Posts tagged with "Georgia"

Georgia Comes Alive Virtual Music Festival

On Saturday, December 26th, Live For Live Music in partnership with HeadCount presented Georgia Comes Alive. The one-day virtual music festival presented performances by 50+ artists and aimed to promote voter participation in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections, taking place January 5th, 2021. Conceptualized to support local grassroots organizations like Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and CivicGeorgia, the event garnered over one million viewers, and raised over $170,000 through 8,000 individual donations (averaging $20 per donation).

The event, powered by Nugs.net and Plus1, was the latest virtual festival from the team behind Democracy Comes Alive, Quarantine Comes Alive, and Justice Comes Alive, events which collectively raised close to $300,000 for various charitable causes and garnered nearly two million views.

As with past Comes Alive events, the lineup of performers throughout the day spanned an eclectic range of genres, presenting everything from bluegrass to singer-songwriters, neo-soul to rock n’ roll, funk, R&B, electronic, and more. Highlights included the debut of The Lame Ducks, a one-off supergroup project featuring Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Company), and Jay Lane (Wolf Bros, Primus); collaborative sets including Phil Lesh & Friends and R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills with BIG Something; long-running musical institutions like Blind Boys of Alabama and Preservation Hall Jazz Band; dance music sets by Diplo and Big Gigantic; and a range of hit-making artists, Grammy winners, and cult favorites from across the musical spectrum including Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Big Freedia, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ben Folds, The Revivalists, Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones), Tank and the Bangas, Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Musiq Soulchild, Amos Lee, Bobby Rush, Warren Haynes, Portugal. The Man, Samantha Fish, Grouplove, and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers).

While live music dominated the nine-hour event, some of the day’s biggest highlights came during the many illuminating guest conversations with host Ari Fink (SiriusXM). Featured speakers included Jake Sherman (Politico, MSNBC), Helen Butler (Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda), Kevin Shanker Sinha (CivicGeorgia), MaryPat Hector (HeadCount), Andy Bernstein (HeadCount), Kam Franklin (The Suffers, HeadCount), Rachel and Jessica Jackson (HeadCount), Dayna Frank and Dave Weingarden (National Independent Venue Association), Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), and more.

Americans turned out in record numbers to vote during the 2020 elections, largely thanks to dedicated activism of grassroots organizations and the historic participation of underrepresented communities in battleground states like Georgia. Neither Georgia Senate seat garnered the 50% +1 majority vote during the general election, triggering a runoff election set to take place January 5th, 2021. While the Georgia runoffs will be decided by local voters, the results will have national implications by deciding which party controls the Senate. For more information on the specifics and implications of the Georgia Senate runoff elections, click here. Georgia residents can find information on polling places, early voting, mail-in ballots, and more here.

“Georgia Comes Alive was a work of art encapsulating the year 2020 for live music that I believe will go down as a defining moment of this period,” shares the founder of Live For Live Music and the Comes Alive event series, Kunj Shah. “The artists put so much creativity, time, and precaution into recording these segments during a pandemic whether from their own homes, by sending each part to one another remotely, carefully playing outside six feet apart with masks on, or in empty venues around the country observing safety measures like COVID testing and masking for video operators. We will hopefully never need to host an event in this manner again, but in the context of rock and roll history, Georgia Comes Alive will be remembered as the embodiment of the fortitude of live music during this unprecedented time.”

“This was an amazing end to a challenging but unforgettable year,” adds HeadCount co-founder and executive director, Andy Bernstein. “Each of the livestream performances were unique moments in history. The artistry was really apparent in each segmentߞthe musicians really put their hearts into every performance and the cause itself was at the forefront. I hope every viewer got a sense of the grassroots organizations getting the vote out in Georgia and why they are such worthy recipients of the charitable funds raised.”

Georgia Comes Alive was produced by Kunj Shah (founder, Live For Live Music), Don Strasburg(president, AEG Rocky Mountains), and Paul Peck (president, Fandiem; co-founder Okeechobee Music Festival, formerly Bonnaroo) in partnership with HeadCount, the non-partisan organization focused on voter empowerment. Committed to promoting involvement in democracy, HeadCount uses the power of music to register voters, reaching both young people and music fans where they are. Since 2004, it has registered over 600,000 voters through partnerships with touring musicians like Ariana Grande, Dead & Company, and Beyonce, to name a few, at events like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and more.

