Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Pay women well’

Sheryl Sandberg selects a feminist anthem for Desert Island Discs and says girls should be told to lead.
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Table for Three: Sheryl Sandberg and Elizabeth Alexander on Love, Loss and What Comes Next

Both the Facebook executive and the acclaimed poet lost their husbands at an early age. Their books offer others a path forward after tragedies.
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Nonfiction: Sheryl Sandberg Finds Comfort for Herself and Offers It to Others

With new perspective after her husband’s unexpected death, the author of “Lean In” addresses issues that some readers found troubling about that book.
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How Sheryl Lee Ralph Plans To Make More People Aware Of Their HIV Status

Saturday marks the 20th Anniversary of National HIV Testing Day and legendary actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is helping to raise awareness by encouraging Americans to get tested.

Ralph’s commitment to the cause prompted the 1990 launch of her nonprofit, Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware (D.I.V.A.) Foundation, which works to lower the infection rates of HIV/AIDS through testing, erase stigma and develop programs to combat the disease.

During an interview with The Huffington Post, Ralph explained the importance — especially within the black community — of knowing one’s status.

“Knowing what is going on in your body is some of the best information you can ever have. But the whole idea behind testing, it’s not just limited to just HIV and AIDS, when it comes to black people there is one thing they do not know, they don’t know their status,” she said.

“They don’t know their numbers around diabetes, they don’t know their numbers around cholesterol, they don’t know their numbers around high blood pressure. So we are really, really stressing that people know exactly who they are when it comes to HIV and AIDS and get tested.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and almost 14 percent don’t even know they have it. The black community is disproportionately affected — black people make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but in 2010, they accounted for approximately 44 percent of new infections.

Although Ralph’s foundation focuses specifically on women and children, the “Dreamgirls” star said her initiative isn’t limited to them.

“You don’t just help some and not others. That’s what got us to this position to begin with,” she said. “Folks didn’t want to help gay people when it was considered a gay health crisis. Folks were very, very slow to come to help when it became an issue for people of color.”

“This disease doesn’t care what color you are, it doesn’t care what race you are. It doesn’t care about your gender.”

In addition to the D.I.V.A. Foundation’s mission rid the stigma of testing, the actress-singer is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of her annual DIVAS Simply Singing benefit concert with two special events taking place in Philadelphia in August and in Los Angeles in October.

For more info on National HIV Testing Day, including service locations, head here.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Sheryl Spanier Grabs Us All With Her Intimate Performance

She doesn’t shout at you. She’s not big and brassy, not like some of our other acclaimed cabaret performers. And yet, Sheryl Spanier, in her simple red-sequined jacket, in her almost-offhand stage presence, commands the room as if she were whispering to each of us and we all stopped talking so we could hear the important things she wanted to tell us.

Her most recent success, on June 9, was at the cozy Don’t Tell Mama room on West 46th Street, in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen.
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You think you’ve heard the clever lyrics and melodic strains of a Rodgers and Hart tune before? Think again. You remember those old Technicolor movies about turn of the (20th!) Century music? You will re-hear them in a completely different mode as Ms. Spanier brings a modern, but respectful, quality to standards we have been humming since childhood.

Watching her on the stage is like listening to your sister (oh, if I only had one) talk about her life. Yes, Ms. Spangler is singing, but she is also talking, talking to you and not bringing attention to herself, but rather explaining how love works, reflecting on the world, reflecting on feelings. It’s really a philosophy lesson as much as a cabaret performance.

The title of her performance–no, let’s call it a dialogue–is “Give Me the Simple(r) Life.” And in a way, the show is that simple. She brings the most sophisticated music of the American Songbook down to an earthy intelligence, sparked by her intuitive understanding of the lyrics. She doesn’t have to be pedantic, or holler. She’s in command of her subject and she shares it without having to show off.

In this Twitter-frenzied world of celebrities who abuse their 15 minutes of fame, who seem to be obsessed with self and selfies, who mistake four-letter words for gravitas, it is more than refreshing to spend 45 minutes with a lady who respects you, the words and music, and herself. And how many performers could end their show by saying to their husbands, “I love you, David,” without sounding corny? But like the totality of her show, it worked. Let’s hear some more.

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Sheryl Underwood Slams The Duggars On ‘The Talk’ After Fox Interview

“19 Kids and Counting” stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar broke their silence in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, and it brought out a very powerful and emotional response from “The Talk” host Sheryl Underwood on Thursday.

During their interview, the Duggars revealed they didn’t seek any sort of help for their oldest son Josh until the third time he confessed to them that he had molested five minor girls. The breaking point, they said, was when Josh admitted to touching his youngest sister, who was only 5 years old at the time. Sisters Jessa, 22, and Jill, 24, spoke out near the end of the interview, confirming they were two of Josh’s victims.

Underwood, who is a survivor of sexual abuse, did not accept what many saw as excuses from the Duggar parents.

