Pyer Moss First Couture Show WAT U IZ: Historic Tribute To Black Inventors
By: Kai Yeo
“We are an invention inside of an invention. Inside of the creation of race, we made blackness. Uprooted from home and put in a foreign land, we made culture. And when they tried to strip our humanity, we made freedom so tethered to each other that it still shapes the world today.” – Pyer Moss show notes.
Kerby-Jean Raymond’s Pyer Moss label has unveiled his first-ever couture collection. The award-winning designer and creative director is the first Black American designer to be invited to present during Haute Couture Week, a historical achievement made even more successful by making his collection a tribute to Black inventors. All Pyer Moss shows attract interest, but this show had more buzz because of his exclusive invite by France’s Chambre Syndicale to show a collection, with officials in Paris extending the length of Couture Week to accommodate the rescheduled show due to Hurricane Elsa.
The Pyer Moss Couture 1 couture show, WAT U IZ, was opened by the last surviving member of Black Panther leadership and civil rights champion Elaine Brown. The setting was deeply significant: Villa Lewaro, an early 20th century mansion in Irvington, NY, built by Madam CJ Walker. Madam CJ Walker was American’s first self-made female millionaire and her estate served as a gathering place for leaders of the renaissance (her story is also on Netflix). Now, Elaine Brown’s words herald another landmark moment for black culture while celebrating the Black Panther’s 55th Anniversary.
The 28,000-square-foot estate, designed by Vertner Woodson Tandy (the first licensed black architect in New York State, and one of the seven founders of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Cornell University), was recently purchased by the New Voices Foundation for an undisclosed amount. The foundation is the nonprofit branch of the New Voices Fund, a $100 million investment fund dedicated to entrepreneurs following in Walker’s footsteps. Both the fund and the foundation were created by Richelieu Dennis, who was seated at the front row at Pyer Moss.
“Where do we go from here? Where does the freedom movement go from here?” activist Elaine Brown opens the show quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but she also seemed to be reflecting on the history being made at the very moment. Jean Raymond, whose shows always entwine his ideas about fashion with those about culture, race, and society, said in an interview that his goal was “to highlight inventions by Black people and show them in a non-traditional way,” involving 3D construction and sculpture.
And so, there was the peanut butter dress, literally a huge, soft sculpted jar honoring George Washington Carver. The stunning roller cape that took two weeks to create, featuring hot rollers from head to toe. Each one wound round and round with strands of fake hair. An air-conditioning unit, a kitchen mop, an old-fashioned mobile phone he remembers his father carrying, a childhood ice cream cone. There was a pastel pink lampshade dress with beaded fringes, a metal folding chair, every single costume a sophisticated work of culture. And there was a refrigerator with magnets that spelled out, “But who invented Black trauma?” Each soft sculpture in the Pyer Moss couture show correlated to an invention on a list that designer Jean-Raymond had seen at the Library of Congress attributed to a Black individual. All the inventions Jean-Raymond chose from to celebrate spoke to his lived experiences, a beautiful show reminiscent of a masquerade ball or art installation.
Jean Raymond talks about paying homage to his Black culture, “I want people to experience Black wealth in not a dirty thing. It is one of several means to an end – this house, inventions, creativity, ingenuity, all of those things are pathways to that sort of economic independence. I’ve said a lot of things at my shows. I’ve talked about mental health, multiple prong approaches to liberation, and this is just one of them.” Richelieu Dennis will help oversee the transition of restoring the villa and making it an incubator and center for Black women artists and women-run businesses. Just as once upon a time the villa was a center for the artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance, the sculptured garments of Pyer Moss will eventually be part of an exhibit inside Villa Lewaro.
