Support Groups – Warriors For Christ Online Sat, 26 Jun 2021 03:48:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Support Groups – Warriors For Christ Online 32 32 Norwood: Bengali women celebrate the end of Ramadan Sat, 26 Jun 2021 02:07:18 +0000


Members of LAAL, a local Bengali women’s empowerment group, mark the end of Ramadan with a celebration in Mosholu Park on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Photo by Miriam Quiñones

Women from the Bengali community of Norwood hosted a festive barbecue and ice cream-themed feast at Mosholu Park on Saturday, May 22, to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The event, hosted by LAAL, a non-profit organization that provides resources and support to Bengali women in Norwood, also marked the first time the community has come together in person since the early days of the COVID-pandemic. 19, and as such, was also an opportunity to celebrate life beyond the various confinements imposed by the State.

“When it all stopped in March 2020, we had to cancel all of our in-person programming,” said Alexandra Indira Sanyal, LAAL Marketing and Media Coordinator. “We’ve all been home for over a year, so it’s kind of a post-COVID celebration as well. So, this is really special.

LAAL members celebrate the end of Ramadan with a party in Mosholu Park on Saturday May 22, 2021: (left to right) Farmana Islam Kurashi, Ayesha Chowdhury, Taheratrel Chowdhury, Sanyal, Nova Aftab and Alexandra Indira Sanyal.
Photo by Miriam Quiñones

With some dressed in cheerful hijabs, traditional headwear worn by Muslim women, the participants, including an honorary member of the male staff of LAAL, commemorated the end of Ramadan, the Islamic season of fasting and reflection, also called Eid-al-Fitr, or Eid, which in Arabic means “Feast of breaking the fast”.

In the past, as previously reported by Norwood News, Norwood Bengali immigrant women had no access to any common, safe and dedicated space where they could connect, which left many people feeling marginalized. Sanjana Kahn sought to bridge this gap by co-founding and creating LAAL in 2019.

(left to right) Sanjana Khan, Executive Director of LAAL, with community lawyer Naznin Sultana, celebrate the end of Ramadan in Mosholu Park on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Photo by Miriam Quiñones

Since then, every year LAAL has organized women’s support groups, pantries, conversational English classes, and transportation classes, and this summer they also plan to start a community garden. In addition, the group is also becoming more politically active and has endorsed the Bronx People’s Platform of NYC 2021, a grassroots and grassroots movement with a largely progressive agenda.

“I was born and raised in Norwood, and I never felt like there was a space for us,” said Kahn, who also recently hosted one of District 11 city council candidates that took place before the June 22 Primary Election. “Even growing up, when we went to the mosque, girls were not allowed. When we go to the grocery store, the men stare at us. So I co-founded LAAL two years ago for women. They were the ones who wanted that.

Alexandra Indira Sanyal, Marketing & Media coordinator of LAAL, celebrates the end of Ramadan at Mosholu Park on Saturday, May 22, 2021.
Photo by Miriam Quiñones

As noted, the Bengali population in Norwood is growing. In 2019, the US Census Bureau estimated that there were 2,445 foreign-born Bangladeshis living in Bronx Community District 7 (CB7), representing 4.2% of the total population of the district which includes Bedford Park, Norwood , Fordham, Kingsbridge Heights and University Heights.

Meanwhile, according to the Asian American Federation, New York’s Bangladeshi population (those who specifically identify as Bangladeshi alone) increased by 60%, from 38,639 in 2010 to 61,927 in 2015. The majority (66%) of Bengalis live in Queens, followed by 16 percent in the Bronx, 15 percent in Brooklyn and three percent in Manhattan.

2-year-old Ttabiha Tabussum has fun running and posing for the camera during a celebration hosted by Bengali women’s group, LAAL, to mark the end of Ramadan in Mosholu Park on Saturday May 22, 2021.
Photo by Miriam Quiñones

As we also reported, throughout the pandemic, the Bronx has been one of the hardest hit boroughs. Its COVID-19 positivity rate reached the city’s highest at 7.06% on a seven-day average in late January 2021. However, with the availability of COVID vaccines and the onset of warmer weather, rallies in outdoors with or without masks are finally possible, and LAAL’s Bengali community plans to seize every opportunity to celebrate.

As reported, in response to the pandemic, LAAL launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraising campaign in partnership with the Zakat Fund of NYC, which was established in 2016 to collect and distribute “Zakat,” or alms in New York. Through the fund, LAAL distributed groceries and cash assistance to more than 54 local families. “This is our first public gathering and it’s really exciting. I’m so happy right now, ”Kahn said. “During the pandemic, we showed up when no one else did for our community and that’s why we now have the community’s trust.”

Source link

BIPOC Pride event receives support after complaint for “repair costs” Fri, 25 Jun 2021 16:30:00 +0000

Local LGBTQ groups and others support Taking B (l) ack Pride in this conflict, including Seattle Seawall Mars and Seattle Pride, which replaced its major in-person pride events, including the Downtown Pride Parade, with online events for the second year due to the pandemic.

After the complaint was filed, several speakers withdrew from Capitol Hill Pride, instead planning to attend the nearby AIDS memorial event, according to Seattle gay scene and Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.

Capitol Hill Pride apologized on its Facebook page and called for a meeting to “resolve all issues and find common ground.”

“We sincerely want to uplift the segment of the LGBTQ community, especially black transgender women, recognize the history and significant contributions and support this segment of the hidden rainbow,” the Capitol Hill Pride statement read.

