*In general, the success of women seeking to hold a political office in America is much more difficult than for men. For women of color, their journeys into the world of politics are even harder – many times because of deeply rooted stereotypes and sometimes flat-out bias and racism.
A’Shanti Gholar, a political activist, is fully aware of the obstacles women of color face when they seek political office or an associative position in America’s political sphere.
“I was once that girl,” said Gholar. “I was that young girl who loved politics, but looked around and didn’t see a lot of people that looked like me. There were not a lot of people of color, and certainly not a lot of women of color. I wondered if I had a place in politics?”
Gholar was fortunate to make valuable inroads into politics thanks to opportunities of volunteerism and political organizing. In 2011, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Special Assistant to the Secretary in the Office of Public Engagement of the U.S. Department of Labor. She subsequently served as Director of Public Engagement for the Democratic National Convention Committee. Gholar later was the National Deputy Director for the DNC’s Community Engagement, followed by becoming the organization’s Director of African American Engagement.
Seeking ways to help other women of color reach their respective dreams and aspirations in the world of politics, Gholar created a podcast and blog called The Brown Girls Guide to Politics. In April, 2018 she rolled out “The Brown Girls Guide to Politics” podcast program in partnership with Wonder Media Network. It can be heard on all major podcast apps.
Gholar described the mission of “The Brown Girls Guide to Politics” podcast.
“It’s a space for black and brown women and girls in and interested in Democratic and progressive politics to come together, share our experiences, and grow our ranks,” Gholar explained.
Season one’s inaugural program, which spotlighted women trailblazers in politics, featured an interview with Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor of Georgia in 2018 as a member of the Democratic Party. Abrams previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017. Abrams spoke candidly about her political resume, her close but unsuccessful bid to become Georgia’s governor, and her Fair Fight movement to promote fair elections and increase voter participation.
“I’ve known Stacey since 2014 when I worked at the Democratic National Committee,” Gholar said. “She’s been very supportive since the moment I met her.”
Season 1 and Season 2 have been overwhelmingly successful, according to Gholar, with each season consisting of 12 episodes. With the goal of helping women of color better navigate the deep, choppy, and uncertain waters of politics, Gholar is looking ahead.
“We are now in our third season,” she said. “We interview black, brown and indigenous women in politics. These women tell their stories about why they do the work and the challenges in the work. We always end by asking our signature question: What advice would you give to the other women of color listening to the podcast?”
Gholar added that during Season 3, The Brown Girls Guide to Politics podcast Is partnering with She the People, to highlight “20 Women of Color to Watch” in 2020’s election cycle. She the People is a national organization created to elevate the voices of women of color.
In addition to hosting The Brown Girls Guide to Politics podcast, Gholar is president of Emerge America, a national training recruitment organization for Democratic women who want to run for political office. Created in 2005, the organization has political training programs in 27 states and has trained more than 4,000 women to run for office.
Through her platforms of The Brown Girls Guide to Politics and Emerge America, Gholar is able to positively impact the roads women of color must travel to be successful in the political arena. Gholar said she hears feedback from people who are not of color, who say her podcast gives them a better perspective of women of color in general and in the political world.
There are also feedback messages intended to be roadblocks for women of color seeking political office.
“We receive messages from people who think the podcast is divisive,” Gholar said. “There are people who tell us that we don’t know what we are talking about. There are people who say women should just stay at home, have babies, cook and clean house. That type of talk is not going to stop us because there will always be haters.”
For Gholar, and her quest to empower and promote women of color in the political sphere, the beat goes on.
“Our mission is to demystify the process for women of color running for political office,” Gholar explained. “We want to be a valuable resource for the women.”
New Season 3 episodes of “The Brown Girls Guide to Politics” are launched every Monday through June 22, 2020. For more information, visit www.thebgguide.com.
Story by Don Saint James / [email protected]
Kerry Washington and Newcomer Ariana DeBose Star in ‘The Prom’ from Netflix WATCH
*Kerry Washington and newcomer/rising star, Ariana DeBose star in the new Netflix film “The Prom.”
The film also includes an all-star cast featuring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, and Keegan-Michael Key.
“The Prom” is a mix of a teen drama and high school musical, with issues that most can relate to and the topics are discussed with festive song and dance.
The film takes place in a small and conservative town in Indianapolis. Emma Nolan, played by Jo Ellen Pellman, has become pretty infamous in the town due to her sexuality.