By: Kai Yeo, Vaughn Lowery, Armon Hayes,Emily Bunn x Sydney Mayer
Lexus has announced its brand new 2022 NX model, equipped with updated technology and driving dynamics. Toyota and Lexus invited 360 Magazine to fly out with Delta Comfort+ to visit the automaker’s headquarters in Texas, so the company embarked on a Covid-friendly, four-day lifestyle trip for the first time since the pandemic. The trip offered participants the opportunity to experience the new 2022 Lexus NX, learn about Lexus’s initiatives and launches for the near future, and even ride with celebrity drivers like Scott Pruett.
The headquarters in Plano, TX is a state-of-the-art corporate campus oasis. The architecture displays outstanding craftsmanship and an innovative foundation, which are the principles upon which that Toyota was founded. Meredith Ezinma Ramsay, – classical hip-hop violinist who has worked with artists such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, and most famously with Beyoncé on her Coachella stage – performed a strings piece at the campus to introduce the Lexus NX 2022.
Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel
The Renaissance Dallas was breathtaking. An anchor to the upscale complex of Legacy West in Plano, the cosmopolitan hotel was located in the city within walking distance of top dining and shopping options. Drink in hand, visitors can gather at the rooftop pool or by the fire pit to relax and enjoy our food. The rooms were also equipped with pillow-top bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart TV.
Designed to highlight local and regional cultures, Renaissance Dallas allows guests to immerse themselves in a creative blend of North Texas western influences and Asian culture. The hotel prides itself on “West of Zen” visual art experiences, as well as an urban mixed-use development. As Lexus is a brand that originated from Japan, this theme was fitting for the trip. Simply staying in the hotel was already a vacation in itself.
Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. Marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, the Lexus brand is Japan’s largest-selling maker of premium cars. Akio Toyoda, current CEO and grandson of Toyota founder, has promoted sports models like the Lexus IS-F and Lexus LF-A at auto races. He also participates as a driver at racing events under the fake name “Morizo.” It’s unusual to see a brand’s president be so hands-on with development, but that’s just another reason that Toyota is a unique company prepared to lead the future.
Since the pandemic started, global mobility has been essentially halted and there has been a huge financial downturn, even for the giants of the car manufacturing industry. AutoBlog has posted that Toyota hit their decade’s lowest sales in 2019, “The Japanese automaker said its sales in July fell 19% versus the same month in 2019, to 169,484 units.“ Despite being one of the top brands of car manufacturing, Toyota was also affected by the Covid crisis, “In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.“
As they compete with Volkswagen for the top car brand spot and struggle with sales during the pandemic, Toyota continues to produce car models with strong, new developments.
The NX will be available in a variety of fresh colors, including Redline, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water. There will also be options that include Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0, which are exclusive to the F Sport NX models.
Luxury Inside and Out
The 2022 NX will also have additional updates made to alleviate interior cabin noise and reduce exterior distractions. On the inside, drivers can choose their nature theme of choice with Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that transforms the NX interior with 14 themes and 64 colors. Each mode has been carefully selected “to express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings.” The themes included are Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset.
Luxury is not only about looks, but also about how the customer feels. The new NX comes with standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats for added comfort throughout the cabin. Increased head and legroom, as well as storage space, have also been added. Interior seat and console colors come in Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe.
For the NX’s first time, the panoramic moonroof lets passengers see the sky with the push of a button. The smooth gliding opening and closing elevates the luxury feel and provides easy stargazing and airflow.
Cockpit Design and New Multimedia System
The NX driver-centered cockpit has been updated with the driver in mind. To better connect the driver to the vehicle, the new 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD) are designed to convey vehicle information as well as alerts within the driver’s line of sight. All functions are accessible through the steering wheel to allow for intuitive operation while still ensuring safe driving practices and keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.
An optional 14-inch touch screen (first for NX) features an immersive multimedia experience. The large screen allows for easy operation and viewing. Dial controls remain for frequently used functions such as climate control and media volume, and comfort features are readily accessible. This all-new interface allows the NX to integrate and navigate swiftly, providing intuitive technology at the driver’s fingertips. Equipped with Human Machine Interface (HMI), user interaction is enhanced through sight, touch and voice, thus catering to accessibility needs. Following the customer-first approach, the newly developed Virtual Assistant (VA) is intended to be the primary way occupants interact with the new multimedia system. The voice-first approach allows front seat occupants to access features such as navigation, media, phone, and other vehicle settings. The built-in VA responses allow for intuitive replies, thus creating a human-like conversation.