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Georgia Comes Alive Featured Performances By:

The Allman Betts Band

Allman Brothers Band (archival set)

Amos Lee

Andy Frasco and the U.N.

Ben Folds

Big Freedia

Big Gigantic

Big Head Todd

Billy Strings

Blind Boys of Alabama

Bobby Rush

Chuck Leavell

Dave Matthews

Diplo

Dragon Smoke

The Foo Fighters

Fruition

Futurebirds

G. Love

Galactic

Grace Potter

Grouplove

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Houndmouth

Jackie Venson

Judith Hill

The Lame Ducks ft. Bob Weir, Dave Schools, Jeff Chimenti & Jay Lane

Lawrence

Lee Fields

Los Lobos

Midnight North

Mihali

Mike Mills ft. BIG Something

Moon Taxi

Mt. Joy

Musiq Soulchild

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nicki Bluhm

Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Phil Lesh & Friends

Peter Yarrow

Portugal. The Man

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Revivalists

Roosevelt Collier

Samantha Fish

Shah

The Soul Rebels

The Suffers

Tank and the Bangas

Taylor Goldsmith (DAWES)

Warren Haynes

Kaelen Felix illustrates Ritchie Torres for 360 Magazine

TRAILBLAZER: CONGRESSMAN RITCHIE TORRES

By Elle Grant

January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.

“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.

He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”

Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.

“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”

“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”

Congressmen Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.

The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”

Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.

Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”

Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3rd, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”

360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”

Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”

“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad’ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.

Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.

On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”

Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta – Returns Dec. 6th

BRAVO’S “THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA” RETURNS WITH A STEAMY SEASON ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 8PM ET/PT

Coming up this season:

  • With her wedding quickly approaching, Cynthia Bailey is elated to be marrying the man of her dreams, even as they face wedding planning obstacles set in place by COVID-19. Determined to walk down the aisle, moving forward with her dream ceremony in the midst of a pandemic creates tension between Cynthia and her fiancé. Back at the ranch, Lake Bailey is a full house with Cynthia’s sister, Mal, temporarily taking residence there, leaving little alone time for the happy couple.
  • Kenya Moore’s fairytale romance continues to be on the rocks after a difficult year, but she remains determined as ever to live her life on her own terms. Still undecided about the future of her relationship, Kenya decides to reclaim her life and remodel her house – adding in the pool and cabana she’s always wanted. As she continues to delve into motherhood with her beautiful daughter Brooklyn, a budding friendship with newcomer LaToya Ali begins to develop right on time.
  • Less than a year after welcoming baby Blaze, Kandi Burruss’s life shows no signs of slowing down. Her restaurant empire continues to boom as she and Todd prepare to open an upscale steakhouse in Atlanta, but despite being as busy as ever, their personal life remains hot and heavy. As Riley prepares to leave the nest to start college in New York City, Kandi worries this may be a permanent move.
  • Porsha Williams steps into her family legacy, tirelessly lending her voice and efforts to the Black Lives Matter movement. Speaking out against systemic racism, attending protests and amplifying the message, Porsha is passionate about fighting for justice. Surrounded by the support of her mother and sister, her daughter Pilar Jhena continues to be the sunshine in Porsha’s life as her relationship takes a bit of a backseat. Porsha’s fun-loving side is always around, despite working overtime on her many business endeavors.
  • Actress and singer Drew Sidora joins the group as the newest housewife, ready to make some waves and spice things up. In addition to juggling her career, Drew has a lot on her plate as a wife and three children to care for. With her mother currently living in their house, trouble may be brewing between Drew and her husband. From getting ready to direct her first feature film to moving into her dream house, will her relationship be able to withstand her busy lifestyle?

