Posts tagged with "Anti-Racism"

Spark Press image by Amateur Films, LLC for use by 360 Magazine

Spark: A Systemic Racism Story

Documentary Explores Racism’s Roots and Remedies, Offers Free Educational Access

The tragic death of George Floyd sparked the largest global protest in the history of the world, a nationwide discussion, and a more profound look at deep-seated, systemic racism in America. With the Derek Chauvin trial underway and the unsettled fate of police reform, Amateur Films’ 30-minute non-commercial documentary — Spark: A Systemic Racism Story — is available as a complimentary resource to explore racism’s roots and remedies. Since the film’s release in December 2020, individuals, teachers, professors, CEOs, and diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) leaders began utilizing Spark as a resource for racial justice, equity, and sensitivity.

Created by white allies for all allies, the documentary is an aggregator of interviews and clips of prominent racial justice advocates, providing historical context of policies and procedures that led to the oppression of the Black community. Spark also proposes pragmatic, creative remedies in policing, criminal justice, and society in both full-length and condensed forms.

The producers’ participation in a local demonstration sparked by the death of Mr. Floyd inspired the creation of a non-commercial educational documentary to encourage recognition of unconscious bias and show a path to unlearning the historical narrative that redefined an entire race, supporting authentic and effective white allies.

“The trial of Derek Chauvin illustrates a driving point: being white in America is not needing to state that your life matters. When your life matters, you have power. Some use it for good and some very clearly (as in the case of George Floyd’s murder) do not,” said associate producer Julie Manriquez. “We hope our film helps to provide space for those looking to listen and learn and do the work.”

The documentary is presented in complete, abbreviated, and mini versions and can be viewed at this website. Companies, academic institutions, and organizations are encouraged to utilize Spark as a tool and share within and beyond their circles to further the cause of creating a more equitable society designed for the success of all.

About Amateur Films, LLC

Amateur Films, LLC is based in Minneapolis, MN, created in 2020 by Tom Gegax and Mary Wescott of the Gegax Family Foundation. The production team is made up of volunteers and includes talented and passionate neighbors in addition to the retention of top Hollywood writers, editors, composers, and sound and color experts. Amateur Films was inspired by the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests as well as Gegax’s personal experience during the late 60s civil rights uprisings when, working in Chicago with 14 Black service station owners in his territory, he developed deeply personal and business relationships as they protected him from harm during these uprisings and their aftermath.

 

No More Hate illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Atlanta Shooting

By: Carly Cohen × Heather Skovlund

Early this week, a tragedy had occurred in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of eight victims were killed at the Georgia spa. Six of the eight victims were Asian, and when the suspect got caught, he claimed that “his actions were not racially motivated.” It was stated that it was too soon in the investigation to claim this shooting as a hate crime; however, the shootings were “aimed at a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus across the United States.” The suspect claimed that apparently “sex addition” drove him to commit these murders.

There were multiple incidents: the first occurred at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in a mall off Highway ninety-two, about thirty miles north of Atlanta. When the police got the call, five people were shot, and two were dead while three were rushed to the hospital. An hour later, after this tragedy, two other shootings happened right across the street- one being on Piedmont, the other at the Gold Spa and Aromatherapy.

There were seven women and one man; most of them were Asian. The victims have been identified as Delainia Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng.

Yaun and her husband, Mario Gonalez, were off work getting a couples massage at Young’s Asian Massage when the tragedy started. Her husband safely made it out of the salon, but he and his wife were in separate rooms when the shooting was started. They had a family together; a thirteen-year-old son and an infant daughter. It is sad to say that this woman was a victim in this shooting that not one person deserved -separating families, taking parents, taking siblings. It is a terrible, terrible thing that no one deserved. John Beck, Yaun’s manager, voiced to BuzzFeed News that “her heart was so big.” She would feed homeless people and offer them clothes and a place to shower. Hearing a person who is so kind and so pure as Yaun makes you ask the question, “why do bad things happen to good people.” It doesn’t make sense and is not fair.

