Tag Archives: girls

Title IX: Giving Girls a Sporting Chance

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by: Valarie Jarrett

Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Title IX at George Washington University in Washington DC, April 20, 2010. Also present are Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and former intern Joy Cheek. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

As Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, I was honored and excited to join world-class women athletes, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Education in a Title IX Announcement event Tuesday afternoon at George Washington University.

Title IX was enacted in 1972 and mandates that all educational institutions receiving federal funding create equal opportunities, for both boys and girls, in both academics and all other school activities. The announcement by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan enhances and strengthens the standards for Title IX compliance.

In the 38 years since enactment, we have seen how Title IX has helped women compete at all levels, producing real benefits for them later in life. For example, Title IX has been critical in improving the health of women and girls. New economic research has found that the increase in girls’ athletic participation caused by Title IX was associated with a seven percent lower risk of obesity for those girls 20 to 25 years later. No other public health program can claim similar success. Title IX has also contributed to improving the economic well-being of women and girls. A recent study by the Wharton Business School shows that being a high school athlete is associated with 14 percent higher wages for women. Learn more about Title IX and the strengthened standards by reading Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights
Russlynn Ali’s blog post
.

At the event highlighting Title IX and women's athletics, girls participate in sports clinics with collegiate and professional athletes. (Photo by Joshua Hoover, U.S. Department of Education)

But there is perhaps no better evidence of the benefits of Title IX than seeing young girls interact with the WNBA players, the members of the Silver Medal-winning USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and the many skilled collegiate athletes who participated in Tuesday’s event. These all-star women shot hoops and practiced their volleyball serves in clinics during the program, and in doing so, may have inspired the next great WNBA player or Olympian.

This event was not only a reminder as to why Title IX is important, but more broadly, it was a reminder as to why the Council’s work through the agencies remains relevant and continues to make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

Valerie Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls

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Filed under Children, Obama Administration, Pres. Barack Obama, Secretary Arne Duncan (Sec of Education), Vice-President Joe Biden

First Lady Michelle Obama to Serve as National Honorary Chair of Girls Inc. Board of Directors

Posted by: Audiegrl

“It’s good to be a girl in this world today. I like being a girl because I can speak for myself. I can stand up for myself. Being a girl makes me strong”~Mytha, age 6


Girls Incorporated, the nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and the oldest girl-centered organization in the United States, is delighted to announce that First Lady Michelle Obama has agreed to serve as the organization’s Honorary Board Chair.

In this role, Mrs. Obama will lend her support to the ongoing work of Girls Inc., particularly around creating opportunities and resources for girls to learn and grow, to navigate the unique challenges they face growing up, and to discover their potential as leaders with the courage and vision to change the world.

In her short tenure as First Lady, Mrs. Obama has demonstrated her ability to speak to our nation’s challenges with sensitivity and depth. Her new campaign on childhood obesity, Let’s Move!, will improve the well-being of girls, and will complement and bolster efforts to empower girls in creating a healthy society.

It is crucial to provide girls with the resources and role models to encourage them to share their voices, dream big, and envision themselves as tomorrow’s leaders,” said Joyce M. Roché, President & Chief Executive Officer of Girls Inc. “Mrs. Obama has achieved at the highest levels of education and law and demonstrates a heartfelt commitment to ensuring that all of our nation’s children have the opportunity to realize their full potential. We greatly look forward to the honor of working with her on issues that affect girls, their families, and their communities.”

Exposing our young people to new ideas, introducing them to the larger world beyond their own life experiences, and inspiring them to become the leaders of tomorrow is of paramount importance and I am pleased to serve as Honorary Board Chair of Girls Inc.,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Obama is the tenth First Lady to serve in this role since 1953, when First Lady Mamie Eisenhower became the first Honorary Board Chair of Girls Inc.

