Posts tagged with "inclusivity"

Eight Steps to Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Your Company

Do you still consider “diversity” or “inclusion” to be buzzwords? In that case, it’s time to recognize the importance of embracing these values for your business and the consequences of failing to do so. It runs far beyond getting in trouble with the law. Fully 82% of consumers surveyed in a recent Harris Poll indicated that they prefer to buy from companies that mirror what matters to them – and they’re willing to pay more for the privilege.

Furthermore, research suggests that the most diverse teams produce more in terms of profit. They also create a less hostile, more accepting work environment, which is critical in today’s world of labor shortages and supply chain issues. The best staff members want to clock in where they feel appreciated and welcomed, and teams that fail to adapt could see star talent depart for kinder shores.

What can you do if you haven’t yet addressed ways to ensure people from all walks of life, including various ethnic backgrounds, sexual and gender orientations, and ability levels, find your team welcoming and inviting? Here are eight steps to improving diversity and inclusion in your company.

1. Include It in Your Growth Plan

Please schedule a time to complete this important task if you haven’t yet created a corporate growth plan. What is it? This document sets out your goals and targets, listing the specific strategies you plan to use to achieve them. Best of all, it starts by considering the current state of your business, evaluating your strengths and weaknesses and your opportunities for improvement.

For example, some firms prefer to take time and care with each new hire instead of outsourcing particular tasks to remote call centers or partnering with independent contractors who may not keep the team’s mission foremost in their minds. They could be worrying about how to pay their bills or juggle this client with multiple others, resulting in falling short of fully embracing the corporate mission.

Of course, this approach might not work for every business. Some creative enterprises, for example, might do better with independent freelancers who work alternative schedules and need customized environments to do their best. That’s why the growth plan is so vital – you evaluate your business’s unique needs and decide how to best meet your diversity and inclusion goals in conjunction with them.

2. Regularly Solicit Input and Feedback From Staff

Social media abounds with tales of people complaining about their workplaces. With all the bellyaching, it can seem like no one is ever satisfied. However, a shift in perspective could help business owners recognize the obvious: Staff members concerned about their paychecks aren’t likely to raise concerns in the office unless they feel secure enough in their position that giving feedback won’t lead to a pink slip. Many organizations lack such a supportive atmosphere.

How can you coax reluctant employees to give honest and genuine feedback on how you could improve diversity and inclusion in your company? One method is to send out regular and anonymous surveys using an online site such as SurveyMonkey to protect identities. Include open-ended questions with plenty of room to write meaningful comments along with true-or-false and multiple-choice queries.

3. Offer Flextime and Telecommuting Arrangements

Each human being is only one person. You might have felt this crunch as a business owner if you ever had to attend two of your children’s events on the same day out-of-town clients come in for a face-to-face meeting. You can only do so much and be in one place at a time.

Flextime and telecommuting arrangements allow staff members the same flexibility you have to take off for a few hours in the afternoon to attend a recital, returning to work in the evening after the children have gone to bed. However, these programs are inclusive to more than the parents on your roster.

Such arrangements are often invaluable to workers with disabilities. Many need to attend multiple specialist appointments and most doctors don’t offer evening or Saturday hours. Many specialists may only have one or two days of availability per week, and a flexible schedule enables staff members to attend appointments while making up work later or doing it in advance. Telecommuting benefits those who can’t drive but otherwise have no problem handling their workload.

4. Be Transparent About Salaries and Progression

Here’s the pesky thing about U.S. employment law: At-will employment laws often conflict with protective measures on the books. For example, according to the National Labor Relations Act, it’s legal for workers to discuss their wages with each other. However, states with at-will employment laws allow either employer or employee to terminate their relationship at any time for any reason – meaning many still fear that speaking up will cost them their job.

However, you can circumvent controversy by creating a clear salary progression path. There are several methods to do so:

  • Years of service: This method is the simplest. For each subsequent year of employment, workers receive a specified percentage raise.
  • Years of experience: This method evaluates how many total years of experience each staff member brings to their role.
  • Educational attainment: Some companies pay higher compensation packages to those who complete advanced degrees.
  • Merit-based: Workers who perform tasks at certain speeds, amass a required number of clients, or hit other milestones earn a raise.

Many businesses use a mixed approach. For example, many school districts base their salary schedule on a combination of total years of experience and educational attainment levels. Whatever you choose, broadcast your schedule in your employee handbook, discuss it during orientation and ongoing training, and refer to it when performing annual evaluations.

