All posts by Nativegrl77

Still I Rise – Poem by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in


the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

FDA/USDA ~~ August Alerts & Safety

08/23/2016 02:40 PM EDT

Baptista’s Bakery, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of 7.2 oz. Snack Factory® Original Pretzel Crisps® and 7.2 oz Snack Factory® Sriracha Lime Pretzel Crisps® packages because they may contain undeclared milk ingredients. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume the affected product.

08/17/2016 11:19 AM EDT

Cary, IL, Sage Products announced today it is expanding its voluntary nationwide recall to include an additional lot of Comfort Shield Barrier Cream Cloths at the distributor and healthcare facility/user level. The recall is being initiated due to product contamination with the bacteria, Burkholderia cepacia.

Updated information is now available. A list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 061-2016, Bar-S Foods Company Recalls Chicken and Pork Hot Dog and Corn Dog Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination (Jul 19, 2016).
08/15/2016 03:16 PM EDT

DSM Biomedical B.V., the Netherlands, Cook Medical’s supplier of hydrophilic coating for the Roadrunner® Uniglide® Hydrophilic Wire Guide, recalled certain lots of material due to concerns about a potential contamination by glass particles ranging in size of approximately 4 to 280 µm. Cook received one lot of the affected recalled coating. This prompted Cook Medical to initiate a recall of 8,750 units of the Roadrunner UniGlide Hydrophilic Wire Guides on June 24, 2016.

08/12/2016 05:25 PM EDT

Oriental Packing Co., Inc., Miami, Florida is recalling approximately 377,000 lbs. of the following blended seasoning curry products because it is contaminated with lead. Lead can accumulate in the body over time and can cause serious and sometimes permanent adverse health consequences

08/11/2016 09:38 PM EDT

Rabbit Creek Products of Louisburg, KS is recalling certain flavors of Bread mixes, Muffin mixes and Brownie mixes under the Rabbit Creek Products and other Private label brand names due to the potential presence of Escherichia coli O:121 (E. coli O:121). People usually get sick from E. coli O: 121, also referred to as STEC O:121, 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the bacteria. Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.

08/12/2016 11:51 AM EDT

Ton Shen Health of Chicago, IL, is recalling its “DHZC-2” Tablets because they have the potential to be contaminated with elevated levels of lead, a naturally occurring element which can affect multiple body system and particularly harmful to young children. Lead poisoning can happen if a person is exposed to high levels of lead over short period of time.

08/10/2016 12:35 PM EDT

Country Home has initiated a voluntary recall of Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel Cookies sold at ShopRite stores in its Fresh Bake department. These cookies were sold in 12- and 24-count containers and may also be part of the 12- and 24-count variety packages of cookies.


Sam Kane Beef Processors, LLC Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible Foreign Material ContaminationSam Kane Beef Processors, LLC, a Corpus Christi, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 60,350 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with foreign materials, specifically metal.

08/08/2016 09:36 PM EDT

PharmaTech, LLC of Davie, FL, is voluntarily recalling all liquid products from October 20, 2015 through July 15, 2016 as a precautionary measure due to a potential risk of product contamination with Burkholderia cepacia.If a product contains B. cepacia, its use could result in infections in patients with compromised immune systems and in patients with chronic lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Some of these infections may be serious or even life-threatening in the at risk patient population

Updated information is now available. A list of retail consignees has been posted for recall ConAgra Foods Recalls Frozen Chicken and Beef Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination: 056-2016 (Jul 6, 2016) and 056-2016 EXP (Jul 15, 2016).

08/08/2016 06:52 AM EDT

Gel Spice, Inc. is expanding its recall of ground turmeric powder to include additional brands because of elevated lead levels. Lead can accumulate in the body over time. Too much can cause health problems, including delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Pregnant women, infants and young children especially should avoid exposure to lead.

08/04/2016 04:44 PM EDT

JM Exotic Foods, Inc. is recalling ground turmeric because samples from our supplier were found to contain elevated levels of lead. This product was solely distributed to a farmer’s market in Doraville, GA from May until August 2016.

08/05/2016 11:37 AM EDT

Lake Forest, IL – Hospira, Inc., a Pfizer company, is voluntarily recalling one lot of 0.25% Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection, USP (NDC: 0409-1159-02, Lot 59-064- DK, Expiry 1NOV2017) at the hospital/retail level due to the presence of particulate matter within a single vial. The issue was identified through a confirmed complaint