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is produced by Truly Original with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Lorraine Haughton-Lawson, Luke Neslage, Joye Chin, Glenda Cox, Julie “Bob” Lombardi and Anthony Sylvester serving as Executive Producers. Markus Burns and Tom Ciaccio serve as Co-Executive Producers. Andy Cohen also serves as an Executive Producer.

Lecrae inspires DJJ youth

Lecrae inspires DJJ youth

Grammy Award-winning artist Lecrae shared his road to restoration with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) youth during a visit to the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC). There, he inspired youth to reach for their dreams. Lecrae is not only a platinum-selling recording artist but also New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, and philanthropist.

Youth from DJJ’s Chat and Chew Book Club at the Rockdale RYDC and female youth from the Macon Youth Development Campus (YDC) discussed life topics with Lecrae, including how he handles his success, money management, maintaining integrity in difficult situations, and the importance of self-worth. 

“I am grateful Lecrae was able to spend this vital time with our youth,” said Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “It is important for youth to hear positive messages from someone they admire and respect. Lecrae’s story is truly inspirational and we will continue to provide opportunities like these to youth to show them that their past experiences do not determine their future.”  

Lecrae donated copies of his book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith, to youth ahead of his visit to the Rockdale facility. He performed several of his hit records, including the single “Set Me Free” off his latest album, Restoration. Approximately ten female youth from the Macon YDC were able to join the Chat and Chew virtually. 

“Today was incredible,” said Lecrae about his visit with DJJ youth. “They had great questions and it was very authentic. My hope for youth in these circumstances is that they understand that this is not the end of their story.”

He shared the critical role his faith plays in his everyday life, his struggles with growing up in a rough neighborhood, his experiences with incarcerated loved ones, what motivates him to be better, and how writing helped him process his emotions. 

Lecrae first began visiting incarcerated youth before his first album after one of his closest friends asked him to volunteer. “Hopefully, it is a seed planted,” said Lecrae. “The work is never done and I’m just a little blip on the radar, but I feel like the staff here is continuing to do the work. I’m glad that I could support everything that they are already doing.”

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ABOUT DJJ

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state’s youthful offenders up to 21 years of age. The Department’s mission is to transform young lives by providing evidence-based rehabilitative treatment services and supervision, strengthening youth and families’ well-being, and fostering safe communities.

LaMelo Ball illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

LaMelo Ball Joins PUMA

By Justin Lyons

LaMelo Ball, top 2020 NBA Draft prospect and younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, signed with the sports company PUMA for a long-term sponsorship deal.

Ball said he’s excited to join the PUMA family as he kicks off his basketball career.

“I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100-percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA,” Ball said.

The 6-foot-7-inch guard with elite passing skills opted out of college basketball in favor of professional contracts in Lithuania and Australia.

Adam Petrick, the global director of brand and marketing at PUMA, said Ball is a natural fit for PUMA because of his personal style and his “physical gifts and dynamic play on the court.”

“We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball,” Petrick said.

The first collaboration between the young phenom and PUMA will come in the form of a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set. The set will release Nov. 18, the same day as the 2020 NBA Draft where Ball is expected to go in the top five.

PUMA also intends to blur lines between sports, culture, music and fashion with its approach to the collaboration with Ball, which will likely be seen in the form of shirts, shoes and other apparel.

The partnership will follow PUMA’s “Not From Here” concept, something Ball cooked up himself to represent his unique attitude.

“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” Ball said. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”

Ball and PUMA will also join forces to host basketball camps, clothing donations, court refurbishments and more to support programs that encourage young athletes stay active.

With names like RJ Barrett, Kyle Kuzma and Deandre Ayton highlighting the list, Ball is the latest in a line of young talent to join PUMA.

In Ball’s 2019-2020 season as a member of the Illawarra Hawks, he played just 12 games before injuring himself during practice and deciding to leave for the NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after winning the NBA Draft Lottery. The Timberwolves had a 14% chance at landing the first pick, tied for the best odds with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the team holding the worst record in the league.

With the Timberwolves trading for star guard D’Angelo Russell last season, mock drafts appear to have Minnesota targeting Anthony Edwards, the wing player out of Georgia.

Without a consensus first pick, there is also speculation that Minnesota could trade out of the first pick, opening an opportunity for a team looking for a point guard with passing abilities like Ball’s.

It all remains to be seen the night of the Draft Nov. 18, where one thing is for sure: LaMelo Ball’s name will be called.

Elixir

By Payton Saso

Twin sister music group, Elixir, may be new to the music scene but should definitely be on your radar.

Originally from Carroliton, Georgia, the sisters, Aleeya and Aleexus Crowder, were raised in a structured and comfortable home, but that never hindered their creative abilities. The twins say that they were able to discover their musical talents from the encouragement of their parents to stimulate their creative side.

Once a shared past-time the twins loved, music quickly transitioned to a hobby to a career.

By channeling influence from the realness of nature, lyrically emphasizing the truth, and the hopes to provide relief through music, the twins have released nine songs across the streaming platform Spotify.

With their devotion to individuality and putting out creative energy through their music, it is no surprise that they feel inspired from Masego and Andre 3000 as well.

While the onset of the pandemic has halted many artists ability to grow and perform, Elixir is using this time to tap into their creativity. When asked how they’ve been using their time they said, “We have been working on more music and projects and we also are starting a new business wire wrapping healing stones that is keeping us busy as well.”

With live performances also on halt, Elixir is planning a virtual performance toward the end of October in order to still connect with their fans, while still following regulations.

What’s next for the twins? Well, they say they plan on creating and sharing music videos for their previously released singles and continue to grow as a duo.

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Camera illustration by Allison Christensen

The Untitled Space’s Online Exhibitions

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “Lola Jiblazee: True World Story,” an online solo exhibition premiering on Tuesday July 21st. Lola Jiblazee is a New York based artist from Tbilisi, Georgia who primarily works with acrylic paint and digital forms. Influenced in her formative years by strong female role models during Georgia’s Civil War, Lola developed a passion to echo the empowerment of women. Lola Jiblazee’s latest series “True World Story” explores hope, love, and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolated during the lockdown, Lola turned to social media and asked her followers to share their positive quarantine stories. Those stories inspired her latest series, with each painting including the personal story of her subjects.

Jiblazee grew up in the Republic of Georgia in the nineties during their Civil War. She had been under curfew and isolated, went without water and electricity, and was separated from loved ones for months. She struggled to overcome the PTSD that ensued but the experiences also made her stronger. Through her artwork, she attempts to convey how others can find joy in simple things which can help overcome tough times and remind people how beautiful life can be.

In addition, the Untitled Space continues to present “Tom Smith: STRIP” the first in a series of online summer solo exhibitions. In celebration of LGTBQ Pride Month, “Tom Smith: STRIP” premiered his fantasy installations on Tuesday June 30th, 2020

Indira Cesarine Studio and The Untitled Space showcase “The Labyrinth,” an installation and exhibition of works featuring photography, video, painting, and sculpture, as well as a series of performances inspired by the artwork. The exhibition opened with an artist reception on March 12th, 2020 featuring a special performance by renowned modern dancer Katherine Crockett. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition closed on March 13th, and the updated exhibition dates are June 24 – August 28, 2020 by appointment according to CDC guidelines.

There is also select artwork from Sarupa Sidaarth, Anna Sampson, and Chistina Massey on virtual display at The Untitled Space. Be sure to explore their digital galleries and look forward to socially distant viewings in person.

banging gavel illustration

Georgia Governor Sues Atlanta Mayor

By Eamonn Burke

Amidst a large spike in Covid-19 cases across the United States, the governor of Georgia has sued the mayor of Atlanta, a hotspot for the virus. The lawsuit, filed yesterday, is filed against the mayor for mandating strict health measures, meaning masks. Governor Brian Kemp (R) claims that the mayor’s “disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihood of our citizens.” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), accepted the decision, saying “We’ll see him in court.” She also suggested that the governor had crossed a line with this challenge.

This comes as Georgia’s cases and deaths are rising, reaching numbers that the state has not yet seen since the pandemic began. It is evidence of a growing political polarization surrounding masks and other Covid-related health measures. Governor Kemp claims legal authority to set state-wide measures, while Mayor Bottoms defends her actions as following the course recommended by health experts.

