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Awareness Months March Awareness Socially Sparked!

March Ignites Awareness for Women, Nutrition, Reading +

March ignites for a multitude of awareness initiatives: Women’s History Month, Nutrition, Reading, Brain Injury, Music in Our Schools and so many more. We highlight a few annual campaigns.

March ignites for women

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Women’s History Month celebrates women and their accomplishments. This year’s theme: “Valiant Women of the Vote” celebrates the women who have fought for a woman’s right to vote in the United States.

This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment and The Women’s History Alliance is honoring women from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle (fighting against poll taxes, literacy tests, voter roll purges, and other more contemporary forms of voter suppression) to ensure voting rights for all.

Women's History Month; (c) Abbe Sparks, Socially Sparked News, LLC

While the concept of Women’s History Month began in the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1980 when President Jimmy Carter declared a proclamation. By 1987, the advocacy efforts came to fruition when Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: March 8th is the annual INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY — A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

March ignites awareness

MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH

Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®) is the annual celebration during March which engages music educators, students and communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools.

This year’s theme is ‘Music Changes Lives.” Now in it’s 35th year, MIOSM is organized by National Association for Music Education (NAFME), among the world’s largest arts education organizations and the only association that addresses all aspects of music education.

“Every day, in classrooms and rehearsal rooms across America, music educators bring that theme to life. And we know from ongoing testimonials that those connections have a profound and positive effect on students and on entire communities,” — Michael J. Blakeslee, NAfME Executive Director and CEO

At a time when funding for the arts and school funding for arts programs looms large, advocacy initiatives like MIOSM could not be more important than now.

State music education associations are conducting their own advocacy days this spring at state capitols to support music education for all students. Ensembles are performing at their state capitols and local communities to demonstrate the importance of music education.

March sparks ignite 4 women's history, music education, brain injury

BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH

Brain Injury Awareness Month – The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing the month by conducting an awareness campaign in March each year.

The theme for the 2018 to 2020 campaign is Change Your Mind. This campaign provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. The campaign also lends itself to outreach within the brain injury community to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.

BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS DAY IS MARCH 4

Founded in 1980, the Brain Injury Association of America is the oldest, largest and only nationwide brain injury advocacy organization in the U.S. As the voice of brain injury, BIAA provides help, hope and healing for the millions of Americans who sustain this life-altering, sometimes devastating, injury.

March ignites awareness for many other important initiatives this month including for Colorectal Cancer and Nutrition.

Awareness Days:

March 1stWorld Zero Discrimination Day and Self Injury Awareness Day

March 2ndRead Across America Day & Dr. Seuss Day

March 3rd: World Wildlife Day

March 8th: International Women’s Day

March 21stInternational Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22ndWorld Water Day

Awareness Weeks:

March 8th – 14thNational Sleep Awareness Week

March 30 – April 3National Youth Violence Prevention Week

The growing unrest in the United States and Internationally on some of our most pressing issues as gun violence, cancer, equality, the environment and more underscores the importance of continuing to raise awareness and advocate for reform and permanent solutions and cures. While here you will find a few of the month’s annual campaigns, you can find support and advocacy efforts happening every day of the year. Enough is Never Enough!

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Awareness Months February Awareness Socially Sparked!

February Sparks Colorful Love in Awareness Observances

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Awareness Months November Awareness Socially Sparked!

November Ignites Awareness for Diabetes, Giving Tuesday +

November ignites awareness for Diabetes, Giving Tuesday, Health, Writing and more. We give thanks this month on Thanksgiving Day and Giving Tuesday, but November is also host to many more wonderful awareness observances in the health, arts and social arenas.

Health observances include National Diabetes Awareness Month and No-Shave November. Social issue initiatives include Adaption Awareness Month and Native American Heritage Month. And, in the Arts arena, November sparks a spotlight on National Novel Writing Month. Show your love; support your cause and be an Agent of Change!

november ignites awarenessNATIONAL DIABETES MONTH is observed every November so individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country can bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans.

