Posts tagged with "racism"

BLK app via 360 MAGAZINE official site and podcast

Spotlight: BLK App

Founded in 2017, the B-L-K app encompasses more than a community for singles seeking a prospective date or companionship. The niche platform has the largest subscription of Black Men & Women and is known as affiliates of the Match.com portfolio. 360 Magazine’s Armon Hayes met with the B-L-K app Head of Marketing Jonathan Kirkland via zoom to discuss what the ‘new wave’ app is all about, its impact and what’s to come.

About six years ago Kirkland began in the digital space with apps like Grindr and Bumble. He shares the experience applying to a Brand-partnership job at Grindr as a joke, which lead to a self-discovery journey that allowed him to discover how he thrives through niche communities while identifying their needs. Subsequently evolving the online dating functionality and perspective, Kirkland goes on to say, “It’s all about making connections, where those connections are is up to you and who you match with.

When embarking on the new B-L-K app, founders knew that they wanted to keep the Black community at the forefront of the platform. “The Black experience is a unique one, especially in America and [this] transcends into the dating app space,” said Kirkland. Exploding during lockdown at the height of the pandemic, he is committed to growing the platform with the aid of the audience he serves. The app allows for an understanding that connections aren’t merely one-to-one, but a one to many. Diligent in shifting the narrative that Black women are less desirable, the B-L-K app provides the forum to communicate byway fostering understanding.

With 3 million downloads and counting, the cultural app is creating a space for a wide scale of individuals to connect and, most importantly, build friendships. B-L-K remains true to their core demographic by creating dialogue, while also educating through user connections on matters surrounding racial injustices.

Brought to the forefront on the app as well as our lives, B-L-K particularly highlights the global misfortunes of 2020 at the hands of law enforcement to Breonna Taylor & George Floyd, just to name a few. Such criteria are typically not discussed or even introduced on dating platforms, let alone the first encounter with someone new. Furthermore, getting to know someone online can be awkward as it is. Kirkland emphasizes the initiative of the app, stating, “It’s a space where blackness can be celebrated; find more qualified matches and start dating faster.”

By: Armon Hayes, Vaughn Lowery, McKinley Franklin

Listen to Kirkland/Hayes podcast interview HERE.

Watch illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Time Zone Protocols

Developed out of Rasheedah Phillips‘ ongoing practice as a member of Black Quantum Futurism, the Vera List Center is thrilled to present Time Zone Protocols (April 4–18, 2022), the Prime Meridian Unconference (April 15–17, 2022), and the digital project www.timezoneprotocols.space.

The exhibition and accompanying Unconference, both held at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery at Parsons School of Design, explore the implications of the 1884 International Meridian Conference (IMC), a convening that established a prime meridian and universal time standard. Tracing the written and unwritten political agendas and social agreements that underlie Westernized time constructs, Phillips examines the protocols by which dominant time structures regulate, catalyze, and perpetuate systems of oppression that deny marginalized people access to and agency over the temporal domains of the past and present, with a focus on Black communities in the US.

Using Black Quantum Futurism and Colored People’s Time as critical frameworks, the exhibition, Unconference, and digital space propose alternative theories of temporal-spatial consciousness. Learn more below.

Time Zone Protocols

Time Zone Protocols debuts a nonlinear map pinpointing sociohistorical events in the development of Western time consciousness. The map illustrates the backward and forward-reaching impacts of time standardization and colonized time. 

Prime Meridian Unconference

The three-day, hybrid Prime Meridian Unconference brings together artists, architects, musicians, physicists, geologists, technologists, and scholars who consider new ways of understanding our relationship to space-time. Speakers and presenters include Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother), Asia Dorsey, Walter Greason, Kendra Krueger, Ingrid LaFleur, V. Mitch McEwen, Katherine McKittrick, Mendi + Keith Obadike, Danielle M. Purifoy, Ingrid Raphaël, Thomas Stanley, Joy Tabernacle-KMT, Ujijji Davis Williams, and Celeste Winston.

www.timezoneprotocols.space

Preceding the exhibition and Unconference is the launch of www.timezoneprotocols.space. The site documents the ongoing Time Zone Protocols research project and sets the stage for the exhibition and Prime Meridian Unconference. It offers an interactive space for rewriting the protocols of time with a Black [Quantum] futurist lens.