The two also disagree on re-opening measures, as Kemp opened Georgia before any other state, when even President Trump thought it was “too soon.” Mayor Bottoms, however, is pushing for Georgia to return to phase one of re-opening. Kemp dismissed it as a “recommendation”, and extended his own executive order to overrule any local mandates for masks.

“While we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I’m confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” the governor said at a news conference yesterday.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Clark Atlanta University × T.I.

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President George T. French Jr. is thinking outside the box when it comes to educating, enlightening and empowering CAU students.

The university is partnering with three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, actor, producer, songwriter and entrepreneur Tip “T.I.” Harris to create an amazing experience for CAU undergraduate students this Fall.

“HBCUs have a vital role in our community and have managed to withstand even while being some of the most under-resourced institutions,” said T.I.  “Our national HBCUs continue to underscore the fact that we have always had to do more with less. I am excited to be partnering with Clark Atlanta University in my hometown – Atlanta.”

I applaud their innovative approach to ensuring their students are educated beyond the traditional textbook curriculum. I am honored to end my voice and unique experiences to the betterment of today’s young people and to do my part to lift the legacy of historical black colleges and universities across the nation,” T.I. said.

T.I. will be tag teaming with Presidential Leadership Scholar and hip-hop aficionado, Dr. Melva K. Williams on the “Business of Trap Music.”  Williams brought forward the concept as a way to expose the life, career, entrepreneurial success, experiences, and the like of national recording artist, T.I., to the HBCU community. Williams is a prominent figure in higher education and is a long-time educator, HBCU advocate, and co-founder for the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.).  She also serves as a Vice Chancellor for Southern University Shreveport and New Orleans.

“In higher education it is important that we challenge, empower and equip our students with the proper resources to excel,” said President George T. French Jr., “I believe the best way to do this is to understand their culture and create life-long experiences that will not only motivate our scholars but present them with opportunities to help them become globally competitive,” French said.

Trap Music is a sub-genre of hip-hop music and is a cultural phenomenon that involves a variety of art forms. The genre has been embraced worldwide, has been infused with other types of music and has become a part of everyday living. The effect of Trap Music is well known, but the business of Trap Music and its ability to enlighten and educate will be explored on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY: Website | Instagram | Twitter

Minority Report

A comprehensive report of the continuation and influx of unjustified treatment towards minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 23: 25-year-old Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while running unarmed. No arrests were made immediately, but Gregory and Travis McMichael, who claim to have been making a citizen’s arrest, have since been apprehended more than 2 months after the shooting and charged with murder and aggravated assault. The murder and its delayed action have sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice. The lawyer, hired by Ahmaud’s family, was also hired by another African American victim – Breonna Taylor.

March 13Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home after police entered the house on a search warrant. Taylor and her boyfriend believed they were burglars and began firing at the police. The shootout left 26-year-old Taylor dead and her boyfriend, 27, arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend Walker had a criminal record, but Walker had a firearm license.

March 23: A newly released video shows a 68-year-old black Missouri woman by the name of Marvia Gray and her son Derek being forcefully arrested on the floor of a department store on March 23rd. The two were accused falsely of trying to steal a television and were injured when thrown on the floor by police, according to Gray. They were however, arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

April 18Steven Taylor, 33, was shot to death by police in a California Walmart while attempting to steal from the store and threatening violent acts with a baseball bat. Taylor was fatally shot, however, after becoming a non-threat, it prompted the family to call for charges against the officers. Taylor was also allegedly in a mental health crisis and has a history of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Taylor leaves behind three children and three siblings.

April 24: Austin Police murdered 42-year old Michael Ramos after a nearby 911 call about a possible drug deal. The police shot Ramos when he was out of his car, with his hands above his head. When Ramos re-entered his vehicle and began driving away, he was shot again and soon after, died. A later investigation found no sign of a firearm in the car.

April 28: A shootout with police in Florida killed 26-year-old Jonas Joseph after his car was pulled over. Joseph began firing at police, who returned fire and killed the young man.

