Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sheryl Sandberg's 3 Tips for Being a Woman Leader

Sheryl Sandberg would know how difficult it can be to achieve a corner office if you're a woman. Her climb to the top has involved becoming Facebook's COO and one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women. She's clearly an expert on kicking ass and taking names. We highly recommend you watch her popular TED Talk on the fall of women leadership, which outlines 3 success strategies for women in the workplace.

1. Sit at the table

2. Make your partner a real partner

3. Don't leave before you leave

Shine On: The Feminist Women's Health Center

Atlanta's Feminist Women's Health Center's mission is to provide "accessible, comprehensive gynecological healthcare to all who need it without judgment. As innovative healthcare leaders, we work collaboratively within our community and nationally to promote reproductive health, rights and justice. We advocate for wellness, uncensored health information and fair public policies by educating the larger community and empowering our clients to make their own decisions."

If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to be more active in your community, we suggest hosting one of the Feminist Women's Health Center's House Parties. According to their website, "Hosting a house party can help promote an expanded vision for reproductive health & rights...When your voice and efforts join with others, you can make a tremendous difference in advancing freedom, equality, justice, and human dignity for all."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

10 Ways to Help You Stay Positive in Today’s Harsh Economic Climate

By Claudia M. Owens

It has been more than a year…what do you mean President Obama has NOT fixed the economy yet? Americans seem to have unrealistic hopes and have grown weary of the timeliness of our economy’s progress. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, Atlanta didn’t rise from the Civil War ashes overnight, and New Orleans is still waiting to be rebuilt after Katrina, we seem to think it takes ONLY a few months and a few tax dollars to bring the economy back from the brink of disaster and the trench of “Bush-onomics.” There have been some jobs created, but job cuts continue throughout the economy. In this state of job instability and economic uncertainty in American households, what possibly is the cure or can at least help alleviate the stress of not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, or knowing whether or not tomorrow you will be called into the boss’s office for that “I’m sorry” diatribe? In times of adversity it is easy to tell someone else to stay positive; however, it is a little more challenging to keep a positive outlook and keep one’s self motivated.

10 things that a person can do with his or her time to keep from over-stressing in stressful times.

1. Exercise. Exercise is medically proven to reduce stress and fight against depression. Many fitness centers have free 3–7 day introductory passes. Take advantage of their offer and treat yourself to a nice morning or afternoon at one of your local fitness centers. For those who have never set foot in a health club or cannot afford to pay the high price of membership fees, an alternative can be simple exercise in your home such as sit-ups, push-ups, and squats. Thanks to technology and Wal-Mart, it’s easy to purchase a home workout video or DVD for under $13.

2. Try Yoga. It might be difficult to imagine yourself twisting and turning into those funny-looking positions; however, once you try it, you will want to learn more and continue the classes. Yoga is accompanied by breathing techniques, which loosen the abdominal muscles and lung cage while you slowly stretch into each position. Many of the positions loosen the tight (knotted) muscles in your back while strengthening those same muscles. Yoga might seem foreign to many people, especially to those of the older generation, but we are now in the era of “change” thanks to the Obama campaign - and change, though hard to acclimate to, can be good.

3. Discover religion or spirituality (if you haven’t already). There’s nothing like prayer to help soothe heartache. Although I am not promoting any particular religion, the power of positive thought combined with pro-activity or exercise can double the positive effect on one’s mental state. Believing that everything and everyone has a purpose and that everything happens for a reason, in the end, this belief can inadvertently change a person’s path. Belief that your future is directed by God (or a deity of your choosing) and steered by you (free will), make you responsible for the actions you take in shaping your own destiny. The best thing to do when you find yourself in a negative situation is to believe that you have the power to effect change or the ability to control your response to the situation.

4. Start a new hobby. Hobbies need not be expensive. The last thing a responsible adult wants to do after losing their job is spend their down time playing computer games, building model cars, or putting together puzzles. Bills have to be paid, and food has to be paid for, and too much fun time will appear as if you’re having an extramarital affair on your responsibilities. However, building model cars, knitting, and games are not the types of hobbies I am suggesting. Writing, making jewelry, tutoring/teaching a class in a field of interest that is compatible with your skills and selling items on E-Bay can be good hobbies, many of which can be turned into a lucrative side job that earns you money. If there is something you love to do, find a way to market and sell it. It doesn’t hurt to try, and during these economic times, every attempt is a success rather than a failure.

