Monday, May 19, 2014
There is no telling what the power of social media can do...
Unbeknownst to some advocates and caring activist, critics sprinkled ridicule in the media regarding the effectiveness a growing social campaign called #BringBackOurGirls.
I learned about the 279 Nigerian girls who were forcefully kidnapped from a school in the remote North-East of Nigeria by Islamist insurgency group known as Boko Haram on Instagram. Most readers were naive to earlier incidents of attacks and violence which left a number of civilians dead. Like for many, if it had not been for a social media postings, the issues Nigeria is facing may never have caught the public's attention.
In comparison to countless well documented social media revolutions, #BringBackOurGirls is not much different. Social media has been known to air out the dirty laundry of leaders, regimes, political officials, and pop stars. This may be one of the reasons that social media has been an intricate force infused in awareness and monopolizing the average “Joe’s” power to harness change in the social culture today.
Historically, the timeline has shown there is power in people connecting and sharing content.
-In June 2009, the Tehran protest in Iran when the people protested an election in Iran, the Iranian government cracked down on media reports, but demonstrators used Twitter to further a “Twitter Revolution.” At one point it was mandated that Twitter postpone scheduled maintenance to provide people with a communication channel, sort of a life line to share information.
-January 2011 the uprising in Tunisa, Egypt, Syria, Libya, and other countries used Facebook and Twitter to organize protests.
-2011 Occupy Wall Street gains momentum and supporters through social media which leads to nationwide protests latter in the year.
-November 2012 Obama and Michelle tweeted a picture of themselves. The public retweeted it almost 800,000 times. Also in 2012, Israel Defense forces live tweeted a military conflict against Hamas in Gaza.
There are many more examples from disaster relief in from the earthquake in Haiti, hurricane Sandy in the North, tornado's in the Midwest to political revolutions, protests, and organized awareness campaigns throughout the world. To date high profile celebrities and public officials have also chimed in with signs that promote the #BringOurGirlsBack campaign. People like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mary J. Blige and President Barrack Obama are just a few to name.
The point of this historical reference is to correlate social media and other digital 2.0 effectiveness
in organizing real action. From the White House to Monday May 12th’s Rallyin front of City Hall in New York City. It is through social media that women in Nigeria were able to catch the world’s attention.
People all over the country are standing up to put pressure on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to be proactive in the matter. It is believed with out the strong presence of the outside world, nothing much would have been done to return the young girls safely back home.
With a crucial election for Goodluck Jonathan around the corner, he has no choice but to hear the world’s dismay about the lack of adequate laws, resources, and concern to protect young girls and women in Nigeria.
People gathered with public advocate Letitia "Tish" James, City Council member Mattieu Eugene, speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Brooklyn College Political Science Professor Mojubaolu Okome, Bishop Dr. Jonathan Owhe, and a host of additional concerned leaders and citizens to discuss #BringBackOurGirls and what the public can do to support.
Social media has been instrumental in bringing awareness to #BringBackOurGirls campaign. As pictures and video was taken, people shared their point of view, conversed, and creatively poured out a message that announced “Our Nigerian Girls Matter”. These girls are mine and yours, our sisters, aunts, and daughters.
LOVE WILL PREVAIL AND BRING THEM HOME
Sunday, March 16, 2014
CALL TO ACTION! YOGA FOR AIDE RELIEF...
In response to the tragedy on Park Ave in Harlem, Harlem Yoga Studio is dedicating all community class donations until the end of March 2014 to aide in the relief efforts for families of the victims and those displaced by Wednesday’s unfortunate tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the
Not only are you giving back but for your generosity you will have taken an opportunity to benefit your whole being with an life enriching practice!
Community classes are held:
Monday: 10:00 - 11:30 AM (Community Open Level)
Wednesday : 5:45 - 6:45 PM (Community Open Level Vinyasa)
Fridays :9-10:30 AM (Community Iyengar Yoga)
Friday: 10:45 - 12:15 PM (Community Prenatal Yoga)
Harlem, NY 10027
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Governor Cuomo has been in the midst of great debate in respect to hydraulic fracturing, a process that has been known to contaminate groundwater and air quality. Some countries have completely banned the method of extraction. A growing number of New Yorkers in opposition demonstrate their resistance in front of The Harvard Club where Mr. Cuomo ate for breakfast. You could say, his unexpected guests joined him for green eggs and ham.
Almost a year ago, Governor Cuomo ordered Dr. Nariv Shah to conduct a study on the health effects of drilling. Political pressure has put Cuomo in a position to bring the Health Department Study to a head. They project over 200,000 jobs either directly related to fracking or industries that benefit from “lower” energy cost output. The impression of the energy source being safe emerged when 30 other states approved its use. Contrary to this belief, 4 states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have confirmed water pollution from drilling.
