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Read UP: An Anthology on Women's Growth

Published in TRENDS

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. 

3 M's to Remember for 2015

Published in Parent



Being messy is okay. Get down and dirty with your kids when exploring and encouraging their creativity. Value the disorganization that lives between you. Take in those priceless moments and remember, you can always clean up- tomorrow!





Be present. Don't worry about the Facebook or Twitter hits. Don't upload another pic to instagram. Enjoy the moment- in the moment. Be present. Listen to your children and enjoy authentic conversation. In 2015, it's about brain power, so take care of yourself and your children by being there. Remember, your children will remember your presence, more than your presents.



Never forget that you matter and are the expert on your children. No one knows your children better that you and no one can replace your role as parent. You matter and the world needs you to be you and do you to keep us all balanced and moving forward! Don't give up my friend, you matter.



Parents Apply: Ever considered- Graduate School?

Published in Parenting Advice


Take one year and change your life today.

Do you like to help people and enjoy making a difference? Have you ever thought to yourself- alright, this is the year I go back to school?

Well, here's your chance.

You owe it to yourself to maximize your potential earning power with a Master of Social Work degree online from the top ranked University of Southern California. The demand for Master level social workers is greater than ever before, with more than 700,000 new jobs projected by 2022.

As part of a long standing partnership with the University of Southern California School of Social Work, National Council members accepted to the online MSW@USC program in 2014 will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and those accepted to the one-year online advanced standing program will receive $2,500.

So don’t miss the deadlines to apply to the MSW@USC and attend one of the top social work schools in the country. Hurry!

January Priority Deadline – October 31, 2014 January Complete Deadline – November 14, 2014 Classes start January 5, 2015

Learn More Now

P.S. Please forward this to someone you think may be interested in a receiving their MSW.


Student Research Rocks at NASA

Published in TEENS


Howard University students Josh Brown, Jade Noel Parker, Daril Brown, and Phathom Donald conduct rocket experiment.

WASHINGTON (September 2014) – A team of Howard University students made history when their in-flight research project was launched into space from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The project collected atmospheric samples near the highest point of the flight to test for the presence of microorganisms. Data from the samples will be used to develop a bio-signature that can help look for life on Earth-like, extra-solar planets.

The Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket was launched at 7:21 a.m. EST and flew to a height of 73.3 miles. It landed in the Atlantic Ocean 43.9 miles from Wallops Flight Facility, 12.16 minutes after launch. It contained several other student-built experiments.

The project was part of the RockSat-C 2014 Program which provides an opportunity for students to design and build a sounding rocket payload, and launch the payload on a rocket. Student teams, like Howard’s, had been steadily working since the fall to design, plan, and build a payload that would perform an in-flight experiment. The RockSat program is funded and supported by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and NASA.

The Howard University students involved were: Ajamu Abdullah, Daril Brown, Josh Brown, Olivia Dickens, Phathom Donald, Hilton Hosannah, Shii-Anna Mudie, Jade Noel Parker, and Aara'LYarber.

Marcus Alfred, associate professor in physics and astronomy, directed the project along with Vernon Morris, professor of chemistry and atmospheric sciences, and Broderick Eribo, an associate professor in biology

“I believe this is the first payload ever launched into space that was entirely designed and built at Howard University – and only the second from an HBCU,” Alfred said. “The students accomplished a unique feat and deserve kudos and recognition. We are excited about the prospect of analyzing the ‘space samples’ in the weeks to come.”

Alfred said Howard is planning to participate in the launch annually and has begun gearing up for next summer’s project. He also said students and professors are designing and constructing a small satellite to put into orbit within the next 24 months.

To learn more, visit the student webpage:


If Teens would Talk...

Published in TEENS

Sometimes we all need a reality check. Our teens are experiencing valid problems. They are not our generations, nor do we think they are of high level concern sometimes. Yet, if we take the time to actually talk to them and listen, we may just build a strong connection with them and help them make better choices in the end. So here's your free WAKE UP call before it's too late.

If teens would really open up, talk, and tell parents the truth- what would they say? Spoken word Artist Suli Breaks shares from a young man's view what he thinks they would say to all parents of teens who sometimes feel lost or disconnected from their children...

Share and read UP!


Never Give Up

Published in TEENS

Just for teens! Not sure if college is for you? Nervous about the scholarship application process? Watch and free your mind as this teen receives 1 Million dollars in Academic Scholarships. If he can do it- you can do it too!

How to be a Champion?

Published in TEENS

Are you a champion for your family? Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

Conscious Parenting

Published in LIFESTYLE

Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, New York. She is the author of the multi-award-winning, The Conscious Parent. Heralded as a game-changer in the parenting genre, this book turns the traditional parenting paradigms on its head and revolutionizes how we raise our families. She has been exposed to Eastern mindfulness at an early age and integrates its teachings with Western psychology. This blend of East and West allows her to reach a global audience. Her ability to appeal to both a psychologically astute and consciousness-driven audience establishes her as one of a kind in the parenting field. She lectures extensively on mindful living and conscious parenting around the world and is in private practice. She resides with her husband and daughter in New York.

AV and Video by Jonathan Jackson:

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