The Rose Music Festival makes an official unveil with the announcement of its massive, inaugural lineup for the first covid-compliant state-of-the-art festival of 2021, taking place in Orange County, California, on April 24, 2021. Set to be a momentous experience with the perfect mix of star-studded performances from established artists and up-and-coming artists who are set to be next, attenders will have the chance to enjoy entertainment from some of their favorite artists while discovering music from soon-to-be-favorite rising stars. “The Rose Music Festival” originally came into fruition over one year ago by founder’s creative director Phillip Riaan and rising artists, entertainers Ry & Kendyx to create a platform for emerging musicians to showcase their bubbling stardom on a main stage with appeal compared to music festivals alike. Today, the experience now includes some of the hottest entertainers in music now making it the most unparalleled music festival that caters to something for everyone.
Featuring some of the biggest names in music and next up emerging acts, attenders will see performances from Mozzy, Stunna Girl, Eric Bellinger, Day Sulan, 1TakeJay, Asian Doll, Black Fortuna, Jaddah Blue, 777 God, Kendyx, Ry, Abbey Nicole, Float Lord, Rizz, and more special guests! Hosted by Philon, the benefit event will also see guest appearances from J Mulan and Manuel Antonio with music/ sounds by DJ Skyhighbaby & Power 106 FM’s own DJ Carisma.
100% of proceeds from “The Rose Festival will the donated to Avalon Carver Community Center, a network center located in South Los Angeles that provides education services, home improvement services, and substance abuse services for people who live in Los Angeles County. Built on the vision of community leader Mary B. Henry, the agency has become a centerpiece of the diverse community fabric of the neighborhood and met the needs of its growing and ever-changing community.
“We’re really excited to create this moment for California because our community needs this beam of light during these unusual times,” says Phillip Riaan, Co-Founder of The Rose Music Festival. It has been a tough year, a year that has shed light on the health and economic disparities in Black and Brown communities, so I’m happy we’re able to make this experience that looks out for many communities. Not only was the concert essential to us because of the cause, but it also provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to be able to see their name in lights and not have to wait on someone to allow them to because they are trending on social media.”
Kendyx, Co-Founder of “The Rose Music Festival,” shared, “music is healing, and it’s a beautiful moment to see emerging musicians, like myself, have this moment of coming together in a unique way that gives back to the community that has supported us all in more ways than one.”
Ry, p.k.a. Rydope, Co-Founder of “The Rose Music Festival and a rising artist herself, echoed similar sentiments by saying, “This festival will show that betters days is approaching for the world, not only for our community here in California.”
The Rose Festival marks one of the first live music events in the United States in over a year. For more information about the festival, visit this website.
About The Rose Music Festival
Rose Fest is a music festival that gives back to the community, shines the light on emerging artists and collaborates with established artists to give fans across the world exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content and live performances. Proceeds from the Fest’s revenues will benefit Avalon Carver Community Center. Avalon Carver works to care for youth and through education, community outreach and empowerment throughout Los Angeles, CA. The inaugural festival will take place in Orange County on April 24, 2021
Avalon Carver works to care for the physical, mental and spiritual needs of individuals and families through education, community outreach and empowerment.
Since 1940, Avalon Carver in South Los Angeles has been a place for people from diverse backgrounds to join together in one space and work to make their community thrive. Built on the vision of community leader Mary B. Henry, it has strived to become a place of growth, unity, family, and positive change for South Los Angeles. It has grown to become a centerpiece of the diverse community fabric of the neighborhood.
Throughout the years, Avalon Carver has met the needs of its growing and ever-changing community. Through hard times and good, through struggles and triumphs, bringing up inspiring community leaders and strengthening families.
Avalon Carver is now stepping into the next chapter of our story, keeping an eye towards the future of our community through a refresh of our space, an expansion of our services, and a progressive take on the education of the community.
For more information, visit Avalon Carver’s website.
Montana House Sends Religious Refusal Bill To Governor Gianforte’s Desk
RFRA bill similar to controversial Indiana law signed by then Gov. Mike Pence
Today, the Montana House passed passed anti-LGBTQ Senate Bill 215, an expansive religious refusal bill that could grant a license to discriminate against Montanans and visitors, including LGBTQ people, people of faith, and women, across a wide range of goods and services in the state. The bill now heads to Governor Greg Gianforte for signature or veto. In 2015, then-Governor of Indiana Mike Pence signed a similar piece of legislation into law that encouraged widespread discrimination from medical providers, businesses, government officials and taxpayer-funded entities. Mississippi also passed a RFRA in 2016. In the wake of Indiana, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a RFRA bill at the urging of Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Mitt Romney, saying that it would have “unintended consequences” and divide the state. The Arizona bill faced serious business opposition, including Apple, AT&T, Delta Airlines, Major League Baseball, and the Super Bowl House Committee.
