Monthly Archives: October 2015

Black Prophetic Rage in the Age of Ferguson

2015 11 10 black rage
“I will not submit to be charged with praying, nor do I accept the righteousness of the some 60 charges laid against those participating in the Moral Monday protests during Ferguson October,” said Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, pleading not guilty last December at Ferguson. “The only signs of Assault, Disorderly Conduct and Disturbance of the Peace I saw that morning clearly came from the garrison of riot police protecting the state citadel from a group of singing, praying, peaceful clergy, seminarians and members of the community.”
He will speak at a conference organized by The Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Seminary, “Black Prophetic Rage in the Age of Ferguson,” on Tuesday, November 10th at 7 pm in the Theron Room at the Princeton Seminary Library. Yolanda Pierce directs the center. The roster also includes Dr. Brittney Cooper, Ph.D. and Minister Janisha Gabriel, MA, responders, and Candice Benbow, MA, M.Div., Moderator. Yolanda Pierce directs the center.

Unity Walk on Saturday, October 24 at 1 p.m.

The video commercial, to be shown on Princeton Community TV,  says the Unity Walk starts at 1 p.m. at the Municipal Complex, 400 Witherspoon Street, but people can also join the proceedings at 2 p.m. at Princeton University’s Friend Center. Click here for details.

Here is a video by Tatianna Sims, organizer of the Unity Walk. “The Quest: Equalizing Achievement” can be seen here.

She produced a video entitled “What Does Black History Month Mean to Princeton? Seen here. 

Here is a poem, Reflections on Race, by Tatianna Sims. When she received NIOT’s Unity Award last spring, she recited this poem (pictured at left) and here is a video of it.

Safe doesn’t always work

Safe doesn’t always work, says Eleanor Kubacki, President & CEO of the EFK Group.

She speaks on Wednesday, October, at a Princeton Regional Chamber breakfast that starts at 7:30 a.m. Her talk, which will be at 8:30 a.m., is on How to Fine Tune your Marketing Campaigns on a Shoestring Budget. Chamber members pay 
$25 at the door. 

Quoted in a U.S. 1 Newspaper story by Michele Alperin, Kubacki says, “People are afraid that if you do things outside of the norm and you fail, they will get criticized and fired. That is why marketing tends to be safe, and safe doesn’t always work.”

For my Canadian friends: h…e..r..e…..s….. Justin!

Justin Trudeau with his wife Sophie Grégoire, and children Hadrien (left), Xavier (right) and Ella-Grace (front). Photograph: Christinne Muschi/Reuters

The stunning news that Justin Trudeau is Canada’s new prime minister — what an exciting news cycle this will be, a combo of JFK (the young liberal legacy) and Obama (the unexpected outsider). Today’s New York Times front page story here 

Here’s a pre-election glimpse of an amazing life story

Largely out of public view, Mr. Trudeau studied English and French literature at McGill University and ended up in British Columbia, his mother’s home province, where he worked briefly as a snowboard instructor and nightclub bouncer. Given his tall, very slim build, it was an unlikely calling, but he said he “didn’t feel physically threatened because I don’t have a fear gene, I guess.” Eventually, following an aunt’s urging, he completed a teaching degree (my bold:: hurrah for supportive aunts) and taught French and math at two high schools in Vancouver.

The rest of the New York Times article here.

Among Trudeau’s campaign promises, to legalize marijuana.

I know I know, this post doesn’t qualify as Princeton-centric (a supposed requirement for this blog) but it buoys all liberal spirits, surely those of my neighbor expats, Steve and Kate.

Karen Finerman: Fake Confidence Until You Have It

Vulnerability was the very most impressive part of Karen Finerman’s keynote at the 2015 NJ Conference for Women today. I predicted she would be the Lean-In-Woman-Who-Has-It-All, the hedge fund founder with four kids, four nannies, a professional husband, fancy digs in New York City, the whole nine yards.

She did say Lean In. she has all that, but she wasn’t afraid to tell about the time she failed. Miserably. As a teenager she idolized Ivan Boesky and wanted to be an arbitrageur. After graduating from Wharton, she was riding high with her hedge fund until . . . the Wall Street melt down. Her inexpensive small cap stocks tanked and she discovered they were cheap for a reason.The fund haemorrhaged millions of dollars. They cashed out to pay angry investors and then the market climbed. Depressed, she didn’t want to go to work and walked to save taxi money.

