Posts tagged with "activist"

Former Harvard Business School Professor Steven S. Rogers pushes his book A Letter to My White Friends and Colleagues via 360 MAGAZINE.

A Letter to My White Friends – Steven S. Rogers

What You Can Do Right Now to Help the Black Community 



From the life, professional experiences, and research of former Harvard Business School professor Steven S. Rogers comes his boldly stated, A Letter to My White Friends and Colleagues. This informative epistle investigates the causes of racial wealth disparity in the United States and provides solutions for addressing it. Through extensive data and historical research, anecdotes, teaching, and case studies, it presents practical ways White people can work with and help the Black community. It teaches readers that eliminating the $153,000 wealth gap between Black and White people is the solution to over 75% of our problems and offers solutions to help improve Black-White racial relations in the United States. 

In straightforward language, filled with facts, stories, advice, and sometimes even humor, A Letter to My White Friends and Colleagues encourages every White person to share his/her wealth with the Black community—plain and simple. This book recommends that you spend a portion of your annual household budget with Black-owned companies. If more money is spent on Black-owned businesses, those companies can grow and create more jobs for Black people. Rogers also proposes White people make large savings deposits into Black-owned banks. These are the financial institutions that are the backbone of the Black community that provides loans to the Black community for businesses, education, automobiles, and home mortgages. 

And finally, he resolutely encourages White people to support government reparations to Black Americans who are descendants of Black men and women, who were enslaved from 1619 to 1865. 

During our introspective conversation, Rogers educates our audience on the following: 

  • Disrupt the societal norms that have been so pervasive and implement simple changes to close the racial wealth divide.  
  • Understand the root causes of racial disparities in America 
  • Discover how they can personally contribute to reducing the inequality between Black and White people in the United States today 
  • Understand why it is important to redirect their spending to Black-owned institutions to help decrease the racial wealth gap 
  • Understand the politics of financial apartheid by sharing real-world examples of why simple things are made unnecessarily difficult because of skin color 
  • Why many in the black community are feeling racial fatigue and how to help turn this around 

“Steven Rogers is a brilliant and courageous thinker who makes us unsettled in order to get us to be real forces for good!” 
Cornel West 


“Steven Rogers brings a unique perspective to America’s long-standing challenge over the issues of race. Educated at Williams and Harvard Business School, he has leveraged his education, his intellect, and his ambition to achieve great success in both business and academia. From his professional perches, Rogers offers highly valuable advice to help diminish, if not erase, racial bias in our society. We can and need to do better, and Rogers’s prescriptions for the privileged among us is a solid roadmap to do just that.” 
John A. Byrne, former Executive Editor of Businessweek magazine and Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company magazine, currently CEO and Editor-in-Chief of C-Change Media 


“This book is a comprehensive accounting of the ongoing effects of racism. Rogers brings his finance and business expertise to explain the legacy of systemic exclusions on the current gaps in wealth. Not only does he cover the facts and the history with meticulous care, but he also proposes solutions for businesses, individuals, and governments focused on tangible remedies. This book is a must-read not just for Rogers’s white colleagues, but for anyone interested in being a part of the solution.” 
Mehrsa Baradaran, author of The Color of Money and Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law 


“Steven S. Rogers established the act without hesitation in plain language. Not surprisingly, I and many of our marginalized advocates will take action, calling for the well-deserved reparations to be made. It is time for our ancestors to receive justice for all the financial burdens that systemic racism in America has created. I am literally in contact with Congressman Ritchie Torres as my thumbs firmly press on the smartphone glass.” —Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 MAGAZINE, an NGLCC certified LGBT business enterprise.


Listen to Steven S. Rogers and Vaughn Lowery digest the plight of Black America on 360 MAG Spotify/Apple podcast HERE.

Girl Vow × NYC Annual Candle Light Vigil via 360 MAGAZINE

Girl Vow × NYC Annual Candle Light Vigil

Girl Vow, Inc. Presents the Second NYC Annual Candle Light Vigil for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls

Girl Vow & The National Taskforce for Missing & Murdered Women & Girls of Color is hosting the Second NYC Annual Candle Light Vigil for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls on November 4, 2022, from 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM to be held at the City Hall Park located at Broadway near Chambers Street.

