Fitness Trainer Karena Dawn Launches Mental Health Organization in Honor of Her Late Mother

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Fitness Trainer Karena Dawn smiling at the camera in a green silk button up shirt

By Stephanie Emma Pfeffer, People

Karena Dawn doesn’t shy away from hard conversations.

The co-founder of Tone It Up is launching a new charitable organization, The Big Silence, to normalize discussions about mental health issues.

“I’ve been wanting to create a foundation and a resource for many years,” says Dawn, who was just 12 years old when her mom was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression.

“[My mom] was in and out of the house many times, from being a missing person to being in the hospital,” Dawn tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And it was in the ’90s, so no one was talking about mental health.”

As a teenager, Dawn tried to research mental illness and schizophrenia at the library. “There were no resources out there for me to lean on,” she recalls. “It kind of sent me in a spiral of my own situational depression, drug abuse, suicide attempt and losing a lot of friends because no one around me was talking about it.”

That’s why she believes so strongly in offering support for those who are struggling. “There’s a stigma around mental health,” says the NYT bestselling author. “That is what The Big Silence is: It’s the thing you don’t want to talk about. At The Big Silence, we are here to break the silence.”

The content platform, which she leads with her sister Rachel Sahaidachny as executive director, is dedicated to normalizing conversations around mental health through online and social content, as well as a podcast hosted by Dawn.

“Because of my mom’s mental illness, I went through a really dark period — from about 12 years old until about 22,” she says. “I was at a breaking point.”

She found light again by focusing on fitness. “I was on a three-day bender and was thinking back about when I was my happiest,” she says. “It was when I was running, and I was active and I was working out.”

“At that time I thought, in my own depression, that I was going to end up like my mom, so I didn’t believe in myself.” But she decided to do something positive and signed up for a triathalon. “I trained my butt off and did the race,” she says. “I crossed the finish line, like ‘Wow, like I accomplished something.’ ”

From then on, she says, she wanted to teach people that movement is medicine, which led to her co-founding Tone It Up in 2009 and further dedicating herself to not only her physical health but her mental health as well, through self-help books, therapy and meditation.

Click here to read the full article on People.

Mellody Hobson to join Denver Broncos as the first Black female NFL owner
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Mellody Hobson to join Denver Broncos as the first Black female NFL owner

BY Angel Saunders, Revolt

Last week (June 8), it was announced that a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton would buy the Denver Broncos, pending approval from the league. One of the group members, a businesswoman named Mellody Hobson, is set to become the first Black female NFL minority owner.

Also in the group is Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and his son-in-law Greg Penner, who will become minority owners as well.

At 53 years old, Hobson has built an impressive resume. The Princeton University grad is the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation. She previously held a position at DreamWorks Animation as a chairwoman as well.

Walton appears to be pleased with her skill set. “Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation,” he said in a press release.

He continued, “Mellody currently serves as chair of the board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.”

Hobson is married to film director George Lucas, who is widely known for his work with the Star Wars franchise.

In February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Broncos would be sold. After an avalanche of claims that the league had an issue hiring minorities in leadership roles, the commissioner expressed that he was looking for diverse ownership.

Click here to read the full article on Revolt.

Selena Gomez Calls Out Body Shamers Who Criticize Her Looks: ‘I Don’t Care About My Weight’
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Selena Gomez at a Netflix function wearing a gold lamme dress

By Julie Mazziotta, People

Selena Gomez doesn’t care about her weight — and wishes other people wouldn’t either.

On Sunday, the actress and singer, 29, called out the body shamers who feel the need to comment about her looks. Talking on her TikTok Stories, Gomez said that she tries to limit her fast food meals, but sometimes goes all in. “So I be trying to stay skinny, but I went to Jack in the Box and I got four tacos, three egg rolls, onion rings and a spicy chicken sandwich,” she said, E! News reported.

