Posts tagged with "mental health"

Yunizon Eyewear

Yunizon Eyewear Combines Innovative Fit Technology, Gender Neutral Styles, and Mental Health Awareness

Yunizon Eyewear, the pioneers behind Global Fit, is proud to launch their core line of innovative, gender neutral sunglasses. Co-Founded by eyewear industry vet Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas and corporate finance expert Rebecca Lay, the brand is positioned to become a top global, all-inclusive brand. The first to market Global Fit extends beyond the traditional one size fits all approach to address the issue of fit for every shape, size,and gender. Each retailing for $159, the core collection introduces hand-crafted silhouettes in three sizes that unify style and function to create eyewear that is built to be lived in and lasting. Built on the idea “Under One Sun,” Yunizon will donate a portion of all proceeds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Traditional eyewear brands produce glasses by using general fit guidelines focused on Asian, Universal, Standard, and European fit. Yunizon’s unique Global Fit creates an enhanced, accurate and comfortable design that appeals to a diverse society. Mastering a tailored fit by having three distinct head widths in each style, slide prevention nose pads, modified temple design, ultra-lightweight premium materials, and reduced pantoscopic angle for cheekbone comfort create a perfect fitting pair of frames. Yunizon utilizes light weight, shatter proof, and premium quality CR-39 lenses in all sunglasses.

Yunizonco-founder, Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas states, “Having worked in the eyewear industry as a senior product designer for over 15 years, I’ve seen sunglasses go from fashion accessory to daily wear. When sunglasses were purely an accessory, comfort and fit didn’t matter as much. However, given how consumer behavior has changed, particularly with millennials, it is critically important that today’s sunglasses are both trendy and comfortable. Yunizon is uncompromising on style with an unmatched focus on fit.” 

In addition to being highly considerate of fit, all Yunizon products are gender neutral, aligning with the brand’s values of free expression and inclusivity. Yunizon Looks to go beyond the traditional approach and disrupt the eyewear industry with their universal designs, innovative fit and high-quality products that appeal to today’s diverse society.

To learn more about the brand, shop the styles, and find your fit visit:

Website 

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Facebook

About Yunizon Eyewear:

Yunizon Eyewear is a New York City based company producing handcrafted eyewear with a focus on fit. Available in three distinct sizes (narrow, medium, and wide), each all – inclusive, gender neutral style is designed to fit and look great. The founders, Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas and Rebecca Lay, contribute years of experience in the eyewear industry as well as their values of free expression, unity and belonging to the brand.

About Kimberly Van Schoyck-Riojas:

Kimberly is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Yunizon. Before starting Yunizon, Kimberly gained over 15 years’ experience in the eyewear industry. As a designer, Kimberly is both creative and detail-oriented; paying attention to the overall construction and materials used. This results in products that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also technically superior. Kimberly has worked closely with counterparts across the US, Europe and Asia, helping her develop insight into fit issues. This has inspired her to create Yunizon’s Global Fit Technology which has resulted in better fitting sunglasses for all facial features.

About Rebecca Lay:

Rebecca is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yunizon. Before starting Yunizon, Rebecca worked in finance as an advisor for over 10 years in Sydney, London and New York, but her true passion is eyewear. The global nature of Rebecca’s work has helped her develop a tolerant attitude and a worldly mindset. This ethos was critical in establishing Yunizon’s brand values of free expression, unity and belonging

Tokyo's Revenge Press Image by Kevin Maya Used By 360 Magazine

Tokyo’s Revenge Q&A

By Sabrina Weiss

Under the alias Tokyo’s Revenge, this youthful rapper’s prestige supersedes his TikTok fame. The anonymous musician’s track “GOODMORNINGTOKYO” blew up on TikTok and topped music charts, but his raw talent and earnest personality translate beyond the app. With his new song and music video “GOTHAM” and new album 7VEN, Tokyo continues to maintain his unique style with anime and comic-book inspiration. 

