support young girls writing mary sue stories. support girls who create spaces for themselves where they can be anything they want. a world where they can be strong and smart and beautiful and everything else society tells them they can’t be
Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.”
Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets.
Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets.
When she started out, Veronika states,
“Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.”
And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”
Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”
You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.
To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/
For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.
For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness athttp://www.naeh.org/ or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/
more food: 11pm
midnight snack: 2am
Hercules? Honey, you mean Hunkules!
But I agree with you. It bothers me that I’m always told that I do strong female characters. When in reality, I look at my characters and I feel like they were all broken. They all came from a very devastating past. They were trying to achieve something, they had hope, and they wanted to get someplace, like everything other character that has a meaningful and relevant arc in the story.
It’s because we don’t really know women. We don’t write women accurately. We don’t see women the way that we should see women as a society, as a human race. When you see a real woman, you shouldn’t be saying she’s strong, you should be saying she’s real.
I’m not saying that Gamora is an exception, but you look at my character in Columbiana, and she’s stealthy, she’s agile, she’s physical. But even if I wasn’t physically agile, she would still carry the baggage of whatever happened in my childhood. And I handle myself in the way that I feel a woman should be. I don’t create it. It’s just something that comes natural.
So when people think they are paying me a compliment, in reality what we are saying as a society and as an art society, is that we need to focus more on the real aspect of what a woman is, and not the superficial cosmetic features of a woman as a muse to inspire us to create calendar girls. To create bombshells. To create serviceable characters, beautiful paintings of the girl with a pearl earring: if there’s nothing there behind it, it’s just her face - what’s the story?"
- Zoe Saldana, speaking to Den of Geek. These musings in particular are so wonderfully expressed. (via pixiegrace)
Dan Rad on a mission to take over your superhero franchises
"You talk so much about how CSers can only defend Hook by insulting Neal, but all I see you doing is defending Neal by insulting Hook."
This only happens when the discussion is directly about people attempting to compare Hook and Neal in Hook’s favor.
I’ve made posts in the past about Neal and Swanfire, about both their positive and negative aspects, without ever mentioning Hook outside of his actual involvement in Neal’s story.
Neal doesn’t need to be compared to anyone to make him look better. He’s a complex character, and that’s a good thing. He has many, many positive qualities and it objectively probably one of the most selfless, decent characters on OUAT. But he does have his flaws, and that’s a wonderful thing. I would never want a character to be perfect. How boring would that be.
Neal’s entire life is informed by repeated abandonment. When he was a child, every nearly every adult who was supposed to love him and protect abandoned him, sometimes in horrible ways. When it came down to it, people who loved him making sacrifices for him, giving things up for him, is something he rarely experienced. This could have turned him into a cold, selfish person. Instead, he took that pain and became an incredibly selfless person. He understood the pain of constantly coming second to the people who loved him, and he became the kind of person who was willing to make sacrifices so he didn’t make people feel that pain.
That doesn’t mean he always did it in the right way. In regards to his relationship with Emma, making that sacrifice led him to make Emma’s decisions for her. In making sacrifices, he sometimes takes complete control of a situation, taking the choice out of other people’s hands.
But he doesn’t expect anything from anyone. How could he? That’s a learned behavior. How could he learn that behavior when for most of his life he was rarely offered anything from anyone. He doesn’t expect anyone to want him, to choose him, because that’s not an experience he’s familiar with. You can’t expect something with which you have no experience.
He doesn’t just expect to be wanted and chosen. So when it came to his relationship with Emma in Storybrooke, he understood that she might not want to be with him. He understood that loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll choose them. And he was completely willing to accept that. He was willing to let Emma have complete control of that choice, and was willing to just be friends and co-parents if that was what she wanted.
What’s more, he knew that if she didn’t want to be with him, it was because of what he did. He was aware of the mistakes he made, owned up to them, and accepted the fact that those mistakes might mean Emma wouldn’t want to be with him.
One of the things I loved most about his character was his relationship with Henry. He knew how it felt to be abandoned by a parent. He’d experienced it twice (three times, if you count Hook selling him to Pan). So the second he found out he had a son he wanted to give him every bit of love and attention he possibly could, because he never wanted his son to feel unloved or left behind the way he did. His son immediately became the most important thing in his life. Because he knew what it was like to not be the most important thing in his parents’ lives.
Neal was an incredibly selfless man who had some very human flaws. And he doesn’t need to be compared to Hook, or anyone, in order to be made to look that way. He doesn’t have to be. Because that’s just who he is.
Actor Chris Pratt beamed down to our sector of the universe Monday night to surprise an auditorium full of deserving kids in a special New York Daily News and Disney Studios sponsored charity screening of the superheroes-in-space flick.
And the 35-year-old actor who plays the hero Star-Lord in the Marvel movie stayed in the theater until every last one of them who wanted to take a picture with him got their selfie.
“That was really fun, this is what is all about,” said a visibly touched Pratt after the show. “I get impatient sometimes being on a promotional tour all the time, but something like this I would sit here as long as it took to take a picture with every one of those guys.”
“Tonight was really special to me.”
Pratt stayed long past the time his security detail was supposed to whisk him away to answer questions and give some words of wisdom.