The Only Murders in the Building star said that it doesn’t matter, because no matter what she does people will still criticize her body. “But honestly, I don’t care about my weight because people bitch about it anyway. ‘You’re too small,’ ‘you’re too big,’ ‘that doesn’t fit.’ ‘Meh meh meh meh.'” “Bitch, I am perfect the way I am,” she added. “Moral of the story? Bye.”

Gomez — who underwent a kidney transplant in Sept. 2017 due to complications from lupus — has previously explained that her health issues cause “weight fluctuations” that used to bother her.

“I have lupus and deal with kidney issues and high blood pressure, so I deal with a lot of health issues, and for me that’s when I really started noticing more of the body image stuff,” she said in an interview with friend Raquelle Stevens on her video podcast Giving Back Generation in Nov. 2019.

The “Lose You to Love Me” singer said that the “combination” of her lupus and the medication she needs alters her weight.

“It’s the medication I have to take for the rest of my life — it depends on even the month, to be honest,” Gomez said of her weight changes. “So for me, I really noticed when people started attacking me for that. And in reality, that’s just my truth. I fluctuate. It depends what’s happening in my life.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Selena Gomez says she’s ‘happier’ after being off social media for over 4 years: ‘It makes me feel normal’
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Selena Gomez smiling at the camera at a red carpet event

By David Artavia, Yahoo! Life

Selena Gomez is taking her passion for mental health advocacy to new heights.

On Monday, the singer, actress and entrepreneur celebrated the launch of her multimedia company Wondermind alongside her two co-founders, her mom Mandy Teefey and fellow mental health activist Daniella Pierson. The new platform aims to be a free resource to help users navigate their own mental wellness. The 29-year-old, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder, says she wants to use her own experiences as a conduit to help others, particularly as it pertains to the toxicity of social media.

“I haven’t been on the internet in four and a half years,” Gomez said in an interview with Good Morning America. “It has changed my life completely. I am happier. I am more present, I connect more with people. It makes me feel normal.”

Last year, she told InStyle she “created a system” where she doesn’t know the passwords to her social media accounts — a step she said was necessary in order to focus on herself.

The Only Murders in the Building star explained that “growing up in the spotlight has definitely taught me so much.”

“I can’t believe that I am where I am mentally just because of how I took the necessary steps in order to kind of remove myself from that because it’s just not normal,” she said.

Gomez, who has spoken candidly about living with bipolar disorder after publicly revealing her diagnosis in April 2020, says her mental health journey has been “freeing.”

“I started to have a relationship with myself,” Gomez said. “I think that’s the best part. I’ve probably been the happiest I’ve ever been.”

With Wondermind, Gomez says she wants “people to be understood and seen and heard. It’s OK to not be OK.”

“If I’m known for anything I hope it’s simply just for the way I care about people,” she added. “Those days where I don’t want to get out of bed, if I had something like Wondermind, even if it took me a minute to get into it, it’s just there. And there’s something that’s really comforting about that.”

Now, as the star is getting closer to turning 30, she hopes to take all the lessons she learned in her 20s and apply them to a better future.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to step into this chapter. Alone, independently, strong, confidently,” she said. “That’s all I really want, you know?”

This isn’t the first time Gomez has spoken openly about her mental health.

In an interview with Elle magazine last year, she touched on the public scrutiny she faced over the years — including a very public breakup with Justin Bieber, undergoing a kidney transplant due to her lupus diagnosis and seeking mental health treatment.

“I don’t even know what they really believed I was doing — drugs, alcohol, running around, partying,” she explained of the negative press she endured. “The narrative was so nasty.”

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

Black women start to talk about uterine fibroids, a condition many get but few speak about
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Uterine Fibroids patient Daye Covington after treatment

By , NBC News

When Daye Covington visited her doctor for a routine physical last year, she expressed concern about weight gain in her belly that she said made her look seven months pregnant. But she knew she wasn’t pregnant, and she had a healthy lifestyle. An MRI revealed that she had multiple uterine fibroids — noncancerous growths in the uterus — the size of cantaloupes.

