October 11-13, 2022, marked the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity’s (AAAED) 48th annual national conference. This year’s virtual conference theme was “Building an Infrastructure for Sustainable and Equitable Change” and participants were able to reflect on this call to action through workshops, keynote addresses, plenary sessions, express talks and networking events.
The conference commenced with an introduction by Shirly Wilcher (Executive Director for AAAED), Jerry Knighton, Jr. (AAAED Conference Chair) and Dr. Annette Butler, (AAAED President). The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director, Jenny Yang, provided the first plenary session, where she discussed the latest corporate scheduling announcement list, recent directives regarding pay and the agency’s role in building infrastructure for equitable and sustainable change.
Other plenary sessions featured the Office of Civil Rights Assistant Secretary Catherine E. Lhamon, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels and the Office of Disability Employment Policy Assistant Secretary Taryn M. Williams. They spoke of their agency’s recent accomplishments, provided timely updates and shared reflections on the conference theme.
The keynote speakers supplemented these updates with innovative ideas for promoting change. In “Technology-driven DEI Programs: How Technology is Increasing the Impact,” Dr. Christopher Metzler (LEAD Fund President; SVP, DEI and ESG, The National Urban League) explored how companies can use virtual reality to provide impactful training. The following day, Millicent St. Claire (LIGMO Institute) introduced healthy approaches for addressing stressful encounters and eliminating their negative impact on productivity, relationships and business outcomes in “Maintaining Resiliency While Walking the Line.”
Celebrating Title IX’s anniversary, the conference featured sessions on remediating prejudice in investigations and the future applications of Title IX. Building inclusive practices for individuals with disabilities was another common theme, with presentations on service animals, support for mental health in college communities and dispelling fears and stigmas about talented workers with disabilities. Through additional workshops and express talks, attendees learned best practices in areas such as artificial intelligence and hiring, electronic postings, online applications and data discrepancy checks for affirmative action plans.
The final day featured a panel discussion regarding the impending Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. The panel was moderated by Dr. Jamal Watson (Editor, Diverse Issues in Higher Education) and featured Carol Ashley (Attorney at Law, Jackson Lewis P.C.), David Hinojosa (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Director, Education Opportunities
Project), and Theodore Shaw (Center for Civil Rights, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).
The conference closed with the presentation of awards:
Cesar Estrada Chavez Award: Margaret Huang, president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award: L2 Defense, Inc.
As the longest-standing national civil rights organization comprised of professionals working in affirmative action, equal opportunity and diversity programs, AAAED is excitedly looking forward towards next year’s event and our 50th anniversary conference in 2024! For more information about how to join and upcoming events, please visit AAAED.org
At age 9, Nalleli Cobo was experiencing asthma, body spasms, heart palpitations and nosebleeds so severe she needed to sleep in a chair to prevent herself from choking on her own blood.
Across the street from her family’s apartment in University Park in South Central Los Angeles was an oil extraction site owned by Allenco Energy that was spewing fumes into the air and the community around her.
After speaking with neighbors facing similar symptoms, she and her family began to mobilize with their community, suspecting that was making them sick. They created the People Not Pozos (People Not Oil Wells) campaign. At 9 years old, Cobo was designated the campaign’s spokesperson, marking the start of her activism and organizing career.
In March 2020, Cobo, the co-founder of the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, helped lead the group to permanently shut down the Allenco Energy oil drilling site that she and others in the community said caused serious health issues for them. She also helped convince the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to unanimously vote to ban new oil exploration and phase out existing sites in Los Angeles.
After pressure from the community and scrutiny from elected officials, Allenco Energy agreed to suspend operations in 2013. The site was permanently shut down in 2020, and the company was charged in connection with state and local environmental health and safety regulations. There are ongoing issues around cleaning and plugging up the oil wells.
Cobo co-founded the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition in 2015 to bolster efforts against oil sites and work toward phasing them out across the city.
That year, the youth group sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and environmental racism. The suit was settled after the city implemented new drilling application requirements.
Cobo, now 21, was recognized Wednesday for the environmental justice work that has spanned more than half her life. She received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, which is awarded annually to individuals from six regions: Europe, Asia, Africa, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America.
“I did not want to answer the phone because it was an unknown number,” Cobo, who was getting bubble tea when she received the call about the prize, told NBC News in a Zoom interview Wednesday. “I didn’t even know I was nominated. I started crying.”
