Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves the Semicolon Movement July 25, 2015

I’ve been a writer and editor for over 15 years now. Through the years, I’ve learned from some crackerjack editors, and serious grammar queens, so I think I have a pretty good handle on structure, punctuation and such. However, there is one little mark that remains troublesome: the semicolon. The cute lil’ guy can mean so many things! It can mean “but,” it can indicate a list, it can almost replace “for example.” One thing all its meanings seem to hold in common, though, is a continuation.

semicolon

That must have been what Amy Bleuel thought, too, when she chose this symbol as the unifying image when she created a campaign, Project Semicolon, for bringing awareness to mental health issues. As an open display of a personal connection with mental health issues—whether with themselves or loved ones—Bleuel asks people to draw or tattoo semicolons on their bodies. Sadly, she too has had mental illness touch her life: her father committed suicide in 2003 and she has her own struggle with mental health issues. She told USA Today:

“I wanted to tell my story to inspire others to tell their story. I wanted to start a conversation that can’t be stopped, a conversation about mental illness and suicide…It’s impacted people who struggle with self-harm, addiction and suicide, as well as people who have lost people from suicide and addiction. It’s attracted everyone.”

Project Semicolon opens a much-needed dialogue for a community that needs support and affirmation, a group that has survived, healed and even those that still struggle. Creating this platform works to help them to remember that they aren’t alone.

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

To read more about Amy Bleuel’s amazing work and to see pictures of semicolon body art from across the globe, visit Project Semicolon’s site here

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LizzLoves Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine July 22, 2011

Lately, I’ve become aware of so many incredible documentaries being made, but when my friend sent me a link for “Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine,” I knew I had to bring it to LizzLoves readers.

 

“Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine” not only touches on the historical journeys of some of the first black female doctors to break ground in our country, but also chronicles the present-day success stories of black women in medicine today.

 

The film is the brainchild seasoned director Crystal Emery, who has been nurtured by notable filmmakers such as Bill Duke and Lloyd Richards. She also has several other films under her belt that uplift and educate communities. Crystal was inspired to make “Present and Unaccounted For…” after she met Doris Wethers, one of the first black women to attend Yale Medical School, and Beatrix Hamburg, the first woman to graduate from Yale Medical School.

 

Unfortunately, as Crystal and her nonprofit production company, URU The Right To Be, started shooting footage, a significant backer pulled out of the project, bringing production to a halt.

 

But, if you’re like me, you don’t want this reel to end up on a dusty shelf somewhere. Crystal has launched a Kickstarter campaign where people can make donations, large or small, to help this project reach completion.

 

So, be part of showing our daughters, nieces, sisters and all young ladies who aspire to careers in medicine, that not only can they accomplish what they set their minds to, but that there is a sisterhood that has laid the ground for them!

 

Click here to watch a piece of some of the inspiring footage and to find out how you can help this empowering story be told!

 

LizzLoves Casa Atabex Ache May 16, 2011

Photo courtesy of Womens ENews

To women from the South Bronx and all across New York City, Casa Atabex Ache is a refuge, a lighthouse in the storm that sometimes rolls into their lives. But, now that funding is running out, many worry that their second home,  filled with caring sisters, will no longer be able to open the doors when they come knocking.

Casa Atabex Ache is named for the diverse community of women that it attracts (casa = Spanish for home, atabex = indigenous Taino word which represents goddess, ache = Nigerian word for power).  Since 1987, Casa has been providing a haven for women where they can share their voices, heal from trauma and find support and empowerment.

From holistic healing to workshops for teen mothers, Casa is a home-grown and loving source for building sisterhood and empowering youth to make wise life decisions. They work every day to enrich the physical, mental and spiritual health of women in their community.

Help Casa Atabex Ache continue to provide loving support to women in the South Bronx! Click here to donate.

 

LizzLoves REVEAL May 7, 2011

I have friends of many faiths and I believe in being open to others’ ways of worship, devotion and celebration. While I consider myself very inter-faith, I was raised Catholic and will always see that foundation as a gift and inspiration. So I see it as even more of a gift when my sister friends can find love, community and spirituality in their lives as well.

