Showing posts with label Politically Yours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politically Yours. Show all posts

3 November 2020

'Starsky and Hutch' Actor David Soul Releases New Short Film/Documentary 'America' [Video Included]

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'Starsky and Hutch' Actor David Soul Releases New Short Film/Documentary 'America'
'Starsky and Hutch' Actor David Soul Releases New Short Film/Documentary 'America' (screengrab)
Actor/director and musician David Soul, co-star of the iconic 1970s television series, Starsky and Hutch, has created and directed a short film/documentary called America, based on a song of the same name.

  • The song, written by Jack Murphy and recorded by David Soul 40 years ago, was never released - until now.
David's not-for-profit film, produced by Me and Thee Productions and available free across all social media, reveals America's story as illustrated in the song's lyrics; from her slave-trading beginnings in 1619, through the years of the Civil Rights struggles, to the inspirational, global, and long-overdue Black Lives Matter movement.

'Starsky and Hutch' Actor David Soul Releases New Short Film/Documentary 'America'
'Starsky and Hutch' Actor David Soul Releases New Short Film/Documentary 'America' (screengrab)
America, the film, is a reminder that our uniqueness as a country (often concealed in superficial patriotic bravado and self-congratulation) actually lies in our immeasurable compassion and love, as well as in our undaunting willingness to learn from our past and rise above our differences.
  • The film, at moments graphic and challenging, is not always easy to watch, but in fact, it serves to embrace the collective heart and soul of our nation's diversity.
We are reminded by David Soul's America that we must unite together on "the Yellow Brick Road" in our continuing journey to form "a more perfect union;" in essence, to ensure that the promises of equality and justice for all Americans, enshrined within the United States Constitution, are finally realized.

'America' By David Soul - The Video:


SOURCE: Me and Thee Productions

20 October 2020

Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero

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Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero
The Calico
Sigma Comics, a comic book publisher dedicated to fighting animal abuse, today introduced the world to Calico, the company's first comic book character. As part of the introduction, the company revealed its flagship comic book series, entitled, "Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery". 
While there are other comic book superheroes that are Vegan, Calico is the first Vegan "Anti"-hero. "What's funny is, on the surface, it might seem like a gimmick, yet there's no reference to Veganism anywhere in the series," said Calico-creator H.H. German, and founder of Sigma Comics. "This is just one rough hombre who doesn't eat meat, and really, really hates bullies."
Animal Lovers, Rejoice! New York City Has A Brand New Anti-Hero
Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery, Issue #1 - Front Cover 
Set in the rough outer boroughs of New York City, Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery follows Hector Gil, a former boxer from The Bronx with a huge chip on his shoulder, created by life regrets. He decides to enter a prestigious boxing tournament, and as he trains, his new Brooklyn neighbors are unaware of the double-life he leads. On choice evenings, Hector Gil becomes the Calico, to pay unfriendly visits to people who abuse and kill animals. He is supported by a varied network of technically savvy and resourceful data professionals, all bent on making sure Calico completes his missions without a hitch.

Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery will be an 8-book series, with each issue featuring 22 pages of story by H.H. German and art by Javier Orabich, with cover art by Garnabiel. The first issue is expected to be released just in time for Christmas 2020. 
"If you love animals and comic books, this is an absolute must-have for your collection," said German. "The response has been incredible. I really appreciate the support we're getting from different groups of people, including Vegans, animal lovers, and comic book fans that are tired of lackluster comic books. Your unfriendly neighborhood Calico represents a big departure from the average superhero comic book. I'll leave it at that."

Introducing Calico - Video:


  • Calico Volume 1: Pin-Up Gallery, Issue #1 is now available for pre-order at:igg.me/at/sigma.

About Sigma Comics:

Sigma Comics, LLC is a comic book publisher dedicated to fighting animal abuse. The company's goal is to reach a growing audience of readers across the globe, in order to promote animal rights advocacy and provide a powerful mechanism for animal rights charities to promote their efforts. 

  • Comic book fans can learn more about Calico and Sigma Comics at sigmacomics.com.
SOURCE Sigma Comics, LLC

19 October 2020

#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections

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#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
The Trusted Journalism Partnership, a coalition of nonpartisan academic and media organizations, today launched a public information campaign focusing on people aged 65 and over, encouraging them to take a reflective pause and consider whether a news story is true or not before sharing it on social media.

