Rebecca Traister On Why “Big Girls Don’t Cry” —— The 2008 Election

Rebecca Traister Book Jacket photoRebecca Traister’s new book “Big Girls Don’t Cry” gives extraordinary insight into the presidential campaign of 2008 and an election she says that “changed everything for American women.”

This journalist and writer about politics and gender for Salon uses her coverage of the election as a jumping off point for her analysis of what happened during that history making year.

A reader emailed that she wanted Rebecca to be interviewed for this website. “Rebecca gave a lot of thought to the warp-speed with which women have transformed–and been transformed by–the political arena,” wrote my friend.

“…there is nothing wrong with wanting a woman to interrupt the history of white male presidential power. That’s actually a progressive impulse…”
Rebecca Traister

The more I read the book, the more questions I had for Rebecca about this transformative election and her non-teary title. She answered them all… [Read more...]

Amy Ernst Blogs On The Brutal Rape And Raw Strength Of Congo Women

Amy ErnstAmy Ernst trained and volunteered as a rape crisis counselor in Chicago before deciding that she would move to the Democratic Republic of Congo to see how she could help victims of sexual violence.

She’s currently working in North Kivu with COPERMA, a local organization that has started ten centers for rape victims, demobilized child-soldiers, and displaced children and families.

I learned about Amy when I read her guest blog in Nicholas D. Kristof’s column in the New York Times. She described there the horrendous sexual violence against women and children in the Congo. Her raw determination to help the people affected by war was apparent.

I wanted to find out what persuaded her to relocate to this unsettling chaos. What did she hope to accomplish in a place that’s been called “the rape capital of the world?”

“I have never in my entire life understood the strength of humanity as much, and more specifically, the strength of women, as I do here…”

The photos on this post are the property of Amy Ernst. You can see many of her pictures on her blog.

This week I had the opportunity to ask Amy about her challenging work and tireless dedication to these people… [Read more...]

Cheryl Dorsey On The Brave New World Of “Social Entrepreneurship”

Cheryl Dorsey

Photo: Tony Deifell

Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, believes social entrepreneurship is the wave of the future and that it will create lasting social change. Her organization has invested over $28 million in seed grants to over 471 social entrepreneurs. Echoing Green says these funds have sparked social change in forty countries on five continents.

She describes the leaders of this new entrepreneurial movement as “so passionate, so idealistic, who believe so deeply in transforming the world in a positive way, that it’s infectious.”

This graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Medical School gave up dreams of being a doctor in 1992 and launched Echoing Green’s Family Van, a mobile unit providing outreach health services to patients from inner-city Boston. Ten years later, she became President of the nonprofit organization.

“My mother used to say when I was getting into trouble that life’s not fair and it’s up to you to figure out a way to change it. That was a powerful message.”

I was fortunate to hear Cheryl’s dynamic speech on Leadership at the Chautauqua Institute this summer. I wanted to ask her where she got her incredible drive to change the world and what words of advice she might have for women who want to become innovators. Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to Cheryl… [Read more...]

Cynthia Aguilar Attempts To Set New World Paddleboarding Record– Cuba To Key West

Cynthia Aguilar tried to do something that no other paddleboarder has been able to accomplish. On Sept. 10th, this 26-year-old ocean lifeguard from Miami Beach attempted the first solo paddle from Cuba to Key West to see if she could set a world’s record and raise $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

READ ABOUT HER VALIANT EFFORT AT KEEP PADDLIN’. FOLLOW HER ON FACEBOOK. UPDATE: HER WEBSITE SAYS THE ATTEMPT WAS ENDED AGAINST HER WILL AFTER 17 HOURS FIGHTING THE GULFSTREAM… SHE SAYS SHE WILL TRY AGAIN…MORE INFORMATION ON WHY SHE HAD TO STOP IS ON HER WEBSITE…IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS AN AMAZING ADVENTURE.

A film about her experience “Dream Big” is scheduled to be released in May, 2011.

When I heard about Cynthia’s tremendous determination and her love of paddleboarding, I knew I needed to learn more. The sport seems particularly strenuous to me and especially tough in the deepest waters of the Gulf Stream. What is it that makes a person set an amazing goal like this and how does she prepare for it?

” I do it by paddling 45 miles, running, spinning and doing weights. I believe I have been training for this day my whole life.”

Cynthia explained why she’s taken on this unique challenge and what KEEP PADDLIN’ is all about… [Read more...]

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