During the 1920s, Los Angeles was one of the world’s largest urban oil-exporting regions. More than 20,000 active, idle, or abandoned oil wells still reside in the county, and about one-third of residents live less than a mile from an active oil site.
Studies have shown that living near oil and gas wells increases exposure to air pollution, with nearby communities facing environmental and health risks including preterm birth, asthma and heart disease.
When sworn in this summer, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s high court.
“This is one of the great moments of American history,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote. “Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise.
This is a great moment for Judge Jackson but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union.”
President Biden called the vote a “historic moment” for the nation. “We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America,” Biden posted on Twitter.
All 50 Senate Democrats, including the two independents who caucus with them, voted for Jackson’s confirmation. They were joined by three Republicans: Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Click here to read the complete article posted on NPR.
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.
She is the host, judge and executive producer of Top Chef. She produces Taste the Nation, where she takes viewers around America to enlighten them with immigrant culture and cuisine. And she’s a bestselling author, known for her first children’s book, Tomatoes for Neela.
But Padma, 51, doesn’t only have a large influence in the food space — she also promotes health and wellness all over the world.
At age 13, Padma began experiencing symptoms of endometriosis but wasn’t diagnosed until age 36. Her experiences led her to co-found The Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) with advanced gynecological surgeon Dr. Tamer Seckin.
“I didn’t want another generation of women and girls to suffer in silence like I and millions upon millions of people did,” Padma told Professional WOMAN’s Magazine (PWM). “I lost a week of my life every month for 23 years because of this disease. Many doctors didn’t even know how to diagnose it or treat it properly.”
Since its creation in 2009, the foundation has made it a mission to fund research and raise awareness about the disease, and it has helped launch the first Center of Gynepathology Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“I am so immensely proud of all we have accomplished in awareness of the disease, international research and educational programs,” she said. “I have also seen real change in the way the media covers this disease in just one decade. That’s very exciting to me.”
As if Padma couldn’t be any more of a role model, she is also an Artist Ambassador for immigrants’ rights and women’s rights for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“All the experience and knowledge I gained through starting the EFA with my co-founder has helped me to be a better ambassador for both the ACLU and the UNDP with confidence. Everything I learned at the EFA, I use in my work with these two organizations.”
The activist is also passionate about mental health and advocates for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. At age seven, her life changed forever when she was sexually molested, and then raped at age 16. Padma kept her rape a secret for 30 years, until she wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times titled, “I Was Raped at 16 and I Kept Silent.”
“I wrote an Op-Ed for @nytimes about something terrible that happened to me in my youth, something that happens to young women every day. We all have an opportunity to change the narrative and believe survivors,” Padma wrote on her Twitter page.
Through her piece, Padma wanted to let other survivors know they’re not alone. Her bravery to speak about her trauma serves as an inspiration to survivors of sexual abuse to tell their story and raise awareness.
“Identifying the problem and speaking up about it in a safe space, wherever that is, is the first step to diminishing its power over you,” she said. “Our world is not built for people who want to speak up and do the right thing. There are many systems in place that have not supported our collective well-being or safeguarded a woman’s safety. It can feel lonely and exhausting to speak about any kind of trauma with very little benefit. But in order to free oneself of the yoke of trauma on one’s future, one has to identify the trauma outright and say what happened or what is happening to you out loud. And do not underestimate the help of support groups, even online ones.”
This open-hearted influencer also advises to talk to someone right away, and not just anyone, but someone who is capable of receiving the information you’re about to give them and can help you or help you find help.
“None of us do it alone,” she said. “And to me, the first step is to try and say out loud what is troubling you to someone else. If you can’t find that person right away, then write down everything you can remember think of surrounding what’s troubling you. If the trauma is recent, these details will also be helpful to law enforcement.”
Not surprisingly, Padma’s efforts don’t stop here. She has a laundry list of accolades, including 32 Emmy award nominations, the 2018 Karma award from Variety, the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the 2021 Advocate of the Year Award by the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).
In fact, the pioneer also stresses the importance of diversity and inclusion and defends marginalized communities, especially in light of recent injustices against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Her influence led to another honor — the AI Award from Gold House, a nonprofit that aims to increase AAPI visibility.
Padma strongly believes in food as a vehicle for diversity, and emphasizes that we should be exposed to different foods and ethnicities, advocating that American grocery stores and supermarkets should integrate “ethnic” or “exotic” foods into their “mainstream” aisles.