Capitol Hill Pride, an organization that formed Seattle PrideFest, moved the parade from Capitol Hill to downtown earlier this year and sparked its own national scrutiny after banning Seattle Police from their rally and march in person, which are also scheduled for this weekend.

After a call from Crosscut, Lipson referred to the event’s website, which read in part, “We pride ourselves on the fact that we will never charge for admission or ask for donations based on the color of your skin. anyone. Dr King once said that he dreamed that we would live in a nation where a person should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. We are almost there.”

Race-based pricing, citing systemic inequalities, is not a new concept. In 2018, chef / artist Tunde Wey asked white customers in New Orleans paying two and a half times more than the price of $ 12 for a plate of Nigerian food, to highlight the city’s income disparities between black and white residents.

Last year, a store in Georgia briefly imposed a $ 20 fee for personal appointments, but gave it up for people of color, saying they didn’t want the fees to be a barrier for communities to shop in their store. Two years ago, the Afrofuture Fest in Detroit originally charged white participants twice what people of color would pay, arguing that blacks and brunettes often couldn’t attend sold-out events in their communities.

The Georgia Boutique and Detroit Festival moved away from the pricing structure, following both local and national setbacks.

As for the organizers of Taking B (l) ack Pride, the fury shows why events like theirs matter.

“The LGBTQ community has NEVER been safe for black and brown queer and trans people. Neither do Pride events. It’s no exaggeration to create your own when you don’t feel safe, ”the group wrote.

Source link

HIV and COVID: Areas with more gays and a history of AIDS activism correlate with cities and states that responded better to coronavirus, earlier – when government was AWOL Thu, 24 Jun 2021 11:20:05 +0000

“The lessons learned and trauma experienced during the onset of HIV helped gay urban areas respond quickly and effectively to the early paralysis of the federal government. “
A study and a possible forthcoming book strongly suggest that those who have worked and agitated in their communities without recognition, let alone support, for Americans battling the latest pandemic have emerged with certain skills to accompany this trauma. And the indications are that the lessons, ideas, and agitation likely alleviated some amount of pain during quarantines and contributed to greater resilience. – Editor

How Gay Neighborhoods Used HIV Trauma to Help U.S. Cities Fight Coronavirus

HIV-related health and support groups have offered COVID-19 testing and other community services during the pandemic.
iStock / Getty Images Plus

The conversation

Throughout the pandemic, local neighborhoods played a critical role and well documented role of providing the health and social services necessary for U.S. communities and businesses to survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gay neighborhoods were particularly well equipped to meet this challenge, according to our latest research on these communities.

We find that the lessons learned and traumas experienced at the onset of the HIV / AIDS pandemic help urban gay areas respond to COVID-19 quickly and effectively – especially in the face of the early paralysis of the federal government.

How gay neighborhoods fought against HIV / AIDS

Gay neighborhoods are those that welcome lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, queer and other sexual minorities – a population generally designated by the abbreviation LGBTQ +. Well-known examples include the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco, Dupont Circle in Washington, and Greenwich Village and Chelsea in New York.

Street scene with lots of pride flags
The West Village neighborhood of New York City during Pride Month, June 2021.
Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images

“Gay neighborhoods” developed during the sexual liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, providing the LGTBQ and their allies with a loophole. pervasive discrimination and prejudice. In these areas, sexual minorities could rent apartments, socialize in bars, and express themselves freely in a compassionate, like-minded community.

Even when LGBTQ people in the United States began to live more openly, gay neighborhoods really did united around the HIV / AIDS pandemic.

When this mysterious new disease began to ravage the LGBTQ community in the 1980s, the US government turned away from these communities. Critical HIV support – including health care subsidies for the uninsured and funding of research into treatments and remedieswas not provided initially. Data information by governments about disease transmission and treatment was inconsistent and sometimes inaccurate.

Government neglect has ended up stigmatizing people living with HIV and leading to many preventable deaths. So, as we discovered in our last book, gay neighborhoods have filled the void where government and traditional organizations have failed. They became the battlegrounds where the AIDS pandemic was fought and ultimately won.

Residents of gay neighborhoods have developed community organizations and systems to provide health care and mental health services, provide social support to LGBTQ + people, and support LGBTQ-friendly businesses.

Public health organizations like the one in New York Gay men’s health crisis also stepped in to do what many doctors would not do. They shared information about slowing and stopping the spread of HIV and also distributed condoms, performed free HIV tests, and linked people who tested positive to help them.

Men parade shirtless holding a “GMHC” banner and another that reads “Fight for our lives”,
New York City Pride March in June 1985 with a gay men’s health crisis contingent. Suzanne Poli / Getty Images

Building a community during the crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic shares many similarities recalling the early days of the HIV / AIDS pandemic.

With HIV / AIDS and COVID-19, there has been a disjointed and sloppy government response that endangered and scared lives and stigma. Even some of the same government-appointed leaders were in place: Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx worked to mobilize government resources to lead the medical response to HIV in the 1990s.

With COVID-19, as with HIV / AIDS, city ​​and state governments were unprepared to tackle an epidemic. They lacked both the planning and the infrastructure to effectively tackle a rapidly accelerating public health threat.