5. Provide a Meaningful Benefits Package

The U.S. lags behind the rest of the world regarding health care coverage and other employee benefits that folks in Europe and much of Asia take for granted. For example, many countries mandate a specified number of paid and parental leave days. Overseas employers have fewer expenses regarding benefits packages because health coverage is paid for through tax revenue instead of corporations.

However, you must follow the rules of the country where you conduct commerce. That means you don’t have to extend a single day of vacation time, sick leave, maternity leave, or paternity leave. While the Affordable Care Act mandates that companies with 50 or more employees offer health coverage to at least 95% of their full-time staff or face a penalty, it gives them considerable leeway in picking plans.

However, please note that adequate benefits packages are among the best ways to retain top talent. A parent of a child with a health condition will jump ship, even with a competitive salary, if they can get better coverage elsewhere.

Furthermore, a lack of adequate downtime in the form of paid leave destroys productivity and encourages behaviors like “quiet quitting.” Multiple studies confirm that people work better when given a break – but they must realistically be able to afford to take one.

6. Create a Supportive Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs can go far in promoting diversity and inclusion. They introduce new staff members to the rest of the team when they may otherwise flounder when trying to fit into your organization. Many people feel more secure talking to a colleague than an HR representative. 

Your mentorship program can be as structured or loose as you like:

  • Highly structured: In this arrangement, you assign each new staff member to an experienced colleague upon completing their intake paperwork.
  • Medium structured: Such arrangements provide new staff members with a list of qualified colleagues to serve as mentors, letting them choose within a specified time, such as the end of their first two weeks.
  • Loosely structured: This arrangement requires the least participation from the employer. New staff members may choose any mentor they like at any time.

7. Conduct Routine Diversity and Inclusion Training

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, companies must conduct diversity training that addresses sex bias. Many go beyond this by including all aspects of diversity and inclusion in their training. Why not follow suit?

Such training can help smooth interoffice relationships and prevent a few toxic individuals from creating a hostile work environment. All staff should know the penalties for discriminatory behavior – it deserves a prominent spot in your employee handbook.

8. Hold Team Leaders Accountable

All the diversity training in the world isn’t worth much if your team leaders don’t embrace it. They should enforce the rules equally across the board, immediately taking action to stop discriminatory behavior.

Include the responsibilities of team leaders when it comes to diversity and inclusion in your employee handbook. Implement an anonymous reporting system that any employee can use to share instances of discrimination so you can hold leaders accountable for enforcing the rules.

General Motors teams with Black Automotive Media Group for The Driving Force Internship Program at HBCU via 360 MAGAZINE

GM × BAMG – TDF

General Motors [GM] and Black Automotive Media Group [BAMG] Internship Returns for Year Two with Clark Atlanta University – Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Across Automotive Media

The Driving Force [TDF] internship program provides HBCU students with multimedia career development, enhancing the automobile industry’s diversity, equity and inclusion.

A unique internship was created in 2020 and is now returning for fall 2022 between the Department of Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University, automobile manufacturer General Motors, and the Black Automotive Media Group.

Dubbed The Driving Force (TDF), the 10-week internship is designed for students interested in covering the automobile industry; and incorporates instruction in editorial content, video content production, and social media outreach, augmented by GM executive presentations.

TDF evolved following discussions between automakers and BAMG related to increased diversity, equity and inclusion for Black media in the automotive sphere. These efforts have created additional opportunities to help prepare the next generation of automotive media professionals.

TDF is led by respected automotive media experts Kimatni D. Rawlins, BAMG founder and publisher of Automotive Rhythms Communications; Greg Morrison of Bumper2Bumpertv; and other key journalists and publishers including Marcus Amick and Teia B. Collier.

“The goal of TDF is to extend educational opportunities to HBCU students who may not be aware of the myriad media paths in automotive communications … My automotive journalism career began with an internship with a major auto manufacturer, so I am thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience, and the experiences of fellow BAMG members with Clark Atlanta interns,” said Rawlins.

Supported by General Motors, the TDF internship, kicking off September 28th, is designed to highlight career opportunities as journalists, videographers, photographers, publicists, marketers, and digital and social media pundits covering the auto industry. Participants will showcase their work on various platforms at the end of the internship, and will also liaise with GM communications executives, designers, and product planners through a series of presentations and interviews.

“We are excited to enter into a second year of partnership with BAMG to support the amazing students of  Clark Atlanta University,” said Michelle Malcho, vice president Product and Brand Communications, General Motors. “We look forward to learning together and helping to prepare them for exciting careers in communications and journalism.”

