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Meet PhDivas!

What do you get when you add brains, ambition, drive + beauty? PhDivas, of course! In a society where media loves to portray women of color as just beauty with no brains, it’s completely refreshing for Dr. Liz Wayne and Dr. Christine “Xine” Yao to create an empowering  platform that flips the script! PhDivas podcast covers  academia, culture, + social justice across the STEM/humanities divide. An engaging conversation between friends and scholars, PhDivas fills a niche for witty and insightful discussion and proves that PhDs in Engineering and English literature have more in common than meets the eye.

At over 50 episodes, PhDivas garnered a wide audience with a listenership from over 100 countries and over 20,000 plays. Two women of color Ivy League PhDs navigating higher education. Biomedical engineer meets literary critic. And of course, both fans of lipstick!

Let’s get to know Liz + Xine a little better!

PhDivasis a podcast about academia, culture, and social justice across the STEM/Humanities divide, what made you launch this powerful podcast?

Academia is a struggle for everyone, especially for those who are underrepresented minorities. Solidarity between women, especially women of color, is so important for surviving higher education regardless of discipline. Sometimes we have to be the change we want to see in the world or the inspiration we wish we could have had. This work is deeply personal: we hope to be part of a chain reaction that will make higher education a better place. As Liz likes to say, “Academia won’t be the space that was provided for me but one that I create — not the one I dreamed of but one that I build.” Join our community!

Being a voice in the community motivates others to be great, which past topics/episodes do you feel your audience responded to more than others? And why do you feel this topic had a large effect?

People feel the pressure to perform perfection all the time, but we try to be honest about the struggle and our anxieties. One of our most popular recent episodes was S03E23 “The Secret Life of Academic Conferences.” Perhaps drew our listeners was that we went beyond the list of practical, professional tips and advice that can be found elsewhere; instead, we delved into the social life and psychology of the conference experience that people don’t often talk about — especially not from the perspective of those who are junior in academia. One of our classic episodes S02E07 “Imposter Syndrome and Other Anxieties” speaks to the personal and structural difficulties everyone can have in competitive environments. Together we discuss the difference between responding to environments inhospitable to women of colour versus universal worries about expectations and performance.

Christine “Xine” Yao

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who inspires you and why?

We both love how Laverne Cox talks about possibility models instead of role models. For Xine that person is Sara Ahmed, a (now former) academic in the humanities working on feminist and queer of color criticism; not only does Xine draw from Ahmed’s theoretical models, but she is inspired by how Ahmed practices her principles in life, not just in research.

For Liz that person is Dean Gilda Barabino, the first Black women to be Dean of an Engineering School. She has led an exemplary career and she just an amazing and lovely person to be around. She gives me hope.

Liz Wayne

If you had to give one piece of advice to teen girls who are struggling with race and gender issues in their day to day, what would it be?

 Xine: There’s a community out there for you and those people are both more wonderful and more flawed than you can imagine. You will grow together when you work toward each other’s liberation. Oh, and you need to learn how to strategically stop caring or listening to those on the outside in order to make it through.

Liz: Some things we can’t change or help– where we live, who are family is, etc., but we can choose our friends and our life partners. Choose wisely. When the world feels like it has no space for you, surround yourself with people who want you to be healthy, happy, and successful. Don’t linger on the toxic relationships or the toxic social images. Having a strong support network has helped me deal with the struggles of the world.

We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you and your organization?

Lift each other up!

Fun Faves! Fave Food? Artist? Song? Celeb Crush?

Xine: Food: loves eating everything but if she had to choose it would be good ice cream. Artist: Gustav Klimt or Kara Walker (easier for me to think of this kind of artist and not musical ones!) Song: History Maker by Dean Fujioka (the theme song for the anime Yuri!!! On Ice) Celeb Crush: Riz Ahmed

Liz: Food: Chicago deep crust pizza. Artist:Titus Kaphar & Frida Kahlo. Song: Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks  ​Celeb Crush: Rihanna (because she puts in work work work work work).

Check out more of Liz + Xine here!

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Racing Against The Clock!

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Time Management…oh how I love the thought of doing it successfully. The reality is that many of us are struggling. We have so much to do but we have little time to do it.…scratch that. We have so much to do and we aren’t aware of all the time we have to do it.…That’s better. School has begun. Many of us are entering a new stage in our lives. Becoming a freshman…becoming a senior. Though we are diving head first into these new experiences, there are a few things we can keep in mind in regards to managing our time.

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Assignment written. Assignment complete! Many of us are guilty of pushing back work with the hopes of completing it at a later date. This can be problematic because realistically we find that the time spent watching YouTube or on Snapchat, could have been spent starting, and possibly completing, a paper. So I advise you to complete your assignments when given.  This leaves you with more free time later.

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Shut it off and Tune in! As briefly mentioned before, many of us are active on various social media platforms and some of us have a small addiction to it. Your ability to shut off your device and tune into your work is a challenge but I believe you can do it. When you think of time management think of discipline. Your ability to control your bad habits not only helps with time management but also in life.

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Charts. Calendars. Timers. Timing is key. Literally. If managing your time is spent complaining about lack of time, it is time to get a planner and calendar. You can track all your assignments and put them in time slots. This is where discipline is needed. Though you will not receive penalties for going over the time you’ve given yourself, the stress that will result will be punishment enough.

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Help me! Help me! This one is simple. If you spend your time looking confused at your homework-get help. Work in friend groups, get tutoring. There are many different methods one can use to get help. You are never limited in your resource when you have access to the internet. The time spent will help you greatly in the long run. The key for time management is staying focus.

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Written by teen blogger, Brynn Hutchinson

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A Night With Ashley Stewart!

Need a dose of inspo + empowerment? Well, it was definitely served up on September 16th at the Brooklyn Kings Theatre where Ashley Stewart hosted an evening of fresh girl power! Real Husbands of Hollywood star Boris Kodjoe and wife + actress Nicole Ari Parker teamed up with Grammy-nominated vocal group En Vogue for the first-ever Finding Ashley Stewart 2017 Finale to benefit Dress for Success and celebrate Brooklyn, women’s empowerment, and community.

In addition to crowning Theresa (Larsen) Royals  from St. Thomas with the title of ‘Ashley Stewart 2017’, the event awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships to the North Carolina A&T University student winner Lydeah Kearse ($10,00 scholarship winner), as well Medgar Evers College student winners Latchmie Marajh ($5,000 scholarship winner) and Kedeisha Freeman($5,000 scholarship winner). The sold-out, star-studded event also featured celebrity judges and special guests! Take a look at who brightened up the pink carpet that evening!

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Iyanla Vanzant presents Latchmie Marajh and Kedeisha Freeman with the Medgar Evers Scholarship award onstage at Finding Ashley Stewart 2017 at Kings Theatre on September 16, 2017 in (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Ashley Stewart)

 

Lydeah Kearse ($10,00 scholarship winner), as well Medgar Evers College student winners Latchmie Marajh ($5,000 scholarship winner) and Kedeisha Freeman($5,000 scholarship winner)

 

Actor Boris Kojoe + actress Nicole Ari Parker showed their love as husband + wife with a sweet selfie on the Pink carpet. Photo credit: C.O.R.E Magazine

 

Grammy-nominated vocal group En Vogue. Photo credit: C.O.R.E Magazine

 

Actrees Andrea-Rachel Parker from the hit series Power rocked the pink carpet! Photo credit: C.O.R.E Magazine

 

Leading gospel artist gospel singer Kierra Sheard on the Pink Carpet. Photo credit: C.O.R.E Magazine

 

Brooklyn United Drumline spiced up the pink carpet and brought their amazing energy!

 

Check out more of Ashley Stewart here:

Ashley Stewart

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Weekend Fresh!

Ashley Stewart Scholarship!

We know that college life can be filled with tons of memories, friends and new chapters but it can also give us a headache when it comes to finances.  This is one of the many reasons C.O.R.E Mag is excited to celebrate with Ashley Stewart as they award  a total of $20,000 in scholarships to empowering young women striving for higher education!

