Rwanda Set to Celebrate World Environment Day

AllAfrica.com reports “Rwanda will join the world in the celebration of World Environment Day (WED) on June 5 to be held under the theme “Green Economy: Does it
include you?””

“This is preceded by the ongoing National Environment Week dedicated to activities to raise awareness on environmental
sustainability which kicked off last Saturday.”

Read more:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201205300235.html

Spiritual Quotes of the Day: Hope

“You may be experiencing an extremely painful or difficult moment in your life right now, and you aren’t sure what to do, what to say, where to go, or who to turn to—I encourage you and pray that you would turn to God for strength and restored hope”- Natasha L. Foreman

“In those desperate times when we feel like we don’t have an ounce of strength, He will gently pick up our heads so that our eyes can behold something—something that will keep His hope alive in us.” -Kathy Troccoli

“The choice for me is to either look at all the things I have lost or the things I have. To live in fear or to live in hope…Hope comes from knowing I have a sovereign, loving God who is in every event in my life.”- Lisa Beamer (her husband Todd was killed on flight 93 on September 11, 2001).

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Spiritual Quotes of the Day: Hope

“You may be experiencing an extremely painful or difficult moment in your life right now, and you aren’t sure what to do, what to say, where to go, or who to turn to—I encourage you and pray that you would turn to God for strength and restored hope”- Natasha L. Foreman

“In those desperate times when we feel like we don’t have an ounce of strength, He will gently pick up our heads so that our eyes can behold something—something that will keep His hope alive in us.” -Kathy Troccoli

“The choice for me is to either look at all the things I have lost or the things I have. To live in fear or to live in hope…Hope comes from knowing I have a sovereign, loving God who is in every event in my life.”- Lisa Beamer (her husband Todd was killed on flight 93 on September 11, 2001).

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Tyra Banks and Members of the Fashion Industry Taking a Stand Against Eating Disorders and Rail Thin Models

By Natasha L. Foreman

Earlier today I read an article and viewed a short video featuring media mogul and former supermodel, Tyra Banks. Now age 38, Tyra shares in an interview stories of her childhood, her transformation from introvert to mean girl, back to introvert from the ages of 8-13, and her life before, during, and after her modeling career.

She began modeling in 11th grade (after the seed was planted in her mind in 9th grade), and the semester she was to attend Loyola Marymount, instead of starting her classes she took a modeling assignment in Paris—which catapulted her into a supermodel in one year, as she landed a record 25 assignments.

Tyra said in her interview that as she grew more into womanhood and developed curves, various designers refused to book her because she wasn’t thin enough for them. By the time she was in her mid-20s she was a size 4, and having issues with designers. But the kicker is, that she admits that if she was a size 4 teen attempting to enter the industry now, she would be told she was “too fat”. Many designers wanted and still want, a size zero.

I want you to consider this for a moment. Tyra is 5’10” and was a size 4, and was gradually being denied assignments because she was “too fat” for the designers!

Years ago Tyra never knew a size zero existed. Neither did I, I’m still trying to figure out when they slid that onto the racks. Heck, I remember going from kids sizes and then eventually I was in junior sizes. All through high school and undergrad I was a size four. Nowadays a size 4 in most designers’ minds is placed into a different model designation, which isn’t the mainstream ‘supermodel’ path. Nope, a size 4 isn’t a top runway model—that’s designated for the size none’ers!

Not all designers and fashion magazines however are cool with models being a size 0 or 2 anymore. According to the article, Vogue magazine now refuses to place within any of their 19 worldwide editions, any females who “appear to have an eating disorder”. The Israeli government has gone a step farther and passed a law banning modeling assignments to any female with a body mass index lower than 18.5; and Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent guidelines to participating designers on how best to handle a model that they believe may be suffering from an eating disorder. She also required designers to provide models with healthy meals and snacks backstage. Believe it or not, all of these decisions are a big step towards progress.

The article did mention that one model didn’t think (back in 2007) that the industry was to blame for girls poor self-image, eating disorders, and desire to be rail thin. She instead thought that it’s the parents fault. That model was Gisele Bundchen and she told a Brazilian newspaper this back in 2007. She argued that her strong family base is the reason she didn’t have these issues. Well, that’s awesome for her of course, but she is in the very, very, very small minority. I agree, that your family base can have an impact on you and your esteem, however, if a girl wants to be a model and the industry says, “you aren’t thin enough” then she will either get there or walk away and look elsewhere.

