The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health recently hosted its annual Keep Memory Alive fundraiser, the 22nd Annual Power of Love Gala, at the MGM Grand Resort. Based in Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health specializes in “keeping memory alive,” and educating and advocating for our community to take action and address modifiable threats to brain health—while promoting ways to maximize quality of life for individuals and families. The 22nd Annual Power of Love Gala was star-studded with celebrities such as Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; Vince Neil, lead vocalist of Motley Crue; Pitbull; and Steve Aoki. All proceeds from the gala go to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health — to provide brain health services for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cognitive disorders, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.
ASKED & ANSWERED: TOSHIA SHAW
The Purple W.I.N.G.S (“Women Inspiring Noble Girls Successfully”) organization was founded in 2010 by Toshia Shaw, MBA — an experienced human services professional with vast knowledge and experience working with at-risk youth, battered women, and abused girls.
While interning at a local runaway shelter, she noticed a staggering number of homeless and runaway girls entering the program. After extensive conversations, she noticed a pattern — a lack of communication and involvement by parents and other responsible adults in the lives of these young women.
Shaw is a survivor of human-trafficking, and her organization is on a mission to empower women and girls who have experienced emotional trauma and sexual/domestic violence, and are looking to escape the commercial sexual industry, sex trafficking, and commercial sexual exploitation. She says that more than 90% of the women and girls in her program are African-American — and she sat down with us for a conversation about Purple W.I.N.G.S. and helping victims and survivors use their personal power to reach their goals and dreams.
How many girls and young women have you serviced in Las Vegas?
We have assisted over 500 young girls and women in Las Vegas and we have a 50% success rate. This is very difficult work — but we have our ears to the ground to help those who are victim of human-trafficking and sexual abuses.
What is human trafficking?
The word is thrown around so much. But in layman’s terms, it is a serious crime that involves forced labor, sexual slavery. Human trafficking is modern-day forced slavery — and uses force, fraud, and coercion to obtain commercial sex acts with the intent to make a profit off someone’s body.
How is someone forced to do something they don’t want to do?
It is done in a variety of ways. Given today’s environment we see the majority of predators preying on young girls and women through social media. Girls who are targeted under the age of 18 are called domestic minor sex trafficking victims. These girls are being recruited by traffickers online through: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. We call these recruiting sex-traffickers, “Romeo pimps.” They inbox young girls and women, and try to encourage them to go out on a date and then makes them believe they want a romantic relationship and want to be their boyfriend.
What was your experience?
This is what happened to me: I went to breakfast with this guy who turned out to be a trafficker — and he held me at gunpoint, and said if I didn’t do what he said he would kill my young son and my entire family. I was scared because he knew my information. This type of sex trafficker we call a gorilla pimp, who uses force and terrorist methods to get you to do what they want you to do. People also need to be aware that young boys and some men are also victims of human trafficking — and sometimes it will be a woman who does the recruiting.
For additional information go to www.purplewings.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (702) 608-7659. You can also view Toshia Shaw’s personal story on a TED Talk stream on Google.
BY ERIC TROY
Happy Mother’s Day!
It is a blessing and a miracle that a mother carries her child for nine months. In the spiritual sense, the number 9 represents the fruit of the spirit. For any fruit to reach its highest quality of taste, it must first be planted from a good seed into rich soil that will nurture its growing process.
So, as in life, during the nurturing process of an infant, the mother’s body is a shield — protecting her child from any harm that might impact the birthing process.
During this time, the mother sings, exercises, prays — and yes, has a special craving for foods such as pizza and fried potatoes (what my wife craved).
Because of this type of nurturing and loving process, our daughter has grown to know that she is loved and cared for. She knows the importance of sharing that love with others, and will pass this onto her children.
Jeremiah 1:5 states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, set you apart and appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
When you really think about this statement, before we were born, God already had our life journey planned out. So, the key to your life is to know that you already have a “mapquest” to guide you to your destiny. I encourage you not to stop until you arrive at your destiny.
