Category Archives: Health, Beauty, and Fashion

The 2016 Chicago’s Ultimate Women’s Expo

The Chicago Ultimate Women’s Expo came to Chicago on September 10 2016 and September 11, 2016. It was at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention Center, Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Keynote speakers were singers Brandy and Monica, Oscar winning actress Mariel Hemingway , Bravo TV star Caroline Manzo, and Brandy’s mother and artist management professional, Sonja Norwood.

Some sponsors of the event were Jewel Osco, WCIU The U, Starbucks Coffee, Bloomingdale’s, Chanel, Estee Lauder, D&G The, Home Depot, Barnes & Nobles Bookstore, and about 17 more more sponsors which included make up and hair artists, masseuse and food retailers, among other businesses and services. The Women’s Expo was a good day for women to come out and shop, relax, get their make up done, get a massage, and learn about beauty tips, health, etc. It’s pretty much an informational and a fair for women. It’s a lot of fun, entertainment, and facts about beauty, health, nutrition, fashion, and anything a woman, wants and needs to know. It’s a fun and informative day for all, and if you didn’t make this one, there is always next year. The tickets to the expo could be purchased online to save 50% of the admission for just $5 per person. This includes all of the speakers, seminars, food, and spa workshops including, hair, nails, and massages. Regular priced admission is $10.00 per person. Also, tickets could be bought at the expo itself and $2.00 discounts were available on the Expo’s website Overall it was a great event and a great day yo be had in Chicago by many women!

By : Rachel Gaston

Should You Spend Your Money On Ice Mountain Bottled Water?

By: Jeremiah Moore–Contributor, The Drive Student Blog

Photo Credit: Google Images

“One perspective held by various NGOs—which I would call extreme—is that water should be declared a human right… The other view is that water is a grocery product. And just as every other product, it should have a market value.”
– Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestlé’s Former Chief Executive Officer

For those who may not know, Nestlé’s bottled water is sold in every state in America. Although that fact is magnificent, the purpose of my post is not to congratulate this billion dollar corporation. Instead, I want to inform our readers about the tragic mischief behind the world’s largest bottled water company. For the sake of time – and typing – I am going to only delve into the Ice Mountain Bottled Water brand.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Simply put, Nestlé sucks its bottling locations dry, which includes Michigan. Yes, the same state where there is a water crisis in Flint, Michigan. However, Nestlé has publicly stated that it “has nothing to do” with the crisis. To help fight the problem, Nestlé, the billion dollar company, has partnered with three (3) other companies (Walmart, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola) to donate a whopping 35,000 bottles of water a month to the families affected by the water crisis.

Photo Credit: Google Images

So let’s do some math real quick (don’t pull out a calculator, I swear I got you on the adding, subtracting, and any carrying of a 1). Ice Mountain Bottled Water will give 35,000 bottles a month, which is 420,000 bottles of water a year. If we use the retail price tag of $0.89 that I just saw on Target’s website, the total cost  is approximately $374,000 for the year. Now if Nestlé only has one billion dollars in the bank (it has a lot more), then it will have about $999,626,000 to re-invest! That amount of money insults my intelligence because the company owns many of the major brands that we consume, such as, Boost, Butterfinger, Coffee Mate, Cat Chow, DiGiorno, Dog Chow, Gerber, Häagen-Dazs, Jack’s Pizza, Kit-Kat, Lean Cuisine, Nesquick, Nescafé, Poland Spring, Purina, Smarties, Stouffer’s, Toll House, Tombstone, and Wonka Taffy to name a few. Nestlé has many other income streams from products that I did not list because I never personally use them. I am no Picasso, but you should see the picture I am trying to paint. The people over at Nestlé are more than wealthy – they are filthy rich and they are killing the less fortunate!

Photo Credit: Google Images

“Nestlé’s policies are an attack on the citizens of this country who can’t afford to fight for themselves against the inhumanities of greedy corporations.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the permit that allows Ice Mountain Bottling Water to increase from pumping 200 gallons of water per minute to 400 gallons per minute out of the natural wells in Michigan. The organization is quoted saying that “we can’t make our decisions based on popular opinion. We make our decision based on what the statute says we have to look at,” which means that although the amount of  pumping is outrageous, it is not against the law. This excessive pumping is deemed to be acceptable because allegedly the amount of water taken from the wells/springs will not harm the environment due to the ability of the Great Lakes to naturally replenish. I don’t buy it!

This issue is not a black, white, purple, or blue person thing. It is a less fortunate person thing. I am sure that a number of people in Michigan have $800 to buy land there, which is the same price Nestlé paid for it. What the average Joe doesn’t have is the ability to debate and slither around laws, so they come up short in this area. Nestlé’s policies are an attack on the citizens of this country who can’t afford to fight for themselves against the inhumanities of greedy corporations. Today, Nestlé is going to be the poster child for all of those corporations. The injustice of cashing in on our natural resources is being mopped up due to the amount of money and power that  this company has and the political sponsorship it can secure.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Although Nestlé is not breaking the law, I consider their actions inhumane. Many people in Michigan are going through a water crisis, but instead of allowing access to the source of natural water, Nestlé bottles it up and sells it to them. The investment of $2.37 the billion dollar company gives to the City of Evart, Michigan, per 1,000 gallons of water they pump, is a disgrace – but not against the law.

Also, Nestlé claims that its water is sourced and distributed for the Midwest by the Midwest from three (3) major water plants in Michigan: White Pine Springs, Evart Springs, and Sanctuary Springs. This claim is a lie (well just fine print), but you can find the full list on Ice Mountain’s website. The company also gets its water from Pennsylvania, Maine, Colorado, and Tennessee. I have no degree in mapology or geography, but Tennessee is a Southern state, Pennsylvania and Maine are Eastern states, and Colorado is a Western state – not Midwestern. So, not only are the individuals at Ice Mountain promoting false information, but they are getting away with – and getting paid for – turning the world into the Sahara Desert!

Photo Credit: Google Images

Further, the water is not even 100% pure! The U.S. Food & Drug Administration‘s new adjustments have changed the filtration laws a little. That is for another story though, but if you want to read more on this issue – feel free to click any of the links below. If you want to correct me on anything or have any concerns, leave a comment below or hit me up on social media.

For more information on Ice Mountain, Nestlé, and/or the water crisis in our world, check out:



Nestle USA

Detroit Free Press

The Nature of Cities: Water

Follow Me: @chiboyjimmy on Twitter, @_chiboy_ on Instagram.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.


Food Desert Chicago: 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens Closing without Warning

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Photo Credit:

–It is no secret that South-siders constantly face the reality of food droughts everyday.  Every corner has the same setup: fast food restaurants on every other block, liquor stores on every other corner, Arab owned “Mom and Pop” grocery stores on every street. Black people who occupy South side neighborhoods constantly face the choice between 3 for $1 bags of chips and $3 salad kits to purchase for themselves and their families.

Which would you choose on a limited budget?

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With cuts to food stamps and increased taxes such as the infamous “Sugar Tax” and “Bag tax,” South-siders are on the brink of stretching their budgets to the max.

So why would First Presbyterian Church close the 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens without warning?


Neighborhoods like Auburn-Gresham, who rely heavily on food pantries and community gardens to supplement their grocery budgets, are being hit on both ends with community gardens facing the ax.

According to the petition to save these Gardens,

“For over a decade, the 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens have been a major source of food and a treasured island of shared green space for residents on Chicago’s South Side.

We are stunned to learn that the landowner, First Presbyterian Church, plans to close both gardens immediately. No reason has been given.

