Posts tagged with "race"

Hot Wheels Legends Tour announces winner

Hot Wheels Legends Tour chooses winner

Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) announced today the winner of the 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am custom car, built by Riley Stair of Sacramento, will be inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends and will join the Hot Wheels collection as a 1:64 scale die-cast.

The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am is the third fan’s car to become a Hot Wheels die-cast and will hit store shelves worldwide in 2021. The announcement was made during the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Finale event by Ted Wu, Vice President of Global Design for Vehicles at Mattel.

Riley Stair’s build was chosen from thousands of cars entered in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, which had 14 stops throughout Europe, LATAM, Asia and North America. While all finalists who competed at the global finale event embodied Hot Wheels high standards or performance and design, the winning custom build was selected for its true representation of the Hot Wheels garage spirit.

“By going virtual, the third year of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour demonstrated tremendous growth, engaging over 10 million fans from around the world,” said Ted Wu, Vice President, Global Head of Design for Vehicles, Mattel. “With more vehicle entries this year than ever before, we know we found a special build that embodies the Hot Wheels challenger spirit with the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am. You see the vehicle and instantly know it is meant to be a Hot Wheels with the unique frame, engine, and purpose-driven build.”

The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am is a one of a kind race car engineered by Riley Stair on the side of his parents’ house. Revving up to 10,000 RPM, the vehicles motor is entirely custom built, and the foundation for the engine is a 400-cubic inch LS V8.

“To have my car immortalized as a Hot Wheels die-cast for car lovers of all ages to enjoy means the world to me,” said Legends Tour Winner Riley Stair. “To think that my car in a 1:64 scale could make a lasting impression for a young kid who loves cars, as Hot Wheels have for so many of us, is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see my nephew Noah pushing my car around the living room!”

A team of judges, including Hot Wheels designers, celebrities and automotive influencers, chose the Legends Tour winner for its authenticity, originality and garage spirit. The Legends Tour winner’s life-size car and die-cast version will also join the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, a collection of one-of-a-kind cars immortalized as Hot Wheels die-casts that meet the brand’s high benchmarks of style and performance.

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour Finale event was made possible in partnership with Mobil 1, Walmart, Ford, American Pinball, Hagerty and Horizon Brands. To learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour visit https://hotwheels.mattel.com/explore/en/legends-tour# and follow #HotWheelsLegends.

T.V. Illustration for 360 Magazine by Kaelen Felix

Bravo Presents “Race in America: Our Vote Counts”

With less than a month away from the most pivotal election in decades, media is increasingly involving themselves in the political conversation. Bravo counts down to the election of a lifetime with a pivotal conversation, Race in America: Our Vote Counts,” airing Sunday, November 1, at 10 PM ET/PT. The special will also be simulcast on E!. In this election, the Black vote is more important than ever before. Ten Bravolebrities and celebs are coming together to talk about the issues America faces today and to put it all in the context of Black history. The 90-minute special from Executive Producers Leslie D. Farrell and Dorothy Toran is produced by Lauren Grace Media. Kandi Burruss is also an Executive Producer. For a sneak peek, please visit here.

Host Nina Parker returns to the roundtable with celebs from across the NBC broadcast and cable entertainment networks for an open dialogue on the power of the black vote on both a local and national level. The discussion will also cover the vital role that local elections play in changing the system, the changes this new generation can make with their vote, and what effect the pandemic could have on people going to the polls. From the doctors speaking on how to safely vote in person to an emotional conversation on Black people’s voting experience and how it has affected them more than any other race in the country, this compelling special strives to educate, speak to the key issues, and ignite Americans to exercise their right to vote. The panelists include:

Gizelle Bryant from “The Real Housewives of Potomac”

Dr. Britten Cole from “Married to Medicine Los Angeles”

Zuri Hall from “Access Hollywood”

Dr. Heavenly Kimes from “Married to Medicine Atlanta”

Dr. Damon Kimes from “Married to Medicine Atlanta”

Tamica Lee from “Southern Charm New Orleans”

Jon Moody from “Southern Charm New Orleans”

Dr. Wendy Osefo from “The Real Housewives of Potomac”

Barry Smith from “Southern Charm New Orleans”

Justin Sylvester from “E! News”

All of these celebrities are working to use their platform to fuel productive conversations about race and politics in America. Tune in on November 1, just two days before election day, to take part in the national discussion. “Race in America: Our Vote Counts” is produced for Bravo by Lauren Grace Media with Leslie D. Farrell and Dorothy Toran serving as executive producers. Kandi Burrus is also an Executive Producer.

