Posts tagged with "opportunity"

Lids Foundation × Boys & Girls Clubs

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore joined elected officials and community leaders to break ground on the new Mace’s Lane Community Center. The state-of-art Center will be home to a one-of-a-kind, a generational project that is designed to honor the history of the African American educational experience in Cambridge, while inspiring the next generation.

The groundbreaking ceremony included guest speakers Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, LajanCephas, Acting Mayor, and Cambridge Commissioner, Pastor Keith Cornish, President, Mace’s Lane Community Center, Inc., Jeff Breslin, President, and CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan. Baltimore, and Nik Tatum, Chair, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore Board of Directors.

“This new community center is just one of the many important redevelopment projects happening in Cambridge, and another way that we are honoring the commitment we made eight years ago when I was first running for governor,” said, Governor Hogan. “I said then that if I was elected, the war on rural Maryland would be over, and communities that had been ignored and neglected would no longer be forgotten. I meant what I said, our administration has consistently proven that over and over again, and we are doing that once again here in Cambridge.”

The new Center is designed to foster inclusive community participation and provide an environmentally safe and friendly facility for the arts, education, recreation, celebration, and locally based human services to increase opportunities for the personal and collective growth of the Dorchester County community.

The former Mace’s Lane High School building will be repurposed and redeveloped to serve as a 16,000 square foot community center. The facility will include multiple meeting rooms to facilitate training as well as organizational meetings, a full-size gymnasium which can also be used as an auditorium for larger events such as concerts and banquets, Incubator space for local community-based programs, and a museum depicting the history of Maces Lane High School and the education of the African American community during segregation and after integration.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore is proud to partner with the Cambridge community, the Mace’s Lane Community Center, Inc., and the many alumni that are helping to bring the vision for this state-of-the-art facility to life.  We stand ready to continue our support of the Cambridge community and look forward to expanding Boys & Girls Club programs in the renovated Mace’s Lance Community Center and Boys & Girls Club.” said Jeff Breslin, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore. Guests received a commemorative hat, provided by LIDS. The LIDS Foundation is a supporter of the Mace’s Lane project.

Once known as Mace’s Lane High School during times of segregation, the facility was an all-African-American high school that opened in 1952, and continued to be a segregated high school until 1969. During that time, all African-American students that lived in Dorchester County, MD were required to attend this school, until the County was forced to integrate in 1969, this would later become a junior high school until 2004. Eventually, a new middle school was built from the ground up and since then, the original Mace’s Lane High School has been abandoned and empty.

“We are preserving our rich history, inspiring our community, and empowering our youth for success,” said Tyrus Farrow, Sr. Project Manager for Mace’s Lane.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland

Boys & Girls Clubs of Maryland (BGCMD) is a relentless champion for youth across the entire state, doing whatever it takes to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full
potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Local Boys & Girls Clubs across Maryland play a critical role in meeting the needs of youth and families in their communities at more than sixty locations in thirteen counties, with plans to expand our footprint
to reach more than 45,000 youth in all 23 counties.

Consisting of nine independent organizations, BGCMD exists to unite and strengthen the efforts of individual Boys & Girls Clubs by enhancing our shared brand, facilitating collaboration, securing large-scale financial support, and identify ways to serve more young people in Maryland.

Learn more and get involved HERE

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore (BGCMetro) ensure every child has access to a great future by providing caring mentors, a safe environment, high-quality programs, and unique experiences. BGC Metro’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. BGC Metro serves over 650 youth annually in nine Club locations including Baltimore City, Salisbury, Laurel, Pocomoke City, and Cambridge.

John Vitti, CEO of VersusGame, headshot via Luxure Group for use by 360 Magazine

Millennials and the Metaverse: Here’s where Gaming and Engagement Come into Play

The digital age has taken over our daily lives. We now have technology that does everything for us – wake us up, read us our daily news, count our calories – the list goes on. But what the digital age has done for us most: provide fun and engaging ways for us to spend our downtime. 

The gaming universe has become one of the most flourishing industries of all time. With millions of games to choose from, like Bubble Hit, people of all ages can connect, engage, and enjoy. Recent reports show that the younger the generation, the higher the likelihood of engagement in the mobile gaming industry. Studies have shown that every 8/10 Millennial and Gen Z consumers are playing video games. Gaming is even on track to replace movies and television as the preferred form of entertainment. With numbers like this, it is a no brainer to begin ventures into this highly grossing marketplace. 