As a result, several states in the United States have turned to gay neighborhood organizations for help, relying on neighborhood LGBTQ + health organizations to help support their Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Example of social distancing signage from Toronto’s gay district.
Robert Modzelewski, CC BY

For example, in New York City, the Erie County Department of Health requested that Evergreen health – an LGBTQ community group originally created in the 1980s as a volunteer effort to fight HIV – take responsibility for HIV testing during the COVID-19 pandemic so the county government can focus on COVID-19 testing. Evergreen too opened a COVID-19 driving test center in the spring of 2020 – four decades after introducing HIV testing in the Buffalo area.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Evergreen Health not only continued to provide health care and other support services to Buffalo’s LGBTQ community, but also expanded its offerings to better serve underserved and minority neighborhoods Through the city. At this moment, New York State was the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Chicago and other cities, activists have used LGBTQ + urban social and professional networks established during the HIV / AIDS pandemic to fight against this last disease. Queer communities have disseminated information about COVID-19 to their neighbors and face masks distributed and other protective equipmentjust as they once shared information about HIV transmission and distributed condoms.

[The Conversation’s most important coronavirus headlines, weekly in a science newsletter]

Lessons learned

States with major grassroots activism in the HIV crisis have also applied the lessons of that time on overcome misinformation and fear of contagious diseases.

For example, New York State used a network of small labs to process its COVID-19 tests and administer vaccines – a model developed during the emergence of the HIV / AIDS pandemic when large centralized laboratories were initially nervous about working with seropositive blood samples. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this allowed New York to respond effectively and process COVID-19 tests relatively quickly.

New York, followed by California, was among the states in which COVID-19 infection first appeared in the United States. these state governments set up testing procedures, they were inspired by testing methods established during the HIV / AIDS pandemic. The experience in New York and California with HIV / AIDS has helped, at least in part, to establish robust testing networks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

the UK Government, on the other hand, chose centralized laboratories to process the tests, rejecting an offer to create a complementary network of smaller local providers. This decision may have complicated tests and slow results and the search for contacts, according to SkyNews information.

Our research also finds gay neighborhoods grouped together to meet the needs of the community at large.

Activist support networks formed decades ago within gayborhoods deployed peer-to-peer mobile technologies to help feed trapped and sick people – not just within the LGBTQ community.

Many of these efforts to fight COVID-19, such as the measures taken to fight against HIV / AIDS, were done quietly, without fanfare. This neighbor-caregiver-neighbor approach is a management hallmark that can be found in gay neighborhoods – experienced lifeguards in times of crisis.

Daniel Baldwin Hess, professor of town planning and regional planning, University of Buffalo and Alex bitterman, professor of architecture and design, Alfred State College of Technology, State University of New York

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read it original article.

Source link

White House supporters push to shed light on ‘black money’ at Supreme Court Wed, 23 Jun 2021 09:00:22 +0000

Sometimes the former Rhode Island State Attorney General in the United States can seem conspiratorial, such as when he testified in the House that he found “clippings, front groups, false stories. , hidden funding. He has the job of a covert operation.

He spent 30 minutes at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation of charges hearing explaining it, using a red marker to circle the names of people and organizations and drawing lines connecting them on a series of 17 small posters.

“It just hasn’t caught on,” Whitehouse said this month. “So you just have to keep hitting the match until it catches fire and you find some tinder, then you can make your case.”

Reduced to a paragraph, his argument is this: For decades, corporate interests have focused on the control of US courts. They did this with the help of private groups who are not required to disclose donors. These groups help select and promote conservative judicial candidates by using millions of “black money” for advertising. These donors also anonymously fund groups that carry and support Supreme Court cases that cover their agenda. And that led to more than 80 partisan 5-4 decisions under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. that gave top Republican donor interests victories.

Whitehouse’s approach and persistence to prosecution has made waves in Washington’s small niche that focuses on federal courts. Among Democrats, however, Whitehouse said he saw “a slow awakening to the fact that this is a serious problem.”

Source link

‘CEO Soak’, RI ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser Tue, 22 Jun 2021 10:25:48 +0000

to play

NARRAGANSETT – Before the diagnosis, Greg Allin was a very active man.

He went skiing, hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and surfing. He was a certified lifeguard diver.

With his wife and children, he loved just about everything outside.

Then, in February 2019, he started having difficulty moving the fingers on his left hand.

“I haven’t thought about it too much,” Allin, 59, said in a recent virtual interview with The Journal. “I thought maybe I had a bit of carpal tunnel,” a syndrome involving weakness and tingling that can be caused by the stress of repetitive movements, such as typing.

In June 2019, he visited his primary care doctor who, after learning of the symptoms, referred him to a neurologist. This specialist referred her to another, who diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, an incurable disease of unknown cause that impedes movement, speech and breathing as it inevitably progresses to death, usually in the three to five years after diagnosis.

Depression and denial sometimes follow the diagnosis, which is understandable. Allin’s response was motivation – to do what he could in the time he had left to help support patients and families and advance research into this disease sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to the New York Yankees Hall of Fame member who died of ALS. in 1941.

“ALS will kill me eventually, but not today, so let’s do something,” Allin told The Journal.

This summer, that something is CEO Soak, a national fundraising effort of the ALS Association, successor to the Ice Bucket Challenge. The Rhode Island chapter is complete.

“CEO Soak is so important because the only thing that is going to solve ALS is funding and we need that help because we don’t have a lot of time,” Allin said.

“This terrible disease”

Beth Flanagan, executive director of the Rhode Island ALS chapter, said funds raised in CEO Soak will help raise awareness and support services such as “medical transportation, respite care, multidisciplinary medical care at the Louise Clinic. Wilcox ALS, support groups, equipment loans, home visits and more.