“I went through that [at] 3, 4, 5 years old … you know something is wrong and if nobody listens to you and nobody is going to stop it whether I’m asleep or not. I didn’t sleep. I learned how to stay up as long as I could. I may sleep at school, because nobody is going to protect me, so I had to protect myself,” she said.

She continued, “Aisha you said that it didn’t help [the Duggars] to do this interview. What it really did was it helped us, the world, to see what happens to people when they’re in some type of family structure when the people you’re supposed to trust to protect you seem to be your co-conspirator in your violation.”

During their interview with Kelly, the Duggars made sure to state that, “As parents, you aren’t mandatory reporters,” also noting, Josh “was still a kid and he was still a juvenile. He wasn’t an adult … This wasn’t rape or anything like that.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Sheryl Crow’s Winding Musical Road

Last week I stumbled upon Variety‘s positive review of Diner, a musical running for a limited time at Arlington’s Signature Theater. The production, based on Barry Levinson’s 1982 film, Diner, teamed Levinson up with Sheryl Crow. For the first time, Crow has scored a musical, and the result is a sold-out show for seven weeks. As I read the review, I battled conflicting emotions: happy for the play’s positive reception and angry that I wasn’t on the East Coast to see it — disappointed that I’d miss this latest turn in Sheryl Crow’s refreshingly unpredictable and musically liberated career.

Sometime during the fall of 1993, I was driving home from middle school with my mom listening to WNEW, New York City’s now-defunct legendary rock ‘n’ roll radio station. At the time, it played mostly classic rock standards, but on rare occasions a contemporary artist would slip through into rotation. These were still the days when DJs could handpick songs for their shifts and, if a new artist filtered into sets of Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones or Eric Clapton, listeners noticed. I was sitting in the front seat of the car and had already begun flipping through my math homework when I heard Scott Muni’s gravely voice interrupt his daily 3 p.m. block of afternoon music. “This is the first time we’re playing this here on WNEW,” he began. I could hear him fumbling with the plastic CD case and flipping through the liner notes to read from the track listing. “She’s Sheryl Crow, a singer from California, and this is her single, ‘Leaving Las Vegas.'”

The drums started, a simple beat amid handclaps. But when Sheryl Crow started to sing, the crackling rawness of her voice broke the song open and out poured a barely optimistic tale of a woman whose desperation to leave one life behind allowed for splinters of hope to start anew. It was a mesmerizing sound, a captivating tale — and something that filled a critical void in contemporary music. By the early-1990s, I was conveniently flopping between two musical landscapes: grunge had exploded and permeated my school hallways, but having Baby Boomer parents, I also grew up on the musical greats of the 1960s and 1970s. When I heard “Leaving Las Vegas” for the first time, it was as if these two musical eras had collapsed into one.

A month later, when I bought Tuesday Night Music Club at the local record store, I felt as though I had finally found my music. The album was a whirlwind to listen to — a fluid trip through sounds and emotions that had the lyrical angst of the mid-1990s Gen X culture, but the music of a modern-day Big Pink. “The Na Na Song” spit out a force of cosmic-manic energy that somehow balanced “I Shall Believe” with enough poignancy to close the record with a pleading hymnal beyond just a gentle ballad. I’d listen for hours, painting pictures in my imagination of the characters in those songs. I promised myself that when I got older, I would travel through life to find my own set of characters — to grasp the excitement and adventure that Tuesday Night Music Club awakened in me.

For the next 20 years, Sheryl Crow’s music played against the background of my life, becoming a steady companion through adolescence and into adulthood. There was the summer after high school graduation when my friends and I sang along to “Everyday Is a Winding Road” as we whipped our cars around deserted country roads into the early morning hours. Or the night of September 11, 2001 when I left a candlelight vigil and cried in my car listening to “Riverwide” in the parking lot, too upset to drive. Or those endless months of 14-hour workdays when I walked home from the subway on cold, snowy Brooklyn nights listening to “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Or the day that I moved to Los Angeles and played “Long Road Home” while I carried boxes into a new apartment in a new city. Every album was like a new book with each song telling a unique story of a specific time and place — sometimes through the linear reality of everyday life and others through an existential journey of amorphous self-realization.

I thought about these memories as I learned more about Diner and read about the “delicious harmonies… enhanced by insightful lyrics” that Crow had written for the 1950’s rock musical. I wondered how, in this post-MTV age where it is rare for musicians to maintain careers beyond a flash of massive popularity, Sheryl Crow has navigated decades-long relevance within a swiftly changing musical and cultural landscape.

Sure, there’s the versatility of her songwriting — and years of touring and promotions. But, there is also a willingness to stray from any singular musical path that audiences have come to expect from Sheryl Crow. This freedom to take risks — to release a contemporary country album on the heels of a Memphis R&B soul album, to duet with Pavarotti, Loretta Lynn and Kid Rock — has led to one of the more winding musical paths of any singer-songwriter in the past 20 years. And somewhere along the way, audiences began to invest in the mystery of what twist may come next, because what is playing in a diner in Arlington today could become a new masterpiece tomorrow.

Diner will be playing at the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA until January 25, 2015.
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