Parkland survivor turned racial equality activist is fighting on two fronts

first_imgLamar Goodwine(WASHINGTON) — BY: KENNEDEY BELLThough permanently scarred from surviving a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in 2018, Aalayah Eastmond, 19, said she refuses to let her traumatic experiences obstruct her road to activism against gun violence and racial injustice .Eastmond’s life was upended on February 14, 2018, when a gunman opened fire and killed 17 people at her high school in Parkland, Florida. After surviving the shooting by hiding behind her deceased classmate’s body, she said she soon realized that she had a duty to fulfill.She used her story of trauma as a gateway to activism.Before the tragedy, Eastmond said she was a shy and timid girl from Brooklyn, New York who just loved to play the violin. As one of the few black students attending Parkland’s majority white and affluent high school, she wasn’t usually outspoken on issues or beliefs she was passionate about.“I didn’t really like to talk to a lot of people because I just felt like nobody could relate to me at Douglas. It was just an uncomfortable space,” she told ABC News. “I always had to assimilate myself for the comfortability of those around me.”After the shooting, Eastmond’s mother told her that her story could change people’s lives. She began to open up and join the front lines of activism.As Eastmond quickly became involved with conversations across the country, she noticed a recurring theme in the dialogues about gun violence.“I recognized the conversation was very one-sided when we discussed gun violence. It was on a national front but it was only addressing mass shootings,” Eastmond said.Eastmond saw the devastating impact that gun violence has on black and brown communities long before the Parkland massacre. She said she lost her uncle to gun violence years prior in Brooklyn and she developed a much different perspective of this crisis starting at an early age.Studies show that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by firearm homicide. According to Amnesty International, mass shootings account for less than one percent of firearm deaths in the United States. Notably, 80% of homicide gun deaths occur in urban areas, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Eastmond says her cognizance of this issue was a turning point for her in her advocacy efforts. She realized that not only did she have a duty to speak out against gun violence, but she was also called to be an advocate for the black community, making sure that they were included in the ongoing conversation.“I tried to speak out as much as possible but also recognized that I am a young black woman and oftentimes our voices don’t get heard,” Eastmond said. “So not a lot of people care about what I have to say or take what I have to say seriously. I just found myself being unapologetically outspoken and just pushing aside caring about the comfortability of others.”It was these moments that made Eastmond realize that she wanted to shift her focus in her activism.Eastmond became an executive council member of Team Enough, a subsidiary organization of the Brady Campaign. The organization is comprised of youth leaders from marginalized communities who aim to educate young voices on how gun violence affects different communities to varying degrees.Robert Disney, the national organizing director for the Brady Campaign, says that in recent years there has been a fundamental shift in the way that gun violence prevention organizations look at the crisis. Disney said Eastmond was instrumental in making sure that the nuances surrounding gun violence in black and brown communities remain a steadfast topic of conversation within the organization.“We’ve always talked about how black and brown communities are disproportionately involved, but I think along with the rest of the country we’ve realized we have to do a lot better,” Disney said. “We’ve realized that we have so much work to do and Aalayah has helped us with that.”Now at 19 years old, Eastmond has further cemented her goal of making black voices heard on this issue and many other fronts by co-founding Concerned Citizens of DC.The team of organizers, each specializing in different areas of social justice, are taking to the streets of Washington, DC to better organize the recent protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.“Whenever she speaks it’s just like lightening strikes. She has this aura about her when she tells her story or just speaks about what’s going on,” said Seun Babalola, communications director of Concerned Citizens of DC. “You have no choice but to listen just because of how powerfully she gets her point across.”Eastmond says that despite her growing platform and popularity in the activism world “she is still a regular 19-year-old college student.”“I just see myself as a young black girl who’s concerned for not only my life but the life of those who look just like me,” she said.Eastmond says she has noticed a difference in the support she receives from the Parkland community since becoming more vocal about racial inequality.Reflecting on her work, Eastmond says that facing her traumas head on through advocacy can be healing at times but also triggering.“I’m doing it and I have to do it. There’s so many other folks that deal with their own traumas that are still speaking out,” she said.Eastmond says she hopes that speaking up as a minority in her community encourages other black women that they can do the same.“I do this work specifically to show other black girls, young black girls, that they can also get their voices heard because black women are always ignored in certain spaces, if not all.” she said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Britain-Belgium 1904 Tennis Rematch

