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Category Archives: Personal Empowerment

"Money Making Conversations" Welcomes Al Roker, Trent Shelton, Don Lemon, Darrin Henson, Jacob Latimore, Deborah Joy Winans, and More This…

Posted: July 31, 2020 at 6:54 pm

ATLANTA, July 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Two-time EMMY and three-time NAACP Image Award-winning television producer, social media influencer, entrepreneur, and branding guru Rushion McDonald welcomes a potent force of trailblazing guests this August on his popular podcast and syndicated radio talk show "Money Making Conversations." Filled with insights on career longevity, life lessons, entertainment, sports, community and financial empowerment, and using your gifts to make your own path, McDonald's range of guests feature acclaimed entertainment personalities, actors, inspiring speakers, and business moguls whose influence collectively reaches over 45 million viewers and followers and spans decades of experience. "Money Making Conversations"hosted by Rushion McDonald is available on http://www.MoneyMakingConversations.com and across digital platforms, satellite networks and syndicated radio including: Spotify, iHeartRadio podcast, Apple Podcast, YouTube, Spreaker, Stitcher, Alexa, SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channels 141 on Howard University's Campus, and 142 on HBCU Campuses, and multiple stations across the U.S in Michigan, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, California, Iowa, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina, among other states.

Covering television entertainment, books, branding, networking, music and sports business, personal empowerment, and sharing financial and tech knowledge, the featured guest* interviews airing in August on "Money Making Conversations" include: Al Roker, EMMY-winning Journalist, Co-Anchor of "The Today Show" and "3rd Hour of Today," Owner/CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, and New York Times Bestselling Author (new book: "You Look So Much Better in Person"); Trent Shelton, Top Motivational Speaker and Social Influencer, Former NFL Player, Founder of the non-profit RehabTime, and Author (new book: "Straight Up"); Don Lemon, EMMY-winning Journalist, Anchor of "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" and Host of the CNN podcast "Silence Is Not An Option with Don Lemon"; Darrin Henson, Actor, Speaker, and Award-winning Choreographer (BET+ "Carl Weber's The Family Business"; UMC's "Double Cross"; "Soul Food"; "Lincoln Heights"); Jacob Latimore, Actor and Recording Artist (Showtime's "The Chi"; movies "Collateral Beauty," "Ride Along," "The Maze Runner," "Detroit"); Deborah Joy Winans, Actress and Singer (OWN's "Greenleaf"); George Fraser, Networking Guru, Chairman & CEO of FraserNet, Inc., Founder of the national annual PowerNetworking Conference, and leading voice for African Americans on economic development, building global networks and wealth; Ronnie Green, Renowned Pro Fisherman, Telly Award-winning TV Host/Creator of "A Fishing Story," and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran; EMMY-winning Sports Broadcaster Mike Hill, FOX Sports Host, TV Personality, and Author (Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"; memoir: "Open Mike"); Stephanie "TechLife Steph" Humphrey, Technology and Lifestyle Expert, TV Contributor, and Author (new book: "Don't Let Your Digital Footprint Kick You in the Butt!"); Michael Mauldin, Entertainment Music Executive, CEO of Mauldin Brand AC/VC and Chairman of the Black American Music Association; Odessa Jenkins, CEO of the Women's National Football Conference; Wole Coaxum, Founder & CEO of Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. [MoCaFi], a Black-owned and led financial tech company providing affordable banking and credit services to empower vulnerable communities and small businesses; and Megan Bennett, President of Light Years Ahead, a boutique public relations and marketing firm specializing in consumer brands.

Rushion McDonald produces "Money Making Conversations" through his multimedia company 3815 Media, where he is the business manager for ESPN's Stephen A. Smith and was the Chief Marketing Officer for the Air National Guard's national account for recruitment and retention in the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, DC. He recently won the prestigious Reggie Award for Local, Regional Market Marketing for his work handling the marketing and branding for the Air National Guard. A multiple EMMY and NAACP Image Award winner, Rushion McDonald is a television/film producer, sitcom writer, branding architect, award-winning baker, and his successes include building the Steve Harvey multimedia brand and producing acclaimed top sitcoms and syndicated shows like "Family Feud," "Evidence of Innocence," "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Sister, Sister," "Steve Harvey Talk Show," and hit movies "Think Like A Man" and "Think Like A Man Too." McDonald has a Mathematics degree from the University of Houston and was trained in marketing while working at IBM.

*List is subject to change

To connect with Rushion McDonald and Money Making Conversations, visit:www.RushionMcDonald.comwww.MoneyMakingConversations.comFacebook / Instagram: @RushionMcDonald, @MoneyMakingConversationsTwitter: @RushionMcDonald, @MoneyMakingConv YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MoneyMakingConversations

Contact: W&W Public Relations Jacinda Chen / [emailprotected]908-253-6360

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"Money Making Conversations" Welcomes Al Roker, Trent Shelton, Don Lemon, Darrin Henson, Jacob Latimore, Deborah Joy Winans, and More This...

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A Personal (and 6ft. Apart) Conversation With Artist Cristina Martinez – Interview

Posted: at 6:54 pm

There are plenty of words in the dictionary to describe the art created by a woman whose power radiates from within. For Cristina Martinez, a Black-Mexican artist from Seattle, that word is necessary. The 33-year-old mother and former fashion student was recently in the city finishing her 52-foot-long mural titled The Roots inside 3 World Trade Center. Martinez joins a handful of other artists who all create art centered around female empowermenta topic she knows a thing or two about.

She grew up looking up to a 15-year-old Mexican mother and idolizing the art of Frida Kahlo; that Martinezs art is inherently feminine, resilient, and loud is no coincidence. The artists paintings and illustrations are a map of her lived experiences in the United States, and the world, as a Black and Mexican woman. Now, having found and continuously diversifying following, which includes H.E.R. and Ciara, Martinez is taking her art to new and high terrains in order to share the many stories she carries with her. All of my experiences in the world being a Mexican woman, being a Black woman, I know that I have to fight a little bit harder to be heard, she says of the mural. This is my chance to just put us all out there. On a humid post-rainy day in Manhattan, I met Martinez on the 79th floor of 3 WTC (all Covid-19 precautions taken into account) as she applied the finishing touches on the mural. High above the humming city streetssadly the city no longer bustleswe discussed, among other things, her journey in the art world, how Kahlo has guided her life, and the importance of Black and Brown bodies inside the mighty sky towers of New York Cityand the world.

ERNESTO MACIAS: Tell me about your journey with art, and what brought you here today to this mural.

CRISTINA MARTINEZ: Ever since I was younger I always felt this urgency to express myself.I didnt always understand how. Sometimes I would write, sometimes I would draw. It didnt always come in the form of painting, but the creative expression was definitely always there. I always talk about Bob Ross. I love Bob Ross so much. Being younger and seeing him painting on TV knowing that thats his job. It always seemed so far away, God, how did he get to that space? To be here now, and this is what I do is really crazy to me. I studied fashion for a little while, and I thought that that was the direction that I wanted to go in.

MACIAS: Where did you study?

MARTINEZ: At the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I loved it, and I do still love to sew now. I would spend so much time illustrating my garments and creating this whole person. I was always more drawn to the story than to actually the construction of the piece. It was in fashion school that I really was just starting to realize that Im a painter. Im not a fashion brand.

MACIAS: How long did it take you to realize that?

MARTINEZ: I would say I didnt fully accept it at first. Youre in school, you paid all this money, youre working so hard, but I finally just left school. I started trying to paint the ideas that were in my mind rather than referencing things. You reference so much in fashion school. I was just like, I wanted to do the complete opposite. I just wanted to tell the stories that were in my mind and it just started to develop. And now were here.

MACIAS: Were here on the 79th floor of this building. Youve mentioned a little bit that there are 30 something figures here, but tell me what this mural is and what it represents to you. What is it that youre painting on this wall?

MARTINEZ: When I first thought of the World Trade Center, Im like, Perseverance, pushing through. Buildings were down to nothing and now here they are. That whole idea of not being stopped, and continuing to push through, and to grow again, to bloom again after youre at your lowest point was the main idea in my mind when I first started to think about what I was going to put on this wall. Being on a floor where Im surrounded by other art thats all about female empowerment, that really is a story I tell in my work a lot. I kind of merged those ideas together. In my artwork, I usually focus on telling stories of people that have to work a little bit harder to be heard. So right now, in the state of the world that were in, having an opportunity to have this big of a space, to tell a story, I really wanted to focus on Black and brown women. So thats what I did.

MACIAS: I was thinking on the way here because one of my very first internships was literally down the street by the water. As a person of color, you see these buildings, and sometimes when you walk inside them, theres not many of us here. I was thinking about that extra layer of the meaning of so many bodies of color on this wall, which may not be the reality. How do you feel about that?

MARTINEZ: To me, its one of those things that I feel is so necessary. We are here, we have experiences, and we have stories. We belong in these spaces too. Ive made it my mission to use every opportunity that I have to make sure that there are faces that look like me, and my cousins, and my friends, and to be seen with a spotlight like this as well. Even when people walk through here, I know its different. I think that initially, it might be, Whoa, whats going on over there? Its an everyday reminder. We are here. We influence so much of culture. Im Mexican and Black, I was raised by the Mexican side of my family. And all of my experiences in the world being a Black woman, being a Mexican woman, I incorporate that in all of my work. I know that I have to fight a little bit harder to be heard. This is my chance to just put us all out there.

MACIAS: We talked about the personal meaning of this, and we talked about making people uncomfortable with something that is new. So what do you hope that people that arent of color, that arent Black, what do you hope they take away from it? What is the hope for this mural?

MARTINEZ: I hope that my audience looks at this mural and 1) understands. I just hope that it encourages them to want to hear these stories. To want to put themselves in someone elses shoes. Lately, I will say, normally if I did a painting that was all Black women, I sell to Black men and women, but lately, the diversity and the people that are collecting my art has grown so much. That is very inspiring to me. As I said, people have walked through here, and I can tell theyre looking, but to just take a minute, and to sit with it, and to understand why its necessary and why it is importantand why its in your face. Theres a very heavy Black and brown presence, and not just to look at it and just see that, but to understand it and why thats a big deal in this space.

MACIAS: Im going to ask you these light questions to get to know you a little better. Do you believe in astrology? And if so, whats your zodiac sign?