In light of so many recent missing girls of color in New York and around the nation, Girl Vow is launching a task force, consisting of a well-cultivated team, to tackle the issues head-on: why are our girls going missing, how can we take these important issues more seriously, and also address preventative measures? Our bill S6924 and A8347 is written to examine the perplexing gender-based issues that have been overlooked for far too long.

As reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2019, there were 421,394 missing children in the database. Almost 75% of those missing children were females, 205,802 were black females. Latinx are statistically invisible and considered white.

The National Taskforce for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls of Color is a response to solving the pervasive silence when girls/women of color are missing, murdered, and unnoticed. Our mission is to organize to advance beyond the issues of colorism, racial, economic, and structural oppression with communities at the helm of change.

It’s sad that we even live in a time when this topic is even being discussed but what’s even sadder is the look in these girls’ eyes when they truly believe that they are not as important to the community or even to society in a whole because of the color of there skin. Why do our girls have to feel as if they are not important? Why do our girls have to strive more fight stronger and work harder just to survive in life? Why do families of girls in our community feel alone?

It is our responsibility as a community to take care of each other. The silence that is present when women and girls of color go missing, is not acceptable. We must amplify our voice together to effectively raise awareness, in addition to exercising all necessary resources to combat this issue.

Learn more at www.girlvow.org & follow Girl Vow on IG at @girlvow

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL RUN OF THE SHOW

“What About Us?”

Host: Dawn Rowe – Founder of Girl Vow, Inc. and the National Taskforce for Missing & Murdered Women and Girls of Color
Date: Friday, November 4th | 5:45 PM-7PM |
Confirmed Speakers: This is not the order of speakers. The order will change

1. EnriqueRivera(FatherofFoundScarlettRivera)
2. WCJARev.Sharon(Women’sAdvocate)
3. Rose(MotherofMissingChelseaCobo)
4. Allen & Rita (Father & Mother of Missing Leanne Marie Hausberg) 5. DawnBaker(MotherofMissingTijaeBaker)

6. LauraMullen-EmpowerLi
7. Michel T. Buckley (Advocate)
8. DawnRoweCEO
9. AssemblyMemberNataliaFernandez
10. Bounty Hunters (2) (Wolf and ACE)
11. Kimberly Tucker, friend of (formerly missing) Skylar 12.Council Member Rita Joseph
13.nDr. Victoria Phillips – Founder of Visionary V 14.New York City Speaker Adrienne Adams

YOUTH SPEAKERS (Speeches)

Kylasia
Niaeme
India

DRAFT RUN OF SHOW:
5:45PM – Opening Prayer (2-3 Minutes)

5:48PM – Opening Remarks by Dawn Rowe (3 Minutes)

5:50PM – Each Speaker 3-4 Minutes approx. 60 Minutes
6:51PM – Moment of Silence
6:52PM – Reading of Names

6:56PM – Closing Remarks

Emerging Entrepreneurs: Javier Pedroza via 360 MAGAZINE available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Javier Pedroza


LISTEN to Javier Pedroza on 360 MAG podcast PT1 | PT2.



Javier Pedroza is a multi-talented host, producer, creative and visual director, founder of his own production company Under One Roof Productions, celebrity stylist, philanthropist, and Latinx Editor-at-Large for 360 MAGAZINE. His positive and innovative mindset have allowed Pedroza to rise to prominence in the entertainment industry. His impressive portfolio is comprised of editorials, fashion shows, movie premiers, life performances, showroom designs, pop-up shops, and window and merchandising displays. Pedroza is based in New York City, but he is surely taking on the world.

Before Pedroza’s successes with his own company and hosting, he collaborated with designer brands while he was the Visual Director for ESCADA in North America. ESCADA is an international fashion brand that celebrates feminine luxury. Pedroza also worked with clothing brands including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, GANT, Gabriel & Co., and Coomi Jewelry.