This year, the National Diabetes Education Program theme is: Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It. This theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and amputation. The theme also serves as a reminder to people who may be struggling with the demands of managing diabetes that they are not alone.

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 1 out of 4 of them don’t know they have it.

– There are three main types of diabetes:  type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant, which can put the pregnancy and baby at risk and lead to type 2 diabetes later).

WORLD DIABETES DAY – November 14th. World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated annually on November 14. Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006.

The theme for WDD 2017 is Women and Diabetes. The campaign will promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040. Gender roles and power dynamics influence vulnerability to diabetes, affect access to health services and health seeking behavior for women, and amplify the impact of diabetes on women. — International Diabetes Federation

 

november ignites awarenessNO-SHAVE NOVEMBER. Every November, this web-based nonprofit organization hosts a month-long campaign, where participants skip shaving and grooming for the entire month in order to stimulate conversation and raise cancer awareness and funds for prevention, research and education.

The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing your hair — which many cancer patients lose — and letting it grow wild and free. The money usually spent on grooming can then be donated to the cause.

If you don’t want to be hairy for the month, you can still show your love for this worthy cause by supporting a friend who is partaking.

november ignites awareness
Image Courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH (NaNoWriMo) – One of my favorite observances. Held every November since 1999, this nonprofit sparks the creative writing gene in us all — empowering and encouraging vibrant creativity around the world.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

 

november ignites awarenessNATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH  Also referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month also aims to educate the general public about tribes, to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.

 

november ignites awarenessGIVING TUESDAY. November 28th.  Now in its sixth year, this awareness initiative is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

november ignites awarenessNovember is a very giving time of the year. We have lots to give thanks for and what better time than during the annual Thanksgiving holiday. So many causes, observances and creative challenges this month. — Abbe is Socially Sparked™ Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01

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Latest News Socially Sparked!

Bravo Publicists Everywhere: National Publicist Day

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News Socially Sparked!

Why Women Roar for Equality

I Am Woman Hear Me Roar

Why do women roar for equality? It is incredulous that in 2017, this question still needs to be answered. But, after a recent personal encounter with a millennial young woman, I realized the importance of reiterating to the masses of men and women why women roar for equality. Our next generations of women fully need to comprehend why they are partaking in events as The Women’s March.

why woman roar for equality
“Joy” – the young millenial woman and the inspiration for this story. Photo credit: Abbe Sparks

“I AM STRONG, I AM INVINCIBLE, I AM WOMAN”

 

A new Off-Broadway Musical called ‘This One’s For The Girls’ is the impetus behind the question. Written by Dorothy Marcic, the show takes the audience through the decades of a woman — from the 1900s to present day — portraying the roles of women through drama and song. Forty of the Top 40 Hit songs about women are thread throughout the production including “Stand By Your Man,” “I Want to be Loved by You,” “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend,” “I Will Follow Him,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “Respect,” ‘I Am Women” and “This Girl’s on Fire.”

why women roar for equality
Traci Bair, Aneesa Folds, Haley Swindal in ‘This One’s For the Girls’. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

One of the scenes depicts the original American teenage girls from the 60s, waiting anxiously by the old-fashioned phone for a boy to call. We’re talking pre-cell phones, internet, Facebook, Snapchat and the like. It was at that point, that the young millennial women named Joy turned to me asking if that really happened?

Incredulous, right? It was at that point that I realized how uninformed our next generation — especially of women — are on the hows and whys of the women’s movement. I am guestimating that most of the young girls and women who advocated and walked during this year’s Women’s March were clueless on how long the female sex has been striving for equality and the long history of why women are roaring now.

w.

why women roar for equality
Left-Rt: The Stars Jana Robbins, Aneesa Folds, Haley Swindal, Traci Bair. photo credit: Carole Rosegg, Broadway World

Couple that with a backdrop of slides showing photographs of prominent women and men over the century who have helped to frame the woman’s role such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks, heart throbs Bobby Darrin and David Cassidy, women’s advocate Gloria Steinhem, Actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda, musician Janice Joplin — the list is endless.

why women roar for equality

Ignorance Is Not Bliss When It Comes To Women’s Equality

“Every mom should be taking their daughter to see this show. And, wouldn’t it be fabulous if their sons would see it, too?” — Abbe Sparks, Socially Sparked News

As a mother to a millennial, I speak the truth when I say, “every mom should be taking their daughter to see this show. And, wouldn’t it be fabulous if their sons would see it, too?” I repeat, “ignorance is not bliss” but an eye opener to the evolution of a women’s role in society and the women’s movement.