first_imgIt’s like 1904 all over again in the Davis Cup.Britain and Belgium clinched 3-2 victories in the semifinals of tennis’ premier team competition on Sunday to set up a rematch of their final 111 years ago — the last time Belgium reached the title match.Britain won 5-0 that time and will be the favorite again in November courtesy of Andy Murray, who defeated Bernard Tomic of Australia in the first reverse singles to give Britain an unassailable lead.Murray earned all three points for Britain in Glasgow, Scotland, after winning both his singles matches and teaming with brother Jamie to take a tough five-setter in Sept. 19 doubles.Steve Darcis put Belgium through by beating Federico Delbonis of Argentina in the fifth and decisive match in the other semifinal in Brussels.Britain reached its first final in 37 years as Murray shrugged of a sore back to beat Tomic 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.“I wasn’t really thinking about history or anything like that, I was just concentrating on the points,” Murray said. “I’m obviously delighted to get through. We knew it would be an incredibly difficult match to win, Australia have great depth and experience.”Darcis had lost his opening singles match and the doubles on Sept. 19 as Argentina built a 2-1 lead, but finally grabbed a point with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3) win in a deafening atmosphere at the Forest National.Earlier, Belgium’s No. 1 player David Goffin defeated Diego Schwartzman to draw Belgium level.“For our small country it’s pretty good. For me, it’s really big. I fight and I fight and this time I had the win,” Darcis said. “David Goffin played great, he gave me the chance to finish the job.”The final will be played Nov. 27-29.In the World Group playoffs, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Italy were among the teams to clinch a spot in the top tier of the competition next year.Roger Federer secured Switzerland’s victory over the Netherlands by beating 144th-ranked Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for a decisive 3-1 lead.Switzerland won its first Davis Cup title last year with both Federer and Stan Wawrinka on the team, but was in danger of falling out of the World Group after both players skipped the first-round tie against Belgium in March, which the Swiss lost.Though both Federer and Wawrinka showed up against the Netherlands to keep Switzerland in the World Group, neither has committed to playing again next year.“My idea was never to win it twice. The idea was always to win it once and we did that,” Federer said. “It was a great moment for us all.”The Americans will be back in the World Group for the 27th year in a row after Jack Sock, playing on his first Davis Cup team, beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Tashkent.“Obviously, my first Davis Cup, being a rookie, to come in and get two wins and play two solid matches for me, gives me a lot of confidence,” Sock said.Japan’s Taro Daniel won the first Davis Cup match of his career, beating Colombian veteran Alejandro Falla 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 on the road to secure his country’s place in the World Group with a 3-2 victory. Japan’s No. 1 player, Kei Nishikori, had earlier won his reverse singles match to level the tie at 2-all.“It’s a pretty high pressure match,” Daniel said. “The pressure was on both of us, but I think he was feeling it a little more. He had a little more to lose than I had.”Poland reached the World Group for the first time in Davis Cup history after Michal Przysiezny defeated Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the rubber 3-2 at home.The Czech Republic also won its playoff against India, with Jiri Vesely sealing the victory with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Yuki Bhambri.In other playoff matches, Germany beat the Dominican Republic 4-1 and Italy defeated Russia by the same score. Croatia topped Brazil 3-1.Spain, meanwhile, completed a 5-0 win over Denmark to remain in Group I next year. With the tie already decided after the Sept. 19 doubles win, Rafael Nadal sat out the reverse singles on Sept. 20. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

