Meet NASCAR’s first Black woman on pit crew
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Brehanna Daniels wearing a NASCAR uniform while seated on a NASCAR vehicle

By Robert Brown,  Click Orlando

Brehanna Daniels grew up playing sports, so it’s no wonder she made it to where she is. “I think I was like 4 years old when I started playing basketball,” she said. In middle school, she played four sports: basketball, track, field hockey, and soccer.

Competition at such a young age taught her lessons that she still carries with her today. Lessons like resilience, courage, and commitment have helped her make history. Now at 27, Daniels is NASCAR’s first Black female tire changer.

In 2019, she became the first Black woman to pit in the Daytona 500 and she’s still breaking barriers in the historically white, male-dominated sport.

 

“I’ve been around a lot of guys before because of the different sports teams I’ve been on, but this was different…it’s a sport that’s known for a lot of white men,” Daniels said.

Daniels’ journey in NASCAR started in 2016, when she was attending Norfolk State University, which is a Historically Black University.

One of her friends approached her about NASCAR coming to the school.

“I was looking at her like ‘Girl, you know I don’t watch NASCAR, what are you telling me this for?’” Daniels said.

Brehanna Daniels seated wearing a bandana on her head and safety goggles while holding a tire changing hose in front of a NASCAR vehicle.
In 2019, Daniels became the first Black woman to pit in NASCAR’s historic Daytona 500 race. (WKMG 2021)

At the time, she didn’t even know what a pit stop was.

That same friend showed her a video on YouTube and Daniels was intrigued, so she gave it a chance and went.

Daniels was the only woman in a group of men who tried out for the pit crew team as part of the organization’s “Drive for Diversity” program.

The program is aimed at recruiting and training minority and female racecar drivers and pit crew members.

Daniels impressed and she was invited to the national NASCAR combine, which included more than 20 women, and the rest is history.

Click here to read the full article on Click Orlando.

U.S. Women’s Team Clears Hurdle to Reviving Equal Pay Fight
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Megan Rapinoe at the U.S. versus Sweden match with teammates on the field

By Andrew Das, New York Times

A federal judge on Monday approved a partial settlement in the long-running dispute over equal pay between U.S. Soccer and its World Cup-winning women’s national team, but the players’ fight with the federation is far from over.

The ruling by Judge R. Gary Klausner, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, rubber-stamped an agreement on working conditions that the sides had reached last year. When he rejected the players’ core arguments about equal pay last May, Klausner let them continue their claims about unequal working conditions in areas like team flights, hotels, venue selection and staffing support.

Before they could pursue an appeal of their equal pay defeat, the players needed to resolve those issues. With that agreement now in place, the players said, they will return to the core of their legal fight: an appeal of Klausner’s ruling that dismissed their demands for pay equal to what the men’s team earns.

“Now that this is behind us, we intend to appeal the court’s equal pay decision, which does not account for the fact that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job,” said the players’ spokeswoman, Molly Levinson.

The women’s players sued U.S. Soccer in March 2019, contending they had been subjected to years of unequal treatment and compensation. Twenty-eight members of the team filed the initial lawsuit, which later grew to include anyone in a larger class of players who had been part of the women’s team since 2015.

The players pressed their equal pay argument for years — through on-field protests, interviews and social media campaigns — as they piled up victories and two World Cup championships on the field. Then Klausner rejected them in a single devastating paragraph last May.

In that decision, Klausner ruled that not only had U.S. Soccer not paid the women’s players less than their men’s counterparts, but also that he had been convinced that “the WNT has been paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the MNT” over the years covered in the case.

It is unclear how long an appeal of his decision could take, or even whether it will be decided in a courtroom or at the negotiating table.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

‘Kung Fu’ star Olivia Liang: ‘Our show is necessary right now’
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Olivia Liang as Nicky in “Kung Fu” holding a fist up ready to fight kung fu

By Lauren Sarner, NY Post

Olivia Liang said that she barely needed to act for her starring role in the CW’s new rendition of “Kung Fu.”

Olivia Liang said that she barely needed to act for her starring role in the CW’s new rendition of “Kung Fu.”