I leave you with a quote I heard from Together For Girls‘ Daniela Ligiero cited from an ancient Chinese proverb.

“When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move.”

Abbe is Socially Sparked ! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01

‘This One’s For The Girls’, written by Dorothy Marcic is playing open-ended at St. Luke’s Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City. Visit their website for ticket information. http://thisonesforthegirlsthemusical.com

 

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Awareness Months June Awareness Latest News Socially Sparked!

June Shines on Environment, Summer Fests +

 

 

 

 

 

June shines awareness on Environment, Summer Fests, Gay Pride and more. It’s the month to celebrate the official onset of Summer — fathers, weddings and events galore.  Here are five top June Events to know.

 

5 Top June Summer Events to Know

 

 

 

June Shines Awareness

National Safety Month (NSC) — Each year in June, the National Safety Council focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Thousands of organizations work together annually to raise awareness on what it takes to keep each other safe. Each week of the month will focus on a different safety topic. Week 1: Stand Up to Falls; Week 2: Recharge to Be In Charge (Focusing on Fatigue); Week 3: Prepare for Active Shooters; Week 4: Don’t Just Sit There (Focusing on Ergonomics) and for its members: Road Safety for Workers. #nationalsafetymonth

 

 

June Shines AwarenessWORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY* — Held annually since 1972 on the 5th of June, World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action. The theme is always selected by the host country who, in 2017 is Canada. The theme: Connecting People to Nature – implores us to get outdoors and into nature – to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share.  There are many ways to celebrate the Day:

 

-Join the Global Album: take a photo or video of your fave place in nature and use #WorldEnvironmentalDay or #WithNature

Explore Nature: Go outside, discover species in your everyday world using iNaturalist

Plan an Outdoor Activity: Celebrate with a picnic, a group cleanup, a walk in the park, a swim. There are countless activities to choose.

To find events in your city or country, visit: Celebrate Together

 

 

June Shines Awareness. Photo: Ellie Pritz
Photograph: Ellie Pritz

GAY AND LESBIAN (LGBT) PRIDE MONTH – a/k/a Gay, Lesbian, Sexual and Transgender Pride Month. Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is a worldwide movement asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The three main messages are: (1) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity; (2) sexual diversity is a gift, and (3) sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered. .

The month was chosen to remember the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on famed Christopher Street in Manhattan.  On June 28,1970, the first march commemorating the anniversary of the riot took place in NYC – the first of its kind in the United States.  Many claim that the Stonewall Inn Riot marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the US.

Each city holds its own festivities and selects its own themes and dates to celebrate. You can find pride parades, marches, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost from HIV and AIDS, and other group gathering events that attract countless thousands of individuals. Three of the biggest cities — New York City, Chicago and San Francisco are all holding many events with parades and/or marches on June 25  Check your local community listings or the Pride Events website for LGBT Pride events happening near you.

 

 

June Shines AwarenessSUMMER FESTIVALS – June marks the official onset of summer and well before the summer solstice on June 21, festival season is in high gear.  From arts & crafts, to dance to music; from food, to hot-air balloons to air shows, you will find a festival to tickle your fancy. Families, individuals, couples and the like, there is a summer fest for everyone. Some of the largest free festivals include:

Artscape, July 21-July 23, Baltimore, MD – America’s largest free arts festival, attracting over 350,000 attendees over three days. Featuring: more than 150 fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople; visual art exhibits on and off-site, live concerts on outdoor stages; a full schedule of performing arts; and family events.