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Filed under Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Uncategorized, Young Women

First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates National Mentoring Month

Posted by: Audiegrl

January is National Mentoring Month and this afternoon President Obama and the First Lady will welcome mentors and young Americans from around the country. As we gather in the East Room, organizations and community groups dedicated to supporting our nation’s young people will come together to reaffirm the importance of mentorship. The President will also announce the White House Mentorship Program for 20 young men from local high schools. Each student was nominated by his school and will be paired with an Administration staffer for one year. This program will allow the participants to serve our local community and students will be encouraged to pursue excellence in school as well as expand their horizons as they are introduced to numerous opportunities for personal development, including career skills. Mentorship has long been a priority for both the President and Mrs. Obama, as a part of their commitment to their community and personal responsibility. The First Lady launched her initiative for young women this past November and they’re already off to a great start. Check out a video of the First Lady and senior Administration women on a mentoring trip to Denver to see this initiative in action.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Uncategorized, Young Men

President Obama Honors Educators in Math and Science

Posted by: Audiegrl

white house gov logoPresident Obama honors educators who have shown excellence in teaching and mentoring students in mathematics and science at an awards ceremony at the White House. January 6, 2010.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Books, Children, Computers, Culture, Education, History, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Presidents, Sciences, Teachers, Technology, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues

Disney’s First African-American Princess Marks Studio’s Return to Old-Style Animation

Posted by Audiegrl

Among Disney’s Royal Ladies, Princess Tiana Is a Notable First

AP/Mike Cidoni—For most of the last century, the Disney ‘toon heroine was as white as, well… Snow White, the studio’s first feature-film superstar, who marked her debut in 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

It would take some 60 years for the Disney artists to begin painting their leading ladies with all the colors of the wind, including the American Indian Pocahontas (1995), the Chinese Mulan (1998) and the Hawaiian Lilo (2002).

Only now, with “The Princess and the Frog,” have Disney animators put a black female front and center. Ironically, the inspiration for the new film came from two Caucasian men: current Pixar-Disney chief John Lasseter and the late Walt Disney himself.

The story really came from an initial idea of doing an American fairy tale, which hadn’t been done at Disney,” said “Princess” co-director Ron Clements. “And setting it in New Orleans, which is John Lasseter’s favorite city in the world. It was Walt Disney’s favorite city in the world … Out of that, it seemed natural that the heroine would be African-American.”

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Anika Noni Rose in Disney’s ‘The Princess and the Frog‘; ‘Dreamgirl’s‘ latest role is history making

Anika Noni Rose, famous for her role in 'Dreamgirls' both on Broadway and in the hit movie, stars in Disney's latest.

Anika Noni Rose, famous for her role in 'Dreamgirls' both on Broadway and in the hit movie, stars in Disney's latest.

NewYorkDailyNews/Joe Dziemianowicz—Anika Noni Rose has good reason to feel animated.

Her latest starring role isn’t simply high-profile — it’s downright historic.

The Princess and the Frog” leaps into local theaters on Wednesday, and her voice will be heard as Disney’s first animated black heroine: Tiana, a sassy go-getter out to rescue a bewitched prince from amphibian oblivion.

The tweaked Grimm’s fairy tale is set in jazzy 1920s New Orleans, but Rose, 37, a Tony winner best known from the movie version of “Dreamgirls,” says her connection to Tiana is rooted right at the core of the Big Apple.

Rose was in the middle of Times Square when word came that she’d landed the coveted regal role.

The producers “had been trying to reach me for quite a while, but I’m a New York girl,” says Rose. “I was trying to do 10,000 things at once and didn’t get the phone. I ended up running to the Disney office. Luckily they were nearby — and I was in sneakers.”

Those sensible shoes fit the character of Tiana, a chef who’s waiting tables until she can open her own restaurant.

Unlike other Disney princesses introduced with a trademark “I want” tune revealing their deepest desire (like the Little Mermaid, Ariel, who wants to “be where the people are“), Tiana’s first song, “Almost There,” is one of self-confidence and certainty.

She’s been saving and saving, and she’s got the down payment ready,” says Rose. “She sees her dreams coming true.”

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A Fairy Tale Beginning

Tiana, the heroine in the upcoming 'The Princess and the Frog.'

Tiana, the heroine in the upcoming 'The Princess and the Frog.'

Washington Post/Neely Tucker—In the 72 years since Walt Disney’s animated version of Snow White captivated audiences as “the fairest of them all,” there have only been eight such Disney princesses. Through these movies and a line of toys, dresses and figurines, the Disney princesses have become global, doe-eyed icons of childhood. Sleeping Beauty awakened by a kiss, Cinderella’s clock striking midnight, Belle waltzing in the Beast’s castle, Ariel with Prince Eric in the moonlit lagoon — these have become heroines whom parents the world over feel safe to let their young girls idolize and mimic. And while Disney has brought us nonwhite princesses before (see “Mulan,” “Pocahontas“), Tiana is a first.

