Check out what my cousin has to say about how Hurricane Sandy changed her life…

the dream girl blog

It’s taken months for me to process her. And truth be told I’m still feeling her remnants daily, albeit subconsciously. When news reports told of her forthcoming rage we mocked them. We had survived poverty, an earthquake, and a neighborhood that was reminiscent of a war torn country. Surely this single insignificant occurrence wouldn’t be the cause of our demise. We were to find that fated October evening that we were wrong.

Hurricane Sandy tore through New York and fucked us up. Honestly, there is no better way to put it. I cannot and will not try to state it with more class or with any semblance of sophistication. She fucked us up. For 14 days we endured cold, dark and putrid conditions. Residents of Red Hook Brooklyn and numerous other neighborhoods were left to fend for themselves. We were without basic necessities such as water, heat and electricity.

I couldn’t understand how the…

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Let the Little Children Come: Why Childcare is a Faith Issue

Happy New Year! I hope your 2013 is getting off to a good start! See my recent Sojourners God’s Politics post on childcare issues, the intersection of faith, poverty and women of color. Thank you for reading!

From: lovenwords.com

From: lovenwords.com

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:1-6

As the Faith Based Organizer for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) — a citywide coalition of more than 300 member agencies and faith institutions — I have the privilege of working with a diverse group of faith leaders. Last spring we were thrust into an important struggle for childcare and after school funding led by the Campaign for Children (C4C), a citywide coalition of organizations advocating for childcare and after school funding. Some may wonder why clergy would be concerned about this issue, but for the clergy I work with, the reason is clear: budgets are moral documents, and what is funded reflects our values. Our clergy know that children are the greatest in God’s kingdom and our investment (or lack thereof) in them will have consequences for our future. Read More

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Foods that can help fight the flu

I am not into the flu shot but I do believe in avoiding the flu at all cost, here are some natural ways to fight the flu.

My Real Food Family

flu-fighting-food-and-herbs

Flu season has made a very early appearance this year.  Experts say that new cases of the flu have been reported in almost every state at an alarming rate.  While flu shots are believed to protect people from getting the flu, it’s always a good idea to continually wash your hands and be careful about putting your hands on your face and near your mouth.  Consuming these herbs and foods is another way to help ward off the flu.  Be sure that you have plenty of these foods in your diet!

Ginseng root – helps treat cough and fever

Strawberries/berries – high in vitamin C, studies have shown berries to reduce the duration and intensity of the flu

Cinnamon – contains antioxidants that help boost immune system

Raw honey – helps with sore throat

Cayenne pepper – helps beat congestion by thinning mucus in the sinus cavities

Raw garlic –…

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From Homeless to Hope: Sydia Simmons Founder of The Lost Angels Society

In the U.S. there are about 1,682,900 homeless and runaway youth-The National Coalition for the Homeless

 “25 percent of former foster youth nationwide reported that they had been homeless at least one night within two-and-a-half to four years after exiting foster care.”-The National Alliance to End Homelessness

Number of homeless youth in NYC every night – 3,800.-Shelter of Peace

Founder of the Lost Angels Society Sydia Simmons, her husband Jonathan & daughter Aniyah

Sydia Simmons, her husband Jonathan & daughter Aniyah

At 14-years old Sydia Simmons was kicked out into the streets of New York City by her alcoholic mother but today she is a wife, mother & founder of the Lost Angels Society. The purpose of the Lost Angels Society is to provide a safe space for homeless teens. Sydia knows first hand the difficulty of being homeless, especially in New York City and because she has overcome through her faith she wants to give back. On December 16, 2012 Sydia hosted the Lost Angels Society Benefit to give homeless youth a Christmas celebration. This benefit was supported by actress Uma Thurman, Superstar Singer Usher and many others. Sydia truly has a passion and compassion for homeless youth and an important message for the Church. In Isaiah 61: 3-4 it states: “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.They will rebuild the ancient ruins  and restore the places long devastated;they will renew the ruined cities  that have been devastated for generations”, Sydia truly fits the description above because she is rebuilding the lives of teens devastated by homelessness. What is unique about the Lost Angels Society is that it is founded by someone who experienced homelessness first hand.

In the video below Sydia shares her amazing testimony with power, honesty & grace.

For more information on the Lost Angels Society, the April 2013 Youth Conference and how you can assist please contact Sydia at: mszsimmons2011@gmail.com.

Black Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tammy Williams, MSW Founder & Owner of Imena Salon

Imena38Tammy Williams, MSW is the Founder & Owner of Imena Salon in East Harlem. Trained in Social Work & Cosmetology Tammy and her staff  provide holistic haircare to their clients. Imena Salon specializes in natural hair but the staff can do a variety of styles for all textures of hair. Other Imena services include eyebrow shaping, make-up, workshops and events.

While studying at Hunter School of Social Work Tammy researched hair, mental health and Black women, the result of this research is the documentary Beautiful which she produced and directed.

Listen to the interview below for Tammy’s words of wisdom on building a business, natural hair, beauty and mental health. For more information visit: http://www.imenainc.com.

“As a business owner you have to have faith.”-Tammy Williams