The Lexus Interface was devised with function and easy access in mind. 100% cloud capability and Google POI integration allows the system to have faster and more accurate navigation to get the driver and passengers to their destination quickly and safely. Enhanced navigation allows for offline mode, which detects when vehicles enter areas with low connection and then automatically downloads maps in advance, saving trouble and panic.
In the age of digital transformation, the user profile feature creates a more personalized experience so that moving from vehicle to vehicle is convenient. The driver’s personalized settings will be retained on the cloud and are accessible each time they return to the vehicle. Once created, users can use a Bluetooth device to access their profile. An extension of the user profile feature, vehicles equipped with this new system will enable owners the access to a digital key. This digital key allows drivers to lock/unlock and start/stop their vehicle through the Toyota of Lexus app (when within Bluetooth proximity to the vehicle). The digital key can be shared with up to seven different guest users and no password or PIN is required, creating a seamless guest experience via the app.
Through the app, drivers also receive personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports to help maintain their vehicle. For the 2022 model, Lexus NX will also feature standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as a new addition to charge your phone wirelessly.
With the safety of all passengers in mind, the new Lexus NX will come equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System +3.0 for safe driving. Functions of the system include:
Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – supports collision avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.
Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if the driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if a driver turns left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System – designed to alert the driver, and potentially activate automatic emergency braking to help avoid a frontal collision.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – maintains a cruising speed in alignment with the flow of traffic while managing speed on curves.
Additions to the current Lexus Safety System features for NX:
Road Sign Assist – displays select road sign information in the instrument panel.
Pre-collision System – provides the potential to detect a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in low-light situations.
Lane Assistance – designed to provide an audible alert if an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
Intelligent High Beam– provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide road sign information in the instrument panel or even on the available Head-Up Display. The system can also alert the driver of certain detected signs that otherwise might have been missed.
Safety Exit – seamless door opening with the push of a button, when activated it makes sure that door does not open when there are passers-by such as bikes or pedestrians. Available for rear doors as well for protection of children and family.
These safety features provide peace of mind for unexpected emergencies and connect drivers with a 24/7 emergency response agent.
The all-new 2022 NX will start production in the third quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
New NX 350 2.4 Turbo Engine
Enhancements in vehicle rigidity now allows the NX for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but the new 8-speed transmission also provides the gas-powered NX with the feel of a performance vehicle with the perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. The turbo gas-powered engine has an estimated 275 horsepower and 317lbs. per foot of torque. When combined, the engine results in a 0–60 second time of 6.8 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the previous models.
This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam. The twin hood lock also adds front lateral flexural rigidity that improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid
The new plug-in hybrid PHEV system brings Lexus Electrified to life through performance and design, as well as through the signature quietness of this model. The NX 450h+ has an estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed lithium-ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0–60 second time.
The high-output and high-efficiency systems were constructed to reduce power loss when converting AC power to DC power, resulting in shorter charging times. The NX plug-in hybrid can be fully charged in about two and a half hours when equipped with the optional 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger. With the standard 3.3 kW charger, it will take about four and a half hours.
For a sporty driving experience, the NX 450h+ uses a newly developed, electronically-controlled, full-time AWD system. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended, with elegant control for a wide range of driving styles.
Along with the navigation, Predictive Efficient Drive will be coupled to learn driving habits and predict the expected roadway ahead while analyzing real-time traffic reports. This helps to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. With more miles clocked on the NX, more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. With accumulated knowledge about the driver’s behavior, the system will be able to predict when the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. This allows for more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery, optimizing battery capacity for the electricity plug-in hybrid model. While Lexus is unable to give us the exact specs yet, an official announcement will be made later on.
