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

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

3 Ways to Conquer Your Fears and Live Your Dreams

FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real.
Anyone else remember this grade school acronym?

Well that’s exactly what fear is. No matter how small or large your fear may appear, you CAN conquer it! Here’s how:

Do something you’re scared of.

Do the things you’re scared of. Crazy statement, right?! No. The number one way to conquer a fear is to confront it. Please don’t go trying insane things that put you or others in harms way. But do your best and try to face even your smallest fears head on. Slowly expose yourself to what makes you feel uncomfortable until it becomes more familiar.

Forget about it.

Forget how scary that thing is and retrain your brain to think about the positive and optimistic points of what you fear. Our thoughts enhance our reality. You ever notice the more you think about how scary something is the more tense you get? Well challenge yourself to take a deep breath and turn your brain off. Focus you attention on the things that give you strength and keep you calm. Mind over matter.

Connect with fearless people.

If you are having trouble harnessing your inner strength then connect with fearless people. Observe their habits and even ask them how they stand up and face their fears. You become the people that you align yourself with.

You’ve gathered these small tips ,but before you go any further in conquering your fears you must first understand the power of your purpose. You have to know what you’re here to do. The notion of finding ones purpose is imperative to your success as a person. And this knowledge of self is what makes it is okay to try. Try out as many things as you need and fail as many times you can, until you recognize what your purpose is. As my great Aunt Thelma always says, “Nothing Beats A Failure, Better Than A Try.”

Fear is all about control and once you master yourself you will begin to realize the things you feared were conquerable all along. You have to let go of those fears in order to achieve the impossible. Take these tips into consideration and go out there and be great!

Aloe Blacc (@aloeblacc)- Love Is The Answer

Aloe Blacc’s latest offering, “Love is the Answer,” offers yet again a soulful vibe with a thick bass and peppy claps, with production by none other than Pharrell. While he might have caught his break with 2010′s “I Need A Dollar,” which was used as the theme song to the HBO series How To Make It in America and “The Man” is background music for the Beats by Dr. Dre commercials featuring Kevin Garnett and Colin Kaepernick, and Richard Sherman.

“The specific issue this video is related to is called ‘willful defiance’ and it’s an issue that has affected the inner cities for some time,” Blacc explains. “The reason why I wanted to express my concerns for this issue in the video for ‘Love Is The Answer’ is because there has to be a better solution to the problem of troubled teens, there has to be some sort of community decision and action that can happen around helping to guide these kids. I think this is a situation where the village needs to help raise the child.”

Aloe Blacc’s Wake Me Up EP is available now.

4 ways to stay involved after the 2014 National Day of Service

mlkjJanuary 20, 2014 is the US federal holiday dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of service. The day provides a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s dream of civic engagement by getting out into their communities and making a difference. MLK Day doesn’t stop on January 20th it is a philosophy of service that should be carried on throughout the year. Here are a few simple ways to put action into play on Dr. Kings’ dream:

 

Volunteer

Support your community by volunteering  at a local soup kitchen; food bank, public library, nursing home, homeless or animal shelter.

Advocate

Let your voice be a tool used for change. You can join several organizations that specialize in advocacy, sign a petition for change via change.org or hand out flyers with useful information. You can even sit on your community or town hall as a volunteer board member.

Organize

Become a leader in your neighborhood and gather support for community forums, town hall meetings, community clean up, feed the homeless initiatives.

Donate

Apart from money; the most valuable thing you can donate is your time. With so many underserved youth out there you can make an impact by signing up to mentor at a boys and girls club or other mentorship programs.

Donating clothing , furniture or your car to goodwill and/or charity orgs.

Sharing your knowledge  through tutoring a child or teaching a class at a local learning center.

Make an impact by sharing resources with women’s shelters and non-profit groups that support the disabled or visually impaired (Columbia lighthouse for the blind). Donating computers and practical items such as desks, chairs and toiletries can always help further initiatives.

Visit AllForGood.org  or the UnitedWay.org to find more opportunities in your area.

These are just a few ideas but if you know of any other ways to stay involved and would like to share; comment below.

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A few facts about MLK National Day of Service:

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.  Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.  It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.  The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Information Courtesy of MLK.gov

**Event Alert** 01.15.14 @FunkVolume artist @DizzyWright live at the @HowardTheatre|#StreetIntell #DMV


Dizzy Wright is the hottest thing coming out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The streets and internet have been buzzing about him for sometime now. It’s  apparent that he can hold his own because this young hip-hop artist was just last year stamped by XXL mag. He premiered as one of the rappers featured in their 2013 Freshman class. It isn’t hard to see why. Get into his music below and make sure you check him out live at the Howard theatre.

Dizzy will be performing on Wednesday, January, 15th beginning at 8PM  (EST) at  The Howard Theatre 620 T Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001.  Doors open at 6pm. Grab your tickets for the show here.