The implied message of Tiana, that black American girls can be as elegant as Snow White herself, is a milestone in the national imagery, according to a range of scholars and cultural historians.

Her appearance this holiday season, coming on the heels of Michelle Obama’s emergence as the nation’s first lady, the Obama girls in the White House and the first line of Barbie dolls modeled on black women (“So in Style” debuts this summer), will crown an extraordinary year of visibility for African American women.

But fairy tales and folklore are the stories that cultures tell their children about the world around them, and considering Disney’s pervasive influence with (and marketing to) young girls, Princess Tiana might well become the symbol of a culture-changing standard of feminine beauty.

If this figure takes off, you’re looking at 30 or 40 years of repetition and resonance,” says Tricia Rose, a Brown University professor who teaches both popular culture and African American studies, citing the enduring popularity of Disney princesses at the company’s theme parks, on Web sites and in videos.

“It’s a very big deal,” says Leonard Maltin, the film historian, critic and author of “Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons.”

She’s the first modern American [Disney] princess, and that she’s black sends a huge message,” says Cori Murray, entertainment director for Essence magazine.

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My Families Experience at Disneyland…

Last night, while putting together this story, I mentioned to Ogenec, my own families experience at DisneyLand. At his request, I’ve added our story to this post.

1966 DisneyLand Guidebook

1966 DisneyLand Guidebook

When I was around 4 years old we drove to Los Angeles to visit our cousins and their kids. My Mom and Dad being older, offered to take us all out to DisneyLand. So it was me, Michelle (age 4), Peter (age 5), and Alex (age 8), and our two sets of parents. My dad purchased the groups admission and also a ticket book, which allowed us to ride all day. Believe it or not, it was only $5.00 for adults, and $4.00 for kids under 12, which back then was a lot of money to spend for just entertainment. My Dad gave the ticket book to my cousin George to keep in his back pocket. My cousin’s were very young parents, and couldn’t have been more than 25 or 26 at the time.

So we get to the first ride, and of course, we are all excited and squealing with joy, and guess what? The ticket book is gone. Someone stole it from George’s back pocket, man, was he upset. So my Dad, being 46 and the oldest of our group, takes charge and he and George go to find some manager to see what could be done. They were taken into a office, and sat in front of the secretary in the waiting room. By this point, they were getting kind of nervous… This was 1966, and there were not many other Black people at the amusement park, so they just assumed that we were all going to get thrown out for trying to scam the joint. LOL 😉

After about 15 minutes, a man comes out of the office, and asks my Dad and George to step in and sit down. He sat on the edge of his big desk and listened very quietly to their story. My Dad told him they didn’t want to disappoint their kids, and was there anyway they could get some ride tickets back, not all that were stolen, but just enough so the kids could ride a few times, and then we would all leave.

The man said, “That’s out of the question. You came here with your family, and someone robbed you, so that’s not your fault. Please take these ticket books, they are good for all weekend, and your family can ride as much as they want, and come back tomorrow if they want to.”

walt-disney1My dad and cousin got up, to shake this mans hand and thank him. My dad said, I’m sorry sir, I never got your name? The man said, my name is Walt Disney…..

True Story…

I’ve read different opinions on why Disney decided to create this movie. Some are not impressed, and have said that Disney’s motivation is more of a financial nature, rather than a move to foster any kind of diversity. Whatever Disney’s reasons, I’ll always remember my own families story, and have to believe somewhere, some place, Walt Disney is smiling…because for him, it was all about the kids.~~AudieGrl

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Filed under African-Americans, Art, Culture, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Jazz, Media and Entertainment, Movies, Pop Culture, United States, US, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues, World

New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and President Obama Team Up for Children’s Fitness

Posted by Buellboy

Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware, President Barack Obama, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu with Washington, D.C.-area children at the White House. Brees said it was the only time he had thrown a pass to someone wearing a Chicago Bears jacket.