MARTINEZ: I have tried for so long to not believe in astrology, because Im like, I love god, but I believe that the sun has the ability to burn our skin, and the sun is so far from us. Thats crazy to me. So to think that were not affected by the placement of the planets, and the stars, and the moons, it seems impossible for us not to be. So now Ive grown to really believe. Every Capricorn Ive met, and I am a Capricorn, is like an OCD, very extra, very driven, does-too-much kind of person. So I cant really deny it anymore.

MACIAS: Are you a morning or a night person?

MARTINEZ: Im a morning person.

MACIAS: What does a typical morning look like for you?

MARTINEZ: I usually wake up at 5:00 a.m. I have a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old, so I make time to have my own time in the morning. They usually are up by 8:00, so before breakfast, Ive already drawn Beyonce three times. I get a lot done early in the mornings. Waking up here has been no problem really, just because its Ive been up at 8 a.m. here every day from the sunlight. As Ive gotten older Ive learned that the resting part of the creative journey is so necessary. You make better art when your body is good. So I do make it a point to sleep.

MACIAS: You went to school for fashion, but do you have any other creative pursuits that you go to?

MARTINEZ: I love to shoot video, I love to take pictures. I document my own creative process a lot. Ive always really been into that. Its just like another outlet with no expectations. I can pick up the camera, and its something I can learn, and theres no pressure with it. Also, my boyfriend actually just bought me a typewriter from 1932.

MACIAS: That is so cool.

MARTINEZ: Im so excited about it. Im not a writer at all, but I do like to put my thoughts on paper, and I dont know. People always talk about my Instagram captions, because they are Just whatever my brain is thinking. I write it in that way. And I like to do that. I like to have a physical journal of my thoughts.

MACIAS: You said something, and you said it so casually, but picking up instrument or doing art without any expectation. I think that a lot of artists, a lot of young artists, or creatives in general, are always, in the back of their head, making art with an expectation. How do you get to the point of making art or creating things without that pressure?

MARTINEZ: Im so glad you asked that. I dont know if social media has done that or what, but Ive noticed that people if they want to paint, they feel like they have to be a painter. I try not to even identify. Just creatively I just try to flow, because it gets weird. If you feel the need in yourself to express something, the means to do that are limitless. The most important thing to me is to break down that wall to be able to be vulnerable in a creative way. Thats all people should really focus on. The expectations that we have of ourselves, its just not necessary. Not in that way. Its supposed to bring peace. Making art should bring peace. Worry about making money from it and all that later. First, just connect with art.

MACIAS: You know especially because all thats happened in the world and in our country lately, I think that artI live in Brooklyn. I just moved to this new neighborhood. The graffiti, even though the street is covered with All Black Lives Matter, and Ive seen art in New York before, I dont know that Ive seen art, in my lifetime, used as a revolutionary tool to express emotions. I think that people are getting to that point where theyre just letting it out.

MARTINEZ: I think that more often than not when you have a quiet moment, I believe that theres a creative in everybody, and maybe your outlet for it is different, but that need to create is there. You just have to fuel it. When we have these limitations, especially with COVID, being in our homes, the amount of people that Ive seen turn to art is so crazy and inspiring because it just shows that the power of art is there. You just have to really tap into it.

MACIAS: Who are some people that inspire you the most?

MARTINEZ: I would definitely say creative Frida Kahlo. I have loved Frida my entire life. Again, with her, the most inspirational thing about her for me is just her entire life was about facing challenge, after challenge, and she continued to turn to her art. I keep that with me all the time. I dont even feel comfortable saying, Oh, Im not inspired right now. Because to me its just an excuse. Being able to turn to my art, no matter what Im facing has come from her.

Outside of that, my kids and the way that they see the world is very inspiring. I was just telling my mom the other day that my daughter was like, Ill see you again when the sky is blue and the clouds are out, but shes really just trying to say, Ill see you tomorrow. Its apainting in my head.

MACIAS: Even when you dont know someone, but you recognize references, its like you already know them. What would you be doing if you werent creating art or an artist?

MARTINEZ: I always say the two things I care about the most are being a really great artist and a really great mom. I would probably have 10 kids. If it wasnt for my art, I would probably have, literally, 10 or 15 children.

MACIAS: Well, now you have 40.

MARTINEZ: I love, I love, I love being a mom. I love my kids. I loved that whole experience. The responsibility of taking care of a human, and giving them the tools that they need to go on and do great things. Thats just a blessing.

MACIAS: I didnt grow up with artist parents, and so I cant imagine what its like.

MARTINEZ: Oh, my kids are crazy.

MACIAS: But when I speak to people that have made a certain mark in life, or whatever, its usually they grow up with no limitations, and art is always part of it. So thats really exciting for your kids.

MARTINEZ: Exactly. My daughter just sold a painting the other day for $1,300. My son has green hair.

MACIAS: See, that is so cool.

MARTINEZ: Im always like, if I was exposed to art this young, I wonder what I would have been like?

MACIAS: You made it here without being directly exposed. Now imagine. What is your favorite movie?

MARTINEZ: Spanglish. Ive watched Spanglish so many times. I can relate to that movie so much because of the way I grew up. Every time I just need something on, I watch that movie.

MACIAS: I love that. You reminded me of it. I forget about it.

MARTINEZ: And the girls name is Cristina, too.

MACIAS: Its such a weird cast, and it worked. What books are you reading, or whats the last book that you read?

MARTINEZ: I read a lot of books. I read a lot of fiction books because I liked to just not think about anything for a while. The last book that I read was probably Little Fires Everywhere. I read it again so I could watch the show. Very triggering, but really good.

MACIAS: All those shows that that group of women have been creating

MARTINEZ: Its a lot. I would only let myself watch one episode a day, because it was like, This is too much. Im going to absorb all this energy and then be in a bad mood.

MACIAS: What was the last thing you were embarrassed about?

MARTINEZ: My son just asked me this the other day. Probably sending a text to the wrong person. Im notorious for that.

MACIAS: What was the last thing you were proud about?

MARTINEZ: This, being here? For sure. I will remember doing this.

MACIAS: I think this is a pretty big deal. What makes you happy?

MARTINEZ: Being a mom for sure. Being in nature, growing up in Seattle, just being outdoors. The sun makes me happy. Ive learned to really appreciate that stuff, honestly. Being up here, being able to see the sunset, reading books, traveling. Ive had a rough last few years and being able to find happiness in the smallest things has been key for me lately.

MACIAS: I think thats a major part of surviving the times right now. Do you have any regrets?

MARTINEZ: I regret not finishing art school. I wish I would have just changed my major rather than being so discouraged by the fact that I knew I wasnt doing the right thing, because yes, it was in fashion, but it was still art. I dont think education is for everybody, but for me, sometimes I think that the stories in my mind are so intense that I should have grown my technical skill more. I am doing that on my own just at a different pace. I got so discouraged knowing that this isnt what Im supposed to be doing, that I didnt really stop and think. Now, if I could go back to school right now, I would.

MACIAS: Whats next for you?

MARTINEZ: Im going to keep making art. Im continuing to put myself in spaces to have my work seen, mainly, because of the story that Im telling. If I could completely remove myself from all of it and just tell these stories, it would still be that important to me. This is my way of giving back, fighting for these people that have to fight to be heard, myself included. Really showing people that art can bring peace. I dont just show the good stuff. Its a journey, and Ive been pretty open about my journey artistically and personally. My audience has really seen art heal me in a lot of ways. I encourage people to just use art, to find peace. If everybody just made art the world would be a lot better.

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A Personal (and 6ft. Apart) Conversation With Artist Cristina Martinez - Interview

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The CBC Books Writers to Watch list: 24 Canadian writers on the rise in 2020 – CBC.ca

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It's time for the CBC Booksannual writers to watch list! Here are 24 writers on the rise the CBC Books class of 2020.

Sarah Louise Butler is a writer from Nelson, B.C. Her work has appeared in Room. Her first novel,The Wild Heavens, came out in spring 2020.

The Wild Heavensis a novel about the magic and mystery of nature and our relationship to it. Over the course of one cold winter day, a young mother, Sandy Langley, reflects on her grandfather, who was obsessed with a mysterious creature in the woods, their relationship, motherhood and more, while finally coming to terms with the mysteries and tragedies that shaped her life and made her who she is.

Jillian Christmas is a Vancouver-based educator, activist,community organizerand spoken word poet who focuses on increasinganti-oppression initiatives in spoken word.She is the former artistic director of Vancouver's Verses Festival of Words.The Gospel of Breakingis her debut poetry collection.

The Gospel of Breakingdraws on Christmas's politics, family history and queer lineage, telling stories of love, friendship and community.

Desmond Cole is ajournalist, radio hostand activist based inToronto.His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Now Magazineandthe Walrus.The Skin We're Inis his first book.

The Skin We're Inlooks at one year, 2017, and chronicles Cole's personal journalism, activism and experiences alongside stories that made the headlines across the country, including refugees crossing the Canada-U.S. border in the middle of winter and the death of Somali-CanadianAbdirahman Abdiat the hands of the Ottawa police.

Megan Gail Colesis a playwright from Savage Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. She has published theshort story collectionEating Habits of the Chronically Lonesomeand the novel Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club. Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club was a finalist for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was defended on Canada Reads 2020 by Alayna Fender.

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Clubrevolves around a cast of flawed characters all connected to a trendy St. John's restaurant. Over the course of a snowy February day, theyare implicated in each other's hopes, dreams and pains as they try to survive harsh economic times in the province.

Eva Crocker is a novelist and short story writer from Newfoundland. She is the author of the short story collectionBarrelling Forwardand the novel All I Ask.All IAskwill be available in August 2020.

In All IAsk, Stacey wakes up one morning to the police pounding on her door. They claim they are looking for "illegal digital material" and seize her phone and computer. Worried for her safety, Stacey bands together with her friends to seek a way toan authentic, unencumbered way of life.

ChantalGibson is an artist, poet and educator from Vancouver. With ancestral roots in Nova Scotia, Gibson's literary approach is dedicated to challenging imperialist ideas by way of a close look at Canadian literature, history, art, media and pop culture. She is the author of the poetry collectionHow She Read.

How She Readis a collection of genre-blurring poems about the representation of Black women in Canada from a cultural perspective. It was a finalist for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Michelle Good is a Cree writer and lawyer, as well as a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. She published her first novel,Five Little Indians,in spring 2020.

