Friday, December 21, 2007

Two women and one man charged with sexual assault

Women Charged With Sexually Assaulting UNC Football Players

Posted: Dec. 20 3:25 p.m.Updated: Today at 5:43 a.m.

Three UNC football players were the victims in a kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault incident involving two women, the university confirmed Thursday afternoon. Chapel Hill police said the assault happened about 3:30 a.m. Sunday at an apartment complex where all three victims were bound with tape and then assaulted by the suspects. At a bond hearing Thursday, Orange County Assistant District Attorney Morgan Whitney said police arrived at the scene and found two of the victims, tied up, in boxer shorts. The third victim was fully clothed with his hands tied.At least two were sexually assaulted, Whitney said. He is still waiting on the final police report to see if the third man was also. None of the victims required medical attention.
"I am relieved that the players were not injured," UNC head coach Butch Davis said in a prepared statement Thursday. "We will assist them in any way we can."

Prosecutors said the victims met the suspects – Monique Jenice Taylor, Tnikia Monta Washington and Michael Troy Lewis – during a birthday celebration at a downtown bar and that they all went back to the victims' apartment. Initially, one of the football players welcomed sexual advances from Taylor and Washington, Whitney said.

"They brought him back and put him in the bedroom," Whitney said. "When the victim left the bedoom, there was a naked black male in the hallway who had a knife."Whitney said Taylor then pulled off the victim's pants, pushed him down on a bed, attempted to tie his hands with his belt and started to fondle him against his consent.

"The more that he wrestled, Mr. Lewis put his knife further, or closer, to the victim's neck," Whitney said. "Ms. Taylor fondled his private parts. He repeatedly said no, and as he continued to resist, Ms. Taylor and the codefendant, Ms. Washington, began to beat him in the face."
Taylor's attorney, Glenn Gerding, said the fondling was consensual.

A neighbor, Bobby Roberson, who lives across from the players, said he heard shouting and yelling coming from the apartment . "Somebody sounded like they were getting slammed up against a wall," Roberson said. "Then, all of sudden, you heard a guy saying, yelling for help. It was like, 'Help, help, help!'"

Police arrested Taylor and Washington at the scene. Lewis fled after a confrontation with officers, Chapel Hill police said. He surrendered on Wednesday.Taylor, 28, of 209 Millbrook St. in Greenville, and Washington, 29, of 814 Belvin Avenue in Durham, are each charged with one count of first-degree sex offense, three counts of kidnapping, one count of resisting arrest and three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.Lewis, 32, of 2118 Lexington St. in Durham, is charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of assault on a government official, two counts of possession of stolen goods, three counts of kidnapping, one count of resisting arrest and three counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.All three suspects were initially placed in jail under a $500,000 secured bond, but Judge Cathrine Stevens reduced Taylor and Washington's bond to $50,000 Thursday. All three were in the Orange County Jail Thursday afternoon.
"This is a very unusual case," Gerding said. "Almost unbelievable, at first blush."

Reporters: Julia Lewis, Ken SmithPhotographers: Pete James, Mark SimpsonWeb Editors: Kelly Gardner, Anne Leake
Copyright 2007 by WRAL.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Election 08- Oh Yeah!

Ya'll, I like politics, a lot. So an election year is awesome in my book. The renewed hope, the opportunity to be a part of something, the chance to exercise my right as a citizen.
I love it all.
So please do not be surprised when I start posting articles on different candidates. I am not making this a forum where I support one candidate and hope you do too. What I will do is share things with you that inspire me, frighten me, challenge me and make me want to be a part of the process (for better or worse). So here you go, an article for you to consider. I would love your two cents.

Wishing you joy.
xo
Becca

PS- Please feel free to send a sister an article now and again.

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign and The AIDS Institute sent a letter to Republican presidential candidate Governor Mike Huckabee today asking that he personally meet with Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, who was diagnosed with AIDS on December 17, 1984, and captivated the attention of millions as he battled the disease and ultimately succumbed to it. As reported by the Associated Press, "Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could ‘pose a dangerous public health risk.’" In a FOX News interview on Sunday, December 9, Huckabee stood by his remarks and said he still believes today that people living with HIV and AIDS should have been "isolated" even after it was determined the virus was not spread through casual contact.
"Have we not learned the difficult lesson of how devastating these statements based in ignorance and fear can be to American families? Has it been so long ago that we have forgotten how our neighbors had the backs of entire communities turned on them?" the letter, signed by the Human Rights Campaign and AIDS Institute, said. "Governor Huckabee, those dark moments in American history are the direct result of ignorant views that stifle discussion, hinder resources and delay action. We have a moral obligation as a nation to never allow ourselves to repeat the shameful mistakes of the past. And we cannot sit idly by when a candidate for President of the United States tries to lead us back down that path of ignorance and fear."
As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. The Senate candidate wrote: "It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."
As the Associated Press recently reported, "When Huckabee wrote his answers in 1992, it was common knowledge that AIDS could not be spread by casual contact." (Associated Press, December 8, 2007)
In the same election year that Gov. Huckabee answered the questionnaire, Mary Fisher, an HIV-positive former aide to President Gerald R. Ford and founder of the Family AIDS Network, addressed the 1992 Republican National Convention. In her groundbreaking speech, "A Whisper of AIDS," Fisher sought compassion for and understanding of people living with HIV and AIDS and received a standing ovation from a crowd that included the President and Mrs. Ford. To view her 1992 speech visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vTKDFcRDLY
To view the FOX News interview from Sunday visit: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2cT6n-VJ1Xg
The complete letter to the governor follows:
December 10th, 2007
Dear Governor Huckabee:
In 1984, a young boy living in Indiana was diagnosed with AIDS. At the time, that boy, thirteen-year-old Ryan White, had no idea that his life would become a testament of courage and bravery responsible for opening the hearts and minds of millions of people throughout our country and around the world. Six years later, in 1990, Ryan’s life ended -- a dear, precious life cut short.
But Ryan’s death wasn’t the only tragedy in this well-known story in our country’s history. Ryan and his family’s battle with HIV/AIDS was also a stark reminder of what happens in our country when fear and ignorance go unchecked. Governor Huckabee, the Ryan White family was ridiculed, shunned and ostracized by people who thought the answer was to "isolate" them far away from the rest of society. In 1984, this belief was purely based on ignorance. But these same beliefs, which you espoused in 1992 and have refused to recant today, as a candidate for President of the United States, are completely beyond comprehension.
When you answered the Associated Press questionnaire in 1992, we, in fact, knew a great deal about how HIV was transmitted. Four years earlier, in 1988, the Reagan Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a brochure assuring the American public that "you won’t get the AIDS virus through every day contact with the people around you in school, in the workplace, at parties, child care centers, or stores." To call for such an oppressive and severe policy like "isolation," when the scientific community and federal government were certain about how HIV is transmitted was then, and remains today, irresponsible. Such statements should be completely repudiated, not simply dismissed as needing to be slightly reworded.
This was not and is not an issue of "political correctness," as you state. Rather, this is an issue of valuing science-based evidence over unfounded fear or prejudice.
Have we not learned the difficult lesson of how devastating these statements based in ignorance and fear can be to American families? Has it been so long ago that we have forgotten how our neighbors had the backs of entire communities turned on them? Governor Huckabee, those dark moments in American history are the direct result of ignorant views that stifle discussion, hinder resources and delay action. We have a moral obligation as a nation to never allow ourselves to repeat the shameful mistakes of the past. And we cannot sit idly by when a candidate for President of the United States tries to lead us back down that path of ignorance and fear.
Governor Huckabee, if you need a reminder of how calls for "isolation" can shatter a Mother’s heart, you only need to turn to Jeanne White-Ginder. Today, we respectfully ask you to sit down with her and allow her to share with you Ryan’s story. Ms. White-Ginder continues to be active in AIDS advocacy as a member of the board of The AIDS Institute. We hope that, even in 2007, Ryan’s story can continue to open hearts and minds.
We would be happy to facilitate a meeting between Ms. White-Ginder and yourself, or a member of your staff. Please feel free to contact Brad Luna, Communications Director for the Human Rights Campaign, at (202) 216-1514 at your convenience.
Sincerely,

