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Ayanna Pressley Tweets Epic Photo of New Congresswomen

Pressley gives a shoutout to fellow Democrats who are making history in Congress.

REUTERS

Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in Massachusetts' history, posted a photo on Twitter on Thursday night that's since gotten more than 27,000 likes.


It's a photo of Pressley along with other new freshmen in Congress who made history in November's midterm elections — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas ). The women are pictured in the Longworth House Office Building at the U.S. Capitol.

Pressley, who was also the first Black woman to serve on Boston's city council, said in her tweet: "Album dropping 1/3/19"

The women represent the changing face of Congress and statehouses across the country.

At age 29, Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina, is the youngest woman elected to Congress. She, has over 1 million Twitterfollowers, as many as the other incoming 60 Democratic freshman House members — combined. Ocasio-Cortez uses her social media accounts to connect with people around the country.

Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress, is a former refugee who spent the last four years as a state legislator. She along with Rashida Tlaib (not pictured), are the first Muslim congresswomen.

Haaland and Davids are the first Native American congresswomen. Davids, who is an attorney and former MMA fighter, is the first lesbian congresswoman from Kansas. She is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation based in Wisconsin. Haaland is a citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe. She was the first woman to chair a state political party in New Mexico.

Escobar, a former county judge, won her race in Beto O'Rourke's former district in El Paso. She along with Sylvia Garcia (not pictured) are the first Latina congresswomen from Texas.

The women in the photo are trailblazers, yet much more needs to be done in terms of representation of people of color and women in Congress — in both parties.

The 116th Congress is only 23 percent women, only up 19 percent in the 115th Congress. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up almost 51 percent of the country's population, but hold less than a quarter of the seats in Congress.

Over the decades, Congress has been slowly growing more diverse, but consistently lags behind the nation as a whole.

Latinos, Asians and Blacks — the largest minority ethnic groups — are significantly under-represented in Congress.
The Conversation (1)
votetocorrect01 Dec, 2018

What a classic Democratic photo that you'll never see from the Republican/Repugnacan Party!

Serena Williams' 'Wakanda' Catsuit Approved by Women's Tennis Association​

The WTA's new rule modifications also offer more protection to players on maternity leave.

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Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is considered the best player in the history of tennis. So, the unnecessary obstacles Williams has to face in her career are seemingly serving as teachable moments for the tennis world.

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Sodexo's Rohini Anand: We Want to Have Diverse Leadership Styles that Women Bring to the Table

Anand, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Sodexo discusses the importance of companies having an inclusive culture where women can ask for prmotions and not get penalized.

Paula Dance is North Carolina's First Black Female Sheriff

Even with this win, North Carolina's law enforcement agencies are still predominantly white and male.

Paula Dance has become the first Black female sheriff in North Carolina's history.

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Michelle Obama Won't Be 'Leaning In' Anytime Soon

The former first lady keeps it real on her book tour.

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama kept it all the way real on the latest stop of her successful "Becoming" book tour at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday. In a moment of full disclosure, Obama expressed the difficulties of "having it all."

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#ImWithKap: Houston Texans Star Shows Solidarity With Kaepernick

DeAndre Hopkins shared a photo on Twitter in support of the athlete and activist.

REUTERS

As Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins entered Houston's NRG Stadium before his team's game on Sunday, he wanted to make a statement that he supports former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

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A Black Father Pushes Congress to Save the Lives of Black Mothers

Charles Johnson lost his wife post childbirth and he's fighting to make sure no more Black women die from poor post-natal care.

Screenshot from YOUTUBE

Charles Johnson IV posted on Instagram Thursday morning that the final deadline in getting Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is next week.

Johnson, a Los Angeles resident, has been fighting for Black mothers like his wife, Kira. She died in 2016 in a hospital that left her bleeding internally for 10 hours without a CT scan after giving birth to their second child. Medical professionals had told Johnson, who was pleading for help for his wife, that she "wasn't a priority" for them.

Johnson and his mother, TV judge Glenda Hatchett, are advocating for Black women, as they are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Johnson and his two sons are also plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the hospital and several doctors alleging wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Kira Johnson died of "hemorrhagic shock due to acute hemoperitoneum," which the lawsuit said doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat.

