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Say her name…

…. is a phrase synonymous with a movement that brings awareness to Black women and girls who are victims of police brutality, abuse and harm. We shouted “Say her Name” about the injustices done to Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and the countless and nameless other Black women who have been fatally shot by police. But we can go one or more further, by shouting “Say Her Name” for another awareness; another cause where Black women suffered inequities that not many people know about. And for sure, not many people, if any, know their names. Until now…

Their names are Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha and they were enslaved Black women. Between 1844 and 1849, these young enslaved women, plus nine other unidentified women and girls were operated on at a slave hospital founded by Dr. J. Marion Sims, who repeatedly operated on them, without permission and without anesthesia, in an effort to discover new and successful ways to perform a medical technique to repair fistulas. Anarcha alone endured over 30 experimental surgeries over a four-year span.

Until recent years, Dr. Sims was touted and celebrated as the “Father of Gynecology”. Indeed, his research made great strides in the field. Yet, we now know, and acknowledge, the horrible truth behind his research and inventions. Today, we present to you Camille Davis-Williams, M.D., who has been asked by the advisory board of the Georgia OBGYN Society to pay homage to the contributions of these women to the gynecology world. Dr. Davis-Williams has written a statement regarding this atrocity, and we are sharing it with you here.

Say her name….

Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha.

Dr. Camille Davis Williams Acknowledgement

I have been selected by the advisory board of the Ga OBGYN Society to join Dr. Anne Patterson in acknowledging the individual and collective contribution of the ‘named’ slave mothers (Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha) to our OBGYN specialty. It is significant that the timing of this acknowledgment on the last day of February, Black History Month, is juxtaposed with the beginning of the month of March, “Women’s History Month”! This timing captures the spirit of the current challenging times as our healthcare system continues to grapple with controlling the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic while addressing the social determinants of health which all too often are undergirded by systemic racism.
Medical history has not heretofore given voice to the voiceless African American enslaved patients who suffered in silence as live clinical and surgical experimental test subjects used to greatly advance medical science. On today, February 28, 2021, we, the Ga. OBGYN Society, pay homage to Betsey, Lucy, and Anarcha et al. for enduring the unimaginable pain and suffering which led to innovations and advancements in surgery and anesthesia that continue to impact women’s health today.
Our knowledge of the voices is embedded in stories passed down through generations and are now being shared with our younger generations who do not accept further historical ‘gloss over’ accounts of unimaginable human sacrifices.
Dr. J. Marion Sims perfected the correction of vesicovaginal fistulae in women who had experienced obstructed labors. These laboring mothers were unable to deliver babies that were too large to fit through the birth canal which caused crush injuries between the bladder and uterus rendering the two organs connected. This anatomic catastrophe renders them completely incontinent of urine. He operated on these three named patients multiple times without anesthesia including operating on Anarcha 30+ times.
I first learned about the three slave mothers and their care as a medical student in the late 70s. During instruction, I was chided to “call their names”! Having been raised in the ‘deep south’, I knew our rules of engagement which included not demeaning the sacrifices of those who experienced unearned suffering by engaging in callous ‘mixed company’ small talk about victims. As explained in a statement by Dr. MLK, I clearly understood that the ‘thingification of a people by 244 years of chattel slavery reduced them to be subliminally depersonalized by their owners and viewed as less than comparably human’.
I, therefore, declined over and over to ‘call their names’. As many of us have evolved in ‘unlearning’ some of the tenents that bind us, I celebrate a word of wisdom regarding the Great Wall of China: “Those who walk the wall should never forget those who built it.” I call their names: Betsey, Lucy and Anarcha and I humbly thank them (et al.) for giving their all.

Camille Davis-Williams, M.D.

Illustration of Dr. J. Marion Sims with Anarcha by Robert Thom. Anarcha was subjected to 30 experimental surgeries.
Pearson Museum, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

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Gotta Have Sole is a group that gives brand new sneakers to kids who are living in homeless shelters and CLS lent a hand this month. Members created one-of-a-kind cards using markers, stickers, and color pencils with friendly messages and/or purchased and sent a pair of sneakers.