Due to Pedroza’s incredible styling abilities, he has worked with supermodels and Hollywood celebrities alike at major award shows and red carpet events. The stylist’s abilities have been seen at the Oscars, the Emmys, The Golden Globes, The Grammys, and the SAG Awards.

Pedroza’s innovative mindset and charismatic ebullience has also landed him interviews with stars, including Carmen DeLeon, Piso 21, LaJune, and Raul Peñaranda. Additionally, Javier was named the Relational Organizer Director for Dianne Morales’ mayoral campaign. Pedroza’s unique perspective grants him exceptional event design and execution of production abilities. His astute creative direction has led to the success of many events.

Favoring to work with non-profit organizations– such as Wendy WilliamsThe Hunter Foundation Inaugural Gala at New York City’s prestigious Hammerstein Ballroom, AID for AIDS Hero Gala held at the American Museum of Natural History and Latino Commission on AIDS Cielo Gala at Cipriani Wall Street– Pedroza’s philanthropic productions help these organizations reach their full potential. The designer is especially passionate about his involvement with The Latino Commission on AIDS, of which he has supported for the past thirteen years and became Chair of the Cielo Gala in 2019.

The visual director has used his platform to found his production company, as well as create various visual and audio podcasts. Pedroza’s two podcasts– Conciencias Con Cocktails and LatinX Heroes– both highlight cutting edge individuals. On such, Pedroza navigates discourse surrounding diverse leaders such as Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, Gen. Ignacia Zaragoza, and Dianne Morales.

Recently, Pedroza’s hard work and talent has resulted in him being signed to media brand, TAG Collective. He will be working with the Collective to secure brand deals, social media engagements, publicity outreach, and to expand his overall profile.


Tito’s Vodka and 360 MAGAZINE
You’re invited! Now RSVP.
163 Allen St
New York, NY 10002
USA
Hands Illustration via 360 MAGAZINE

LEORA LEVY

Independent Women’s Voice applauds U.S. Senate candidate Leora Levy (R-CT) for signing the Women’s Bill of Rights, which, if enacted into law, would legally define basic sex-based terms and protect the existence of certain single-sex spaces, such as rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, athletic teams, locker rooms, and sororities. The full text of the Women’s Bill of Rights can be read here.

Heather R. Higgins, CEO of Independent Women’s Voice, said, “Too often, radical activists attack and try to silence anyone who speaks the truth about biological sex-differences. By signing the Women’s Bill of Rights, Levy has demonstrated that she is willing to stand up for equal opportunity, for common sense, and for science. We are grateful for Leora Levy’s support.

Independent Women’s Law Center Director Jennifer C. Braceras added, “We can’t fight sex discrimination if we can’t define what it means to be a woman. And we cannot collect accurate data regarding public health, medicine, education, crime, and the economic status of women if we redefine sex to mean gender or gender identity.’”

Don’t let activists erase women.

Learn more about the Women’s Bill of Rights HERE.

What Others Are Saying:

“I’m signing the Women’s Bill of Rights because the rights that generations of women fought for must not be dismantled to appease anyone.”

– Abigail K. Shrier

“What is a woman? The answer should be obvious to all. Unfortunately, today it is not. That’s why I am proud to endorse the Women’s Bill of Rights. This common-sense document should bring together all women regardless of their politics or religion.”

– Ayaan Hirsi Ali

“I want my three daughters to know that they live in a country where women are recognized and respected.  We are not “bleeders,” “birthing persons,” or “chestfeeders;” we are women.”

– Carrie Lukas, President, Independent Women’s Forum

“The Women’s Bill of Rights would ensure that our laws continue to recognize that there are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons, domestic violence and rape crisis services, restrooms, and other areas where biology, safety, or privacy are implicated.”

– Lauren Adams, Legal Director, WoLF

“The U.S. chapter of Women’s Declaration International (WDI USA) is proud to support the Women’s Bill of Rights. We work to advance the radical feminist and nonpartisan Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights at all levels of government, and this bill is consistent with that objective.”

– Kara Dansky, U.S. Chapter President, Women’s Declaration International

360 MAGAZINE Swarovski encrusted bottle designed by Vaughn Lowery for NFT-VIP and minted on Solana

NFT-VIP

NFT-VIP is hosting its inaugural conference in the tech space to network their businesses, advance knowledge and engage intimately. In the recent past, similar NFT meetups have been held in multiple cities across America: Miami, New York City and Los Angeles. This year, NFT-VIP will be holding its series at Margaritaville Resort Time Square, June 19 – 22. 360 MAGAZINE serves as the official media sponsor of the episode.

As a rapidly growing digital industry, NFT-VIP has become a popular way for people to trade outside the conventional financial system. It continues to stimulate the development of a virtual economy based on digital strengths in various forms: music, art and fashion.

“The idea of using cryptocurrencies is not only a form of currency. Along with a deliverable channel, knowing that entities could be built on them and using them is mind-blowing,” states Julie Lamb, CEO of NFT-VIP. This is the first major 360 MAG Podcast promotion that will serve as the official launch. Interviewee Jefferson Noel is scheduled to speak on the NFT-VIP agenda. Other notable guests: Andrew Yang, Young Paris, Alex Alpert, Vaughn Lowery, Chris Carter, Genesis Johnson, postVerrone, Fanzo, Sal DiGuardia and FoodMasku.

Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery are speakers at the NFT-VIP conference in nyc via 360 Magazine
Helen Indelicato, Julie Lamb, Sal Di Guardia, Vaughn Lowery will be on the NFT-VIP stage via ‘press panel’ Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST (click image for full agenda).

The NFT-VIP festival was fabricated with the unique digital identifier enthusiast in mind, providing a golden opportunity to intensify transmissions and interrelations. The number of leading brands and celebrities involved in this field is increasing exponentially with the world’s first and largest crypto collectibles market—OpenSea. With that, 360 MAGAZINE has minted and released a loveable Animal set.

360 MAGAZINE Animal Series NFT character, Lucky Lenox, coming soon under the direction of Vaughn Lowery
(Minting Lucky Lenox on OpenSea)

As a media partner, 360 MAGAZINE aims to liaise between NFT-VIP participants and disadvantaged business enterprises. 360 is determined to spread the word on NFT-VIP to countless cohorts: the elderly, women, racialized groups and the queer community. “We now coexist in a multi-generational society with multi-racial people who have multi-educational backgrounds and who possess multi-hyphen lifestyles. Our purpose here is to create an environment of inclusiveness and to further facilitate sustainable relationships beyond the metaverse,” Lowery shares.

During the engagement, 360’s Swarovski encrusted bottle, made in collaboration with Integrity Bottles and Good Vibe Gliders, will be forged on Solana with partial proceeds donated to a charity. 360, freshly announced pet NFT, apace with Reebok’s Looney Tunes footwear, will go to a handful of lucky guests with Best Tech Style. Additionally, in real time, the publication will interview the speakers in their ecletic enclosure with bean bags and a bejeweled e-bike.

NFT-VIP RECAP HERE.

About 360 MAGAZINE

360, an internationally acclaimed LA-based magazine, represents the celebration of societal change through racial and sexual ambiguity as a youthful popular culture and design journal. As a certified National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) business, it progressively supports various under-represented communities: women, POC and queer. Just last month, 360 was crowned Business of the Month.

Previous celebs on the cover: Saweetie, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, Sebastián Yatra, Will.i.am, Steve Aoki and Tyga. Infographics on the journal can be downloaded HERE.

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About Vaughn Lowery

Vaughn Lowery, the founder and president of the NGLCC certified, 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. Lowery is the executive producer of 360 MAG Podcast on AudibleApple and Spotify as well as a new NFT Animal Series on OpenSea. His self-help marketing memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. He’s a graduate of Cornell University’s ILR School and grandson of the late Dr. Joseph Lowery–a leader of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King as well as the minister at Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.

Twitter|LinkedIn|TikTok

About NFT

According to Wikipedia, non-fungible token is a financial security consisting of digital data stored in a blockchain, a form of distributed ledger. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded.

NFT-VIP Agenda HERE.

Listen to NFT-VIP Speakers on 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

Reebok Best Style Tech Winners BELOW.

