INFINITE POSSIBILITE–VOL. 3

EMBRACING WHO WE ARE – LET’S COME TOGETHER TO BUILD OUR CIRCLE – THE GATHERING

Guest Blogger – Hillary Stone, Kent State Fashion School

Once upon a time in a far away place located in a Northeast Ohio suburb lived a woman who year after year looked forward to the holidays for mainly one reason…The Hallmark Channel’s Holiday/Christmas Movies. Each year she anticipates watching the celebration of love while knowing that there is always the constant theme of what it means to possess true spirit.

“We cannot lose hope father, for snow will fall and the factory will be up and running, but most of all, you and your one true love will find each other on Christmas morning.” Really, yes, really…Each movie starts with a sadden theme, but in the end, all will be cheering, hugging and patting each other’s backside. So what does this say about this woman and why does she look forward to this time each year?

She knows that life happens and the choices she makes are the natural consequence of her actions. She understands that the words should, could, would, and deserve have more harm than meaning. That one’s personal journey cannot contain those words, because it limits growth, hope, and most of all, the gratitude of past, present, and future. She watches with glee knowing that her day will come and for herself and for her family and friends. That there is hope and many blessings, but sometimes we may overlook and not acknowledge the ones around us and/or even ourselves. She is human and does not strive to be the perfect woman, wife, mother, friend, and designer/artist, but works to be most excellent in her actions with herself and all.

So, as we embark on 2017, we know that The Hallmark Channel reinforces these actions demonstrating how one can truly live in the positive and learn how to become the champion when conquering the negative. So who is she? She is me…J.

And yes, Readers, I have my plans for tonight with popcorn in hand and my daughter by my side…J

HALLMARK GIFT (S) – identifying & SHARING

Can you imagine looking at your life and realizing what true gifts are given to you and yours, even during the most trying times?

GRATITUDE time – identifying & SHARING

Again, identify and share what you are grateful for and what you would like for yourself and others for the coming new year?

May you and yours have a healthy and happy holiday season…Toast the New Year and bring joy for all!

I look forward to your words and always with Gratitude…

INFINITE POSSIBILITE–VOL. 2

HILLARY M. STONE – FALL 2016

EMBRACING WHO WE ARE – LET’S COME TOGETHER TO BUILD OUR CIRCLE – THE GATHERING

Welcome! I waited to release November’s theme on gratitude due to this reflection centers on what happened or did not happened around the Thanksgiving table. One could only imagine the conversations – whether the topics were all about the epicurean delights served, the newest enlightened chat, and/or the heightened political climate and its aftermath of brutality on both sides. Sometimes gratitude reflections are left at the table and quietly forgotten and not acted upon, only to revisit the following year.

I did not want to forget or revisit my gratitude a year from now. This year, Thanksgiving was in Florida with my 93-year old aunt. As a divorced mother, part of my own acceptance in life is that holidays are split equally according the equal/odd years. It is a very hard time for me as I struggle to watch others celebrate with their children while knowing that my little girl is celebrating two streets away. I cannot kiss and wish her Happy Thanksgiving at my own dining table. Hmmm.

So, this year, instead of swallowing my feelings and wiping my tears, I created for myself a new meaning of Thanksgiving. Deciding to make a new start or shall I say new memory, it was my mother who selflessly suggested that I spend my time with her eldest sister. My Aunt Lu planned to stay in Florida during this holiday spending her time with a couple of friends at the country club. As her family scattered all over the country, she just recently returned from California celebrating with all of them knowing that to turn around and travel again would be hard and very tiring. So, I decided spend Thanksgiving with Aunt Lu.

I flew to Florida on Tuesday and the minute I laid eyes on Aunt Lu, I knew that 2016 Thanksgiving was meant for me to be present and grateful for everything that life has to offer, the good and the bad. To describe Aunt Lu, the first word would be exquisite. When she walks in a room all eyes look upon her; it is not only her beauty, but also her presence and energy. Aunt Lu is strong and her words and actions have no mercy especially when she loves you. The bite of Aunt Lu is felt, but I can honestly say, if you listen and learn, her advice can prevent a greater pain. Her life reflections can solve both small and complex issues whether they are trivial or serious. One will know not only how to set the proper table, entertain both intimate and large gatherings, but most importantly how to always maintain strength, dignity and grace in whatever personal and/or professional situation(s).