“I was washed up at 33 and everyone knew it. I had to decide — am I in or out.”

Later, when someone asked how to get through adversity, she had a one-word answer: Prozac. But at this point she preached how to persevere by faking confidence. “Pretend you have what it takes to go on. Look for the smallest improvement. Know it will change.”

The “know it will change” rule comes into play with the “51 percent rule.” When making a difficult decision, don’t be afraid to go with the one that is 51 percent right, even though you feel ambivalent about it. (I call this buyer’s remorse). And if it turns out to be a wrong decision, don’t wait too long to cut your losses.

Finerman talked a lot about how men seem confident (they pound the table and sound as if they are right) whereas women are not (they feel like frauds when — shh– men are the frauds). Account managers prefer male table pounders to women that explain all the risks. Why? Women leave the choice to the manager, whereas a table pounder makes the choice seem less risky.

How to raise a culture of confidence in young girls (asked by Wanda Stansbury of the Center for Child and Family Achievement: Have expectations that are the exact same as the boys. Give them something they can master. Teach them to fake confidence until it is there. Practice what confidence looks like until you strengthen those muscles.

Six hundred women were at this conference. and they loved it.


Other female-centric advice, some of it in Finerman’s book (everyone at the conference got one). 

Men may make it through life without being in charge of their kids, but women will not make it through life without being in charge of their money.

Invest in a great CFO and scrimp elsewhere.

Women should not do investment banking as a long-term career — there is no work/life balance

Be willing to give up the lead parent position. Don’t have to be the bake sale mom. Instead, thank the stay at home mom volunteer.

Learn what it feels like to make mistakes.

Finerman has a book, given out to everyone who came. In my last post I nagged about the bad grammar in her title. But I can forgive that in a woman who can tell about her mistakes.

Orcas and Egoists

Who knew Scott McVay was an Orca expert? I thought of him only as a grant-giver with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. His work as a marine expert was one of several surprises in the fall issue of Genesis, now online on the site of  U.S. 1 Newspaper, which excerpted part of McVay’s memoir, Surprise Encounters.  The launch party will be Wednesday, October 14, at 6 p.m. at Labyrinth Bookstore, click here for background. 

Another surprise — the so-healthy ego of mathematician John Conway, described as “archly roguish with a gawky, geeky magnetism” by Siobhan Roberts in the  biography Genius at Play,  excerpted here in U.S. 1’s Genesis. She quotes Conway:
“As I often say, modesty is my only vice. If I weren’t so modest, I’d be perfect.*
Everyone who knows him knows it. Most everyone loves him nonetheless. Conway’s is a jocund and playful egomania, sweetened by self-deprecating charm. Based at Princeton University, though having made his name and found fame at Cambridge, he claims never to have worked a day in his life. 

Both excerpts left me wanting more.

Hello, everybody, we’re glad to see you!

Thousands of children and parents know that the greeting song for Music Together, the early childhood program founded in Princeton with a small legacy from a more well-known song, Happy Birthday. For the brief local story behind the story about the “Happy Birthday” copyright, click here. For a more complete history of how Ken Guilmartin founded Music Together, click here. Meanwhile, keep on singing!

Women – telling their stories on Friday

njcw2015_finerman_large She runs a hedge fund, has two sets of twins and four nannies — read about the keynote speaker, Karen Finerman, for this Friday’s women’s conference in a revealing article in the Guardian. In 2007, when the article was written, the CNBC Fast Company commentator had $100 million dollars and rarely had time off. Has she taken a vacation since then — and how is her hedge fund doing now?

njcw2015_armstrong_largeI’m also eager to hear from video storyteller Nancy Armstrong, webproducer of MAKERS — womens’ stories that change the world, the largest collection of women’s stories ever.

The New Jersey Conference for Women is Friday, October 16, at the Westin, 7:30 a.m .to 2 p.m. Registration is $125 including breakfast and lunch and Finerman’s best selling book Finerman’s Rules: Secrets I’d Only Tell My Daughters about Business and Life

Curmudgeonly note: If only the use of the word “only” weren’t such a big secret To be grammatically correct the title should read  Secrets I’d Tell Only My Daughters …(i.e. not tell anybody else). As is she says she might reveal secrets in other ways, maybe — acting them out? singing a song about them? Sigh.

Still — I’m eager to hear these keynote speakers — helping people tell their stories is among my top priorities. Everybody has a story.