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Everything to know about the women’s strikes on International Women’s Day

  • International Women’s Day is on Wednesday, March 8, and worldwide, women are celebrating by doing absolutely nothing. 
  • Strikes highlighting gender inequality and labor reform have been called across the country and around the globe, along with smaller protests and actions, all under the dual umbrellas of International Women’s Strike and A Day Without a Woman.
  • International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s achievements that’s been around since 1908. 
  • Women have been striking on International Women’s Day since 1917, Ashley Bohrer, a co-organizer for International Women’s Strike U.S., said in a phone interview. 
  • The Women’s March on Washington organizers announced A Day Without a Woman in early February, on the heels of their national demonstration for human rights on Jan. 21, 2017. 
  • A Day Without a Woman rests on the intersectional feminism espoused by the Women’s March on Washington. 
  • The strike, however, is slightly different: Women are asked to refrain from doing any kind of labor — paid or unpaid, physical or emotional. 
  • Alternatively or in addition, people can show solidarity with striking women by wearing red and refusing to shop, unless they do so at women-owned or small, local businesses. Read more (3/8/17 6:09 AM)

Can’t miss a day of work? Here’s how you can still participate in the women’s strike.

  • Many folks just can’t afford to risk losing their jobs or to give up a day’s wages. Thankfully, there are ways to participate without staying away from work or school.
  • If possible, avoid spending any money 
    • The organizers of A Day Without a Woman acknowledge that not everyone can take part in the same way. One of the ways they suggest participating is to avoid shopping at stores or online for the duration of the day, with the exception of “small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses that support us.”
  • If you can avoid it, don’t do any housework either
    • Organizers of the International Women’s Strike suggest strike participants should “leave care and housework for the day,” if they can. 
    • Research has shown that, in straight couples, women are overwhelmingly expected to do stereotypical duties like childcare, cooking and laundry.
  • Wear red
    • Organizers of a Day Without a Woman and the U.S. branch of the International Women’s Strike are also asking people to participate in the day by wearing red, if they can. 
    • Red was chosen as the day’s official color because, according to A Day Without a Woman organizers, it symbolizes “revolutionary love and sacrifice” and “is the color of energy and action associated with our will to survive.”
  • Give a caregiver the day off
    • If you or your household employ any women as a caregiver, nanny, babysitter or housekeeper, give them Wednesday off.
  • Are you a male ally? Act like one
    • A Day Without a Woman organizers also provided a handy list of ways male allies can step up their game on Wednesday (or any day, really). Read more (3/8/17 6:11 AM)

in the opal light of aquarius there is a kaleidoscope mind, catching thoughts from clouds as they blow in the breeze. mystic vapour washes though a clinical, logical mind, highlighting the dual nature in aquarius. internally, there is a cacophony, the mind can be difficult to control  

Questions with Colleagues: Jennifer Marciello, Archivist & Oral History Coordinator

This past month, the Archives division at the JFK Library welcomed six volunteer library science graduate students as part of Preservation Week. We sat down with Archivist & Oral History Coordinator Jennifer Marciello to talk about their work and what they discovered.

How did Preservation Week come about?

In the Archives Division here at the Library, we have a Preservation Subcommittee whose focus is to identify and document any preservation concerns in our historic collections and come up with plans to address them. In doing this, we noticed that there were some very sizable collections with issues that needed to be addressed, but were too large for any one staff member to take on.

This is where the idea for Preservation Week came from. Instead of one staff member devoting weeks, months or, in some cases, years to one project, we devised a program that would get archival staff and interns involved in working on a specified project for one week out of each semester – three times a year – with the goal of completing the preservation tasks. This program has a dual benefit of allowing interns the opportunity to work and collaborate on a larger shared project, while at the same time completing necessary preservation tasks that do not normally fit into current workflows.

This time, along with some of our archival staff and paid interns, we had the help of Alternative Spring Break volunteers, which is a program that NARA (National Archives and Record Administration) coordinates to provide students with an opportunity to work at a NARA facility. This year, our volunteers were from the Library and Information Science Graduate Programs at Simmons College in Boston, and at Wayne State University in Detroit.

What was the collection you worked on for this Preservation Week?

For this Preservation Week, we worked on the John F. Kennedy Condolence Mail Collection. This is the mail received by the White House and Mrs. Kennedy after President Kennedy’s assassination, and reflects the world-wide reaction to the death of President Kennedy. Previously, it had been minimally processed, which meant that many boxes were still inaccessible to researchers, and there were some significant preservation issues that needed to be addressed.

How large is the collection?

When we started, the collection was roughly 200 cubic feet. This past Preservation Week, we were able to reorganize 120 boxes of mail (60 cubic feet) – specifically the letters D through P. Since we began the program as a whole, we’ve reorganized and made accessible over 160 boxes (80 cubic feet of material) – the letters A through P. We have about two more rounds of Preservation Week to finish out the alphabet. By the Fall, we’re hoping to have all of the domestic letters in the collection – letters sent from the US – sorted, alphabetized, preserved and accessible to researchers.

