Art for justice’s sake

first_imgFollowing the May 25 killing of George Floyd, protesters, including many in the Harvard community, took to the streets in dozens of cities across the globe. Student artists, meanwhile, looked for ways they could use their talents to contribute. A group of University undergraduates and recent grads decided to go with their strength: Host a show to raise funds for organizations promoting social justice and police reform.“We had experience putting on shows, so we got rolling immediately,” said Freddie Shanel ’21, a member of the Harvard College Stand Up Comic Society (HCSUCS). Joining with the Signet Society, the comedy group put out a call for performers for an online variety show. A sign-up sheet filled up within hours, and the resulting Freedom Fundraiser, held on May 30, featured a score of live remote performances, raising $14,000 through its Givebutter page and Venmo account. (The event was recorded and can be viewed on Facebook). The Givebutter page also encourages direct donations to its beneficiaries: Minneapolis’s Black Visions Collective, Reclaim the Block, North Star Health Collective, and the Louisville Bail Fund.“There’s something intrinsically creative about activism,” said Jasi Lampkin ’20, a filmmaker and one of the benefit’s organizers. Activism, she said, “is not just about shouting. It’s about creating new spaces and finding new ways to live.”Art, added musician Hannah Lemmons ’20, meets the same definition. “Art has a way of affecting people emotionally and creating this sense of charged empathy that allows you to take action,” she said. It also encourages others. Already, the concept of the Freedom Fundraiser has spread to other colleges. The University of Michigan held an event June 4, and colleges in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are planning similar ones, she said.“We want to encourage people to take action into their own hands,” said Lampkin. “Having been to an elite Ivy institution and gotten access to different tools, it’s now my responsibility to use that knowledge and use the opportunities I’ve had to help others.” “Art has a way of affecting people emotionally and creating this sense of charged empathy that allows you to take action.” — Hannah Lemmons ’20, With that in mind, organizers planned their next Harvard community event, a June 14 show, Freedom Fundraiser Pride, which focused on black queer-centric organizations. There are also plans for an alumni event.Support from multiple groups, including the Phillips Brooks House and Harvard Radio Broadcasting (WHRB), has been widespread. Harvard’s undergraduate Houses matched donations with their own fundraisers, totaling more than $30,000.“Many of the House Committees have been working to find ways to support their community members, and to signal their ongoing commitment to creating a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive space for students to live and learn together,” read a statement from the All-House Committee co-chairs Jason Lee ’21 of Eliot and Analli Torres ’21 from Pforzheimer. “Over the past week, in consultation with their House communities, faculty, and staff, House Committees have mobilized to learn more about the causes of systemic violence and antiblack racism and commit to support calls for addressing them both in a broader social environment and within their Harvard communities.” Faculty have already met a Freedom Fundraiser challenge, raising more than $20,000 on their own Givebutter page.Many of the College’s arts groups are looking at other ways to contribute. TEATRO!, which promotes Latinx theater and other arts, for example, is looking to strengthen its ties to the Asian Students Arts Project and BlackCAST, the Harvard black community and student theater group, Amanda Gonzalez-Piloto ’21, president of TEATRO!, said in an email. Although the group is waiting to see what actions the University takes, she said, “We encourage any writers who identify as Afrolatinx or biracial to send us an email so we can start a conversation about your work.”The Kuumba Singers gospel choir has committed to donate $1,500 to the LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund and match donations to Act Blue up to $1,500. “It is hard to coordinate musical events over Zoom, but in the next few weeks we hope to come up with a tangible way we can show our support,” said Kaelyn Brown ’21, president of the group, which has been celebrating black creativity and spirituality since 1970. “We’re talking about planning a Harvard-wide symposium for people at Harvard to learn more about police brutality in our country.”last_img read more

OMB approves CUNA-backed delay of fiduciary rule

first_imgUS Department of Labor 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »center_img The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week approved the Department of Labor’s request to delay the effective date by 18 months, to July 1, 2019. CUNA sent several comment letters during the rulemaking process pushing for the delay, to give credit unions extra time to resolve any additional compliance challenges.The rule defines who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan.In addition to the delay, CUNA supports additional research efforts to ensure credit union members are not harmed by the unintended consequences of overly broad rules, and additional analysis into whether the rule may limit choices for moderate or low-income consumers.last_img read more

