Posts tagged with "speech"

Rita Azar illustrates DNC article for 360 MAGAZINE

DNC Recap

By Eamonn Burke

The Democratic National Convention kicked off it’s virtual event last night, starting with speeches by prominent politicians including Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Andrew Cuomo, and a keynote by Michelle Obama.

There were also powerful words delivered by George Floyd’s brother, Philonese Floyd, and Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to Covid-19. “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life,” she scathed, adding that her vote for Joe Biden would be in his honor. Mr. Floyd called for a moment of silence and for remembrance of those who have died from racial injustice to continue far beyond the night.

The politicians also denounced Trump and backed Biden strongly. Cuomo hailed Biden as having all of the characteristics of a true leader: a unifier, a builder, “as good as our people,” he said. “That man is Joe Biden.”

Kasich, a former Republican Governor of Ohio, acknowledged that he disagrees with Biden on some topics, but “that’s OK because that’s America.” Ultimately, he recognized that Joe Biden “can bring us together to help us find that better way.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, the former rival of Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, made a strong appeal to emotion, highlighting the incredibly high stakes in this election and the importance of defeating President Donald Trump. “The future of our planet is at stake” he pleaded. “My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”

Lastly, Michelle Obama ended the night with a strong moral case against President Trump. She painted the current government as being one of “chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy,” and called Trump “the wrong president for our country.”

“If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” said the former First Lady. Trump lashed back at Obama, tweeting that he would not be in the White House if not for the work of her husband, and calling the Obama-Biden administration “the most corrupt in history.

As far as logistics of the convention, the lack of a traditional setting was noticeable, and many of the speeches were pre recorded. Trump slammed Michelle Obama for this, denouncing her for having the wrong COVID-19 numbers. Democrats has planned to convene in Milwaukee, but later decided to move entirely online. Actress Eva Longoria was brought on as the host of the show to create a more personable atmosphere. Video clips, montages, and performances were also infused into the event.

The second night of the DNC featured a role call which officially nominated Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential ticket. It also featured more speeches from past politicians on both sides, such as former President Bill Clinton (D) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell (R). There were new faces as well, like U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D). The night ended with Joe’s wife Jill speaking. The event was hosted by actress Tracee Ellis Ross.

Clinton focused on the economy in his speech, highlighting the U.S as “the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple” despite Trump claiming how well we are doing as a country. Ocasio-Cortez used her speech to second the nomination of Bernie Sanders, a formality for a candidate over a threshold of 300 delegates.

Joe Biden and his family made a virtual appearance from a classroom to accept the nomination, and he appeared later on after his wife’s speech.

In her speech, Jill Biden made a case for why her husband had the capacity and experience to understand the hardships that American families are going through in this crisis. She mentioned the death of their son, Beau, from cancer, and how he was able to help her through that time. The compliments went both ways, as Joe called her “so damn tough and loyal.” Dr. Biden assured viewers that “if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours.”

On night three of the DNC, Kamala Harris was historically nominated as the first black and Asian woman to feature on a major presidential ticket. In her speech, Harris told her story of being an immigrant – the daughter of India and Jamaican immigrants – and used it to empathize with so many in a similar situation. She then went after Trump, delving into his moral and ethical flaws: “I know a predator when I see one” she assured. She finished off by speaking about inequities, especially racial ones. “There is no vaccine for racism” she said in a her call to action. “We’ve gotta do the work.”

Later in the night Hillary Clinton spoke, delivering a somber warning against repeating the mistakes made in 2016, when she lost to Donald Trump: “this can’t be another ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ election.” She pleaded for viewers to vote, as was a main theme in throughout the DNC. Lastly, she praised the record breaking amount of women continuing to appear in government, including Senator Harris, but acknowledged the work still to be done.

President Obama’s speech brought something considerably rare for a former president to do: he attacked President Trump. He labeled Trump as blatantly inadequate for the job of president: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t, and the consequences of that failure are severe.”

