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Tomorrow morning will be the final day that Barbara Walters will be anchoring the show she started, The View.  Rumors that Hillary will be on board to bid her a fond farewell appear to be true.

ABC's 'The View' - Season 17 Caption:THE VIEW - Broadcasting legend Barbara Walters says goodbye to daily television with her final co-host appearance on THE VIEW, airing FRIDAY, MAY 16 (11am-12noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. Hillary Clinton was a surprise guest. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)

ABC’s ‘The View’ – Season 17
Caption:THE VIEW – Broadcasting legend Barbara Walters says goodbye to daily television with her final co-host appearance on THE VIEW, airing FRIDAY, MAY 16 (11am-12noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. Hillary Clinton was a surprise guest. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)

Images from that day burned into your memory forever.  There was the clear blue sky, tower one pouring out smoke at the end of the railroad tracks, one single plane in the air following the course of the river, and then, at the second railroad overpass two towers burning and the world stopped.

What had been a bustling center of international commerce,  after the collapses was a wasteland.  Brown dust and smoke thicker than any fog filled the air and the only sound was the eerie chirping of multiple emergency vehicles – a sound, we all learned,  installed specifically for this purpose – for when they could not be located by vision.

In that place, where we remember a young doctor in that thick, deadly air asking a firefighter for a hit of oxygen so that he could continue searching out and caring for the injured, today there is this beautiful structure that reflects the city all around it.  Today it was dedicated and opened to the public.

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There are boxes of tissues in every room and emergency exits from all of them because, yes, there could be an emergency there, but the more likely frequent use will be that you simply cannot take any more just now and, overwhelmed,  have to step outside  to collect yourself.

President Obama dedicated this National 9-11 Memorial Museum today.  Familiar political figures joined the Clintons:  former New York Governor Pataki, then New York City Mayor Guiliani,  former Mayor Bloomberg, and Congressman Peter King.

In these days when Hillary so often reminds us that partisan extremism paralyzes the work of government, for one day at least, we had a flashback to that time 13 years ago when we were not Democrats or Republicans.  We were all Americans.  That’s who we were.  That’s who we are.

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http://www.c-span.org/video/?319400-1/national-september-11-memorial-museum-dedication

 

Here’s a tour.    It is truly a beautiful tribute to all who were lost, to all who responded, and to all who survived.  I doubt I will ever visit.  I simply cannot go through that day another time.

Unfortunately, the notification for this event came into my inbox late,  and the event had already passed, but, for the record, here is the information.

 

UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

 

Date: 14 May 2014

 

After two years of research and many in-depth consultations, on 14 May the World Bank team will launch a ground-breaking report, with Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The new report, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity, focuses on freedom from violence, control over sexual and reproductive health, ownership and control of land and housing, and voice and collective action. It shines a spotlight on the value of enabling women and girls to fulfil their potential and of amplifying their voices. It distills vast data and hundreds of studies to cast important new light on the constraints women and girls face worldwide, from epidemic gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from making decisions about their own lives. While highlighting gaps, the report equally reviews promising policies and interventions.

Join the discussion about this ground-breaking report and watch the webcast on this page on 14 May at 5.15 p.m. ET.

Hashtag: #WomenCan

- See more >>>>

 

Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity featuring the Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton

The persistent constraints and deprivations that prevent many of the world’s women from achieving their potential have huge consequences for individuals, families, communities, and nations. Expanding women’s agency—their ability to make decisions and take advantage of opportunities—is key to improving their lives as well as the world we all share.
– World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Foreword, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity

A new World Bank report, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity, distills vast data and hundreds of studies to cast important new light on the constraints women and girls face worldwide, from epidemic gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from making decisions about their own lives. These constraints are not only fundamentally unjust but economically unwise, slowing efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Read more >>>>

 

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Listening to Hillary speak at the closing plenary of the American Jewish Committee Forum this morning reminded me of why I so prefer to hear her with my own ears rather than depend on some reporter’s interpretation of her words.  I am pretty sure someone will call her address a “campaign speech.”  I would not agree.

Placing Israeli regional concerns in the context, perhaps even right between the covers of her soon-to-be-released memoir, Hard Choices (which she touted as “a summer read that will be great on the beach”), she lent the event the flavor of a dress rehearsal for one of her upcoming book tour speeches.  Before some oh-so-much-more-experienced-and-wiser-than-I personage comes along and patiently explains to me how the book tour is designed to mutate into a presidential campaign, you can go here and likely find the video available later today.  If I find that I can embed it,  I will.   You should hear and interpret for yourself.

Walking us all back to 2009 when the Obama administration offered Iran the choice between a clenched fist or an open hand, she reviewed the hard work that went into extracting sanctions from the international community via the U.N. Security Council and went on to explain how those sanctions coupled with others imposed by the United States Congress influenced the 2013 Iranian election.  Fast-forwarding  to today, she told the audience that “no deal is better than a bad deal”  with Iran.

Some may, with clenched teeth and forced smile,  call that a campaign slogan and  patiently explain to me that she is defending her part in laying the groundwork for her successor’s possible success in getting a deal with Iran.  My experience from watching her over the years tells me that this is pretty much excerpted from her book which was always intended as a lens through which to view her tenure at the State Department.

She exhorted the audience to be prepared for all possible outcomes with Iran including their potential rejection of a deal.  “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” were her words.  I am sure than is another slogan we shall see go viral in media headers over the next few days.

She concluded her address with some words regarding the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian negotiations, predicting further hard choices ahead, and telling the audience that she would like to see our own democracy work a little more smoothly.

