Posts tagged with "news"

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra via 360 Magazine by 360 Magazine

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra wins 2022 Eurovision

The great favorite of the bets to win the crystal microphone confirmed all the forecasts: The Kalush Orchestra band have won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine with their song ‘Stefania’!

In addition to the talent, the fascinating rhythms with the mixture of modern hip-hop with classic Ukrainian folk, the successful band unleashed a wave of sympathy this week at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 as the representative of a country destroyed by the complicated situation that Ukrainians are suffering against the Russian invasion.

Kalush’s proposal has become a complete representation of the Ukrainian resistance despite the fact that the song festival tries to be on the sidelines of politics and its conflicts. Indeed, the Ukrainian delegation had to change its lighting, since in the first rehearsals it referred to the country’s flag.

However, everything in the Ukrainian proposal recalls the most characteristic features of the Ukrainian people. Some of the performers are wearing traditional historical costumes from the early 20th century: Oleh wore an authentic festive keepar, a vest of the Hutsul – an ethnic group from the Carpathian Mountains – to which he gives a modern twist, with a pink bucket hat and Tymofiy wore the full costume of the same traditional origin. ‘We’re showing off our roots, and we’re showing how to take something from the past and make it work for the present. That’s why we’ve found success at home, and we hope that we can find that sort of reception internationally, as well. We take something old, and we make it sound modern’, affirms the successful band to the official Eurovision website.

This is Ukraine’s third victory at Eurovision. The last one was achieved exactly on May 14, 2016, in Stockholm and the first came just one year after its debut in the European competition, in 2004 in Istanbul. On this occasion, the performance of Kalush Orchestra has been one of the most exciting of Eurovision 2022, thus achieving 631 points, of which 439 of them by the audience, the maximum awarded by the popular vote.

Visit HERE for more information on the latest news from the Eurovision Song Contest!

Community Service via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

May Top Stories

Inching further towards the mid-way point of the year, 2022 has been full of a surplus of notable events. From the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation upon the Supreme Court, let’s evaluate the top stories of May 2022.

New Mexico Endures Wildfires

Two Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fires reportedly united, impacting Northern New Mexico. Firefighters worked to contain the blaze, but the force of the combined fire swiftly surpassed professionals forecasting. No one has been hurt or killed by the fires, but two deaths did occur from a previous wildfire during the month of April.

Mississippi Mudbug Festival Shooting

Several gunmen opened fire at the Mudbug Festival in Jackson, Mississippi leaving one person killed and five injured. The individual that was killed is presumed to be one of the shooters, shot in response to the shooting by law enforcement.

Regarding the tragedy, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones stated the following, “It’s very devastating and very tragic, […] This is what’s to be considered a very family-oriented event, where families come to enjoy entertainment and food. You have individuals with no regards for the lives and safety of those attending the event. I think that is a very cowardly and selfish act to involve so many innocent people that are here to have fun and enjoy themselves.”

Nancy Pelosi Visits Kyiv, Ukraine

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paid Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a visit, which was entirely unannounced. Pelosi is the highest ranked US official to have visited the country since the Russia’s invasion in February.

Leading an official congressional delegation at the country’s capital in Kyiv, Pelosi aimed to carry the message that the US stands with Ukraine. Pelosi pronounced, ““We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we’re on a frontier for freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone. And so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

Tennessee Halts Executions

Following a missed protocol procedure leading to the lethal injection of Oscar Smith, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has stopped all executions through the end of the year. Reportedly, the state had tested their lethal injection drugs for potency and sterility, but not endotoxins, which breaches procedure.

The Met Gala

The Met Gala returned to its conventional pattern of being held on the first Monday of May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Renowned as the most prestigious night in fashion, the extravaganza followed the theme of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which came after 2021’s “In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion.”

Built as a charity event to raise funds for the Met’s Costume Institute, the gala is a staple for fashion lovers around the world. The event is renowned for its esteemed guestlist of fashion moguls, celebrities and artists. Attendees for the night included the likes of Blake Lively, Normani and Billie Eilish wearing designers such as Gucci, Versace and Chanel.

CNBC Sustainable Future w/ Matt Damon and Gary White

Tania Bryer chats with Matt Damon and Gary White about their nonprofit organization, Water.org, in a special CNBC interview. Water.org aims to provide access to water and sanitation to those who need it. Tania chats with both Matt and Gary about their brand-new book The Worth of Water: Our Story of Chasing Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenge, and the influences behind the piece.

Supreme Court Leaked Decision Chooses to Overturn Abortion Rights

May 2, POLITICO published the first draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court that reveals a reversal of the monumental Roe v. Wade 1973 decision. Overturning the landmark ruling would place verdicts about abortion into the hands of state representatives. A decision involving the court has never been exposed while a case in still unresolved, especially one of such magnitude.

Regarding the judgment to override the original Roe v. Wade decision, Justice Samuel Alito stated the following in the leaked draft, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

European Union Plans Russian Oil Ban

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a potential ban on oil from Russia to increase pressure on the country amidst their invasion of Ukraine. European Union (EU) countries have arranged preparations to veto Russian coal imports, as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia have already expelled Russian imports.

Dave Chappelle Harassed During Hollywood Bowl

A man ran up on stage towards Dave Chappelle while he was performing a comedy routine at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The man, named Isaiah Lee, was charged with a felony assault with a deadly weapon. Lee had a fake gun that would expel a knife blade but did not harm Chappelle.

Lionsgate Announces Hunger Games Prequel Movie

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a Hunger Games prequel novel, is set to obtain its own brand-new film debuting on the big screen on November 17, 2023. The story follows the story of President Coriolanus Snow in his younger years prior to becoming such a staple in the modern narrative.

Amber Heard Testifies in Defamation Trial

The defamation suit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began on April 11 and continued prominently into the month of May. Approaching the fourth week of the trial, the jury heard from Depp regarding his recollection of their marriage, and on May 4 Heard began her own testimony. The case is set to be concluded on May 19.