THE HAZELTON HOTEL CELEBRATES FASHION ART AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES AS THE OFFICIAL

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Beginning on September 3 at 3 P.M., The Hazelton will host the renowned Fashion Talks panel discussion podcast series in the exclusive Silver Screening Room. Moderated by CBC’s Donna Bishop, Fashion Talks will feature Trigère’s Creative Director, Canadian designer Franklin Benjamin Elman. September 4 will bring renowned jewellery designer Hania Kuzbari, to showcase her latest collection in partnership with William Ashley at 4 P.M as a private event in the Yorkville Room.Closing out the week of fashion events, The Hazelton’s iconic ONE Restaurant will host the after party for CAFA menswear designer of the year, Christopher Bates, featuring signature drinks and music to top off the week’s events on September 5 at 11 P.M.As part of the STYLE PLATE neighbourhood initiative, The Hazelton’s ONE restaurant will welcome guests and the public alike to experience flavours inspired by Canadian fashion featuring a signature dish, the P.E.I Beef Carpaccio (Grass Fed PEI beef tenderloin, dijonnaise, reggiano, crostini, shallots and arugula) and the Red Carpet Rocket, a specialty handcrafted cocktail (Levenswater Spring 34 Gin, Garden Rocket, Forelle Pear Simple Syrup, Lime Juice).“Our programming is designed to allow our guests and locals alike into The Hazelton’s exquisite space to experience Canadian fashion at its finest. We are thrilled to continue to support and be part of the various community initiatives, and to have guests celebrate TFW through our hotel offerings.” Continues Roustom.Guests can also experience Toronto Fashion Week from the luxury of one of The Hazelton suites with a stay, which includes complimentary breakfast, overnight parking, manicure for two at the hotel’s exclusive Spa by Valmont and two tickets for a fashion show.The Hazelton Hotel’s founding partnership with Toronto Fashion Week is a mainstay in Toronto’s social and cultural calendars, celebrating fashion, food, art and entertainment. The Hazelton Hotel will play a vital role in ensuring the public experiences all fashion week has to offer with its rich programming, luxury and sophisticated space.ABOUT THE HAZELTON HOTELThe Hazelton Hotel, Toronto’s first boutique luxury hotel in fashionable Yorkville, remains the city’s iconic landmark for all that is chic and glamorous. The Hazelton Hotel offers 77 sumptuous hotel rooms and suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The Hotel’s ONE Restaurant is celebrity Chef Mark McEwan’ssignature dining experience delivered from a contemporary Yorkville hotspot that boasts one of Toronto’s finest patios. The Hazelton is home to the Valmont Spa, one of the most exclusive and luxurious spa sanctuaries in Toronto.Website: thehazeltonhotel.comInstagram: @hazeltontoTwitter:  @hazeltontoFacebook: @thehazeltonhotelABOUT TORONTO FASHION WEEK®Toronto Fashion Week®, an event showcasing fashion, art, music and culture takes place in Yorkville, Toronto’s revitalized and most prestigious luxury retail neighborhood. The bi-annual event hosts national and international designers, entertainers and the fashion community to create a touchpoint where fashion is embraced and celebrated. As the leading fashion event in Canada, Toronto Fashion Week®  creates a catalyst for media engagement, retail activity and global connectivity.The founding partners are Yorkville Village, The Hazelton Hotel, Freed Developments and Hill & Gertner – an ownership group comprised of several of the country’s top companies in real estate, development and luxury hospitality.Website:   TFW.toInstagram:  @tfwTwitter:  @tofashionwkFacebook:  @tofashionwkHashtag:  #tofw Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter The Hazelton Hotel celebrates fashion, art and community initiatives as the official hotel partner of Toronto Fashion Week® (CNW Group/The Hazelton Hotel) TORONTO – Toronto’s leading and first luxury boutique hotel, The Hazelton, announced today a series of events in partnership with Toronto Fashion Week®, bringing together the community to celebrate fashion, arts and culture. Located in Toronto’s prestigious Yorkville neighbourhood, The Hazelton will open its doors to new and existing guests with exclusive parties, events, and panel discussions in a luxurious setting on September 3 – 5, 2019.The Hazelton Hotel (CNW Group/The Hazelton Hotel)“As a founding partner and the official hotel, we are thrilled to see this fifth consecutive season of Toronto Fashion Week continuing to grow throughout the Yorkville neighbourhood,” states Hani Roustom, General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Facebooks day of reckoning Blip or sign of broader turn

