Posts tagged with "awareness"

Kids Spark Video via Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Transforming Theatre Kids into Citizen Artists

By: James Wallert

In April of 2018, I brought five high school students to an early morning event sponsored by the New York State Education Department. 200 educational leaders representing 27 school districts from all across the state were there to begin the process of creating integration plans for their districts. New York State has the most racially and socio-economically segregated schools in the nation and New York City Public Schools are more segregated today than they were before the landmark 1954 U. S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education in which the Justices ruled that “Separate but Equal” schools were unconstitutional. These students were invited to perform their original thirty-minute play, Laundry City, an exploration of the effects of educational segregation. A facilitator from the state squawks a few barely audible words of introduction via a microphone plugged into a portable speaker, “Please welcome Epic Theatre Ensemble”. Jeremiah, a high school senior wearing a T-Shirt with the words, “I am Epic” written across the front, steps into the center of the room, without a mic, and speaks directly to the audience:

JEREMIAH

School segregation,

That systematic placement,

Race and class, don’t make me laugh. 

That shit goes deeper than thin cloudy glass.

Right past society’s foundation, 

Back to America in the making. 

The original sin: Race.

The performers weave through the audience performing scene after scene, transforming from character to character. The show culminates in a town hall. The students had done meticulous research to craft a scene that made room for dozens of nuanced perspectives on this complex issue.

LIV

I’m not really sure what we mean by integration. What I’ve seen when we talk about integration, it is about Black and Latino kids going to white schools to become better. That isn’t integration, that’s, in my view, assimilation.

NASHALI

I consider integration when you do the hard work of valuing what each person brings to that setting. Integration is where we learn to understand each other and appreciate each other and nobody’s story or history is more important than another’s.

JEREMIAH

I think that’s racist. I think it’s classist. I don’t believe in the savior complex- that you need to have folks swoop in and save the poor Black and Latino children. I believe that Black and Latino folks have agency and power that have been untapped.

NAKKIA

For me, it’s not that certain communities are less powerful; it’s that certain communities haven’t been given the floor. How do we give people the floor? Segregation was intentional. Integration has to be intentional. Segregation was forced. Integration has to be forced.

DAVION

If integration made money somehow, America would do it.

The five actors portray 18 different characters throughout the course of this last scene, but the final question of the play is delivered by the students as themselves.

ENSEMBLE

Is separate but equal fair?

The five citizen artists join hands and bow. The crowd rises for a standing ovation. After taking in the love, the students gesture for the audience to retake their seats.

JEREMIAH

At Epic, we have a conversation after every performance and we always ask our audience the same first question: Imagine that two weeks from now, one morning you wake up and find yourself thinking about Laundry City. What is it that will be going through your mind? A line, a character, an idea, a question? What do you think will resonate with you over time?

The post-show discussion runs an hour—twice as long as the play that sparked it. The facilitator jumps back on the mic to thank the students and direct the district teams to return to their work sessions. I gather the cast to take them back to their school (it’s a weekday). A superintendent from Upstate comes over and asks the students if they can come by his table to take a look at his district’s integration plan and share their thoughts. They do. We start to head out again when a superintendent from NYC’s Upper West Side asks for some feedback from the students about her district’s plan. The students go over to her table. After several more invitations are proffered, we are eventually invited to stay through lunch so that the cast could review and respond to each of the 27 district integration plans. I make a quick call to their Principal who agrees to excuse them from the rest of their morning classes.

About an hour into this process of consultation, Jeremiah asked if he could speak to me in the hallway. “Jim, I feel like an activist,” he says, “I mean, I feel like I’m in a room full of people who can actually change things and they’re listening to me.”

Since 2015, the plays of Epic’s youth ensemble have received 225 performances (in-person and online) for 56,000 audience members including government employees, policy researchers, and legislators.

Large-scale cultural change is always led by young people and artists, but funding for in-school and after-school arts programs are often the first casualties of state and local budget cuts. We need to invest in arts education to cultivate the next generation of citizen artists. We need to champion the creation of youth art that is relevant, representative, and affordable for everyone. We need to proudly assert the value of art-making by demanding that young artists from historically marginalized communities get paid a reasonable wage for the work they make. We need to challenge oppressive systems by placing youth and their art in front of people with power. And once everyone has had a chance to experience the art, we need to provide the time and space for people to talk to one another about what it means to them and what actions they want to take next.

About the Author James Wallert is a Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Epic Theatre Ensemble and author of Citizen Artists: A Guide to Helping Young People Make Plays That Change the World.

Alex Bogdan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Back

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching another surge this holiday season, its more important than ever to stay safe, protected and healthy. With the pandemic continuing throughout the winter season, it’s easy to forget that the chilling winter weather can result in the muscles and ligaments of our bodies to contract and tighten significantly more. The muscles and ligaments that strengthen the back and spine, as well as the shoulders and knees, are considerably impacted by these seasonal changes.