Hybrid Performance and Fuel Economy
Known for their signature driving performance, passengers can experience great performance and fuel economy with the new Lexus NX 350h. With a combined 239 horsepower, a 20% increase over the current model, and an estimated 36 MPG, the NX hybrid brings a brilliant performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Passengers will also be able to feel the quicker 0–60 time with 1.5 seconds taken off the time from previous NX generations at 7.2 seconds.
The hybrid drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft for the rear wheels, the AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels to maintain optimal traction.
Teammate Advanced Drive Backgrounder
The Teammate advanced driver assistance will debut on select 2022 Lexus LS 500h models with AWD and is expected to arrive in the US this fall. The Level 2 system evolves from adaptive cruise control to automatically change lanes and pass vehicles while driving.
Designed to partner with and assist the driver on the highway, it enables automatic steering, acceleration, and braking on the highway under the active supervision of the driver. This technology also enables the car to parallel park itself or back into a parking spot. Lexus Teammate teams two systems: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.
Safety is the first priority of the automated driving development program, so Lexus has committed Advanced Drive to this cause. The Advanced Drive integrates the vehicle’s mapping system and plans 6 miles ahead to help reach the car’s destination. This benefits the driver by reducing fatigue from driving. A series of fail-safe operations are also included to help prevent loss of control for up to four seconds in the event of a system malfunction or limitation.
Developed in close coordination between Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor North America, engineers used the same test vehicles in both countries. This allowed for the development of U.S.-specific considerations, such as HOV lanes and draw bridges. These tests helped to incorporate catered design and performance into the Advanced Drive system.
Alongside the safety of passengers, the environment is also a top priority. Toyota and Lexus will debut a new, electrified model lineup, with two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). These models are eco-friendly and brilliantly created, similar to a “Mission Impossible” movie.
The new electrified models further expand Toyota’s leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota’s goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models and expects that to increase to nearly 70% by 2030. Toyota hybrid vehicles sold globally have avoided emitting an estimated 139 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In the US alone, Toyota hybrid vehicles have avoided 38 million tons of GHG. This achievement was made possible with Toyota’s commitment to the environment.
Toyota’s internal research found that both the BEV and PHEV models provide similar environmental benefits. By factoring in pollutants created by electricity production and using it to charge batteries, the production of a PHEV emits less GHG. Both of these models have a unique profile and by diversifying their car portfolio, consumers will have a bigger range of models to choose from to best suit their usage needs and cost profile, while still maximizing GHG reduction.
At the press conference, Toyota promised 20 new models by 2025 for more sustainable development and looked to continue expanding their electrified car models. As further proof of Toyota’s commitment to the environment, they agreed to purchase power from a Clearway Energy Group wind farm to reduce the overall carbon footprint from electricity used from the power grid. For transparency and positive environmental impact, Toyota writes an annual environmental report to update its consumers.
Envision reserving a private jet in the same manner you would reserve an Uber or Lyft with a ride-sharing app. Richard Kane, CEO of VeriJet, has made that possible with the Cirrus SF50 (Vision Jet) equipped with a small carbon footprint jet and next-level safety features. With Verijet, an individual can search for a private flight and get a response instantly that includes time frame and cost.
“VeriJet is the culmination of a decades long journey to increase the effective speed door to door, reduce carbon and noise footprint and open private aviation to more people – unlocking the fourth wave of high-speed travel” – Founder’s Vision: Richard Kane
Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the smooth ride and specifications of the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.