The night also featured a performance by Billie Eilish of her new unreleased song “My Future.” It was followed by a message about the importance of voting.

The fourth and final night officially nominated Joe Biden as the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate. In his speech, he covered his policy plans from the coronavirus to guns to Medicare, while also addressing the economic recession caused by the pandemic as well as the racial reckoning going on in the country as a result of inequalities. He also spoke of the and Harris’ personal stories, and how they informed them to be ready for the job. The speech drew acclaim from both parties.

“Here and now I give you my word,” said Biden. “If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”

Defacing monument illustration

Controversy Over Monument Defacings

By Eamonn Burke

As the reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice in the United States continues, so does the demand for a change in how we view and represent our racist history. One target of such criticism has been statues of American “heroes” who were known to have owned slaves or were part of the Confederacy despite their prominent standing in our nation’s history.

Statues of Thomas Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Ulysses S. Grant and many more are being torn down and defaced across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death, which represented a larger problem of systemic racism in the US. This comes with other reforms that have been under way, such as banning the Confederate flag from NASCAR races and renaming controversial brands like Aunt Jemima, as well as Military Bases.

“When I look at these statues of white supremacists, it is just a constant reminder of the struggle that my ancestors had to face,” said Kerrigan Williams, leader of the activist group Freedom Fighters.

The spray painting and toppling of monuments and statues has also been met with a fair amount of criticism, especially from our President Donald Trump. In an Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore (as well as on Twitter) Trump denounced the actions, and announced plans for a “National Garden of American Heroes” featuring statues of the founding fathers and other prominent Americans. Although there are much bigger problems at hand, Trump seems to be focusing his campaign on these “radical” protestors who are trying to “destroy America”. Republican senator Mitch McConnell played the good cop and expressed distaste with the protests in a more civil way: “The vast majority of Americans know full well that imperfect heroes are still heroes,” he said.

While some far-right Trump loyalists may rally under this, there is evidence that this is turning away more people than it is uniting for him.

Justice illustration

Biden Echoes Rev. Barber

Pastoral Letter to America from social justice leader Rev. Barber echoed in Biden speech

The words of social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II are being echoed by Joe Biden, the former vice president who spoke to the nation Tuesday.

“To paraphrase Rev. Barber: It’s the mourning when we find hope,” Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia. “It’s in the mourning when we find hope — when we mourn.”

Biden spoke after a third night of protests in Philadelphia over the death of George Floyd, whose dying words were recorded as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd for almost nine minutes. He was quoting from the Pastoral Letter to the Nation, which Rev. Barber wrote and delivered in a national sermon on Sunday. Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach and the minister of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

In that letter, Rev. Barber writes: “The hope is in the mourning and the screams, which make us want to rush from this place. There is a sense in which, right now, we must refuse to be comforted too quickly. Only if these screams and tears and protests shake the very conscience of this nation—and until there is real political and judicial repentance—can we hope for a better society on the other side of this.”

The link to Biden’s full speech is here and the link to his comment about Rev. Barber is here.

In addition, former President Obama recently included a quote from Rev. Barber for the Guardian on his foundation website.

“America must listen to its wounds,” Rev. Barber wrote in the May 30th column,“They will tell us where to look for hope.”

Face Transplant Surgery: A New Case Study

A new case study out of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Developmentfinds that face transplant surgery in patients who have experienced severe facial trauma can improve speech production.

Face transplantation is one of the most extensive facial reconstructive procedures available. The procedure involves the partial or total replacement of nerves, muscles and skeletal structures of the face, head, and neck using donor tissues. With only 41 facial transplant procedures performed worldwide to date, this case study adds to the very limited literature documenting speech production outcomes post-facial transplant. The surgery – which was the first in New York State – was performed by experts at NYU Langone Health’s Face Transplant Program, led by Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, DDS, the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery.