“After reading the pilot I was like, ‘Oh, OK, so Nicky is just me!’” Liang, 27, told The Post. “Our incredible showrunner and creator Christina Kim infused so much heart and nuance and specific experience into the script — it was the first time I had read something and I was like, ‘Yes, I get it.’”

Premiering Wednesday (April 7) at 8 p.m., “Kung Fu” follows Nicky Shen, a Chinese-American woman who drops out of college and goes on an adventure to China, learning martial arts skills at a monastery. After her mentor is murdered, she returns home to San Francisco — only to find it overrun with crime and corruption that requires her newfound abilities.

Meanwhile, she also reconnects with her family — including dad Jin (Tzi Ma), mom Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan), sister Althea (Shannon Dang), brother Ryan (Jon Prasida), Althea’s fiance Dennis (Tony Chug) and Nicky’s estranged ex-boyfriend, Evan (Gavin Stenhouse).

“My life experience gave me what I needed to play Nicky, because it was just so spot on and so specific,” said Liang, who has also appeared on The CW’s “Legacies.”

“Nicky’s mom is kind of a tiger mom who is easing up a bit, and that’s exactly what I had growing up. I’m also an older sister and Nicky has a younger brother in the show. The things that she goes through were just so relatable to me.”

However, there were a few aspects of Nicky’s life that were new to Liang.

“My experience with martial arts before this was simply driving my sister to her Taekwondo classes,” she said. “So I did have to learn it for the show, but it’s been really fun and rewarding and hard. It’s a really beautiful sport and art. If you add up everything, I’m probably doing about 65 to 70 percent of the stunts. Anything super-cool is my amazing stunt double, Megan Hui. I’m trying to do as many of the stunts as I can because it’s really important to me that I’m able to do the martial arts of it all.”

“Kung Fu” originated as a 1972 series starring David Carradine as a monk and martial arts expert traveling through the American West. (It also spawned a syndicated sequel series, “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues,” which aired from 1993-1997 with Carradine again starring.)

“That show was a little before my time, but my uncle and my mom growing up would watch it,” said Liang. “So it was very surreal to them when I got this part. I’m just really happy that we get to re-imagine it — and maybe do it the way that it should have been done, with Asian people at the forefront.”

Click here to read the full article on NY Post.

The biggest weapon in the fight for gender equity in sports
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Image of the lower half of a Woman who is preparing for jogging

By Henry Bushnell, Yahoo! Sports

On March 18, an oft-injured Oregon center walked toward a basketball court in downtown San Antonio. Very few casual sports fans knew Sedona Prince’s name at the time. Prince, though, knew something wasn’t right.

She’d heard about the sprawling weight rooms that men’s college basketball teams were using in Indianapolis.

She looked to the side of her practice court and saw a solitary rack of light dumbbells, and a couple of folding tables, and … emptiness.

Two weeks later, the most powerful people in college athletics are still talking about what Prince saw — and about other, broader, deeper inequities between women’s and men’s sports. Fans are still talking. The media are still talking. Disparities between NCAA basketball tournaments sparked a national reckoning with institutional sexism in sports — a reckoning more forceful, sustained, and widespread than ever before, according to longtime sportswomen.

But not because these disparities were particularly egregious. Inequities, both specific and systemic, have always existed.

“We have been fighting this battle for years,” Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw wrote.

“This has been happening forever,” says Nancy Lieberman, one of women’s college basketball’s first superstars in the 1970s.

So what’s changed? Why the reckoning now?

“It just came to a head because Sedona had a camera. And she used it,” Lieberman says.

“The thing that has changed it,” McGraw says, “is social media.”

Why gender inequity in college hoops has persisted
McGraw still remembers the “very obvious differences,” the “stark contrasts” between men’s and women’s basketball accommodations when she first picked up the game. She saw them firsthand in the 1970s and 80s, as a player at St. Joseph’s University, then as a coach at Lehigh and Notre Dame.

“But we did not really care,” she says of the early days. “We were so happy to be playing. … I never even considered, ‘Oh wait, the men are flying and we’re taking a bus?’ ”

History is drowning in examples. Of motels instead of Marriotts. Of self-paid trips and roadside meals. Of undesirable practice times and ragged uniforms.