With humility and honesty, Tokyo navigates his quick rise to fame with his friends, who double as his musical team, by his side. The young talent spoke equally as transparently about his previous struggles with homelessness, personal approach to mental health, and favorite flavor of Starbursts (pink). All the while, Tokyo giggled and challenged us to video game battles. Even beyond his musical talent, Tokyo’s personality gravitates listeners and a loyal following.

When did you begin your music career?

Well, I did some free-style rapping in high school a bit, but that was mostly to fit into different friend groups. Then, for awhile after high school, I was homeless and ended up couch hopping at different friends’ houses. At one point I stayed with some friends who were constantly making music but didn’t know how to engineer it. It was from these friends that I got the inspiration to learn how to engineer the music. At first, I just engineered their music. But, I only started posting my stuff on Soundcloud about two months into me learning how to mix music. I’m not sure why it took that amount of time, something just clicked at that point.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you were on your As Good as Dead Tour. We saw all the love you give your fans, particularly when you surf the crowd and jump in the mosh pit with your listeners. What was your most memorable moment of the tour? 

Oh man there were a lot of good moments. One of the most memorable times would be when I had to lie to security about whether I was going to get in the crowd. If I were to say yes then they would chase me in there. They go in and grab me as quickly as they can when I tell them I’m going to crowd surf. But, lowkey, I hate when they do that. The crowd is where I get my energy from. So I lied so I could be in there with my fans for longer.

There is a Discord ping in your new song “Gotham.” Do you actually use the chat app?

Well, it’s funny you ask that because I have my Discord open right now. I am constantly in my Discord with thousands and thousands of my supporters. I’ll hop in there and play video games with everyone and chat with all of you. I was actually just in one right before this interview and my buddy knocked on my door and said, “Hey man, you’ve got that interview right now, hop off real quick.”

After you blew up on TikTok, we are all wondering what you will do next. How do you plan on maintaining long-term relevance?

By doing whatever I feel like. I learned early on that I am not striving to have fans and followers based on trends. I want fans, followers, and family who support me through any medium I choose because I feel like I am connected to them more than just musically. Whether it be through YouTube videos or making music, I just want to continue to be connected to my fans. My fans are one of my major support systems.

What made you decide to be anonymous?

The idea of no one really knowing about me and trying to figure me and my personality out through clues in my music, rather than social media, is really appealing to me. I am not super attached to social media because if you try to over present yourself through social media, then people won’t be into your art. I want my music to get my face out, not my social media. Some artists are more focused on being social media influencers rather than their art and I’m just the opposite. I don’t talk much about me, I just talk through my music and let my listeners figure me out.

Along the topic of the modern musician, what do you think the industry is missing right now?

Actually, I don’t think the music industry is missing anything right now. If anything, I think there is too much of everything. A little while ago, I had an epiphany and thought to myself, “The biggest problem we have right now is that we are overexposed to everything.” And I feel the same way about the music industry. 

Only two years ago, you were couch-hopping at friends’ houses and now you have quickly risen to fame. How have the struggles of homelessness made you successful in your career?

It taught me not to get comfortable, ever. Being homeless gave me this huge hunger to never stop doing something, because back then I wasn’t focused on music immediately. I was focused on finding a place to work and to sleep. But, if I was comfortable just living like that, then I would probably still be doing just that.

I always wanted to do something bigger and better than couch-crashing, bigger and better than finding a shitty apartment to stay in and just making enough money to survive. I wanted to level-up to a point that my friends and I can be comfortable forever, and that’s how I got here.

You’ve spoken honestly about your mental health in the past. What do you do to get your head right?

I wake up and take a super long, burning hot shower. And then I think of everything but music. I don’t try to force myself into the music. I wake up and remind myself that I am a regular person who came from one place to this place with my best friends. 

We all focus on each others’ mental health more than anything else, and the music is tied into that. I try not to think of music as a job, because it wasn’t a job to us prior it was an outlet for all of our feelings. We play Smash Bros, go out and do something, and then if we are in the zone to make music, then we make music. If not, then maybe tomorrow! There’s no pressure.