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook faced a day of reckoning Thursday as its shares plunged in the biggest one-day drop in stock-market history.The 19 per cent drop vaporized $119 billion of the company’s stock-market value; CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth fall by roughly $16 billion as a result. It was Facebook’s worst trading day since going public in 2012; the collapse eclipsed Intel’s decline of $91 billion in September 2000, without adjusting for inflation.The plunge followed Facebook’s warning late Wednesday that its revenue growth will slow down significantly for at least the remainder of the year and that expenses will continue to skyrocket.In a sign of just how bullish investor expectations were, though, the collapse merely returned Facebook shares to a level last seen in early May. At that point, the stock was still recovering from an earlier battering over its big privacy scandal, in which a political consulting firm with ties to President Donald Trump improperly accessed the data of tens millions of Facebook users.Now come the big questions: Is this a temporary setback, or the start of a painful new road for the giant social network? And does a similar comeuppance await other high-flying technology behemoths?Both the slower growth forecast and heavier spending reflect problems largely of Facebook’s own making.New European privacy rules, inspired in part by Facebook’s relentless mining of its own users’ data, are starting to hamper the company’s advertising business. And the increased spending aims, among other things, to prevent a replay of the fake news and propaganda that Russian agents unleashed on an unguarded Facebook in an attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election.Zuckerberg even noted during a call with analysts that “we’re investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability.”Overall, technology giants — Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon and others — have enjoyed almost unprecedented growth in revenue and stock price for years. They have seemed unstoppable, even in the face of regulatory pressure, user dissatisfaction and broader existential questions about their impact on society. Technology companies account for six of the 10 biggest companies in the S&P 500 Index.Some see the Facebook selloff as clear evidence that nothing can grow forever, especially not the world’s biggest companies, especially not at the rate of nimble, promising startups. Facebook revenue is still growing at a rate double that of Twitter. A decade ago, almost no one could have imagined that Facebook would have more than 2 billion users, much less that its family of apps — Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — would also count members in the billions.“Nobody knows where the top is, where that growth slows down,” said Phil Bak, CEO of Exponential ETFs and a former managing director of the New York Stock Exchange who said he’s been warning investors of a potential sell-off in large tech stocks.Things could get rougher still. Those European privacy regulations, known as the General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR, went into effect with just one month left in the second quarter. That means Facebook could feel its effects more strongly later this year.For more than a year — ever since Zuckerberg published a 5,000 word manifesto arguing that Facebook needs to make the world a better place by bolstering civic engagement and addressing social ills — the company has seemed torn between its philosophical mission and its economic one. Wednesday may have been the first time this tension really broke into the open, probably because it threatened the one thing all investors care about: Money.Michael Connor, whose Open Mic group helps investors push tech companies to address privacy, abuse and other issues, said it’s “far too early” to see if Facebook’s efforts to improve itself will prove fruitful. But the real question, he said, is whether the company can “continue to do what they are doing in the face of criticism from Wall Street.”Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and author of the new book, “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy,” dismissed the significance of the stock plunge.“Mark Zuckerberg isn’t panicking,” he said. “The Facebook board isn’t panicking. Most of its large institutional investors aren’t panicking. They know they’re in it for the long game.”___AP technology writer Matt O’Brien contributed to this report from Providence, Rhode Island.last_img read more

Vancouver expects to collect 38 million from vacancy tax in first year

first_imgThe Canadian Press VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver says it has collected $21 million in the first full year of its empty homes tax and another $17 million could still flow into its coffers.The city says in a news release that it expects to generate about $38 million from the first year of the tax which is applied to vacant residential properties in a bid to ease Vancouver’s one per cent vacancy rate.The city says there just over 186,000 residential properties declared and 2,538 of those were vacant.It says the declaration period for the second year of the tax is open with a deadline of Feb. 4.City staff will continue to monitor the impact of the tax on housing supply and affordability, and the release says revenue generated by the tax will be used for affordable housing initiatives in Vancouver.The city says $8 million raised by the tax last year has already been earmarked for specific affordable housing initiatives.last_img read more

Taylor council looking at changes to allow breweries and cannabis retail

first_imgBased on the interest expressed by the proponents, Staff prepared a proposal of zoning by-law amendments. Also while looking at changing the zoning by-laws for breweries, Staff also prepared a proposal for zoning by-laws surrounding the sale of cannabis.Based on these proposals, Council plans to seek feedback from the community in May before proceeding with any final decisions.The Cannabis Retail amendments proposed to the District of Taylor’s Zoning Bylaw are modelled closely after those adopted by the City of Fort St John.Currently, the District by-laws do not support the sale of cannabis.For more information on the proposal of zoning by-law amendments, you can visit the District of Taylor’s website. TAYLOR, B.C. – At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Monday, District of Taylor Council started to look at making amendments to zoning by-laws to support Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail Uses.Recently, the District has been contacted by local business investors that are showing interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones.last_img read more

BJP inducts 2 MGP MLAs to save its govt in Goa

first_imgPanaji: The Goa Forward Party (GFP), a partner in the state government, has expressed fear about creation of “suspicion among partners” after two MGP MLAs broke away and joined the BJP. The GFP has three MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly and is supporting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s government.”If this (defection from coalition partners) continues, then we will lose sympathy and it will create suspicion among coalition partners. Such incidents in future will result in lack of public goodwill,” GFP president Vijai Sardesai, also deputy CM of the coastal state, said. Putting the ball in CM Sawant’s court, Sardesai asserted, “The CM heads this (government) and he knows the contours of his alliance. I think he will very soon clarify on the future political road map of this coalition government,” said Sardesai.last_img read more