As the 80s became the 90s and then the 21st century, more and more women did care and did push for better treatment. They struggled, though, to find allies who’d listen — in part because the men in charge had nobody forcing them to listen.

At the time, players and coaches had no social media, and often no mainstream media covering their teams. They had no access to the public, so they operated in private. They asked for meetings with athletic directors and university administrators. “It was more backroom conversations,” McGraw says. Coaches would vent about disparities and unequal resources. More often than not, McGraw says, the response was some version of: “You know what, be happy with [what you have], because you’re lucky you have a job.”

And those responses instilled fear in some advocates. “In the past,” Lieberman says, “we the athlete, we the employee, have always felt like there’ll be retribution against us.”

Some lawsuits brought gender discrimination to the public eye. But most women who spoke up weren’t heard. More recently, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a lawyer and activist who heads Champion Women, sent dozens of letters and legal memos to college administrators. The memos highlighted discrimination with respect to Title IX. Most administrators, she says, simply didn’t respond. Others would say they were compliant, but wouldn’t offer proof.

The project, Hogshead-Makar says, “failed miserably,” just like other battles for gender equity in sports, because power brokers felt little external pressure to heed demands.

Until, that is, advocates could take their demands straight to the public.

How social media changed the game
Sometime in 2019, Sabrina Ionescu realized that Nike wasn’t selling Oregon women’s basketball jerseys — a prime example of the systemic inequities that suppress the popularity and profitability of women’s sports. Ten years ago, she’d have had to make phone call after phone call just to find somebody at the sportswear company who’d listen.

Two years ago, she simply sent a tweet.

Within days, the jerseys materialized.

Months later, Ionescu and hundreds of fans called out ESPN’s decision to broadcast the WNBA draft on ESPN2. Within hours of their tweets, ESPN reversed course and moved the broadcast to its main channel.

For decades, unequal media coverage stifled female voices. Research suggests that only 4% of all sports coverage centers on women. In the past, even when advocates tried to raise awareness about discrimination, the media’s interest, Hogshead-Makar says, was often “zero. It was a gigantic shoulder-shrug.” Executives and administrators, therefore, could shrug along.

But modern athletes no longer rely on traditional media. Social media has allowed them to build their own audiences, less inhibited by the 4% problem. Eight of the 10 most-followed college basketball players in this year’s Elite Eights were women. They now speak directly to audiences that can amplify their messages.

“Everybody has a platform,” McGraw says.

“Before things would go on, you wouldn’t even know about it,” she continues.

Now, the world knows. And it doesn’t just hear about inequities. It sees them.

‘It’s a movement of transparency and truth’
In interviews, multiple sources compared social media’s impact on women’s sports advocacy to its impact on the movement for Black lives.

“If there were no phones on cameras, do you think there would be the uproar that there is with the murder of George Floyd?” Lieberman asks. “No.”

“If there were no phones with cameras, do you think we would have seen what happened in the weight room in San Antonio?” she continues. “No.”

Omar Wasow, a professor at Princeton University, has studied this subject extensively. “Part of what social media does is allow us to see a reality that has been entirely visible to some people and invisible to others,” he told the New York Times last year. “As those injustices become visible, meaningful change follows.”

And the pattern, he says now, “definitely” applies beyond racial justice.

“The way women’s college basketball players used social media to reveal a particular injustice echo the work of many activists over decades who have strategically used media to elevate their concerns in the general public,” Wasow says.

“In the past, activists like civil rights leaders often required traditional media like newspaper reporters and television crews to garner coverage for their cause. Now, one person with a smartphone can shine a spotlight on something unjust and — if the image or video sparks concern on social media — directly amplify an issue to a global audience.”

That’s exactly what WNBA players did last summer from their bubble in Bradenton, Florida. It’s what Prince, Stanford performance coach Ali Kershner and others did from their NCAA tournament bubble in San Antonio. More than 10 million people watched Prince’s video on TikTok — where she now has 1.5 million followers. More than 210,000 people retweeted it.