Tips to Strengthen Relationships Amidst a Pandemic

By Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW

If you were one of millions who thought, “This is my year” coming into 2020, you’ve probably been cursing this year for a while. Many of our most sought-after resolutions like earning that promotion, traveling abroad, and dropping a few pounds all gave way to our “new normal” thanks to Covid-19.  These days, those of us fortunate enough not to be catastrophically impacted by the disease are simply happy to have our health and maintain our incomes – and perhaps, that’s how it should be? Either way, ambition has given way to survival in 2020. 

Just as many states have moved into reopening, our country faces as many unknowns as knowns. The untimely combination of civil unrest and Covid-19 has brought America to a boil, just in time for back-to-school season, a presidential election and the holidays.

Can Relationships Thrive During Turbulent Times? When chaos surrounds us, how do we fare in our relationships?

According to a recent Forbes study, a majority of couples reported that quarantine life was largely positive. Surprised?

Extra time at home presents unique challenges, but the additional time also provids a rare opportunity to strengthen and repair our most important relationships.

The combination of mental exhaustion and the uncertainty of post-pandemic life may make it tempting to sit as a bump on the log in front of a fall fireplace. But as much as you’re dreaming of reading a good book and drinking a pumpkin spice latte, a key priority must be keeping your relationship fresh this fall. 

But like everything else in 2020, getting there won’t be easy sailing.

As a relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist, I want to share my tips to make this fall as much a season of success as you want it to be.

This Isn’t the Time to Coast

Always remember that good relationships take work. Now is a great time to take inventory of your feelings. How would you grade your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health? Once you’ve measured your state, it’s time to check-in with your partner and ask them to do the same. 

Once you’ve identified your current state, I recommend following these Three R’s to maximize your momentum and give your relationship its best chance to thrive.

The Three R’s:

● Rest: Burnout is normal, especially in times of high stress. According to Forbes, 71% of couples are feeling anxiety right now stemming from stress, overwhelm and uncertainty. Remember to nurture your mind, body and spirit.

● Reflect: Take this time to reflect on what matters most to you and level set your priorities with your family — especially your partner.

● Reaffirm: Remember to validate yourself and reaffirm your commitment to self-love, growth and nurturing. A relationship is only as strong as its weakest link, so care for yourself first.

It’s Time to Put in the Work

Sheltering in place left many couples feeling more isolated than ever. Isolation can cause increased feelings of depression and anxiety, and that’s why it’s especially important to continue to replenish each other’s cups as we emerge from isolation and get back to life. 

Keep your romance alive and focus on being spontaneous!

Surprise your partner with a romantic and private picnic in the park. Let your hair down and bring out that sexy, stylish outfit. And although you may be itching to get back out there, remember that a creative spin on an in-home date night could lead to the perfect opportunity for some much-needed intimacy with minimal distractions.

Whether you’re lighting candles, challenging each other to a board game or taking a love language quiz, remind each other that you are not alone, that you’re in this together, and that through it all, your love will win.

Families That Pray Together, Stay Together

Faith supports love. 

And it’s in these unprecedented times that our faith is truly tested. In any relationship, faith acts as the root of our connection—not only with God but also with ourselves, partner, family, and friends. 

This is an ideal time to water the seeds of your faith with your partner and children. When you deliberately and routinely nurture your faith, your relationships tend to grow in perfect harmony. 

For you, nurturing your faith may mean continuing your spiritual studies privately, turning to a virtual religious service for a sense of community, or simply looking inward and discussing your faith with your loved ones at home. 

Whichever path you choose, walk hand-in-hand with your spiritual self and spread love as much as possible. The world can use more love and light right now. 

Is Now the Time To Seek Professional Help?

During the most trying of times, underlying issues tend to boil to the surface. We’re seeing it today with protests in America, and you may be seeing it within your relationship right now.

As a psychotherapist and international best-selling author specializing in relationships and personal trauma, I help those who are suffering face their trauma and guide them on a path to healing and fulfilling relationships. 

