Blog Archives

#MotownMom: It’s time to work on brotherhood (YOUR STORIES ARE REQUESTED!)

There are 323.8 million people in the United States. Does it surprise you that 47% of Americans feel like strangers in their own country? My guess is that if you’re an American, you’re not surprised.

Americans aren’t known for taking vacations generally because they don’t get much vacation time, or even expect it for that matter. Americans do, however, create “exit plans” usually every 4 – 8 years around every presidential election.

We show indifference, frustration, and a lack of responsibility for the people who are supposed to be representing us in our own government and see them as “in power” and us as “following.” The general consensus is that “someone in charge will handle that.”

Americans don’t feel connected to America. Even my 17 year old daughter said she wasn’t proud to be an American, and that she was “proud that she was not proud.” Talk about heartbreak for all the tenants of being in this country that she doesn’t understand!

History has it’s place…

However, before I bring up our sorted, dysfunctional, horrific, embarrassing, and unsurprising past as a country, let me tell you a story about Coca Cola.

Coca Cola also has a dysfunctional, horrific, embarrassing, and sorted past that is unsurprising to most – meaning, most people know about it. The famed, dark, caffeinated drink, before it became the famous icon it is today – had actual cocaine in it and wasn’t a soda at all, but an alcoholic beverage of wine.

You heard me. Coca Cola mixed alcohol and hard drugs in a drink that – get this – only affluent white people were allowed to drink in the 1880s and 1890s.

The addictive qualities of the cocaine in Coca Cola made people not only crave the soft drink, but become addicted to drinking it. This was actually seen as OKAY medically. At some point, the wine was seen as unhealthy, and it was replaced with sugar syrup. This was much less expensive to make, and everyone could afford it, however, segregated America was not ready to share the privilege of drinking the tasty addictive beverage with Black people, and laws were passed to remove the cocaine from the soft drink with a high racial motivation, even accusing Black men of raping white women if they had access to cocaine in the soft drink!

Even with this past, today, Coca Cola is celebrated for the future they’re a part of.

They’ve been around for 129 years. They reinvented themselves and made their future more important than their past. And even though people know their history, the history doesn’t stand in the way of the inclusive future they built.

Today, Coca Cola can put your name on one of their cans or bottles, and whether you drink Coca Cola or not, you buy one because you see yourself in it.

Not because of who they used to be in the past, but because who you can be as a part of where they’re going.

And you can walk away not being associated with that past but as part of their future. Remembering the past, but the importance of the future being the focus.

Interesting, right?

Now let’s talk about America.

America is the birthplace of the Transamerican Slave Trade experiment in action, first tested in Haiti and put into action in the United States. The Middle East had been enslaving Africans for at least 1,400 years before that, but it was never done as brutally, as horrendously, as disgusting, or as devastating as it was done in the United States. At the same time, socially and economically, slavery marked a time of prosperity for people who got the privilege of being seen as human.

Human experimentation was performed on my ancestors. From medical advancements in gynecology, to seeing how diseases like polio and syphillis advanced and affected the human body, to the use of self-replicating cells that didn’t belong to the lab that stole them, but have saved millions upon millions of lives without supporting Henrietta Lacks (He-La cells) or her family…

Despite the numerous, uncountable offenses and crimes against humanity America has been the stage for, black people, my ancestors, dreamed of being seen as Americans and being acknowledged for the tremendous contributions they’ve made to American society.

They dream of their children being educated in American schools without worrying about racism. Having professional careers in American companies without being paid less for being black. Starting their own Black owned American businesses and getting the same lending support that their white counterparts receive. Shining in a country they once couldn’t even be seen as human in.

And my people are still celebrating “firsts” in industries and sectors where they once were unable to participate.

America is also the birthplace of the genocide of the America Indians, thanks to Christopher Columbus.

America is one of the largest centers of sex-trafficking in the world.

And one of the biggest harbingers of war.

And one of the biggest supporters of poverty.

And. And. And.

Because the people in “power” don’t represent our values.

The foreseeable future is not only political party continuing to be the single largest divider, with the values gap between Democrats and Republicans even larger than race, sex, or class…

But our youth will continue to become disconnected from what makes this the land of opportunity – the sense of self, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – with the mental illnesses to match having a lack of self-awareness, lack of self-expression, lack of personal power, and a lack of personal freedom as a result of trauma trauma being the fissure that keeps us from truly getting to know ourselves and others outside of the stories we create to figure ourselves out without the proper scaffolding.

