What’s News In This Story?
–Priest Douggie Smith and his team at the First Rastafari Church and Cultural Center of Florida are doing something unique.
–They are trying to get local Rastafari out of the shadows and into the center of the larger community.
-Priest Douggie: “We didn’t create a space for Rastafari alone we created a space for the community so Rastafari and the community can interact together and build our community in a positive way.”
-Priest Douggie’s message and style has attracted some interesting non Rastafari people to his new center for cultural events.
–According to Priest Douggie, there is a large Rastafari community in South Florida, but they are scattered around the region.
–From 1993 to 2007, there was a Rastafari church in Miami but it was forced to close during the recession.
-From that time to the opening of the new center, local Rastafari had to meet at homes and in parks to worship with each other.
——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Campbell Erickson is a connector of young people.
Campbell Erickson is resourceful.
Campbell Erickson embodies entrepreneurialism.
Campbell Erickson is 16 years old.
Last summer, Erickson sent out a call to action to fellow Austin, TX teenagers who follow him on his Instagram account. The call was for people who wanted to make an impact and to change a particular narrative around the nascent nation of South Sudan.
But this isn’t just about Erickson. In response to his call, six Austin based teenagers, attending different high schools and varying in age have come together to start a project they call “A Youth Mind.”
“‘A Youth Mind’ comes from the idea that literally the minds of youth, I feel personally, aren’t recognized as much as they should be this day and age, especially when it comes to documentation and recognition of places, people and culture,” Erickson said. “The mind of a kid who is growing up is so open and so creative.”
But that’s just the name. It was the end goal of changing the conversation around different parts of the world that attracted the others to the project.
“Ignorance, to me, is my greatest fear. If you have resources and have things available to you, you have to choose to be ignorant. If you can choose to understand people and choose just to know things, why would you choose not too? Team member, Sophia Alami-Nassif, 17, said.
“People think you’re doing this cute little project. It made me want to work harder to make people understand. To almost prove to people we are not that little kid project.”
The goal of A Youth Mind is to combat ignorance through education. Through an Indiegogo campaign that raised $1,700, the A Youth Mind team is set to purchase disposable cameras that they will send through their NGO Austin-based partner, Lone Star-Africa Works, to South Sudan.
Once the cameras make it to the young people in South Sudan communities, they will use the cameras to shoot raw footage of their homes, their schools, their families and their friends.
Then they will send the photos back to Austin to the A Youth Mind team. The goal will be to distribute the photos as print books made through a platform called Weeva that will be sold to buy more cameras. The photos will also be distributed to various traditional and social media channels for maximum exposure.
After South Sudan, the team’s hope is to expand to other countries.
“We want to increase awareness using the raw image of a country like South Sudan instead of the Western media taking the photo.” Erickson said. “The final goal is to create an exchange between communities because we want young people all over the world to grow up with this awareness of other young people, this awareness of other cultures, of other places.”
As young people trying to combat ignorance in other young people, the A Youth Mind team is receiving a different kind of education outside of traditional schooling.
This project is not a school project. It is not a charity. It is a global humanitarian partnership started by young people who are passionate and want to remain engaged with the world.
“I actually believe in this. We are receiving validation from the feedback we are getting, and I don’t necessarily feel like you always get that in school,” Alami-Nassif said. “I feel like you are just expected to show up and do a task. The thing about this project is that it focuses on humanity, and I think school is really lacking that.”
The experience in entrepreneurial leadership and global awareness that the team is gaining cannot be quantified in a grade.
Nor can the ‘real world’ aspect be quantified, which was apparent when the team found themselves representing A Youth Mind at a booth at SXSW Eco in October in Austin, TX.
“It was humbling. It was a step into reality,” Ori Green, 16, said. “It wasn’t necessarily condescending, but you could see how being a kid and trying to start something like this, you get those natural ‘arts and crafts’ kind of feels to it. People think you’re doing this cute little project. It made me want to work harder to make people understand. To almost prove to people we are not that little kid project.”
Some SXSW Eco conference-goers did understand. Using a whiteboard, dry erase markers and a goal to spark conversation, the A Youth Mind team engaged conference participants by asking them to write the first word that came to mind when they think of Africa.
