Posts tagged with "Advocate"

Pregnancy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Black Maternal Health Crisis

Free Virtual Webinar During Black Maternal Health Week:

“The Black Maternal Health Crisis in the United States”

As this unpredicted season begins against the backdrop of Covid-19, racial unrest, and action for justice and healing – nothing is normal. The Promise Heights From the Heights virtual series will look at the challenges of the moment, offering actionable insights that you can use today. 

The third of these freevirtual webinar conversations is scheduled for Monday, April 12, 2021 from 2-3:30 pm, and will feature a message from Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, representing the 14th District of Illinois as the first woman, the first person of color, and first millennial to represent her community in Congress, and also the youngest Black woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. The Black Maternal Health Caucus was launched by Congresswomen Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood to improve Black maternal health outcomes and to raise awareness within Congress about the problem and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally component policies and best practices for health outcomes for Black mothers.

Also joining our conversation, moderated by Reporter Tatyana Turner of The Baltimore SunL. Latéy Bradford, MD, PhD, University of Maryland Medical Center: Chief Resident, Family Medicine; Stacey Stephens, LCSW-C, Director, B’more for Healthy Babies, Promise Heights; and Stephanie Etienne, CNM, Certified Nurse Midwife based in Baltimore.
 

ABOUT THIS EVENT:
As stated in the Black Maternal Health Caucus/Momnibus website, “In the richest nation on earth, moms are dying at the highest rate in the industrialized world—and the rate is rising. For as dire as the situation is for all women, the crisis is more severe for Black mothers.”  More recently, the March 11, 2021 New York Times featured story, “Why Black Women Are Rejecting Hospitals in Search of Better Births” reported that, “Black mothers in the United States are 4 times as likely to die from maternity-related complications as white women.”

Black women also experience higher rates of maternal complications and infant mortality. They are twice as likely to lose an infant to premature death, and these disparities have not improved in more than 30 years. These disproportionate inequities exist regardless of income, educational level or any other demographic characteristic.  This April 12 virtual session will provide insight how to make pregnancy and childbirth safer in the U.S., amplify community–driven policy, practice and systems and enhance community organizing on Black maternal health by taking action to reduce maternal mortality and reduce morbidity related to childbirth. 
 

Click here to learn more and register for this free program

To learn more about the From the Heights series of virtual events, click here.

Funding for the From the Heights series was provided by The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kaiser Permanente

Javier Ramos illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Javier Ramos Vigil

Rideshare Driver Killed in Chicago Amid Carjacking Crisis Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers

Drivers Guild Demands Action from Uber, Lyft, City of Chicago

7pm Tonight: The Independent Drivers Guild will take part in Prayer Vigil Tonight Honoring Javier Ramos – Details Below

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is mourning the loss of rideshare driver Javier Ramos who was killed in a carjacking early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Ramos is survived by his 9-year-old daughter and a close-knit circle of family and friends. His death comes amid a carjacking crisis in the city in which rideshare drivers have been targeted repeatedly. 

Ramos was killed exactly one week after the IDG held a vigil for other rideshare drivers who were attacked in car jackings earlier this month, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down and one who was kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted by her passenger. The vigil was followed by a vehicle procession to Uber and Lyft’s Chicago offices where the Guild posted its safety demands in letters to the companies’ CEOs. 

“Javier Ramos was found lying in the street by police and transported to a hospital as a John Doe. Unable to communicate and robbed of his belongings, he passed. He tried to fight off his attackers. They shot him in his face and head. He was then removed from his car, and the violent criminals proceeded to run him over with it,” said IDG organizer and longtime Chicago rideshare driver Lenny Sanchez.

“Javier Ramos was a father, a brother, and a beloved member of our community. And he did not have to die. Say his name, Dara Khosrowshahi. Say his name, Logan Green. Blood is on your hands and it’s not the last of it. Comply with our driver safety demands now,” demanded Sanchez.

In January, the IDG launched a driver safety campaign, demanding action from Uber and Lyft, and the City of Chicago to protect rideshare drivers. The Guild has called for a City Council hearing on the crisis. Drivers and members of the community who wish to learn more and show their support are urged to go to IDGactnow.org where you can sign a petition to the City Council and sign up for updates on upcoming actions and events.

“If Uber and Lyft won’t protect Chicago’s hardworking drivers, the city needs to act to compel them to. Chicago cannot allow these apps to be used by criminals to hunt down their next victims,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “While Uber and Lyft have made rider safety a priority with constant improvements, driver safety has been virtually ignored and this is the result. Rideshare drivers must be licensed, and background checked before they can begin serving our community, but Uber and Lyft do not even require passengers to verify their identity. End the disparity and protect drivers now.”