TDF’s mission parallels that of the Department of Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University, which provides students with rigorous academic and professional training, complemented by a strong liberal arts education.

“We continue to move with momentum to ensure our scholars at Clark Atlanta University have access to a world-class education and that mission includes offering initiatives that focus on technology and enhancing their analytical thinking skills,” said Clark Atlanta University president, George T. French, Jr., Ph.D. “We want our students to exercise their creativity, be competitive in the world of technology and be included in the technology career pipeline. Initiatives such as this bring them one step closer to that goal.”

Clark Atlanta student, Joshua Paul Williams was a participant in the inaugural TDF session. “The business experience I inherited from participating in The Driving Force Multimedia Internship was far more than I could have imagined,” said Williams. “The program focused on individually developing each student’s communications and networking skills which has given me lifelong connections, practical lessons, and an expanded perspective.”

ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS

Based in Detroit, General Motors is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, CadillacBaojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found HERE.

ABOUT CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY

Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University continues a 152-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement, CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit HERE.

ABOUT BLACK AUTOMOTIVE MEDIA GROUP

BAMG is a distinguished group of Black reporters, publishers, writers, and entrepreneurs representing over 100 years of combined experience in automotive journalism within radio, television, print, experiential marketing, and social media. BAMG members either work for or own various automotive media platforms targeting diverse audiences. BAMG’s primary objective is to bring equity and equality to Black professionals who work in and around the automotive industry. For additional details regarding The Driving Force HBCU internship program, please go HERE.

 

Vaughn Lowery President of 360 MAGAZINE

VAUGHN LOWERY


Vaughn Lowery, the president of 360 MAGAZINE, has always strived for positive social change. He graduated from Cornell University‘s ILR School. From there, he became active in modeling, acting and publishing.

A decade or more, Vaughn Lowery became notable when he appeared in Kmart’s smash commercial – Joe Boxer. It helped the retailer roughly sell 20 million dollars per week. By becoming an exclusive spokesperson, he appeared with Leeza Gibbons on Extra, Katie Couric on Today Show, and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

At the culmination of college, he relocated to New York City; and thus, Vaughn began a career as an actor and model. It was there where celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine set him up with a fashion photographer, Fadil Berisha. Above Joe Boxer, he worked as a successful print model for many companies such as GAP, Old Navy, as well as a runway model for Tommy Hilfiger, Phat Farm, and Karl Kani. He has graced the pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Additionally, he flipped the Houston Chronicle.

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, guest-starred on the comedy, Scrubs, and screened his controversial 35mm festival film, The Young & Evil, at Sundance 2009. Having been represented by major industry players such as NEXT, he was also named Seventeen Magazine’s 17 Hot Guys. His hindmost project The Company We Keep boasts director Roy Campanella II along with comedic co-star Leslie Jones. At present, Vaughn wrote a short, Chasen Life, which won a writing competition. He adapted audiobook Say Uncle into a feature-length film, pitched a reality series and is in the process of architecting an immersive design experience.

Due to his turbulent upbringing in Detroit, Vaughn has kept 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, Awakening Young Minds and schools across the nation where he encourages adolescents to step into their power.

As of late, Lowery has produced 360 MAG, a podcast on Audible, Apple and Spotify as well as an NFT Animal Series on OpenSea.

Futher, 360 MAGAZINE was named Business of the Month by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce [NGLCC]. The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. It possesses deep affiliations with FORTUNE 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

Lastly, hard cover and auditory interpretations of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.


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Vaughn Lowery in classic fedora for 360 MAGAZINE
Vaughn Lowery tests and reviews NÜR San Francisco for 360 MAGAZINE, wearing eyewear by Valentino and shirt by Allsaints.
Vaughn speaks on the NFT-VIP ‘press panel’ on Sun., June 19 at 2:30pm EST Margaritaville Times Square Resort NYC.

In his spare time, he designs e-bike bras and reconfigures their silhouettes.



MIXED MEDIA ARTIST



PORTFOLIO



Car Cat is an NFT from 360 MAGAZINE’S OPENSEA collection

NFT | LA Roundup

At the crux of the crypto community are gatherings. During a four-day inaugural conference from March 28-31, the brilliant minds behind the Edge of NFT podcast–Joshua Kriger, Jeff Kelley, Eathan Janney and Zack Sekar brought the LA blockchain clique together.