Xiaojie Tan was the owner of Young’s Asian Massage as was another victim of the attack. She was known for being an extremely hardworking small-business owner and had such a big heart filled with love and kindness. Her client, Greg Hynson, stated that when he came for an appointment on his birthday a year ago, she had a birthday cake waiting for him. Another victim, Paul Andre Micheals, was a U.S Army infantry veteran married for more than two decades. He was a “dedicated, hardworking, loving man,” his brother stated.

These killings brought a “wave of outrage and attention to violence against Asian-American people.” As soon as social media was notified of the attacks and assumed to be focused on Asian’s, you could see all over the media celebrities, influencers, and people left and right posting regarding standing up for the lost lives and spreading awareness to this hate crime and all hate crimes in general. The media has been outraged and will continue to stand together.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustrates Black History Month for 360 MAGAZINE

Black Content Creators To Follow

By: Emily Bunn

Here at 360 Magazine, we are always looking to shine a spotlight on the voices of up and coming change makers, movers, and shakers. We are shining a light on Black content creators who are standing up and making a change in the communities and world around them. Though many of these discussions are taking place in the virtual sphere currently, these conversations have the power to translate into change via education met with action. While this list is far from complete, here are some talented, ambitious Black content creators, authors, educators and activists on Instagram that deserve more recognition:

Jerris Madison

Self-described as a “digital nomad”, best dressed amputee, social media strategist and photographer, followers are sure to be asking themselves: “What can’t Jerris do?” To further his life of accomplishments, Jerris is also the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of OBVIOUS Magazine. OBVIOUS describes their magazine as “visionaries dedicated to bringing a different philosophy to Fashion, Beauty, Culture, Activism, Travel, Global Politics, and Design”, “We are the voice for those that do not yet realize they have a voice.” OBVIOUS looks to recognize talent and allow them the space to grow, consistently bringing light to queer and BIPOC models and public figures. Jerris’ Instagram displays his recent endeavors with OBVIOUS, travel adventures, outfit pics, and other uplifting lifestyle content.

Aja Barber

Aja is a content creator who discusses fast fashion, sustainability, and environmentalism topics in conjunction with racial capitalism. She highlights the importance of accountability in social justice, emphasizing the importance of taking these online discussions into the social spaces around you, both on and off-screen. She encourages her followers to normalize the discomfort these conversations may ensure, and ways to dismantle the prioritization of white comfort that often dominates these discourses. Her infographics on sustainability and fast fashion are educational while maintaining a conversational tone.

Michael Letterlough, Jr.

Instagrammers are sure to be awed by Michael’s stunning, surreal, immersive photography feed. While many online users venture to Instagram to post selfies, Michael uses his platform as a creative, photographer, and director to share the stories of others. His recent photo exhibition project, “Legacy: Through the Eyes of a Child”, looks to pay tribute to African American icons throughout history.

Additionally, Michael is the CEO of Suavv Magazine– a Black Men’s lifestyle publication. The magazine focuses on creating lifestyle content geared towards the active, urban, sophisticated young male, and creates an open space for discussions among Black men to open up about topics that aren’t often discussed otherwise. By prodding these conversations thorough thoughtful articles surrounding relationships, politics, sex, sports, and religion in the magazine’s “The Barbershop” category, Letterlough creates the potential for real social change. These topics are furthered in the Suavv TV video discussions, each of which features a visionary who aids in humanizing and deepening these conversations.

Ibram X. Kendi 

Dr. Kendi is National Book Award winning author, NYT Bestselling author, and Boston University Professor and Director of the Center for Antiracist Research. Luckily, you don’t have to be a student of Dr. Kendi to learn from him– his Instagram page is full of insight. He frequently shares his opinions on U.S. politics and Black American history, and his involvement with literary projects. Recently, Dr. Kendi has been promoting his newest book, “Four Hundred Souls,” and his work with BU.

Dominique Drakeford 

Dominique is self-described as “A Black Indigenous Vanguard of Sustainability.” She is also an environmental educator, community advocate, writer, creative director, and the founder of the magazine MelaninASS, which covers topics such as sustainable and decolonized fashion, wellness, and the environment. Her discussion of these topics is furthered in her involvement with Sustainable Brooklyn, of which she is a co-creator. Heralding holistic wellness and health, Domonique inspired her followers to live more natural, intentional, liberated lives. Dominique describes her mission on her website: “As a pillar of visibility – I help create an accessible framework for how Black & Brown Indigenous communities absorb information, gain clarity & become more sustainably liberated while simultaneously working to dismantle toxic systems of white “supremacy” across environmentalism, climate change, eco fashion and zero waste movements.”