“First, I was relieved to know that I was not pregnant because I was not trying to be pregnant,” she told NBC News, “and then I was scared because I didn’t know much about fibroids.”

Uterine fibroids are rarely discussed, despite being a common condition, particularly for Black women. Experts say that by age 35, about half of Black women have had them, and by age 50, 80 percent of Black women have them, compared to 70 percent of white women. Black women are also more likely to have higher fibroid growth than other racial groups. While most cases require no treatment, in some instances, they can cause weight gain, heavy periods, frequent urination or pelvic pain, and they may require surgery.

Now, some Black women, like Covington, who shared her experience on are speaking up about their struggles and are encouraging others to educate themselves about the condition, so they can identify the symptoms and seek treatment, if necessary. Former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” Cynthia Bailey, 55, recently shared her experience with uterine fibroids with People, saying she endured heavy bleeding during periods, fatigue and an expanded belly, which led fans to assume she was pregnant. She also said her mental health took a toll.

 

31-year-old Daye Covington’s stomach is shown before and after her myomectomy.
31-year-old Daye Covington’s stomach is shown before and after her surgery to remove fibroids. Daye Covington

“It’s very hard to be in a good space mentally when you’re bleeding all the time and when you don’t have any energy, and you’re anemic,” she told the magazine.

While all women are at risk for developing uterine fibroids, Black women are disproportionately affected, with one study showing that Black women are three times more likely to develop them than white women and that Black women are more likely to need surgical treatment.

The reasons for this disparity, however, are less clear, said Eric Hardee, a physician and co-founder of Houston Fibroids and Texas Endovascular Associates. A family history of fibroids increases a woman’s risk. Obesity, diet and environmental factors may also play a role. Hair relaxers have also been linked to increased risk of uterine fibroid development.

Black women may also be less likely to seek help.

Cynthia Talla, 28, said despite her severe symptoms, she felt like she had to endure her pain alone. When she did seek help after dealing with fibroid symptoms as a teen, Talla said the medical professionals made her feel that Black women are able to bear the pain.

After Talla had surgery in 2020, she recalled telling her mother how good she was finally feeling.

“I remember crying, like, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t feel like this for years,’” she said. “So it’s very bad.”

Sara Harris, who serves on the board of the reproductive health organization Resilient Sisterhood Project, agreed.

“I do think there’s that superwoman phenomena, that Black women can do it all,” she said, “and speaking from my own personal experience, not wanting to ask for help because you know that you can take care of your own stuff, and you have to take care of everyone else around you at the same time.”

Harris added that many Black women also feel a taboo talking about these issues. Resilient Sisterhood Project offers support groups and virtual webinars with Black health experts to answer questions about topics on endometriosis, infertility and HPV, as well as training for universities and health care organizations about reproductive health and Black women’s needs in accessing health care.

Another issue with uterine fibroids, Harris said, is that they’re often misdiagnosed.

“Black women might be misdiagnosed for having an STI [sexually transmitted infection] or misdiagnosed for being pregnant or treated for preventing pregnancy, rather than looking at sort of what could be a deeper cause of the same symptoms that a Black woman is facing — like pelvic pain or prolonged menstrual bleeding,” Harris said.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

How to Eat Like Your Life Depends On It (Because it Does)
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group of five women lined up against brick background wearing fitness clothes

March is National Nutrition Month, making it a great time to talk about what we eat. Sure, most people know what a healthy diet looks like, but truth be told, they don’t follow it. However, the problem with this is that it’s leading to a myriad of health problems. Junk food, fast food, and highly processed items may be convenient and taste good, but they are not good for the body. It’s time to get serious and make some healthy changes.

