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National Girls’ Night In Day Is This Sunday. Here’s How To Kick It This Weekend.

Rather than going out with a guy this weekend, hang indoors with some of your girls!

Life & Travel

OK. Raise your hand if you already knew that September 22 is National Girls' Night In Day! And really, how cute is it that this year, it happens to fall on the eve of what I personally consider to be the best season of all—autumn. But before we get into some of the cool ways that you and some of your girls can celebrate it together, first a little history lesson.

My something new for the day is the fact that the vodka company Ketel One are the ones who are responsible for this truly awesome day of kickin' it with our female friends. Last year, they came up with the idea because they thought it would be great for ladies to have an official day, each year, to stay in, chill out, enjoy a drink or two and enjoy one another's company. Affirmative. The xoTribe could not agree more.

I will give this heads up, though. This year the holiday falls on a Sunday. This means that y'all might want to hang out on Saturday night until past midnight (you know, so that you can say that you observed the actual day), meet up around brunch time on Sunday, or take it easy on any wine—or shots—that you'd like to take on Sunday evening. That said, if National Girls' Night In Day is something that you are totally down for, here are some of the ways to make it fun, memorable, and definitely worth marking down on your calendar every year.

1. Have a “Favorite Foods” Potluck

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I don't know anyone who wants to do a night in and there not be any food around. But if you're the one hosting and money is tight, ask everyone to cook a dish that they are best at making. Also ask them to bring along the recipe and a paragraph explanation of when they made it for the first time and their favorite memory surrounding the dish. You can compile all of the recipes and send them out to your friends later in the week, so that everyone can learn how to make each other's best homemade meals.

2. Play the Online Version of Truth or Dare

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C'mon. Does a round of Truth or Dare (or Never Have I Ever) ever get old? Especially when it's with some of your female homies? If you're not exactly sure what questions to ask, there's an online version of the game that lets you pick a category (such as "party" or "hot"); then it offers up questions (and dares) within that theme. If you want to take the dares up a notch, require that they be things that have to be done online like trolling an ex or posting a crazy statement on a Twitter account. Just remember that once it's on the 'net, it's documented somewhere forever, even if you do delete it. So yes, y'all, "dare" with wisdom—and foresight.

3. Hold a Dance Contest

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Not too long ago, I was listening to Tha Dogg Pound's New York, New York on loop. What it did was two things. One, it reminded me that when everyone was making their top rappers list a few weeks ago, Kurupt should've definitely been on everyone's list. Second, it reminded that a good song is timeless.

In honor of good jams, have everyone pull up their Spotify and share their favorite three songs, either from a particular year and era (y'all pick the year or era beforehand). Then have everyone try and find the dance that was big when those songs were out. Make sure some sort of prize goes to the one who remembered the dance without having to look it up first. Another prize goes to who could do the dance best. (If you need a 90s cheat sheet, you can find one here and also here. You can see some popular dances from the 2000s here.)

4. Bring Favorite Pics. Share Memories Connected to Them.

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A lot of my besties, we've known each other for years now. But oftentimes, it's not until I see a picture of them that I've never seen before, and I get the backstory on it, that I end up learning something that I never knew. So yeah, another cool idea is to ask everyone to bring a baby picture, a picture from high school and a college shot. Then have them share what was going on in their lives at the time. You can even make things interesting by coming up with a theme word and then have everyone take a shot for each time the word is said while everyone is in the midst of telling their tales.

5. Do an Affirmations Exchange

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Several years ago, I was a bridesmaid at a wedding where the wife gave the sweetest bridal party presents. Instead of a piece of jewelry or paying for our shoes, she wrote and framed something that each of us taught her. Mine is hanging up on one of my bedroom walls; hands down, it's one of the best things that I've ever received.

Aside from the value of the affirmation, something else that I really like about her gift is it's a reminder that you don't need a load of dough to give a great gift to someone that you care about.

