Archive: Jun 2014

  1. Harper Makes Her Debut In Archie Comics Issue 656!

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    Archie Comics Issue 656 Cover

    Last Wednesday, June 18th, the anticipated issue of Archie Comics featuring a new character that is a wheelchair user finally hit comic book stores.  Harper, the cousin to the diva socialite Veronica Lodge, made her debut, and boy, are those within the disability and comic book communities buzzing about it.  Harper, from various news articles published about her arrival, is described as a “spunky fashionista” with an incredible “dynamic personality.”  The idea behind Harper’s creation in the series stemmed from a conversation between Archie Comics writer and artist Dan Parent, and Archie fan Jewel Kats, a children’s book author who has a disability.  (I spotlighted Kats’ book, Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair, in a previous article on the RYV! blog.)  It is truly amazing that a conversation sparked an incredible idea, which birthed an empowering character.

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  2. Bullying of Students with Disabilities: An Epidemic in Our Schools

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    Bullying 2

    Though the 2013-2014 school year is ending for the summer, the bullying of students with disabilities epidemic has made headline news this academic term.  A recent headlining story took place late May in Richmond, California, where a father boarded a school bus, and attacked the student who allegedly bullied his 9-year-old son, who has autism.  Burris Hurd was charged with child abuse and corporal injury to a child, and was held in jail on a $50,000 bond.

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  3. African Americans Living with Alzheimer’s Disease: B. Smith Shares Her Plight

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    Last week, we learned that former model and restaurateur B. Smith has been living with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Smith, dubbed the “black Martha Stewart” due to her career paths as a designer, author, and TV host, shared her story about remaining steadfast in fighting the disease, and having the support of her husband and business partner.

    Photograph of B. SmithHearing B. Smith’s candidness about the uphill battle of living with Alzheimer’s was empowering, especially since African Americans typically do not share their stories about Alzheimer’s.  Being an advocate and putting a face on what Alzheimer’s “looks like” in our community is a powerful testimony for and from Smith; her story validates the experiences of those living with Alzheimer’s, and the caregivers and families who care for their loved ones each and every day.

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  4. Lady Sings the Blues: Black Women & Mental Health

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    Black woman staring out the window, with a depressed look on her face

    This week, I wanted to spotlight the important discussion I watched over the weekend concerning Black women and mental health.  Exhale is a television talk series on Aspire that features a panel of five African American women who discuss issues and topics that affect the African American community.  During the second season of Exhale, the ladies decided to explore the issues of mental health in the African American community.  Watching this particular episode struck a deep nerve for me, both as an African American woman and a helping professional.  It was validating to watch those who have been impacted by mental illness share their stories.

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