Posts tagged with "crisis"

Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Coronavirus Awareness Through Art

By Mina Tocalini

Graphic designers, illustrators and all artists alike unite against the Coronavirus pandemic with creative messages of hope and safety. Open calls for creatives were presented by the United Nations, Amplifier, and others back in April for innovative designs and infographics. The Erase Covid community was formed in light of this as well and established a partnership with MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund  to help raise money for artists and musicians. While the Viral Art Project continues to invite artists via social media to submit Coronavirus awareness posters. 

The images created express gratitude for our health workers, safety tips, awareness and more throughout the pandemic, highlighting art’s power to connect and communicate. The Smithsonian Magazine reported how creativity continues on the street, as graffiti artists take their Coronavirus art directly to the public with images centered on increasing privatization, surveillance, increasing marginalization, corporatization, housing issues that have become more prevalent during the crisis. This pandemic has not only brought tragedy to our lives as we watch the death toll increase, but it has also illuminated the ineffective and injustice systems in place in this country that affect the poor, minorities and immigrants. With this in mind, we can turn to art to project our voice towards progress.

Art has always been at the forefront of communication and throughout this pandemic, creativity has triumphed, leaving us with hope for the social limitations in place and the future of this pandemic. If you are an artist, or looking to become one, or even just starting a new hobby, turn to this pandemic with a creative eye. Make art on proper hygiene practice, social distancing, social isolation, virtual communication, the importance of masks, social injustice, economic disparity, current politics or any other topic that coronavirus has impacted in our daily lives. Share your art on social media and stay connected, together we can help save lives and move our country forward.  

Expand your design/art community further on Talent House, Behance, DeviantArt and Dribble.

Additionally, 360 Magazine accepts Illustrated Editorials, if you are interested contact us HERE.

Follow Amplifier: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Follow Viral Art Project: Instagram | Twitter

Follow Erase Covid: Facebook | Instagram

Lebanon illustration by Rita Azar

Lebanon Currency Crisis

By Rita Azar

The Lebanese currency has severely depleted in value during the last few months. Although many politicians claim that the lira will stabilize at 3000 to a dollar, the currency crisis continues to rock the finances of Lebanon. Ever since 1990, 1500 liras have always equaled a dollar. Although this is a far cry from 1980 when three liras equaled one dollar, the instability of the lira from 1990 on is treacherous to the economy. The worst the conversion rate has ever been was when the dollar reached a staggering 12000 liras.

One must grasp the country’s financial decisions to understand what led to the economic collapse. Lebanon’s broken electricity, water, and waste collection systems has cost the country billions of liras of debt. Before the early 2000s, most of Lebanon’s debt was local; this means that, theoretically, the debt could be paid off by simply printing more lira, which the central bank has the power to do. But after the former prime minister, Fouad Siniora, took billions of dollars worth of foreign loans in 2007, Lebanon needed to collect foreign currency to pay for the debt debt. On top of this, Lebanon’s economy damaged by an immense decrease in tourism and foreign investments. Due to this, Lebanon has used the little foreign money that still exists in the central bank to pay off its foreign debts which leaves the citizens and companies of Lebanon unable to withdraw dollars from their bank accounts.

Due to foreign currencies being rare to find in Lebanon’s economy, they have become far more expensive. In addition, because of the abundance of Lebanese liras, the lira has fallen dramatically in value. This has led to massive gouging by all types of businesses that need to import with foreign currencies that are no longer accessible. In response, the government and central bank have taken measures to stop the massive inflation of the lira. One method is keeping the official rate, 1500 lira to one dollar, from small scale transactions and being a little more lenient with larger transactions by offering a rate of about 4000 lira to a dollar.

But, this means that the Lebanese people are losing money when exchanging foreign currency into lira. This has led many people living in the country to go to the black market to exchange money with rates other than the governmental regulations. While the black market approach has allowed many Lebanese people to get their money’s worth, it has caused the government to enforce stricter exchange rates to control inflation and ban the black market. 

 

https://www.france24.com/en/20200612-lebanon-pound-economic-crisis-protests-imf-aid-bailout-hassan-diab

https://aawsat.com/home/article/2356311/ذعر-في-لبنان-بسبب-تدهور-الليرة

https://www.alhurra.com/lebanon/2020/04/23/يسقط-حكم-المصرف-تدهور-الليرة-اللبنانية-يشعل-الاحتجاجات-مستقبل-مجهول

https://www.tayyar.org/News/Lebanon/358134/دياب–سلامة-مسؤول-عن-أزمة-الدولار

 

Poor People's Campaign illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign will demand a moral policy agenda to heal America in a congressional briefing Thursday as it follows up on its digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington that drew millions of viewers.