Earlier this month, the Guild launched a fund to support Chicago rideshare drivers and their families affected by car jackings and assaults.

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets. The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union that advocates for more than 250,000 drivers in NY, IL, NJ, CT and across New England. We are driver-led and driver-powered.

Learn more

Javier Ramos Vigil Information

Friends and family of Javier Ramos will gather for a prayer vigil in his honor Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7 pm in North Park, 10040 Addison Avenue, Franklin Park, Illinois. Invited guests include Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García, Senators Don Harmon, Karina Villa and Ram Villivalam; Representatives Maura Hirschsuer and Kathy Willis; Franklin Park Mayor, Barrett Pedersen; Director of Police, Michael Witz; and Independent Drivers Guild advocate, Lenny Sanchez.

The vigil will honor the life of Javier Ramos who was killed by his passenger during an attempted carjacking earlier this week. Those who knew “Javi” knew that he lived for the joy of his life, his 9-year-old daughter. 

Javier’s death comes as Chicago is seeing an exorbitant increase in city-wide car jackings, some of which have culminated in the deaths of the victims. It is well past the time to address the issue of senseless gun violence. Javi’s death should not be in vain. 

Cousin and spokesperson for the family, Ms. Illinois International 2021, Hortencia Ramos said “This could have been anyone’s brother, anyone’s son, anyone’s father, anyone’s cousin,” The vigil is open to all who want to share their love and support of Javier and his family. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange in support of a future without gun violence.

Uber/Lyft Drivers Demand Action from Rideshare Companies After Recent Driver Killings

Drivers Guild to Hold Rally, Caravan To Protect Drivers’ Lives

Drivers and supporters can learn more at IDGActNow.org

Rideshare drivers are being assaulted in targeted attacks at an alarming rate and just last week two drivers were killed by their passengers. The Independent Drivers Guild is demanding that Uber and Lyft take immediate action to protect driver safety, starting with verifying customer identities. On Friday, the Guild will hold a rally at the O’Hare airport TNP waiting lot before caravanning to the Uber and Lyft hubs where rideshare drivers, including carjacking victims, will hold a press conference with community activist Ja’Mal Green, city leaders and the family of Javier Ramos, the driver who was killed by his passenger in Chicago last week.

The Guild will also hold rallies in New York and Connecticut in memory of Javier Ramos and Mohammad Anwar and in solidarity with rideshare drivers nationwide facing violence on the job.

FRIDAY 4/2 RALLY, CARAVAN, AND PRESS CONFERENCE

10AM rally at O’Hare Uber/ Lyft Waiting Lot (ORD TNP lot)

11:30AM Caravan to Uber and Lyft Chicago Hubs

12:00PM Press conference at Uber Hub: We stand up for ourselves and demand action now!
Uber Greenlight Hub on North Avenue

1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Emmett Till illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Emmett Till × Mamie Till Mobley

National Trust Partners’ Advocacy Leads to Roberts Temple: Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley Senate Bill

Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) as co-sponsors to establish Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ as a National Monument. The move would offer the highest level of federal support for the church and would ensure that the National Park Service will preserve, protect, and interpret its powerful impact on American civil rights history for generations to come. Civil rights activist Mamie Till Mobley was a member of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, and the church played a historic role in the funeral of Emmett Till, her fourteen-year-old son killed on August 28, 1955, during a visit with relatives in Money, Mississippi.

Rather than cover up the brutality of the murder, Mobley bravely decided to hold an open casket funeral at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ so people could witness the bitter consequences of racism. When tens of thousands of people came to view young Till’s mangled body from September 3-6, 1955, and photographs of his mangled face were published in journals around the country, it ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, similar to the way George Floyd’s death has impacted movements today. TIME magazine named a photo of the Till funeral one of the 100 most influential images of all time.

Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list, recognizing its groundbreaking significance and the need to restore and preserve the site. Support has continued through Trust grants and technical assistance as well as through advocacy to gain federal support to maintain the site. The Trust has partnered in this work with members of the Till and Roberts families, The Emmett Till Interpretive Center, the National Parks Conservation Association, Latham & Watkins LLP pro bono program, and other interests committed to the longevity of this historic landmark. Efforts are also ensuing to obtain National Park status for Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, as well as for important sites linked to Emmett Till in Mississippi.