As reported by The 19th, this is among 36 anti-LGBTQ “religious freedom” measures coursing through state legislatures as part of a national flood of anti-LGBTQ legislation and an effort by national, far-right extremist groups to sow fear and division for political gain. This represents the fourth anti-LGBTQ bill sent to a governor’s desk this session, and just the second RFRA bill. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement in reaction to today’s House vote:
“Governor Gianforte was elected in part on the promise of bringing new businesses and industries to Montana. He should seriously consider vetoing this legislation, which would not just discriminate against LGBTQ people, but threaten to ward off the very businesses he is hoping to attract. In 2015, then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence saw a steep decline in revenue and loss of business that hurt Indiana. Montana could resign themselves to the same fate if this bill becomes law. The people of Montana believe in religious liberty and LGBTQ equality — those two values are not mutually exclusive. Rejecting this legislation is crucial for the equality of all and for the future of the state. In trying economic times and in the midst of a global pandemic, discrimination should not be on the agenda.”
Indiana passed a similar bill which cost them $60m in lost revenue
A reported by the Associated Press detailed that “12 out-of-state groups were surveyed and all said that the state’s controversial religious objections law played a role in their decision to hold their events elsewhere.”
Voters strongly disapproved of Indiana’s religious refusal law and punished Pence for signing it
And polling conducted by HRC after the 2015 fight found that 75 percent of Hoosiers said the law was bad for the state’s economy, and 70 percent of those surveyed said they opposed it.
Following the embarrassing fallout, his approval ratings tanked with voters and Pence decided not to run for re-election. Yet, his appalling record on LGBTQ equality won him a place on the ticket with Trump as his running mate. Now, Pence has been working behind the scenes at the White House to push his own disgraced values onto the national stage.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Red Bull has teamed up with the New Orleans Pelicans and renowned visual artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums for NOLA Has Wiiings, a project dedicated to replacing backboards at basketball courts throughout New Orleans.
Bmike selected eight local creatives to transform old local backboards into works of art, which will be on display starting this month at the New Orleans Pelicans’ Smoothie King Center and online at RedBull.com.
New Orleans locals can vote for their favorite backboard starting today via the Pelicans Mobile App or website. The artist with the most votes will have the opportunity to conceptualize and design a full art court that serves the New Orleans community.
Bmike’s custom backboard, for exhibit only, will be on display at Studio BE for the duration of the project.
NOLA Has Wiiings brings artists from around the city together to celebrate, brighten and educate communities through colorful displays of art that showcase NOLA’s unrivaled ability to rebound.
Ceaux, a New Orleans-born multidisciplinary artist, has created a backboard inspired by Harrell Park – located on the “Pigeon Town” side of Carrollton – and the color and playfulness that’s felt at playgrounds.
Ayo Scott, painter and son of nationally recognized artist John T. Scott, has created “Big Ol’ Lil Big Chief” in collaboration with Big Chief Terrence “T” Williams of the Black Hawk Hunters, which is inspired by the resilient spirit of the people of New Orleans.
Kara Crowley – Visual Artist, an artist who embraces black culture and positive representation in her own artistic interpretations, has created a backboard which showcases multiple hands expressing the message of unity.
Jessica Strahan, a self-taught painter and muralist native to and based in New Orleans, has created a backboard inspired by dance and its ability to take people through vibrant moments in time.
Marc Verrett / MarcFreshArt, a Baton Rouge based muralist, has created a backboard that illustrates a positive rise to overcome obstacles through imagery of a skull paired with colorful butterfly wings to represent the eternal drive to fly above.
Jade Meyers/THEARTISTJADE, Art director and founder of the art-based company, “J A D E 1 9 9 1,” has created a piece inspired by liberation, growing up in New Orleans, power, nature, Black culture and sports culture.
Bryan Brown, an artist whose work focuses on New Orleans culture, random but beautiful moments, and philosophy, has created “The Big Brain,” a representation of getting mentally healthy to unlock one’s true full potential.
1985 Poet; Artist: Monique Lorden, an artist and author and co-illustrator of “I Wish for Freedom,” a poetic picture book, was inspired by her memories of hooping at the park to create “Hoops Dreams and Poetry,” a visual story of childhood hope and community.
Tax time is near, and soon everyone will be rushing to get their taxes filed. Last year, Americans were met with quite a few delays in getting their refunds with the onset of the pandemic.
If you have a refund coming, the sooner you file, the sooner that refund will make its way into your bank account.
If you’re like most tax filers, you probably want to do everything you can to reduce your overall tax bill. We know that taxes are needed to run the government, but there’s no need for you as an individual to pay more than you need to.
Here are a few areas to consider or understand for future tax filing years:
Funding tax-preferenced accounts. One way to save on taxes is by putting money in various tax-preferenced savings accounts such as an IRA, a 401(k), and others. Depending on the account type, you can deduct your contribution each year, defer paying taxes on growth or take withdrawals tax-free. In health savings accounts (HSA), you can do all three. There are eligibility requirements you need to meet. An HSA can only be used for medical expenses. With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your contributions, and you defer taxes on the account’s growth. You do pay taxes on withdrawals you make in retirement. A Roth IRA has different advantages. You can’t deduct your contributions now, but your money grows tax-free, and you aren’t taxed when you make withdrawals.
Using a 529 for K-12 private or college education. Many people are familiar with 529 plans, but they often think of these solely to save for a college education fund. But a 529 can also be used to pay for a private school in elementary and high school. The significant tax advantage with a 529 is that you don’t pay federal income taxes on the account’s growth. However, you must spend the money on qualified educational expenses and nothing else. This is essential to remember and understand because if you use the money for other reasons, you will pay taxes on that withdrawal, and you will also pay the penalty. A 529 account is something to consider if you have children or grandchildren and want a tax-efficient way to save for K-12 or college education.
Making charitable donations. Charitable donations are a great tool for reducing your tax bill. They come with the bonus of allowing you to make a positive impact in your community. Through charitable donations, you can reduce your income tax, capital gains tax, and estate tax. Some people view this most straightforwardly – you choose an organization that qualifies under the tax rules to donate to. There are other ways to contribute as well: You can establish a donor-advised fund, which is a personal charitable account opened in the name of the donors and held by a nonprofit organization. For example, let’s say you sell a stock and, instead of paying the capital gains tax, you choose to place the proceeds in a donor-advised fund. You can claim the total amount as a charitable deduction, although you don’t have to donate the money in one lump sum. The money remains in the fund and can be donated in small amounts over a period of years while drawing interest.
These are just a few things you can consider as you look for ways to reduce your tax bill. Your financial professional will be able to help you work your way through the process and find what works best for you and your situation.
This Women’s History Month, 360 Magazine sat down with Chef Kia Damon. Kia is the founder of Kia Feeds The People (KFTTP) and is a cofounder of Auxilio, both of which are non-profits aimed at combating food apartheid. We dished with Kia on how she discovered her passion for cooking, pathways towards increased Black and QTPOC representation in the culinary industry, and her upcoming video release with EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods, which can be viewed here.
When did you first begin cooking? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?
“I started cooking in my early preteens. I have younger brothers as well, so once we were too old for day care, I had to step up as the older sibling to make sure we ate, especially more so during the summertime because I have working parents. But, it wasn’t until some years later when I started cooking independently for my own health reasons that I truly saw my strengths in cooking and realized that cooking professionally wasn’t a world that was so far away for me, that it was actually extremely attainable and extremely real. So I took the plunge, and to this day some of my family’s still very surprised, because I was definitely burning pots of rice, and they were like ‘this girl has no talents for the kitchen.’ Now I’m cooking and they still can’t believe it.”
We all know foods brings communities together. Are there any experiences you’ve had with community members through Kia Feeds The People that have stuck with you?
“Yes! Honestly, the most connective part was before I even started cooking with KFTTP people when I was looking for guidance from a lot of my friends in the cooking community. Because KFTTP was birthed in a really tumultuous time, I felt like I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts and my feelings. I just felt so emotionally charged and stunted that I felt like I couldn’t even work or think or move because I felt so emotional about everything. But being able to lean into my friends and my chosen family who see me for who I am, who know me intimately and know my heart, they were able to guide me to where I am now and toward my mission for KFTTP. I’m super grateful. These are people that I’ve been able to cook with before, these are people that I’ve literally eaten with before–we’ve shared food out of deli containers at 3am–I’m very grateful for them. And I definitely could not have got to this place without them.”
Are you looking to expand KFTPP outside of Brooklyn, or just focus on this specific community?
“Because I am a Sagittarius, I definitely am looking to expand and looking to grow. I definitely have to make sure I build and flesh KFTTP out as much as possible in Brooklyn before I start thinking about moving other places. But I do have visions, not necessarily to just expand Kia Feeds The People, but to collaborate with other mutual aid organizations and non-profits that already exist in other cities, so that I can support them and [they] have more coverage where they are. I’m not the only one who’s doing this kind of work and it is definitely a collaborative, lifelong mission, so I want to lend hands to the people who are already in this game.”
What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing overcoming food apartheid?