Black women including, Serena Williams, have put the alarming statistics into perspective. Williams demanded a CT scan after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, when she felt short of breath. A nurse had told her she was confused because of her pain medication, but Williams was persistent and it ended up saving her life.

Johnson formed 4Kira4Moms, a nonprofit dedicated to honor Kira's life and to prevent other families from experiencing unnecessary birth-related deaths.

Johnson and Hatchett, recently participated in a congressional briefing on maternal mortality hosted by the Reproductive Justice Initiative.

"They did nothing to correct it in a timely manner," Hatchett said.

"This is a woman who would be alive today had it not been for, what we say in the complaint, medical negligence. One minute we're at the hospital celebrating [the couple's] second son's birth, just a very joyous time and then hours later, she's gone…"

His testimony to Congress in September was followed by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) who read of the jarring statistics that Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than white women.

The hospital's statement released TWO YEARS AFTER Kira's death:

"Kira Johnson's death was a tragedy. Her husband, Charles S. Johnson IV, and his mother, Judge Glenda Hatchett, are demonstrating important leadership in raising awareness of preventable maternal deaths. Cedars-Sinai strongly agrees with Judge Hatchett and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that no mother should die giving birth."

"Based on our findings, we make any changes that are needed so that we can continue to provide the highest quality care to our patients. This includes reviewing hospital procedures as well as the competency of healthcare providers. Among other changes, we have updated processes for post-anesthesia care and have increased simulation training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals related to care of hospitalized obstetric patients."


Charles Johnson shares the tragic story of his wife Kira's death hours after giving birth. www.youtube.com

Reader Question: Do you know any women who have experienced discrimination in medical care post child birth?

One of the Last Survivors of Infamous Oklahoma Riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, Dies at Age 103

She was one of the last survivors and few first-hand witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre that led to the destruction of Black Wall Street.

Screenshot from Twitter

Dr. Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, passed away on Nov. 21 at age 103.

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Viral Video of 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Shows How White Women Can Be Allies for Women of Color​

Shonda Rhimes shared a video where Ellen Pompeo demands diversity during an interview.

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Shonda Rhimes, creator, head writer and executive producer of "Grey's Anatomy," shared a video of the star of her show, Ellen Pompeo, talking about how white people need to be advocates for diversity. It's gone viral with more than 2 million views.

"As Caucasian people, it's our job, it's our task, it's our responsibility to make sure we speak up in every single room we walk into. It's our job because we created the problem," Pompeo says in the video, during a photo shoot for Porter magazine.

Pompeo called out the lack of diversity in the magazine crew, and in Hollywood, without mincing words.

"This day has been incredible, and there's a ton of women in the room," she said. "But, I don't see enough color. And I didn't see enough color when I walked in the room today."

Actress Gabrielle Union is seen in the video giving a look of approval.

DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson said that both white women and women of color have a responsibility to each other to say there needs to be equality across the board.

"We need diversity of all walks represented," said Johnson, who in October launched DiversityInc's annual Women of Color and Their Allies event.

She said that people of color have a responsibility to talk about what's wrong and how it can be improved.

"We need to communicate," she said.

And for allies, "their responsibility is to recognize where there is no diversity and be bold enough to say something about it."

Johnson offered the example of Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO of Hilton (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). She said he was in one of his executive board meetings and looked around and said there wasn't enough women in this room.

So he did something about it.

"He was present enough in the moment to look around and see what was missing … not what he was comfortable with," Johnson said.

For white women who choose to be allies, "It's also your responsibility to know these stories and share them," she said.

Allies should also ask questions like: Why aren't there people of color on the set, as interviewers and production staff, scholarship recipients or in executive boardrooms?

Allies should hold decision makers accountable for age, class, ethnicity, ability, and gender diversity. And Johnson said, allies need to be helpful in the solution piece.

"We have countless examples of people who are doing this work … who are present in their everyday interactions," Johnson said.

She called attention to the fact that sometimes leaders don't hear what they need to from the vantage point of the people who need support, but from the vantage point of others in similar positions.

Reader Question: Do you think those who don't have Ellen Pompeo's position in Hollywood would speak up the way she did?