Our children and grandchildren will completely lose touch of the personal freedoms, self-expression, sense of civil liberties, and personal power that make our country the land of opportunity for the other 53% of the population that feels close and connected.

This country has been balancing awkwardly on the pseudo idea that this country has always been “great” when it really hasn’t been that great socially or in justice.

But it can be if we focus on the future.

Introducing the We Are The People Project

The We Are The People Project is a platform to collect American stories in a digital quilt, to celebrate your differences as a part of the Great Mixing Pot this country was intended to be, of all nations coming together in one place to create opportunity for all, and to share your history as an American with other Americans so that we can unite in brotherhood.

By sharing our stories and putting our values in the forefront, we will change our relationship to other countries that are greatly dependent on our economic wellbeing, making us a more responsible country not only in our own neighborhoods and communities, but on the world stage.

Hate and ignorance come from what we don’t know about one another, and the things that we just don’t know that we don’t know about who we share this country with. For hundreds of years there have been efforts to divide us as people in local, state, and federal law, in institutions, and even politically. We don’t need those entities to tell us what country and brotherhood are or to create commonality with our American brothers and sisters.

Now is the time to tell your own story and what you want this country to be for yourself and your neighbors today forward.

This Google Doc provides more information on the project as well as three steps you can take to participate:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I0MxDcT5KjJGy9IRBqevmHwYhJqcWnOikdTHY07LkVk/edit?usp=sharing

Do you want to help get the word out about this project on social media? Do you have skills that would help us to create a visually appealing website? Do you want to volunteer your time by collecting stories of people in your community and posting them to the digital quilt?

The We Are The People Project is looking to create state specific groups in all 50 states. If you’re interested in leading a project in your state, send an email to Tamara Rasheed at Tamara@TamaraRasheed.com.


.@HabitatDetroit Rock Community Challenge #makeadifference #detroit Help US Help OTHERS! via #motownmom

Click here to assist us in the win! 

 

Every day families in Detroit struggle to pay rent, while they do everything they can to make ends meet. The Rock Family of Companies Community Challenge brings Habitat for Humanity Detroit another opportunity to bring safe and affordable housing to our neighbors. Help us participate in this challenge by donating or forming a fundraiser team to share the cause!

 

Click here to assist us in the win! 

Great Lakes Water Authority accepting enrollment for# Water Residential #Assistance Program (WRAP) – Metro #Detroit #MotownMom

Income-eligible Metro Detroit residents encouraged to apply for assistance

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has launched the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP), the first sustainable assistance program focused solely on residential water services in the state of Michigan. In its first year, the WRAP is expected to provide $4.5 million to residents across southeast Michigan. Income-eligible Metro Detroit residents can begin the enrollment process by calling (313) 386-WRAP (9727) or visiting www.waynemetro.org/WRAP.

 

Unlike assistance programs in the past that rely on outside sources for funding, the WRAP has a dedicated source, with the potential to continue in perpetuity. A half-percent of all GWLA revenue will be dedicated to the WRAP. As revenues increase for the authority, so too will the available amount in the WRAP program.

 

“In addition to bill payment assistance, the WRAP provides educational programs and funding to fix leaks and other minor home plumbing repairs,” said Sue McCormick, CEO, GLWA. “It truly is one of the most complete solutions that not only supports consumers in need, but also aims to put them on a pathway towards self-sufficiency.  When we strengthen one part of the system, we strengthen the system as a whole. We are proud to be able to offer our customer communities this solution.”

 

The initial allocation of WRAP funds will be distributed to the city of Detroit, Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties. The total amount each area will receive is the same proportion of revenue it pays into the WRAP.  This is to ensure an equitable distribution among all customer communities.

 

QUALIFICATIONS FOR RECIPIENTS
To qualify for the WRAP program, participants must meet the following requirements:
  • Have income at or below the 150% federal poverty threshold;
  • Be residential customers of the GLWA service area, with first priority to customers who have a past due bill and/or are in active shut off;
  • Provide proof of residency or provide renter’s proof of responsibility for water on lease;
  • Customers with water usage 20% or more above average must participate in a home water audit and install water conservation measures; and
  • Stay current on monthly bill payment for 12 months.
At the time of program enrollment, the program administrator will work with local communities to suspend customer shut off and freeze arrearages. Qualified participants are also eligible to receive:
  • Payment assistance up to $1,000 per household per year — $25 per month towards a bill credit, and assistance with arrears;
  • Home repairs up to $1,000 per household to fix plumbing issues causing high usage;
  • Water saving kits and consumer training classes; and
  • Supportive WRAP-around services, which include referrals to energy, food and clothing assistance program.
The program is administrated by Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, in collaboration with a total of five community action associations to ensure that all customers within the GLWA service area will have access to WRAP resources—that’s 126 communities throughout seven different counties in southeast Michigan.

