as disparity continues in employment, housing, health care, education, voting, and the legal system.
To learn more or to get involved, visit the http://www.naacp.org/.

The Problem With Raising 'Good Girls'

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"Every time I praise my daughter for being a "good girl," I cringe inside. It falls out of my mouth without thinking, as if it’s the highest praise that can be bestowed upon a girl.
But it’s not. It’s a curse and it has the potential to follow her throughout her life.
Good girls live by the unwritten expectation that they must be compliant and self-sacrificing to be of value—especially if they’re not hot enough to provide the world with eye candy."

To turn it around, what comes to mind when you hear "Good boy"?  Most people automatically think dog, not male child.

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Fugitive alleged LAPD-killer is first drone target on U.S. soil

National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing

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National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing:
Coral Davenport has written a wide-ranging new piece laying out the myriad ways climate change, driven by human carbon emissions, is threatening the American economy. The point is backed up by myriad scientific reports...

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Born to Breed: An Interview With Quiverfull Walkaway Vyckie Garrison | RH Reality Check

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WHO | International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

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Afghan Woman Forced to Marry Her Rapist

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Ten Things to End Rape Culture | The Nation

Woman Accused of Witchcraft, Burned Alive

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A young mother was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of being a witch.
According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen. The woman, stripped naked and covered in gasoline, was burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The relatives had accused Leniata of killing him with sorcery.

Report: Border Patrol Shot 16-Year-Old 11 Times In The Back

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Report: Border Patrol Shot 16-Year-Old 11 Times In The Back: pOn October 10, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez at the border of Mexico and Arizona. According to details in a new autopsy report, Elena Rodgriguez may have been shot as many as 11 times, all but one bullet hitting the teen from behind. The details are still [...]/p

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Why Mental Health Concerns Everyone

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Most of us have heard the terms mental illness or mental disorder or psychiatric condition. These terms are used to describe a wide range of different conditions but what they have in common is that they all affect a person’s emotions, thoughts and behaviours — how they see themselves, see the world around them, and how they interact in that world.  The key difference from “having a bad day or week” is both the duration and magnitude of the impacts on your life.

There are many different kinds of mental disorders.  One in five Canadians, over the course of their lives, will experience a mental illness and what that ultimately means is that every single family in Canada will in some way be affected. There is nobody in Canada who can stand up and say, “Not my family, not my aunts or uncles or cousins or grandparents, children, siblings, spouse or self.”

And yet the reluctance to talk about mental illness, to acknowledge it openly, to treat it as a form of human suffering like any other illness, relates in part to how threatening this set of illnesses is to our sense of who we are. Mental illness cuts across all age, racial, religious, or socio-economic categories.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by the year 2020 depression will become the No. 2 cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. That’s a profound impact.

The number of suicides in Canada is almost 4,000 people a year. For people aged 15 to 24 in Canada, suicide is the No. 2 cause of death.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental illness is the number one leading cause of disability in the world and five of the 10 leading causes of disability are related to mental disorders.

Mental illness costs the Canadian economy a staggering $51-billion a year, and each day 500,000 people will miss work due to mental health problems.

Each year employers and insurers spend a whopping $8.5 billion on long-term disability claims related to mental illness.

Mental illness is the number one cause of disability in Canada, accounting for nearly 30% of disability claims and 70% of total costs. Mental health disorders in the workplace cost Canadian companies nearly 14% of their net annual profits and up to $16 billion annually.

The unemployment rate among people with serious mental illness is 70 - 90%. There is a 60% drop in family income when a breadwinner is diagnosed with mental illness.

Ten ways to create a mentally healthy workplace

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Maintaining a healthy office environment involves more than simply providing benefits and fitness programs. The emotional well-being of your employees is just as important. Here are ten suggestions to help create a mentally healthy workplace:
1.  Be Proactive
Don’t sit back and wait for problems to come to you. Consider all the things that make your workplace what it is. Examine culture, norms, policies and expectations to find out what you can change to create an environment that’s conducive to promoting mental health.

2. Make it a priority
Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked by employers but it is a very real concern, as a growing number of employees find themselves overwhelmed by the pressures of their jobs, families and finances.  In fact, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for people between the ages of 15 to 44. Studies have also shown definitively that mental health disorders – including depression, anxiety, burnout, substance abuse - cost Canadian companies billions of dollars annually.

3. Be accessible
Be sure that any wellness program can be extended to all employees within your organization, regardless of location or work hours. With advancements in technology, resources such as an on-demand video training modules can provide employees and their family members with 24/7 access to expertise whenever and wherever they need it whether they are at work, at home or on the go on their mobile device.

4. Offer resources
Provide employees with credible sources of information on mental health topics. Easy-to-understand guidance can go long ways towards helping people cope. Sometimes even a five-minute audio or video segment can be enough to help employees.

5. Take a holistic view of mental health
Mental health is not just about diagnosed illnesses. It can also be about many factors that improve a person’s well being. Nutrition, fitness, and good sleep habits for example can play a key role in mental health and happiness.

6. Look beyond the workplace
Personal finances, work-life balance, parenting and elder care are all things employees need to cope with in their daily lives. When developing a wellness program, be sure to look at what resources you can offer to help them meet their personal as well as workplace challenges.

7. Break down the barriers
An employer can play an important role in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. There are plenty of educational resources available to help employers foster a more supportive and collaborative workplace.

8. Be front and centre
Make sure management is actively involved with your mental health messaging. Let employees know you recognize and understand the challenges they face, and that your management is there to support them.  Where relevant, share personal experiences within an organization. Be sure to train all levels of management on mental health matters.

9. Watch and listen
Foster an environment where people are comfortable discussing wellness concerns; and listen to their feedback on the programs you’ve introduced. Their input is invaluable in ensuring that the supports you provide are effective.

10. Stay current
Workplace issues can shift from year to year. Make sure that any programs you develop are revisited at least annually so the content stays relevant.

Originally published in the Globe and Mail on November 7, 2011
Aimee Israel and Michael Held are the co-founders of LifeSpeak.com, a company that is dedicated to delivering information from acclaimed North American experts to workplaces to assist employees in better managing the demands of both their personal and professional lives. Visit LifeSpeak.com for more information on promoting wellness in the workplace.

Black History Month

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Morgan Freeman perhaps said it best when he said,
Unfortunately, what little history I did have in public school was largely whitewashed.  This month, I will post about black history in an attempt to educate myself.  Please bear with me, as I am a white woman from redneckville and moved to an area where other Caucasians ask me, "So what's it like having black people as a significant minority?"  That's not hyperbole. 
It is not possible for me encompass the whole experience of black, let alone an integrated American, history in one month.  I will make some mistakes, and possibly offend.  Please note that it is not my intent to do so.  I have a fairly steep learning curve on this one.