Brooklyn Legends Serenity Sunday & Week in Review

shutterstock_156238763Dear Readers,

Welcome to Serenity Sunday and Brooklyn Legends Week in Review. This has been a busy for me at work as we transition from a fairly quiet summer to a busy fall. My colleagues and I are focused intently on a packed fundraising agenda that will guide our activity until the end of the year.

Things are moving at a fast pace on the volunteer and social fronts as well. For the past 7 years, I have worked alongside dedicated volunteers of the Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club and the Crown Heights Service Center. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy spending time with my husband Stan or my brilliant Go On Girl Book club sisters.

Since summer was filled with apartment repairs and upgrades, Stan and I didn’t have time for a long vacation. However, we plan to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage of the Adirondacks and the serenity Lake Placid in the coming weeks. With the much-too-soon passing of my two dear sister-friends, Janna Robinson and Brenda Ray who both died over a 3-week period, I am looking forward to a few days away.

Motivational Monday-1

Last week’s Brooklyn Legends Facebook posts were a reminder for me to persevere. On Motivational Monday, Alice Walker’s timeless quote “whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul,” brought a smile to my face as I looked at the enhancements we made to our apartment.

On Tenacious Tuesday, Angela Lee Duckworth’s dynamic Ted Talk, The key to success? Grit, reminded me of my resilience and strength and how both of these qualities would propel me forward. This video was very popular and many Brooklyn Legends Facebook followers shared it with their friends and family. I am posting it below for you to enjoy. Tenacious Tuesday will also be our day to salute our Brooklyn Legend or a young trailblazer.

 

On Working It Wednesday, we highlighted the style and grace of Alek Wek, a world-famous fashion model and Brooklyn resident. We also shared fashion trends for you to consider as you add to your fall wardrobe.

We also introduced Maya Penn, a young entrepreneur and philanthropist, animator, blogger, writer and illustrator and eco-friendly fashion designer. Did I mention that she is 14 years old? We ended Working It Wednesday with Cameron Russell, another world-renown fashion model who invited the world to take a hard look at the industry that had her looking “highly seductive” at the age of 16.  You can access Maya’s and Cameron’s videos by following this link to Brooklyn Legends Facebook page.

We expressed our gratitude on Thankful Thursday by sharing words of encouragement throughout the day. Please know that I appreciate reading your thank you notes too.

On Finally its Friday, we ended the week with Time Out New York’s fall foliage guide and their recent listing of New York City’s most stunning buildings. Here are a few highlights for you to enjoy.

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Thank you spending part of your Sunday with us. We wish you a peaceful day and a great week.

Serenity Sunday Week 4 #1

Fondly,
Monique

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Serenity Sunday. We Celebrate You!

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Dear Readers,

Welcome to Serenity Sunday. We encourage you to always tell you story, boldly, proudly and as often as you can. Have a great day.

Serenity Sunday Week 3 - Brene Brown

Fondly,
Monique

 

Come and Meet Our New Trailblazers

Dear Readers,

Have you ever met a girl who aspired to be a model when she was ‘all grown up?’ Can you remember seeing her eyes and face light up as she sashayed across the living room floor; which had the distinction of serving as her runway. If you answered yes, then you are not alone. If asked, I believe many parents and guardians have a similar story to tell.

Many of these young ladies are among today’s leading models. However there are others who would not realize their dream owing to many roadblocks, including: financial constraints, height and weight challenges, mobility issues and age.

I am pleased to report the landscaping is shifting. Today I have the pleasure of presenting The Incredible Women Changing Fashion Week Forever whose stories were beautifully presented by Lauren Valenti for Marie Claire magazine. Each brave woman has her own unique set of challenges: Winne Harlow is a model who also has vitiligo, Karen Crispo is a model and a quadruple-amputee, Jillian Mercado is an aspiring model who has spastic muscular dystrophy, Madeline Stuart and Jamie Brewer are popular models who also have Down syndrome. We are proud to feature these beautiful Legends as a part of our Tenacious Tuesday series. To read the full story, please follow this link.

Come and meet our new trailblazers.

After reading this article I am so proud of these ladies for following their paths, and Ms. Valenti for bringing their story to life. Hopefully we will be seeing more beautiful women, whom we can relate to on a more personal level, grace the runway during New York Fashion Week.

Have a great day!

Fondly,

Monique

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Credits: Marie Claire Magazine

Welcome to Brooklyn Legends’ Week In Review

Dear Readers,

With hope that you are having a Sensational Saturday. This has been an exciting week as we have been focused on preparing new content and expanding the Brooklyn Legends’ Facebook page.

To our Facebook followers, thank you for your encouragement. If you have not visited us, please stop by and see what we’ve been up to.  Reaching us is as easy as following this link:  Brooklyn Legends’ Facebook page.

We have embraced a “message of the day” approach and the photos shown here are taken from this week’s blog posts. We plan to incorporate a similar theme when connecting with you on this platform.  Here is what we have in store.

Serenity Sunday
 Our day to share quotes selected to inspire, uplift
and encourage you as you prepare for the week ahead.

Motivational Monday
Through pictures, quotes and videos, we hope to provide you with
an extra dose of motivation as you start your business week.

Tenacious Tuesday
 Our day to introduce you to our Legend of the Week,
a trailblazer whose tenacity and commitment to excellence
will encourage you as you pursue your dreams.

Working It Wednesday
We will salute fashion elegance from the past
and highlight wardrobe items that are trending now.

Thankful Thursday
Our day to reflect and show our gratitude for all that we have
and are we working to achieve.

Finally its Friday
We will close the work week with a few suggestions
for your weekend social calendar.

Sensational Saturday
Our recap of the week
with a surprise included from time to time.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. We wish you a Sensational Saturday.

Fondly,
Monique

Time to Reconnect

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden ©Shutterstock

Dear Readers,

Greetings from Brooklyn Legends.  We have missed connecting with during this brief hiatus.  As summer is almost over, it is now time to get back to work.

So much has happened in our beloved Brooklyn, throughout New York City and the world.  While we can all agree to experiencing some very good days, the recent tragic events demand that we acknowledge our nation’s struggles around several issues, including: acceptance, equality and justice.  As with all challenges we, collectively and as individuals, will continue to find ways to endure.

Brooklyn Legends is committed to being a part of your good days.  We will continue to celebrate the achievements of Brooklyn women from the African diaspora and recognize the stellar accomplishments of women throughout the world. We are also preparing inspirational moments to share with you in addition to our blog posts. So please stay tuned and get ready for a busy and productive Fall.

Fondly,

Monique

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Credits:
Image of Fall from Shutterstock.

Saluting Women’s History Month & Dr. Josephine English

Dear Readers,

We are pleased to join the world in celebrating Women’s History Month. Sharing the important contributions of Brooklyn women from the African diaspora, and the accomplishments of women throughout the world, has motivated me to look for ways to make an impact on young ladies in my community.  What will be my legacy for the future?  How can I engage others?

Dr. Josephine English - NY Dailynews.com

Dr. Josephine English – NY Dailynews.com

Today I am pleased to tell you about the historical achievements of Dr. Josephine English – one of the first African-American women to have an OB/GYN practice in New York and one of Brooklyn’s earliest medical pioneers.

Dr. English was a tireless community leader, patron of the arts and philanthropist.  Most important of all, she was a wonderful mother to her children, and earned a reputation as a highly coveted OB/GYN to Brooklyn residents and notables, including Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X.

Dr.English's home - via www.ohny.org

Dr.English’s home – via http://www.ohny.org

Dr. English was born on December 17, 1920, in Virginia, and she died on December 18, 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, one day after her 91st birthday.  Although she lived in Bedford Stuyvesant for many years, she would spend her last days at the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where she was recovering after undergoing a surgical procedure.

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

Dr. Susan McKinney via Blackpast.org

As I was preparing this post, I wondered wouldn’t it be great if Dr. English had an opportunity to meet Dr. McKinney? Picture a room where Dr. English, a recent graduate from Meharry Medical College who was now living in Brooklyn, could sit and talk with Dr. McKinney, the esteemed Brooklyn native who was the first African-American woman to earn an MD degree in New York State and the third woman to earn an MD degree in the United States.  Can you just imagine the stories they would share?  As medical pioneers with their own series of “firsts,” in addition to their personal and professional triumphs and challenges, I envision a conversation filled with many “aha” moments.

Dr. English spent her childhood years in New Jersey.  Her parents were among the first African-American families to settle in Englewood.  She received a B.A. from Hunter College in 1939 and continued her education at New York University where she received a M.A. in Psychology.  After NYU, she attended Meharry Medical College and received her M.D. in 1949.  Dr. English was ready to make her mark on the world.  Her first stop was Harlem Hospital, where she worked for many years until she moved to Brooklyn in 1956.

Dr. English was a trailblazer who reached back to help others who were in need.  She was among our borough’s earliest women philanthropists who championed the importance of health care for women, men and children.  Shortly after moving to Brooklyn, she founded a Women’s Community Health Clinic in Bushwick.  In 1979, she founded the Adelphi Medical Center which provided services for women and men.

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via - www.northjersey.com

On stage at the Paul Robeson Theater via – http://www.northjersey.com

Dr. English loved the theater and she was determined to share her passion for the arts with the community.  In 1980, decades after opening many medical clinics, she purchased an abandoned church and converted it to the Paul Robeson Theater for the Performing Arts.

One year later, in 1981, Dr. English turned her sights to services for children and opened Up The Ladder Day Care and After-School Program which included a summer day camp.  In 1986, she became the first minority, and the first woman, to be awarded a license from the New York State Department of Health to develop a free-standing ambulatory surgical center in Brooklyn.