Joe SolmonesePresidentHuman Rights Campaign
A. Gene CopelloExecutive DirectorThe AIDS Institute
Source-The HRC web site

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Let's Talk About

This is our latest video we produced to bring together some of our media coverage and some of our program footage. We really dig it. Please tell us what you think.

xo

B

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kelly and Becca kick it with the Queen of Self Esteem!

Hey Ya'll-
Many of you know how much we love and admire Jessica Weiner. If you don't know who I am talking about I strongly encourage you to Google her right now.

It's cool I can wait.

Ok, so you see she is awesome right!

Well Jess has coined the term Actionist (TM) and is symbolizes people taking action in their everyday lives. Well, each month she features an Actionist on her web site and in her newsletter and drum roll please....this month is us!

Can't wait to see it http://www.withjess.com/actionist.htm click here to check it out. Please let us know what you think.
Jess continues to amaze us with her commitment to raising self-esteem across the globe. It is the good folks like Jess (and you) who can and are changing our world for the better. Within each of us is greatness. Within each of us is a message. What is yours?

Thinking of you.
Always-
Becca
"Life is best if lived without fear but with awareness".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Another Afternoon on the Road

Life on the road is awesome. We meet interesting people and see some pretty amazing and perhaps more often, strange things. Touring the country together is highly entertaining to say the very least, but sometimes we're in the middle of Idaho on a Tuesday at 10am with nothing to do until we go to campus at 5pm. We are then faced with the small town challenge of creating entertainment for ourselves. We might cruise through a community farmers market and chat with the locals as we taste the home grown goods, drive around town and take photos of unique architecture or quirky signs, which by the way, the smaller the town, the more original the signage becomes. We may find a delicious mom & pop diner that's been there since the town came to be and partake in a scrumptious meal while observing the local clientele or we simply enjoy a leisurely afternoon in our hotel room napping and catching up on Montel *please note, this is especially entertaining on Sylvia Brown Wednesday's. Or sometimes we spend quality be/ fri time in a Target store (as if we don't have several at home to choose from). No matter what region of the country, what state or city you happen to be in, the Target nearest you will have several must have orange sticker items that will drastically enhance your quality of life. Am I right?
This week we were cruising the aisles of our favorite retail establishment and were absolutely thrilled with our great finds! Winter is upon us and you know what that means... the fun, furry and festive cold weather attire is out! We entertained ourselves as well as the Target team members with a little winter outer wear fashion show and we thought we would share a little bit of our mid-day good times with you!
Becca is sporting the go green beanie with an adorable yet
sturdy tie that goes beautifully with her totally hot ear muffs.

Here I am ready for the slopes in a super chic navy and hot pink beanie with matching scarf.

Becca is really playing the part and looks fabulous in her faux fur cap. Work it girl, work it!

I will stay warm all winter long in this off-white stylish ball of faux fur love...
I just need to find the matching gloves!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

DePauw University

Oh what a night! This has to be one of our best gigs of the semester. This is a beautiful place with stunning buildings, ultra friendly people, top notch services, a cozy Inn on campus and great programs! What more could you ask for in a college campus? Free community bikes maybe? Well, they've got that too and they happen to be appropriately and brilliantly pimped out! Doug Cox, Director of Public Safety at DePauw was our campus host and he made our visit to Greencastle, Indiana an absolute dream (which is why we are now referring to Doug as the official dream boat of the week at DePauw). Doug has loads of experience in public safety and is a visionary and we're not the only ones who think so, his staff was singing his praises like a 4 star choir on Christmas day.
DePauw has a peer mentor program (we had the pleasure of meeting with some of the fine student leaders who run the program) for all incoming freshmen to ensure students are in the know about the many resources, services and activities on campus. What an excellent idea! There's lots of great stuff going on at DePauw and we will be sharing some of it with you on the resources page of the Unite web-site soon, so be sure to check back for more 411 on this great institution.

I can't believe we did not take a single picture at what is now one of our favorite campuses. We are so bad about photos, almost as bad as we are about regular blogging. Well, here's one we copied from the DePauw web-site, just to make this blog entry a bit more visually appealing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rock'n the Red Heels at Mt. Union

We were honored to be a part of Mt. Union's Take Back the Night event and thrilled to have Karen Petko invite us back to campus so soon. Check out the styling event shirts above. We met with with some of the res life folks for a little break out session prior to our program and let me just say, the Mount Res Life Staff is totally in the know when it comes to sexual assault awareness and response. We were impressed with their training materials (which we hope to soon upload to the resources section of http://www.uniteforchange.com/) and had a super time chatting it up with them. There were students, staff, community members and even city officials at the program tonight. We had a chance to talk with the Mayor during the march around campus. Yes, the mayor was there. Impressive. Mayor Toni Middleton, an incredibly nice man who cares about the city of Alliance and the Mt. Union community. Take Back the Night concluded with a reception in the student union where folks got a chance to chat, reflect and inspire while everyone enjoyed hot apple cider and delicious pumpkin rolls. Thanks for the sassy shirts, tasty apple cider and the Mount hospitality that we have grown to love!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Michigan State University

A quick pic with the Panhellenic sisters and IFC brothers at Michigan State.
Go Spartans!

We had a great time in East Lansing and especially at State! We spoke to more than 700 fabulous Greek students in a gorgeous auditorium tonight and had a chance to visit with our super fly buddy, Chris, IFC President who we met at a Greek leadership conference in 2005. We got to know our new friend and fellow Florida pal, Rick who was of course a wonderful host. These IFC men and Panhellenic women really have it together. Thanks for everything guys and keep on doing lots of good for the Greek community!

Totally l-o-v-e- ing, loving my job! -K



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bowling for Barack


Balls, pins and politics, oh my! Here we are out on the town with some Obama homies at a local bowling center. Last night we went to a grass roots community event in support of Obama. We were proud to show some love for Barack, but more importantly we wanted to take part in the conversation. It's so important to get people talking not only about the election but about issues that matter. Even if you're not 100% sure about what you believe or who you think is the best candidate to call the oval office their own it's okay (a lot of us are confused right now). But you can ask questions, read up on what's going on in this world of ours, and discuss issues and current events with your peers so that when the time comes you are confident in your vote. You are going to vote aren't you? Good!
Really, Becca should be the one writing this blog entry, she has a serious love for all things political, but at the very least I wanted to get the pic of us in our bowling shoes posted! : )
Loving life and loving the lanes,
Kelly

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

WARNING!

