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Read UP: An Anthology on Women's Growth

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Inspirational Book
Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change
Recently Released
(January 9, 2015 – Chicago, IL) Trina Sotira and Michelle Duster recently released Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change, which they edited and published. The anthology features poems, short stories and essays by 35 women who represent diversity in age groups, geographic locations, marital status, parenting status, professions, and sexual orientations. It highlights the strength of women as their life shifts ultimately lead to increased confidence and internal peace.
 
The writing in the anthology addresses divorce, becoming parents, children leaving home, job situations, losing loved ones, and many other pivotal experiences that created change in the lives of women.  Both Sotira and Duster, who have faced their own transformative shifts in life, found the writing of the other women to be healing and inspiring.  “There’s a sense that even if we’ve never met, we, as women, are one community that has common experiences,” said Sotira. 
 
The development of the anthology started over two years ago as an extension of the group, MuseWrite, that Sotira and Duster originally founded in 2009 with two other women.  MuseWrite conducts writing and publishing seminars to help other writers develop and finalize their work.  The idea to give others an opportunity to publish their work grew through helping others develop their work.
 
After they received hundreds of submissions and began the editing process for Shifts, Sotira and Duster, weighed their publishing options.  “Between the two of us, Trina and I had four published books and over 40 years of combined experience,” Duster said. “We realized that we had enough knowledge and experience to start something on our own. We decided to establish MuseWrite Press in order to publish the Shifts anthology.”
Sotira teaches college composition and creative writing as a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage. A former television news producer, her first novel, In Her Skin, received recognition for revealing the struggles of a transgender teen. She has published articles on writing, as well as flash fiction. Duster has an extensive background in marketing and teaches writing for business courses at Columbia College Chicago. She co-authored the popular children’s history book Tate and His Historic Dream and has written articles, essays and published two books that include the original writing of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells – journalist, civil rights activist, and suffragist. 
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Wellness Wed: Medication Restrictions Affect Mental Health Outcomes

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November 2014 (Washington, DC): A new study administered by the National Council for Behavioral Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and published in Psychiatric Services today found many common insurance and state Medicaid policies may negatively impact patient health and impose a major workload on psychiatrists that takes time away from patient care and other important duties.

More than 50 percent of psychiatrists surveyed practicing in community mental health centers pointed to formulary restrictions, prior authorization and step therapy protocols as the most frequent roadblocks to prescribing an optimal treatment regimen. Step therapy protocols are sometimes referred to as “fail first” policies, as they only allow psychiatrists to pursue different drug options after other treatments fail to help patients. 

“Our research shows that many obstacles continue to limit mental health providers’ ability to effectively provide care,” says Dr. Ruth Shim, one of the study’s authors. “The next step is to take policy action to remove these barriers to increase access to and quality of care for individuals living with mental illnesses.”

These policies burden providers with additional bureaucracy, time which could otherwise be used treating patients. Three-quarters of psychiatrists spend more than 10 percent of their time on utilization management-related administrative tasks, with one in ten reporting they spend 40 percent or more of their time on such tasks.

Most importantly, the study found medication restriction policies directly impact patient wellness. Three-quarters of psychiatrists state that patients had trouble complying with medication plans, while 62 percent said patients experienced increased emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and increased health care costs.

Increasing medication options will provide better care and improve patient results according to those surveyed. Nearly 90 percent of psychiatrists agreed that multiple medication options are important in allowing them to find the best fit for patients based on potential side effects in relation to their condition.

“Mental health treatments are not one size fits all,” according to Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “Choosing the right plan should be the decision of a patient and their doctor, not rigid health plan policies. Increasing options, reducing paperwork and restoring physician authority ultimately results in better patient care.”

“The survey confirms what individuals and families affected by mental illness know from direct experience,” said Mary Giliberti, NAMI’s executive director. “Having a choice of medication is critical for positive outcomes. Too much time is being spent on needless authorizations rather than treatment. Policy change is needed to empower individuals and their doctors to make the right choices based on personal needs and goals, rather than on lists and failures.”