“I feel integrating things like udon, ramen, tortillas or gochujang and tahini would actually do a lot to normalize these foods and make shoppers who are unfamiliar with them more likely to try them, thereby expanding what more Americans eat. We are a country of many influences. Our stores should look like it.”
The food guru, who is also an ambassador for Impossible Foods, recently became an investor with DAH!, an Indian-inspired yogurt food company.
“Only invest in something you know very well. I felt a great affinity with the DAH! Yogurt brand because I grew up in a house where we made our own yogurt every day,” she said. “Indian cuisine has a millennia-old connection to homemade yogurt that many Westerners may not yet grasp. And, just as the 1980s saw a wave of French yogurt sweep the U.S. consumer with Yoplait, and the 2000s saw the advent of Greek yogurt, I believe the 2020s will be about Indian slow-cultured lassi and yogurt. I look forward to helping bring about this wave in the U.S. because I genuinely think the American eater will benefit from it.”
So, what shaped Padma to be the strong-willed, diversity-seeking, inspirational food enthusiast we love today? To understand Padma, it helps to know her past.
Padma was born in India, and after her mother and father divorced, she came to America with her mother at age four. She grew up in the United States, graduating from Clark University with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and American Literature. Padma wasn’t always in the food space — she started her career as a model and actress, working in Europe and the United States. What launched Padma’s modeling career was her seven-inch scar on her right arm — a result of a serious car accident from when she was a teenager.
“I hated it. But then I was, you know, shot by a very great photographer named Helmut Newton. And he liked the scar. I think that your flaws and your scars really make you who you are,” she told CBS News. Padma was dubbed India’s first supermodel.
She kicked off her food career by hosting Padma’s Passport and Planet Food. She’s also a best-selling author, known for book Easy Exotic, cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, memoir Love, Loss, and What We Ate, The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs, and of course, her recent Tomatoes for Neela, which is inspired by her own family memories.
“Through food, my grandmother and my mother taught me so much about life and culture and being a person in the world. And so, I’m hoping that, through this book, I can encourage families to actively cook together, to value the recipes that they’ve been making for their family get-togethers and also to remember all of the different people who bring us our food and to be mindful of our environment,” Padma told The North State Journal.
Padma continues to make memories with her 11-year-old daughter, Krishna, by cooking together in their New York home. This heartwarming mother and daughter bonding time — which consisted of filming “quarantine” cooking videos on TikTok and Instagram — inspired Padma to write Tomatoes for Neela.
“It’s a tale about a mother and daughter who enjoy cooking together, and the story is meant to help children learn about eating seasonal foods, learning to cook and the joy of creating meals together as a family,” Padma told USA Today.
“I think children eat healthier and become more mindful of the planet when they learn about the origins of food,” she says. “One of my earliest memories is making dosas (a traditional South Indian dish of crepes made from fermented rice and lentils) with my mom,” she continued.
Which brings us to Padma’s Emmy-nominated Taste the Nation, an appetizing adventure that sheds light on indigenous cuisine and people and how they’ve shaped American food.
Padma Lakshmi has spiced up our screens, aimed to make a difference one step at a time and raised awareness for different cultural causes. But she’s not done — there’s so much left on this powerhouse’s plate.
If you’re hungry for more Taste the Nation, you won’t be waiting long, as the show has been renewed for a second season.
“Creating this show has been the joy of my life,” Padma said. “But in the time since it’s come out, there already have been a bunch of shows trying to mimic our format and thesis, so I need to make sure our take is always fresh and deeper. That’s the big project until fall when I go to film another season of Top Chef, our 20th!” she said as she wrapped up her interview with PWM.
International Women’s Day, which is now celebrated on March 8 around the globe, has for more than a century been a day to highlight the plight of women, especially mothers, in the workplace and fight for reforms. Over the years, women have used this day to help win concessions on issues such as a five-day, 40-hour workweek, child labor laws, safety codes and a minimum wage. But more recently in America, the day has become divorced from its labor history roots and morphed into an occasion to generically celebrate women and girls in our lives on social media, while the full promise of the women’s labor movement has not been fulfilled, notably around paid family leave, affordable child care and equitable pay. The demands made over a century ago remind us of the need for women to reclaim this history and power by walking out, literally and figuratively, on this International Women’s Day.