“Personally I think the biggest obstacle is still convincing people that it exists, because we live in such a individualistic world. If something doesn’t affect the next person, then they’re more likely to ignore it, you know. That’s why I think COVID really shook things up, because a lot of us were collectively put on our butts. you know. We’re like “whoa, wait a minute, is this one thing that is really proactively affecting us.” But regarding food apartheid, a lot of people are still familiar with it in terms of a “food desert.” Food desert is a word that’s been used for many years to describe this situation, and a “desert” implies that it is natural, because the world naturally created deserts. When you apply “food desert” to that idea, it implies that this place without food, this place without access to meals, is natural and that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be. But it’s completely unnatural, it’s completely systematic, and [after recognizing that] then we can start looking at it as something that is created by is created by systems. Then, we can put some realness to it and find how all of us are truly affected by them. So I think right now, it’s making sure people know what food apartheid is, and that it actually exists.”
Do you have a favorite meal or cocktail to prepare when you’re bringing family or friends together?
“My favorite meal is red beans and rice. I love a good pot of Louisiana-style red beans and rice, because honestly that–with some corn bread on top and so hot sauce– that really is the whole meal. You think you would need something else on the side but that’s really it. It’s so fulfilling, it’s so delicious, and I definitely try to bring it out when I get to be with my friends and family.”
The culinary world is a male-dominated industry. How can the culinary industry work to become more diverse, and have more Black, QTPOC chefs?
“I think it’s a starts with actually investing in the lives and careers of these black/brown/trans/ LGBTQ chefs because they exist. I know they exist because they’re my friends. And what happens is that maybe they’re put in positions of leadership or maybe not, but they’re they’re not given the same care, support or investment in their skills and education and their needs. You could put someone in a line chef position or position of leadership or whatever, but if there’s no follow through to make sure that they have what they need to be supported in those positions, they’re usually set up for failure, or set up to be harmed in some way. Or maybe a small business that’s LGBTQ or Black has a good profile, [but they may not be] getting access to grants or money. You have to have the follow through. It’s not that we don’t exist, it’s that we’re not properly supported when we are put at the forefront. That’s when it gets tricky and that’s when we’re left open to harm and failure.”
What are you most excited about regarding this video release with Queer Foods and EFFEN Vodka?
“I’m very excited for mom to see it first of all, I love my mommy and she is my number one fan. And she’s a Gemini, so I’m always looking for her approval. But I’m also excited to get to Kia Feeds The People and Queer Stories in front of the world. I feel like we can’t tell enough queer stories, there’s always someone’s story out there. Even though there’s this myth out there that there’s already enough representation, or that maybe it’s too much to keep talking about queer people, that’s actually far from the truth. I’m proud and honored that EFFEN Vodka wants to support what I’m doing and wants to get my story out there. My story is the story of a lot of other Black and brown and trans people’s stories, and it also feels good to partner with someone who sees me and wants to invest in my story and invest in supporting other diverse artists, both in their representation and practice. It just feels good to be seen, and I’m excited for everyone else to see me and to be seen. Just look! Everyone just look! I want everyone to look and feel pride in who we are.”
How can readers donate to Kia Feeds The People?
“You can head to my GoFundMe if you’re not in the city, or if you’re in Brooklyn you can come to a pop up. Please donate to my GoFundMe, I have it on my Instagram page. Share it with your friends, let them know what’s up. Or if you are in Bed-Stuy, you can find me at a pop-up– I have a few coming up in April, so I’m going to be all over the place. Come get some food or throw some money, either way I’ll be very grateful.”
Mix the grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, EFFEN Rosé vodka and a spoonful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir and taste. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with grapefruit, and thyme. Drink responsibly + enjoy!
Kia’s Gumbo Recipe
8 oz andouille sausage
1lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 large yellow onions, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of oil
1 cup AP flour
6 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp Creole seasoning
1 tbsp of fresh thyme
1 tbsp Smoked paprika
½ tbsp Ground sage
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce to taste
Season the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Season well on both sides. Heat a skillet or cast iron to medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom. When the pan is hot, sear the chicken in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides and set aside. The chicken does not have to be cooked through just yet.
In a large pot add the oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to cook. Lower the heat to medium low. Keep whisking the roux over a controlled and steady heat until the flour begins to darken into a deep brown. This takes about 30 minutes, so pace yourself.
Turn the heat down on the roux and add in your onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir into the roux, season with a few pinches of salt and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add in your minced garlic and fresh thyme. Stir for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock while whisking the roux. Do this part slowly because the roux will begin to thicken. Take your time and continue pouring in the stock until it’s completely incorporated.
Bring the pot to a boil, meanwhile slice the sausage in ¼ inch rounds on a slight bias. When the pot begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken and sausage. Let the gumbo cook on low for an hour. You want time for the flour taste to cook out.
After an hour, add the remaining two tablespoons of creole seasoning, smoked paprika, ground sage and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir and add your sliced okra. Cook for another 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste then serve with rice and chopped parsley.