Why shoes?
For homeless kids, walking in worn-out shoes, hand-me-downs, or simply shoes that don’t fit is sadly all too common, which can easily make kids feel like they don’t fit in at school. Gotta Have Sole provides homeless kids with brand-new shoes to help them feel confident, comfortable, and special.
Gotta Have Sole: https://www.gottahavesole.org/

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Classy Living Society sisters participated in a Color a Smile campaign!

Color a Smile is a nonprofit organization spreading smiles with cheerful drawings. Volunteers print a coloring sheet or two of choice from the organization’s treasure trove of cheerful outlines, color them with their own custom design and mail it in! In turn, Color a Smile distributes the drawings to senior citizens, troops overseas and anyone in need of a smile! We all could use a smile, right? In the past 25 years, they have distributed over 1 million drawings. They accept colorings, as well as original drawings from adults and children. Visit their website at https://colorasmile.org.

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A few Classy Living Society members recently got together for a Wednesday evening of wellness coloring hosted by CLS and WIN with Dionne. The ladies tuned in via Zoom and learned how to put together a personal wellness plan, relaxed during guided meditation and enjoyed good music and coloring!

CLS member Dionne Lackey facilitated the session and spoke on the importance of wellness and self-care, and the many benefits of meditation, including reversal of memory loss, reduction of anxiety and depression, improving digestion, focus and concentration and many more health benefits. Dionne also led a guided meditation that was just “what the doctor ordered” and the ladies finished feeling more at ease and rejuvenated! Ahhhh!

Dionne is a Certified Life Solutions Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist and Founder of Wholistic Insight Now (WIN). She is also a Self-Care Advocate, Speaker, Community Servant and Artisan with the mission to heal, educate and empower in the realm of overall self-care.

Feeling super relaxed, the ladies were ready to move on to creating! They colored their own pre-purchased coloring sheets from a coloring book entitled “Exhale: A Self Care Coloring Book – Celebrating Black Women, Brown Women and Good Vibes” created by Latoya Nicole. Latoya is a bestselling author, publisher and social entrepreneur who is creating her own lane with her brand Entrepreneurs Color Too, while bringing diversity to adult coloring books that are aimed to help women relieve stress.

Ahhh…coloring, creating, relaxing and learning with CLS. The evening was enjoyed by all! Many thanks to Dionne Lackey for the marvelous tips to assist the ladies with their wellness and self-care goals!

WIN with Dionne: www.WINwithDionne.com
Latoya Nicole: https://iamlatoyanicole.com.

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Who doesn’t want healthy, younger-looking skin? CLS members had the opportunity to learn how to achieve their very own glow-up at home during an exclusive live CLS Talks session presented by esthetician Erica Hague, The BeYouty Therapist!

Erica shared a wealth of information to guide the CLS members on their skincare journey and provided them with tips that can be used every day to achieve great-looking skin. While demonstrating her own personal facial on camera, Erica demonstrated the tools to get the job done the right way! CLS learned the “skinny” on skincare – valuable lessons on cleansing, toning, moisturizing, facial massage, and more!

Erica has her own line of skincare products called BeYouty Therapy Skincare that has been described as amazing and her spa offers unique services that will make you feel fabulous.
CLS is also excited to announce that it will donate a number of skincare products to Wellspring Living for their participants! Now that’s Classy!

For more information on The BeYouty Therapist, and to shop the Boudoir, visit her website: TheBeyoutyTherapist.com.
CLS Talks is an exciting virtual platform through which CLS brings informative insights to support, among other things, women’s physical, relational and financial health. The goal of CLS Talks is to educate the participants of these unique video sessions on important topics related to women’s health.

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Oh So Classy Spotlight – Carol Houston

We’re shining our spotlight on our Oh So Classy member Carol Houston!

Carol hails from the beautiful coastal city of Savannah, known as the “Hostess City of the South.” She grew up with views of magnificent manicured parks, handsome horse-drawn carriages, picturesque cobblestoned squares, and towering trees covered with Spanish moss. Yes…she and her five siblings grew up in this amazing city.