“We all get stuck in ruts, where we are doing the same thing over and over,” Jennifer Scherer, certified personal trainer and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio. “Oftentimes, these things we are doing are unhealthy. We have to change the habits that we have, so they are helping us, rather than hurting.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of the adult population considered obese continues to rise. The latest figures show that 42% are obese, and obesity increases the risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. All conditions, which they point out, are largely preventable through diet and lifestyle.

Here are some expert tips on how to make changes to your diet to make it healthier:

  • Eat five or six small meals per day and aim for half your plate to be fruits and vegetables.
  • Aim to consume no more than 2,000 mg per day of sodium. Purchase canned goods with no salt added and cook without adding salt. Salt can be added at the table, but it can’t be removed once it’s added during cooking.
  • Don’t drink your calories. Eliminate empty calories in sugar-sweetened beverages, coffees, and fruit juices.
  • Focus on Fiber. Try to get at least 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men. Great sources of fiber include oatmeal, beans, lentils, popcorn, and whole-grain bread.
  • Power with protein by getting 0.8 grams per kilogram body weight. Consuming adequate protein is good for bone health, retaining muscle mass, and reducing cravings by keeping you full. Great protein sources include lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, tofu, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
  • Make a goal to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits and veggies should be a staple to the diet because they contain fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. The CDC reports that only 9% of adults eat the recommended daily supply of vegetables, and 12% eat the recommended daily supply of fruits.
  • Try to limit eating highly processed foods. Most of them are made with a long list of unhealthy ingredients. The National Institutes of Health reports that those eating highly processed foods tend to eat more calories and gain more weight. Make snacks at home, so there’s more control over what goes into it.

“Start making changes with your diet, and you will see how quickly they make a difference,” adds Scherer. “When you eat a healthier diet, you will feel better and have more energy, in addition to reducing the risks of many diseases. We have to make good nutrition a high priority.”

To get in the habit of eating healthier, make a list of meals that will be made and shop only for the ingredients needed to make them. Avoid shopping while hungry, and try to stick to the store’s perimeter, avoiding much of the highly processed foods in the middle.

Fredericksburg Fitness Studio offers personalized fitness programs, including customized fitness training programs. Their private personal training studio offers a range of services to improve health and wellness, including medical exercise, personal training, in-home medical training, virtual personal training, nutrition coaching, and a Pilates reformer program.

Unlike typical fitness studios and gyms, Fredericksburg Fitness Studio doesn’t offer memberships. They also don’t have big crowds of people working out together. They offer private customized fitness programs that are available by appointment. Their nutrition coaching program is offered virtually and covers three months to help ensure accountability and success. Their Pilates reformer program uses a variety of machines with a customized routine.

Many people who go to the studio are referrals from physical therapists and doctors. The wellness professionals at the studio communicate with the medical teams to keep them up on patient progress. To learn more about the Fredericksburg Fitness Studio, visit the site at: https://www.fburgfitness.com.

About Fredericksburg Fitness Studio

Founded in 2008, Fredericksburg Fitness Studio offers personalized fitness programs, nutrition coaching, and medical training. The private personal training studio was started by Jennifer Scherer, who has a background in human physiology, anatomy, nutrition, weight training, and exercise. The studio has a team of people working to help people reach their health and wellness goals. To learn more, visit the site at: https://www.fburgfitness.com.

Alicia Keys Lends Voice to Athleta With New Partnership, Product Line Promoting Women’s Well-Being
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Alicia Keys wearing a pink jumpsuit during sunset posed to the side with one hand over her head and one on her own shoulder

By Stephen Garner, Yahoo! Life

Alicia Keys is lending her powerful voice to a strong cause.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner has joined forces with Athleta to further their mutual commitment to women’s well-being.

As such, Keys has signed on to Athleta’s “Power of She Fund” grant program as a mentor and advisor. According to Athleta, Keys will also work with the brand to connect with women through “meaningful community conversations” in AthletaWell, the retailer’s digital community that supports women’s well-being.

