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6 year old Milan and 3 year old Sascha Saravia love their huge stuffed Woolly Mammoth.
They were given it and another huge toy dinosaur as a gift from a family friend a few years ago.
But they decided to give it away to one of their favorite places, Brockway Memorial Library in Miami Shores so that other kids can enjoy seeing it too.
Brenda Holsing, the Youth Services Librarian at Brockway said that the mammoth has been a hit with the scores of children who see it each day since it was donated a few months ago.
Their dad Adrian Saravia said that the decision to give away the mammoth was a joint venture between the two boys.
“They visit the library at least three times a week and it’s a place that they enjoy a lot,” Adrian said. “And it just seemed like a nice thing to share with other kids.”
The boys are in the library’s summer camp program and also attend a monthly science program there during the regular school year.
So they spend a lot of time in the small, community run library.
“We feel very safe and comfortable and feel that they’re in a nice environment where they can meet people in the community,” Adrian said. “We’re very lucky to have a library so close and to have such a good group of people who care for the kids.”
Adrian said that the boys intend to eventually donate their giant toy brontosaurus to the library too.
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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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By Ameera Steward
This year has been all about loving yourself and acceptance for all body types, but when it comes to women’s clothing things are a bit different.
Not all women are created equally is fashion. And the main woman who isn’t included is the busty woman.
Kristen Allen understood the struggle and decided to do something about it by opening her own online store.
It is called Exclusively Kristen: Clothes for “Busty” Women.
In an interview with RISE NEWS, Allen said ever since she was a teenager she’s had the issue of finding tops that fit properly because of her cup size.
She explained that the idea to start a business of this sort has always been in the back of her mind but there was always had school or work standing in the way.
Allen said that this is something she never thought she could do, but when she moved to New York she was inspired by everyone’s grind because everyone seemed to have a side hustle there.
She also said after doing research with many resources at her disposal she realized that she was still young so why not take the risk?
Exclusively Kristen has been a business for almost two years, launching in 2014.
Allen said that starting her company has been rewarding since she is solving a real problem that many women face.
“There are few companies in the United States catering to the busty woman,” Allen said. “And I’m the only one that has a variety of things to choose from.”
She said that with her business she wanted to start out with some basic pieces with a range of appeal without being too trendy.
“So this is just a product of me being the target audience, but my body type isn’t the same as everybody else’s,” Allen said. “I wanted everyone to pretty much try it out and then give me feedback. Now that I’ve gotten enough feedback from customers now I starting to do more adventurous pieces.”
she wants her customers to know that they do have options and they don’t have to settle for oversized sweaters just to fit their bust.
“I want them to know that we’re here to solve a problem and we’re here to help women look good and feel comforted in the clothes that they’re wearing, that the clothes will be tailored to them, to their bodies,” Allen said.
Allen’s products range from $25 to $100 and they’re all made in the United States.
Allen is involved in every aspect of the creative process. She said she draws a rough draft of the designs and then has someone make the technical sketches.
She is also the fit model and does all of the fittings and does quality control on each garment.
After her approval, the clothes go to the manufacturer.
Allen said she wants other women to be inspired to own a small business.
Allen explained that she is proud of what the company has accomplished so far.
Allen has future aspirations that involve more products on the website, a petite line and a plus sized line.
Her long term goal is to open stores in different states catering to women with D-plus cups.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.Post Views: 873
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“Miley Cyrus represents everything that is wrong with America.”
This is a sentence you have probably heard or even spoken yourself. But the people who believe this believe it for the wrong reasons.
Frequent marijuana use is not what is wrong with America. Nude concerts are not what is wrong with America. Obscene gestures are not what is wrong with America.
What is wrong with America is the defensive attitude that comes out when someone asks it to shut up for five minutes and let marginalized individuals speak for themselves.
In the past, Miley has called herself “empowering to women,” and I think deep down she does want to empower and to see a more accepting world, just as deep down America wants to live up to its reputation as the land of the free.
But the problem with Miley’s mission, and America’s, lies within her belief that she can fix the world’s intolerance on her terms, without actually listening to those she is attempting to empower.
Miley has spent the last three years not giving a single fuck. It started in 2012 when she chopped off her long brunette locks and began rocking a platinum pixie cut, and has since escalated into everything from excessive tongue use to posing nude for Candy magazine.
She has received equal parts hate and love for her lack of concern with public opinion on her looks, attitude and behavior.
Not giving a fuck can be empowering. In a time where government spying and posting every thought online for 1,000 of your friends to analyze is considered the norm, “worrying about yourself” is a foreign concept. So when you choose not to let unfair judgment of your character affect how you live your life, that is, without a doubt, empowering.
But there is such a thing as fair judgment, something Miley has often faced, particularly for her appropriation of POC culture and her use of the LGBTQ+ community as a prop for her brand.
Last summer, when Nicki Minaj called out the MTV Video Music Awards on Twitter for their lack of recognition for her record-breaking Anaconda video, as compared with their celebration of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video, Swift fired back at Minaj for “pit[ting] women against each other.”
When Minaj – and the rest of Twitter — explained to Swift that this wasn’t about bringing her down, it was about dismantling a system stacked against people of color, the pop star issued an apology and admitted that she misunderstood. It was not a perfect example of accountability for problematic behavior, but it was progress.
Miley, on the other hand, when asked about the “beef” between the two, accused Nicki Minaj of making “[the issue] about [her]self,” and suggested that next time the artist approach race issues “with love” to get her point across.