Times-Picayune—In support of his United We Serve initiative, President Barack Obama and NFL stars Drew Brees, DeMarcus Ware and Troy Polamalu team up to highlight the importance of fitness for America’s children.

Obama joins Saints quarterback Brees, Steelers safety Polamalu and Cowboys linebacker Ware in a special public service announcement debuting during each of the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving.

The 90-second PSA is a joint effort of the NFL’s PLAY 60 campaign, a league-wide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for 60 minutes a day, and United We Serve, the president’s initiative encouraging all Americans to participate in community service.

The spot will continue airing throughout the rest of the season in a shorter format.

Through United We Serve, I have challenged all Americans to roll up their sleeves and engage in sustained service to strengthen our communities,” the president said. “For some of us that means volunteering at a soup kitchen or cleaning up a local park. For others, it means taking time to build a playground or volunteering your time to improve the life of a child.

Quarterback Drew Brees

No matter how we serve, we find common purpose when we dedicate ourselves to helping others. This holiday season, I am asking all Americans to find their own way to give back to their communities.”

The Saints’ Brees, who has been a national spokesman for the PLAY 60 campaign for the past two years, said, “We had about 25 minutes and did three different takes. I threw him a couple of passes. He was wearing his Chicago Bears jacket, so there was some ribbing about that.

Thanksgiving is a time when families come together, and it is also a perfect time to focus on the importance of keeping kids healthy and active,” Brees said. “I was honored to spend time with the president on an issue that is clearly important to him. I was also impressed by his wide receiver skills.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Children, Football, Health, Media and Entertainment, New Orleans, LA, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, PSA, Sports, Thanksgiving, Volunteerism

Tea Party Express at Civil Rights District in Birmingham Alabama–We Should Be Outraged

Posted by Guest Contributor alpolitics from Progressive Electorate

Today the Tea Party Express rolled into Birmingham, Alabama – my hometown. Probably not a big surprise to anyone. But I’m absolutely shocked at the display that occurred in Kelly Ingram Park – right in the middle of the historic Civil Rights museum. Within feet of the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum and the 16th Street Baptist Church – where four little girls were killed on September 15, 1963. In the middle of Kelly Ingram Park where Dr. Martin Luther King and Fred Shuttlesworth organized demonstrations for real freedom. Where Bull Connor turned the firehouses and dogs on children.

Here’s Kelly Ingram Park on May 3, 1963

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Here was Kelly Ingram Park on November 9, 2009

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One man had the audacity to say:

“I’m here for freedom,” said Pinson resident Tim Emala. “We need to get back to the Constitution. We seemed to have strayed away from it. The politicians need to read it.”

You are talking about freedom in the same place that people marched because they were forced to sit on the back of the bus, and use separate restrooms and attend separate schools. This could have been held anywhere in Birmingham but it was held in the cradle of the Civil Rights District. Where people marched and protested for real rights. And now they are protesting against health care which should be a right not a privilege.

You had this stupid rally using kids as props within a stones throw of where four little girls died simply because of the color of their skin.

Here are some images of statutes that are actually in the park to memorialize the significance of what occurred in the park during the 1960’s and the civil rights movement.

Three ministers

The three ministers statue in Kelly Ingram Park representing N.H. Smith, John T. Porter and A.D. King, who led a sympathy march on Palm Sunday in 1963 in support of jailed civil rights leaders: Revs. Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy


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This sculpture is dedicated to the foot soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement who braved the dogs.


A statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. looking towards the 16th Street Baptist Church.

A statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. looking towards the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Charlene Cannon of Birmingham does a good job summing up her feelings, mine and I hope yours…

“They say they’re against taxation, it looks like it’s a No-Obama rally. My thing is they could have had this anywhere else other than Kelly Ingram Park”

Please check out the poignant video of Ms. Cannon here. More pictures from today can be viewed here. Another slide show here.

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Tea Party Express makes stop in Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park

44-D Update

tea partyAlabama Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tim James attended the 32nd stop on the Tea Party Express national bus tour in Birmingham, Alabama. From the picture he looks as if he thoroughly enjoyed today’s Tea Party Rally in the Civil Rights district. It would be interesting to know what comment he has about the rally being held in such a hallowed place.

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Filed under Birmingham, AL, Civil Rights Movement, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized