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Category Archives: Personal Empowerment

Jess Lamb and the Factory use vinyl and music to celebrate Thanksgiving and Black Friday – WCPO

Posted: November 25, 2021 at 12:05 pm

CINCINNATI For local music fans, Jess Lamb and the Factory are a staple of Cincinnati music. Others may remember Lamb from Season 14 of American Idol.

This Thanksgiving, the band will help celebrate with music.

The group teamed up with Arnolds Bar and Grill, Neltner Small Batch, Otto Printing and Mus-i-col Records to offer hand-crafted limited edition 7-inch vinyl records. The records feature two songs from Jess Lamb and the Factory and the sleeves were hand dipped at Makers Mark. Theyll be giving away 150 on opaque red vinyl.

Jess Lamb and the Factory will take the Arnolds stage Wednesday at 8 p.m. Records will also be available then.

FACEBOOK EVENT: Maker's Mark Presents: Thanksgiving Eve w/ Jess Lamb & the Factory

A limited number of copies pressed on clear, pink and black splatter vinyl will be available at local record stores Shake It Records, Everybody's Records, Plaid Room Records, Torn Light Records and Herzog Records on Black Friday.

The 7-inch record features music from the bands 2020 album, You Are.

You can watch Jess Lamb and the Factory perform songs from You Are live for WCPO Lounge Acts in the video player above.

Recorded during the lockdown, You Are contains a collection of what Lamb calls misplaced songs.

Making music during a pandemic can be a challenge.

I felt like I needed to be more calm and centered and still, Lamb said.

Keyboardist and producer Warren Harrison found a silver lining. Honestly, its been a great opportunity to not be distracted by gigs, he said.

The albums first single, Beautiful has been called a celebration of personal empowerment. The track features a collaboration with rapper and activist Siri Imani.

Lamb describes the track as a bunch of sisters telling each other you are beautiful, you are powerful, you can make it. Adding, its a mantra for us all.

Upcoming Jess Lamb and the Factory performances:

Vinyl release:November 24, 8-11 p.m.Arnold's Bar and Grill 210 E 8th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Cincinnati Alchemy Fest:November 26, 8-8:30 p.m.Arts' OTA2141 Central Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45214

Holiday pop-up concert:December 4, 5:00 p.m.Findlay Market1801 Race St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

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Join Coastline College This #GivingTuesday and Help Change the Lives of Our Students – PRNewswire

Posted: at 12:05 pm

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Giving Tuesday is a unique one-day global movement of generosity that is more vital in 2021 than ever before. #GivingTuesday unleashes the power of people, individuals, families, communities, businesses, and organizations to come together, give back, and help those who are in need.

On Tuesday, November 30th, Coastline College is participating in #GivingTuesday, and would like to invite our community members, alumni, and employees to contribute and support students in need. Coastline students continue to be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.Vulnerable students need assistance, including first-generation college students, military veterans, nontraditional students, and the entire diverse group of students who are a part of our campus community.

Coastline College is committed to our student success and provides an array of support programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our students. Funds generated from #GivingTuesday will benefit Coastline students through scholarships, programs, endowments, financial programs,and/or support services.Your donation on #GivingTuesday,supports students' educational needs, including financial assistance with tuition, textbooks, laptops, housing, food banks, counseling, health care, disability accommodations, and more.

"We appreciate the support we received in last year's Giving Tuesday campaign and look forward to having increased participation this year. The funds received through our Giving Tuesday Campaign will allow our Coastline Foundation to help more students to complete their educational goals." Vince Rodriguez, Ed. D., President, Coastline College

Join Coastline College Foundation on #GivingTuesday by pledging your time, skills, voice, and dollars to support our students.Your generous gift can help these students stay on track, focus on graduating, secure their future to empower their lives, and enable them to make a difference in our communities.To ensure that our student community will continue to receive these programs, we rely on the support and generosity of our community.

We are asking our friends and colleagues to make a meaningful contribution to Coastline College Foundation this #GivingTuesday.Donate to the Foundation and support programs that will enhance educational experiences for current and future impacted Coastliners.

Your gift will benefit Coastline students and such programs like the Student Emergency Fund, Veterans Resource Centers(VRC), the General Scholarship Fund, and the Special Programs and Services for the Disabled, and more. Every donation received will go to making these things possible for those in need. During this season of thanks, everyone can make a lasting impact!

Spread the word!Post to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: #GivingTuesday and share why you donated in support of the Coastline College Foundation.

About Coastline College:

Coastline College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For eight consecutive years, Coastline College was selected as one of the top 150 colleges by The Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence which is considered the nation's signature recognition for America's community colleges. Coastline College guides diverse populations of students toward the attainment of associate degrees and certificates leading to career advancement, personal empowerment, and transfer. By meeting students where they are, Coastline provides innovative instruction and services designed to achieve equitable outcomes.

Contact:Dawn Willson[emailprotected]714-241-6186

SOURCE Coastline College

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Join Coastline College This #GivingTuesday and Help Change the Lives of Our Students - PRNewswire

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How To Deal With Toxic Family Members During The Holidays –

Posted: at 12:05 pm

With the holidays coming up, there is a lot of excitement around gathering with friends and family to celebrate. In fact, we are due for celebration, especially after surviving 2020. A lot of us are eager to gather and celebrate safely again. But, for many of us, realizations of unhealthy family dynamics may have surfaced. While the holidays are made to spend with the people we love, we need to identify the love we need first.

The Latinx family dynamic can be complex. Culturally and traditionally, we have been raised with the importance of respecting our elders and putting family first. The issue is that this can mean both our abuelos and our older siblings, who may not be much older than us. We are also taught to honor family, good manners, and celebrate traditions. The problem with this is that with so much emphasis on the expectations of how a person is supposed to behave, a persons ability to argue, express, and stand up for themselves may be shut down by these exact family dynamics.

For this holiday season, here are some steps to follow to help you maintain your peace and your grace while maneuvering through some toxicity.

From a young age, we are taught to respect our elders, including our older brothers or sisters. This expectation prevents us from speaking our minds, which can ultimately confuse our self-esteem, self-awareness, and even our sense of boundaries. Despite how you were raised, the people who love you should not consider your boundaries a personal attack andif they do, thats a red flag. However, to respectfully communicate your limits, you need to clearly understand why you need them. Before gathering with your family members, do a quick checklist of what aspects you dont want to share (dating life, personal decisions). Then, assess who you feel comfortable sharing with. Some people we feel safe with, others we dont. To communicate healthy boundaries, make sure you state how the person crossing the boundary makes you feel. Remember to be open and compassionate. Lastly, be prepared for some pushback, but remain graceful. Phrases you can use to re-establish your boundaries in these settings are:

When expressing yourself, remember that boundaries are not placed to hurt others. Boundaries are a form of self-respect and empowerment. Even if the other person doesnt react appropriately, you honor yourself by setting and expressing boundaries.

In these moments, you must maintain your emotional distance by stepping away from interacting with people and situations that cannot fill your soul; otherwise, you risk regressing to older, unhealthier behaviors that you are trying to move away from.

Preserving your energy allows you to protect your energy. When you dont participate in conversations or environments that make you behave from your lower self, you are honoring the person you are becoming.

To think that we were brought up being taught that we are better people by not expressing ourselves Calladita te ves ms bonita. Make it make sense! Phrases like this one are designed to oppress people. For us, Latinas, this saying carried complex messaging that impacted our identity and suppressed our emotions. For a lot of our family members, this is a saying they still believe. For them, it reinforces gender roles, encourages masculine household leadership, and it discourages a womans challenge. But our generation is working towards healing the misconception that womens concerns, opinions, and insight dont matter. When you feel the need to speak up, speak up. Standing up for yourself and what you believe is right is empowering. It reinforces your purpose and courage in this world, inspiring another family member to do the same.

Latinx families suffer from a lot of inherited trauma that can be traced back to colonialism, poverty, immigration, racism, and the prejudice our parents, grandparents, and ancestors have experienced. To survive, we, as a culture, were taught to assimilate. For us, assimilation meant dont make a scene. So, calladita means ms bonita. In many ways, not speaking up meant keeping the peace. But no one ever discussed the personal chaos suppressing your feelings would create. When you speak up, make sure its with good intentions. Make sure you are composed, respectful, and open to opposition. Make sure you are doing it to care for yourself or another. In speaking up, you are setting a new standard of how you and others should be treated.

When dealing with a chaotic environment, you must practice introspection and stillness. To fully know how you want to behave in the external world, you must know who you are internally. This also means you have to know how to find your peace at any given moment. That can often be tough to find in family gatherings since everyone is celebrating, mingling and chismeando. However, you must take time away to make sure you remain aligned in moments of toxicity. To do this, remove yourself from noise, movement, and interruptions. If you can, go into nature (backyard, front yard, or even step outside), it may be easier to recenter. Close your eyes for about 5 minutes and if you pray, ask for patience and gentleness. Regrouping can work wonders not only for your behavior but also for your mental health. Meditation helps filter out the unnecessary stressors in your life, like others opinions, judgment, or rude comments. Meditation can help you manage how you cope with the outside world, and it can help you manage your triggers. Breathwork is good to relieve stress. So, in moments of extreme pressure or stress with family, take time to check in with yourself.

Even in complex family dynamics, we all have one ally. Every safe space is only safe because of the person we feel safe with. If your favorite cousin, tia, or sibling will be at your family gatherings, make sure to devote some time to them to reconnect. Allow this person to fill you in on how theyve been, where their life is now post-2020, and allow yourself to equally open up. Reconnecting with someone like-minded and like-spirited can help you feel more comfortable. If your ally understands your family dynamic and the same toxicity you do, it would be wise to establish a safe word to express stress, anxiety, or fear. Additionally, make sure you and your ally are checking in on each other. Remember, you are not obligated to interact with anyone who doesnt make you feel loved, safe, and celebrated.

Long before we mastered the world of social media, and even long before we learned to maneuver in the modern world, we were animals making second-to-second decisions off of instinct only. Our instincts warned us when predators were near and similar to our primate ancestors, we still have our instincts for threats. However, our instincts are not as apparent as they may have been for our ancestors. Instead, we have what we know as the gut feeling. We dont know what, but we know something is off. Part of taking care of yourself in a toxic environment is to listen to that gut feeling. Your mind and your spirit are working together to warn you that something here will not serve you. If any part of your being is telling you to step away, do so. Ways your body can warn you of an unsafe environment (before you even notice it) is through migraines, nausea, feeling drained, feeling anxious, or even dissociation. If you are feeling any of these physical symptoms, remove yourself from the situation right away. Its okay to leave.

In our cultures, we dont take mental health seriously. Our parents and grandparents did not have the luxury to consider how to help themselves when they were helping everyone else. In our culture, we survive. But thriving off of survival alone can cause trauma that often gets handed down through generations.

So wanting to even confront any unsettling interactions or experiences can be challenging for a lot of us. However, one thing that is helpful when protecting your energy is this you cant be good to anyone if youre not being good to yourself.

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LU Arts announces new Radar project placing the spotlight on Gendered Re-presentations of Disability – Loughborough University

Posted: at 12:05 pm

Coinciding with the recent launch of UK Disability History Month (18 November-18 December), Radar is delighted to announce it has commissioned two artists to explore the gendered re-presentations of disability in Paralympic media.

Gendered Representations of Disability: Equality, Empowerment andMarginalisationin Paralympic Mediais a research project focused on the concerns around the media visibility of Para athletes. Taking an intersectional approach, the project explores the way gender and race structure the media representations of Para athletes and the extent thisnormalisesandpopularisescertain disabled identities over others.

The project willanalysedifferent forms of media coverage as well as investigate how different groups interact with media representations, such as Para athletesand people with disabilities with no connection to sport, to further explore the cultural impact of Paralympic media on lived experience.

The two artists working with Radar are Sophie Hoyle and Christopher Samuel.Sophie and Christopher will be using data from the research to present a piece of work that will be shown at Loughborough University London in 2022 as part of an event launching the research projects summary report. Their work will also be displayed online via theRadar website.

Sophie and Christopher are still deciding the form their work will take and where their ideas will take them, but Radar and the wider research team are excited to see what they produce. In the new year,anIn Conversationeventwith the artists and the academicswilltake place.

Sophie Hoyleis an artist and writer whose practise explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, critical psychiatry and disability issues. Their work looks at the relation of the personal to (and as) political, individual, and collective anxieties, and how alliances can be formed where different inequalities andmarginalisationintersect. Sophie is influenced by their own personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and experiencing psychiatric conditions and trauma.

Christopher Samuelis a multi-disciplinary artist whose practise is rooted in identity and disability politics, much of which echoes his own lived experience. Interrogating his personal understanding of identity as a disabled person impacted by inequality andmarginalisation, he responds with urgency,humourand poetic subversiveness throughout his work making it accessible to a wider audienceof whom somecan identifyand relate to.

Producer ofRadarLauraPurseglovecommented:Radar is excited to have the opportunity to work with Sophie and Christopher as part of this important research project. Both artists have a track record of producing insightful works which explore and critique the exclusionary structures which produce disability while reclaiming autonomy and advocating for more equitable futures for all of us.

More information about Radar can be found via thededicated website.

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Shop local for the holidays with these Southern California nonprofits – Yelp Blog

Posted: at 12:05 pm

As we get into the holiday shopping spirit, remember that the best gift is the gift that gives back. From empowering Black women to protecting our California coastlines, there is no shortage of noble causes in need of support this year.

So, whether its through donation or sharing their mission, lift the spirits of others this holiday season by supporting these Southern California nonprofit organizations!

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center was the first marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California. This nonprofit organizations purpose is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals. They also host a visitor yard in Laguna Beach where youll meet California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals or northern fur seal patients. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Browse their sea-sational marine merch at the Treasure Trove or sponsor a pups next meal for the perfect holiday gift!

Established in 1971, the LGBTQ Center OC is one of the oldest gay and lesbian community centers in the United States. This non-profit organization allows all members and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to join together in a network of support and unity.The center provides services to more than 14,000 individuals annually. Some of their programs include mental health services, community support groups, youth programs, STI & HIV testing, and much more.

Be extra proud this holiday season and donate to help create a safe space in our community!

Black Women for Wellness is a Los Angeles nonprofit committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment and advocacy.

Their monthly programs educate on reproductive rights, environmental justice, diabetes prevention, infant health, voter rights, and much more. Your donation fuels their ongoing fight to expand access to education, healthcare, and community.

Piece by Piece is a nonprofit that provides mosaic workshops for recently homeless and low-income residents of Skid Row. These pieces are created using recycled materials, including broken tile and glass. Their team of instructors work collaboratively with each individual to develop creative skills and improve their quality of life with a source of earned income. Your donation allows Piece by Piece to provide workshops free of cost.

The Prison Library Project provides free reading materials to inmates nationwide to promote literacy, personal responsibility, reflection, and growth.Their most frequent requests are for dictionaries, language, business, and self-help related books for inmates working to achieve their GED. Through books these individuals can connect with the outside world, making their transition much easier once released.Your donation helps to better the lives of inmates nationwide!

Animals for Armed Forces partners with local shelters to provide free pet adoptions to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard.This organizations goal is to save shelter animals by finding them safe and loving homes with members of our military. In-return these animals offer our veterans security and companionship.Donate and help connect military members with their furry best friend!

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Peng Shuai and Zhang Gaoli: why didn’t she just leave? – Radio Free Asia

Posted: at 12:05 pm

I was shocked to read the allegations of sexual assault against former Politburo standing committee member Zhang Gaoli by star tennis player Peng Shuai. Given that Peng had risked everything in writing them, I felt I had a responsibility to read every word with care and attention, especially given that those words were my sole source of information about the whole affair.

This is a text that will induce cognitive dissonance in many; it doesn't just expose male violence: it is also the product of it. It needs a feminist reading to avoid widespread misunderstanding of Peng Shuai and other female victims. Through my reading of those 1,600 characters, I have tried to form an understanding of Peng and her abnormal relationship with Zhang, and link it to broader issues of structural and cultural violence. The question at the back of my mind is always: why do so many female victims find it so hard to leave?

Peng's account, while it is filled with her personal sorrow, has plenty in common with those of other victims of sexual violence, imbued as it is with that sense of fear and panic experienced by those who are preyed on by the powerful. There is also the psychological conflict suffered by those caught up in a situation like this, which shows how women in a patriarchal society can internalize and identify with gender inequality and male violence, lose their sense of themselves in relationships, and remain bound by notions of sexual shame and chastity or caught up in myths of romantic love and marriage.

Women seem to be at particular risk in intimate relationships. They may be self-reliant and confident in the public sphere or in the workplace, and have no problem collaborating or competing with men. Peng Shuai is a particularly good example of one of these women of the new era. Educated, tenacious and spirited, she had the courage to stand up for herself as she rose to fame. At the age of 12, she elected to undergo heart surgery so she would be able to play tennis professionally. She was the first Chinese athlete to negotiate with the state system and to win the right to determine her own training and share of the rewards.

But in her personal relationship with Zhang Gaoli, she seems a totally different person.

That's not to say that Zhang's rape of Peng wasn't utterly evil. Given the huge difference in power between them, it would be totally unreasonable to expect Peng to just get up and leave after she told him no and started crying. Suffice it to say that the status of famous sports star wasn't enough to protect her, ultimately. The blame should not rest with her, but with the system as a whole. Peng writes that she was "scared, panicked, and went along with it because of the feelings I still had for you from seven years earlier." She entered into a three-year, secret and extramarital entanglement that left her body and mind divided from each other.

One the one hand, she describes her relationship with Zhang as "getting along so well that everything just felt right," while on the other, she details daily humiliation and abuse at the hands of Zhang's resentful wife, hoping in vain that he would get a divorce and marry her instead. This is such a contrast with the feisty and ambitious Peng Shuai of the public domain.

Peng probably thought so too. She probably wanted to keep the relationship secret, not just to protect Zhang, but because she couldn't face up to the affair herself. Despite being in huge pain and self-loathing, wishing she'd never been born, wanting to die, she kept quiet for three years. It's a bit shocking to read about her love for Zhang, because it is clearly sincere and heartfelt. Zhang was good to her, and they had some wonderful times together, she writes.

Former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, and tennis star Peng Shuai, who has accused a the former Chinese Communist Party high official of pressuring her into a sexual relationship, in file photos. Credit: AFP/ReutersThe Z pendant

There was one time when she wore a pendant with the letter "Z" on it to play a match, and told a journalist who asked about it that it was "meaningful" to her. Z has got to stand for Zhang, right? Looking back at photos of Peng from that time is a bit like watching a women show off her shackles. Why would the victim of sexual assault and abuse want to wear such a thing?

Reason No. 1 is Zhang's destruction of Peng Shuai as a moral being, his deception and psychological manipulation of her. Zhang had all the resources necessary to ensure that his snaring of Peng Shuai took place outside his home, at a time and place unbeknownst to his wife, and to carry on an extramarital affair alongside his marriage. Instead, he brought Peng into his family home, leaving his wife waiting outside the bedroom door, then made them all have dinner together, an approach designed to shame and humiliate both women. He crashed through both women's hard limits, forcing them to share his private life and centering his own desires without shame, nor any thought for their self-esteem.

Zhang told Peng: "The earth is no bigger than a grain of sand in the vastness of the universe, and we humans are even smaller than that." Peng describes him framing this as "letting go of over-thinking," but actually, he is requiring that she admit to being small, of no worth, with scant control over her fate, meaning that she might as well do as he says and satisfy his demands.

He also told Peng he hated her, that he would treat her well, and conflated sexual desire with genuine feeling, framing her unwillingness to have sex as a mistake. He also made empty promises he had no intention of keeping, so she could use self-deception as a way to comply with his assault.

By telling Peng Shuai that he couldn't get a divorce, he deftly set up the illusion in her mind that the relationship might one day be formalized, while offloading the conflict onto the relationship between Peng and his wife. Ultimately, his aim was to keep Peng stuck in the shameful role of mistress. He required Peng to keep the relationship secret even from her own mother, her closest ally and supporter. That had the effect of isolating Peng from any source of support and making it even harder for her to leave.

Zhang has far more power to follow his own desires than an average person, and this use of coercive power and psychological control is quite common among highly powerful men. An ordinary man might dream of having a wife at home and a mistress elsewhere, and exploit his wife's unpaid labor in the marriage to enjoy sexual and emotional favors from women outside it, but he is still obliged to maintain some kind of boundary between the two. He wouldn't dare be too blatant about it.

Powerful men can afford to dispense with such scruples and act as if their wives and concubines are all in it together, wrecking these women's sense of dignity to a far greater degree. For women, unclear boundaries and low self-esteem are the beginning of learned helplessness.

Further control is gained by socially isolating and brainwashing their victims, who are told on the one hand that nobody will help them, and on the other that they can stay right where they are, totally undermining their willpower.

Chinese women's tennis star Peng Shuai is shown in a file photo. Credit: ReutersGaslighting

Lies are a necessary part of their strategy, while gaslighting is even more effective. Both create illusions in the minds of victims, who waver and delay doing anything, and blame themselves for their own gullibility. Women's capacity for self-blame has always been a very important factor in this whole mechanism.

That's why men like Zhang need to encourage women to blame themselves and make them think they are "bad girls," so they avoid looking clearly at their situation out of shame, and appear to stay in it out of their own free will.

Meanwhile, society as a whole continues to reproduce fear and the call to surrender to violence, teaching women to accept male violence and their own subjugation in intimate relationships, and packaging the whole deal as "love." The fear sown by the patriarchy tells women that there is no resisting male violence. All you can do is hide from it.

The vast majority of women have never been trained to resist physical or psychological violence, so they would probably fare far worse than Peng Shuai if put on the spot like that. At the same time, society tells women that male desire is inevitably accompanied by male violence, and expressed through it, turning rape into a manifestation of "love," a love so strong that the perpetrator can no longer control themselves. This is nonsense, of course. Yet our culture is permeated with such coded hints, and people's talk of rape is full of such distortions.

Society teaches women to conflate male desire with abuse, so that to meet it, to be "feminine," is to assume the mentality of a victim. This leads to the belief that a love relationship that started with a rape is somehow normal, and the whole lie is further perpetuated by the taboo around female sexual autonomy. I am not saying that the tragedy Peng Shuai suffered was due to an insufficient sense of her own empowerment. I am saying that the social conditioning I have described above directly helps those who perpetrate violence.

In her social media post, Peng also describes herself as "lacking love" throughout her life. Didn't her mother take good care of her? She had teammates, collaborators and fans, didn't she? Yet none of them seemed to satisfy her desire to be loved. Her use of the word "love" here would appear to imply unconditional love and emotional generosity, which wouldn't usually be found through everyday social contact.

Yet it is often lacking in a woman's family of origin. Our society generally favors boys over girls. But even when there is no male to offer a point of comparison, the needs and feelings of women still tend to be ignored or ridden roughshod over. The trauma caused by this kind of neglect is hidden, in the unconscious of those who suffer from it, but its effects are far-reaching. It informs women's secret doubts about their own self-worth, and their tendency to hunger for unconsciously driven "love."

Achievements in a woman's working life can cover up such psychological needs to a certain extent, but they offer no cure. This is why a lot of women seem to undergo a personality change when they get into an intimate relationship, because they are addicted to enmeshment, and find it hard to extricate themselves from poor-quality relationships. They constantly feel that their needs aren't being met.

Zhang Gaoli didn't appear to be offering Peng much in the way of material benefits, and actually, she didn't need them. Instead, she writes that they had conversations on many different topics. But it's hard to gauge whether Zhang was truly knowledgeable about any of it. Their tennis matches could only have been something Peng did to please him. But during the other times they spent chatting together, playing chess or singing, Peng at least felt relaxed and happy some of the time.

But that really should be no big deal in an intimate relationship. It's entirely possible that Zhang was incapable of meeting Peng's needs; that it was all about her responding to his needs. Yet, Peng, who has "lacked love" since childhood, feels that this time they spent together was proof enough that he was "pretty good" to her.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has a virtual discussion with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai in Lausanne, Switzerland, November 21, 2021. Credit: Greg Martin/IOC/ Handout via ReutersPower gap

Rather than calling Peng easily satisfied, it would be more accurate to say that the emotional void created in women by this society allows men to take advantage of them, and to exploit them for their own ends.

Even a strong woman can be greatly weakened by an intimate relationship. Ultimately, it's because of the huge weight of social injustice in our society, the power gap between high-ranking officials and ordinary people, and between men and women. Peng Shuai wasn't just raped: she was subjected to long-term psychological violence after that rape. She was besieged, isolated and continually stripped of her sense of self-worth.

The role played by so-called "love" is this story was a poisonous one, that enabled that violence, caused her suffering, and depleted her strength. Zhang Gaoli isn't just a guy. His immense political power means that the privilege out of which he can do violence is exponentially higher than that of other men. And yet Peng Shuai remains just a woman, mired in the weakness, obedience and resentment caused by male violence, which is packaged as that all-too-familiar notion of "femininity." Violence brings its victims into total subjugation, both psychologically and behaviorally.

Peng Shuai's biggest achievement is that she eventually resisted all that, despite the fact that she had "no evidence at all to back this up; only the distorted truth of my own experience."

Amid her own realization that her reality was distorted, she finally grasped the truth about this violent relationship, and affirmed her own being. She refused to stay down, despite having been destroyed and exploited.

And now, she seems to have fallen into a black hole, under the gaze of tens of millions of people. This is the ultimate cruelty. I want to bring her back. I want her to live the life she should have had, without its "lack of love," without secrets, shame or self-blame. I hope her words will awaken more women to the truth that male violence is everywhere. It may be hard to resist it alone, but we can try to resist together.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

L Pin is a U.S.-based Chinese feminist activist and journalist and founding editor-in-chief of Feminist Voices, a leading advocacy channel in China.

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The Ignored Pandemic: The Dual Crisis of Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19 – World – ReliefWeb

Posted: at 12:05 pm

Action against gender-based violence being pushed to the outlying margins of the global COVID-19 response

A new Oxfam report shows an undeniable increase in gender-based violence (GBV) during the COVID-19 pandemic around the world to which too many governments and donors are not doing enough to tackle.

The report, The Ignored Pandemic: The Dual Crisis of Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19, showed the number of calls made by survivors to domestic violence hotlines in ten countries during the first months of lockdown. The data reveals a 25 111 percentage surge; in Argentina (25%), Colombia (79%), Tunisia (43%), China (50%), Somalia (50%), South Africa (69%), UK (25%), Cyprus (39%), Italy (73%) and the largest increase in Malaysia where calls surged by over 111%.

In many households, coronavirus has created a 'perfect storm' of social and personal anxiety, stress, economic pressure, social isolation, including with abusive family members or partners, and rising alcohol and substance use, resulting in increases in domestic abuse.

Meanwhile, India too recorded an increase of 250 percent of domestic violence cases, according to the National Commission for Women. Domestic violence counselors there reported being unable to reach women and girls who were grievously injured or suicidal or those whose partners controlled their access to phones.

The report shows that not enough countries have acted with sufficient seriousness to tackle the GBV pandemic. Even before the surge in GBV cases sparked by the pandemic, in 2018 alone, over 245 million women and girls were subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner a greater number than the global total of coronavirus cases (199m) between October 2020 and October 2021.

"It is a scandal that millions of women and girls, and LGBTQIA+ people have to live through this double pandemic of violence and COVID-19. GBV has led to injuries, emotional distress, and increasing poverty and suffering, all of which are utterly inexcusable and avoidable. The pandemic has exposed the systematic failure of governments around the world to protect women and girls and LGBTQIA+ people from violence against them simply because of who they are," said Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher.

Women's rights organizations whose mission is to support women and girls and LGBTQIA+ people from violence have been more likely to have been hit by funding cuts, exactly at the time when their work is most needed. In an Oxfam survey published in June this year, over 200 women's rights organizations across 38 countries reported reduced funding and shrinking access to decision-making spaces. Thirty-three percent had to lay off between one to ten staff, while nine percent had to close altogether.

Even though 146 UN member states have formally declared their support for action against GBV in their COVID-19 response and recovery plans, only a handful have followed through. Of the $26.7 trillion that governments and donors mobilized to respond to the pandemic in 2020, just 0.0002% has gone into combating GBV.

The pandemic has worsened long-standing gender discriminations, and this has increased the vulnerability of women and girls and LGBTQIA+ people to violence and abuse. If governments do not deliberately initiate strong, properly funded strategies to tackle this, the gains made in womens empowerment in the last 30 years are at risk. We need to avert this, and the time is now," said Bucher.

A few governments, however, have made efforts to respond to the GBV crisis. For instance, Indonesia and New Zealand introduced national protocols and identified GBV service providers as essential workers. South Africa took steps to strengthen GBV reporting channels.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence that commences today until 10 December 2021 provides an opportunity for governments, donors, and activists to reflect on the emerging issues of inequality that put women and girls at risk and address them urgently. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that governments can take extraordinary measures to protect their citizens and respond to deadly crises when spurred to action. We need to see more efforts to tackle gender-based violence.

Oxfam recommends that states and governments ensure a more coordinated, comprehensive, and multi-sectoral GBV response that enables survivors to access effective and quality services. Governments and donors should channel more funding to women's rights organizations and feminist movements working to end GBV and support survivors. Additionally, more funding should be allocated to better data collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated national statistics to inform evidence-based interventions to end GBV.

"As the world comes together to mark 30 years of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, there is an urgent need for a truly gendered approach in every countrys effort to respond to and recover from COVID-19. Governments and donors need to live up to their commitments to promote gender equality by ensuring investment in all the areas we know could help end GBV. Only by doing so can we strive for a future that is more just, safe, and in which people live free from discrimination," said Bucher.

Notes to editors

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international event that runs for 16 days from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women, until 10th December, Human Rights Day. This years event marks 30 years since its first commemoration in 1991. The event is a platform used by organizations and activists globally to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

The data on calls to domestic/GBV helplines in ten low, middle- and high-income countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has been compiled from different UN, national and international NGO reports and government sources. The increase in call volumes is presented as a range between the lowest and highest percentage value among the different countries.

Read the report.

Contact information

Florence Ogola, in Nairobi | |+254 733770522

For updates, please follow @Oxfam

Please support Oxfam's Coronavirus Response Appeal.

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The Mainstreaming of ESG Investing | FTI Consulting – JDSupra – JD Supra

Posted: at 12:05 pm

[co-author: Gabrielle Muhlberg, Consultant]

ESG, Sustainable Finance, Green Investments some of the biggest buzz words in finance the last years. What used to be a niche topic has now taken centre stage. Investors almost insatiable appetite and legislative innovation will keep it there for quite some time to come. Staying on top of local developments is not enough, reading the international trend tea leaves will be the only way for investors to answer; what next?

On the global stage, the EU has positioned itself as the Sustainable Finance frontrunner. Boasting the worlds first ever climate law, an action plan on sustainable finance already in 2018, and its recent unparalleled green bond issuance, the EU green agenda has been travelling at a rate of knots. As seen with other high-profile initiatives, the EU is setting the standard.

EU data protection and privacy laws (the famous GDPR) are a prime example, where versions have appeared across the continent, with SAs Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) epitomising this trend.

With the green transition as a top priority, the EU is possibly pushing even harder to drive the progress on Sustainable Finance, through numerous international fora and initiatives. With EUs Green Taxonomy already disseminating, it appears to work. Local models of the Taxonomy are emerging in the US, UK, China and of course SA (which has relied heavily on EU legislation). Lets take a look at what is going on in the EU, and why we should care.

The strong EU regulatory framework is the primary reason for the EUs global leadership the ESG space The EU laid the first brick in the Sustainable Finance foundation with its Green Taxonomy. It is a tool to determine if activities are environmentally sustainable, based on clear sciencebased criteria. Investors and investee companies are subject to comprehensive and standardised disclosure rules on their activities and sustainability performance, building on the classifications. Standards and labels acting as a quality label e.g. an EU Green Bond Standard will form the third pillar. Combined, these measures aim to prevent greenwashing and remedy the acute ESG data shortage in the market.

The next EU phase is already taking shape, aiming for inclusion of sustainability considerations into every aspect of finance. ESG integration in prudential frameworks and easier data access are high on the agenda. Two horizontal tracks are already active: Firstly, an EU Social Taxonomy which through classification, aims to direct capital to entities and activities which operate with respect for human rights, good corporate governance and support social objectives. Secondly, an overhaul of directors duties and due diligence is to come later this year, possibly integrating remuneration tied to ESG performance and incorporation of ESG considerations and stakeholder interests (e.g. of workers and civil society) into business decisions and oversight.

Alongside EU legislative developments, private institutional investors are increasingly emerging as a key driving force for Sustainable Finance. Institutional investors will continue to probe companies on their ESG approach. They see a positive correlation between ESG performance and company valuation investee companies too will need to swiftly demonstrate sustainability leadership or at least transition efforts. With increased scrutiny of governance and supply chain processes, transparency alone is not enough to guarantee long-term growth. Markets being global, these considerations are already having a significant spill over effect on other jurisdictions, leading to tangible ESG business transformations to attract investors.

As more organisations recognise the need to integrate ESG at the heart of business strategies, industry is helping lead the way. In SA, the industrys influential voluntary standards and innovative initiatives such as the JSEs sustainability index are and will continue to be indispensable in local standard setting.

Globally - and especially amongst emerging economies SA has impressive Sustainable Finance credentials. Alongside the significant sector efforts, the Treasurys plans in Financing A Sustainable Economy would likely increase work on classification, ESG integration and disclosures. In short, this will provide the building blocks for a more robust and comprehensive Sustainable Finance Framework.

With the immediate direction of travel more or less mapped out, naturally the question for the industry is; what comes next? Here upcoming EU initiatives on Directors Duties and the development of a Social Taxonomy, classifying activities by social impact, could be particularly interesting as inspiration. SA already has social-focused legislation in place Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) a key and unique example.

Nevertheless, the EU work could provide ideas and structures, with a tremendous potential for adaptation to a local context. With SAs unique socio-economic background, keen interest in Sustainable Finance and in light of President Ramaphosas recent comments indicting an upcoming BBBEE Review, an increased focus on the Social and Governance elements of ESG appears to be a natural next policy step. A social Taxonomy could be a strong starting place. A tool which redirects capital to reach social objectives would have the potential for tangible social transformation. As such, this could prove highly attractive to government, civil society and investors.

ESG will evidently only continue to grow in importance with new industry and legislative initiatives continually emerging. Staying on top of these developments with one eye on the global horizon is therefore the only way to remain competitive.

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RESCUE Home – Resources and Education for Stroke …

Posted: November 21, 2021 at 9:17 pm

Stroke Caregiving

Resources & Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding & Empowerment (RESCUE)

Welcome to the RESCUE Website

Resources and Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding and Empowerment, or RESCUE for short, is a lifeline to help caregivers keep their head above water. Stroke onset is very sudden and new caregivers are not always prepared for this new role. The caregiver may be overwhelmed and feel like the person who needs to be rescued. The RESCUE website provides stroke caregivers with information and resources to help them better care for their loved one. The website also gives caregivers information to help them take care of themselves. There are 45 easy-to-read fact sheets about stroke and stroke caregiving on this website. They can be downloaded and printed. The 45 fact sheets are also available in Spanish.

RESCUE Fact Sheet Categories

The RESCUE team has prepared 45 fact sheets that will help you with any questions you may have. These fact sheets are divided into the following categories:

Many people dont know what a stroke is or why it happened. In this section, you will learn about the causes of stroke and how to prevent another stroke in the future.

You may be overwhelmed by the amount of stroke information available. This section teaches you how to find up-to-date information from trusted sources. It also provides you with tips for talking to your healthcare team.

The daily stresses of caregiving can wear you down. To be the best caregiver, you must first take care of yourself. This section has tips on lowering your stress and depression. It also provides information on family relationships and long-distance caregiving.

Dealing with the physical needs brought on by stroke is hard. This section informs you about changes in how the body functions and problems with speech.

Stroke can change your loved ones personality and behavior. This section teaches you how to deal with these changes.

Helping your loved one lead a healthier life can promote stroke recovery. Topics in this section include preventing falls and managing your loved ones medications.

You may wonder how much help to give your loved one. In this section, you will learn ways to increase your loved ones independence, while still lending a hand.

You may not know what help is available in your local area. In this section you will learn about respite care, long-term care housing, and stroke support groups.

Money issues can cause a lot of worry and stress. Tips for how to manage finances and sort through the legal process can be found in this section.

In the last section of this book you will find helpful tools. These tools can be used for tracking your loved one's important health information. They include a personal health record form, a medication card and an aphasia card.

These materials were created for the project:

Web-Based Informational Materials for Caregivers of Veterans Post-Stroke

Project Number SDP 06-327 funded by VA HSR&D Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI); Supported by the Stroke QUERI

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Culture Must Be Up Front and Center Not an Afterthought — in Counseling Black and Other Minoritized Clients – Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Posted: at 9:17 pm

As Black professionals with degrees and decades of experience in counseling, we continue to be flabbergasted, dismayed, and upset about the persistent and pervasive under-representation of Black and other minoritized professionals in counseling, psychological, and mental health professions. Whether one is a preschool, elementary school, high school, or college student of color, there is an abysmally low probability that they will have a counseling provider in a school, agency, or hospital from their racial and ethnic background. This is especially the case for Black males.Dr. Donna Y. Ford

Whether white or minoritized, we are very concerned about the delivery of services with and without a multicultural focus and/or experiences, as well as troubled about providers level of comfort, knowledge, skills, and experiences working with Blacks and other clients of color. Broadly speaking, the counseling profession comprises mostly white helping professionals in which many are insufficiently equipped and trained in multicultural, cross-cultural, or transcultural counseling. With an increasingly growing diverse society, it is critical that service providers hire counselors, who are anti-racist and culturally competent that reflect the population that being service. The same holds true with the goals and objectives of professional development workshops.

Multicultural, cross-cultural, or transcultural competency undergirded by an anti-racist philosophy is needed among all professionals, including counseling. When counselors are cultureblind (Fords substitution for colorblindness), they are frequently uncomfortable, unable, and/or unwilling to address their clients prejudices (i.e., individual, institutional, structural, systemic) or racist beliefs. It is well noted that clients of color benefit from racial/ethnic matching, meaning that counselors are likely to share some or much of the lived experiences of the same-race/ethnicity clients. In our experiences, when counselors have high levels of cultural awareness and pride, they are likely to express and promote racial and ethnic pride, affirm their clients experiences, share coping and empowering strategies and resources, and otherwise serve as cultural brokers/bridges.Dr. James L. Moore, III

Not surprising to us, as discussed by Kafka, for decades, a growing number of students with psychiatric and neurodiverse histories, conditions, and medications have been enrolling in college. From an access standpoint, this is terrific. Thus, from a counseling standpoint, it has meant a professional state of siege. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing and increased racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination, counseling providers, particularly for Asian and Black clients, are struggling to keep up with requests for help and guidance wreaked on students of color. Data on students mental health from the Healthy Minds Network have shown increasing anxiety and depression over the past 10 years. Data from the networks spring survey revealed a rise from the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021 in students who screen positive for anxiety (which grew from 31% to 34%) and depression (which increased from 36% to 41%).

A poignant reminder by Kafka is that some colleges counseling centers are creating more counseling and support groups to help meet the demand, but it is also in response to the needs of racial-minority (or LGBTQ) communities, students who share a particular diagnosis, students who might benefit from a specific type of therapy, or students who have common goals or problems. We added the italics to the assertion regarding needs to highlight/emphasize that counseling must be client-centered as we and others promote and admonish in education and counseling fields. The need to recruit and retain counselors does not do justice to the work that must be done when white and minoritized counselors are not culturally competent. Our grave concerns pertain to counselors adopting cultureblindness on the one hand to being culturally assaultive on the other hand.

Considering the above, it is no wonder that, per Kafka, more students are seeking help and their suffering is more acute. There is a need more counselors but finding them is challenging. Efforts by several colleges to meet the demands are described by Kafka; however, worth emphasizing is the need for counselors is more pressing and urgent for those of color and those individuals who are anti-racist and culturally competent. Being ever mindful that representation and cultural competence are crucial, we introduce our taxonomy or levels of multicultural content into counseling. This model is grounded in the work of James A. Banks four approaches of infusing multicultural content into the curriculum. In our five-level, cultural competence model, the focus is on the content of counseling sessions goals, topics, issues/problems, materials and resources, and strategies.

For approximately two decades, we have collaborated in the spirit and advocacy for Blacks and other individuals of color to support them in gaining access to professionals who are anti-racist and culturally competent and/or who share their race and ethnicity with cultural pride. This includes, but is not limited to, students, families, educators, counselors, administrators, and faculty. Figure 1 depicts our Five-Level Taxonomy of Multicultural Competence. We apply it below to school counselors, but it can be adopted for other disciplines (e.g., education, curriculum developers, etc.). Keywords for each level are listed. For the professional, the arrow indicates level or degree of cultural competence. For clients (or students, etc.), the arrow shows the idea and ideal of change and progress in meeting goals and objectives growth. It also represents feelings and reactions to counseling and the counselor at each level. We explain this more in forthcoming publications.

At the lowest level is cultureblindness. Counselors are not aware of cultural differences (i.e., assets) or are aware of culture, but deny that it matters by ignoring, discounting, and trivializing the culture of clients. No effort is made to discuss racialized experiences, both positive or negative, and no responsibility is given to their being racist and culturally assaultive in words and actions (e.g., behaviors, expectations, materials, techniques, and goals) toward clients. Too often, people color and other diverse populations feel invisible, frustrated, resentful, and angry due to implicit and explicit biases. When Black clients, in particular, feel rejection and alienation from the counselor, they often request another counselor and, when not available, they often terminate the counseling experience and may not seek help again.

The next level is objectification, whereby counselors equate clients of color with what we and others call the Four Fs Food, Fun, Fashion, and Folklore. The counselor is aware of culture in a superficial, stereotypical, and tourist manner. Stereotypes guide their work. Minoritize clients feel that their individual and racial/ethnic group identity is dehumanized, relegated to objects rather than ideas, experiences, and ways of being. Although some people of color feel seen, many are still perceived in negative, humiliating, deficit-based ways. Such feels often contribute to anger or rage and frustration, along with alienation and disconnected from the counselor. If possible, they request another counselor. When not available, they terminate the counseling experience and are reluctant to pursuing counseling assistance or help again.

Marginalization is the third approach or level of our taxonomy. It is not uncommon in schools and non-school contexts that Blacks and other people of color feel devalued and marginalized in American society; they feel unwelcome, as outsiders. The client-counselor relationship is strained because a relationship has not been developed or initiated by the counselor (e.g., getting to know about clients background, interests, goals, lived experiences, etc.). When talking about racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination, counselors are dismissive and may resort to placing the onus of clients racialized issues and problems, resorting to blaming the victim. Helplessness, frustration, anger, indignation, and/or defensiveness ensue on the part of many Black clients and counseling consumers of color.

The fourth approach or level is Belongingness, which we align with racial and ethnic pride. Such an identity centers squarely on race-based self-perception, self-concept, self-esteem, and group affiliation. Counselors are culturally competent in knowledge, skills, and dispositions, based upon educational and multicultural experiences. This includes their ability to empathize with and have compassion for culturally different clients. They are keenly aware that both prejudice and racism exist, and they take a toll on people of color (e.g., racial battle fatigue, internalized racism, disdain for whites, etc.). Time is devoted to building positive and culturally affirming relationships with clients, along with session on minoritized clients racial or ethnic identity development and needs. They have an asset-based philosophy regarding culture and associated similarities and differences. When counselors feel confused and/or ineffective, they seek guidance from colleagues of color and/or whites who are considered culturally competent and anti-racist. To this end, such counselors commonly utilize rigorous and relevant resources, materials, theories, research, and techniques grounded in culture to promote and nurture racial and ethnic identity.

To connect with their clients, culturally competent counselors are conscious of the effects racial and ethnic variables, viewing this culturally-based psychological construct as a source of strength (similar to socio-emotional development, self-concept, and self-esteem). They set mutually agreed upon goals and objectives with Black clients and other of color. Positively, minoritized clients feel seen in affirmative ways. They feel cared about and a valued member of this professional relationship. They are comfortable discussing racialized encounters (e.g., microaggressions) with counselors from all racial and ethnic groups, and appreciate that their culture is being used with academic, social, affective, psychological, vocational, and personal concerns, issues, and problems so that the experience is productive goals and objectives are met. Clients of color would be aware and understanding of Cross and Vandivers internalization stage or phase of racial identity development and Maslows Hierarchy of Needs self-actualization level.

Empowerment is the highest level and the most culturally responsive approach in which Black and other clients of color, armed with belongingness, are proactive about addressing problems and concerns for themselves, and perhaps those of others in their racial and ethnic group and communities. They feel efficacious about their ability to cope with and resolve challenges that, prior to counseling, seemed insurmountable. Counselors have been instrumental in providing cathartic experiences by having someone to talk to who listens to understand and support with resources (e.g., literature, theories, research, same-race role models and mentors, opportunities, etc.). Such transculturally competent counselors have the knowledge, dispositions, experiences, and skills to be an advocate or ally to their minoritized clients. They adhere to the multicultural competencies developed by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development in 1991.

Recommendations, Summary, and Conclusions

The counseling profession cannot wait for the field to become more diverse. It must simultaneously diversify the profession and train counselors to be anti-racist and culturally competent. Presenters must include people of color. Below are some of the topics that we recommend that the counseling profession devote considerable commitment and time:

1. Higher education formal training must have anti-racist, culturally courses, endorsements, licensure, and degrees. Field experiences need to be in diverse communities. Projects and assignments must be focused on minorized individuals and groups with the goal of immersing counselors in the communities of their clients. Counselors should not graduate only to find that they are ill-prepared to work with real clients with real culturally-based academic, social, affective, and psychological issues and needs.

2. Professional development in the workplace must also focus directly on supporting school counselors. Sample topics here and in other organizations and settings should include theories, research, along with prevention and intervention strategies, models, and programs grounded in the culture(s)of each racial and ethnic group. Homogenization must be avoided. Efforts must support counselors in their ongoing development to be effective and culturally responsive and competent.

3. Professional development in mainstream and multicultural professional organizations provide important outlets for counselors to have increased contact and interactions with culturally different individuals. Real world experiences increase multicultural efficacy.

4. Recruitment of minoritized counselors is essential, as previously stated. They serve as cultural brokers to clients of color and as resources to white counselors.

Dr. Donna Y. Ford is a Distinguished Professor of Education Human Ecologyat The Ohio State University. Dr. James L. Moore III, is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Human Ecology and Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University.

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