ILLUSTRATION BY NICOLE SALAZAR FOR USE BY 360 MAGAZINE

Top Stories – March

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

Ukraine Huminitarian Crisis

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

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

Ukraine Further Pushes No-Fly Zone

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

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

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

Jussie Smollett Sentencing

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

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

Ryan Coogler Detained

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

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

Senate Confirmation Hearings

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

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

Kids Spark Video via Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Transforming Theatre Kids into Citizen Artists

By: James Wallert

In April of 2018, I brought five high school students to an early morning event sponsored by the New York State Education Department. 200 educational leaders representing 27 school districts from all across the state were there to begin the process of creating integration plans for their districts. New York State has the most racially and socio-economically segregated schools in the nation and New York City Public Schools are more segregated today than they were before the landmark 1954 U. S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education in which the Justices ruled that “Separate but Equal” schools were unconstitutional. These students were invited to perform their original thirty-minute play, Laundry City, an exploration of the effects of educational segregation. A facilitator from the state squawks a few barely audible words of introduction via a microphone plugged into a portable speaker, “Please welcome Epic Theatre Ensemble”. Jeremiah, a high school senior wearing a T-Shirt with the words, “I am Epic” written across the front, steps into the center of the room, without a mic, and speaks directly to the audience:

JEREMIAH

School segregation,

That systematic placement,

Race and class, don’t make me laugh. 

That shit goes deeper than thin cloudy glass.

Right past society’s foundation, 

Back to America in the making. 

The original sin: Race.

The performers weave through the audience performing scene after scene, transforming from character to character. The show culminates in a town hall. The students had done meticulous research to craft a scene that made room for dozens of nuanced perspectives on this complex issue.

LIV

I’m not really sure what we mean by integration. What I’ve seen when we talk about integration, it is about Black and Latino kids going to white schools to become better. That isn’t integration, that’s, in my view, assimilation.

NASHALI

I consider integration when you do the hard work of valuing what each person brings to that setting. Integration is where we learn to understand each other and appreciate each other and nobody’s story or history is more important than another’s.

JEREMIAH

I think that’s racist. I think it’s classist. I don’t believe in the savior complex- that you need to have folks swoop in and save the poor Black and Latino children. I believe that Black and Latino folks have agency and power that have been untapped.

NAKKIA

For me, it’s not that certain communities are less powerful; it’s that certain communities haven’t been given the floor. How do we give people the floor? Segregation was intentional. Integration has to be intentional. Segregation was forced. Integration has to be forced.

DAVION

If integration made money somehow, America would do it.

The five actors portray 18 different characters throughout the course of this last scene, but the final question of the play is delivered by the students as themselves.

ENSEMBLE

Is separate but equal fair?

The five citizen artists join hands and bow. The crowd rises for a standing ovation. After taking in the love, the students gesture for the audience to retake their seats.

JEREMIAH

At Epic, we have a conversation after every performance and we always ask our audience the same first question: Imagine that two weeks from now, one morning you wake up and find yourself thinking about Laundry City. What is it that will be going through your mind? A line, a character, an idea, a question? What do you think will resonate with you over time?

The post-show discussion runs an hour—twice as long as the play that sparked it. The facilitator jumps back on the mic to thank the students and direct the district teams to return to their work sessions. I gather the cast to take them back to their school (it’s a weekday). A superintendent from Upstate comes over and asks the students if they can come by his table to take a look at his district’s integration plan and share their thoughts. They do. We start to head out again when a superintendent from NYC’s Upper West Side asks for some feedback from the students about her district’s plan. The students go over to her table. After several more invitations are proffered, we are eventually invited to stay through lunch so that the cast could review and respond to each of the 27 district integration plans. I make a quick call to their Principal who agrees to excuse them from the rest of their morning classes.

