Tag: “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape”

RespectAbility Creates Harriet Tubman Fellowships with Ford Foundation Grant to Train Future Disability Advocates

Printarticle by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Washington, D.C. – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, recently announced that the Ford Foundation awarded the charity a grant, which has enabled RespectAbility to create and offer Harriett Tubman Fellowships to select participants in the National Leadership Program.

Tubman acquired traumatic brain injury when a slave owner hit her with a heavy metal weight leading to epileptic seizures and hypersomnia. Her work, while living as an individual with a disability, to free enslaved people and then for women’s suffrage is one of the great stories of how people with disabilities can help make a nation stronger and better.

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, published a groundbreaking op-ed in The New York Times called “Internships are Not a Privilege,” which discussed how the practice of requiring people to do unpaid internships before they get good policy jobs harms diversity efforts and discriminates against people who cannot afford to do them.

“We are thrilled to have this new transformative support,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility. “Thanks to the Ford Foundation, we will be able to strengthen and diversify our National Leadership Program for young leaders with and without disabilities who are going into public policy, advocacy, journalism, public relations and other leadership roles. Previously, many people who wanted to participate in the program could not do so because while it offered free lunch and a transportation stipend, it was an unpaid program. Now we will be able to pay $15 an hour to many of the fellows who otherwise could not afford to do such a leadership program.”

RespectAbility’s first Harriet Tubman Fellows are:

headshot of Eddie Ellis, an African American manEddie B. Ellis Jr.
 is a reentry advocate/consultant, trainer, mentor and motivational speaker. As a returning citizen with multiple disabilities and a person of color, Ellis’ experience provides invaluable insight and depth into his work that allows him to connect with and engage the community in which he serves. He recently  published in The Washington Post: “I am one of the success stories from D.C.’s second-chance law for young offenders.”

Ellis is the founder and CEO of OneBy1, an organization that works with communities and partners to provide youth development workshops and mentoring services to keep youth out of the corrections system and help those exiting the system stay out. Ellis also has written and published several resource guides offering service referrals, practical tips and inspiration to former offenders and parolees returning to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He works hard to ensure that individuals reentering society are well informed and sufficiently equipped to make better choices for themselves and that they are truly given a second chance.

headshot of Ming Canaday, a Chinese womanMing Canaday recently completed coursework for a master’s degree in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This week she published a first-person piece in Foreign Policy: “I Was Rescued from a Chinese Orphanage. My Friend Wasn’t.” During her time in Europe, Canaday traveled extensively on the continent and to the University of Cape Town in South Africa to complete her dissertation research on contemporary attitudes towards rising Chinese migration to that region.

From 2009 to 2013, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, where she triple-majored in International Studies, Chinese, and Asian Studies. During her undergraduate career, Canaday spent time in China interning at Justice for All, a disability advocacy organization that serves individuals with disabilities as well as individuals with HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis B. After graduation, Canaday, who is a wheelchair user, pursued a certificate at the City University of New York in Disability Studies to better advocate for individuals with disabilities. She also completed a summer internship at Human Rights Watch, assisting with research on issues related to China’s policies toward people with physical or mental impairments. Continue reading “RespectAbility Creates Harriet Tubman Fellowships with Ford Foundation Grant to Train Future Disability Advocates”

Mom Chauncia Rogers Teaches 5 Year-Old Daughter Ava About Women in Black History Through Innovative Dress-Up Photo Project

Ava as Attorney General Loretta Lynch

According to the U.S. Department of Education, we learn most rapidly during the early years of childhood. More importantly, a child’s first five years are most critical to the development of security and self-confidence. To the black community, this simply suggests that we began teaching our children to take pride in who they are, our culture and our history at an early age.

It can be quite a challenge to find creative and effective methods when teaching young children about their ancestry. However, in February freelance journalist and copy editor Chauncia Boyd Rogers came up with a unique idea. She decided it was time to teach her 5-year-old daughter, Ava Noelle Rogers, about eminent woman in black history.

To ensure Ava retained the information, Chauncia decided to create a photo project implementing what Ava likes best…playing dress up. Chauncia dressed her daughter as several prominent black women and took pictures so that Ava would never forget the experience and she put them on Facebook.

NBCBLK contributor Alicia Hadley recently spoke with Chauncia and Ava about the details of their creative project.

AH: How did you come up with the idea?

Chauncia: I had a Timehop photo and it showed me and Ava in 2011 at our church’s Black History program. During that program, every week in February, one of the teens at church dressed as an historical [black] figure and did some sort of presentation as that figure. So I just wanted to borrow from that.

Ava as Josephine Baker
Ava as Josephine Baker

And Ava, she just really likes to repurpose things around the house. So I said, “I’m just going to use Ava’s simplicity-take things around the house and make them work for the pictures. And it will be a way for her to enjoy it.”