Ultimately, the decision to seek help is a deeply personal one and one that only you can make for yourself. Just remember that many of the greatest movements in history were built out of adversity and isolation. And while you may not feel like MLK did as he marched through Selma, carrying the burden of discontentment, depression or anxiety is sure to reach a breaking point if not addressed. 

When you decide that speaking to a therapist is the next step in your journey, schedule a complimentary consultation or virtual therapy session with a trained professional. 

Everything great starts with a decision, and the only time we have is here in this moment. You, and only you, can create the relationship you’ve always wanted. 

Despite all that’s going on around us, today offers another opportunity to take the next step towards the future you deserve.

Grab your FREE GIFT from Montrella: 10 COMMANDMENTS FOR LESS STRESS here.

Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW

Licensed Therapist & Relationship Expert of Affinity Health Affairs

Author of the international bestseller, The Purse: An Essential Guide to Healthy Relationships

Finding Peace With MantraBand

By Payton Saso

Finding peace of mind in today’s world seems almost impossible. With an election looming, a pandemic still happening and many uncertainties in everyday life, creating a positive outlook can be hard.

One company is working hard to impact peoples everyday lives in order to lead a lifestyle of optimism, positivity, and mindfulness.

MantraBand Bracelets has made it their mission to do just that. They believe that positive thinking and mindfulness can lead to a better life; and they’re not wrong.

Harvard researched the benefits of mindfulness in 2013 and found that “mindfulness also brings about a well-studied physiological change that can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, adrenaline levels, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”

But what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of mediation where one focuses vigorously on becoming aware of your senses and feelings in a moment without interpreting these things or feeling judgement, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Positive thinking has its own onslaught of benefits. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows positive thinking can provide: increased lifespan, lower rates of distress and depression, better immune system, better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.

Adding this practice into one’s life isn’t just becoming blind to one’s problems and choosing to not acknowledge hardships, but the act of changing the outlook on these situations.

Positive thinking can be achieved through a few different techniques that have been proven effective, such as positive self-talk and positive imagery,” HealthLine explains. “What it will do is make problems seem more manageable and help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way.”

Focus lies on changing the way you view the world and MantraBand knows having a daily reminder to do so can help this journey. That’s why MantraBand created their bracelets with custom mantras engraved facing the world with you or hidden inside just for you. They also offer an array of different styled bands to find the perfect fit.

If bracelets aren’t your thing, MantraBand has a whole collection that includes necklaces, rings and products made for men. As well as a lifestyle section with t-shirts, mugs, stickers and books to subtly add a mantra into your everyday life.

MantraBand isn’t just dedicated to impact individuals lives that purchase the bracelets, but the global community as well.

They are members of 1% for the Planet, which is an organization where companies donate 1% of their annual sales to non-profit organizations that help the environment. They also have a CharityBands line, in which $5 of each sale is donated to the charity tied to the bracelet.

We could all use a little reminder nowadays to be present and mindful, and Mantraband has created a way we can have that.

SAMI-Aid Offers Free Appointment to Those Affected by Wildfires

California telehealth company wants to ensure people’s health needs are met during historic wildfire crisis

SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company, announced that it is offering free telehealth appointments to those who have been affected by the wildfires raging across the state of California and other western states. The California-based company saw an opportunity to use its platform to help those who have been affected by the fires.

“As a San Jose-based company, we’ve seen firsthand how this summer’s wildfire season has affected Californians in the Bay Area and across the state,” said Bijan Farhangui, SAMI-Aid Founder and CEO. “Whether you’ve been displaced by the wildfires or aren’t able to visit your doctor’s office due to the poor air quality, we realized we could do something to help ensure people’s health needs were met during this difficult time.”

According to the California Air Resources Board, particulate matter is the largest health concern relating to wildfires. Particles from wildfire smoke can be inhaled into different parts of the lung, potentially resulting in negative lung and heart health effects. Those who suffer from respiratory issues or illnesses have been advised to remain indoors as much as possible while particulate matter from the wildfires remains a concern.

“Patients in need of prescriptions, medical advice, or regular behavioral health consultations should not have to sacrifice their health and wellbeing because of the wildfires,” added Farhangui. “Our telemedicine platform can help Californians get the health services they need in a safe and easy way.”

