Posts tagged with "asian american"

Vaccine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Small Businesses Sign Vaccine Plan

­­SURVEY OF SMALL EMPLOYERS; 400+ SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND NATIONAL ADVOCATES LAUNCH INITIATIVE ON VACCINE LEADERSHIP TO GET U.S. ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK 

New National Survey of More than 3,300 Small Business Owners: Survey of small employers found that 64 percent of business owners say it is very important that their employees get vaccinated

Over 400 Small Business Owners and Leaders — Sign pledge to commit to becoming a small business vaccine leader 

Small employers want employees to get vaccinated and are willing to help to make it happen. The majority (63 percent) of small businesses are willing to encourage and incentivize employees to get vaccinated.

 Reimagine Main Street (RMS), a project of Public Private Strategies (PPS), has launched a public awareness campaign that will support small business owners in being leaders on the Covid-19 vaccines with their employees and in their community. The campaign was announced during a webinar that also included findings from a survey of more than 3,300 small employers on their perspectives on the vaccines conducted by Reimagine Main Street, in partnership with the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), the US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). The survey results provide insights into how small business owners view the vaccines and their plans for themselves and their workers. 

Other business organizations including the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NLGCC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) are stepping up to engage their members. 

“Small businesses like mine have struggled during this pandemic, but the vaccine shows us that the end is in sight,” said Shaundell Newsome, Founder of Sumnu Marketing and Chairman of the Board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, who moderated the webinar. “I have implemented a vaccine plan for my employees and all business owners should do the same so we can make it through Covid-19 as quickly as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 70-85% of Americans need to receive the vaccine to achieve herd immunity. Once that happens, small businesses will be able to get back to business at full capacity and the economy and communities can completely reopen.

“The survey findings demonstrate that small business owners recognize the importance of the vaccines in reopening Main Street,” said PPS Founder and Principal Rhett Buttle. “By championing the vaccine with the employees and in their communities, small employers can help fully reopen the economy as quickly as possible.”

NEW SURVEY: 

The survey of more than 3,300 small employers shows strong support for ensuring workers get vaccinated. View the full survey. Key findings include: 

  • 63% of small employers intend to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. 
  • Nearly half (45%) of small employers’ plan to give workers paid time off (PTO) to get vaccinated.
     
  • More than 80% of small employers report having conversations with employees about vaccines and a majority (55%) say they would use free or low-cost resources to provide guidance and information about Covid-19 vaccines.

PLEDGE FROM SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS: 

The campaign also calls on employers to sign a pledge to be a SMALL BUSINESS VACCINE LEADER, which more than 400 small business owners have already signed. In signing it, small business owners are pledging to do at least one of the following things:

  • Commit to getting the vaccine when it is their turn and let their employees know why they are choosing to get the vaccine
  • Create a vaccine plan for their employees
  • Provide incentives to employees who receive the vaccine, such as PTO to receive the vaccine
  • Continue to follow state and federal guidance on social distancing and wearing masks after all employees are vaccinated
  • Assist with vaccine promotion and distribution in their community (examples include volunteering to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites, donating supplies or services to vaccination sites, and being vocal in their community on the business case for getting vaccinated)

NEW TIP SHEETS: 

Reimagine Main Street is also giving small business owners the resources they need to play a critical role in championing the vaccine with their employees and in their communities. In addition to general tools and resources, the campaign includes tip sheets in multiple languages for small business specifically targeted to demographics, including:

QUOTES FROM BUSINESS OWNERS AND LEADERS: 

Ron Busby, Sr., President/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

“When our country faces a crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest, especially in the Black community. This was the case with Covid-19, but business owners can help put us on the path to recovery by embracing the vaccine.”

Ramiro Cavazos, President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

“It is going to take years for the Hispanic small business community to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but the vaccine can get us started down that path. Business owners can help speed the recovery by championing the vaccine with their employees and community.”

