Posts tagged with "justice"

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

The Leather City

By Armon Hayes

Superheroes are as custom as their outfits. Living in a world where versatility and luxury are never compromised, The Leather City is the destination where craftsmanship meets your leather desires.

Amazingly stitched pieces of premium quality are seamless when it comes to design. Rooted in heritage, The Leather City proudly represents over 22 years of leather goods at their most polished.

The pop culture partnership with the Canada-based company comes at a time when we all could tap into our inner “superhero”. From Black Panther to Deadpool, Superman to Batman and Captain Marvel to Nightwing, The Leather City’s superhero jackets let us embrace the spirit of our heroes at a time in which our world could use a few high-powered individuals battling for justice.

Building bridges in Africa and Dubai, the high fashion brand diversifies its efforts to further its commitment to heritage. The Leather City doesn’t just make jackets. These pieces are leather artwork lined and designed to cater to extraordinary lives, and the zipper closure jacket is premium to its smell and tailored fit.

The Leather City is following these superheroes with a goal to protect, though not against aliens, supervillains and evil gods. They are providing workers with items like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer and soap to counter the spread of COVID-19 and keep their customers safe.

Shades by Saint Owen

George Floyd illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

George Floyd Family Suing

By Eamonn Burke

The family of George Floyd will sue the city of Minneapolis, claiming his rights were violated during his arrest, consequently allowing racism and brutality to fester in the city’s police force. This comes as newly released body cam footage clearly shows Floyd pleading with officers and telling them he cannot breathe. The lawsuit will target financial reparations for Floyd’s children and siblings.

The family’s attorney, Mr. Crump, is calling the murder of Floyd “torture” and calling the disproportionate killing of black people by police a “public health crisis”. He cites “deliberate indifference” from the city of Minneapolis on this issue.

“Everything seems to have stopped and got shut down in America during the coronavirus pandemic except racism and discrimination and police brutality against Black and brown people.” says Crump. “This is the tipping point for policing in America.”

Crump is hoping this case will set a precedent for future lawsuits by establishing the damaging financial repercussions that the wrongful killing of marginalized people can incur. Additionally, he anticipates major changes in policing, which have already begun as Minneapolis takes steps to abolish the police

Meanwhile, the killers of George Floyd – ex-officers Derek Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – have all been charged with aiding and abetting in 2nd degree murder, and await their trial date on March 8, 2021. Their lawyer declined to comment on the topic.

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

Poor People’s Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheila E Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Sheila E. MasterClass

MasterClass, the streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to learn from the best, today announced that Emmy and Grammy nominated Queen of Percussion, Sheila E. will teach its first class on drumming and percussion. Through a series of dynamic lessons, Sheila E. will help members find their rhythm, explore the fundamentals of percussion and drumming and share intimate stories and career advice for aspiring musicians. The class is now available at MasterClass, and members can subscribe for unlimited access to all new and existing 85+ classes through the All-Access Pass. MasterClass categories include business, culinary arts, film & television, music & entertainment, photography, sports and more.

“Sheila E. is a musical pioneer,” said David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass. “Her MasterClass is a rare opportunity for members to learn drumming and percussion from a legend-and you don’t even need a drum set to get started. Sheila E. is nothing short of inspiring and magical.”

Sheila Escovedo, best known to music fans as Sheila E., first picked up drumsticks and started making music at the age of three. Inspired by her percussionist father, she delivered her first solo performance to a live audience only two years later and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionists in the world. By the age of 20, Sheila was already a top session and touring musician, performing with some of the industry’s biggest names such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, and Stevie Nicks. In the 1980s, her undeniable talent and hits like “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre” led to her international fame. Sheila E.’s producing, arranging and performance talents have been showcased in the music industry through numerous Grammy nominations and performances with the likes of Beyoncé, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Lopez and Pharrell Williams. Away from the spotlight, she co-founded the Elevate Hope Foundation, which helps young people heal from trauma or neglect through music and art. Sheila E. continues to produce and perform music across the globe and her most recent album, Iconic: Message 4 America, pays tribute to songs that have defined movements fighting for justice and peace.

“I am honored to be the first-ever drummer for MasterClass,” said Sheila E. “When you know what your passion is and what your purpose is, no one and nothing can stand in your way. In my MasterClass, I will share my passion and teach members the fundamentals of percussion, drumming and hopefully, inspire them to make their own music.”

Sheila E.’s MasterClass will take members on a musical journey through her dynamic world of rhythm, percussion, and drumming. Rooted in the belief that anyone can learn to drum, she will demonstrate how to find rhythm by moving, clapping, and using household items like pots and pans. Not only will Sheila E. bring the foundational techniques of drumming to life, but she’ll also teach you how to play some of her most beloved instruments, including the congas and timbales, with help from her father, renowned percussionist Pete Escovedo, and her brothers, Peter Michael and Juan. Sheila E. will share intimate stories and insight from her experiences capturing the spotlight on stage alongside some of the world’s greatest talents, to rising to fame as a solo artist and becoming one of the world’s most famous Latin percussionists. Members will begin by learning the principles of rhythm and basic rudiments on the American drum set, in addition to music theory. The class will also cover intermediate concepts, such as leading a band, training tips, performance techniques and career advice. MasterClass members at all experience levels will master basic drumming techniques and develop a language for drumming that will inspire them to make music and play with others.