May 6: 21-year-old Sean Reed was killed by police following a vehicle pursuit on the evening of May 6, 2020. The police pursued Reed after being seen driving erratically on the highway. The pursuit terminated, but when Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey spotted the car parked, he approached. Reed tried to flee, but the confrontation left the young man dead. A crowd of protestors at the scene demanded the reasoning for the officer’s use of force.

May 9: 48-year-old Adrian Medearis was killed after being pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Houston. The officer conducted a sobriety test, and attempted to arrest Medearis, a well-known local Gospel singer and choir director, but he resisted arrest and was fatally shot  in the ensuing altercation. His family and community are demanding the release of the video.

May 18: A Sarasota police officer was filmed using excessive force and kneeling on Patrick Carroll’s neck during an arrest. The video was put on social media and the officer in question has been put on administrative leave weeks after the event.

May 25: A woman named Amy Cooper called the cops on Christian Cooper, a Harvard alumnus and former Marvel Comics editor. The 57-year-old man was bird watching in Central Park when she approached him without her dog on the leash. After he asked her to put the dog on a leash, she called the police and claimed to be threatened. The altercation went viral after Christian Cooper posted a video of the event on social media, recording the woman aggressively restraining her dog and her saying, “I’m going to tell them [the police] there’s an African American man threatening my life.” Amy Cooper has since publicly apologized. But, Cooper has faced repercussions beyond negative comments on Twitter. She has been fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments, where she was vice president, and her dog has been rescued by a pet shelter.

Also on Monday May 25th, a Minneapolis man named George Floyd was murdered by police after an officer knelt on his neck despite his cries for help. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he died, and four officers were fired soon after the incident. A police statement says that Floyd was being investigated for a “forgery in progress” and resisted arrest. But, surveillance video of the arrest shows Floyd complying with the officers. On May 29th, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter, four days after George Floyd’s death. On June 3rd, the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder, J.A. Keung, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, were arrested and charged with Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter. Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the country with citizens looting and setting fire to buildings. The protestors have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets from police officers.

Allison Christensen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

May 28: At a protest in Minneapolis, 43-year-old Calvin L. Horton Jr. was fatally shot and a suspect is in custody.

A Mississippi cop is on leave after a video is released of him choking a young suspect.

May 29: CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while reporting on the protest in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, says he was treated very differently by police and allowed to stay and report. Jimenez is black and Latino whereas Campbell is white. All three CNN workers were released from custody an hour later.

21-year-old Javar Harrell was not protesting but was fatally shot near protests in Detroit. It is unclear if his death is tied to protests.

May 30: The “Rally To End Modern Day Lynching” took place in Harlem in honor of George Floyd. The rally emphasizes that participants should still practice social distancing and wear a mask. Also on May 30th, participants will honor Floyd at the site of Eric Garner‘s murder in 2014. These New York protests became progressively more violent into the evening. Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency and curfew for Atlanta in preparation for planned protests on May 31st. After four days of protests, Governor Newsom declares a state of emergency in Los Angeles. The courthouse and city hall were set on fire in Nashville.

A 21-year old unnamed man was fatally shot at a protest in Detroit.

In Dallas, a machete-yielding storeowner confronted protesters and was then violently beaten by the crowd; the man is now in stable condition.

Chris Beaty, 38, was killed from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene in Indianapolis.

May 31: After setting fires and looting in Santa Monica, the city declared a curfew. Curfews have since been set all around the country.

Italia Kelly, 22, and another victim were fatally shot while leaving a protest in Davenport, Iowa.

In Victorville, CA, Malcolm Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree and authorities are investigating the event as a potential homicide. Harsch’s family says they are very skeptical of his death being by suicide.

June 1: In Minneapolis, a group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a black transgender woman; Dior is okay and in stable condition now.

53-year-old David McAtee was shot as national Guard troops and Louisville police broke up a protest; some footage shows McAtee shooting at police but it is unclear who fired their guns first because the officers involved did not activate their body cameras. The Louisville Metro Police Chief, Steve Conrad, was immediately fired because of the officers’ unactivated cameras.