“We were going for stereotypes and things you think of when don’t really think of Africa. But we got so many amazing ideas and people’s thoughts,” Joshua Tsang, 16, said.
SXSW Eco was a pivotal reality check for the team.
“Afterward, I had to take a step back and think, ‘Woah, this is kind of actually going somewhere big.’ It was the first real deep breath of actuality for this,” Green said.
While the future looks bright for A Youth Mind, the project is not without its challenges. But with true entrepreneurial resourcefulness and dogged determination, the A Youth Mind team is accepting challenges in stride.
“One challenge is how do we get cameras through customs in South Sudan? We have a solution and this is working with churches over there to help get the cameras through.” Erickson said.
Flexibility, determination and a collaborative team will get the first round of photos back from South Sudan in the early part of 2016.
The goal is for the first book to be published by the summer of 2016.
“Our plan is to execute this first project and see what went good and what went bad and how we can make it better,” Green said. “How can we do it cheaper, more efficiently. Then after we do that we have a world of options. Literally.”
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I lean to the left, voted for the Democrat, and wanted her to win.
I’m ashamed that the first black president will be succeeded by someone who led a racist birther movement and is supported by the KKK.
But despite the number of factors that lead to this election outcome, some of which are valid, many which are not, the Democratic Party largely has themselves to blame.
They dropped the ball.
The twist ending to this election is that what was supposed to be a civil war in the Republican Party is actually something that will certainty now take place in the Democratic Party.
Democrats need to recalibrate and figure out what happened, and what they stand for.
From my point of view, there are a number of things that need to be changed going forward.
I think Hillary Clinton would have made a fine President.
But the reality is that she was a truly awful candidate.
Her campaign will become the textbook “what not to do” for future campaigns.
The people around her cared more about protecting her than lifting her up and making her a successful candidate.
In an age where authenticity mattered, she was too scripted, and not human enough.
She carried enormous baggage, made many mistakes, and seemed out of touch with what the electorate was really feeling.
I support a DNC “drain the swamp” effort.
Get people who will follow a mandate, be fair, and not become an extension of another campaign.
The way Bernie Sanders was treated by the DNC was shameful.
The way the DNC tried to shoe in Clinton for the nomination is a disgrace.
Clinton was treated as the incumbent nominee by the party before the primaries even began.
The party forfeited a lively, spirited primary process with a number of interesting candidates to back an establishment candidate with enormous baggage and a likability problem.
Why they took the risk on an accomplished but incredibly flawed candidate, when it was so important to conserve President Obama’s progress for a new term, I will never understand.
It was status quo politics, elitism, and people are rightfully sick of that crap.
Clinton’s ideas were generally the right ideas.
She had vast knowledge of world and domestic issues that Trump does not have.
If that wasn’t clear before, it certainly will become so during his administration.
The problem was with communication and perception.
Perception is reality.
If there was one piece of advice I could offer to change this for democratic candidates in the future, it would be this:
Democrats, stay away from Hollywood.
Stay away from celebrities.
Stay away from elites.
Stop associating yourself with big money interests.
Appeal to the average working person that Trump intercepted.
It felt like every other week Clinton was having a celebrity fundraiser in Los Angeles or New York.
Celebrities don’t represent most people.
They don’t represent me.
Instead of taking the message to Wisconsin, which Clinton didn’t visit once as the nominee, and then lost, she chose to have a big money event with elites somewhere.
What a missed opportunity.
Wisconsin and Michigan should have been won.
And no one gives a shit about celebrity endorsements by the way.
We don’t care what Eva Longoria thinks about politics, or that Lena Dunham likes Clinton.
No one on the face of the earth should use a celebrity endorsement as a major factor in choosing a candidate.
Stop encouraging it.
No more $30,000 per plate dinners with George Clooney in the Hollywood Hills.
Clinton doesn’t need their money.
She had enough of her own.
No more concerts with Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, or Beyonce.
No one is impressed.
People are tired of elitism, and I am, too.
The bells and whistles do nothing, people just want someone who will listen to them.
Take the message to the people, and make clear that your interest is to stand up for them.