SummerStage, May thru October, Central Park, NYC –  the largest free performing arts festival in New York City.  Featuring: artists and genres that reflect the diverse cultures and communities in neighborhood parks across the five boroughs — from the iconic to the avant-garde, from opera to hip-hop, film to circus–and everything in between.

Chicago Air & Water Show, August 19-20, Chicago, IL – This air and water show is one of the largest free shows of its kind in the United States, taking place each year at Chicago’s lakefront at North Avenue Beach. Featuring: l a wide variety of military and civilian aerial demonstration teams with daredevil pilots performing their stunts in the skies above Past headliners included the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

 

FATHER’S DAY – Perhaps the biggest festival of all – paying homage to dads everywhere.  Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads around the world!  Enjoy!

 

June’s offerings do run the gamut from important cause events to Summertime festival fun. Happy June! – Abbe Sparks @asparks01

 

 

* Disclaimer: Use of the United Nations Environment Programme World Environment Day logo does not imply an endorsement by the United Nations Environment Programme of the user, its goods, services or activities, or the content of its website or linked sites or the accuracy of the information, opinions or statements provided therein

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News Socially Sparked!

April Finale Showers Unity for Jazz Day

April finale showers unity today for International Jazz Day. A fitting ending to the month of Jazz Appreciation.

jazz day
April 30th marks the 6th annual International Jazz Day. Featured: Legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes at NYC’s iconic Blue Note. photo by Abbe Sparks

April 30th marks the sixth annual International Jazz Day highlighting the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. The intent of jazz day is to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.

International Jazz Day is celebrated in a different global host city each year. In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day
highlights the power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity, promotes intercultural dialogue through respect and understanding, and unites people from all corners of the globe.

Whether you are a jazz promoter, jazz lover or newbie to the world of jazz, there are many ways to celebrate the day. For a complete list of events around the world visit: jazzday.com/events. Here are a few suggestions:

 

Havana, Cuba: The All-Star Global Concert at the historic Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Cuban Institute of Music, and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO will be live streamed on JazzDay.com (April 30, 9 pm EDT), and will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the international art form of jazz.

 

New York City: All Sides of Ella with Ulysses Owens, Jr. & Friends with drummer/music director Ulysses Owens, Jr.; pianist Allyn Johnson; trumpeter Alphonso Horne; bassist Alex Claffy; and vocalists Brianna Thomas and Alyson Williams.

In just the past few years, Ulysses Owens, Jr. has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with artists including Christian McBride, child prodigy Joey Alexander, Steve Wilson, Mulgrew Miller, Steve Nelson, the Swing Collective, and the New Century Jazz Quartet. Already one of today’s most high-profile sidemen, this GRAMMY® Award winner and DownBeat Rising Star has recently stepped into a leadership role and assembled some top-shelf groups. Tonight’s band features a monster lineup similar to the one Owens led in 2016’s Celebrating Ellington and Beyond program. This year, they’ll be honoring the many sides of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald as part of their Ella Fitzgerald Festival. This show is highly recommended for any kind of jazz fan.

 

Chicago: The Jazz Institute of Chicago’s International Jazz Day Celebration event at The Chicago Cultural Center.

In celebration of International Jazz Day, the Jazz Institute of Chicago honors the diversity of jazz and its ability to forge new connections by featuring two ensembles that represent the global influences of the music. Mexican drummer Gustavo Cortiñas presents music from his new album “Esse,“ which “gathers fellow musicians from Chicago to contemplate, through composition and improvisation.” Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan performs a blend of American jazz, Gypsy jazz, Flamenco, and folk music

So, however you choose to honor the day — Enjoy!

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February Awareness Socially Sparked!

Fabulous February Awareness Observances

Fabulous February Awareness

Fabulous February awareness is the month for Love, Black History, Heart Disease, Cancer and Teen Dating Violence awareness, to name a few. Holidays this month include Valentines Day and President’s Day. Awareness days include National Girls and Women in Sports Day; Give Kids A Smile Day and Love Your Pet Day. Awareness weeks this month bring us Burn Awareness Week; Random Acts of Kindness Week and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Each year during February, advocates join forces to raise awareness about teen dating violence (TDV) and put a spotlight on ways to help diffuse and prevent it from happening. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. Statistics state that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and help others to dcrease the prevalence of TDV.