Animal-to-Human Heart Transplant Revelation

In January of 2022, David Bennett, 57, underwent a final resort surgery to save his life through use of a pig’s organ. Bennett underwent a heart transplant and was doing well for about two months following the procedure, until he suddenly passed away. Now, University of Maryland doctors have found that within the pig heart there was viral DNA carrying porcine cytomegalovirus. It is uncertain if the virus contributed to the death of Bennett, but this finding raises ongoing questions about animal-to-human transplants.

Kevin Samuels Passes Away

57-year-old YouTuber Kevin Samuels has passed away due to unknown reasons. He was reportedly found unresponsive in his Atlanta apartment on May 5. Samuels was known more his conservative relationship advice approach.

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Tease Potential Engagement

A$AP Rocky released the music video for his track “D.M.B.,” which portrays the love story between himself and superstar Rihanna. At the end of the video, Rocky sports a grill that says, “Marry me?” with Rihanna, too, wearing a matching grill that states out, “I do.”

The video broke the internet, with everyone and their mother speculating a possible engagement between the two. It has not been confirmed, nor denied, that Rihanna and Rocky are engaged, but the duo is expecting their first child together.

Menstrual pain may prevent many women from working, Spain

Half of women experience painful periods at least once every six months. Some of the symptoms they may have are nausea, fainting, and vomiting. The country’s policymakers will implement a three-day sick leave for severe menstrual pain, which affects most women who experience their period. According to a scientific study, 84.1% of women report have very considerable menstrual pain, which can prevent them from carrying out their activities and therefore they could be absent from work.

Mercedes-Benz India has launched the new generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class

On May 10, 2022, one of the most anticipated releases of Mercedes-Benz was launched. The German car manufacturer
has launched the new C-Class in three different versions: The C 200 with petrol engine is priced at $71,089.26 (Rs 55 lakh – Indian Currency) meanwhile, the C 220d and 330d with diesel engine are priced at 72,390 $.64 (Rs 56 lakh) and $78,854.09 (Rs 61 lakh), respectively. Mercedes-Benz claimed that it received more than 1,000 pre-launch reservations for the fifth-generation C-Class.

Lacrosse team files racial discrimination claim by sheriff’s deputies during traffic stop, Georgia

There is huge outrage over a traffic stop in Georgia. Last month, US authorities searched and detained a bus carrying the Lacrosse team belonging to Delaware State University, a historically black institution. The team specifically complains about racial profiling by sheriff’s deputies. On the contrary, the agents maintain the version that they stopped the driver for driving in the wrong lane. But after the bus stopped, officers searched the students’ belongings for any type of drug-like chemical. Instead, the team maintains that those searches were conducted on racial grounds.

Student Saniya Craft recorded parts of the trip on her device, thinking it would be part of her blog about her lacrosse team. However, she did not expect that she would end up storing evidence of what she believes to be racial profiling by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities consider it appropriate to open a federal investigation into the incident that occurred to the Delaware State University lacrosse team in Georgia.

TV2 illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Behind the Wheel: Truck Week

All next week, NewsNation will be hitting the road with an all-new series of stories from the eyes of the American Trucker for “Behind the Wheel: Truck Week.” NewsNation will take an in-depth look at the industry that is driving America—moving more than 72% of the nation’s goods. These are the real stories about the dedicated people who are helping to drive the American economy by delivering goods and creating new job opportunities. Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at what life is really like on the road for a trucker and get a preview of the newest technology that will steer trucking into the future.

NewsNation is proud to take a moment and send a ‘trucker salute’ to the men and women who keep our country moving, even through challenging times.  Available to discuss what they have discovered on the scene throughout America is NewsNation’s  Senior National Correspondent Brian Entin and NewsNation’s Dallas Bureau Correspondent Markie Martin.

On Wednesday, April 20, NewsNation will be releasing their latest poll with Decision Desk HQ, topics will include Covid, Supply Chain and Truckers. Additional highlights from the week’s programming are below. 

Monday, April 18th: The Importance of the Trucker to the American Economy

NewsNation’s Kelsey Kernstine takes viewers behind the scenes to see the challenges Americans face through the eyes of the trucker. As consumer demand for fast delivery grows, we ask truckers how job shortages, inflation, and gas prices are impacting the country.

Tuesday, April 19th: Truckers Wanted: Job Crisis

Truck drivers are the backbone of American transportation infrastructure, but the industry faces a growing job crisis. NewsNation’s Nancy Loo looks to uncover why it’s hard to recruit and explores topics like having more women and teens behind the wheel.   

Wednesday, April 20th: Life on the Road

NewsNation’s Brian Entin goes on the road from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to understand the life of a truck driver. He speaks with truckers about challenges on the road—from lack of parking to fatigue and loneliness—sharing stories from those who work behind the wheel.

Thursday, April 21st: Truckers Get Rich

Trucking can provide a comfortable living after only a few short years on the road. NewsNation’s Nancy Loo reports on the financial aspects of this lucrative industry.

Friday, April 22nd: The Future of Trucking

As technology advances, and self-driving vehicles become more of a reality, NewsNation’s Markie Martin reports on what trucking may look like in the future. Reporting from a 70 mile ride in a driverless tractor, he looks to uncover how the industry can embrace technology to compete with companies like Tesla.For more information on Truck Week, click HERE.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to serve upon the highest court of the United States via 360 MAGAZINE

Jackson Makes History

Thursday April 7 will be remembered as one of the most historic days in American history as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman confirmed to serve upon the highest court of the United States. In a 53-to-47 vote, Judge Jackson was confirmed a place upon the Supreme Court as nominated by President Joe Biden in February.

Judge Jackson becomes only the eighth person to sit upon the Supreme Court that has not been a White man. The confirmation continues to make history as this will be the firs time that we see four women upon the court and the majority of justices is not White men.

Of the 53 that voted in favor of Biden’s nomination, three Republican senators joined Democrats in support of Judge Jackson. Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah. Despite Republicans loathing and attempting to prolong the voting process, Judge Jackson was confirmed to replace Justice Stephen Breyer once he officially steps down.