From the Pinkston News Service comes a series of tips from Dr. Rita Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Spine Health Foundation, on how to protect and keep your back healthy during these frostier months.

Stretch regularly

Implementing a consistent stretching routine can lower your risk of injury, and can even elevate the healing process of a previous injury. Engaging in basic back stretches such as the child’s pose or cat-cow and enhance strength and flexibility to your spine.

Wear proper footwear

Dr. Rita Roy encourages everyone to be mindful of the shoes that you plan to wear depending on the weather you may be dealing with. Make sure that your footwear is a fitting size, by trying them on in-store first, if you can. Ensure that your shoes have proper lining to keep you warm during the chilling temperatures. Making note to purchase a set of footwear that has non-stick rubber soles and treads on the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of safety from slipping. Remember to also take those shoes off when you head indoors, replacing them with socks or slippers, so you don’t run the risk of slipping inside as well.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you know that you may be heading outside, make sure to pay attention to what surfaces you step foot on. To get ahead of the game, keep up on the weather conditions heading your way. If you live in an area with a lot of icy roads and sidewalks, make sure to take your time, walk slowly and steer clear of carrying large items along your path. Make sure to look around you and use the objects that are not moving to your advantage; hold onto a handrail or tree to give yourself some extra balance. Keep your eyes peeled and watch around you to avoid unwarranted hazards.

Stay active

While winter follows the holiday season, this may warrant a lot of eating, sitting around and mood shifts. Seasonal depression is ever apparent through this time of year, so it’s extremely crucial to get your body moving to aid the dreariness that comes with winter. Moving around in between meals through exercising can help you in more ways than you may know.

Don’t overextend yourself

While it is crucial that you keep exercising, be sure to not overreach these efforts. The end of the holiday season raises a whole new set of physical activities, such as, hanging Christmas lights and shoveling snow. These unique tasks pose risks to the body because these are not activities that are regularly carried out year-round. Shoveling snow can cause intense stress to your back. It is vital that you use proper techniques and equipment when carrying out these tasks. Give yourself well-needed breaks and time to rest while participating in these endeavors.

Always wear a seatbelt

This may seem like a misplaced tip among the rest, but nonetheless this one is exceptionally valuable. Studies have found that a large amount of weather-related auto accidents happen throughout the winter, and around 76,000 people become hurt in accidents that result on snowy or slushy roads. Back pain can result from a mere low-speed fender-bender since the body was not anticipating the impact. So, keeping your seatbelt on can limit these sudden movements.

Kevin Young Capitol Music Group for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Alesso × Katy Perry – When I’m Gone

Renowned producer Alesso and pop icon Katy Perry come together in collaboration to release When I’m Gone. When I’m Gone released on December 29, 2021, and the highly anticipated official music video is set to release on January 10, 2022. Listen to When I’m Gone HERE.

“When it comes to my music videos, we all know I like to push the boundaries and myself and create unique opportunities for my fans to see them. ESPN and especially College GameDay hold a special place in my heart, so partnering with Alesso to become the first artists to ever debut a global music video within a live event on ESPN made for a perfect and natural pairing,” says Katy Perry.

Alesso, too, chimed in on the song and music video, stating, “”I’m so thrilled that When I’m Gone is finally out. We’ve been waiting the whole year to share it with all of you. I’m honored to collaborate with Katy on such an amazing dance record and with ESPN to become the first artists to premiere our music video at halftime of the College Football Playoff National Championship. I loved working with her and think this song and video came out super special.”

When I’m Gone showcases a mix of high-tech beats paired with heart wrenching lyrics sung by Katy. In the chorus, Katy sings out to a past lover, and assures them that she won’t be that easy to move on from. “I’m never really gone, you think you’re movin’ on, but it won’t be for long, you’ll see.” The technical hit in combination with high-drama lyrics produces a match made in heaven between Katy and Alesso.

The premiere of When I’m Gone tops off a groundbreaking year for the DJ and dance music producer Alesso. Alesso recently paired with OneOf, a green NFT platform, releasing his debut NFT collection Cosmic Genesis. More accomplishments of Alesso include Chasing Stars (with Marshmello feat. James Bay) reaching the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Song Charts, spending 11 weeks at this spot. Alesso is ringing in the 2022 new year while playing two shows in Miami on New Year’s Eve. In one show, Alesso plays with Doja Cat at Fountaine Bleau Poolside, the other at Liv Nightclub.

Katy Perry accumulates 50 billion streams, accompanied by 48 million adjusted album worldwide sales and 135 million tracks. Katy’s unforgettable 2015 Super Bowl performance stands at the highest-rated in the history of the event. A staple in the industry of pop music, Katy boasts 40M+ monthly listeners on Spotify, with numerous accomplishments to her name. Apart from her esteemed music career, Katy continues to use her platform to spread awareness for several philanthropic foundations.