The scholarship announcements are a part of the nationwide ‘Finding Ashley Stewart 2017’ finale. During the crowning of ‘Ashley Stewart 2017’, Spiritual Life Coach Iyanla Vanzant will be on hand at the event to award a total of $20,000 in scholarships to North Carolina A&T University student winner, Lydeah Kearse, as well as the yet-to-be announced winning students from Medgar Evers College.  The scholarship aims to celebrate strong female leaders that are excellent students and role models for their peers.

It will be held in Brooklyn where actor Boris Kodjoe will be hosting and Grammy-nominated vocal group En Vogue is set to perform! The evening will be filled with a variety of star-studded celebrity guests + judges, including Nicole Ari Parker.

Check out teaser to this fab event + EMPOWERING cause!

All net ticket proceeds are being donated to Dress for Success.

Order your tickets now at Ticketmaster: Tickets Here

Also, check out AshleyStewart.com!

Make sure to follow @corereader on Instagram for live updates + coverage!

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Flip Your Locker!

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So back-to-school season is here and you’re already over your classes? Yeah, we understand but remember the better you do now the less stress you’ll be at the end of the year. So here are a few locker pick-me-ups that can turn your book storage into a safe haven. And remind you that you’re unstoppable even after cringing through your 1st period of pre-cal. Oh and did we mention you don’t have to break your bank! All items are less than $10!

Locker Mirror  – $9.99

So lesson number 1 in life, you should always be your biggest fan! Get a glimpse of your fresh smile and remind yourself to be unstoppable when you make your locker pit stop.

Magnets – $6.12

What’s better than cute magnets? Umm cute magnets that remind you of how freakin’ dope you are each + everyday!

Wallpaper – $7.99

The backdrop of a locker can be the number 1 ingredient to wanting to drop your books and literally walk out of the school each morning. So put your twist on it. Remember, you can create a life that you love and it starts with even the little things.

 

Dry Erase Boards -$4.99

Ok, with classes, assignments and topics for the debate team, a to-do list will be your bff this year. Use a white board to write your daily tasks. The best feeling in the world is to slash through completed tasks. Trust us, you’ll soon be addicted to the feeling.

Plug me up!-$9.50

Yeah, yeah we know you have to stay connected.  So don’t forget your USB cord. We’re sure you have atleast 3 but keep one in your locker just for back up. You never know when you might see the danger sign of “your battery has reached less than 15%” in life. The horror.

 

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Meet Donshea Hopkins!

Photo credit: zxphilmz

When you UNLEASH your power, you light up the world  + actress/musical artist Donshea Hopkins is simply blazing bright! Not only does she play Raina St. Patrick on the hit Starz series POWER, she’s also letting her voice touch her fans through her beautiful vocals and empowering lyrics. Donshea Hopkins is making her mark across all platforms as an actress, singer, dancer, and model. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Donshea began her career as professional actress at the age of four and has since been on some of the biggest hit television shows including, Power, The Detour, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, Law & Order SVU, Sesame Street, “What Would You Do?”, Team Umizoomi, appearances in sketches on David Letterman, and an interview segment with Alyson Hannigan and Carson Daly on MTV’s TRL.  Donshea’s EP debut 3Point2 is available for digital download and streaming everywhere.  

 
Let’s get to know Donshea’s a little better…

Photo credit: @zxphilmz

You’ve starred in the biggest hit television shows including Power, The Detour, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, + Law & Order SVU just to name a few! What made you want to step into the acting world?
When I was younger whenever I saw kids on TV that were around my age, I would tell my mom that I wanted to do that. I started talking at nine months old, so when I would point to the television and tell her, she didn’t think much of it. She just thought that I wanted to do the ABC’s and 123’s since I was watching shows like  Sesame Street and Barney.

I was so persistent with wanting to become an actress that I would write my own scripts and commercials and perform them for my mom. On New Year’s Eve we have this tradition where we tell each other our goals and ambitions for the upcoming year. When I was 3 years old I asked her, “Why don’t you want me to be on tv?” And she said “It’s not that I don’t want you to be on tv, it’s that I don’t know what to do.” She began to tell me that when my birthday came around, she’ll figure out what to do and how to get me in the business. And the rest is history!