While in Mexico we enjoyed some delicious cervezas & margaritas with our pals at a local bar. Good times! We totally appreciated the disclaimer printed on the yard-sized glasses full of alcohol (below). An excellent message for the patrons who were mostly tourists and quite honestly, mostly wasted. We now have more fresh material for our new spring break program which will premiere next semester. Some of what will be covered is alcohol as an emotional lubricant, decoding the language of intoxication such as beer goggles and the walk of shame as well as sure fire tips to make sure that you and your friends have a great time you will never forget and still get home safely. Exciting details and special deals coming soon.
Wait a minute...Does this mean that our time in Mexico is technically a tax write off? Our CPA will be getting a call pronto!

"WARNING-Yard consumption may enhance the appearance of others. We are not responsible."

Adios amigos,
Kelly

Brothers 4 Change



Below is a recent article that appeared in the SEIFC Sound, a publication for fraternity men in the southeast. We are extremely proud of this article, SEIFC for supporting it's message and the great work being done by our Brothers 4 Change everywhere. We hope you like it and please share this message with others.

Focus*Determination*Hope & Promise

Kelly & Becca

Brothers 4 Change

Kelly Addington & Becca Tieder, Professional Speakers and Co-Founders of Unite for Change

All too often we hear the frightening statistic that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. What would you say to a friend, girlfriend or partner who tells you they were sexually assaulted? At some point in every man’s life, someone close to him will likely disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence and ask for help. More and more men on college campuses today have a friend or partner who confides in them and often they aren’t quite sure how to react. A supportive male presence during a survivor’s recovery can be invaluable which is why it’s necessary to understand the importance of your role in the healing process and to be prepared to respond with care and understanding, as a brother for change.

People who have been sexually assaulted often experience a range of emotions and reactions; no two survivors of assault will feel exactly the same. After an assault a survivor begins a difficult struggle to gain control of their life and to heal their soul. They often have feelings of fear, guilt, anger, loss of control, panic or shame. Sometimes survivors will experience a stage of shock or numbness. They may try to ignore what has happened to them in hopes that the feelings will disappear. Some survivors do not want to talk about the assault and try to forget that it happened. At some point something could trigger the survivor’s memory and the thoughts and feelings of what happened could suddenly reappear. This could happen weeks, months or even years after the assault took place. It’s important to keep in mind that survivors heal in their own way at their own pace.

As a friend, family member or partner, your help during this process is essential. Survivors need a great deal of support and caring as they begin to address and work through this very frightening experience. Remember that your primary role is to be a friend and your support and understanding are important factors in the healing. You are not a counselor, or a lawyer, or a doctor; your friend should turn to professionals for the best information on emotional, legal and medical issues.

Steps you can take to help:

Believe them
Believe your friend unconditionally. Expect a friend in crisis to be confused and don’t criticize. It’s not your role to question whether or not they were sexually assaulted.

Help them explore their options
Don’t pressure them to do what you want to do. Empower your friend! Let them know they are not alone and remind them of available resources (campus counselor, campus or community rape crisis center, women’s center, hospital, police department, peer educators, etc).

Allow them to react
Remember, there are many ways for a survivor to respond after being raped. Don’t ask a lot of probing questions.

No more violence
It’s important to remain calm and as hard as it may be, it’s important to refrain from offering to “hurt the person who did this to them.” Although it’s natural to want to protect your friend, an aggressive reaction is not a good response.

Listen to them
Offer your support and offer your time. Let your friend know that they can talk to you about their experience when they are ready.

Let the survivor be in control
Encourage them, but let them be in control. They decide if they want to talk with someone, press charges, etc.

Encourage them to seek help
Talk about the kind of support they need and keep talking about it because their needs will change as they work through the crisis. If they suspect they have been drugged encourage them to go to the hospital immediately to have a rape kit done and to be tested for drugs in their system.

Seek professional help
Insist that your friend seek help if the crisis escalates to the point of being worried about their safety or long-term well being.

Never blame them
Say clearly and with care, “It was not your fault.”

Get help for yourself
Don’t blame yourself for the feelings you may have after learning someone close to you has been sexually assaulted. It’s important to pay attention to your own needs and express them to your friend and others.

Intimacy
If you are their partner, with their approval, use appropriate touching and language to reestablish their feelings of worth. Gentle touching will help let them know that you understand and respect them. Let the survivor decide when sexual activity should begin again.

After some time has passed you may wonder if the survivor has moved on and no longer thinks about the assault. This is extremely rare. Recovery is a long process. Check in with the survivor to let them know you are there whenever they need to talk about it.

As a friend or partner of someone who has been sexually assaulted you may experience feelings of guilt, fear, anger and helplessness and you might need someone other than the survivor to talk to about your feelings. It’s important for you to get help for yourself too. We recommend speaking with an advocate or counselor. If you choose to talk with a family member or another friend, remember to respect the confidentiality of the survivor. Helping a friend through this can be life changing and this may be a good time to examine your own attitude about rape and to learn more about sexual assault and how it affects us all. If the 1 in 4 statistic does not settle well with you (and we certainly hope it doesn’t) do something about it. You can start by becoming a source for social change. We can change things for the better by communicating and influencing one person or a few people at a time.

Here are some suggestions to help you transform your campus culture-

1. EDUCATE. Learn more about sexual assault and talk with others about what you’ve learned.
2. VALUE. Don’t refer to people as whores, sluts, skanks, etc.
3. LEAD. Be a role model and honestly tell people how you feel.
4. RESPECT. Confront language that promotes sexual violence. (Ex: “She’s nice and drunk.” “Look at that outfit, they’re asking for it.”)
5. CONTRIBUTE. Help raise awareness; it can be as easy as posting a message on facebook or myspace.

As fraternity members and student leaders you vow to carry on the legacy of brotherhood that your founders established long ago and many of you set a personal goal to leave your chapter better than you found it. Why not take it further and make a commitment not only to your chapter, but to your university? As a leader you have an opportunity to influence change, to leave your campus better than you found it. We challenge you to empower your brothers, your sisters and your entire campus community to be a part of the change. Get people talking about issues that matter to you and you’re half way there. Many of the resources and programs for sexual assault awareness and prevention are already in place on your campus it’s simply a matter of partnering with university professionals and other organizations to share the information with your peers and help shape the programs to be even more useful for Greek life and the entire student body.

Students are the most powerful element in changing campus culture and making their community a safer place. As a leader in Greek life you have an opportunity to use your position to make things different, to make your chapter and your campus what you want it to be. Albert Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” What will you do? To learn more about Brothers 4 Change visit http://www.uniteforchange.com/ or contact Kelly and Becca at info@kellyandbecca.com

Monday, October 08, 2007

80's Totally Rock!

We just got back from our annual girls trip which turned into an amazing Mexican Fiesta! 5 beautiful days and 4 glorious nights away from the regular hustle and bustle of the world, digging the complete relaxation, endless fun and care-free vibe a cruise to Mexico brings. I love vacation!