The gardens’ closure would be a blow to Southside families, our health, and budgets, and to the hundreds of food pantry clients who depend on the fresh produce we provide weekly. We will have to turn away the teen job skills and food justice programs we host each summer. Non-gardening neighbors will be impacted when these cultivated spaces revert to trash-strewn vacant lots. This would be a heartbreaking waste.”

Photo Credit:

The expansion of stores like Whole Foods and Marino’s opening their doors in the Englewood and Hyde Park areas have been a spark of hope in the food drought currently plaguing south side neighborhoods. Though the arrival of these stores are a sign that the best is yet to come to the south side, it is devastating to learn that community gardens are not valued enough to keep open and available to these already food scarce neighborhoods.

Want to do something about this? Start by signing this petition: Stand for Food Justice. Save Woodlawn’s Gardens!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.


Natural Hair: Why Aren’t You Accepted? By Tian Taylor





Imagine being told that the natural texture of your hair is accepted only in recreational facilities.  This means you cannot wear your hair in its natural texture to school, work, or any other professional institutions/facilities.  A person who is being told this may respond, “Why?”  Imagine the response is, “Well it is a distraction, not manicured. It’s unattractive and not accepted.” Assume the person with natural hair conforms and says, ” Ok. Well how should I wear my hair?” The response? “Well you’ll wear it normal, manicured, attractive…basically the complete opposite of your natural texture. Now that… is more acceptable.” This is the solution that people of color (globally) are given when their natural texture is displayed in non-recreational facilities.

In  2016, centuries after the abolishment of slavery and decades after the abolishment of discriminatory laws (mainly in the developed countries), the average person would believe that those who reside in developed countries, who often  take pride in their values of amalgamation, would not face this type of issue. Unfortunately, coiled hair (depending on the tightness) is not accepted in certain institutions. For several weeks,  there were  protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, in which black students at an all-girl’s school, Pretoria High school, were protesting against racist policies that prevent them from wearing their hair in its natural texture, as well as policies that even prevent them from speaking  their native language. Just think of the  fact that Africans are fighting to be African in Africa! These girls are unfortunately left with the ultimatum of  attending  ‘creditable” education that offers  he best education, but they have to assimilate to Eurocentric standards or not  assimilate. Unfortunately these  (private schools) schools are the ones that inflict these rules and regulations.

You also have these regulations at institutions right here in the United States.   In corporate America, employees cannot wear their hair at its natural state. The  many corporate policies  often state  that hair cannot have volume, braids, or be a distraction to the work place.   For example, in 2013, a 12-year-old girl named Vanessa Vandyck was told she had to change her hair otherwise she would be expelled for not following the schools’ dress code which stated …hair cannot be a distraction and it has to be its natural color.  In the Dominican Republic, Carolina Contreras opened a salon to cater to Afro-Latinas to embrace their natural hair.  Shortly after, a 16-year girl who came to her for a short hair cut, called her hysterically after stating that she could not enter a privileged high school that she applied for because of her afro.

In addition to these previous examples, there are numerous accounts of people being told that their natural hair is not accepted all over the world. This issue is much deeper than just hair. A lot of women and men wear their coils at its natural state because it not only displays that this person is accepting their natural self, but also appreciating their African ancestry and not hiding it. However, not everyone feels the same.  Natural hair is not only rejected in many areas, but sometimes it is not accepted by ones’ family. The standard of Europeanized beauty has become so globally prominent that some Black mothers or fathers have agreed to not accept natural hair. Or natural hair does not exude a professional appearance.  This is not just an American or South African concern; this is a societal issue in which society does not accept natural hair because society does accept African centered beauty.  There are often times in which it is appropriated, but not accepted. So my question is why do you fear something as minuscule or as simple as a person allowing their hair to grow naturally from their head? What does this represent for you?


