Posts tagged with "Kamala Harris"

LGBTQ Illustration for 360 Magazine by Gabriella Archuleta

OUT CELEBRATES ANNUAL OUT100 ISSUE

Pride Media’s Out magazine is thrilled to release the 2020 Out100 presented by Lexus. The list remains the largest annual portfolio recognizing members of the LGBTQ+ for their ground-breaking, ripple-inducing, and culture-shifting impact nationwide. 

The coveted and anticipated Out100 issue features four covers including trailblazing actor Wilson Cruz, activist and BLM organizer Janaya Khan,  actor and director Joe Mantello, and artist and icon Janelle Monáe.

This year’s honorees make up one of the most diverse lists in Out magazine’s history, spanning several generations and a multitude of intersections. From 18-year-old rap sensation Kidd Kenn and 99-year old trans WWII U.S. Navy fighter pilot Robina Asti to MSNBC journalist Rachel Maddow, who in a year of political tension was a voice of reason for the LGBTQ+ community. 

From fashion legend André Leon Talley, headlining musician Lizzo, comedian Wanda Sykes, actors Jeremy Pope and Cheyenne Jackson to modeling industry heavyweight Ivan Bart, the creators of Queer Eye, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s very queer team Jamal Brown, Reggie Greer, and Karine Jean-Pierre, inclusivity and progress are the driving force behind this year’s list. 

Each honoree represents not just the past but also the future. Leading into 2021, the LGBTQ+ community as a whole will undoubtedly reap the benefits of their accomplishments. This year might have brought an onslaught of challenges, but it also welcomed new opportunities to reflect on what matters to the LGBTQ+ community and what lies ahead in the fight for equality and justice.

Now more than ever, it’s vital to recognize the powerful voices leading the charge and sounding off the new vanguard of queer leaders. In a year of Pride celebrated at home instead of in the streets, community support from company partners like Lexus, Citi, Gilead, McDonald’s USA, Truly Hard Seltzer, and Stoli® Group USA, LLC has never been more important or helpful in amplifying these powerful Out100 voices moving the LGBTQ+ community forward. 

 “Community building has been the bedrock of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and part of that is understanding the fact that we are not and have never been monolithic. All of us have a story and role to play in this fight. All of our experiences and lived realities are different, special, and integral in building a better world — together,” said Editor in Chief of Out, David Artavia.

“The Out100 list is a representation of this journey. For 26 years, it has stood the test of time and continues to empower the next generation of LGBTQ+ thought leaders, artists, and professionals to create a more inclusive future for all of us,” continued Artavia. 

This year, Out’s nationally recognized and respected Out100 issue extends beyond the brand’s print and online properties with two exciting virtual events. On Friday, November 20, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, Janaya Khan, will moderate a dynamic “How Do We Come Back From This?” symposium on what moving out of the last four years looks like for culture, politics, the movement, and ourselves, including Emmy-winning creator of Transparent Joey Soloway, trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston, and PR strategist Kelly Bush Novak.

On Saturday, November 21, the Out100 culminates in the first-ever 2020 Out100 Virtual Honoree Induction Ceremony, live at 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern) at Out.com/Out100Live, and available on all Revry live channels and on-demand at 6 p.m. Pacific (9 p.m. Eastern) at watch.revry.tv.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden illustration for 360 MAGAZINE by Kaelen Felix

Biden’s victory means workers once again have a seat at the table

Joe Biden’s election victory is one for working families throughout this country.

It brings with it a renewed sense of optimism that they will once again have their voices heard in the revered Oval Office. As we celebrate this victory, we know there is much work to be done, and we, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), look forward to working with the Biden administration to reestablish and further the interests of all working Americans.

Earlier this year, a survey of OPEIU members—the first-ever of its kind in our union’s history—showed a strong majority of us support the election of Biden as the forty-sixth president of the United States. OPEIU members throughout the country worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the election to help get out the vote for Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris.

