This week in black women: We won big at the polls and fixed McDonald's ice cream problem.

We mourned, again. We voted, again. And black women had another week of breaking barriers and doing the most in the best way.

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

With elections across the country, this week was a big one. I've got shoutouts for a noteworthy artist, innovative entrepreneurs, and the black women politicians getting it done at the state and local level. Let's get to it.


"Taking care of business": the new elected officials

Black women across the country cleaned up on election night. Vi Lyles became the first African-American woman to be voted mayor-elect of Charlotte, North Carolina. By six votes, Mary Parham-Copelan became the new mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia. Yvonne Spicer became the first mayor of the new city of Framingham, Massachusetts. The Boston City Council welcomed two new black women to their ranks. Andrea Jenkins earned a spot on the Minneapolis City Council, becoming the first out transgender black woman elected to office in the U.S. (Just hours later, she was joined on the council by Phillipe Cunningham, also a transgender person of color. Go 'head, Minneapolis.)

Black women are out here leading the way and making things happen at every level.

Andrea Jenkins, center, celebrates her city council win. Image by Carlos Gonzalez/Associated Press.

"Go off, sis": Lena Waithe and Gabrielle McCormick

  • Lena Waithe — star and writer of Netflix's "Master of None" — became the first black woman to earn an Emmy for comedy writing earlier this year, rallying her LGBTQ family in her passionate acceptance speech. This week, as part of the Out 100 (Out magazine's annual list of LGBTQ movers and shakers), Waithe was selected as Artist of the Year. She will grace one of four covers of the magazine, along with Chelsea Manning (Newsmaker of the Year), Jonathan Groff (Entertainer of the Year), and Shayne Oliver (Stylemaker of the Year).

Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film.

  • Gabrielle McCormick thought her athletic prowess would pay for college, but after suffering an injury in high school she had to get creative. By canvassing lesser-known and more creative awards, like the $1,000 she received from her high school cafeteria, McCormick went on to earn more than $150,000 in different scholarships. Now 28, she's working on a doctorate — her third degree — and will graduate without any debt. She also launched Scholarship Informer, a small business to help parents and students find scholarships and avoid crushing debt.

"We've got your back": Demetria Obilor

A frequent viewer of Dallas' ABC affiliate WFAA posted to the station's Facebook page that reporter Demetria Obilor looked "ridiculous," body-shaming the young journalist for having curves and vowing to never watch the station again. Fans and strangers jumped to Obilor's defense, pushing back against the need to police or shame Obilor for the way she looks. The reporter even made a video thanking everyone for their support. Right on, Demetria. You do you.

"You the real MVP": Raina McLeod

Ever pulled into a McDonald's drive-thru for an ice cream cone only to discover the machines are down? It happens a lot. Like seriously, a lot. So Raina McLeod designed Ice Check, an app that uses crowdsourced information to inform you whether the local machine in your area is operational. The app launched this spring but is receiving national buzz this week thanks to shoutouts in BET and BuzzFeed. This is the future we've been waiting for. Thank you, Raina.

Soooo excited to have my app @ice.check featured on NBC6✨✨🍦

A post shared by R.A.I.N.A. (@oohraina) on

Final Thoughts: @onlineva

Eva told some of the women of Spelman College they're beautiful. These young women warm my heart.

I'll be back next week with more women to celebrate and support. If you know a black woman I should feature, send me some links!

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via bfmamatalk / facebook

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Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

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Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

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Life for a shelter dog, even if it's a comfortable shelter administered by the ASPCA with as many amenities as can be afforded, is still not the same as having the comfort and safety of a forever home. Professional violinist Martin Agee knows that and that's why he volunteers himself and his instrument to help.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Believe
True
Macy's