Posts tagged with "professionals"

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Georgia Tech Wins Entrepreneurship Competition

Georgia Tech Team Wins at Global College Entrepreneur Pitch Competition

Insight Optics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, won third place at the Third Annual TiE University Global Pitch Competition held on May 15-16, 2021.

Representing TiE Atlanta, the Insight Optics team consists of Dr. Aaron Enten and TJ Lagrow. Their business venture delivers a mobile-adapted platform which enables primary care physicians to efficiently detect early signs of avoidable blindness before permanent damage is done. The team was mentored by Greg Cory, Neeti Dewan and Eric Ensor from TiE Atlanta.

The team received a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by the Naadam Foundation, and a $4,000 grant from the REAN Foundation. Insight Optics was “best in class” at the Startup Bootcamp hosted by TiE Silicon Valley in early May.

Insight Optics competed with 27 winning teams from across the globe including teams from TIE Chapters in seven countries across three continents. The teams were mentored by local TiE chapters and supported by global workshops, startup bootcamps and mock sessions. There were 526 startup teams with 1432 students that participated in local TiE chapter college competition rounds.

First prize went to TiE Toronto’s ALT TEX whose founders are from York University and the University of Toronto.  Their venture focuses on sustainable textiles engineered from food waste by tackling two serious issues — food waste and the high levels of pollution caused by the fashion industry.

The second prize winner was TiE Dallas’ SURVIVR whose founder is from the University of Texas at Dallas.  The company aims to make communities safer by providing immersive and humanized police training using virtual reality.

Chapter winners went through a semifinal round on May 15. The virtual event was viewed by over 500 audience members from around the world, and TiE Atlanta’s executive director, Amyn Sadruddin, was instrumental as the MC for a semifinals track.  Worldwide teams pitched diverse business ideas such as bio-toilets, career fulfillment tools for higher education, technology-enabled artificial limbs, and tech kits for 21st century education, among others.

The event also featured a fireside conversation between Prof. Jagdish Sheth from Emory University in Atlanta and Mr. Ronnie Screwvala of Mumbai. The co-founder and chairman of Upgrad, an online edtech startup, Mr. Screwvala inspired young entrepreneurs to take risks.  His book “Dream With Your Eyes Open” is a commitment to champion entrepreneurship and learn from failure.

This year, TiE University extended the concept of entrepreneurship to form a stronger ecosystem, even more strategically focused to dovetail multiple enablers, said Dr. Paul Lopez, Founder and Co-Chair of the TiE University Program. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, this year’s total cash prizes were $65,000, plus in-kind awards of over $600,000 to empower college entrepreneurs.

Eight university teams made it to the finals of the global pitch fest.  In addition to the top three winning teams, the other finalists were TiE Austin’s Clocr, a digital legacy management and emergency planning platform; TiE Chennai’s Kitab, a digital PDF-Reader that redefines the way technical literature and textbooks are consumed; TiE Dubai’s Small World that connects NGOs and high school students; TiE DC’s Early Intervention Systems that builds software and algorithms to enhance elder-care; and TiE New Jersey’s Sulis, a low-cost water sanitization device.

The keynote speaker on Finals Day was Sheel Tyle, Founder/CEO of venture capital global firm Amplo. Interviewed by TiE Coimbatore’s Pradeep Yuvaraj, Tyle has some advice for entrepreneurs, Whether you spend time doing something small or doing something big, it actually takes the same time. If you’re going to spend your precious time on something, do it where your time has the greatest impact on the world.

About the TIE University Program

TiE University, an initiative of TIE Global, aims to foster entrepreneurship among college students. University startup teams gain access to learning resources, mentorship by successful entrepreneurs and opportunities to participate in Hackathons, Startup Bootcamps, and Pitch Competitions. These interactions and experiences help startups take their business from a campus idea into a viable business.

About TiE Atlanta

TiE Atlanta is a top five chapter of TiE Global, a nonprofit consisting of 61 chapters in 14 countries, that generates prosperity through development of entrepreneurs in all stages by creating community and beneficial relationships to support them. TiE Atlanta develops entrepreneurs and startups through mentoring, education, investment, and networking. Learn more at their website.

Child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Child Friendly Faith Project

Child Advocacy Group Highlights Abuse in Religious Institutions for Child Abuse Prevention Month

With National Child Abuse Prevention Month underway, the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), a national nonprofit that educates the public about religiously enabled child maltreatment, is raising awareness of crimes against children perpetrated in religious institutions.

The CFFP is also drawing attention to a dangerous court decision that could prevent abusive institutions from being held accountable and offering a valuable resource to parents and guardians to help them determine whether they should enroll or continue to enroll their children in certain religious institutions.