L.A. LIVE, the entertainment complex perfectly set in DTLA and adjacent to the Arts District is where tons off-site events were held. Since parking is difficult to navigate, public transit is one’s ideal option. In fact, some arrived via e-bikes with helmet in tow.

Attendance included financial experts alongside web developers, to those eager to learn about digital market spaces, DeFi, Web 3 and minting NFTs. Thanks to the growing tech within the City of Angels, largely in part to lower startup costs in comparison to Silicon Valley, the event drew an international crowd. 

Notable speakers ranged from billionaire Mark Cuban, NBA legend and founder of Black Santa Baron Davis, famed DJ Steve Aoki and world-renowned CEOs Robby Yung and David Wachsman. Other highlights which grabbed our attention were the art installations, innovative activations and musical performances.

The venue’s outdoor courtyard provided us with a much needed recess in between talks. In fact, we caught performances by rappers Nelly and Rich the Kid, played Trivia at the Freckle and snacked on lite bites from a plethora of parked food trucks. 

Wednesday night included an exclusive party held by Magic Eden, the leading NFT market place on Solana. The beginning of the night included a panel discussion from the Magic Eden team members Jack Tanlu, Zhuoxun Yin, Sidney Zhang and Zhuojie Zhou. After the discourse, the night was led by sets from Flosstradamus, Waka Flocka Flame and Migos‘ very own Quavo.

However, like many industries in America, the tech arena is white male-dominated, threatening new generational wealth of both women and minorities. 

That said, there were few discussions which concentrated on marginalized people within the realm, including the web3 panel which featured Dapper Labs, Stephanie Smellie, Ridhima Khan, Jayne Peressini, Nicole Rochette with moderator Ros Gold-Onwude

Perhaps next season, the organizers will consider grants for POC, LGBTQ and artists alike, encouraging inclusivity.

In celebration of this metaverse, 360 MAGAZINE, a brand which was established within this emerging smart city, launched its NFT capsule.

Recap of NFT.NYC

360 MAGAZINE NFT ANIMAL SERIES ON OPENSEA

Article: Bee Davies, Yash Thadani, Vaughn Lowery

Marie O’Riordan attending UN World Autism Awareness Day event via Marie O’Riordan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

World Autism Awareness Day

Saturday, April 2, at the world-famous Guggenheim Museum on New York’s 5th Avenue, EML‘s Global Director of Public Relations, Marie O’Riordan, an Autistic Savant, was honored to travel from Ireland to be a VIP at the UN World Autism Awareness Day celebrations with America’s Autism Hearts Foundation.

The UN designates April 2nd as an official world Autism observance day each year, one of seven annual UN health awareness days. This year’s theme is Inclusive Quality Education For All. The pandemic affected 90% of students worldwide, with pupils living with Autism disproportionately affected.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an Autism and sensory-friendly and accessible space for all with ongoing inclusive online family art classes, welcoming everyone on the Autism Spectrum.

The Autism Hearts Foundation, (AHF), a 501 (c)(3), is on a mission to maximize the potential of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to learn, develop, function independently, and participate in the full range of social and cultural activities for an improved quality of life.

The Guggenheim and Autism Hearts presented the Hope fashion and arts event by young artists living with Autism inspired by the late artist, Vasily Kandinsky, whose works are featured in the Around The Circle exhibition running until September 5th. It is speculated that Kandinsky lived on the Autism Spectrum.

EML is beyond proud of our employees taking time to champion diversity and celebrate their own purpose. Marie and the networking she does to celebrate UN World Autism Awareness Day is the perfect example of EML’s commitment to inclusion; when we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organisation,” said Kristen Shaw, Group Chief People & Culture Officer at EML.

“It’s an incredible honour to be an Autistic woman experiencing UN World Autism Awareness Day at The Guggenheim with Autism Hearts. The arts hold a vital key to helping children and adults on the Autism Spectrum, and Vasily Kandinsky has always been one of my favourite artists. There were many wow moments at the event, and The Guggenheim was a befitting stage for such talented young artists living with Autism. 2022 marks the 11th year I’ve been humbled to be a patron to Neurodiverse artists, retired theatre and entertainment professionals and a theatre company in North America and Europe. I am acutely aware that an estimated 85% of Autistics are under or unemployed, and I have EML’s progressive and forward-thinking approach to People and Culture to thank for the incredible opportunities that present themselves to me in my career working alongside my amazing teammates every day,” added Marie O’Riordan, Global Director of Public Relations at EML.