Legislators and other political leaders from both sides of the aisle have been invited to attend the digital briefing, where campaign leaders will lay out the specifics of the Moral Policy Agenda to Heal America: The Poor People’s Jubilee Platform

The agenda is grounded in constitutional and moral values and offers concrete solutions to end the ongoing, concurrent crises of the five interlocking injustices: systemic racism, systemic poverty, militarism, ecological devastation and the false moral narrative of extreme religious nationalism.

“It’s time that we lift from the bottom, which requires us to address all five of the interlocking injustices,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “We cannot put more money in systemic racism, corporate interests and the war economy than we do in living wages, health care, public education and guaranteeing equal protection under the law. Poverty is lethal; systemic racism is lethal; COVID-19 is lethal. This agenda demands what must be now and after the election to heal the nation.”

Also invited to attend are the tri-chairs from the 45 states where the Poor People’s Campaign is organizing, along with the campaign’s national partners and faith partners.

The briefing follows the campaign’s digital justice assembly on June 20th, when millions of people tuned in to the digital justice gathering to hear the reality facing 140 million people who are poor or low-income in the wealthiest country in the world and where 700 people die each day from poverty — even before COVID-19.

Also on that day, the campaign’s coordinating committees from 45 states and over 200 organizational partners, labor unions and religious denominations came together around the moral policy agenda to heal America.

“Biblically, the Year of Jubilee was a time to release people from their debts, release all slaves and ensure that all people have what they need to thrive, not just barely survive,” said Rev. Liz Theoharis, director of Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. “Our Justice Platform provides a way for this country to do the same with policies and budgets that lift people out of poverty and revive the economy with the promise of a brighter future for all.”

The sweeping platform offers a roadmap for lawmakers to take seriously the moral and constitutional principles upon which this country was founded: to establish justice, promote the general welfare, ensure domestic tranquility, secure the blessings of liberty and provide for the common defense.

In addition to Barber and Theoharis, the policy director for the Kairos Center and the Poor People’s Campaign, Shailly Gupta Barnes, will address the briefing. The briefing begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s open only to the media and invited guests. Reporters can register here.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral  Revival, is building a broad and deep moral fusion movement rooted in the leadership of poor people to unite our country from the bottom up. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our updated agenda, the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform addresses these issues.

America can’t address the moral crisis of poverty without addressing healthcare. Some 140 million people in the U.S. – or more than 43 percent – live in poverty or are low-wealth” Rekindling a Prophetic Moral Vision for Justice, Social Change and Movement BuildingFollow Poor People’s Campaign: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Schools Debate Fall Opening

By Eamonn Burke

As the Coronavirus spreads at its fastest pace yet in the United States, schools and colleges are facing the tough question of how to face the fall semester. Education facilities from kindergarten to graduate school have to rethink how classes will be run in person, and if they will be run in person at all.

According to the Federal Government, opening all schools in person is the imperative course of action. President Trump and his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are practically demanding schools to re-open, as Trump even threatened to cut funding to education if they do not. “We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools—get them open.” Trump said at an event last week. Secretary DeVos backed him, asserting that re-opening schools “should absolutely be the goal.”

However, for public school districts and colleges, the situation is not so clear-cut. California, one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the world, the two largest districts of San Diego and Los Angeles have announced that they will not reopen for in-person instruction. Many districts, such as New York City, are pursuing a more hybrid plan, which involves partial in-person learning in three different models propped by Mayor DeBlasio. The state of New York as a whole is allowing districts to open based on certain criteria. In some cases, such as Nashville, districts have actually had to backpedal and turn over plans to re-open in light of the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the nation.

Colleges, both public and private, face the same dilemma. While some have announced full closure in the fall, such as the State universities in California, others such as Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown will bring students to campus in a limited manner. Harvard and Princeton will have roughly half of the students on campus for each semester, split by grade, although all classes will remain online. Harvard will not discount their tuition, while Princeton will offer 10% off. Other universities such as Carnegie Mellon are offering more flexibility, allowing students to choose which semester to come back and offering some classes with both a remote and in-person option.

Another complicating factor in decisions for colleges are the new restrictions on international students put in place by ICE under Trumps administration. These rules, stating that international students who have only online classes must go back to their country, have caused more than 200 universities to sue the Trump administration, following in suit of Harvard and MIT. These rules were dropped quickly after facing the wide opposition.

Covid and health illustration

COVID-19 Evictions

By Eamonn Burke

The recession caused by Covid-19 has put millions of people out of work and out of income, making it harder for them to pay for their housing. As a result, a heightened importance has been placed on housing and income security in light of the pandemic by the United States government.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has temporarily halted evictions and closures to help ensure housing for families and individuals. These moratoriums are a part of the CARES Act passed on March 27, including 2 Trillion dollars for economic relief. Most of these exceptions truly are temporary, however, and will be lifted when the pandemic is further under control.