The little-known ecclesiastical abstention doctrine (EAD) guides courts in deciding First Amendment, religious matters. While historically the EAD has been raised in cases relating to claims of wrongful termination, in recent years religious schools facing lawsuits involving allegations of child harm have pushed courts to interpret the EAD very broadly to get cases dismissed. In one recent case, the Episcopal School of Dallas was permitted to ignore its own legal contracts with parents and the emotional harm suffered by a child never came to light.

Given this alarming legal precedent, parents and guardians of children who have been harmed by private institutions could lose their right to seek relief in court, while the institutions might never be held accountable.

Parents who have children enrolled in private, faith-based schools (or are considering enrolling them) should be aware of the potential harm posed by the EAD. With this in mind, CFFP’s campaign is offering parents valuable tips on how to determine whether they should enroll (or continue to enroll) their children in private, faith-based schools:

  • Determine whether the institution your child is enrolled in (or might be enrolled in) could claim to be faith-based. Some private schools have stretched the meaning of “faith-based” as a way to be shielded by the EAD in court. Even if an institution seems to operate in a way that appears secular, as long as a facility, school, program, or daycare operation can claim that it has some sort of faith-based or spiritual component, it could convince a court that it should be protected by the EAD and cannot be sued for child abuse or neglect.
  • Read the school’s contract carefully. Many schools specify in their contracts how legal issues must be resolved. For example, some require parents to agree to mediation. It’s important to know what legal recourses you’re agreeing to. However, be aware that if a case goes to court, the EAD does have the potential to make contracts of religious school’s moot.
  • Ask to see a school’s child-abuse prevention policies & procedures. Those that take abuse seriously and proactively develop and enforce comprehensive abuse-prevention policies are usually open to making these policies available and may even post them on their websites.
  • Research whether the school has a history of abuse allegations. Conduct an online search using the name of the institution and words such as “lawsuit,” “sued,” and “abuse” to determine if it has been accused of abuse or of covering up cases in the past. Be extremely wary if you find a pattern of abuse allegations, even if you do not find information about final court decisions.
  • Explore the educational programs of secular private or public schools. Children can receive a high-quality education and experience at many different types of schools. Consider the offerings of private secular schools or public schools, which would be unable to raise the EAD in court.

Recent abuse cases

The CFFP has previously exposed issues of religious institutional child abuse and offered support to survivors and affected families. An example is its efforts to make public the decades-long, egregious abuses perpetrated at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Recently, other cases have also made the news:

  • Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) — Last February, the SBC’s executive committee voted to expel two member churches for employing pastors who were convicted sex offenders. One pastor, who had been with his church since 2014, had pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a minor in the 1990s. The other pastor led his church since 2018, despite having been on Florida’s sex offender registry since 1993. In 2019, the SBC published a report on preventing and responding to cases of sexual abuse and later launched its “Caring Well Challenge” that calls on all SBC churches to adopt the report’s recommendations. Unfortunately, the program is voluntary.
  • Circle of Hope Girls Ranch — The owners and operators of this faith-based boarding school in Missouri face more than 100 criminal charges of sexual, physical and mental abuse of girls in their care. Their arrests came after their estranged daughter, Amanda Householder, posted social media videos of former residents talking about the abuse they endured. In an interview with a Missouri TV station, Householder said that victims had been speaking out since 2007. “Why did it take ten years for anyone to do anything?” she asked.

A dangerous court decision

While it’s heartening that these cases are receiving public attention, it is possible that they, and many more like them, could be dismissed thanks to a legal precedent set by a Texas appellate court in 2018. The case involved the Episcopal School of Dallas which invoked a common-law doctrine known as the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine” (EAD). The EAD provides guidance to courts when weighing in on First-Amendment, religious matters. However, in the Dallas case, in which a father alleged that his son had been wrongfully expelled and in violation of school policy, it was applied very broadly and used to shield the school from being sued.

In another case involving Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, a district court, in recognizing the EAD, threw out a lawsuit filed by a mother whose son had endured repeated racist bullying by other students. The mother wanted the school to hold the perpetrators accountable after the school had only demanded a written apology and suspended them for one day. Despite emotional trauma suffered by the victim, the judge agreed with the school’s claim that a court should not “intrude upon a religious institution’s management of its internal affairs and governance.”

“The EAD allows courts to prioritize a religious institution’s desire for secrecy and avoidance of accountability over the wellbeing of children,” said CFFP founder Janet Heimlich. “In cases in which organizations invoke the EAD, the public may never learn what abusive or neglectful actions took place, and parents may unwittingly enroll their children in those schools.”

To schedule an interview with a representative of the CFFP, an affected parent or a survivor of religious institutional child abuse, contact Jeff Salzgeber  through email or (512) 743-2659 cell.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP) is a national, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to end religious child maltreatment by raising awareness of this issue through educational programs that benefit the general public, survivors, professionals, and faith communities.

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike

By: Heather Skovlund x Vaughn Lowery

The F-wheel A5 electric bike has all the perks to an e-bike that you could dream of having while headed to your destination. It sports 14-inch wheels, an ergonomically designed frame, seating for adults and kids, and is easy to maneuver and store tight spaces with its folding capabilities. While you’re likely to see tons of these types of e-bikes zipping around just about any city in China, it’s a fairly extraordinary e-bike in the US. 

Curb Appeal

Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the capability of the F-wheel A5 e-bike. The A5 is sleek and holds a trendy appearance with its 14-inch wheels and minimalist aluminum alloy frame. The A5 is designed for dense urban living with its durability, upgraded seat, and back seat perfect for transporting cargo (with bungee cords) or even a second person/child. The F-wheel is available in three colors: black, red, and white. This sleek e-bike is available in F-wheel A5 Standard as well as F-wheel A5 Deluxe. To customize the look of your new ride, look no further than Gabe Majalca, mastermind of Good Vibe Gliders for an enhanced flare.

Performance

With the amazing durability of the F-wheel A5, you will be able to sightsee in style and go shopping on a whim. The powerful 350W 48V motor will get you to your destination with ease with a max speed of 25KM/H. The F-wheel runs on a 7.5AH battery that is portable and removable, which is fantastic for charging. The added suspensions work nicely for a smoother ride with a noticeable difference in the seat post suspension. The acceleration is powerful, it has been reviewed at around 500W continuous and up to 750W peak for speeds. There are three different riding modes with the A5: Pure Electric Mode, Boost Mode, and Manpower Mode. The F-wheel A5 Deluxe is equipped with a LG lithium battery with a capacity of up to 21AH, with a BMS battery management system to help battery life up to 180KM.

Technology

As previously mentioned, the A5 has three different riding modes. The first, Pure Electric Mode, allows you to ride with no cycling of the pedals. The second, Boost Mode, allows you to pedal with an assist from the power source. Lastly, Manpower Mode, enables you to ride like a human-powered bicycle – no need to power on. There is a power display and real-time speed display in addition to the different modes offered: eco, medium and high. The A5 comes with two keys as well as two fobs to easily start the e-bike up. There is also an extra removable battery. The front and rear brakes work well as well as the front lights and taillights. There is a light on the back of the bike that lights up “EBIKE” which adds a subtle touch of flare to the bike. This e-bike is low maintenance without a derailleur or gears. The 14-inch tires are in a mag wheel – there are no spokes that need to be tuned or that will break. The F-wheel A5 weighs 22.5KG and easily folds up for easier transportation such as when you’re heading into an elevator, riding the Amtrack, climbing stairs or simply placing the e-bike in your apartment. Just simply fold the handlebars down, fold the frame in the front, fold the pedals down, remove the seat and you’re set. There are also sensors on the A5 to notify you if someone or something is too close the bike along with a lock on the battery.

Competition

Competition is very limited with the sleek improvements of the F-wheel A5 electric bike (formally DYU Smart Electric Bike D3). Priced at $700 and worth every cent. The closest competitor is the EB7 Elite Commuter from Swagtron. The next competitor would be the Flido D25 Folding Electric Commuter Bike. The electric bike trend has been on the rise due to communities embracing the go “green” activity. A review left on DYU’s website from Clayton Kent states that the A5 is the “perfect commuter bike enduring at least 70 NYC blocks a day” as well as “it has saved me a lot of money not having to use the train”. With the new improvements to the design and overall functionality to the F-wheel A5 electric bike, it is sure to be the front runner for delivery workers, professionals, and kids at heart.

Photo by Armon Hayes
Photo credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Piso 21 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Piso 21

“From Colombia to the world. I think we are in such a beautiful time that Colombia is shining for good reasons… Maluma, J Balvin, Karol G, Camilo, Greeicy, Us… it is an example of what we represent.”Lorduy

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21 in 21

21 Afro-Latinxs to celebrate in 2021 and beyond! 

By: Javier Pedroza

It’s Black History Month, which gives the planet time to reflect on how African American achievements have contributed to US history and how African achievements have contributed to the world. Although, don’t forget it is important to highlight and celebrate Black accomplishments year around. Due to the current global climate, it’s important to become more knowledgeable and celebrate the Afro-Latinx population for its contributions to US history and the world.

After 2020, it is an especially important time to embolden the community to take part in the celebration of Black culture. This year, the Black History Month theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” which explores the African diaspora and their contributions.

To really understand the African diaspora it is essential to acknowledge that there were more African slaves to Latin America than to the United States. “There were 11.2 million Africans who came to the New World in the slave trade and of that 11.2 million, only 450,000 came to the United States,” Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said in a discussion about his PBS documentary series Black In Latin America. He added, “The real black experience, in terms of numbers, is all throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

Today, Latinx should understand their roots, which have an undoubtedly long history of African heritage. Hispanics & Latinx identities are beautifully complex, multifaceted and multidimensional. A Pew Research Center survey of Latinx, adults shows that one-quarter of all U.S. Latinx self-identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, or of African descent with roots in Latin America. This is the first time a nationally representative survey in the U.S. has asked the Latinx population directly whether they considered themselves Afro-Latinx.

Many Latinos identify with their ancestral countries of origin – Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Peru, the Dominican Republic, etc. Others may also identify with their Indigenous roots and all of these experiences made contributions to Black History. A goal to have moving forward is to celebrate global Black History and continue to recognize the contributions African-Americans have made to the world, including achievements made by Afro-Latinxs & Afro-Indigenous people. It’s imperative for Latinxs to acknowledge their African & Indigenous heritage given that history and cultures are inextricably linked to slave trade in the Americas, genocide and the African Diaspora. 

Here’s a growing list of amazing Afro-Latino (a,x) heroes and their contributions. 

1. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg

(January 24, 1874 – June 10, 1938)

Place of birth: Santurce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, born to a Black mother and father of German descent, was a historian. Mr. Schomburg is considered to be one of the Fathers of Black History & a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Schomburg’s lifework consisted of research and preservation—work that would lead him to become one of the world’s premier collectors of Black literature, slave narratives, artwork, and diasporic materials. 

2. Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega 

(January 3, 1942)

Place of birth: East Harlem, New York

Contributions: Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega is an Afro-Boricua who established the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). Dr. Moreno Vega has been an advocate for cultural equity, cultural studies and education. As the second director of El Museo del Barrio, one of the founders of the Association of Hispanic Arts, Network of Centers of Color and the Roundtable of Institutions of Color, Dr. Moreno Vega has contributed to assuring that the contributions of African and African descendants are integral to the lives of civil society in the Americas. 

3. Celia Cruz 

(October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003)

Place of birth: Havana, Cuba

Contributions: Celia Cruz was a singer & recording artist born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century. Her many honors included three Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammys for recordings such as Ritmo en el corazón (1988; with Ray Barretto) and Siempre viviré (2000).

4. Dr. José Celso Barbosa 

(July 27, 1857 – September 21, 1921)

Place of birth: Bayamón, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. José Celso Barbosa was a Physician, Sociologist and Politician.  Known as the father of the Statehood for Puerto Rico movement, Barbosa was the first Puerto Rican, and one of the first persons of African descent to earn a medical degree in the United States.

5. Ruth Fernández (Ruth Noemi Fernández Cortada) 

(May 23, 1919 – January 9, 2012)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Contributions: Ruth Fernández, “El Alma de Puerto Rico Hecha Canción” (“The Soul of Puerto Rico Turned Song”) was a Puerto Rican contralto, actress, and a member of the Puerto Rican Senate. She was the first and only singer ever elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico. She was considered by many to be the Rosa Parks of Puerto Rico when she refused to enter the Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan through its back entrance because she was a woman of color. The owners of the hotel stated that blacks had to enter through the rear of the building, but during one evening where she was set to perform at the hotel’s ballroom, she marched into the hotel via its front entrance. After this event, the hotel changed its policy.

6. Cardi B (Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar)

(October 11, 1992)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York

Contributions: Afro-Latina Cardi B is a Dominican & Trinidadian rapper, songwriter, and actress raised in the Bronx, New York. Recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential female rappers of all time, Cardi B is known for her aggressive flow and candid lyrics, which have received widespread media coverage. She is the highest certified female rapper of all time on the RIAA’s Top Artists (Digital Singles) ranking, also appearing among the ten highest-certified female artists and having the two top-certified songs by a female rap artist.

She is the only female rapper with multiple billion-streams on Spotify and became the first artist to top the inaugural Billboard Global 200. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, eight Billboard Music Awards, five Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, eleven BET Hip Hop Awards and two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year awards. In 2018 Time magazine included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2020, Billboard honored her as Woman of the Year. 

7. Rosa Alicia Clemente 

(April 18, 1972)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Afro-Boricua Rosa Alicia Clemente is the 2008 United States Vice-Presidential Candidate, Producer, Journalist, Political Commentator & Scholar-Activist. Rosa is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. She is currently a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies of University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

8. Congressman Ritchie John Torres 

(March 12, 1988)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Ritchie Torres is an Afro-Boricua politician who is a member of the Democratic party. He is the US representative for New York’s 15th congressional district. Torres was the first openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx, and the youngest member of the city council. Torres won the November 2020 general election and assumed office on January 3, 2021. This makes him one of the first openly gay Black men elected to Congress (along with Mondaire Jones). This also made Torres the first openly gay Afro Latino elected to Congress. As such, he is one of the nine co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus in the 117th United States Congress. 

9. Zoe Saldana (Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario) *Trending Now

(June 19, 1978)

Place of birth: Passaic, New Jersey

Contributions: Zoe Saldaña is of mixed ethnic heritage, with her mother being of Puerto Rican descent and her father hailing from the Dominican Republic. Zoe is the only performer to get star billing in more than one movie that grossed over $2 billion worldwide with Avatar and Avengers: Infinity War. 

10. Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos 

(September 12, 1891 – April 21, 1965)

Place of birth: Ponce, Puerto Rico 

Contributions: Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos was a Puerto Rican attorney, social activist, nationalist and the son of a mixed-race mother who was the daughter of slaves and a Basque father from a farming and landowning family. The latter not only provided no financial support but also did not legally recognize his son until he was 19, and Albizu Campos grew up in poverty. In 1912 he was awarded a scholarship to study chemistry and engineering at the University of Vermont. He transferred a year later to Harvard University, majoring in chemistry and literature and becoming the first Puerto Rican Harvard graduate. Many people in Puerto Rico consider Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos the father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. 

11. Carmelo Kyam Anthony

(May 29, 1984)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Carmelo Anthony is an Afro-Latino professional basketball player. He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six-time Anthony also played in the 2016 Olympic Games, his fourth straight stint in the Olympics, which was a record for a US male basketball player, breaking the old record of having played in three Olympiads he shared with James and Robinson. He has celebrated his roots by giving back to Puerto Rico, remodeling basketball courts in a poor neighborhood 3 years in a row now. 

12. La La Anthony (Alani Nicole Vázquez) 

(June 25, 1981)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: La La Anthony is an Afro-Puerto Rican actress, host, producer and New York Times best-selling author. La La Anthony has supported charities such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Gabrielle’s, Angel Foundation, GLAAD and Voto Latino. 

13. Rosie Perez (Rosa María Perez) 

(September 6, 1964)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Rosie Perez is an Afro-Latina actress, choreographer and community activist. Rosie was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS by President Barack Obama in 2010. Among many honors, Rosie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fearless as well as three Emmy Awards for her work as a choreographer on In Living Color (1990–1994).

Perez has also performed in stage plays on Broadway, such as The Ritz, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and Fish in the Dark. In addition, she was a co-host on the ABC talk show The View during the series’ 18th season. 

14. MJ Rodriguez (Michaela Antonia Jaé Rodriguez) 

(January 7, 1991)

Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey

Contributions: MJ Rodriguez is an African American and Puerto Rican actress who is among the largest cast of transgender actresses on the show Pose. MJ made history by becoming the first Trans woman to ever sign a beauty deal with Olay Body. MJ was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Special Trailblazer Award at the 31st Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington D.C. 

15. Ramon E. Contreras 

(22-years-old)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York

Contributions: Ramon Contreras is a young political activist, advisor and filmmaker who is changing the nature of civic engagement by championing and encouraging minorities to participate in politics. Ramon is a fierce gun control enthusiast and founded YouthOverGuns, a platform advocating for change in underserved communities of color. He led a protest of thousands across the Brooklyn Bridge and is the National Strategist for the nation-wide organization, March for Our Lives. 

16. Laith Ashley De La Cruz 

(July 6, 1989)

Place of birth: Harlem, New York

Contributions:  Laith Ashley is a model, actor, singer-songwriter and entertainer of Dominican descent. He was the first transgender man to be featured in a Diesel campaign. Laith has been on the cover of countless magazines and has had featured stories published on countless others all around the world; ie, British GQ.

Laith was on the cast of the reality TV series, “Strut,” executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, and raised the heart rates of viewers in his appearance on hit series, “Pose,” on FX. Ashley is also an activist, particularly in transgender issues. He worked with FLUX, a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to trans and gender-nonconforming people. 

17. Dianne Morales 

(June 21, 1967)

Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York 

Contributions: Double Ivy League graduate Dianne Morales is an Afro-Boricua with degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. Dianne is the former CEO of several multi-million dollar social service nonprofits and is also the first Latina / Afro-Latina candidate for New York City Mayor. 

18. Johnny Pacheco 

(March 25, 1935 – February 15, 2021)

Place of birth: Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic

Contributions: Johnny Pacheco was one of the most influential artists of Latin music. He was one of the creators of The Fania All-Stars and Fania Record (#latinmotown), the most successful record label in the history of Latin music. 

19. Aida Rodriguez (Aida Margarita Parada Rodriguez) 

(August 29, 1977)

Place of birth: Boston, Massachusetts

Contributions: Aida Rodriguez is a comedian, host, producer, actress and the first Latina / Afro-Latina (Puerto Rican & Dominican) to appear in two comedy specials airing in one month on both HBO and Showtime. Aida’s latest comedy special premiered on Netflix as part of the “They Ready” series hosted by Tiffany Haddish. Rodriguez has also appeared on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, The Nightly Show, five-time host of the PBS Imagen Awards, NBC Last Comic Standing’s finals, TRUtv’s Laff Tracks and is also a regular contributor for The Young Turks. 

20. Indya Moore 

(January 17, 1995)

Place of birth: Bronx, New York

Contributions: Indya Moore is of Haitian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican ancestry. They are an actor among the largest cast of transgender on the show Pose. Moore does not identify as a Latinx, and instead identifies as Afro-Taíno. In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named them among the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.” 

21. Gina Torres 

(April 25th, 1969)

Place of birth: Manhattan, New York 

Contributions: Gina Torres is an actress and the first Afro-Latina to create, produce and star in her own show, ‘Pearson’. Torres won the ALMA Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Syndicated Drama Series for her role in Cleopatra 2525. Gina also received the Best Supporting Actress award by The Imagen Foundation (Spanish for “image”) Awards, the only premier Latino entertainment awards program dedicated to honoring the positive portrayal and creative excellence of Latinos and Latino cultures on screen. 

Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!

Award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

BESLA Honored by Recording Academy

THE RECORDING ACADEMY HONORS THE BLACK ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AT THE 23RD ANNUAL ENTERTAINMENT LAW INITIATIVE EVENT

Today, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) earns recognition by the Recording Academy at the virtual 23rd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Event & Scholarship PresentationBESLA stands out as a nationally recognized leader in legal education and professional development for lawyers and professionals in entertainment, sports, and related industries.

During a historic GRAMMY® Week among the nation’s most prominent entertainment attorneys, BESLA proudly received the 2021 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award. This achievement highlights leading entities that have demonstrated a commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through service. Additionally, BESLA celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2020 and commemorated the founding group of attorneys in Philadelphia during the First Annual Black Music Association Conference. Their actions sprung from a need to create a continual learning and networking environment for underrepresented attorneys in the entertainment industry, one that today reflects the incredible tenure adopted and developed over 40 years ago.

To continue elevating the trajectory for professionals of color, BESLA has recently committed to establishing an endowment that will support future generations of aspiring executives. This endowment serves as an acknowledgment of BESLA’s commitment to empowering and uplifting its community through service.

On the honorable mention, BESLAs Chairwoman Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard said, “We are honored that the Recording Academy has selected BESLA to receive the ELI Service Award for our commitment to creating an equitable, inclusive and diverse industry. While this award is in recognition of what we have accomplished to date, it is also a reminder that we must continue to create pathways for people of color to gain entry, access, and opportunities to excel in entertainment, media, and sports.”

As part of their mission to support and advance the excellence of professionals in entertainment and sports, BESLA has consistently opened doors for members via annual conferences, regional events, key initiatives, and most recently through the establishment of their endowment. Today, it continues to build on a 40-plus year legacy to advance people of color in the entertainment industry, as recognized by the 2021 ELI Service Award.

BESLA was founded by like-minded professionals who saw the need for an organization where collective experiences and knowledge could be shared for professional development, networking, and the advancement of people of color. Before BESLA, artists, athletes, lawyers, and professionals of color in the sports, entertainment, and legal professions were anomalies– exceptions to the rule. Black professionals like Muhammad Ali, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Thurgood Marshall, and Hank Aaron all fought uphill battles for fair and equitable treatment and the rights of others, like themselves, who did not have the celebrity, platform, or voice to call attention to their respective struggles. They were agents of change. They challenged the status quo and forced society to reevaluate their preconceived notions of the skills, capabilities, and ‘place’ of people of color.

As a result, the Black Entertainment Lawyers Association (BELA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1980. To incorporate growing opportunities in the sports arena, the name was changed to the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) in 1986.

Keep up with BESLA on Facebook and Instagram

Robinson Cano MLB illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Robinson Cano Suspended for PED

By Hannah DiPilato

Major League Baseball player Robinson Cano has been suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that Cano will be banned for the entire 2021 season. 

This is the 38-year-old’s second suspension due to testing positive for PED. In 2018, while Cano played for the Seattle Mariners, he tested positive for using diuretic and missed 80 games according to ESPN

At the time of his first offense, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he was unaware the drug was banned in the MLB. 

In the MLB, testing positive for a PED a second time will result in an automatic 162 game suspension. This rule is an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. 

Neither Cano nor the players’ union has made a statement about his second positive test for a PED. 

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano will have to forfeit his 2021 salary where he was set to make $24 million. According to Fox Business, Cano is still set to make $48 million between 2022 and 2023. The Mets are responsible for $40 million while the Mariners agreed to pay the remaining $8 million. 

The news of Cano’s suspension is great news for player DJ LeMaiheu. According to the New York Post, LeMaiheu would be the perfect player for either the New York Mets or the New York Yankees to add to their rosters. After rejecting an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, LeMaiheu is a free agent. 

After the loss of Cano for the 2021 season, the Mets are now in need of a starting second baseman. This adds to the list of starting positions that the Mets are seeking out since they are already looking for a starting pitcher, catcher and center field. The Mets could also start Jeff McNeil at second base, a position he would be comfortable in. 

Cano was traded to the Mets in 2018 sending player Jared Kelenic to the Mariners. Throughout his 16 seasons playing the sport, Cano is a .303 hitter with 334 home runs, 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves according to ESPN

Cano was on his way to achieving 3,000 career hits and was at 2,624 before his suspension. This suspension will certainly create uncertainty for the future of his baseball career.

BRAG Announces 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala

BRAG, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, has announced the 2018 honorees for the 48th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala will include Bloomingdale’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing Kevin Harter, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, and Balmain Managing Director Shawn Pean This year’s award ceremony will be held on Friday, October 19, 2018at The Edison Ballroom located at 240 West 47th Street, New York, NY at 6pm.

“We are so excited to celebrate these fashion industry leaders whose work history and efforts demonstrate visions that are aligned with our brand mission; to prepare and educate professionals, entrepreneurs and students of color for executive leadership roles in retail, fashion and related industries,” said BRAG co-presidents Nicole Cokley Dunlap and Shawn Outler.

Committed to attracting and cultivating a diverse bench of talent needed to drive innovation in the fashion industry, the 2018 48th Annual BRAG Scholarship & Awards Gala recognizes the achievements of exceptional individuals who are redefining the future of retail and fashion. Scholarships will also be awarded to college students who demonstrate an interest in fashion and have the aptitude to become future leaders.

Past BRAG Gala honorees have included fashion mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, supermodel Naomi Campbell, NFL superstar Victor Cruz, entrepreneur Magic Johnson, designer Zac Posen and Macy’s CEO Terry J. Lundgren.

Since 1970, BRAG has provided professional development, mentorship, and job opportunities for thousands of alumni through internships, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.  The annual gala is the organization’s marquee event that includes a three-course dinner, cocktails, music and entertainment, attracting the who’s who in fashion, art, entertainment, business and philanthropy, which, to date, has helped BRAG award over $1 million in scholarships to students who have achieved academic success and demonstrated a need for financial aid.

For more information on BRAG and/or the 2018 BRAG honorees please visit www.bragusa.org.  On social media, please follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Endothelial progenitor cells for treating stroke patients

A new study recently published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine demonstrates the long-term safety of laboratory-expanded endothelial progenitor cells for treating ischemic stroke. This could be good news for the 15 million people who, according to to the World Stroke Organization, suffer from this dangerous condition each year.

Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, affecting nearly 90 percent of all cases. It is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain. In the normal central nervous system, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an active role in building blood vessels. This has led researchers to wonder whether EPCs circulating in the blood could be recruited after a stroke to assist in repairing damaged vessels in the brain. However, there is one major problem with this idea: The number of circulating EPCs is too low to provide much regenerative capacity – a number that further decreases in the aging or in those with heart problems.

This makes ex vivo (lab) expanded EPCs an attractive alternative.

“Transplantation of EPCs was already determined in animal experiments to be a safe and effective method for treating ischemic stroke. However, their safety and efficacy had yet to be determined in humans,” said Zhenzhou Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, and a corresponding author on the study. “In our trial, we tested the safety and feasibility of transplanting an acute ischemic stroke patient with his or her own (autologous) ex vivo expanded EPCs.”

Eighteen patients were recruited for the randomized, single-blinded study. Each received conventional treatment after their stroke then, seven days after symptom onset, underwent a bone marrow aspiration to collect EPCs and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) for expansion in the lab. The patients were divided into three groups and, beginning at week four after the aspiration, one group was intravenously infused with their own EPCs, while the other two groups received either their own BMSCs or a saline placebo as the controls.

Each patient was then monitored for 48 months. Study co-author Xiaodan Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., also from Southern Medical University, explained, “We watched for mortality of any cause, adverse events and any new-onset diseases or conditions. Changes in neurological deficits were also assessed at different time points.”

In the end the researchers found no toxicity events nor did they see any infusional or allergic reactions in any of the patients. “The EPC group had less serious adverse events compared to the placebo-controlled group, although there were no statistical differences in mortality among the three groups,” Dr. Chen reported. “Ex vivoexpansion always raises concerns that it may cause instability in the chromosomes or maybe lead to tumors. However, in our long-term study we observed no increased tumorigenicity. This safety indicator was also confirmed by many animal studies and other trials using expanded bone marrow-derived stem cells for treatment of ischemic stroke.”

The researchers did note limitations in their study, including lack of patient-centered quality of life outcomes. “Moreover, because of the small size of the cohorts involved, we could neither identify the neurological or functional benefits of EPCs on ischemic stroke, nor determine the pros and cons between EPCs and BMSCs for stroke treatment,” Dr. Jiang said. “Thus, we believe a larger phase 2 trial is warranted.”

“This is a promising line of cell therapy research using a novel treatment method that is simple and non-invasive,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We look forward to larger phase 2 trial results.”

The full article, “Autologous endothelial progenitor cells transplantation for acute ischemic stroke: A four-year follow-up study,” can be accessed at http://www.stemcellstm.com.

About STEM CELLS Translational Medicine: STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), published by AlphaMed Press, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication dedicated to significantly advancing the clinical utilization of stem cell molecular and cellular biology. By bridging stem cell research and clinical trials, SCTM will help move applications of these critical investigations closer to accepted best practices. SCTM is the official journal partner of Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

About AlphaMed Press: Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two other internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS® (www.StemCells.com), celebrating its 36th year, is the world’s first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, entering its 23rd year, is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. All three journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines.

About Wiley: Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions, help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company’s website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

About Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF): The non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit, honouring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, and promoting educational initiatives.

NAMIC CHAPTER EXPANSION

NAMIC REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY WITCH CHAPTER EXPANSION

The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), the premier organization focusing on cultural diversity in the communications industry, is expanding its national footprint with the installation of two new chapters NAMIC-Virginia and NAMIC-Detroit. 

The chapters will be led by Vonya Alleyne, vice president, human resources, Cox Communications, Virginia Region, and Mikel D. Slater, vice president, human resources, Comcast, respectively.
“With a membership of more than 3,500 professionals across 18 chapters nationwide, we are dedicated to driving and developing a pipeline of diverse talent,” said Eglon E. Simons, NAMIC president and CEO. “Our chapter additions in Virginia and Detroit reaffirm our mission to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the workplace.”

Incorporated on May 31, 2017, NAMIC-Virginia will provide events and programs for communications industry professionals located in the Hampton Roads and Richmond markets, including Portsmouth, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Williamsburg and Newport News. The chapter is also committed to engaging local universities, technical community colleges and local media companies, as well as offering leadership, business and strategic development opportunities to its membership. 

More information is available on the chapter’s website at namicvirginia.com and LinkedIn, as well as on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

NAMIC-Virginia’s inaugural executive leadership team and advisory council comprise a diverse team of leaders with 100+ years of collective professional experience: 

NAMIC-Virginia: Executive Leadership Team

President: Vonya Alleyne, VP, Human Resources, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Vice President: Lakysha Laing, Director, Customer Care, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Secretary: Shinese Collins, Sr. Manager, Marketing, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Treasurer: Kenneth Rand, Business Manager, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Project Manager: Lakiesha Jones, Project Manager II, Cox Communications, Virginia Region
NAMIC-Virginia: Advisory Council

Stephanie Dewald, VP, Sales Centers, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Ramcess Jean-Louis, Director of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, Comcast

JD Myers, SVP and Region Manager, Cox Communications, Virginia Region

Kimberly Voxland, Director of Public Relations and Office Operations, Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association
NAMIC-Detroit was incorporated on June 12, 2017. The chapter is dedicated to providing innovative professional and leadership development programs and initiatives, and establishing mentoring and professional networking opportunities to the Detroit area. NAMIC-Detroit will also educate, develop, empower and advocate for communication industry professionals and entrepreneurs. Additional chapter information is available on NAMIC’s website at namic.com/membership/detroit/.

NAMIC-Detroitߣs inaugural executive leadership team and advisory council include the following industry professionals:
NAMIC-Detroit: Executive Leadership Team

President: Mikel Slater, VP of Human Resources, Comcast

Vice President: Mark S. Lee, President & CEO, The LEE Group LLC

Secretary: Jackie Underwood, Sr. Director of Human Resources, Comcast Heartland Region

Treasurer: Abhijeet Kumar, Manager of Product Sales Support and Analysis, Comcast Heartland Region
NAMIC-Detroit: Advisory Council

Andrea Agnew, VP of Human Resources, Comcast Spotlight

Pamela Dover, Sr. Director of Business Development, Comcast

Michelle Gilbert, VP of Public Relations, Comcast Heartland Region

Maria Holmes, Director of Community Investment, Comcast Heartland Region
NAMIC’s 18 chapters are the heart and soul of the organization and constitute the most accessible opportunity for members to cultivate the relationships and knowledge to leverage career growth. NAMIC chapters are also learning labs for leadership competencies most sought after in the industry. To join, visit http://namic.com/membership/.

ABOUT NAMIC:

NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on cultural diversity, equity and inclusion in the communications industry. More than 3,500 professionals belong to a network of 18 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that target leadership development, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC collaborates with industry partners to grow and nurture a workforce that reflects the cultural richness of the populations served. Please visit www.namic.com for more information about NAMIC and its many opportunities.