No lazy days of summer here. We’ve been busy

Headlines from the Frontlines – August 2016
Marking the United State of Women with the White House
On June 14, ABB was thrilled to attend the United State of Women Summit hosted by the White House in Washington, D.C. The day was jam-packed with inspiring speakers who called on attendees to keep up the fight to improve women’s health, economic security, and equality across American society. From Vice President Biden, who highlighted the bravery of sexual violence survivors working to combat assault on college campuses, to First Lady Michelle Obama, who urged women to know their own value, the summit celebrated the progress women have achieved while mapping out the changes necessary to continue that progress. President Obama brought down the house when he declared, “This is what a feminist looks like.” His recent essay in Glamour expanded on the themes of his speech, urging us all to change attitudes like the one that “congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers,” and urging men to step up to fight sexism because “when everybody is equal, we are all more free.”
Status of America’s Fathers Summit
A Better Balance also attended the State of America’s Fathers Summit on June 14. The summit, held at the Paley Center for Media in New York City, featured the presentation of a new Promundo report on fatherhood in America. Two of the report’s lead authors, Brian Heilman and Gary Barker, spoke of the need for workplace policies that support parents of all genders and of the importance of valuing caregiving work. Other speakers presented diverse perspectives on fatherhood and included Esta Soler of Futures Without Violence, spoken word artist J.Ivy, Vicky Shabo of the National Partnership for Women & Families, Joe Jones of the Center for Urban Families, and former NBA player and father of seven Allan Houston.
The Advocate
Equality Federation Leadership Conference 
Preston Van Vliet (pictured at left), National Campaign Organizer of the LGBTQ Work-Family Project, attended and co-presented two workshops at the Equality Federation’s Leadership Conference in Portland, Oregon, from July 13th-16th. The conference is the annual meeting for state-based LGBTQ advocacy organizations within the Equality Federation’s network and other national organizational allies. Preston co-presented a workshop about the importance of cross-movement strategy in stopping statewide pre-emption of progressive issues, including paid sick days and LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinances. He also led a workshop about the importance of updating the definition of “family” in policies, with workplace leave policies as the main entry point, so that diverse families can access benefits that “nuclear families” have had access to for decades.
World Breastfeeding Week: A Better Balance Attends WIC Celebrations
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1–7), the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program hosted celebrations at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals in Manhattan on August 2 and 3. A Better Balance presented know-your-rights trainings to new and expecting moms on their right to express breast milk in the workplace and other legal protections such as the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Earned Sick Time Act. Other groups in attendance included Achieve Beyond, an organization that supports developmentally delayed and disabled children and their families, and the New York City Department of Transportation, whose representative presented a hands-on training on car seat safety for children and infants. ABB congratulates all new moms who are successfully breastfeeding and invites anyone with questions about their rights as a nursing mom to call our free and confidential legal hotline at (212) 430-5982.
A Better Balance Honored to be Included in Nashville Council on Gender Equity
On July 13, Mayor Megan Barry issued an executive order establishing the Nashville Council on Gender Equity, which will recommend solutions to address gender inequality in the city. Elizabeth Gedmark, Director of A Better Balance’s Southern Office, will be a member of the new Council, along with many talented civic and business leaders including musician Jack White. The new council will be co-chaired by Pat Shea, CEO of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, and Ronald Roberts, CEO of the public relations firm DVL Seigenthaler. The Council will focus on economic opportunities, family services, health and safety, and data integration. A Better Balance is honored to be included in such an esteemed group and looks forward to working with the Council and Mayor Barry.
New York City Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary of the Earned Sick Time Act
On July 30, 2014, workers in New York City were able to begin using their sick time under the NYC Earned Sick Time Act. A Better Balance led the way in fighting for this landmark law, which made New York City among the first jurisdictions in the country to guarantee workers the right to time off when they or a family member are sick, injured, or in need of medical care. Today, lawmakers around the country have followed in the footsteps of early leaders like New York City: five states and almost 30 localities now have paid sick days laws on the books.
For more information on the law, check out our comprehensive know-your-rights resources, including answers to frequently asked questions (also in Spanish) and our printable flyer (Spanish).  Domestic workers (people who work in someone else’s home like a nanny or a housekeeper) are covered under the law and can find out more about their rights with our revised fact sheet. If you’re a worker in New York City with questions about the law or think your sick time rights may have been violated, contact our free and confidential legal hotline in English or Spanish at 212-430-5982.
Voices from the Clinic
“I just want to thank you…for the dedication and time to listen to my concern as a nursing mother in a working environment. To know that my concerns [were] not taken in vain is absolutely helpful and amazing. Thank you for all of the feedback, following up, addressing all my concerns and questions, and even taking the time to do additional research of the laws (state and federal) to protect my rights as a nursing mother. A lot of nursing mothers are afraid to speak up for themselves to an employer because of fear of retaliation or that their voices just won’t be heard. You…make it possible.”
– Cheryl in N

Voting is a Right NOT a Privilege ~~ The Struggle continues

Time to pass the VRA … update redistricting rules and make it easier for ALL Americans to VOTE

Dear @ChiefJusticeRoberts

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana


On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans right to vote.

The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.

People organized a Peaceful Protest March from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, as those protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery. The police, some riding horses were ready for violence decided to engage in excessive use of force, which included brutally beating protesters with billy clubs, others sprayed water as well as tear gas at these kids, while journalists and photographers witnessed.

The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then President Johnson, who was once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.


The Voting Act of 1965 was signed into law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful ugly March of death for the right to vote called ,”Bloody Sunday”.

Now, some 48 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. There are conservative states targeting not only African Americans but also Senior citizens, first time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers. In addition, Governors from Republican controlled States are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time and were treated like possible (illegals). This  is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. This year, new stricter voter ID legislation is pending in thirty-one states. This includes, voter ID proposals in thirteen states with proposals to strengthen existing voter ID laws in ten states, and eight states that will amend the new voter ID laws passed in 2011.

We need to push back  on all attempts to suppress the right to Vote.

With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.

We cannot let the naysayers turn back the clock on Voting Rights or the next generation.

Thank You for Taking Action


Think Progress …

Texas Lawmakers Won’t Let Supreme Court Ruling Stop Them From Restricting Abortion


Domestic Workers In Lebanon Are Killing Themselves To Escape Abuse



The Arctic Is About To Get Its Biggest Cruise Ship Ever. That’s A Scary Thought.
In recent years more and more tourists have begun popping up along the Northwest Passage. The trip is possible only because the Arctic’s ice is receding, and it is a powerful reminder of how far we have come in a century and a half of industrialization.