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Closer to the Finish Line

With opportunity gaps widening for poor children and children of color, new guidance from the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education offers new hope and protection from discrimination. For the first time in 13 years, the Department now makes clear that states, school districts, and schools must make education resources equally available to all students without regard to race, color, or national origin. It prohibits schools and school districts from discriminating in their allocation of courses, academic programs and extracurricular activities, teachers and leaders, other school personnel, school facilities, and technology and instructional materials, and offers steps to level the playing field. This is some of the unfinished business of the Civil Rights movement and a giant step forward for poor children, often children of color, currently taught at higher rates by inexperienced, unqualified, or out of field teachers and provided far fewer resources than their wealthier peers.

Back on the Job: Employee Protections Following a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

The story is all too common.  After months of fighting, it looks like you have finally overcome your breast cancer diagnosis.  All that is left is for some follow-up treatments and to return to work.  To your surprise, after having fought off breast cancer, you now find yourself in a fight with your employer over the nature of your return.


We like to think that most employers will warmly embrace the return of an employee who has survived a breast cancer diagnosis.  But that is not always the case.  Below, we outline the Top Five steps that an employee must take when returning to work following a breast cancer diagnosis.


Are there toxic chemicals in your child’s “trick or treat” bag or Halloween costume?

Parents across the country are stocking up on this year’s hottest costumes for their little ghouls, goblins, and princesses, but some costumes may contain hidden toxic chemicals harmful to our children’s health.  I wish I were tricking you.

A new study released today by found elevated levels of toxic chemicals in popular Halloween costumes, accessories and even “trick or treat” bags.  Dangerous chemicals like phthalates, flame retardants, vinyl (PVC) plastic, organotins, and even lead – all of which are on our Hazardous 100+ list.  The products were purchased from top national retailers including CVS, Kroger, Party City, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.

Toxic chemicals in “trick or treat bags” tested 105 types of Halloween gear for chemicals linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity and cancer.  

Here are just some of their key findings:

Holding it together is overrated

I’m known as the oldest of seven, the product of overachievers, a hyper-competent “woman who always has answers and knows where she’s going,” the go-to girl–the one who always seems have it together.

And as I move deeper into the second half of my life, I’m questioning how this affects me–what is the price I pay for stepping into this personae? As a life balance evangelist, I’ve come a long way: I’ve let a lot of perfectionist tendencies drop, am less controlling than before and am a big advocate for the “good is good enough” message–but what would it look like for me to be MORE vulnerable? To be less prepared, less polished, more messy and human than I have ever been before?

It takes a lot of energy to told it together. My yoga teacher Jenn shared a story about a photographer who shot Salvador Dali over a stretch of five minutes (with time-lapsed breaks in between). Seeing Dali go back and forth between “DALI!” and a tired, slightly slumped over normal guy in a chair was fascinating. It showed how much energy it took for the artist to be on stage, in personae–to “hold it together.”

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Teaching Gardens, an Active, Healthy Learning Tool

Tweetchat Teaching Gardens were designed by the American Heart Association to encourage children. Participating children are fascinated by the gardening process! Unbeknowst to them, they are learning healthy nutrition & learning through school based gardening to connect with healthy foods that help to combat childhood obesity.
Nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese. There is significant research showing the health benefits of gardening and educational programs. The American Heart Association designed Teaching Gardens to encourage healthy diets in young children and to help combat childhood obesity through garden-based intervention programs.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Current Policy Choices Aid Abusers

This post originally appeared on We cannot separate support for domestic violence survivors from support for a robust safety net. is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Chris Christie is tired of hearing about the minimum wage. Moms are tired of $7.25/hour!

Earlier this week, when talking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declared that he is “tired of hearing about the minimum wage.”

Christie went on to say, “I gotta tell you the truth, I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. I don’t think there’s a mother or father who’s sitting around a kitchen table in America tonight saying ‘You know honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God—all our dream would be realized.’”

Well maybe Chris Christie is tired of hearing about the minimum wage but what moms and dads across the country are really tired of is having to earn just $14,500/year because Congress refuses to raise the wage to $10.10.

Chris Christie should pull up a chair to those kitchen table conversations, because we have heard from these moms and their concerns are real---whether he is tired of hearing about them or not!

This may not be Yelp, but these Obamacare reviews are worth reading

When I need to buy something, be that my bed sheets or a new phone, I comb through online customer reviews to help me determine what I want to buy. So why not do the same with health coverage?

The second health coverage enrollment period is starting on November 15th! That is less than one month away. While this may not be as fancy as Yelp, here are some experiences from people insured on the marketplace, most from our own MomsRising community, to give new health coverage consumers a small snapshot of the value they may be able to expect on the health insurance marketplace:  

Are You the One We're Waiting For?!

Did you know that even though there are 25 million Latinas living in the United States and 8,236 open seats in state and national political office, only 109 are held by Latinas?

Are YOU the one that we’re waiting for? 

Join us this Thursday for our newest webinar “I was the one we were waiting for” to hear the story of two women’s journeys from community members to politicians. Then, learn about resources and trainings so you could start down the same path.  

In the webinar, we will be speaking with State Senator Anitere Flores and State Representative Jocasta Zamarippa about being asked to run for office and how they went from being community advocates to political representatives.

UPDATED: Let's talk about Paid Family & Medical Leave!

Editor's note: If you missed this chat, you can still go to Working Mother magazine's Facebook Page to see the Q&A. It's a treasure trove of resources.

October is National Work & Family Month, making it the perfect time to talk about the importance of paid family and medical leave. At some point, nearly everyone will need to take time away from work to deal with a serious personal or family illness or to care for a new child.

So let's talk about it! 

Join us on Facebook at the Working Mother magazine Facebook page this Thursday, October 23rd, from 1-2 p.m. ET for a conversation and Q&A featuring:

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