Guest Post – Our Crown Has Been Bought: Why #WomensHistoryMonth Matters

To conclude the #WomensHistoryMonth guest post series is blogger Anuli Akanegbu. Visit her blog “Also Known As Anuli” for her musings on pop culture, technology and life as a 20-something living in Chicago.

Young Girl Playing By Herself

 

When I was a little girl I had more dream jobs than Barbie. I wanted to be a firefighter, a hairdresser and an international superstar all at the same time. I never once questioned whether I could do it all or have it all because I was taught to believe that if I tried my best and lived with passion then I could achieve whatever I set my mind towards.

I will admit that I currently envy that little girl and her ambition. Over the years, I’ve questioned myself and have given in on multiple occasions to Impostor Syndrome.

“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.” This quote is often attributed to Maya Angelou, but it was actually first said by James Baldwin in regards to the double discrimination he faced from being both black and gay.

Similarly to Baldwin the crown I wear is a double-tiered one because I am black and I am woman.

Continue reading

Millennial on a Mission: Alissa Trumbull

To close out this amazing Women’s History Month, I’m excited to spotlight yet another young woman who has a passion for social media like myself, and is building an awesome brand to further connect with her millennial peers. The Social Outlaws is her newest endeavor, in which she and her co-founder look to highlight the latest in discoveries in social media and social business for their readers. It’s also pretty cool that she’s a fellow Evanstonian as well. :-)

Meet Alissa Trumbull.

AT_moam

Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Alissa started her undergrad work at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin as a Technical Theatre and Biochemistry major. She then transferred to Loyola University Chicago during her sophomore  year, and received a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Theatre Minor. “I stayed on at Loyola for a Master’s in Social Work with a dual concentration in Health and Children & Families, and also received a MA in Bioethics and Health Policy,” she says.  And while she has chosen not to use her Social Work degree formally, she has always had opportunities to utilize the skills that she has honed, as all jobs require an understanding of human interaction. Currently, she works as a freelance writer and graphic designer, and moonlights at a local restaurant, The Lucky Platter. “I love everything about what I’m doing.”

Continue reading

Guest Post: Why Is Women’s History Month So Important?

Today’s post is by guest blogger Diarrha N’Diaye. Visit her personal website for more of her amazing insight on fashion, beauty and travel. 

We work. We love. We nurture. We fight. We innovate. We birth. We support. But somehow we’re still the lesser. (What feels like) Eons later, women are still living in a man’s world. It’s a confusing and often complex phenomenon especially when we sprinkle of cultures and religion into the ‘1+1=1.5 equation.’  But every once in a while we remember the great power the woman possesses. We remember Shirley  Chisholm. Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Michelle Obama. Rosa Parks. Mariama Ba. Maya Angelou. Princess Diana. Malala Yousafzai. Sophie Zinga. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Our moms.

That every once in a while comes to us today in the form of Woman’s History Month. When the clock  strikes March 1st I get this overwhelming sense of joy and pride to be Female. My peacock feathers are out! My Instagram feed is overflowing with phenomenal women who inspire me to continue to push the limit and work towards the best version of myself. It’s a month to reunite and connect with our leaders and respected peers to collectively shed light on the importance of woman equality in this “man’s world.”

I grew up in my mother’s African Hair Braiding Salon where women from all walks of life convened at her 125th Avenue beauty haven. And trust and believe, I’ve heard it all within those four walls. But I also remembered being inspired by so many women, in so many ways. I remember: One lady had the most compelling stories about teaching special needs children. That inspired me to be compassionate to my peers in school. Another lady visited religiously and each time had a different story about her job as a bus route driver. She, somehow, taught me to be authoritative. This hilarious woman (who was well in her 50s at her time) retired young and traveled the world (in stylish grey braids, of course). She inspired me to not take my self too seriously. And to make sure I went away to for college and looked into a study abroad program as soon as I settled on campus. It was a great time growing up, and having a sense of self-worth in this otherwise man-dominated world.

Now that those days have come and gone I have had to find my own sort of haven, where women convene, inspire and spark new changes. And now, in my older years, I have made it a priority to always surround myself with strong females. Women’s History Month is a gift to me; it’s become my digital safe haven. *Cue “I’m Every Woman”*

EVENT RE-CAP: The First-Ever White House Instameet

Happy Monday, folks!

As many of you could tell from my Instagram photos, I had the awesome opportunity to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend, and share my entire experience.

20150323-082723.jpg

For my second time visiting the White House, I must say that I was pretty excited, but very curious as to what exactly we were going to see. For those of you all that have visited before, typically the tours are subject to the East Wing (primarily where FLOTUS hangs out.) And while that remained the same route for ours, it’s always a little different when there aren’t as many people snapping selfies, asking the same questions, and trying to scoot pass you to get a closer look at an important artifact.

Continue reading

Guest Post: To Be Or Not To Be…

Today’s post is by guest blogger Aja Seldon. Visit her personal website for more awesome “Hustlenomics” and “Snackables” like the one featured below. 

[photo via Essence.com]

As a woman striving to be the best version of myself, I often wondered would I ever be enough. Questions invaded my psyche and haunted me in my dreams. Would I ever be enough for the world? Do I standout or fall in line? How do I make my presence known? Would my legacy be one that is remembered or would my likes and follows be the determining factor? Did my name hold enough weight to go down in history? All I wanted was for someone to show me the map or blueprint to greatness and I would simulate.

Continue reading

Millennial on a Mission: Alyssa Windell

I’m always excited to discover my millennial peers doing what they love while scrolling through my Instagram or Twitter feeds. Today’s “Millennial on a Mission” is passionate about personal finance, and empowering her generation to make smart decisions with their money now so that they’ll be comfortable in the future. In one of her recent blog posts, she TRIPLE dog dares you not to touch your tax refund, and provides a number of great tips on how you can save and invest such a nice chunk of change.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Alyssa Windell.

Awindell

Born in California, and raised in Pennsylvania, Alyssa now resides in Oregon. Originally, she started her college career at the University of San Diego, and then transferred to Oregon State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication with a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship. “Throughout my undergraduate experience, I was inspired by many fields of study and it was incredibly difficult for me to settle upon one pathway,” Alyssa recalls. “Thankfully, college was a wonderful time to experience many avenues and to gain exposure to everything.” Currently, she works for a mid-sized, family-owned company in the city of Eugene called PakTech. “I absolutely love my role and value working for company that supports each of it’s employees through their career and professional development.”

Continue reading

Guest Post: Lessons In Feminism From Southern Mothers & Gilmore Girls

Today’s post is by guest blogger Laura Lindeman. Visit her awesome self-titled blog for meal plan ideas, organization tips and so much more! 

To be honest, I didn’t know until recently that March was Women’s History Month. I’m not sure  what rock I’ve been living under, but that’s the truth. So I can’t really tell you any glowing stories about what this month means to me. What I can tell you is that, at the ripe old age of 26, I’ve embraced a brand of feminism that is centered on choice.

I have a complicated relationship with the word “feminism.” I grew up in Mississippi, the only child of a Connecticut Yankee mother and a Southern Californian father, both highly educated. They were together quite awhile before they had me, and my mom kept her last name when they married. I learned to read early and attended public schools somewhat as a matter of principle. I always assumed I would go to graduate school. I never dreamed about my wedding day. Of course, I thought, I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course, it seemed like I
ought to be a feminist.

And yet all of the women I came to admire were traditional Southern women who looked nothing like what I figured a feminist to be. They baked for the church bake sale, they fixed casseroles as if it were as easy as breathing, they called their fathers “Daddy” no matter how old they were. These women mothered me, in different arenas than my own mom, who is also amazing. They did my laundry for me when I went to boarding school, they mediated fights between my high school best friend and me, they made pallets of their grandmother’s quilts on the floor when I spent the night with their daughters. The picture of who I wanted to be when I grew up looked a lot less like a career and a lot more like a mom.
Continue reading