Sheila E.’s class joins the 85+ classes taught by world-renowned instructors on culinary arts, photography, writing, performance and much more. Each MasterClass has digestible video lessons sized to fit into any part of your day and cinematic visuals with close-up, hands-on demonstrations that make you feel one-on-one with the instructor. The All-Access Pass gives you access to every MasterClass and new ones as they launch. Learn on the go with mobile apps or in the comfort of your home with Apple TV®,  Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku® devices. Subscribe to greatness at MasterClass.com.

Founded in 2015, MasterClass is the streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to learn from the best. With MasterClass, step into Kelly Wearstler’s design studio, Ron Finley’s garden, and Neil Gaiman’s writing retreat. Improve your serve with Serena Williams, perfect your pitch with Shonda Rhimes, and leave the atmosphere with Chris Hadfield. Hundreds of video lessons from 85+ of today’s most brilliant minds are available anytime, anywhere on iOS, Android, desktop, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Roku devices with the All-Access Pass ($180/year). Subscribe to greatness with MasterClass.

MasterClass’s current roster of courses includes: Business, Politics and Society: Jane Goodall (conservation), Bob Woodward (investigative journalism), Karl Rove and David Axelrod (political campaign strategy), Paul Krugman (economics and society), Howard Schultz (business leadership), Anna Wintour (creativity and leadership), Sara Blakely (self-made entrepreneurship), Bob Iger (strategy and leadership), Doris Kearns Goodwin (U.S. presidential history and leadership),  Chris Voss (art of negotiation), Goodby and Silverstein (advertising and creativity), RuPaul (self-expression and authenticity), Robin Roberts (effective and authentic communication)

Culinary Arts: Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Alice Waters (home cooking), Thomas Keller (cooking techniques), Wolfgang Puck (cooking), Dominique Ansel (French pastry), James Suckling (wine appreciation), Aaron Franklin (Texas BBQ), Massimo Bottura (Italian cooking), Gabriela Cámara (Mexican cooking), Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana (mixology), Ron Finley (gardening)

Film and Television: Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Martin Scorsese (filmmaking), Ron Howard (directing), Spike Lee (filmmaking), Mira Nair (independent filmmaking), Jodie Foster (filmmaking), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaking), Helen Mirren (acting), Samuel L. Jackson (acting), Judd Apatow (comedy), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Natalie Portman (acting), David Lynch (creativity and filmmaking)

Lifestyle: Bobbi Brown (makeup and beauty), Kelly Wearstler (interior design)

Music and Entertainment: Steve Martin (comedy), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (performance), Reba McEntire (country music), Herbie Hancock (jazz), Deadmau5 (music production), Armin van Buuren (dance music), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Tom Morello (electric guitar), Carlos Santana (art and soul of guitar), Timbaland (producing and beatmaking), Penn & Teller (magic), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Danny Elfman (music for film), Sheila E. (drumming and percussion)

Writing: James Patterson (writing), Shonda Rhimes (writing for television), David Mamet (dramatic writing), Judy Blume (writing), Malcolm Gladwell (writing), R.L. Stine (writing for young audiences), Margaret Atwood (creative writing), Dan Brown (writing thrillers), Neil Gaiman (storytelling), Billy Collins (poetry), David Baldacci (writing thrillers), Joyce Carol Oates (short story writing), David Sedaris (storytelling and humor)

Design, Photography and Fashion: Frank Gehry (architecture), Diane von Furstenberg (how to build a fashion brand), Annie Leibovitz (photography), Marc Jacobs (fashion design), Jimmy Chin (adventure photography), Will Wright (game design)

Sports and Games: Serena Williams (tennis), Stephen Curry (shooting, ball-handling, and scoring), Garry Kasparov (chess), Daniel Negreanu (poker), Phil Ivey (poker strategy), Simone Biles (gymnastics), Misty Copeland (ballet), Tony Hawk (skateboarding)

Science and Technology: Chris Hadfield (space exploration), Neil deGrasse Tyson (scientific thinking and communication)

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politics, business, red, tie, blue

Continued Protection For DACA Recipients

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was unlawful. This is a huge victory for 700,000 people protected by DACA who have only known the United States as their home and will not have to immediately fear being deported to countries where they have no connections.

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling recognized that this administration’s rescission of DACA was nothing more than an outrageous abuse of power to attack DREAMERs and immigrant communities. It should come as no surprise that Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch dissented given their massive support for broad executive power and willingness to allow abuses of that power to go unchecked.

DACA recipients are an integral part of America’s tapestry. Amidst the global pandemic, DACA recipients have been on the front lines; they are medical workers caring for our families, educators rising to the challenge of distance learning, and service industry workers keeping open essential businesses. Today’s ruling grants temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of DREAMers to ensure they can continue contributing to their communities and living out their lives.

The fight to protect them is not over, however. Senate Republicans have advanced nearly 200 of Trump’s ultraconservative judges, including two dozen they knew to have egregious anti-immigrant records.

We must continue to fight for a justice system that protects all our rights, regardless of immigration status.”