When you were sorting the letters, did you come across anything surprising or especially notable?

I think the takeaway from the project for many of the volunteers who worked with it was the overall outpouring of grief as well as the personal nature of many of the letters, people relating personal stories, offering prayers, aid or asking for help. The majority of the writers discussed their love of the President, and the sadness and grief that they as American citizens felt. Many of the volunteers who worked on this project mentioned that they wouldn’t think of writing to the President or First Lady in this capacity, or feel as personally connected to a politician or political family in this day and age.

What’s the importance of processing this collection?

Over the years, we’ve found that most of the requests we get to access this collection are from individuals looking for the letters that either they sent or that their family members sent to Mrs. Kennedy. The collection was originally sorted by type – for example, letters with Mass cards, or poems, or drawings, or written by children. We found that with the reference requests we were getting, most people remembered they wrote a letter, but they didn’t remember specifically if they sent a mass card, or wrote a poem, etc. So by reorganizing the collection alphabetically by last name of the individual, Library staff can easily search through a few boxes instead of 200 cubic feet of material. It’s a huge accomplishment and will be of immense help in helping the public find their letters!

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I cut back this carry for work. Soon to include an external power bank to keep my phone charged while at work

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It’s WishfulShipping Day /o/
Aka, the day we celebrate DenAi, AiDen, デンアイ, アイデン, Iris/Dent, Iris/Cilan, aka Captain Fabulous and Not-That-Again Wildgirl /o/

So, picspamming time with notes and observations /o/ (image (really) heavy)



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The History of Nintendo: New Twists On Old Ideas

Today on the History of Nintendo: MORE N64! Today we look at what Nintendo produced for the system in the latter half of its life, including fresh approaches for old characters and franchises, and some concepts that would influence Nintendo’s direction for the next couple of hardware generations.

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Young Muslim Woman Breaks Ground In Fencing, Olympics

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Age: 27

Place of Residence: Maplewood, N.J.

Why she is a local hero: Muhammad, a fencer and a Muslim, could become the first American woman to compete in the Olympics with a hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women.

Muhammad is the first to admit how badly she wants to make it to the Olympics in London later this year, and as one of the top-ranked female sabre fencers in the world, she has an excellent chance of making the team. Though no official records have been kept, U.S. officials believe Muhammad would be the first American woman to compete in the hijab.

“It can be hard to imagine yourself as an Olympic athlete because of the way you dress,” Muhammad told the Huffington Post. “But I’m hoping this opens the door for Muslim girls to imagine themselves in this space. If this message reaches anyone, even one person, it will be worth it.”

Muhammad grew up in an athletic household but finding a sport she could play was a challenge. Playing volleyball, she couldn’t wear the short shorts or tight tops that other girls wore because of her religious beliefs, and she felt uncomfortable when her teammates would make comments about her dress.

One day, her mother saw fencers practicing in the high school cafeteria covered from head to toe as she was driving past.

“I don’t know what that is,” Denise Muhammad said to her daughter, “but when you get to high school, you’re doing it.”

And did she ever do it.

She captained two state championship teams at Columbia High School in Maplewood. In fencing, everyone had to dress the same. It was the first time that Muhammad truly felt as if she was part of a team.

She used the sport to take her to Duke University, where she excelled athletically and academically. Muhammad became a three-time All-American and earned a dual degree in International Relations and African-American Studies with a minor in Arabic.

Muhammad didn’t lose her love of fencing after college. She began working with 2000 U.S. Olympian Akhi Spencer-El in New York and won a U.S. national title in 2009. Now she’s competing for one of two spots on the Olympic team.

And it hasn’t been easy. While training during Ramadan, when eating and drinking are prohibited from sun up to sundown, Muhammad would wake during the night to eat every 90 minutes to keep her strength during the day. If she makes the Olympics, she’ll likely have to maintain a similar regimen as the event will occur during Ramadan.

“I didn’t have female Muslim role models to look up to in the athletic world,” Muhammad told The Star-Ledger. “It’s really important for people to know my story. I think it’s something I have to do, because I want Muslim female youth to believe they can do something like this.”

Denise often watches her daughter compete and sees the cameras focus on her daughter’s name.

“I realized, my God, she’s representing all of us,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “You feel the pride. Muslim women are struggling around the world. She’s not on the front lines but when she stands up there, she’s making her mark for them, for freedom, to have their voices heard.”

It’s a challenge Muhammad has accepted. She won’t know whether she’s made the Olympic team until the end of March. Whatever happens, Muhammad knows she has made a difference.

“I think my motto in this whole experience is that sports is something you can do in hijab, and you shouldn’t let your faith compromise how athletically gifted you’ve become. Just like race or gender, religion should not hinder you from achieving your goals,” said Muhammad

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