I honor two women in this article: my mother, Berniece Troy, who is 91 years old; and my wife, Gayle.
Thank you, mom, for always being there for me with open arms and a loving spirit. You taught me how to love, respect and honor my wife. The good word states in Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”
I’m so blessed to be married to my best friend, and one of God’s anointed angels. Thank you, Mrs. Troy, for being my wife, soulmate, and the master gardener of the Troy family — providing a “mother’s love” in showing our daughter how to be a queen.
Eric Troy M.A. is the President & CEO of Eficionado, a Gahanna, Ohio-based brand transformation strategic partnership agency. He has over three decades of experience in education, advertising, marketing, media relations and sports development in both North America and South Africa — working with Fortune 500 corporations, and advising MLB, NFL, and NBA athletes in the area of brand and image marketing. Eric is considered an expert on black male leadership and community engagement, and has been featured on NPR and ESPN Classics. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and reach him by email at email@example.com.
BY DR. TIFFANY TYLER
May marks a pivotal time in our education community. This month, the Clark County School District is expected to announce its next superintendent. This leader will head the nation’s fifth-largest district — a districtcharacterized as a minority-
majority district with more than 42,000 employees and 320,000 students.
Similarly, UNLV will soon have a new leader — following the departure of its tenth president, Len Jessup. His successor will have to respond to the needs of more than 30,000 students and 1,000 faculty members on a campus recognized as one of the nation’s most diverse for undergraduates.
Transitions in Nevada education leadership are further exemplified by the ongoing search for the College of Southern Nevada’s next president. In January, the Board of Regents began a search for a leader to shepherd an institution described as the state’s largest and most diverse college. It is the nation’s seventh-largest community college, with enrollment totaling 70,000 students each year.
In sum, these transitions represent a new season in education leadership in our community. Some may even argue that it is unprecedented — given the number of students and professionals who will be impacted by these changes in leadership.
As this new season begins, may we be mindful of its promise, its implications and our shared responsibility!
With a simultaneous transition occurring at each rung of our community’s educational system, we have a unique opportunity to foster conditions, discourse and practices that align with our ideals and vision for Las Vegas’ learners. We have the potential to impact the educational experiences of close to a half-million students in Las Vegas. Moreover, we have the shared responsibility of ensuring that we elect, encourage and support leaders who will partner with us in manifesting our vision for this community.
Accordingly, may we embrace this new season in leadership as a new opportunity to engage, empower and evolve. Let’s engage in healthy dialogue about the educational needs of our community. Let’s empower each other to embrace our shared responsibility for the state of our education system. Let’s evolve our quality of life by investing in education.
When we think of hormone imbalances, the “whys” of that issue can be difficult to understand. Hormone variations occur naturally in menopause, pre-menopause, even puberty.
Our hormones play a fundamental role in overall health — and there’s a broad range of symptoms that could trigger a hormonal imbalance. Your symptoms will depend on the hormones or glands that aren’t working properly.
In women, the most common symptoms are heavy, irregular or missed periods; weight gain; acne; vaginal dryness; pain during sex; mood swings; and decreased libido. Don’t panic; most of these symptoms are caused by toxins accumulated through an unhealthy lifestyle — which means that the solution isn’t far from your fingertips. To be safe, visit your physician to better understand exactly what you’re up against.
While there may be no getting around hormone replacement therapy, a healthy, animal-free diet has been shown to eliminate hot flashes and most menopausal symptoms. Natural herbs that can ease your symptoms are: Red Clover, Alfalfa, Chinese Angelica, Black Cohosh, Wild Yam and Licorice (not the candy).
And of course, eating more raw fruits and vegetables, exercising at least three times a week, drinking between 80-100 ounces water each day, and keeping your stress level down will do wonders for not only your menopause symptoms, but your health and life in general.
Balancing your body is truly a power that you hold. Assess yourself, pay attention to your physical signs, educate yourself, and of course, check with your doctor before doing anything new.