For the past 10 years, Break the Cycle and the Love Is Not Abuse Campaign have been hosting It’s Time To Talk Day. This awareness campaign aims to create conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. The 2017 NO MORE campaign developed a toolkit titled “How to Start a Conversation: Talking About Dating and Healthy Relationships Step-by-Step”.

February 1st brings us National Girls and Women in Sports Day, now in its 31st year. The day recognizes the progress sparked by Title IX and the ongoing effort to ensure access to sports for girls and women. This year’s theme is “Expanding Opportunity.” Despite the Title IX legislation’s impact, only 40% of high school girls are currently playing sports, leaving three-in-five girls without the opportunity to compete. According to NGWSD, studies show that girls who play sports have better health, higher self-esteem, stronger leadership skills, greater academic achievement and economic opportunity.

February 3rd is National Wear Red Day. Each year, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Did you know that 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action?

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. The campaign asks everyone to wear red on National Wear Red Day® which is Friday, February 3, 2017, and is designed to encourage others to make the time to Know Your Numbers. Five numbers to be exact, that all women should know to take control of their heart health: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.


Black History Month a/k/a African American History Month recognizes the important people and events in history. Celebrated each year in February in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Check your local communities to join an observance or celebration.

What the Nation Needs Now is Love…

Lastly, February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day is annually February 14th. With our country in a state of change, this year’s holiday carries new meaning. We all need to share the love. — Abbe Sparks is Socially Sparked! – @sosparkednews

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Awareness Months January Awareness Socially Sparked!

Observe January Awareness/Cause Campaigns

Celebrate January Awareness Months and Causes

 

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January brings us many important health awareness months, cause campaigns and celebrations. Healthy observances include: Cervical Cancer Screening Month; Thyroid Disease Awareness Month and National Health Awareness Month for Blood Donor Awareness;  Birth Defects Awareness, and Glaucoma Awareness. Celebrate January’s causes: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month, National Mentoring Month and National Soup Month.

 

National Awareness Days include: Human Trafficking Awareness Day on the 11th; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the 16th; Handwriting Day on the 23rd; Complement Day on the 24th and Inspire Your Heart with Art Day on the 31st.

 

January Spotlight:

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month

It is slavery in the modern age. Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labor or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination. — United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Human Trafficking Awareness History

  • The most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, accounting for 79% of human trafficking victims. These victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls.
  • According to UNICEF, 2 million children are estimated to be trafficking victims of sex trade each year. 20% of traffic victims are children.
  • The average age of a girl being forced into the US domestic sex slavery market is 13.
  • The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.

Human Trafficking Awareness – Show Support this Month

There are lots of ways to show support.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

  • She Has a NameTalk to children about stranger danger and have them memorize important addresses and phone numbers.
  • Save 888-373-7888 to your phone.  This is the number to the National Human Trafficking Resources Hotline.
  • Make a donation to an organization fighting human trafficking such as Polaris Project or to a local organization in your town/city.
  • Watch a movie or attend a play about human trafficking. Our picks: FILM: SHE HAS A NAME (BASED ON ANDREW KOOMAN’S PLAY, RELEASED 12/2/16 IN LIMITED RELEASE; OFF-BROADWAY PLAY: SHE HAS A NAME, RIPPLE EFFECT ARTISTS‘ PRODUCTION OF ANDREW KOOMAN’S PLAY, DEBUTS IN NYC THIS MONTH AT ELEKTRA THEATRE.

This January is Cervical Cancer Month

The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (Pap and HPV tests).

Here’s one of many organizations that offer ways to raise awareness this month.

National Cervical Cancer Coaltion

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is ASHA’s program to help women, family members and caregivers cope effectively with the personal issues related to cervical cancer and HPV. ASHA and NCCC advocate for cervical health in all women by promoting prevention through education about early vaccination, Pap testing and HPV testing when recommended.