“The Roberts Temple Church is both extraordinarily and heartbreakingly important to Chicago, our state, and to our country’s history,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said. “It’s time we recognize how historic sites can not only teach us about our history – but provoke us to build a more just future. By designating this church a historic site, we will help ensure that this awful chapter is not erased and that generations of Americans to come can show respect to Mamie and Emmett’s stories.”

The National Trust’s Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France said, “Our nation will benefit tremendously when Roberts Temple is designated a National Monument, lifting up its profoundly important role in American history. It is imperative that our country appropriately honors the site of Emmett Till’s funeral and of Mamie Till Mobley’s remarkable courage. We are honored to support the Roberts Temple congregation, the Till family, and the local community as they advance this designation and determine how to carry forward the legacies of this powerful place, as a unit of the National Park system.”

Reverend Wheeler Parker, who witnessed his cousin Emmett’s abduction in 1955, and his wife, Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, said, “We are grateful for the introduction of legislation to preserve the legacy of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley by making Roberts Temple a National Monument, which will help to fulfill Mamie’s request for my wife and I to continue her work to ensure her son’s death was not in vain.”

Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was founded in 1916 and is known as the “mother of all of the Churches of God in Christ in Illinois.” With its founding, it became a central place of worship and political organizing for many who migrated to Chicago from the South during the early 20th Century.

Today, the building remains in use by the Church of God in Christ denomination, now led by Elder Cleven Wardlow who said, “On behalf of the congregants of Roberts Temple and members of the Roberts Family, we strongly support this endeavor as well as the ongoing efforts by racial justice and preservation organizations to obtain federal protection for Roberts Temple.”

Patrick Weems, Executive Director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center stated, “What took place at Roberts Temple changed the world. We commend the Roberts Temple congregation, the Roberts and Till families, especially Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, and Ollie Gordon for their commitment to telling the truth, and we want to thank Senator Duckworth for her leadership in bringing forth this legislation.”

“The time for turning away from this painful chapter in American history is long over” stated Alan Spears, Senior Director for Cultural Resources. “The National Parks Conservation Association applauds Senator Duckworth for introducing this very significant piece of legislation commemorating the legacies of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley.”
For more information on the campaign to designate the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ National Monument visit their website.

Canadian Goose with basketball illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

PETA Attacks NBA Over Sponsorship

PETA Attacks NBA Over Canada Goose Sponsorship

Natural Fibers Alliance Blows Foul on Extremism

This week members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demanded the NBA scuttle its new multiyear partnership with Canada Goose. On Monday, the Canadian company announced a multi-year partnership with the NBA to develop specialized attire for NBA All-Star Games.

PETA has had a long-running campaign against Canada Goose because the company uses feathers and fur in some of its outerwear. PETA has vigorously attempted to ban the use of all leather, wool, fur, cashmere, down, and silk at the federal, state, and local levels because they are derived from animals–including the leather used to make basketballs.

Mike Brown, head of sustainability and communications with the Natural Fibers Alliance, issued the following response to PETA: PETA has gotten so extreme that it would ban basketballs simply because they’re made with leather. This is a lay-up for the league: Tell PETA to hit the showers.”

Not only does PETA’s advocacy against natural materials harm the environment but threatens consumers’ freedom of choice. Synthetic clothing is one of the top global polluters of waterways. Researchers estimate that synthetic fabrics alone are responsible for up to 35 percent of microplastic pollution in our oceans; synthetic clothing “sheds” microparticles when cleaned. Natural fibers, in contrast, are a sustainable and renewable resource.

The Natural Fibers Alliance is a newly formed environmental justice coalition representing wool, leather, fur, and other naturally produced materials. For additional comments or questions, contact Mike Brown.

Chaz Cardigan Drops Everything’s Wrong Video

Today, Chaz Cardigan shared the official video for his new single, Everything’s Wrong. While Vulnerabilia, his early 2020 EP, examined living with panic disorder, Chaz’s new song is all about not letting a breakdown keep you broken down. Directed by Haoyan of America (Crumb, Cautious Clay), the accompanying video features a scanned 3D model of Chaz, coming to life. The model was created using photogrammetry in a virtual environment. View HERE.

Haoyan explains, We approached the videos as a four-part series (quadrilogy) to support Chaz’s upcoming project. Each subsequent video loosely relates to and builds on the previous ones. The series will touch on topics like technological hubris, infinite regress and memory.

Premiering the single, Flaunt said, Everything’s Wrong speaks volumes to the current state of the world. The message: a bad day is never the end of the story. The track appeared on the Ones To Watch #NowWatching Weekly playlist and Billboard Prides weekly First Out roundup. Billboard noted, [the song] is Cardigan’s music declaration that things are messy, and he’s perfectly happy with that.