The campaign is based on research at Princeton and New York universities analyzing people's online behaviors in the final weeks of the 2016 elections:

  • One quarter of all Americans visited a website masquerading as a legitimate news organization, but was in fact peddling false claims.
  • The largest source of this internet traffic came from Facebook.
  • While most people did not share the misleading information, Facebook users 65-and-over posted seven times as many articles from such websites, compared with adults under 29.
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
"We want to help people sort fact from fiction at a time when they are bombarded with disinformation," said Dan Shelley, executive director and COO at the Radio Television Digital News Association, one of the participating organizations. "Our campaign is a critical reminder that fact-based journalism is different from other types of media. Legitimate news organizations hold themselves to high standards of transparency and accuracy. "
The PSA campaign, which provides 15-, 30- and 90-second videos, highlights the Trust Project's 8 Trust Indicators to help people evaluate the source of a news story and determine its validity.
"Our 8 Trust Indicators provide an easy checklist for making decisions about what news comes from reputable news organizations and what might be intentionally misleading or just plain wrong," said Sally Lehrman, Trust Project founder and CEO, and a member of the Trusted Journalism Partnership.
To reach older Americans with its message, the Trusted Journalism Partnership is advertising on Facebook, the most popular social media platform among seniors.
"Technology has dramatically altered the way we consume information. But one thing has not changed: the difference between the truth and a lie," said Akhtar Badshah, distinguished practitioner, University of Washington Evans School and founder of Accelerating Social Transformation. "We are giving people the tools to help them discern the difference."

The campaign invites people to take three simple steps to support a healthy democracy: 

  1. Share the campaign
  2. Learn the Trust Indicators 
  3. Sign a pledge to share only trusted journalism and curtail the spread of disinformation. 
The campaign includes a social media toolkit and a collection of resources.


The  8 Trust Indicator Cards:

#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #1
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #2
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #3
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #4
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #5
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #6
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #7
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #8

17 October 2020

Design Competition for Canada's LGBTQ2+ National Monument Launches

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Design Competition for Canada's LGBTQ2+ National Monument Launches (Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels)
A major step has been taken toward creating a national monument remembering the historic discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, including those who suffered and continue to suffer due to the LGBT Purge between the 1950s and the 1990s.
Teams of professional artists, landscape architects, architects and other urban design professionals are invited to submit their credentials and examples of work for consideration as part of the Request for Qualifications for the LGBTQ2+ National Monument. The deadline is January 5, 2021. The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, and the LGBT Purge Fund—the project proponent—issued the request in cooperation with the National Capital Commission.

The monument site will be located at the northeast side of Wellington Street near the ­Portage Bridge, next to the Ottawa River, close to the Judicial Precinct. The LGBT Purge Fund selected the site after consultations with LGBTQ2+ communities. The NCC approved the choice of site in January 2020.
The Monument will memorialize the profound impact of the discrimination experienced by Canada's LGBTQ2+ communities and will celebrate the achievements of those who fought for equality. It will also help educate visitors and inspire hope as well as change for the future
  • .The site will have the capacity to host gatherings of as many as 2,000 people and balance public visibility and space for contemplation.
The design competition jury will include experts in the fields of visual arts, landscape architecture, architecture, urban design as well as LGBT Purge survivors, representatives from key stakeholder groups, and subject-matter specialists. The jury will review the submissions and select up to five teams, who will then be invited to prepare design proposals for the monument. 

The jury is comprised of the following members:

  • Aaron Betsky, architect
  • Maya Desai, architect and urban designer
  • Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Grant Fahlgren, landscape architect
  • Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M., O.N.B, subject-matter expert
  • Bernard Lamarche, art historian and curator
  • Ann-Marie Macdonald, O.C., author, actor, playwright, affected community member
  • Courtnay McFarlane, visual artist, poet and curator
  • Martine Roy, Chair of the Board of Directors, LGBT Purge Fund, and LGBT Purge survivor
  • Megan Torza, architect and urban designer
The LGBT Purge refers to the period when LGBT members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian federal public service faced systematic discrimination, harassment and often firings due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as a matter of policy and sanctioned practice.

Over time, survivors and their allies worked hard to secure apologies, gain recognition, win compensation, and change Canadian law. A ground-breaking settlement was reached in 2018. Canada was the first country in the world to provide substantial compensation for the harm inflicted on its own people through decades of state-sponsored discrimination.