The study was jointly funded by a grant from Sunovion, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Lundbeck, LLC to the National Council and NAMI. A poster based on this data was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services conference in San Francisco October 31-November 1 and an overview of the survey’s results was published in the November issue of the American Psychiatric Association’s journal Psychiatric Services, available athttp://bit.ly/AccessSurvey2014

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The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 2,200 member organizations, it serves more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The organization is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained more than 250,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. To learn more about the National Council, visit www.TheNationalCouncil.org

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

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Popular Baby Names A- Z

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It's official! Urban Parenting's Magazine list of beautiful baby names that will make you say, "Finally- a name I love!" Look through, pick the one you like best, and then share with a mommy friend! Or tell us what you think on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UrbanParentingMagazine

 

A

Annai

Arria- “Slim, Lean” Hausa Origin

Ankeria

Ashleigh

Ashlee

Asha- "Life" Swahili Origin

Aleighya

Adisa- "One who is clear" Yourba Origin

Akachi- "Hand of God" Igbo Origin

Amaka- "God is Beautiful" Igbo Origin

Amour- “Love” Spanish Origin

Ana Lee

Andrew

Alexander

Abel

Abraham

Aaron

Alex

B

Bailey

Bella

Belle

Brielle

Baker

Bernard

Baldwin

Barack

Bairn

Banks

 

C

Coralle

Chyna

Chandell

Christelle

Cailyn

Candice

Caden

Calib

Christopher

Chris

Caleb

Caldir

 

D

Dai

Delilah

Daliah

Destinee

Danaijah

Deion

Devonne

Dakarai- "Rejoice"- Shona Origin

Dayo- "Joy arrives"- Yourba Origin

Desta- "Joy"- Amharic Origin

Dacey

Dagan

Dagon

Dallon

Dalton

Dallas

David

Daniel

E

Eve

Emma

Ella

Elle

Ebonie

Ebony

Edith

Esther

Eavan

Eastwood

Edison

Earnest

Edan

Elliot

F

Faith

FabianFabiola

Fadri

Fabrice

Fadia

Fadi

Fahima

Faris

Fantasia

 

G

Gabrielle

Gabe

Gabby

Gabbi

Gabrie

Gabriella

Gadar

Gail

Galia

Gale

Griffin

H

Hakeem

Hailey

Hagar

Hadley

Haley

Hakeem

Holden

 

I

Ian

Ibis

Idris

Iden

Ida

Ianna

Idolla

Ife

J

Jael

Jafar

Jaden

Jade

Jada

Jacques

Jackii

Jacklyn

Jacob

Jabari

Ladyn

Jadine

Jaquelle

Jason

 

K

Kora

Kadenyce

Kacy

Kaif

Kadri

Kadija

Kader

Kade

Kadeem

Kacia

Kaia

Kaili

Karaia

Kailey

Kahlilia

Karios

L

Lovely

Lamar

Lance

Logan

Lacy

Laleh

Lalanie

LaDonna

Lalia

Laban

 

M

Megan

Maleigha

Maleah

Malia

Melissa

Malachi

Makai

Mason

Mace

Macy

Mark

Malik

Madden

Maddox

Madison

Madyson

Macenzie

Makenzie

Mekinzie

N

Nevaeh

Nahia

Neffy

Nefetari

Nick

Nicholas

 

O

Odin

Odette

Ocean

Oceanna

Octavia

Odina

Odell

 

P

Paisley

Paige

Pandora

Palila

Pamela

Paley

Palmer

Pablo

Pagion

Peterson

Q

Queen

Qheena

Qadar

Qianna

Quinn

Quest

R

Ruth

Rebeka

Rainna

Richard

Ronald

Ron

Rich

Ranard

Ray

S

Skii

Summer

Serena

Sarina

Star

Sarah

Sabella

Safar

Sade

Sabri

Sabeen

Sadeed

Sabil

Sage

Sofiya

Sophii

 

 

T

Taylor

Tailar

Tamar

Taliah

Tiffani

Taariq

Thomas

Tracy

Tabor

Taban

Tabia

Tad

 