This thought is actually what created the staple of today’s gaming: the metaverse. With gaming on the rise, something had to be done to take it to the next level. The metaverse is an immersive virtual reality. Gamers enter this virtual world, “live”, and participate in activities in this virtual world. You may, in fact, have seen or heard of the metaverse in many different aspects besides gaming. The idea of NFT’s/cryptocurrency, for example, is another aspect of the metaverse. Games like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite are examples of popular gaming sites that have immersed their users into the metaverse. 

But what exactly about the metaverse makes it so attractive? 

You can have fun with your friends anywhere,anytime. In the past, games could only be played together in person. But the metaverse extends the fun. Just the click of a button can take you into a new reality with all your friends. But the metaverse does more than just connect you with your friends – it can actually make you money. 

“I want to level the financial playing field and give the masses the opportunity to reach financial wealth,” remarks CEO John Vitti of VersusGames

Vitti transcended the already futuristic metaverse by going a step above and beyond – instead of simply having fun, you can have fun and earn money. VersusGames is a prediction-based gaming app, allowing you to make predictions that test your knowledge on all things pop culture. You enter a one-on-one match up, earning money through correct predictions. In addition to those earnings, by referring a friend, you earn 5% of their earnings. Players are earning so much that they’re even quitting their jobs! Here, the idea of the metaverse takes on a new meaning. The metaverse extends from the virtual world to reality, allowing you to turn your gaming into real-life profit. 

VersusGames also allows influencers and celebrities to engage with their fans. As creators host games, they are able to earn consistent profits from their engagement. Unlike other big tech giants that only have a small pot of funds for all of their creators, VersusGames ensures creators get value for their time. But VersusGames is more than another PR opportunity – celebrities like Kevin Hart, Jason Derulo, and internet superstars Josh Richards and David Dobrik find VersusGames a meaningful way to form genuine connections with their fans. 

VersusGames is a great example of how engagement is enhanced through the metaverse. By turning virtual fun into real-life profit, consumers aren’t just engaging with the product once, but consistently coming back for more. Besides a higher retention rate, the metaverse provides another layer of enhanced gaming. With tools like virtual reality sets, you aren’t simply playing a video game, you are inside of one. Gaming goes from a 2-D to 3-D experience. The physical gaming experience has become more immersive than ever, as well as the real-life opportunities that go with them. Gaming isn’t simply a passtime anymore. Thanks to the metaverse, it has become a lifestyle. 

With every innovation comes its skeptics. Many are worried about the impacts of the metaverse on privacy. With new technology like the metaverse, so much is unknown. From tracking your physical movements and patterns when you play games, to tracking personal and financial information in transferring gaming money to money in the bank, a lot of consumers are worried about the implications of these actions. Companies are ensuring that with this brand new technology, consumers remain the priority. Privacy laws regarding the new metaverse technology are now being developed to protect consumer privacy first and foremost. 

Another fear with the metaverse is its implications on its players’ physical and mental health. By entering such an immersive world, some players have experienced a feeling similar to a hangover or depression period after exiting the game. When switching from such an exciting and immersive world, the switch back into reality can sometimes be challenging. Companies like VersusGames have worked to ease the transition by providing real-life opportunities for advancement from the games, and allowing social interaction to be a large part of the game. By staying connected to others in the metaverse, players’ confidence in their abilities to interact is high, helping bridge the gap of social anxiety, and encouraging more genuine connection in reality. 

To sum up, here are the key features the metaverse provides your gamers:

  • An immersive and engaging gaming experience
  • Opportunities for profit
  • A great way to connect with friends/family

Gaming is redefining the entertainment industry. As the younger generations are now engaging with entertainment more often, gaming has become at the forefront of priorities. The era of the metaverse is here – it is time to get on board!

Tech created by Ho Szemui at 360 Magazine use by 360 Magazine

IP PARIS PRESENTS A WORKSHOP

Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris), a major player in French innovation, will present 21 high technological value start-ups at the 6th edition of VivaTech, taking place from June 15 to 18, 2022. On Friday, June 17th from 10:30 to 11:45 am (French time), IP Paris will present a workshop “Tech the challenge for society,” highlighting the latest game-changing research projects conducted within its existing interdisciplinary centres (E4C on Energy and Climate, and Hi! PARIS on AI and Data Analysis) and upcoming ones (in Arts, Science and Society and Bioengineering). The programme of this workshop can be found HERE.

