September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

 
sicklecellmonthSickle Cell Awareness Month is a national initiative kicking off this month that helps raise awareness about a condition affecting more than 100,000 individuals living in the United States and millions more worldwide. September is the targeted month designated to bringing  more awareness to the issue in the hope of not only informing individuals but encouraging them to help raise funds to eventually find a cure. 
 
 

Sickle Cell Disease Occurs in 1 out of every 500 American  African births and 1 out of every 35,000  Hispanic American births. Sickle Cell trait occurs in approximately 1 in 12 American Africans.

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What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. The main purpose of red blood cells is to transfer oxygen to the body.  Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries the oxygen. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. Sometimes these red blood cells become sickle-shaped (crescent shaped) and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels. Sickle shaped blood cells are stiff, sticky and rigid cells that impede the flow of blood through the bodies blood vessels causing individuals to have moments of excruciating pain, which many refer to as “being in crisis.” When this blockage occurs blood cannot reach the different parts of the body and in turn damages tissue. As a result,  this damaged tissue is what leads to many complications for individuals living with this condition.

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We can’t stress enough the importance of sharing the information on Sickle Cell and how much of an impact just knowing more about the condition can have on not only a family but communities as well. Awareness and education make all the difference that is why we want to take this chance and stand in solidarity with individuals living with this condition by sharing the knowledge with everyone. Therefore please share the Street Intell and get more people involved. Visit sicklecelldisease.org for more ways to help.

For some informative and inspiring stories check out Sickled Sisters, a blog shared by two women personally affected by sickle cell and pulmonary hypertension. Both dedicated to the advocacy, awareness and support of individuals with chronic illness. Join their journey by clicking the image below

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Source: sicklecelldisease.org

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks Out About the 200 Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

In this week’s presidential address, the first lady honors moms for Mother’s day weekend and highlights the issue of the 200 Nigerian girls that were kidnapped last month.

The first lady goes further into the story on the current issue in Nigeria and the importance of educating girls and boys around the globe; she even likens the missing girls to her teenage daughters.

She closes by encouraging young people to stay committed to their education.

View the address below:

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#BringBackOurGirls : Rally for Change Expected to take Place at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC

 

20140506-072244.jpgThe abduction of 234 young girls on April 15th by militants from the Islamic terrorist organization of Boko Haran was reported late last week as it appeared no one cared. However through the power of social media; countless endearing souls banned together to support the girls by spreading the word through use of the viral hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Since the April abduction of the teenage girls from their school in the city of Chibok; many people around the world have stood behind this international call to action by bringing awareness to the deadly and despicable act of modern slavery. Through the use of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls citizens in London, New York and Nigeria have all used social media as a tool for social change and raised their voices in disdain at the Nigerian government’s in action in the location of the 200 some girls still missing. It has since been reported that some of the young girls may have already been sold into the sex trade as “brides”.

The pursuit of justice continues as constituents from DC, Maryland, and Virginia plan to rally today at the Nigerian Embassy to further push the issue for immediate action in locating these girls. The Rally will take place 10am-1pm outside the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 3519 International Court, NW , Washington, DC 20008.

 

 

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Obama Takes Executive Action on Equal Pay

 

Tuesday, April 8th — President Barack Obama, continued his push on lessening the gender wage gap in the workplace by signing an executive order mandating contractors to publish wage data (by gender and race) in order to maintain compliance with equal pay laws. The order is a push for better wages of contracted workers allowing them extra protection; even when comparing wages, which under the order protects them from being penalized for such actions.

Today is also National Equal Pay Day and President Obama’s action serves as a reminder of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which established the administration and enforcement of the law prohibiting gender based wage discrimination between men and women who perform jobs that require the same skill sets, responsibilities and are under the same working conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Mohamed Ibrahim

World Autism Awareness Day

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Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism. In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores are among the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities that take part to Light It Up Blue.

All around the world in cities like New York, Dubai and Sydney, Australia; major national landmarks and businesses have been lite up as a sign of celebration for World Autism Awareness Day. Today is also a chance for everyone to share the knowledge of Autism (ASD) and the need for a better understanding and appreciation for individuals with these conditions.

What is Autism or ASD?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors… ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art. Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age.

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We can’t stress enough the importance of sharing the information on Autism and how much of an impact it can have on a family or community.

Remembering Avonte:

It was just this past October, 2013 that a 14-year old, New York city resident, Avonte Oquendo ran off from a group of classmates and disappeared. On a cold October day the autistic teen left his school building undetected and was reported missing for hours as police, school officials and community members searched for him. Nearly 4 months later (in mid-January), Avonte’s remains were found washed up on the shoreline.

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It unfortunately takes stories like Avonte Oquendo’s for us to realize the importance of sharing information. Awareness and education make all the difference. Therefore please share the Street Intell and get more people involved. Visit AutismSpeaks.org for more ways to help empower more people by simply making them aware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: AutismSpeaks.org

Israel’s strick new immigration policy against migrant Africans ignites wide spread protests. |#StreetIntell #WorldNews

Increased arrests and aggressive measures towards African migrants have been going on for weeks now since the issuance of the December 10th  law by Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The law allows for the detention of migrants without trail for up to one year. Many migrants or “infiltrators” as the government calls them are illegal residents seeking asylum due to conflict in their homelands. Majority of the migrants are said to come from Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea.

At the Tel Aviv rally. January 5, 2013.
Photo Credit: Daniel Bar On

The Israeli government has been rounding up illegal immigrants and requesting that they report to various holding camps such as Holot, an open detention facility in the Negev.  The new aggressive response to the influx of African migrants is said to be border control but is beginning to look a lot like ethnic discrimination by the Israeli government. Many of the migrants are simply demanding the right to live and work in the country as they await their asylum bids to be processed. I presume that the Israeli government must feel that migrants pose a threat to their demographic identity because the nature of the state of Israel was formed solely for Jewish nationalists.  However, it appears to me that the migrants simply want just treatment and for the government to understand that they don’t wish to stay they simply need a safe place to live and work until order is restored in their homeland.

Photo credit: jordantimes.com

In response to Israel’s actions thousands of migrants all across the state have staged multiple peaceful protests demanding recognition of their basic human rights.  Many of which are also participating in a 3 day strike from work which has attributed to the temporary shutdown of some local hotels, stores and cafes.  According to the Sydney Morning Herald this is reported to be one of the largest rallies ever staged by migrants in the Jewish state.

For the 1st time in 100+ years it is snowing in Egypt and other parts of the middle east (yes we said it, SNOW) #StreetIntell #WorldNews

Photo credit: Snow-forecast.com
A light dusting once or twice isn’t unusual for the area but according to the weather channel  since Friday this rare winter storm has produced a remarkable amount of precipitation down in the lower elevations. This is attributed to a slow moving upper level low pressure system that is wrapping moisture into the air. The system is just cold enough to bring out heavy snow over parts of Israel, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Quite unusual for the sandy and dry  climate especially since they often receive little to no rainfall in the  region.