Tag Archives International Women’s Day

Yara Shahidi, Naomi Osaka, & Adwoa Aboah Among Mattel’s Newest Collection of 2019 Barbie ‘Sheroes’

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To celebrate their 60th anniversary along with International Women’s Day, which is this Friday (March 8), Barbie has announced brand new dolls from their #MoreRoleModels collection as part of an ongoing commitment to inspire the next generation of girls by reminding them that they can do and be anything.

“We’re committed to highlighting empowering role models as a key part of the Dream Gap Project–our ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything,” reads Barbie.Mattel.com. “By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves.”

Among Barbie’s newest collection of extraordinary women and role models are actress and activist Yara Shahidi, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, and high-fashion U.K. model Adwoa Aboah.

“I’m honored to be repping all the young ones as a Barbie Role Model,” Yara wrote on her Instagram page. “Let’s continue to inspire the next generation and each other.”

Yara Shahidi
Actress, Model & Activist, U.S.A.
2019 Barbie Shero

Yara Shahidi is an actress, model, activist and breakout star of ABC’s Emmy- and Golden Globe- nominated comedy series black-ish. Yara has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress and a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role. Recently, she also appeared on TIME magazine’s annual “30 Most Influential Teens” list as well as Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2017 and 2018 for her television contributions and humanitarianism.

Engaged in politics, she launched Eighteen X 18 last year to educate and motivate first-time voters to turn out for the 2018 mid-term elections. She created Yara’s Club in partnership with The Young Women’s Leadership Schools in NYC, a digital meet-up for high school students to discuss societal issues, self-improvement, and higher education. Yara also served as a spokesperson for DoSomething.Org and 3M’s STEM campaign, which raised funds for classrooms in need of science and tech resources, and worked with the Obama White House on STEM initiatives.


Naomi Osaka
Tennis Player, Japan
2019 Barbie Shero

Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player who represents Japan. Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, she became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam, defeating her childhood idol, Serena Williams, to capture victory at the 2018 U.S. Open. She followed up that feat by winning the 2019 Australian Open and reaching No.1 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Having been featured on the cover of TIME magazine in January 2019, Osaka will be the face of the 2020 games in Tokyo.


Adwoa Aboah
Activist & Supermodel, U.K.
2019 Barbie Shero

British activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah, is the founder of Gurls Talk, an online community where young women are free to discuss issues such as mental health, education, self-care, and relationships. Leading from her personal experiences, Adwoa founded Gurls Talk to be a completely open online platform, where anyone and everyone can share their experiences in a safe, judgement-free space. The community is made up of a diverse mixture of people from across the globe. Gurls Talk was founded on the idea that by coming together young women will become individually and collectively stronger, inspire each other, and influence a positive impact on the world.

Adwoa is one of the freshest faces in today’s modelling industry. To date, she has starred in global campaigns and walked in shows for some of fashion’s biggest names including Dior, Chanel and Versace. Adwoa joined British Vogue as a contributing editor in July 2017 and was the inaugural cover star of British Vogue’s December Issue, the first issue from editor Edward Enninful’s “New Vogue,” as well as appearing on numerous international covers for Vogue, Dazed, i-D and LOVE magazine. In 2017, Adwoa was named the British Fashion Council’s Model of the Year, a prestigious accolade awarded to the person who has had the most global impact on the industry that year.

To see the full list of Barbie Role Models, click here.

Vanessa Anderson Talks Getting Her Start In Public Relations, Destination Crenshaw Project, International Women’s Day, & More With Live Civil

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March 1st officially kicked off Women’s History Month — and while every day should be spent celebrating the vital role and contributions of women to American history and society, we are more than happy to have a full month dedicated to elevating women across the world. In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be talking to several successful women who we feel will inspire and empower the next group of female entrepreneurs and executives.

I had the opportunity to chat with the owner and Senior Account Executive of AM PR Group, Vanessa Anderson. AM PR Group is a boutique public relations agency specializing in the entertainment, digital, and lifestyle industries. The agency’s current roster of clients includes Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Cassie, and Melina Matsoukas. Vanessa opened up about not only the moment she realized she wanted a career in the public relations field, but what she went through mentally and emotionally before deciding that this was the career path she wanted to take.

“I felt like I had been so pressed to find a job and start my career that I had gotten myself into something that was detrimental to my emotional and mental stability.”

Vanessa also expressed how much it meant to her as a Los Angeles native to be selected as the Publicist for Destination Crenshaw, an art project spearheaded by City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson that aims to reclaim the neighborhood for black L.A.

“In 5 or 10 years, the people walking their dogs and pushing their strollers around Crenshaw and Slauson may not look like me, but they’ll very clearly know that they are walking on OUR streets, in OUR neighborhood. This is the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and I am honored to be on the communications team. I imagine my grandparents, who raised me in this community, would be proud.”

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (March 8) is #BalanceForBetter, which is all about marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. Find out what Vanessa Anderson had to say about conversations surrounding diversity, inclusivity, and gender-balance by checking out the full interview below. She also offers advice to those looking for a career in public relations, as well as who she celebrates for International Women’s Day.



When did you realize that you wanted a career in public relations — and what was the first step you took towards making that happen?


“I graduated from college in 2007 just as the recession was hitting and upon graduation could not find a job —anywhere. At the time, I wanted to be a high school history teacher and couldn’t find a school or district in LA to hire me. Here I was with this very expensive Ivy League degree and couldn’t get a job. By the end of the summer, I had found a job as a first-grade teacher. And even though I loved the kids, I absolutely hated the principal and would cry every day on my way home. I knew I was destined for something — anything — better, so I put in my notice and started working part-time at the GAP. I felt like I had been so pressed to find a job and start my career that I had gotten myself into something that was detrimental to my emotional and mental stability. So, I worked at the GAP for about a month and in that time went from folding clothes to a junior management position. My bosses there quickly recognized my genius (laughs) and wanted to put me on the corporate tract, but I knew retail was not for me long term. I had gotten the job to hold me over while I figured out my life and when they told me they felt like I could have a real career within the company it really made me get my shit together. I started thinking about the things I enjoyed— music, tv, movies — and how I could be a part of those worlds without being talent. I had a friend in high school who’s aunt was a high-profile entertainment lawyer, so I called her and told her what I had interest in and asked if she could help point me in the right direction. She was the one who suggested I look into publicity. After talking to a few people in the field and doing my own research, I was like “YES! This is the career for me!” I felt like it was a job where I could utilize all the best parts of my personality and character as well as my education. My friend’s aunt helped me get an assistant position at a boutique pr firm and that was the beginning of who you see today.”



What were some of the challenges you faced early on in your career — and how did you overcome them?


“Well, I was 25 when I opened up my own company and even though I had saved some money, it wasn’t enough. No one in my family had ever opened their own business so I didn’t have anyone close to me to show me how to run a business so it really was trial by fire. I was also struggling to get clients because people were hesitant to work with me and pay me because I didn’t have 20 years of experience and wasn’t coming from one of the large communication firms. It was hard to get paying clients so I worked for free for a long time until I got enough experience. My unemployment and savings were enough to pay my rent, car insurance, and basic necessities every month. Everything else my friends covered for me out of pity (laughs).”


Last year, you announced that you were selected as the Publicist for the Destination Crenshaw project. How important was this opportunity to you as a woman who grew up off of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. and Crenshaw?


“This project means everything to me, especially because I grew up in this area. Destination Crenshaw is a very L.A.-specific project, but the history of Black L.A. is really the history of Black people in America. Like most urban enclaves in major cities, South L.A. is undergoing a serious change. It is vital and mandatory that we document and memorialize the contributions Black Angelenos have made to L.A. and the world for that matter. Often times these types of projects are done or conceptualized after Black people have been pushed out but not this time around. In 5 or 10 years, the people walking their dogs and pushing their strollers around Crenshaw and Slauson may not look like me, but they’ll very clearly know that they are walking on OUR streets, in OUR neighborhood. This is the largest project of its kind in the U.S. and I am honored to be on the communications team. I imagine my grandparents, who raised me in this community, would be proud.”


This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter, which is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the government, boardroom, media and sports coverage, in wealth, etc.. How important is a gender-balanced world to you?


“Conversations surrounding diversity, inclusivity, and gender-balance are always so interesting to me. I honestly believe that the idea that people have to be “called-to-action” is moreso for my white and male counterparts than for me. Every day that my company is open is a call-to-action. Women of color, and in my case a Black and Latina woman with an immigrant parent cannot and will not thrive without us living and breathing inclusion and gender balance. I don’t need a special occasion to remember to hire women and people of color. However, if days like this can encourage people to look twice at women for executive positions, not just assistants and coordinators, then I am in full support.”



If you could celebrate someone in particular for International Women’s Day who has inspired you, who would it be?


“First would be my grandmother, Nettie Martin, who taught me everything about life and being a woman and a partner. She died when I was 17 but managed to give me all of her life gems and lessons before she left me. She taught me that when you leave a room people could either remember you for your beauty, your intelligence or both. The decision was up to you.

Aside from her, I would want to celebrate a woman who I aspire to be like and who constantly inspires me, Tammy Golihew. Tammy currently is the head of Amazon Studios Television Publicity, International and Prime Video but used to run the Unscripted and Scripted TV PR department for Warner Bros. Studios. She and I met when I had a contract at WB doing publicity for The Real, and she singlehandedly changed my life. This version of Vanessa would not exist without her support, guidance and example. She and I are cut from the exact same cloth and our birthdays are days apart — she actually has the same birthday as my grandmother. She is a constant reminder that I can be a boss, command respect, get what I deserve, and absolutely never compromise on what I’m worth — and do it all with a red lip and a pair of designer stilettos.”


What advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for a career in public relations?


“Think twice. This is the era of #publicists. Thinking this career is for you because you see someone on Instagram pretending to be on a private plane will have your feelings hurt and your bank account on life support. To really be great at this job you need to be willing to work hard and put your ego to the side. I get passed up all the time for bigger agencies and you can actually google and see the covers and exclusives and work I’ve done. Constantly hearing “no” or “you’re not the right fit” is hurtful and could make you start doubting yourself and your capabilities. It’s disappointing but I have to remember that it’s not about me. This field of work is built for those who can withstand a bunch of no’s because the real blessing is on its way.

Owning a company is hard and requires constantly thinking of new streams of revenue, new ways to engage with potential clients, constantly building relationships with agents and managers and brands and writers — it’s a 24-hour job. The private jets do come but you need to be okay with the basic economy first and for a long time.”


What is a quote that you live by?


“For a long time:

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” – Zora Neale Hurston

More recently:

Every lyric in Drake’s “Mob Ties” (laughs).”


A Letter From Michelle Obama On International Women’s Day

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Today we celebrate #InternationalWomensDay, on this day we take the time to truly recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The past couple of years have been monumental for women, and especially special for women of color. Black women have become the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs and we are continuing to fight through every obstacle that has been placed in front of us.

Today, our favorite First Lady, Michelle Obama sent out an important letter to dedicated to women on #InternationalWomensDay. Please read below and enjoy your day ladies:

Hi there, and happy International Women’s Day.

Growing up, my parents always had a clear message for me and my brother: There is nothing more important for your future than getting a good education. Nothing.

Even though neither of them had a college degree, they were determined to give us that opportunity. And let me tell you, my education changed everything for me — opening doors I never could have imagined and allowing me to pursue the career of my dreams.