Carol attended Savannah State University (SSU), the oldest institution of higher learning in Savannah and the oldest public HBCU in Georgia. Carol wants us to know and is proud to say that she has and always will attend every SSU homecoming. She loves her alma mater!!

Upon graduation, Carol relocated to Miami, Florida, also known as the “Magic City,” to begin her accounting career as well as her beautiful family. Carol is grateful to say that she has raised one amazing daughter, Johnee’, of whom she is enormously proud of.

Carol spent over a decade at Ryder Systems Inc. headquarters in Miami as an accountant, where she led the employee relocation accounting department. She later shifted her focus to insurance, where she’s been for the last twenty years. At Assurant Inc. (Miami and Atlanta), Carol has been working in various management roles, including general ledger oversight, financial systems, accounts payable, and accounts receivable operations. Carol brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this field.

This classy sister believes in living a balanced life. Her typical day consists of regular work duties, but she also incorporates physical activity and values her efforts to eat healthy…weekends excluded, of course!

Carol has always loved sports and enjoys watching basketball and football. During her time living in Miami, she was a diehard, unyielding Heat girl!! Now she is coming around to loving the Atlanta Hawks. Even while still living in Miami all those years, Carol never lost her passion for the Atlanta Falcons. Her fondest childhood memories include the times when she watched the Falcons play with her dad at her side. Even through the heartache of the losses, she says she’ll be a Falcons fan for LIFE!!

Another part of Carol’s life balance is enjoying good movies, and one of her favorite ones is Scarface. She says she can quote most of Tony Montana’s lines, which is the opposite of her “quiet” and somewhat “introverted” personality…states this classy sister.

Carol shares that one of her special moments was on her favorite trip to the 25th Anniversary of the Essence Festival. She had a chance to see our former first lady, Michelle Obama. Carol said she’ll never forget…

When first relocating to Atlanta in 2011 as a single empty nester, Carol felt that it was the right time to become socially active through community service, and she definitely wanted to build relationships. With that in mind, she did join her HBCU alumni Chapter, a few MeetUp groups, the Junior League, and the NAACP, but in her heart, she just knew that something was still missing. The void was not filled!

Carol is grateful for her volunteering journey that started in January 2020 with CLS and has enjoyed every bit of her experience. It all started with social media! While searching on Facebook, Carol saw a post from a friend who attended CLS’ 2019 Mingle Jingle event. She saw a sea of smiles and could read the inspiration on the faces of all the attendees. Immediately Carol went to the Classy Living Society website and joined. She was totally SOLD!!

Combining sisterhood with volunteering was exactly what she was looking for. Carol has been totally impressed with how CLS has been able to pivot, adjust and sustain throughout the many challenges we’ve all faced in 2020.

She’s so proud of this organization and looks forward to more engagement and volunteering with her CLS sisters, to building stronger bonds and to just having fun with her fabulous sisters!!

As a valued Oh So Classy Member, we congratulate you Carol Houston! Your total commitment to the cause of serving those in need does not go unnoticed.

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January was such a busy month for Classy Living Society! As previously reported, each day during the month of January, CLS participated in virtual community service events steeped in awareness, education and in honor of victims and survivors of human and sex trafficking as well as other wonderful opportunities to give back and socialize! Here’s a synopsis of the exciting events in the second half of January!

The second half of January’s events kicked off by shining the spotlight on our community partner Rahab’s Daughters. This amazing organization was founded by Sam Wijeyakumar, herself a survivor of human trafficking. She started the organization with three goals: to educate others about human trafficking, to rescue victims and reintegrate them into sustainable, safe lifestyles and to end the demand. CLS members shared information about Rahab’s Daughters, statistics, how to get involved and other information on their social media platforms. Later in the month, members also shared information regarding a Rahab’s Daughters program called Moms Against Trafficking, which provides support to moms enduring the effects of having a child who has been exploited by human trafficking.