We thought we'd share a pic with y'all which happens to be from our tribute to the 80's evening. We thought it would be fun to deem a night totally 80's and strut our hard core throw back fashionista selves all over the ship. I was living life to the fullest rocking a side pony, and beautiful bedazzle dangle rhinestone earrings as well as gorgeous bright blue shadow and a super shimmer pink lip stick. Becca owned her pastel painted lids and fab liquid liner and brought the whole look together with ultra big hair swooped up in what happens to be one of my personal favorite do's from the day, fondly referred to as the snorkel scrunch. Whatever you choose to call it just know that I love it.

I love the 80's and I love our friends. Like totally!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Greek students shift paradigm?


To our fraternal friends and those who love us I hope you enjoy the article below. I think it is an excellent example of leadership. However it is not the story you normally hear about fraternal organizations. Let us know what you think, is this an example of Greek life as you know it?

Always-

Becca

Associated PressOctober 4, 2007Fraternities Move Away From Party Image

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The basement of the Sigma Phi Epsilon house at the University of Missouri-Columbia is filled with familiar fraternity icons like a well-worn pool table, stacks of violent films like "Kill Bill" on DVD, and of course, the stench of stale beer. A closer look reveals a much different scene. With the soothing sounds of a "Zen Cafe" CD playing in the background, Sig Ep brothers listen raptly as a campus yoga instructor leads them through a series of contortionist poses during an 8 a.m. workout. Early morning yoga is just one of the changes at the fraternity since the Missouri chapter adopted its "Balanced Man" program in 2006 - just a few years after the university punished the chapter for hazing.

Now, there are trips to the opera, wine tastings and documentary film screenings. And by eliminating the pledging system - a tradition of initiation critics say encourages hazing - new members are treated as equals from the start. "I didn't really feel like the traditional fraternity life was for me," said Tony Brown, a sophomore journalism major at Sigma Phi Epsilon. "I wanted a place I could come into and immediately feel respected."

For years, fraternity pledges were forced to perform menial tasks, memorize arcane fraternity history and willingly submit to verbal and sometimes physical abuse - all to prove their loyalty and devotion to the group. That all changed at the Missouri chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon when the national organization cleaned house last year following the hazing incident in which a group of pledges were told to "kidnap" an unwitting older member - a prank that caused worried onlookers to call campus police. The national group kicked out a dozen members who didn't measure up to their new standards, which include a minimum 2.6 grade point average, said chapter president Keith Ziercher. Another 41 members chose not to return under the revamped system. For the members who remained, skepticism ran high. It was kind of difficult for us," Ziercher said. It's been a hard transition."

After the national purge, membership had dwindled to 32 men at Missouri. But over the past two semesters, another 25 have joined - many attracted by the opportunity to build friendships through mutual respect, not servitude. We have ways of building brotherhood without the fear that goes along with hazing," said Brown. "We can accomplish the same thing."
After decades of wrestling with the stigma and the legal liabilities created by alcohol abuse, cheating, poor grades, hazing and other problems, fraternity leaders across the country are looking to reinvent - if not restore - the ideals of going Greek. t Missouri, four of the 28 traditional Greek fraternities have eliminated pledging. The change isn't new on campus - Lambda Chi Alpha took that step nationally more than three decades ago.

Nationally, programs such as Beta Theta Pi's "Men of Principle," Lambda Chi Alpha's "True Brother Initiative" and the Sigma Phi Epsilon "Balanced Man" effort seek a return to the roots of campus Greek life. Organizers talk of honor, virtue, scholarship, civic engagement and other core values. early 80 percent of Sigma Phi Epsilon's 253 chapters participate in the voluntary initiative, which began in 1992, said Matthew Ontell, who directs the national Sigma Phi Epsilon initiative. Ontell said the changes have helped make Sigma Phi Epsilon the nation's largest fraternity. We're doing our best to destroy the frat boy stereotype," he said. "This is what Greek life is supposed to be about - holding men to a higher standard."

© 2007 The Associated Press.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October




The month of October bears important reminders and brings national awareness to causes that are both near and dear to our hearts such as Domestic Violence Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, Cyber Security Awareness and Adopt a Shelter Dog month. But did you know that October is also National Go on a Field Trip month? Fun! It’s also National Roller Skating month, Vegetarian month and even Eat Country Ham month. A little bizarre and definitely unique, that’s why we love them! The fall brings much reason to celebrate so please take a field trip, bring along your skates and enjoy vegetarian delights or delicious country ham if you choose. Don’t forget to bring the camera to capture this very special occasion and keep in mind October is also National Photographer Appreciation month...really it is!
Whatever your passion, whatever your cause, bring awareness to others by talking about it!
Happy October friends!
Kelly

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Baby Jesus?

There was a very interesting gentlemen who was on our flight back to Tampa yesterday. And when I say interesting, I mean, strange, very strange. He climbed even higher on the marks of the eccentric meter when we noticed his carry-on-case (pictured below) which had a tag that read: "Manger." My mind began to wander... is this man a member of some kind of baby Jesus road show? Is he a nativity salesperson getting ready for for the upcoming holiday season? Or is he in fact a proud manager (clearly not very keen on spelling errors) who has an assistant that's playing a little trick on him?

It will remain a mystery since we did not get any clues while listening to the conversation between he and his travel companion. At the very least, the random tag made for great conversation on the tram ride to the baggage claim. An interesting little ending to another great week for us!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mike & Juliet Morning Show

We were honored to be guests on the Morning Show with Mike & Juliet and thrilled that Fox addressed the issue of sexual assault on campus. Check out the segment on YouTube that's so good, we had to divide it into two parts. Follow the links below to take a peek at us on the show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLqs1eXBenQ UNO


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBwonEDVT5k DOS



Becca, Liz & Kelly in the greenroom after the show. Liz is one of the super talented producers of the show and she just so happens to be one of our new best friends! We love the Liz.



Christian, Dr. Lipkins, Liz and Becca

Greenroom Goodness

So while we’re in the super cool and comfy greenroom at the Fox studios in NYC we got a chance to meet Kris Carr who is perhaps one of the coolest and most empowering chics to ever grace the earth. Seriously, she is absolutely amazing. She is a warm and beautiful soul with a bright spirit bursting with hope and inspiration! Below is some info from her web-site, which by the way, you should totally check out! http://www.crazysexycancer.com/

Crazy Sexy Cancer is an irreverent and uplifting documentary about a young woman looking for a cure and finding her life. In 2003, 31-year-old actress/photographer Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare and incurable cancer. Weeks later she began filming her story. Taking a seemingly tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression, Kris shares her inspirational story of survival with courage, strength, and lots of humor.
With experimental treatment as her only option, Kris became determined to find answers where there were none. She traveled throughout the country interviewing experts in alternative medicine as she tenaciously dove head first into a fascinating and often hilarious holistic world. Along the way, she met other vivacious young women determined to become survivors. Their stories are as poignant and exciting as the women who tell them. As Kris's amazing journey unfolds, she realizes that healing is about truly living rather than fighting.

Totally in awe,
Kelly (and Becca)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who is watching you?