Munroe Bergdorf 

Munroe Bergdorf is an English activist and model who has amassed an impressive 551k on Instagram. She had been Loreal’s first transgender model, until a racial row ensued, but continued to pioneer LGBT+ representation and rights when she was appointed as an LGBT advisor to the UK’s labour party. While her involvement wasn’t long-lasting, her continued efforts have been, as she continues to fight for systemic change. In 2018, Munroe won the award for “Changemaker of the Year” at the Cosmopolitan Awards. More recently, Munroe has been supporting the #DrawALine campaign in the fight against female genital mutilation, transgender rights, and other social justice causes.

Vaughn Lowery

Vaughn Lowery is the President of 360 Magazine. Lowery constantly looks to uplift the voices racially and sexually diverse public figures in his magazine–recently featuring LaJune, Jonte’ Moaning and Don Benjamin, to name only a few. Some of the most notable stars to grace the cover of the magazine include Demi Lovato, Bella Thorne, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, and Sabrina Carpenter, among many others. While he has previous experience in modeling, acting, and producing screenplays, Lowery is finally telling his own story in his upcoming, debut  memoir: “Move like Water × Be Fluid.” This novel will be released as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE, and stands as the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing. Lowery is also is in the process of establishing 360 Fest–a film festival created to showcase the most provocative, enthralling new films from across the globe. Lowery continues to give back to others, not only by uplifting their voices, but also through giving back to charities and foundations to support marginalized, underserved communities.

On his Instagram, Lowery is often seen fashionably sporting and utilizing products from the brands 360 Magazine provides innovative coverage of. His page feels personal and intimate, often sharing videos of himself with his son, which lends a personal lens into Lowery’s life and proves his authentic passion for the companies with which he chooses to collaborate. His Instagram boasts the glitz and glam of his endeavors and stylish wardrobe in an authentic, inviting way that inspires followers to want to get to know Vaughn on a deeper level.

Ts Madison

Ts Madison is an author, television host, producer, artist, motivational speaker, and media personality. Madison is a transwoman, and uses her online platform to bring advocacy and awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2016, Madison won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Transgender Erotica Awards. In 2019, Madison was honored as one of the top 100 LGBT people in Out Magazine. She continues to champion LGBT rights as she is the first Black trans woman to star in and exclusively produce her own reality series, The TS Madison Experience, premiering March 4 on WeTV. For more of Madison, fans can also check out her weekly gossip show, “The Queens Supreme Court.”

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams, most notably known as the host of The Wendy Williams Show, is an American broadcaster, businesswoman, author, and media personality. Wendy’s talk show has been on air for over a decade, since 2008, and her fanbase remains dedicated to hearing her opinionated views, entertainment coverage, and the personal advice she gives to audience members. Wendy looks to help those in need further through her involvement with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, of which she is a celebrity ambassador. On her Instagram, Wendy often posts “Hot Questions” to have her audience weigh-in on hot button issues, as well as sharing personal snapshots of her life, clips of The Wendy Williams Show, and short form celebrity interviews.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham

Brittany is an activist, educator, writer, and contributor to MSNBC, among other titles. Her content highlights issues such BIPOC hate crimes and violence, prison reform, systemic racism and white supremacy in America, and the death penalty, among other political topics. She also has a podcast called UNDISTRACTED, which discussions surrounding intersectional feminism, black and trans power, and timely conversations on the current U.S. political climate. Her page is highly opinionated in the best way, Brittany’s content is sure to make viewers reflect on their operations within the systems that govern the societies around themselves.

Ayana Gabrielle Lage 

Ayana is a blogger from Tampa, Florida who posts about U.S. politics, Black grief, interracial relationships and raising biracial children, online virtue signaling via social media, facing micro-aggressions, and other lifestyle, motherhood and self-care topics. While Ayana recognizes that it is not her job to educate her audience on these topics, her page is very informative, and not to mention, aesthetically pleasing.