Cia Strickland contributed to this article. Got questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. To join a program that can assist with your health goals, go to www.wellwomenofcolor.com and become a part of Wellness University.
The month of May is Lupus Health Awareness Month. It is important that we all understand lupus, because so many African-American women have the disease — or know someone who does. People of all races get lupus, however, it is three times more common in black women than in white women. As many as 1 in 250 young black women will get the disease.
Lupus is a disease that can affect many parts of the body. It can affect the joints, the skin, the kidneys, the lungs, the heart, or the brain. Only a few of these parts of the body are affected in most people. Lupus attacks the body’s immune system. We can think of the immune system as an army within the body with legions of defenders known as antibodies. They defend the body from attack by germs and viruses. With lupus, however, the immune system becomes overactive. The antibodies attack healthy tissue in the body. This attack induces inflammation — causing redness, pain, and swelling in the affected parts of the body.
Many women with lupus may be concerned about conceiving and carrying a child. Pregnancy is no longer considered an impossibility if you have lupus. Advancing technology — alongside better understanding of the disease and its effects on the body — have improved pregnancy outcomes over the last 40 years.
Your chances for a successful pregnancy are excellent if you plan properly — when lupus symptoms are in remission — and you are monitored closely by your rheumatologist and specialists in maternal-fetal medicine.
Certain factors can make you a higher risk for lupus flares and poor fetal outcomes during pregnancy that include:
Although many lupus pregnancies will have no complications, all lupus pregnancies are considered “high risk”— meaning problems may occur and must be anticipated. The best time to be pregnant is when you are doing well with your health. Women whose lupus is in remission have much less trouble with pregnancy than women whose disease is active.
For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care Offices at (702)522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.
We are again being blessed with the spectacle of the Clark County School District (CCSD) engaging in the search for a new superintendent. Ranking right up there with death and taxes is the certainty that the $250,000 spent to hire a search firm will not be money well-spent.
The fact is that the trustees are clueless as to the type of person needed to manage a budget north of $2.4 billion. They are stuck on the old model of selecting a superintendent based on what seems to be a sole criterion: caring about children.
Compounding matters are the facts that despite support for education totaling in the billions annually — and with capital expenditures for building and maintaining facilities still enough to a choke a whole herd of horses — academically CCSD ranks near the bottom nationally.
As referenced earlier, the seven clueless members of the board of trustees spent a quarter of a million dollars to come up with four finalists; none of whom are local. While they appear to meet the standard criterion of loving kids, the jury is out on whether they will be able to improve academic performance in a majority-minority district through the effective management of capital resources.
I have been a critic of CCSD in good standing since the summer of 1997, and I paid a fine to CCSD, levied by the state ethics commission, for criticizing the school board for “rigging” a professional services contract way back in August 2000. The fine was $473.10. I rented a truck and paid the fine in 47,310 pennies, weighing over three hundred pounds. The state subsequently passed a law eliminating the ethics commission’s ability to levy fines against citizens for filing complaints against governmental agencies.
Sorry I got sidetracked, but I wanted to show how insensitive, incompetent, and sometimes even corrupt school districts can be. So don’t be surprised when the CSSD again selects someone not up to the job — like the trustees are not up to theirs.
We encounter so many things in life that make us uneasy, sad, or mad. That’s why it is important to allow sunshine to enter our souls — to shine joy and happiness on our lives and sustain our “feel-good.” Outside of the substances being marketed to us, we must know our own natural triggers for euphoric happiness.
The distinction between “happy” and “feeling good” is that happy might last a short second and feeling good will last the entire day. Some might witness your feel-good stride and try to knock you off course. It is your choice whether to allow a wave of negativity to invade your good foot.
Step into each day with purpose to fulfill the smile in your heart. It really is the little things that magically grace you with a joy sensation throughout your body. But we must stay woke in order to witness God’s gifts in our lives. Many hear people say, “It’s a blessing,” “that’s a blessing,” or “you are a blessing.” These pronouncements come so easily from the lips of those who may be unaware of the true measure of those words.