So it appears we are on a blogging bender. But I think this piece goes to show how much power we all have in shaping the future. It resonates with the belief that we can change the world, if we are willing to try. Let us know your thoughts.

Always-

Becca

Daterape Drugs Story featured on Dateline

The following is a portion of the Dateline episode- "Watch
Your Back." We were asked to share our story, expertise and most importantly some key safety tips. Please view and share.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Women With Purpose


The greatest joys in our job are the e-mails from survivors who say we helped them. The connection with a student empowered to change the culture on their campus. The dedicated campus professional who allows us to work with their student populations in the hopes of keeping them safe and strong.

But every once and awhile a sweet surprise comes along.

This month we are featured as a Leadership Institutes's "Women of Purpose". It is such an honor to be placed among pioneers and activists. All these amazing women we admire.

If you are not familiar with the work The Leadership Institute is doing...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE check them out.

If you would like to take a peek at our feature follow this link.
http://www.theleadershipinstitute-wwp.org/digest/default.aspx?Topic=Domestic%20Violence

WSU student arrested for break-ins

WSU student arrested for sorority break-ins

The Daily Evergreen (Washington State University)

Reports September 17, 2007

Pullman Police said they have one suspect in custody after a woman woke up to two men sexually assaulting her early Thursday morning. WSU student Kyle M. Schott, 23, was arrested early this afternoon. He is facing one count of first degree rape, one count of burglary in the first degree, two counts of residential burglary and one count of attempted burglary, according to a Pullman Police news release. Police are actively pursuing leads to identify two other suspects in the string of burglaries Thursday morning. A woman in her early 20s was asleep in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority on Monroe Street at about 4:30 a.m. when two men reportedly entered the house and began assaulting her. Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said it was sexual assault but didn’t involve intercourse, and the men fled when the woman woke up.

Tennant said the woman was not a Kappa Alpha Theta member, and was sleeping in a individual room while sorority members slept on sleeping porches. The men are also suspects in break-ins at Delta Gamma and Pi Beta Phi sororities at about the same time frame.

There was no sign of forced entry at Kappa Alpha Theta, and Tennant said he thought they may have used the fire escape to enter. It appears to be a random attack, he said.
Police Sgt. Sam Sorem said Thursday evening that residents near Delta Gamma and Pi Beta Phi on Lynden Street gave descriptions of the two men who reportedly broke into the houses. “We’ve had some very commendable citizen involvement from people who live in that area,” Sorem said.

Alpha Gamma Rho President Ryan Lantz and fraternity member Branden Rainer saw the two suspects Wednesday evening, Lantz said. When they heard about the assault the next day, they were frustrated that they hadn't done anything. Rainer thought he recognized one of the suspects as a friend of a friend, so they began investigating on their own, Lantz said. They talked to owners of The Coug and Valhalla and determined the suspect was from the area. Using Facebook, Lantz and Rainer were able to find a picture of Schott who they recognized from Wednesday night. They turned over their information to the police.
"It's something we feel pretty good about," Lantz said.

The first call to the police about the assault came in at 4:48 a.m., initially reported as an attempted rape. The woman was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital. Police collected DNA evidence from the scene, Sorem said.

The second suspect is described as around six feet tall with a muscular build and short blond hair, according to a Pullman Police news release. He is said to have a tattoo of a solid triangle on the back of his neck and an ammunition belt around his right thigh. Police believe there may also have been a third subject involved, who stood guard outside the houses.

As a result of the break-ins, the Greek community is focusing more on safety. Anita Cory, the director of the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, sent an e-mail to leaders of Greek houses on Thursday encouraging members to contact the police if there are any suspicious intruders or issues. She also warned that if any organization has participated in “pranks” that involve break-ins, the police will pursue the activity as a real crime.

“No matter the believed situation, we expect and encourage you to contact the Pullman Police Department with any suspicious intruders, issues, etc.,” Cory wrote. “If there is a pattern, the PPD will be best able to identify it quickly and allow you to keep your members and your facility safe.” Cory did not respond to a message left on her office phone Thursday afternoon.
Sorority presidents will meet next Wednesday to discuss safety at their houses, a result of the early morning break-ins, Panhellenic spokeswoman Britni Freiboth said.
“Hopefully what they’re going to do is just use each other’s ideas and make each other safer,” she said.

Sororities and fraternities are among the safest places to live in Pullman, Freiboth said.
Fraternities will also meet sometime soon to see how they could help sororities be safer on the hill, Interfraternity Council spokesman Taylor Worth said. “We will meet to see how the boys can help out,” he said. But immediately, Tennant said residents should take a few minutes to make sure they are secure in their homes. Also, if things look suspicious, do not be afraid to contact the police.

“We encourage people to call in suspicious people and suspicious activity,” he said. “A lot of time people don’t call in stuff because they think we’re busy and we don’t care ... but honestly that’s how we solve a lot of crimes.”

Monday, September 10, 2007

Coming Home


Striking a pose with our AGD sisters at UWF

We had the honor of speaking at our Alma Mater tonight, the University of West Florida. It's always nice to "come home" and it was an amazing feeling to present a program at the very place where it all began years ago. The opportunities that we stumbled upon in college are what inspired us to do this work. So tonight's program was especially touching for us both. It's hard to believe that this much time has passed. Sometimes it feels like if you close your eyes for too long, you might miss something that life has to offer. We had our eyes and hearts wide open tonight and really took in all of the emotions of the evening.
I am so proud to be an activist and thrilled to be living my dream of empowering students, but tonight, I feel like the best part of it all is to be doing this work with the most loving and supportive friend in the world. A woman who helped give me the strength to become a survivor. Thanks Bec! Being back at UWF brought many feelings back, some good, some bad, but mostly a sense of pride.
Thanks to our Alpha Gam sisters who were the most wonderful hostesses ever, of course! And a special thanks to sister Jennifer a.k.a. J-Mo, who went out of her way to make us feel super special. She even pimped out our green room! Much love to you J-Mo.
Kelly

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In the great state of Texas

Last night we had the honor of speaking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Each time we visit this amazing campus we are impressed by the caliber of students, faculty and staff. Below is a link to the article (which includes a super expressive photo) in today's campus publication. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thanks for your work Russ!
Program allows open discussion of sexual assault - News

Watch us on Dateline NBC this Monday

We have been sharing the exciting news about our appearance on an upcoming Dateline episode for weeks and the official airtime has been changed more than twice. We’re totally stoked that many of you are almost as excited as we are about our national primetime debut and apologize for all the confusion on the actual date and time of the program. We received a few phone calls and e-mails from folks who tuned into Dateline last night (the second “official air date) looking for the safety episode and instead they were introduced to a story about an angry farmer in Iowa.

The latest official scoop is that the Dateline story air-date has been moved to Monday, September 3 (Labor day) at 10pm/ 9 central. The network felt the holiday weekend time slot was a better choice. I can't think of a better way to spend Labor day evening, can you? Enjoy the 3 day weekend with a safety show finale!

