#California; #Hollywood;#VulnerableGroups; #HealthCareWorkers; #Covid19VaccineCodes; #MyTurnWebsite
Los Angeles/Canadian-Media: As part of a state of California's initiative to help vulnerable black and Latino communities hard-hit by the pandemic and pre-existing priority groups, healthcare workers, people over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions, COVID-19 vaccine access codes meant for these groups have been circulating in Hollywood, media reports said.
The access codes are entered on California’s MyTurn website where people register for vaccination and authorities determine their eligibility.
People of color, particularly from black and Latino communities, have been hardest-hit by Covid-19 cases and deaths in the US.
To enable people of color who find it difficult to get an appointment, the California program sets aside a number of daily appointments by access code at two sites – California State Los Angeles. and Oakland Coliseum.
Live-action short film 'Tribes' co-produced by Canadian filmmaker Patricia Chica in consideration for an Oscar® Nomination
#TribesTheMovie; #PotentialOscarNominee; #Racism; #division; #ShortActionFilm; #Humour; #Satire; #SelfIdentity; #Unity; #PoliceBrutality; #JustForLaugh; #NinoAldi; #ShortOfTheWeek.com; #PatriciaChica; #JakeHunter; #AndyMarlatt; #DeStormPower; #AdamWaheed;
(Los Angeles, CA)/Canadian-Media: After winning the best comedy award at the LA Shorts International Film Festival, where Nino Aldi's live-action short film TRIBES surpassed 70,000 views, the Hollywood celebrity reporter Perez Hilton' proclamation that the film "Is A Potential Oscar Nominee!" and quickly became part of the Academy Awards conversation among fans and industry members.
The current societal conversations around race, division, and identity reflected in TRIBES' are imbibed by the audience by a good laugh.
"This short film has a rather unusual trajectory because, in the beginning, the festival programmers considered it simply as a comedy with a positive message. But following all the social issues that we have experienced this year 2020, such as Black Lives Matter and the US Elections, the film took on a whole new dimension in the public and media's consciousness." explains Canadian producer Patricia Chica. "The message of this satirical film is important for opening the discussion, and in a fun way, on the issues that divide humanity. Plus, who doesn't need a good laugh these days?" she adds.
Patricia Chica. Image credit: @GeovannySolis_GOODy
"Our society needs meaning and positivity and it does help to discuss serious issues while having a good laugh," says director Nino Aldi, "and this is exactly what TRIBES offers in 10 minutes," he adds.
Nino Aldi. Image credit: Fixseed Productions
The themes of inclusion, diversity, and unity in this powerful and thought-provoking dark satire, unfold during a train ride between two stations as an African-American, an Arab-American and a white man trying to rob a train when no one wants to rob their own race.
Self-identity is truly a bitch – a concealed premise perfectly fits under Nino Aldi’s camera, revealing our current social environment, with a hint of comedy.
Internet celebrity and American Music Award honoree DeStorm Power who plays the African-American character says: "As a black man living in America, growing up experiencing inequity first hand, the effect of racism, police brutality and being discriminated against constantly simply for being black; TRIBES reconfirmed to me that I'm not alone in this fight for equality. Bringing this issue to life in a comedic fashion and helping the viewers see its importance, was more than rewarding."
DeStorm Power. Image credit: Fixseed Productions
Emmy-winning producer and actor Jake Hunter who plays the white guy adds: "With TRIBES, I wanted to tell an entertaining story that sheds light on the conversation around race and that at the same time inspires the population to realize that we're all one."
Jake Hunter. Image credit: FixseedProductions
"The biggest message to takeaway from TRIBES is unity. No matter how you separate people based upon age, gender, race, and ethnicity, we are all connected. This is what makes us humans and allows us to understand all that we have in common" says Forbes' 30 Under 30 actor and influencer Adam Waheed, who plays the role of the Middle-Eastern character.
Adam Waheed. Image credit: Fixseed Productions
Winner of multiple awards including the prestigious 1st Place at the Just For Laughs' funniest short films from around the world competition, Eat My Shorts, Tribes had its world premiere at the Academy qualifying Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
This was followed by Regard, Rhode Island International, LA Shorts, and the Cannes' Film Festival American Pavilion's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, to name a few. The film will be released in 2021 on the highly curated platform ShortOfTheWeek.com.
MOVIE CLIP: www.vimeo.com/381705906
Tribes' Team (from L-R); Jake Hunter (actor-producer), Patricia Chica (Canadian producer) and Nino Aldi (director). Image credit: © Selfie by Jake Hunter
This funny and thought-provoking satire stars Internet personalities Jake Hunter (Emmy award-winner, Adam Waheed (Forbes' 30 Under 30) and DeStorm Power (Emmy Nominated, American Music Award honoree). The screenplay is written by Andy Marlatt (winner of the Page International Screenwriting Awards). The producers are the three leading actors as well as TIFF Filmmaker Lab alumna Patricia Chica and multidisciplinary filmmaker Jeion Green. The film was executive produced by Will Meldman of Double Down Pictures and Jordan Taylor Wright of Taylor Cut Films. Digital Jungle Post Production handled the deliverables of the short.
For more information about TRIBES, please visit the following links:
#Wahington, #BlackAndHispanic; #HungerRate; #CollapseOfEconomy; #Covid19Pandemic
Washington/Canadian-Media: Food insecurity experienced by Black and Hispanic households across America even before the pandemic at a significantly higher rate than the national average of 10.5 percent has been exacerbated in the United States, with one in eight households not having enough to eat because of the surge of 48 percent to 60 percent in food insecurity, media reports said.
Black and Hispanic People in America. Image credit: PBS.com
With the collapse of the economy millions lost their jobs, since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, families have turned to food banks and food organizations in record numbers with numerous volunteers working to help address food insecurity in the Washington metropolitan area.
But the coronavirus pandemic has caused a loss 50 percent of its partner organizations of the Capital Area Food Bank, which had been providing 30 million meals a year before the pandemic, directly from and through a network of more than 450 nonprofit organizations, to nearly 415,000 people in the Washington metropolitan region, 2020 hunger report by the Capital Area Food Bank said.
“We feel very humbled to be able to serve our brothers and sisters in this community who are dealing with food insecurity at a level that we’ve never seen before,” said Matthew L. Watley, senior pastor of Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church. “To see entire families on the brink and vulnerable really gave us a call to stretch out and to try to serve. We’re here until we believe we can make an impact for those who are really in need, and we’re hoping to increase our capacity even further.”
Kingdom Connection Fellowship International. Image credit: Facebook page
Andy Burness, president of the Burness communications firm, a co-founder of Business Leaders Fighting Hunger, and a volunteer at the Rainbow Community Development Center, believes all residents should show up for the community.
“Every county in every city should have businesses coming together to do whatever needs to be done for equity in that county...to solve hunger it’s not just the government, it’s not just the food banks and other nonprofits, it’s not just the businesses, it’s the three working together... public-private partnerships working together to fight hunger and everything else that’s needed to give people a chance at life.”
#NBA; #Sports; #Protest; Racism
Ottawa, Aug 27 (Canadian-Media): The unprecedented move of the refusal of The National Basketball Association (NBA) players to play in all three playoff games scheduled for Aug 26, to protest the police shooting of an African American man, Jacob Blake, in Wisconsin had caused bewilderment in the NBA league, media reports said.
Image. NBA. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Blake had been shot in the back by police at close range on Aug 23, while he was reportedly trying to break up a fight between two women.
At least seven gunshots were heard by the eyewitnesses paralysing the man from the waist down.
The incident triggered a new wave of protests against police brutality and racial discrimination.
It's still unknown which games will be played on Aug 27. A decision on the status of the Toronto Raptors' playoff game Aug 27 against the Boston Celtics has not been made, according to a published report.
"Is this going to change the world? No, it's not. Is there a symbolic moment here where it contributes to the changing of the world? Absolutely," American sports author Howard Bryant said, CBC News reported.
"Because people pay attention to these guys. This is a $10 billion industry we're talking about. You'll hear people say things like, 'Well, I couldn't do that at my job.'
"They're not you. These people are incredibly, incredibly visible and have a lot of influence."
Meanwhile, the lead of the NBA was followed by the players in Major League Baseball and the WNBA who staged their own protest, also refusing to play.
#BritishColumbiaSchools; #AntiRacism; #ERASEStratecy
British Columbia, Jul 24 (Canadian-Media): A new Community Roundtable on Anti-Racism to support the development of an anti-racism action plan in education has been created with an aim to strengthen the K–12 curriculum by ensuring the culture, beliefs and ancestry of all students and staff are accepted, celebrated and understood, media reports said.
AntiRacism. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
B.C.'s Premier John Horgan said in a news release that British Columbia (B.C)'s schools or should imbibe a "culture-based learning in the education system and build a better and more inclusive future for B.C.”
A wide range of groups have been brought together by the community leaders to better understand the impact of racism on B.C. students by Rob Fleming, Minister of Education to strengthen and develop new policies and programs to promote anti-racism.
The first meeting of the roundtable was held on Friday, July 24, 2020, and will continue to meet during the development of the action plan.
“Now is the time to listen, learn, engage and act,” Fleming said. “We are committed to working with community and education partners to build a meaningful and lasting anti-racism action plan to ensure schools are safe and welcoming places where diversity is celebrated.”