Black Directory in Fashion

Leading Racial Justice and Fashion Leaders Launch First-Of-Its-Kind Directory of Black Professionals in the Fashion Industry

Color Of Change’s #ChangeFashion Initiative and Black In Fashion Council Will Provide Brands An Easy Way To Hire Black Talent 

Color Of Change and IMG’s #ChangeFashion and Black In Fashion Council announced the launch of the BIFC x #ChangeFashion Directory, the first directory focusing on increasing opportunities for Black professionals in the fashion industry. This project is the first resource to be released from #ChangeFashion to help organizations execute the goals laid out in the #ChangeFashion Roadmap. The Roadmap seeks to empower fashion industry allies to embark on the journey of systematically addressing inequity and the exclusion of Black talent.

The directory currently houses the profiles and resumes of over 300 Black professionals, featuring Black-identifying photographers, makeup artists, set designers, and more with a geographic reach that expands across the world. Brands want to make a commitment to racial justice, equity, and inclusion and our Roadmap provides a guide to do so. The directory allows brands to move beyond statements of solidarity to create an industry that fully embraces diversity and inclusion. Currently, the directory will only be available to brands that sign on to the #ChangeFashion Roadmap and have committed to working with Color Of Change to achieve racial equity within the fashion industry. 

“Performative activism for racial equity needs to go out of style,” said Amity Paye, Senior Director of Communications at Color Of Change. “Black people and people of color continue to push the fashion industry forward both in the spotlight and behind-the-scenes —  yet the legacy of the industry is one of racial exclusion. This directory is an invitation for the industry to easily hire Black talent and professionals after taking a pledge to commit to racial justice. Black people are not a trend to flaunt whenever it’s socially impressive. With this directory, we are calling on the industry to #ChangeFashion by moving from rhetoric to action, and by investing in Black talent and careers.”  

“Too often, we hear from brands that they can’t find Black talent or that their rolodex of talent needs to be more inclusive, but they don’t know where to begin,” said Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles, Co-founders at Black In Fashion Council. “We are incredibly passionate about eradicating this problem and being a resource for companies to use a more diverse roster of talent and know that resources like this will make a significant impact in the industry.”

“We cannot create meaningful change without analyzing and overhauling the systems that brought us here in the first place,” said Romola Ratnam, SVP of Social Impact at Endeavor. “With this directory, we are further democratizing industry access by providing brands a comprehensive resource to change their hiring practices and ensure there is diversity both in front of and behind the camera.”

Along with being a resource for any brand committed to addressing historical racism and systemic inequality, it also aims to help fashion organizations and companies truly change the status quo, break patterns and set new norms that empower, finance, and reward Black people in the industry. There are no excuses as to why there is not an increased presence of Black artists and talent in the fashion industry. This directory will help the industry include more Black people, putting them at the center of the work. 

Learn more about the directory HERE

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

#ChangeFashion is a vertical within the Color Of Change #ChangeIndustries initiative dedicated to eradicating racism in the fashion industry. In partnership with the Black In Fashion Council, IMG, and Joan Smalls, its goal is to rally companies and talent across the fashion industry to restore equity and advance racial justice by moving from rhetoric to action.

Black In Fashion Council is a group of editors, models, stylists, media executives, assistants, freelance creatives, and industry stakeholders aiming to build a new foundation for inclusivity in the fashion industry.

Endeavor is a global sports and entertainment company, home to the world’s most dynamic and engaging storytellers, brands, live events, and experiences. The company is composed of industry leaders including entertainment agency WME; sports, fashion, events, and media company IMG; and premier mixed martial arts organization UFC. The Endeavor network specializes in talent representation, sports operations & advisory, event & experiences management, media production & distribution, experiential marketing, and brand licensing. 

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons, owns and operates hundreds of live events annually, and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training, and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports, and content company.

Universal Standard via Create Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine

Universal Standard – Squad Goals

Beginning the morning of Sunday, February 13, 2022, the world’s most size-inclusive fashion brand Universal Standard kicked off “Squad Goals”—a surprise and delight stunt disrupting Big Game tailgate parties all over Los Angeles.

Offering a refreshing and unexpected take on the Big Game’s typical entertainment, Universal Standard organized an impressive cheer squad to hype up tailgate parties with over-the-top flash mob performances that celebrate inclusivity in fashion and beyond. The brand tapped Emmy-nominated and critically acclaimed choreographer Jemel McWilliams, best known for his work with Lizzo, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, and more, to lead the cheer squad, which featured the Nae Nae Twins, and other renowned celebrity dancers—all of whom were outfitted in custom Universal Standard styles, which ranged in sizes 00-40. 