Rob DeCou and son in a photo for HOPE61

HOPE61 x Rob DeCou

HOPE61, the human trafficking prevention ministry of One Mission Society, is joining forces with ultra-endurance athlete Rob DeCou for the Uberman ultra-triathalon.

The triathlon will wake place Oct. 8 in Southern California, and HOPE61 and DeCou will aim to raise $50,000 in the fight against human trafficking.

With a course length of 556 miles, Uberman is the most difficult triathlon in the world. A 21-mile swim through the Pacific Ocean leads athletes to Palos Verdes, where they then begin a 400-mile bike ride through Los Angeles and into Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. From there, the race closes with a 135-mile run through Death Valley and a 13,000-foot final ascent to the trailhead at Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.

HOPE61 is based out of Greenwood, Indiana, and trains churches around the world to understand, identify and combat human trafficking. Aiming to reach those most vulnerable to human trafficking, HOPE61 wants to help churches find God-given gifts, talents, abilities, and resources to reduce vulnerability.

Tom Overton, the global director for HOPE61, said he is excited to partner with DeCour.

“He is using his God-given perseverance and athletic gifts and abilities powerfully to raise awareness and much-needed funds to stop trafficking both locally and around the world,” Overton said.

For more information about HOPE61, you can click right here. You can also track DeCou’s progress in the race by clicking right here.

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

PORSCHE ARISES VICTORIOUS AGAIN

PORSCHE’S FIRST LE MANS 24 HOURS VICTOR WINS AGAIN AT CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE 2020

  • Concours of Elegance has wrapped up its most memorable event to-date, featuring the greatest ever line-up of collector cars gathered in the UK
  • A Porsche 917 KH, driven by Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann to Porsche’s first ever victory at Le Mans in 1970 was crowned as the event’s ‘Best in Show’
  • Awards were also given by decade, with the first ever production Land Rover winning the ‘40s and an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, driven to victory in the Mille Miglia in the ‘20s
  • The Club Trophy presented by the Royal Automobile Club and supported by Classic and Sports Car was awarded to a Messerschmitt KR200
  • A number of cars made their UK debut at the event, including the Ineos Grenadier, Brabham BT62R and the one-off commission Aston Martin Victor
  • The Gooding & Company ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ auction broke world records, including the highest price ever for a Bugatti and a Lamborghini Miura
  • The Concours of Elegance will return on 3-5 September 2021


The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne, is celebrating its most memorable running yet, as the first international concours d’elegance event in over six months welcomed the most incredible line-up of collector cars ever gathered in the UK. The ‘Best in Show’ award, voted by the owners of these cars, went to the Porsche 917 KH driven to victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1970 – Porsche’s first win at the event.

The quality of the cars this year was more spectacular than ever, thanks to the commitment of the event’s Steering Committee and car curation team. Greeting visitors as they emerged from Henry VIII’s former home and into the Fountain Gardens was a special Ford vs. Ferrari display, paying homage to some of Le Mans 24 Hours’ most famous racers. Among them was a Ford GT40, a Ferrari 250 LM, 365 P2 and a stunning Ferrari 250 GTO. And that’s even before reaching the main line-up of concours vehicles.

The Best in Show-winning 1969 Porsche 917 KH, was a crowd favourite throughout the event, with its imposing design and incredible backstory. In 1970, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood drove this very same 917 KH (short-tail) with start number 23 and in the world-famous red-white Salzburg design to the first of (so far) 19 overall wins for Porsche at the circuit. The 917 was Porsche’s first time in the league of immensely powerful, large-capacity racing cars. Its 580bhp 4.5-litre 12-cylinder engine set new standards, and is still legendary today. In a fortuitous coincidence, the winner of the event’s all-new ‘Junior Concours, sponsored by The Little Car Company’ Best in Show prize went to a petrol-powered three-quarter scale replica of this very car, named victorious against 10 other scale children’s classics. 

Awards were also given out for different classes and eras.  Once more judged by the owners of the Main Concours cars, the winners included the very first production Land Rover – making its debut following an enormously detailed restoration – and an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, famed for its Mille Miglia win in the 1920s. 

Outside of the main Concours of Elegance cars, nearly 1000 other models parked at Hampton Court Palace for the weekend, including a collection of Future Classics, from a Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer to a Bentley Continental GT No.1 Edition. Despite the quality on display, there could really only be one winner: the Aston Martin Victor. This one-off commission is the most powerful road-legal naturally aspirated Aston Martin has ever produced, boasting 836bhp. With styling inspired by the 1980s Vantage, the mechanicals are thoroughly modern, comprised of race-ready powertrain and chassis components and lightweight carbon fibre.