The Vision Jet is a single-engine, very light jet that is often referred to as a personal jet with large windows and the lowest carbon footprint in the world for an airline, saving 1800 pounds of CO2 per flight segment. Designed to fly low and slow with no metal fatigue. The AI Software enables point and click booking with transparent simple pricing for private charter convenience and cost effectiveness. This enables individuals to fly on their own schedule with direct flights to airports closer to their destination. There is no hassle, no TSA to deal with and more importantly, no COVID. VeriJet’s Chief Medical Advisor monitors the COVID-19 Safe travel protocol including testing the pilots routinely for the virus. The aircraft’s cabins are cleaned and disinfected with Ultraviolet C and Ozone between each flight. Each aircraft cabin is also equipped with a special filter that uses nanotechnology to destroy pollutants at a molecular level, including VOCs, viruses 1000x smaller than HEPA filter standard testes, bacteria, mold and allergens, with no ozone by product.
The Vision Jet has a proven Airframe with industry leading safety features focused on all weather capability, safe return automation, and the Cirrus Aircraft Parachute system in addition Autoland – a feature that will calculate the nearest airport and prepare for landing along with contacting emergency services. The engine is strategically placed on top of the jet. The V tail reflects noise up and away for quiet operations at local airports making the jet good for the environment, in addition to the use of biofuel. VeriJet is a green eco-friendly company and is the most environmentally friendly business jet. The Vision Jet has infrared vision which allows the aircraft to get the pilot a reading of what may be on the runway at night. The top speed of the aircraft is 345mph and the top height is 31,000 feet.
One of the better perks to flying with VeriJet is that you have the entire aircraft to yourself or you can bring up to four adults, two children, light bags and pets. Dogs do not need to be in a carrier; however, cats, raccoons and skunks should be on a leash or in a carrier. There is no membership to uphold enabling you to book a flight when you need it at your fingertips. This in itself offers the best private flight experience. There are quite a few family-based flights along with business. There is Bluetooth available to the headsets along with texting and calling for a meeting or a loved one.
VeriJet currently offers Southeast regional travel with plans to expand to the west coast. VeriJet will also be certified to fly to the Bahamas soon and hopefully Canada by the end of the year as well. The Vision Jet’s first flight was on November 2, 2020 from the South Hamptons to Florida. The company was established in July of 2019, received the first aircraft in September of 2020 and its certificate issue on October 29, 2020. There are currently around twenty pilots to help assist with your flight process. There is intensive training for the pilots and customer service type rating to fly in this specific aircraft.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties.
The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.
Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.
During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University.
Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.
At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.
After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.
During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women.
Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.
Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.
Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements.
This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”
After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”
Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”
RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.
“EPA’s P3 grants program supports the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world environmental problems that require innovative solutions.”
“Students at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Cornell University are creating affordable, sustainable solutions to the real issues we are challenged by in Region 2,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “These students are applying science and cutting-edge technology to tackle important environmental threats to our lakes and the quality of our drinking water.”
Grantees include student teams from the following universities:
New Jersey Institute of Technology – Newark, N.J.: The student team from NJIT is devising a sustainable process based on reactive nanobubbles technology to control and mitigate harmful algal blooms.
New Jersey Institute of Technology – Newark, N.J.: The student team from NJIT is developing a novel device that will remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from drinking water.
Cornell University – Ithaca, N.Y.: The student team from Cornell University is developing a pump with the goal of zero electricity drinking water treatment.
The P3 competition challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects that address a myriad of environmental protection and public health issues. The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $15,000 each to fund the proof of concept for their projects.
The Phase I recipients will attend the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo in Boston, Mass., on June 17-18, 2019, to showcase their research. They can then apply for a Phase II grant that provides funding up to $100,000 to further the project design.
These students, who represent the future workforce in diverse scientific and engineering fields, are following in the footsteps of other P3 teams. Some of these teams have gone on to start businesses based on ideas and products developed through their P3 project. In 2018, a previous P3 Phase I awardee from Oklahoma State University (OSU) leveraged P3 funding to initiate their research to develop a cost-effective approach to enhance energy efficiency in wastewater treatment. In furthering their P3 project, OSU transformed the research into a business plan and won the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition with its startup business plan for Contraire, a predictive analysis control system designed to provide near real-time wastewater test measurements. Amongst 15 other teams, OSU pitched their business plan to a panel of Canadian business leaders and received multiple inquiries from investors.