So make of her words what you will, the interpretation above is my personal take on the event, but one thing was on full display at the Grand Hyatt this morning, and that was Hillary Clinton’s clarity and depth of thought.  For everyone’s information, no matter how you choose to interpret or label this address, her brain is in perfect working order.  She also looked fabulous in lace-trimmed light Spring tweed as the photos below attest.

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The event was a trifecta for Chappaqua, New York as David Harris introduced Harriet Schleifer who welcomed Hillary.

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Washington DC
Grand Hyatt Washington, D.C.
American Jewish Committee Forum closing address

This event will be webcast here >>>>

10:15-11:30 am EDT Closing Plenary
Featuring The Honorable John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada; Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former Secretary of State

 

Full schedule here >>>>

noceilings_eventpage

Why Education Matters

The kidnapping of over 300 teenage girls at Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Nigeria has captivated attention and headlines across the world, inspiring outrage, compassion, and calls to action.  The girls were taken by Boko Haram, whose very name declares that education is sinful.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the girls, their families and those working to bring them home safely.

These devastating acts reflect a much larger problem – girls are being targeted and threatened with violence, kidnapping and more just for seeking an education.

That’s why the global community must stay committed to helping protect and promote girls’ education around the world so that every girl has the opportunity to live up to her full potential.

The numbers tell a hopeful story about progress in girls’ access to education over the past two decades.   Here are some important facts and statistics about girls’ education in Nigeria and across the globe, and why protecting schools like Chibok is vital to girls, women, and the world.

FACTS: Why Education Matters

  1. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2013 shows that where the gender gap is closest to being closed in a range of areas—including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation—countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous.
  2. Half of the reductions of child mortality between 1970 and 1990 can be attributed to increased education for women of reproductive age.*
  3. A 2011 World Bank report found that investing in girls’ education and opportunities in Nigeria and 13 other developing nations could increase a country’s gross domestic product by 1.2% in a single year.
  4. A 2002 study on the effect of education on average wages estimates that primary school education increases girls’ earnings by 5 to 15 % over their lifetimes.

FACTS: The Gaps that Remain 

  1. Girls and women continue to make up the largest share of the world’s illiterate population (61.3%), and literacy rates in Nigeria hover around 50 to 60%.
  2. Gender gaps are especially wide in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, where 40.1 % of girls and 33.1 % of boys are not enrolled in secondary schools like Chibok. This translates into 11.8 million girls in the region not accessing the education they need to attend university, find work, achieve financial independence, and contribute to a growing economy.**
  3. Girls also face early marriage as barrier to education, and should the girls from Chibok be sold into slavery or forced marriages, their chances of achieving their dreams will be all but dashed. In a study conducted in Kenya, researchers found that a marriage partner is associated with a 78 % increased risk of termination of secondary schooling.
  4. Globally, there are 37.4 million girls not enrolled in lower secondary school compared to 34.2 million boys, a gap of 3.2 million.***

​ It’s an unfortunate reality that it takes an act of courage to seek an education in places like Nigeria. But the girls at Chibok, despite the threats, pursued an education because they and their families understood just how valuable it is. Their resolve will set an example for generations to come and exemplifies the importance of working for the advancement of girls and women across the world so that every girl has a chance to go to school, fulfill her dreams, and break the ceilings and barriers she encounters.

This Mother’s Day, let’s remember the mothers who are missing their daughters, in Nigeria and around the world.

* Emmanuela Gakidou et al., “Increased Educational Attainment and Its Effect on Child Mortality in 175 Countries between 1970 and 2009: A Systematic Analysis,” The Lancet 376, no. 9745 (September 2010): 959–74. Although economic growth was also significantly associated with reductions in child mortality, the magnitude of the association was much smaller than that of increased education. 21 regions, approximately 4 million out of the 8 million children whose lives were saved can be attributed to education for women.
** Shelley Clark and Rohini Mathur, “Dating, Sex, and Schooling in Urban Kenya,” Studies in Family Planning 43, no. 3 (September 2012): 161–74.
*** UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Global Education Digest 2011: Comparing Education Statistics across the World (Montreal, Quebec: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011).

Read more >>>>

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Storytelling Builds Imagination (Dragons Not Included)

The rhythmic voice of a grandfather telling a story about his childhood, or the varied character voices that a parent uses to tell a made-up story, will linger in a child’s mind for years after the storytelling is finished. This is because stories—real or fiction—spark the imagination of the child listening to them, and encourage that child to listen not just to the words being spoken, but to the emotion and experience of the storyteller.

Research on family storytelling shows that children receive many benefits from the stories their caregivers share with them. Reminiscing with children about the past helps them understand their place in their family history, and teaches them how to empathize with other people’s thoughts and emotions. Hearing and telling stories helps children develop narrative skills, which will serve them well when they begin learning how to read. And there is evidence that storytelling can also help young children build their self-esteem and teach them how to communicate more effectively.

For parents who are not comfortable reading, telling stories is a great way to encourage language development in babies and toddlers. Parents can start by telling personal stories or favorite fairy tales, and can use props around the home to grab the attention of young children. Another great way to encourage a tradition of storytelling is to invite young children to participate in the action; for example, they can roar like a lion, walk like a tortoise, or taste the porridge in the bear’s bowl.

Storytelling is a great way to build a closer relationship with a child, and it doesn’t require much in the way of materials. As children grow up hearing their loved ones’ best stories, they are also preparing to one day tell stories of their own.

Read More:

In The News:

Video

Storyteller Anne E. Stewart describes why stories are important to young children, and how parents can tell great stories to their children (no experience needed!). >>

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