“Our findings provide a window into the complex recovery process following major facial reconstruction and serve as an important foundation from which we can begin to understand how facial transplant can improve speech production preoperatively to postoperatively,” said Maria I. Grigos, the study’s lead author and associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt. “Among the many remarkable patterns observed, we found that the patient displayed more flexible control of facial movement as he adapted to the transplanted structures.”

Research Method

Using optical tracking, a form of motion tracking technology, Grigos and her team were able to examine first-hand how the facial transplant procedure alters movement of the face and contributes to improved speech production. Researchers compared data from the case study patient – a male victim who suffered third- and fourth-degree burns and major soft tissue loss in a fire – against four adult males who had not experienced severe facial trauma.

The patient’s speech production and facial movements were examined once before the procedure and four times in the 13 months following the procedure. Movements of the patient’s lips and jaw, as well as the intelligibility of his speech, were compared pre- to post-tranplant and then tracked across the recovery period.

“The remarkable changes that we captured in this patient reflect the multiple processes involved in the reintegration of neuromuscular control and in the learning of new strategies over the recovery period. Such adaptability is a positive indicator that treatment to improve speech production can be effective post–facial transplant surgery,” continued Grigos.

In addition to Grigos, the study’s co-authors include Eduardo D. Rodriguez, Étoile LeBlanc, J. Rodrigo Diaz-Siso and Natalie Plana of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, as well as Christina Hagedorn of the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

NYU and its affiliated medical center, NYU Langone Health, continue to be pioneers in face transplant surgery and research.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School’s mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

Doron Levin weighing in on President Trump’s comments

SiriusXM host Doron Levin weighing in on President Trump’s comments – during his State of the Union address – on Detroit and the auto industry.

AUDIO: http://soundcloud.com/siriusxm-news-issues/doron-talks-sotu

“…State of the Union message from President Donald Trump and he did take the time to make a shout out to Detroit and to the auto industry.

I think we should talk about it because he did say in his speech that because of him the country was building and expanding auto plants, something that we haven’t seen in decades. That was one of his assertions.

He also said that very soon auto plants were going to be opening all over because of him.

With the President you always have to fact-check what he said. Afterwards he said that this was the biggest audience that had ever heard a State of the Union address and, of course, that wasn’t true but, we have to fact-check this stuff about the auto industry too. It turns out that while he does want to take credit for this there’s some good and there’s some bad.

The good is that it is true that we have had a big boom in the stock market and in personal wealth since he came into office. I don’t how much that can hang on him but it’s going to be that we can buy more cars, probably.

And that people are feeling optimistic and that’s going to be very good for the car makers. And I love it when the car makers are doing well because it means they can invest more in new models and we can get more features. And the whole mobility scene gets better because people are feeling confident and buying new vehicles so, that’s very good news.

As far as the assertion, that we’re now going to have a bunch of new car plants because of him let’s look at that.

In the last 20 years, and this is mostly when he’s not been President, global car makers have actually invested 75 billion dollars in the United States. What we need to understand is that the United States is a very good place to not only to build vehicles but also to export vehicles that’s because this is a very profitable market, it’s because we have very favorable trade agreements and I hope that doesn’t get messed up with the North American Free Trade Agreement being renegotiated in a way that isn’t advantageous to us. President Trump has said that he’s going to re-negotiate that and that has to be done carefully because that has worked out for us.

We have a new Volvo plant coming soon to South Carolina; a new Mercedes Benz plant in Alabama; we have additions coming to the BMW plant in South Carolina; Toyota and Mazda are going to build a new plant in Alabama; and even Chrysler is going to bring back some of its truck production from Mexico to Michigan, which is good news for the UAW and good news for the Michigan economy.

So, yes, the place is great for building vehicles and I think the Presdient was right to highlight that stuff but, we can’t say that it’s basically because of him. It’s been happening, actually a trend, a long-term trend, long before he even announced he was going to run for President so, let’s put that in some kind of perspective.