And, on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the duo will release the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection. Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., said the collection will have exclusive products co-created and co-designed by Keys, who worked alongside the brand’s all-female design team. Among the items, which will be available in sizes XXS-3X on athleta.com and at all Athleta retail locations, will be Keys’ favorite piece — a pink jumpsuit. More details of the collection will be released closer to the launch, according to Athleta.

“Alicia has made a powerful commitment to well-being and we are thrilled to welcome her to Athleta’s community of empowered women,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta. “With a values-driven partnership like this one with Alicia, we are ideally positioned to continue to meet our customer’s needs in the well-being space and support her across all aspects of her life.”

“I was drawn to Athleta because we both want to encourage women to discover, accept and own their power,” added Keys. “We’re all about the uniqueness of women, body positivity and creating a lifestyle that showcases our immeasurable power within. It’s time to thrive – not just to survive – and my hope is that these offerings are another outlet for you to amplify your personal power, your possibility, and feel comfortable in your own skin.”

Keys joins a roster of powerful, like-minded partners, including Simone Biles and Allyson Felix.

Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta in April 2021. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.

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

Bella Hadid Opens Up About Her ‘Excruciating and Debilitating’ Mental Health Struggles
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Bella Hadid wearing a brown tank top and a brown cardigan posing for the paparazzi

By Nicholas Rice, People

Bella Hadid is speaking honestly about her mental health.

The 25-year-old supermodel spoke to WSJ. Magazine for the publication’s “My Monday Morning” series, where she opened up about her mental health struggles, which she described as “excruciating and debilitating.”

When asked by the publication what her secret is to putting together her outfit in the morning, Hadid explained that she hasn’t had a stylist “in a long time, maybe two years now,” and she was “in such a weird place mentally that it was really complicated for me to get out of the house and put an outfit together, especially with the anxiety of [paparazzi] being outside and all that.”

But, after learning to deal with her anxiety and other mental health struggles, Hadid said she learned to embrace her fashion and dress in a way that makes her happy.

“In the last year, it was really important for me to learn that even if people talk about my style or if they like it or if they don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it’s my style,” she noted. “When I leave the house in the morning, what I think about is: Does this make me happy? Do I feel good in this and do I feel comfortable?”

In her interview with WSJ. Magazine, Hadid continued to chat about her own mental health, as well as what her thought process was behind an Instagram post she shared in November, where she posted a series of selfies of herself crying.

“I would have really depressive episodes and my mom or my doctor would ask how I was and instead of having to respond in text, I would just send them a photo,” she said. “It was the easiest thing for me to do at the time because I was never able to explain how I was feeling.”

“I would just be in excruciating and debilitating mental and physical pain, and I didn’t know why. That was over the past three years,” she continued. “[When I posted them] it was to make sure that anybody that was feeling that way knew it was OK to feel that way.”

Added Hadid: “Even though on Instagram things look so beautiful, at the end of the day, we are all cut from the same cloth. I felt like it was just good for me to be able to speak my truth and at some point I wasn’t able to post nice pretty pictures anymore. I was over it.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Breast Cancer Survivorship and the Impact on Mental Health
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Picture of a pink ribbon for breast cancer

By Leona Vaughn, Everyday Health

Three years ago, Hil Moss says she was lounging around, casually watching television and relaxing when she touched her chest and felt a lump. She was 28, and with no family history, she says her doctor reassured her that she had nothing to worry about. But after a few more appointments, they confirmed a diagnosis of breast cancer, likely caused by an ATM gene mutation they found.

After three years and a 14-month treatment plan — which included three months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and a tissue-based reconstruction, later followed by hormone therapy — Moss, a student in the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, and an advocate for cancer care, now considers herself a breast cancer survivor.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) defines survivorship as, “living with, through, and beyond cancer.” But some patients who get to the “beyond cancer” stage say they were unprepared for the toll this experience would take on their mental health.