The democratic ticket is one of hope. Biden and Harris recognize the power of unions and worker organization. They promise that, as a part of their plan as leaders of the U.S., that they will “grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve.”

His specific plan for doing is outlined on his website. Among his talking points, he swears to check the abuse of corporate power, encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining, and ensure that workers are “treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.”

“This is a historic day for working people. Not only has our members’ work to oust an anti-worker president come to fruition, but working people now have someone in the White House who will strive to protect America’s working families, not just the wealthy and powerful, and help bring our nation back together to heal after four years of divisiveness,” said OPEIU President Richard Lanigan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump has not protected workers. After the benefits of the CARES Act expired in July, which allotted citizens who filed for unemployment an extra $600 per month, Trump opposed its extension, leaving citizens without fiscal support from the government.

“Though we anticipate a wave of last-ditch legal challenges from the Trump campaign, our union will move forward knowing working people’s needs and struggles will be considered as President-elect Biden begins to assemble his cabinet,” he continued.

Trump has so far brought almost a dozen cases to smaller courts in Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgie, calling into question the validity of ballots and calling for the count to stop. Trump has made clear that he wants to take the election to the Supreme Court where it will determine a winner. But, according to the Associated Press, the margins with which Biden won the race make it difficult for Trump to build a case for himself.

“We congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,” he concluded. “Working people across the country, especially OPEIU members, are looking forward to fighting side-by-side as we confront the biggest issues facing our country today: the COVID crisis, the attack on workers’ rights, economic inequality, racial justice and climate change.”

Biden and Harris won the popular vote and the Electoral College, securing, as of now, more than 74 million popular votes and 279 electoral votes, and counting. The AP called the election for Biden today.

OPEIU stands ready to work with the Biden administration to expand workers’ rights, make billionaires pay their fair share, combat inequality in all its forms, and undertake the difficult but necessary work required to protect our planet for future generations.

ABOUT OPEIU

The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) represents more than 103,000 working people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Representing employees in nonprofit organizations, credit unions, hospitals, insurance agencies, colleges and universities, hotels, administrative offices and more, OPEIU is committed to advancing economic justice for working people no matter their occupation.

Professional organizations and guilds affiliated with OPEIU are a diverse group that includes podiatrists, registered nurses, teachers, Minor League Baseball umpires, and helicopter pilots.

The first female, black and South Asian Vice President-elect.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Nas for 360 Magazine

BET’s New Documentary

Illustration by Kaelen Felix

BET PRESENTS NEW ORIGINAL GROUNDBREAKING DOCUMENTARY “SMOKE: MARIJUANA + BLACK AMERICA” EXECUTIVE PRODUCED AND NARRATED BY MULTI-PLATINUM RAPPER AND ENTREPRENEUR
NASIR “NAS” JONES

The Two-Hour Original Documentary Explores Black America’s Complex Relationship with Marijuana and the Current Fight to Reap the Benefits of Legalization. “SMOKE” Will Premiere
Wednesday, November 18 at 10 PM ET/PT

Produced by Swirl Films, “SMOKE” Features Sit-Down Interviews with Senator Kamala D. Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney
Kim Foxx, Representative Barbara Lee, Former NBA Player Al Harrington, WNBA Star Cheyenne Parker, Former NFL Player Ricky Williams, Rapper B Real, Singer/Producer Ty Dolla $ign, Son of Notorious B.I.G. C.J. Wallace and others

Watch The Trailer Here

BET has announced a new original documentary titled “Smoke: Marijuana + Black America,” set to premiere onWednesday, November 18th at 10pm ET/PT. Narrated and executive produced by multi-platinum rapper and entrepreneur, Nasir Nas” Jones, the two-hour special examines marijuana’s cultural, social, economic and legal impact on American society and the Black community. Told through the lens of aficionados, policy makers, advocates and innovators in the booming legal cannabis industry, SMOKE features testimony from a range of notable individuals including Senator Kamala D. Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Representative Barbara Lee, former NBA player and cannabis investor Al Harrington, WNBA star Cheyenne Parker, former NFL star Ricky Williams, rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill), award-winning music artist Ty Dolla $ign, son of Notorious B.I.G. C.J. Wallace, Columbia University PhD Professor Carl Hart and others.