Photo credit: Solène Michel Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People
USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA Forest Service will invest more than $218 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects to conserve critical forest and wetland habitat, support rural economic recovery, and increase public access to national forests and grasslands.
Leveraging the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provided by Congress, this investment will improve public access by funding strategic land acquisitions. Funds will also support work with state agencies to encourage private forest landowners to protect their land through conservation easements or land purchases.
“These investments reflect President Biden’s commitment to supporting locally-led conservation efforts from coast to coast and to honoring and building on the proud private land stewardship traditions of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The investments will not only protect our natural heritage, but they will also create jobs, expand access to the outdoors, and help tackle climate change.”
The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs: The Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program. Together, these programs conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests on both private and public lands. The Forest Service will invest more than $94 million to fund 28 projects under the Forest Legacy Program and $123 million to fund Land Acquisition Program projects, including projects for recreation access and other needs.
Land Acquisition Program highlights include:
$6.4 million in FY 2021 to acquire 8,590 acres for the Lolo Trails Project in Montana. This project aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing the cold water that federally listed bull trout and other species need to sustain healthy populations in a warming climate.
$3.7 million to acquire 1,550 acres in the Yakima River Basin for the Washington Cascades Project. Supported by a wide coalition of public, private and non-profit partners, this project seeks to ensure a long-term water supply in the face of climate change.
Forest Legacy Program highlights include:
Protecting 12,500 acres of habitat, water and timber on the Ceylon Forest in Georgia. 2.5 million people depend on the Ceylon for drinking water that flows from and through the forest. As a working forest, the Ceylon supports a local wood-based economy that includes 121 mills, with a $1.69 million payroll impact. Once completed, the area will also become part of a much larger Wildlife Management Area and serve as an ideal hunting and fishing destination for sportsmen across the Southeast.
The East Grand-Weston in Maine builds on a century-old tradition of sustainable forestry and expands recreation opportunities over more than 4,300 acres. The property supports a thriving local recreation industry by protecting lands, waters and trails while also providing sustainable wood products to up to 15 mills. The property will remain in private hands while continuing to be managed for public benefits.
The second phase of the Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project will permanently protect nearly 28,000 acres of land in northwest Montana. The project area belongs to the Stimson Lumber Company and contributes to the local economy while allowing free public access as a recreation destination for hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and more. The project will also protect the area from further residential development, reducing future firefighting costs by more than half.
The Forest Service has been administering LWCF projects since 1964 along with the Department of the Interior. The fund supports Forest Service-led conservation projects including acquisition of critical non-federal lands within the boundaries of national forests and grasslands. Now, with full and permanent funding through the Dingell Act and the Great American Outdoors Act, the Forest Service is poised to strengthen its conservation program and provide greater recreation access to national forests and grasslands.
The agency worked with partners, considered multiple criteria and used established competitive processes to select projects for fiscal year 2021. During the review, the agency evaluated the environmental, social, and economic benefits of proposed projects and whether they contributed to other conservation initiatives. The Forest Service also considered local recreation access needs, the level of local support for strategic land acquisitions and how likely it would be for project areas to be converted to non-forest uses.
For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit the website.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration under Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit USDA.
National Trust Partners’ Advocacy Leads to Roberts Temple: Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley Senate Bill
Sen. Tammy Duckworthintroduced a bill with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) as co-sponsors to establish Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ as a National Monument. The move would offer the highest level of federal support for the church and would ensure that the National Park Service will preserve, protect, and interpret its powerful impact on American civil rights history for generations to come. Civil rights activist Mamie Till Mobley was a member of Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, and the church played a historic role in the funeral of Emmett Till, her fourteen-year-old son killed on August 28, 1955, during a visit with relatives in Money, Mississippi.
Rather than cover up the brutality of the murder, Mobley bravely decided to hold an open casket funeral at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ so people could witness the bitter consequences of racism. When tens of thousands of people came to view young Till’s mangled body from September 3-6, 1955, and photographs of his mangled face were published in journals around the country, it ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, similar to the way George Floyd’s death has impacted movements today. TIME magazine named a photo of the Till funeral one of the 100 most influential images of all time.
“The Roberts Temple Church is both extraordinarily and heartbreakingly important to Chicago, our state, and to our country’s history,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said. “It’s time we recognize how historic sites can not only teach us about our history – but provoke us to build a more just future. By designating this church a historic site, we will help ensure that this awful chapter is not erased and that generations of Americans to come can show respect to Mamie and Emmett’s stories.”
The National Trust’s Chief Preservation Officer Katherine Malone-France said, “Our nation will benefit tremendously when Roberts Temple is designated a National Monument, lifting up its profoundly important role in American history. It is imperative that our country appropriately honors the site of Emmett Till’s funeral and of Mamie Till Mobley’s remarkable courage. We are honored to support the Roberts Temple congregation, the Till family, and the local community as they advance this designation and determine how to carry forward the legacies of this powerful place, as a unit of the National Park system.”