First Nations Leadership Council, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and Métis Nation BC had been asked by Fleming to help set up a distinct Indigenous table and co-develop its approach.
A new student advisory group will also be formed in the fall to hear directly from students on their experiences.
“We are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Education to address racism in our schools. We’ve been advocating for this for many years now...We believe strongly that education about people and other people’s culture really reduces racism and prejudice," said Silvia Mangue Alene, president, BC Black History Awareness Society in a news release.
The Community Roundtable on Anti-Racism in education is based on a series of community dialogues led by Ravi Kahlon, former parliamentary secretary for sport and multiculturalism, last summer and leads to the development of Resilience BC, a provincewide anti-racism network of 40 communities announced in November 2019.
"By including a mandatory course on First Peoples as part of B.C.’s K-12 graduation requirements...is a widely supported measure that will contribute to significant change in the province,” said Tyrone McNeil, president, First Nations Education Steering Committee.
The provincial ERASE (expect respect and a safe education) strategy designed to foster school connectedness, address bullying, prevent violence and provide support to school districts during critical incidents. ERASE’s online reporting tool has recently expanded to include a category for reporting incidents of racism and discrimination.
Image: ERASE. Image credit: Twitter handle
B.C. government, in 2019 provided a sum of $3.1 million for Indigenous teacher training programs to ensure B.C. has more teachers trained to bring Indigenous perspectives into classrooms.
New York, Jun 28 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous communities have for centuries drawn on native scientific knowledge to help them understand the world around them. Known popularly as Traditional Knowledge, this observational evidence is verified by elders and passed on to successive generations, largely as an oral tradition, media reports said.
#GeorgeFloyd #Australia #Indigenous
Australia, Jun 28 (Canadian-Media): The protests over George Floyd’s death in the US have sparked a wave of protests in Australia over indigenous rights and questionable indigenous deaths in custody, media reports said.
#UN; #UNHumanitarian; #Racism; #AfricanDescent; #OHCHR
Geneva, Jun 19 (Canadian-Media): The UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet, is to spearhead efforts to address systemic racism against people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, the Human Rights Council decided on Friday, UN reports said.
Protests have been occurring daily in New York City against racism and police violence, following the death of George Floyd. Image credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
The resolution – decided unanimously without a vote - follows a rare Urgent Debate in the Council earlier in the week, requested by the African group of nations, following the death of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota.
The unarmed African-American's death on 25 May was captured on video while a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis, sparking worldwide protest.
During the debate on racism, alleged police brutality and violence against protesters that preceded the resolution’s adoption, no less than 120 speakers took the floor.
Many expressed sympathy for the family of Mr. Floyd, whose brother also addressed Council members in Geneva, in a passionate pre-recorded video message in which he urged the United Nations to act.
No international probe
Although some delegates had called for an international probe to investigate killings of black people in America, and violence against demonstrators, others maintained that the issue impacted on all nations, and required a broader approach.
In line with the final version of the resolution text, the High Commissioner should “prepare a report on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, especially those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd and other Africans and of people of African descent”.
The text also calls on Ms. Bachelet – assisted by UN appointed independent rights experts and committees “to examine government responses to anti-racism peaceful process peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists”.
Overseeing the resolution, Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger (Austria), President of the Human Rights Council (14th cycle) announced that the text was ready for their consideration and asked whether a vote could be dispensed with, in light of the general consensus.
‘An historic step’
“Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I have been informed that a number of resolutions are ready for adoption during this meeting as shown on the screen…So, I would like to ask if there is a request from anybody for a vote…I see none, so may I take it that the draft proposal L50 as orally revised may be adopted without a vote? It is so decided.”
In his address to Member States as coordinator of the African Group, Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations Office, declared the Urgent Debate “an historic step” in the combat against racism of which the Human Rights Council could be “proud”.
“The international outrage caused by the tragic events that led to the death of George Floyd underlined the urgency and importance for the Human Rights Council to raise its voice against injustice and police brutality which African people and people of African descent are faced with every day in many regions of the world,” he said.
The Council also heard widespread declarations of support for an investigation into violence against protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Racism will remain ‘a priority
“The fight against all forms of racism and racial discrimination remains a priority for us,” said Michael Ungern-Sternberg, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva. “The past weeks, many people around the world raised their voices and took to the streets to send a clear signal that racism and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against minority populations cannot (any) longer be accepted.”
Other speakers insisted that the resolution was necessary and important in promoting awareness about systemic racism, and in continuing the work of implementing key pledges taken to combat the scourge in 2002 at the Durban World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
“Black lives matter,” said Ambassador Coly Seck, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Racism continues to happen in many countries too, he said, noting that it was in “flagrant contradiction” to the UN Charter in which we place our faith in the basic rights of man and in the value of the human person”.
