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Would you have intervened to save a life?

 

Last week’s New York City subway tragedy in which an argument led to the death of Ki-Suk Han after he was pushed by an assailant onto the tracks of an oncoming subway train verified violence is rampant in America. Many journalists chose to report that subway motormen were at fault for not being required to enter stations at lower speeds.
One might think this is the answer.  But, as I considered the circumstances, I thought about how many bystanders were on the train platform who did nothing to come to the aid of the victim.
On the night of my sexual assault 22 years ago in a hotel in downtown Atlanta, nearby room guests heard my screams.  Police reports verify one man came out of his hotel room as a result of my cries for help. 
 
from the Police report… 
I heard a woman’s voice yelling with an unmistakable “No, No.”  I exited my hotel room to look down the hallway and upon seeing nothing but a person’s arched back entering a door, I returned to my room. Yet I still felt uneasy.”
This bystander could have intervened on my behalf!
The man in the subway died needlessly because sadly, people just stood around–an idle curse of humankind.
Rather than be “standers by,” we need to be stander bearers who have courage to get involved when society urges us to look the other way.
 
I offer these tips on how to be an ACTIVE BYSTANDER.

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3 Entrepreneurs Share their Email Marketing Strategies

I had the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic pilot radio show last week in Atlanta.  Business Radio X and Constant Contact invited  the franchise owner of  Pigtails and Crewcuts franchisor, a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolatier and me to be guests to share how we use email marketing to grow our brands.

Hosted by Lanelle Henderson, Regional Development Director for Constant Contact and Lee Cantor of Business Radio X, the hour-long show is full of great tips to use to market your business.

Click here to listen to the radio show.

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What will it take to end sexual violence against women?

This video  is one you don’t want to miss.  It was presented to a group of us attending the Georgia Symposium on Sexual Violence two weeks ago.  It left me inspired to continue talking about rape and sexual assault and to continue my involvement in any MOVEMENT to stop sexual violence against women.  
Here’s what we can learn from this video:
1) It takes guts for a leader to stand out and be ridiculed.
2) In order to be effective, leaders should embrace followers as equals.
3) The first follower can transform a “lone nut” into a leader.
4) A movement must be public.  It must show not just the leader, but the followers as well.
5) Consequently, the followers can emulate the followers.
6) The result is powerful and can create a movement needed to bring about change.



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Women in Military Have More than One War to Fight

 

What’s worse?  Fearing you are going to be attacked by the Taliban or your own fellow serviceman? 
 
That’s the sickening reality females serving in our US military are facing every day.  Yesterday, NBC’s Natalie Morales on Rock Center with Brian Williams interviewed women who had been sexually assaulted by fellow members of the armed forces. The four servicewomen interviewed reported they feel betrayed and personally retaliated against because of reporting their assaults and rapes.  The interview brings to light a long-standing problem in our US armed forces. 

Last year, 3,192 service members across all branches of the military reported sexual assaults. Based on anonymous surveys conducted in 2010, the Department of Defense says a more accurate number of incidents involving sexual assault is actually closer to 19,000.
 
After watching the broadcast, I applaud these women for having the courage to stand up to military brass and talk about this epidemic of sexual assault within the ranks of our armed forces.  See broadcast here.        

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Barbara Dooley…A True Survivor

     Barbara Dooley is one inspiring woman!  I admire her greatly because she is witty, entertaining and is a true southern woman…full of grace and grit.  A guest on her radio show recently, I was immediately captivated by her powerful, clear voice. 
“Wow,” I thought.  “This is going to be a high energy 10-minute segment.”
      And it was.
     Barbara, being a cancer survivor, knows a lot about overcoming the odds.  I liked the directness in her interview style.  I liked her pragmatic approach.  You know, it’s hard to ask a sexual assault survivor personal questions, but Barbara just plowed in and asked the tough ones without hesitation because she has been there and overcome as well!  Listen to the interview here. 

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Courage to Move Onward

 

On a Tuesday afternoon in February 2008, Starbucks closed all its doors to train its baristas in 7,100 stores to pour that perfect shot of espresso.  It was a huge risk.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz knew the company would lose millions in the three hours he would close all the coffee shops, but he bit the bullet.  The media had a hey-day, interviewing baffled customers standing at storefronts.  Critics would charge the Starbucks brand was broken.   But Schultz was confident he had done the right thing….to invest in his employees.
     In Shultz’s book, “Onward,” he wrote, “There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust.  But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believethat the part we are choosing is the right and best thing to do.  We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”
     As a sexual assault survivor, I know it takes courage to step forward when self-defeating beliefs, fears and crippling habits keep us from living a full and abundant life.  On September 15th, you have an opportunity to be courageous….to take a few hours and invest in your own life, recovery and healing at the 2nd Annual Sexual Assault Survivors Conference at Georgia Southern University.  
     Starbucks fought for its life without losing its soul.  We should too.

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