U

Ulysses

Umed

Unity

Unitii

Umay

Ume

Uchenna

 

V

Vanessa

Victor

Vadin

Vailiant

Valora

Van

Valerian

Vallerie

Vance

Vala

Vanna

Valentino

Valentina

Valerie

Valincia

 

W

Willow

West

Wilson

Will

William

Wade

Walden

Walker

Waite

Walt

Wade

 

X

Xavier

Xii

 

Y

Yahya

Yale

Yaharia

Yair

 

Z

Zaria

Zeena

Zahara

Zac

Zair

 What did or will you name your baby? Have any more great, cool, strong, or unique baby names? Share @UrbanParentMag or Comment below!

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Meet Miles Morales, New Spider-Man

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Donald Glover has been cast to voice Miles Morales, the current Ultimate Spider-Man in the comics, in an upcoming dimension-hopping episode of “Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors”. The episode will focus on Peter Parker (Drake Bell) as he tries to prevent theGreen Goblin from collecting the DNA of several Spider-Men across dimensions, including the Iron Spider, Amazing Spider-Girl, Spider-Man 2099, and of course Miles Morales.

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CAU Educator wins Teacher of the Year

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Vulcan Award 2014

Trevor A. Turner, Ph.D., (second from left), associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Clark Atlanta University (CAU), was recently named Clark Atlanta University’s Vulcan Teacher of the Year by Vulcan Materials Company.  The veteran educator has spent nearly 30 years at CAU as an administrator and professor.  A highly published international consultant, Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in history, economics and Spanish from the University of the West Indies, a master’s degree in educational supervision from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and a doctorate in educational history and planning from the University of Toronto, Canada.  CAU President Carlton E. Brown; interim dean of the School of Education Moses Norman, Ed.D.; and James Hefner, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, join in the award presentation during CAU’s August 11 Fall Institute.

For the past 20 years, Vulcan Materials Company has sponsored through Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) a Teaching Excellence Award to deserving faculty members at a number of colleges and universities around the state.

The company’s website states that its charitable efforts also include “some 287 adopt-a-school programs nationwide, funding for numerous college scholarships, and providing facility tours for 25,000 to 40,000 students and adults each year.”

Photo credit: Curtis McDowell

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Claflin University, S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice Partner

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The leaders of Claflin University and the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice have put pen to paper for an agreement that grants DJJ employees greater access to several of Claflin’s degree programs.

According to the memorandum of understanding signed on Thursday by Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and DJJ Director Margaret H. Barber, Department of Juvenile Justice employees have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or organizational management or Master of Business Administration degree from the University beginning this fall.

Courses will be offered via video conferencing at regional DJJ sites across the state as well as onsite in the Palmetto Conference Room at DJJ headquarters in Columbia. General education and prerequisite courses will also be available through Claflin Online, the University’s latest initiative that offers busy, working adults and current students more flexibility in achieving their educational goals.

DJJ employees who take advantage of this opportunity are eligible for Claflin University’s Partnership Scholarship Program, which will provide a 30 percent reduction in the University’s standard tuition per semester for those enrolled in one of the undergraduate programs and a 10 percent tuition reduction for those enrolled in the MBA program. Additional scholarship opportunities are available for those who qualify.

“Claflin University has historically been about access – increasing access to educational opportunities, and we see this as a unique way for us to carry out that commitment,” Tisdale said. “It’s through partnerships such as this that we can really expand opportunities for access and do it in a most cost-effective way for the students.”

Barber said there has been a great deal of interest from her staff about this opportunity.

Claflin,DJJ MOU signing - Wright, Richburg, Barber, Tisdale and Guah

“This is the start of something great,” she said. “The MBA is exciting to people. A lot of people kind of stop at the undergraduate level and don’t go further. The MBA is going to open a door for a lot of people, and the undergraduate degrees are very important to members of our staff who could not get there at one time in their life and they want to get there now.

“I look forward to this working relationship for the future of DJJ. I think we can make our staff stronger, and can help them become better staff and better people through the programs that are being offered.”

