October is an important Awareness Month

The month October touches on two very important issues. October is Domestic Violence Awareness and also National Breast Cancer Awareness. Domestic Violence is represented by the purple ribbon and Breast Cancer is represented by the pink ribbon. Are you or someone you loved affected by either?

 

Breast Cancer

2.3 million women in the United States are living with a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s a scary thing. Anyone regardless of age or race can be affected. It’s important to have regular annual checkouts and more if you have a relative or family member who’s been affected by breast Cancer. Early detective is so important.

 

Reach out to your family and friends for support and get the facts. Surround yourself by people who love you and reach out to cancer survivors.  

 

RESOURCES:
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
www.nbcam.org

 

American Cancer Society
Resource Link:
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_National_Breast_Cancer_Awareness_Month.asp 


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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence shouldn’t happen to anyone. Don’t settle and never feel you are not worthy of a violence-free environment. Domestic violence goes undetected behind closed doors way too often. Usually the woman or man is embarrassed that it is taken place, they are scared, and they believe or at least hope everything will get better. 

 

Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.”

Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.”

 

Both statistics were taken from http://endabuse.org/resources/facts/

 

Know that you have options and there are support groups. Don’t allow yourself and your children to continue to live in an unsafe environment. You are worthy of a better life – we all are.

 

RESOURCES:

Domestic Violence

http://www.domesticviolence.org/

 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (Call within any 50 states. Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
http://www.ndvh.org/

 

Article written by Author, Writer and Poet.
Tinisha Nicole Johnson
Visit the author at her site to learn more:
www.TinishaNicoleJohnson.com

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Word Choice

Being a writer and a lover of words, I was presented with another example of the importance of word choice. If you have ever used a thesaurus, you know that there are many different ways to communicate the same message. I am a little embarrassed to say that I did not pick up on poor word choice used in a story a fellow co-worker was relaying to me.
Still being a part of corporate world, I was invited to attend a spring training event between the Angels and the Colorado Rockies. Although baseball is not really that interesting to me, I took advantage of the opportunity to socialize with my co-workers and play hooky from work for the afternoon. My co-worker who is a 28 year old Caucasian (his mother is a quarter Hispanic), homosexual was sharing with me how my recent accomplishment of getting a book published had inspired him to consider starting a memoir of his own. He’s certified to teach three languages, plus he has lived and travelled overseas.
He was sharing with me some of his traveling experiences, including the absurd sense of entitlement many American exhibit when traveling abroad. We arrived at the topic regarding cultural diversity and he explained how he was in Utah during the month of February. He was well aware that February is Black History Month, however, he was appalled to witness it being referenced as Black Awareness month by a local Utah news station. I didn’t catch what he meant at first, until he explained, that we acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month or AIDS Awareness month but not Black Awareness Month. I instantly saw the light. Those other awareness months focus on disease. Their purpose is to shed light on and education society about the affliction in the hope to save lives and spark preventative action.
Being Black is not a disease, although it may sometimes cause dis-ease to others. The month of February isn’t about being aware of Black people. It is about recognizing and appreciating our numerous contributions to society as a collective people. This gentleman was so insulted, he went as far as sending an email to the station to make them aware of their error. He did receive a reply, but the respondent did not comprehend the point my co-worker was trying to make. When he sent a follow-up email to more explicitly address the issue, no further acknowledgement was given.
Let’s look at the word “aware” more carefully. Aware is defined by thefreedictionary.com as follows:
1. Having knowledge or cognizance 2. Archaic Vigilant; watchful

It is defined at Merriam-Webster.com as:
1: archaic : watchful, wary 2: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
To be aware of Blacks during the month of February is definitely not the connotation we wish to have associated with accomplishments and contributions we’ve made to society. Black History exists to honor those shining examples within our culture and community as well as to appreciate the strides our ancestors have made in laying the foundation for our current freedoms. History encompasses the good and the bad since we can learn from both. In that news stations choice of words when discussing Black History Month, they were encouraging the dark period of our history to repeat itself.