NFT VIP tech series in nyc media sponsored by 360 MAGAZINE
Sal DiGuardia, CEO of Crypto Radio Network at NFT-VIP in NYC via 360 MAGAZINE
Trans woman, actress, entertainer, TV personality Monroe Alise shot Corey Fletcher speaks to Vaughn Lowery via 360 Magazine podcast

Monroe Alise

Listen to Monroe Alise’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE

Monroe Alise is an actress, LGBTQIA+ advocate, model and comedienne. As a transgender woman, she has fulfilled her childhood dream of working in the entertainment industry. Her philosophy on life is described in her mantra, “If you can’t laugh at life, you will never find a reason to live it.”

Born and raised in Washington DC, Monroe grew up passionate and inspired by media and entertainment. Her admiration for her father’s successful career as a DJ ignited her insatiable desire to entertain. Thus, she began singing in church, propelling her into the world of artistic expression. 

For Monroe, a great singer consists of emulating your favorite idols while taking advantage of the potential of one’s own voice. As a child, she recalls being compared to artists like John Legend and Luther Vandross because of her tonality and courage. Another favorite is Nina Simone, whom she references while belting evangelical hymns. 

As a youth, Monroe was a very active and social child. She studied sports public relations but fancied theatre. These disciplines were conducive to her discovery of sexuality. Further, she began to notice a direct correlation with her mother’s maternal responsibilites, rather than her father and two brother’s machismo profile. 

According to Monroe, “While they were playing games and sports, I was in the kitchen doing my mom’s hair.” In addition, her openly gay aunt was influential in her gender transformation due to her immense pride and confidence.

Monroe’s gender bender was painstakingly challenging but became easier over time. For instance, while preparing for an acting role as a Trans woman, she became comfortable in this new skin. After the audition, she gave herself permission to continue to live within this newfound reality.

A year later, Monroe made the decision to come out, “I was like, well this is who I am, so I socially reinvented myself and this is the girl you see.” Eventhough the transition embraced authenticity, it was extremely taxing on her family as well as father’s religious convictions.

Lacking legit representation and management, Monroe began to utilize social media to seek opportunities within the realms of fashion and Hollywood. As a thespian, Monroe became enthralled by the portrayal of becoming another homosepian while subsequently having an impact on the world. This year’s main objective is New York City’s Broadway. Her short-term is to star in a sci-fi like Star Trek or Star Wars as well as a fantasy film similar in type to Harry Potter and Twilight. Longterm, Monroe aspires to host a namesake talk show directed and produced by herself.

As an emerging Trans Community activist, Monroe is deeply concerned about the increasing rate of violence against her people. She hopes to alleviate the suffering of her collective, especially at the hands and ignorance of the narrow-minded. 

Monroe’s Five Principles:

1.) Adequate preparation;

2.) prevention of underachievement;

3.) working while you wait without worry;

4.) preparing for your mission;

5.) and continuing to work because you know you’ve been doing the best you could.

Credits:

Article: Andrea Esteban, McKinley Franklin, Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Photo: Corey Fletcher

Resources:

Trans Lifeline

Human Rights Campaign

Follow Monroe Alise:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter YouTube | Spotify

Check out Monroe on the latest season of P-Valley on Starz.

Vaughn Lowery President of 360 MAGAZINE

VAUGHN LOWERY


Vaughn Lowery, the president of 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. He graduated from Cornell University‘s ILR School. From there, he became active in modeling, acting and publishing.

A decade or more, Vaughn Lowery became notable when he appeared in Kmart’s smash commercial – Joe Boxer. It helped the retailer roughly sell 20 million dollars per week. By becoming an exclusive spokesperson, he appeared with Leeza Gibbons on Extra, Katie Couric on Today Show, and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

At the culmination of college, he relocated to New York City; and thus, Vaughn began a career as an actor and model. It was there where celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine set him up with a fashion photographer, Fadil Berisha. Above Joe Boxer, he worked as a successful print model for many companies such as GAP, Old Navy, as well as a runway model for Tommy Hilfiger, Phat Farm, and Karl Kani. He has graced the pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Additionally, he flipped the Houston Chronicle.