You’ve already accomplished so much at an young age! If you had to choose, what would be the biggest highlight in your blossoming career so far?
I’d say my music is definitely one of the biggest highlights in my career so far. Mostly because it’s my own project that I had complete control over, since I wrote/co-wrote and co-produced everything on my debut EP 3Point2. ( 3Point2 is available for download and streaming everywhere).

In your current role as Raina St. Patrick how was it to work with the cast of Power?
It’s one heck of a crazy exhilarating roller coaster ride, working with the cast of Power. Because everyone’s so different and unique and there styles and methods of acting are all so different that I learn something new every time I walk on set.

As you continue to travel on your amazing journey of dominating your craft, how do you deal with fame + being recognized? How do you stay grounded + focused?
I embrace it, because just how fast I got it, I can lose it. And I think it’s pretty freaking amazing  to be recognized for my work by fans. I’m just glad that my work has been memorable enough to be appreciated.To stay focused I start with the end in mind. I think about how hard I’m working and why I’m working hard, and then I think about how much my work is gonna pay off later. Whether that might be 5 months or 5 years, I know one day it’ll definitely pay off in a BIG way!

Photo credit: Zxphilmz


What advice would you give girls who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?
GO.
FOR.
IT!
You only get one life, so don’t be afraid to go after what you want.
And you’re not gonna get everything you want and that’s okay. Like for example if you go out on an audition and you don’t get it. Don’t be upset, because you got an amazing experience to audition for this company. And they might call you in for something else. Usually it’s not that they didn’t like you, you just didn’t fit the role or what they were looking for. So keep going and don’t be afraid!
Fear less, be FEARLESS!

We are all about empowerment, What does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?

Empowerment means taking pride in your culture and who you are. Empowerment also means lifting each other up and as people I feel like we tend to forget that sometimes. Instead of empowering each other we tear each other down. Which isn’t right, if we want to succeed in this world we must help each other in this weird thing we call life. Fighting has gotten us no where, but back to the beginning.

Time for  FAVES! Celeb Crush? Music artist? Food? Movie?
Justin Bieber. Halsey, Paramore, Justin (obviously) Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Selena Gomez, Melanie Martinez, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Florence + the Machine, Janine, Zendaya, and the list goes on! Popcorn/Vegan Sushi/ and anything with chocolate. The Princess and the Frog, Beauty and the Beast, The Professional, and Get Out.

Check out more Donshea here!

Donshea Hopkins

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Snap, snap! Poetry Place

Journey To Justice

The world is a beautiful place and I love it.
 I hope there’s a better way so I’ll
 be above it.
 Black people need justice. Donald Trump
Can’t touch this.
Black people are running
Cause Donald Trump came hunting.
The teachers don’t be yelling
If I hit Trump with a melon.

White and black are in a boxing ring
But the future brings a beautiful thing.
To be free instead of being on a string.

I’m in pain when the world change,
But I can do something with my skills
When I’m going uphill.

– Sanai, age  12

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Bold From Brownsville

My name is Jamira.
I come from America,
Born and raised in Brownsville.

In Brownsville, where life is upsetting for some.

My parents too come from Brownsville.

My dad was a young rapper
Trying to make it big.

My mom took care of two kids.

I am funny, loving, and kind.

I believe that people can change.

Someday, I will be a big doctor or lawyer. 

I am a strong young hero
Nobody can bring me down
Cause I’m black.
I am proud of my African American culture. 

-Jamira, Age 11

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Meet T’masia Sade!

As summer break is in full swing so should your style! New York based designer + creative director T’masia Crowder makes sure your fashion taste hits every beach with her luxe swimwear brand T’masia Sade.  This past spring our intern, Maria was able to touch base with the designer who founded her line in 2012. The brand radiates the modern femme with bold fabrics, variety of colors, accessories, edginess and playful shapes. The goal is to take risk and embody fierceness in young women swimwear  beyond the norm.

Let’s get to know T’masia a little better…

What inspired you to make such bold designs?

I am inspired by all types of art and influences. Some of my designs are based on my eclectic/eccentric personality and style. Most of the time my designs are based on stepping out the box or bold colors.

Do you hope to someday expand your line to day and evening wear?

At the moment, no. I am looking to focus on expanding in my current market first.

What were some obstacles you have faced in the fashion industry?