InFive Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie were taken from their families and sent to a residential school when they were very small. Barely out of childhood, they are released and left to contend with the seedy world of eastside Vancouver. Fuelled by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past.

Gemma Hickey is an LGBTQ activist and writer from Newfoundland. They became the first person in Canada to receive a gender neutral birth certificate and passport. Their first book,Almost Feral, came out in 2019.

A few years ago, Hickey did a908-kilometre walk across the island of Newfoundland. They did it to raise awareness and money for survivors of institutional religious abuse. Their memoir,Almost Feral, describes that journey and the equally hard road ofcomingto terms with their identity throughout the journey digging into the good and bad in theirpast along the way with an eye on motivating others to accept themselves and what they stand for.

Jasmin Kaur is a poet who's been embraced by pop culture. She's a Sikh illustrator and spoken word artist living in Vancouver whose work has shown up everywhere, from Reese Witherspoon's social media toJennifer Lopez's performance at the 2018 American Music Awards. Her first poetry collection is calledWhen You Ask Me Where I'm Going.

When You Ask Me Where I'm Goingis a mix of poetry, prose and artwork. The book aims to spark debate around themes of mental health, feminism, immigration and personal empowerment. It's a look at what it means to be alive and willing to fight for rights in theworld.

Adnan Khan is a journalist and magazine writer from Toronto.He was the recipient of the2016 RBC Taylor Prize for Emerging Writersand was a readerfor theCBC Nonfiction Prizein 2017. He published his first book,There Has to Be a Knife, in 2019.

There Has to Be a Knifeis about a chef who unravels after the death of his ex-girlfriend.When Omar Ali is informed his ex-girlfriend Anna has died, he resolves to retrieve her suicide note from her parents. Filled with grief and unable to cope, the 27-year-old line cook spirals out of control, participating in break-ins and online terrorism.

Helen Knott is a social worker, poet and writer of Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw and European descent.Her memoir,In My Own Moccasins, is a story of addiction, sexual violence and intergenerational trauma. It explores how colonization has affected her family over generations. It is also a story of hope and redemption, celebrating the resilience and history of her family.

In My Own Moccasins,was onthe 2020 RBC Taylor Prize longlist. In 2020, she launched a literary prize for single parents.

Stphane Larue is a novelist from Quebec. He's spent 15 years in the restaurant industry, where he started as a dishwasher. This became the inspiration for his first novel,The Dishwasher.

The French version of the book,Le Plongeur,won thePrix des libraires du Qubec and thePrix Senghorand was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for French-language fiction.It was translated into English by Pablo Strauss. The English version won the 2020 Amazon First Novel Award.

David Ly is a poet who lives in Vancouver.His poetry has appeared in publications like The Puritan, PRISM international and The Temz Review. His first poetry collection,Mythical Man,was published in spring 2020.

Mythical Man explores the many facets of queer love. The book builds on themes of toxic masculinity, race and identity in the 21st century.

Karen McBrideis an Algonquin Anishinaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. Her first novel,Crow Winter, was published in 2019.

Crow Winter is about a young Indigenous woman namedHazel Ellis, who has the magical power tocross between thespiritualandmaterialworlds. Following the loss of her father, Hazel returns to her reservation, Spirit Bear Point First Nation,to be with her mother and to reconcile her grief.

J.R. McConvey is a writer from Toronto. His work has been published in the Malahat Review, Joyland and the Dalhousie Review.He was also longlisted for the2016CBC Poetry Prize. His first book, the fantastical short story collection,Different Beasts, was published in 2019.

Different Beastsis a short story collection that explores the beastly side of humanityand the human side of monsters. The characters are both otherworldly and earth-bound, ranging from mutant angels and insectoid demon-gods topoliticians and parents.Different Beastswon the 2020 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in the speculative fiction category.

Noor Nagais aCanadian-Egyptian writer.She won the 2017 Bronwen Wallace Awardfor her poemThe Mistress and the Ping.She also wonthe Disquiet Fiction Prize in 2019.Her debut novelAmerican Girl and Boy from Shobrakheitis forthcoming in the fall 2021. Her first book is the poetry collection Washes, Prays.

Washes, Praysfollows Coocoo, a young immigrant woman living in Toronto who begins to question her faith after falling in love with Muhammad, a married father of two. Coocoo wonders how she can reconcile her faith with her actions and whether her relationship withMuhammad can really last.

Cole Pauls is a Tahltan comic artist. He created the comicDakwkda Warriorsas a language revival initiative. In 2017, it won Broken Pencil Magazine's Best Comic and Best Zine of the Year Award. It's now a full-length graphic novel, which wasshortlistedfor the 2020 Doug Wright Award for best book for kids.Pauls was also nominated for theforthe 2020 Doug Wright Award for best emerging talent.

In Dakwkda Warriors, two Earth Protectors are charged with saving the planet from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches.The comic, which incorporates a blend of English and Southern Tutchone, serves as an allegory for colonialism.

AlexPugsleyis a filmmaker and writer from Nova Scotia. He is the co-author of the novelKay Darling. His fiction has appeared in the Dalhousie Review, Brick and McSweeney's.His latest book is the novelAubrey McKee.

Aubrey McKeeis the the first in a series of five autobiographical novels by Alex Pugsley.Aubrey McKeetells the story of a boy growing up in 1970s and 1980s Halifax. The second novel in the series willfollowthe narrator's arrival in Toronto as a young man.

Yusuf Saadiis a poet from Montreal.Pluviophileis his first collection. He won theMalahat Review's 2016 Far Horizons Award for Poetry for the poemThe Place Words Go to Die, which is inPluviophile.

Pluviophileis a mix of longer sonnets and shorter meditations, all of which explore humanity's relationship with divinity and how we value our bodies, our language and how we connect with each other and the greater world.

John Elizabeth Stintzi is anovelist, poet, teacher and visual artist. They won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writers for their workSelections From Junebat.The complete poetrycollection,Junebat, was published in spring 2020. Stintzi is also the author of the novelVanishing Monuments.

InVanishing Monuments,Alani Baum has not seen their mother since they were 17 years old almost 30 years ago. The non-binary photographer ran away from home with their girlfriend.When their mother's dementia worsensAlani is forced to run back to her. In the face of a debilitatingillness, Alani has to contend with painful memories from the past.

Souvankham Thammavongsais an Ontario writer and poet.Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared inHarper's,Granta,The Paris ReviewandNoon.She has published four books of poetry, including 2019'sCluster.She published her first work of fiction, the short story collectionHow to Pronounce Knife, in spring 2020.

How to Pronounce Knifeis a collection of idiosyncratic and diverse stories. From a young man painting nails in a salonto a housewife learning English from soap operas,How to Pronounce Knifeexplores the tragedy and humour inthe daily lives of immigrants.

Jesse Thistle is a Mtis-Cree academic specializing in Indigenous homelessness, addiction and inter-generational trauma. For Thistle, these issues are more than just subjects on the page. After a difficult childhood, Thistle spent much of his early adulthood struggling with addiction while living on the streets of Toronto. Told in short chapters interspersedwith poetry, his memoirFrom the Ashesdetails how his issues with abandonment and addiction led to homelessness, incarceration and his eventual redemption through higher education.

From the Ashesis his first book.From the Asheswas defended byGeorge CanyononCanada Reads2020. It won the 2020 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction.

Jenny Heijun Wills is an academic and author who currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg. She was born in Korea and adopted as an infant by a white family in southern Ontario. In her late 20s, Wills traveled to Seoul to look for her first family. She chronicles this emotional,rocky reunion in her memoirOlder Sister. Not Necessarily Related.

Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.shares this journey in a series of vignettes and letters. It also explores the impact of being raised by a family of a different ethnicity and culture. It won the$60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Evan Winter is a writer currently living in Markham, Ont.He was born in England to South American parents. The fantasy novelThe Rage of Dragonsis his first book.The Rage of Dragonswas originally self-published before it was acquired by Orbit Books. It is the first book in a planned series. The second novel, The Fires of Vengeance, is set to be published in fall 2020.

InThe Rage of Dragons, a world is caught in an eternal warand protagonist Tau is his people's only hope for survival. Describedas a mix ofGame of ThronesandGladiator,The Rage of Dragonsfollows Tau as he attempts to get revenge and become the greatest swordsman to ever live.

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Break Through Blockages: from Fear to Flow (Love Empowerment) w Porsche Ing – BlogTalkRadio

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Porsche hails from the beautiful Hawaiian islands where she was born and raised. She has a Masters of Public Health degree with an emphasis in Health Education and a Bachelors of Science degree in Commercial Health Promotion. She has over 27 years in the Health, Fitness, and Wellness field teaching self empowerment classes and practices. She served as a Fitness Director, Trainer, and Fitness Instructor for creative health programming. She also served as a Promotional Director, Social Media Coordinator, and Community service outreach Volunteer Coordinator.

Porsche has served her local community as Ms. Asian Universal Hawaii. She also had the great honor of serving as Ms. Eco China last year 2019, and enjoyed sharing her personal platform of Love, Peace, Harmony movement with the world.She is also grateful to be a Greatest Divine Love Teacher, Certified Tao Academy Tao Hands Practitioner, Tao Hands Ambassador, Tao Science Ambassador and Love Peace Harmony Ambassador to the world especially now when our world is going through tremendous transformation to usher in the True Golden Age.

She is so honored to have finished her first book Break Through Blockages, her personal self empowerment journey and experience with over 25 years of teaching students globally. Now Porsche is currently working on her third book in the Love Empowerment series and well as teaching many self empowerment wisdom from her books to students worldwide. Truly her very Magical dream come true. Find Porsche's first book here:https://bit.ly/lovempower

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Law banning triple talaq: A year ago today, we reached a defining moment in empowerment of women – The Times of India Blog

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Exactly a year ago today, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, was passed by both Houses of the Parliament. This Act, in substance, declared the triple talaq, ie talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq, illegal. Any Muslim husband who pronounces such talaq to his wife can suffer imprisonment for a term of three years and also be liable for fine.

The offence under this law is cognisable only if the information given to the police is either by the married Muslim woman to whom the talaq is pronounced or by any person related to her by blood or marriage. This is designed to prevent misuse by outsiders. Under the Act, bail can be granted only after hearing the victim woman and on reasonable grounds.

There is provision for subsistence allowance for the wife and her dependent children as determined by the magistrate, including the right of the wife for the custody of her minor children. Significantly, the offence punishable under the Act has also been made compoundable but only at the insistence of the Muslim woman and with the permission of the magistrate on appropriate terms, which the court may determine.