Justin G. Nelson, Co-Founder and President, NGLCC

“COVID-19 has forced business owners in the LGBTQ community to look out for each other as we try to make it through this pandemic. Small business owners should protect themselves, their employees, and their communities by championing the vaccine.”

Cindy Ramos-Davidson, CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

“Hispanic businesses have closed at a disproportionate rate because of Covid-19 and the path to recovery begins with the vaccine. If small business owners champion the Covid-19 vaccines, businesses and communities will be able to fully reopen much faster.” 

Chiling Tong President/CEO of the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses both financially and through the rise in anti-Asian violence. It is critical that we get through this pandemic as quickly as possible, and the vaccine is key to doing so.”

Mas Torito, owner of Kokoro Restaurant in Denver

“My family restaurant has been in business for over 30 years and this past one was the toughest we have ever weathered. To come back stronger than ever, we have championed the vaccine, but it is critical that more small businesses do so as well.”

Ginger Torres, co-founder of PPE for Navajo First Responders in Phoenix

“Hesitancy to take the Covid-19 vaccine is prevalent among many Native Americans, but small business owners can play a huge role in changing that. I urge all small business owners to be leaders on the vaccine with their employees and in their communities.”

Patty Gentry Young, co-owner of Young Hair Inc., Spring Field, Ohio

“We all take steps to be proactive about our health and getting the Covid-19 vaccine should be one of them. Small business owners can play an important role in encouraging their employees and others in their community to get the vaccine.”

Illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 Magazine

Oscars 2021, Only Kind of White

By Dana Feeney

The nominations for the 2021 Oscars have finally been announced. In June 2020 it was announced that the awards show would be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Oscars were originally scheduled for February 21 but they will now be on April 25. The award show is run by the Academy of Motion Pictures, which was founded in the 1930s. This is the third time in Oscar’s history that the show has been postponed: the first time was in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the second in 1981 due to an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many incredible films that have been created in the past year. This is the first time in Oscars history that the Academy will allow streaming films meaning films that did not have a box office debut. According to the Academy announcement last April, it will be a one time exception made to the eligibility rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting theater closures. This makes films like 2021 awards season powerhouse Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which exclusively premiered on Amazon Prime Video, eligible for award nominations.

Landmarks in Diversity

This is the first time in the Academy’s history that two women have been nominated for Best Director; Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”  Zhao is the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. She is also the first woman to ever receive four nominations in one year. 

This is the first time that the Best Actor category is not majority white. Steven Yeun was the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Minari“. Also nominated for Best Actor, Riz Ahmed is the first person of Pakistani descent and the first Muslim person ever nominated for an acting Oscar for his performance in “Sound of Metal.” They are nominated alongside Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” and Gary Oldman for “Mank.” Chadwick Boseman is the first black actor to be nominated for a posthumous Oscar and may be the first black actor to win a posthumous Oscar considering his Golden Globes win

Many black filmmakers and professionals made history this year including Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, who are the first Black women nominated for best makeup and hairstyling for their work on “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Additionally, “Judas and the Black Messiah” is the first movie with an all-Black producing team, Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, to be nominated for best picture. Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield’s acting nominations for “Judas and the Black Messiah” marks the first time two Black actors from the same film were nominated. “Judas and the Black Messiah” now holds the record for most Black nominees ever from the same film with 10 nominations compared to the past record which was “The Color Purple” with 7 nominations.

The best actress nominees include Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” who is now the most nominated Black actress ever and Andra Day for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” The best supporting actor nominees include Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah”, Leslie Odom Jr. for “One Night in Miami…” and LaKeith Stanfield for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” Additionally, Yuh-Jung Youn, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Minari”, is the first Korean person ever nominated for an acting Oscar.

As expected, the nominations for the Oscars have many familiar titles from the Golden Globes nominations. You can read more about this year’s Golden Globes here. It’ll be interesting to see how the Oscars winners compare to the Golden Globes winners considering last year’s parallel with Parasite’s Oscars win for Best Picture versus it’s Golden Globes snub.