They are provided free of charge and help reduce the emotional and financial burden on a family, according to Flanagan. “The average cost of caring for a loved one with ALS is $ 250,000 in personal expenses,” said the CEO. About a hundred patients and families “confronted with this terrible disease” are assisted in the state.

Participating organizations will videotape their events and submit them online by the end of July, Flanagan said.

“The top ten teams will air on NBC 10 WJAR on August 5 for the fundraising grand finale,” she added. “The chapter wants to show the ALS community in Rhode Island and across the country how we can come together as a state to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors who are battling this terrible disease.”

An inspiration

The basic idea of ​​CEO Splash: Employees and others give money in exchange for the ability to turn off a CEO or other leader. Details of how and when are left to the participating companies and organizations.

Gordon Nelson, an executive at CHBC Medical-Dental Consultants in Cranston, is a leader who quickly became involved. Allin was one of the company’s partners until his recent retirement – from the company, not the cause.

“Greg is an inspiration,” Nelson said in an interview. “He was very, very active and his way of fighting back was to get as involved as possible with [an ALS drug treatment] lawsuits and the Rhode Island ALS Association and to help with fundraising and upcoming projects to help others. “

His business plan?

“We had fun with it, taking ideas from the staff on how the soak can go. We’ve had everything from dunk tanks to making sure the water is ice cold, ”Nelson said.

John Pagliarini, president of Providence-based Graphene Composites USA and chairman of the CEO of Soak this year and past chairman of the section’s board, said the research was essential.

“Everything we accomplish in our careers is paltry compared to whether or not we can live long enough to see a breakthrough in the treatment of ALS,” Pagliarini said. “It’s just one of those mysteries that hasn’t been solved yet. And we have so many brilliant minds around the world working on it.

The ALS Association fundraising, he said, has helped make inroads.

“The revenue generated by the Ice Bucket Challenge has really changed ALS research,” he said. “So this year we gave it a little twist and thought there were probably a lot of employees who once in a while wish they could throw a nice bucket over their boss’s head. We were like, “Why not give them the chance and do it the right way? “”

it gives hope: New ALS drug extends patients’ lives by months

Peter M. Marino, president and CEO of the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, said he also didn’t need any persuasion to participate.

“Whenever Neighborhood has the opportunity to work for a good cause or help improve health outcomes, the team here really comes together and comes together and shakes up,” Marino said in an interview.

The CEO said his organization’s event will take place in a parking lot at his Smithfield headquarters. Plans now include an immersion tank, like those seen at carnivals.

The employees, he said, “will get an opportunity of five dollars for one shot, $ 10 for two shots, to get me soaked. I think we’ll also attract the rest of the management team so that they have the opportunity to not only imbue me, but maybe also imbue one of their own leaders.

“Whatever it takes”

Allin has already been soaked, for a promotional video.

The soaking required some muscle movement, but he told the Journal it faded as he continued to lose weight and had difficulty walking, talking and swallowing. He can no longer dress, cut his own food, open packages or write legibly.

Now he relies more than ever on his family.

“I’m his primary caregiver,” said Gail, his wife of 35 years. “I had a part-time job, which I left.

Her husband’s needs now, she said, are “all things that most people take for granted. You get up, you shower, you shave, you eat, you get dressed – these are all things he needs help with now. He will wake up in the night and he doesn’t have the strength to pull a blanket over him if he’s cold.

Gail spoke of Greg’s toll and “the whole family both emotionally and financially. It’s really hard to watch, but he is a determined soul and he will do anything to help the cause. Whether it helps or if it doesn’t, over time it will help someone else down the road. He will do whatever it takes to get this job done.

Greg said, “ALS is not a person’s disease. It involves a whole family.

To find out more or make a donation, visit

Nancy Poon: Graciously, she accepts ALS, but fights: Mark Patinkin

After: Names of Journal editors cited in the passage of ALS legislation

Source link

LGBTQ + Businesses and Advocates in Eugene Showcase Beyond Pride Month Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:45:21 +0000

This June marks more than 50 years of LGBTQ + pride marches and celebrations in the United States, with more emphasis on sexuality and gender in Lane County.

Increased visibility around Pride gives businesses, social media, and communities rainbows and the opportunity to come forward for the LGBTQ + community, but it can be difficult to know exactly how to do it.

“What does it mean to show up for pride? Asked Oblio Stroyman. Stroyman’s pronouns are they / their / their and they are the interim executive director of Transponder, a local nonprofit organization that serves the transgender community.

“The pride was really about a lot of trans women of color standing up and saying that was enough (against) police harassment,” they explained.

What Stroyman specifically refers to is resistance from the queer community led largely by trans and gender non-conforming people of color like Marsha P. Johnson, Silvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Stormé DeLarverie – who were all in attendance at one of the most notable booths for LGBTQ + liberation, the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

In the early morning of June 28, plainclothes police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York. The intrusion was, at the time, justified by suspicion of illegal alcohol sales, but was in reality just another raid among many aimed at harassing LGBTQ + people, according to the report. Library of Congress. This led to six days of protest around town.

Thirteen people, a mix of employees and customers, were arrested for operating without a liquor license, but also for gender-related “crimes”. Homosexuality was still considered a criminal offense in 1969 and there were laws prohibiting wearing gender-appropriate clothing.

Less well-known, Stonewall was preceded by other LGBTQ + resistance led by blacks and people of color in the United States, including protests at the Gene’s Compton cafeteria, Cooper’s Donuts, The Black Cat, Dewey’s Restaurant, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

In short, the pride started out as a protest; a stance against police brutality and a fight for basic civil rights.