Quotes:

"I am confident Canada's design community can create a fitting memorial telling the story of those who were persecuted, dismissed and marginalized. Thousands of lives were devastated during the Purge. Careers were ruined and families were torn apart. I thank the LGBT Purge Fund for its vision of a monument that will inspire us to strive for a future that is free of LGBTQ2+ discrimination." — The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
"The Purge was a disgraceful period in Canadian history. It had an effect not only on those who faced discrimination, but all members of LGBTQ2+ communities across the country. Unless we learn from our history, we are bound to repeat it. This monument will remind us that we must challenge normative values that perpetuate oppression in our society." — The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
"The LGBTQ2+ National Monument will be an enduring and important marker to commemorate the deep, state-sanctioned discrimination experienced by LGBTQ2+ people in Canada for many decades. The LGBT Purge Fund is proud to provide the funding for this project and to ensure that that the voices of the LGBTQ2+ community are extensively consulted on the vision for this project." — Michelle Douglas, Executive Director, LGBT Purge Fund

Quick Facts:

This first phase of the design competition will evaluate qualifications and select up to five teams to continue to the Request for Proposals phase in 2021, when the finalists will be invited to develop their design concepts.

Members of LGBTQ2+ communities and the public will be invited to review the finalists' proposals before a design is chosen.

  • The monument is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Associated Links:

About The LGBT Purge Fund:

The LGBT Purge Fund is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2018 to manage memorialization and reconciliation projects mandated by the settlement. They are responsible for building an LGBTQ2+ National Monument that will "memorialize the historical discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada, including with respect to the LGBT Purge." 

As the proponent of the project, the LGBT Purge Fund is providing $8 million for the project and is working with Canadian Heritage and the NCC to ensure the monument meets the objectives of the settlement agreement and embodies the vision developed with Purge survivors and Canada's wider LGBTQ2+ community.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

13 October 2020

Nashville Music Duo Brother Gabe's House All Set To Anger Trump's Base With Controversial New Single 'Mother Freedom' [Video Included]

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Nashville Music Duo Brother Gabe's House All Set To Anger Trump's Base With Controversial New Single 'Mother Freedom'
Nashville Music Duo Brother Gabe's House All Set To Anger Trump's Base With Controversial New Single 'Mother Freedom' (screengrab)
This October 13th, Nashville-based southern rock duo Brother Gabe's House are exploding into election season with their fiercely political new single 'Mother Freedom' — and they're not afraid to speak their mind.
The song was penned by Gabriel Jordan (AKA Brother Gabe) as a response to the destruction of American democratic values that he, like most of the world, has witnessed with horror over the last four years. Beke Love (Brother Gabe vocalist), worked out the melody and brought his words to life.

Occasionally a song will surface at just the right time to define a crucial moment in American history — Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin'', for example, or Green Day's 'American Idiot'. These songs exploded on the American music scene equipped with enough zeitgeist to make them eternal. 'Mother Freedom' by Brother Gabe's House hums with that same potential.
"The lyrics came to me quickly. I almost felt as if Mother Freedom herself had grabbed my hand and taken the pen. I felt like a spectator actually." – Gabriel Jordan
As America faces economic uncertainty, pandemic and social unrest not seen since the 1960s, 'Mother Freedom' is the heart cry of a nation. With the country's most important presidential election in a century just weeks away, this powerful song could not be timelier.

'Mother Freedom' - The Video:


  • 'Mother Freedom' is the first single from the duo's debut album, set for release in March 2021.
  • 'Mother Freedom' will be available on all digital streaming platforms from October 13th 
Nashville Music Duo Brother Gabe's House All Set To Anger Trump's Base With Controversial New Single 'Mother Freedom'
Nashville Music Duo Brother Gabe's House All Set To Anger Trump's Base With Controversial New Single 'Mother Freedom' (screengrab)

About Brother Gabe's House:

Brother Gabe's House is a southern rock duo based in Nashville, comprised of Gabriel Jordan and Beke Love who first met at a local writer's night. The pair soon formed Blended 328 — a country group that became a U.S. music ambassador, sharing American values with at-risk youth around the world.

  • Although Blended 328 disbanded, Beke and Gabriel continue their music journey through Brother Gabe's House.

Bonus Video:

27 August 2020

Misinformation: Tech Companies Are Removing 'Harmful' Coronavirus Content – But Who Decides What That Means?

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Misinformation: Tech Companies Are Removing 'Harmful' Coronavirus Content – But Who Decides What That Means? (Pearl PhotoPix/Shutterstock)
The “infodemic of misinformation about coronavirus has made it difficult to distinguish accurate information from false and misleading advice. The major technology companies have responded to this challenge by taking the unprecedented move of working together to combat misinformation about COVID-19.

Part of this initiative involves promoting content from government healthcare agencies and other authoritative sources, and introducing measures to identify and remove content that could cause harm. For example, Twitter has broadened its definition of harm to address content that contradicts guidance from authoritative sources of public health information.

Facebook has hired extra fact-checking services to remove misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm. YouTube has published a COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy that disallows “content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm”.

The problem with this approach is that there is no common understanding of what constitutes harm. The different ways these companies define harm can produce very different results, which undermines public trust in the capacity for tech firms to moderate health information. As we argue in a recent research paper, to address this problem these companies need to be more consistent in how they define harm and more transparent in how they respond to it.

Science is subject to change

A key problem with evaluating health misinformation during the pandemic has been the novelty of the virus. There’s still much we don’t know about COVID-19, and much of what we think we know is likely to change based on emerging findings and new discoveries. This has a direct impact on what content is considered harmful.

The pressure for scientists to produce and share their findings during the pandemic can also undermine the quality of scientific research. Pre-print servers allow scientists to rapidly publish research before it is reviewed. High-quality randomised controlled trials take time. Several articles in peer-reviewed journals have been retracted due to unreliable data sources.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its position on the transmission and prevention of the disease. For example, it didn’t begin recommending that healthy people wear face masks in public until June 5, based on new scientific findings.

The World Health Organization has updated its advice as new evidence has emerged. (FABRICE COFFRINI/EPA)
Yet the major social media companies have pledged to remove claims that contradict guidance from the WHO. As a result, they could remove content that later turns out to be accurate.

This highlights the limits of basing harm policies on a single authoritative source. Change is intrinsic to the scientific method. Even authoritative advice is subject to debate, modification and revision.

Harm is political

Assessing harm in this way also fails to account for inconsistencies in public health messaging in different countries. For example, Sweden and New Zealand’s initial responses to COVID-19 were diametrically opposed, the former based on herd immunity and the latter aiming to eliminate the virus. Yet both were based on authoritative, scientific advice. Even within countries, public health policies differ at the state and national level and there is disagreement between scientific experts.

Exactly what is considered harmful can become politicised, as debates over the use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and ibuprofen as potential treatments for COVID-19 exemplify. What’s more, there are some questions that science cannot solely answer. For example, whether to prioritise public health or the economy. These are ethical considerations that remain highly contested.

Moderating online content inevitably involves arbitrating between competing interests and values. To respond to the speed and scale of user-generated content, social media moderation mostly relies on computer algorithms. Users are also able to flag or report potentially harmful content.

Despite being designed to reduce harm, these systems can be gamed by savvy users to generate publicity and distrust. This is particularly the case with disinformation campaigns, which seek to provoke fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Users can take advantage of the nuanced language around disease prevention and treatments. For example, personal anecdotes about “immune-boosting” diets and supplements can be misleading but difficult to verify. As a result, these claims don’t always fall under the definition of harm.

Similarly, the use of humour and taking content out of context (the weaponisation of context) are strategies commonly used to bypass content moderation. Internet memes, images and questions have also played a crucial role in generating distrust of mainstream science and politics during the pandemic and helped fuel conspiracy theories.

Transparency and trust

The vagueness and inconsistency of technology companies’ content moderation mean that some content and user accounts are demoted or removed while other arguably harmful content remains online. The “transparency reports” published by Twitter and Facebook only contain general statistics about country requests for content removal and little detail of what is removed and why.

This lack of transparency means these companies can’t be adequately held to account for the problems with their attempts to tackle misinformation, and the situation is unlikely to improve. For this reason, we believe tech companies should be required to publish details of their moderation algorithms and a record of the health misinformation removed. This would increase accountability and enable public debate where content or accounts appear to have been removed unfairly.

In addition, these companies should highlight claims that might not be overtly harmful but are potentially misleading or at odds with official advice. This kind of labelling would provide users with credible information with which to interpret these claims without suppressing debate.

Through greater consistency and transparency in their moderation, technology companies will provide more reliable content and increase public trust – something that has never been more important.

About Today's Contributors:

Stephanie Alice Baker, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, City, University of London; Matthew Wade, Lecturer in Social Inquiry, La Trobe University, and Michael James Walsh, Associate Professor, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

7 August 2020

The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before [Video Included]

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The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before
The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before (Screengrab)
A new video depicting Donald Trump performing a song in praise of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is today revealed as being the work of The Simpsons and Spinal Tap star Harry Shearer

Son in Law, which premiered on YouTube, is the first track to be released in a cycle of satirical songs inspired by the last four years of US politics and in particular the often mercurial behaviour of the current occupant of The White House. 