I wanted Ava to learn about black history. She didn’t participate in my church’s celebration in February 2011 because she had just turned one. But she turned five in December 2014 and I felt that at this age, she would be more receptive to the information.

Ava as poet Phillis Wheatley
Ava as poet Phillis Wheatley

I’m also from St. Louis. We just moved to Orlando about a year ago and Michael Brown was my niece’s cousin. He’s on her dad’s side of the family and so the entire situation is very close to home. My cousin and my aunt live on the street he was killed on. I grew up in Ferguson. I lived in Ferguson from age three to nine. I see what’s going on in St. Louis and right now a part of me is glad that I’m away in Orlando because it’s just traumatic and dramatic. But then a part of me wants to be out there doing what I can to help. I guess the situation in my hometown is another thing that inspired me. I just want Ava to know that she can be better, and that she can do better.

AH: There have been so many significant black women who have helped shape our society. How did you decide which women made the cut? Continue reading “Mom Chauncia Rogers Teaches 5 Year-Old Daughter Ava About Women in Black History Through Innovative Dress-Up Photo Project”

‘Ask A Slave’ Web Series Creator Azie Mira Dungey Uses Satire To Educate the Ignorant About Slavery

ask a slave

Playing the role of a slave woman at one of the country’s top-tourist destinations, actress and comedian Azie Mira Dungey learned first hand how ignorant many Americans are about the institution of slavery.  For two years, Dungey worked part-time at George Washington‘s Mount Vernon mansion in Mount Vernon, Va., often portraying one of the slave women who worked inside of Washington’s home. The role required her to read countless books on the plantation’s history over a two month period before she started the job.

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Once she stepped into character, Dungey realized that she was more than just a recent New York University graduate milling around in a short-term gig until Hollywood called; instead, Dungey believed that she was something of a griot of Black history and took her role very seriously.

And her job wasn’t easy. Often, Dungey has had to answer challenging questions from mostly White tourists — all while staying in character.

During an exclusive interview with NewsOne, Dungey recalled the time someone asked, “What’s your favorite part of the plantation?” (Her answer: “My bed”) Then there was the guy who asked, “How did you get to be the house maid for such a distinguished Founding Father? Did you see the advertisement in the newspaper?”

(Her answer: “Did I read the advertisement in the newspaper? Why yes. It said, ‘Wanted: One housemaid. No pay, preferably mulatto, saucy with breeding hips. Must work 18 hours a day. No holidays. But, you get to wear a pretty dress. And, if you’re lucky, you might to get carry some famous White man’s bastard child.’ So, you better believe I read that, ran over and said, ‘sign me up.’” ).

But not all of the obtuse questions came from White people.

After speaking to an older Black man about a runaway slave who attempted to flee Washington’s plantation, the man seemed shocked at the slave’s attempt at freedom. “He was like, ‘Wait a minute, why did he want to run away?’” Dungey recalls the man asking. “‘I thought that George Washington was a good slave owner.’”

“I just looked at him, like, Are you serious?… You can be the nicest in the world but people don’t want to be your slave. And the man was like, ‘Yeah, that’s true.’”

As aforementioned, though, as comical as some of the questions were, Dungey never broke character. Dungey was committed to ensuring that she conveyed the reality in which her character lived. In her role, Dungey realized that she may be one of the few people from whom they can get some sense of how Blacks lived during a very repressive period in American history.

“History is our narrative,” she said. “It shapes what we think of ourselves and our society. How it is controlled, and whose stories get told (or not told) has a strong effect on culture, and even on public policy. Black history is not a separate history or a less important one. Misconceptions about Black history and the modern Black experience is really dividing us politically and socially. If we don’t understand racism and where it comes from, how can we end it? How can we weed it out? We have to be critical of these things to make true progress.”

She left that job late last year and has since moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, but the two-year experience motivated her to turn the hilarity of the tourists’ ignorance into the YouTube web series “Ask A Slave.” As “Lizzie Mae,” Dungey sits in front of a TV and answers viewers’ questions about slavery and George Washington.

All of the questions are ones tourists actually asked while she was working at Mount Vernon.

Watch Episode 1 of “Ask A Slave” here:

Since going live with two videos Sept. 1, the first episode has garnered more than 301,100 views, while the second episode has more than 119,000 views. It’s not a bad start at all, especially considering that Dungey raised the funds for production herself.

Watch Episode 2 of “Ask A Slave” here:

Back in April, she raised $3,000 through the crowdsourcing site GoFundMe to shoot six episodes, which will be published on YouTube each Sunday. The series was directed by Jordan Black, creator of the improvised comedy web series “The Black Version.”  The first two episodes have gotten positive reviews from JezebelMadameNoire, as well as other sites, with Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman calling it “the best web series since “Drunk History.”

Continue reading “‘Ask A Slave’ Web Series Creator Azie Mira Dungey Uses Satire To Educate the Ignorant About Slavery”