LAMBORGHINI RAISES AWARENESS FOR MOVEMBER

North America Drives Lamborghini’s Largest Global Rally to Raise Awareness and Funding for Movember

  • More than 1,500 mustached Lamborghinis paraded the streets of major cities around the world, with 92 Lamborghini showrooms joining in support
  • Movember rally activities included approximately 600 cars across 22 states in North America, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Austin, Vancouver and Mexico City
  • Donations can be submitted through Lamborghini’s dedicated fundraising page by November 30

Today, more than 1,500 Lamborghini super sports cars across the globe participated in drive events with the collective Sant’Agata Bolognese/New York, November 6, 2021 – Today, more than 1,500 Lamborghini super sports cars across the globe participated in drive events with the collective mission to raise awareness and funding for the world’s leading men’s health charity, Movember. North American rallies were held across 22 major cities, with approximately 600 cars in attendance, each wearing a decal of the charity’s mustache symbol. In New York, 45 cars were organized into the mustache shape to generate attention for the cause in the country’s most populated city.

The money raised from the Movember “Bull Run” will aid in the charity’s mission of bringing awareness to important issues surrounding mental health, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer. Those who wish to donate to Movember can do so through Lamborghini’s dedicated fundraising page HERE through November 30.

“The Movember Bull Run was the largest global rally in the company’s history and we are thrilled North America was able to play a large part in leveraging our brand to elevate the awareness for men’s health,” said Andrea Baldi, Automobili Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer for the Americas Region. “We saw passionate fans and customers of all ages come together in major cities across the Americas to support the cause and actively contribute to the crucial issue of health and support research.” 

Lamborghini from the new track-inspired Lamborghini Huracán STO to various historic models, all supporting the cause with an emblem of a mustache affixed to their hood. Each rally commenced from a local retail-partner showroom and paraded in glorious progression to a final destination.

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Helping Holocaust Survivors Through Covid-19

On this Inaugural Holocaust Survivor Day, The Blue Card, a national non-profit organization dedicated to aiding over 3,000 needy Holocaust survivors households is raising awareness of the services available through their organization for Holocaust survivors—as well as the ongoing need for donor support to fund these important initiatives.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Blue Card has been providing the following critical services for Holocaust survivors, among many others:

  • Ready-made meals, food purchase and delivery service
  • Securing vaccination appointments and providing transportation
  • Summer Retreat – Survivors are provided with handicapped-accessible accommodations, transportation, scheduled meals, and an itinerary that ensures a structure and safe experience for the group.
  • Mood Restore Light Box – A special, compact, and portable UV free unit provides light therapy to Holocaust survivors. In addition to effectively treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, the Mood Restore Light Box improved visual clarity and color rendering, as well as offsets season, weather, and climate changes and helps support circadian rhythm regulation, which is even more important during COVID-19 times.
  • Companion Pets – Companion pets bring comfort and happiness to the older population with interactive electronic cats and dogs that replicate the look, sounds, and feel of real pets. Many studies have found that these pets can enhance one’s well-being and quality of life through companionship.
  • Liftware Utensils –Liftware Steady is an electronic stabilizing handle and selection of utensil attachments designed to help people with hand tremor, which may be related to Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, to eat more easily. Holocaust survivors with these conditions benefit tremendously from this device.

The Blue Card is providing critical assistance to Holocaust survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated The Blue Card’s Executive Director, Masha Pearl. “It is our duty to take care of those that have already suffered so much, during this time that can be extra traumatizing, considering their pre-existing conditions from enduring unimaginable hardships during the Holocaust.”

The Blue Card also provides Holocaust survivors with the following services daily:

  • Education & Outreach Programs:
    • Person-Centered, Trauma-Informed (PCTI) training for dental and medical professionals working with Holocaust survivors
    • The Blue Card-Lissner Hospital Visitation Program – Volunteer visits to hospitalized Holocaust survivors.
    • Nutrition guidance
  • Jewish Holiday – Provides financial support for the High Holidays, Hannukah, and for Passover, giving survivors the financial means for a better holiday season.
  • Mazel Tov Birthday – Provides survivors with a card and a check on their birthday. This is particularly meaningful for holocaust survivors who lost their entire family during the war.
  • FreeStyle Libre Glucose Monitoring: The Freestyle Libre 2 system continuously measures glucose data with customizable, optional real time alarms The unit gives people with diabetes excellent accuracy and actionable information to better manage their condition.
  • Grant assistance for emergency needs, including:
    • Housing and related costs to prevent eviction, homelessness, or utility shut-off
    • Emergency relocation
    • Food purchase
    • Medical and dental care, including medical equipment not covered by insurance
    • Emergency relocation
    • Essential clothing and footwear
    • Purchase and repair or essential major and minor appliance

The Blue Card, established in 1934 in Germany and organized in the U.S. in 1939, is the only organization whose sole mission is to provide critical financial aid for emergency medical, dental, housing and food needs to survivors of Nazi persecution. While the Holocaust seems like a long ago nightmare, for survivors it is a continuing one. Of the 75,000 Holocaust survivors in the U.S., 1/3 live at or below the federal poverty level. For many, the losses they experienced decades ago are compounded by their current struggles to subsist on meager incomes and threadbare or nonexistent support systems.  Studies show that Holocaust survivors have higher incidences of mental illness, cancer, and other debilitating diseases.

You can donate to The Blue Card Fund here.

Mental Health Awareness illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mental Health Awareness

Many people, including children and adults across diversity backgrounds, can struggle with social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health. These challenges can be situational, present for a season of life, or be a struggle across a lifetime. The symptoms may also turn on and turn off, be persistent every day, or resolve just to pop back up again.

Even though having complications with mental or behavioral health is common, it does not necessarily mean a person is functioning at their best or the symptoms should be left unaddressed. Early intervention can be more effective, than the choice to put off addressing a mental health concern for another time.

Awareness of mental health signs and symptoms are important. The first step is recognizing when we need support. Let’s set aside labels such as depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and disorders for a moment. Instead, let’s consider observations. Below is a clustered list of commonly experienced struggles we can lookout for to monitor our mental health:

Socially

  • Noticing a pattern of withdrawing or avoiding friends, family, or activities
  • Having interpersonal conflicts with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers
  • Having a difficult time understanding and/or relating to others or common life scenarios
  • Feeling disconnected from others or struggling to get close to others
  • Feeling lost about knowing who you are

Emotionally

  • Experiencing sadness, despair, distress, prolonged sorrow
  • You or others noticing changes in your mood from high to low
  • Enduring excessive worry, fears, or discomfort with the unknown
  • Experiencing extreme guilt, self-blame, or negative self-talk
  • Having bouts with excessive or persistent anger

Cognitive/Thinking

  • Noticing thought patterns that are confused, conflicted, indecisive, repetitive, or forgetful
  • Having a lowered ability begin or maintain focus
  • You or others noticing a disconnect between your thoughts and the world around you
  • Feeling fearful such as paranoia
  • Having repeat unpleasant or worrisome thoughts or images
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not truly there
  • Thoughts of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

Behavioral

  • Having a reduced ability to cope or resolve daily living complications or stress
  • Struggling with adjustment to life changes
  • Experiencing problems related to alcohol, tobacco, and/or legal or illegal substances
  • Noticing changes in eating habits such as too much, too little, overly focused on eating
  • Observing patterns of overexercise
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Having episodes of violence towards others, yourself, animals, or objects
  • Challenges with impulsive decisions or risk taking

Physical

  • Seeing trends in energy level such as significant tiredness or grand amount of energy
  • Struggles falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, or low quality of sleep
  • Having physical symptoms such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, heart pounding, shortness of breath, or other unexplained physical symptoms
  • Experiencing medical providers do not take your symptoms seriously enough

Experiencing one or a few of these symptoms at one time may be a part of life based on the amount of lemons life just handed you. However, there may be a mental health concern worth seeking proper care for if you experience one or more of these symptoms for a short or an extended period of time. Due note, some symptoms are more serious than others, such as harm to yourself or someone else, that should not be ignored and need care immediately.

Another element we can use to monitor our mental health is awareness of how our mental health symptoms interact with our daily lives. Sometimes mental health struggles can become disruptive to daily life such as negatively impacting relationships with others, how you think or feel internally about yourself, employment, housing, finances, and/or legal issues. Other symptoms are manageable and do not cause a large disruption; however, beware some symptoms can fly under the radar, but that does not necessarily indicate all is well.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing mental health concerns and would like a better understanding, then consider completing a screener. Mental Health America provides a free, quick, screening tool that provides mental health you can use to make decisions about next steps for care. The results can also be used to start the initial discussion with a mental health provider.

There is hope! In most circumstances, symptoms can be managed, reduced in intensity, and relief increased when working with a mental health provider. There are various forms of care, and you can find the right fit for you such as talk based therapy in-person or online, activity-based therapy, and collaboration with medical providers for mediation as needed.

If you are ready to take the next step, then there are multiple resources available to help you find the right provider. In emergency situations such as thoughts of harming yourself or someone else as well as severe mental illness, then calling 9-1-1, going to a local emergency room, or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or using live chat on Suicide Prevention Lifeline  may be the best routes.

In non-emergency situations there are options such as contacting a primary care provider for a referral, reaching out to loved ones, connecting to your religious or spiritual community, or finding a professional provider. Below is a list of resources for locating a provider in your area:

Mental health is just like it sounds….health. It can be scary or there can be a stigma to seek out care. However, removing the stigma, overcoming fear, seeking care, and taking steps to improving life takes courage. But you are worth it, and you deserve a better tomorrow.

Michelle Perepiczka, PhD, LPC (CO), LMHC (NY), RPT-S, NCC

Core Faculty

University of Phoenix

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Child Friendly Faith Project

Child Advocacy Group Highlights Abuse in Religious Institutions for Child Abuse Prevention Month

With National Child Abuse Prevention Month underway, the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), a national nonprofit that educates the public about religiously enabled child maltreatment, is raising awareness of crimes against children perpetrated in religious institutions.

The CFFP is also drawing attention to a dangerous court decision that could prevent abusive institutions from being held accountable and offering a valuable resource to parents and guardians to help them determine whether they should enroll or continue to enroll their children in certain religious institutions.

The little-known ecclesiastical abstention doctrine (EAD) guides courts in deciding First Amendment, religious matters. While historically the EAD has been raised in cases relating to claims of wrongful termination, in recent years religious schools facing lawsuits involving allegations of child harm have pushed courts to interpret the EAD very broadly to get cases dismissed. In one recent case, the Episcopal School of Dallas was permitted to ignore its own legal contracts with parents and the emotional harm suffered by a child never came to light.

Given this alarming legal precedent, parents and guardians of children who have been harmed by private institutions could lose their right to seek relief in court, while the institutions might never be held accountable.

Parents who have children enrolled in private, faith-based schools (or are considering enrolling them) should be aware of the potential harm posed by the EAD. With this in mind, CFFP’s campaign is offering parents valuable tips on how to determine whether they should enroll (or continue to enroll) their children in private, faith-based schools:

  • Determine whether the institution your child is enrolled in (or might be enrolled in) could claim to be faith-based. Some private schools have stretched the meaning of “faith-based” as a way to be shielded by the EAD in court. Even if an institution seems to operate in a way that appears secular, as long as a facility, school, program, or daycare operation can claim that it has some sort of faith-based or spiritual component, it could convince a court that it should be protected by the EAD and cannot be sued for child abuse or neglect.
  • Read the school’s contract carefully. Many schools specify in their contracts how legal issues must be resolved. For example, some require parents to agree to mediation. It’s important to know what legal recourses you’re agreeing to. However, be aware that if a case goes to court, the EAD does have the potential to make contracts of religious school’s moot.
  • Ask to see a school’s child-abuse prevention policies & procedures. Those that take abuse seriously and proactively develop and enforce comprehensive abuse-prevention policies are usually open to making these policies available and may even post them on their websites.
  • Research whether the school has a history of abuse allegations. Conduct an online search using the name of the institution and words such as “lawsuit,” “sued,” and “abuse” to determine if it has been accused of abuse or of covering up cases in the past. Be extremely wary if you find a pattern of abuse allegations, even if you do not find information about final court decisions.
  • Explore the educational programs of secular private or public schools. Children can receive a high-quality education and experience at many different types of schools. Consider the offerings of private secular schools or public schools, which would be unable to raise the EAD in court.

Recent abuse cases

The CFFP has previously exposed issues of religious institutional child abuse and offered support to survivors and affected families. An example is its efforts to make public the decades-long, egregious abuses perpetrated at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Recently, other cases have also made the news:

  • Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) — Last February, the SBC’s executive committee voted to expel two member churches for employing pastors who were convicted sex offenders. One pastor, who had been with his church since 2014, had pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a minor in the 1990s. The other pastor led his church since 2018, despite having been on Florida’s sex offender registry since 1993. In 2019, the SBC published a report on preventing and responding to cases of sexual abuse and later launched its “Caring Well Challenge” that calls on all SBC churches to adopt the report’s recommendations. Unfortunately, the program is voluntary.
  • Circle of Hope Girls Ranch — The owners and operators of this faith-based boarding school in Missouri face more than 100 criminal charges of sexual, physical and mental abuse of girls in their care. Their arrests came after their estranged daughter, Amanda Householder, posted social media videos of former residents talking about the abuse they endured. In an interview with a Missouri TV station, Householder said that victims had been speaking out since 2007. “Why did it take ten years for anyone to do anything?” she asked.

A dangerous court decision

While it’s heartening that these cases are receiving public attention, it is possible that they, and many more like them, could be dismissed thanks to a legal precedent set by a Texas appellate court in 2018. The case involved the Episcopal School of Dallas which invoked a common-law doctrine known as the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine” (EAD). The EAD provides guidance to courts when weighing in on First-Amendment, religious matters. However, in the Dallas case, in which a father alleged that his son had been wrongfully expelled and in violation of school policy, it was applied very broadly and used to shield the school from being sued.

In another case involving Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, a district court, in recognizing the EAD, threw out a lawsuit filed by a mother whose son had endured repeated racist bullying by other students. The mother wanted the school to hold the perpetrators accountable after the school had only demanded a written apology and suspended them for one day. Despite emotional trauma suffered by the victim, the judge agreed with the school’s claim that a court should not “intrude upon a religious institution’s management of its internal affairs and governance.”

“The EAD allows courts to prioritize a religious institution’s desire for secrecy and avoidance of accountability over the wellbeing of children,” said CFFP founder Janet Heimlich. “In cases in which organizations invoke the EAD, the public may never learn what abusive or neglectful actions took place, and parents may unwittingly enroll their children in those schools.”