This accomplished talent roster moved around the SoFi stadium tailgate, as well as other tailgates and watch parties throughout the city, performing for fans gearing up for the Big Game. Specific performances included grand choreographed dances set to an upbeat mashup of iconic 80s hits, cheers, and chants encouraging inclusivity, inspiring signage, and more. 

In line with the brand’s mission to democratize the fashion industry, Squad Goals celebrates all of us, as we are, whether a size 2 or a size 20.

“Joining forces with Universal Standard has been an honor, a privilege, and a no-brainer. I am thrilled to expand Universal Standard’s inclusive mission to the world of football through celebration, dance, and positivity,” said Jemel McWilliams. “It means so much to me to be a part of this revolutionary performance, which I hope sets the stage for how brands show up in sports, fashion, and all other industries in the future. As a working professional in entertainment, it has always been so heartbreaking to see some of my dancers and artists feel underrepresented or underappreciated when it comes to wardrobe, casting, and the industry in general. Universal Standard and I are aligned with the idea that there is room for all of us. Everyone should feel included.” 

“We are so excited to dance alongside Universal Standard with an amazing cheer squad that actually feels representative of the world we live in, said the Nae Nae Twins. “Football has never seen a cheer squad like this before! We can’t wait to dance with fans all across the city and celebrate them for who they are.”

“At Universal Standard, we know that in order to spark change, our promise to revolutionize the shopping experience must extend beyond the four walls of our showroom. This year, it took us to the Big Game, where we joined forces with the entertainment industry’s most talented to celebrate fans and hopefully inspire important conversations about equality in fashion,” said Alex Waldman, Universal Standard Co-Founder.

All events were open-air, and all talent and participants were required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result dated within 72 hours. Through city and county guidelines, the activation ensured a COVID-19 safe and compliant consumer experience.

What Makes California Such a Popular Place to Live?

It’s no secret that people love the golden coast — and there’s no shortage of reasons why. California is a great place to visit, of course, but it’s also a fantastic place to lay down your roots and settle down — or not, depending on your lifestyle! One of the many amazing things about living in California is the opportunity to experience so many different things.

Whether you’re from the west coast already or you’re thinking about jumping coasts — or even if you’re simply wondering what makes California so special, here are just a few of the reasons why California is such a popular place to live.

It’s Beautiful

This one is hardly news to anybody, but California is one of the most beautiful states in the Union. It basically has everything you could ever want: cascading forests, desert landscapes, beaches, and mountains. Literally any view that you can picture!

Although beauty isn’t always the primary priority in where you choose to live, there’s something to be said for being surrounded by gorgeous environments. That’s something you can’t get just anywhere, and California has it in spades.

The Weather

Even with all of the different environments and landscapes present across the great state of California, pretty much everywhere has a great take on the weather. From the seasonal Northern California variations to the SoCal sunshine, there’s so much to love in California. It feels like a state where the weather was specifically designed for the human experience.

Unlike the warmer corners of the east coast, the heat in Southern California isn’t humid, making it all the more pleasant.

Industry

There are so many industries that call California home, all throughout the state. It’s no secret that in the entertainment industry, Los Angeles is the place to be. Additionally, Northern California — specifically the San Francisco Bay area — is the place to go if you work in tech.

There are so many industries and job opportunities all over the state of California. It’s a state with so much going on and with such a stimulated economy that, no matter what you do, you can find work.

Variety

You may already be aware of this, but California has so much variety in terms of the scenery, people, pricing, and environment. Unlike many of the smaller states, California has so much to offer. You can drive up or down the coast for hours and still remain within California.

There’s so much to see and do within the state of California, from the national parks to the great cities and beaches. You’ll basically never feel bored, especially if it’s all brand new to you.

Health Care

This definitely isn’t the case with every state, but California has so many good options for health care. In terms of public programs, the progressive policies in place in the state allow for much wider access to resources. This can include things like therapy, forms of addiction treatment, dental care, and vision care. This is good news for anyone in need of health coverage.

Education

California can hold its own in the realm of education, both with K-12 and in terms of university education. Technically, it’s ranked number 20 overall for education, but there are plenty of specific places where the education system really shines. There’s an entire network of public Montessori schools within California, and the university system within the state is one of the best in the country for public education.

Plenty of the University of California schools are considered elite colleges, which isn’t true for every state school. Many people move to California specifically to go to college within the state. Plus, for those who establish residency, there are so many opportunities for funding, scholarships, and financial aid for community colleges and four-year colleges.