Reverend Wheeler Parker, who witnessed his cousin Emmett’s abduction in 1955, and his wife, Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, said, “We are grateful for the introduction of legislation to preserve the legacy of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley by making Roberts Temple a National Monument, which will help to fulfill Mamie’s request for my wife and I to continue her work to ensure her son’s death was not in vain.”
Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ was founded in 1916 and is known as the “mother of all of the Churches of God in Christ in Illinois.” With its founding, it became a central place of worship and political organizing for many who migrated to Chicago from the South during the early 20th Century.
Today, the building remains in use by the Church of God in Christ denomination, now led by Elder Cleven Wardlow who said, “On behalf of the congregants of Roberts Temple and members of the Roberts Family, we strongly support this endeavor as well as the ongoing efforts by racial justice and preservation organizations to obtain federal protection for Roberts Temple.”
Patrick Weems, Executive Director of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center stated, “What took place at Roberts Temple changed the world. We commend the Roberts Temple congregation, the Roberts and Till families, especially Rev. Wheeler Parker, Jr., Dr. Marvel McCain Parker, and Ollie Gordon for their commitment to telling the truth, and we want to thank Senator Duckworth for her leadership in bringing forth this legislation.”
“The time for turning away from this painful chapter in American history is long over” stated Alan Spears, Senior Director for Cultural Resources. “The National Parks Conservation Association applauds Senator Duckworth for introducing this very significant piece of legislation commemorating the legacies of Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley.” For more information on the campaign to designate the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ National Monument visit their website.
Wellness Thought Leader/Podcaster of “Living Your Life Without Limits, Shannon Jackson, Reveals Tops Tips To Stay Well In 2021
2020 brought in a year of unprecedented loss and grief. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only epidemiological crisis, but also a psychological one that has provoked anxiety, stress, sadness, and pain. Although grief is a normal human emotion, it should be transitory– according to Los Angeles wellness thought leader, RN, philanthropist, and podcaster, Shannon Jackson. “2021 is the year for a turnaround. Maybe you are struggling to envision what your new season of good fortune can look like. You’ve been stuck in your present circumstances for so long that it’s hard to imagine life being any different, but I believe there is hope,” says Jackson.
Here are the entrepreneur’s top tips to help prepare for hope and a new chapter in 2021:
Take time for spiritual renewal and mental clarity: Take time daily for moments of solitude and mental clarity so you can focus on what’s important: your vision of a more fulfilling life. Step away from mental chaos when possible by finding a quiet place to collect your thoughts and eliminate emotional clutter. Sometimes you have to steal these moments for yourself, but TAKE them—these moments can set the stage for true growth.
Embrace change: Do a soul-searching assessment of your life. If you see circumstances holding you back from growth or productivity, embrace the idea of making necessary changes. Relationships, jobs, and even environments may be holding you from your true potential. If you recognize an area of your life that’s keeping you confined, be honest enough with yourself to move on.
Think outside the box: Step outside of pre-established boundaries, try a new approach, and consider how to approach old challenges from a new direction. Problems sometime look much smaller from a new perspective or direction. For example, if you struggle to overcome self-doubt, taking on a totally new project or learning a new skill may help.
Recognize and eliminate personal negativity: Replace fear, insecurities, and self-doubt with positive encouragement instead. You can be your own stumbling block if you’re not careful. Listen to your inner voice, recognize what damaging things that voice may be saying, and replace those sentiments with positives. For example, instead of telling yourself, “you’re too weak,” tell yourself instead, “you are incredibly strong.”
Stay Persistent: One of the definitions of the word persistent states, “continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action, in spite of difficulty or opposition.” My definition of persistence is stubbornness with a purpose. That’s right, you heard it here from me. Despite the challenges and obstacles you may face or maybe facing in life, you must be determined and steadfast in pursuing your goals. So here are a few tips to make sure you stay on course:
Keep your attention on the long-term plan: Give your vision, your goals, and your priorities unwavering attention. Avoid focusing on what’s in the past and don’t get sidetracked by current challenges. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear view of where you’re going at all times. If something in your life has no place in your long-term vision, let it go.
Drop irrelevant emotional weight and adjust your focus: Avoid focusing on resentment, worry, fear, or anger as you transition into your new life and focus on your goals. Learn how to recognize the emotional weight that is holding you back. When you’ve pinpointed this baggage, pulling it out of your everyday life makes all the difference.
Prioritize your day according to what’s most important: Prioritize your everyday tasks by making the important things most worth your time and energy your priority, and eliminating distractions in the way. Weave small steps into your daily plans that will eventually help you align with your vision. For example, if you want to see yourself become more healthy and capable, choose healthier actions and accomplish something new today. Remember, good days become good weeks, good months, and great years.
Reinforce spiritual foundations: Achieving optimism, positivity, and self-esteem with a strong spiritual foundation is key to emotional clarity and peace of mind. Do what it takes to feed your spiritual soul–whether that is meditating, praying, or reading divinely inspired text. Nurture your own spirituality to ensure it delivers stable ground for you to live your best life.
Most importantly, practice self-affirmation daily: Affirm your worthiness, your value, and your power every day with the power of your own tongue. Remind yourself of your importance to the world, your career, your family, and yourself. Remember, no one sees the true value in you unless you see it in yourself first.
In addition to practicing ways to stay healthy during these challenging times, the wellness coach created a “Living Your Life Without Limits” (LYLWL) wellness box to help those affected by COVID. After answering the call of duty as an essential worker in Los Angeles, she completed a two-month tour-of-duty as a Covid nurse in New York. Here, she witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s effect on people from all walks of life. She especially noticed how the outbreak has challenged people’s mental wellness, and was inspired to create the Wellness Box.
Her professional and natural response was to put together her new LYLWL Wellness Box, serving as a specialty health-and-wellness support kit to share with your loved ones who wish to keep their wellness in check year round.
“We are elated to give people what they need most in 2021” states Jackson. “My Wellness Box is designed to give the individuals we love the tools they need to help keep their own physical health and emotional well-being in check, particularly during these stressful times.”
With a unique combined background as a certified life coach and a registered nurse, Jackson understands how intrinsic staying healthy is to quality of life. “Staying healthy is a foundational necessity for living your best life possible, without limits. One must be armed with physical well-being to overcome challenges, both emotional and physical in nature. The Wellness Box is full of important items–hand-picked and curated by me–to deliver the optimum essentials of what people need to monitor their wellness.”
The beautifully packaged floral patterned LYLWL Wellness Box is filled with items all individuals need to keep their health a central focus in their everyday life. For $49.97, customers benefit from this gift that is ideal for themselves, their family and friends. This special gift of wellness contains Jackson’s carefully sourced tools ideal for today’s health-focused climate, including:
Meditation Music: The ideal emotional fix, this meditation music is selected to encourage positive love, calm the mood, inspire positive feelings.
Scented Candle: Take a time-out for self-love to achieve mental clarity and allow the dancing flame and soothing fragrance of this candle to calm one’s thoughts, re-center, and re-focus.
A First Aid Kit: The ideal kit to help treat minor scrapes, cuts, and burns with all the necessities for this process.
Thermometer: Keep tabs on body temperature with this handy thermometer, which can signal many changes in one’s health.
Keep the Heart Beat Up | Blood Pressure Wristband and Magnet: Keep blood pressure levels in check with this convenient blood pressure wristband and companion magnet as daily reminders in case one feels especially stressed or winded.
LYLWL Wellness Journal and Ink Pen: Another Jackson inspired product, her LYLWL Wellness Journal is a mini self-help workshop in journal form helping to support and recognize self-awareness, gratitude for special moments, and staying on track for reaching personal goals.
Through Jackson’s weekly podcast, life-coaching skills, numerous hosted speaking appearances, and naturally inspiring energy, she has helped thousands of individuals to find clarity and reach their own levels of mastery in life. The LYLWL Wellness Box is another way for Jackson to extend her feel-good help into the lives of people who need her. Know anyone who could use some wellness, love, and “me time”? The LYLWL Wellness Box is available for purchase here.
Next to her new Wellness Box, Jackson also has her signature Feel-Good Shop offering message-inspired items for added shopping value.
For more information, visit Jackson’s website, which provides her podcast announcements, guidance for forward-thinking individuals, and valuable free resources.
The Underline has officially opened Phase 1 of its planned 10-mile project in the Brickell neighborhood of Miami.
Opening in phases through 2025, The Underline is transforming the land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail, and public art destination. Once completed, The Underline will span an estimated 120 acres from downtown to South Miami and will feature butterfly gardens, dog parks, exercise equipment, basketball courts, mini-soccer pitch, performance areas, bioswales, and temporary and permanent art. To serve visitors of all ages, The Underline will feature numerous health and wellness, cultural, educational, and environmental programs.
The opening for Phase 1, known as Brickell Backyard, marks a milestone for the fastest-moving project of its size in the country––as the project has now secured over $120 million of the total construction cost.
In 2013, Friends of The Underline founder, Meg Daly, broke both of her arms when she was riding her bike with her daughter. Since she could not drive herself to physical therapy, Meg decided to take the Metrorail near her home, and then walk the rest of the way to her destination underneath the train tracks. As she walked each week, she noticed how wide the corridor was, how cool she felt beneath the shade of the tracks, even in July, and that she was the only person using the space.
