I am a senior MIT, a materials engineer, an honors student, and a woman. I also have been told hundreds of times that I don't deserve to be where I am. The idea that there was some sort of quota for women would be repeated to me over and over in the coming months, and it only got worse when I went to MIT.
As we head into the Jewish New Year, we take with us the challenges of an eventful summer punctuated by racial unrest. The death of Michael Brown, like that of Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin before him, are tragedies that jolt us out of complacency.
Institutionalized racism is so deeply embedded in the fabric of our everyday lives that it can rear its ugly head anywhere from an Economist book review that whitesplains slavery to the front offices of the Atlanta Hawks.
Tavis Smiley used to be the darling of black America. Once upon a time his keen critical commentary, ubiquitous media presence and undeniable charm brought delight to the hearts and minds of many black Americans. But things changed when Obama announced his candidacy for president.
The high of being one of the first to spot a breaking news tweet got so bad that I would wake up in the middle of the night searching for my iPhone while laying between my Egyptian cotton sheets.
Shonda Rhimes. Her name alone elicits the kind of prestigious, yet thrilling notion that John Gresham or Dick Wolf would have in the mid-nineties. But this time around, she's a powerhouse of inspiration and childhood nostalgia that I could've never imagined looking up to in all of my 19 years of being a straight American male.
Crawford, father to two young children, did have something in his hand, but it wasn't a rifle or a shotgun. Rather, it was a toy BB gun he had picked up from the shelves in the store to buy.
So what are the most common financial blunders that newlyweds tend to make? We asked financial pros to pinpoint the eight biggest offenders -- and then offer up some advice for how to help right them early on.
While some households and neighborhoods have recovered from the recession, most black and Latino households and neighborhoods are still waiting to recover.
When we use imagery that makes an entire community feel excluded and diminished, exactly what tradition are we celebrating?
Ohio Secretary of State candidate Nina Turner has spent her entire career fighting for working families, stronger schools, and elections that allow all people to cast their ballot fairly, conveniently, and securely. We can support Nina and other down ballot candidates that have the ability to win if we would just show up.
Two predictable things happened the instant Django Unchained star, actress Daniele Watts, an African-American, was detained by an LAPD officer in Studio City, California in response to a lewd public behavior call.
Paul and Joan Ostroff went into debt trying to give their son, Andrew, a shot at getting past a learning disability so that he might be able to go to college. By the time they went to Consumer Credit Counseling for help in 2010, they owed $88,000 on about 20 credit cards.
While what we at Gamaliel fight on are depressing issues, right now, at least, I'm kind of giddy. It's not often that a two-time Pulitzer-winning journalist basically endorses everything we are doing.
Since being diagnosed with HIV 18 years ago, Duane Cramer has become a tireless advocate for HIV awareness and education, using his photography and creative skills to bring attention to the disease.
I was 12 years old during the historic Year of the Woman in 1992. I remember the sense of hopefulness my Mom and her feminist friends had as they talked about the possibilities for discussion, action and policy around women's equality.
Yes, the IRS does allow penalty-free withdrawals of a limited amount of IRA funds for first-time homebuyers. However, as enticing as it appears, taking that withdrawal comes with certain caveats that you need to carefully consider.
Public officials at all levels chatter constantly about employment and job creation. Unfortunately, not enough of them seem concerned about the nonsensical barriers they and their predecessors erect that stand in the way of entrepreneurs seeking to earn an honest living.
To date, no black reality television star has scored a win in any political race.
But that hasn't stopped a few from trying to capitalize -- politically -- on what is widely believed to be their 15 minutes of fame.
Since starring on the first season of MTV's 'Real World,' former Vibe magazine writer Kevin Powell has had two unsuccessful runs for New York's 10th Congressional District seat. Powell remains undeterred and has plans to run a third time in 2010.
Meanwhile, 'Apprentice' winner and Rhodes Scholar Dr. Randal Pinkett is rumored to be on incumbent New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's short list for Lieutenant Governor. Pinkett, an MIT and Rutgers University graduate, would be the first African American to run statewide as a major-party candidate in the history of New Jersey.
Now, two very different reality television stars --(l-r) Landon Dais and Kwame Smalls --are vying for New York City Council seats.
New York native Landon Dais joined the cast of BET's 'Harlem Heights' to further his political aspirations. The son of a political activist, Dais says would have run for New York City Council District 9 in Harlem regardless of whether he was on TV.
"I was very weary of joining the reality show," Dais confided. "In today's society, television executives believe the only way to get high ratings is through drama and enhancing the negative about people."
The Morehouse College graduate says his desire to be a positive role model and to "influence one kid to go to college" led to his decision to join the cast of 'Harlem Heights.' And though some Harlemites initially questioned his motives for running for office, "once they saw me walking the streets of Harlem at all times of the night, talking to the youth, they realized I was a legitimate candidate who really cared about the people of Harlem," he chuckles.
For Dais, becoming a quasi-celebrity has helped him win recognition in the community. Though he is second in the polls, he still believes going door to door and meeting people in his community has given him a real shot at winning.
"The young people gravitate towards me, and the older people in the community I Love New Yorksee that I am the only viable candidate who can get the young people to care about the political process. This has caused a lot of older people to support my efforts."
And then, there is Smalls.
This 'I Love New York 2' contestant is running for a New York City Council seat. Given his on-air persona, he's had a tougher time getting the people to take him seriously.
"People may not take me seriously, [but it is] also good because people don't see me as a threat," he told BV Newswire this week. When probed about his educational background, the jovial contender offered: "Let's just say, like Kanye West, I'm a college dropout. I learned that I didn't have to have a political education to run for city council."
In fact, his decision to run for office came after the reunion special for 'I Love Money 2,' another VH1 reality show, in which Smalls (also known as "It") was reunited with his 'I Love New York 2' competition, George 'Tailor Made' Weisgerber.
Weisgerber, who won Miss New York's love on the show, is now Smalls' campaign manager. The two have spent the last several weeks canvassing the district for signatures to get on the ballot.
"Yes, I'm a beautiful speaker. I'm an actor," Smalls explained. "I study the techniques of Malcolm X, following his speeches, and I love it!"
Although Smalls thinks he can win, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth -- a former White House staffer and 'Apprentice' star -- has some disappointing news: "You need a ton of money and a political mastermind [to win an election], and reality television stars don't have access to capital."
Dais agrees, but if these reality stars can prove the naysayers wrong what a story that will make, or perhaps provide fodder for another reality television show on life after winning
Manigault-Stallworth, who has appeared in over 20 reality television shows, continues to work in politics however; the 'Bitch Switch' author works as a fundraiser and believes her television persona has worked to her advantage, helping her become a "much more effective political operative."
Yet, Donald Trump's most famous reality TV protege will admit that running for, and winning, a political office is difficult. "I have not seen it done well, quite frankly," she added. "Being famous does not always translate into being an effective politician."
Her advice? "They need to hire me to be their campaign manager," she recommended. "I'm the missing key to their success."
The Democratic primary election for New York City Council takes place Sept. 15 for both Dais and Smalls.
Interested parties can find out more about Dais' campaign at www.LandonDais.com. Smalls, on the other hand, wishes for his supporters to check out his YouTube video.