The Culture

This reason for residing in the Golden State might be a little more nebulous, but it definitely still has its place. The culture of California is so varied and interesting that so many people are drawn to it.

Of course, there are stereotypes and first impressions that might fade — like the idea that everyone is a surfer or that everybody is a rock star. However, there is a distinctly pleasant culture that radiates from the west coast in all kinds of unique ways. Sure, the specific culture of Oakland might vary wildly from that of Encinitas, but that in itself is a part of the charm.

Diversity

California is an extremely diverse place, and this can stand true in plenty of regions. Both in terms of the people there and the cultures of each individual city, it can be a beautifully colorful place to meet all kinds of people and experience different things in life.

Plenty of people move to California and places like it to experience different cultures or to find groups they enjoy being surrounded by. This can be especially important for those who don’t feel represented where they currently live and want to prioritize community.

The Food Scene

If delicious food is one of the most important things you look for in a place to live, look no further than the great state of California. Since the state is so varied and has so many different diverse populations, the food is a colorful mix of all things vibrant and delicious.

Check out the seafood and the Mexican food — and, honestly, anything else you could dream of. Up and down the coast, you’ll find so many different things, too. The food has so much variety and culture that you’ll never get bored, even if you find a few favorites.

What Makes California So Popular?

California is a beautiful place with so much culture, so many opportunities, and tons of beauty. It’s no wonder why so many people choose to live in this amazing state. From all the industries that call California home to the amazing food, weather, and educational opportunities, this is a state that’s alive and not stopping anytime soon. Are you from the west coast? Or are you a fellow east-coaster looking to expand westward?

Beyonce adidas x IVY PARK RODEO collection illustration via Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

IVY PARK RODEO

adidas and Beyoncé Launch Fourth IVY PARK Collection: “IVY PARK RODEO”

Ditch the ten-gallon hat and say “howdy” to stylish, western wear. adidas and Beyoncé are returning to present the latest adidas x IVY PARK collection. Inspired by the inimitable style and undeniable influence of Black cowboys and cowgirls, the “IVY Park Rodeo” collection celebrates the formidable impact of Black men and women on American Western culture. Beyoncé recently featured the fierce collection on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. 360 Magazine is impressed at this fashionable collection that brings to light an important history that often goes unspoken. The collection celebrates the oft-hidden history of Black pioneers within cowboy and cowgirl culture and their continued influence and impact on the American Rodeo.

The Collection

A bold celebration of classic Americana reimagined for today, this is a refreshingly contemporary take on classic Western wear. IVY PARK Rodeo is where audacious design meets thoughtfully remixed classic streetwear and athletic wear fused with inspiration from the Black cowboy experience. The collection features 58 adult apparel styles, 5 adult footwear styles, and 13 different accessories. Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages can join in on the fashion show. Boasting dark denim fabrics and washed heavy French terry materials throughout, the apparel and accessories are elevated with unique denim monograms and bold purple glow cow prints. Utilitarian-inspired zips and snap fastenings complete the details.

Highlights from the apparel collection include a denim body suit and wide leg snap pant, a denim tracksuit, a washed French terry hoodie and matching sweatpants, denim chaps, a denim bucket hat, and a small cotton canvas waist bag. The footwear offering is exciting as well, with two colorways of the IVP Ultraboost – one which mimics the look of denim and a new colorway for the IVP Forum Mid. This collection introduces the new IVP Super Sleek “Chunky”, with an exaggerated outsole combined with a classic upper in two dynamic colorways.

The fourth IVY PARK collection launches exclusively on adidas’ website for 24 hours on August 19th and is followed by a wider global launch on August 20th.

adidas x IVY PARK Drop 4 consists of the IVP Super Sleek “Chunky” (priced at $140), the IVP Forum Mid (priced at $150), and the IVP Ultraboost (priced at $200.)

It is clear that adidas x IVY PARK  prioritizes inclusivity and diversity within all of their drops. Within this new capsule, clothing sizes range from XXXS-4XL / 1X-4X. Unisex sizes range from 4 US – 14 US, and specific women’s sizes range from 5 US – 14 US. Clothing prices range from $45 to $200 for adults.

With over 58 adult apparel styles, 5 adult footwear styles, and 13 accessories styles, there are plenty of choices for any wardrobe. Accessories including unisex hats, unisex bags, a denim bucket hat, a durag, socks, and bandanas. Accessory prices range from $25 – $75.