For me, education meant freedom and empowerment; the chance to fulfill my potential and make my voice heard in the world. And it breaks my heart that today, there are millions of girls across the globe who don’t have the chance to attend school.

We know the kind of impact educating girls can have — not just for them and their families, but for their communities and their countries as well.

Girls who go to school marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, are more likely to immunize their children, and are less likely to contract malaria and HIV. Girls who are educated also earn higher salaries — 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school. And sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country’s economy.

That’s why, as First Lady, I started an initiative to help more girls worldwide attend school, and before I left the White House, I committed to working on this issue for the rest of my life.

I want every girl on this planet to have the same kind of opportunities that I’ve had, and that my daughters have — and I need your help.

Every single one of us has a role to play in helping girls get the education they deserve, and International Women’s Day is the perfect time to make that commitment.

– Michelle Obama

Happy International Women’s Day: What A Typical #DayWithoutAWoman May Look Like

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of ALL women in ALL parts of the world. Today also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and working towards equality in all way.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem (feminist, journalist, and social and political activist)

In collective efforts to show the world how important and vital women are to our society, the organizers of the widely attended and successful Women’s March came up with the idea to show the world how it would be without women. To take a stand, several men and women around the world are participating in a day of economic solidarity to truly show what a day without women would really look like.

According to TIME magazine:

84% of women make up our pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers. So schools would be out of order or filled with substitutes and chaos! #schoolsout


85% of women are bank tellers, so if you needed to cash a check or lost your debit card you are S.O.L


44% of women are bus drivers, ambulance drivers, subway, streetcar, and other rail transportation workers so if you are frequent when it comes to public transportation, expect to wait a longer time for your ride!


78% of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants are women so if you have a cavity, needed those wisdom teeth taken out, or wanted to try veneers you might want to reschedule your appointment!


63% of tax preparers are women so if you haven’t gotten your taxes done yet, no refund check for you!


78% of physicians and surgeons, registered nurses and physician assistants are women so if you are terribly injured or sick, we feel bad for you!


58% of editors, news analysts, reporters, and correspondents, media and communication workers and proofreaders and copy markers are women, so your daily dish of news is not happening today and if it does happen we guarantee you that information and detail will be missing.


A #daywithoutwoman can go a lot of different ways depending on the roles that the important women you encounter play. Today, this month, and every day we encourage you to celebrate and pay respect to each and every woman that you encounter on a daily basis. Every woman is a boss in their own right and it’s time the world celebrates that.

Happy International Women’s Day!


YouTube Invites You To Share Advice For Your Younger Self in #DearMe Campaign

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In honor of International Women’s Day (Mar. 8), YouTube is inviting you to share words of advice to your younger self. What are your fears? What are you inspirations? What wisdom would you share? The video sharing platform wants to know what you would tell a younger you and wants you to share it with the world. Using the hashtag #DearMe to tweet, post and spread words of encouragement to a younger you.

We want to know: what would you tell a younger you? Share in the comment box below.


MIRI BEN-ARI Receives First Ever GIRL UP Youth Award From U.N.

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On Wednesday, March 4th, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the UN Foundation, Women’s Foreign Policy Group, United Nations Information Center and Johnson & Johnson came together and hosted a luncheon in an effort to inspire change and spur progress for girls and women – ensuring a better world for all by 2030 . US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Heather Higginbottom, joined former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, and global youth leaders to discuss the progress made and challenges remaining for girls and women around the world.

The UN Foundation presented the first-ever Girl Up Youth Award, honoring young women who stand up, speak up, and  support the empowerment of adolescent girls around the world. The award recipients are Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari and Girl Up Teen Advisor, Kennede Reese. A couple other women were also be honored for their commitment to bringing about change for women in all countries and communities.
In her acceptance speech, Miri Ben expressed, “”A society that deprives women of their rights is an unbalanced society.” Viewed as a ‘disruptor through music’,” Ben-Ari gave an inspirational performance at the conclusion of the ceremony.