Expecting while Expecting


By Keyontai Redding

It’s that moment in their education that every student looks forward to, anticipates, plans, and prays to the gods in hopes of reaching: the last semester of college. During the last semester of school, we usually begin looking for our graduation dress or suit, we practice smiling for our graduation pictures, we come up with a list of people who will be attending our graduation (while praying we receive enough tickets for all attendees),  and then we brag on how the time is near for us and far for others. After the realization that graduation is a real goal is in reach, we begin to get nervous. We understand that it (the goal reaching process) doesn’t stop at graduation, but it begins. We know what we need to be doing and we begin lining up the chips to get it done. We prepare our resumes, we write up our cover letters, we gain our letters of recommendation, we add to our portfolio, and we get ready to begin our career or take a step into grad school. But, what if you are a parent or expecting to be one?

What people expect of YOU vs What you expect of Yourself

This semester (my last semester), I am expecting a child and a degree. My grandmother expects me to take the semester off because she believes that the female stays home to take care of the child. My fiancee expects me to take the semester off because he believes that the male works while the female stays at home to take care of the child. My mom expects me to take the semester off because she feels that I need to relax and prepare for the child. But, I expect to be holding my degree and my child by the end of the semester. Besides,  I’m pretty sure that I am not the only student who is expecting while expecting. I mean, What’s the big deal? All I have to do is add another process (preparing for a child) to THE PROCESS (preparing for  a degree).

Meeting Deadlines and Making Doctors Appointments

We all know that the last semester gives us a chance to either increase our G.P.A or keep it leveled out. We all probably dream about wearing stoles that showcase our hard work and dedication. We all know that this is why it is imperative to stay on top of deadlines. FASFA deadlines, enrollment deadlines, scholarship deadlines, and the graduation application deadlines need to be handled quickly and efficiently. On top of focusing on those deadlines we need to focus on project deadlines, homework assignment deadlines, midterm deadlines, and finals.

Along with all of these deadlines, an expectant parent has to focus on making doctor’s appointments and actually going to them. This semester I made all of my doctor’s appointments begrudgingly.  Having 11 o’clock classes means that I have to schedule doctors appointments for 8 a.m. on class days or try to get them on days that I don’t have class (which is hard but the smarter thing to do).

Finishing the Graduation Application, WIC Application and Childcare Application

The last step we must complete before being able to say that we will be walking across the stage is the graduation application. The graduation application requires us to allow for at least one week to let our advisor review our academic records to confirm our degree requirements. It takes another week to get appropriate signatures from different offices, and pay off any outstanding balances. We then pay our application fee, and we wait on the email that tells us we meet the qualifications for graduation. When expecting, instead of completing  just one application, you may need to complete three.

Along with the graduation application, you may want to fill out an application for WIC. WIC, Women Infant Children, is a federally funded program implemented by the City of Chicago Department of Public Health that provides pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum women, children and infants with nutrition assistance. You may also want to fill out the childcare application so that you can get some assistance from the State of Illinois to pay for your child care. The state of Illinois used to cover your childcare if you were going to school or working, but because of budget cuts, they only cover your childcare if you are working. So,  unless you have a family member who doesn’t mind watching your child while finishing your degree, then you like me are finishing a degree, working, and preparing for a child. Yes, it’s POSSIBLE!

Taking Graduation Pictures and Maternity Pictures

While waiting on a response from the following applications, you can be doing some fun things too. Picture taking is a girl’s favorite thing to do and I know the fellas enjoy them too, no matter how much they act like they do not.  Taking your own  graduation pictures  and taking maternity pictures could be lots of fun. A photo shoot that allows you to showcase your educational achievements and your humane achievement are two of the most important photos you will take in life.

What makes things Easier

If you, like I,  am expecting while expecting, then here is a checklist to go by to make things easier.

  • Pay Attention to DEADLINES
  • Schedule appointments during times you will be able to MAKE THEM
  • It’s not about what others expect of you, Its what YOU EXPECT of YOU
  • Remember the GOAL IS GRADUATION

For more information on WIC visit :

For more information on Childcare visit: