5/26 – This Week in Women: Terror, Religion and Dating 5/26 – This Week in Women: Terror, Religion and Dating Cover Photo Courtesy of Guyana Chronicle It was a week many of us wanted to end as soon as it began. A devastating terror attack occurred at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which set the tone for a reactive and responsive rollercoaster for the pop star, England and a grieving world. While the news focused on these reactions, a teenager fought for her right to graduate, and positive headlines were buried that reflect history in reality TV and religion in the White House. Read below about the five women who captured the world’s hearts and minds this past week: Ariana Grande speaks out after terrorist attack at her Manchester concert Ariana Grande. Photo courtesy of The Gazette Review On Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, a suicide bomber linked to ISIS killed 22 people and injured more than 50 others. As the world reacted, all eyes were on Grande – from her first tweets after the attack, to the decision to suspend her tour until further notice. Grande tweeted on Monday: “broken. From the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.” Her management team then released the news that Grande’s tour would be suspended “until we can further assess the situation and pay our proper respects to those lost.” Grande has since returned to Boca Raton, FL with her mom, and has yet to make a public statement about the incident. Theresa May raised England’s terror threat to “critical” in response to the Manchester terror attack The attack at Manchester Stadium was the largest act of terror for England since the 2005 London bombings. Due to its magnitude, ISIS’s confirmation of responsibility, and occurrence two months after the deadly stabbings at Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the situation as “critical” and raised the national terror threat to maximum alert – a level that hasn’t been implemented in the last ten years. May explained this decision, saying it’s a way to provide the government and armed forces with expectations of increased awareness and presence to fight extremism. It is possible, May said, “not only that another attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.” Rachel Lindsay premiered on reality TV as the first Black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. Photo Courtesy of Wet Paint For the guilty-pleasure, can’t-help-but-love dating series The Bachelor and the The Bachelorette, diversity has been sparse throughout its 15 years of programming. That is, until Monday night’s premiere, where for the first time in 21 seasons, Rachel Lindsay made a debut as the first black Bachelorette for the show’s 22nd season. When asked about breaking this glass ceiling, Lindsay told NPR , “I mean, I’ll be honest. When I was first approached, I couldn’t believe it. But I was also very nervous because to be the first at anything, that’s terrifying. And I was representing myself as a woman, as a professional, as somebody in their 30s and being black. But it was such a great opportunity. The pros just outweighed the cons.” The Texas attorney was a fan favorite from last season’s Bachelor with Nick Viall, as the “runner up” to Viall’s love; she fell in love and he chose the other woman. Maddi Runkles is a pregnant senior who is not allowed to walk in her high school graduation ceremony “Not because she is pregnant but because she was immoral,” wrote Heritage Academy’s principal, David Hobbs. This was included in Hobbs’ letter home to Maddi Runkles’ parents informing them that the senior wouldn’t be allowed to partake in the upcoming graduation ceremony. Runkles is a student with a 4.0 average GPA, who participated in her school’s soccer team and was president of the student council. But for the private, Christian school in Hagerstown, Md., this wasn’t enough to overshadow the fact that she became pregnant before graduation. When Runkles first learned of her pregnancy back in January, she was threatened with suspension, but that was soon renounced to allow her to graduate in status, but not in ceremony. “It’s because I’m pregnant and you can see the results of my mistake,” said Runkles in an interview this week. “There have been kids who have broken the student code and they could have hurt people or even gone to jail and they only received an in-school suspension and they’re allowed to walk this year. The school is worried about its reputation.” Hobbs continues to stand by his explanation as a way to hold Runkles responsible for her actions, stating in an interview, “The breach of a standard abstinence is a grievous choice. Maddi made a grievous choice. We do believe in forgiveness, but forgiveness does not mean there’s no accountability.” Melania Trump confirmed Catholic Religion with Pope’s blessing Melania Trump, President Trump and Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of The Sun This week, during President Trump’s visit to the Vatican, Pope Francis and First Lady Melania Trump exchanged a small interaction that carried a large weight. The first lady shook the Pope’s hand, while holding her rosary beads in her left. The Pope then blessed the beads with the sign of the cross and placed his hand over Trump’s. The symbolism of the small interaction flew was significant because it was not only a moment that signified a ceremonial blessing for Trump, but also for the White House with its recognition of the first Catholic first lady in more than 50 years, with the last one being Jackie Kennedy. Jillian Dara Jillian grew up an island girl but converted to city style after living in Boston, London, Santiago, and now, NYC. She is a writer, editor and content creator with a desire to share stories in the lifestyle genre. With a particular focus on travel and profiles, she prides herself on sharing the most authentic story for those who aren’t able to share their own.