“Social media is powerful,” Prince wrote two days later after the NCAA scrambled to build weight rooms and rectify its neglect.

Inequities that always existed are now exposable in 2021. A younger, more progressive generation is willing to expose them and capable of doing it. “What Sedona did took courage, took guts,” Lieberman says. “But in this last year … I believe that she’s realized that her voice carries power. Her TikTok carries power.” Ditto for hundreds of women athletes across the country.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Sports.

Meet the former pitcher, 94, trying to make a women’s baseball museum a reality
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An elderly woman with a cane in hand prepares to through a baseball with a stern face.

By Drew Weisholtz

A new Major League Baseball season kicks off Thursday and hope springs eternal for all 30 teams vying to win the World Series, not to mention a group of women with a different goal in mind.

Maybelle Blair, 94, who pitched for the Peoria Redwings in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s, has teamed up with historian and author Kat Williams to raise funds in order to build the International Women’s Baseball Center, a museum that would honor women in the sport.
“Women have been part of this game for since its inception, and we don’t have that home,” Williams told Dylan Dreyer on the 3rd hour of TODAY.

PHOTO: TODAY

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, New York, has been in existence since the 1930s, and Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum pays homage to Black athletes who played the sport while Major League Baseball was segregated. There’s even a National College Baseball Hall of Fame, based in Lubbock, Texas. But there is no entity solely for women.

“It is so important to me that I’m going to, if I can stay on this side of the grass, you know. … We got to get this done. I think it’s so important for girls and women and underprivileged children,” Blair said.
Blair was a pitcher who is the embodiment of the living, breathing history of women in the game and isn’t afraid to boast about it, either.

“Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax had nothing on me. And I loved every cockeyed minute of it,” she said.

She said men are hardly the only ones who have played a role in baseball lore.

“There is so much history in women’s baseball, people don’t even know it,” she said.

Women have made strides in the national pastime in recent years and enjoyed a breakthrough moment last year when the Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first female general manager in the major leagues.

“Listen, Kim Ng is probably the most wonderful thing that happened to women’s baseball. This woman is so talented. So outstanding,” Blair said.

Read the full article at TODAY.

Jazz Jennings recalls being ‘devastated’ by transgender soccer ban at age 8
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Jazz Jennings smiling while wearing a hot pink tank top dress

By Elise Solé, Yahoo Life

Jazz Jennings was banned from playing girls’ soccer as a child, and she doesn’t want other transgender children to suffer the same fate.

“When I was 8 years old, I was banned from my playing girls’ soccer for over two years. The ban made me feel excluded, had no merit and negatively affected me and my family,” the 20-year-old activist captioned a post on Instagram Monday. “Today, many states, including Florida, are trying to take away sports from many transgender youth. Go to the link in my bio to take action and combat these bills before they pass.”

The post showed emotional footage of Jennings’s parents, Greg and Jeanette, reacting to the ban by Florida league officials, who argued that their daughter’s biological sex gave her an unfair advantage in the sport, a common argument that’s been challenged by medical researchers. A 2017 review of eight research articles and 31 athletic policies published in the journal Sports Medicine found the majority were written without evidence-based guidance and that “there is no direct or consistent research” to suggest that transgender females have an athletic advantage “at any stage of their transition.”
Jazz Jennings was banned from playing girls’ soccer as a child, and she doesn’t want other transgender children to suffer the same fate.

“When I was 8 years old, I was banned from my playing girls’ soccer for over two years. The ban made me feel excluded, had no merit and negatively affected me and my family,” the 20-year-old activist captioned a post on Instagram Monday. “Today, many states, including Florida, are trying to take away sports from many transgender youth. Go to the link in my bio to take action and combat these bills before they pass.”

The post showed emotional footage of Jennings’s parents, Greg and Jeanette, reacting to the ban by Florida league officials, who argued that their daughter’s biological sex gave her an unfair advantage in the sport, a common argument that’s been challenged by medical researchers. A 2017 review of eight research articles and 31 athletic policies published in the journal Sports Medicine found the majority were written without evidence-based guidance and that “there is no direct or consistent research” to suggest that transgender females have an athletic advantage “at any stage of their transition.”