Consider New York’s “other half” where drilling will be prominent. Places like Mohonk, Nyack Village, The Adirondacks, Greater Niagara, Chautauqua-Allegheny, Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands-Seaway, Central New York, and The Catskills landscapes are at risk for spills, methane leaks, and flow-back; all of which impose health risks and induce environmental injury.
The documentary Gas Land directed by Josh Fox outlined consequences of areas exploited for slickwater fracking energy. Mr. Fox discovered communities in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah were significantly affected by the practice. His documentary exposed the extremely dirty environmental conditions that had adverse health effects which caused impairment to the people and land but were blatantly denied by politicians. Putting stake in the 200,000 job’s claim and fast forward toward a possibility economic development in the form of hoarded profits and low wage jobs as it has been with modernistic big business ventures.
A study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology finds that “shale gas has a return value which is close to coal.” As we have recently witnessed, profits have benefited the upper echelons in society which have consistently deleted alternative cleaner and healthier products due to their lack of profitability.
In the documentary, landowners who put their house on the market ended up with unsalable houses, methane contaminated water, and polluted backyards. Analyzing the current trend of big business, it is doubtful the general population will benefit from financial prosperity anyway.
Governor Cuomo’s delay could show that he is well aware of the controversy posed around drilling in New York State.
Possible solutions to cleaner fracking do exist! CleanStim, GasFrac’s Fluid, and Ecosphere Technologies’ advanced oxidation where 100 percent of the water used in this process can be recycled. Combining cleaner fracking methods with alternative natural energy sources like solar and wind power can help to change the energy industry as we know it.
It is safe to say, a large responsible ball of energy rests on Governor’s Cuomo’s hand. We can only hope he sees things as clearly as the general public has when it comes to the winners and losers in big business energy.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
All around New York City we see an influencing
public awareness campaign which has taken a gigantic leap toward the empowerment women and girls, and hopefully has captured the heart of men and boys in the same.
The message resonates an energy that recognizes that perfect beauty exists in girls naturally. All around the metro area posters and ads have a simple picture of a girl smiling. The text reads I’m A Girl. I’m Beautiful The Way I Am. The first time in a long time, this poster made me feel proud to be a woman.
The media society is exposed to can make us forget that being a girl is awesome! The culture of the messages marginalize women into sexual and stereotypical objects, misrepresenting sensuality for sales and exposing young people to the idea that their natural beauty is not good enough.
It was in the plain cold metal subway, bus stops, and poster ads which spread across New York; that this gem of enlightenment in the most simplistic way, reinforced the idea of what it means to be a girl.
Being tremendously excited I went on to pitch this editorial to an “undisclosed newspaper”, the editor was a female in fact, but to my surprise, I was told to submit more "news centric" pitches.
But I could not let go of the pictures, article, or message. How could this not be news! So I decided it would be best to share with my World Pulse Community and blog! Also including pictures of girls just being girls, one of which is my daughter and daughter’s cousin.
The female species needs reminders that she has a magnificent role in the world. From being a creator of life to being a key decision maker who has handled some of the worst problems humans have ever experienced. She has the ability to keep everything running in order, finding courage when she connects with her senses, following her intuition for solutions.
Most warm-blooded feminine creatures have natural instincts to protect, produce, console, and house their young. Human women have even greater potential because they can think, speak, walk, and lead, having a natural maternal instincts to create. As leaders and healers their voice is the glue that binds society together. Enduring and defying odds that seem humanly impossible to overcome by worldly understanding. She will die protecting her children and many times the children of others. When a woman reaches her potential, she is an unstoppable force.
Unfortunately, stereotypes about females breed hatred, superior thinking, and destructive behavior that hurt the innate esteem that women and girls need to thrive on. Public perception is heavily influenced by media. It evokes fantasy, many times encouraging a woman to take on the identity of an item. This item is purchasable, beautiful, plentiful, but worst of all replaceable.
The media is a constant stimuli, possibly exposing the average person more than 100 times a day in the United States. Much of the messages are contradictory in nature to the innate feminine wisdom that women and girl possess, leading her to second guess her intuition. Even the strongest of people exposed over 100 times a day, let in an idea or two about what a woman or girl should be.
Both genders, have tendency to judge a woman with harsher standards. It can become deadly for a woman or young girl to be associated with sexual and physical stereotypes because the view point brews social out casting, bullying, mental and physical abuse, rape, gossip, and even death. Women also hold less powerful decision making roles that could change laws and circumstances that govern their ability to change the mentioned issues.
It is important for the public to reinforce positive media messages about women and girls that build them up. Suggesting that there is more to a female then simple stereotypes but rather a human, living being that breathes, feels, and has the mental capacity to survive and birth a society. Out of those 100 or so media communications, it is nice to think at least one had the power to generate self esteem.
Messages from the pictures attached are hope. Sites like World Pulse provide a voice for that hope. It is up to us to generate and support the change we wish to see. Please share these pictures with a woman or girl you love. Let her know, she is beautiful just the way she is!