With 3 incubators, 82 start-ups incubated in 2021, including 44 new ones, 1,400 million raised by start-ups founded by IP Paris alumni in 2021, 35% of Next40 start-ups and nearly 25% of French Tech 120 start-ups founded/managed by alumni or from its incubators, 30 laboratories and a community of nearly 1,000 researchers, 50 patents and software applications filed this year, Institut Polytechnique de Paris is asserting its position as a key player in technological innovation in France and internationally.

For this sixth edition of VivaTech, 21 start-ups from IP Paris’ ecosystem will take turns to present their innovations to professionals and the general public within the framework of the six major themes established by VivaTech: innovations related to the fight against global warming and the energy transition, tomorrow’s mobility, future of work, diversity, decoding Web3 and the promotion of the European tech ecosystem.

How can we meet the needs of maritime players, reduce production errors in industry with microchips, contribute to the rehabilitation of children with specific learning disabilities, benefit from an evolving work environment, help merchants to grasp the entry into the world of Blockchain and Web3, or reduce the vulnerability of companies via cybersecurity?

For four days, they will be taking turns on booth C48 to present their products and/or services. As a must-attend event, VivaTech will represent a significant opportunity for them, accelerating their contact and business prospects and it will allow IP Paris to present both its start-ups acceleration and incubation programmes.

Representatives of the Drahi-X Novation Center and the Télécom Paris Novation Center will also be present on the booth to introduce their incubators, accelerators, prototyping spaces, investors’ clubs and VCs, as well as their international support.

On Friday, June 17 from 10:30 to 11:45 am (French time), IP Paris will present a unique workshop in English, “Tech the challenge for society”, also live on Linkedin, highlighting the innovative research projects carried out by Institut Polytechnique de Paris, within its interdisciplinary centres, on Satellites for Solar Energy ConsumptionNext Generation of Machine Learning for BioMedical ImagingPreserving the World Heritage in the Metaverse and Creative AI: Combining Knowledge, Learning and Control.

Health clipboard graphic via Rita Azar for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Special Olympics NY × ACA/NY

Special Olympics New York and Advance Care Alliance of New York (ACA/NY) come together to guarantee proper retrieval of healthcare services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The groups come together to declare their objective of diminishing health inequalities for these groups of people by generating new opportunities.

Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York spoke on the partnership, stating, “This is one of our most exciting health collaborations yet. Through extensive cross-promotion, support, and more, we plan to improve our already outstanding health care for individuals with disabilities in New York.”

New efforts have begun commencement, while members from ACA/NY assisted at the Special Olympics New York’s floor hockey tournament, the Winter Classic. The tournament took place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan which cultivated an energetic event for all those involved.

Jaime Madden, Chief Administrative Officer of ACA/NY recalls attending the Winter Classic, declaring, “It was a tremendous opportunity for ACA/NY to be a part of Special Olympics New York’s Winter Classic. What a sight it was to watch the extraordinary examples of teamwork and athleticism displayed by the athletes and coaches.”

While the joint partnership continues, Special Olympics NY promises to publicize crucial health info through ACA/NY’s Family Forum program, urging education of individuals throughout the region. ACA/NY has announced their commitment to many Downstate Special Olympics NY events during the course of the course of 2022. Moreover, ACA/NY has announced they will supply volunteers for Special Olympic NY’s Healthy Athletes projects, which aim to provide free health screenings and education.

“As we continue to grow our relationship with one another, ACA/NY looks forward to many more events of inclusion with Special Olympics New York,” says Madden. The groups co-hosted a Family Forum conference to discuss Special Olympics NY curriculum opportunities to ACA/NY families.

Television illustration via Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

New York Homicide Premiere

True crime programming Oxygen is delving into some of the most hair-raising and recent homicide cases in New York City with the premiere of “New York Homicide.”

New York is a popular and influential city for people around the world, with such an impeccable blend of cultures, customs and language. This new series delves into the crime scene of New York and the people that are doing work to put an end to these murder cases. Investigators take viewers through some of the most intricate cases with help from former and current detectives. The stories of each murder place focus on the families of the victims. Loved ones are able to communicate the impacts of each murder and show the investigation process that follows each homicide.

Some of the cases that are covered in “New York Homicide” include:

The Last After-Party – 26-year-old Joey leaves an exclusive Meatpacking District club at 3am and tells his friends he’s going to an after-party with some new people he met that night and is never heard from again. His loved ones join forces with the NYPD to solve the infamous case.

Deadly Spell – Mama Edna, resounding matriarch of the Haitian community in Brooklyn is found murdered in her home. NYPD dive deeper into the case, revealing a voodoo practice that leads to an unimaginable discovery.

New York Homicide” comes from Good Caper Content and premieres Saturday, January 1 at 10:00pm ET/PT on Oxygen. New episodes air Saturdays at 9:00pm ET/PT. For a sneak peak, watch HERE.

Plate created by Heather Skovlund at 360 Magazine use by 360 Magazine

Cooks Who Feed – Aprons for Kids

Cooks Who Feed has already provided over 300,000 free meals to those in need. Now they will further that mission with the sale of their new aprons for kids. Every apron sold will provide 100 meals for those who need assistance. The new aprons come in three color combinations, and two sizes, fitting ages 3-12. 

“We are really excited about our new aprons for kids,” explains Seema Sanghavi, founder of Cooks Who Feed. “Not only is there a great mission that the sale of them will support, but the aprons will help inspire kids to do more cooking, too. They are a win-win for everyone.” 

Made using only high-quality fabrics that are eco-friendly and sustainable, the aprons for kids are all handmade through fair trade. They also match adult aprons offered by Cooks Who Feed, offering people a fun opportunity for kids and parents to have matching aprons in the kitchen. 

Getting kids to cook is beneficial no matter what age they are. There is always something that kids can do to help learn to prepare meals, from preschool age through their teen years. It’s important to make sure kids are doing age-appropriate tasks, but that they get involved. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity highlights the importance of kids learning cooking skills from an early age, which will help with confidence, retention, cooking practices, skills, cooking attitude, and diet quality. 

Additional benefits that children learn by learning to cook and prepare meals to include:

  • Encourages an interest in food preparation and healthy eating habits.
  • Children learn a lifelong skill that they can use, as well as food safety awareness.
  • Kids get experience with following directions by using a recipe, as well as practicing math skills associated with measuring. They can also engage in scientific observations by seeing how foods change form during the preparation process.
  • They can help develop fine motor skills, as well as other skills related to various types of cooking, such as using your senses.
  • Kids can learn about family traditions by helping with meal preparation. This helps them understand their family more, as well as be in a position to carry those traditions on.
  • Cooking with kids can be a bonding experience that also creates great memories. It also helps to boosts self-esteem once they have successfully helped to prepare a meal.

“Kids who learn to cook are going to grow up with a great skill and hopefully a healthier diet,” added Sanghavi. “This holiday, getting them their own apron will help inspire them to get into the kitchen. Plus, it supports a charity, so that’s hard to beat.”

Parents and grandparents who want to get kids interested in cooking with them can encourage them to do so by letting the child pick what will be prepared. They can also encourage them by being supportive of their effort and how the dish turns out. Additionally, finding ways to make it fun is a good way to get them more interested, including getting them their own apron, a cookbook for kids, and a special cooking utensil. 

Cooks Who Feed brings food lovers together to fight hunger. For every apron sold, food waste is rescued and 100 meals are provided to those in need. The company’s mission also focuses on sustainability, ensuring that all of their aprons are eco-friendly, and are ethically handmade. 360 Magazine is pleased to cover an important organization for the people of the world.

The aprons for kids are available in three designs and are mini versions of their top three adult aprons. They are 100% 9oz cotton canvas, available in one size that fits ages 3-7 and one for ages 8-12. The aprons feature an adjustable neck strap, reinforced stress points, one double pocket below the waist, and a chest pocket. To see the aprons for children, visit the site: https://cookswhofeed.com/products/the-mini-chef-christine-cushing-apron.

Cooks Who Feed has teamed up with five celebrity chefs so far, offering handcrafted aprons, with sales of them helping to feed the world. The company offers individual sales online, a retail line, and wholesale/corporate gifting options. The aprons are produced ethically in Dehli, India, where 40 women are employed to make them by hand. To get more information or help support the mission, visit the site at: https://cookswhofeed.com.

LGBTQ+ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

People Mourn the Loss of LGBTQ+ Activist James Hormel

Following the news of the passing of longtime People For board member, LGBTQ+ advocate, and the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel, People For the American Way President Ben Jealous and People For the American Way Founder Norman Lear released the following statements:

“Jim was a true hero, so full of courage, humor and generosity,” said People For President Ben Jealous. “As a longtime board member of People For the American Way, he understood that building power among young people was critical to the future of our democracy. Jim was a truly kind and lovely soul, and his loss will be felt deeply. Our hearts and prayers are with his husband Michael and their extended family.”

“I loved Jim Hormel deeply,” said People For founder Norman Lear. “Through the years he was an incredible asset to People For the American Way, a provider of ideas and insights and deep understanding. He was also a fighter, passionate about so many issues we hold dear, from voting rights to free expression and the fight against censorship. I will miss him tremendously.”

About People For the American Way

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

E-Learning Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Creative Ways of Learning

How the Pandemic Opened Doors for Creative New Ways of Learning

When the pandemic shut down schools in 2020, parents were forced to pay closer attention to what their children were – or were not – learning, and to take a more active role in their students’ education. It made for an unwelcome disruption in everyone’s lives. But within this homelife upheaval, the disruption of school also provided an opportunity to re-evaluate how learning takes place, and what families can do to make things better, says Emily Greene, the author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World.

We’ve gained a new perspective, and this is our chance to update our outdated education system for something better, to shift our mindsets, and to rekindle our children’s joy in learning from the inside out,” says Greene, who herself is a working mother of three children. “I think many of us are beginning to recognize and appreciate new ways of learning that do not necessarily conform to the traditional format of school. Outside of the school building, we’re seeing learning happen anytime, anywhere, with anyone, in formal and informal ways.”

But a question arises: If it’s time to rethink education in America, what is the way forward? For Greene, part of the answer involves simply setting aside outdated ideas about learning and embracing a new way of thinking about what school should be.

Parents don’t need to wait for the school board, teachers, or others to act. She says some steps they can take themselves include:

  • Unlearn outdated beliefs about school. The traditional model of education is over 100 years old, which means people need to unlearn it, Greene says. Among other things, school is viewed as a daytime activity in a brick-and-mortar building where children the same age learn the same things, and tests measure how well they’re doing. “Maybe we flip that,” Greene says, “so that we view learning as an anytime activity where kids of all ages have learning options, creative thinking is expected, and success is measured by curiosity rather than test scores,” Greene says unlearning has three steps. “First, we let go of status-quo beliefs that are no longer valid,” she says. “Second, we replace outdated thinking with a new mindset that could work better. Finally, we rebuild day-to-day life around a new way of thinking about school.”
  • Nurture curiosity. Children are naturally curious, but structured education doesn’t always allow them to follow their innate desires to know or learn something, Greene says. Parents can help nurture curiosity by asking children questions about what interests them, she says. Parents should also be sure to listen to their children and elicit questions from them rather than jump in with advice, opinions, and answers. “I remind parents that curiosity is innate. All children are naturally drawn to things they find interesting,” Greene says. “With practice, kids can learn to activate their curiosity to transform everyday learning into a more joyful experience.”
  • Encourage creativity. Schools don’t kill creativity, but the conformity required at school does smother it, “leaving it gasping for air,” Greene says. “Creativity is stifled by standardization, evaluation, and pressure to conform to the structure of the school system,” she says. Interestingly enough, the pandemic helped show children the importance of creativity and innovation, she says. “They saw stores and restaurants adapt to changing conditions by offering curbside pickup and social distancing,” Greene says. “Many kids watched their parents adapt to a new way of remote working. These things make an impression, showing children that creativity enables us to adapt and solve real problems.”

Through this pandemic, we have all suffered, but we also have learned so much,” Greene says. “The disruption of school gives us the perspective needed to make a lasting difference in the way our children learn. What a waste it would be to just settle back into our old ways.”

About Emily Greene

Emily Greene is the author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is co-founder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

guitar, rock, strum, tabs, strings

How Women Can Overcome Music Industry Challenges

By Deborah Fairchild

If someone were to ask me how I managed to thrive in a male-dominated industry and rise to the position of president at VEVA Sound – and how other young women could similarly succeed – here would be my response:

For me, it has always been about focusing on the work and knowing that if you just do that, everything else will take care of itself. When something needs to happen, just get it done. 

Get it done even if it seems like a menial task. Get it done even if there’s no immediate reward being dangled in front of you. And get it done even if there is no clear indication that what you’re doing will result in a promotion, a raise, or other good things happening somewhere down the road.

Putting in the time and effort doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the music industry (and likely not in any industry). But success can’t happen without that time and effort.

This approach to the working world goes all the way back to my first studio internship. Whatever task was placed before me and needed to be accomplished, I would do it – right down to the unfulfilling but necessary job of cleaning the toilets. (And yes, I actually cleaned toilets. The music industry isn’t always a glamorous world.)

I think that I knew, even at a young age, that if I just kept my attention on the work at hand, and concentrated on what I was doing versus what everyone else was doing, success would find me.

That proved to be true, and this approach continues to pay dividends for me to this day – and maybe could do the same for young women who are probably much like I was several years back, cultivating dreams and ambitions.

In my case, I always loved music and I also had a technical mind. It was a matter of taking those two things and mixing them together, which is why I got my degree in audio engineering. Once I finished college, working as an archival engineer gave me a steady income and allowed me to be around music all day. The rest is history.

Of course, all of this still leaves the question of whether it Is more difficult for a woman than a man to achieve success in the music industry. Certainly, women are underrepresented in our industry, as they are in many others. To give you an idea of that underrepresentation, a study released in 2019 by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative looked at 700 popular songs. What that study found was that women accounted for only 21.7% of artists, 12.5% of songwriters, and 2.7% of producers. 

I also can report that over the years I have encountered situations where a man could do or say one thing, but I know it would be unacceptable for me to do or say the same thing.

So, yes, a young woman with ambitions to enter our industry will face challenges, but those challenges shouldn’t deter you. 

After all, the music business is hard for everyone – male or female. Breaking in is tough. Then navigating the business once you’re in is difficult. Finally, it can be extraordinarily challenging to continue to succeed in the business over time, even after you’ve had your initial success. 

The key is to set aside any negative thoughts about all those challenges and focus on what you can control. Be determined to do the work and strive to learn everything you can from everyone you can. 

People are fond of saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s true only to a degree. Who you know may bring opportunities initially, but what you know gives you staying power in this business. 

Ultimately, knowledge and determination have been the two most important factors in my success. They can be for others as well.

About Deborah Fairchild

Deborah Fairchild, president of VEVA Sound (www.vevasound.com), started her career with the company as an archival engineer in 2004. In the past 16 years, she has risen to lead the company in all facets of the business. She has grown VEVA into a global entity servicing major labels in North America and Europe, establishing offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London in addition to the company’s headquarters in Nashville. Fairchild has kept VEVA at the forefront of technology and continues to evolve and adapt VEVA’s services and technology to assist the needs of their extensive client base. She advises many label executives, producers, engineers and artists seeking archival and asset management solutions. 

Octavia Spencer illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Octavia Spencer × Ruderman Family Foundation

Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer today joined the Ruderman Family Foundation in calling on the entertainment industry to increase the casting of people with disabilities, including in on-screen roles that portray characters with disabilities.

“Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities,” Octavia Spencer says in a new public service announcement with the Ruderman Family Foundation

Appearing in a newly released public service announcement, Spencer recounts Hollywood’s long history of inauthentic representation and exclusion of marginalized populations — from men playing women until 1660; to white actors playing Black, Asian, and Native American characters; to LGBTQ stories getting left out of film and television until the last two decades.

“All of these communities of people had to endure not only their stories being told inauthentically, but also seeing themselves portrayed inauthentically,” says Spencer in a message filmed for the Ruderman Family Foundation. “But nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation. That’s why it’s imperative that we cast the appropriate actor for the appropriate role, and that means people with disabilities as well. Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities.”

She continues, “I am joining with the Ruderman Family Foundation to call on the entertainment industry to increase casting of people with disabilities. There is no reason that we should continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Together, we should and can do better.”

Spencer’s call amplifies the Foundation’s series of initiatives to foster greater inclusion in the entertainment industry.

Last December, the organization circulated an open letter calling on studio, production, and network executives to pledge to create more opportunities for people with disabilities, and to make more inclusive casting decisions. Among those who signed the pledge were Oscar winners George Clooney and Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar nominees Ed Norton, Bryan Cranston and Mark Ruffalo, Golden Globe winner Glenn Close, Oscar-winning director Peter Farrelly, accomplished actress Eva Longoria, and acclaimed filmmaker Bobby Farrelly.

A separate Foundation-initiated pledge to commit to auditioning more actors with disabilities was signed by CBS, while the BBC pledged to implement more authentic and distinctive representation of people with disabilities on screen. The Foundation also released a white paper showing that half of U.S. households want accurate portrayals of characters with disabilities, and despite that only 22% of characters with disabilities are authentically portrayed on television.

“As an Oscar-winning actor, Octavia Spencer embodies Hollywood’s vast potential to serve as a powerful catalyst for positive social change if studio, production, and network executives commit to more inclusive and authentic representation,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “We are gratified that Ms. Spencer has joined our call and we look forward to have other actors and actresses, filmmakers, producers and studios continue to create unprecedented momentum that brings about greater casting of people with disabilities.”

To view Octavia Spencer’s video message in full, please see here.

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