At age 5, Jennings openly identified as a girl, with the support of her parents, who felt their daughter had gender dysphoria — “the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics,” per the Mayo Clinic.

“It was horrible. I was told I could compete in games with the boys’ team, or practice with the girls and sit on the bench for the girls’ games,” Jennings told the online newspaper MinnPost in 2014. “These were very difficult times. I tried playing with the boys, but it was a disaster. It made me feel depressed, and I couldn’t enjoy the game I love. I didn’t want to quit soccer, so for the next year, I decided to practice with the girls and face the injustice of being forced to sit out the games. I felt like I was being bullied. It was terrible and painful.”

Backed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Jennings and her family challenged the soccer ban and, three years later, the U.S. Soccer Federation created policies inclusive of transgender players.

Shannon Minter, the legal director of the NCLR, tells Yahoo Life that he helped Jennings and her family draft letters to the federation, which did not have anti-transgender policies at the time but subsequently adopted those that banned discrimination based on gender identity. “It took a long time, but it was definitely because of Jazz,” he says. “I give her parents credit as they stood by her and without many resources available for them at the time.”

The federation was “very happy” to work with Jennings to put the policy together, a spokesperson tells Yahoo Life.

Jennings’s win was just a small portion of a larger and ongoing battle — according to the Human Rights Campaign, 22 bills in 17 different states, including Montana, South Dakota and Kansas, call for the restriction of transgender youth from playing on athletic teams. In fact, the LGBTQ advocacy group noted 82 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in 2021 state legislative sessions as of March 13, “surpassing the 2020 total of 79 and marking the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history.”

For example, this week alone, three states passed anti-transgender athletic policies. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that states “a student’s gender for purposes of participation in a public middle school or high school interscholastic athletic activity or event be determined by the student’s sex at the time of the student’s birth, as indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.” Lee explained in a tweet that it will “preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition.”

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended a similar state law, telling ABC News, “This law simply says that female athletes should not have to compete in a sport against a student of the male sex when the sport is designed for women’s competition. … This will help promote and maintain fairness in women’s sporting events.” Meanwhile, the “Mississippi Fairness Act,” tweeted Gov. Tate Reeves, will “protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.”

However, this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, when asked about state legislation that limits transgender youth in sports participation and health care, that President Biden “believes that trans rights are human rights and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of sex.”

In October, Jennings spoke to Yahoo Life about her 2014 autobiographical children’s picture book, I Am Jazz, landing on the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s 100 most banned or challenged books of the decade, which she called “both disappointing and honorable.” (The title of the book also inspired her TLC reality show.)

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo Life.

Dolly Parton Gets Her Own Comic Book for Women’s History Month
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Dolly Parton's Comic book character with big blonde hair and a big smile.

By  , TV Over Mind

The ideal thing to do would be to congratulate Dolly Parton for reaching another pinnacle in pop culture since her own comic book in a series that’s being run for Women’s History Month will cap off the month of March as it arrives on the 31st. That’s the expected thing to say, and it’s well-deserved since the country star has been around for so long and done so many great things that saying anything openly disparaging about her is bound to be met with a tirade of defensive statements and ridicule that would send quite a few naysayers running for the hills with their tails between their legs like scalded dogs.

Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad, but considering that Dolly has led a pretty impressive life and had such a stellar career it’s easy to think that anyone daring to badmouth Parton would be on the receiving end of a nonstop litany of insults that would make them think twice about saying another word against the woman.

Seriously, Dolly is loved by just about everyone that’s ever heard of her, and respected at the very least by those that aren’t huge fans. If anyone’s going to bother wondering how a person could not be a fan of Parton’s, all that needs to be said is that a person doesn’t enjoy country music, or that they don’t even know that much about Parton.

It’s all well and good to give respect to someone with a career that’s spanned so long and accomplishments that aren’t easy to count, but undying and obedient respect such as many of her fans have given for so long isn’t something that every individual is going to give without pause.