On the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, CLS members made it a day “on” and not a day “off” with several individual opportunities to be of service, including writing a letter to future Atlanta Habitat homebuyers. Members were paired with homebuyers, and each member wrote a handwritten note or email of support and encouragement to the homeowner.

Spread the word, share the knowledge! On other days, members watched human trafficking survivors’ stories on video. Sometimes all it takes is to hear a survivor’s story to understand their plight and triumph in their freedom. Members shared what they learned while listening to these stories on their social media platforms.

One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure! On January 20, members cleared out their closets and donated gently used garments and accessories to thrift shops, nonprofits and Fab’rik Boutiques around town. Shoes, coats, sweaters, blouses, pants, hats, scarves and more were donated for girls and ladies in need.

FAIR Girls (Free – Aware – Inspired – Restored) is an organization that has served well over 1,200 girls and young women, providing safe housing, life skill training and other services so that they can transition from human trafficking victim to survivor. Their mission is deeply rooted in reducing the barriers faced by women and girls that hinder them from remaining free and surviving. FAIR Girls is another of CLS’s partners and on January 21, members shared information on this amazing organization.

The next day, CLS members took social media by storm, as they posted selfies wearing their Beautiful Survivor sweatshirts. Members shared personal stories and stories about other women who have survived abuse, illness, life-altering tragedies and more as they reiterated what being a beautiful survivor means to them. The three B’s: boldness, bravery, beauty…the Beautiful Survivor possesses all three of these qualities and more! The Superwomen among us!

On Sunday, January 24, CLS members took to the streets on individual virtual 45-minute walks for human trafficking survivors! Each walker wore red and posted to their personal social media pages using the hashtag #EndIt

It’s a Birthday Celebration! On January 26, CLS celebrated Founder LaShanda Pitts’ special day by playing a game of Give, Win & Spin! Members donated $5 or more to Wellspring Living and our Founder personally matched the donations received. In the end, a total of $600 was donated to Wellspring Living! All of the donors’ names were placed on a wheel that was spun live on the CLS Facebook newsfeed. Winners won gift cards up to $75 from Chick-Fil-A, Amazon, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Walmart, and a Visa gift card.

On January 29, it was time for another birthday celebration…this time for CLS Founding Sister Valerie Alerte Kavanagh! In honor of her special day, members gathered gently used jewelry to mail or drop off to various designated retail stores to be donated to Wellspring Living. Classy!

The month’s activities culminated with a day of prayer; a time of prayer, meditation and reflection for those victimized by human trafficking, the survivors and the countless organizations that are trying to make a difference as they move forward in their mission to bring awareness to human trafficking and to #EndTheDemand.

The entire month of January, Classy Living Society devoted time to educating, researching, discussing and raising awareness regarding human trafficking during National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It is up to each of us to educate ourselves, learn how to spot the signs of human trafficking and find out how to get involved in the fight against it. Each step we take can help #EndtheDemand. It was an astounding 31 days of giving back and bringing awareness to a cause that CLS is passionate about.

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“LOVE YOU” – SHADE by CLS

During the month of January, Classy Living Society has asked their members to not only show themselves love but to also show love for the many women who have been a victim of sex trafficking in Atlanta, GA.

They participated in the “LOVE YOU” SHADE, by CLS giving campaign. SHADE sold their newest lipstick SHADE called, “LOVE YOU” for a discounted price of $10 which included FREE shipping for all CLS members.

CLS and SHADE not only donated $2 from each lipstick purchased, they showed even MORE love by donating a “LOVE YOU” lipstick on behalf of each member who made a purchase, as a token of love & support for a victim of sex trafficking.

To personalize this amazing love fest, each CLS member was asked to send an anonymous e-note of encouragement to accompany the SHADE lipstick being sent on their behalf to a recipient at Wellspring Living in Atlanta, GA.

Visit iwearshade.com to purchase your Love You Shade today and support nonprofits that are bringing awareness to Teenage Bullying.

ABOUT WELLSPRING LIVING

Founded in 2001, Wellspring Living is a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia that provides domestic sex trafficking victims and those at risk with specialized recovery services through residential and community-based programs. The programs provide transformative care through therapeutic services, education, life skills, and personal and professional development. The focus for each participant is on developing their courage to move forward and their confidence to succeed.