Wolf Administration Highlights STEM Success, Careers in the Commonwealth

first_imgWolf Administration Highlights STEM Success, Careers in the Commonwealth SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Education,  Innovation,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Wolf Administration officials, including Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Pedro A. Rivera and Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary Eileen Cipriani, today joined students, employers, lawmakers, partners from Pennsylvania’s five STEM ecosystems, and others to highlight the work Pennsylvania has done with STEM education and careers over the past few years.“Pennsylvania is home to many innovative and cutting edge businesses and our schools and workforce training programs are adapting to ensure students and workers have the skills for today’s high-demand jobs,” said Governor Wolf.  Today, we are among the nation’s best in STEM education and the number of graduates with STEM-related degrees in fields like robotics, computer science, engineering, and business. This powerful combination is creating a workforce to drive the economy and attract business to Pennsylvania.”“We know that there are current and future workforce needs in the commonwealth that can provide multiple pathways to success for students and workers alike, and I am proud of the work Pennsylvania has been doing in the realm of STEM education to fill those gaps,” Rivera said. “It takes collaboration, attention, and investment in these programs to facilitate meaningful school-to-workforce partnerships, and I am confident that those partnerships will only foster additional opportunities for Pennsylvanians in years to come.”Pennsylvania has been named a national leader in STEM education, as:The commonwealth is home to five nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems, four emerging ecosystems, and other informal partnerships in place across the commonwealth;Pennsylvania ranks 4th nationally in the number of STEM graduates and ranks in the top 10 of states for technology and innovation, and is in the top 10 of states for STEM jobs; andPennsylvania was recently highlighted as a promising state by the White House through its Computer Science for All (CSforAll) work.“Bolstering the STEM workforce in the commonwealth remains a top priority of the Wolf administration,” Cipriani said.  “Encouraging students to pursue in demand, STEM-related occupations provides them with an opportunity to explore jobs in various science and technology fields that lead to family-sustaining jobs. Additionally, encouraging STEM education and training provides employers with a pool of highly-skilled job seekers prepared to meet future employment needs.”STEM education in Pennsylvania is built on the foundational belief that all students are capable of STEM literacy; that iteration and reflection are an important part of the STEM learning process; that STEM education transcends the classroom walls, integrating into the community; and that STEM education success depends upon the partnership between educators, students, families, postsecondary providers, legislators, business and industry.STEM ecosystems encompass schools, businesses, community settings including after-school and summer programs, science centers, libraries and museums, and other environments that provide learning opportunities in STEM fields.Rivera noted that by 2018, there will be approximately 300,000 Pennsylvania jobs that require STEM skills or content knowledge, and over the next ten years, 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills. Recognizing this need, PDE highlighted STEM education in its recently submitted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The plan provides insight on the work Pennsylvania is already doing and the work that is yet to come.Pennsylvania has made early and important progress in delivering more resources to schools and classrooms, and fostering collaborative, cross-sector dialogue to support STEM education, work-based learning, career pathways, and college access and completion. Since 2009, the number of graduates from Pennsylvania’s 14 public four-year universities earning degrees in STEM and Health majors (STEM-H) has increased 37 percent. Today, nearly one in four bachelor’s degrees awarded by the State System are STEM-H degrees.center_img September 26, 2017last_img read more

Council candidate outs brothel visitors

first_imgStuff.co 23 Sept 2013A Christchurch City Council candidate who threatened to publicise vehicle registration numbers of people using a Phillipstown brothel has done exactly that.Hagley-Ferrymead ward hopeful Wayne Hawker posted on his Facebook page the plate numbers of 10 cars he spotted visiting an England St brothel during a stake-out over three nights last week.A prominent civil rights lawyer said this type of “moral crusade” was arguably a breach of privacy rights, but Hawker said if the car owners wanted to pursue legal action they “can bring it on”.Hawker, an England St resident, said the brothel started operating about six weeks ago. Last week, he said he was considering posting registrations numbers online in a bid to shut it down.Hawker sat in his car across the road from the property between Thursday and Saturday nights and wrote down the licence plates of cars that pulled up.Council bylaws restrict commercial brothel locations and England St is outside the permitted area. However, small owner-operated brothels in residential areas are allowed.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9198565/Council-candidate-outs-brothel-visitorslast_img read more