Watch The “Smoke” Trailer Here“SMOKE” traces the fascinating and complex legacy of marijuana in the Black community. Early usage was recreational in nature, but political and racial dynamics led to the criminalization of cannabis and eventually its prohibition. America’s unjust war on drugs systematically targeted marijuana use in the Black community, resulting in racially disproportionate numbers of arrests and convictions. “SMOKE” features the voices of high-profile lawmakers, including the potential Vice President of the United States Senator Kamala D. Harris, Senator Cory Booker and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who are fighting to bring restorative justice to those incarcerated and others saddled with felony convictions. SMOKE also spotlights the tragic story of Corvain Cooper, a father, who is serving a life sentence for selling marijuana in the same neighborhood where legal dispensaries now operate in the open.

While the legal cannabis industry is expected to generate $30 billion in sales by 2025, only 4.3 percent of dispensaries are currently Black owned. “SMOKE” spotlights the hypocrisy of the system, highlighting the stories of pioneering African American entrepreneurs across the country, including former NBA player Al Harrington, who are fighting to own a piece of the booming legal cannabis industry currently dominated by White owned conglomerates and entrepreneurs.

“SMOKE” also dives into the controversy and stories of brave African American athletes, including former NFL star Ricky Williams, and WNBA star Cheyenne Parker, who have risked their careers by openly embracing their use of Cannabis.

“Smoke: Marijuana + Black America” is produced by Swirl Films. Nasir “Nas” Jones, Jason Samuels from BET, and Eric Tomosunas from Swirl Films serve as executive producers. Erik Parker serves as director for the documentary and Swirl Films’ Tony L. Strickland serves as co-executive producer.

For more information, go to BET.com and follow us @bet and @betnews across social media.

ABOUT BET
BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

ABOUT SWIRL FILMS
Swirl Films is one of the leading independent TV & Urban Film Production companies in the country, based out of Atlanta, Georgia and founded by Eric Tomosunas in 2001. Swirls project slate includes the wildly popular original drama series, Saints & Sinners, and as well as high-quality films and series produced for BET, TV One, Bounce, Lifetime, Hallmark, Reel One, Netflix & Up TV. Swirl Films provides services and content across various areas of production spanning from script to screen, for movies, biopics, scripted series, award shows and documentaries. Purchased in 2019, Swirl Films owns and operates its own 100,000 square foot film studio in Atlanta.

Pence vs. Harris illustration for 360 mag

Harris vs. Pence Vice Presidential Debate

By Hannah DiPilato

On Wednesday night, amidst many members of the White House testing positive for Coronavirus, the vice presidential debate was still held. Vice President Mike Pence and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris discussed important topics with 57 million people watching. 

The debate was a little calmer than last week’s, but there is still a lot to take away from the dispute. Moderator Susan Page of USA Today was able to keep things in check between the two, allowing a fair debate. 

The first topic was the unavoidable coronavirus, even more relevant now that so many people in Washington have tested positive. “Stop playing politics with people’s lives,” said Pence when he brought up Harris’ opinion that she wouldn’t get a COVID vaccination unless it was endorsed by public health experts. Pence also shot blame at China for causing the coronavirus while Harris contrasted this idea by saying the Trump administration didn’t do enough to combat the pandemic. 

Another pressing issue presented was the two candidates’ opinions on abortion. Pence made a comment that “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.” Although this is an exaggeration, Biden does support abortion rights. 