Years back, ABC News Primetime aired a segment chronicling his life, along with the tragic John Ritter story. Vaughn has also filmed a Super Bowl commercial, completed a high-profile Dasani Water billboard ad campaign, appeared on America’s Next Top Model, guest-starred on the comedy, Scrubs, and screened his controversial 35mm festival film, The Young & Evil, at Sundance 2009. Having been represented by major industry players such as NEXT, he was also named Seventeen Magazine’s 17 Hot Guys. His hindmost project The Company We Keep boasts director Roy Campanella II along with comedic co-star Leslie Jones. At present, Vaughn wrote a short, Chasen Life, which won a writing competition. He adapted audiobook Say Uncle into a feature-length film, pitched a reality series and is in the process of architecting an immersive design experience.

Due to his turbulent upbringing in Detroit, Vaughn has kept his personal promise to be a contributing citizen to those in need. He has lent his name and support to: Women At Risk, Human Rights Commission, March of Dimes, Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Awakening Young Minds and schools across the nation where he encourages adolescents to step into their power.

As of late, Lowery has produced 360 MAG, a podcast on Audible, Apple and Spotify as well as an NFT Animal Series on OpenSea.

Futher, 360 MAGAZINE was named Business of the Month by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce [NGLCC]. The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. It possesses deep affiliations with FORTUNE 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

Lastly, hard cover and auditory interpretations of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.


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Vaughn Lowery in classic fedora for 360 MAGAZINE
Vaughn Lowery tests and reviews NÜR San Francisco for 360 MAGAZINE, wearing eyewear by Valentino and shirt by Allsaints.
Vaughn speaks on the NFT-VIP ‘press panel’ on Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST Margaritaville Times Square Resort NYC.

In his spare time, he designs e-bike bras and reconfigures their silhouettes.



MIXED MEDIA ARTIST



PORTFOLIO



LGBTQ+ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

People Mourn the Loss of LGBTQ+ Activist James Hormel

Following the news of the passing of longtime People For board member, LGBTQ+ advocate, and the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel, People For the American Way President Ben Jealous and People For the American Way Founder Norman Lear released the following statements:

“Jim was a true hero, so full of courage, humor and generosity,” said People For President Ben Jealous. “As a longtime board member of People For the American Way, he understood that building power among young people was critical to the future of our democracy. Jim was a truly kind and lovely soul, and his loss will be felt deeply. Our hearts and prayers are with his husband Michael and their extended family.”

“I loved Jim Hormel deeply,” said People For founder Norman Lear. “Through the years he was an incredible asset to People For the American Way, a provider of ideas and insights and deep understanding. He was also a fighter, passionate about so many issues we hold dear, from voting rights to free expression and the fight against censorship. I will miss him tremendously.”

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: People For the American Way.

Image via 5WPR for 360 Magazine

Q×A – Co-Founders of Révolutionnaire

Justice Faith Betty, and Nia Faith Betty are co-founders of Révolutionnaire, a new social platform aimed at social awareness and activism. Originally a dance-oriented clothing brand started by sisters Justice and Nia, it has grown into a larger movement to empower the youth via a platform for education and conversation. We got to speak with the founders and one of their Action Leaders Naheim Banks below.

We were informed that you grew up with family members in the prison system which drove you towards a life dedicated to criminal justice reform. Can you talk more about how your activism and advocacy have expanded since you began this journey?

Naheim Banks: As you said, I have had family members involved in the system, and one of the things I realized while experiencing that was that our system is not a criminal justice system, but rather a criminal legal system because justice is what so many people don’t experience or get while going through our legal process. When I first began this journey on criminal legal reform, I started something in my school district called Teen Court, which is a youth diversionary program for minors that commit misdemeanors and other infractions. Part of what drew me to this work was because I could see myself in many of these kids, many of them in high school and middle school, who have parents working long hours, parents who are incarcerated and having to grow up way too fast. These kids happened to lose the moral luck lottery and have made mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we should let those mistakes define who they are for the rest of their lives. People are more than the worst thing they’ve ever done. I was encouraged to take my activism further when I saw voters reject Affirmative Action in my home state of California, reject cash bail, and reject a piece of legislation allowing for California to decertify police officers for misconduct despite being only one of four states to not have the authority to decertify law enforcement officers. Upon witnessing this, I decided to run to be an Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party with the slate ‘Organizing for Progress’. Since being elected, I have made it a point to continue pushing the party to endorse legislation that supports Black lives and allows us to reimagine our criminal legal system. One of the ways I’m also doing that is by educating the public on legal reform through Révolutionnaire and our Action Guides and Petitions.