About an hour into this process of consultation, Jeremiah asked if he could speak to me in the hallway. “Jim, I feel like an activist,” he says, “I mean, I feel like I’m in a room full of people who can actually change things and they’re listening to me.”

Since 2015, the plays of Epic’s youth ensemble have received 225 performances (in-person and online) for 56,000 audience members including government employees, policy researchers, and legislators.

Large-scale cultural change is always led by young people and artists, but funding for in-school and after-school arts programs are often the first casualties of state and local budget cuts. We need to invest in arts education to cultivate the next generation of citizen artists. We need to champion the creation of youth art that is relevant, representative, and affordable for everyone. We need to proudly assert the value of art-making by demanding that young artists from historically marginalized communities get paid a reasonable wage for the work they make. We need to challenge oppressive systems by placing youth and their art in front of people with power. And once everyone has had a chance to experience the art, we need to provide the time and space for people to talk to one another about what it means to them and what actions they want to take next.

About the Author James Wallert is a Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Epic Theatre Ensemble and author of Citizen Artists: A Guide to Helping Young People Make Plays That Change the World.

Charles Young via Antonio Tobias Mendez for use by 360 Magazine

Col. Charles Young

By: Charles Blatcher III

One hundred years, one month, and nine days to the date of Colonel Charles Young‘s death in Nigeria on January 8, 1922, February 17, 2022 will mark the day that the United States Army will bestow the rank of Brigadier General of the United States Army on Colonel Charles Young. Also, this promotion serves as an affirmation that perseverance and dedication to a goal have been rewarded. This honor to Brigadier General Charles Young is the result of a 41-year advocacy by the Coalition of Black Veterans headquarters in Oakland, California, and a promise I made to retired Sergeant Samuel Waller.

The advocacy began in 1977 when I met and became friends with retired Sergeant Samuel Waller, the last surviving veteran of the Spanish American War in California. Sergeant Waller had served with then Captain Charles Young in the Philippine Islands (1901) as a member of the 24th Infantry Regiment. Young was the Commanding Officer of the Ninth Calvalry Regiment in the country. According to Waller, Young was the best Officer in the United States Army. He said that Black troops loved and respected Young and would follow him to hell and back. Waller was adamant when he added that the only reason Charles Young was not a General was based upon his color. Sergeant Waller planted a seed that day. As I began learning about Colonel Young, I had to concur with Sergeant Waller that there was only one reason as W.E.B. DuBois said, “There was no place for a Black General in the United States Army.”

In 1978 while consulting with Sergeant Waller regarding the “March for Recognition” Sam made a request: to not let them [Black soldiers] be written out of history. As a young Black man and a veteran, I promised to do my best to honor his request. My promise has been kept with Colonel Charles Young’s promotion to Brigadier General. My sincere thanks to the organizations, associations, and many individuals who have contributed to this milestone.

Young’s promotion is a great day for many people including his descendants as well as to the State of Kentucky. Any day that a nation can face its past mistakes and put forth the efforts to correct those mistakes is a Great Day. It is a sign of growth and hope. Growth in that we have taken steps to mature beyond the foolishness of not understanding that the strength of our Nation resides in our unity of purpose and Hope that we continue to do the necessary work to preserve our Democratic Republic. However, this is not the end of the advocacy for Brigadier General Charles Young.

We have submitted a request for the Department of Interior to consider annexing the General’s birth cabin which is in May’s Lick, Kentucky, into the National Park Service. We are looking at the tourism possibilities of getting the highway between May’s Lick and Wilberforce, Ohio designated the “Brigadier General Charles Young Corridor.” The designation covers the route from his birthplace to his residence at the time of his death. 

In addition to making Young’s birthplace part of the National Park Service, we are leading an effort to erect a bronze statue of Brigadier General Charles Young on horseback in Washington, D.C. This statue will memorialize the General’s 497-mile walk/horseback ride from Wilberforce, Ohio to Washington D.C. in 1917. The trip was to prove his fitness to return to active duty after forced into medical retirement. The statue could welcome visitors to the National African American Museum of History and Culture. Our military involvements are the cornerstone of our claim for Civil Rights. Currently, there are bronze maquettes on public display in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, in Louisville, and the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston. We have called upon Lonnie Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, for guidance.

