Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Black Girls Rock November 8, 2010

I almost forgot to tune into VH1 last night to see Black Girls Rock! Did you see it? If you didn’t, you missed out on a great show where black women and girls from all industries, backgrounds and walks of life were honored for their achievements and the message they pass on to their sisters everywhere.

(*Don’t worry: You can catch the encore broadcast tomorrow (Tuesday) night, on VH1 @ 8 PM, check your local listings)

The honorees included young women who have only just begun to shine but show promise for making indeliable marks on the future of women of color across the globe: One 17-year-old girl from Detroit runs a mobile dance company that encourages young women to stay active and healthy, while another college student has made environmental awareness her mission and even launched a conference that focuses on green initiatives.

Other honorees that you might recognize more easily are:

  • Actress/entrepreneur Raven Symone
  • Legendary actress/activist Ruby Dee
  • Motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant
  • Producer/musician Missy Elliott

 

 

Photo courtesy of BET.com

Another woman who deserves serious props is Beverly Bond, renowned DJ and founder of the original nonprofit organization, Black Girls Rock. Read more about her career and the birth of the organization in this Black Enterprise article.

So, tell me: who are the black women in YOUR life that rock? Share that love with your sistas and let me know! You may see them in a future LizzLoves post!

 

 

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LizzLoves Natsuko Garcia October 6, 2010

I was perusing the WNYC Radio website yesterday when I came across their section “Know Your Neighbor” which featured the story of an amazing young Japanese woman in Brooklyn, NY named Natsuko Garcia. When Natsuko discovered that the children in her Japanese community in Bay Ridge didn’t have access to books in their native language, she decided to build that resource for them: in her one-bedroom apartment. Natsuko has opened her home-turned-library to little bookworms in her neighborhood. Watch the video for a tour of the homemade library and its pint-sized fans.

Thanks, Natsuko, for enriching our youth with culture and education!

 

LizzLoves…Lah Tere September 20, 2010

A few years back, I went to a show at S.O.B’s in New York City for a collection of performances by up and coming hip-hop groups. Having attended many of those types of events, I thought I knew what I was in for, but one group, Rebel Diaz, threw me for a loop.

These Latino MCs not only came correct with beats and vocals, but their bilingual lyrics spoke social justice and human rights. They were like a throwback to the days when all hip-hop had a message.

I love everyone in the crew, but I’ll admit to having a particularly soft spot for the one woman in the trio, Lah Tere (aka Teresita Ayala Nunez). If you’ve never heard or seen her perform, Lah Tere is like old-school Queen Latifah-meets-Mystic-meets-La India all rolled up into one. And like Laila Ali, her delivery packs a serious punch! Her lyrics are personal, yet universal at the same time. From the U.S. streets to the barrios and favelas of Latin America, her words reach out to all those who are oppressed and to those who are fighting for human rights worldwide.

While Lah Tere’s talent for clever & poetic lyrics combined with her lovely vocals on hooks could probably land her a sweet record deal, the rewards she seeks are not what you might think.

Instead of jewels, cars and cash, what enriches La Tere’s life is the ability to be successful as a social activist:  to bring positive messages of change to communities all over the world.

Also check out one of her ventures in girl power, Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen, a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color. LT co-founded the organization.

So, gracias, La Tere and Rebel Diaz, for educating the masses and fighting the good fight! Bendeciones!

Check out their latest release, “Libertad,” (video above) to get a taste of what Rebel Diaz brings to the hip-hop table…

 

LizzLoves…Willie Mae Rock Camp August 30, 2010

Cindy Blackman

From the time I was 10 until I was around 18, I played the drums. At my middle school, we didn’t just play the drums, though, we were trained in all sorts of percussion instruments: xylophones, crash cymbals, timpani drums, bells and even castanets and maracas. I really loved it, but what I loved the most is that I was the only girl in my section of the school band…and I got a lot of props from other girls for it. They were impressed that I managed to hold my own in a traditionally male-dominated section.

While I’m sure times have certainly changed, I know that establishing confidence and sisterhood in and through music is still a challenging endeavor. One organization that continues to meet the need of empowering young women through musical expression is the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. They just finished up another successful summer season of bringing hundreds of girls together to find their voices through instruments, voices and even turntables.

Props to Willie Mae for showing girls how to rock out!!! *pumping fist in the air*

Hmm, I wonder if I had stuck with it (kinda hard to do at an all-girls high school), if I could have grown up to be next Cindy Blackman, Lenny Kravitz’ badass girl drummer (see pic above)…? Nah, maybe I’d be more like Sheila E.! I have always wanted to play the congas and timbales…there’s still time 🙂

Sheila E.

 

LizzLoves…NEW August 12, 2010

Do you know the great song “Anything You Can Do” from the Broadway show Annie Oakley? It’s a fun guy/girl duet  in which the girl keeps telling the guy that anything he can do, she can do better.  They take turns trying to “one-up” each other, but I love its girl power message, boastful lyrics and can-do attitude.

I thought of this song when I first learned about the organization Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) in New York City. This group emphasizes, celebrates and proves that women can do anything a man can– from mechanics and construction to carpentry and contracting.

These women are building cities and breaking gender barriers every day. Click here to learn more about what they do, the history of the organization and some interesting facts about women working in these trades.  And check out their awesome logo!

I actually have always wondered what it would be like to be a mechanic…hmm, possible career change? Hey, you never know! 🙂

 

LizzLoves…Healing Yoga March 7, 2010

Filed under: badass women,cool orgs,inspirational — lizzloves @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve been dying for years to try yoga, but,  for some reason, I never made the leap. So, finally, a few weeks ago, I got up the nerve to try a Sunday morning class at my gym called “Gentle Yoga.” Just the name alone told me that I had a good chance at having a rewarding experience.

Well, let me tell you, I am a convert. I don’t know if I will ever be a hardcore yogi, but I will definitely be practicing yoga from now on. When I thought about trying it before, I think I was afraid that I wouldn’t be strong or graceful enough. But, oddly, as the teacher guided us through each pose, I felt powerful and peaceful at the same time. In my head, I  actually found myself saying “I’m strong, I can do this.” So, now I know the beautiful effects of yoga!

So, when my friend recently sent me this article on yoga therapy, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for me to see how yoga could profoundly affect people who need healing.  The article talked about how Deidre Summerbell is teaching yoga to women in Rwanda who are survivors of rape and other forms of trauma.  Yoga has proved invaluable in their emotional and physical healing processes. Click here to read more about how yoga is changing women in Rwanda.

 

LizzLoves…summer camp! July 9, 2009

Filed under: cool orgs,de mi mente — lizzloves @ 3:13 pm

summer campAs corny as it may sound, I still miss summer camp. I always know when camp season comes around by a smell in the air. It’s leaves, earth, chilly mornings that get burned off to turn into hot, breezy afternoons.  I even start to hum old camp songs in the shower *blush*.

I went to an all-girls camp in NJ called Camp Nyoda for two summers. That doesn’t seem like very long, but it left a lasting impression on me.  I had plenty of friends before I went to camp, but Nyoda was my first experience of sisterhood and girl power. I can honestly say it shaped who I am today.

I always say that I wish every girl could have the chance to go away for a few weeks of the summer to camp (unless she hates nature!). I know that I was blessed to have that chance. I recently discovered this awesome organization called Girls Quest. They raise money to send hundreds of girls from NYC to summer camps every year.

I can just imagine them packing now, getting excited and nervous about the new friends they will make…

http://www.girlsquest.org/