How has attending Howard University, an HBCU, impacted your views on activism and criminal justice reform?

Naheim: Attending Howard has really encouraged me to put myself out there and take risks. Before attending Howard, I always tried to fit into what Nikole Hannah-Jones calls, white spaces that are not made for people that look like me, and impact change within the confines of what is deemed ‘acceptable’. Not anymore. I no longer sugarcoat or tone down the issues that I am passionate about. Part of this huge passion that I have for criminal legal reform and my increased activism on the issue stems from the confidence Howard has instilled in me. Being a criminology major, I have had professors like Dr. Bahiyyah M. Muhammad that have so much passion for prison reform that their passion often rolls over onto you. At Howard, we have people that have non-profits like Just Us that mentors youth involved in the juvenile legal system; we have people that have started environmental justice organizations, gun reform organizations, and so many others that it inspires you to truly get out there in your community and make lasting change.

How did you find Révolutionnaire, and what drew you to become a part of the organization?

Naheim: I had followed Révolutionnaire since its original creation as a way to revolutionize dance apparel and empower all to celebrate the skin they’re in because I had never truly seen dance apparel that actually matched Black skin. I had been an outspoken advocate for criminal legal reform and when Nia Faith, one of the founders of the organization, reached out to me, I just couldn’t say no. Seeing the impact Nia and Justice already had on their homes, their schools, and their communities is what really inspired and drew me to become a part of the organization. I distinctly remember hearing Justice’s Valedictorian speech and one of the things she said that really fueled my love for Révolutionnaire, was that ‘Dreams Fuel Revolutions’. Everyone on this team has a dream for a better world and I just love having the opportunity to be a part of it.

What exactly are your responsibilities as an Action Leader with Révolutionnaire?

Naheim: As an Action Leader, I write about specific issues related to criminal legal reform such as the death penalty, three-strikes laws, and the War on Drugs. I give information to those that want to get more involved in legal reform initiatives and facilitate knowledge sharing and member engagement through writing petitions and 101 Action Guides on the issues that plague our society’s broken legal system.

Your website mentions that Révolutionnaire began with the idea to ‘revolutionize nude apparel’. Can you talk more about how this mission came about and what work has been done thus far?

Nia Faith Betty: I started Révolutionnaire as a dancewear line catering to dancers of color after growing up as a ballerina and never having access to apparel that matched my skin tone. I was tired of constantly feeling othered and dreamed of a more inclusive dance world. Today, the Révolutionnaire Shop has a collection of apparel and accessories for dancers, athletes, and everyone to celebrate the skin they’re in.

Justice Faith Betty: I was inspired by Nia’s journey and dream of revolutionizing the dance world and asked what it would look like if more young people with a dream of improving their communities had access to the network, tools, and information necessary to scale their impact across causes. And that question laid the foundation for Révolutionnaire – the social network for changemakers.

We’ve heard about the five key causes on which Révolutionnaire is centered. Can you tell us more about what work is being done by Révolutionnaire to specifically target these issues?

Nia: We’ve started off with five pillar causes (i.e., racial equity, environmentalism, criminal justice reform, housing + food security, gun reform) with more to come. Change starts with staying informed, so we’ve made information about each of these issues accessible to our audience by breaking down topics into 101 guides. Action items are embedded at the end of each 101 guide so members can move from learning about a problem in society to taking action – whether it’s through contacting their representative, signing a petition, finding volunteer opportunities, making a donation, or participating in another mode of engagement – all from within our platform. We also have action guides across our cause hubs for members to launch their own projects in their communities.

