Big 5

Wealth to Health: How it’s All Connected

By Rylee Sommers-Flanagan*

Earlier this week, my fellow intern, Courtney Fiske, reported on the findings released last month by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, which revealed a widening racial wealth gap between whites and blacks in the United States.


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Health Scare Underlines Need to Repair Safety Nets

May 1, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar The recent health alert on swine flu has serious implications for those surviving at the margins of society without health care, paid sick leave, or other benefits. Women working in low-skill jobs are particularly vulnerable. Judith Warner's piece in the NYT brings much-needed attention to this issue: how to provide economic security for millions of women, particularly those who are single heads of households, working part-time jobs that are tenuously held at best.


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FAST FACT: Layoffs Not Dwindling

February 12, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In the first few days of February, 50,939 people working at America's 500 largest companies have been laid off.  Companies include Nike, US Airways, Wal-Mart, Macy's and General Motors. (via Forbes' Layoff Tracker)

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GIRLS FORUM: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

February 10, 2009 posted by admin My first memory in life is of my mom holding me up as a human shield to try get my dad to stop beating her—possibly to stop from killing her. I was 2-years-old at the time. My book for young women, RESPECT: A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GETTING RESPECT AND DEALING WHEN YOUR LINE IS CROSSED (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005), was born out of a life riddled with disrespect. Like many girls and women I’ve met, I grew up in this home where domestic violence, addictions, incarceration, near poverty and "-isms" from racism to sexism were diminishing my family. But I was one of the lucky ones who discovered the many keys to breaking this cycle. Through following my passions, discovering my mission in life and getting help--among other Steps to Respect--I learned that respect is always within reach because true respect starts on the inside.  Now as I travel the country coaching girls and women, I hear a lot of stories just like mine. And as part of this work, I share with them an amazing video made by Jennifer Uribe, our 19-year-old program assistant at Respect Rx (a venture I founded last year). Jen's video includes powerful stats  that some girls have heard and some haven't, like: 


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FAST FACT: Where Women Can Earn $20 or more an Hour

February 6, 2009 posted by Kyla Bender-Baird

In 2007, the nontraditional occupation for women with the largest number of employed women was laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand.


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GIRLS FORUM: Lyn Mikel Brown Counters the “Mean Girl” Onslaught with Strength-Based Programs

February 5, 2009 posted by admin As someone who studies girl culture and as a mother of a 13 year old, I can't miss the avalanche of "mean girls" in the media and what it suggests to my daughter; to all our daughters. Can we imagine a girl-targeted reality show, sitcom, or drama that doesn't revolve around a catfight?  Do we really need more movies like Bride Wars or another Jennifer-Angelina magazine cover with an inset of Brad in the corner? It seems like the only public displays of sisterhood we see any more involve girls collectively dissing other "bad" girls or commiserating over break ups with guys. As an education professor, I spend a lot of time in public schools.


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GIRLS FORUM: Discrimination Can Happen “Anywhere, Anytime, to Anyone”

February 5, 2009 posted by admin [caption id="attachment_1063" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="New Moon Girl"]New Moon Girl's Editorial Board[/caption] The following 5 posts are from members of the Girls Editorial Board of New Moon GirlsThey all live in Minnesota. Dear President Obama, You are now the president of the United States of America, what I had been wanting to happen since the beginning of the election. I am a supporter of women's rights and equal treatment of women. In this year 2009 there are many things that I would like to see change. Incidents of injustice must stop in the United States, and fairness should be strived for everywhere. In all places people of all races and genders should work together, equal pay and things such as fair promotions should be fought for but unfortunately this does not always happen. I strive to change that. Here are some facts about injustice to women that need to change: 


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GIRLS FORUM: With New President, Young Girl Sees Chance for the End of Racism

February 5, 2009 posted by admin Dear President Obama,   Congratulations to becoming the president of the United States. You did very well in your speeches and I was sure all along that you would become the first black president of the United States.  What I'd like to see change for girls in 2009 :   -- I would like to see no discrimination or unfair treatment for women (especially at work).   --I would also like to see more opportunities for women and girls in sports. --I would also like to have racism completely gone. Girls and women should not be judged by their race but by their personality. Nkem, age 10 This post is part of a forum


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GIRLS FORUM: Young Obama Campaign Worker Wants Equal Opportunities to Pursue Her Dreams

Februrary 5, 2009 posted by admin Dear President Obama, I was one of the “super volunteers” for the Duluth, MN area throughout your campaign. I’ve always been interested in history, culture and politics, and I had the opportunity to attend JrNYLC (Junior National Young Leaders Conference) in Washington, DC. Working on your campaign was one of the most memorable experiences of my life! It has already led me to new political experiences because of the people I met campaigning. I recently attended “Camp Wellstone” to learn more about working effectively on political campaigns. One of my supervisors, Drew Sandquist, worked on your inauguration team.


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GIRLS FORUM: Dear Arne Duncan—Not Everyone Learns the Same Way!

Februrary 5, 2009 posted by admin Dear Arne Duncan, My school is a Leonard Bernstein school, which means that we do way more than read textbooks to learn. I am linguistic or word smart, but many of my friends are different. I know that you know about this because my teacher went to Chicago to see what other LB schools do. But as you make decisions, I want you to remember that not all kids benefit from the typical work sheets that most schools teach! Sylvie, grade 5 This post is part of a forum


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