Two great #race and #gender related events in #NYC: November 2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.32.27 PMTwo great #race related events this weekend in New York City:

The first is happening online: STAY WOKE

To speak to events in Ferguson, MO, and the many counts of racialized violence in America, Stay Woke: Write Yourself will gather together artists from the greater community and Fordham students and faculty to create meaningful action through art. It is also a story space for testimonials of racial harmony and violence online. More info here.

The second is an event at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m.: Beyond Binaries and Boxes: Deconstructing and Re-envisioning Black Feminism(s). You’ll also be able to watch online.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.40.17 PMFor this event, panelists will ask the audience to reframe and re-envision black feminism(s) to include creativity, abundance, and collective liberation in the twenty-first century. Panelists include Fordham University professor, Aimee Meredith Cox, from the department of African and African American Studies. Cox is the author of Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship, to be published by Duke University Press next year.

It will also include my friend, community food and environment activist, Tanya Fields.

Others include: Florence Noel, Northeast Director of Girls Who Code; Jamilah Lemieux, Journalist and Editor of; and Aiesha Turman, Executive Director of Black Girl Project.

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I can see clearly now…

I'm going to miss my Versace frames! Something tells me I'll wear them sans lenses.

I’m going to miss my Versace frames! Something tells me I’ll wear them sans lenses.

I now can do something I haven’t been able to do since I was seven years old–see without wearing prescription glasses (or contact lenses). I took the plunge. After many years of contemplating it (and, let’s face it, not being able to afford it, especially while I was a newspaper reporter), I finally got LASIK surgery.

This had nothing to do with vanity. Sure, as a high schooler and college student, and when glasses were far less attractive, I wore my contacts for hours and hours each day. I NEVER went out with my glasses. If my contacts tore, I’d stay in.

But nowadays, glasses frames are stylish, and I’m older and wiser. I like how I look with my ‘four eyes’ on! But as far as action sports, or swimming, I’ve always felt left behind. At the gym, the glasses-sliding-off-my-face thing was getting old.

So I did it. I went to Gotham LASIK Vision in midtown Manhattan, and I highly recommend them.

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I literally walked by the place dozens of times (I work nearby) and one day popped in for a brochure and eventually made an appointment for a free consultation. That’s what sold me. Gotham LASIK’s doctor, Brian Bonnani, has been performing refractive eye surgeries for more than 15 years. He answered all my questions (and I had plenty), carefully explaining how nearsightedness occurs and how this laser surgery would correct it.

Because he uses the Allegretto Excimer Wave Laser, he told me the chances of losing my night vision or having a ‘halo’ side effect, were virtually nil. So I did it.

It’s been less than a week and, thus far, I have a very slight blur when I try to read small print right up to my nose. (You know, the way I had to hold a book without my glasses before my surgery.) He tells me that will go away. Though I won’t need to hold print that close to read, (I can read like a normal person now!) it will be important for other tasks (threading a needle, for instance! lol)

I am still inserting antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eyedrops four times per day. I’m also using lubricant eyedrops to ward off dry eyes. I haven’t experienced dry eyes, but it’s interesting to note I experience tired eyes.

It’s almost as if being very nearsighted awarded me a “break” from seeing. At the gym, for instance, I’d take off my glasses and “work out” blindly. Or remove my glasses while commuting and “tune out” the world. Now, I’m always “on,” and it’s tiring. I wonder if this is psychological. (Probably!)

In any event, I’ve only tried “reaching” for my glasses once (at night, right before bed, as if I were going to take them off), and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing a step– that I need to remove my contacts at the end of a long day.

So, verdict: despite the occasional feeling of tired eyes, I’m happy to have 20/15 vision. Can’t wait to go to the beach this summer, where I’ll be able to see the sea when swimming!

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Poisoning the Wells with Ebola



Originally posted on Arthur Goldwag:

The Confession of Agimet of Geneva, Châtel, October 20, 1348

The year of our Lord 1348.

On Friday, the 10th of the month of October, at Châtel, in the castle thereof, there occurred the judicial inquiry which was made by order of the court of the illustrious Prince, our lord, Amadeus, Count of Savoy, and his subjects against the Jews of both sexes who were there imprisoned, each one separately. This was done after public rumor had become current and a strong clamor had arisen because of the poison put by them into the wells, springs, and other things which the Christians use-demanding that they die, that they are able to be found guilty and, therefore, that they should be punished. Hence this their confession made in the presence of a great many trustworthy persons.

Agimet the Jew, who lived at Geneva and was arrested at Châtel, was there put…

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Making Movies to play San Antonio’s ‘Muertosfest’

Kansas City’s Making Movies will join Nina Diaz and Master Blaster Sound System at San Antonio’s ‘Muertosfest,’ a two-day event that brings together traditional art and culture with the best in live music entertainment for the city of San Antonio to celebrate Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), this Sunday, Nov. 2. The event takes place at La Villita Historic Arts Village. They’re on stage at 9 p.m.

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Women Entrepreneurship Conference in New Jersey

Screen shot 2014-10-06 at 9.37.09 PMA former assignment editor from my newspaper days is now a program manager at Montclair State University’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship and she’s asked me to share the following information for what seems like an excellent FREE event for the business-minded.

Women Entrepreneurship Conference
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue (University Hall – Conference Center 7th Floor), Montclair, NJ
Sponsored by the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship

This daylong conference of high-energy inspiration and practical tips for entrepreneurial people. The event is for those who are looking to grow their own business, or start a new venture, or executives who want to be more entrepreneurial in their company. Students and wannabe entrepreneurs are welcome! And the event is FREE: (You should register here:

Confirmed speakers include:

Essence magazine’s Mikki Taylor, Catalyst’s Ilene H. Lang, NASDAQ OMX’s Ellyn McColgan, Golden Seeds’ Joan Zief, venture capitalist and former Time Inc. exec Fran Hauser, Tracye McDaniel of Choose NJ, Kathleen Coviello of NJ Economic Development Authority, Michelle Lee of Wells Fargo, networking guru Sally Glick, plus executives at companies ranging from startups to giants like Prudential and Horizon BCBSNJ.

Visit for speaker bios.

Everyone is invited to join the conversation. Use #WEW on social media. Tag your posts with @FelicianoCenter on Twitter.

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Kansas City’s Making Movies on the East Coast!

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.51.23 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.22.05 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.19.22 PMI’m excited that Kansas City’s Making Movies is playing a few shows on the East Coast! They’ll be hitting Philadelphia, D.C., and New York City, in early October.

But first, check out this great blurb from NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation blog, which features “songs that public radio can’t stop playing.” Making Movies’ “Pendulum Swing” is one of the songs on the list. (You can download it for free here.)

The disparate musical influences of a childhood split between Panama and Kansas City only begin to explain the unique sounds created by Making Movies. The band’s bilingual album A La Deriva is a lyrically adept examination of the struggles faced by immigrant families. Producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, while working to capture Making Movies’ sound, also encouraged the group to not repeat itself. The result is a wholly original work that expands the rich heritage of Latin Alternative music. “Pendulum Swing” is just one part of a thoughtful record — a part best experienced on the dance floor.Jon Hart, The Bridge, for NPR music’s Heavy Rotation blog.

Before they hit the East Coast, however, the guys are hosting a very special event — the first of its kind — in their home city. Who says you have to travel to Latin America or the Caribbean to experience an epic party worthy of the title, CARNIVAL?

Making Movies' Carnval will be emceed by Pili Montilla!

Making Movies’ Carnval will be emceed by Pili Montilla!

CARNAVAL in Kansas City (tickets) is an inaugural music and arts festival hosted by Making Movies. It takes place on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at Knuckleheads, and radio station, 90.9, The Bridge, is a co-sponsor.

Making Movies’ Carnaval is a celebratory block party, bringing Kansas City residents and their families together to share an appreciation for alternative Latino arts.

“Kansas City does not currently have any major outlet for fans of alternative Latin music,” says event planner, Diego Chi, the band’s bassist. “Carnaval allows us to fill that void and showcase the various cultures of all of Latin America, not just Mexico. We hope to make it a very rich experience, no matter what ethnic background the audience comes from.”

The lineup features Grammy award-winning group Ozomatli, a band that has largely influenced the alternative Latin music scene in the United States.

The event emcee is our friend, Puerto Rican entertainment media maven, Pili Montilla. An EMMY nominated TV host, actress, producer, blogger & social media expert in the bilingual entertainment world, she created, produces, and hosts, the Emmy nominated music show, ‘Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla,’ where she spends several days with up-and-coming musicians as they share their struggles and triumphs. The show’s next season begins airing nationally on Saturday, Oct. 11, on Mega TV.

Finally, those of you who are familiar with Making Movies know they make it a mission to have their music give back, in some way, to their community. A portion of special merchandise sold at CARNAVAL will benefit the Guadalupe Centers, a local non-profit organization serving the needs of the Latino community. Dollars raised will go toward supporting The M.U.S.I.C.A. Project at the Guadalupe Centers.

Check out this cool clip of Ozomatli and Making Movies inviting the public to the event:

Also view this wonderfully produced video (promoted nationally) about the band by restaurant chain, Wingstop:

Making Movies then travels to D.C., where they’ll play a string of East Coast dates:

Wed, Oct 8     Washington, DC     Bossa
Thu, Oct 9      Philadelphia, PA     Milkboy
Fri, Oct 10      New York, NY         Knitting Factory (*FREE show for CBGB Music Festival)
Sun, Oct 12     Winston-Salem, NC     Second Sundays on Fourth

About the band:

Making Movies is an internationally touring band whose bilingual music has been featured on MTV, NBC Latino, CNN en Español, NPR, and other national publications. The band is poised to re-release its second album titled A La Deriva, which was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer and artist Steve Berlin of famed rock band Los Lobos on Colorado based label, United Interests. Making Movies will embark on an East and West tour this fall.

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Buy this for me


Great shirt. Great advice!

Originally posted on OneChicklette:

I need this shirt.

Zoe Karssen

Reminder: my birthday is October 16.

While I’m being greedy, I might as well tell you I want this shirt too.

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