As Révolutionnaire continues to grow, it has been really exciting to see and hear about members getting their ideas off the ground and finding a network of supporters to ideate with.

Justice: We’re committed to making this work more sustainable through leveraging the power of technology to build community among like-minded young people. We recently launched group offerings and have spoken to so many youth-focused organizations who are excited to connect with other orgs doing fantastic work, feel a little less lonely on their respective journeys and scale their collective impact. As a further commitment to sustainability, we will be launching our Recharge library to offer our members content focused on mindfulness and self-care.

How can young people, like Naheim, get involved with Révolutionnaire?

Justice: Whether you are someone who has wanted to make a difference, but perhaps doesn’t know where to start or have been doing this work for a long time, but are looking for a community and resources all in one place to take your impact to the next level – join Révolutionnaire. If, like Naheim, you are excited about contributing your voice on issues that matter to you and have ideas for how young people can take action, we welcome contributions from community members directly on Révolutionnaire through blog posts, lounge conversations, action item submissions and petitions!

Have you experienced any pushback as young women trying to influence such radical change? If so, how do you combat that?

Nia: There are oftentimes unspoken rules and gatekeeping measures that make getting involved in activism daunting and intimidating for young people. We have revolutionized and streamlined how people get involved in changemaking, service, and activism. With anything that is new or different, there are always situations where people don’t agree with it or don’t want to evolve the current ways of taking action to adapt to the changing times. At the end of the day, we always focus on the net good. If the end result is positive change and more young people getting involved with making the world a better place, then we are on the right path.

Make sure to follow Nia, Justice, Naheim, and Révolutionnaire for more!

Quincy Jones' The Dude Production shot via Juggernaut Sound

Quincy Jones – The Dude Reissue

In 1981, Quincy Jones released The Dude, a monumental pop-soul album created with a stellar cast of vocalists, studio musicians, and songwriters. Today, IGA (A&M) / Urban Legends is pleased to announce the 40th anniversary reissue of The Dude; available for pre-order now and available June 11, 2021. Featuring bold yellow vinyl with red/orange splatter, the limited edition 40th anniversary reissue also boasts a lithograph of the iconic album art, a gatefold jacket with foil finish, and newly remastered audio. A standard edition single LP is also available, featuring a tip-on gatefold jacket and newly remastered audio.

The Dude was a commercial success, spending 81 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaking at number three. It spawned three top 40 singles, including “One Hundred Ways” with James Ingram, which went on to become Jones’ single biggest hit as a solo artist. The Latin-inspired dance number “Ai No Corrida” and tender ballad “Just Once” also charted in the U.S., while the horn-driven “Razzamatazz” achieved Jones’ highest U.K. chart rank as a solo artist. Quincy Jones was awarded Producer of the Year at the 1981 Grammys. The Dude was nominated for five Grammys, winning three: Best Instrumental Arrangement, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Accompanying Vocalists).

About Quincy Jones

Jones‘ creative magic has spanned over seven decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era, and continuing to influence today’s high-technology, international multi-media hybrids. Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Jones was born on March 14th, 1933, on the Southside of Chicago and raised in Seattle. 

Jones won the first of his 28 Grammy Awards for his arrangement of Count Basie’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” and continued to work with Basie on Frank Sinatra’s classic Sinatra At The Sands, which contains the famous arrangement of “Fly Me To The Moon”: the first recording played on the moon by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, when he landed in 1969.

The laurels, awards, and accolades have been innumerable. Jones has won an Emmy Award for his score of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots; seven Oscar nominations; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; 28 Grammy Awards; a N.A.R.A.S.’ prestigious Trustees’ Award; and The Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 80 nominations.

In 2001, Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America, and was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master (the nation’s highest jazz honor). In 2010, Jones was bestowed the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest artistic honor, and most recently in 2016, Jones received a Tony Award for the category of “Best Revival of a Musical,” for the Broadway production of The Color Purple. The award completed the rare EGOT set for Jones: an exclusive subset of artists who have received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. There are only 21 EGOT recipients in history.