The important thing about this truck deal that Chrysler has now in Michigan is that it’s really being done as a hedge against the possibility that trade agreements that made it advantageous to build trucks in Mexico and bring them back to the United States may change. And if that changes then Chrysler needs to be building those trucks in the United States and it’s important for the administration not to mess up trade rules.

Now, I know a lot of you tune in to this show to hear about cars but, part of hearing about cars is also hearing about how they’re built, where they’re built, why they’re exported to where they are, and why they’re imported to where they are and a lot of that has to do with the trade rules. So, we look forward to all of that being negotiated in a way that’s advantegous to us in the United States and I think that that’s going to happen.

I don’t foresee that the North American Free Trade Agreement or some of the other agreements that allow cars and trucks to be built in Canada, United States, and Mexico and parts built in those places that allow them to go across the borders more or less without tariff I don’t foresee that changing. One thing that might happen, that the administration may do, and this is why no one really wants to contradict the President on this and get him upset, is a rethinking of some of the stricter fuel-efficiency rules and that could mean that we could see, soon, a relaxation which the auto makers would like, because they don’t want to bring in electric vehicles more quickly than people actually want to drive them.”

SiriusXM’s “In The Driver’s Seat with Doron Levin” airs every Saturday at 12:00pm ET on SiriusXM Insight channel 121.

UMW Shadow Event Raises Campus Awareness Of Sexual Assault

“The event was impactful and enlightening.” – UMW student

“It’s taken me a while to come to terms with my situation and just going to the event was beneficial to me.” – UMW student

“I feel like we changed some lives last night.” – Speaker at event

‘The testimonials were very powerful.” – Alex Weathersby, RCASA

The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia held its first ever Shadow Event on Tuesday, November 14. The event was put on by UMW’s Where is the Line?, a club dedicated to raising awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence as well as providing support to survivors and empowering people to restore the hope that was lost. The club is affiliated with the Fear2Freedom organization.

The Shadow Event was held in on campus Dodd Auditorium. 6 survivors were given the opportunity to share their stories anonymously. A large, back light projection screen was set up in the center of the stage and each speaker had a designated color light that illuminated their silhouette to the audience. There were 5 female speakers and 1 male at the November 14 event. Over 100 students from the small school were in attendance to show their support. Representatives from the local prevention and support organization, Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA), were also in attendance to provide counseling to audience members who may have been triggered by the speeches. In addition to the 6 speakers, there were singers that performed a song every 2 speeches to allow audience members to recollect themselves and take a mental break. Tori Power of the school’s show choir group covered Sara Bareilles’ “Brave”, Ellé Antzoulatos, WITL’s marketing coordinator, sang Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”, and Rachel Lynch, a dedicated member of WITL, sang an a Capella version of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallejuah”. The audience members were given a set of colored notecards and a pencil upon arrival and had the opportunity to write words of encouragement to each speaker. The notes have been screened by club members and will be given to each survivor who spoke to help with the healing process.

The event was a tremendous success and WITL has begun planning and preparation for this spring’s Celebration Event, an interactive event where students will put together after care kits for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence to receive upon intake into a shelter or at the beginning of a rape kit. To help fund for the event, the club has launched a T-Shirt sale. To support, click HERE

About Where is the Line?
ere is the Line is a club dedicated to the prevention of and spreading awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence. The club hosts events and projects to aid survivors as well as educating peers about the issue. The club founded the Share The Hope project, a non-profit jewelry sale in which for each bracelet sold, one is donated to a survivor. WITL at UMW was. Founded by Nicole Lind and Kelsey Welsh in January 2017.

About Fear2Freedom
Fear 2 Freedom (F2F) is a global non-profit founded in 2011 by Rosemary Trible. Their mission is to help to restore hope and dignity to survivors of sexual assault while empowering students and communities to combat sexual violence.

 

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