The United States Army is in the process of renaming Army bases that currently honor Confederate generals. Army tradition dictates that the rank of General is the qualification for being considered for a base name. Naming a base after a Colonel would represent a break in that tradition. We submitted Colonel Young’s name anyway on the merits of his history. In February 2020, Governor Andy Beshear granted Young a state promotion of honorary Brigadier General in the Kentucky National Guard. However, this honorary promotion was limited to the State. Governor Beshear joined us in writing to President Joe Biden to federalize the State promotion that would qualify Young to be considered a candidate for a base to bear his name. Now, this recent Federal promotion may have a significant impact on our request. 

The Coalition is optimistic that along with Young, we have sent recommendations for four other Generals to be considered: Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., the first Black General in the Regular Armed Forces; General Roscoe Robinson, Jr., the first Black 4 Star General in American History; Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson, the first Black Woman General in American History; and Major General Charles C. Rogers, the only Black General recipient of the Medal of Honor. The Commission’s decision will be released in October.

Coalition members are in talks regarding an event to mark Young’s promotion. More than likely, the event will be planned for the Spring or Summer in Kentucky or Washington, D.C. It would be appropriate to host a ceremony in Section C of Arlington National Cemetery. The Arlington visit would allow us to have a site visit of the grounds at the National African American Museum of History and Culture. The public will be welcome to join the “Salute”. I end with a personal “Salute” to all of you who contributed toward the promotion. I “Salute” the late Sergeant Samuel Waller, United States Army for giving purpose to my life. Ready & Forward!

Ranked Teams Battle on ESPN Networks illustration by Vaughn Lowery use by 360 Magazine

Rooney Rule Replacement

Civil rights leaders who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called for the League to establish specific recruiting and hiring procedures for executive and coaching positions, with meaningful consequences for teams that do not abide by the rules.

The Rooney Rule, a policy established in 2003 that requires teams to interview candidates of color for head coaching and senior football operation positions, must be replaced, the leaders said.

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial, National Action Network Founder and President Rev. Al Sharpton, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie Campbell, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, and National African American Clergy Network co-convener Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner requested the meeting after former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores accused the NFL and three of its teams of racial discrimination in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed last week. 

“However well-intentioned, the effect of the Rooney Rule has been for team decision-makers to regard interviews with candidates of color as an extraneous step, rather than an integral part of the hiring process,” Morial said, noting that the NFL currently has only one Black head coach, two fewer than when the Rule was established. “The gravity of the situation is long past the crisis point.”

“The Rooney Rule has been proven to be something the owners used to deceptively appear to be seeking real diversity,” Sharpton said.  “We must have firm targets and timetables.” 

Sharpton said the National Action Network will be approaching states and municipalities to stop public funding and tax incentives to NFL stadiums until these firm commitments on timetables and goals are solid and public. 

“NAN also has begun talking to members of Congress about Congressional hearings since public funds are being used to uphold this biased enterprise,” Sharpton said. “Lastly, we will be going to major advertisers telling them they cannot continue to use our dollars in this unacceptable economic arrangement.”

The leaders, who have long advocated for an investigation into the NFL’s hiring practices, said they welcomed Goodell’s announcement of an independent review of the NFL’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and initiatives, and emphasized that the civil rights and racial justice community must be part of that review.

“It’s simply not enough for the League to declare its good intentions,” Johnson said. “This is a long-standing crisis that must be confronted with diligence and rigor.”

The influence of professional football on the national culture lends a heightened urgency to the diversity issue, the leaders said.

“While the NFL has begun making strides with regard to social justice and racial equity, it’s clear that voices of color are not being entirely heard in the executive suites,” Sharpton said. “Good intentions are not enough.”

The leaders also reiterated their wholehearted support for Flores.

“Coach Flores has taken a principled stand for justice, at no small risk to himself and to his career,” Campbell said. “He has risen to meet a crucial moment in history.”