With the support of the community’s input and world-class design by James Corner Field Operations, a vision developed to transform this unused land into a public park and gathering space. And so, The Underline was born.
Friends of The Underline’s mission is to create a safer, healthier, more connected, mobile, and engaged community by creating open-access public space that will:
Physically connect communities through a mobility corridor that integrates public transit, car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic
Improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety
Encourage healthy lifestyles by providing access to public exercise facilities
Provide a 10-mile canvas for artistic expression
Generate a significant economic impact for Miami-Dade County
Friends of The Underline Founder Meg Daly says: “I am inspired by our many supporters and believers who are committed to building a better community while improving connectivity and equitable access to parks and green spaces throughout Miami-Dade County.”
Notable funding sources include Miami-Dade County; US DOT, the State of Florida; FDOT; the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, and South Miami; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Swire Properties; Baptist Health South Florida; Florida Power and Light the Miami Foundation; and the Health Foundation of South Florida.
Friends of The Underline and The Underline Conservancy are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. To make a donation of any amount or learn about corporate and individual sponsorships, click here. For more Underline information, visit their websitehere.
Campaign To Build the Universal Hip Hop Museum Begins
February 24, 2021 marks the official virtual announcement of the $100 Million global capital campaign, “Time 2 Build” for the permanent home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the South Bronx, the cradle of Hip Hop culture. As we enter Phase 2, after raising $23M during Phase 1 for initial construction, The UHHM is launching its capital campaign to support the museum’s “Fit Out” of its interiors. The future home of the Universal Hip Hop Museum is poised to become the premier cultural institution founded to preserve, protect, and present the historic cultural influence of Hip Hop worldwide. This soft launch is designed to engage, excite, and drive donations from Hip Hop lovers locally and globally. With a targeted opening date of 2023 that coincides with the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop, the UHHM will rise with the support and generosity of generations of “Hip Hop Heads” and their passion for the culture.
At 2:00 pm EST veteran radio host on the SoundChat Radio network, Barbara “Roxie” Delaleu, will be joined by Rocky Bucano, Founder and Executive Director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, with remarks offered by Civil Rights icon, Dr. Benjamin Chavis of Black Press USA. Joining them will be DJ Spark of iHeart Radio, and MC Lyte’s Hip Hop Sister’s Network, and Monalisa, host of Dublab’s Paths of Rhythm. Former New York State Assembly Member and Chair of the Capital Campaign and UHHM Chief Strategist, Michael Blake, and more will join this event to share why donating to build the Universal Hip Hop Museum in the birthplace of Hip Hop, as the “Official Record of Hip Hop,” is so vital culturally. Register in advance for the Universal Hip Hop Museum’s Time 2 Build Capital Campaign fund by visiting this website.
Viewers will be led on a dynamic 3D virtual tour of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, by the UHHM’s Director of Design, architect Michael Ford, founder of the Hip Hop Architecture Camp. He’ll preview the museum’s design within Bronx Point–the award-winning mixed-use, waterfront. 1 million square foot, affordable housing development project in partnership with the New York Economic Development Corp. (EDC), Empire State Development (ESD), and L & M Development Partners. The Universal Hip Hop Museum is the New York City Council’s designated cultural anchor at Bronx Point. And the “Award for Excellence in Design,” has been awarded by the New York City Design Commission to L&M Development Partners for Bronx Point, the future home of Hip Hop culture.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said “Bronx Point is a tremendous step forward for our borough. Inclusion of the Universal Hip Hop Museum as part of this project will help showcase our role in the creation of that worldwide cultural movement for generations to come.”
Rocky Bucano, Executive Director states, “It is a pivotal time now more than ever that we bring this museum to life. It is a cultural timestamp that will bridge the Hip Hop and Bronx community with a permanent place to call home, but we can not do it without your support. This capital campaign is a call to action to ensure we preserve the culture.”
Michael Blake said as the Chair of the UHHM Capital Campaign, Chief Strategist and former Assembly Member (79th District, The Bronx), “The time for Hip Hop to have its home has come. Now, it’s Time 2 Build. Our $100 Capital Campaign, which is in five phases to signify the five elements of Hip Hop, will ensure that the Official Record of Hip Hop is cemented where it should be, in the South Bronx, the South-South Bronx!”
About The Universal Hip Hop Museum
Anchored in the birthplace of Hip Hop culture, the Universal Hip Hop Museum will break ground in the Bronx in 2020. Built as a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge and create unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences, the museum is slated to open in Bronx Point in 2023. The UHHM will celebrate and preserve the history of local and global Hip Hop music and culture past, present, and future.
firstname.lastname@example.org box 361566los angeles, ca 90036213.841.1841
email@example.com box 361566los angeles, ca 90036213.841.1841