Chaz performed Everything’s Wrong on Today In Nashville earlier this week. View HERE. Check out his recent Nashville Scene No-Contact Show session HERE. Chaz also performed at To All The Music, a virtual concert event celebrating the vinyl release of the To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You original soundtrack, which includes his contribution, As I’ll Ever Be.

Hailing Chaz as a certified 21st century pop artist, Billboard praised the top 20 Alternative Radio hit Not OK! as a pumping mélange of bright beats, rough guitar riffs, and hypnotic sitar lines, with Cardigan’s deeply emotive voice soaring over all. American Songwriter said, [S.O.S] is an infectious, pop anthem. ADVOCATE called Chaz an alt-rocker for a new, angsty generation. The Nashville Scene observed, He writes songs grounded in compassion and honesty, often grappling frankly with mental health in a way that’s being heard more often in mainstream pop these days.

A classically trained pianist who taught himself to play guitar, bass and drums, Chaz grew up near Louisville, KY. Inspired by Prince and Stevie Wonder’s achievements in self-producing, he saved up enough money to purchase a four-track recorder and began recording himself at age 10. By the following year he was gigging in local punk bands. Upon moving to Nashville at age 17, Chaz began producing in a local hip-hop collective called The Diatribe. He made his full-length debut with the 2017 album I and soon was selling out headline shows throughout Nashville. Chaz is the first artist jointly signed to Capitol Records/Loud Robot. Loud Robot is the record label from J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot.

Chaz Cardigan: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

JOSEPH LOWERY, BARACK OBAMA, MEDAL OF FREEDOM, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

REMEMBERING JOSEPH LOWERY

“When black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.” – Joseph Lowery

Former Co-Founder/President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, transitioned on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10pm at the age of 98. He was one of the last remaining leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Lowery has assumed and executed a broad and diverse series of roles over the span of his eight decades: leader, pastor/preacher, servant, father, husband, freedom fighter and advocate. FOX 5 Atlanta pays tribute to Lowery HERE.

In 1997,he was dubbed the ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ upon receipt of the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. On January 20, 2009, in his inimitable style; Dr. Lowery delivered the Benediction on the occasion of President Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. On August 12, 2009 when President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor: The Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the nonviolent struggle for the causes of justice, human rights, economic equality, voting rights, peace and human dignity.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6th, 1921, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s legacy of service and struggle is long and rich. His genesis as a Civil Rights advocate dates to the early 1950s where, in Mobile, Alabama he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association; the organization which led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations. In 1957, with friend and colleague, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. he was a Co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where served in an array of leadership positions, including: Vice President (1957-67); Chairman of the Board (1967-77); and as President and Chief Executive Officer from (1977-1998).

In 1961, he was one of four Alabama pastors whose property was seized by the Alabama Courts in an historic, precedent setting libel suit, Sullivan v. NY Times, Abernathy, Lowery, Shuttlesworth, & Seay, because of their civil rights work.The United States Supreme Court vindicated the ministers in a landmark ruling which remains an important element in the protections afforded the free speech rights of the press, and of citizens advocating and protesting for justice and societal change.

In March of 1965, he was chosen by Dr. King to chair the Delegation delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery March George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama.  As the world witnessed, Wallace ordered the marchers beaten in the incident that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday”, which ultimately led to enactment of the Voting Rights Act.

Throughout his career, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s commitment to human rights and social justice exists on a global scale. His work resulted in the desegregation of Nashville, Tennessee schools, presenting Nelson Mandela with the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award following his release from prison in 1990, leading a peace delegation to Lebanon and nations in Central America to seek justice by nonviolent means, and securing millions of dollars in contracts for minority businesses in the Southern region of the United States.

His efforts also emphasize the need to uplift and empower historically disenfranchised communities. Ranging from supporting the families affected by the Atlanta “Missing and Murdered Children Crisis” through setting up funds with Citizen Trust Bank, demanding election reform and economic justice as Convener of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda (GCPA), to advocating for the rights of Black farmers discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture – Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery remains committed to cultivating the Beloved Community and reminds us to “turn TO each other not ON each other!” Ebony Magazine, in recognizing Rev. Dr. Lowery as one of the nation’s “15 Greatest Black Preachers,” described him as the “consummate voice of biblical social relevancy, a focused prophetic voice, speaking truth to power,” and his strong dedication to faith and inclusion is evident in all of his work.