Republican Senator Rand Paul attempted to halt the vote while being the only senator not in attendance for the voting. He stalled the decision from being finalized, and he voted from the cloakroom out of dress code.

When asked about Paul’s lack of dress code for the vote, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated, “I will tell you I’m not spending a lot of time, nor is the president (Joe Biden), thinking about the dress code of Rand Paul today, […] We’re thinking about the historic confirmation of an eminently qualified Black woman to serve on SCOTUS. I’m not really worried about his khakis.”

On April 8, inbound Justice Jackson participated in a ceremony on the lawn of the White House, where she spoke to the weight of the confirmation. The former federal appellate judge spoke to the history that was made the day prior.

Judge Jackson stated, “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it – we’ve made it – all of us, all of us.”

President and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian American woman to hold the title, spoke at the ceremony together while stating, “We’re going to look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history.” 

Judge Jackson referenced the late Maya Angelou, another historic Black woman, when speaking about what this confirmation means to the Black community, while stating, “”‘Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave,'”

In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Let that sink in.

Written by: McKinley Franklin

Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

April Top Stories

With Covid rates remaining stagnant and Russia continuously attempting to invade Ukraine, the world is in a very odd place as we enter April. Here are the top news stories of the month.

Sacramento Shooting

Twelve people were injured, with six dying, as a result of two gunmen in Sacramento, California. Dandrae Martin was arrested on April 4th for his alleged connection to the crime. Police expect more suspects to surface as massive amounts of video footage and physical evidence are examined.

360 NFT

On April 1st, 360 Magazine launched its very own NFT collection, Animal Series. Despite the date of release, the NFT is no joke. There are four animal themed NFTs currently on the market, which will be available to bid on until May 1st. Head to OpenSea to secure an animal of your own.

The Grammys

The 64th Grammy Awards were held on April 3, giving well-deserved wins to artists like Olivia Rodrigo, who went home with three Grammys (one of which she broke). Lil Nas X performed “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow and Billie Eilish performed “Happier Than Ever.” Other highlights include a message from Ukrainian President Zellenskyy in which he discussed the importance of music during these troubling times. Find more information HERE.

Fashion Week Brooklyn

Fashion Week Brooklyn is now underway. For Rick Davy, founder of the 501c3 non-profit BK|Style Foundation (BK|SF), sponsorships and partnerships have been key factors in ensuring the success of the esteemed showcase. This year’s series of runway shows and events kicked off April 2nd with kidswear at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum with events across the borough and a finale at Socceroof on April 10th.

Urban Beauty TV is partnering with BK|Style Foundation to highlight the April 8th Denim show. This program will air during season two, slated for premiere in August (National Black Business Month). Coverage includes onsite interviews with the founder(s) of Fashion Week Brooklyn, featured designers and behind-the-scenes footage. Host of Urban Beauty TV, Midori Amae, will present the segment filmed backstage. A teaser will be released shortly after production via social media.

Oklahoma Abortion Ban

Oklahoma recently passed Senate Bill 612 that bans abortion except in the case of a medical emergency. Rape and incest are not causes for abortion, with Republican Sen. Jim Olsen stating that the baby “should not be liable for the sins of the father.” Those attempting to perform an abortion will be subject to a $100,000 fine or 10 years in prison.

This bill is especially troubling for Texans, as many fled to Oklahoma for their operations because of the state’s ban. Now many are left without options.

Smiley Martin Arrested in Connection with Sacramento Shooting

With Dandrae Martin arrested April 4th, another individual has been detained in relation to the six murders: Smiley Martin, Dandrae’s brother. A fully-automatic machine gun converted from a pistol was also recovered.

Smiley was convicted in 2016 after beating the mother of his two children. He was attempting to force her into prostitution.

Judge Jackson Confirmed

Despite an extensive confirmation process, the Senate has officially confirmed the nomination of Ketanji Brown, making her the first Black woman to serve. In a close 53-47 vote, three republicans joined the democrats. Only five women have ever been on the Supreme Court prior to Jackson, and this move will greatly broaden the diversity of the Supreme Court.

Britney Spears Teases Pregnancy

April 11, Britney Spears took to Instagram hinting at a pregnancy. The caption to a photo of a pink tea set and flowers left fans a little confused, while others began congratulating her. Britney teased about being “food pregnant,” but then states, “So I got a pregnancy test … and uhhhhh well … I am having a baby …”

Further on in the post, Britney speaks about the depression she experienced with her past pregnancies stating, “I obviously won’t be going out as much due to the paps getting their money shot of me like they unfortunately already have … it’s hard because when I was pregnant I had perinatal depression … I have to say it is absolutely horrible … women didn’t talk about it back then …”

New York City Shooting

Tuesday morning a shooting reportedly broke in Brooklyn upon the subway. There has been 13 people reported injured after the gunman threw smoke bombs into a subway car and began shooting on the southbound R train. The gunman has not been identified, but was seen wearing a construction vest and gas mask. Schools in the area went into lockdown as the NYPD and FBI began their search for a suspect.

Frank James Arrested in Relation to Brooklyn Shooting

Frank James was arrested in connection to the shooting in the Brooklyn subway. Reports have suggested that he was a lonely and angry man, very active in politics, and had a YouTube channel where he discussed current events. Police have not yet released a motive.

Video Footage Released from Patrick Lyoya Police Shooting

On April 4, Patrick Lyoya was fatally shot by a Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer after being pulled over. Video footage was captured from varying angles, including from a police bodycam point-of-view, a police dashcam, cell phone and home surveillance footage. The video shows the police officer, whose identity has been kept private, shooting Lyoya in the head and killing him. An investigation is underway.

DJ Kay Slay Passes From COVID

New York City graffiti artist and hip-hop musician DJ Kay Slay passed away at 55 on April 17 after a longstanding battle with COVID-19. After being hospitalized with the virus in December, as the Sun reported, he was placed on a ventilator and has been dealing with health problems since.

Highest Gymnastics Championships Viewership

The NCAA announced that this year’s Women’s Gymnastics Championships brought in a record 922,000 viewers. This championship has an 11% higher viewership compared to 2021. Oklahoma’s Trinity Thomas recieved a perfect 10 and won gold.

South Africa Suffers Fatal Floods

Flooding across South Africa’s eastern KwaZulu-Natal province has shocked the country, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa affirming a state of disaster. A total of over 440 people were killed, with around 40,000 people homeless. With little water, food or housing, $68 million for cleanup was dispersed from the national government after the natural disaster hit South Africa.

Airlines Lift Mask Mandates

Many US airlines have discontinued mask mandates that have been in place for almost two years. The lift came after US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the CDC’s travel mask mandate was unlawful. Said airlines lifting their mask mandates include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Spirit and JetBlue.

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Defamation Trial

Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard took to a Fairfax, Virginia courtroom to battle out their defamation trial. The lawsuit filed resulted from Heard’s reported allegations of abuse during their marriage. Having divorced in 2016, an op-ed written for the Washington Post by Heard in 2019 alleged she was a victim of domestic violence. The trial took to the courtroom on April 11.

Syracuse Police Scrutinized Over Treatment of 8-year-old Boy

An investigation went underway surrounding a video that went viral of an 8-year-old boy being placed into the back of a police car by Syracuse police offers. The boy allegedly stole a bag of chips, and the video shows him crying while officers put him into the car. In the video footage recorded by Kenneth Jackson, he offered to pay for the bag of chips and walk the young boy home.

The young boy was not handcuffed or arrested, and officers drove him back to his father’s house. The child’s father, Anthony Weah, spoke to ABC News when recalling “that police knocked his son off his bike and slapped him on the back, according to his son.”

Biden Announces Additional Ukraine Assistance

Thursday April 21, President Joe Biden declared that the United States would be sending $800 million in military aid to Ukraine amidst the ongoing against Russia. He also made announcements that the US would ban all Russian-affiliated ships into the nation’s ports. Included within the package of assistance is “heavy artillery weapons, such as 72 155-mm howitzers, 144,000 rounds of artillery and dozens of tactical drones.”

Shanghai COVID Lockdown

In late March of this year, Shanghai endured their largest COVID-19 outbreak to date since the onset of the pandemic. Since the outbreak, strict lockdowns were set into place, significantly affecting businesses. There has been a push from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to reopen major businesses, but labor shortages affect the likelihood of returning to work.

Mike Tyson Punches Plane Passenger

Video footage of Mike Tyson depicts the former heavyweight champion boxer getting physical with another passenger aboard a plane at San Francisco International Airport. Said passenger seemed to annoy after taking a photo with him, and Tyson ended up punching the man, leaving him with a slightly bloody head.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Testifies

Republican Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia undergoes a disqualification hearing based off her involvement with the January 6 uprising on Capitol Hill. Some of her involvement on social media involving the insurrection has raised questions. Regarding the pro-Trump protest, Green stated while testifying, “I only believe in peaceful demonstration… I do not support violence.”

There has, also, been evidence from Greene’s socials depicting “support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress in 2020.” Greene rebutted by claiming she has a lot of people running her socials, so she doesn’t know who liked said posts.

Washington DC Shooting

Friday April 22 a shooting erupted in Northwest Washington DC. A suspect has not been identified yet, while three adults and one child were reportedly injured. The suspected gunman is Raymond Spencer, a man who was updating a Wikepedia page for the school across from where the shooting took place.

The Washington Post reported that Spencer wrote, “A gunman shot at the school on April 22, 2022. The suspect is still at large,” with another post on 4chan stating, “Dear God please forgive me,” and “Waiting for police to catch up with me.”

The shooter reportedly committed suicide, and it is unknown if Spencer is the confirmed gunman.

Air Force General Receives First Court-Marital Conviction

Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley of the US Air Force was found guilty of one of three abusive sexual contacts. This court-marital trial and conviction became the first of a general officer in the Air Force to ever be found guilty. The incident dates to 2018 in which Cooley has been found guilty of “the first specification, ‘kissing (the victim) on the lips and tongue, with an intent to gratify his sexual desire.’”

Will Smith Endures Oscars Backlash

Following the Oscars held in May of this year, Will Smith continues to suffer consequences after slapping Chris Rock during the award ceremony. Two of his upcoming films have halted production, with one being cancelled altogether.

Netflix’s Bright 2 has officially been rescinded, with Netflix stating that the cancellation has nothing to do with Smith’s Oscars turmoil. National Geographic has postponed filming for Pole to Pole, which followed Smith as he traveled from the North and South Pole.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

Coming in at a whopping $44 billion, Elon Musk is set to close a deal on buying Twitter. The venture began when Musk became one of the platforms largest shareholders, swiftly being offered and turning down a set on Twitter’s board to finally bidding to purchase the site.

Regarding the acquisition, Musk stated, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated, […] Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Oldest Living Person Passes Away

A Guinness World Record holder, Kane Tanaka of Japan has passed away at the age of 119. Tanaka held the record for the eldest living person and was confirmed on March 9, 2019. Her family released a statement in Tanaka’s words, in which she stated, “I was able to come this far with the support of many people. I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic.”

Footage Following “Rust” Shooting Released

Video footage taken after the deadly shooting on the “Rust” movie set has been released. The shooting occurred onset of the Western movie, in which Alec Baldwin allegedly shot a prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and struck director Joel Souza.

Footage has been made public depicting Baldwin debriefing with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office, as well as officers speaking with Souza in a hospital room after the shooting.

Kamala Harris Tests Positive for COVID-19

April 26 Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19. She released the following statement via Twitter, “Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted.

Willow Pill Wins Rupaul’s Drag Race

Willow Pill, the underdog of season 14, surprised many by winning the season 14 crown. The “twisted little doll” from Denver, Colorado and drag sister of season 11 winner Yvie Oddly had a sweet personality and dark, eccentric style of drag. She became the first trans contestant to win a regular season of drag race. Many remember Willow for her runway looks, like her all-white, early ’00’s inspired entrance outfit and her white with red spots mushroom getup. Fans loved her talent show, her roast and her direction in the Girl Group episode. Despite her constant battle with cystinosis and only receiving one challenge win, she won the hearts of many—and the crown.

US Marine Returned Home from Russia via Prisoner Exchange

Russia and the US engaged in a prisoner exchange to return home previous Marine Trevor Reed. Reed was jailed in Russia during the summer of 2019 after allegedly assaulting a Russian police officer. The trade also brought Russian drag trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko back to his country after being sentenced 20 years in prison in 2010.

Reed’s family made a statement to the public, in which they expressed, “Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States, […] While we understand the interest in Trevor’s story – and as soon as he’s ready, he’ll tell his own story, we’d respectfully ask for some privacy while we address the myriad of health issues brought on by the squalid conditions he was subjected to in his Russian gulag.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci States US is “Out of the Pandemic Phase”

When sitting down with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff to discuss the state of the US, Woodruff asked Dr. Anthony Fauci questions about the pandemic and the status of the country.

Woodruff raised the question of when we would see the closing of the pandemic, in which Fauci replied, “We are certainly, right now, in this country out of the pandemic phase, […] Namely, we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now.”

Disney and Florida Battle Ongoing Dispute

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has thrown out Disney World’s special tax status that has been in place since 1967. The status allowed the corporation to operate as a self-government, which includes making decisions about construction on properties, reducing taxes and creating electricity, which saved millions of dollars for them.

The repeal comes after the newly passed is the “Parental Rights in Education” law, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Disney’s chief executive Bob Chapek has publicly shown his disapproval for the bill, in which DeSantis countered via a fund-raising email to supporters, “If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy.”

Disney has not released a statement regarding the loss of their exclusive rights.

Southern California Drought Controls

The state of California has experienced its driest conditions in state history throughout the course of the past three years. 2022 has already revealed extremely dry conditions through in the state in just the early first three months, which are times in which California typically obtains half of its precipitation totals. Because of this, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a Water Shortage Emergency, and have limited outdoor watering to only one day per week in certain regions.

Biden Proposes New Ukrainian Aid Bill

President Joe Biden has asked Congress to pass a $33 billion bill to help provide relief to Ukraine throughout the war with Russia. The bill is set to provide $20.4 billion in military/security aid, $6 billion towards the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $4 billion towards the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing Program.

About the bill, Biden stated, “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen. We either back Ukrainian people as they defend their country, or we stand by as the Russians continue their atrocities in Ukraine… We need this bill to support Ukraine in this fight for freedom.”

Moderna Submits COVID-19 Vaccine for Younger Children

Moderna submitted their request for granted emergency use authorization (EUA) regarding new COVID-19 vaccines for children under the ages of six to the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, children above the age of five are able to be vaccinated in the US.

Regarding the submission, Moderna’s chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel stated, “We believe mRNA-1273 will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is so important in our continued fight against COVID-19, and will be especially welcomed by parents and caregivers.”

Naomi Judd Passes Away at 76

Naomi Judd, one half of the mother-daughter Grammy award winning duo The Judds, passed away. The singer, mother to her bandmate Wyonna and Ashley Judd, was dealing with mental illness as reported by her children through a statement released on Saturday April 30.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the daughters stated, “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.” 

Health clipboard graphic via Rita Azar for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Propel × BDHEA

The Propel Center, the global HBCU innovation and learning hub intended to level the playing field and open greater doors of opportunity for their students, announced the creation and launch of its Propel-BDHEA internships, a national program focused on select HBCU and other African American students interested in pursuing medical and related healthcare careers.

The internship partnership will reimagine health equity and advance the goal of the Black Directors Health Equity Agenda (BDHEA) to foster collaboration among top health systems. BDHEA programs address the social determinants of health, provide best practices, ensure equitable access to care and advocate for long-term, meaningful healthcare policies impacting Black people and other communities of color. BDHEA unites healthcare leaders in efforts to diversify their organizations and achieve long-term health equity. INROADS, Inc. will execute the program.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. will have up to 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians by 2032. This skills shortage in the medical profession is even more alarming as it relates to future healthcare professionals of color: Only 7.3% of those enrolled in medical schools in 2020 identified as Black or African American. “The Propel-BDHEA internship program addresses the urgent need to recruit and train Black healthcare professionals and to give them pathways to leadership in our nation’s top healthcare organizations,” said Michele Richardson, BDHEA board member and executive sponsor. “HBCU students are an incredible source of talent who can help bring quality care to under-resourced urban and rural areas, improving access to care and patient outcomes. The intensive Propel-BDHEA program cultivates the leadership skills that will magnify their impact on healthcare organizations and communities of color.” 

“We recognize that representation must be more reflective of the populations being served to bring about real, long term systemic change addressing these health disparities,” Propel Chief Development Officer Julie Sills Molock states, adding that “increasing the numbers of Black physicians is not only about diversity and inclusion; it’s also about establishing greater patient access to doctors with whom they can confide in, connect with culturally, trust and build a better overall patient-provider rapport. This ultimately leads to more preventive care and healthier African American communities, but it starts with initiatives like this collaborative internship with our phenomenal partners.”

INROADS has a proven, 50-year history of preparing young people from underrepresented communities for success in business and STEM careers,” shared Forest T. Harper, Jr., president and CEO of INROADS, Inc. “We know well that career disparities start with a lack of internship opportunities for African American students—with only six percent of paid internships going to them. We’re committed to our exciting new collaboration with Propel and BDHEA to address these disparities and are especially pleased to be a channel for providing the resources and expertise to execute this invaluable initiative. Our goal here is clear: To prepare and convert more African American students into healthcare professionals who can excel and make an impact in the communities they serve.”

With the guidance of INROADS, Propel and BDHEA will secure a total of 100 students for the internships, which are open to collegians and will serve as a unique opportunity for immersion, focused clinical study, leadership access and exposure that the partners believe will accelerate early talent development and help advance the nation’s diverse medical pool and workforce of tomorrow.

The selected interns will engage in innovative, work-based learning experiences, research opportunities with R&D-focused institutions, augmented academic coursework and mentoring. These future healthcare professionals will additionally benefit from unprecedented access to Propel, BDHEA and INROADS’ corporate partners and senior advisors, as well as select medical schools in collaboration with the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative (AUC) and specific HBCU medical and pre-med programs, while working on emerging medical health technology projects. 

Propel and BDHEA’s joint vision and commitment to health equity will ensure that all HBCU students have the access and ability necessary to achieve their full healthcare career potential. The partners emphasize that the most effective pathway toward eliminating persistent health disparities mandates leveraging data-informed strategies to help create a society where neither race nor poverty determines health or overall life outcomes.

Prime areas of focus for the new national internship program will include infant and maternal health, internal medicine, preventive and health equity, clinical algorithms, data science, telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, app development, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and more. To apply or find out more, interested students may click HERE. The application period is currently open, and all applications are due by May 1, 2022. The selected interns will be announced and matched to internships in May of 2022. Employers willing to sponsor interns may contact the BDHEA HERE.

About the Propel Center

Supported by founding partners Apple and Southern Company, the Propel Center is a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the entire HBCU community that will serve as a catalytic epicenter of learning, providing students with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources necessary to transform the nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Through a robust virtual platform, on-campus activities at partner institutions and a physical campus located in the Atlanta University Center, Propel will offer innovative curricula and unprecedented leadership opportunities to HBCUs across the nation in an effort to produce the next generation of capable and conscientious Black leaders.

ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE SALAZAR FOR USE BY 360 MAGAZINE

Top Stories – March

As we head towards another month is 2022, it seems as though this year will be quite eventful. Below are the top news stories for the final winter month!

Ukraine Huminitarian Crisis

The war in Ukraine is no longer just a story about a conflict between nations. It’s having an immediate impact on millions of people, creating multitudes of refugees, which in turn is creating a worldwide humanitarian crisis. It’s having an impact on global food insecurity since Ukraine produces a significant share of wheat supplies for other countries. While across the border, Russia also produces a large number of food experts, which are not inhibited by sanctions against the invading country.

Oil and gas experts from Russia are hanging in the balance as the West considers a ban on those imports. Financial institutions have sanctioned Russia, and the financial system in Ukraine has been impacted, causing a major economic disruption in that region of the world. The supply chain for goods from these countries and through them is being disrupted as a result of the violence. How can the West address and overcome all of these disruptions while taking a hard line against Russia’s aggression?

Ukraine Further Pushes No-Fly Zone

Ukraine’s defense ministry released a video of an edited hypothetical attack on Paris that would occur as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The ministry warned that this attack would be possible if a no-fly zone weren’t issued to prevent aerial attacks. The footage showed bombs going off near the Eiffel Tower.

Ukraine has called for a no-fly zone and other preventative measures in order to prevent Russia from overtaking more areas of the world. Many Ukrainian and global officials see the attacks against Ukraine as an unjust overtaking of territory. They consider Russia’s defense of the war as an attempt to prevent Ukrainian aggression as doctored. Others have suggested that the war is partially stemmed in history with Russia considering Ukraine and Russia to be the one and the same, as well as making note of Ukraine’s conveniently located Black Sea ports.

NATO has thus far been against a no-fly zone as that might invite Russian aggression towards NATO territories.

Jussie Smollett Sentencing

Actor Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail (around 5 months) and 30 months of parole after his 2017 scandal in which he lied to police officers about an attack that occurred against him. He was found to have paid for the attack to occur against him.

Smollett’s final comments before being taken away have been the result of much controversy. Smollett stated, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect your decision, but I did not do this and I am not suicidal. If anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.” Many have found this statement humorous, including actor 50 Cent, who joked that he would say the same thing if he were to appear in front of a judge again.

Ryan Coogler Detained

Film director Ryan Coogler, known for 2018’s Black Panther, was briefly detained in January at a Bank of America in Atlanta, Georgia. Coogler’s medical assistant asked to be paid in cash, thus the director wrote a note suggesting the money should be counted discreetly given it was an amount over $10,000. 

However, despite Coogler not being visibly armed, officers arrived and pulled guns out on the director, who appeared visibly confused yet nonetheless complied with their orders. He was handcuffed and escorted to a police vehicle, but released moments later once his identity had been confirmed.

Senate Confirmation Hearings

As Justice Steve Breyer left his position as Supreme Court Judge, President Biden appointed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is now being confirmed by the Senate. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked the judge about critical race theory, because Brown serves on the board of a school district with curriculum including critical race theory.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) made a false statement suggesting Brown referred to President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as “war criminals.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) later corrected him.

Baby via 360 Magazine

IVF Contracts

Natalia Wilson, managing partner of Ain & Bank, is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Washington D.C. and is one of the nation’s leading matrimonial lawyers. Ain & Bank is a boutique law firm offering bespoke legal solutions and protections to some of the country’s most high-profile individuals from captains of industry to leading figures in the entertainment and sports world.

Wilson consults with clients who require advice and firm guidance to resolve matters of relationship breakdown, management of custody disputes, and preparation of prenuptial agreements. In addition, Wilson is at the cutting edge of what the legal world refers to as “modern family creation” advising clients on the legal implications of assisted routes to parenthood including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and more.

The miracle of pregnancy and childbirth is revered by cultures across the globe. The creation of life on earth forms the basis of mythology, old wives’ tales, and spiritual teachings that have endured since ancient times. This combined with cultural and social expectations, makes many couples feel pressure to conceive. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, approximately 10 percent, or 6.1 million couples face infertility issues annually.

Expectant couples flaunt photographs of pregnancy gender reveals, birth announcements, baby showers, and beautiful, happy families celebrating on social media—adding to the pressure and disappointment for couples unable to conceive. For many, assisted routes to parenthood are the only options for possible conception.  

Every year, thousands of intended parents decide to pursue modern family creation. Thanks to modern technology and the normalization of gestational carriers, IVF and surrogacy are popular options for many. But what are the potential pitfalls of such an arrangement?

“Although I’m a divorce lawyer by trade, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see couples embark on the journey of parenthood,” said Wilson.  “Modern family creation is a dynamic area of family law and, unlike marriage, one in which many couples do not think about what might happen should their relationship end”.

Wilson points to the recently reported Virginia case of Jessee v. Jessee as a cautionary tale in which a trial court’s award of a frozen embryo to the wife in a divorce matter was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Wilson uses this judgment to illustrate the hurdles that some intended parents with stored embryos may face down the road and provides some helpful advice about what to consider when embarking on IVF.

Here are tips that couples should consider:

Is there a contract in place regarding what should happen to the frozen embryos in the event of relationship breakdown or divorce?

It is common for fertility clinics to provide proforma contracts stating that the ownership and/or rights to embryos are to be directed by court decree or settlement agreement. If the court has not yet issued a decree and if the parties have not reached a settlement agreement, there is no contract in place directing who should be awarded the embryos.

Don’t wait until things turn sour to determine the fate of the embryos. Spend time talking to each other about parenthood and what it means to each of you. Engage with experienced professionals who can represent your individual interests to draft an agreement much like a prenuptial agreement resulting in a contract recording what will happen to the embryos should the relationship end.

What does the court consider if it all goes wrong?

When parties do not have a contract in place dictating who should be awarded frozen embryos, the court will work to understand the interests of each party. The court will want to know why the parties engaged in IVF, whether each party is physically able to have biological children through other means and the impact that that carrying an embryo to term would have on the intended parent who may no longer wish to have children. The court will also try to understand whether one party is seeking the embryos simply to punish their former partner by preventing them from being awarded the embryos.  The court has broad discretion.  

Will the court compensate you financially if your ex-partner is awarded the embryos?

No. The issue of financial compensation is something clients struggle with. Many clients believe that to quantify the value of an embryo is tantamount to placing a monetary value on life. Others feel that it is their right to be awarded compensation in exchange for their genetic material.

Consider the full force impact of parenthood

When couples decide, whether by necessity or design, to embark on a journey to freeze embryos they must fully consider the implications of their choice. Although events leading to a decision to engage in IVF may have been painful, couples are afforded the time and space to think about the commitment they are making. Parenthood requires that couples recommit to each other as a parenting team and to the life for which they may ultimately be responsible.  Think about why you want to be a parent and what it is about your partner that you think will make them a great co-parent.

Talk to each other

How does your partner articulate their desire to parent? Are you entering parenthood to please each other? Does one of you want to parent a child more than the other? If your partner is more apprehensive than you are that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be a bad parent. Trust your instincts and communicate openly and honestly. 

Don’t get swept up in the wave

Even when pursuing IVF treatments, it is all too easy to get swept up in the idea of parenthood because it is something that society expects. The path to parenthood is not created equal and the strain couples experience when undergoing assisted fertility treatments can place a real burden on an otherwise carefree relationship. Work to futureproof from the very first steps you take, preparation and planning may just help to prevent great heartache down the road.

“Creating a family is not something anyone should rush into,” said Wilson. “Make sure that you work together as a couple to thoughtfully and fully think through all of the potential future scenarios and address them.” She added, “Although we all hope that we’ll live happily ever after, it’s always better to be prepared, and having these in-depth discussions upfront will help you to better understand each other and become a stronger team.”

headphones image by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

UTA × RapTV

Leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA has signed next-gen media company RapTV. UTA will work on expanding RapTV’s footprint through forming strategic partnerships, booking talent collaborations and tapping into new mediums in the ever-changing media landscape.

With a combined 36 million followers across social platforms including @Rap, @bars and @steez, RapTV has become one of the world’s largest digital communities. The company is focused on tapping into the zeitgeist through compelling news coverage, original content, and cultural relevancy. Founded by 28 year-old Daniel Snow, the digital empire boasts nearly 1.8 billion monthly impressions.

With his finger firmly on the pulse of today’s latest music news and growing popularity from rap fans across the globe, Snow has established the company as a primary outlet for record labels to share artist news and releases. RapTV has already partnered with every major record label including Columbia, Interscope, and Atlantic. The outlet also covers topics outside of hip-hop and has collaborated with top brands such as BMW, McDonald’s, and Chipotle. Most recently, the RapTV team launched content partnerships with TikTok and Facebook to showcase upcoming talent in the hip-hop industry.

“RapTV is one of the most forward-thinking media companies in the business and we are excited to partner with them to amplify their vision,” said UTA’s Akhil Hegde. “We are looking forward to bringing in new opportunities that continue the expansion of the RapTV brand while simultaneously elevating our hip-hop clients in the news.”

“We are thrilled to work with UTA, an industry leader in talent management,” said Snow. “Our focus at RapTV this year and beyond is centered around original content programming and we are confident that UTA will be a huge part of our success with this initiative. We are lucky to call them our partners as RapTV looks to become the number one hip-hop music and culture outlet on the internet.”

About RapTV

RapTV is a next-gen media company that has built one of the world’s largest digital communities. RapTV is focused on continuing to push the culture forward through relevant news coverage, original content, and being at the heart of what’s relevant. With a rapidly growing following, RapTV is poised to continue taking over the industry. Along with growing popularity from rap fans across the globe, RapTV has become one of the primary outlets for record labels to distribute information pertaining to their artists. RapTV has also begun covering relevant topics outside of hip-hop and has had success collaborating with brands such as BMW and Chipotle. In this sense, RapTV is on its way to becoming much more than a digital community, but a global driver of culture. 

illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Reality Flag Campaign

the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization—launched the Reality Flag campaign: An ambitious, nationwide public awareness campaign to highlight the many basic freedoms missing for LGBTQ+ people in states across the country, and to galvanize public support for the Equality Act—historic federal legislation that would ensure comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. At the heart of the campaign is the evocative Reality Flag—an altered version of the American flag with 29 of its stars removed, representing each of the 29 states lacking comprehensive protections for LGBTQ+ people, underscoring the ‘reality’ that millions of LGBTQ+ people lack a number of protections and basic freedoms.

The Reality Flag campaign aims to bring its message and powerful imagery to audiences both on and offline: As the campaign debuts HERE and across a number of national media platforms, an 85-foot-long banner featuring the “Reality Flag” will be unfurled and fanned out across the front of the Human Rights Campaign’s iconic headquarters in Washington, D.C., just six blocks from the White House. But the campaign’s most compelling content launches in a series of powerful video ads created by Emmy Award-winning director, producer, and creator of Amazon’s Transparent, Joey Soloway, who showcases the real stories and lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people impacted by discrimination—using the video vignettes to not only underscore the urgent need for the Equality Act but to also inspire and move audiences to take action.

“The Reality Flag campaign is designed to point out the inequalities LGBTQ+ individuals face every day—in our own voice,” said Joni Madison, Interim President at the Human Rights Campaign. “From housing and educational discrimination to denial of government and health services, LGBTQ+ people are confronted by hurdles to simply exist every day. Something is seriously wrong when state legislatures around the country are attacking LGBTQ+ rights for political purposes, forcing families to pack up their homes and move to another state so their children can have equal rights and legal protections. This needs to change. The Reality Flag not only calls out the 29 states where basic freedoms are still missing for millions of people but stands as a symbol of hope that communities can rally behind to enact meaningful change.”

Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people have reported experiencing discrimination in their personal lives. The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit federal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life—including housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. Millions of LGBTQ+ people in the United States remain vulnerable to being evicted from their homes, kicked out of a business that’s open to the public, surcharged unnecessarily for goods and services, or denied health care, home loans, taxis/car-sharing, and government services in a majority of states simply because of who they love or who they are.

“When I was approached about partnering with HRC on this campaign, I jumped at the opportunity and immediately signed on—not only because of the important opportunity to help lift up stories and amplify the voices of LGBTQ+ people across the country but because I believe this campaign has the potential to fundamentally shift the conversation around equality in a way that brings more people together than ever before to ensure we are all equally protected and represented under the law,” said Joey Soloway. “Just meeting and working with the amazing LGBTQ+ people who shared their stories of discrimination in front of the camera meant so much to so many of us behind the camera—especially since a majority in our production crew identify as LGBTQ+ and could relate to the experiences of the brave storytellers we worked with. It’s an honor to be able to do this work, and to be a part of this important campaign.”

The Campaign: Showcasing LGBTQ+ Stories, Reaching Tens of Millions

The Reality Flag campaign, produced in partnership with a team of agencies from worldwide marketing communications leader WPP, will roll out over the course of several weeks, which will include limited production of printed flags as well as compelling content debuting across traditional and social media platforms. While the campaign seeks to galvanize public support for the Equality Act—and driving audiences to take action—it also underscores the importance of lifting up and showcasing the real stories and lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people impacted by discrimination. These stories (primarily featured in the video vignettes created by Soloway) will be amplified through both an advertising campaign (including partnerships with 20 national media platforms, achieving an anticipated 30 million-plus impressions during launch, including TV, print, display, video, audio, cinema, OOH, social, and search) and an influencer activation campaign (working with major national influencers committed to amplifying campaign content and videos across networks reaching tens of millions of followers).

Several of the LGBTQ+ people introduced to audiences in the campaign—and whose stories of experiencing discrimination are showcased in the video vignettes created by Soloway—include: 

  • Staci J (Indiana): Staci is a proud Navy veteran who served to protect the freedoms and rights of others at all costs. But, despite that pledge, a doctor in Minnesota refused to treat her or even touch her because she found out Staci is a lesbian. Staci did everything the U.S. asked of her, and more, yet was still denied healthcare simply because of who she loves.
  • Queen (Georgia): Queen is a transgender woman who experienced a denial of freedom at the hands of a North Carolina landlord. Queen called the landlord to make a repair, and once inside Queen’s home, he spotted a transgender flag. The two had a conversation about the flag, and he then proceeded to berate Queen for, “not living according to traditional American values.” Shortly after, he asked Queen to move out. Queen was denied the ability to keep housing simply because of gender.
  • Sara and Parker Cunningham (Oklahoma): Sara Cunningham is an author, activist, and founder of the non-profit, Free Mom Hugs, an organization that seeks to empower the world to celebrate and fight for the LGBTQ+ community through visibility, education, and conversation. Sara and her gay son, Parker, live in Oklahoma where he could be denied the freedom to live a life free of discrimination. Today, in his town, a business could deny him service simply because he is gay. 

The Need for the Equality Act

In February 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act The Act ensures LGBTQ+ people can live free from fear of harassment and discrimination by guaranteeing the same federal anti-discrimination protections and basic freedoms that others have enjoyed for decades—and expands protections for women, people of color, and people of all faiths.

“Many LGBTQ+ people across the country are still missing the basic freedoms that millions of others enjoy,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President, Policy & Political Affairs. “Too many people—both those directly affected and those who aren’t—are not fully aware of the true scope of the disparities. The Reality Flag is intended to be a wake-up call for the country. By bringing attention to the stories of those whose rights are being curtailed, the campaign will build support for action to bring an end to those disparities.”The Equality Act has been endorsed by more than 630 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care, and faith-based organizations. It is backed by more than 500 companies employing more than 15.3 million people across 33 U.S. states with a combined annual revenue of $7.2 trillion. It has overwhelming support among business and corporate leaders, which includes more than 60 business associations—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers—and more than 160 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, General Electric, Harley-Davidson, Home Depot, Honeywell, Kraft Heinz, Levi Strauss & Co., and Target, among many others.