USWNT vs. Sweden results: Americans win Group F with comfortable 2-0 win

first_imgThe U.S. women’s national team took the top spot in Group F with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Thursday in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.Sweden and the USWNT already qualified for the Round of 16, having won their previous two matches, but the two nations were jockeying for positioning in the next round with the group win.  #USA#SWEHere we [email protected] & @TelemundoSports. pic.twitter.com/MUxUjaxsoY— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 20, 20193:01 p.m. ET | 1′ – Kick off. We’re under way at Stade Oceane in Le Harve, France.PregameThe U.S. Women’s National Team is in the building 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/HFHkiAhBy7— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 20, 2019The starting lineup for today’s @USWNT game vs. Sweden.How to watch 👉 https://t.co/mS69jARlBS#USA vs. #SWE | #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/konHgKBUXh— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 20, 20192:08 p.m. ET – The starting lineups are out! Lindsey Horan opened the match with her second goal of the tournament just three minutes in, the fastest goal in the World Cup so far. The Americans wouldn’t find the back of the net again until the second half, on a goal from Tobin Heath after some help from the video assisted referee.MORE: Watch the Women’s World Cup live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)With the 2-0 win, the USWNT set a tournament record with 18 goals in the group stage. This is the seventh time the U.S. has won its group in the World Cup, tying Germany’s record for most group wins.The USA will face Spain in the knockout round on Monday June 24 at 12 p.m. ET in Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France. The match will be live on Fox Sports 1 and streaming on fuboTV.Sporting News tracked scores, updates and highlights from the USWNT’s World Cup match against Sweden. See how it played out below.USWNT vs. Sweden: Scores, updates and highlights from Women’s World CupUSA: 2Sweden: 0GROUP WINNERS! 🇺🇸The @USWNT shut out Sweden and top Group F, setting up a Round of 16 clash with Spain. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/5XtcPSZpWo— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 20194:56 p.m. ET | 90+7′ – Final! The USA win Group F with a 2-0 victory over Sweden. The team will play Spain on June 24 12 p.m. ET.4:45 p.m. ET | 86′ –  Yellow card for Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson for a hard foul on O’Hara.83′ | Final #USWNT sub of the game.➡️ @MalPugh⬅️ @mPinoe #SWEUSA | #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/bL77kvSEof— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 20, 20194:42 p.m. ET | 83′ – Mallory Pugh comes on for Megan Rapinoe for the U.S. 4:40 p.m. ET | 81′ – Corner conceded by O’Hara on a bad backpass to Naeher.4:38 p.m. ET | 78′ – Substitution for Sweden as Lina Hurtig replaces Kosovare Asllani.Update: FIFA has changed the goal to a Sweden own goal (Andersson).— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 20, 20194:26 p.m. ET | 67′ – FIFA updated USA’s second goal to a Sweden own goal. 4:22 p.m. ET | 63′ – Substitutions for both Sweden and the U.S. Sweden’s Hanna Glas replaces Caroline Seger and the USA’s Christen Press comes on for Rose Lavelle.The @USWNT scored their 18th goal of the group stage – that’s a new #FIFAWWC record! 🇺🇸💪 pic.twitter.com/Yw0MDoRCVq— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 20194:18 p.m. ET | 59′ – Yellow card for USA’s Kelley O’Hara for a dangerous tackle. 4:15 p.m. ET | 57′ – Substitution for Sweden as Fridolina Rolfö replaces Olivia Schough.2-0 [email protected] scores from a tight angle and the goal stands after a lengthy VAR review. #FIFAWWC https://t.co/DRpsL3v9wP— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 201950′ – [email protected] hits a CRAZY angle and adds a second tally for the #USWNT.#SWEUSA | 2-0 pic.twitter.com/k2Ll46uxvt— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 20, 20194:08 p.m. ET | 50′ – GOAL! Tobin Heath plays with Sweden defender Jonna Andersson and blasts the ball past her in the tighest of angles!46’ | #USWNT sub to start the half➡️ @CarliLloyd⬅️ @alexmorgan13 pic.twitter.com/eWQbWic9LD— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 20, 20194:04 p.m. ET | 46′ – Kick off. The ball is rolling for the second half. Carli Lloyd is in the match for Alex Morgan.❤️#SWEUSA 🇸🇪🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ILCOBativT— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) June 20, 20193:47 p.m. ET – Halftime. The USWNT lead Sweden 1-0 with another 45 to go. 3:47 p.m. ET | 45+2′ – Great save by Alyssa Naeher to keep the United States ahead just before half.3:28 p.m. ET | 28′ – The fourth corner for the USA is sent in but handled by keeper Lindahl.There’s the first well-worked chance of the game for Sweden but Asllani’s shot doesn’t trouble Naeher. #FIFAWWC https://t.co/bwpaM2zc8w— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 20193:20 p.m. ET | 20′ – Alyssa Naeher sees her first real action of the match with a swift save after Sweden get on the attack. 3:11 p.m. ET | 11′ – The USWNT are pounding on the door. Multiple shots from Rapinoe and Morgan are all blocked and ultimately results in a U.S. corner conceded by Amanda Ilestedt.3:10 p.m. ET | 10′ – Tobin Heath wins a corner off Sweden’s Jonna Andersson.Hot. Start. 🔥 🇺🇸 🔥@LindseyHoran scores the quickest goal of the World Cup.🇺🇸 1 – 🇸🇪 0 | #SWEUSA pic.twitter.com/ywMo1lrSGw— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 20, 2019DREAM START FOR THE USA! 🇺🇸🇺🇸@LindseyHoran pounces in the box and the @USWNT take the lead on the first corner of the game! #FIFAWWC https://t.co/LvYgUnXC6t— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 20, 20193:03 p.m. ET | 3′ – GOAL! Lindsey Horan is there for a tap in after Megan Rapinoe sends the corner into a dangerous area in front of the Swedish defense.3:02 p.m. ET | 2′ – Corner for the USA conceded by Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson.last_img read more