“If we see pride not only as a celebration, but also as a very real connection to the struggles of LGBTQ + people, especially trans people, then look at how you can support organizations to make their lives a bit easier,” Stroyman says to be an ally.

50 years ago, LGBTQ seniors fought for many of the same rights they fight for today: equal access to jobs, housing, health care and juridic protection.

Currently the Equality Act is on an uncertain basis before Congress. It would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by prohibiting “discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in areas such as public housing and facilities, education, federal funding, employment. , housing, credit and the jury system ”.

Effective ways for allies to show support

If any allies are looking to support the LGBTQ community, Stroyman encourages them to dig deeper to be intentional.

It might look like showing solidarity at pride events, holding institutions accountable, and asking questions of companies that might seek to profit from “rainbow gear” without any of the profits. is not donated to LGBTQ people or organizations, they explained.

A current social media trend has exposed large companies to the ‘rainbow wash’ or ‘pink wash,’ terms that mean using Pride for marketing purposes to make money from LGBTQ consumers and their families. allies.

AT&T, General Motors, The Coca-Cola Company, Anheuser-Busch, American Airlines, Walmart and others have been found to have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to representatives working on anti-LGBTQ legislation, according to Rolling Stone.

In contrast, philanthropic dollars spent on LGBTQ issues are still limited. The Funders for LGBTQ Issues have found that for every $ 100 donated by US foundations, only 28 cents goes specifically to support the LGBTQ community.

Transponder funding, for example, goes to support groups, helping to find employment opportunities and making the community a more welcoming place. Some of Transponder’s programs include accessibility of gender-affirming prosthetics, syringe and hormone injection delivery service, and MECCA art kits.

“What’s important about Transponder is that we have a very low capacity, which means we don’t have a lot of paid staff and we do a huge job,” Stroyman said.

Be intentional with your dollars

Supporting gay-led businesses and organizations that advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBTQ + people beyond Pride Month is one way to be intentional with your dollar as an ally.

“We really love plants and share it with other people, but we also really wanted to use our business as a source of positive change in the community,” said Luna Roebuck, co-owner of Stingray Botanicals.

Roebuck opened Stingray Botanicals with his partner, Adrian Mendoza, in the fall of 2020. The indoor plant nursery specializes in rare plants and is committed to social, economic and environmental justice.

“A big part of this is standing up for our community members within the LGBTQ community. We try to do advocacy work by bringing attention to the issues facing minority communities, therefore the LGBTQ community, communities of color, immigrant communities, ”Roebuck said. .

This month, a portion of Stingray Botanicals sales are donated to Point of pride, a non-profit organization in Eugene that works internationally to help trans adults and youth access gender affirmation programs. This includes access to chest binders, hormones, electrolysis, and COVID-19 emergency funds.

According to its website, Point of Pride has donated more than 10,000 chest binders in more than 80 countries and provided financial assistance of a quarter of a million dollars.

“One very important thing that people need to think about during Pride Month – and really all year round – is where your dollar is going and what the organization or business is doing with your dollar, in addition to just show off the rainbow, ”Roebuck said.

But beyond economic intentionality, the visibility of queer and LGBT + safe spaces is important.

“Having visibility as a gay owned, gay operated business gives a lot of people hope for what they can do in their own lives, or providing safe spaces for people to do. shopping, or to browse and enjoy the plants, ”Roebuck explained.

Lane County LGBTQ-Owned Businesses and Advocates

Spectrum is a Bar, restaurant and LGBTQIA + room at 150 W. Broadway in downtown Eugene, which should reopen after July. Spectrum is home to many drag performances and a key location for community support services.

As you like it; The pleasure shop is a sexual wellness store with a focus on environmentally friendly and body-safe products. AYLI offers a separate part of their store that is suitable for minors that includes an extensive library and gender affirming products.

Transponder is a local non-profit organization founded and managed by trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. The group coordinates community resources and provides support to adults and trans youth in metropolitan and rural areas of Lane County. Transponder offers descriptions of Pride programs and products online.

Stingray Botanicals is a houseplant store specializing in the unique and the unusual which is owned and operated by a couple, Adrian Mendoza and Luna Roebuck. Mendoza and Roebuck are dedicated to social justice in the community and provide a caring place to work.

Hi neighbor! Homemade Pizza is a local restaurant in the university district offering hand-prepared neo-Neapolitan pizza. The pizzeria uses its passion for pies to contribute to the community. The last weekend of June, Hey Neighbor! will donate a portion of each pizza sale to Transponder.

HIV Alliance provides extensive resources for HIV / AIDS education, prevention and care. They also provide care for hepatitis and help with harm reduction efforts. This summer, they welcome Camp Alliance, a virtual summer program for young people for queer high school students or questioners.

The body store is an international cosmetics brand with a store in Valley River Center. It is donate $ 1 to Equality Federation for each signature on their petition telling Congress to support the equality law until August 29. The Federation for Equality is an accelerator of LGBTQ advocacy.

Contact reporter Dana Sparks at or 541-338-2243, and follow her on Twitter @danamsparks and Instagram @danasparksphoto. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.

Source link

Struggling with grief this Father’s Day? Six ways to cope with heartache Sun, 20 Jun 2021 13:06:00 +0000

FOR those who have lost a parent, Father’s Day can be a difficult time.

The tragic loss of life suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic has meant that many people will have to spend the celebration without their father by their side.


