2018 Women’s US Olympic Medalists

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are now behind us, and there was a great showing from the kick-ass women representing the US. Below are the medal winners:

Gold: US Women’s Hockey

PY-Hockey

Probably my favorite event/results. The US Women’s Hockey team won gold for the first time in 20 years, preventing rival Canada from reaching the top podium spot for a 5th consecutive time. Added cool fact (not that it needed any): this win came on the anniversary of the Miracle on Ice, when the US Men’s Hockey team beat the Soviet Union  in the 1980 Olympics, preventing their rival from moving on to the gold medal match, and potentially winning top honors ALSO for the 5th consecutive time (US went on to win gold).

PY-Hockey2

Jamie Anderson

PY-Jamie_Anderson

Gold: Snowboarding – Women’s Slopestyle

Silver: Snowboarding – Women’s Big Air

Chloe Kim

PY-Chloe_Kim

Gold: Snowboarding – Women’s Halfpipe

Mikaela Shiffrin

PY-Mikaela_Shiffrin

Gold: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Giant Slalom

Silver: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Alpine Combined

Jessica Diggins & Kikkan Randall

PY-Jessica_Diggins-Kikkan_Randall

Gold: Cross-Country – Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle

Lauren Gibbs & Elana Meyers Taylor

PY-Lauren_Gibbs-Elana_Meyers Taylor

Silver: Bobsled – Women’s 2-Man Competition

Bronze: Figure Skating – Mixed Team

PY-Mixed_Team

Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell, Maia Shibutani (who also got bronze in Figure Skating – Mixed Ice Dance), & Alexa Scimeca Knierim

Arielle Gold

PY-Arielle_Gold

Bronze: Snowboarding – Women’s Halfpipe

Brita Sigourney

PY-Brita_Sigourney

Bronze: Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Halfpipe

Lindsey Vonn

PY-Lindsey_Vonn

Bronze: Alpine Skiing – Women’s Downhill

Bronze: Speed-skating – Women’s Team Pursuit 6 Laps

PY-Speedskating_Womens_Team

Heather Bergsma, Carlijn Schoutens, Mia Manganello, & Brittany Bowe

Students Against Gun Violence

I’ve been so inspired by the Florida students who are stepping up and becoming agents of change following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But I’ve been reminded that there have been students struggling to make their voices heard on the gun violence that happens in their communities on the regular, affecting their well-being every day. So I wanted to dedicate today’s post to some of those students in Chicago.

Wear Orange

A group of classmates banded together after the death of their classmate, Hadiya Pendleton in 2013, and created a movement to wear orange, the color commonly worn by hunters in the woods to protect themselves from being shot. It has since become a national movement, but I admit that until today I had not heard of it.

Henderson Elementary School March

In March of 2017, students at Henderson Elementary School marched and had a rally protesting gun violence after Kanari Gentry Bowers (12) and Takiya Holmes (11) were shot while playing on local playgrounds.

ct-elementary-school-students-march-against-gu-003

Polaris Charter Academy

A good NPR story (3min) of students at the Polaris Charter Academy, who did an anonymous survey and found that 91 out of 100 students were directly affected by gun violence in their area. Near the end of the 2017 school year, they organized a march that cultivated in playing on the playground (something that they were kept from doing multiple times during the school year, as nearby gunshots would force them to have recess inside)

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533698452/533698457

Parkland Survivors Meet With Chicago Students To Tackle Gun Violence ‘Beyond Gated Communities’

 

Emma Gonzalez

There was a lot going on on Wednesday, so this post is back-dated. I just wanted to say that I am in awe of these students in Florida, who are choosing to focus their grief and anger into activism. As of today (February 19th), there are plans for a student-led march in Washington DC on March 24th.

https://www.marchforourlives.com/

 

Update:

Emma’s essay, published on 2/26/2018 at Harper Bazaar

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a18715714/protesting-nra-gun-control-true-story/

Sherry Johnson

Sherry_Johnson

Sherry Johnson was raped when she was 8 years old by multiple men in positions of power within her family’s religious institution. She was pregnant and gave birth at age 10, and was married off to one of her rapists at age 11. This did not happen in some hard to imagine, rural area of India or Afghanistan, but in Florida, USA.

Sherry’s story is at times an unsettling read (trigger warning), but I still highly recommend taking time to read it, because this blog post won’t do it justice at all.

Sherry is now sharing her story and spearheading efforts to call on Florida legislators to change current laws that allow young girls to be coerced into marriage via loopholes (permission from parents/judges). She hopes to help Florida become the first state to abolish child marriages (200,000 in the US in the last 15 years, 87% of which were young girls). The original bill proclaiming 18 to be the legal marriage age, no exceptions passed unanimously on January 31, but a similar bill was introduced last week to allow exceptions for pregnancy of 16 and 17 year olds.