Williams-Skinner added, “We agree that Coach Flores’ lawsuit presents the League with an opportunity to engage in substantive change and we will do everything in our power to make sure that opportunity is not squandered.”

The leaders and Commissioner Goodell agreed to continue working together to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the NFL and its member teams.

protest illustration by Alison Christensen for 360 Magazine

BAI Chair on Bomb Threats

The Chair of the Black AIDS Institute Grazell Howard released a statement regarding the bomb threats that have recently been made to HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities. More than a dozen threats were made to schools such as Howard University, Southern University, Morgan State University, as well as many others. The police are still investigating who issued these claims and are suggesting that these crimes may be related. Here is what Howard had to say: 

“As an alumni of two prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities, I’m horrified to learn of the heinous threats of violence that are putting students at HBCUs under siege. The Black AIDS Institute condemns these acts. It is abhorrent that on the first day of Black History Month, more than 13 HBCUs had to lock down their campuses and postpone classes because of bomb threats. While no explosives have been found, law enforcement at the highest levels must step in and ensure that our students and communities are safe.

Domestic terrorism targeting the African American community speaks to the stain of America’s history and the current crisis of race relations in our country. We must treat Racism like the public health epidemic that it is. Many states, cities and counties have done just that, and we applaud these efforts. But we need elected officials in every state to do the same. We also need swift action from the federal government to investigate and punish those responsible for these vile acts.  

For our part, BAI will continue to fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, and the stigmas that threaten our communities. We will stand shoulder to shoulder to lift up students at HBCUs and throughout all of our communities and we will continue the important work of fighting for voting rights, social justice, education, and health equity for communities of color that have been under siege for far too long.”

football, NFL, sports, laces, pigskin, leather, game

Washington Commanders

The Washington Football team has revealed its new name and brand identity, the Washington Commanders. This new identity embodies the most powerful aspects of Washington’s story by paying tribute to the team’s rich history and championship culture, personified by mission-driven players who take command, forge success and break barriers on and off the field. The result of an 18-month collaborative process with fans, alumni, players, community leaders, and stakeholders across the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area, “Commanders” brings to life the commitment to service and leadership that defines the DMV community. Importantly, the team’s new identity also represents the values that bond the Burgundy & Gold family, including resilience, grit, tradition, and unity. It honors the progress and potential of its present and future. 

“As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” said co-owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder. “As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy, and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”

The team has also revealed new brand elements, including its primary logo, its word mark, and a team crest. The primary logo of the Washington Commanders is a powerful “W.” This symbol carries forward an element of the Washington Football Team chapter in the franchise’s history and acknowledges the team’s deep Washington roots, while the W’s angled cuts, bolded lines, and serifs signify forward movement and progress. The slanted elements of the stripes bordering the “W” are inspired by military rank insignia, helping to infuse the familiar mark with elements of the team’s new identity. In the word mark, “WASHINGTON” introduces the tall and proud letters of the team’s name. The cuts of the “C” lead the eye across the mark and the two stripes that frame the name pay homage to the D.C. flag and give the mark a sense of power and authority.

A unique brand element within the NFL, Washington’s crest features core elements of the team’s identity and the franchise’s defining moments. The top left and bottom right quadrants note the year the club was founded in 1932, 90 years ago. The top right quadrant showcases the main logo mark, the “W,” symbolizing the team’s future, and the bottom left quadrant features three stars, representative of the stars on the D.C. flag and the team’s position within the Nation’s Capital. Washington Football highlighted across the top of the crest pays homage to the many historic firsts and iconic legends associated with this Washington team throughout its nearly 90-year tenure in the DMV, and the years 1937, 1942, 1983, 1988, and 1992 written across the bottom commemorate the franchise’s World Championships and Super Bowls. The crest is completed by a gold ring, which represents unity and encapsulates all elements of the brand identity.

To honor the deep legacy of this 90-year-old franchise, the traditional burgundy and gold color scheme will remain at the center of the team’s new identity. The home uniform will also retain the burgundy and gold colors, a specific reference to uniforms of the past.