It is indeed a sad commentary that in spite of more than 20 Islamic countries having regulated triple talaq in one form or the other, it took us more than 70 years since Independence to pass such a law in Parliament, after so much opposition and campaign by vested interests. I had repeatedly argued in Parliament that this legislation is only designed for gender justice, equity and empowerment and has no religious overtones at all.

Should an India be governed by constitutional principles including fundamental rights, which so proudly proclaim gender justice and empowerment, allow a big segment of our women to suffer this rank discrimination, that too when majority of the victims came from economically weaker sections? Prime Minister Narendra Modi was very clear that the government must work to ensure justice to victims of triple talaq, support their cause in the court and also bring out a robust law.

While doing the homework for the Bill, I was distressed to learn about many instances wherein triple talaq, irrevocably annulling the marriage, was pronounced for the flimsiest of reasons which included food not being cooked properly, or the wife waking up late in the morning. An IT professional, who reached out to me, had to suffer the ignominy of triple talaq through WhatsApp from her husband from a Middle Eastern country, because her third child was also a daughter.

Today is also the occasion for me to salute the great courage shown by many Muslim women organisations and victims, who took up this cause and challenged it in court. The Supreme Court ultimately declared triple talaq as unconstitutional in a majority judgment. Two judges declared triple talaq to be manifestly arbitrary and therefore violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board vehemently argued before the court that they will themselves educate their community against this form of divorce and the court shouldnt intervene. Regrettably, instead of educating their community effectively they took the lead in opposing the proposed law itself when it was under parliamentary scrutiny.

Our post-Independence history has always witnessed progressive laws designed to curb instances of atrocities against women. Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, or Section 32 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, or Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relating to cruelty against a woman by her husband or his relatives, are all cognisable and non-bailable offences and they are religion neutral. Further, Section 304B of the IPC made the offence punishable with life imprisonment if death because of harassment of the wife occurs within seven years of marriage. Requisite amendments were also made under the Evidence Act about presumption of abetment to suicide and dowry death.

In 2018, we amended Section 376 of the IPC where deterrent punishments of death in case of rape has been provided if the victim is 12 years or below in age. I need to acknowledge that all these legislations were supported over the years by all the political parties where religion of the offender or victim was irrelevant. Why is it that in case of triple talaq, such progressive evolution of Indias society and polity was found to be wavering? The only inference is that from Shah Bano in 1985 to Shayara Bano in 2017, vote bank politics continued to dominate vested political interests at great cost to Muslim women.

While moving the Bill in the Parliament, I had shared statistics on the continuation of practice of triple talaq even after the judgment of the SC. I am happy to learn that the department of minority affairs has elaborately examined the state wise data, after getting feedback from various Waqf Boards and other sources, and found out a significant decline in number of cases of triple talaq after the enactment of this law, as compared to the number reported earlier. Further, in many cases, respectable compromise has also been achieved. This is an assuring sign of empowerment and redemption. Getting this historic legislation passed by the Parliament was indeed personally very satisfying for me.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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This is what personal finance apps should be doing to better serve older people (and maybe everyone) – MarketWatch

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Theres something curious about mobile and online personal finance apps and websites, sometimes called fintech. Theyre not used much by people over 50, especially low-to-moderate income older adults.

What Id tell my fellow 50-plusers: Its not you, itsthem the fintech designers and marketers.

Online bankinghas never been more important than it is now for older adults, Linda Peters, director of Older Adult Programs at the Northwest Side Housing Center in Chicago, said in a digital empowerment presentation at the recent National Council on Aging (NCOA) virtualAge & Actionconference. And yet, she added, there has been a huge digital divide between older adults and banking.

The sites really are not intuitive. Im not sure theyre designed for younger people. Its just that younger people are used to dealing with crappy websites, so they just keep going.

As thepandemichas temporarily closed some bank branches and made visiting open ones and ATMs a potential COVID-19 risk, however, its definitely pushing some people who were previously reluctant adopters to adopt online banking, saidThomas Kamber, executive director of Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging.

But as the nonprofit Financial Health NetworksFintech Over 50: Designing for Low-to Moderate-Income Older Adultsresearch report (sponsored by the AARP Foundation in collaboration with Chase JPM, -0.39% ) shows, fintech designers and marketers have done a pretty crummy job making their tools ideal for boomers, Gen Xers and the Silent Generation.

Thats especially true for the 56 million Americans over 50 with incomes under $45,000 or so, who could really use the help. According to the Financial Health Networks researchers, only 17% of low-to-moderate-income adults over 50 are financially healthy; 57% are financially coping and 26% are financially vulnerable.

You might like: As Trump and Biden trade age insults, older workers suffer

Its not as if people 50+ are tech Luddites. Most are active users of smartphones and other technology offering access to fintech solutions. Some 86% of adults in their 50s and 81% of those in their 60s have smartphones.

Older low-to-moderate-income adults, the Financial Health Network report said, prefer to feel fully in control over their money and personal information and will be most drawn to fintech companies that put them in the drivers seat. Theyre especially concerned about financial fraud; more than 3.5 million Americans 60+ were victims in 2017.

One reason so many older Americans still dont deposit checks through their bankssmartphone app: fear of what might happen if they do.

In my experience, theres distrust. How do I know my money is going to get to you as opposed to handing my check to a teller? said Donna Turner, chief operations officer at Zelle, a digital payments network owned by a group of major banks.

See: Why you should be using a VPN if you bank and invest online

The percentage of older adults using mobile checking to deposits has been on the rise during the pandemic, though. A June 2020 SYKES survey of 1,000 people 55+ found that 18% who do use mobile checking did so for the first time due to the pandemic. And Zelle says 55% of people 55 and older are using mobile banking more frequently since the start of the pandemic.

Fear also prevents some older Americans from using personal finance apps to manage their savings and investments.

Said Kamber: If youre using Google Maps and you make a mistake and go down the wrong street, you go down one block. If you use your retirement savings account and accidentally put money in the wrong place, you could lose thousands of dollars.

Kamber is somewhat annoyed by many in the fintech world.

There seems to be a war between user design and engineering and unfortunately, engineers have won. The sites really are not intuitive, he said. Im not sure theyre designed for younger people. Its just that younger people are used to dealing with crappy websites, so they just keep going.

A few highlights from theFintech Over 50report (noted in bold), based on Financial Health Networks focus groups with 90 low-to-moderate-income older adults, along with insights from experts about what those people said.

Many fintech solutions are designed for younger users and dont address the needs of users over 50 properly.

It is surprising, said Heidi Johnson, director of behavioral economics at Financial Health Network. The financial health needs of low-to-middle-income older adults are often serious and similar to those we all experience, with the challenges of building up short-term savings and that we might have to keep working.

Also see: The financial planning business is mostly white, but these investment advisers are trying to change that

Johnson and Kamber believe its less about designing money management tech tools specifically for older users and more about incorporating these users in the target audience. This population doesnt need super-tailored products, said Johnson. They just need to be included in solutions.

Even though older adults are catching up to younger generations technology use, the stereotype of the tech-illiterate older person persists. Many of the focus group participants, the report noted, seemed to have internalized this stigma of technological ineptitude and largely identified themselves as bad at technology.

Kamber said hes seen it a million times, adding that older people are treated condescendingly and in dismissive ways when theyre trying to learn technology. Then, he said, the worst thing that happens is you dont use the tools to manage your money and you then spend money you dont have.

Only a small number of the focus group participants had tried (or were aware of) more holistic digital financial management tools or more targeted offerings that could help them manage their most common financial challenges, such as insufficient short-term savings, unmanageable debt, inadequate protection from medical shocks, inability to retire fully and financial obligations.

I hear [older] people say: I got my smartphone to send pictures and share photos and for Google Maps, said Kamber. They dont think of financial management as one of the core killer apps.

Some of the focus group participants ran into challenges navigating within an application, losing their way after an inadvertent click or a transition to an unfamiliar page.

The focus group participants would sometimes respond by abandoning their task, closing an application or turning off a device just so they could find their way back to familiar territory.

Older people want good, clean design, said Kamber. Theyre like the Scandinavian design consumers of the internet.

Some participants were wary of automated bill paying or account transfers, which raised fears for lower income older adults who wanted the ability to monitor and control the flow of money in and out of their accounts closely.

For many of them, the researchers said, taking financial decisions out of their hands put them at risk of paying additional fees.

Many participants expressed an aversion to fintech products specifically targeted toward older users.

Instead, they said they desired a mass-market product that meets their specific needs, without marginalizing them for their age or demographic.

What could help make personal finance apps and tech tools better for people 50+? The Financial Health Network researchers, Johnson and Kamber have numerous recommendations for fintech designers, including these eight:

1. Have older adults as part of your initial focus groups when designing the products and services. Its extremely rare for the companies to do that, Kamber said. He estimates less than 2% of fintech online products are user tested with people over 60. Maybe less than 1%, he added.

And they have to do it in a way thats not tokenistic, Kamber said. That means not calling your grandmother and saying What do you want? and then going to a business meeting and saying: She wants big buttons. Companies instead need to invest enough energy so the information they get about older users is meaningful.

2. Use inclusive messaging, showcasing different ethnicities and backgrounds and framing aging in a positive light. Dont single out low-to-moderate-income older adults for their age, disability status or financial situation.

Said Johnson: When older adults see themselves reflected in marketing and as potential users, theyre much more likely to be interested in trying them out.

3. Make fees clear and tell users what the costs are upfront.Older adults with lower incomes are particularly sensitive to hidden costs and fees, the Financial Health Network researchers noted.

4. Let users test things out.Allow pre-adoption exploration of features by offering product demos and functional mock-ups online where people can browse them, the Financial Health Network report said.

5. Share information concerningfraud protectionand data security early in the users experience with the product.When asking for personal information, explain why, as well as how it will be used and protected.

Older adults who identify with historically marginalized communities, such as people of color, documented and undocumented immigrants and religious minorities often feel apprehensive when financial companies ask for personal information, the Financial Health Network report noted.

6. Let users hit pause on any automatic or recurring actions with their money.Those include auto-payment of bills or auto-contributions of savings. There may be months, particularly for low-to-moderate-income older adults, when they wont have the spare cash to automatically pay a bill on a certain date or move money from checking to savings.