Rachel Elizabeth Cargle

Rachel is a self-described public academic, philanthropic innovator, and social entrepreneur. Her Instagram page sparks conversation surrounding topics such as under-recognized Black history, the Indigenous Land Back movement, decolonization, Black feminist thought and womanhood, and anti-racism–all of which are topics that she hosts workshops on, as well. Her page is flooded with her own words of wisdom and personal experiences, which are further outlined her monthly syllabi, The Great Unlearn. Additionally, Rachel is the founder of The Loveland Foundation, which looks to grant better access to mental health care for Black women.

Austin Channing Brown

Austin is a writer, speaker, and producer who has amassed an impressive 406k followers on Instagram. She often posts about her writings on justice, fighting white supremacy and saviorism, and speaking up about the current political climate, which are also spoken about in her new book she is promoting, “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness.” She also hosts a video web series titled The Next Question, in which she further broaches all of these topics.

Jason Lee

Jason is the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of Hollywood Unlocked (HU), the online entertainment magazine and multimedia platform. Hollywood Unlocked has expanded into other media genres, including a YouTube podcast and a book detailing Lee’s rise to fame as a respected entertainment journalist. Lee is also known for his appearance on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. While Lee has been open about his struggles as an openly gay, biracial man, Lee now uses his position as face of the publication to create conversations with his dedicated audience of about the stories that Hollywood Unlocked covers.

Bevy Smith

Bodacious, brilliant and beloved, Bevy Smith is an entertainment personality, motivational speaker, author, brand ambassador, and businesswoman. Known for being the host of Sirius XM’s “Bevelations” on Radio Andy and former co-host of Bravo’s Fashion Queens, Smith possesses her audience with charm, wit, and humor. Smith also has recently released a memoir under the same title of her radio program, “Bevelations”, which details her rise to fame, and how others can also manifest their dreams. Bevy is uplifting, inspiring, and ebullient.

Layla F. Saad

The New York Times bestselling author of “Me and White Supremacy,” Layla F. Saad uses her Instagram to speak about the monthly book club she hosts, @goodancestorbookclub, which features BIPOC authors. Layla also runs the Good Ancestor podcast, in which she tackles discussions surrounding anti-racism, intergenerational trauma, environmental justice, class, storytelling, and more.

Liv Little

Founder of gal-dem magazine, Liv Little is a storyteller at heart, but happens to also be an Instagram aficionado. gal-dem is an independent magazine produced by women of color and nonbinary people of color. In 2019, the magazine released the book “’I Will Not Be Erased’: Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour,” bringing to light some of the experiences of the magazine’s own staff. In 2021, Little was named as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30. Recently, Little has been utilizing her Instagram to advertise her bi-weekly newsletter, post stylish shoots and candid selfies, share her favorite Black women authors, and share her writing projects.

DéVon Christopher Johnson

DéVon is the founder and CEO of BleuLife Media Group. He has built his own personal brand from his publication, Bleu Magazine, though the media company has expanded to an online digital sister magazine, Bleu TV,  a podcast network, a geo-targeting mobile ad platform, and an agency that represents digital influencers. Bleu Magazine is an aspirational lifestyle publication for multicultural men which looks to serve diverse audiences globally. The magazine is even in the process of developing a wellness subscription box for Black men. DéVon is an advocate for breathing life back into print media, especially within communities of color. On his Instagram, DéVon often posts travel flicks, snaps selfies, and advocates for Black-owned media.

Seattle Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Seattle Diversity Training

By Eamonn Burke

The City of Seattle recently held a training about Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority for their white employees. Traits of internalized racism, according to the diversity trainers that led the session, include individualism, objectivity, and intellectualization.

The training included an extensive list of oppressive behavior that white people can commit against their co-workers, as well as a guideline for being allies to minorities. The city also encourages self affirmation in one’s contribution to the persistence of racism, with a goal of “undoing whiteness”. A visual aid of the racist “cycle” was included in the training. Another handout read: “racism is not our fault but we are responsible.”

A major focus of the training was that white people had to “give up” certain privileges to truly purge themselves of internalized racism. The diversity trainers specified these privileges to include comfort as well as social status and control. Lastly, they gave examples of achieving the status of a “white ally” to describe the goal of the training.

