because of them we can


One day before the Fourth of July, a true Sister Act occurred for two sisters in New York. The pair gave birth in the same hospital and on the same day, which also happened to be their father’s birthday. Oh, their daughters were also delivered by the same doctor.

Shari and Simone Cumberbatch knew their girls would be close in age, but they never thought they’d be hours apart. 

Both were originally projected to give birth mid-July, however Simone and her doctor planned a C-section for July 3. She selected the date because it’s her father’s birthday. What the family didn’t plan was for her sister Shari to go into labor on the same day.

Shari’s unexpected labor actually delayed Simone’s scheduled C-section as the two shared the same doctor.

According to Good Morning America, Shari’s daughter, Hailey, was born at 12:57 p.m. and Simone’s daughter, Liberty, was born a few hours later at 5:30 p.m.

“They’re like twins… they’ll be close,” Shari said in an interview with CBS New York. 

The babies’ grandfather received two gifts to celebrate his 70th birthday.

“I always used to say ‘what if, what if it happened,’ not knowing it would actually happen,” the newborns’ granddad Elmo Cumberbatch told CBS New York.

It’s probably safe to assume all future birthday parties will be planned out well in advance and will be held on the same day.

Congratulations to the Cumberbatch family!

Photo credit: Fox5NY

Last weekend Ashley Williams was in full Black Girl Magic mode when she graduated with her Master’s Degree and Law Degree in the same week from two separate universities, in two separate states. On May 18th she received her Master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and on May 20th she received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania. And it wasn’t a dual degree program.

She began her Master’s degree at George Washington University in 2015 while working at the State Department as Special Advisor and Director of Special Projects to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

“I was really interested in beginning a program that would allow me to build upon my undergraduate degree, love for politics, and allow me to continue working. I knew I needed to grow. The Political Management degree at GW was perfect,“ Williams told Because of Them We Can.

She was able to attend the program online with the option to attend classes in person when her schedule permitted. Not long after starting the program she applied to law school in pursuit of a life long dream.

“That fall I also applied to law school, which had been a part of my plan since high school. Both of my parents are lawyers, and I admired them and wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

Williams says her law school journey wasn’t easy. 

“I faced rejections from schools during two separate admissions cycles—once while I was working at the White House and once while I was at the State Department—but I was determined to go.”

She received a favorable letter from the University of Pennsylvania in January of 2016 and  started in the Fall of 2016, exactly one year after beginning her master’s program. 

“During my first year of school, I stopped my Master’s program so I could focus on law full time. The summer following my first year, I resumed my Master’s program and simultaneously did law and my Master’s until I completed my Master’s in December of 2018—which I did while I was studying abroad in Tokyo.” 

Williams was in Tokyo for three months where she was focused on the Japanese Supreme Court. She completed her JD requirements five months later in May 2019.

A lot of people wondered why I continued with my Master’s after starting law school, but both stimulated my mind in different ways. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to do both, but it did require sacrifice and discipline.”

Williams, who attended Georgetown for undergrad, said that she hopes her journey inspires others.

“No matter what, never give up and never feel like you aren’t enough. I hope my story inspires others to keep striving and remember that all of our possibilities are endless.”