Friday, August 18, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - August 18 Edition

Women, Voting Rights

Today in history:

Image from the National Archives website

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

NFL, LGBTQ, Employee Program

The NFL today internally announced the launch of an LGBTQ employee affinity group, called NFL Pride. The new organization, which will officially launch Aug. 16, will be used to support LGBTQ employees and advise NFL executives on best practices for engaging on diversity issues.

The internal league memo, written by the NFL Diversity Council, was sent to all NFL staffers, including people at the league office and the NFL Network.

“Through networking events, speakers, community outreach and employee education, NFL Pride will serve LGBTQ employees and their allies as they support a culture of inclusion,” the memo read. “All employees are invited and encouraged to join and participate in planning and/or attending events.”

The group will be led by executive sponsors Julie Haddon (senior vice-president of marketing), Dawn Hudson (chief marketing officer) and Troy Vincent (vice-president of football operations).

The NFL started employee affinity groups around 2010, with current groups focusing on women and black employees. According to NFL Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer Robert Gulliver, NFL Pride is launching now because the NFL has received what he called a “critical mass” to ensure the group thrives.

NFL Pride kickoff event at the League office in New York City on August 16. From left to right: Moderator and author of the article above,  Cyd Zeigler; Ryan O'Callaghan (former NFL offensive tackle who came out publicly in June); Jason Collins (the NBA's first openly gay player, 13 seasons at the NBA, now retired); Billy Bean (MLB Ambassador for Inclusion and former professional baseball player. It was a wonderful event and made me proud to be a part of the NFL family. This is a new program for LGBTQ employees and their allies that will make a difference, as have other diversity and support initiatives implemented over the years for NFL employees.  

Solar Eclipse, DIY, Pop Culture

“Hundreds of years before solar viewing glasses were readily available, scientists and casual spectators could still enjoy these rare celestial events without frying their eyeballs. They'd use a combination of pinholes and mirrors to redirect the sun's rays onto a screen.

It took a while to figure out how to build the so-called camera obscura. Ancient Chinese and Greek scholars puzzled over pinholes for centuries before an Arab mathematician and scientist came up with a design.

You can rig up your own version with simple household items. It's easy. Skunk Bear's latest video shows you how.

And remember, never look directly at the sun without appropriate eye protection.”

And for some fun, one of my fave songs from the '80s will be sung during the total solar eclipse:

A universal pop song and the universe are about to align.

Guests aboard the Royal Caribbean's Total Eclipse Cruise have an extra surprise in store for their once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience: Bonnie Tyler, the Welsh songstress of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" fame, will be on board to perform her 1983 hit just as the moon sails across the sun. (The cruise ship will be positioned in the path of totality for this critical moment. “Bonnie Tyler was a natural choice for this once-in-a-lifetime moment," said the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley.)

Tyler's song launched her to stardom and remains a classic today, especially as a karaoke favorite. But this is the first time she'll be performing it during this highly anticipated astronomical event.

"It’s going to be so exciting," Tyler told TIME, speaking from a brief stopover in Wales. "It doesn't happen very often, does it?"

Mental Health, Social Media, Activism

“For people looking to protect their own mental health and not get so overwhelmed that they disengage from the issues they care about, Woodruff advises “differentiating worry and anxiety from positive action, and separating productive worry from unproductive worry.”

Ultimately, your personal anxiety has no effect on the world around you. Worry is not action, and knowledge, while important, is not action either. Randall cautions against getting caught up in following every minute detail of an issue.

“Whatever the issue is, once you’ve found out about it, stop,” she says. “That’s enough. You know about it. Then you need to decide what you’re going to do.” As an activist she interviewed once told her, she said, “‘Action is the antidote to despair.’””

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