5. Do charity or volunteer work. There is something to be said for those who give to the needy even when they are in need themselves. Spend a weekend registering with volunteer websites and local organizations and participate in available activities that fit your schedule. This can also be tied to finding spirituality, or it can at least take your mind off of your own problems and get you motivated to take action, even if it is not action towards your own situation. Giving is good for the soul.

6. Keep your brain simulated and your skills sharp. Dive into a new book. Visit your local library to peruse the latest self-improvement and motivation books or fiction and non-fiction novels. Join a book club for stimulating book discussions, while broadening your network of professionals and friends. If you would rather watch TV, watch shows that will make you laugh or educational channels like the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS), Discovery or the History channel. If you are out of school or out of work, never stop learning. Life should be a learning journey and can also be something worth laughing about. Try to find humor in every situation, even the dire ones.

7. Spend time with family. Who knows how to make you feel better, better than family? Family can relate to whatever pains you are experiencing, especially if it affects them directly as well. If you do not have close family, friends are the next best thing. Take a day trip to a national or local park, historical sites, educational exhibits, museums (children, sports, heritage, fine arts) zoo, festivals, county fairs, parades, and outdoor concerts. Use down time to check out attractions and events in your local area and state. Many are free or modestly priced.

8. Get plenty of sunshine. A nice brisk walk can help you get in your recommended 10,000 steps per day, help elevate your mood, and bump up your vitamin D level.

9. Pay attention to your nutrition. Improving regularity can help improve your mood. Eat fiber-rich foods. They work wonders in helping to regulate blood-sugar levels, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and much more. Check our for additional nutrition facts and healthy eating tips.

10. Develop a fitness regimen. A fitness regiment will increase your energy and improve your appearance, and that alone will make you feel better. For your ‘Spring fling’ try hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, participate in a walk-a-ton, or a host of other outdoor sports, depending on your age and stamina, like tennis and golf, to fire up the endorphins.

I do not claim to be an expert in any of areas that I listed. Like many, I am an average American wondering if I will have a job tomorrow; hopeful about the economy getting better; and annoyed that both political parties can’t stop sparring and volleying disagreements, and pass a bill or two.

But in times of adversity and when stress is an everyday factor in our life, it is important that we do whatever we can to keep a healthy mind, body, and spirit. All it takes is research and motivation to be audacious and learn something new, apply it to your life values and daily routine. “If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit

Claudia M. Owens is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Liberal Arts, Journalism. Claudia has articles published in Classique magazine based in Albany New York, the Metro-Philadelphia newspaper and currently volunteers as a web newsletter writer/editor/proofreader for ArtReach Foundation on a per need basis. A former Junior League of Atlanta member and former part-time private viola instructor for elementary aged children, Claudia also had the opportunity to work during the Inauguration of President Barack Obama as a Program Logistics officer for Envision EMI’s “Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference”. She enjoys reading, traveling, writing, wine tasting and will be pursuing her master’s degree in Public Policy in the near future.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Swimming Pool of Public Speaking: How to Get From the Shallow End to the Deep End

“The only thing to fear is fear itself,” Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said in his first inaugural address. But was he afraid when he was giving that speech? Probably, given that an estimated 95% of people experience anxiety when speaking publicly. While both genders experience nervousness over public speaking, it seems that women are more likely than men to keep quiet. According to Debrah Tannen’s studies on gender differences in communication styles, men tend to talk more than women in public situations. Says public speaking coach and consultant Meera Manek, “In school, it seemed that when the boys had to give a presentation, it wouldn’t worry them as much as the girls. They’d stand up and smile. They just seemed like they had more confidence.”

Manek won a speech festival in junior high and became fascinated with public speaking. Eager to take her newfound skill somewhere, she joined the Toastmasters organization with her cousin. For the first five years, she kept up with table topics and speeches and entered contests. Then she won the district-wide contest and decided to take it to the next level. “Within Toastmasters, there are numerous levels, including leadership, coaching members, and mentoring. I started a club at my school in D.C. and was selected to be the graduation speaker for my class,” explained Manek. Now in Atlanta and completing her 11th year in Toastmasters, Manek coaches professional women in public speaking. 