This year’s nominations are as diverse as the Oscars have ever been, though the bar still is on the floor considering the nominees are still predominantly old, white, and male. In 2020 the Oscars earned the hastag, #OscarsSoWhite so The influx of recognition for minorities is significant in comparison. For reference last year the only non-white person nominated was Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for Best Actress. 

The Academy is working on improving their organization and have increased the number of female identifying members from 25% in 2015 to 33% in 2020, and increased members from racial and ethnic minorities, from 10% in 2015 to 19% in 2020. Considering the significant lack of diversity and recognition in categories like Best Picture and the lack of representation for Latinx individuals almost entirely, the Academy still has a way to go til its awards actually recognize and represent the diversity of the film community. 

Full List of 2021 Oscar Nominations

Similar to college basketball’s March Madness brackets, we highly recommend making Oscars ballots. It’s a super fun way to engage in awards shows which tend to be pretty monotonous and motivates people to actually watch the nominated films.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

RIZ AHMED

Sound of Metal

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANTHONY HOPKINS

The Father

GARY OLDMAN

Mank

STEVEN YEUN

Minari

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

SACHA BARON COHEN

The Trial of the Chicago 7

DANIEL KALUUYA

Judas and the Black Messiah

LESLIE ODOM, JR.

One Night in Miami…

PAUL RACI

Sound of Metal

LAKEITH STANFIELD

Judas and the Black Messiah

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

NOMINEES:

VIOLA DAVIS

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ANDRA DAY

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

VANESSA KIRBY

Pieces of a Woman

FRANCES MCDORMAND

Nomadland

CAREY MULLIGAN

Promising Young Woman

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

NOMINEES:

MARIA BAKALOVA

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

GLENN CLOSE

Hillbilly Elegy

OLIVIA COLMAN

The Father

AMANDA SEYFRIED

Mank

YUH-JUNG YOUN

Minari

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ONWARD

Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae

OVER THE MOON

Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou

A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON

Richard Phelan, Will Becher, and Paul Kewley

SOUL

Pete Docter and Dana Murray

WOLFWALKERS

Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

CINEMATOGRAPHY

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Sean Bobbitt

MANK

Erik Messerschmidt

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Dariusz Wolski

NOMADLAND

Joshua James Richards

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Phedon Papamichael

COSTUME DESIGN

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Alexandra Byrne

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Ann Roth

MANK

Trish Summerville

MULAN

Bina Daigeler

PINOCCHIO

Massimo Cantini Parrini

DIRECTING

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Thomas Vinterberg

MANK

David Fincher

MINARI

Lee Isaac Chung

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Emerald Fennell

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

NOMINEES:

COLLECTIVE

Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana

CRIP CAMP

Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder

THE MOLE AGENT

Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, and Craig Foster

TIME

Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino, and Kellen Quinn

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

NOMINEES:

COLETTE

Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers

DO NOT SPLIT

Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook

HUNGER WARD

Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman

A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA

Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

FILM EDITING

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Yorgos Lamprinos

NOMADLAND

Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Frédéric Thoraval

SOUND OF METAL

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Alan Baumgarten

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

NOMINEES:

ANOTHER ROUND

Denmark

BETTER DAYS

Hong Kong

COLLECTIVE

Romania

THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN

Tunisia

QUO VADIS, AIDA?

Bosnia and Herzegovina

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

NOMINEES:

EMMA

Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze

HILLBILLY ELEGY

Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, and Patricia Dehaney

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson

MANK

Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, and Colleen LaBaff

PINOCCHIO

Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

NOMINEES:

DA 5 BLOODS

Terence Blanchard

MANK

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

MINARI

Emile Mosseri

NEWS OF THE WORLD

James Newton Howard

SOUL

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

NOMINEES:

FIGHT FOR YOU

from Judas and the Black Messiah; Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas

HEAR MY VOICE

from The Trial of the Chicago 7; Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite

HUSAVIK

from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus, and Rickard Göransson

IO SÌ (SEEN)

from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se); Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini

SPEAK NOW

from One Night in Miami…; Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

BEST PICTURE

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, and Philippe Carcassonne, Producers

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Shaka King, Charles D. King, and Ryan Coogler, Producers

MANK

Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth, and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

MINARI

Christina Oh, Producer

NOMADLAND

Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Chloé Zhao, Producers

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell, and Josey McNamara, Producers

SOUND OF METAL

Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, Producers

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers

PRODUCTION DESIGN

NOMINEES:

THE FATHER

Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton

MANK

Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan

TENET

Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

NOMINEES:

BURROW

Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat

GENIUS LOCI

Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise

IF ANYTHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU

Will McCormack and Michael Govier

OPERA

Erick Oh

YES-PEOPLE

Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

NOMINEES:

FEELING THROUGH

Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski

THE LETTER ROOM

Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan

THE PRESENT

Farah Nabulsi and Ossama Bawardi

TWO DISTANT STRANGERS

Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe

WHITE EYE

Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

SOUND

NOMINEES

GREYHOUND

Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders, and David Wyman

MANK

Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance, and Drew Kunin

NEWS OF THE WORLD

Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller, and John Pritchett

SOUL

Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott, and David Parker

SOUND OF METAL

Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

VISUAL EFFECTS

NOMINEES:

LOVE AND MONSTERS

Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt, and Brian Cox

THE MIDNIGHT SKY

Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon, and David Watkins

MULAN

Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, and Steve Ingram

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, and Santiago Colomo Martinez

TENET

Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, and Scott Fisher

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN

Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad

THE FATHER

Screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller

NOMADLAND

Written for the screen by Chloé Zhao

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…

Screenplay by Kemp Powers

THE WHITE TIGER

Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

NOMINEES:

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King; Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas

MINARI

Written by Lee Isaac Chung

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Written by Emerald Fennell

SOUND OF METAL

Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Written by Aaron Sorkin

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.

Asian-American LGBTQ+ Actor Slays Stereotypes in Monsters of Man

Mark Toia’s Monster’s of Man has been crushing the online streaming service game, sitting on AppleTV’s Top Movies, Top Rentals, Highlights, and currently ranking in the top 200 movies on IMDb having just debuted on December 8th, 2020.

Hawaiian/Korean-American actor Conrad K. Pratt from Kāne’ohe, Hawai’i (Hawai’i Five-O, The Wolverine, GLEE, The Real O’Neals) was approached by production initially to play Bao, one of the medical students the film centers around. After learning that he had an extensive background in dance, motion capture and stunts, Toia quickly offered him the roles of the four killer robots as well. Pratt’s physicality was highlighted several times throughout the film, mostly in his cat and mouse chase through the Cambodian jungle and several of the robot-on-robot fight sequences.

“My dance and theatre background really helped me in creating these characters. I was incredibly honored that Mark has trusted me with the movements of our antagonists, as any sort of robot movement can go cheesy unbelievably quick. Working on Monsters of Man, we actually shot in the Cambodian jungle so I was lucky to have the surroundings right there for me. On a normal Mo-Cap shoot, you’re on a blue screen stage and it’s up to you to create that masterpiece around you. A project like Avatar would be such a wild experience and challenge, one that I would love to take on one day.”

The stigma surrounding masculinity in both the Asian-American and LGBTQ+ communities seem to not deter Pratt from forging on in his career. Given that he’s competing in Caucasian and heterosexually dominant avenues of Hollywood, it actually seems to be doing the exact opposite.

“I think the words ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are so unbelievably dated. Who gives a flying ‘you know what.’ It’s an opinion, there’s no right answer. I do, however, believe that both the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities are being better represented and more visible across the entertainment spectrum. To represent both of my communities on a project of this scale was an absolute privilege and I look forward to crushing these ‘masculine/feminine’ stereotypes by just being unapologetically me.”

Monsters of Man is now available world-wide on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Vimeo On Demand, YouTube, Google Play, and XBOX with more streaming services being added in the future.

Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.