Dr. English worked well beyond what was considered to be retirement age.  She focused intently on her goals and did not let anything stand in her way.  She changed the health-care landscape for women, men and families, in Brooklyn by providing access to health education and empowering her patients to make healthy life-style choices.  She was a guiding force in Brooklyn and one of our brightest stars.  Her achievements are legendary and it is an honor to salute her.

Dr. English will be truly missed.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
Josephine English, one of the first back, female OB/GYNs not stopping at 89 – nydailynews.com
Dr. Josephine English, 91 via Northjersey.com
Dr. Josephine English, Medical Trailblazer dies at 91 – via www1.cuny.edu
Dr. Josephine English, The HistoryMakers via http://www.thehistorymakers.com

We Celebrate Women’s History Month and Empower Young Women & Girls

Video

Dear Readers,

As we continue to applaud the achievements of women around the globe, we must embrace young women and girls as they make their way in the world.

Despite our “busyness” we must advocate for needs of our younger sisters as often, and as loudly, as we can.  Our commitment to empowering the next generation is truly a collaborative effort — one that will require great resources if we are to succeed.  This endeavor is not without its challenges, but I am confident that we can do this.

Leymah Gbowee - via Mic.com

Leymah Gbowee – via Mic.com

I opened today’s post with a video by Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, who shares the story of her personal transformation and implores us to find ways to unlock the untapped potential of girls.  If you are reading this post on your smart phone or table, and cannot see the video, please follow this link to the Ted Talks website. Once there, type Leymah Gbowee into the site’s search engine.

Here is a brief overview of Ms. Gbowee’s amazing achievements from Mic.com.

Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee was sick of enduring the civil war that had been ravaging her country since 1999. Using her education in peace studies and in collaboration with the organization Women in Peacebuilding Network, Gbowee led a mass women’s movement of peaceful protests and strikes. The group also enacted a now-infamous sex strike, in which many Liberian women refused to sleep with their partners until peace was achieved.

The movement culminated in Gbowee and her comrades daringly holding the delegates responsible for peace talks hostage until they reached an agreement. Harnessing the power of women banning together and the tactic of peace, Gbowee successfully helped bring the Second Liberian Civil War to an end in 2003. “It’s time for women to stop being politely angry,” Gbowee once said.  Thankfully, Gbowee continues to lead by example and loudly continues to demand justice, through writing, speaking and her work with the Gbowee Peace Foundation.

Brooklyn Legends is pleased to join with the Gbowee Peace Foundation, and organizations world-wide, in advancing the cause of women and girls. We hope that you will join us in this endeavor.  There is plenty of work to do.

Fondly,
Monique

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Credits:
50 Years From Now, Here Are the Trailblazing Women We’ll Be Celebrating as Poineers – via Mic.com
Leymah Gordon’s speech – Unlock the Intelligence of Women and Girls – via Ted.com

Celebrating Women & Cracking the Confidence Code

Dear Readers,

Women throughout the world have made tremendous personal and professional accomplishments.  As leaders in our homes and in our communities, in business and industry, we continue to emerge as trail blazers and change agents.

Yet, in spite of all that we have achieved, many statisticians confirm we have a long way to go before achieving parity with our male counterparts.

In May 2014, The Atlantic Magazine published The Confidence Gap; a poignant article written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, that gives key reasons why women do not ascend to executive leadership status at the same rate as men.

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In The Atlantic Magazine article, Ms. Kay and Ms. Shipman share the following insights:

And yet, as we’ve worked, ever diligent, the men around us have continued to get promoted faster and be paid more.  The statistics are well-known: at the top, especially, women are nearly absent, and our numbers are barely increasing.  Half a century since women first forced open the boardroom doors, our career trajectories still look very different from men’s.

Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men— and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

Despite our achievements, we often resist owning just how great we are. When I was growing up, it was seen as “inappropriate” for girls and women to be seen and noticed.  Such behavior was considered to be brash and arrogant.  As a result I, and countless girls and women, had to navigate the world with fear and trepidation.  There were times when I felt obligated to downplay who I was, and apologize for the ideals I held.

IMG_0161When you have a moment, I encourage you to read the entire article by following this link.  At the start of today’s post, I included a brief video of our author’s conversation about The Confidence Code.

Please remember that we love hearing from you and would love to know what you think.

Fondly,
Monique
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Credits:
The Confidence Gap – The Atlantic Magazine, May 2014
The Confidence Code by Kitty Kay and Claire Shipman

A Plea for Gender Equality – International Women’s Day 2015

Video

Dear Readers,

UN Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka makes a plea to “all countries to ‘step it up’ for gender equality.”

At Brooklyn Legends we celebrate the achievements of amazing women from the African diaspora everyday.  It is our privilege to join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day, and to add our voice to the plea for gender equality.  Won’t you join us?

Please take a few moments to follow today’s conversation on Twitter @womensday or @Women_on_IWD.

Fondly,
Monique