The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before
The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before (Screengrab)
  • A new song will be released each week throughout the summer and autumn.
The "Son In Law" video uses groundbreaking motion-capture animation to portray the US President lionizing his senior advisor and husband of his daughter Ivanka. At one point it shows the spookily real Trump with his hand casually hovering over the nuclear button on his desk in The Oval Office, whilst extolling the virtues of his daughter's curves.
Harry Shearer says, "You can't fire family, but you can sing about them."

The video was conceived and produced by Harry Shearer with Matt Hermans of The Electric Lens Company in Sydney, Australia. The On Set Producer was Harry's long-time collaborator, cinematographer Matthew Mindlin. 


COVID-180, out today, is the second song in the series and has Shearer as the Leader of The Free World as he dances to his own tune in a dizzying reality-distanced spin away from the virus that has swept the world.

Written by Shearer, the old-style New Orleans R&B song has The Simpsons star on vocals in an eerily accurate impersonation of the President of The United States. 

 He is joined by a band of top New Orleans musicians who include David Torkanowsky of The Astral Project and Stanton Moore Trio on piano and organ, The Metres star George Porter, Jr. on bass, Raymond Weber of Dumpstaphunk on drums, leading saxophonist Brad Walker, Scott Frock of Delfeayo Marsalis' Uptown Jazz Orchestra, on trumpet, and one of New Orleans' top trombonists Jon Ramm. 

The track is mixed by long-time Harry Shearer musical collaborator C J Vanston at The Treehouse North Hollywood and produced by David Torkanowsky. It was recorded in New Orleans and Los Angeles.

The Simpsons and Spinal Tap Star Harry Shearer Brings You Donald Trump As You've Never Seen Him Before
"COVID-180" by Harry Shearer
  • Harry Shearer has vocally portrayed every US president of his lifetime. Donald Trump is the third he has portrayed physically, having previously played Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan on screen.

SOURCE: Harry Shearer

17 July 2020

Mr Foster & Davis Chris Team Up For New Single in Response to the Black Lives Matter Movement

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Mr Foster & Davis Chris Team Up For New Single in Response to the Black Lives Matter Movement
"Things Change" single cover
DFD Music recently announced the release of "Things Change," Mr Foster & Davis Chris realized black recording artists have long been highlighting the perils of racism and police brutality through music, but recent events are brightening the spotlight on racial injustice and oppression. Davis Chris lets his emotions flow on the BLM-inspired piano- guitar ballad "Things Change."

DFD Music is a production company dually located in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. Helmed by producers Mr Foster and Davis Chris; that offer quality work with affordable prices. 

DFD Music has successfully been in business for four years with great achievements such as over 3 million streams, over 5,000 previous albums sold, charting over 10 singles in the US Top 50 and two albums in the US Top 20 on iTunes sales chart.
"It was the first time we worked on a song that my mind, heart & soul felt the lyrics very passionately," Mr Foster said.
Have you ever heard a song that moved you to the point where you wanted to tell all of your friends about it? Well, that's the type of feeling you may experience when listening to "Things Change". By its very definition, the term "Things change" means good news.
"Our purpose is to create music that heals the souls of everyday people and mainly the people affected by the BLM movement," said Davis Chris.
Working in partnership with singer/ songwriter Cecily Wagner was fun and was the right step in the direction DFD Music is moving despite everything else going on in the world. Black Lives Matter returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following Floyd's murder. 

So far, an estimated 15 million to 26 million people have participated. Over 500 Artist have recorded songs in support of the movement and now you can add DFD Music to the count with "Things Change" in support of Black Lives Matter.
  • "Things Change" has been distributed worldwide by Empire Records / DFD Music. 
Mr Foster & Davis Chris Team Up For New Single in Response to the Black Lives Matter Movement
Davis Chris & Mr Foster
Buy Tracks and stream "50/50" on HERE.
SOURCE: DFD Music

15 July 2020

Black-Owned Superhero Brand Offers Hope & Escapism in Times of Pain

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Black-Owned Superhero Brand Offers Hope & Escapism in Times of Pain
Aza Comics Supports Black Lives Matter
Aza Comics, owned by black woman creator Jazmin Truesdale and known for its roster of multicultural female superheroes, is aiming to continue providing hope and escapism for the world as people support the Black Lives Matter movement. 
"Aza Comics has always addressed the issues of black people in its storylines," says Truesdale, "I'm just happy that now people are finally understanding what is happening and joining this fight that is truly everyone's fight."
The Aza Universe is centered almost entirely around women of color and has always tried to provide hope and inspiration for women around the world as they face various issues like racial inequity, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. 

