PHOTO BLOG: The state of girls’ education around the world

World Education Blog

To tie-in with the release of the Gender Summary of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 published by UNESCO to mark International Women’s Day, this photo blog tells the story of the state of education for girls and young women around the world. 

The Gender Summary of the 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report highlights the serious gender imbalance in global education that has left over 100 million young women unable to read a single sentence. The summary, launched for International Women’s Day in partnership with the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, calls for equity to be at the heart of new global development goals after 2015 so that every child has an equal chance of learning through quality education.

Half of the 31 million girls out of school are expected never to enroll or have the chance to learn. Despite some progress, in 2011, only 60% of…

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12 Years A Slave: Why I’m Glad it Won Best Picture

Afroculinaria

12 Years A Slave: Why I’m Glad it Won Best Picture

IMG_3425

   “Joyce is right about history being a nightmare –but it may be the nightmare from which no one can awaken.  People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”  –James Baldwin, “Stranger in the Village.”

If you follow me through social media you know I’m used to visiting plantation landscapes and dressing in the type of clothing enslaved people would wear.  I’ve cooked the enslaved way in many states across the former Confederacy and Border states.  I’ve picked cotton and worked in tobacco fields. I’ve been in rice and sugarcane fields in the Lowcountry and Lower Mississippi Valley dodging teenaged gators and poisonous snakes.  Plantations blind with darkness don’t scare me and I almost take comfort from the spirits that have surrounded me.  I have been in their presence—for real—and the ancestors have been both welcoming…

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Dear society: kids cry, deal with it. Dear parents: kids cry, stop bringing them to grown-up movies

The Matt Walsh Blog

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Alright, everyone. I know we can’t agree on everything. Or most things. Or anything. I know this world is full of strife and contention, controversy and division. I get it.

This is what it means to live on a mortal planet populated by the fallen hordes of sinful, prideful, vengeful beings. We argue, it’s what we do. And, honestly, I guess that’s good for business. I make a living writing about ‘controversial’ topics. What would I do if I lived in a land where nobody argued about anything? The good news is that if I found myself in a place of that sort, I’d presumably be in Heaven. But the bad news is that I’d be really hard up for blogging topics.

In any case, as much as I appreciate a good ol’ fashioned, knock ’em down, drag ’em out online cyber-brawl, I think it’s time we retire a few of these debates.

One in…

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10 Heartfelt Sentiments for National Grammar Day

The Snail on the Wall

Today marks an important day for word users and language speakers everywhere. It’s National Grammar Day! There are all kinds of ways to celebrate this special occasion: Proofread an e-mail message before you hit “send.” Show some Facebook friends you care by correcting their grammatical mistakes in the comments section of their posts. Read a grammatical page-turner, like Woe Is I or Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Try your hand at a quick Facebook editing contest hosted by Grammarly, called “Edit This.” Or, for goodness’ sake, just take care to craft a structurally sound sentence with all your commas and apostrophes in the right places.

In honor of the holiday, here are 10 heartfelt sentiments to send to someone you love. Enjoy!

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Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: Punctuation is everything. 1. 'Woman, without her man, is nothing.' 2. 'Woman: without her, man is nothing.'MjAxMy1hNzVkYjUzYWVmYjNkNjMw_5196504e1dc4e

In honor of the day, tell us—which grammatical mistake makes your skin crawl?

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The Trigger Warned Syllabus

tressiemc

Apparently universities are issuing guidelines to help professors consider adding “trigger warnings” to syllabi for “racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression,” and to remove triggering material when it doesn’t “directly” contribute to learning goals.” This from New Republic this week.

I have no desire to enter the fray of online discussions on trigger warnings and sensitivity. I have used trigger warnings. Most recently, I made a personal decision to not retweet Dylan Farrow’s piece in the New York Times detailing Woody Allen’s sexual abuse. I was uncomfortable shoving a very powerful description at people without some kind of warning. I couldn’t read past the first three sentences. I couldn’t imagine how it read for others. So, I referenced the article with a trigger warning and kept it moving.

But, I’m not sure that’s at all the kind of deliberation universities are doing with…

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Life Happens…..