Srabani Nanda becomes first Indian sprinter to compete amidst COVID-19 pandemic!

first_imgImage Courtesy: Athletics Federation of IndiaAdvertisement drunNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsqpg2Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E89f( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) o2Would you ever consider trying this?😱2o4u4Can your students do this? 🌚ugkxRoller skating! Powered by Firework Since March, the novel Coronavirus pandemic disrupted all sporting activities for almost four months. Now, as plans to resume sports in the country is gaining pace, sprinter Srabani Nanda is making headlines. Nanda has emerged as the first track and field athlete athlete from the country to take part in a competition amidst the virus crisis.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Athletics Federation of IndiaSrabani Nanda represented India at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, finishing sixth in her category. She took part at the Velocity Fest meeting at Jamaica College in Kingston on Sunday, the country’s first track and field event since March.The 29 year old, representing MVP Track club, took part in the event alongside some of the biggest names in sprinting, such as Olympic gold medallists Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.Advertisement Competing in the 100m race, Nanda was the winner of heat two, clocking a time of 11.78 seconds, and finished in third place overall with a personal best of 11.45 seconds, and 23.07 seconds in 200m.Check out the second heat, where Nanda beat Kasheika Cameron and Dominique Clarke in the video below, courtesy of Clean Click Media – Sports on Facebook.Advertisement Thompson, Nanda’s MVP Track club teammate and winner of both 100m and 200m events at Rio 2016, won the 100m race with a time of 11.19 seconds. Representing Nike, 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Fraser-Pryce won the 200m event, clocking 22.74 seconds.Yohan Blake, two time Olympic gold medallist and former world champion won the men’s 200m event, clocking a time of 20.62 seconds.Hailing from Phulbani in Odisha, Nanda’s first international gold medal came at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, winning the 200m event with a time of 23.91 seconds. She also won a silver in the 100m event, coming short of just 0.01 seconds behind Sri Lanka’s Rumeshika Rathnayake.Nanda was a part of the team that won bronze in women’s 4 × 100 metres relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, along with Sathi Geetha, H M Jyothi and P K Priya. Her second bronze of women’s 4 × 100 metres relay came at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneshwar, where she teamed up with Dutee Chand, Himashree Roy and Merlin Joseph.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Meet Neerav Tomar, India’s own Jerry MaguireEnough is enough: Jofra Archer spills beans on online racial abuse Advertisementlast_img read more

Predicted Newcastle line-up v Spurs in the Capital One Cup: Youth v Experience?

first_imgMost likely to break into tonight’s side is Adam Armstrong. The 17-year-old started against both Manchester City and Crystal Palace, and Pardew has hinted he is in contention for a starting place.Another surprise inclusion in the squad could be 20-year-old defender Remie Streete. The youth academy product had his loan at Port Vale cut short earlier this season, and may slot into the back line with Daryl Janmaat suspended.Newcastle fans, how do you think you’ll line-up against Tottenham? Comment below… It’s been a long time since Newcastle fans have had a chance to celebrate cup success. A win tonight against Spurs would give the Magpies their first semi-final appearance since the 2004/05 FA Cup.But with the small matter of the Tyne-Wear derby at the end of the week, Alan Pardew has a selection headache, as he looks to balance the Geordie fans’ desire to beat their archrivals and end the 45-year wait for a trophy.Newcastle have already won twice on the road against Premier League opposition in their League Cup campaign, defeating Manchester City and Crystal Palace on their way to White Hart Lane.In both of those games, Pardew fielded fairly youthful sides but at this crucial stage in the tournament, how will his men line up in tonight’s game?How Newcastle Could Line Up With ExperienceNewcastle have won on both their previous league visits to White Hart Lane, but there was a good degree of luck involved in both games.Pardew knows just how important this game is to the Newcastle faithful and may choose to play his strongest side available, despite the Sunderland game looming. 1 Mike Williamson could be sidelined with a ‘slight problem’ and top scorer Papiss Cisse has a heavy cold, which means his involvement could well be from the bench.That could leave a starting place up front for Ayoze Perez, who scored against Spurs in the 2-1 victory earlier this season.The pace of Sammy Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran could well be utilized against Spurs’ fullbacks, and a timely return for Steven Taylor will sure up a defence that shipped four against Arsenal on Saturday.How Newcastle Could Line Up With YouthIt’s no secret that Mike Ashley prioritises the Premier League over cup competitions and there is a possibility that Newcastle may give a few wildcard places to some of their younger players, with Sunderland on the horizon.center_img 1 1last_img read more