This hits especially close to home for Truesdale as countless black women like Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor have yet to see justice in a time when black women face the highest rates of homicide in the US. 

During this time, Aza Comics received an incredible growth in sales and exposure as more people discovered what the Aza superhero universe is all about. 
"I just want people to at least feel safe in their imagination," says Truesdale. "For black people and many other people of color, everywhere we look pain is reflecting back at us. I want Aza Comics to be that escape where you can feel heard and empowered to fight another day."
Black-Owned Superhero Brand Offers Hope & Escapism in Times of Pain
Aza Comics
Aza Comics has a lot in store this year for its growing number of fans. "We will do what we've always done," says Truesdale," Continue to grow and enrich the lives of people of color around the world and partner with people and brands who truly care about the lives of others.
 The company plans to use its revenue to invest in entrepreneurs of color, support women athletes, expand its universe with more inclusive superheroes and do what it can to continue being a voice.
Aza Comics is a superhero brand based in Durham, North Carolina founded by serial entrepreneur and author Jazmin Truesdale. The company is known for its multicultural female superheroes and philanthropic initiatives that have been featured in Vogue, TIME, USA Today, and various other national and international publications.

For more information visit www.AzaComics.com.
SOURCE: Aza Comics

1 July 2020

Acclaimed Artist & Activist Madame Gandhi Debuts New Music Video For "Waiting For Me" [Video Included]

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Acclaimed Artist & Activist Madame Gandhi Debuts New Music Video For "Waiting For Me"
Acclaimed Artist & Activist Madame Gandhi Debuts New Music Video For "Waiting For Me" (Photo Credit: Sajna Sivan)
Multi-talented artist, percussionist, producer and activist Madame Gandhi has recently released her newest video for Visions track "Waiting For Me".

Directed by Misha Ghose, "Waiting For Me" was conceptualized and produced by an all-female team and features queer, trans, female and gender non-conforming cast members and marks Madame Gandhi's first-ever video shot in India.

With its contrasting industrial imagery and color palettes, the visual brings to life the song's empowering message, an eco-feminist call to action that eschews institutionalized power structures in favor of forging new narratives of self-expression.

Of the video, Madame Gandhi explains:"We as artists have the power to use our art to vividly reimagine the world we wished we lived in. 'Waiting For Me' is a song about questioning societal norms as they exist. The video opens with the quote, 'We always assume our own powerlessness, but never our own power.' With the interconnected social justice movements happening around the world, we are seeing a larger belief in the power of the collective for change. This music video is a call to action for each of us to examine how hierarchy, capitalism and systemic oppression serve to keep us obedient, with little space for dialogue or critical thinking. My hope is that this video inspires folks to ask, 'Are my behaviors contributing to the oppression of somebody else? And what contributes to my own oppression? What does my version of freedom look and feel like?'"
The video for "Waiting For Me" launches the next chapter in Madame Gandhi's already critically-acclaimed career, as she announces her signing with Sony Music Masterworks. With an imitable pairing of complex percussive rhythms and empowering messages of liberation, Madame Gandhi is known for her passionately uplifting body of musical work that continues to elevate the female voice and redefine notions of gender, identity and politics. Having released her first two EPs as part of an overarching short-form album trilogy, most recently 2019's Visions, Madame Gandhi begins her new partnership with Sony Music Masterworks ahead of the third and final installment in the series.
Today's news and video arrive on what has been a massive week for Madame Gandhi, who made her NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert debut this Wednesday, performing tracks from both her Visions and Voices EPs – watch hereSelected as 2020 TED Fellow for her commitment to creating meaningful and positive change, Madame Gandhi will also participate in TED2020 this summer, joining multidisciplinary individuals across the globe for an online gathering of conversations, sessions and performances. She returns to the TED Stage after her 2018 TED Talk about the importance of making music accessible to those hard of hearing. The talk now has over 200k views – watch here
Madame Gandhi also recently provided a song to the new two-part documentary series And She Could Be Next, working in collaboration with Gingger Shankar on a track entitled "Freedom Cries" for the Ava DuVernay-produced show. Out later this year, the song will be included on the official soundtrack to the show, which chronicles the defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics from the ground up. 