You can help NCCC promote the importance of cervical health and cervical cancer prevention by sharing prevention messages throughout the month. Join their Cervical Health Month Thunderclap campaign (all you have to do is click) to help shout out that cervical cancer is preventable!

Click the link to find a local chapter in your city and events you can support this month. Local Events 

There truly are so many wonderful health awareness month and cause campaigns in January. –Abbe Sparks is Socially Sparked! @asparks01

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Socially Sparked!

Down to the Roots Deep in Muddy Waters

Blues Guitarist Bob Margolin, – a former bandmate of the legendary Muddy Waters, © Joseph A. Rosen

We’re getting down to the roots  deep in Muddy Waters with award-winning guitarist/vocalist Bob Margolin for a crystal clear picture of the man, his music and his vision. Coming off the heels of his new album “My Road,” and receiving two Blues Blast Magazine Awards in 2016 — Best Male Blues Artist and Best Traditional Blues Album for “My Road” – it’s all bright and sunny on this legend’s Blues Highway.

Born in Boston in 1949, Bob Margolin began playing guitar at the age of 15. Influenced by Chuck Berry, he straight away started playing in local rock and blues bands. The legendary Muddy Waters hired him to join his band in 1973, where he stayed put until 1980. Margolin’s incredible journey playing with the legendary bluesman introduced him to the Chicago Blues sound and led him around the world and back — all the while honing his craft and forging a path to his own musical footprint. To learn more you can visit http://bobmargolin.com

Recently, I sat down with the man himself during a break from the Muddy Waters Tribute — performed by The Nighthawks featuring Bob Margolin — at New York City’s Iridium Jazz Club. Here’s what he had to say:

All About Bob: an interview by Abbe Sparks

Bob Margolin playing his Telecaster

On his favorite guitar: It’s an old Telecaster. It owns me and demands fidelity. Muddy had one; a 1957 guitar that he painted red. Always wanted one and in 1992, I found one in North Carolina that became mine in 1993.

 

On Muddy Waters: Muddy Waters influenced a lot of musicians, including me. We do tributes to him, but nobody can really duplicate exactly that magic or – to use, the best word, really for it – that ‘mojo’ that Muddy Waters had.

 

On the Muddy Waters Tribute at Iridium: I knew him well enough from being in his band and from being around him that I know he would appreciate it that people were carrying on his music and that people love to listen to it more than ever!

 

On his newest album: ‘My Road’ is my ride through modern challenges, the ironies and lessons of aging, achieving true love, mourning, my band’s distinctive signature sound, a childhood epiphany, my seven years in Muddy Waters’ band, and exploring the darkest sides of life with friends who have been there.” – Bob Margolin from his website’s about page.

On the song Heaven Mississippi and Terry Abrahamson from ‘My Road’originally, my good friend Terry Abrahamson wrote this song and asked me to make a demo for B.B. King to record. We realized that B.B. wouldn’t be recording anymore. I loved Terry’s song  so I re-wrote it with Terry to make sense for me and it’s on my new album.   Sadly, we realized that B.B. might not record again.  I loved Terry’s song, so I changed his lyrics to reflect my life and experiences instead of B.B.’s…

 

“Bob Margolin is a major part of Blues history…and the generosity with which he shares that history has energized the spirit and legacy of Muddy Waters in ways that I know would make the old man proud and humbled. I’m lucky to have a friend like Bob to share my memories of so many magical times…and even luckier to have the chance to work with him on a few more.”  — Terry Abrahamson, lyricist, photographer, director and author of In The Belly of the Blues

 

Bob Margolin deserves the Sunday Spotlight as a musician and lyricist that has Socially Sparked our lives as well as a musician keeping the Blues alive.  Cannot wait to see what Mr. Margolin has in store for us next. – Abbe Sparks is Socially Sparked  @sosparkednews

**This story originally ran in Socially Sparked News on 12/25/16.