Students admitted to the degree programs must meet Claflin’s admission requirements and the admission requirements for each respective program of study. University student support services will be available and accessible to all eligible students.

For more information about the degree programs, contact Dr. Cindye Richburg (criminal justice or organizational management) at 803-535-5575 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Dr. Matthew Guah (MBA) at 803-535-5689 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about Claflin Online, contact Dr. Anisah Bagasra at (803) 535-5742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.claflin.edu/cuonline.

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LRA Educator of the Year

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Dr. Loretta Walton-Jaggers of Grambling State University

Named LRA Educator of the Year

 

Loretta Jaggers

Photo: Dr. Loretta Walton-Jaggers

GRAMBLING, LA (August 2014) – Dr. Loretta Walton-Jaggers, a seasoned educator at Grambling State University was recently named Louisiana Reading Association’s Educator of the Year. Dr. Jaggers is a professor of Education Curriculum and Instruction and is the founder and coordinator of the annual Spring Reading Conference promoting university, school, and community partnerships at Grambling State University since 1995.

“I am elated for being chosen for this distinguished honor. I love to read as well as teaching others to read. This field has opened many doors of opportunities as well as travel. I’ve traveled throughout the United States, Jamaica, and the Czech Republic while attending reading conferences,” states Dr. Walton-Jaggers.

Louisiana Readers Association (LRA) honored Dr. Walton-Jaggers at its Annual Educator of the Year Banquet on July 25th in Marksville, LA.  “Dr. Jaggers has been a member of LRA and IRA for 22 years. In addition, she has been very instrumental in curriculum development at Grambling State University. She co-authored the book, Developing Literacy Skills Across the Curriculum, and articles used in the development of courses in the university's teacher education program.  Dr. Walton-Jaggers is also the Principle Investigator and Director of the 2014 LA GEAR UP Summer Bridge Program at GSU, sponsored by a grant provided by the Louisiana Office of Financial Assistance (LOSFA)), the program provides opportunities for first semester freshmen to enhance their Reading/Literacy, Math and English skills as well as college and career readiness.

“We are grateful to Dr. Walton-Jaggers for her role in literacy education in Louisiana and congratulate her on this recognition,” says Lena M. Sparacio, M. Ed., Chairperson, Awards and Citations Committee.

The Louisiana Reading Association, one of the largest professional educational organizations in the state, has been promoting and advocating for literacy for more than 50 years. LRA works closely with the International Reading Association and local reading councils, promoting and dispensing research based literacy information to its more than 53,000 members in the U. S. and worldwide. In addition, the LRA provides professional development opportunities for educators and advocates for practices that improve reading instruction and support the best interests of all learners and reading professionals.

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About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 47 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System.

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HBCU Digest’s Female President of the Year

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President Carolyn W. Meyers is HBCU Digest’s Female President of the Year!

“I am humbled by this honor, but this is really about my outstanding team of administrators and the faculty, staff and students at Jackson State University,” Meyers said. “They are the reasons for our success.”

The honor was announced Friday in New Orleans during an awards banquet as part of the 2014 HBCU Media Summit, sponsored by HBCU Digest and hosted by Dillard University.

Jarrett Carter Sr., HBCU Digest’s publisher, said Meyers more than deserved the honor.

“Dr. Meyers for the last two years has really etched out a strong case for how HBCU leadership should go,” Carter said.

“She has been strategic about enrollment and technology and she hasn’t been afraid to go out and get the resources to make this happen. She was a runaway choice this year.”

Jackson State had record enrollment last year and opened a campus-authorized Apple store, the first in Mississippi and one of few in the country. The university also continued implementation of the nation’s largest freshmen iPad initiative, which provides all first-year students with iPads to help with coursework.

Awards were presented in nearly 30 categories to highlight excellence in student and faculty achievement, including academics, athletics and other extracurricular activities.

Meyers and others were nominated by a panel of students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters, according to HBCU Digest. The process included essays that were verified by the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy Inc. Finalists were selected and ranked by a panel of HBCU presidents and administrators.