  • And She Could Be Next is currently airing on local PBS stations, streaming online at AndSheCouldBeNext.com and on the PBS app on your smart TV.

The "Waiting For Me" Video:

About Madame Gandhi :

Kiran Gandhi, who performs as Madame Gandhi, is an artist and activist whose mission is to elevate and celebrate gender liberation.

  • She has toured as the drummer for M.I.A, Thievery Corporation and most recently Oprah on her 2020 Vision Stadium Tour
  • Gandhi holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Gender Studies from Georgetown and an MBA from Harvard. 
  • In 2015, she ran the London Marathon bleeding freely to combat period stigma around the world, sparking a global viral conversation about how we treat menstruation in various cultures. 
  • She has been listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 member and is a 2020 TED Fellow. 
  • Her mathy percussion, uplifting music and inspiring talks have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Billboard, NPR and more. 
  • Her song "The Future is Female" reached #8 on the Spotify Viral US Charts following the 2017 Women's March. 
  • She has released two short-form albums, Voices (2016) and Visions (2019), accompanied by a series of music videos produced and concepted by women and gender non-conforming creatives. 
Gandhi is currently working on her third short-form album Vibrations

28 June 2020

KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement

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KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement
KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement (PRNewsfoto/KIND Healthy Snacks)
For the first time in 50 years, people from all over the world will not be marching the streets of New York City to advocate support of the global LGBTQ community. To honor the origin of the Gay Rights Movement and the first NYC Pride March, KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) is paying tribute to those who've marched, fought and advocated for equality and respect with a rainbow light installation, while also continuing the battle for intersectional justice. 

The installation is placed in the West Village, adjacent to the iconic Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement, illuminating New York City on the eve of the 50th NYC Pride March anniversary.

  • KIND is proud to partner with the Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBTQ youth, to advocate for those most vulnerable to inequality and discrimination: LGBTQ people of color, especially transgender youth.
KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement
KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement (PRNewsfoto/KIND Healthy Snacks)
"There has never been a more critical time for people to remember how Pride all began," says Alexander Roque, President and Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center. "About 90% of the homeless LGBTQ youth we serve are people of color. The rights our youth have today are because of people, who looked just like them, protested and marched. We're proud to partner with KIND and hope we can bring more awareness during this revolutionary time." ­
In tandem with the light tribute, KIND is offering its special-edition KIND PRIDE Bar, donating 100% of bar net sales to the Ali Forney Center, with a maximum donation of $50,000, assisting in its efforts to protect and empower homeless LGBTQ youth across the country. 

KIND's Pride advocacy is part of the KIND Snack & Give Back Project, a multi-year program to inspire kindness and empathy. 

Since KIND's founding in 2004, KIND has championed kindness as a transformative force for good – it encourages people to step out of their comfort zones, connect in authentic ways and discover each other's humanity.
"KIND is proud to support the global LGBTQ community, its allies, and the important work of the LGBTQ Rights Movement," says Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & Executive Chairman of KIND. "With our light tribute, we seek to keep the spirit of Pride Marches alive while inspiring future generations to continue demanding freedom, respect, and equality for all."
KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement
KIND Illuminates New York City Skyline as Tribute to Canceled Pride Marches Around the World and to Pay Homage to the LGBTQ Rights Movement (PRNewsfoto/KIND Healthy Snacks)
  • Part of the multi-year KIND Snack & Give Back Project, the second-annual KIND PRIDE bar incorporates the colors of the Pride flag. The special-edition snack comes in one flavor, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, and is available on kindsnacks.com, Walmart.com, in store at Wegmans, Duane Reade and New York City corner stores, while supplies last.

17 June 2020

New PSA from Love Has No Labels Challenges Viewers to Confront the State of Freedom in the U.S. for Black Americans [Video Included]

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New PSA from Love Has No Labels Challenges Viewers to Confront the State of Freedom in the U.S. for Black Americans
New PSA from Love Has No Labels Challenges Viewers to Confront the State of Freedom in the U.S. for Black Americans (screengrab)
To support the ongoing fight for racial justice for the Black community, the Ad Council and R/GA today launched a new PSA from the iconic Love Has No Labels campaign to inspire all Americans to fight for racial equality in America. 

