Defeating Bullying One Conversation at a Time

Bullying and digital harassment are pervasive in schools and communities around the globe. We all know this. But what are we doing collectively to address and prevent it? Our friends over at Defeat the Label are bringing together students, parents, educators and youth advocates to discuss strategies that produce solutions. And it all begins with a conversation.

On Oct. 26, the organization will host its 3rd annual Community Conversation on Bullying at the Oakland Community Schools Conference Center in Waterford, Michigan. In addition to conversations, the event includes workshops on topics ranging from mental health and relational aggression (girl bullying) to social media and empathy in early childhood.

Empowered Flower Girl’s Rasheda Kamaria Williams will discuss the impact of popular media on girls’ relationship realities and how the adults in their lives can transforms the way they relate to one another during the Mentoring Girls and Inspiring Sisterhood workshop.

Admission to the conference is $25. Learn more and RSVP by visiting defeatthelabel.com.

Be a mentor in 2018

If you’ve resolved to make a difference or dedicate your time to worthy causes in the new year, I encourage you to consider mentoring.

You may have thought about it in the past but weren’t sure if you’d have the time or qualifications. But chances are – you do!

January is National Mentoring Month – a time for individuals and organizations across the country to bring awareness to the need for caring adults to serve as role models for youth.

I’ve been inspired to mentor for the past 16 years. While I have no biological children, I am dedicated to positively impacting the young people in my family and in my community.

According to MENTOR, the national mentoring partnership, 1 out of 3 children will grow up without a mentor.

There are many benefits for children and teens matched with mentors. These young people are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and activities such as truancy, drugs and gangs. They also are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.

Consider this.

It only takes a few hours a month of face time and a phone call a week to help increase a child’s self-esteem. In addition to the mentee’s development, the mentor benefits in many ways. My mentees have helped me aspire higher in my career and in life. And knowing that they’re looking up to me, keeps me living in integrity.

Still not sure about mentoring?

Visit www.rashedakamaria.com to download your copy of my FREE mentoring guide. 

Rasheda Kamaria Williams is an award-winning mentor, author and chief empowering officer for Empowered Flower Girl LLC. Check out her TEDx talk to learn how mentoring makes a difference. 

Cheers to Stevenson High School!

The Stevenson High School cheer team got a visit from Empowered Flower Girl founder and author Rasheda Kamaria Williams on October 16 during National Bullying Prevention Month.

Mrs. Diana Langlois, a member of Soroptimist International of Grosse Pointe, a volunteer service organization, purchased copies of the book “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama” for each girl. Diana’s daughter, Robbie, coaches the team which is made up of 22 ambitious and dedicated cheerleaders.

The girls had been reading the book since the beginning of the semester. To reward the team for their recent successes and to encourage them to keep up the good work, Diana coordinated the visit.

Schedule a “Be EmPOWERed” book talk for your school, organization or house of worship. Empowered Flower Girl offers a special rate for nonprofits that order 20+ books.

Does New Anti-Sexting Legislation Criminalize Kids?

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R.1761, also known as the “Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017,” which builds on current law that makes teen-to-teen sexting a crime.

This new legislation supposedly aims to close “loopholes” in current child pornography legislation. But a recent Forbes.com article revealed that the bill could have teens facing 15 years for trying to sext. Second-time offenders would be fined and imprisoned for up to 50 years.

While it is important to protect our children from predators and those seeking to exploit them, it is also important that we communicate with children the consequences of sharing inappropriate or sexual content. Criminalizing them isn’t the answer.

While the legislation was supported by many in congress, it was opposed by dozens of others, including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime. Lee, in the article, called the bill “deadly and counterproductive,” and commented during a House debate over the issue, “While the bill is well intended, it is overbroad in scope and will punish the very people it indicates it is designed to protect: our children…”

Learn more about the legislation here.

Program helps teens find passion and purpose in service

Growing up in the ‘80s, I often heard adults saying things like “children should be seen and not heard.” It was their way of maintaining peace and quiet. I was never a proponent of this proverb. In fact, I am a firm believer in the opposite – young people should be seen and heard. Their voices matter!

Everyone – regardless of age – has the power to change the world. All it takes is the courage to speak up and take action.

April is National Volunteer Month and we encourage tweens and teens (and adults) to turn their passions into purpose by volunteering with organizations that reflect the issues and activities they care about the most.

There are thousands of causes, charities and issues in which to get involved. Websites like Idealist.org and VolunTeenNation.org are great resources to help find opportunities that touch, move and inspire action as well as funding to make it all happen.

Looking for ideas to encourage volunteerism among youth?

Empowered Flower Girl’s got you covered with our School & Community Service Learning Guide, which explores ways for tweens and teens to make a difference in their communities based on their interests and passions.

The guide is available for schools and organizations that purchase at least 20 copies of “Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama.” Register by April 15 and receive special bonuses! Email info@rashedakamaria.com for details.

Be sure to join us at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 via Facebook for a special announcement about the service learning guide and how teens can secure funding for their do-good projects!!

About Global Youth Service Day (GYSD)

Hosted by Youth Service America, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and the only one that celebrates the contributions that children and youth make 365 days of the year. 

EmPOWERing 21st Century Girls: Event Aims to Bridge Generation Gap, Inspire Teens to Live Powerfully

Twenty-first century girls face challenges that generations before them may have never imagined. From cyberbullying to societal pressure, they’re coping with the pangs adolescence both on and offline. But because of technological advances, they also have unlimited resources and opportunities to live powerful lives.

On Thursday, March 9 during Women’s History Month, Empowered Flower Girl (EFG) – in partnership with the Skyline Club’s Emerging Leaders Group – will host “EmPOWERing 21st Century Girls.”

The event, scheduled 6-7:30 p.m. at the Skyline Club in Southfield, aims to bridge the gap that exists between 20th and 21st century women and girls while encouraging sisterhood and empathy.

Participants will break down the walls of separation by participating in engaging, inter-generational icebreaking activities as well as learn about local organizations and programs supporting girls and women.

Rasheda Kamaria Williams, EFG founder and author of Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama, will facilitate the workshop and sign copies of the guidebook and journal.

“The ultimate goal of this event is to boost understanding and empathy across the generations while combating behaviors and norms that lead to drama, relational aggression and other challenges young women face,” Williams said.

The event is open to girls 11 and older and their parents, guardians or other adult chaperones. Admission is $10 per couple and includes appetizers and a raffle ticket for prizes.

Call the Skyline Club at 248-350-9898 to RSVP. Learn more about Empowered Flower Girl at empoweredflowergirl.com.

SHARE THE FLYER

empowering-21st-century-girls-flyer

Visualize a POWERful 2017

Imagine it’s Dec. 31, 2017. Where do you see yourself? What achievements will you have celebrated?

It may be hard to predict the future, but with proper planning, you can be anywhere you want to be – at villa in Tuscany, on a stage performing or enrolled in a college.

No matter your age, you can create the life of your dreams. It all starts with a vision. If you can see it, you can achieve it.

“The key to achieving any goal is believing that you can,” said Rasheda Kamaria, Empowered Flower Girl chief empowering officer. “Multiply that belief by action and you’ve got the equation for actualization.”

Need a visual aid? Vision boards are awesome tools to help you achieve your goals. A few household items and a bit of creativity are all you need.

Supplies: Poster board, glue stick or tape, scissors, magazines (lifestyle, business and travel recommended)

Interested in having Empowered Flower Girl lead your vision board party or host a vision board workshop for your organization, school or group? Email rkamaria@empoweredflowergirl.com or call 248-629-0334.

Life through the Eyes of Girls

While in New Orleans last month for the International Bullying Prevention Conference, I had an opportunity to connect with Nola.com reporter Diana Samuels. She is one of the journalists engaged in an amazing multi-media initiative called the Southern Girls Project.

Louisiana’s Nola.com – along with Alabama’s Al.com – have partnered to tell the stories of girls growing up in the south. The project launched earlier this year and features everyday girls who share their hopes, dreams, challenges, concerns and ideas.

After reading about several of the girls – mostly middle and high school students – I was intrigued. The multi-media element of the project is powerful. You get a glimpse into the unscripted life of girls.

Girls in the south are like most American girls. They go to school, they’re on social media, have celebrity crushes and think about their future. But they also face unique challenges, including higher rates of poverty and obesity.

But what I love about the Southern Girls Project is that girls have a platform to not only share their stories, they have opportunities to share their solutions to the social and environmental issues that impact them.

In my opinion, every media outlet throughout every region of the country should give youth a voice.

Learn more about the Southern Girls Project at al.com/southerngirlsproject.

CONTEST ALERT: Enter the Be EmPOWERed: Anniversary Contest

In honor of Empowered Flower Girl’s six-year anniversary and in anticipation of our forthcoming book Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama, we’d like to hear from you.
Answer the question (in 50-100 words): What does it means to live powerfully? for a chance to win!!
One entry will be selected and featured in an upcoming edition of the “Be EmPOWERed” newsletter and will receive a signed copy of the book once it’s published. The contest is open to anyone in the U.S. ages 13 and older.
All entries must be received by midnight EST on August 20, 2016
 
SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE TODAY
BE EmPOWERed Book
Be EmPOWERed: How to Live Above & Beyond Life’s Drama is written for and inspired by girls. Packed with inspirational prose, thought-provoking questions, interactive activities and note pages for journaling, this book is for any young women tho aspires to live POWERfully.

Don’t let money stop you: Get funding for your program

Want to start a STEM program for your kindergarten class or host a financial literacy night for teens and parents in your community? If your school, community organization or house of workshop can use some extra funding to support extracurricular programming, then you should definitely check out this resource.

As a youth development practitioner, I’m always reading to keep my skill set current and relevant. Youth Today is my go-to publication for everything related to adolescents. The bi-monthly independent newspaper has a special section full of current grants.

If you need money and resources for your project, having this resource is a must.

Check out these available grants:

http://youthtoday.org/series/available-grants/