So here’s the lowdown on the details of the show. It's an hour long program broken down into 6 segments of safety related issues- pick-pocketing, vacation safety, graffiti, date rape drugs, sexual assault and children staying home alone. Quite the mix of safety tips! We will be featured in the 4th and 5th segments that are of course related to our work. We are thrilled about this opportunity and excited to share our message with viewers throughout the country. Please share this info with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to tune in as well. The more people we can share our message with the better!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On the Road Again...



Our first gig of the semester was oh so sweet. We were happy to return to Sweet Briar College this year to share our message with the new freshman class. Sweet Briar is such a warm and welcoming campus. The students are awesome the administration is fabulous and the campus is insanely gorgeous. What a great start to what's sure to be a wonderful semester on the road!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

YouTube Craze!

Okay, so we appear to be a little obsessed with YouTube at the current moment. Obviously we’re thrilled to be playing an active role in the online video trend and we totally appreciate the ease and instant viewing pleasure that YouTube has to offer. We hope you enjoy taking a peek at the videos that we posted this week.
Our enthusiasm for YouTube is strong and proud. With 3 YouTube posts under our belts, we’re ready for more! We are now proud owners of a Small Wonder, which is a very and I stress VERY simple to operate video camera. Martha Stuart introduced us to this fine peice of equipment. It was featured on her show last month as a fabulous toy for the technically challenged. Perfect for us! Stay tuned for video blogs from the road!
YouTube junkies,
K & B

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Suddenly I See




So music is a huge motivator to me, it also serves as a way I can honestly express myself- when words and vulnerability escape me. So, when I find a song or artist that I love, it can almost consume me. Imagine repeat for hours on end.

I know what your thinking, her poor husband. But he gets it is all the quirks that make me, me and subsequently creates our crazy little we.
But I digress...

So the obsession he is currently "sharing" with me is the song, "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall. It is my new anthem for women taking back their power. It is my unofficial signature song for Unite for Change. It is a song men can play to show the women they love how much they get them. It makes me want to dance, say hello to strangers and save the world.

All before lunch.

Check it out, it is currently my profile song on myspace myspace.com/beccatalksaboutit and see if you can help but move.

In love-
Becca

Monday, July 09, 2007

Summertime Culinary Delights

Being home for the summer is giving us time to enjoy our family, friends and the chance to do some really cool stuff in the community. This week we got a group of girlfriends together to discover our inner chef and get our cook on. Becca arranged for us to have private cooking class with two super talented and totally cool chefs in Tampa. We sliced. We diced. We boiled and baked. Look out Food Network the Kelly and Becca posse is turning up the heat!







Tuesday, July 03, 2007

WORD UP

I recently came across an article online that totally blew my mind! "A Nebraska Judge bans the word rape from his courtroom." WHAT?! Can an accuser really be prohibited from using the word rape on the witness stand? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Last fall, Judge Cheuvront granted a motion by defense attorneys barring the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit from the trial of Pamir Safi—accused of raping Tory Bowen in October 2004.
My mind was racing at high speed as I read this article. I try very hard to view both sides of every story fairly in every situation. I am not a judge, attorney or part of any legal team (I've never even served as a juror) so my opinion of this language ban set forth by a Judge in Nebraska is from the perspective I naturally relate to in this situation, as a rape survivor. As I read the story I can't help but feel an aching pain for any survivor in this situation. In my opinion, asking them to avoid such words is almost like asking them to avoid the truth. What message are we sending by creating an even more complicated legal process? Not being able to use words that describe sexual intercourse without consent in a rape trial seems unrealistic. Could you imagine a murder trial taking place without ever using the words murder, slain, autopsy or victim?
I'd love to hear what you think! Check out the article at http://slate.com/id/2168758/

Kelly

Friday, June 29, 2007

No more Paris PLEASE!

In a world with so many news worthy events to report on, good and evil to speak of (I prefer the good), and stories around the globe worth sharing, WHY must we continue to hear about Paris Hilton in the headline news?! Recently on MSNBC reporter Mika Brzezinski shared my opinion. Thank you Mika. Even if this was a planned charade I still thank you for taking a stand!
Follow the link to check out what went down.
http://view.break.com/322090

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

News you can use!

Kelly and I have a funky fresh newsletter that we want to share with you. It will arrive via e-mail about once a month and will be chock full of information, tips and basic news you can use. Too good to be true? Not at all my friends. Follow this link and it will be headed your way.............http://www.mailermailer.com/x?oid=34029t

If loving you is wrong...we don't want to be right!
xoxox-
B

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dinner with our mentor!

Dinner with a friend that you really like and rarely get to see is such a special slice of time. Sunday night Kelly and I dined with our dear friend T.J. This is especially important because as with many influential people in our lives, they often wear many hats in how they affect who you are and what you have become.

Years ago, while students at The University of West Florida a simple twist of fate brought T.J. into our lives and it is safe to say it has never been the same since.

It was T.J.'s program that inspired us to tell our story, it was T.J.'s mentoring that helped us craft our message and it is T.J who's amazing speakers agency (CAMPUSPEAK http://www.campuspeak.com/) now represents us. Reflecting on all T.J. has done for us reminds me how incredibly generous one person can be if you are willing to reach out to them.

Many of us have dreams that seem impossible to attain. Many of us fear rejection so we never put ourselves out there. When I get nervous or afraid, I often think of T.J., someone we held in such high regard was also someone who took time to help our dream become a reality. One of the most amazing parts about having dinner with T.J. was as we talked about the future, our families and our newest hopes and dreams I thought about our history and the way life gives you opportunities to achieve your greatest hopes and ambitions- if your willing to be brave and ask for it.

Always-
Becca

Friday, June 22, 2007

Go Charlie!

We're happy to see that Charlie’s laying the smack down! Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed five crime bills this month including an extensive measure aimed at Internet predators who attempt to lure children and a law making it easier for police to track known sex offenders. The Florida cyber-crimes unit will expand from 6 employees to 56! This will allow them to set up investigative offices across the state, to work with police in catching and prosecuting sexual predators who use online chat rooms or social networking sites to find minors. Creepy predators BEWARE!
For those of you who are interested in the details, here’s the quick and dirty. Legislation to strengthen Florida’s sentencing laws for sexual offenses include the following bills:

Senate Bill 1004, the Cyber Crimes Act, which requires known sex offenders to register all e-mail addresses and instant-message names with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It also makes it a crime for Internet users to misrepresent their age when talking with children online, or to solicit minors for sex.

SB 1604, which tightens registration criteria for sex offenders.

SB 988, requiring special markings on driving licenses and license tags for sexual offenders, so police will know their status during a traffic stop and can check on their registration and compliance with reporting requirements. It also sets consistent standards for checking the background of employees working for contractors on school grounds.