If you’re struggling this Father’s Day, there are things you can do to make yourself feel a little better.Credit: Getty

Bianca Neumann, bereavement manager at the Sue Ryder charity, said that it’s important to deal with your emotions on this day, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to feel a certain way.

Speaking to The Sun, she said Father’s Day can spark a whole host of emotions.

“Many customers have told me that they avoid supermarkets and stores on special occasions like Father’s Day because they don’t want to see all the aisles filled with cards, chocolates and gifts,” a- she declared.

Bianca revealed the six ways you can cope with grief today.

1. Talk about your father

While everyone does differently, Bianca said one way to get through Father’s Day is to talk about your dad.

She explained, “Grief can be very isolating, but it’s likely that other people around you will also feel the loss of your father or have gone through a similar situation.

“Talk about your father with others, light a candle in his memory, or do something with a loved one that reminds you of him.”

2. Focus on the time spent

Father’s Day can be a great time to remember some of the good times you shared with your dad.

For some people, looking back can elicit negative feelings, but Bianca said it’s important to try and turn that experience into a positive one.

“The loss can often lead to feelings of regret. For example, you might think you could have spent more time with your dad.

“Instead, try to focus on the time you had and how special it was for you and your dad,” she said.

Thinking back to the good time you shared with your dad is a great way to remember him


Thinking back to the good time you shared with your dad is a great way to remember himCredit: Getty

3. Write a letter

A lot of people find it hard to express their feelings, one way to do that is to write a letter, says Bianca.

“Sometimes expressing our feelings on paper can help us process the complex emotions we are feeling.

“Writing a letter to his father may sound strange, but it’s a way to validate his emotions and to feel closer to him, even if he’s not here with you,” she said.

4. Find a support group

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult to meet in person, which also means that many people have not had access to support groups.

Thanks to technology, many groups have formed online. Bianca says that finding a group that shares your feelings could help you cope and feel less alone.

She said, “When you are grieving, you can find comfort in talking to others in a similar position.

“It could be a friend who has also lost a relative, or you could consider joining a support group, like Sue Ryder Online Grieving Community, where you will find that many other people have exactly the same feelings as you.

Finding a group of people who have similar experiences to you might be helpful


Finding a group of people who have similar experiences to you might be helpfulCredit: Getty

5. Don’t be ashamed

There is no shame in feeling upset on Father’s Day, just like there is no shame in feeling angry or frustrated that you no longer have your dad around.

Bianca said: “When it comes to losing a parent, feelings of jealousy, envy, anger as well as sadness are very common, but not everyone talks openly about it.

“These feelings are often put aside and the remaining feeling is one of guilt or shame, because an inner voice calls these feelings ‘bad’ when they are normal.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be ‘OK’.

“Emotions come and go and like waves they can overwhelm us and seem overwhelming. Allow yourself to feel and experience your grief and know that over time the waves will eventually wear off.”

6. Ignore the day completely

Social media and promotional emails make it pretty hard to ignore Father’s Day.

But many companies now offer a “turn off” button, so you no longer receive emails about Father’s Day cards and gifts.

Bianca said if you have a hard time thinking about Father’s Day, you can ignore it altogether.

“Take a day out on social media and do things that make you happy – maybe cook, watch a Netflix show, go for a walk, or just have a lazy day,” she added.

Bianca added: “Finally, if someone you know is mourning the loss of their parent on this Father’s Day, be sure to check back – people can have a hard time reaching out when they are in mourning.

“Maybe you can send a care card or package of their favorite things – maybe a mix of snacks for when they’re not feeling ready for cooking, flowers, or a game they could play for themselves. loosen.”

To learn more about Sue Ryder’s bereavement online support, visit

Prince Harry tells Oprah he ‘learned’ that ‘families are SHAME’ when they hear about mental health issues in new doc

Source link

Why should you join a fertility support group Fri, 18 Jun 2021 23:50:58 +0000

If you are struggling with infertility, should you join a fertility support group? As you reflect on this, it is necessary to know that no matter where you are on your journey to becoming a parent, a fertility support group can go a long way in making this process easier and less stressful.

If you think about it, you will agree that much of the difficulty of having an infertility problem is the challenge of dealing with everyday experiences that were once easy but now emotionally difficult.

Routine activities such as responding to a friend’s baby shower invitation, casual conversations about children over parties and vacations, and even scrolling through your social media accounts can turn into emotional landmines when you are having trouble getting pregnant and need treatment.

This stress affects both women and men and can be particularly taxing on relationships. Fortunately, one of the best options you can resort to for relief is a fertility support group.

Joining a fertility support group can be a great way to deal with infertility. Finding support when dealing with infertility is important, but not always easy. Friends and family can provide some support, but even best friends can’t really understand what you’re going through without personally experiencing infertility.

Infertility is not an easy situation to manage. You may feel social pressure to have children or feel judgment from well-meaning friends, family members, or even strangers. Some may offer advice that isn’t very helpful or suggest that your anxiety is somehow to blame.

Additionally, you may be plagued by feelings of inadequacy, emptiness, or failure that interfere with both your quality of life and the quality of your relationship.

The only way to help is to recognize your feelings and identify the things that are causing you the most stress. In doing so, you can begin to develop coping strategies to better overcome these feelings.

A fertility support group will help you cope in this regard. It allows you to lift your inhibitions.