She is before Martha Stewart in creating a home and business. Our conversations range from recipes, design/architecture, career, money, and politics – oh yes politics, and she is so not thrilled about our President elect. Aunt Lu is my Thanksgiving gift. She filled my time with value and I am so honored to be able to share and listen how she talked about life, marriage, and family. As I joined her and her friends, I knew that I pictured my life differently years ago, but my journey led me to sip tea with this incredible woman. I spent four days of learning and laughing, only to take with me her knowledge that assist me in always maintaining strength, dignity and grace. This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to have my daughter, family/friends and in a very special way, to have an Aunt Lu. What a true blessing it was to be a part of her Thanksgiving table.

THANSGIVING GIFT (S) – identifying & SHARING

As you look back at your Thanksgiving table, how do you reflect on what happened or did not happened?

Were you able to agree and come together to realize life’s importance? Can you list the gift(s) given on the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday?

GRATITUDE time – identifying & SHARING

Again, identify and share what you are grateful for as we embark this holiday season?

How can you make sure you carry this thru the next year?

I look forward to your words and with always with Gratitude…

-I N F I N I T E P O S S I B I L I T E S-V O L . 1

This month we are starting a monthly guest blog written by Hillary Stone, the Industry Liaison- Internship Manager for Kent State’s Fashion School.

EMBRACING WHO WE ARE – LET’S COME TOGETHER TO BUILD OUR CIRCLE – THE GATHERING

Welcome! Let us begin this season to come together as a force of sharing and experiences. Within these next several months, we will form a circle, engage to strengthen, and acquire the knowledge to carry-on sending messages of hope believing we are nature’s gifts. Utilizing the seasons, we will recognize how we are interconnected while still developing at our own pace.

Use this to learn, embrace, and acquire the tools needed to support the unknown journey ahead. I will ask each of you a series of questions. The answers provided would open all to a discussion and reflection on how we may expand our awareness by learning from each other. Within the month, please submit any comments and/or questions only to receive words of wisdom from all. At the beginning of each month, I will provide you with a new series of questions to support you in reaching your next level of growth.

HARVEST TIME – IDENTIFYING YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS/LOSSES – BALANCE THE LIGHT/DARK

We are blessed to receive the bounty of fall. Living in the Midwest, our senses truly witness the seasonal changes. It is time to acknowledge what we achieved and lost. Fall is the balance of light and dark. It is the Equinox – when the sun crosses the equator, thus our day and night span equal lengths of time. The fall also represents the harvest of our bounty, the gifts of summer bearing the hard work.

Fall denotes how we may also face impermanence; signifying the end and how we accept, embrace, and most of all respect life’s fragility. We prepare for winter as the light begins to fade and our nights are longer. Calling something a loss or an end may also mean a new start.

SHARING

What is your Bounty? List 5 of your Achievements experienced this past year. How you are able share and connect theses experiences with others?

Now, list 5 of your Losses experienced this past year. Can you see how it can be a new beginning?

I look forward to your words and always with Gratitude

Dove fights to end sexism in the media

Before the Olympics started, Dove created a campaign, ‘My Beauty, My Say,’ that calls awareness to the media’s sexist comments toward female athletes. Dove knows that female athletes are judged on their looks and Dove wants to change the story. Dove wants the media to know that “When they only see an athlete’s looks, they don’t see her at all.” Since April there has been 114 million times female athletes were exposed to comments about their appearance.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.51.35 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.54.09 PM

Shawn Johnson-East, former Olympic gold medal gymnast, partnered with Dove and expressed her concerns with the media when she was in the Olympics.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.58.58 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 7.04.06 PM

For examples of media’s comments and to hear stories from other female athletes, go to Dove’s page. #MyBeautyMySay.

Pat Summitt’s Legacy

Pat Sue Summitt, former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach, died June 28, 2016 at the age of 64. She is known as the women with 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history, and for helping with Title IX. Summitt, born Patricia Sue Head, in Clarksville, Tennessee grew up loving the sport. When she was in high school, her family moved to Henrietta, Tennessee so she could play basketball because Clarksville did not have a women’s team.

