Posts Tagged ‘Diversity’

My Stomach Sank Just A Little

June 29, 2015

Pamela Kay Noble Brown

Update:  On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex unions are now to be recognized as legal marriages in all 50 states. This original blog below expressed my thoughts three years ago when it was up to individual states to decide the legality of it all. It even more so reflects my feelings now that it has become the law of the land, and I feel compelled to post it again. Thank you.

“My stomach sank just a little”. These were the words spoken by a pastor Wednesday evening after President Barack Obama infamously became the first sitting American President to support same-sex marriage. I have to admit that these words also come very close to describing the tightening feeling knotted in my own gut the moment I heard the President’s interview. I’ll tell you why.

Every since I first heard of Barack Obama, I…

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Campfires, gays, and flint sticks: Boy Scouts fight Disney over moral values

March 5, 2014
A statue outside of the Boy Scouts of America building in Irving, Texas.    (Photo credit:  Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A statue outside of the Boy Scouts of America building in Irving, Texas. (Photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

As of 2015, The Walt Disney Company (Disney) has vowed that it will no longer help fund the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), a move that will potentially prevent many youngsters from taking part in this cherished organization, according to BSA spokesman Deron Smith in a statement Sunday.  The ban comes on the heels of an ongoing heated debate between Disney and BSA on the issue of gays being allowed to fully, openly and freely participate as members of the BSA.

Eagle Scout and Scouts for Equality co-founder Zach Wahls, knows firsthand some of the struggles gay scouts can face.  Wahls said although he doesn’t like to see BSA lose funding, he agrees in principle and applauds Disney’s decision to withdraw their monetary support until equality is embraced by the BSA.

The BSA celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2010, and prides itself on providing an outlet for boys to come together in a safe arena for education, fun, and learning lifelong values to be productive citizens.  Over the years the BSA has slowly made some concessions to the changing times and eased up on its stark refusal to have the BSA associated with anything gay-related.

In February 2013, George Kalogridis became the first gay president of Disney World.  Shortly thereafter, in May 2013, the BSA reversed its prior rule and started allowing openly gay youth into the scouts, although they must leave their respective scout troops after the age of 18.  However the BSA has stood firm in prohibiting gay scout leaders.  And that is where the two organizations stand with neither willing to budge.  For the sake of millions of young boys who thrive in and enjoy being a member of the scouts, BSA promised to continue working with Disney to find a solution that would allow them to keep the needed funding without violating their moral standards.

2014 Winter Olympics will boast a dash of color on more than just the flag

February 5, 2014

US women's bobsled team2014 US Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team/photo credit:

The 2014 winter Olympics will begin in Sochi on Thursday, February 6, 2014.  The Olympics have been a celebration of athletic excellence as far back as 776 B.C.  You can read more of this fascinating history in this article.  But although the Olympics demonstrate athletes from all over the world competing in a spectacular display of good sportsmanship, often, a closer look at the American teams shows a decided lack of diversity.

Blacks have more frequently been seen during, in fact have often excelled in, the summer Olympics.  Who can forget the glamorous Olympic gold medalist and track star Florence Joyner?  She was affectionately known as Flo Jo and many were stunned and saddened when she died suddenly at the age of 38.

There is also track star and multiple Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt.  He shot to stardom during the 2008 Summer Olympics as he blazed his way to three gold medals.  He became known as a “lightning bolt” and “the fastest man in the world”.  So while blacks have had their moments of glory, they have not been too prevalent in the winter Olympics.

So it is fitting that since February is recognized as National Black History month we recognize some young ladies that could potentially create history in the winter Olympics this year.  The United States Bobsled team is bursting out of the gate with five Black women leading the charge.  These women will bring a splash of beautiful color against the snow and will show the world a strong, united, and multicultural American team that has come to win.

The five women that will be striving to lead the United States to the gold in the women’s bobsledding events are:  Elana Meyers, Pilot; Jazmine Fenlator, Pilot; Lauryn Williams, Brakeman/PushEvans, Brakeman; and Lolo Jones, Brakeman.  You can read more about each of these determined and talented ladies here.  You can watch the bobsledding competition on NBC beginning February 18, 2014.

Weaving Through the GNAW Project

January 11, 2012
If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of the “The GNAW Project” and “The Weave”, but didn’t really know what it was all about.  Well today I am excited to welcome author Cynthia Meyers-Hanson as our guest blogger.  Grab a cup of coffee and come close as Cindy shares with us the motivation behind these inspiring projects and what we can all do to get involved and help.

What is The GNAW Project?
When free breakfast was canceled and ‘their reduced’ priced lunches went up in cost, some kids came running to my class complaining.  We brainstormed ideas to help the situation.  This book project- done by my students- becomes their vehicle to publicize the plight of some USA kids that need free or reduced breakfasts as well as lunches and dinners.

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Nothing in Common???

July 7, 2011

You know, I was just thinking about and marveling at how writing can cross all boundaries.  Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors and has been for a long time.  “Circle of Friends” was one of the first books of hers that I read.  I immediately connected with the anguish and joy of the young woman, who was a little chubby compared to her other friends, but turned out to be the type of woman that the handsome hero of the story couldn’t help but fall in love with. And when the movie aired with that dreamy young Chris O’Donnell giving visual to the imagination, I was hooked for good.

I immediately read every Maeve Binchy book I could get my hands on.  So enamored of her stories and well-rounded characters was I, that it was quite awhile before I realized where she was from.  One day, I finally slowed down long enough to wonder at the name of a city I didn’t recognize.  I was shocked to find out the setting was in Ireland.  Maeve Binchy is actually from Dalkey, Ireland. Continue reading more

July 4th Reflections on the Confederate Flag

July 4, 2011

July 4th stands for freedom and independence.  Upon reflection, those who favor the Confederate flag flying on the State Capitol grounds of Columbia, South Carolina, do have this right.  But why in the name of compassion and empathy would they want to?

The Confederate Flag is a banner that yet waves over the State Capitol grounds of Columbia, South Carolina.  It has been waving since 1962. It is time that the proud citizens of Columbia, South Carolina, take down the Confederate Flag.  Columbia’s city slogan is “Famously Hot”.  South Carolinians should be hot about this embarrassment hanging over our city.

Many people in favor of keeping this flag flying argue that it is a part of history, and as such, should not be forgotten, or removed.  This, however, is a part of history that is nothing to be proud of. Continue reading more