7. Provide navigation signposts.The more the experience is clear, as well as intuitive, the better. Otherwise, older adults may give up because they feel lost.

8. Offer human support to help users when something goes wrong and provide training that covers the full range of the content.Tutorials should include things like a key for icons in the interface; learning materials and how to easily get software updates.

To help train older adults, Zelle has joined with Kambers Senior Planet program from OATS, offering people 60+ free classes about mobile banking and avoiding financial scams.

Also on MarketWatch: Apple, Google release technology for coronavirus-tracking apps

And programs like Capital Ones Ready, Set, Bank: Online Banking Made Easy can help. It works with groups like the Northwest Side Housing Center in Chicago and OATS to teach older residents how to use online and mobile banking tools.

Jamie Lutton, senior management of community development for Capital One COF, -1.60% , said at the NCOA conference that after taking its classes, 76% of seniors were more comfortable with online banking and 77% felt safer banking online. But, its worth adding, just 29% actually signed up for online banking afterward.

Johnson believes designers and marketers of personal finance apps and sites have a lot to gain by better serving low-to-middle-income Americans 50 and older.

Think about including them and designing products and services for them and you will be positioned to carry forward with them well beyond the pandemic, she said.

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Female, Latin American photo collective covers the region in a personal way : The Picture Show – NPR

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Tree women of the Otavalo indigenous community of Ecuador stand on the Arbolito park in Quito, Ecuador during the 10th day of social protests that took place in October, 2019. Isadora Romero hide caption

Tree women of the Otavalo indigenous community of Ecuador stand on the Arbolito park in Quito, Ecuador during the 10th day of social protests that took place in October, 2019.

RUDA, named after the potent rue plant, is a collective of 11 female and nonbinary documentary photographers from Latin America. It formed in September 2018 as an answer to the lack of female representation in the region and the need to portray social developments from the female and local gaze.

While challenging sexist and colonial narratives deeply rooted in the region, these women, image makers, are creating a safe space to put themselves on the international map as photojournalists.

A peaceful march takes place in Valparaso in Chile, where more than 100,000 people from all corners of the country walked to the national congress and demonstrated. The sign reads: "War? No! We're the people demanding justice and dignity." Paz Olivares Droguett hide caption

A peaceful march takes place in Valparaso in Chile, where more than 100,000 people from all corners of the country walked to the national congress and demonstrated. The sign reads: "War? No! We're the people demanding justice and dignity."

Each member of RUDA comes from a different Latin American country, where they currently reside: Bolivia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Members are based in their respective country.

Mayeli Villalba from Paraguay and Isadora Romero from Ecuador met in Asuncin when Romero was invited to a local festival and stayed in the country working on a personal project with Villalba. After discussing the lack of representation in the community, they decided to form the collective. Both invited other female photographers from the region with whom they share the same ethos to join RUDA. As a group, they have formed a multinational alliance with the intention of generating and disseminating narratives reflective of their personal experiences.

Photography has a history of being controlled by the male gaze and while female photographers have existed and thrived, who gets visibility is still in the hands of men, according to data from the World Press Photo State of Photography study.

(Left) A woman protests wearing the Chilean flag at the Valdivia Square in Chile. (Right) Protesters raise their hands in Bogot, Colombia. Paz Olivares Droguett / Ximena Vsquez hide caption

(Left) A woman protests wearing the Chilean flag at the Valdivia Square in Chile. (Right) Protesters raise their hands in Bogot, Colombia.

As a result and for the most, society's collective visual archive has been built on a masculine imaginary view of the world. This is further emphasized through images that make it to the front of the world's leading newspapers and win prestigious awards perpetuating an often victimized view of Latin America.

A Waorani woman during the protests of October of 2019 in Quito, Ecuador. Isadora Romero hide caption

A Waorani woman during the protests of October of 2019 in Quito, Ecuador.

On Oct. 2, 2019, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced a series of economic measures, affecting the population at large. Most Ecuadorians turned to the streets to protest. The unprecedented demonstration around the country, led to social revolts around the region, in Chile, Bolivia, and Colombia respectively. Demonstrations in which women and the indigenous communities took a prominent role. RUDA members have been set to cover the demonstrations in their own way.

"We are concerned about the absence of diversity from which the stories of our peoples are told and disseminated," the group told NPR in an email about confronting a reality in which the power structures and production spaces are in the hands of foreign media (non-Latin American) and foreign correspondents telling the stories from the region.

In addition, this lack of diversity and representation deprive a wide variety of sectors of society of the right to tell their own stories and those of their people. Stories told directly from the experience of events, and therefore from the closest and most personal understanding of situations.

As a team, RUDA is interested in deepening its knowledge of problems and opportunities in Latin America, understanding that, although these developments have their differences in each country, the core structures and challenges are often the same.

Protestors on the streets of Quito, Ecuador in October, 2019. These protests were recorded as among the most violent in the country with clashes between protesters and the police that left 11 people dead. Isadora Romero hide caption

Protestors on the streets of Quito, Ecuador in October, 2019. These protests were recorded as among the most violent in the country with clashes between protesters and the police that left 11 people dead.

Protesters on a truck on their way to "El Arbolito," one of the most important concentration points during the social protests in Ecuador, October 2019. Isadora Romero hide caption

Protesters on a truck on their way to "El Arbolito," one of the most important concentration points during the social protests in Ecuador, October 2019.

Latin America is a vast and diverse region with thousands of narratives, stories and peoples. What kind of experiences as Latin American female photographers connect you to one another?

Koral Carballo (Mexico): We're connected because we are women and/or non-binaries, who are at a disadvantage by the patriarchal gaze within photography. For generations it was believed that there were no women capable of covering risky situations or that we could not fulfill assignments in hostile environments. Today, there are institutions that have empowered these voices, and celebrate the stories told from a patriarchal and white look.

Wara vargas (Bolivia): We have a common desire to show and highlight women's roles across the region. Indigenous, female leaders are becoming stronger and stronger as they raise their voices and change history in the region. All of us in RUDA want to show the struggle behind each woman protesting during these revolutionary times.

Isadora Romero (Ecuador): We're connected through the lens from which we see everyday life as a political act. We're connected through the stories that, even though they might not make it to the front page of a newspaper, are nevertheless worthy of being told.

Finally, we're connected through our understanding of the economic systems and historical structures that have been managed in a similar manner all over the region, such as: colonialism, dictatorships, war on drugs and mass migration.

Fires are seen in the city of Valparaso, Chile in October, 2019. Paz Olivares Droguett hide caption

Fires are seen in the city of Valparaso, Chile in October, 2019.

How do you think the use of Instagram has helped you work as photographers during moments of popular movements?

Paz Olivares Droguett (Chile): Instagram has become an important tool to publicize part of our work. It is a very synthetic language, typical of social networks, but at the same time it is visually effective.

The immediacy and popularity of its use has created communication channels that do not necessarily depend on great economic powers. It has become an opportunity to have a voice and be able to act as developments unfold in our countries.

Isadora Romero (Ecuador): During the protests in Ecuador and Chile, Instagram became a fundamental tool to understand and expand on stories that only traditional media present to the public. It has been a tool that has allowed us to denounce human rights abuses, congregate people and share experiences. As an alternative source of information, it serves a huge purpose for the general public to corroborate stories.

A Bolivian woman smokes after being attacked by teargas used by the police to control and suppress the protest. Bolivians went to the streets to call for the resignation of interim president Jeanine Aez Chvez in November, 2019. Wara Vargas Lara hide caption

A Bolivian woman smokes after being attacked by teargas used by the police to control and suppress the protest. Bolivians went to the streets to call for the resignation of interim president Jeanine Aez Chvez in November, 2019.

If there is an absence of diversity from where the stories of our peoples are told and spread, we run the risk of hegemonizing our history.

What kind of visual narrative do you want to manifest or change?

Paz Olivares Droguett (Chile): The visual and aesthetic hegemony in Latin America still has a lot to do with the idea of the "photographic safari", where European or North-American photographers with often a tourist visa, return time and time again with their cameras to tell the world "what this region is like and what we need to improve.'' But many have not yet learned that we have our own thinking, our own culture, and that we produce our own visual archive without a need for validation from the north.

Isadora Romero (Ecuador): We want to go against the production of imagery whose sole purpose is to win traditional competitions. We want to talk about everyday stories, which are at the core of our societies.

Paz Olivares Droguett (Chile): I would like to propose a hopeful vision, but without being naive. Basically, another type of relationship with the stories we tell, one in which real links are generated, in which photography is understood as a vehicle and not necessarily as an end. Where communication is more of a collaborative act that combines voices, rather than an egocentric job that seeks recognition and validation.

In addition, I want us to keep on questioning ourselves about what kind of structures we are holding with our images. Structures from where we continue to discriminate against minorities, from where we victimize the victims, from where we repeat a discourse of eternal suffering.

We want to talk about social empowerment, we want to talk about the dignity of our peoples, about alternative ways of building ourselves as societies, from the collective and the eternal interest for the other and for ourselves.

Women from the Otavalo community cover their faces in front of tear gas during the October, 2019 protests in Quito, Ecuador. Isadora Romero hide caption

Women from the Otavalo community cover their faces in front of tear gas during the October, 2019 protests in Quito, Ecuador.

Anything else you would like to share?

We are a collective under construction. In the short time that we have been together, we've seen the urgency of narrating what is happening in our region at this time. Just as the urgency of knowing where we are located as photographers and as Latin Americans.

Being a representative of each country allows us to debate about our general realities as a region and as individuals in our countries, by doing so, we're continually expanding our perspectives.

It's a lifelong lesson.

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Meet the Class of 2020: The Global Citizen Fellowship Powered by BeyGOOD Kicks Off Its Second Year – Global Citizen

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Why Global Citizens Should Care

Back in 2018, at the historic Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme was announced, powered by the BeyGOOD initiative.

Inspired by Nelson Mandelas passion for youth development and education, as well as his legacy of empowering future generations, the inaugural class of the Global Citizen Fellowship joined the Global Citizen Africa team in 2019.

Now, the Fellowship programme is kicking off for its second year with an extraordinary class of 10 young people who we cant wait to introduce.

"With all that is happening in our world, educating, empowering, and employing our youth to use their voice and vocation to makepositive impact is essential to creating lasting change,says IvyMcGregor, Director of Social Responsibly at Parkwood Entertainment, headquarters for BeyGOOD.