After high school, she attended the University of Tennessee at Martin and played for the university’s first female basketball coach, Nadine Gearin. During her time at UT, Summitt’s parents had to pay for her to attend and play basketball because there were no athletic scholarships for women, while her brother received an athletic scholarship.

Summitt later won a silver medal for playing in the 1976 Summer Olympics for the United States women’s national basketball team, where she was a co-captain. In 1984, she coached the team, winning a gold medal where she became the first U.S. Olympian to win a basketball medal and coach a medal-winning team.

In 1974, just before the basketball season, Summitt became a graduate assistant for the University Tennessee. She was then named head coach at 22 years old, after the previous coach quit. In her first year coaching, while attending class to complete her Master’s, Summitt only made $8,900 that year. Also, during her first year she would do things that you would never see now days. In an interview with Time, she said:

“ I had to drive the van when I first started coaching. One time, for a road game, we actually slept in the other team’s gym the night before. We had mats; we had our little sleeping bags. When I was a player at the University of Tennessee- Martin, we played at Tennessee Tech for three straight games, and we didn’t wash our uniforms. We only had one set. We played because we loved the game. We didn’t think anything about it.”

On April 18, 2012, Summitt stepped down as head coach for the Lady Vols and accepted the role of head coach emeritus, leaving the head coach position to Summitt’s assistant Holly Warlick. Summitt was able to still interact with the players and watch practices. This decision came one year ago when she announced that she was diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

At the end of Summitt’s career, she ended with career highs that made men’s basketball teams want her as a coach. Summit in total had eight national titles, 16 conference tournament titles, 18 Final Four appearances; teams in every NCAA women’s tournament since its inception in 1981, and a college degree for every player.

Not only was she a legend on the court, she was a legend in extending Title 9 to women sports. On June 23, 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX into law. This new law was a victory for women because under Title IX, it prohibits discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid, which lacked during Summitt’s early coaching days.

According to the NCAA, There are three basic parts of Title IX for athletic programs: Participation, scholarships and other benefits.

For participation, women and men have equal opportunities to participate in a sport, but do not require colleges to offer identical sports. For athletic scholarships, both women and men receive money proportional to their participation. For other benefits:

“Title IX requires the equal treatment of female and male student-athletes in the provisions of: (a) equipment and supplies; (b) scheduling of games and practice times; (c) travel and daily allowance/per diem; (d) access to tutoring; (e) coaching, (f) locker rooms, practice and competitive facilities; (g) medical and training facilities and services; (h) housing and dining facilities and services; (i) publicity and promotions; (j) support services and (k) recruitment of student-athletes.”

A renowned female coach will be forever remembered in the game of basketball and her legacy will be forever engraved in women’s hearts for helping with Title IX.

Written by: Samantha Meisenburg, Public Relations major and Women’s Center Intern Summer ’16.

 

 

Stanford’s Rape Case

As of now, everyone has heard about the infamous Stanford Rape Case. This information has been on every broadcast station, newspaper outlet and social media medium.

On June 2, 2016 Judge Persky announced that Brock Turner would only receive six months in jail with probation after being convicted on three felony accounts – assault with intent to rape an intoxicated women, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.

Persky’s decision has been under major scrutiny because his concern that “prison would have a severe impact on Turner”, therefore the punishment wasn’t as harsh as the prosecutor asked for, which was six years in prison.

Many news outlets describe Turner as an “All American swimmer”, “Olympic hopeful”, “Ex-Stanford swimmer”, etc. before they mentioned that he was charged with three felonies including intent to rape. The Washington Post played into this when their article called Turner “All-American swimmer guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on Stanford campus.”

Turner is an affluent white male attending a prestigious academic institution. Although anyone charged with a crime should be treated fairly and impartially until a decision is made to their guilt or innocence, he appears to have been treated different than others accused of similar crimes perhaps because of race or socioeconomic class. To go along with the different headlines and apparent treatment of the accused, Turner’s mug shot took the police eight months to release. Prior to its release, news outlets used a smiling photo of Turner. This may seem like just a coincidence, but you don’t have to look very deep to see a pattern of differential treatment based on race and social class.