I had a horrible feeling that October Friday. I’d been in that situation many times before, but this time felt different.
That Wednesday, Austin left voicemails that sounded confused — from a friend’s phone, because Austin had lost his.
On Thursday, Austin sent texts from that same phone. Something wasn’t right. I called the friend to say I was concerned and to have Austin call me. Several hours later, the friend called to say he went to Austin’s apartment, but no one was home.
A few hours later I received a blocked call but couldn’t answer in time. Three minutes later a call came with a New Orleans area code. It was the coroner saying my beautiful boy was found slumped over his kitchen table, dead from an opioid overdose.
Austin’s journey was over. Mine was just beginning.
Like every child, Austin was a wonderful person — just a kid trying to grow up in a world that throws endless challenges at us. But at age 14, Austin started drinking. We were concerned and sought help. By 15, we found pipes and marijuana in his room. We sought more help. By 16, Austin was using opioids.
The next three years were a blur of therapists, interventions, wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools, and ER visits. At 19, Austin was doing great. He went to college with new-found determination and optimism. Until those 48 hours that I’ll never be able to understand or reconstruct.
Until the phone call came that would bring any parent to his or her knees. Until he lost his battle and I lost my son.
Someone said losing a child is the greatest pain we will ever face.
They were right.
Looking back, I wondered why it was so difficult to help Austin. Why did he have to go to 18 different people or places for help? Why was there no roadmap? Why did I feel we were lurking in shadows the entire time? Wasn’t there anyone who’d figured out what needs to be done?
I came to understand our family’s journey was far from unique. But even in Westport, CT, society wants to pretend addiction is not the horrific problem it is.
Addiction is devastating our country and stealing our youth. With 21 million people currently suffering and 23 million more in long-term recovery, addiction to alcohol and other drugs impacts one in three households. Addiction affects as many people as diabetes; one-and-a-half times as many as all cancers combined.
Someone, usually a young adult, dies from alcohol or other drugs every four minutes — like a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day with no survivors. Addiction and accidental overdose are now the leading killer of people under 50 years of age, and addiction costs our country $1 trillion a year.
Where is the outrage?
Our country has done little to combat the scourge of addiction, and so it continues to get worse, striking an ever-younger audience every year. Why? Because the stigma, shame, and hopelessness surrounding addiction have kept this issue in the shadows.
As a result — astonishingly — there has never been a well-funded equivalent of the American Cancer Society or American Heart Association to battle the addiction crisis.
This is why I left my career and, with others whose lives have also been forever changed by this crisis, created Facing Addiction (now Facing Addiction with NCADD).
We’ve crafted a comprehensive strategy to turn the tide against addiction in America.
To do that, we’re building a national movement — as exists with every other major health issue — to bring a unified voice and sustainable source of funding to this effort.
On October 4, 2015, Facing Addiction made history on the National Mall, when tens of thousands gathered to end the silence surrounding addiction. This was the first time major musicians, politicians, actors, and advocates all joined to create a united voice, supporting Facing Addiction’s pledge to help solve the most urgent health crisis of our time. It was the AIDS-quilt moment for addiction in America.
Since then, Facing Addiction with NCADD has become the leading voice in the effort to end addiction in our country, and has accomplished many important things. Still, because of the stigma, shame, and misunderstanding surrounding addiction, many ask if we can truly reverse this problem.
The answer is, unconditionally, yes.
First, we must educate people that addiction is an illness, not a moral failing. It happens to good people who no more want to become addicted than others want to get cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.
Addiction is not inherently fatal. It is treatable, and recovery is real. But people must understand the risks. One in every seven Americans will experience a substance use disorder.
Second, we must make accurate information readily accessible, in a trusted place, so people who need help know where to turn. Facing Addiction with NCADD, with Transforming Youth Recovery, created the Addiction Resource Hub that lists some 40,000 assets, to help people with prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, and advocacy. This is the most comprehensive addiction resource ever assembled, and is already helping countless people.