16-year-old Jahmel Leach was tased in the face by NYPD and could be permanently disfigured from the attack. It is unclear why the police officers used force to arrest Leach.

June 2: Six Atlanta police officers have been fired and arrested for using excessive force towards Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, two young black people leaving the protests.

77-year-old David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, was fatally shot by looters of a pawnshop after responding to an alarm.

June 4: At 3:45pm, NAACP holds a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd live on their Twitter.

June 5: All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team resigned in protest for police brutality – particularly seen in a video of Buffalo police pushing an unarmed man.

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigns from the company’s board and urges the company to replace his spot with a black candidate.

In a YouTube video, Robert L. Johnson, the first black American billionaire and co-founder of BET, talks to The Breakfast Club about racism and reparations.

20-year-old Dounya Zayer was violently shoved by a police officer at a protest in Brooklyn, NY. 

June 6: Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand pledge $100 million donation over the next 10 years to organizations promoting social justice and racial equality.

A video shows protestors creating a human shield to protect NYPD officers fro rioters throwing objects at the policemen. 

June 7: Virginia governor plans to remove Robert E. Lee statue later this week.

CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman’s insensitive tweet about George Floyd has caused Glassman to face serious backlash. Partners of CrossFit, like Reebok or Rogue Fitness, and athletes, including Brooke Wells and Richard Froning, released statements that they will cut ties with CrossFit.

BLM protestors in Bristol pull down statue of Edward Colton, a slave trader who transported nearly 100,000 slaves in the 17th century. 

Harry H. Rogers drove into a group of protestors near Richmond, Virginia. Rogers identifies as the leader of the Ku Klux Klan and prosecutors are investigating the assault as a potential hate crime.

June 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces police reform legislation called The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct, and more.

Minneapolis City Council announce plans to defund the Minneapolis police department.

GoFundMe suspends Candace Owens’ account saying that Owens, “spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community.”

June 9: Greg Glassman, the CEO and founder of CrossFit, retires after his inappropriate tweet about George Floyd’s murder.

New York Police Chief Mike O’Meara shames the press for vilifying police officers in a video here.

June 10: In Palmdale, CA, 24-year-old black man named Robert Fuller,  was found hanging from a tree in what was originally described as an apparent suicide. Citizens are demanding that Fuller’s death is investigated as a homicide.

June 11:  After Trump’s comments about Seattle protestors being “domestic terrorists” and that law enforcement must “dominate the streets” to “take back Seattle,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan clarifies that the protestors are not threatening and that the president’s claims are unconstitutional.

June 12: Atlanta police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks’ murder caused Atlanta police chief Erika Shields to resign.

June 13: Patrick Hutchinson, a black personal trainer from London, rescued ‘far-right’ protester who was badly beaten during protest clashes in London.

A young, black FedEx driver named Brandon Brackins turned to social media to tell his followers how he was called racial slurs while working. 

June 16: A story resurfaces from 2006 when black, Buffalo, NY cop Cariol Horne was fired for stopping her white colleague from choking a handcuffed suspect.

Philadelphia court supervisor Michael Henkel is fired after video shows him tearing down BLM signs.

June 17: Quaker Oats plans to retire their Aunt Jemima branding and logo after acknowledging the racial stereotyping.

June 18: A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado.

June 20: Rioters storm the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma during President Trump’s rally. 

June 21: A NYPD officer is on unpaid suspension after a chokehold incident in Queens.

June 22: Department of Justice is investigating a noose found in Bubba Wallace‘s NASCAR garage. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit. On June 23, the FBI determines that Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.

August 23: Jacob Blake is shot by Kenosha police officers after breaking up a nearby fight that two other women were having. Blake was unarmed and shot seven times in the back. He is currently hospitalized for his injuries.

 

 

Looking for ways to help? Here are some places to donate to:

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Louisville Community Bail Fund

National Bail Out

Transgender Law Center In Memory of Tony McDade

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Dream Defenders

North Star Health Collective

The Louisville Community Bail Fund

The Freedom Fund

Northwest Community Bail Fund