 

For more information regarding the program, please visit www.waynemetro.org/WRAP or call (313) 386-WRAP (9727).

ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES WATER AUTHORITY (GLWA)

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was established in November 2014 to provide water and waste water services to 126 municipalities in seven Southeastern Michigan counties. On January 1, 2016, GLWA assumed operational, infrastructure improvements, environmental compliance and budget-setting responsibilities for the regional water and sewage treatment plants, major water transmission mains and sewage interceptors, and related facilities. The organization leases these facilities from the City of Detroit for an allocation of $50 million per year fund capital improvements for the City of Detroit retail system and/or debt obligations. GLWA also will fund a Water Residential Assistance Program to assist low-income residential customers throughout the system. The GLWA board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the City of Detroit, and one from the State of Michigan to represent customer communities outside the tri-county area.

Home Repair Grant for Home Owner age 62+ cc: @habitatdetroit

Home repair grants from $1000 to $15000

Note: grants are available on first come, first serve basis while funding last.

See specifications below… Print option available at the end.

Click here to download the application

 

2016homerepairPart 1

2016homerepairPart 2

 

Click here to download the application

Please share with others as well. thank you

“Must Read” #MichLit Author, @DesCooper, Know The Mother…. will touch the soul! #MotownMom

Detroit, Michigan, journalist and author, Desiree Cooper, has released her wonderful book of poems and prose with Wayne State Press called Know The Mother. A beautiful literary work of art that will touch the soul.

Buy your copy now : http://amzn.to/1VKxXTS

ABOUT THE BOOK:

While a mother can be defined as a creator, a nurturer, a protector-at the center of each mother is an individual who is attempting to manage her own fears, desires, and responsibilities in different and sometimes unexpected ways. In Know the Mother, author Desiree Cooper explores the complex archetype of the mother in all of her incarnations. In a collage of meditative stories, women-both black and white-find themselves wedged between their own yearnings and their roles as daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and wives.

In this heart-wrenching collection, Cooper reveals that gender and race are often unanticipated interlopers in family life. An anxious mother reflects on her prenatal fantasies of suicide while waiting for her daughter to come home late one night. A lawyer miscarries during a conference call and must proceed as though nothing has happened. On a rare night out with her husband, a new mother tries convincing herself that everything is still the same. A politician’s wife’s thoughts turn to slavery as she contemplates her own escape: “Even Harriet Tubman had realized that freedom wasn’t worth the price of abandoning her family, so she’d come back home. She’d risked it all for love.” With her lyrical and carefully crafted prose, Cooper’s stories provide truths without sermon and invite empathy without sentimentality.

Know the Mother explores the intersection of race and gender in vignettes that pull you in and then are gone in an instant. Readers of short fiction will appreciate this deeply felt collection.

Buy your copy now : http://amzn.to/1VKxXTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and Detroit community activist whose fiction dives unflinchingly into the intersection of racism and sexism. Using the compressed medium of flash fiction, she explores intimate spaces to reveal what it means to be human. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Callaloo, Detroit Noir, Best African American Fiction 2010, and Tidal Basin Review, among other online and print publications. Her first collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, was published by Wayne State University Press in March 2016. Cooper was a founding board member of Cave Canem, a national residency for emerging black poets. She is currently a Kimbilio fellow, a national residency for African American fiction writers.

Check her out at descooper.com.

Buy your copy now : http://amzn.to/1VKxXTS

Connect with this author at:

http://www.facebook.com/descooper

(see upcoming events and signings on facebook) 

http://instagram.com/descooper

https://twitter.com/descooper

 

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

New Michigan Literary Network podcast w/guest @DesCooper, author of “Know the Mother” at http://tobtr.com/s/8790883.

Get YOUR book at: http://amzn.to/1VKxXTS

Event:BeYOUtiful: Head Wrapping, Purity, Purpose, Poetry, Prayer @msbeautifulanee 9/19 #MotownMom

 

REGISTER NOW 

SPECIAL GUESTS: 

Rocke America’s Virtuous QueenDe’Nisha Sh’Lene of Saved In Style

We will be having a Fashion & Natural Hair Showcase, Entertainment & more!