A support group can provide a place for couples to meet and talk with people who understand. It provides compassionate support and information to people suffering from infertility. Essentially, a fertility support group can have a variety of goals and can be made up of all-female, all-male, or mixed members. Support groups may even focus on a particular fertility issue, such as those who have been diagnosed with endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), recurrent miscarriages, unexplained infertility and many more. . Support groups can also be in person or online. It is up to you to decide which type of support group you prefer.

In Nigeria and elsewhere there are different types of fertility support groups and while the primary goal is not to provide financial support to infertile couples, the main thing is to let you know that you are not alone. , and this provides a platform where you can meet others with whom you can share your challenges and potentially get information and / or help for a solution.

To get started, you need to know which fertility support group is right for you. Deciding whether or not a support group is right for you will depend on your individual experience with infertility.

Many individuals and couples refrain from seeking help from a support group because they believe they are able to fully cope with emotional ups and downs on their own, or that they should at least try. to do. But this is not true; joining a support group doesn’t mean you’re looking for professional therapy. Support groups are designed to provide a warm and welcoming environment for people who share a similar experience.

It is entirely up to you, or you and your partner, how much of your life you share with the rest of your support group and what remains private. There is no pressure or compulsion to explain anything that you find too painful or too personal to discuss. You can always find a group near you. Whether you have just been diagnosed or have struggled with infertility for some time, there are groups that focus on general infertility and groups that focus on specific topics.

General groups can include discussion of current treatment, relationships with friends and family, and coping strategies. Discussions in specialized thematic groups allow participants to meet others who share a similar struggle, learn more about a specific issue, and hear resources for help.

If you join an appropriate support group, you will benefit from experienced members’ insider information about the world of infertility, including emotional support.

You will learn a lot about your future treatment options, which will give you a lot of hope. Most importantly, it’s a place you can go to every week and talk about your issues.

Such groups help relieve stress in your marriage. Group sessions are led by a professional counselor, but this is not group therapy. The counselor is just there to facilitate the conversation and help maintain healthy boundaries in the group. Groups are intended for women or couples and are limited in size, to allow enough time for everyone to talk.

Topics for a general group of couples typically include stress reduction, self-care, anger and depression, relationships with family and friends, impact on your relationship, medical options, third-party reproduction , adoption and childless life.

Sometimes groups form and focus on specific topics such as adoption or third party reproduction. You are encouraged to connect with each other during the week between meetings. You might have a hard time joining a support group, but if you manage to exceed your reservations, you’ll be glad you did.

If you are just starting treatment but do not want to join an “infertility” group, you should know that getting involved can be very helpful in order to get the support and information you need. If you are struggling to cope with infertility, you are not alone. Research has shown that the psychological stress experienced by infertile women is similar to that of women struggling with diseases such as cancer, HIV and chronic pain.

Studies have also shown that men are at risk for anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, and low self-esteem. These psychological effects can occur regardless of who is infertile, whether the couple is dealing with male infertility, female infertility, male and female infertility, or unexplained causes.

Most often, the emotions associated with infertility are not caused by one thing and only one. They are often entangled in expectations from within and without. Being open about infertility and seeking outside support can help men and women cope with emotional distress. Sometimes the best place to find support is your spouse, but that’s not always the case. The built-up pressure that you both may be feeling can make it difficult to sort your emotions together. Seeking support outside of a relationship can be beneficial for both of you. Support groups are really helpful, allowing you to express feelings and thoughts that you haven’t been able to share elsewhere and to receive understanding from those who have really been there.

Copyright PUNCH.

All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the express prior written permission of PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]

Source link

Oakland families are suing California over its distance learning plan. Here is the last one Thu, 17 Jun 2021 23:39:25 +0000

At the end of November, a coalition of parents, students and parent rights groups, including Oakland’s Reach, which is based in Oakland, and the Community Coalition of Los Angeles, filed a lawsuit against the state of California, alleging that education officials, including Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education, had not done enough to help districts local schools to provide adequate education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith may take months or more to reach a decision in the case, parent groups and families filed for a preliminary injunction in May that would have forced the State to take immediate action to bridge the digital divide, ensure students receive adequate live education, provide free counseling for students and mental health training for teachers, and create a plan to help districts achieve fight against learning loss.

“A big part of our focus is to report on how the state has never responded to and supported low-income black and brown families. But certainly during the pandemic, ”said Lakisha Young, CEO of The Oakland Reach, in an interview. “We need to take it beyond distance learning and talk more about how the state takes responsibility and serves our students under a number of conditions.”

In a hearing last week, state attorneys spoke out against the injunction, saying most districts have already completed the 2020-2021 school year and that in the fall they would return to in-person learning, so many of the requests are not timely.

This week, Justice Smith issued a ruling dismissing the parent groups’ claim, writing that “the court is reluctant to deal with long-term issues through a short-term preliminary injunction.” She also wrote that the state has taken some steps to address concerns about learning loss, including Assembly Bill 86, which gives more funding to school districts to support in-person instruction and provide more academic support to help students recover from the pandemic.

“We are encouraged to see the judge in this case deny the preliminary injunction motion – this is in keeping with the state’s central argument that it would be inappropriate to disrupt California’s ongoing efforts to stop the spread of a deadly disease while providing historic support to Kindergarten to Grade 12 students affected by COVID-19, especially at this late stage of the end of the school year, ”a ministry statement said. California Education. “Last year’s temporary authorization for distance education was a necessary step to protect lives; this status expires at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Smith granted a separate motion that could help move the parents’ case forward: she decided to authorize the Compton Unified School District, the Duarte Unified School District in Los Angeles County, and the California Association of Black School Educators. to join the case against the state education ministry. . In their request to join the lawsuit, the three groups agreed that California had failed in its efforts to support distance learning during the pandemic.