Building on the campaign's longstanding effort to address bias, the film holds a mirror to the simple acts of freedom often celebrated and taken for granted by non-Black Americans, revealing the stark contrast of those freedoms and the way Black people in this country endure systemic racism and injustice. 

The campaign ultimately encourages viewers to come together for racial justice, directing to lovehasnolabels.com for educational and actionable resources to help continue the work toward equality.
"The campaign's message is very simple yet profound: we all have a role to play in dismantling systemic racism in this country," said Lisa Sherman, president & CEO of the Ad Council. "It's time for Americans to listen, learn and act. While we know these long-simmering problems are nothing new, we want to leverage this moment in time, a national reckoning with race, and inspire change."
Developed pro bono by R/GA, the new PSA opens with idyllic images of America and traditional symbols of freedom – flags draped from windows, children watching fireworks – before highlighting specific moments of simple activities that have led to the harassment or murder of innocent Black lives. Jogging in a neighborhood, birdwatching in a park, driving, or sleeping safely in one's own bed. Juxtaposing these images, the PSA reminds viewers that before we celebrate the freedom most Americans have, we must fight for the freedom all Americans deserve, that Black lives matter.

The campaign directs to lovehasnolabels.com, where individuals can more deeply understand the underpinnings of racism and structural inequality today and what they can do to help end it. This includes ways to get involved locally or with national racial justice organizations and better understand issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, privilege, police reform, and mass incarceration.

R/GA Strategist Aaron Harridge stated, "we did this because we are educated to believe that 'freedom' is afforded to all Americans. This isn't true. We wanted to highlight the freedoms that the privileged masses take for granted. To truly achieve 'freedom' and take on the disproportionate systematic racism targeted at the Black community, we must ALL take action." 
Strategist Brandon Heard added, "For brands, companies, and people that choose to stand behind our message, know that activating allyship is a journey. This is just the beginning of what it looks like to turn privilege into power and to employ that power in an effort to advance the culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion."

The Video:


Love Has No Labels' brand partners Bank of America, Google, Johnson & Johnson, State Farm and Walmart are supporting the campaign by promoting content across their channels. In addition to funding the campaign, brand partners show their support during the year through online and offline activations including social messaging, custom content creation, employee engagement, events and more.

The integrated campaign will also receive donated media, digital and social support from partners including: AdTheorent, Adtoniq, AMC, The Atlantic, Audiomack, Cond├ę Nast, Cox Communications, Crackle Plus, Criteo, Effectv (Comcast), Facebook, Forbes Media, Future plc, Google, GumGum, J2 Global, LinkedIn, LiveIntent, MiQ, Philo, Pinterest, Pluto TV, Reddit, SHE Media, true[X], TuneIn, Vox Media, Wayfarer Entertainment, YouTube and others. Publicis Media worked pro bono to develop a media strategy and secure targeted donated media placements to extend the campaign's reach. IPG's Matterkind will be executing targeted media through a donated Private Marketplace with The Trade Desk. The new Love Has No Labels creative will also be featured in an upcoming virtual concert with John Legend later this month, in partnership with Wave.


New PSA from Love Has No Labels Challenges Viewers to Confront the State of Freedom in the U.S. for Black Americans
New PSA from Love Has No Labels Challenges Viewers to Confront the State of Freedom in the U.S. for Black Americans (screengrab)
  • The Love Has No Labels campaign first launched nationally in 2015 with a video of skeletons dancing and embracing before coming out from behind an x-ray screen to reveal themselves as diverse couples, friends and families. 
  • The original "Love Has No Labels" video became the first PSA to win an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial and received more than 169 million views making it the second most viewed social activism video of all time. 
  • In 2016, it was followed by "We Are America" featuring WWE Superstar John Cena celebrating the diversity of America on Independence Day. 
  • In 2017, Love Has No Labels put a twist on the kiss cam by turning it into a symbol for unbiased love with "Fans of Love." 
  • The campaign launched its first short film in 2018 with "Rising," written by Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None) and directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones), asking the question, "why does it take a disaster to bring us together?
  • In total, the campaign's four videos have exceeded 380 million online views.
Since the campaign's initial video launched in March 2015 there have been over 10.5 million U.S. sessions on lovehasnolabels.com. Since the launch of the campaign, significantly more adults agree that they can create a more accepting and inclusive environment (61% in March 2015 to 74% in April 2020), according to a survey commissioned by the Ad Council and conducted by Ipsos, Public Affairs. 

To date, the campaign has received more than $110 million in donated media.

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