To schedule an interview with a representative of the CFFP, an affected parent or a survivor of religious institutional child abuse, contact Jeff Salzgeber  through email or (512) 743-2659 cell.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP) is a national, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to end religious child maltreatment by raising awareness of this issue through educational programs that benefit the general public, survivors, professionals, and faith communities.

Dog Driving illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

8 Safe Driving Tips

8 Safe Driving Tips That Will Keep You Accident-Free

As a driver, you must learn safe driving habits to avoid accidents on the roads. As you operate behind the wheels, remember that the safety of many road users depends on you. The safety of your passengers and pedestrians depends on you.

However, as a new driver, you might be struggling to drive safely. Here are some safe driving tips you should always consider.

1. Stay Away from Your Cell Phone

Using your mobile phone is dangerous when driving. It has been one of the major causes of accidents in the United States, and that’s why you need to put it away from you when driving.

There is no doubt that we’re in the mobile world and advanced technology. You might get tempted to use your phone to see what is happening.

However, every time you text or call while driving, you’re highly distracted. Distracted driving is a major contributor to road accidents. It is not worth the risk, which means you need to put your phone away.

2. Change Your Drive Time

Most accidents happen during peak hours. There is no doubt that every driver on the road is very alert. However, the number of cars on the road makes accidents inevitable.

There is a feeling that everyone is in a rush to get somewhere. This buildup of many vehicles on a rash can easily lead to accidents. It has been established that a huge number of accidents happen in the evening rush.

Therefore, it would be important to avoid driving during peak hours. However, you might not have the luxury of choosing when to drive. In such scenarios, you need to be super alert.

3. Avoid Over-Speeding

The first lesson you will learn in any driving school has everything to do with speed. You’re not supposed to drive your car at very high speeds. However, this is a commonly ignored lesson by many drivers.

A large number of accidents are directed related to over-speeding. When you’re moving at high speed, you don’t have sufficient control of the car. A slight error can lead to a fatal accident.

You should always drive your car at a moderate speed. This is the only way you will be able to control the vehicle in case anything happens. It is always essential to adhere to assigned speed limits.

4. Avoid Being Aggressive

There will always be aggressive drivers on the road. There is no doubt that they will annoy you as you drive. However, the prevalence of aggressive drivers is not a justification for you to be aggressive.

You should make sure that you adhere to the necessary safety rules on the road to avoid some possible accidents. An aggressive driver is an emotional person.

To be a safe driver, you should make sure that your emotions don’t control your reactions. You should avoid darting between lanes. Carelessly changing lanes can easily confuse other drivers leading to an accident. Moreover, one can learn defensive driving in Austin which can save lives, time and money despite road conditions and the actions of others.

5. Follow Road Signs

Every driver is expected to follow all the road signs to the letter. However, not every driver is focused on following such road signs.

Some drivers do not even know the meaning of various road signs. As a licensed driver, you should understand every road sign you come across. Reading and understanding all the road signs is considered defensive driving.

Some drivers have a comprehensive understanding of all the road signs. Unfortunately, others want to ignore these instructions. Avoid rushing on the intersection to beat the lights.

6. Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating is another leading cause of accidents. Driving too closely to the guy in front is a potential hazard. You need to keep some distance.

As a rule of thumb, you should keep a distance of at least 4 seconds from the car ahead. This will help you to respond in case something happens. Tailgating causes road accidents due to instant braking.

Some drivers are likely to be too close behind you. You should let them pass and keep some safe distance.

7. Get Enough Sleep

As a driver, you should never underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Good drivers should sleep for at least eight hours. Unfortunately, less than 40% of drivers sleep less than six hours.

These drivers are likely to start dozing behind the wheel, which is a serious offense on the road. If the police get you dozing, there is no doubt you will be serving time.

However, police may not get you in most cases. This does not mean that you will be getting away with a criminal offense. You might end up in a serious road accident that changes your life or kills other road users.

That is why you need to get enough sleep at night. If you’re driving for long distances, you need to get another driver to take charge as you sleep.

8. Don’t Drink and Drive

Drunk driving is a leading cause of road fatalities. It has remained a major cause for death in the country for more than five decades. Data show that drink driving makes up 40% of the 40,000 fatalities each year.

If you know you will be getting behind the wheel, you need to stay away from alcohol. Some people have a myth that taking coffee or getting fresh air will bring alcohol levels down. These practices will not make any difference to your alcohol levels, and the best thing is to avoid drinking driving.

If you’re involved in an auto accident resulting from these causes, you’ll need legal help. Visit kemprugegreen.com/ for more information.

Maximize on the Safe Driving Tips

To have an accident-free driving career, you need to make use of these safe driving tips. However, if you’re involved in an accident caused by another car, you need to contact a car accident lawyer. An experienced accident attorney will help you handle ensuing lawsuits.

