Category Archives: Campaigns and Health Causes

Marsha Ambrosius: “Far Away”

This video is so touching and in the same breath it is controversial. But the message is deep and meaningful. Kudos to Marsha Ambrosius for using her story and music as a vehicle to drive forward what needs to be heard.

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Earth Day 2011

I will readily admit that it took me quite a while to tighten up on  my “go-green” habits. In fact it took me seeing through various documentaries (Food Inc., Super Size Me) but I’m slowly getting there with recycling every solitary water bottle and such. But today is Earth Day across the globe and already businesses are eager to promote the cause. Starbucks is giving away free coffee for those who bring their own mugs and for those in the NYC area Earth Day New York is funding  virtual forests  that will be sprinkled across all of Times Square’s billboards throughout the day.

 Today is the 39th  since Earth Day firt began in 1970, sparking a movement and bringing forth environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

So what is Earth Day to you? If you’re not able to attend one of the local supportive events today there’s plenty of smaller things you can do to contribute to the cause:

  • Pick up the trash:  If you live in the city, you most likely walk by it everyday. Unfortunately in most urban settings littering is frequent, it may be gross but it wouldn’t hurt to grab a few pieces of trash and throwing them away. Your example may even spark someone else to start cleaning up the waste.
  • Start planting!: Planting tree’s and smaller plants are great for the environment. Plants promote clean air and the simple of taking care of the plant is bound to make you more aware of taking care of the environment as a whole.
  • Eat Local: Local food vendors often by their produce from local farms. This is a great way to promote sustainability, which means that the food growth process was healthy for the environment (didn’t involve the use of pesticides), the workers and the animals involved.

Celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to mean a huge effort if enough of us play our small parts, even if it means taking a day off from what we already knew wasn’t good for us, or the earth, anyway.

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Why is violence still an option?

As I was heading home after a particularly long workshift the other night around 10pm or so, I opted to take the bus instead of the train in hopes that it would get me home quicker. And from the moment I sat down in my seat I knew this ride had the potential to be “one of those.”

What do I mean by “one of those”? I mean the type of bus ride where you’re either: A. Mentally begging God to let the bus hurry up and get you where you need to go or B. Figuring out what to do should something serious happen. So that’s why when a particularly loud group of girls and guys, all around my age (early twenties), made their way past my seat and to the back of the bus, I immediately turned my iPod up to drown out the sound.

No more than a mere fifteen minutes into the ride does it happen. A regular argument turns into a loud one. And a loud argument escalates into dangerously bordering a brawl. By this point my musics on mute and I’m eyeing the stop bell. To shorten the story (and from what I had to no choice but to hear) a young man in the group called a girl a b****, she then threw a tyrant because apparently they’d been friends and challenged the man to fight her. Then everything went to the level I’m sure everyone on the bus hoped it wouldn’t, serious violence. Now, I may be college educated and a fairly “well-rounded” girl, but I’m also street-smart, so when the terms “hammer”, “heat” and “4-5” start to pop up like fireworks, I know what time it is. Thankfully, before anything could really happen other people on the bus began to speak up. Two older men interfered and in essence asked the girl to calm down.

 But I wondered and still wonder now, why is violence even still an option???

This scenario isn’t something unusual to me, although it should be. I live in a neighborhood where unfortunately things like this happen way too often. But it’s not my neighborhood I’m ashamed of, it’s the attitude of violence that’s plagued the people living here.

Some of you may be reading this and wondering how it relates to the theme of this blog. To you I ask this: In a society where our communities, and especially our young people suffer from the consequences of gun violence, how can we as individuals really claim ourselves to be healthy? Being healthy goes beyond physical fitness and nutritious eating habits. It’s also a mental and spiritual thing. When I have to watch the 10 o’clock news and see that there’s been a murder massacre a few blocks away from where I sleep, I’m not healthy. Or when I have to be told that one of my closest friends, and next door neighbor has been shot fatally in the head, I’m not healthy. Seeing the mothers or even children of young men and women mourn their loved ones over and over, is not healthy for any of us.

When we as a community don’t feel safe on our bus rides home, walking to the store, or allowing our kids to play outside our own homes, we are not healthy and we must do what we can to change that.

Not everyone may relate to this post because the truth is not everyone lives surrounded by violence. But many people do. When that girl got off the bus the other night still riled up and angry I felt fearful for her. I felt fearful for the young man who continued to argue with her, for the man who stood up to try to pacify the situation, for the bus driver and even for the people who wouldn’t even turn around to watch, more focused on trying to get home. Because when an attitude of violence takes over, you never know who will “catch it” the worst.

If you’re someone reading this who still believes that the idea of health and wellness is only an individual thing I urge you to look outside yourself. Volunteer in your community, or even outside your community. Help educate our youth on the positive ways there exist to live. And realize that in pouring out good things into those around you, you’re already enriching yourself in an invaluable way, you are a change-agent.

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Michelle Obama continues to fight against Youth Obesity

Let’s Move! A campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010 is dedicated to solving the alarming rate of childhood obesity in the United States (the exact obesity rates vary from state-to-state according to the CDC.gov)  According to the official Let’s Move website this campaign:

“Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping children become more physically active.”

Recently, Mrs. Obama released her new promotional commercial in which a fourth grader “shh’s” her as seen on Clutch Mgazine‘s feature roll. Pretty cute if you ask me.

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