Those who have been affected by the California wildfires can call SAMI-Aid at 844-726-4243 to redeem the code for a free consultation through their telehealth platform. SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties including general physicians as well as mental and behavioral health specialists. SAMI-Aid also recently launched its new at-home COVID-19 testing program where patients can confirm their COVID-19 status from the safety and convenience of their own home. More information is available at samiaid.com.

About SAMI-Aid:

Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. For more information, visit samiaid.com.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Demi Lovato and Marshmello for 360 MAGAZINE

Marshmello Sports Premiere Apparel

By Cassandra Yany

Marshmello sported a Premiere Apparel Tie Dye Hoodie to promote his new song and music video with Demi Lovato. The electronic music artist and pop singer took to Instagram on Thursday to share the release of their track “OK Not To Be OK” and the accompanying music video. In the photos, Marshmello is wearing a tie-dye hoodie by the LA brand Premiere Apparel.

The color-infused “Rain Forest Hoodie” pairs perfectly with the DJ’s electronic sound, and is one of the brand’s many tie-dye signature styles. Premiere Apparel creates clothing with colorful, mesmerizing designs and comfortable fits. 

Marshmello and Lovato teamed up with the non-profit movement Hope For The Day for this collaboration. The pair are working with the organization— whose motto is “It’s OK Not To Be OK”— to start a conversation about mental health and eliminate the stigmas and judgment that go along with it. While promoting the song, Lovato shared a message via Instagram on Thursday, which was also Suicide Prevention Day, expressing her struggles with mental health and encouraging her followers to check in with themselves and loved ones.

About Premiere Apparel

California grown and LA-Based uni-sex brand Premiere Apparel has a vision of reinventing lifestyle. Creating go-to comfy fits to traditional yet innovative looks as well as environmental manufacturing friendly. 

Premiere Apparel is a unisex streetwear premium brand that combines modern essentials with innovative wash techniques to create comfy go-to basics that make a statement. They believe in true essentials designed from life inspired color palettes that satisfy the soul.

Whether it’s your favorite weekend tee or that cozy sweatshirt for a cool night, Premiere Apparel offers well-made items for everyday people and their ever changing lifestyles. Fewer well designed pieces that are made to last and can go anywhere. They manufacture basics from the highest quality materials, using American-made materials and American labor.

Live Nation Urban – #WellnessEdition

In light of National Suicide Prevention and Self-Care Awareness Month, Live Nation Urban is spending September bringing people #WellnessEdition, to promote and showcase resources strengthening wellness and well-being. Through various content and live talks with mental health and wellness advocates, Live Nation Urban hopes to bridge the work of Black executives with the importance of staying grounded.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine orders, Live Nation Urban has been at the forefront of creating live-at-home digital experiences within the music industry. Meet the Founders, a live interview series, has spotlighted Black founders, executives, and staff from various brands on building out their experiences and careers within the music industry.

As a part of their Wellness Month programming, Live Nation Urban hopes to create wholesome spaces for self-care, healing and people’s well-being during these unprecedented times. Produced content will include self-care, music, playlists (available on all platforms), healthy meal ideas, and general wellness tips. Additionally, Meet the Founders will feature a variety of mental health and self-care professionals. Featured guests include, Tasnim Sulaiman (Founder of Black Men Heal), Tiffany Hardin(Founder of Gild Creative Group and Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development of Black Girl In Om), Darian Hall (Co-Founder of HealHaus), and Eboni Harris (Co-Founder of Melanin & Mental Health).

About Live Nation Urban

Live Nation Urban (LNU) is a partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company. Specifically focusing on Hip-Hop, R&B and Gospel, LNU builds platforms, events, and festivals globally and develops dynamic content strategies based upon the live properties created. Live Nation Urban considers itself the most powerful source for live urban music. For additional information, click HERE.

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.

Kelly Fuhlman in 360 MAGAZINE.

BE THE HERO AND RESCUE YOURSELF

Have you ever wished a superhero would come down and rescue you in those chaotic life moments of life? The easiest thing to do is wait for someone more qualified to come along and fix what has been broken for so long. What if I told you that hero was you?

Each one of us has an evolution that occurs over time. Are we who we were a decade ago? From dyslexia, drug addiction, and trauma, there were many times when Kelly Fuhlman, author of the new book Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself: Creating the Inner Courage to Wear Your Own Cape (Clovercroft Publishing) didn’t think she would make it. Even in times when it felt better if she didn’t. The truth is the only person who can save each of us is ourselves. Through her journey, Kelly shares how to seize back your life from waiting for the hero to becoming your own. No matter what the condition of your life, or your heart, she invites readers to journey together with her to see proof that no matter how far you fall, you can get back up. Life is not built on ten easy steps. Learn to invest in yourself and surround yourself with great people who can support you and give you that swift kick when need it. You can be courageous and Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself. It’s time to dust off your cape, and step into your purpose and healing as your own hero. In the end, it takes grit, perseverance, purpose, and hard work. We are all just working our way through this life hoping to make an impact.


To learn more, visit: https://kellyfuhlman.com/

Books are available online.

About the Author

Author, Speaker and strategic planning expert, Kelly Fuhlman has been helping Fortune 500 companies, working for universities and Disney Institute, sharing best practices in leadership, marketing and business development. Equipped with an MBA and Bachelor in Communication, she helps create strategy and relationship building within companies and teams. She has increased revenue through branding and marketing, giving companies an edge over their competition. As a speaker, Kelly helps youth and adults recognize the hero within and how to change their own story to empowering them to become their own hero. She lives in Texas with her husband and son as she continues to build a legacy around family, faith and a commitment to excellence.

Website and Social Media Platforms

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PRAISE FOR BE YOUR OWN HERO

“I found Kelly’s book to be completely honest, forthright, and soul bearing. Being a male it is always fascinating to see what it is like growing up as the opposite sex. Kelly’s journey has been difficult and I commend her for her perseverance and guts. Her life has not been easy and she decided to bare it all, warts and everything. I am proud to call her a friend. Well done.
– Clint David, Fox Rothschild LLP

“Kelly Fuhlman is the mentor and leader everyone needs. Her new book, Be the Hero and Rescue Yourself, not only tells an amazing and honest story about Kelly but gives women and men the courage to find strength and growth in difficult change, no matter how hard it can be.” –Tiarra Tompkins – Writer/Editor

“Great book and great message! Thank you for sharing such a deep and personal stories. Even as a guy I can relate to many situations you present and valuable lifelong lessons to be learned.” –Jan Klodner, Board Member at Fidelity AG, Inc., JMAR Technology Services, LLC

Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Indiana School Quarantines on First Day

By Eamonn Burke

Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana opened on Thursday, as one of the first high schools to do so in the country. Within hours, the school had to quarantine when a student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It appears that the student was tested days before and went to school without knowing the results.

The emergency “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol” that went into action following the testing involved isolating the student and a two week quarantine order for those who had come in contact. The schools superintendent, Harold E. Olin, knew the situation was coming but was “shocked it was on Day 1.” Nonetheless, Olin said in a letter that “It was very evident today that nearly all of our families and students were prepared to properly follow the safety protocols we have established”.

This comes amidst a national debate over the re-opening of schools in the fall. While most major school districts have announced a remote start, some in places like Texas and Florida, where the virus is running rampant, plan to open in the fall. Teachers unions have been vehemently opposing an in-person opening, threatening and executing lawsuits and strikes to make their point. They put pressure on Trump’s administration, who is urging for children to get back to school.

Further complicating matters is a study from Northwestern and a Chicago Pediatric Hospital found that children five years and younger carry the virus in high concentrations, although a study on their transmission rate has not been conducted.

On top of all the virus concerns is that of the mental health and success of students who are learning virtually. This spans everything from eye health to sleep patterns to ability to socialize. In addition, it can be harder for many students to pay attention and retain material when studying from home.