The collection concentrates on centering aesthetically pleasing colors and prints, including Dark Denim, Glory Blue, Dust Purple, Purple Glow, Ambient Blush, Prints are Dark Denim Monogram, Purple Glow Dark, Brown Cow Print. The soft, high-quality fabrics used in this collection include 100% Cotton 16.5oz blue twill denim, 99% Cotton 1% Elastane 10.8oz stretch blue denim, and 100% Cotton 13oz cow print cotton twill denim.

adidas and Beyoncé Introduce Kids’ Apparel for the First time with Fourth adidas x IVY PARK Collection: “IVY PARK Rodeo”

With this fourth launch, for the first time, adidas x IVY PARK introduces their kids’ collection, a capsule line of 16 apparel styles, offering an assortment of looks in sizes 2T-XL. Taking its creative inspiration from the adult collection, the line appeals to fashion conscious grown-ups who have a fresh eye on style and want their ‘mini-me’s’ to enjoy their wardrobe choices with the same enthusiasm and playful attitude towards fashion.

The Collection

A bold celebration of classic Americana reimagined for today, this is a refreshingly contemporary take on classic Western wear. IVY PARK Rodeo is where audacious design meets thoughtfully remixed classic streetwear and athletic wear fused with inspiration from the Black cowboy experience reimagined for the next generation. Highlights from the collection include purple glow cow print tights and a graphic t-shirt which reads ‘brought up rodeo’ in a printed cursive script font, as well as hoodies, shorts, sweatpants, and plain t-shirts.

The fourth IVY PARK collection launches exclusively on adidas’ website for 24 hours on August 19th and is followed by a wider global launch on August 20th.

The adidas x IVY PARK Drop 4 Kids offering consists of 16 kids apparel styles that include foundation and activewear (t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, sweatpants, and tights). Colors used within the collection include Purple Glow, Glory Blue and Ambient Blush and Off-White along with the Purple Cow Print. Clothing sizes range: 2T-XL for kids’ apparel and will be priced from $20 to $65.

  • Foundation: Washed French Terry Hoodie, Sweatpants, Crop and Graphic Tee
  • Active: Base Layer Boys Top and Tight, Woven Windbreaker and Short, Cow Print tight for Girls
Beyonce adidas x IVY PARK RODEO collection image via Kathryn Stelmack at PaulWilmotCommunications via Byl Thompson at Parkwood Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine
Beyonce adidas x IVY PARK RODEO collection image via Kathryn Stelmack at PaulWilmotCommunications via Byl Thompson at Parkwood Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine
Beyonce adidas x IVY PARK RODEO KIDS collection image via Kathryn Stelmack at PaulWilmotCommunications via Byl Thompson at Parkwood Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine
Her Excellency Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat addresses the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in Cairo, photo by AETOSWire for use by 360 Magazine

Egypt President Calls on International Community To Support Global Green Recovery

H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, called upon the international community to unite and spark a “green recovery.”

Speaking on the first day of the inaugural Egypt International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF), launched by the Ministry of International Cooperation, taking place in Cairo between 8-9 September, El-Sisi said: “No government alone can make this recovery possible. It requires the support of the international community and financial institutions to achieve the UN SDGs.”

Also at the event, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Egypt to reset global priorities and place sustainability at the core of economic development.”

“We launched the Egypt – ICF to provide a global platform to catalyze international cooperation as we rebuild from the pandemic. By increasing multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation, we can pave the way for more inclusive, greener, and more resilient economies that work for everyone.”

Later at the event, during a panel on multilateralism, Solomon Quaynor, the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization said: “Egypt is uniquely positioned to be a regional hub for vaccine production.”

“A successful vaccination campaign [in Africa] could help realize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area – a single market with 1.2 billion people and $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product.”

During a panel that addressed the urgent need to unlock international development funds, Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director OECD Development Co-operation Directorate said: “It is critical to mobilize one percent of US$379 trillion. But it cannot be done without a holistic approach. It is important to emphasize the role of multilateralism.”

In a panel session dedicated to combatting climate change, Mr. Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action Panelists, described the world as being on a “climate cliff” as it gets dangerously close to not meeting the 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris Agreement goal, if “we don’t take ambitious action now.”

The Forum also heard from H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Egypt’s Minister of Environment, who said: “Climate change is not an environmental challenge. Climate challenge is a developmental challenge. It hits hard all development processes. It doesn’t differentiate between a rich, poor or developing country.”