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?!
Kelly

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Healing Moment

I am empowered. I am courageous. I am hopeful. I am determined. I am a survivor. I am incredibly proud to be all of these things, but there are sometimes vulnerable moments in my life when I am forced to remind myself of who I have become by silently repeating the words over and over in my head: strong, empowered, courageous, resilient, determined.
Survivors of sexual assault often have triggers, flashbacks or nightmares. It has been years since I was assaulted and I still at times have feelings of fear, guilt, confusion, anger, and sadness. This is totally normal! Just the other day, I came across something that reminded me of the night I was assaulted. Feelings of pain and fear instantly filled my heart and my mind quickly drifted to a very dark place. I acknowledged what was happening and without even thinking about it, I noticed that I was repeating the words, strong, resilient, empowered, thankful, courageous and determined to myself. (Yes, I talk to myself and you know what “they” say, it’s a sign of intelligence. I am super smart!) Repeating the words and focusing on the positive really helped me to work through this painful and sensitive reflection of my past. I try very hard to turn these moments of reflection into opportunities for healing. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Dr. Phil, but it works for me.
If you’re a survivor of sexual assault, it’s important to find something that works for you, whether it’s positive self talk, kick-boxing, yoga, journaling, calling a friend or making an appointment with your therapist or a counselor. Our hearts have an amazingly powerful way of healing we just have to learn how to listen to them.
Kelly

Friday, June 01, 2007

The "IT" girls and Wild Bill

(Kelly, Bill and Becca)

Our summer's starting off to be super sweet! We're really excited to tell you about our greatest week of the summer so far and it's only just begun! Okay, so here's what we're all jacked up about- We were recently contacted by a Dateline producer and asked to work with them on a shoot for an upcoming show. The show they're putting together is focusing on safety and our part in the feature is specifically related to sexual assault and date rape drugs. Getting contacted by Dateline producers was awesome to say the very least. A few e-mails and several phone calls were exchanged, travel arrangements were made and we ended up in South Carolina with a crew of producers, camera people, sound folks and Bill Stanton, the NBC safety expert a.k.a Wild Bill. Bill has tons of safety knowledge and lots of real life experience in the field. He also happens to be a super fun dude.

While we were in S.C. we shot two interviews with Bill and hit a of couple bars under-cover, hidden cameras and secret microphones were involved and we were strapped...totally cool. It was awesome to be a part of the action and fascinating to get the inside scoop on how things go down on an undercover shoot. It was impressive, almost mind-blowing to see how much time and effort goes into a story. We're not sure when the shows going to air, but will definitely keep everyone posted. Keep an eye out for more details and remember- you never know when or where the hidden cameras and microphones might be! : )

Under cover operators and official Wild Bill groupies,

Kelly (and Becca)


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beautiful Flower

Anyone who reads our blog has probably figured out that we are HUGE Oprah fans! So, of course I watch it whenever I get the chance and do the TiVo thing too. Today's show was Oprah's Favorite Things summer special- a "must see" for sure! The show also featured an incredible musician who I totally dig, but haven't listened to in far too long, India.Arie. If you're not familiar with India or her music, I highly suggest you give her a listen. She's got a killer vibe, a super smooth sound and an absolutely gorgeous voice. She recently wrote a song for Oprah's girls in The Oprah Leadership Academy in Africa. The girls named the song "Beautiful Flower" and it is just that, beautiful. If you want to listen to a sample the link below will take you to her single on iTunes. If you're in the need for a quick little pick me up or a rhythmical dose of inspiration check it out!

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=254234706&s=143441

Can you imagine what life would be like without amazing music? No, uh-uh, never and I'm so glad we don't have to! Jam on my friends, jam on.
Kelly

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our first YouTube experience

Watch out world...we're coming into the YouTube generation. Okay, so we might be a little behind in the times, but we plan to catch up fast! Follow the link below and check out our video! Rate it if you'd like but please be gentle since this is our YouTube debut.
Feel free to forward and spread the word. Let's Talk About "IT"
On our way to being YouTube regulars,
K & B

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp7qs0SgyLE






Monday, May 21, 2007

I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship...

In the past few months many of you may recall me talking about (or blog readers- writing about) one of my hero's, Jessica Weiner. Jessica, is an amazing author , inspirational speaker, television personality, the Global Ambassador for the Dove Fund and so much more.

I reached out to Jess a few months back just to thank her for her influence on my life. I assume she gets these such e-mails often and sincerely expected nothing in return- not even a response. I just wanted her to know how much her work has meant to me.

Never underestimate the power and kindness of our hero's!

Jess, wrote back saying she appreciated the work Kelly and I were doing, she went on to say we should find a time to meet up and hang (this was cool beyond my wildest dreams), further she offered and is featuring us as Actionist's in her monthly newsletter and has asked us to be members of Team Jess on her web site. Please stop reading for a moment and visit
http://www.withjess.com/.

Ok, so now my love was flourishing as I was floored by her immense kindness.

It gets better.

We actually hung out with Jess in California recently and let me say...despite all our expectations and respect for her. This rock star was even more incredible in person.

The purpose of this note is two-fold. One, never be afraid to put yourself out there. I could have spent my whole life never sharing Jessica's impact on me and I would have been fine. Her words and her works would have still been a point of reflection and inspiration in my life. But, possibilities I NEVER imagined now exist because I simply opened myself up and put some well deserved love back into the universe.

Second, go visit Jess's site
http://www.withjess.com/. Check out our stuff on there and then buy all her books and goods for everyone you know and love.

Please check it out and let me know what you think. Subscribe to her newsletter (then you can see us in there in the future). Plus, if have yet to subscribe to our funky fresh newsletter hit us up
http://www.kellyandbecca.com/.

Also, Kelly and I are getting ready to launch a new addition to our campaign.

Sisters 4 Empowerment & Brothers 4 Change

We think this will be a very exciting way to get the message out! Stay tuned for hot off the presses information coming VERY SOON!

We know you are going to love it.

xoxoxo
Always-
Becca

http://www.uniteforchange.com/
Stand Up! Speak Out!
Let's Talk About "IT"

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cruising the Pacific Highway

The day after our UCSD gig we had a few hours to check out San Diego before we headed home. We started things off with a delicious Mexican style breakfast (we were just 30 quick momentos from the border) at the Broken Yolk Cafe and for some reason felt the need to snap a quick pic of the egg shaped menu. We are so easily amused. After breakfast we caught some waves...well not really, but we did take pictures of them! See- Becca's pictured below enjoying the cool California breeze. We cruised the California Pacific Highway just like so many people do in the movies. How cool! In our action packed 3 hour cram before we had to be at the airport we managed to squeeze in a quick trip to an estuary to learn about the land and the animals that reside in the protected waters. Then we stopped off the highway to watch local surfers do their thing and ended our afternoon with a drive through the beach front neighborhoods to check out the fabulous homes with spectacular views. Oh, and we even stopped at a brand new Trader Joe's for some healthy snacks for the long plane ride home. After just 24 hours in San Diego, I totally understand what all the the hype is about, it's a gorgeous place, with perfect weather, great people and amazing coastal views.
So once again, Cali was good to us and we're looking forward to coming back soon!