American Socialists declared the first National Woman’s Day (it would be renamed in the plural decades later), with a focus on workers’ rights and suffrage. The event took place in New York City in 1909 on the last Sunday of February — a day when working women could attend. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a noted feminist, socialist and author, gave a speech calling for women’s influence and freedom beyond their households: “It is true that a woman’s duty is centered in her home and motherhood but home should mean the whole country and not be confined to three or four rooms of a city or a state.”
The protest laid the groundwork for the largest strike by women workers that fall. At 9 a.m. on a cold morning in November 1909, thousands of garment workers walked out of their shops in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx and marched to their union headquarters at 151 Clinton Street. Their demands included a 52-hour workweek, higher pay and an end to workplace abuses, such as unsafe working conditions and what we later came to understand as sexual harassment. Women continued to strike, many with their children by their side, until their individual shops negotiated with workers.
This “Uprising of the 20,000,” as the event became known, was mostly settled in days or weeks, with varying degrees of success. Labor leader Rose Schneiderman wrote that she pleaded with the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers to strike, to no avail. A little over a year later, on March 25, 1911, unsafe conditions at the Triangle factory led to a massive fire and the death of 146 workers. But the Uprising of the 20,000 no doubt prevented other tragedies like this from happening and showed women as a powerful and steadfast force to be reckoned with when they protested in large numbers.
In 1910, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed codifying International Woman’s Day at an International Socialist Congress in Copenhagen, with delegates from 17 countries unanimously agreeing. The next year, more than a million women took part in this holiday, flooding the streets across Europe and demanding political and worker rights.
Over the next decade, International Women’s Day became a day for protests against the burgeoning imperialist war in Europe, and in 1917, Russian women demanded “peace, land, and bread.” Such protests helped to spark the Russian Revolution and earned women the right to vote and run for office that same year.
Throughout the 20th century, March 8 continued to inspire protests for women’s working and political rights around the globe. Under threat of arrest, torture, rape and death, women in Nazi-occupied Italy in 1944 and 1945 walked out of factories and homes en masse, demanding better wages, maternity leave, child care and an end to German requisitioning of Italian-made goods. Even Nazi fascists capitulated to the power of these women, offering shorter hours, hot soup and heating fuel so that the women would continue to work.
Women workers were also instrumental in the Allied war effort, and their organizational initiatives played a role in winning the war. Italian labor leaders such as Bianca Guidetti helped organize female factory workers to continue to support anti-fascist soldiers and fight for women’s rights over the last brutal year of World War II. In many northern Italian cities, these efforts culminated in women taking up arms and securing factories during the final bloody battles against Germany as the Allied forces advanced.
These organized demonstrations then gave women political power in the new Italian government. Following the war, they secured political representation, labor unions, child-care assistance and more equitable pay. On March 8, Italian women carried the yellow mimosa — an early spring bloom — to represent “solidarity with women throughout the world.” This flower became a reminder during the war of their obligation to fight for a better future, scholar Jomarie Alano wrote. Even today, many countries celebrate women and mothers on this day with flowers, but also annual protests for equal rights and better pay.
Click here to read the full article on the Washington Post.
(CNN) President Joe Biden has selected Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court, setting in motion a historic confirmation process for the first Black woman to sit on the highest court in the nation.
Biden will deliver remarks on Friday afternoon announcing the selection, the White House said. CNN first reported Biden’s decision.
Jackson, 51, currently sits on DC’s federal appellate court and had been considered the front-runner for the vacancy since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement.
She received and accepted Biden’s offer in a call Thursday night, a source familiar with the decision told CNN, but was present for DC Circuit Court hearings Friday morning.
Biden met with Jackson for her Supreme Court interview earlier this month, a senior administration official said, in a meeting that the White House managed to keep secret.
For more than a year, the President had familiarized himself with her work, reading many of her opinions and other writings, along with those of other contenders.
But the official said Biden also was impressed by her life story, including her rise from federal public defender to federal appellate judge — and her upbringing as the daughter of two public school teachers and administrators.
U.S. women soccer stars, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, have reached a $24 million settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation following a lawsuit over unequal pay with men’s team players.
The landmark settlement was announced Tuesday, years after a group of five U.S. Women’s National Team players filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint over inequality in pay and treatment.
According to the terms of the settlement, U.S. Soccer will pay men and women at an equal rate in the future in all friendlies and tournaments, including the World Cup.
“For us, this is just a huge win in ensuring that we not only right the wrongs of the past, but set the next generation up for something we only dreamed of,” Rapinoe said Tuesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show.