Pence and Harris argued about loopholes that currently exist in abortion laws that allow abortion all the way up to birth, but comparing the right to abortion to infanticide are two drastically different things. Pence could not confirm how Judge Amy Coney Barrett would vote on Roe v. Wade if confirmed into the Supreme Court. This has been a hot topic ever since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Many Americans are familiar with Biden’s plan to raise taxes on many people across the United States, but Pence took this a step forward claiming Biden would raise taxes on everyone. “Senator Harris is denying the fact that they’re going to raise taxes on every American,” said Pence. Harris noted that Biden has made it clear he won’t be raising taxes for anyone that makes less than $400,000 a year. 

Pence also acknowledged that climate change is real and that the Trump administration will “follow the science,” but he quickly changed the subject back onto Biden’s proposed tax increase. Harris responded that the government needs to do more to combat the changing climate, but didn’t say exactly how much preventative measures would cost. She also said Biden would rejoin the United States with the Paris climate accords. 

On the lighter side of the debate, social media buzzed about a fly landing on Pence’s head. The Vice President didn’t notice the fly, but the fly’s black body stood out to the audience against Pence’s bright white hair. 

The fly became a sensation and many twitter accounts were created from its perspective. There were hopes for a Saturday Night Live skit and jokes about a Netflix special. An online Halloween store is even selling a white wig with a fly on it called “Debate Fly Wig.” Biden also took advantage of this running joke and created a tweet with a fly pun to encourage donations and put a fly swatter up for sale.  

In the debate’s final moments, a question submitted by an eighth-grader was asked regarding the political division of The United States and the disagreement between the country’s leaders. 

Pence responded by attacking the news media for showing more of a significant divide that actually exists between most citizens. Harris referenced the 2017 Charlottesville violence and how this motivated Biden to run. “Joe Biden has a history of lifting people up and fighting for their dignity,” she said explaining how Biden could unite Americans. “I mean, you have to know Joe’s story to know that Joe has known pain, he has known suffering, and he has known love.”

On Thursday, following the vice presidential debate, President Donald Trump stated he would not be attending the next virtual debate against presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump said on Fox News he would hold a rally instead.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Mail-in Ballots

Latinos Vote! Program Encourages Biden-Harris Ticket

Today, People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote! Program, in partnership with Win Justice, announced a six-figure, Spanish-language radio and TV ad buy in both the Reno and Las Vegas media markets focused on increasing Latino voter turnout to support the Biden-Harris ticket in the crucial swing state of Nevada.

The Spanish language radio and TV ads begin airing today and run through Election Day. The ad buy contrasts the Trump’s leadership with the Biden-Harris ticket, and highlights a number of pertinent issues for Latino voters in Nevada, including Donald Trump’s failure to act on the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic impact felt by Latino communities, disproportionate COVID-19 infection and death rates in Latino communities, and instructions on how to safely vote by mail.

Watch the TV ad here.

Listen to the audio for the radio ads here.

Ad scripts are below.

There are an estimated 32 million eligible Latino voters nationwide and 328,000 in Nevada representing 17 percent of all eligible voters in the state. This year Latino voters will be the largest racial or ethnic minority participating in a presidential election.

“It’s simple: Donald Trump needs to go because Latino families and immigrant communities cannot have another four years of dysfunction, delusion and disinformation that puts their lives at risk,” said President of People For the American Way Ben Jealous. “Under the Trump administration, life is worse for tens of millions of Americans. And the people who have felt the brunt of Trump’s racism and xenophobia are our loved ones, neighbors and friends. As voters, we have the power to change the future of this country.”

“When we talk about Latino voters, we are talking about Americans that have disproportionately felt the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health and in their pockets,” said People For the American Way Political Director Lizet Ocampo. “The reality is that Donald Trump abandoned Latino families in favor of cages for kids, ripping apart families. Trump’s absurd policies and abject failures disproportionately impact Latino communities and Latinos in Nevada must know that the only solution is to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November.”

“In election after election, Nevada has seen the power of the Latino vote, and we are committed to ensuring every Latino family has the tools they need to cast their ballots safely and securely,” said Win Justice Nevada State Director Gabriel di Chiara. “This year the opportunity to Vote By Mail will keep our families and communities safe while ensuring they can make their voices heard this election.  Our partnership with People For the American Way will help the Latino community in Nevada vote Donald Trump out of office and send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to victory.”

“Many Latinos in Nevada and across the country have paid with their lives – or have lost their lives due to Trump’s failed leadership and failed administration,” said People For the American Way board member, civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta. “Women and Latinos are still the groups most infected by COVID-19 in Washoe County. Now, during the worst pandemic we’ve seen in one hundred years, under Donald Trump’s failed leadership, Latinos, especially immigrant families, have been left abandoned. Every eligible Latino voter must stand for justice and toward a future that respects all of us. The only way to do that is to vote for Biden and Harris.”

Win Justice is a group of leading progressive organizations, including Color Of Change PAC, Community Change Action, Planned Parenthood Votes, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), formed to expand the electorate by mobilizing at least three million voters of color, young people, women, and union supporters in four key battleground states: Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Win Justice will be particularly focused on the impact of vote-by-mail on historically marginalized Black, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and will engage these voters so they exercise their right to vote.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: TV SCRIPT 

In Wisconsin, Latinos are changing the course of history. We removed Scott Walker, the Republican governor who didn’t care about our community. At the beginning of this year, our vote won state elections regardless of all obstacles. We have shown that our vote has power. Let’s vote for a leader with experience and a strong vision for our future. Let’s vote for Joe Biden.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: RADIO SCRIPT 

In Wisconsin, Latinos are changing the course of history.

We removed Scott Walker, the Republican governor who didn’t care about our community. And earlier this year our vote won state elections despite the challenges and obstacles we faced.

We have already shown that when we organize and vote, we all win.

But there is still a lot to do and we need to make sure our voices continue to be heard. 

We cannot wait for things to change, we need to vote.

This election we must elect a leader with experience, dedication, and a strong vision for our future and that of our families. Let’s vote for Joe Biden. This is a message from Voces de la Frontera Action.

Paid for by People For the American Way independent of any candidate or candidate committee.

Win Justice is responsible for the content of this advertising. Paid for by Win Justice, www.winjustice.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

About Latinos Vote

People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote! program exposes and counters anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies. Through electoral work and issue-based campaigns, we hold groups, leaders and influencers accountable for the harm they do to immigrant and Latino communities. For nearly ten years, we’ve run bilingual paid and earned media campaigns in swing states where the Latino vote can be decisive.

El programa Latinos Vote! de People For the American Way expone y combate la retórica y las políticas anti-inmigrantes y anti-latinos. Nuestro programa se organiza mediante trabajo electoral y campañas basadas en temas especificos. En estas areas hacemos responsables a los grupos, líderes y a personas de influencia por el daño que causan a las comunidades inmigrantes y latinas. Por casi diez años, hemos realizado campañas pagadas y logrado campañas ganadas en medios bilingües destinadas a ganar en los estados claves donde el voto latino puede ser decisivo.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.

Sen. Harris HBCU Interview

BET DIGITAL PRESENTS “BLACK AMERICA VOTES: HBCU STUDENTS INTERVIEW SEN. KAMALA HARRIS” PREMIERES ON NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Sen. Harris Discusses Education, Employment and Social Justice with HBCU Student Leaders from Spelman College, North Carolina A&T University, Hampton University, Tuskegee University and Howard University

Hosted by Emmy-nominated actor, producer, and media personality Terrence J

Watch, post and share the exclusive BET Digital News Special:
https://www.bet.com/video/news/politics/2020/kamala-harris-interview-hbcu-students-2020-election-video.html

On the heels of the first-ever National Black Voter Day launched by BET’s nonpartisan #ReclaimYourVote campaign, BET Digital will stream an exclusive conversation with Senator Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic Vice Presidential nominee with students and youth activists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hosted by Emmy-nominated actor, producer, and media personality Terrence J, the virtual dialog “Black America Votes: HBCU Students Interview Sen. Kamala Harris” will feature political discourse between Sen. Harris and a cohort of student leaders including a student body president, editor-in-chief of a student newspaper, and a president of young Democrats; representing the often unheard millennial voice for many first-time voters in the most significant election in a generation. BET will stream the entire conversation on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 22, across BET’s digital platforms: BET.com, BET’s Facebook pages including BET, BET News and BET Her. Clips from the special will also be shared to BET’s Twitter accounts.

The news special will address issues that are front and center on these students’ respective campuses. The panelists will consists of various HBCU students across critical states that are vital to the November election, including Sen. Harris’s alma mater Howard University (Washington, DC), Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), North Carolina A&T University (Greensboro, NC), Hampton University (Hampton, Virginia), and Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, Alabama).

For more information, go to www.bet.com and join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET social media platforms and using the hashtags: #ReclaimYourVote #BETVote and by following us @BET, @BETVote, and @BETNews.

ABOUT BET

BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Win With Black Women

Back in 2016, while campaigning for the office of President of the United States, Donald Trump asked black voters, “What do you have to lose?”

He asked in reference to generations of oppression, violence and inequality, saying, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed.”

The obvious implication is that things couldn’t possibly get worse for black voters, and Trump thought he had a chance to be the solution to the problem.

Well, in Sept. 2020, it seems that President Trump has his answer, and it comes in the form of a letter penned by Win With Black Women and co-signed by over 1,000 black female leaders.

The letter opens with a direct response to the question posed by Trump.

“Our answer, evidenced by increasingly poor economic outcomes, high racial tensions and hate incidents, the coronavirus, and an overall lack of dignity and respect in the White House, is a lot. And for Black women in particular, it’s too much,” the letter said.

It went on to discuss “sycophantic rhetoric” at the RNC that would lead watchers to believe that black life in America is in a healthier place now than it was prior to Trump’s election. Furthermore, the letter said that rhetoric insisted that anyone challenging that notion was brainwashed.

To refute the points set forth at the RNC, the letter cited the State of Black America, saying black households bring in 41% less than white households, and 60% of the black population lives below the poverty line. The letter also said that black unemployment is double the percentage of white unemployment.

The letter covered the cause of the recent protests throughout the country, saying, “Our lives are in constant threat under your Administration. If you are Black in America, you are three times more likely to be shot by the police,” going on to name Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Jacob Blake as evidence that justice has gone unserved.

It also mentioned that black people are dying disproportionally from COVID-19 while black women, specifically, “lag behind in life expectancy, and maternal and infant mortality.”

Win With Black Women finished by saying that they will fight against attacks on Kamala Harris and proposed a call to action.

“We call on voters, no matter their background, to join us in setting the record straight and to reject your distracting antics, lies and attacks. We call on you and the GOP to focus on the crises afflicting the American people and not to insult every American with petty diversions, outright lies, and by sweeping problems under the rug.  We call on voters to stand in solidarity with Black women and reject your derogatory sexist, racist rhetoric aimed at undermining our credibility, our character, and our achievements,” the letter said.

Before closing the letter, Win With Black Women said they “vow to continue to uplift the issues most important to our families and our communities, keep our eyes and ears open, and to work to restore what is true, just, and decent to this election and to this monumental time in history.”

Win With Black Women has published the letter on Change.org, asking signees of the petition to stand with them in unity. To sign the letter and to see a complete list of co-signing leaders, you can click right here.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak for 360 MAGAZINE.

360 Magazine Marches on Washington

By Cassandra Yany × Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery

Recently, our team journeyed to Washington, D.C. for the National Action Network’s Commitment March. The August 28 march marked 57 years since the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech. According to the National Action Network’s website, the goal of the march was to advocate for comprehensive police accountability reform, promote participation in the Census and motivate voters to cast their ballots in the upcoming Presidential election.

The National Action Network was founded by Rev. Al Sharpton in 1991. With nearly 100 chapters nationwide, the civil rights organization works in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. to achieve “one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, criminal record, economic status, gender, gender expression or sexuality.”

The trip from New York to Washington, D.C. was made easy by taking Amtrak’s Acela service. Despite the higher price point, the Acela is newer and less crowded than regional trains. The express train eliminated the burden of tolls and stopped in only a few cities, arriving in D.C. after about three and a half hours. It can be stressful to travel right now, so it was a relief to see how clean the train was. The quiet car, basic free wifi and outlets on board provided the perfect environment to research and write articles on our tablets. We utilized our extra time to discuss with one another and prepare for our coverage of the march and our days in D.C.

The café offered coffee and various snack options, and the sliding glass doors made it easy for us to walk through the cars. The reclining seats were comfortable and allowed us to rest before our trip. There were also sections of four seats for those traveling in a larger group. Each passenger could bring two personal items weighing up to 25 pounds, and two carry-on bags weighing up to 50 pounds at no additional cost. Amtrak is currently offering reduced fares for two to six tickets purchased together where riders can save eight to 45 percent.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

Luckily, we were able to call Amtrak in advance to ensure we could carry on our folding bicycles. With limited parking available in the city, electric bikes served as a great mode of transportation for many protesters. E-bikes such as the DYU Smart Bike and a custom scooter from Good Vibe Gliders were an affordable alternative to renting a car, and made covering and participating in the march much easier.

The Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks started early Friday morning. Participants marched through the National Mall, many carrying signs remembering those whose lives have been lost in acts of police violence. Others displayed “Black Lives Matter” on flags, shirts and masks.

Some participants created street art during the event, voicing their support through their work. At one point, a number of demonstrators stood together in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Washington Monument. Marchers reached the section of 16 Street NW that has become known as “Black Lives Matter Plaza” around 3:30 PM before dispersing for the day.

Organizers of the march upheld COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. The National Action Network placed multiple signs throughout the National Mall encouraging social distancing, and took marchers’ temperatures as they entered the area. Face masks were distributed to people who did not have one, and visitors from high-risk areas were urged to join virtually from their homes. There was also a testing booth on site, as reported by WUSA 9.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

The march was co-convened by Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. Among the thousands of attendees who gathered on the National Mall were the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Jacob Blake. Many members of these families gave speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, along with lawmakers from across the country. These congressmen and women pushed for legislation that would address cases of racial injustice.

Though she was not present, Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris shared her message to marchers via Twitter. In her speech, which was played at the event, she said, “…if we work together, to challenge every instinct our nation has to return to the status quo, and combine the wisdom of long time warriors for justice, with the creative energy of the young leaders today, we have an opportunity to make history, right here and right now.”

Yolanda Renee King took the stage to address the crowd, standing where her grandfather had led March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a video posted by CNN she said, “We stand and march for love and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream.” She then led a chant of “Show me what democracy looks like; This is what democracy looks like!”

Friday was also the 65th anniversary of Emmett Till’s murder. The 14-year-old was lynched and thrown off a bridge while visiting family in Mississippi. He was abducted after “allegedly whistling at a white woman,” according to ABC 7 Chicago, and his body was found mutilated in the Tallahatchie River. Till’s family never received justice, as the two men responsible for his death were both acquitted. Till’s murder helped to spark the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. Civil rights leader and former congressman John Lewis wrote that “Emmett Till was [his] George Floyd” in a New York Times essay that was published on the day of Lewis’ funeral.

The trip provided a meaningful experience to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as time to see local relatives. 360 President Vaughn Lowery visited his uncle Leroy Lowery, the former executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, who raised over $120 million for the Stone of Hope.

Leroy Lowery is the son of the late Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights leader who helped Martin Luther King, Jr. establish the Southern Christina Leadership Conference, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Leroy Lowery attended the march with his father in 1963 and stated on Friday, “to see that we have to march [again] 57 years later is deflating.”

Kaelen Felix illustrates Amtrak story for 360 MAGAZINE

Jacob Blake Shot by Wisconsin Police

In the most recent incident to incite protests against injustices across the nation this summer, a Black man has been shot in Wisconsin. Jacob Blake, witnesses said, was attempting to break up an argument between two women. Following this, he walked back towards his silver SUV this past Sunday, August 23rd while being trailed by a police officer involved in the confrontation. As three of his children watched from their vehicle, the police officer proceeded to fire seven times at Blake’s back and close range. One can only imagine the trauma for his sons. As of today, Blake remains hospitalized in serious condition, but is expected to survive.

The incident, caught on video, has gone similarly viral to other violent misconducts by the police over the course of spring and summer 2020. The officers involved in Blake’s shooting have been placed on administrative leave and have shocked the small city of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Protests across the city have motivated Governor Evers to call in the National Guard, though he attempted to assure constituents it was not in an effort to mimic clashes between protesters and servicemen in places like Seattle, Minneapolis, or New York. Minor confrontations have occurred over the past two days despite this.

Following George Floyd’s murder this past May, protests against the police and in favor of the movement Black Lives Matter have exploded across the country. Blake’s shooting has added fuel to the fire, inspiring renewed protests and calls to action all across the nation. The incident in Kenosha has furthered the call for cities to cut funding to police departments, restructure their legal practices, amongst other changes.

Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers tweeted in support of Jacob Blake and in condemnation of the actions of police officers involved: “I have said all along that although we must offer our empathy, equally important is our action. In the coming days, we will demand just that of elected officials in our state who have failed to recognize the racism in our state and country for far too long. And we stand against excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging with Black Wisconsinites.” The Governor also signed an executive order into Wisconsin’s state legislature for a special session to pass legislation and police reforms for August 31st. The reforms are expected to be fought by the state’s Republican leadership.

Calls from the countries Democratic leadership have come again for immediate reform, including the voice of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as he “wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force.” President Trump has not commented directly on the shooting, but Vice President Pence made a statement yesterday emphasizing the administration’s loyalty to their men and women in blue.

The situation involving the shooting of Jacob Blake and ensuing actions in Kenosha, Wisconsin continues to develop.

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Joe Biden × Kamala Harris

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has declared California Senator Kamala Harris his Vice President running mate. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris Harris shows Biden doubling down on his long history of excessive law enforcement and support for the war on drugs. 

In a year of national uprising against police violence, Kamala Harris who spent 25 years in law enforcement is an ironic selection. Her campaign for president ended quickly as she dropped out of the race two months before the Iowa Caucus and three days before the filing deadline to be on the ballot in her home state of California, where she was behind in the polls. Part of her decline was caused by voter dismay at her reversal on Medicare For All, when she flip-flopped to a policy that subsidized private health insurance and misleadingly continued to call it Medicare for All.

While Joe Biden was the principal legislative architect of the drug war and mass incarceration from his time on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harris’s record as a prosecutor and Attorney General was as a foot soldier in the drug war and mass incarceration. As the San Francisco District Attorney drug-related prosecutions increased from 56 percent in 2003 to 74 percent in 2006. In 2019, she admitted smoking marijuana in college but while Attorney General of California from 2011-2017, Harris sent at least 1,560 people to prison over marijuana-related offenses. In 2014, a week after the New York Times called for legal marijuana, Harris laughed when asked if she supported it. Now, she supports ending federal laws against marijuana, a position not held by Biden.

While Biden sponsored mandatory sentencing, Harris defended one of the worst mandatory sentencing laws in the US, California’s ‘three strikes law’ that also applied to “minor” felonies. She campaigned against a voter initiative that would have reformed this to require serious or violent felonies for life sentences. Harris did not take a position on two ballot initiatives in 2012 and 2014 that would have reduced punishment for low-level crimes and given judges more flexibility at sentencing. Both initiatives passed without her support.

After the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, police accountability was on the agenda in the California legislature. Harris refused to take a position on racial profiling by police. As Attorney General she refused to investigate highly questionable police shootings in Los Angeles 2014 and in San Francisco in 2015.

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