So, something else that might be cool to do is have everyone to write down something that they appreciate or admire about each individual, put it into a hat, draw them out and share them. I guarantee that there will be lots of warm fuzzies shared by the time everyone is done.

6. Or Do a Clothing/Shoes/Jewelry Exchange

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I don't know about you, but pretty much every friend that I have owns something that I wish was mine. Since the seasons are about to officially shift, something else you could do is have everyone bring the summer or fall pieces from last year that they don't want anymore—clothes, shoes and jewelry included. Then, everyone can go through the stuff to see if there is anything that they want before you all donate them or give them to someone who might not be nearly as appreciative if they had it in their personal possession.

7. Teach Each Other Make-Up Hacks

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There is not nearly enough time to get into all of the fly chicks who have online make-up tutorials. Today, though, I am going to shout out a channel who does do them but also has all kinds of other insightful and oftentimes very witty commentary—nappyheadedjojoba.

You can connect YouTube to your television monitor and try and copy some tips from make-up experts like her and others (you can find more by putting "make-up tutorial for Black women" in the search field). Or, you can send out an email to your friends, asking them to bring some of their own make-up so that each of you can show one another a great tip, trick or hack. (You can even give out a prize to the best one.)

8. Watch a Favorite Movie. Then Have a Q&A Afterwards.

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I really enjoy reading, so I fully support book clubs. But if you'd rather chill out than be all deep and philosophical, ask everyone to text their top five favorite movies of all time and show the top 1-2 of them once everyone arrives. Then afterwards, just as you would in a book club meeting, go around and have everyone share what they loved about the movie, what stage of life they were in at the time, what the movie taught them, what they would do differently if they were the screenwriter or director—you know, stuff that encourages a stroll down memory lane and also sparks lots of conversation and laughter.

9. How About a Round (or Two) of 'Pick Your Poison'?

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I've shared before that I'm a fan of Black web series. One that I checked out sometime last year that I really enjoyed was Diary of a Cheating Man. Interestingly enough, my favorite episode was one entitled "Naomi". The reason why I say that is because, recently, a podcast popped up in my YouTube suggestion feed that featured the lead character from the web series and the girl who played Naomi. They currently have a show called Shots of Honesty and the episode that I watched featured the game Pick Your Poison (at least, that's what they call it).

I'm not on social media, but according to Julian (the male host), a variation of this game has been circulating for a while. Basically, what you do is compile a list of really great and really bad traits for a hypothetical person. Then you do this for 4-5 other imaginary individuals and ask your friends which guy they would choose. Other than it being able to give you insight into what your standards and deal-breakers are, it's also a reminder that no one is perfect; that, to a large extent, long-term relationships are all about figuring out what you can tolerate, what you can't, and what good things about a person can make you endure the not-so-good parts of them. If you want to take some shots in between like Julian and his co-host Starr did, please feel free.

10. Participate in a DIY Spa Session

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Listen, just because it's about that time to pull out your ankle boots and close-toed pumps, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't give your feet some attention. And a facial mask? This is the perfect time of year to give your face some extra moisture as well. That's why, as far as a girls' night in event goes, you can never go wrong with having a DIY spa session.

Think about what you'd like to focus on most—hands, face, feet, etc.—look up the ingredients that you'll need and ask everyone to bring one of the items in the recipe. For instance, if you're gonna do foot soaks, ask someone to bring a big bag of Epsom salt and someone else to bring a large jar of coconut oil. Or, if it's a facial, ask one person to bring a couple of cartons of eggs and someone else to bring a couple of containers of honey. That way, everyone can get pampered without breaking their budgets in the process. (Click here for some foot soak recipes, here for some hand cream and lotion ones, and here for some DIY facial recipes.)

Oh, and while everyone is getting the DIY star treatment, serve a signature fall cocktail or mocktail that will forever commemorate 2019 Girls' Night In Day!

Enjoy every single moment of it, y'all! You and your girls definitely deserve it.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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