While everyone deserves their day in court, once convicted we need to call it what it is. Why does the news sill have this racial barrier when it comes to headlines and producing news? We need to start teaching journalism students to consider their own lenses and possible bias with their news reporting and hold news writers and reporters accountable for their blatant racism, sexism, classism, etc.

This case is a set back from the progressive movement our communities are making to end rape and put rapist in prison. This six-month sentence is a “slap on the wrist” for Turner and a pathetic slap in the face to the rest of us who are fighting to change a culture and environment that continues to allow this behavior.

This case could have been a monumental push to prove that rapist can go to prison for their crimes; that they can be caught, tried and convicted. The judge had the power to prosecute Turner for the maximum of 14 years in prison but he chose to dramatically decrease the severity of the punishment, disrespecting women and all sexual assault survivors, especially the victim of this particular crime.

In a letter written by the victim to Turner, she brings to light how the defendants lawyer asked discouraging, inappropriate and degrading questions about what she wore, how she presented herself to Turner, how much she drank, why she drank that much, etc. These questions have no bearing on what Turner did. The consequences of a person drinking may mean they wake up with a hangover but it gives no one the right to sexual assault them. Turner needs to take responsibility for his behavior. The victims clothing or amount of alcohol consumption does not condone or excuse his predatory behavior.

Women are not objects and what we chose to wear or how much we drink does not make us responsible for others behaviors. We all need to be responsible for our own behavior. In many ways this does a disservice to men, assuming that they are animals who are unable to control themselves and cannot be responsible for their own choices and behavior.

This line of thinking goes along with middle schools and high schools having a dress code for girls because they are a distraction in the classroom. Shouldn’t we expect more of this age group and make it clear that their behavior is their own responsibility? It is actions and rules like these that continue to perpetuate the sexualizing and objectifying of women as the norm.

Turner’s father, Dan A. Turner wrote a letter to the judge about his son that was released to the public. In his letter he described how his son can’t eat steak anymore and his life is over for “20 minutes of action”. For him to downplay the severity of his son’s actions is disgusting, pathetic and ignorant. Not wanting to believe that your son could commit this crime is understandable but to describe the victim as “20 minutes of action” is disrespectful.

That phrase, “20 minutes of action” gives the notion that what Turner did for 20 minutes should not be punishable; that a rapist’s life should not be affected for something that lasted for only 20 minutes. The agonizing 20 minutes for the victim isn’t even considered. This attitude diminishes the impact Turner had on the victim and other perpetrations on their victims. We need to change the way we talk about rape. It is a serious offense and we need to quit treating it as something that just happens.

This is not just a conversation to be carried by women where we focus on how to keep them from being raped. We also need to talk with everyone about not raping and being responsible for themselves and their own behavior. If we want to change the current culture that allows this to happen we need to all be a part of the conversation.

This situation and all the others ones we have been hearing about, particularly on college campuses makes me furious. Most of us are good people who wouldn’t rape or commit a heinous crime like this but there are predators and opportunists who will. Let’s focus on what we can do.

In the news the focus on the disappointing verdict has been overshadowed in many ways by a new focus on the two young men riding by on their bikes that did do something to help. This story could have had an even more devastating end if they wouldn’t have stepped in. Most of us won’t rape but would we step in and check in and be the active and engaged bystanders that these two men were? These two men made a quick assessment of the situation and chose to act.

We all need to become better bystanders like the two guys on their bicycles. Pretending you didn’t see someone drug a drink or pull an intoxicated person up the steps into a bedroom is only allowing the problem to continue. Being aware of your surroundings, recognizing signs and doing something is imperative. Often we think that if we don’t do something we are remaining neutral but the reality is that doing something and doing nothing are both choices and both have consequence. These men riding by chose to do something. What would have happened if they chose to do nothing…

So do you want to be the person who will “Do Something”? Join the Kent State Green Dot movement. We may not be able to change the situation in this particular case but we can make a difference moving forward. For more information about getting involved with Green Dot go to www.kent.edu/greendot. To learn more about this case and see the full letter written by the victim (referenced above) go to BuzzFeed’s website.

Written by: Samantha Meisenburg, Public Relations major and Women’s Center Intern Summer ’16.