For those that aren’t big fans but know enough to be polite and offer congratulations, it’s enough to think that she continues to be a driving force in the music industry and that her works are continuing to be recognized. It’s one thing to recognize her though, and another to have her and any other celebrity shoved into the spotlight so that people absolutely have to acknowledge her.

The best part about this is that Dolly doesn’t exactly do this as she does what she does best and encourages others while inspiring them without being pushy. That’s what PR people are for after all, and it’s the efforts of those that want so badly for everyone worldwide to know how great of a person Dolly Parton is that tends to annoy people just a bit. One of the best parts of this is that if a person doesn’t want to acknowledge it they can look away and call it a day, just as anyone can with anything.

That’s a freedom we all have and it’s one that a lot of people exercise on a regular basis since it’s so much easier to turn away from something we’re not into or don’t approve of than to start up an argument or campaign to say why what we don’t like or don’t follow shouldn’t be getting this press. Besides, with Dolly it wouldn’t be accurate anyway, considering that this is a woman that said no to a statue in her image.

It does feel likely that whenever the day comes that she passes away that those Tennessee will see fit to commemorate her life with a statue, but for now she’s decided that her presence within the industry is all that’s really needed, as the issues that have been going on with statues over the years might not make this the best time to think about putting up another one.

Click here to read the full article on TV Over Mind

‘Freeing for me:’ Navajo woman becomes viral sensation with skateboarding videos
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Naiomi Glass is doing a trick on her skateboard in Arizona

by Brady Wakayama

An Arizona woman, born and raised in Navajo Nation, has become a viral sensation, showcasing her skateboarding skills on the reservation. Naiomi Glass hopes, with her growing platform, that a new skate park can be built and will inspire others to pursue their passions.

The 24-year-old, from Rock Point, Arizona, has gained tens of thousands of followers over the year on Instagram and TikTok who can’t get enough of her skateboarding.

Photo: Nexstar Media Wire

“I would see these sandstones and I was like ‘I wonder if I could skate that,’” Glasses said. “So then one day I was just like ‘you know what, let me just try it, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’”

She learned how to skate when she was 5 years old from her older brother and hasn’t gotten off the board since.

“I’m not a professional at all, by any means, I just like to ride around,” Glasses said. “It’s very freeing for me.”

Glasses says skateboarding is very popular within the Navajo nation, despite the lack of pavement and only five skate parks throughout the area. Because of this, she said she is teaming up with a Navajo-inspired clothing company that plans to build a new skate park in “Two Grey Hills,” which is just two hours away from Glasses’ community.

“I love skateboarding so much and I would just love to bring that joy and love of it to other communities,” said Glasses.

Read the full article at WSPA.

Equal Pay For Women May Take 257 Years – How Venus Williams Is Fighting to Get There Faster
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Venus Williams holding her fist up in victory while holding a tennis racket

By Jenny Sugar, Yahoo Life

Seven-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Venus Williams wrote a powerful letter in British Vogue about the inequality she’s faced in her sport. “I always dreamed of winning tournaments like Wimbledon,” she shared. “Then, when I finally got there, I was struck by the inequality.” In 2000, she won Wimbledon for the first time, the men’s singles champion received £477,500 – the women’s singles champion earned less, £430,000. This drove Venus in her fight against inequality.

“I firmly believe that sport mirrors life and life mirrors sport,” she said. There are obstacles and inequality in women’s tennis because that’s what women face in the world. And it was this shocking statistic – in the US, women made 82.3 cents for every dollar men made in 2019 – that inspired Venus to start the #PrivilegeTax campaign, to “fill the gap,” using her own lifestyle and activewear company, EleVen by Venus Williams.

Through the month of March, inspired by Equal Pay Day on March 24, customers can choose to donate 19 cents at checkout when they shop with participating brands – Nordstrom, Tracy Anderson, Tom Brady’s TB12, Carbon38, Credo Beauty, and her plant-based protein company, Happy Viking. One hundred percent of customers’ donations will go to Girls Inc. in Los Angeles, an organization that provides girls with support through its enriching program that focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

Venus mentioned that a 2019 World Economic Forum study found that it’d take approximately 257 years to close this gap, but that the pandemic is at risk of slowing down our progress further. “We owe it to our daughters and granddaughters to ensure closing the gap doesn’t take that long,” she said.