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Who doesn’t want healthy, younger-looking skin? CLS members had the opportunity to learn how to achieve their very own glow up at home during an exclusive live CLS Talks session on January 28 presented by esthetician Erica Hague, The BeYouty Therapist!
Erica shared a wealth of information to guide the CLS members on their skincare journey and provided them with tips that can be used every day to achieve great-looking skin. While demonstrating her own personal facial on camera, Erica demonstrated the tools to get the job done the right way! CLS learned the “skinny” on skincare – valuable lessons on cleansing, toning, moisturizing, facial massage, and more!
Erica has her own line of skincare products called BeYouty Therapy Skincare that has been described as amazing and her spa offers unique services that will make you feel fabulous.

CLS is also excited to announce that it will donate a number of skincare products to Wellspring Living for its participants! Now that’s Classy!

For more information on The BeYouty Therapist, and to shop the Boudoir, visit her website: TheBeyoutyTherapist.com.

CLS Talks is an exciting virtual platform through which CLS brings informative insights to support, among other things, women’s physical, relational and financial health. The goal of CLS Talks is to educate the participants of these unique video sessions on important topics related to women’s health.

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We’ve all been there.

Work is driving you crazy. You’ve just had a fight with your significant other. And you’ve completely had it with being stuck in the house day after day.

So what do you?

You grab a pint (or better yet, a gallon) of your favorite ice cream out of the freezer. And some whipped cream.

Or you order a large pizza and eat it all by yourself.

Does it really make you feel better though?

Of course, ice cream and pizza will make anyone feel better for a while. But when it’s gone, you’re still facing the same stupid problems. And your waistband is suddenly a whole lot tighter.

Yet, despite the guilt, you do it again. And again.

If you routinely use food as a way of coping with frustration, boredom, or sadness, the last thing you need is a guilt trip on top of it. But even though stress eating is a common coping mechanism, it’s not doing your body any favors.

It’s time to ditch the guilt and follow these steps to stop stress eating in its tracks.

-Check Yourself.

It’s time for a reality check. How are you feeling? Are you really hungry? Or are you feeling anxious, tired, sad, or stressed? Pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing when you feel the urge to snack.

-Banish Unhealthy Foods.

It’s really tough to ignore a plate of cookies that’s sitting right in front of you or a bag of chips that’s conveniently lodging in your purse. Ideally, you should ban tempting foods from your home. If that’s not possible, at least banish them from your sight by keeping them in a cupboard or pantry.

-Don’t —–Deprive Yourself

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be restricting treats completely while eating the same foods day after day. This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to food cravings. Allow yourself small treats here and there so you don’t feel too deprived.

-Treat Yourself With Compassion.

Everyone has a bad day. If you do break down and consume that delicious chocolate cake, forgive yourself. Tomorrow is a new day, and punishing yourself will just lead to more of the bad feelings that triggered the binge episode in the first place.

-Keep a Food Diary.

Make a regular practice of writing down what you eat, how much of it you eat, and how you’re feeling at the time. This will help you identify any patterns in your binge eating so you can get better control of it.

-Build a Support Network.

It can make all the difference in the world if you have a friend (or two) that you can call when you’re feeling stressed. Besides, time spent with people you enjoy can distract you from the emotions that are making you want to binge eat.

-Don’t Forget to Exercise.

Exercise is a proven method for elevating mood and reducing stress. By making time every day to go for a walk or a run, to do some yoga, or even finding a home workout video on YouTube, you’ll do a lot to combat those negative feelings.

-Slow Down and Be Present While Eating.

Put away your phone while eating and turn off the TV. Take your time and focus on the taste and texture of the food. Notice how you’re feeling physically as you eat it. By taking the time to really enjoy it, you will feel fuller and more satisfied.

 

As with any addiction, stress eating can be a vicious cycle that’s hard to tame. But a little mindfulness and self-care can help you curb your emotional eating. Your body and mind will thank you.

 

 

 

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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