McGregor adds:The model BeyGOOD has designed through the Fellowship programme, in partnership with Global Citizen, has become a pathway for sustainable economic impact.We are proud to welcome the class of 2020 they have entered at such a critical time, pivotal to dynamic outcomes and overall success.

Designed to empower young people with work experience, the programme is not only supporting the vision of a South Africa that nurtures its youth.

The Global Citizen Fellowship is also equipping young people with the skills they need to play a role in social justice, helping their communities achieve the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and amplifying causes that they believe in.

Global Citizen is a leading advocacy organisation that has already impacted 880 millionlives, while the BeyGOOD initiative has a legacyof empowering young people, women, and marginalised communities. By working together through the fellowship programme, the partnership offers young people an opportunity of a lifetime.

Take, for example, how the programme is structured. It has multiple phases designed to offer each of the 10 fellows a fully immersive experience.

Eachfellow will also have the benefit from personalised mentorship from leaders in entertainment, business, government, and civil society all aimed at enabling them to realise their potential to become global agents of change.

The programme will cover subjects such as leadership, advocacy, international development, and global citizenship.Meanwhile, Fellows will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of masterclasses given by industry leaders. The programme also features educational field trips designed to help Fellows develop into value-centred, community-driven leaders.

Furthermore, Fellows will be placed within the Global Citizen Africa team, which will offer invaluable hands-on work experience within the Marketing, Rewards, Campaigns, Policy, and Content teams.

This is aimed at providing Fellows with the skills and resources needed to help them secure work at the end of the year-long programme.

The second cohort of the Global Citizen Fellowship programme was chosen after a rigorous selection process that started with 765 applications; only 30 candidates were chosen to continue with a series of tests. From these scores, the judging panel assessed 20 applicants.

Related Stories Dec. 2, 2019 A Look Back at Year-Long Global Citizen: Mandela 100 Campaign

The judging panel was made up of Clayton Naidoo, Managing Director of Sub Saharan Africa at global technology giant CISCO; the Executive Director of Africa Leadership Institute, Jackie Chimhanzi; Moky Makura, Executive Directorof Africa No Filter; businesswoman and producer, Bonang Matheba; fashion brand and designer extraordinaire, Rich Mnisi; and Isha Philips, Global Citizens Senior Human Resources Lead.

Noted individually for their incredible personal achievements, collectively, the judging panel brought their experiences leading global organisations and brands, and are revered for being leaders and experts in their fields.

The judges were lookingfor candidates whose potential was complemented by their understanding of developmental issues. Candidates also had to show how they have already started effecting change in the spaces they occupy, for instance, through supporting community causes or standing up for social issues

I think all applicants are unique in their own right and have the power to go out into the world and affect positive change, said Mnisi.

So, without further ado, meet the Global Citizen Fellowship programme class of 2020.

Chibwe is passionate about skills development and youth empowerment.

Charity Chibwe, from Ivory Park in Tembisa, Gauteng, believes that building a global community of active citizens is the key to ending extreme poverty a mission that she is passionate about.Chibwe, who is 24, wants to use her time in the fellowship programme to learn skills that will empower young people economically.

This way, she adds, shell be able to impart knowledge and experience that other young people in her community needs.[Small businesses] can help reduce the number of young people who are unemployed, she says.

She is speaking from experience. She has already tried her hand at running a small business that earned up to R2,000 a month. However, she could not sustain it as the money from the business was used to look after her family.

I would like to see myself being my own boss, running a successful business, and creating opportunities that benefit young people, she says.

Rakhetsi is interested in issues that include citizenship, girls and women, education, and food and hunger.

Born in Mamelodi in Pretoria, Aaron Rakhetsi applied for the fellowship because he wants to turn his digital activism into community service.He is particularly interested in issues of citizenship, health, education, women and girls, and food and hunger.

I'm very passionate about education because I know its importance in one's life. I know what it feels like to give up on going to university because of my financial background, and I do not want anyone to experience this, Rakhetsi explains.

He adds: I believe in equality of the sexes and I believe that women and girls should be given the same opportunities that men receive, and be treated as their equals.

As one of the most unequal countries in the world, South Africa faces significant challenges, like hunger. For example, even though the country is food secure, 27%of children experience stunting and malnutrition.

Rakhetsi, who is 24, has future plans that include urban farming, which will allow him to uplift the youth and women while feeding his community.

Ndwandwe is determined to fight gender-based violence in South Africa. a

The mere honour of being chosen to make a positive change is a driver for me to do the best that I can to deal with the issues of the world, saysZamokhule Ndwandwe, 24, about being a Global Citizen Fellow.

Ndwandwe is from Sam Reno in Western Cape. Her ambition of ending gender-based violence (GBV) comes from personal experience.

Im a victim of a taxi robbery that occurred in 2019. I was kidnapped for 15 to 30 minutes by criminals who want money and sex from people, she recalls.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in March 2019, declared GBV a national crisis,in South Africa.

Ndwandwes kidnappersonly took her belongings, but for many girls, women, and gender non-binary people in South Africa the story often ends in tragedy something that sparkedNdwandwes determination to combat GBV.

She says: Right now, my country is going through a very difficult time of what I would call women and children genocide, and I would love to come across other young leaders from other countries who might be able to advise on how to curb this terrible epidemic.

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Moloi's passion is menstrual health management and ending period poverty. She is also passionate about educations and women's rights.

Hope Moloi, 22, became a Global Citizen in order to play her part in the movement of people who want to help end extreme povertyby 2030.

Moloi, from Alexandra in Gauteng, applied for the programme because she wants to gain skills that will help lead community activities that support girls and women, in particular menstrual health management.

Girls miss school due to not having pads, which has a negative impact on their studies. By giving pads to girls, well be keeping girls in school, says Moloi.

Moloi wants to use her time in the programme to learn skills that will help her amplify her voice as an advocate, and later, to launch a non-governmental organisation that leverages corporate partnerships for social good. Her organisation will champion girls rights and access to quality education.

Women earn less than meneven with the same qualifications and experience, while girls and women also have to live with the effects of GBV, Molio says.

She adds: Every person has a right to education. Education is important and can change lives to be successful.

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Xaba is looking for ways to help her community beat the systemic causes of poverty and inequality.

Nomthando Xaba, from Soweto, Johannesburg, supports causes that she is passionate about by taking Global Citizen actionsthat are aimed at helping end the systemic causes of poverty and inequality.

However, she wanted to do more.

Ive always wanted to find a way to give back, and while taking Global Citizen actions is [impactful], I also want to find other ways of working towards ending extreme poverty, she says.

Xaba, 25, is passionate about education, and believes that empowered young girls make future leaders.

This is why she wants to study towards becoming a teacher.

She adds: Since I dont have a qualification yet, I want to teach young girls about sexual health because our schools only focus on the basic things. Girls are not given the platform to express themselves and talk about their experiences.

Morake is passionate about equality and human rights.

I wanted to be part of the Fellowship programme because I want to empower others, and promote education and equality in my town, Letshego Morake says about the decision to take his chances and apply for the programme.

Morake comes from the small town of Heuwel, in Thaba-Nchu in Bloemfontein, where opportunities are scarce, and information that can help young people empower themselves even more so.

I want to be the one to bring change as Im a huge fan of Beyonc [the founder of the BeyGOOD initiative]. She inspires me in so many ways, and has definitely had a very huge impact in me bettering myself.

Morake, who is 23, is an advocate for access to education. A lot of people from where I am from have given up on it due to lack of funds to continue with their studies. They are also discouraged by the fact that other people who have studied still do not get jobs after graduating.

Equally close to his heart is equality.

Im a young gay boy who lives in a town where its still seen as wrong to freely be myself. I want to live in a country where people are proud of each other, support each other, and love each other," he says.

He adds: I want to be an active voice for the people who do not see themselves worthy of anything, host campaigns and rallies, create awareness on social media, and just have an impact on the lives of those who cannot stand upfor themselves because they are scared to.

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Tsolo is interested in gender equality, ending period poverty and helping girls reach their full potential.

Growing up in Sebokeng, an undeveloped community in Vanderbijlpark in the south of Gauteng, Tsolo always knew that her purpose was impacting and transforming lives.

This is why I identify with BeyGOOD and Global Citizen. This is a network of people who are impacting their work and changing lives. Being part of this network will not only expand my reach in changing lives, it will also provide me with the opportunity to grow others and help them change their lives for the better, Tsolo says.

Tsolo, 24, adds that South Africa is facing what she calls the triple trouble of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

She adds: Being part of the Fellowship will assist me in gaining skills and knowledge on how I can make my solutions sustainable. I also want to uplift comuunities.

She wants to use her year as a Global Citizen Fellow to learn more about universal access to education, especially the public schooling system.

[At the moment] the public schooling system is failing those who go through it, she says From experience and observation I have seen that the system is setting up the children for failure; it needs radical transformation.She is also passionate about gender equality and access to clean water and safe sanitation, including menstrual health management. Young girls across the country miss out on important school days because they are on their period. They dont afford to buy pads because they live on social grants, and have to choose between buying bread and buying a packet of sanitary pads.

A social grant is a monthly payout funded by the government to support child-headed households, pensioners, children, and people living with disabilities.

Tsolo added: [Menstrual health management] is an issue closest to my heart because Ive seen young girls use unsanitary materials to get through their cycle days, which has led to multiple health risks.

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She also wants to lend her voice to causes that support the dignity and human rights of immigrants.

With the conflicts and issues faced by various African countries, I believe that as a continent, there is more that needs to be done regarding how South Africa deals with immigrantswho are fleeing from their countries in search of a better life, she said.

As well as taking part in the Fellowship programme, Tsolo also runs a non-governmental organisation called Her Pride. It offersservices that help students develop their confidence and life skills.

The organisation has already reached more than 2,000 students.

We provide academic support, entrepreneurship training, career planning, and more. We have been able to expand our small reach to providing care packs to the Lifeline and Thuthuzela women and children centres.

Lifeline offers free counselling over the phone, while Thuthuzela centres offer support and medical care to victims of sexual violence.

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Shabalala in inspired by the spirit of Ubuntu, and believes that we are accountable for each other's well-being.

Sengie Shabalala, 22, believes ending inequality and extreme poverty is a valuethat we should all live by.The popular South African saying"umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu calls on all of us to work together, she says.The saying is essentially a call to action urging each of us to be accountable for another persons well-being.

