IYB Woman Crush | Woman Creates Safe Haven for Baltimore Kids


In case you haven’t noticed, news outta B-more has gone from bad to worse this week with one of the cops, who had a hand in Freddie Gray’s murder, was cleared of charges. Yes, yet another one. Lost count? Good thing they are.

Unfortunately no one is keeping a tally on how this is affecting kids and their ability to…I don’t know…be like normal young’uns. Luckily Erika Alston carved out such a safe haven for 100 neighborhood kids between ages 5 to 17.

CBS Evening News reports Alston revamped an old laudromat into an after-school rec center– Penn North Kids Safe Zone, a few days after the riots sparked by Freddie Gray’s murder.

“The whole world got to see our children standing face-to-face with officers, and throwing rocks, and they didn’t have another outlet. We’ve created that outlet.”

The Kids Safe Zone includes homework help, peer support, field trips and a range of recreational activities–from Xbox video games to sports teams–for kids to escape.


Funding for Safe Zone comes from the state (Maryland’s governor donated $50G’s for the computer lab) and private donations. The center got a big boost when Alicia Keys made a surprise visit in November. Soon after A&E Network donated $30,000, followed by $10,000 from Kaiser-Permenete.

Say it loud: More safe zones and less jail cells. To donate to Ericka’s Safe Zone click here.


If You Blinked Woman Crush|How to Save a Student

Move out the way, Make room for the teacher of the decade, or IfYouBlinked's wcw  Image Courtesy: The Detroit News

Move out the way, Make room for the teacher of the decade, or IfYouBlinked’s wcw
Image Courtesy: The Detroit News

Here’s a story to top all inspirational teacher stories. Sorry,valedictorians your fave teacher comes no where close to our woman crush.

When Detroit gym teacher Nadirah Muhammad found out her 18-year-old dance student A’Ja Booth was in need of a new kidney, she wasted no time offering hers last year.

And whaddayaknow they were a match!?

According to Global Grind, Nadirah’s kidney was removed seven months later at Henry Ford Hospital. Nadirah returned to class seven months later.

Just in time to see A’Ja graduate from West Side Academy next month.

This is what our Woman Crush–mom and wife too–told The Detroit News:

This is what we do as teachers. I did not do it for the accolades. I saw a human being in need and if it were my child, I’d want someone to step forward and help him.”

Here’s hoping there are more Nadirah’s out there.