Also on display were some of the finest examples from the UK’s most prestigious car clubs, as part of the Club Trophy presented by the Royal Automobile Club and supported by Classic & Sports Car. A panel of expert judges, including HRH Prince Michael of Kent and Classic and Sports Car editor, Alastair Clements, deemed a Messerschmitt KR200 to be the best on display. Powered by a two stroke 191cc Fichtel & Sachs engine that produces a modest 9bhp, the Messerschmitt wasn’t the most powerful car in the Concours, but its charming design and excellent condition won over the judges. It will now take its place among the main concours cars for the Concours of Elegance 2021, which is already scheduled to take place from 3-5 September, as part of a special tenth running of the event. 

Our Car Club displays, sponsored by Classic & Sports Car, formed a line-up of individual marques around the perimeter of the Garden, including the Jenson Owners’ Club, Alvis Owners’ Club, XK Club, E-type Club and more. Each day the Classic & Sports Car editorial team picked their favourite, awarding a Lotus Eclat – owned by its current custodian for more than 30 years – and a Jaguar XK120 Roadster, finished in a striking bronze. This very same XK120 also caught the eye of the Jaguar Trophy judges, winning the top prize from a line-up of gathered E-types, XKs and more.

On Sunday 6th September, the Concours of Elegance welcomed in a line-up of distinguished Bentley models throughout the ages, each competing for the event’s Bentley Trophy. A judging panel, led by Giles Crickmay of Frank Dale & Stepsons, picked out a Bentley 4.25-Litre Streamlined Drophead Coupé, first owned by Bentley Boy and one-time Bentley Chairman Woolf Barnato. Presented in near-perfect condition, the body is said to be finished in the colour of Barnato’s wife’s favourite dress.  

Newly introduced for this year’s event was the Bridge of Weir Leather Design Award, picked by a committee of automotive designers gathered by the Scottish company. The stunning 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe by Gangloff, with its unique body and black over purple paintwork was recognised by the judges for its outstanding design and innovation.

Gooding & Company also hosted its first sale outside of the USA at the Concours of Elegance, with a display of the lots hosted within the Tudor Courtyard of the Palace. One of the most significant vehicle collections ever gathered for sale was crowned by a Bugatti Type 59 from 1934, previously owned by King Leopold. In a record-breaking sale, this highly original car set the highest price ever for a Bugatti at auction, achieving £9,535,000. A Type 35C sold for £3,935,000 and a Type 57S Atalante for £7,855,000, setting respective records for these models. The auction also included the highest price ever for a Vauxhall 30-98 and the highest price ever for a Miura, as the SV Speciale sold for £3,207,000.

The main vehicle features were complemented by line-ups from the world’s greatest classic car specialists and car manufacturers, many of whom were displaying cars at the event for the first time. Aston Martin showcased its latest range, as well as the debut of the one-off Victor, while Ineos paraded its all-new Grenadier with a collection of rugged off-road legends. Jaguar Classic presented its continuation D-type in a bespoke two-tone colour scheme while, at the other end of the spectrum, Lotus was display its all-electric EVIJA hypercar and Brabham showcased its racing car for the road, the BT62R.

Outside of the automotive displays, Concours of Elegance was an occasion of pure luxury, with champagne provided by Charles Heidsieck, picnics by Fortnum & Mason, live stage interviews with Chubb Insurance, hosted by Jodie Kidd and a collection of art, jewellery and fashion displays. Presenting Partner, A. Lange & Söhne, showcased some of its latest intricate timepieces, including the Lange 1 Time Zone. 
 

The full list of awards:

Best in Show – 1969 Porsche 917 KH
Pre-1915s – 1904 Fiat Type 24/32
1920s – 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
1930s – 1930 Bentley 4.5-Litre ‘Blower’ by Gurney Nutting
1940s – 1948 Land Rover Model 80 #001
1950s – 1958 BMW 507
1960s – 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Clienti
Post-1970s –1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
The Royal Automobile Club Trophy – Messerschmitt KR200
Jaguar Trophy – 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Bentley Trophy – 1926 Bentley 4.25-Litre by Mulliner
The Junior Concours – Porsche 917
The Bridge of Weir Design Award – Bugatti Type 57 Atalante by Gangloff
Future Classics – Aston Martin Victor
Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Saturday: Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Classic & Sports Car Club Display Award – Sunday: Lotus Eclat
Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Saturday: Iso Grifo
Classic & Sports Car Pre-90 Car Park Award – Sunday: Mercedes 230 SL ‘Pagoda’

Kamala Harris illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Win With Black Women

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rita Azar auto

Aston Martin DB5 Junior: A New Generation

Aston Martin and The Little Car Company today announce the DB5 Junior, a two-thirds scale electric junior car. Developed over the last 15 months as a collaboration between the two companies, the junior car is based on Aston Martin’s reference 3D scan of an original DB5 to ensure complete accuracy and authenticity.