Q×A with Jerrimiah James

This holiday season, 360 Magazine had the chance to converse with up and coming sustainable designer and entrepreneur Jerry Buckner. Read our interview below, as well as about the brand, based in Atlanta

1. What was your defining moment regarding understanding the impact of the fashion industry on the environment?

My defining moment… After reading the report “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future,” I realized two things; first, I tied success to wastefulness and secondly it didn’t matter what fight I was fighting, gay, black, growing up disadvantaged… none of it mattered if there wasn’t a planet with conditions healthy enough for the good fight to be won. I realized at the end of the day the throne means nothing because winter is coming.

2. What are your thoughts on the rise of the “eco-conscious” shopper? Is it a fad?

I think it’s going to take a complete dismantling and a rise is not the same as an overthrowing. Is it a fad? The better question would be can we afford another fad if it is?

3. Is eco-conscious retail inherently a luxury?

No not at all. When we know better we do better. Moreover, then we are more likely to do what is right. I’ve had the opportunity through my company Jerrimiah James to outfit men and women in pieces that they could otherwise not afford and here is how. When I select pieces from the closets of friends who have the luxury of shopping extensively I share with them the cost paid for these pieces to wind up in their closets unworn. It’s not about guilt its about empowering clients to share for the planet’s sake.

4. How has the Atlanta community responded to the venture?

It could not be better received. I’ve been asked to speak on the radio, participate in panel discussions, held a call to action event and have also gained the support of many Atlanta Influencers. I still have a long way to go before I have catapulted Atlanta to the forefront of the global fashion industry’s sustainability concern, but with continued support from the city in my endeavor to bring a“wear”ness to this issue I am confident I will make the experience of resale and rental a more desirable experience

5. Where do you see yourself and your company in five years?

In the next five years I see myself as a prominent voice and force in circularity in retail as well as an advocate for transparency in fashion, and for policy that does not allow for the creation of a product at the expense of the creator, that is planet earth.

6. Who are your style heroes?

It’s a privilege to wear the clothes, attend the parties, and meet the men and women instrumental in the Fashion culture. I’m grateful. If clothing brings us together then there must be enough minds in this group to solve the problems caused by the production of it. My style heroes are the men and women, shoppers and creative directors, courageous enough to go against the flock. Brands like Stella McCartney, Brother Vellies, Reformation, Grailed, and Toms.

JERRIMIAH JAMES LAUNCHED AS ECO-CONSCIOUS RETAILER AIMING TO SPREAD A “WEAR” NESS 

Buckner, founder of Jerrimiah James, has been in the fashion industry for over 10 years and has navigated the realm of high-end retail, moving within circles of influence and affluence. While outfitting the lifestyles of an upscale clientele including entrepreneurs, high profile actors, actresses, models, music artists and well-known athletes, Buckner gained an acute awareness of the connection between a steady increase in sales of designer garments and the subsequent discarding of those garments. Buckner realized how significantly a “single-use” wardrobe item contributes to the global waste problem. The textile industry, Buckner discovered, uses an incredible volume of non-renewable resources to produce clothing that is eventually lost to landfill and incineration. Additionally, nearly 93 billion cubic meters of water annually and 20% of global industrial water pollution can be attributed to the dyeing and treatment of textile products.

The over-consumption and underutilization of clothing led to Buckner’s founding of Jerrimiah James which creates a new standard for conscientious consumers by providing the opportunity for luxury shopping resale and rental. As a membership resale and rental fashion service, Jerrimiah James caters to Atlanta-based influencers, artists and creatives. This format emphasizes garment sharing through a platform that introduces a meeting of both the minds and style.

“I had never given it thought before and, that was concerning because I find that the things that often cause the most damage are the things that we do thoughtlessly. Our vision of a planet as beautiful as the fashion we wear is a real possibility if we bridge the gap by creating circularity in our use of apparel,” states Buckner. “Circularity is the new black!”

Through this peer-to-peer e-commerce wardrobe platform, Buckner introduces the street fashion individual and environmental enthusiast, an opportunity for consumers to choose the pieces that will make the experience a lasting one and a sustainable solution for the planet.

In 2020 Jerrimiah James was named as a finalist in The Fashion Group International’s 24th Annual Rising Star Awards’ “New Retail Concept” category.

Isabelle Fries makes a brief splash inside 360 MAGAZINE

ISABELLE FRIES

At 22 years old, Isabelle Fries has started to make a name for herself in the music industry. Not only is she gifted in her art, she has an extremely large heart.

Born in Sydney, but raised in Denver, Colorado, Fries found her inclination for singing at a young age. “I knew I wanted music to be a part of my life since I was about 7, but as I got older I was able to recognize that it is a labor of love for me,” she expressed. “I have never searched for fame through my music.” 