“Through more than 40,000 fan submissions and countless surveys, focus groups, and meetings, this 18-month rebrand process has been a collaborative effort with our fans, alumni, players, and local DMV community, all leading to today as we embark on a new chapter in our legacy as the Washington Commanders,” said co-owner and co-CEO Tanya Snyder. “Going into our 90th year, we are excited to celebrate the rich history of the Burgundy & Gold while also paving the way for new traditions as the Washington Commanders.”

Beginning at 9 a.m., fans can purchase select new merchandise at the Team Store at FedExField and anywhere official fan merchandise is sold online, including the online team store. New merchandise will include t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts for men, women, and children, and hats. Also beginning no, fans will be able to preorder the primary burgundy Washington Commanders jersey anywhere official fan merchandise is sold online. The jersey will begin shipping in May.

To continue the celebration of the team’s new identity, starting now a variety of surprise events and experiences will be rolled out around the DMV to bring the new brand to fans in the local community. These live events and digital experiences will include branded cars that will canvas the DMV and surprise fans with visits from alumni handing out swag and new team gear. Trucks featuring jumbo-sized digital screens will also crisscross D.C., Maryland, and Virginia while airing the team’s official brand launch film. Additionally, buildings and DMV landmarks will light up across the region with projections of the team name and logo and the burgundy and gold colors, including the DAR Constitution Hall, Union Market, and the Mosaic District.

On Friday, February 4th, the team has invited fans to FedExField to park and party with the Commanders. On this night it will host a Park and Party event presented by Bud Light, featuring tailgating and a showing of exclusive team content and an NFL Films feature on the Super Bowl XXVI championship team, as well as games, giveaways, food trucks, a mobile Fanatics Team Store, DJ, and a brand-themed fireworks show to end the evening. Additional details can be found HERE.

The announcement and launch mark the beginning of the next phase of the team’s rebrand process. Over the next two years, the team will work closely with fans to pull forward traditions under a new banner and combine them with new traditions fans will help to create, including bringing back the fight song and designing the second alternate uniform.

For use by 360 Magazine

Al Sharpton Responds

Today, November 11, through the trial of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, William Bryan’s lawyer Kevin Gough shared some objections and concerns to the judge. Gough’s objection came from the presence of civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton being in the courtroom. He expressed to the judge, Judge Timothy Walmsley, that the presence of such civil rights leaders is “intimidation.” Reverend Al Sharpton was in attendance of the trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. While in attendance at the trial, Reverend Al Sharpton organized a prayer vigil with his parents outside of the courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia. Reverend Al Sharpton has since released this statement following the accusations of his presence being used for intimidation:

“The arrogant insensitivity of attorney Kevin Gough in asking a judge to bar me or any minister of the family’s choice underscores the disregard for the value of the human life lost and the grieving of a family in need spiritual and community support.

My attendance yesterday and in the days to come is not disruptive in any way and was at the invitation of the family of Ahmaud Arbery who have stated that publicly.

The only way I could have been identified as a member of the ministry is if I was recognized for my public position and leadership. How else would the defense attorney know who was a “black pastor” or not?

This objection was clearly pointed at me and a disregard to the fact that a mother father sitting in a courtroom with 3 men that murdered their son do not deserve the right to have someone present to give spiritual strength to bear this pain. This is pouring salt into their wounds.

I respect the defense attorney doing his job but this is beyond defending your client, it is insulting the family of the victim.”

Judge Timothy Walmsley who is overseeing the case indicated that he would not make blanket rules over attendance of the public and acknowledged that the company of Reverend Sharpton would not be a distraction.

Background on the Case

Sunday, February 23, 2020, the unarmed, Black twenty-five year old Ahmaud Arbery was chased and killed by three armed white men in a neighborhood in South Georgia and was killed. The National Action Network has continuously stood by the family of the victim in their quest for justice and continues to criticize the range of the jury for the case. The jury consists of eleven white women, three white men and one Black man in a county that is predominately Black. Though Judge Timothy Walmsley acknowledges the presence of “intentional discrimination” in the range of the jury, he states that the trial over the killing of Arbery will proceed.

*Additional coverage from USA today