NFL to debut first female referee, Shannon Eastin, for Thursday’s preseason game

**Update: Shannon continues her historic journey – works her first regular season game.

 

It will be history in the making Thursday night as for the first time in NFL history, a woman will officiate the contest between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.

All eyes will certainly be on Shannon Eastin, who has officiated games for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, when she works the sidelines for the preseason opener.

When asked about the impact of a female official, the Chargers spoke glowingly about what it means for both the sport and the advancement of gender equality.

“It’s historic,” said head coach Norv Turner during his daily press conference following Monday’s practice. “I’m excited about it.  It’s going to be different, but the league has done a great job getting the refs ready.”

“I think it is massive,” said Nick Hardwick. “I think it’s a massive step in the right direction. This is what this country has been about for a long time, and this is certainly a step in the right direction. As a player it doesn’t matter at all if the official is male or female.  As long as they make the right calls, that’s all that matters.”

Source – First Female Official to Work Thursday Night’s Game

 

 

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Be Informed: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?

Sikhism, the world’s fifth most popular religion, emerged more than 500 years ago in Punjab, in what is now India. It was founded by Guru Nanak, a non-practicing Hindu who was against rituals and praying to idols.

It is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others.

Doing good deeds is important for you to be with God after death, says Raghunandan Johar. Sikhs believe that if you don’t live a life full of good deeds you will be reborn and repeat the circle of life and death.

At a typical gurdwara (temple), the doors open up at 6 a.m. for prayers. A formal service includes the singing of hymns and a team of leaders who have studied the faith reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scriptures. That book, more than 1,400 pages long, includes writings from Sikhism’s 10 gurus as well as writers from other religions.

Most Sikh men don’t cut their hair and wear turbans and beards. Many American Sikh women dress like other Westerners or wear the salwar kameez, a traditional north Indian garment of a long shirt and loose-fitting pants.

 

Learn more: CNN – Explainer: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?

 

 

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The Millennium Development Goals – wiping out disease, famine, and poverty on Earth

By Bill Gates

People sometimes say that the United Nations doesn’t do enough to solve the big problems of the world. I’ve never really agreed with that point of view, but if anyone is looking for evidence of the UN’s impact, a good place to start is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They were agreed to in 2000 by all 193 UN member countries and 23 international organizations. Creating that kind of consensus is—by itself—a significant achievement.

The great thing about the MDGs is that they provide clear targets and indicators of progress in key areas, including:

  • Ending poverty and hunger
  • Universal education
  • Gender equality
  • Child and maternal health
  • Combatting HIV/AIDS
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Global development

Although a number of countries won’t be able to achieve all of the goals by the target date of 2015, the MDGs have been helpful in getting everyone to really think about their part, the progress they’re making, and what they can learn from others. The goals have focused political attention in developing countries, encouraged UN groups to work together, and inspired wealthy and fast-growing donor countries to coordinate their efforts.

In February, the World Bank announced that the MDG goal of cutting extreme poverty by half had been achieved five years early. A week later, UNICEF and the World Health Organization announced that the goal of halving the number of people without access to safer drinking water was also reached five years early.
Source: The Gates Notes – A Report Card on Helping the World’s Poor

 

 

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Momentum continues – NAACP endorses same-sex marriage

In a move that some called historic, the country’s oldest African American civil rights group voted Saturday to endorse same-sex marriage…saying it opposed any policy or legislative initiative that “seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.”

The vote marks a national turning point on the issue of gay marriage. President Obama announced this month that he supports gay marriage. A Gallup Poll last year found, for the first time in the poll’s history, that a majority of Americans supported the legalization of gay marriage, 53% to 45%.

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the 103-year-old NAACP said in a statement.

“The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Still, it may be a long time before the entire community joins in support.

Many African Americans oppose same-sex marriage…

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read the full article – learn how African Americans are key voters in discriminatory laws – L.A. Times

Today is International Women’s Day – celebrate and show your support

Today is International Women’s Day. Celebrate all the wonderful women in your life!

Also, take some time to help support an issue:

Women in the U.S. make 81 cents to the dollar men earn doing the same job. 

Nearly 50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, on average women are still paid less than their male counterparts for doing comparable jobs in the U.S. — that’s called the pay gap. It means that each time the average woman starts a new job, she’s likely to start from a lower base salary than her male counterparts.

Just as interest compounds, so does the pay gap. As a woman moves from job to job during her career, the pay gap between her and her male colleagues is likely to become wider and wider.

Personal financial advisors and legal occupations suffer the largest gender pay gaps. Personal and home care aides and special education teachers have the smallest pay gaps.

Unequal pay isn’t just unfair, it’s illegal. But unless men and women who have the same job discuss what they’re getting paid, unequal pay can go unaddressed indefinitely.

via Narrow the Gap

 

Learn more and join in:

 

Google Doodle for International Women's Day