Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

DV Video Spotlight #3

This popular PSA made the rounds earlier this year. I find it especially powerful for two reasons. First, it shows the reality that this is what some women experience every day. Abusive relationships can be very difficult to leave for good, and women often go through days, months, and even years of abuse until they (hopefully!) are able to walk away from their abuser. Second, it shows the reality that domestic violence can happen to anyone--even someone you view as having a completely "normal" life. Many victims of abuse go about their daily routines without ever letting anyone know what they are experiencing at home.

I hope this video inspires you to be more aware of the problems your friends, coworkers, or neighbors may be experiencing. While none of us could ever force someone facing abuse to leave their abuser, we can certainly be there to provide support and access to the resources they need to come to that decision on their own.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Miss Queens 2015

After a short break in September, the Miss New York 2015 local pageant season resumed on Sunday, October 12 with the crowning of a new Miss Queens! This was a particularly exciting pageant to attend, as it was the first year for a new Queens Board of Director and the start of a great legacy for the borough. 

6 young women from Queens and Long Island competed in interview, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, talent, evening gown, and on-stage question. The show was fast-paced and entertaining. For the second time at a local pageant I've attended this season, all of the talents were different! I love when this happens, especially when it introduces me to new types of talent presentations that I haven't seen before. The Queens pageant featured a hula hoop performance, lyrical dance, spoken word performance, Haitian dance, tap dance, and dramatic monologue. 

I even had the chance to entertain the crowd with a rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade!" One thing the Miss America Organization has helped me overcome is my stage fright when performing a song in front of a crowd. In spite agreeing to sing at the last minute, I enjoyed myself and didn't stress out over having a flawless performance.

After a brief intermission, it was time for crowning!

2RU: Tiffany Farrell
1RU: Catherine Manett
and your Miss Queens 2015...

Dieusita Jean!

Dieusita had a natural grace on stage, got the crowd going during her talent, and was extremely well spoken! I know she will do an incredible job representing Queens this year.

One fun part of the evening was reconnecting with some of my Miss NY 2014 sisters! It was so nice to catch up with Claudette and Jillian. Claudette continues to succeed in law school and make many appearances to support her community and platform, and Jillian has hit the ground running as our new Miss New York! Can you believe that just a few hours before the Miss Queens pageant, she was giving a TV interview in Syracuse? They are both such pageant rock stars. 

I'm so glad to have attended the Miss Queens pageant, and can't wait to follow Dieusita's year of service. Congratulations to the entire Miss Queens Organization on a wonderful first pageant!

Friday, October 10, 2014

DV Video Spotlight #2

This is one of my favorite PSAs addressing domestic violence, because it focuses on teen dating violence. Teen dating violence can be a particularly tricky issue to address, because many teens are unable to identify  signs of abuse masked as care. For many teens, being part of a relationship is new, and having someone constantly reaching out to them makes them feel loved. Hopefully PSAs such as this one open the eyes of teens to realize that a constant barrage of texts messages--Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing?--isn't a sign of overwhelming affection, but can be a sign of overbearing manipulation.

Friday, October 3, 2014

DV Video Spotlight #1

Would you complain to neighbors playing loud music late at night? Would you be as willing to complain to neighbors violently fighting late at night?

To be perfectly honest with you, my reaction to the situation would depend on a few things. If I felt comfortable with my neighbors, I would go to them directly if they were playing loud music late at night and talk to them about it. If they were strangers, and it only happened once, I probably would let it pass unless it was ridiculously disruptive--in which case I'd probably ask my father to say something or file a noise complaint. However, if I took the same approach to overhearing a violent fight, the consequences could be more serious than a disrupted night's sleep. If I heard a violent fight, my first reaction would be to contact the authorities--no matter what. While it might make for an uncomfortable situation the next time I saw my neighbors outside, I'd rather err on the side of caution with someone's physical well being on the line. 
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