Delhi HC extends stay on order letting private schools hike fee

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday extended, till April 30, its interim stay on a single judge bench’s order allowing city’s private unaided schools to hike their fees for implementing recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission on salaries of teachers and other employees.A bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice IS Mehta said that their interim order on a stay will continue and listed the matter for further hearing on April 30. Hearing the Delhi government’s plea seeking quashing of single judge bench’s order setting aside the government’s April 13, 2018 circular, the court had on last Wednesday had stayed, till April 8, the single judge bench’s order. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Delhi government, by the April 13, 2018 circular, had restrained private unaided schools which were on government land from hiking tuition amounts without the approval of the Directorate of Education, but the single judge bench allowed the plea of Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools challenging it. Meanwhile, the Action Committee – Unaided Recognised Private Schools told the court that the decision of hike in fees was taken not only to improve the pay scale of its teachers but to improve the infrastructure of the schools. Welcoming the court order, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia said: “Congratulations to parents of children studying in private schools. We will not allow arbitrary fees hike by private schools.”last_img read more

BJP to suffer huge seat loss: Mamata

first_imgDum Dum/Haroa/Hasnabad: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that the BJP will witness a drastic reduction in seat count in Uttar Pradesh and draw a blank in seven other states in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. This is the reason that the party, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are losing confidence and eyeing Bengal to garner votes.Banerjee also urged the administration and the Election Commission of India to check the vehicles of all political leaders, including herself and the Prime Minister’s, as BJP leaders are allegedly carrying cash for distribution among the voters. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework”I will request the district administration and the Election Commission to check the vehicles of all leaders including myself as BJP is trying to buy the voters. They should also check Modi’s vehicle. And, I want to know why the Election Commission’s surveillance camera does not cover Modi when he gets down from the helicopter. Once some black suitcases were spotted after he got down from the chopper. Since then, nothing has been reported on the matter,” she said while addressing a meeting in Hasnabad. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenWithout naming Bharati Ghosh, the BJP candidate from Ghatal from whose possession Rs 1.13 lakh was recovered on Thursday night, she said: “Look at their leader from whose possession money was found.” It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress supporters gheraoed the car of the state BJP president Dilip Ghosh in Egra under Midnapore Lok Sabha seat on Saturday as they suspected him of carrying cash. Banerjee alleged that BJP leaders from other states are staying in hotels and guest houses in Kolkata with money and they are trying to woo the voters. “Leaders from Assam and Tripura are sitting with money which they plan to distribute among the voters. They should realise that they can’t win elections by paying money to the voters.” Banerjee held a section of the electronic media responsible for circulating distorted news. “In many states in the country, no Panchayat elections are held. In Bengal, there might have been some problem in some areas. But the local television channels portray those incidents in such a manner as if there is real trouble going on in the state. BJP has sent those ‘chosen’ clippings to the ECI as a result of which elections are being held in seven phases in Bengal,” she said. “In Uttar Pradesh, how many people had been killed by the gaurakshaks? In Gujarat, how many people have been lynched. In how many phases are the elections being held there,” she asked. The TMC chief also said that BJP has “hatred” for Bengal but now their leaders have come to ask for votes. “We wanted to change the name of the state from West Bengal to Bangla and the proposal was unanimously passed in the Assembly. But for the past three years, BJP is sitting on the matter. Because of the Centre’s delay, we could not start our mining activities in Birbhum.” In Dum Dum, which was stated to be a CPI(M) stronghold, she said: “CPI(M) had unleashed a ‘Reign of Terror’ in the state. Several of our party workers had been brutally killed by them in different areas. I have not forgotten those days. They have beaten me up also. Because of the good wishes of so many people, I am still alive.” Rooting for Saugata Roy as “one of the finest Parliamentarians”, she said he raises all important issues against the Modi government in Parliament religiously. Banerjee urged the people to vote for the veteran party leader from Dum Dum. In Hasnabad, she urged the people to vote for actor-turned-politician Nusrat Jahan.last_img read more

US embassy staffer’s espionage trial resumes in Turkey’s Istanbul

first_imgIstanbul: A US embassy staffer denied espionage charges as his trial resumed in Istanbul on Wednesday — part of a growing rift between Washington and Ankara. Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen and liaison for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), was arrested in 2017. He was accused of contacts with police and a prosecutor suspected of ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says ordered an attempted coup in 2016. Topuz has denied all allegations against him and told the court on Monday that all his contacts were “part of my job”, an AFP reporter said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”I am not a decision maker. I have done what I was ordered to do” by my boss at the DEA, he said. His defence lawyer presented a list of his phone calls with police, saying they were entirely work-related. US embassy and consular officials, who have dismissed the charges as being without merit, were also at the courthouse to observe proceedings. The trial comes at a time when the NATO allies are increasingly at odds over Syria, Turkey’s decision to buy a Russian missile defence system and the US refusal to extradite Gulen. According to his indictment, Topuz is accused of espionage as well as arranging arms trafficking through exchanges on the WhatsApp messaging service.last_img read more