The initial 84-page complaint details the experiences of several families in Oakland and Los Angeles who struggled to get laptops, internet hotspots and tutoring from their schools to attend online classes that were hastily put in place in the spring of 2020 after the pandemic forced campus to close. The lawsuit alleges that the actions of the State Department of Education during the pandemic exacerbated education disparities for students of color, homeless students and low-income students.

An Oakland parent named Angela J. in the lawsuit – the complaint does not use the real names of the parents and students and we also agreed not to name her – said in an interview that her frustrations with the quantity of daily instruction time that her children were entering an Oakland elementary school led her to join the trial. She was concerned about the lack of guidance she was receiving on using distance learning platforms, but had family in other states whose children had more solid distance learning experiences, and she wondered why it couldn’t be done in California. She even considered moving to Iowa to stay with her father and enroll her children there. At the start of the pandemic, her twins were in second year and completed their third year completely in distance education.

“As of today, June 16, my 8-year-old twins are not ready for fourth year,” she told The Oaklandside. “I know of some school systems that prepared their children better than Oakland Unified. It looked like the OUSD had dropped the ball.

In OUSD, the Oakland Undived campaign aimed to distribute 25,000 laptops and hotspots to all students that they can keep throughout their schooling. Until the students received their Oakland Undived laptops, their school lent them a device. The campaign distributed its 25,000th device in March 2021, one year after the schools closed. The students remained in distance education until March, when the Oakland Education Association teachers union and the Oakland Unified School District reached an agreement to provide in-person instruction to the youngest students in the district. Some kindergarten to grade two students returned to class a few days a week on March 30, while grades three to six could return on April 19. The district also brought back targeted groups of students of all grades, such as foster students, those who had not been engaged in distance learning, and English language learners.

While local school districts were responsible for facilitating distance learning, parent groups are suing California because the state is constitutionally obligated to provide access to a solid basic education, said Jesselyn Friley, a lawyer with Public Council, one of the law firms representing families and community groups.

“What the districts have said over and over again is that they do not have the resources they need to ensure that every child has access to a solid basic education,” said Friley. “It is well established by our California Supreme Court that the state has ultimate authority and responsibility here.”

Parent groups are asking a state judge to order the Department of Education and the superintendent to ensure all students have computers and internet access, schools provide mental health support and support. technical training for students and families; and that school districts consult with families on future decisions regarding distance learning, return to in-person learning, and how to deal with learning loss.

In their lawsuit, The Oakland REACH and Community Coalition described how they formed learning centers to provide assistance to some students during the spring, summer and fall. In the spring of 2020, after schools in Oakland closed due to the pandemic, The Oakland Reach established its City-wide virtual hub, who provided instruction, social and emotional programming, and technical support. The hub continued to operate throughout the 2020-2021 school year and now offers summer courses.

Lakisha Young, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Oakland Reach, a parent-run education advocacy group for underserved communities in Oakland. Credit: Pete Rosos

The Oakland Reach and the Community Coalition are also asking the court for a ruling that will help them expand their learning center models to other parts of California, with state support. In January, The Oakland Reach and Oakland Unified School District received a $ 900,000 grant from the Center on Reinventing Public Education and TNTP, an organization that works with school districts to train teachers.

“A big part of the reason we joined the trial – and it’s similar to Community Coalition – is that both organizations built our own solutions to serve our communities,” Young said. “Thanks to this responsiveness, we have obtained impressive results in terms of academic success and parental involvement. These innovations to serve our families for the long term were created and we want these efforts to be replicated to benefit other communities across California. “

A trial date has yet to be set, but in his other rulings Smith has indicated the court may aim for a trial in May 2022, so any relief ordered can be put in place by the start of the period. 2022-2023. school year.

Source link

Firefighters use heatwave to train for long summer ahead – NBC Bay Area Thu, 17 Jun 2021 07:26:52 +0000

The early heat wave can have sweltering locals, but it’s also a good way for firefighters to prepare for the long hot summer ahead.

The Cal Fire Santa Clara unit started their day with a four mile hike up and down hills over 90 degrees at full speed.

With predictions of a severe wildfire season approaching, they said it’s all about acclimatization.

“I think this is the perfect opportunity for us to practice and get used to the terrain, the slope and what to expect in these summer fire conditions,” said firefighter Jacob Williams. .

They were carrying almost 60 pounds of weight on them, all to prepare them for what could happen.

“These summers are just not typical anymore,” said Carlos Alcantar of Santa Clara Cal Fire.

Acclimatization is crucial because the state lacks ground teams. Those who cut the critical lines of fire. The shortage is caused by the early release of so many volunteer inmates from state prisons.

As of Wednesday, many of the attendees are from traditional support groups, such as the California Conservation Corps, which are now trying to be promoted to core members of the Type 1 ground crew.

“We have few teams available,” Alcantar said. “These guys are going to be sent. And they will work. They work 24 hour shifts. It is therefore imperative that they get used to it.

With this heat, some will have more trouble than others.

“We all acclimatize a little differently. Some people are used to the heat and others, especially coming from the bay area and the coast where it is very cold, and therefore their hot weather there is around 70 degrees, ”Fernando said. Herrera from Monterey Cal Fire. “So it’s going to be a big jump. “

Cal Fire points out that the drilling doesn’t stop after this week and with the extreme heat says they will have the chance to practice and apply what they practice all summer long.

Source link