Individual states are undertaking efforts to protect housing as well, and these policies can be viewed for every state in a scorecard compiled by the Eviction Lab and Professor Emily Benfer of Columbia’s Law School.

Click here for information about this housing crisis and to find out whether or not you are protected.

(DANNON)RED

(DANNON)RED Fruit on the Bottom Strawberry is a high-quality, low-fat yogurt that provides an excellence source of calcium. It is also a perfect treat for those on-the-go or looking to whip up a new recipe to share with family and friends. Every purchase of the transformed (DANNON)RED yogurt will contribute 20 cents to fight AIDS with (RED), enough money to provide one day of life-saving medication to those impacted by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa – up to $100,000. That medication not only enables someone living with HIV to keep themselves alive and healthy, it also prevents mothers living with HIV from passing the virus to their unborn babies.

Available starting November 12th online at Amazon.com/Fresh as well as in select US grocer locations. This holiday season, feeding the family and helping save lives has never tasted better.

Azuri Technologies X Energise Africa Launch UK Crowd Campaign

Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar in Africa and crowdfunding platform Energise Africa today announced the latest phase of debt financing from UK impact investors to deliver affordable, clean energy and help solve the energy crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Azuri and Energise Africa collaboration plans to raise £2.5 million for pay-as-you-go-solar and help more than 100,000 off-grid people in Sub-Saharan Africa access clean, affordable energy.

The investment will support low-income families in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

More than 600 million people across Africa live without access to electricity – limiting their life chances of achieving economic prosperity and improved quality of life. Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and can only be met with access to sufficient investment.

Crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful way of financing the off-grid solar industry and is leading the way in increasing investor interest in the market.

Through Energise Africa, individuals in the UK can invest from as little as £50 in bonds, issued by solar businesses, to provide clean and affordable energy access, while targeting annual returns of 6%. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Azuri is a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology and since 2012 has been supplying affordable solar home systems and products to the millions across Africa living off-grid without access to mains electricity.

In 2018, Azuri and Energise Africa raised £1.7 million from hundreds of UK investors to deliver clean, affordable energy products to more than 16,000 families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said: “Azuri is delighted to extend our partnership with Energise Africa and their community of UK-based retail investors to finance off-grid solar projects. With this innovative financing, thousands more households will be able to access modern solar energy for the first time.”

Lisa Ashford, Managing Director Energise Africa said: “Through Energise Africa, we are committed to providing UK based people with easily accessible opportunities to invest directly in sustainable businesses that can tackle climate change, create long-term social and environmental impact, and also deliver a potential financial return. We’re looking forward to the prospect of working with Azuri Technologies again to help accelerate the achievement of UN SDG 7.

Energise Africa has been developed by Ethex and Lendahand – two of Europe’s leading impact investing companies and is also supported by UK aid, Virgin Unite, Good Energies Foundation and P4G.

Over the past 20 months the Energise Africa community of investors has generated over £7.57 million for 12 solar businesses to provide 312,000 people in 10 African countries with access to clean energy, which has prevented almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere annually and also repaid almost £1.8 million back to investors.

Investing in Energise Africa projects via the www.energiseafrica.co.uk site involves risk, including the loss of all of your invested capital, illiquidity (the inability to sell assets quickly or without substantial loss in value), and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio.

The investment opportunities on www.energiseafrica.co.uk are not an offer to the public in any jurisdiction and are available only to registered members of the platform who have certified that they are eligible to invest. Any person who is not resident in the United Kingdom who wishes to view these investment opportunities must first satisfy themselves that they are eligible to do so under the securities laws and regulations applicable to them. This site does not constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation would be unlawful.

In respect of its regulated activities, Lendahand Ethex Ltd is an appointed representative of Share In Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 603332).

Facing Addiction

By James W. Hood

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.

Trump Revealed on Opioid Epidemic 

With more than 100 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Trump declared it was time to take action and officially declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The announcement was short on details. Declaring a national state of emergency involves more than just a brief statement from the president to the press — there’s a formal process that requires documents to be signed and legal steps to be followed.

On ViceNews.com, Keegan Hamilton details Trump’s informal state of emergency declaration and how a White House spokesman confirmed that the paperwork still remains incomplete.

The informal state of emergency declaration follows a pattern for the Trump administration. Much like his recent tweets about banning transgender people from the military or his early executive orders about cracking down on crime, Trump’s opioid gambit has been — at least so far — all flash and no substance, attracting attention without making any major policy changes.

Read “State of no emergency” by VICE News’ Keegan Hamilton here: http://news.vice.com/story/trump-officially-declared-an-opioid-emergency-and-then-officially-did-nothing. Follow @vicenews and @keegan_hamilton for more updates.