Yara Shahidi, Called A Voice Of Her Generation, Defers Harvard For Voter Registration

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Yara Shahidi, Called A Voice Of Her Generation, Defers Harvard For Voter Registration

In early 2018, ‘Blackish’ star Yara Shahidi discussed the importance of political engagement, sitting down with Oprah for a SuperSoul Conversation live event the Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Her focus was turning her activism into "quantifiable action" by launching Eighteen x '18, a new initiative to boost voter turnout among young people.

Talking to ET’s Nischelle Turner at the recent Los Angeles premiere of ‘BlacKkKlansman’, Shahidi talked about Oprah referring to her at “the future”, while telling her that she could be president if she wanted to take on the assignment.

Now Yara Shahidi will join fellow actors Olivia Munn and Chrissy Metz at Girl Up’s first annual #GirlHero Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell, Scarlett Johansson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gabrielle Union, Katy Perry, Renee Zellweger and Tony Goldwyn on Oct. 14.

Girl Up was founded by the United Nations Foundation in 2010 with the goal of preparing young girls for leadership positions in the movement toward gender equality, with around 40,000 participants working at locations in more than 100 countries. The organization provides its participants with leadership and social impact programs, as well as science, technology, engineering and math training.

When Shahidi applied to four of America’s most prestigious universities, former First Lady Michelle Obama wrote her letter of recommendation. Accepted at all four, the actor was headed to Harvard before deciding to defer for the moment. Shahidi is making a big effort this fall, using her star power to encourage her peers to become active in politics, while promoting her voter registration Eighteenx18 drive.

Stars Align In Alabama: Emmett Till; Four Birmingham, Alabama Church-Going Girls; Doug Jones; Dana Schutz & Racial Reconciliation

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Stars Align In Alabama: Emmett Till; Four Birmingham, Alabama Church-Going Girls; Doug Jones; Dana Schutz & Racial Reconciliation

Nigerian-born, Huntsville-raised, U of Alabama grad Toyin Ojih Odutola first got the attention of Voguemagazine when the poet Claudia Rankine published as essay in Aperture magazine, "A New Grammar for Blackness'. 

A year later, Toyin Ojih Odutola has mounted a solo show 'To Wander Determined' at the Whitney Museum in New York. Upon entering the show, visitors see a letter written by Odutola in the persona of the 'Deputy Private Secretary' for two aristocratic families in Lagos. 

artNet writes: "For Ojih Odutola, their images form a corrective to a Eurocentric art history that thinks of both court portraiture and genre paintings as belonging to a primarily white world, with black characters as footnotes—cast as servants, slaves, or left out completely.."

The topic of black identity, colonialism, and cultural appropriation have lived front and center in our national -- and international -- dialogue in 2017. 

Mad, Mad As Hell, & Madder Still: Hillary Women One Year Later Punch Our Way To The Voting Booths | Take Note, We Are Just Getting Started

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Mad, Mad As Hell, & Madder Still: Hillary Women One Year Later Punch Our Way To The Voting Booths | Take Note, We Are Just Getting Started

It's one year later -- one of the worst nights of my life. I drank more vodka than I want to admit. If Mika on Morning Joe opened her Bernie-loving trap on Nov. 9, I would throw a high heel at the TV and hopefully smash her away forever. 

Writing for Harper's Bazaar, Jennifer Wright reflects on that awful night a year later and the day after women hit the voting booths, inflicting serious pain on the Republican party in our first reckoning after Hillary's defeat. 

I watched as millions of women excitedly gathered in secret groups to support Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. There they talked about what an exciting moment in history this was. They did not venture out because their husbands might not like their vote, or Bernie voters might yell at them, or someone at their work might not like it. We saw at the time, I think, no contradiction in being posed on the edge of ultimate victory for womankind and also secreting ourselves away to make ourselves completely unobjectionable. We were always supposed to be unobjectionable.

So quietly, unobjectionably, we waited. We baked cakes, and chilled champagne, and put stickers on suffragettes graves. And so many of us thought how especially satisfying it would be to see a woman win against a man who was repeatedly accused of sexual harassment, who bragged about sexual assault, who seemed to embody the worst of what women encounter from men.

"It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man."

On November 9, we woke up, and Donald Trump had been elected.

Study: Republican Men See Women Political Leaders As Less Competent & With Lower Integrity

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Study: Republican Men See Women Political Leaders As Less Competent & With Lower Integrity

NPR reports on a new study analyzing data about Americans' attitudes toward their House of Representatives  members from 2010 through 2014. Ideally, the analysis would be more current, because the presidential election both confirmed and negated some of these conclusions. 

Mia Costa and Brian Schaffner, political scientists from the U of Mass, Amherst concluded that women tend to think "more highly of female legislators on a variety of measures", regardless of party. Republican men express serious reservations about the women representing them, whereas Democratic men often rate women higher than men in governing. 

The research isn't broken down by education, and I would argue here that high-school educated women tend to be more traditional in their beliefs that men should govern. These attitudes have been explored in depth post presidential election, like PRRI/Atlantic analysis and direct interviews with a large sampling of Trump voters. 

In studying members of the House, and not the Senate, the research results are also impacted by districts that are seriously gerrymandered and representing rigid attitudes among both parties, and also racial attitudes. Within these caveats, Costa and Schaffner concluded:

"While Democratic men evaluate women legislators more favorably, the opposite is true for Republican men," the researchers write. "Republican men are the one group who provide lower evaluations of female elected officials."

Why Hillary Didn't Carry White Women In The Presidential Election

We've been talking about the new PRRI/The Atlantic research on white working class voters who preferred Trump to Hillary 2 to 1. Much has been made of Hillary's failure to carry white women without a college degree. This research provides tons of answers, but one really sticks out to me:

Overall, white working-class Americans make up one-third (33%) of the adult public, a substantially larger share than white Americans with at least a four-year college education (22%).

58% of working class white men now express an authoritarian orientation, which is disconcerting to Democrats and progressives, Independents and true conservatives. But on the subject of Hillary Clinton not winning the white working class women's vote, 71% of those women prefer an authoritarian leader.

No one ever accused Hillary Clinton of being an authoritarian like Trump. I believe this stat about women in particular, because the most amazing research out of Baylor University in 2010 was done on America's Four Gods. Well over 150,000 people -- including many of us back then -- took the online survey, which had dramatic results around different visions of God.

The fourth vision of God -- one that I scored in believing -- is a non-gender spiritual energy force in the universe. Fully 25% of Americans embraced God #4, but get this -- it was 98% male who believe that God has no gender. American women believe that God is male -- except for Lisa and me, and a few other brave women with enlightened brains.

When I read the book and then took the online test, I said feminism is sunk in America if 98% of women believe that God is always watching them (more questions) and God is a he. ~ Anne

JUST IN!!! Based on Actual Voting in Florida, Hillary Is Taking 28% of the Republican Vote

We are fired up and ready to go!!!

Clinton is winning 28% of Republican votes cast in Florida to date, based on surveys of votes already cast. Goddess bless us all!!! The REAL vote -- not the polls -- but the real votes cast in Florida so far are crossing over for Hillary. It's projected that Hillary Clinton has 53% of the actual votes cast in Florida so far. Barring a major catastrophe, Hillary Clinton is projected to win Florida by 8% on Tuesday.

You KNOW the Republican group is disproportionately Republican women.

NOW, the Senate vote is neck and neck in Florida. We MUST take the Senate because Republicans are already saying they will not confirm a Supreme Court candidate for four years.

We MUST take the Senate to protect the Supreme Court and advance the issues all the progressive Hillary haters claim to care about. Without the Senate, this will be a minor presidential victory.

This could be a wipeout. We are fired up and ready to go!!! It's time to fix America and it will be a broad-based coalition. That means not everyone will get everything on their list. If we protect the Senate, we have the Supreme Court. ~ Anne