Thursday, May 03, 2007

University of California San Diego

Our last gig of the semester was in a picture perfect location on a super cool campus and the best part is that we got a chance to meet and work with lots of extremely passionate and supportive students. UCSD brought the noise for sure! Their Take Back the Night event has become quite the tradition at UCSD and we were totally impressed with the entire evening and honored to be a part of it all. The students who put the event together were absolutely wonderful and such amazing hosts! They were able to create a tremendously warm, inviting and supportive space and worked hard to provide an opportunity for the campus community to come together and speak out against sexual assault. We were moved and inspired by the many students who courageously came forward to speak in front of hundreds of students. For some of them, it was their first time sharing their deeply private and raw emotion. I am so proud of each of them for being so incredibly brave. Personally, this was a very healing experience for me and I am sure it was for many others as well. It was an awe inspiring night, an evening that took my breath away and filled my heart with hope. I know that I have said many times before that the students we meet inspire me to continue to live my mission to speak out against sexual violence, but after an event like this, I can't help but repeat it again...these students were such a huge inspiration to me! They touched my soul in a very gentle way that reminded me that so many people genuinely care and will not give up.
More hopeful, determined and focused then ever,
Kelly

Holy Hamilton!

(Scott Hamilton and Kelly in the San Diego Airport)
Celebrity spotting on the road... We were boarding our plane in Nashville when I spotted Scott Hamilton (for those of you who are not fans, he's an extremely talented ice skater). I was super excited to see him because my Grandma is a HUGE Hamilton fan! I of course turned into a total goober and felt nervous to ask him to take a photo with me as a gift to my Grandma, but Becca was calm and cool and made the move for me. Scott, or I guess I should say, Mr. Hamilton was very nice and waited for us when we got off the plane in Cali to snap a quick pic.
Skate or die!
K & B

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Media's Sexist Campaign Coverage

Produced by the National Organization of Women

With female as well as male commentators getting into the action, here are a few of the burning questions of the 2008 race, according to our friends in the media:

Is Hillary Clinton's voice grating? Chris Matthews has gone out of his way to portray Clinton as a nagging housewife, with a voice that makes manly men cringe. On NBC's The Chris Matthews Show on April 28, he was at it again, asking this burning question about Clinton's performance at the Democratic debate: "Did she have the right modulation? Was she calm and grown up? Or was there a little bit of stridency in the voice still? . . . [W]as she shrill? Was she strident? Or was she solid?" Panelist Katty Kay from the BBC Washington Bureau responded with the absurd accusation that Clinton was "shouting" in the debate and criticized her "tone of voice."

Is John Edwards too feminine? The recent controversy over Edwards' expensive haircuts allowed the press to pull out the old "Breck girl" nickname they hyped during the 2004 campaign. On April 23 Adam Nagourney of The New York Times took credit for introducing the public to this slur, which originated in the Bush camp, and then blamed Edwards for keeping it going. In an April 21 New York Times column, Maureen Dowd wrote: "Whether or not the country is ready to elect a woman president or a black president, it's definitely not ready for a metrosexual in chief." She added: "In presidential politics, it's all but impossible to put the man in manicure. Be sensitive, but not soft. Effete is never effective."

Is Barack Obama's wife emasculating? When Michelle Obama portrayed her husband as an everyday kind of guy, members of the media twisted it into a threat to his masculinity. Matthews asked his panel of pundits: "Do you think Obama wishes he could dial Michelle back a notch?" For months now, Dowd has been fretting that Obama comes off as weak, calling him "Obambi" and "a Dreamboy" and comparing him to "Scarlett O'Hara" and "a puppy." Dowd even fires off two gender-based insults for the price of one, with: "If Hillary is in touch with her masculine side, Barry is in touch with his feminine side." (Yes, Dowd takes the liberty of shortening Barack to Barry.)

Is Al Gore too fat to run for president? Despite Gore's achievements, and the belated credit he's receiving for his work on global warming, the media can't help but snicker at his weight. In an April 15 Washington Post article titled "Gore '08: Does He Round Up or Down?" writer Sridhar Pappu declares: "Yes, we've certainly seen a lot of Al Gore lately. And there's a lot of Al Gore to see. Calling Planet Girth!" He tells us that we'll know Gore is serious about running for president when he loses some weight. Pappu gets in a dig at Obama, too: "There are moments where one fears that if Obama were to lose any weight he'd be on the cover of Us Weekly with Lindsay Lohan."

Even the Republicans aren't immune to this foolishness. Dowd claims that: "The Daddy Party, sick with desire for a daddy, is like a lost child."
These petty criticisms take the place of substantive campaign coverage, and they play on our society's lingering discomfort with women and men who step the least bit outside traditional gender roles or violate our national obsession with body image. Does this sound productive to you? If we are to elect a president who can help turn this country around, someone who will advance rather than dismantle women's and civil rights, then voters need real information about the candidates and their platforms.

Learn more and speak out at http://www.now.org/issues/media/070501petition.html

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Oprah Part Deux!


Ok, so following our amazing experience as audience members at The Oprah Winfrey show, the producers mentioned they were looking for America's most eligible bachelors 30-55. Immediately we began racking our brains for the man of many women's desire. Looks, wit, charm and intelligence.

Boo-ya!

Our friend Matt.

Matt is this great guy that has no idea what a super fly catch he is. Really, no idea.

So we thought- this is our guy. We were not even the first of his pals to call and suggest he apply. Too bad Matt was not all that interested. Taping would interfere with his upcoming trip to Florida. He was excited about coming to a hockey playoff game in Tampa (Matt lives in St. Louis) and seeing friends. See, what we mean- a really nice guy! Yet, another reason we felt he must apply.

So after a couple of calls. Matt went for it.

And what do you know.....they called him within an hour and shortly after Matt was selected as one of the final fifty.

As you can imagine, Matt's experience at The Oprah show may have been a little more exciting than ours.

If you want to learn more about Matt or the other bachelors (the show aired last Friday) then visit www.Oprah.com.

Always-
Becca and Kelly

Thursday, April 26, 2007

clearly SEX sells


A lot of things can be sexy, but olives? We saw these in a FAMILY gift shop while on the road and just had to take a picture. I think the picture says it all.

Kettering University

We wrapped our week up in Michigan at Kettering and had the chance to meet more amazing administrators and students. We truly love our job and feel so lucky to have the opportunity to meet and work with such great people. The students at Kettering just might be the hardest working students in higher ed! They go to school for 3 months, then work in an internship program for 3 months and alternate throughout the year. All of this with no spring break! These kiddos will be running the country in no time. I certainly hope they take a summer off to relax before they get started!
Signing off from our 3rd "M" state this week,
K & B

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

St. Joseph's College of Maine







Check out the amazing view! We were in a wonderfully quaint room with a beautiful stone fire place and an absolutely gorgeous mountain/ lake view. (Above- Kelly and Megan strike a pose before the program) Megan is a student that we had the chance to meet when we were at St. Joe's last year and she is a super star with a capital "S" for sure. As the President for the Social Justice Club on campus she planned our visit, located and secured funding on campus to make it happen, advertised not only our featured session, but put on several other events to bring awareness on campus this week and did an amazing job with everything. Students like Megan are such an incredible inspiration to us. We had a fantastic time kick'n it with Megan and the other students tonight. A special thanks to Megan and the good folks of St. Joe's who showed us a rock'n good time in Standish.

K & B


P.S. Just wanted to share a little scoop we learned over casual dinner conversation...Megan's family lives on the same street as Patrick Dempsey! Apparently, he's from Maine and spends much of his time there. We are huge fans of Grey's of course adore Dr. McDreamy and also grew up on the classic flick- Can't Buy Me Love. L-o-v-e, love the Patrick.