“We are really in the midst of an incredible turning point in women’s sport,” she said, adding, “If you’re not paying attention to this right now and what’s happening in women’s sport, you’re sleeping on the whole thing.”
The EEOC complaint was filed in 2016 by Morgan, Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo and Carli Lloyd (Solo and Lloyd are retired).
Then in March 2019, 28 members of the USWNT filed a lawsuit, citing years of ongoing institutionalized gender discrimination against the players in their compensation and working conditions.
The lawsuit garnered national attention and led to stadium chants of “Equal Pay!” when the U.S. women’s team won the 2019 World Cup in Paris.
The disparity in pay between men and women is stark. FIFA awarded $400 million in prize money for the 32 teams at the 2018 men’s World Cup, and $38 million to the champion, France. By comparison, FIFA awarded $30 million for the 24 teams at the 2019 women’s World Cup, including $4 million to the U.S. after winning their second straight title.
A global sensation and powerhouse in the sport, the U.S. team has won four FIFA Women’s World Cup titles since the competition’s founding in 1991.
That stands in stark contrast to the men’s national team, which took third in the first World Cup played in 1930 — and hasn’t come close since.
U.S. Soccer will pay $22 million to the players in the case and an additional $2 million into an account to benefit USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women’s and girls’ soccer, according to the settlement terms. Players will be able to apply for up to $50,000 from this fund.
The legal back and forth in the case saw former U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro resign in March 2020 in the wake of bitter backlash stemming from a legal filing that included sexist language comparing female and male players.
His resignation led former American midfielder Cindy Parlow Cone to become the first female president in the federation’s history.
The settlement is contingent on the ratification of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for USWNT and U.S. Soccer, which will resolve all the claims in the 2019 suit.
Morgan said on “TODAY” their work in leveling the playing field is not over.
“U.S. Soccer has agreed to equalize the prize money moving forward, obviously we call on FIFA to truly equalize that for men’s and women’s tournaments,” she said. “That’s really what we set out to do. Equalize on all fronts.”
The founders of Malcriadas Collective don’t want to be good girls, yet their mission in Dallas is to do only good.
On Sunday night, the Chicanx culture-inspired apparel brand hosted its first pop-up of the year — a collab with Jessi Pereira’s monthly Paradise — at Top Ten Records in Oak Cliff. The night was filled with vendors, merchandise, food, a tattoo flash by tattoo artist Sushiii Milk and make-up inspired by the HBO series Euphoria by Maria Bonita, with people spilling out of the record store vibing to guest DJs. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Malcridas event without dropping an exclusive tee. Inspired by Mexican film actress Maria Felix, the collab dropped its “Mas Cabrxna Que Bonita” tee, which perfectly describes the collectives’ theme.
Malcriadas Collective was founded by Dallas creatives Rosa Rodriguez and BB Velez in 2019. Since then, the collective has hosted annual art shows and pop-ups around the city for artists and other creatives to connect and showcase their work. To them, creating such spaces was so necessary in Dallas, which has an ever-growing population of starving artists whom, like many, struggle to find places to grow. As Rodriguez, a local photographer, says, “Everybody knows everybody,” and the two wanted to create an environment for the art community to network, but also just hang out, have fun and be themselves.
Their love for art is one of the main reasons they formed in the first place – in addition to wanting to be one of the few female Latinx-operated collectives in the area — but their cultural background played a big role as well.
“Our mission is to bring Dallas together,” Velez, a painter, says. “When we throw events like pop-ups and art shows we make sure to include the young artist that is just starting as well as the OGs that have inspired us. We also want to be the best Chicano streetwear in Dallas. You don’t see many female streetwear owners. We want to show that women can do it exactly like men if not better.”
Still, there’s no place for exclusivity at Malcriadas Collective events.
Starting Malcriadas was like them finally putting their foot down. Rodriguez and Velez, two first-generation Mexican-Americans, wanted to break away from the shackles of cultural norms and the burden of being daughters of strict Mexican parents. After meeting at South By Southwest in 2015, they bonded over shared rebellious experiences from their childhood, and the two have been close since.
The phrase “Malcriadas,” which means “spoiled brats” in Spanish, was something the two heard all the time growing up in their Mexican households. Feeling like they’re stuck in between two worlds, their so-called “wild” behavior was seen as inappropriate for their culture, according to their family. In Hispanic culture, it’s expected for women to act “lady-like,” train to be homemakers before anything and take on the responsibility to care for their families at a very young age.