The HBCU Digest is a daily blog that provides news synopsis, links and commentary on stories about the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. The site, which started in 2010, also offers original features, editorials and special content unique to HBCU students and alumni.

Source: Jackson State University

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Washington, DC: White House Garden Experience

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by Chelsea Bollinger, Associate Director, White House Visitors Office

In keeping with the President and First Lady’s commitment to open the People’s House to as many people as possible, tours of the White House Kitchen Garden are back and now available to community organizations as well as school groups with an interest in gardening and healthy eating. Come smell the beautiful, brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the Kitchen Garden, including herbs grown from Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello, see the vibrant flowers in the Pollinator Garden, and hear the bees buzzing around the White House Beehive.

Nestled on the White House South Lawn, the Kitchen Garden is home to different fruits, vegetables and herbs each growing season. The First Lady planted the White House Kitchen Garden in 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation and to serve as an inspiration for schools and community groups across the country to plant gardens of their own. Now nearly five years later, the Kitchen Garden is as healthy as ever and is an example of just how easy it is to plant a garden in your backyard, school, or community space. So if you haven’t already started your own garden, click here to check out the Let’s Move!Gardening Guide which has all the information you need to get planting!

If your group will be in the Washington, DC area and is interested in visiting the Kitchen Garden, click here to learn more and submit an application. Please include background information about your group and tell us why you would like to tour the White House Kitchen Garden. Tours of the Kitchen Garden will be scheduled based on availability. Representatives from the White House Visitors Office will contact successful applicants within one month of application submission.

Source: Let's Move

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Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1964

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Photo Source: www.howard.edu

Justice Department and Howard University to Host Program Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1964

 The Department of Justice announced today that it will be co-hosting the historic program and celebration, “The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Preserving Progress, Charting the Future,” with Howard University on July 15, 2014.  Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, the groundbreaking act outlawed discriminatory voting requirements and segregation in schools, employment and places of public accommodation.  Attorney General Eric Holder has made protecting civil rights a top priority of his administration of the Department of Justice.The long road to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was paved with the footsteps of countless ordinary Americans and well-known civil rights leaders who marched, held sit-ins, staged boycotts and led freedom rides to end segregation and discrimination.  The call for comprehensive civil rights legislation gained momentum in 1963, as civil rights activists continued to organize peaceful demonstrations throughout the country.  After hundreds of nonviolent protestors were met with police violence and arrest in Birmingham, Alabama, President John F. Kennedy delivered a nationally televised speech voicing his support for comprehensive civil rights legislation.  After President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a commitment to pursue passage of civil rights legislation.  And after the longest debate in senate history, the Civil Rights Act was finally passed and signed into law, becoming the first of many legislative victories over the next 50 years that have been critical tools for protecting civil rights.
The speakers and participants at the 50th anniversary program at Howard University will honor the strides that have been made in the journey for equal rights, and look to the work that remains to fully realize that promise.  In addition to Howard University Interim President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick and the keynote address by Attorney General Holder, the program will include remarks from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who lead two of the Department of Justice’s key government partners in enforcing the Civil Rights Act.  Ambassador Andrew Young, former leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference will also deliver remarks.  Charlayne Hunter-Gault will moderate a roundtable discussion titled “The Impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” featuring civil rights movement veterans and scholars including Howard University School of Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Lisa A. Crooms-Robinson, Julian Bond, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, Todd Purdum and Helen Zia.  Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will deliver the event’s closing remarks.The program begins at 10 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium on the campus of Howard University and will include a temporary display of original pages from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on loan by the United States Archives. The display will be available for viewing prior to the program beginning at 9 a.m. in the lower level of Cramton Auditorium.

A limited number of tickets for the celebration are available to the public, which will also include performances by the Howard University Choir and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., as well as readings and videos commemorating the act.  Tickets are free and available, starting today, at the Cramton Auditorium Box Office on the Campus of Howard University on a first come, first served basis.  Media registration details will be provided at a later date.

For more information contact:

Dena Iverson Public Affairs Specialist U.S. Department of Justice 202-514-2007 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rachel Mann Communications Specialist 202.238.2631 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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