Yes, it’s your signal to stay woke and appreciative of all around you. We are never alone — and love is everywhere waiting for your embrace. It’s that smile, laugh, or even tears from a stranger that will bring you closer to love that ultimately gives you a feel-good feeling.
One who is truly in touch with the universe will know the distinctions between the truly authentic voice of love and those who fare on the dark side of life. Your only job is to gravitate toward the love that is given through the eyes of trust and transcend it within your own spirit.
The power of peace lies within the embodiment of your “feel-good.” Make a list of those feel-good triggers in your heart and weave them into your daily routine. It is such a wonderful thing to be in control of your reactions in life.
Peace is sure to find you if you pause and allow it to shower its love.
On May 19 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Meghan Markle, 36, will wed 34-yearold Prince Harry of England. The marriage will bring an African-American woman into the innermost sanctum of the British royal family headed by Queen Elizabeth — a turn of history that has captivated people worldwide.
Markle’s story reads like a modern-day fairy tale: born August 4, 1981 in Los Angeles, she pursued a career as an actress — appearing in a number of television series until landing the role of Rachel Zane on the USA Network series “Suits” before her engagement to Prince Harry. The daughter of divorced parents — yoga instructor and behavioral health specialist Doria Ragland, an African American; and businessman Tom Markle, a white man — Markle recalls a childhood that equipped her with social consciousness.
Markle was eleven years of age when she exercised her first advocacy for women’s rights. While watching television in her classroom, she was disturbed by a soap commercial that said, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” Some of the boys in Markle’s elementary classroom started laughing and saying to Markle and the rest of the young girls, “Yeah, women belong in the kitchen.” Markle was shocked and hurt — and after receiving encouragement from her parents, she wrote to the Ivory Soap Company to complain that the commercial was sexist and stereotypical. The company responded by changing the commercial.
Markle was primarily raised by her mother and the two have maintain a close relationship. Nicknamed Flower as a young girl, Markle describes her relationship with her mom as the best. “We can just have so much fun together, and yet I’ll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend,” says Markle.
In 2014 Markle penned an editorial about her mother called, “Love Letters,” where she expresses the love and embrace of her cultural heritage in the words. She wrote, “Dreadlocks, nose ring, yoga instructor, social worker, free spirit, lover of potato chips, lemon tarts and if the Deejay cues Al Green’s soul classic, “Call Me,” just forget it. She will swirl her hips into the sweetest little dance you’ve ever seen. Swaying her head and snapping her fingers to the beat like she’s been dancing since the womb. And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and you will feel joy. I’m talking about my mom.”
Holding her own as a fashion aficionado, Markle’s wedding dress is speculated to be made by a Canadian designer brand called Erdem because it is a favorite in royal circles. Markle will be the first African-American to become a British royal, but perhaps not the first black woman. There remains some debate over the true racial heritage of Queen Charlotte (1738-1820), wife of King George III. Some historians believe that was a direct descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.
Once Markle marries Prince Harry and take her place alongside British royalty in the United Kingdom—she will be known as, “Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales,” using her husband’s name—while any children born to the couple will be a Lord or Lady, not a Prince or Princess. The married couple will be instead known as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex if given by the Queen. This is because due to the rules governing the British crown, only those born into the royal family can use the title Prince or Princess followed by their first name. Prince Harry’s mom, Diana, was known as the Princess of Wales — a courtesy title held by the wife of the Prince of Wales — but she was never formally referred to as Princess Diana for the same reason.
It is almost guaranteed that Queen Elizabeth II will instead bestow the couple a Dukedom before their wedding, making Meghan Markle a Duchess know as Duchess of Sussex — much in the same way Kate Middleton has become the Duchess of Cambridge. Also, Duchess of Clarence and Duchess of Buckingham are available as the line has died out so this is the Queen’s gifts to bestow on the couple. Their children could be called a Prince or a Princess if the Queen decides.