When she was first diagnosed, Moss says she anticipated that the most difficult part of her experience would be receiving the treatment, but a fellow survivor warned her that it would actually be the months following her completion of it that would be the hardest. Sure enough, Moss says she found the first six months of her recovery period more mentally challenging than anything she had physically gone through, including the amputation of both her breasts.

“That just seems impossible to believe,” Moss says. “You’re in chemo, you feel horrible, how could it possibly be worse? But it kind of is. When you’re actively in treatment, you at least have this sense of what your day-to-day is, and sometimes that can feel like a safety blanket.”

“When you are removed from that, you are forced to essentially reckon with what’s happened. You have to come to terms with your own mortality,” Moss says.

Breast Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing
Marleen Meyers, MD, a medical oncologist and the founding director of the Survivorship Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health in New York City, says that breast cancer is a “hopeful cancer,” because more and more patients diagnosed with breast cancer are surviving, but that living through this experience “comes with a price.”

“I’ve been an oncologist for a long time, and early on, we were just happy that people survived,” Dr. Meyers says. “We didn’t really look at what their quality of life after survivorship was. I always like to say that the cancer treatment may be over, but the cancer experience is far from over.”

Experts say that the vast majority of patients struggle with mental health after receiving cancer treatment.

“There’s anxiety about what the next steps are, how they’re going to feel, how long it’s going to take for them to get better,” Meyers says. “The reality is, while you can give somebody an estimate, it’s impossible to predict.”

Click here to read the full article on Everyday Health.

Afro-Latinx Artist Reyna Noriega Is Using Art to Uplift Brown and Black Women
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Afro-Latinx Artist Reyna Noriega

By Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Pop Sugar

In 2017, Afro-Latinx visual artist Reyna Noriega began her career as a full-time creator. Little did she know that in just a few short years, she would have over 100,000 followers on Instagram, would be working with huge brands like Apple and Old Navy, and would design a cover for The New Yorker. Born and raised in Miami to a first-generation Cuban father and a Bahamian mother, Noriega, who is best-known for her bold, vibrant, graphic work, was destined to be an artist.

“My father is also an artist, and I became interested early on in just the magic of it all, being able to bring ideas to life on paper and communicate in a universal language,” Noriega told POPSUGAR in a recent interview. “I was always the ‘sensitive kid’ feeling a lot and thinking a lot, so art and writing were great outlets for me to get all of that under control and to be able to process my emotions.”

Now, Noriega’s art is being seen on a much wider scale and impacting thousands of people who follow her on social media or see her art on city walls and T-shirts. To get there, she had to put in a lot of work, including studying and learning on her own, despite the fact that she took art classes throughout high school and minored in art in college. Using the help of books and YouTube, Noriega honed her skills and eventually left her job as a teacher, with the full support of her parents.

“I was very fortunate that my family believed in me and my ability to make my passion a career and even help me make it happen! To this day, my mom is the person that helps me run my online shop, and they encourage me to strive higher,” Noriega told us.

By 2019, Noriega started doing brand work, after getting comfortable with her style and what she wanted to represent as an artist. It gradually became easier for her to align herself with brands that had the same mission. She is currently working on Amex’s “Always Welcome” design collective launch, which will provide businesses with signage for their storefronts and indicate their stance on inclusivity.

“Honestly, every time I get an email, I am honored and humbled that my name enters rooms I never thought would. From companies whose products I used to save up for at one point, like Apple, to legendary publications like The New Yorker, or having thousands and thousands of people wear a shirt I designed with Old Navy. It really is a dream come true,” she said.

Ultimately, it was Noriega embracing her culture and her commitment to advocating for Black and brown people through her art that got her there. She says her Afro-Caribbean culture is what brings “vibrancy and flavor” to her art. But we think it’s so much more than that. With just a single glance, it’s obvious that Noriega’s background informs her work. Her use of color, the way she showcases the female form, the various complexions and skin tones she celebrates in her work, and the stunning, tropics-inspired botanical scenes she often creates speak to exactly who she is and where she comes from.

“Art has always been a place I look to boost my mood, museums, galleries, [and] learning about art history. But unfortunately in those spaces, rarely did I ever feel I belong, because my story wasn’t told on those walls, and in the rare occasion it was, it only highlighted the struggles and traumas,” she said. “I wanted to create work that would lift moods and raise the self-efficacy of Black and brown women with positive representation and vibrant depictions of joy.”

Noriega describes the art she creates with a tremendous amount of care and respect. Her mission is to create art that represents and uplifts communities that are often left out of the conversation. “I focus on women because as a woman, I know all of the challenges and barriers we face,” she said. “Inequalities in pay, harmful messaging on body image, the ongoing fight for body autonomy . . . it can be really exhausting. Add on to that the challenges being a BIPOC, and it just magnifies. My art is meant to celebrate women, inspire joy, and a reclamation of peace and rest.”

Noriega recognizes how important it is to not only amplify voices like hers but also to use her gifts and resources to speak up for people who don’t have the same advantages that she does. Even as a Black Latina, she’s cognizant of the privileges she has and the responsibility associated with them. “For me personally, I often look at my identities as a privilege, which pushes me to amplify Black voices even more. I am all too aware of the advantages I have received being a Latina in Miami, and even being ethnically Caribbean, although my race is Black,” she said. “Being able to say where your lineage comes from is a privilege many Black Americans don’t have. I have been unfairly judged and treated and had some very hurtful comments said to me, but I must also be aware of how my skin tone provides privileges, how my heritage provides privileges, and how knowing more than one language is a privilege.” And in recognizing that, she’s able to leverage her position to empower others in really visible ways.

Click here to read the full article on Pop Sugar.

Christina Applegate Marks 50th Birthday After MS Diagnosis: ‘May We Find That Strength’
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Headshot of Christina Applegate smiling at the camera

By Glenn Garner, People

Christina Applegate is kicking off a new chapter after revealing her multiple sclerosis diagnosis earlier this year.

The Emmy Award winner celebrated her 50th birthday Thursday, which was also Thanksgiving, with an encouraging message for her 1.4 million Twitter followers. “Yup. I turned 50 today. And I have MS. It’s been a hard one,” she wrote.

“Sending so much love to all of you this day,” Applegate continued. “Many are hurting today, and I am thinking of you. May we find that strength to lift our heads up. Mine currently is on my pillow. But I try.”

She previously talked about her experience with MS on Twitter in August, a few months after she was diagnosed. “It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” Applegate wrote at the time. “It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”

Applegate has since been met with love from friends and fans alike. Selma Blair, with whom she starred alongside Cameron Diaz in the 2002 romantic comedy The Sweetest Thing, offered her support in the replies.

“Loving you always. Always here. As are our kids. Beating us up with love,” Blair, 49, wrote, to which Applegate responded: “Love you sister. Our kids are so weird.”

Blair has also been open about her own MS diagnosis, which she revealed in 2018. Most recently, she detailed her journey with the disease in the discovery+ documentary Introducing, Selma Blair, which Applegate recommended on Twitter.

Applegate’s Dead to Me costar James Marsden has praised her strength as well, telling Entertainment Tonight that it’s “really, really inspiring to see.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. WIFLE 22nd Annual Leadership Training
    August 8, 2022 - August 11, 2022
  4. LA County Women’s Leadership Conference
    September 1, 2022
  5. Commercial UAV Expo
    September 6, 2022 - September 8, 2022
  6. Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) 2022 Business Conference
    September 7, 2022
  7. Wonder Women Tech Immersive Tech & Hybrid Summit
    September 14, 2022 - September 15, 2022
  8. The 2022 Global ERG Summit
    September 19, 2022 - September 23, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. WIFLE 22nd Annual Leadership Training
    August 8, 2022 - August 11, 2022
  4. LA County Women’s Leadership Conference
    September 1, 2022
  5. Commercial UAV Expo
    September 6, 2022 - September 8, 2022