Not long after, she discovered her heart had room for another love, philanthropy. At just 15 years old, Fries became the first youth board member and youth leader for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) an NGO in Uganda who’s mission is to educate students & community leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empower awareness, collaboration, conversations and personal growth. 

Through working with this organization, Isabelle travelled to Uganda to teach, perform and empower. In 2017, Fries performed in front of 20,000 people in Uganda at the annual iKnow HIV Awareness Concert Series along with other musicians from around the world, using music to breakdown barriers, bring people together and provide free medical testing and awareness for HIV for over 8,500 Ugandans.  

“I became a part of GLI when I was 15 and fully threw myself into their mission and their work. It is what opened my eyes to one of my passions I am now pursuing in international education. They really focus on young voices and drawing on perspectives from all types of individuals which is why I was asked to be on the board at such a young age. GLI is truly one of the most important things in my life so I could not be more thankful to be a part of it.” 

This wasn’t the only organization Fries carried out philanthropic work with. She volunteered in Haiti with The Road to Hope, an International Affairs Intern with Creative Visions in Malibu, California and a community worker with CEPIA in Costa Rica.

Isabelle still wanted to do more for Eastern African communities. She founded the “Bulamu Raise Your Voice Community Foundation (BCF)” and was able to draw on inspiration from one of her other life-long devotions: swimming. 

For twelve years, she swam competitively breaking records, winning State Championships and being a leader on her teams until complications from several autoimmune disorders forced her out of the water. This was never a part of her plan, but she was able to alter her life’s path and kept pushing through

“It is not something that I let control my life or hold me back from living. I take care of myself in every way I can and find strength in what I am able to do and learn new ways to improve my way of life,” she expressed. 

One of Fries’ missions with both GLI and BCF is to raise awareness for water safety on Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda by teaching swimming to prevent drownings. By working closely with GLI and the headmaster of the Kazi Primary School, Fries has been able to carry out this initiative, as well as implementing academic, music and sports curriculum.  

She said that the community of Lake Bunyonyi changed her life by seeing how they are such powerful and driven people. “I don’t go for my own benefit or to be a ‘white savior’ ,” she asserted. “When I work in Uganda, I give the individuals I work with support and resources and they truly do the rest.”

Isabelle was fortunate enough to meet one of her long time role models, Michael Phelps. Fostering a relationship with someone who has shaped her life in so many ways in and out of the water has been such a blessing, says Fries. This lead to her working with the Michael Phelps Foudation (MPF), where she took the opportunity to become certified in their “IM Water Safety Program” which is implemented in The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

When given the opportunity again to combine her music and philanthropy through the MPF, she couldn’t resist. Isabelle was asked to open for country singer, Eric Church, at a MPF benefit concert in Chicago at the iconic Arcada Theater. “Swimming is an incredibly big part of my life as I was a serious competitive swimmer from the ages of 5 to 18, therefor having the chance to combine my music with my love and passion for swimming and water safety was very special and meaningful.” 

Now a recent graduate of The University of Southern California, Fries splits her time living between Denver and Los Angeles, continuing to pursue her passions: music and philanthropy, while working in Denver at a non-profit dedicated to mentoring students. Isabelle holds a degree in International Relations with minors in Spanish as well as  Non-Profits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism. 

While studying at USC, Isabelle was fortunate enough to catch the eye of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum producer/mixer Rob Chiarelli, who she’s fostered an incredibly close relationship with. 

She began releasing music signed with Chiarelli’s label Streetlamp records this year, already finding a widespread and loyal audience across all music platforms using her rich, soulful vocal that could be compared to the sound of Lauren Daigle or Adele. She recently released her 6th single, a raw piano ballad called “All We Had. When people listen to her music, Fries always wants to make them truly feel – whatever that feeling may be. Through channeling lyrics with her songwriters from her own life experiences, the emotions she is able to elicit are special to her. 

While the music may be interpreted differently for each unique individual, her raw style is something she hopes help guide those listeners on whatever journey they want to take. “I’ve always said, I love music because it lets you feel something you didn’t think you could.”

This is definitely something she mirrors artistically with one of her musical inspirations, Amy Winehouse. Growing up performing jazz music, Fries describes this genre as a big part of her musical identity, so she was instantly drawn to Winehouse’s style which she catalogs as “authentic, raw and groundbreaking. Amy created music unapologetically.”

But Fries’ number one music icon is Sir Elton John. “His music was always around me when I was growing up. My parents loved all music from that time and exposed me to it at a very young age which is one of the reasons it is the type of music I love the most. 

However, Elton John’s music was different for me, it felt like poetry and real emotion. His sound and songs are like stories that you never want to end. When I began to listen to him more I realized this is the type of music I want to sing and be a part of.” 

Feeling very blessed to have found such a supportive team, guiding her in finally being able to put her own original songs out there into the world, she is excited to evolve using her music to help create change, perform live again, and continue to build upon her body of work. While she’s away in the studio recording, we’ll be out here patiently waiting for more music, while she continues to use her voice to make the world a better place.