About two weeks ago, my daughter and I were out getting food. While we were preparing to leave an older gentleman approached the car. He said “I ain’t asking you for food someone already bought me something, but I am a veteran and I don’t have anywhere to stay. I work everyday but I can’t afford a place to live and sometimes what I make I can’t get a room at the boarding house”. He preceded to show me the standard hospital band that showed he had just gotten out of the veteran’s hospital and began to tell me his back story. While he was talking I was barely listening. I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t give him anything. But I changed my mind. I proceeded to tell my daughter to give me a five dollar bill out of my purse. But the Spirit led me to give him 20 dollars, enough to pay for the room he needed at the boarding house and enough to get something to eat later on. He went on to say that women help him more than men, that they just rolled their windows up and ignored him. I too was tempted to do the same, to pass judgement, to say that he needed to get a job, to ask his family or many other excuses we give for not being kind to one another. What made me change my mind was the Spirit showing me that, he could be me. That he IS me. Life happens. All too often we live with a false sense of security. We think that nothing will touch us, we will always have what we have. We foolishly think that our health, our looks, our wealth, our family will be there. We walk around condescending others for not working hard enough, not pulling up their bootstraps and grinding. At the end of our exchange he said “I would hug you but I am dirty”. I instantly gave him a hug. I wanted to let him know that regardless of his condition, he mattered, he was still loved. I could empathize with his struggle. I know that it a moment I could be where he is. Needing a helping hand. I HAVE been where he is and someone helped me out. I think that if we would all begin to live with the realization that life happens, that at any moment everything we have can be taken away we would be more human, more apt to help, to love, to live in the moment. Although I have had many encounters with homeless people, this was one that touched me a lot as I could see my family there. Living with what we are going through right now I understand what it means to need to be seen as human, as valuable and able or for someone to just stop and give you 20 dollars and a hug.

Happiness. It’s what you make it….( From an email I recieved)

poster-happy-feel-less-med

This list is self explanatory and very relevant for today and always.

Most people have it wrong.

Most folks think that by gathering more stuff,
they’ll finally find happiness.

But often, you can find true happiness RIGHT NOW,
in this moment, simply by letting go.

Here are 4 things that you can let go of that will
make you a happier, more peaceful person by the
time you hit the sack tonight:

1) Let go of the need to impress others.

If you’re a human being, chances are you care about
what other people think of you.

After all – we are naturally social creatures!

But if you find yourself spending too much of your
time, money or energy trying to impress other people
and get their approval, you’re not being true to YOU.

There’s no need to try and be something you’re not,
because who you are right now is FABULOUS!

Focus instead on living the most authentic version
of yourself.

When you fully embrace who you are and share it with
others, you’ll find that people will appreciate how
REAL you are and will flock to you effortlessly. 🙂

2) Let go of the need to be right.

Sometimes when we feel we’ve been mistreated or
misunderstood by someone, we can get caught up
into wanting that person to admit they’ve
wronged us.

And we want an apology!

Or at least acknowledgement that we are right and they’re
wrong. 🙂

The problem is that not all human beings see things
from the same perspective. In your world, you’re
right… but in their world, so are they.

There are definitely times where an apology is necessary.

But most other times, rather than allowing feelings of
negativity to take root inside you and start spilling
over into other areas of your life, it may be best to
ask yourself this:

“Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?”

Often it’s just our ego that keeps us holding on to past
resentments and upsets. Instead, consider letting go of
the desire to be right and you’ll find you’ll instantly
restore happiness and contentment in your life.

3) Let go of the desire to gossip.

I’ve heard it said that gossip is just a cheap way to make
yourself feel good, and I have to agree.

We all know that gossiping about other people is… well, not
so good.

But when the people around you are doing it, it can be easy to
slip into doing it, too!

Consider though that the quality of your life depends on the
quality of the conversations you have.

If you want to live a more fulfilling life, start by embracing
the power of your word. Your voice is powerful! And what you
have to say makes a difference.

Be committed to having more positive conversations about
things that matter… not people… and you’ll be surprised how
quickly you’ll brighten your outlook on life.

4) Let go of the past.

It’s easy to dwell on the past, especially when the future is
so unknown!

Looking to the past can feel safe… we know what has happened
and we know what we could do to change things… if only we
had the chance.

The truth is, though, that you never will have the chance to
change the past.

Not unless scientists finally invent a time machine. 😉

Your past has served its purpose – it’s brought you to the
place you are today and made you the person you are now.
And who you are right now is absolutely perfect.

Be grateful for your experiences, but know that NOW is all
you have. So do your best to enjoy each moment. Give
yourself the gift of being present!

To your everlasting happiness,

Detoxing Life

Essence of Vitality Herbal Tonic

I have been feeling foggy,  tired, irritable and pretty much ever other blahhhhh feeling there is out there. Having just delivered 12 weeks ago I wasn’t expecting to feel like super mom, but neither was I expecting to be completely deflated, so I decided to detox. I decided on a natural herbal detox called Essence of Vitality.  It has several herbs with the star of the show being Neem. From what I have heard it is VERY bitter and because I am scared I haven’t tried it yet. However I am going to such it up and start today. I will detail my thoughts and results here. I cannot wait for the positive side effects.

“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”

Awesome read

Media Diversified

Young Writers of Colour

by Hip Hop Teacher

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial…

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