There are many things that add up to the type of speaker you are, including your culture and the experiences you had as a child. In Manek’s experiences, women have an easier time being sincere when it comes to public speaking, because they naturally make eye contact with their audiences and know how to use body language to emphasize their points. 

So why are so many younger women afraid of public speaking? “Because it’s fucking scary, even at my stage,” Manek laughs. “You’re getting in front of a group of people, and you know they’re judging you. You can forget your lines. It’s terrifying, and it all happens in a single moment. That’s why you need to prepare. Treat it like any other goal. With weight loss, women are willing to reach out and look for tools in order to help them reach their goal weight. Women need to treat public speaking in the same way.” 

Younger women experience public speaking more often than they realize. “People rarely think about the fact that they’re communicating all the time in everyday ways, with their bosses and clients, on phone calls, and during last-minute meetings. Or, consider that if there are three qualified candidates for a position, an interview can easily decide the outcome. These are times when being a skilled public speaker is key to making you stand out.”

Manek offers advice on how women improve their public speaking skills. “Fundamentally, public speaking is about getting to know yourself and doing your research. Practice in the mirror. Every women glances in the mirror several times a day already. Why not use that time to rehearse? Go ahead and grab your hairbrush like you’re giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars. See what you look like, and take special notice of your hands. Get your arms moving; nobody wants to see you up there stiff as a board. That will even make your audience nervous. You can also try opening old nursery rhyme books and act as though you were reading to a kid. Try out different voices for different characters; your voice is one of your biggest public speaking resources. I also recommend joining Toastmasters – it’s like a learning laboratory. It lets you feel what it’s really like to speak in front of a group, and you can learn from people’s evaluations. It gives you the opportunity to listen to others speak too, which is vital in learning what to do as well as what not to do.”

It can also be helpful to look at how some of the best speakers in history worked their magic. Seek out old speeches from people you really admire. Manek also advises learning from comedians and entertainers. “Comedians are an amazing resource for public speaking. Being on stage is their job. Many of them don’t have props; they have to entertain and engage their audience with only themselves. If they don’t connect with the audience, nobody will come see them. Watch Jon Stewart on the ‘The Daily Show.’ Oprah’s also a wonderful impromptu speaker; she always knows how to steer a conversation into the right direction.”

Preparation can make or break a speech too. Manek asserts that you must get to know your audience. “What do they want to hear? You need to connect to their stories as well as know what’s important to them. Remember, this speech has to resonate with them in order to be memorable. If you know nuances about your clients, use that to your advantage, because that will really stick with them. One of my professors used to call that ‘How to hell.’ It’s the things you mention that make people say, ‘How the hell did she know that about me?’” As far as speech content, Manek says to, “Load your speeches with concrete details. During a speech when Obama addressed unemployment, he talked about handing out pink slips. That stuck out in people’s minds; it gave them a detailed picture to remember.” 

Regarding visual aids, Manek advises that PowerPoint is there to help, but it should never take over. “Don’t put every word up on the screen. In college, sometimes profs would do that, put their lectures up on the screen. Soon, everyone is copying from the screen and tuning them out. If you’re going to use visual aids, you want them to support you. You also never want a visual aid that hints at things you can’t really speak to. Sometimes slides generate questions in the audience that you can’t answer - You should keep the message inside you, not in your slides.”

Ultimately, mastering public speaking is about psyching yourself up, not out. “When it comes down to it, public speaking is really about attitude. Take on the boxer mentality. Think to yourself, ‘I’m the baddest mofo out here.’ Speaking, it should ultimately just flow. If you do your homework, you won’t think; it will just happen.” Manek’s biggest advice on being a better presenter? “Public speaking is like swimming. Just get in the pool. If someone offers you the chance to present, dive in.”

To book Meera Manek for assistance with an upcoming presentation or to help you hone the craft of public speaking, email her at She will also be offering a Find Your Voice workshop with YWTF-Atlanta in March. Stay tuned for more details.

Photo credit:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

January Chapter Buzz

Our upcoming vision board workshop is a top story today on the Atlanta Daily. Are you attending?

When: Saturday, January 8th. 10:30 AM-NOON
Where: Java Blues. 1159 LaVista Road Atlanta, GA

Making your New Years' Resolutions? Manifest your goals - live the life you have always imagined in 2011. To make vision boards, please bring scissors, a bottle or stick of glue, large white paper or poster board, and a variety of favorite magazines, photos, or pre-cut images/text. All are welcome to attend. YWTF-Atlanta advocates are free. General public attendees please bring a donation of $5 to help support YWTF-Atlanta.

We will also be chatting about the book Women, Food & God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything. Keep your eye on our blog for a preview of our discussion questions. Come ready to discuss the complicated relationship women have with their bodies on January 8th.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Green Christmas

By Sarah R. Bailey

“I’ll have a green Christmas just thinking about you!”

Christmas is the time for Holiday cheer, eggnog, children laughing, gingerbread, caroling, big Saint Nick and his posse of elves and reindeer, and also a rise in polluting the environment. With more energy dispensed during Christmas than any other time of year, due to beautiful decorations and lights, you might want to consider going green this Christmas. It’s not too late, and it is super easy.

Younger Women’s Task Force realizes that going green cold turkey may be daunting, so we suggest small steps. Start with the centerpiece of your Holiday season—the Christmas tree.

There are both pros and cons to having a live tree or an artificial one. Live trees are biodegradable and can be recycled into mulch or compost. Artificial trees can be stored and reused each year, and are less expensive.

Once you’ve decided what kind of tree to put up, it is time to style up its lovely branches. Most ornaments are made of plastic or glass and are not that environmentally friendly. However, Planar, has designed unique, wool-felt ornaments that are made of one material and use the smallest amount of ink possible. Now this is something that would have even the greenest of grinches blushing with Holiday joy!

The idea is to start NOW. Make a few changes, and build on that year after year. Let our generation be the one known for bettering the world we live in.

Sarah R. Bailey is a graduate of Georgia State University where she earned a B.A. in Journalism, and minor in Political Science. She is currently interning for, a leading women’s publication that promotes women and what they do. She is an animal lover, coffeeaholic, and has a small obsession with Vince Vaughn.
Visit her at or send her an email at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leading Through Love, Not the Iron-Fist of Fear

By Natasha L. Foreman

No matter what your title or position, no matter if your leadership role is in the office, the classroom, the hospital, an airplane, a courtroom, or your home, there is a must-read book for all. This book stresses a new way to lead through the basic principle of love. Author John Hope Bryant shares in his book, LOVE LEADERSHIP: A New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World, five laws of love-based leadership, which include:

1.     Loss creates leaders
2.     Fear fails
3.     Love makes money
4.     Vulnerability is power
5.     Giving is getting

Mr. Bryant, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE shares his personal stories and those of great leaders which he interviewed, such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton; the late great Dr. Dorothy I. Height; and Zainab Salbi, president and CEO of Women for Women International, among others, as they discussed what leading through love has meant for them professionally and personally and how leading through fear " the kiss of death" in business, leading to "short-termism."

As Mr. Bryant shares, "Leading through fear is antiquated and self-defeating, a crippling indulgence that we can no longer afford." Several fear-based tactics Bryant highlights are:

1.    Using aggressive language, tone, and eye contact
2.    Criticizing unfairly
3.    Blaming, without offering reasonable recourse
4.    Applying rules inconsistently
5.    Stealing credit
6.    Making unreasonable demands
7.    Issuing threats, insults, and accusations
8.    Denying accomplishments
9.    Excluding others from opportunities
10.    Assigning pointless tasks
11.  Personalizing problems
12.  Breaching confidentiality
13.  Spreading rumors

This book is a great leadership and management tool for every organization and household. The holidays are a blink away - consider purchasing copies for friends, family, and colleagues to start the new year off on a love leadership path! Proceeds benefit Operation HOPE, Inc.
Natasha L. Foreman, MBA is a Business and Entertainment Consultant, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and Blogger. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Organization and Management with a specialization in Management Education, and a certificate in College Teaching. Natasha has been involved in various philanthropic and grassroots movements for over 20 years. She is actively involved in her community, visiting and speaking with students at local K-12 schools throughout Metro Atlanta, Georgia and Orange County, California. 

Natasha can be reached via email at, through her Paradigm Life blog at, or you can follow her on Twitter at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Hiatus

We'll be taking a little break from posting until the middle of next week. Be safe, everybody!

Photo credit: Tim Beach

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Centered Leadership

In Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston's new book How Remarkable Women Lead, they break down a new model of leadership based on 5 years of research conducted during their Centered Leadership Project. Joanna sums up their system in five dimensions:

Meaning: Happiness, core strengths, and purpose

Framing: Self-awareness, learned optimism, moving on, adaptability

Connecting: Inclusiveness, reciprocity, network design, and sponsorship

Engaging: Voice, ownership, opportunities, risks, fears

Energizing: Sources and uses, recovery, and flow

If you add these items to their defined preconditions for successful leadership (talent, desire to lead, and tolerance for change), as well as factor in your personal and professional context, you should be left with the outcomes of impact, renewal, and joy.

Can Bad Sex Ruin a Good Relationship? Reader Question Answered!

Q: Can bad sex ruin a relationship even with a good connection?

A: Dear Reader,

Yes, it absolutely can. But it doesn't have to. Sex is one of those relationship factors that people barely talk about but expect to be on the same page when it comes down to the act. You mentioned that there was a good connection between the two of you. Use that to your advantage. Hopefully you and your partner have open communication with each other and are able to talk openly about how you think and feel. Otherwise, holding your feelings in could lead to resentment towards your partner. And unresolved resentment is bad business.

There are a few things I want you to think about. How important is sex to you? Is bad sex a dealbreaker? There are some requirements that every person absolutely must and absolutely must not have in a partner. These are what I call “non-negotiables.” For example, some people must date someone of the same religion. Some people will not date someone who smokes. Think about what you need sexually and the flexibility of those needs. Also consider your partner's sexual past may be limited or she/he may have a long history of bad sex and not even know it. Here's where you come in. You can teach your partner how to please you without bruising the very fragile ego. Make it fun and creative; I'm sure you'll even learn a thing or 2 about yourself and your partner. Note that this may take some patience and a little compromise. But if you have a relationship that is sturdy, then this can been seen as a way to bond and be closer to your partner.

Reader, you are going to have to take control of the situation because you, like the rest of us, are responsible for our own sexual happiness.

Amani moto,

Chanel Jaali

Submit your ANONYMOUS question to the link below, and it just may be answered!

Jaali Co., LLC is a multidimensional company specializing in sex education for adults. We offer themed parties, consulting, workshops, and extensive research. Our purpose is to assist people in achieving sexual responsibility and sexual freedom through comprehensive knowledge.  Chanel Jaali is an independent researcher and sexual educator mainly focusing on the topics of sexual development, sexual attitudes and behaviors, and reproductive rights of women of African descent. She can be contacted at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Education Meltdown: Our Future in Peril

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

The U.S. is in an educational state of emergency. Across the nation our children are dropping out of high school at staggering rates. According to website, 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year. That means every 26 seconds a student is dropping out – that's 6,000 students per day!

If the majority of jobs require possession of a high school diploma or G.E.D. then what paths are young adults choosing to earn a living and how does that impact our society and economy? Life is already challenging enough, not being equipped with adequate education creates a situation where "can't" and "impossible" become words that our children hear and begin to say on a consistent basis.

What can we as individuals do to save our children and our nation?

Become volunteers through local schools and organizations to help those who are at-risk of falling into this statistical abyss through tutoring and mentoring- even if for only a few hours per month. Organizations like Boys & Girls Club, Operation HOPE, Big Brothers and Big Sisters; and hundreds more are all in need of committed volunteers.

We can help by encouraging those who have decided to walk away from school(oftentimes to get jobs to help out their family), to seek an alternative to traditional schooling through programs that can assist them with earning their high school diploma or G.E.D. that way they are self-empowered and in a better position to become self-sufficient. We can help by starting at home, the place that is oftentimes most neglected and overlooked; turning to the children in our own families to see in what ways we can help them achieve their dreams and reach their goals.

If we can spare a few hours each week to shop for things we sometimes don't even need- we have a few hours to spend with our youth. If we have a few hours to spend surfing the Internet and chatting away on social media sites, we have a few hours to devote to a community in need.

What part will you play in the future of our country?

Natasha L. Foreman, MBA is a Business and Entertainment Consultant, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and Blogger. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Organization and Management with a specialization in Management Education, and a certificate in College Teaching. Natasha has been involved in various philanthropic and grassroots movements for over 20 years. She is actively involved in her community, visiting and speaking with students at local K-12 schools throughout Metro Atlanta, Georgia and Orange County, California.

Natasha can be reached via email at,through her Paradigm Life blog at , or you can follow her on Twitter at

Monday, December 13, 2010

100 Best Career Books of All Time broke down the 100 best career books of all time in sections for new graduates, job hunting, networking, job skills, finding your passion, motivation and inspiration, entrepreneurs, communication, leadership and management, and (of course) miscellaneous. No matter what stage in your career you find yourself, there's bound to be a book that can help.

If the thought of finding time to read is overwhelming to you, try to set a manageable goal like a book biweekly or, if you think you can realistically swing it, a book a week. Remember that your education should not stop once you've framed your degree. Employers value employees who are constantly challenging themselves and show commitment to personal growth and development.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Six Ways to Protect Yourself

1. Walk with confidence. Keep your eyes up, and don't shuffle your feet. Predators look for people who appear weak.

2. Your keys can be your weapon - keep them out and ready. Consider purchasing a Key Kitty.

3. In an elevator, stand by the control panel. If someone tries to harm you, press every button so you stop on every floor.

4. On your apartment mailbox or buzzer, list your name as "First Initial Last Name." This way you cannot be identified as a female tenant by your name.

5. Working late? Tell someone, and have a coworker or security walk you to your car when it's time to leave.

6. Trust your gut. If a situation or person is making you uncomfortable, leave. Don't look for an excuse to prove yourself wrong.

Bonus Tip: Join the Younger Women's Task Force and Divas in Defense tomorrow at the Toco Hills Library at 10:30 to learn the self-defense basics. ($7 cash, $5 for partners or members at the door.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

3 Ways Waste Not's Wrapping Paper Gives Back

1. Many of Waste Not's wrapping paper products are made from recycled paper in "mills that have a commitment to the environment."
2. When you buy Waste Not wrapping paper from Gifts That Give, you get to select the nonprofit that will receive 20% of your purchase.
3.Their adorable designs are certain to thrill the receiver of your gift.

These are the Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta chapter's favorites:


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gender Schemas and How They Affect Women's Leadership

In her Huffington Post article "Ginger Rogers, Competency, and Women," Birute Regine points out that women have to work twice as hard to get noticed as men, because of gender schemas. From her article: "So if you think you are being held to a higher standard, it's not your imagination. It's the Ginger Rogers syndrome: she has to do everything Fred does except backwards and in high heels." According to Regine, younger women do not always encounter this in their early careers but can expect to experience it as we climb the corporate ladder.

Social Media As a Health News Source

For those of you who haven't made the digital leap from Facebook to Twitter, know that not every tweet elicits a groan from the reader. Sure, some of them are about the muffins someone had for breakfast or the dream someone had last night, but believe or not, Twitter is a pretty successful and informative site when it comes to news. Remember the potential jumper in Atlanta on Colony Square that T.I. talked down? Some of the pictures taken by real witnesses that were posted on Twitter were used in leading news coverage.

The immediacy of Twitter posting and the sheer number of people on the site make it a valuable place for getting the word out globally on just about anything, including health news.

Photo credit: Francesco Marino

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Meeting: Book Club Sneak Peek

Half The Sky invites women from all walks of life and all cultures to see their differences and similarities regarding the ties between womanhood, money, power and community. We at YWTF see the importance of enjoining discussion regarding the interconnectedness of all of these topics globally as well as in each of our lives. Here's a sneak peek at the types of questions, book specific AND not, that we will highlight during our book club discussion on Saturday, December 11th:

1. How are women and girls disproportionately impacted by poverty?

2. Why is the empowerment of women and girls an effective way to address global poverty?

3. Are there women in your life who exemplify women’s empowerment? What about them makes them powerful?

4. How does earning and “handling” money change Goretti’s social status?

5. How do your (Goretti’s) choices about how to spend family income differ from the men in your life (her husband’s)?

Do you have a strong reaction or opinion regarding any of those questions? Let's start the discussion here in our comments. Please also join us for live discussion at our December meeting: Saturday, December 11th at 10:30 AM at the Toco Hills library. We will also be welcoming Divas in Defense to teach us some moves, so bring $7 cash ($5 for members and YWTF-Atlanta partners), and let's kick some butt.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mentoring: Hope in an Unstable World

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Every child has an image in their mind of who they want to be when they 'grow up.' It is the images seen in their home, community, and through the media that shapes and molds their concept of what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. Just as a child needs a positive role model in their life to help mentor them into becoming dignified individuals - adults also need the counsel and guidance of a mentor to help us along our personal and professional paths.

With the economy spiraling and unstable, the careers of women have been strained, challenged, and modified. This is the time when having a mentor can be the difference between coping and crumbling under the pressure, the difference between sinking and swimming. Some of us are merely treading water, and that is okay. A mentor can be there to throw you a life raft or coach you to the shore.

Look at the images of women around you. Who do you admire? Which of these women are doing the things you aspire to do, and are walking confidently even through the storms of life? Why not forge a relationship with these women and ask them to consider becoming your mentor?

I can recall when I was first taken under the wing of one of my mentors more than 20 years ago. She was so strong, wise, caring, and supportive. She encouraged me to give my best and do my best - that women could not be satisfied with being average or 'good enough.' To stand out and be counted we must work smarter, be focused and decisive. We must march through fear and doubt without missing a step. She told me just recently a few weeks ago, "When you're going through hell, keep going." Twenty years later my mentor is still only a phone call, email, or text message away - pushing me to be my best. That is what mentoring is all about!

If you already have a mentor, have you ever considered becoming one to another woman, who reminds you of yourself 5, 10, or 15 years ago? If we want to push through glass ceilings, we must reach back and grab the hand of a fellow sister.

Natasha L. Foreman, MBA is a Business and Entertainment Consultant, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and Blogger. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Organization and Management with a specialization in Management Education, and a certificate in College Teaching. Natasha has been involved in various philanthropic and grassroots movements for over 20 years. She is actively involved in her community, visiting and speaking with students at local K-12 schools throughout Metro Atlanta, Georgia and Orange County, California.

Natasha can be reached via email at, through her Paradigm Life blog at, or you can follow her on Twitter at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Get the Facts

The Family Violence Prevention Fund has assembled a fact sheet on reproductive health and partner abuse. According to the group, “Women disclosing physical violence are nearly three times more likely to experience a sexually transmitted infection than women who don’t disclose physical abuse.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Environmental News

From the Huffington Post, the 10 Best Plants to Grow This Winter.

NASA found new life. It's arsenic-based instead of carbon-based. Did you feel that? It was everything we know about life turning upside down.

Happy birthday, Environmental Protection Agency!

Book Club Selection

Half the Sky 
Written by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

 The Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta will be reading Half the Sky for our upcoming meeting. Please read this important book and come ready to engage with other women in discussion about the themes and ideas presented.

Communications Committee

Guest Bloggers
YWTF-ATL is looking for bloggers and social media specialists. Do you currently blog? Would you like to be a guest star? Are you interested in taking on a reoccurring role? What topics would you like to see in the Many Voices. One Force blog.? Your participation, thoughts, and comments are welcome. We will feature your comments in our blog. Send your thoughts or posts to

Newsletter Writers
Article submissions are encouraged, too.  All article submissions are due on the 23rd day of each month.
Send your comment and submissions to

The hunt is on for an official YWTF-Atlanta Chapter Photographer! Do you have great photography skills? Do you own a photography business?  If so, we would like to hear from you. Send examples of your work to Lauren Zink, Director of Marketing & Communications, at

Graphic Designer
Are you the Leader of Layouts? Are you the President of Picking Fonts? Are you the Queen of Color? Sign on as our Graphic Designer, and we'll let you pick your title. How do you like them apples, Creator of Creative Assets? Send your portfolio to Lauren at

Leader of the Pack *Vroom Vroom*

The Younger Women's Task Force - Atlanta is looking for leaders to serve on our 2011 Board of Directors. Positions are available in:

Membership & Outreach
Fundraising & Development
Policy & Advocacy
Partnerships & Strategic Alliances

Please send your resume to by December 15, 2010 if you wish to learn more about these leadership opportunities.

Thank you to our 2010 Board of Directors for a job well done!

Carry Smith
Jaali Marshall
Karen Moore
Lauren Zink
Margo Younger

Photography credit: Simon Howden

Are You On Our Mailing List?