Michael Moore posted on Facebook that the Democratic Party needs to be returned to the people.
Moore has been right about this election all along.
Nearly everyone else wasn’t.
I’m optimistic real change will happen.
I think we are in for some major disillusionment about Trump, and in the meantime, the party will have the opportunity to fix the issues, re-evaluate their strategy, and come back stronger.
It needs to.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Georgia Democrats/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 243
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Atlantic Magazine Listed The “100 Most Influential Figures In American History” And Didn’t Put A Single Native American On The ListBy Sam Crowfoot
The other day while browsing Facebook I came across a 2006 piece from the Atlantic titled, “The 100 Most Influential Figures in American History.” It was being promoted by the magazine with a Facebook ad buy.
I clicked on the post and found that the Atlantic asked ten “eminent historians” (their words, not mine) to select 100 of the most influential people to shape American history. As I clicked through the list I realized that there was not a single Native American mentioned.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a reservation-raised, fully enrolled, card-carrying Native American (yes, we have cards, they are called Certificates of Indian Blood or CIB).
I am also an attorney, husband and father of young children. Like most parents, I am concerned about the world my children will grow up in. I pay attention to things that have the power to influence their lives. I notice when Native Americans make appearances in books, news stories and film. I also notice when we are omitted, ignored or forgotten about completely, which was the case for The Atlantic’s piece on the 100 most influential people in American history.
When you only ask people from a certain demographic to weigh in on an issue, you get biased results that reflect a limited point of view. American history is considerably more than what white people think.
So who cares right? It’s a stupid list, my children will probably never see it and no one really thinks about posts like these longer than five minutes, right? Wrong. I scrolled away and moved on, or at least tried.
In my attempt to move forward, a flurry of questions kept bringing me back to this list. “Where was Sitting Bull? Crazy Horse? Jim Thorpe? Why did PT Barnum, the circus guy make the list and not Chief Joseph or Tecumseh?”
To be sure, I re-read the list a few more times and noted how many were male and female and noted the race of each person mentioned.
Here is the count for those keeping score: 90 = male, 10 = female, 92 = White/Caucasian, 8 = Black/African, 0 = Latino, 0 = Asian and 0 = Native American.
Maybe I am sensitive to this topic because I am Native American. I definitely can’t change what I am. But I have the power to change the way I think and try to open my mind to new viewpoints. We all have that power. The Atlantic does too, and yet for this list they chose not to. In concocting this list and selecting their panel of historians The Atlantic only petitioned white people.
I am not saying that as a negative thing. It’s just a fact. I looked them all up, read their bios and saw their pictures. All very smart and very accomplished, all very white, and in the “whiteness” of these experts lies the problem. When you only ask people from a certain demographic to weigh in on an issue, you get biased results that reflect a limited point of view. American history is considerably more than what white people think.
You can’t tell me that PT Barnum, Stephen Foster or Joseph Smith are more influential in American History than literally every Native American to have ever lived. What about leaders of the Lakota, Dakota, Oglala and others who fought against Manifest Destiny and American expansion and whose resistance and treaties influenced present day American borders?
What about the Natives who fought along side George Washington during the American Revolution? Surely they had more of a hand in America’s fate and legacy than the writer of “My Old Kentucky Home” or the circus guy. When was the last time you went to a circus? Heck, when was the last time you thought about a circus?
What about Sacagawea who accompanied Lewis and Clark (they made the list) along their expedition? What about Black Elk, Red Cloud or the Code Talkers who helped defeat the Japanese in the Pacific theatre of WWII?
Genocidal Andrew Jackson made the list. I guess you can influence American history by killing Native Americans, but not if you are one.
Part of me wants to forget this stupid list altogether. Part of me wants to argue till I am blue in the face. Instead I will settle to make this one point: Do not forget about us. American historians have an ugly habit of omitting important people and events from its official narrative.
This list is just another in a long line of lists, documents and textbooks that do not acknowledge or accurately teach about the contribution of other ethnic and social groups to American history. We’ve all heard the saying, “history is written by the winners,” and that may be the case, but we should know better.
The Atlantic should know better. The history of America is not monochromatic, nor are the individuals who shaped it.
Cover Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 396
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