Third, we must remove impediments that have been holding back progress for decades. Prevention programs that don’t work. Pediatricians untrained in addiction. Shady, under-regulated addiction treatment centers. And our wrong-minded response to addiction as a crime, instead of an illness.
America has faced other health crises throughout history and, each time, found ways to dramatically lessen their impact.
Thirty-five years ago, people thought HIV/AIDS, another highly stigmatized illness, was insurmountable. But since the AIDS quilt moment in 1983, great strides have been made to reduce its devastation — with $3 billion raised toward that end.
But we must act…now. More than 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of “the fierce urgency of now” when discussing a very different crisis in America. We must focus today’s “fierce urgency of now” on the addiction crisis in America, before we lose an entire generation of our youth.
JAMES W. HOOD Co-CEO of Facing Addiction with NCADD
Jim has had a distinguished career, with an emphasis on helping companies identify and implement strategies for significant growth. He has more than three decades of experience in general management, business strategy, marketing, finance, consulting, private investing and as an entrepreneur.
Since the death of his son, Austin, from drug-related causes in October 2012, Jim has devoted all his time helping to forge a national organization, Facing Addiction, to serve as “the American Cancer Society of the addiction space.”
Facing Addiction launched with a history-making event on the National Mall on October 4, 2015. In January 2018 Facing Addiction merged with NCADD. The resulting organization, Facing Addiction with NCADD, is now recognized as the leading voice in the effort to end addiction in our country. Jim serves as Co-CEO of Facing Addiction with NCADD.
During his years in advertising, Jim managed some of Young & Rubicam’s largest accounts, headed the agency’s strategy review board, served as Director of Global Business Development, and was CEO of the joint venture between Y&R and Dentsu, the largest advertising agency in the world.
During his years on Wall Street, Jim was Chief Marketing Officer of Lehman Brothers and CS First Boston (now Credit Suisse).
Jim also had a successful strategic consulting practice for more than a decade, working with clients in the financial services, telecom, defense, technology and restaurant industries. While a consultant, Jim co-founded and became CEO of HipCricket, a groundbreaking mobile marketing firm that went public in 2006. He was also a director of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and served as a member of their executive committee when the company went public.
Jim is an investor in several private equity and hedge funds and invests in and advises early stage companies. He also serves as a mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.
Jim holds a BA in Psychology and Economics from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard University. He has served on many community boards in his hometown of Westport, CT.
Yesterday, 360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to speak with a group of communications and marketing college students from Mexico whom embodied all of the core principles of a global society – they all celebrated their own uniqueness.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have envisaged that this once young scraggly African-American boy, whom hailed from Detroit, would be able to influence another culture and encourage others to believe that their own individual brands would be able to coexist with their ability to simply be themselves. This road hasn’t always been an easy one; but with the vast support of team members, family and friends, the impossible has become possible. I dedicate this entire networking presentation to my late father whom always encouraged me to walk in silence while I talk through my actions.” – Vaughn Lowery
Vaughn Lowery’s heart pumps passion and produces positive change. His career has taken him from humble beginnings in Detroit to a full scholarship to Cornell University. From there, he became active in modeling, acting, and producing screenplays. Now, Vaughn is the publisher and founder of one of the leading fashion and lifestyle magazines of today, 360 Magazine.
Vaughn won over television audiences when he appeared in Kmart’s smash hit Joe Boxer commercial, dancing his self-titled “Boxer Boogie” wearing nothing but his Joe Boxer underwear. With this “brief” appearance, Vaughn Lowery, a.k.a “Joe Boxer,” soon became a household name. He appeared with Leeza Gibbons on “Extra”, Katie Couric on “Today Show”, and Jay Leno on “Tonight Show” boogieing down with them and performing his signature dance. According to the Detroit Free Press, Vaughn’s “Boxer Boogie” has paid off, helping Kmart sell roughly $20 million in Joe Boxer apparel a week.” In just the first year he was responsible for Kmart selling over $1.5 billion of duds, besting Martha Stewart’s launch year with over $500 million in sales.