The Younger Women's Task Force delivers a dose of news and chapter information directly to your inbox once a month. Are you on our list?

Photography credit: anankkml

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Ways You Can Help on World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day. What can we as younger women do to help?

  1. Face AIDS: Make a sign describing how you're facing AIDS. Take a picture of yourself with your sign and upload it to the Flickr Facing AIDS group. Then spread the word by sharing your work on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace.
  2. Tweet about it: Use the hashtag #WAD2010.
  3. Read and comment on the CDC's AIDS blog series.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the National HIV/AIDS strategy.
  5. Download free posters and tools or create your own. Share these images on your sites or hang them in the spots you frequent.
  6. Attend a World AIDS Day event. In Atlanta, SAVE Georgia is holding a press conference and rally to advocate for increases in funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the AIDS Alliance For Faith & Health is holding an interfaith prayer breakfast, HIV testing and education will be available at Atlanta City Hall, Emory University is organizing Quilting on the Quad, and there will be a screening of "Sex in Epidemic" at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information on these Atlanta events, visit the GA Voice.
  7. Organize or attend a Lights for Rights vigil to keep the light on HIV and human rights.
  8. Write a letter to the editor to raise awareness.
  9. Subscribe to the HIV Leadership Through Accountability e-newsletter.
  10. Buy the MAC VIVA GLAM lipstick or lipglass, and MAC donates every cent to their AIDS fund.

Guest Star: Journey to the Land of Ohhh...

By Chanel Marshall

I may get some feedback for this one (which is welcomed), but hear me out. (clears throat)

Generally speaking, I feel like we have a collective view of how the sexual process should go. There's some foreplay, some kissing, and a dramatic scene of intercourse leading up to this amazing explosion of an orgasm. That's great, but is it realistic? We can blame these ideas on magazines, movies, novels, or our own fantasies. Either way, I believe that we focus too much on the orgasm (or lack thereof). There are TONS of books, articles, videos and the like instructing us on how to achieve and/or give orgasm. And because we always want more, I've seen plenty more media focused on achieving multiple orgasms! When it comes to sex, we are an orgasm-driven society and we know it! Now, don't get me wrong, orgasms are awesome; I totally get that. But my question is, what about the process leading up to the “big O”? As a woman, I know that an orgasm from vaginal intercourse is not a guarantee. In fact, 50-75% of women do NOT orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. But we keep having sex right? I'm just saying. There must be SOMETHING to the journey, so let's give it some love!

You're asking, “Jaali, how can my partner and I have fun on this “journey” you speak of?” Well my friend, I'd gladly share my insight. My thought is that the sexual experience should be about the connection between the people involved. The stronger the connection, the more intense the sensations and feelings will be. Believe me, you will be far less concerned about that orgasm because you would have been in tune from the first second. As a matter of fact, that's what Tantra is all about. (Tantra will be covered in another blog.) Think about the experience as a whole. Think about the anticipation. Think about what you find sexy about your partner.

Think about the smells, tastes, and sounds. See? It's already working! You have to:
1. RELAX!- And have fun. Sex should not be a test, nor should it be a competition. So chill, get sexy, and go all out!
2. Get creative.- There is no "box" when it comes to sex. There are no boundaries. Try something new, and break the routine!
3. Keep the journey in mind.- Think about why you are with your partner and how much you want to please her/him. Know that this journey does NOT have to be a long experience, nor does it have to be the same every time. ( refer back to #2. )
I'm telling you, the journey can be just as or more fun than the destination....if you let it. What do you think?

amani moto,
Chanel Jaali
President and Founder
Jaali Co.

Jaali Co., LLC is a multidimensional company specializing in sex education for adults. We offer themed parties, consulting, workshops, and extensive research. Our purpose is to assist people in achieving sexual responsibility and sexual freedom through comprehensive knowledge.  Chanel Jaali is an independent researcher and sexual educator mainly focusing on the topics of sexual development, sexual attitudes and behaviors, and reproductive rights of women of African descent. She can be contacted at

How to Succeed in Life

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

In 1903, rags-to-riches steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie wrote an article in The Pittsburg Bulletin on how to succeed in life. Among other things, Carnegie tells us, “Whatever your wages are, save a little” and to “Put all your eggs into one basket and then watch that basket.”