One obstacle I would acknowledge is being discouraged, but don’t be. I typically do not get too caught up in the other obstacles in the fashion industry, I acknowledge them but I won’t allow them to deter me from my end goal. I aim to focus more on meeting my target market needs and adjusting with SOME trends.


What advice do you have for people interested in the fashion field?

The advice I would give to anyone interested in the fashion field would be to stick to your plan and to work hard/smart. Be passionate about what you are doing and don’t be scared to be an individual or an outcast. Most people/buyers relate more to designers who are true to themselves.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a fashion designer?

I was always artistic and my family kept me in different arts programs. However, I always knew I wanted to be a designer since early childhood. I would always work on alterations/bedazzling or vintage apparel with my grandmother, it was our thing!

What’s the best part, in your opinion, about the fashion world?

In my opinion, the best part of the fashion world is being free to create what ever you feel will impact someone’s appearance. The relationships you build with your clientele is also satisfying.

How did you first get your swimwear recognized?

I first got my swimwear recognized when I was selected to participate in the New York RAW Artist showcase. I remember being nervous because I just finished taking the leap of faith to start my brand at the time. However, by the end of that year I was so astonished that I was voted to participate in the RAW NY Fashion finale. That was my first debut to the world honestly and I was not even expecting it.

Would you have pursued a different careers if your designs weren’t recognized?

No. Being recognize does not determine my career, recognition will eventually come. However, during this time I had just graduated from undergrad so I started my career as an engineer in the construction industry during the day and I was pursuing my designs simultaneously.

How important is communication in the fashion field?

As for any industry or relationship, communication is key. The communication keeps everything flowing and on track, it impacts every aspect of your brand and it also can assist with mitigating any risk.
What have you learned so far about fashion? I’ve learned that fashion can change within a blink of an eye and most trends repeat themselves. But most importantly I’ve learned that fashion is what you make of it, it’s the best way to express yourself without speaking.

Has living in New York somewhat influenced your designs? If so, how? 

Growing up in New York City I drew my inspiration from dope fashion in the streets. Most people in NYC are fearless with their fashion and sometimes out of the box. But that’s what makes it exciting and influential.

What do you hope to make people feel when they see and wear your designs?

I hope to make women feel confident, sexy, comfortable and edgy. I want them to say “I gotta have that” when they see my designs!

Check out more here!

T’masia Sade

 

Interview by Teen Blogger Maria Miller

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Dear Jane…

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So, you’re a teenager now or at least almost there. You’re at the moment in your life when you are discovering more of your likes and dislikes. You may be trying to come up with your own sense of fashion; trying to discover who you are, what you want to look like, how you want to be received. Well, I’m thirty-two years old. I’ve been where you are before. I’ve had self-esteem issues and so many of the feelings that all preteens and teenagers experience.

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Let me talk to you for a minute. Listen to your parents and/or your guardian. They want the best for you. I was always really close to my mother (grandmother). She was an incredible woman. She taught me so many jewels in life that I cherish and I am now able to share those same jewels with my two beautiful daughters. I want you to focus on your school work. There’s nothing wrong with having fun with your friends, but understand that there should be a balance to everything. Your parents share a lot of experiences with you because they too were your age before. They love you and want to see you blossom beautifully in life. You may think you have all the answers, but you don’t (smile). I’m sure you’re intelligent for your age, but there’s so much more in life to learn. Take your time and act your age. Be young and responsible. This is the only time in your life that you will be a preteen or teenager. After this stage-you’re an adult forever. And, that can be a wonderful time for you too, but understand that a lot of decisions you make now can shape your upcoming years to be easier or harder.

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Are you experiencing a difficult moment in your life right now? How did you get there? Take responsibility for your contribution to the issue. That’s the only way you’re going to learn from it. Whatever you’re going through will get better. It may not seem like it right now, but better days are ahead for you and you can share your experience with whomever you choose. One day someone is going to need your advice. And, never allow anyone to make you feel less that you are. Never allow anyone to hold you to yesterday. Surround yourself around ones who want the best for you and who are genuinely happy for you.
You are capable of being that outstanding person that you aspire to be. Just believe!

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Sincerely,

Jane

 

Guest blogger Jamie Jones

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