Lord Joel Joffe: 1932-2017

first_imgThis Mandela Month, we profile the late Lord Joel Joffe, who defended Nelson Mandela and his co-accused at the Rivonia Trial. Joffe died on 18 June.Lord Joel Joffe, who was in the defence team during the Rivonia Trial, died on 18 June 2017 in London. (Image: Dignity in Dying, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Priya PitamberSouth African-born philanthropist and human rights lawyer Lord Joel Joffe once said the work he had done on the Rivonia Trial, “was perhaps my most important and most invaluable I have ever done”.Joffe died on Sunday, 18 June 2017 in the United Kingdom. He was 85 years old.“We have learned with sadness of the passing of one of our most respected legal minds, Lord Joel Joffe, who played a critical role during the liberation struggle for our freedom and democracy [when he] represented political prisoners, including the late father of our nation, president Nelson Mandela and other liberation icons,” the Presidency said.“On behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Joffe family, relatives and all in the legal fraternity across the globe.”Cabinet extends its condolences on the passing on of defence attorney in the Rivonia and Little Rivonia trials, Lord Joel Joffe #PostCabinet— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) June 22, 2017The Nelson Mandela Foundation also sent its condolences: “Our condolences go out to his family and friends, his comrades and all the many people he helped in his life as an attorney.”Watch:The trialJoffe worked alongside Vernon Berrange, George Bizos and Arthur Chaskalson, led by Bram Fischer, in the defence team of Mandela and his comrades.The trial began on 9 October 1963, with the 11 accused – Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhlaba, Rusty Bernstein, Andrew Mlangeni, Elias Motsoaledi, Bob Hepple and James Cantor – appearing on charges of, among others, conspiracy and sabotage.“For me it was about saving the lives of these wonderful people,” Joffe recalled on BBC radio show Desert Island Discs. “But that was not the main objective of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues… They wanted to put the government [of South Africa] in the dock.“The nine members of the ANC were the finest people I had ever met – such courage, such integrity, so committed… They were in it for the people. It was a great privilege to defend them.”In his book, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela described Joffe as “the General behind the scenes in our defence”.Watch Joffe’s recollection of Mandela:Early life and careerJoffe was born in South Africa on 12 May 1932. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, getting a BCom in 1952 and an LLB in 1955. In 2001, he received an Honorary LLD.After becoming a lawyer, Joffe went into partnership with James Kantor, whose brother-in-law, Harold Wolpe, represented the African National Congress. When Kantor and Wolpe were arrested, Joffe delayed his emigration to step in.Once the Rivonia Trial ended, Joffe remained in South Africa and continued to defend others who were accused of political offences.Because of his work, his passport was confiscated and he was harassed by the South African police. Eventually, he and his family were forced to leave via a one-way exit permit. They settled in London.Life in LondonJoffe continued his charitable work in his adopted country, becoming involved with the NGO, Oxfam.“Colleagues report that his greatest contribution to Oxfam was made during his period as chair from 1995,” reads the organisation’s website. “He used his exceptional mix of acute intelligence and great personal warmth to challenge Oxfam’s work and organisation, often only reaching conclusions after intense questioning and debate.”In 1999, he was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).In January 2016, Joffe was awarded the Freedom of the City of London alongside the last three remaining Rivonia Trial accused: Kathrada, Goldberg and Mlangeni, and former colleague, Bizos.“But while he always remained steadfastly loyal to the country and continent of his birth, Joffe also felt deeply patriotic towards his adopted country, Britain – valuing in particular its tranquil countryside, democracy, tolerance and his favourite pastime, tennis,” said Oxfam.Sources: The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Oxfam, The Presidency, Wits UniversityWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