To also go deeper, we’re not gaining feedback from a woman who is a size 6 or even a size 4— let’s gain some perspective respectfully, Gisele is 5’11 and weighs a reported 125.7 pounds. So at 31 years old, she has a body mass index of 17.4— which means no modeling assignments for her in Israel! It also means continued modeling assignments everywhere else, because right now she is the highest paid model in the world. By 2007 she had raked in over $150 million in earnings, and in June 2011, Forbes magazine estimated that her total earnings over the last 10 years have surpassed the $250 million mark. According to the Forbes article she is quite possibly on track to becoming a billionaire. Yep, you read that right!

I wonder how her earnings impact her viewpoint and her stance on shared industry-responsibility? I wonder if Gisele’s thinking on this topic has changed since 2007?

Whatever it is, let’s step away from it to instead congratulate Tyra Banks, the Israeli government, Vogue, Diane von Furstenberg, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and other members of the fashion industry who are stepping up, speaking out, and attempting to do their part to right the wrong that has plagued young girls and women around the world for over 40 years.

To read the article in its entirety and to see Tyra’s interview visit

Sources:
Antunes, Anderson. “Could Supermodel Gisele Bundchen Be On Track To Becoming a Billionaire?”. Forbes.

Scordo, Lisbeth. “Tyra Banks: At 17 and a Size 4, I ‘Would’ve Been Considered Too Heavy’ to Model Now”. A-Line Celebrity Style.
http://omg.yahoo.com/blogs/aline/tyra-banks-17-size-4-ve-considered-too-180936414.html

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Unemployment Rates Drop: Is it Due to Increased Job Creation or More Workers Dropping Out of Labor Market?

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

The debate continues about the unemployment rate, job creation, and the potential boost in our nation’s economy. The Los Angeles Times shares all sides of the debate in last Saturday’s business section.

Although the national unemployment rate is currently at 8.1% (which is almost double in Black and Brown communities) the L.A. Times reported that this rate is not solely because more jobs are being secured by workers —since only 115,000 jobs were added in April (after winter gains of an average of $252,000 jobs December through February)– but rather because more people are discouraged and dropping out of the labor market.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington was reported as telling the L.A. Times that workers are dropping out of the labor market because they no longer believe that there are jobs out there for them. In April the numbers shrank by 342,000 workers. That’s 342,000 that are reported to have lost hope in securing a job.

President Obama sees and reports things differently and more optimistically. He reminded people in his speech last Friday at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, that we are surviving the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, have created more than 4.2 million jobs within the last 26 months, and 1.6 million of those jobs were created just within the last 6 months.

Obama’s chief economic advisor, Alan Krueger told the L.A. Times that the jobless rate fell a full percentage point since last August, and that nearly three-quarters of that drop was due to increased employment. Dean Baker however said that some of the three-quarters was attributable to adjustments in the population.

Analysts claim that the warm winter weather we experienced across the nation has impacted the reported rates of job growth, as certain industries, such as construction—that were booming in December and January, have since seen no increase in jobs.

However, car sales are strong, manufacturing continues to perform well, there is growth in the demand for growth, consumer spending is up, and there is an improvement in the housing market that once was severely depressed.

The L.A. Times makes a point of reminding and educating readers that our country’s economy is vulnerable to various “shocks” such as high oil prices, China’s slowed-down economy, and the debt-strained problems of Europe. When the rest of the world is suffering, our country is hit hard also; and vice versa. We’re literally in this together.

Let’s also not forget that more than 90% of the companies in our country are small business enterprises, with less than 200 employees, yet maybe 90% of job seekers are applying mostly to large corporations—less than 10% of the businesses in the U.S.

Who’s helping to equip these small businesses with the resources to hire more employees?

Who’s reminding and educating job seekers about employment opportunities with small businesses?

Who’s bridging the gap?

We must realize that our economy is impacted by other world economies and “shocks”. We must focus more on the things we’re for and less on what we’re against, and then help to bring about a progressive movement towards solution rather than allow a spiraling effect that will lead to ultimate failure.

We should also be grateful for our country and the numerous resources here. Let’s consider if we lived in Liberia where the unemployment rate is a staggering 85%. What if that was our reality?

Let’s look for solutions rather than people to blame. Let’s look for business opportunities and leverage our strengths, rather than examples of our weaknesses and failures.

What can we do individually and collectively to bring about positive change and to be the change we want to see in our nation, and in the world?

What can you do to help with unemployment in the United States?

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Source: Don Lee. Los Angeles Times. Job weakness feeds fear of a slowdown. Business section. B1, B4. Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Copyright 2012. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Nigeria’s Volunteer Community Mobilizers for Polio Eradication

Selected from their respective settlements (villages), 200 volunteer community mobilizers (covering 200 high risk settlements) are now fully operational in Kebbi State, in northern Nigeria.

Their mission is to reduce the percentage of missed children through targeted house-to-house interventions to generate demand for and acceptance of oral polio vaccine.

Read more here