Top Five Friday

Women’s History Month

5 Great Internet Finds for Empowering Women

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: Top Women’s Organizations

Healthy Women

When it comes to health, smart choices start with informed women. HealthyWomen provides women with easy-to-access information about health-related issues. Best of all, what you’ll find is trustworthy material that’s unlike anything on other sites. The award-winning site has even been recommended as a go-to by Doctor Oz!

Step Up Women’s Network –

“Simply stated, Step Up connects you to the professional women you need and the underserved teen girls who need you.”

Fatigues to Fabulous

National program designed to fit the needs of female veterans, focusing on five areas: education, jobs, healthcare, family support and finance.


Nest gives women in underprivileged countries a chance to start their own businesses by providing small loans and a business curriculum. But unlike your usual loans, Nest loan recipients “repay” the company with their crafts and finished products—indeed different than your everyday “microfinance” organization!


From performances and films (you may be familiar with The Vagina Monologues), to local campaigns and large-scale benefits, V-Day constantly generates wide-spread awareness of violence against women and girls. The corporation, started by Eve Ensler, works with grassroots, national and international organizations to provide women with shelter and support in 130 countries across the globe.


Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Just Be

by guest author Melissa Ricks,

On our daily pursuit to try and cope with LIFE, we look to all sorts of aids to help us make it through.   Recently, on one of my daily routine adventures, I was rushing my kids to get in the car so we wouldn’t be late for school and work. This is nothing new, because it seems no matter how early I get up there is always something that derails our haste to “Get in the car” by 8:00 a.m. Well, as I am rushing my kids, my 9 year old turns to me and says: “Mom, we are always rushing.” And like a ton of bricks it hit me! Why are we always rushing? Why can’t we just be still sometimes? Is it that hard to just be?

When we were little we couldn’t wait to be 16 so we could drive. When we were 16 we couldn’t wait until we were 18 so we could get out of our parent(s) house. Boy, what in the world were we thinking??? When we were 18 we couldn’t wait to be 21 so we could legally drink. Now in adulthood we can’t wait until Friday so the work week can end.

I spend my whole day rushing so I can get to the next activity on my “list.” Even when I try to “Just Be” I find it hard to just let my mind wonder. In the words of Eckhart Tolle (spiritual teacher), we should practice just listening to our heartbeat for a few minutes each day. He says that it will help us become better at “just being.”

So this is the challenge for this week. Sit silently with yourself for a few minutes each day. Stick a posted note on your mirror that says: STOP and SMILE. Enjoy a laugh with a friend. Watch a child play or better yet join a child in play. One day this week, do away with the routine, just for one day. Try skipping down the hall…so what if people think you are a little…off! Turn up your favorite song on the radio and JAM! Watch a TV show you haven’t seen in a while. Take a bubble bath. Go for a walk if you can stand the cold. Have a snow ball fight!! Do whatever it is that will help you pause and enjoy life!

This week, I challenge you to take a moment and Just Be, and then stop by SISTA Space blog and tell us what you did!

[image credit: My Solitude Painting by Padmakar Kappagantula]

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm  Comments (12)  
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Away With Words

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 7:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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by guest author Melissa Ricks,

For women, our hair is a very important part of who we are. Not for you? Well, I’m sure you spent that extra five minutes today primping and prepping because you really don’t care….NOT. We all care about our hair because it is one of the first things people notice when they see us. It is our crown. But do we put too much emphasis on our hair?

For the sistas it has been a tried and true testament of expression, devotion, career moves and at times dedication. We all sang the lyrics of India Arie “I am not my hair” with great pause and conviction because it allowed us to say “yeah” I am not my hair, I am not your expectations no no, I am not my hair, I am a soul that lives within. Can we really relate to India?

I think back to the days of youth when my mother’s entire goal for two weeks before the next hair washing was “don’t get your hair wet.” I missed out on so many swim days because the 2 hours of wash, blow dry and hot comb just wasn’t worth it. As I got older, I recall going on vacation to the Keyes with my then sweetie, now hubby. Of course one of the first things I did before boarding the plane was get my then permed hair “freshly DID” at the salon. When we hit the beach to my companion’s dismay my first words were “I can’t get my hair wet.”

Today, many sistas have called it quits with the stress of trying to keep the permed tresses straight. Many of us have returned to “Natural.” Is the stress any better? Or is it just different? Recently, I decided that wearing my “do” hair-brush short for the last 10 years was boring. I began growing my hair out. My hubby immediately said “you are trading-in your $15, low maintenance hair-do for a $100, all day in the salon, gonna be hot in the summer, hair do?” I thought to myself, “yeah, why do I want to do this again?” But I continued on my journey. The looks that I received from my corporate co-workers were nothing less than hilarious to me. Each day my bush got bigger, until one day I decided, I will wear a wig to help me through this transition. Well, they loved the wig. But today I am rocking the shoulder length kinky twist, and they are, well…silent.

Sistas, how are we preparing our daughters for the hair journey? I was determined that my daughter was not going to miss out on any fun due to the fear of getting her hair wet. So if the fun includes water, I say go for it! I am very cautious about not using any negative comments as I manage through her thickness. When she wants “shaker hair” (the ability to be able to shake her hair) I spend the time to cornrow and add beads. When I see her pining to have a little more bounce to her hair, I either let her play with my wigs or blow dry her hair out a little. I truly want my daughter to be able to embrace who she is and say with total conviction: My hair….it’s not an issue! It is one of the forms in which I express who I am, but it is not me!

And for our sistas with the not so course texture…well, I know you all have a journey too! One of my co-workers, who is of Irish decent, amazed me when she said she goes to the salon every 6 weeks to get her hair thinned (the process by which special scissors are used to thin out some of the layers) because it is too thick.

Another complains of her hair being too curly; and another complains of her hair being too straight. So we all go through some sort of process of getting our hair….perfect. But what is perfect: short, curly, kinky, permed, colored, fried, dyed, laid to the side???? I don’t know, but does it really matter? I’m living my crown with glory. What about you?

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