This is America’s problem. Too many people claim to empower, when what they are really doing is overpowering.
Rather than listen to a woman who also faces criticism for everything from obscenity to sexuality, Miley, a self-proclaimed feminist, decided to speak over Minaj and tell her how to best handle the issues she is facing. How can one claim to be empowering while refusing to uplift the voices of those they want to empower?
Empowering a group of people means embracing and caring about both the positive and negative parts of their culture. It means for every time you twerk with your friends in the club, you should be listening to a woman of color talk about the way she is fetishized. For every funny Grindr story you listen to from your gay friend, you should be educating yourself on bi-erasure.
And for every joint you smoke, you should be reading the statistics on imprisonment rates for minor drug offenses and how this practice serves as a systemic genocide of young men of color.
This is America’s problem. Too many people claim to empower, when what they are really doing is overpowering. So next time you see Miley on your TV or computer screen and you ask yourself “What the hell is she doing?” know that she is doing exactly what America is doing: bringing marginalized communities onto her platform, only to cut their mics.
Cover Photo Credit: JPAvocat/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 554
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The visa waiver program has undergone major changes in the US after Congress quietly passed a controversial provision that was included in an unrelated massive bill, triggering protests from civil liberties groups, minority groups and the European Union.
The legislation was tucked away in the massive omnibus spending bill passed by Congress, and it received bi-partisan support, a rarity in this Congress. President Obama signed it into law on Friday.
However, it didn’t go through without criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has slammed the legislation in a letter, saying it is not only “discriminatory, it is arbitrary.”
The new law means that dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan who are also a citizen of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program are required to go to a consulate interview overseas to obtain a visa before travelling to the US for 90 days. It also means that an individual who has traveled to those countries in the last five years has to get a visa.
“This is discriminatory. It is not based on individuals’ decisions, but on parentage,” Abdi told Rise News. “It’s taking us down a dangerous path, setting a precedent that you will be treated differently because of your dual nationality.”
Syed Farook was a US citizen raised in a Pakistani household. His wife came to the US on a K1 fiancée visa granted by the US Embassy in Pakistan after clearing a background check. This was not under the Visa Waiver Program, and critics say the new law doesn’t target real threats.
Iranian dual nationals, some of the most vocal in opposition to the legislation, ask why Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not included in the list of countries the legislation has zeroed in on.
Read More: Kim Badawi-The Stories Behind The Lens
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), is strongly opposed to the legislation. Jamal Abdi, the director of NIAC Action, said the legislation could place Iranian Americans “In a separate category to their fellow citizens.”
He expressed his concern on what the EU response will be, as the Visa Waiver Program is reciprocity. The EU will be reviewing the program in April.
“This is discriminatory. It is not based on individuals’ decisions, but on parentage,” Abdi told RISE NEWS. “It’s taking us down a dangerous path, setting a precedent that you will be treated differently because of your dual nationality.”
Under Iranian law, a child born to an Iranian citizen father is automatically an Iranian citizen, whether they are born there or not. This is the same for all four countries deemed as dangerous in the legislation. Renouncing citizenship is also a long and complicated process, according to critics.
The legislation has also angered European diplomats, and 29 European Union ambassadors, representing member states and the EU itself, signed an editorial directed at US lawmakers, arguing against the changes.
The diplomats warned this new regulation represented “the de facto introduction of a visa regime in all but name”.
They added in the letter:, “such indiscriminate action against the more than 13 million European citizens who travel to the US each year would be counterproductive, could trigger legally mandated reciprocal measures, and would do nothing to increase security while instead hurting economies on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The legislation also would not differentiate between those that travel to these countries for business, humanitarian efforts or familial reasons.
Thus it means that journalists and aid workers will be penalized while foreign fighters could just lie about having travelled there, as accessing if someone has travelled to Iraq or Syria is difficult because their borders are insecure.
There are also concerns that the new legislation could violate the Iran nuclear deal, or that this is even an attempt to undermine it.
Senior Obama administration officials have expressed concerns.
Stephen Mull, the State Department official in charge of implementing the deal had warned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late last week that this “could have a very negative impact on the deal.”
Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s parliament, said the changes “are aimed at harassment” and that they “blatantly violate the nuclear agreement” according to comments carried by the Iranian state-controlled press.
A portion of the Iran nuclear deal dictates that the US can not take any action that could harm Iran’s economic relationship with other countries, and since the legislations mandates that any travel to Iran for citizens in the 38 countries participating in the visa waiver program would have to obtain a visa to enter the US, there are concerns this could make businesses reluctant to travel to Iran.
Iranian officials maintain that these new restrictions violate this part of the deal.
Secretary of State John Kerry reached out to his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, to calm the stormy waters in a December 19th letter.
He stated that the US will find ways to make sure that changes to the visa waiver program will not interfere with “legitimate business interests.”
Kerry also assured Zarif that the U.S. government “remain[s] fully committed to the sanctions lifting provided for under the JCPOA.”
The head of Iran’s tourism body, Morteza Rahmani-Movahed, said Tehran would lodge a complaint to the U.N.’s tourism body, the World Tourism Organization. He told a press conference Sunday that some of the 38 VWP countries were Iranian “tourism targets.”
However, according to Fox News, Republicans have responded badly to the suggestion that they are “bending over backwards to placate the Iranian regime.”
The NIAC has committed to continuing to the fight the changes, saying on their website that they are in discussions with members of Congress “to take legislative action early next year.”
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