Today, women from all over New York City will come together for the annual REVEAL Conference, a inter-faith gathering to learn and share among a nurturing community of sisters. Cool things to expect:

  • enlightening speakers (including an amazing life coach Joanna Lindenbaum),
  • open dialogues about faith and feminism
  • motivational talks about financial freedom
  • living a healthy life
  • spiritual activism

So whether you are connected to Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Ganesha, Yemaya or Buddha, you will find a open-minded spiritual sista’ to share your experience with at REVEAL. Enjoy!

How has your spirituality shaped the person you are? Tell me more in the comments section!

 

LizzLoves Fly Girl Fest May 6, 2011

NYC ladies, oyeme…listen up! If you heart hip-hop, door-knocker earrings and pink AF1’s , and your soul thrives on social justice and artistic expression, tonight’s Fly Girl Fest 2011 is where you should be!

Brought to you by leaders, JLove Calderon and Wanda Vazquez, Fly Girl Fest will feature musical and artistic presentations from young women, students at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice.

This is NOT your average community event or talent show. It’s much more! These ladies have been guided and mentored by professionals to not only display their talents in a polished presentation, but to rise up as up-and-coming youth leaders. As an added bonus, dope spinstress DJ Chela will be on the 1’s and 2’s between sets.

Put ya’ hands together for these chicas. Thank you for stepping up as the leadership of tomorrow, and spreading the message of girl power and sisterhood!

So head out to Brooklyn tonight (6-8 pm @ El Puente, suggested donation = $3) for this moving event!

Read more about last year’s Fly Girl Fest here.

 

LizzLoves Women Money Power Summit April 8, 2011

The 3rd annual Women, Money, Power Summit kicked off this morning in Washington D.C. Sorry for the late notice, but I just found out! So DC locals, get your butts over there! And ladies with flexible schedules and a car, give it a go, because this galvanizing event is not to be missed!

 

Once you read the agenda, you may be driven by the diverse array of talks that will be featured on reproductive rights, anti-violence, gender equality, education or even politics. But you might also be inspired by what leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Dolores Huerta and Shirin Ebadi have to say to bolster women leaders everywhere to keep fighting for their rights, for progress and for funding for programs that really effect change for women and youth.

 

I’m excited that such a powerful meeting of XX minds are coming together this weekend to make a difference. Sending good vibes to the women who are participating in the summit!

 

Tell me about which women’s issues you think lack funding and support. Share your thoughts in my comments section!

 

LizzLoves Judith Jamison March 14, 2011

“People come to see beauty, and I dance to give it to them.”-Judith Jamison

 

Have you ever had the pleasure of witnessing the beauty of an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater production? In a word: breathtaking.

 

I went to a show at BAM in Brooklyn a few years ago, and I can still remember the chills I got while I watched the dancers float across the stage. Their movement, synergy and passion came together to create a brand new color that doesn’t have a name in the existing spectrum.

 

Today I’m recognizing the company because I learned that its exquisitely talented Artistic Director for the past 22 years, Judith Jamison, will be stepping down this year.

 

Judith is not just a leader; not just a choreographer. She is a force, a legend, an inspiration. In the beginning of her career she was a powerful and evocative dancer. She trained with some of the biggest names in ballet, including Agnes de Mille. After some time with the American Ballet Theater, she joined the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 1965, where she became Alvin Ailey‘s muse. During her 15 year dance career with the company,  Mr. Ailey built several shows around her incredible talent.

 

Judith went on to have a very rich career in several platforms of dance, but where she may have had the most impact on audiences was when she was behind the scenes as the Artist Director at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, a role she took on in 1989, after Mr. Ailey’s untimely death. Building upon the founder’s model to incorporate several styles of dance—ballet, modern, jazz and African—Judith’s productions were (and are) a magical journey through dance history.

 

Judith’s career thus far has been an inspiration to dancers and choreographers everywhere, but particularly to women and people of color.

 

Thank you, Judith Jamison. Because of you, little brown girls in the tutus and toe shoes will always have strong role model in you and the dancers you have nurtured throughout your career. You are a beautiful face, voice and spirit of a community.

 

“So many people dwell on negativity and I’ve survived by ignoring it: it dims your light and it’s harder each time to turn the power up again.”—Judith Jamison

 

*Tell me about your Ailey dance experiences here in my comments section!*