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OP-ED: Remembering Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

NNPA NEWSWIRE — During the early Civil Rights Movement when women worked behind the scenes, Dorothy Height’s quiet power brought wisdom and a social worker’s perspective to deliberations and strategies of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders. With an understanding of the importance of power of location, she purchased a building in Washington, D.C. between the White House and the Capitol, the only African American owned building along that corridor of power.

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In memory of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, contributions may be made to the National Council of Negro Women at www.ncnw.org under donate.

By Alexis M. Herman, President of the Dorothy I. Height Foundation

April 20, 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of our gentle but fearless leader and mentor, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height. This significant anniversary offers us an opportunity for reflection during these unprecedented times we are living in today.

Dr. Height undoubtedly was a creative, compassionate, and visionary leader. Her scholarship, travels and experiences shaped her understanding of power and how to navigate it with competence and kindness. Through the programs and initiatives she developed, she used her power to empower poor women and girls around the world.

During the early Civil Rights Movement when women worked behind the scenes, her quiet power brought wisdom and a social worker’s perspective to deliberations and strategies of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders. With an understanding of the importance of power of location, she purchased a building in Washington, D.C. between the White House and the Capitol, the only African American-owned building along that corridor of power.

For decades, her political power was put to use serving as an advisor to five U.S. presidents. She led some of the largest and most influential women’s organizations in American history, including her beloved National Council of Negro Women. And she achieved these accomplishments always wearing fabulous hats and an engaging smile.

While those achievements were immense, they pale in light of her greatest and most enduring accomplishments. During the turbulent times and critical issues that prevailed throughout her lifetime, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height was “A Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” Her activism started as a teenager by bringing her peers together to nonviolently protest policies that prohibited African American children from swimming, debating or going to school with Caucasian youth.

She bravely confronted and navigated the injustices and engaged adults who had the power to make changes. Over the years, issues such as racism, the struggle for economic and social justice, women’s rights, voter’s rights, equal access to education, healthcare and jobs, fair wages, and dignity for all, brought purpose and passion to her life.

When she walked into a room, wisdom, humanity, and hope arrived with her. She was the bridge to alignment and unity to many civil rights organizations and leaders. To African American, Caucasian, Latina, Asian, and Native American women organizations, she served as a bridge of vision and consensus in their pursuits seeking equality, equal pay, and jobs.

Through programs she implemented, she was at the forefront of the Y.W.C.A. realizing its most significant lifelong mission, eradicating racism. None of these were simple or easy undertakings, yet she courageously pursued what she knew to be right and good. Wherever the waters were troubled, she created a bridge, effective coalitions, and solutions.

Many of the critical issues of Dr. Height’s era persist today. Over fifty years ago, she called attention to the health disparities related to social detriments, especially for Black women and the elderly. Chronic health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes were always at the forefront for education and outreach to our communities.

Today with thousands impacted by COVID-19 and millions who are unemployed, the consequences of these same health disparities are more apparent than ever. The troubled waters we now face have washed waves of reminders of the work our country still has to do. Leaders are searching for answers, managing fears and anxiety, and competing for vital resources in their communities.

In these turbulent, frightening, and uncertain times, we are called to embrace Dr. Height’s spirit of direct action, by courageously bridging the waters with viable solutions, to serve the needs of our brothers and sisters, to hold leaders accountable for environmental and social justice policies, to provide food for the many who are in need today, to protect and defend the right to vote, to be the voice of the voiceless, and to lead with purpose and passion toward a just and safe society.

Ten years after her passing, we must embrace her spirit to right the wrongs and keep navigating troubled waters until we reach calm seas and still waters that were always her goals for women and children, for the country, for all of us. Today we must not only remember Dr. Height, but also renew her fighting spirit, and be that “bridge over troubled waters” that we need and seek. Girded by our faith and in the spirit of Dr. Height, I pray that each of us will find ways, large and small, to courageously speak up, stand up, and reach out to bring truth and mercy to “the least of these.”

In the days and weeks ahead, we would do well to remember her words spoken at the dedication of the Headquarters Building of the National Council of Negro Women, “Through this last century we learned that it is in the neighborhoods and communities where the world begins. That is where children grow and families are developed, where people exercise their power to change their lives…. Building on my religious faith deeply rooted in my childhood and youth, I found my life’s work. I am the product of many whose lives have touched mine, from the famous, distinguished and powerful to the little known and the poor. The past has taught me many lessons—most especially, that I have a responsibility to future generations.”

In memory of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, contributions may be made to the National Council of Negro Women at www.ncnw.org under donate.

Alexis M. Herman is the President of the Dorothy I. Height Foundation

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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