UN independent experts voice ‘profound concern’ over US Government accusations of ‘domestic terrorism’
And in another human rights development concerning the fallout from protests over George Floyd’s death in the US, UN independent experts on Friday expressed “profound concern” over a recent statement by the US Attorney-General describing the so-called Antifa movement and other anti-fascist activists as “domestic terrorists”, saying it undermines the rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly in the country.
International human rights law protects the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”, said Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
“It is regrettable that the United States has chosen to respond to the protests in a manner that undermines these fundamental rights.”
Following nationwide demonstrations that began after police in Minneapolis killed African American George Floyd, US Attorney General William Barr warned that alleged violence carried out by Antifa and other movements “is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly”, noted the press release issued by the UN rights office, OHCHR.
‘Loose use of terrorist rhetoric’Although there has not been an legislative action taken following the 31 May statement, Ms. Ní Aoláin – an expert lawyer who worked extensively in the human rights and terrorism-related field in her native Northern Ireland - said that the “the loose use of terrorism rhetoric undermines legitimate protests and dampens freedom of expression in the United States, which has been a hallmark of US constitutional values, and a beacon far beyond its shores”.
Echoing the unease expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding structural race discrimination in the US, particularly in the realm of policing, the Special Rapporteur said that regulating protests and violence through the lens of counter-terrorism may only sharpen divisions and accentuate tensions, fuelling further human rights violations.
The group of independent experts strongly recommend that the violent elements among peaceful protesters who have been identified by law enforcement, be dealt with fairly, and in accordance to due process under existing penal law.
Ms. Ní Aoláin is urging the US Government to take a human rights-based approach in their response to protests and violence and avoid the misuse and misappropriation of the language of terrorism.
“Unless it does, the Government risks cheapening grave crimes that fall under the rubric of terrorism and failing to fulfil fundamental obligations to ensure counter-terrorism measures are fully compliant with international human rights law.”
The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council constitute the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, and they address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
The experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work, as well as being independent from any government or organization.
#USRacismProtests; #MeghanMarkle; #EncouragesStudents; #FightAgainstRacism
Los Angeles, Jun 14 (Canadian-Media): Deeply saddened and disturbed by protests over racism, police violence across United States (US) sparked by the death of a black man, George Floyd, killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25 reminded her of living at Los Angeles (L.A.) at the time of the 1992 riots when she was 11 or 12 years old, media reports said.
Meghan Markle. Image credit: Twitter handle
During a virtual address the other day to students at the Immaculate Heart High School in L.A., Meghan said that she felt sorry that the students at 17 or 18 years old would have to have a different version of that same type of experience and added,
"So the first thing I want to say to you is that I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present. Only wrong thing to say is to say nothing."
Meghan with her husband, Prince Harry, and son, Archie are now living in L.A. after they stepped back from the Royal Family two months ago.
Along with Floyd, Meghan mentioned other Black people killed by police.
"Because George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered."
Meghan ended her address with words of encouragement for the students and said,
"You are going to have empathy for those who don't see the world through the same lens that you do, because with as diverse and vibrant and open-minded as I know the teachings at Immaculate Heart are, I know you know that Black lives matter."
The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, of which Meghan is vice-president and Harry is president retweeted her message.
Meghan's other messages of encouragement in recent days on social media were also shared by the trust.
"Young people are vital voices in the fight against injustice and racism...Silence is not an option," the trust tweeted.
#Canada; #DiversityInLeadershipRace; #PeopleOfColor; #Women
Ottawa, Jun 9 (Canadian-Media): Canada's provincial and federal parties leadership has failed to reflect the gender and racial diversity of the wider population due to these political parties' being led mostly by white men, media reports said.
Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to studies, women and people of color are being prevented from getting involved in politics due to their facing many systemic obstacles and prejudices that white male candidates don't face,
An analysis of data from the last few decades revealed that of the 175 leaders of provincial or federal parties since 1990, only 18 percent of these leaders were women and just eight percent represented by people of color.
Back in 2013, six provincial premiers and one territorial premier were women.
Between 1990 and 1994, about 23 percent of party leaders were women.
However, between 2005 and 2009, women constituted just over one-third of party leadership races.
From 2010 this share decreased again and since 2015, women represent just only one in ten newly-named party leadership.
Non-white Canadians represent about 11 percent of the current party leaders including a handful of interim leaders.
Only 16 percent of current provincial or federal party leaders are represented by women, but none of them is in a position of power right now.
Only 29 percent of Members of Parliament (MPs) are women and people of color represent about 18 percent.
Nevertheless, right now there is evidence of some diversity in the leadership races being held across the country.
The federal Green Party leadership is very diverse, women leaders represent both declared candidates for the B.C. Green leadership.