My Africa Is … not what you think

first_imgMary AlexanderType “is Africa ” into Google and autocomplete is likely to offer something like this: • Makoko Floating School: a model of Nigerian cutting edge design • Ivory Coast take on ice bucket challenge helps fight Ebola • Africa refocused: images of Ghana • Africa’s high-tech boom boosts the continent’s competitiveness • Mobile phone boost to African internetThat’s right: questions of hopelessness or ignorance that could only come from outside the continent. (The answer to all four, by the way, is no.) For too long external perspectives have determined Africa’s narrative by only telling stories of disease and despair.Now two young African filmmakers, Nosarieme Garrick from Nigeria and Tanzanian Kathleen Bomani, are using the power of technology to tell a different story about Africa with their web-based video channel My Africa Is.“My Africa Is is a documentary series taking you on a journey across the continent through the eyes of an insider,” they say on their website.“We know what you’ve seen and heard about Africa – what they think is happening, what they think she needs, what they think she is. The four things that come to mind when people think of Africa are population, problems, poverty, and promise unfulfilled – headline media reports on the continent.“But that’s not the whole story. Perspective changes everything.” Garrick and Bomani insist their project does not aim to ignore the often grim realities of Africa, or only spin sunshiny fictions. But they are trying to give air to the continent’s other realities, stories stifled by the world’s obsession with bad news out of Africa.“We’re more than aware of the challenges, but we also know that we are not helpless,” they say. “We hustle. We find ways to overcome. We survive. Every day, we are changing our communities – it may be a process, and it may be a little bit at a time, but we’re changing it nonetheless.” The documentaries are energetic, slickly filmed and exciting, backed by thumping music by African artists such as Togo’s Toofan and Nigerians Burna Boy and Tonye Garrick. But they are also enlightening, insightful and often moving.They are about young people making changes to their world in cities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. So far, My Africa Is has visited Nigeria, Togo, Senegal and the African diaspora in the US, and filmed Skype interviews with remarkable people telling remarkable stories across the continent.Edition DakarIn early October My Africa Is launched their new series, Edition Dakar, filmed in the Senegalese capital in June 2014.“Dakar, which is located on the very tip of the West African coast, is one of those cities you hardly hear about,” the filmmakers say. “Not for its lack to awesomeness, but rather it seems that it’s too calm to be in the news.” The Edition Dakar documentaries feature Keyti and Xuman of Le Journal Rappe, activists who produce online current affairs videos to educate young people about politics, with all the news delivered in rap. They also explore surf culture in the coastal city with a visit to Malika Surf Camp, and Senegalese urban dance at the Sunu Street Project. The Lagos ChroniclesMy Africa Is started their journey in Lagos, the most populous city in the continent’s most populous country of Nigeria.The filmmakers say: “For our first venture into the continent, we dove into what is deemed one of the most unliveable cities in the world: Lagos, Nigeria, where we caught up with three individuals doing some awesome things in the city.”Those individuals are Kunle Adeyemi, an architect building an innovative floating school in the waterlogged Makoko shantytown on Lagos Lagoon, Wecyclers community recycling project founder Bilikiss Abiola, and avant-garde fashion photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo. The My Africa Is team also venture out of the continent to explore the work of the global African diaspora. The Diaspora Webisodes capture young talents and initiatives making African culture more pervasive and global.Hector Mediavilla discusses the sharp-dressed Sapeurs of the Congo, Os Kuduristas showcases Angolan Kuduro culture to the world, Sonic Diaspora brings today’s African music to Washington DC, and Arise Magazine celebrates iconic African designers at the New York Fashion Week. About the filmmakersExecutive producer and host Nosarieme Garrick, who describes herself as “a product from around the globe, but loudly repping Nigeria”, is a writer, activist and entrepreneur. She has written for Afripop!, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Women’s Enews, and Sahara Reporters.In 2010 she founded Vote or Quench, a campaign to educate young Nigerians on the importance of their vote. She has interned with the Economist Group in the UK, mentored by the company’s CEO Andrew Rashbass, and has a bachelor’s degree in communications and French from St John’s University. Kathleen Bomani is the My Africa Is associate producer and a “cultural curator, connector and a communist”. She is currently event curator for TEDxDar, a youth-led initiative promoting active discourse and public engagement, and works with the sustainable development think-tank Africa Gathering as both US event lead and Tanzania country lead. Bomani is also an advisory organiser for TEDxDzorwulu in Ghana.To keep up with My Africa Is, follow the project on Twitter and like their page on Facebook. You can also visit the My Africa Is YouTube channel, Vimeo channel and website.last_img read more