The Detroit native embarked on an acting and modeling career during a trip to New York City when renowned make-up artist Sam Fine set him up with a fashion photographer, Fadil Berisha. Before his appearance as “Joe Boxer,” Vaughn worked as a successful print model for such companies as Gap, Target, Skechers, Old Navy, Bath & Body Works Fragrance, Nordstrom, and Marc Ecko. He also worked as a runway model for Tommy Hilfiger, Phat Farm, and Karl Kani. He has graced the pages of FHM (SA), URB Magazine, and Glamour.
Vaughn continues to be busy in the media. A few years back, ABC News “Primetime” aired a segment chronicling his life, along with the tragic John Ritter story. Vaughn has also filmed a Super Bowl commercial, completed a high-profile Dasani Water billboard ad campaign, appeared on “America’s Next Top Model,” where he stirred up some controversy, guest-starred on the comedy, “Scrubs,” and screened his controversial 35mm festival film, “The Young & Evil,” at Sundance 2009, which was nominated for Cardiff’s Iris Prize within the same year. He was also named Seventeen Magazine’s “17 Hot Guys.” The last film Vaughn acted in is called “The Company We Keep” (directed by Roy Campanella), where he plays a fast-talking manager within the record industry, Barry. Currently, Vaughn is in the midst of producing a short film “Chasen Life,” which won a writing competition. He is also adapting audiobook “Say Uncle” into a feature-length film and pitching his third reality series. Moreover, he’s in the process of establishing 360 Fest, a film festival that will introduce and screen some of the most provocative short and features in the world.
Outside of Vaughn Lowery’s entertainment endeavors, Vaughn has always determined to give back and continues to keep his personal promise to be a contributing citizen to those in need. He has lent his name and support to: Women At Risk, Human Rights Commission, March of Dimes, Heart of Los Angeles Youth, and schools across the nation where he encourages kids to be their best. Furthermore, Vaughn serves as the Brand Ambassador for both Falling Whistles, which supports war-affected kids in the Congo, and Pink United for breast cancer awareness. He sits on the board of Awakening Young Minds, a nonprofit organization that conducts emotional education workshops for troubled youth.
Vaughn Lowery’s talents are only overshadowed by his winning personality, infectious smile, and his ability to capture hearts as one of the most engaging and approachable individuals in the entertainment industry.
Amanda Williams is elated about her first major museum exhibition, Chicago Works: Amanda Williams at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Amanda will be presenting several new works that are an extension of my breakout painted house series, Color(ed) Theory, which gained national acclaim during Chicago’s first Architectural Biennial in 2015 [learn more about the Biennial here].
For the MCA, She has created an immersive set of site specific installations, original works on paper and sculptures that highlight how color, race and space have shaped the lives of south side citizens. This exhibition raises difficult questions about the social and political fabric of our city.
A site-specific installation for The Arts Club Garden Projects series, Uppity Negress addresses the layered roles gender and race have played historically in black women’s ability to navigate their position in urban space.
Pick up the latest Chicago Magazine and flip to the Culture section (page 28). Peep the feature titled, “The Upcycle Artist” written by Novid Parsi, where Amanda shares her thoughts on finding value and meaning in overlooked elements of the South Side of Chicago.
In Stores Now!
WDCB JAZZ – The Arts Section
Award-winning visual artist Amanda Williams is a guest of Gary Zidek on the morning radio series “The Arts Section.” The Bronzeville resident talked about a number of topics including her transition from architecture to art, her upcoming MCA exhibit & A Tribe Called Quest.
This select group of 40 accomplished and diverse individuals represents a cross-section of professionals from the corporate, nonprofit, government, and education sectors. They share the organization’s goal of effecting real change in the community. The class will explore challenges facing Chicago and the region to help effect real change in the community. (Photo: Tony Smith)