As if high school wasn’t hard enough, Emma is also dealing with backlash from the community because she wants to go to prom with her girlfriend. But, parents and school officials are not having it. They plan to cancel the prom just to prevent Emma from being herself.
Kerry Washington’s character, Mrs. Green who is head of the PTA, is determined to make sure Emma doesn’t have a same-sex date to prom. When a few broadway stars, who need a good cause to bring more attention to their production, get wind of Emma’s story they make it their mission to fight for her and bring national attention to the issue.
All of the attention doesn’t sit well with Mrs.Green as she feels actors should not be at the forefront of social issues. Both Washington and DeBose are very vocal about political issues, we asked their opinion of people who things actors should remain silent.
“Activism or just civic engagement, that is the responsibility of all of us. Democracies only work when we all show up,” says Washington.
When you have a large platform it is a great advantage to making sure your voice is heard. The Prom not only tackles dealing with a judgemental community but also having to face the judgment of family members.
This film is sure to be a gateway of communication for teens and young adults who have a hard time talking to their parents about their lifestyle choices.
“I really believe this film is going to inspire a lot of young people to take a stand and to stand in their power,” says DeBose.
“The Prom” streams on Netflix from December 11.
Celebrity Designer Jessica Rich Shares Behind-the-Scenes Look in Fashion World on Digital Reality Show
“BOSS AF” airs on IGTV at 3:00pm PST on Instagram @BOSSAFLA
*Celebrity fashion shoe designer Jessica Rich is giving her fans a full access pass into her life on her digital reality show Boss AF, which can be viewed on Instagram @BOSSAFLA.
The 10-minute mini-series is meant to showcase the day in the life of the young mogul and goes behind the scenes of the process of building her brand and working with high-profile VIP clients such as Cardi B, J.Lo, Kylie Jenner, Normani, and Saweetie while also juggling a personal life.
“I just feel like my life has always been very interesting because of juggling a lot of things since moving from Michigan and going to New York then making something out of nothing,” Rich said. “It’s a great behind-the-scenes story of a young entrepreneur’s life, the challenges she faces on a day-to-day basis and how she keeps it all together.”
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Last month, Rich opened her footwear store in The Beverly Center next to major brands Burberry and Versace. She plans to use the space to showcase and sell other Black brands she loves and believes in, alongside her own.
While she continues to grow her brand, Rich, who started out as a wardrobe stylist, admits her success hasn’t come easy.
“I started my brand with $1000 and here we are three years later opening a store at the Beverly Center that Giuseppe Zanotti used to be inside of. Everything seems so surreal, but I worked hard for these moments,” Rich said. “I want to continue to open different stores in different cities and then I want to also do a big collaboration with another designer such as Tom Ford.”
For more information on the Jessica Rich shoe collection visit Jessicarich.com and follower her on social media @jessicarichcollection and/or @jessicarich
Ianthe Jones: Producer of ‘STEVE on Watch’ Talks Joy of Working with Harvey / EUR Exclusive (Watch)
*From “Dr. Phil” to BET and more, Ianthe (I-Ann-Thee) Jones is a seasoned producer as far as reality/talk shows are concerned.
She has now taken her talents to an OG King of Comedy to produce the hit internet show on Facebook Watch, “STEVE on Watch!” hosted by Steve Harvey.
EUR Correspondent Briana Wright had the chance to talk to her about how she has adapted to this new form of reality TV that is very much virtual and what fans can expect from “STEVE on Watch!”
Ianthe describes how she went from casting to producing reality television.
“I fell in love with storytelling. It wasn’t so much the booking of the person; it was the story that came with the person.”
Jones then went on to work at the “Dr. Phil” show for 10 years, which provided her with enough experience to move on to produce reality shows featuring guests such as Queen Latifah, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker and more!
Now, she is working as the executive producer and showrunner for “STEVE on Watch!” which she describes as “real life stories from real people.” She says their goal is to give a voice to people who wouldn’t normally be heard, not only because it’s relatable, but because of Steve’s eagerness to help.
“The man has a big heart. He is extremely generous…and it’s like he hears something about someone and then he automatically wants to help,” says Ianthe about Steve.
She says this contributes a lot to the intention of the show among other things like highlighting issues in Black community.
Check out their Facebook page, facebook.com/SteveHarveytv for the latest of “STEVE on Watch!”
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