The goal, as described by the city in an email, is for “city employees who identify as white to join this training to learn, reflect, challenge ourselves, and build skills and relationships that help us show up more fully as allies and accomplices for racial justice.”

Zakat Provides Aid in Minneapolis

Two days after George Floyd’s bereaved family and an emotional nation laid this unlikely icon of systemic American racism and anti-Black police brutality to rest in Houston, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on Zakat Foundation of America — for the third time in 10 days — to haul in and hand out a truckload of farm-picked produce for local families still cut off from wholesome fresh fare. 

“I invited them to bring another container of food, as there is unfortunately no shortage of need,” Congresswoman Omar said. “And I am honored to join and help them in the distribution this Friday.” 

Friday, June 12’s free distribution will start around 10 a.m. at the Bryan Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave S. 

“I appreciate that Zakat Foundation of America thought of us and came out to Minneapolis with food aid during this difficult time. It means a lot,” Congresswoman Omar said.

Floyd, 46, died handcuffed, surrendered, face-down on a street in Omar’s district — pleading for breath, calling for his mother, throttled beneath the knee on his neck of then-19-year veteran, white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, on Memorial Day, May 31.

The brazen murder transpired for nearly 9 remorseless minutes in broad daylight; Chauvin, hands nonchalantly in his pockets, smirking directly into the recording video camera, with onlookers imploring him for mercy for Floyd’s expiring life.

“Godliness means acting quickly with compassion for the vulnerable,” said Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation’s executive director. “We didn’t wait for an invitation. Right away, we moved to bring these victims of racism and persecution the most basic sustenance of life cut from them: fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk.”

Content and Character

Zakat Foundation relief workers will pass out more than 18,000 pounds of colorful produce and 400 gallons of milk, with help from Congresswoman Omar and her staff.  Each produce box contains about 25 pounds of farm-fresh tomatoes, apples, oranges, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, carrots, asparagus, onions, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables.

On June 3, global charity Zakat Foundation became the first major organization in the country to initiate food relief for people of the Twin Cities severed from food markets by police riots in response to protests and months of coronavirus pandemic disruptions.

The international humanitarian nonprofit, headquartered in Bridgeview, Ill., near Chicago, made good on Demir’s promise to return with more garden-fresh provisions just two days later, June 5.  Demir said Zakat Foundation and its supporters intend to deliver more than food to the people of the community and city now indelibly marked as ground-zero for America’s anti-racist social crisis.

“We want to put a little bit of love in the hearts of people, bring some healing to our nation.”  

Many-Splendored Goodness

Zakat Foundation relief specialists worked to ensure their food campaign paid multiple relief dividends. They procured the fruits and vegetables for food baskets fresh from Midwest farmers.

That made its produce campaign and donors’ gifts deeds of double goodness. On one hand, this provided Minneapolis’ food-, job-, and mobility-deprived people with healthful nourishment. On the other, it helped lessen the dramatic economic shortfall struggling farmers faced unexpectedly, forced to plow their harvests under or destroy yields in the face of COVID-19’s economic ambush.

The aid group, based on Islam’s celebrated Third Pillar, Zakat, the yearly almsgiving obligation on wealthy Muslim individuals from which it takes its name, will have sent more than 60,000 pounds of free produce and milk into Minneapolis’ afflicted neighborhoods in less than two weeks. They’ve duplicated this giving for hard-pressed people in cities across the nation, including New York, Durham (North Carolina), St. Louis and Oakland.

In addition, Demir has slipped in shipments of PPE — medical masks and gloves — to help health care staff and essential workers cope with the persisting pandemic. This remains crucial, particularly among African-Americans, another reflection of the epidemic of racism across the country.

Demir, who personally drove in with the first shipment and passed out the produce boxes and milk, along with Omar, sees this work as the beginning of a necessary curative for what hurts in America.

“If we give a little, each of us, and really care for our brothers and sisters — as children of our one father, Adam, and one mother, Eve — it won’t just ease the hearts of others. It will heal our own,” Demir said.

About Zakat Foundation:

Founded in 2001, Zakat Foundation of America helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. Zakat Foundation’s mission is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world. Zakat Foundation conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 50 countries. For more information, please visit Zakat.org.

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