Shabalala says being a Fellow is an opportunity to gain knowledge that shell use to uplift others. Shabala, who is from Benoni in Gauteng, wants to galvanise communities to start taking action against GBV.

Being a woman, GBV affects me and one starts being afraid [of the possibility of experiencing GBV]. I decided to take action in my community, and raise awareness, she says.

Dlulane believes that economic empowerment puts women in a position to take ownership of their lives.

BuhleDlulane, from Soweto, is determined to tackle gender inequality by promoting girls and womens empowerment.[This] comes from my passion for gender equality and business. I believe that women are equal and effective in influencing the economy, from the formal sector to the informal sector, she says.

She adds: I believe that earning a decent living allows women to improve their own lives, are less inclined to stay in abusive relationships, and have the power to make their own decisions without abusive influence.

Dlulane, who is 21, says gender equality has a massive role to play in ending extreme poverty because women tend to lift others in their families and communities as they rise.

We are all aware that by women being educated and working they inevitably improve their own lives and the life of their families, she says.

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And so it then became important for me to understand why such powerful economic participants are not paid equally, not represented in powerful positions within companies, why there is a hesitance to allow them equal rights and access to basic amenities.

Moreover, she adds, with understanding the problem comes the biggest question of all: what she can do to change the status quo.

All of us have a responsibility to build the society in which we dream of living in, and the only way for change is effective participation. I do believe that there is no better time than now for us as young people to start thinking about personal, professional, and communal transformation, she says.

Dlulane is inspired by Rwanda and South Africa, two countries she calls home.

South Africa and Rwanda have a need for do-ers; people that are willing to apply their knowledge in everyday global challenges, she says. And there is a need to equip young people with the necessary skills in communication, personal, and professional development to be able to build the confidence to take action.

Lephuma is taking up space, and working towards a future where girls and women are equal to men, with equal access to opportunities and leadership roles.

Ntombizodwa Lephuma, 24, wants to take up space. Meaning make impact that will have a reverberating impact like her hero, Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.Hailing from Centurion in Gauteng, Lephuma is a linguist with the goal of pursuing a postgraduate degree in education.

I want to teach young girls the power education has and how it will better equip us to be better business women, she says, I need the skills from the BeyGood fellowship to assist me and better equip me.

She wants to raise generations of girls who shape their futures, and in doing so, transform their societies.

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Meet the Class of 2020: The Global Citizen Fellowship Powered by BeyGOOD Kicks Off Its Second Year - Global Citizen

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Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center Helps Syracuse Residents Reduce More Than $600k In Debt and Increase Over $300k In Savings – URBAN CNY

Posted: at 6:54 pm

Because of Syracuse success at one year anniversary, Cities for Financial Empowerment awards FEC funding to bring on additional full-time counselor

Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and partners celebrate the one-year anniversary this month of the launch of the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center (Syracuse FEC). The city service, led by the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD), provides free one-on-one, professional financial counseling to city residents.

Because of the programs success in the City of Syracuse, the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund announced that it will increase funding to Syracuse in the year ahead to enable the City to bring on an additional full-time professional financial counselor. The CFE Fund is a national organization that works with mayoral administrations to improve the financial stability of lower to moderate income households by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government.

Financial Empowerment Center 12-month overview

The work being done through the Syracuse FEC has already impacted hundreds of families by providing the kind of financial knowledge and guidance that leads to a better quality of life for many Syracuse residents, said Mayor Walsh. The Syracuse community and many partner organizations have embraced the FEC, which is why we have had so much success in our first year. For many residents in Syracuse, having access to this financial resource will help plant the seeds that can lead to financial stability for future generations to come.

Funded by the CFE Fund, Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E., the Allyn Family Foundation, and the CNY Community Foundation, Syracuse FEC focuses on helping individuals set personal financial goals and eliminate barriers that inhibit financial stability. Home HeadQuarters and United Way of Central New York are also key Syracuse FEC partners.

According to data in 2018 from the U.S. Census Bureau, 30.5% of city residents live below the poverty line, making the need for targeted, expert help to manage financial resources essential.

The first year goal to have 180 outcomes was exceeded by 360% with FEC clients achieving 575 measurable results. With the help of Syracuse FEC counselors, 244 (42%) clients reduced delinquent accounts; client credit scores were improved by at least 35 points; and 82 (14%) clients reduced non-mortgage debt by at least 10%.

Kerry Quaglia

Jasminn Ray, Jenna McClave, Kazmira Pitzrick, and Thom Dellwo, Syracuse FEC counselors, have managed to advise residents consistently since the launch with in-person meetings but also remotely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Between the group of professional counselors, nearly 2,000 sessions were held with clients. The public health crisis has increased the need for financial advice in light of widespread job loss and disproportionately affected communities of color, making the added counselor crucial to residents recovery.

Syracuse FEC client, Brendon M., has received assistance through the Home HeadQuarters location. My counselor, Jenna, is the best around. Shes calm, she explains everything to you that you dont understand, and she has a great game plan. She helps with my ultimate goal of achieving financial freedom for me and my family.

Home HeadQuarters is a proud Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center partner, said Home HeadQuarters Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Quaglia. Every day, we see the tangible outcomes surpass every expectation for the program. To date, more than $600,000 in total debt has been reduced for those City of Syracuse residents who have taken advantage of this amazing and free opportunity. We cant wait to see what year two brings for our community.

On average, clients participated in 2.4 sessions to improve credit, decrease debt, increase savings and begin banking by opening safe and affordable bank accounts (31 (6%) clients opened new banking accounts). Increasing cash reserves, 104 (18%) clients were able to save one week of their pay or at least 2% of their income.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Allyn Family Foundations Director Kate OConnell

Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E., an organization helping to address poverty through systematic change, has seen its clients make upward improvement in their credit scores after utilizing Syracuse FEC services. With a goal to reach a total of 150 clients in identified H.O.P.E. census tracts in the city by the end of 2020, 110 (73%) clients have already received support. A significant increase in credit scores for 21 clients by an average of 35 points has also been recorded, in addition to over 30 clients saving an average of $3,000.

The financial industry is an intimidating place for middle and lower-income individuals and families, said Ocesa Keaton, executive director of Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E. High-interest rates, credit denials, and emergencies often result in de-stabilizing families into poverty. The Syracuse FEC is a way to remove barriers and help people transition through financial challenges.

Meg OConnell, executive director of the Allyn Family Foundation stated The Allyn Foundation applauds the work over the past year of the FEC. OConnell continued, The ability for families and individuals to become financially independent is a critical component to our work, and the Syracuse FEC is accomplishing this goal by helping families eliminate debt, repair credit, and build savings.

One year ago, City of Syracuse formally announce the Financial Empowerment initiative on the steps of City Hall.

A testimonial from a FEC client, Jessica V., stated how she took advantage of the one-on-one counseling to learn how to build her credit score and create a foundation in preparation for homeownership. The counseling I received gave me much more knowledge on spending and savings tactics. I would highly recommend the FEC to anyone who is seeking to improve their finances or just learn more in general about money/debt handling, said Jessica.

The United Way of Central New York is proud to partner in Syracuses Financial Empowerment Center. We are committed to the shared efforts to make it possible for every individual and family to become self-sufficient, securing and maintaining education and income to support their basic needs and build wealth, Nancy Eaton, president, United Way of Central New York, Inc. stated. We join in celebrating the outstanding first year of implementation of the life-changing work being done through the FEC.

The Central New York Community Foundation has been honored to support the Financial Empowerment Center because it has provided much needed support for families as they seek to thrive financially especially in a time of great economic uncertainty, said Frank Ridzi, vice president of community investment, Central New York Community Foundation. The center provides innovative ways for our nonprofit network of service providers to work together for the common good.

Remote counseling is available by way of virtual meetings, email or phone calls. To make an appointment, residents can visit http://www.syrgov.net/FEC, call 315-474-1939 ext.5, or email fec@homehq.org.

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Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center Helps Syracuse Residents Reduce More Than $600k In Debt and Increase Over $300k In Savings - URBAN CNY

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Medical school affiliates on lack of diversity, burden of the ‘minority tax’ – The Stanford Daily

Posted: at 6:54 pm

In the wake of a mass movement against racial injustice and police brutality in America, affiliates of Stanford Medical School are speaking up about their experiences with institutionalized racism in the field of medicine and championing diversity initiatives at Stanford.

Students from underrepresented minority groups make up 20% of all graduate students at Stanford and 6% of all postdoctoral scholars at the School of Medicine. Similarly, underrepresented minorities make up 6% of professoriate faculty and 13% of staff.

Associate Dean of the Office of Student Medical Affairs Mijiza Sanchez-Guzman, who serves on the School of Medicines diversity cabinet, said that being one of few people of color in a department is a common source of anxiety for many underrepresented minorities in medicine.

Theres not a lot of us in the field, and so for the ones of us that are here, theres a minority tax, Sanchez-Guzman said. Its the stress of having to serve on every committee and having to do everything its a lot, its a burden.

A leaky recruitment pipeline

Affiliates cited recruiting as a pivotal step towards fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, stressing the importance of starting at the application process.

There is a leaky pipeline when it comes to education leading to the field of medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Lahia Yemane told The Daily. There are many points where we are losing folks from underrepresented backgrounds. It goes back all the way to what your teachers are telling you that you can and cannot do in elementary school.

She added that bias and racism in college advising contribute to racial disparities in medicine.

There are a lot of people who start out as pre-med and drop out, Yemane said. Unfortunately many of these end up being minority students because they are faced with barriers to succeeding. Advisors are the gatekeepers and often tell students when they get a B or C on that test that they shouldnt be pre-med anymore.

Yemane told The Daily that these barriers include academic backgrounds that do not prepare minority students for college pre-med classes, financial barriers and racial stereotypes that peg these students as weak.

Medical school and medical training are in general very expensive, Yemane said. That in and of itself is a deterrence. To make a commitment to medical school, there are enormous costs.

The price of medical school is apparent as early as the application process; both medical school programs and residency programs often require applicants to fly to campus for in-person interviews, which can end up costing thousands of dollars. According to Yemane, this is emblematic of the process and the result: most medical students come from families from the top two quintiles for income status.

The system is not set up for folks that dont have a lot of money, and theres bias through each step of the process, Yemane said.

School of Medicine Scholar in Residence Arghavan Salles M.D. 06 Ph.D. 14 echoed Yemane in saying, There are a lot of factors that make it so that the people going into medicine are the same group over and over again.