The two reflect on their childhoods and remember just wanting to be themselves and, most importantly, the artists they wanted to be. The pressure from their parents telling them they needed to have “real careers” to be successful gave them a few bumps in the road, and yet they persisted.
“I feel like that’s just part of our culture,” Rodriguez says. “I love our culture but there are certain aspects where you don’t get the same American experience that everybody else does. It’s a fucking struggle. You have responsibilities at such a young age and, in a sense, creating something like this is really doing what we wanted all along.”
Instead of seeing it as a bad thing, they fucking ran with. They embraced their badass, rebellious youth and used it as the core of Malcriadas. In other words, they don’t give a fuck and don’t need anyone’s permission to follow their goals — and they’re doing while still embracing their beloved Chicanx culture.
While Malcriadas is heavily influenced by its culture and brings vendors, such as Putas Paletas and Tromp RRey, and artists of color to their events, it’s not exclusive to only Latinx members. Malcriadas Collective is for everyone.
“When we say this is for the community, it really is,” Rodriguez says. “We never make any money from [vendors]. Whatever they make is what they make.”
Malcriadas Collective’s next event will be a collab with Debbie Does Disco, a night of disco music, Feb. 12. with DJ Storm, DJ Alaska DJ NoSocial and DJ Brandon Epocha.
Click here to read the full article on Central Track.
One of the best ways to get inspired is to examine the stories of courage and strength of others. As part of Together We Rise, a 31-day package highlighting amazing Black people, experiences, allies, and communities that shape America and make it what it is today, we’ve compiled a list of Black women who have made historic impacts in our nation and the world as a whole.
The history-making Black women included in this group defied odds, broke boundaries and left special marks of excellence in their communities, paving the way for other Black women to do the same.
Elizabeth Freeman (unknown-1829)
Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was a nurse and midwife who successfully sued Massachusetts for her freedom in 1781, becoming the first African-American enslaved woman to win a freedom suit in the state. Her suit helped lead to the permanent abolition of slavery in Massachusetts altogether.
Ona Judge (1773-1848)
Ona Judge, known by the Washingtons as Oney, was a mixed woman born into an enslaved family on Mt. Vernon and brought to Philadelphia to serve at the President’s House. On May 21, 1796, a 22-year-old Ona successfully escaped her enslavement to President George Washington while he and Mrs. Washington ate dinner. She fled to New Hampshire.
Harriet Tubman (unknown-1913)
American abolitionist Harriet Tubman is most known for her efforts to move slaves to liberation in the Underground Railroad, a network of antislavery activists. Her legacy is indelible in the movement to abolish slavery, as she is documented to have made approximately 13 trips through the Underground Railroad to lead dozens of slaves to freedom — and never got caught, despite a $40,000 reward for her capture.
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)
Ida B. Wells was a prominent Black investigative journalist, educator and activist in the early civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the NAACP (National Assocation for the Advancement of Colored People), and led a powerful anti-lynching crusade in the U.S. in the 1890s.
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) Rosa Parks, a trailblazer known for her courageous participation in the Montgomery bus boycott, sparked a movement against racial segregation on public transit. Her defiance to give up her seat led to her arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, but sparked a revolutionary movement. The United States Congress has since honored her as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou has a distinct voice as a Black writer and activist. She left her legacy with a large collection of memoirs, poems, essays and plays. She rose to fame in 1969 after the publication of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” one of her autobiographies that details her early years as a young Black woman.
Nina Simone (1933-2003) Nina Simone possessed a unique raspy voice and had a massive impact on the jazz community, as well as continued involvement in the civil rights movement. In her early years, she changed her name from Eunice Kathleen Waymon, her birth name, to her new alias, Nina Simone, so she could disguise herself from her family while trying to make a career in jazz as a pianist and singer. She rose to fame and recorded more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974.
Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Audre Lorde made incredible contributions to feminist literature. In her writings, she highlights her experience being a Black lesbian woman and confronts issues of racism, homophobia, classism and misogyny, giving voice to other Black female writers and activists.
Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)
“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin was ranked ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” twice and it’s said that no one understood soul music better than Aretha. She also was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992)
Marsha P. Johnson, born Malcom Michaels Jr., was the first American self-identified drag queen. She was one of the first gay liberation activists and one of the most prominent figures of the Stonewall riots in 1969. When asked what the “p” in her name stood for, she responded, “pay it no mind,” and continued to use that phrase when asked about her gender identity.
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.