Joseph Lowery had 5 children from 2 separate marriages.

•Most notable speech can be watched HERE.

Remarks at Coretta Scott King’s funeral.

•His legacy continues with the Lowery Institute.

•According to CNN Lowery was a founder of the SCLC.

BBC remembers Lowery.

Mentioned in The Guardian.

Civil Rights Icon Dies at 98 – NBC News.

•As seen on NPR.

Essence Magazine Instagram Post.

The Shade Room Instagram Post.

Tyler Perry Remembers.

Jamie Foxx Commemorates.

Barack Obama Pays Respect.

OWN Network Tribute

Lowery was laid to rest on Saturday, April 4th which is the same day MLK was assassinated.

Joe Biden Acknowledges.

Official Statement from The Family of Reverend Doctor Joseph E. Lowery

Our entire family is humbled and blessed by the overwhelming outpouring of love and support that has come from around the globe. We thank you for loving our father, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and for your continuous prayers during this time.

In lieu of flowers, cards or food, donations may be made to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights. Dr. Lowery’s life was driven by a sense of obligation to our global community and desire to champion love over hate; inclusion over exclusion. The Lowery Institute was founded in 2002 to further Dr. Lowery’s legacy of promoting non-violent advocacy among future generations.

Donations can be sent to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute, P.O. Box 92801, Atlanta, GA 30314, or made on-line by clicking here.

Aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and social distancing, plans are underway for a private family service. A public memorial will be held in late summer or early fall.

Thank you,

The Lowery Family

SODY × BULLYING

EVEN POP STARS GET BULLIED – SODY SHARES HER STORY IN NEW SINGLE

Sporting long blonde hair, blue eyes, and pink sweater, SODY is not your conventional victim of bullying and has since turned it into a positive and personal experience by becoming a vocal advocate for anti-bullying in new single “The Bully.”  PRESS HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Featuring a range of unenthusiastic schoolchildren posing for their school photos, “The Bully” presents itself as an ode to anyone picked on or feeling alone. “For my sanity, I needed to try to move on and find the positive in a negative situation to accept what happened and move on,” SODY told Celeb Mix. “I found my way to heal in the lyric ‘I’m glad it happened to me and not to you,’ and I hope it helps others find theirs too.”

Known to speak bluntly and honestly, SODY expresses raw emotion that allows audiences to relate. “It’s always going to be hard to show that vulnerability and be honest about yourself but the more people that show their authentic self, the more people will be confident to do so,” SODY told Thomas Bleach.

With a passion for standing against injustice, bullying and hate crime, SODY is just beginning to use her platforms to highlight the issues she cares about and plans to keep addressing these passions to help make the world a little less mean one song at a time.

Follow SODY: 
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY AT NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL

This week (August 18th) marks nearly thirty years since the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE)Act was signed into law, creating the most comprehensive federal program that provides services exclusively to people living with HIV.

Hemophilia advocates and survivors will gather on the eve of the anniversary at the National AIDS Memorial where construction is underway for a beautifully designed memorial feature being built to forever honor all the lives lost in the hemophilia community to AIDS.

The Hemophilia Memorial feature will consist of a new stone circle inscribed with the names of those in the hemophilia community who have died from AIDS.  It will also pay tribute to the courage and activism of those who worked tirelessly on behalf of the hemophilia community to ensure America’s blood supply is safe and this type of tragedy never happens again.

The hemophilia community was faced with evidence that treatment for their disorder was contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C. Approximately 90% of all people with severe hemophilia were infected with HIV. In response, , the hemophilia community launched a powerful and inspiring fight to right the system that failed them and to make blood and blood products safer for all.

Hemophilia advocates and survivors will gather to view construction progress, share their personal stories and encourage the hemophilia community to share names of loved ones lost.

There is still time for names to be inscribed in the circle before its formal dedication next month.

Information about how to have a name inscribed in the Hemophilia Memorial feature can be found at Aids Memorial Official Website.

2017-06-27-NAMG-Perspective-1024x663

WHEN:          Thursday, August 17, 2017

                         10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:       The National AIDS Memorial (the “Grove”)

Eastern end of Golden Gate Park at the intersection of Bowling Green & Nancy Pelosi Drives

WHO:            Leaders, advocates and survivors in the Hemophiliac and HIV/AIDS Communities, including:

  • Patrick Dunlap, CEO, Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California
  • John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial Grove
  • Karen Holine, mother of Jason Neal Fulton, who died due to the tainted blood supply