DB5 Junior Specifications 

At around 3m long, and 1.1m wide, the DB5 Junior is designed to easily accommodate an adult and a child side by side, to allow different generations to share the love of driving. The aluminium honeycomb chassis and composite body provide a very rigid platform whilst keeping the total weight down to around 270kg. Powered by a torque-laden electric powertrain delivering 5kW / 6.7 bhp to the rear wheels, the drivers will be grateful for the integrated bucket seat as they accelerate to the 30mph top speed.

Absolute authenticity was key throughout the development of the vehicle. For example, the DB5 Junior sports the same iconic Aston Martin ‘wings’, ‘shield’ and DB5 badges as the original 1963 model. Like its big brother, the dashboard is filled with functional Smiths instruments, which have been cleverly updated for the modern era. The fuel gauge has been converted into a battery meter, while the oil temperature now monitors the motor temperature. Finally, the same Smiths clock as seen in the original 1960s car sits proudly in front of the passenger seat.

A perfect two-thirds scale steering wheel sits in front of the dash, but now sports a racing-style quick release to make entry and exit easier for the driver. Power is regulated by billet aluminium accelerator and brake pedals, and as you would expect there are working headlights, brake lights, indicators and a horn.

In true DB5 style, the car comes in the famous Silver Birch colour as standard, with a full black leather interior and carpet set. There is even a boot / trunk at the rear for storage should you wish.

The car sits on double wishbone suspension at the front as per the original, with the roll centre and camber gain matching the original geometry. At the rear there is the period-correct live axle, with authentic upper and lower trailing arm suspension and Panhard rod.

Power is transmitted to the ground through 10” wire wheels with four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, complemented by regenerative braking. A removable battery pack is stored under the opening bonnet, giving 10-20 miles (16-32km) driving range, depending on driving style. A second battery can be added, and each pack can be swapped for a replacement in a matter of seconds.

The junior car also has three integrated selectable driving modes:

  • A Novice mode with just 1kW / 1.3 bhp of power for less experienced drivers with a 12mph (19kmh) top speed. In this mode a remote kill switch is included allowing the car to be remotely disabled at up to 30m. And if an enthusiastic novice disappears outside that 30m range, the car will automatically shut down and come to a gentle halt.
  • An Expert mode is provided for more experienced drivers with 5kW / 6.7bhp of power and a 30mph (48kmh) top speed.
  • Finally Race mode is a “Balance of Performance” (BOP) setting which allows the acceleration and top speed of the vehicle to be aligned with other Little Car Company models for competition on an even playing field.

And finally, for the ultimate driving experience, a rally-style hydraulic handbrake is included. While strictly not necessary, it does add to the fun for the bigger kids amongst us.

Even more performance from the Vantage model

The Vantage version of the original DB5 was known for its performance upgrade. Now, the DB5 Vantage Junior takes the pace up a level, too. Whilst this elite model has the three driving modes of the standard car, there is also a fourth; Vantage mode, operated by a hidden ‘missile’ switch which doubles the power output to 10kW / 13.4bhp and increases the top speed to a still unconfirmed level. This output is now delivered to the wheels through a Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) to improve traction at high speed. Performance is further enhanced by the lightweight carbon fibre body and a second battery pack, doubling the range to 20-40 miles (32-64km) depending on driving style.

Revisiting an icon 

Owners will be invited to customise their DB5 Juniors either with a range of representative period exterior and interior colours or perhaps delve into Aston Martin’s contemporary palette, to match their full-size car. The cars will also come with a range of optional accessories including flight cases, additional batteries, covers, toolkits and custom number plates.

Every DB5 Junior owner will receive automatic membership of the respected Aston Martin Owners Club, three complete registers of the individual specification of all 1059 vehicles will be created for future provenance and authenticity. One copy will be held at Aston Martin’s Gaydon Headquarters, one at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell (where the original DB5s were built) and one at The Little Car Company’s headquarters.

In addition, all clients will receive complimentary membership of The Little Car Club which allows them to take part in exclusive events where they, their children and grandchildren can drive their DB5 Juniors on the most prestigious racetracks.

Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin, said: “I’m thrilled to see this new, exquisite interpretation of what is, perhaps, our most iconic model join the Aston Martin family. Our partners, The Little Car Company have gone into meticulous detail to truly replicate the stunning form of the original DB5. I very much look forward to seeing these fun tributes to the timeless DB5 go into ‘service’ with owners of all ages around the world.”

Ben Hedley, CEO of The Little Car Company, said: “It is an honour to partner with Aston Martin on this project, getting the opportunity to create a piece of history which will be passed down from one generation to the next. We are enormously proud of what we and the Aston Martin team have developed, and it is fantastic that we have made this iconic car accessible in a new way to a new generation of Aston Martin fans. As a child I would not have imagined any better way to learn to drive than in ‘The Most Famous Car in the World’.

Prospective buyers who wish to secure one of the limited-edition DB5 Juniors can visit www.thelittlecar.co/db5junior from 27th August 2020 to place a fully refundable deposit on a first come, first served basis. When these build slots are full, a waiting list will be put in place.

Pricing for the DB5 Junior begins at £35,000 plus local taxes, while the more powerful DB5 Vantage Junior starts from £45,000 plus local taxes. Existing Aston Martin DB5 owners will be given first refusal on their DB5 Junior chassis number to match their full-size car.

Production commences in the UK in 2021, with deliveries taking place worldwide over the next two years. All final specifications to be confirmed before production commences.

Community illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Alt-Right Billboard Petition

The internet has given everyone a voice, and Change.org has become one of the most popular platforms for using that voice.

One of the site’s petitions that seems to be picking up steam, almost reaching 100,000 signatures, is a petition to remove a billboard advertising WhitePrideRadio.com and AltRightTV.com.

According to the post on Change.org, Harrison Sign Co., a sign company based out of Harrison, Arkansas, has posted several racist billboards over the past few years.

“The billboards have done tremendous damage to our community by giving the impression that our citizens support their messages and don’t object to their presence,” the post said.

The post also said that the community has worked to remove previous billboards found to be equally offensive, but this one still stands.

Commenters and residents have also taken to Change.org to express their discontent with the billboard.

One commenter by the name of Amber Harris said, “This sign is an embarrassment to our community and a stain on our town. Our community deserves better. Our minorities deserve better.”

Another commenter, John Henderson, said, “This does not represent the view of the people of Harrison. It is bad for the reputation and economy of the town.”

The petition has a goal of 150,000 signatures. If you’d like to help by adding your signature, you can click right here.

TOBi x Juls – Black Joy is Resistance

Brampton’s own, TOBi signs with Same Plate Entertainment/RCA Records along with releasing a new single, “Dollas and Cents.” The groovy and soulful bop sonically highlights Black joy as a form of resistance. Produced by the UKs Afrobeat go-to, Juls, the pair showcase their diverse diasporic lineage and the magic created when working together.

Juls is one of my favorite producers right now. We linked up at the end of last year and the chemistry was instant! This song is really bridging that diaspora connection, Nigeria to Ghana to UK to Canada. It’s a beautiful thing to tap into our African roots musically,” says TOBi

In April 2020, TOBi released STILL + a deluxe version of his debut album which explored themes of vulnerability, post traumatic growth, self-reflection and masculinity of his time immigrating from Nigeria to Canada. STILL + added two new singles: “Holiday” produced by !llmind as well as “Paid,” followed by the City Blues Remix featuring The Game; “180 Remix” featuring Kemba and the “24” remix featuring all Torontonians SHAD, Haviah Mighty, Jazz Cartier and Ejji Smith. The project has a combined total of 17M streams across all streaming platforms. In January 2020, Complex Magazine voted TOBi as a top artist to watch.

We cannot be more pleased with how TOBi has developed as an artist and are incredibly supportive of his endeavors, says Jonathan Master, SVP, RCA Records /President, Same Plate Entertainment.  Over the past year it has become obvious that his music and brand have an international reach and we are excited about partnering with RCA to actualize the global vision.” 

2019 would prove to be an impactful year for the 26 year old Nigerian-Canadian, having his single “City Blues,” premiering with Zane Lowe and Paper Magazine; performing to a sold out crowd in his hometown of Toronto, being featured on The Game’s Born 2 Rap album in “Carmen Electra,” Party Pupils “One Two Things” and Big Gigantic’s “Supergiant.” He continued the momentum performing an original song, “Beige” on the international COLORS platform, having his single, “Ride” featured in the 2019 season of HBO’s Ballers as well as teaming up with Soulection’s Sango in bouncy single, “Faces.” Celebrities like Keri Hilson, Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Foxx and everyone’s favorite Uncle Snoop called TOBi the voice of the culture and of the youth.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.