This isn’t just a women’s issue, and progress toward inequality isn’t possible without men being part of the solution. “Sexism isn’t a women’s issue any more than racism is a Black issue,” Venus said. And this gender pay gap affects women of color the hardest. “As an African-American woman, to know how hard we have to fight to show we’re human beings with a heart that beats just like everybody else; to know what it’s like to face biases based on gender and race is why I’m so passionate about campaigning for equality across the board,” Venus said.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo News.

Oscars: Female Directors Break Record for Most Nominations in One Year
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Two photos next to each other. Photo on the left pictures director Emerald Fennell in an orange long sleeve shirt, and the photo on the right pictures director Chloe Zhao wearing a dark blue denim button up.

By Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter

For the first time in the Academy Awards’ nearly century-old history, more than one female director has been nominated in the best director category.
Directors Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) were both nominated in the best director category for the 93rd Academy Awards, with Zhao also becoming the first non-white woman to be nominated.

In total, only five women have been nominated in the best director category. The first woman nominated in the category was Lina Wertmüller in 1977 for Seven Beauties, followed by nominations for Jane Campion (The Piano, 1994), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2003), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010), and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2018). Bigelow is the first and only woman to win in the category.

Zhao is the first woman to receive four nominations in a single year; she is nominated in the film editing, adapted screenplay, director, and best picture categories. Fennell, who is the first woman to be nominated for a feature directorial debut, received three nominations, the third woman to do so, along with Coppola for Lost in Translation and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King).

In total, the nominations for the 93rd annual Academy Awards saw 70 women receive 76 nominations, a record for any given year.

“An Oscar nomination is the evidence of an industry that values work from its first screening until the nomination process. Often, women directors don’t receive that level of notice,” Dr. Stacy L. Smith explained to THR in an email. Smith is behind USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which has long tracked the progress women have made in the industry in key creative and leadership roles.

Click here to read the full article on The Hollywood Reporter.

Grammy awards 2021: women rule as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé break records
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Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion accepting their grammy award on stage

By , The Guardian

It was a historic, triumphant night for women in music at the 2021 Grammys, as a range of female artists took home the top awards.

HER took home song of the year for the Black Lives Matter anthem I Can’t Breathe, Taylor Swift became the first woman to win album of the year three times, and the rapper Megan Thee Stallion won both best new artist and best rap performance for her Savage remix with Beyoncé, now the most awarded singer (male or female) and female artist of all time.

The first Grammys from executive producer Ben Winston, 39, best known for turning James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke series into a viral staple and the first new producer since Ken Ehrlich took over the show in 1980, stuck mostly to live or pre-recorded performances spliced with videos highlighting new, streaming-bolstered stars. The production’s Covid precautions – 6ft-compliant tables and chairs beneath a garlanded outdoor terrace, five separate stages at the Los Angeles Convention Center, widespread testing – added millions to the show’s budget but helped the show avoid some of the tech glitches and Zoom awkwardness that plagued last month’s Golden Globes.

The cascade of performances and success for black female artists glossed over a growing wave of criticism over the Grammys’ opaque nomination process, alleged conflicts of interest and years of appearing to snub black artistry. The Canadian artist known as The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, led an anti-Grammys chorus which included such artists as Zayn and Drake, after his album After Hours, a critical and commercial smash containing the year’s biggest song, Blinding Lights, was surprisingly shut out of nominations. In a statement to the New York Times last week, the Weeknd said he would boycott the awards from now on and direct his record label not to submit his music for future contention, citing the anonymous committees with final say on nominations.

But the controversy mostly stayed outside the frame on Sunday, save a statement in the final 10 minutes from the interim Grammys president, Harvey Mason Jr, promising a renewed diversity effort and calling on artists to “work with us, not against us”. Instead, the 3.5-hour mega-concert was about “bringing us together like only music can”, said the night’s ebullient host, the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, and “never forgetting what happened in 2020, but hope for what is to come”.

Click here to read the full article in The Guardian.

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