You have to fly to every interview on your own budget and stay at a hotel. And of course its very competitive so people go to as many interviews as they can. All of that creates barriers for people who dont come from wealthy families, she added.

Sanchez-Guzman pointed out that at Stanford, potential students also have to worry about studying in a place with high housing and living costs.

Students and residents alike say, I dont know if I could afford to live here on a resident salary, and thats real, Sanchez-Guzman said. As administrators we can try to work with University leaders and offset or subsidize some of these burdens, but due to the high cost of living in the Bay Area its ultimately out of our control.

However, she said, this does not mean that the University should give up.

Recruitment is paramount because when people from underrepresented backgrounds can see themselves here, theyre more likely to want to come here, Sanchez-Guzman added.

When they see people who look like them thriving, not being burdened by being on every diversity committee, and living their best lives, they are likely to think, okay, I could see myself there. And often that is what makes the difference.

Salles said that medical institutions need to do a better job of reaching out to traditionally underrepresented communities in order to select diverse applicants from a pool of potential students or faculty members.

We have a huge challenge recruiting Native people, Salles told The Daily. The percentage of faculty across the country in academic medicine who are indigenous is less than 1% of all faculty, and Black and Latinx faculty members are each only 2% of our total population.

She noted that these statistics pale in comparison to the make up of the national population, which is 13% Black and 18% Latinx.

We have either not made the career welcoming to people who are not White or Asian, or we have not removed barriers for those people to get into the profession, Salles concluded.

You cant be what you cant see, Yemane added.

Cultural change must follow

Affiliates stressed that the recruitment process is only the first step. Cultural change must follow.

We need to figure out a way to make sure that people who are coming in with a different perspective actually feel included, Salles said. Recruiting people who look different is a challenge but its not insurmountable there are excellent candidates at every level. But those people come to the institution, and if the culture around them expects them to fit in to be just like everybody else, thats where the diversity fails. Theres a common saying that diversity without inclusion is really exclusion, and I think thats what were seeing at a lot of places.

Its one thing to get people through the door, but its another to have them stay and really feel valued, Yemane added.

Affiliates said that a true culture shift will only come when the University takes proactive measures towards progress, such as pipeline programs and supporting existing diverse faculty and students. .

Id rather work more proactively rather than reactionary, Sanchez-Guzman said. I feel like a lot of work that weve been doing is in response to whats happening in the community and the country rather than just doing what we should be doing.

This issue obviously started over four-hundred years ago, Yemane said. And now its not that there has to be a tragedy for us to do something. We already know that discrimination is happening and we need to be figuring out how can we as an academic institution do better.

Fifth-year medical student Osama El-Gabalaway B.A 15 M.S 16, who is the outgoing chair of Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA) added that the Universitys reaction should be thoughtful and inclusive.

After tragic crises boil over the country or locally, the University twiddles its thumbs, and puts out half-baked PR statements, El-Gabalway said. One of our goals is to bring the stakeholders into the room where the decisions are made. For example, if there is a Muslim ban, the University should bring Muslim facutly and students to the table and center their voices.

A history of racism, pushed under the carpet

Affiliates said that the University could not succeed in creating a diverse and inclusive environment without acknowledging and addressing the legacy of racism in modern medicine.

We want anti-racist history within medicine, El-Gabalway said. Every section of the curriculum should dedicate time to the history of exploitation of people of color.

He pointed to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which researchers experimented on Black men, intentionally withholding treatment from a control group, and the forced sterilization of indigenous communities as evidence of what he calls a discipline built on exploiting minorities.

Sometimes they say oh a risk factor for this disease is race, El-Gabalway said. But its not race its racism that creates the health disparities. That gets kind of pushed under the carpet here. Theres huge amounts of historic distrust and huge amounts of health disparities, so without Black doctors and people within the institution fighting for the change that they know their communities need, none of that trust can be restored or fixed.

Programmingto process and heal

Many affiliates have taken matters into their own hands, championing their own diversity initiatives at Stanford. El-Gabalway said that progress was often frustratingly slow in his experience fighting for an inclusive curriculum and diversity resources and funding.

El-Gabalaway was one of many students who advocated for the Diversity Center of Representation and Empowerment, or D-CORE, which provides a space where any member of the Stanford Medicine community interested in issues of inclusion and diversity can hold meetings or just hang out and study, according to the D-CORE website.

The D-CORE came on the heels of the last BLM wave, El-Gabalway said. There were a ton of notes that were shared between Ph.D. students, masters students and medical students, and these groups joined and put together a proposal of 10 points for the administration.

One of these points, El-Gabalway said was a physical space on campus for students of color in the medical school to congregate and organize.

Other requests outlined in the October of 2016 letter included hiring a full-time Chief Diversity Officer, mandatory diversity training for all community members and a published strategy for recruiting more faculty members form underrepresented groups.

Dean Minor responded to the letter by implementing the D-CORE over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, officially opening the space in October of 2017.

While the D-CORE was a success for student advocates, securing funding presented more of a challenge, El-Gabalway said.

There were points where we ended up having to beg from different departments, which was a painful, slow, labor-intensive and arduous process, El-Gabalway added.

He added that advocates have experienced pushback when asking for pay for students who are working on fostering diversity and inclusion.

The burden is on the students to make change, El-Gabalway told The Daily. The challenge is getting the University to compensate students who often go unpaid for the labor they put into this.

Every time we bring this up, the administration says, your payoff is seeing this place become a better school, El Gabalway continued. And while that seems nice thats not really a sustainable method. The administration makes students put in all the work and when things go bad, the students take the fall.

They are using students to shield themselves from the really hard responsibility of creating sustainable change, El Gabalway added.

Community members have also been working to foster diversity at the residency level. Yemane is the co-director of Stanford Medicine Leadership Education and Advancing Diversity (LEAD), a program she helped found in 2017 with the goal of creating diverse leadership at Stanford Medicine through training and mentorship.

The 10 month program meets once a month for two hours. In this time, residents engage in case-based discussions, attend interactive lectures on diversity and leadership and work in small groups to create workshops with the values of equity and inclusion in mind. Past group projects include designing curriculum about Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients and researching implicit bias in performance evaluations.

The program started in the Department of Pediatrics, but expanded to other departments very quickly, doubling in size to 25 departments after a year. by the second year

Every year as we get bigger and bring in more folks, we also bring in a sense of community, Yemane said.

Yemane says that the program also provides students with the opportunity to share personal stories of microaggressions and discriminating, allowing them to process and heal.

A marathon, not a sprint

As an avenue for making progress towards fostering an inclusive culture, Salles has championed creating an accessible and streamlined process for reporting incidents of discrimination.

These issues are very complicated because if you think about just one incident where something inappropriate is said to someone, reporting those types of incidents is not straightforward and often does not benefit the person who is doing the reporting, Salles said.

As long as that continues to be the case, people will be hesitant to report, and as long as people arent reporting we dont know whats happening. If we dont know whats happening, we cant make change, she added.

She argued that appointing a diversity officer or commissioning a committee to look into discrimination was not enough to eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination.

When incidents happen, the University creates commissions and task forces and committees hoping that something comes out of those, but these bodies arent always empowered to make change, Salles told The Daily. People often create a Chief Diversity Officer role and they think that dedicating salary to a human is going to solve the problem, but that one person cannot change the culture of an institution.

Salles added that these commissions need to include diverse perspectives.

We see a lot of people creating committees or task forces where they dont include people from all different backgrounds, so we need to make sure theres diversity at each level Salles said. The more we can take into account different perspectives the better the solutions will be.

Affiliates also stressed the importance of mentorship.

In many places they just match new hires up with people in their department, and although they have something in common, its hard for them to speak freely because those are the same people that are going to be involved in assessing them for a promotion or a performance review, Salles said.

Thats why its so important to help people from underrepresented backgrounds identify mentors who understand University policies and procedures, she added. Black and Latinx faculty dont get promoted at the same rate as white faculty, so helping people understand early on what milestones they need to meet for promotion would be really helpful.

Mentorship is one of the big keys to helping keep people of color and underrepresented in medicine folks in academic medicine, Sanchez-Guzman added.

El-Gabalway called upon the University to implement mandatory anti-racism training and fully-funded diversity positions as integral solutions.

When the School of Medicine was trying to devise a split curriculum, they brought in consultants and experts and did paid focus groups, El-Gabalway said. So we know theyre capable of doing things, and we want them to attack anti-racism training with the same rigor and same funding that they do with other things.

El-Gabalway requested research assistantships within the Center of Excellence and Diversity in Medical Education, funded teaching assistantships and funding for student research projects that explore racism in the field of medicine.

University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne recently announced a number of initiatives intended to combat anti-Black racism at Stanford, including new diversity and inclusion fellowships and added support for research on race.

The University releases metrics, but doesnt act upon them, El-Gabalway told The Daily. We want them to present precise strategies. They love the term precision medicine and we want them to weaponize that term to attack the lack of Black and minority faculty with the same rigor as other issues. We want to see them attack retaining faculty of color.

Finally, El-Gabalway asked the School of Medicine to provide mental health support for Black and other minority trainees.

Oftentimes, even after George Floyd, we were using Black faculty we know to do healing circles, El Galabaway continued. They do that out of labor of love, but we want that to be compensated because. Its not fair that we expect Black faculty to do these tasks without compensation or recognition for what that is worth.

Yemane stressed the importance of capitalizing on this time in history at which equity and inclusion are at the center of discourse.

We need to be sure to not lose this moment and to really affect change, she said. A lot of people of color are cautiously optimistic right now. Its nice to hear the words, but we want to hear that there is true action and change. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and to really be anti-riacst is going to take active work.

Salles echoed Yemane, stressing substance over form.

Its really important for people at the top of an organization to not just say the right thing but to really be devoted to these problems, Salles said. That dictates the culture of the organization all the way down. When people see someone saying the right things but never doing the right things, then they dont really believe that that person is truly committed to that issue.

That feeling of it being disingenuous is really damaging to minoritized groups or marginalized groups.

She concluded by arguing that diversity and equity are important because they empower institutions to work at their best.

I think that were seeing more and more that ultimately having a workforce that is diverse is the best way to deliver care, Salles said. Even if all you care about is providing quality care to patients, you have to realize that having a diverse workforce is key to that mission.

Contact Sarina Deb at sdeb7 at stanford.edu

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Medical school affiliates on lack of diversity, burden of the 'minority tax' - The Stanford Daily

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