Please SHARE & INVITE others!! REGISTER NOW 

The abstract art of head wrapping for beginners and those who want to either explore the idea of adorning their crowns, adding color or style, covering for health reasons, or just for a day hair won’t cooperate. This is for any female able to come and listen. In addition, the facilitator will be presenting some poetic pieces to inspire, empower, and motivate you as women of God. It will incorporate a Christian look at physical & emotional purity and the purpose of being a virtuous women. This will truly be an interactive bonding & growing experience with yourself and others unlike any other event you have attended.

We are including our young ladies also !!

Also, bring something to take notes, a variety of colors & styles of clean scarves, cotton t-shirts, satin bonnet, crochet cap, wig if needed or desired.

Any interested businesses, sponsors or women related vendors such as scarves, natural body products, etc. currently booking first come, first serve.

  Contact the Organizer

Contact: Natasha, Consulting by Anée

313.242.POEM
http://www.mybeautifulthoughts.netbeautfulThought

REGISTER NOW 

If you’d like to support this event you can copy and paste this into your social media now!

Come2 “BeYOUtiful: Head Wrapping, Purity, Purpose, Poetry, Prayer” http://beyoutifulexpo1.eventbrite.com/?aff=estw&utm_source=tw&utm_medium=discovery&utm_content=attendeeshare&utm_campaign=social&utm_term=listing @msbeautifulanee #motownmom 9/19th Metro #Detroit

 

 

 

 

Braider’s Most Wanted Hair Braiding & Natural Hair Show #Detroit Oct 4th @braiderswanted

REGISTER NOW 

Sistah’s Braid Too! presents:

Braider’s Most Wanted

Hair Braiding & Natural Hair Show

 

“Better Care, Better Hair”

 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

6 PM – 10 PM

Northwest Activities Center

18100 Meyers

Detroit, MI 48235

REGISTER NOW 

 

Our goal with Braider’s Most Wanted Hair Braiding & Natural Hair Show is to inspire local women and men who live in our communities to become entrepreneurs in this industry.  It is our hope that in the years to follow, that hair braiding and natural hair care salons will become representative of the people who live in the community.

 

If you have questions, contact Mz. Crystal at (248) 372-1738.

 

For vendor and sponsor opportunities, please call Jamar at (601) 870-2744. 

 

We look forward to seeing you there!braidersMostWanted

 

REGISTER NOW 

 

 

 

Mother’s Monday: A Mother Never Forgets by @DeannaKahler #MotownMom

I’m a proud mom of a wonderful daughter who joined my family through adoption. But that’s only part of my story. The truth is there were two before her. I was pregnant twice and sadly lost both babies as a result of miscarriages. Like many women, I will never forget these unborn babies or the experiences I had. They will be a part of me always. Since October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time discuss how losing a baby affects a woman and how we can all be more understanding and supportive to these grieving moms.

There are truly no words to describe what it feels like to lose a child. It’s a devastating, heartbreaking experience that you never forget. I remember feeling sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, depressed and very alone. What made it most difficult is that friends and family often didn’t understand the depth of my pain. They failed to realize that although I never saw, met or held my babies that they were still very real to me. They were my children, and I will remember them always. Many women who miscarry feel the same way. So, how can you better support them during this difficult time? Here are some tips for helping a woman who is dealing with a pregnancy loss: Read the rest of this entry

EVENT: Real Moms of Detroit-Brightmoor SEPT 14TH 1PM @WNNDetroit

Event Details

Real Moms of Detroit Expo: Brightmoor

REGISTER NOW

WIN Network: Detroit wants to celebrate you! Join us this summer for the Real Moms of Detroit Expo!

Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Real Moms of Detroit, check out what we have in store for you at the Expos:

  • Vendors with local resources in your neighborhood
  • Giveaways!
  • Beauty pampering and massages
  • A cooking demonstration
  • Refreshments
  • Special session for men
  • Games and crafts for kids

Bring the whole family! It’s the summer event that everyone will be talking about!

Rosedale Park Baptist Church
14179 Evergreen Rd
Detroit, MI 48223

Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT)

Please register by clicking here and share this post with other metro Detroit moms!

REGISTER NOW

New @Meetup Monday: Women’s Coffee Talk (Metro Detroit)

 

Meetup
New Meetup Group!

Women’s Coffee Talk

LISTED IN: WOMEN’S SOCIAL, GIRLFRIENDS, GIRLS NIGHT OUT, SOCIALIZING, LADIES, AND 5 MORE TOPICS.

This is a meetup for all women of all ages that want to socialize and get to know each other over coffee at my house or at a coffee shop.  We can’t wait to meet you!

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