Jennifer Mendelsohn

Jennifer_Mendelsohn.jpg

I braced myself last night, but still cringed pretty hard listening to President Donald’s State of the Union address, especially when he got into the subject of Immigration reform. I just find it amazing that many members of the GOP’s ancestors would not have been able to come into the US under their proposed new rules, and was reminded of the fantastic story of Jennifer Mendelsohn (@CleverTitleTK) and the fun  #resistancegenealogy movement on Twitter.

Jennifer, an author, journalist, and genealogist, has been using her skills in the latter to uncover public records and shine light on some of the hypocrisy rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate. Examples:

  • Rep Steve King, who said last year that “you cannot rebuild civilization with somebody else’s babies.”… Jennifer quickly uncovered that King’s 4-year old grandmother came through Ellis Island in 1894.
  • Tomi Lahren who said that Dreamers were not “law-abiding citizens”…Jennifer found that Lahren’s great-great grandfather was indicted by a grand jury for forging his naturalization papers.
  • Found evidence of “Chain-migration” history on both Dan Scavino and Vice President Mike Pence

Jennifer_Mendelsohn2

Further Reading:

Your Grandma Was a Chain Migrant – The New Yorker

They spoke out against immigrants. So she unearthed their own immigrant ancestors -CNN

Maame Biney & Erin Jackson

Biney_Jackson

A very hearty congratulations to Maame Biney & Erin Jackson, who became the first and second African-American women ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympic speedskating teams! (Biney on the short-track team, and Jackon on the long-track)

Biney, who was born in Ghana, is just 17 years old, making her the youngest member of her team. Jackson, 25, had only picked up the sport 4 MONTHS AGO after making the transition from inline skating.

RIP Dolores O’Riordan

Dolores_ORiordan

I grew up in a Classic Rock and Alternative Rock household. Pink Floyd, The Doors, Rolling Stones, The Who, Yes, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads, Ozzy Osbourne, I enjoyed all of those guys (key word), to name a few, and would race my siblings to “Name the Band” first whenever they came on the radio. I don’t think I had the mentality that only men can rock out, but I didn’t exactly listen to any women that stood out to me (closest was maybe Stevie Nicks, who I didn’t fully appreciate until later in life)

Enter “Zombie” from The Cranberries

Holy crap, do I love this song. Written in 1994 about an IRA bombing that killed two children, Dolores O’Riordan completely shattered my experience and expectations of female rockers, and to this day I stop what I’m doing and rock out to the song whenever it comes on. RIP, Dolores. 46 is way too young to go.

Luciana Vega – American Doll

Luciana

Luciana Vega is American Girls’s 2018 Girl of the Year, inspiring young girls to aim for the stars and pursue STEM. A Chilean-American girl, Luciana’s story has her going to Space Camp and hoping to one day make it to Mars with NASA.

To get things just right, American Doll collaborated with some stellar badasses of the industry:

  • Megan McArthur Behnken (astronaut)
  • Ellen Stofan (former NASA chief scientist)
  • Deborah Barnhart (US Space and Rocket Center CEO and Executive Director)
  • Maureen O’Brien (manager of strategic alliances at NASA)

“I think a lot of girls are sometimes intimidated by STEM careers because they think they have to be perfect in math or the top of their class. But what you really need to have is determination, the spirit to pick yourself up when you make a mistake and keep going. I really think it’s that determination, that will, the ability to come back from failure, that are the most important characteristics. I hope that girls who read these books are inspired by these tales of failure but persistence.” -Ellen Stofan

Alice Paul Tapper

Alice_Paul_Trapper

Image via Al Drago for The New York Times

I shared a post on Facebook recently that made me very frustrated and angry. The short of it was that a mother took her daughter (a Girl Scout), and her son (a Boy Scout) to the College Football Sun Bowl in Texas to sell programs and raise money for their troops. While the son was congratulated, talked to respectively, and asked if he was going to pursue becoming an Eagle Scout, the young girl and others in her troop were harassed by older men. One was called pushy for not giving programs away. Another was called a bitch. And another was asked if her and her friends could be girlfriends to a group of men…. the girls’ ages ranged from 9 to 11. None of them were asked about the Gold Award.

Anger aside, it reminded me of this Op-Ed I came across written by Girl Scout Alice Paul Tapper (named after historic Women’s and Civil Rights activist), a 5th grader who created a national Girl Scout patch called Raise Your Hand. She’s incredibly well-written, so I’d like to point to her Op-Ed directly:

I’m 10. And I Want Girls to Raise Their Hands.

As the Girl Scout cookie season comes into full-swing, I’d like to encourage everyone who sees these future leaders selling boxes around town to stop and talk to them about their time in the Girl Scouts. Congratulate them for participating in activities that help their community. Ask them about the Gold Award and yes, perhaps buy some cookies even if you’re trying to eat healthier =)