This week in black women: Shonda Rhimes delivers, Tiffany Haddish slays, and more.

This is the eighth edition of "This week in black women," a weekly column dedicated to signal-boosting the black women who make the world spin.

This week, I'm shouting out some of Hollywood's best and brightest, a few new elected officials, a family you need to know about, and more. Remember these women! Pay these women! Follow these women! Let's do this.

GIF via Reserve Channel/YouTube.


"Taking care of business": Adrienne Nelson, Tamaya Dennard, and Nikuyah Walker

With the new year comes new elected officials. Here are three to celebrate this week:

1. Judge Adrienne Nelson was selected by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. She's only the second woman of color to serve on the state's supreme court, and the first African-American to serve on an appellate court.

2. In her campaign for Cincinnati City Council, Tamaya Dennard often shared the Shirley Chisholm quote, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." After carrying around the chair for much of her successful campaign, Dennard brought the folding chair with her while she was sworn in. Yes, ma'am!  

3. The city council of Charlottesville, Virginia (yes, that Charlottesville) just selected Nikuyah Walker to be the city's next mayor. (The city has a council-manager style of government, where the city council picks the mayor instead of a traditional vote.) In this role, Walker, an Independent, will be in charge of Charlottesville's city council. She is the first black woman to hold the position.

"Go off, sis!": Tiffany Haddish

The well-deserved rise of Tiffany Haddish continues in 2018. The comedic actress picked up the Best Supporting Actress honor at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Haddish delivered an honest, genuine, side-splittingly funny, 20-minute acceptance speech worth watching in its entirety, especially for gems like this.

"Stop holding your truth. Speak your truth. Be yourself! It's the healthiest way to be. Be who you are. Speak who you are. If don't nobody like it? Fuck it, there's 10 other people that do."

Here’s a (lousily shot) video of Tiffany Haddish’s epic, world-beating best supporting actress acceptance speech at tonight’s New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards

Posted by Alison Willmore on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"Who run the world?": the women of Essence magazine

After being bought by Richelieu Dennis from Time Inc., Essence, a lifestyle magazine for black women and popular music festival, is once-again black-owned. And the executive leadership team, which is entirely black women, will have an ownership stake in the new venture. Secure the bag, ladies.  

Essence magazine's editor-in-chief Vanessa K. De Luca and president of Essence Communications Michelle Ebanks, seen here at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards. Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for Essence.

"Yessssssssssss": A TGIT crossover we can get behind

What's better than two popular primetime dramas led by black actresses and created under the umbrella company of a black woman? A CROSSOVER EVENT THAT BRINGS THEM TOGETHER! The worlds of "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Scandal" will collide in an evening of black girl magic. I am already salivating at the monologues alone. How lucky are we to be alive at the same time as Shonda Rhimes?

Viola Davis (L) and Kerry Washington at the 2015 Summer TCA Tour. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

"We won't forget": the Myers-Mells Family

Shanta Myers, 36, her partner Brandi Mells, 22, and two of Myers' children, Shanise Myers, 5, and Jeremiah Myers, 11, were found brutally murdered in their basement apartment Dec. 27, in Troy, New York. Two men were arrested in connection with their deaths. The story barely made a ripple in the national news.

Maybe it was the holidays. Perhaps it was because the family was black or because they were a loving same-sex couple. Maybe a combination of the three. But here, we will celebrate their lives and follow the case as perpetrators are brought to justice.

Final thought: @paulaakpan

All facts, 2018.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.