Geocaching Connects Son to Father Lost in World War II

first_imgPavel and Renka, “TwiceRaP” and Steve Christensen “Coach Steve”A grassy field outside a Czech Republic village is sacred ground to geocacher Steve Christensen (“Coach Steve“).  The field remains nearly unchanged since an American bomber, carrying a crew of young airmen, crashed here in 1945. Coach Steve’s father piloted the plane. The B-17 was shot from the sky during the final months of World War II. Lt. Donald Christensen was killed in action, along with all but one of his crew.Coach Steve was born four months after the crash. He never met his father. His journey to discover his father’s story, visit the crash site and meet the local Czech people who call his father a hero took decades. It also took a little help from Czech geocachers.Steve grew up knowing little about his dad. He says, “Our mother remarried when I was four and because of the hurt of losing her first husband in the war, and not wanting to inject the old memories into a new relationship, I was never told much. Only that he was a pilot and was killed in the war. He was declared missing in action on March 2, 1945. That’s my mother’s birthday, and I was born on June 12.  I never knew my father, except by photos and what I have learned on my own and with some help from my brother.”Steve and his brother began to research their father over the internet in 2004. Steve says, “We found the 398th bomb group memorial site and found the mission he was on when he died and some very short eyewitness reports from other pilots… The first picture that came up was a picture of the crash with some German soldiers standing by it.  We could see a power line in the background and made note of that location in case we ever got there. The next picture that came up was of the memorial [to his father’s B-17 crew] in a little town called Slany. We were floored. We knew nothing about it.”Christensen crash site – notice the power lineBoth Steve and his brother traveled to Slany months after the discovery. But last year Steve was tempted to return to the Czech Republic. He would discover more than ever before, including remnants from the crash site. He says, “This last year was a big celebration at the memorial and an air show.”Steve, who started geocaching in 2003, searched for geocaches around Slany. He discovered a geocache called, “Pad americke letajici pevnosti B-17/Crash of B-17 (GC1M2ZX).”Lt. Ron ChristensenThe puzzle cache was hidden in 2009 by geocachers Pavel and Renka. Their geocaching username is TwiceRaP. Pavel is a retired Czech military officer. He says he created the cache to pay tribute to the sacrifices of military personnel and their families. The site of the crash is not far from his home.Pavel writes, “The whole family knows how hard the military life is and what it can bring along. Therefore we were very touched by the story of the American bomber crew that had happened close to our home. Even then it was very strong for us and close to our hearts.”Soon after creating the geocache, Pavel received an email from Coach Steve. Steve asked about the location and the geocache dedicated to the downed B-17. An email exchange started between the two men, who never met, didn’t share the same native language but did share geocaching. Pavel and Steve exchanged several more emails.Not long after, Steve arrived for the memorial service in the Czech Republic. To his surprise, a retired Czech military officer in full-dress uniform and his wife stood waiting for him. It was Pavel and Renko.Steve says, “That is were I met TwiceRap, two very nice people who had put a cache at the memorial.  He was there in uniform and she is just a stunningly beautiful woman.  They were very kind to me, and helped me find the cache.  I doubt I could have found it on my own because it was a mystery cache written in Czech.  We had emailed back and forth, but I had no idea they were going to be there in person.”Recent picture of the crash site over looking SlanyThe coordinates from TwiceRap’s cache brought Coach Steve nearly on top of the crash site. More than 60 years after the B-17 went down, Steve found a tangible connection to his father. He says, “One of our Czech friends took us out in the field where we thought the crash site was (the power line that showed up in the original photo is  still there) and we started to cast around with the metal detector.  Then I remembered the coords from TwiceRap’s cache and it took us to where we started to find small parts of the wreckage after 65 years.  We got a whole bag full of pieces.  Pretty exciting.”Steve taking VIP flight during the airshowPavel says he never expected their geocache would help connect a son to his fallen father. Pavel writes, “A thread leading through all this began on the fatal day of March 2, 1945, continued with the team TwiceRaP and ended up with the living geocacher Coach Steve, living in U.S.A., who found our cache about his own father.”Pavel wrote a blog post in his native Czech language about placing the cache and meeting Steve titled, “Not All Who Wander are Lost…” The post, translated in English, begins, “If it was not for geocaching, I would have never been able to tell you this story.”Steve had brought his nephew along to witness the occasion. Pavel met them both. He says, “Meeting with Steve has multiplied everything even more. Me and my wife were very proud that we had created this cache, that Steve contacted us from the U.S.A., that he came and that we could participate together in the ceremony, where we honored the fallen bomber crew in the presence of the son and grandson of the pilot. It is hard to describe these moments, but geocaching contributed to this meeting that has remained engraved in our hearts. Steve became the most important guest of both the memorial and the following air show.”Steve and his nephew at the memorial siteSteve’s been back in the United States awhile now. But the memory of the trip hasn’t faded, “I tell the story to any of my family who will listen. Some of my kids and grand kids show some interest, but I think it will mean more later.”Now after a lifetime without his father, when asked if he’s ever met him Steve says, “Only in my head and in my dreams. Since all the research we have done, I feel like I know him.” Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedTerezin Games Mega-EventJune 6, 2014In “Community”Underground — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 7, 2018In “Community”May the Geocacher of the Month Be With You: Comment NowJune 14, 2014In “Community”last_img read more