In a sign of solidarity and pride, May first marks “May Day” where people will participate in marches across the nation to fight for minorities and workers’ rights. More than 100,000 people are expected to participate in the march in Los Angeles alone. In an effort of coming together, protesters are defining the march as one of unity and resistance during a time of great divide in our nation.
It’s been a grueling, and at times confusing 100 days for most of America after Barack Obama officially stepped out of office. General unhappiness and fear have replaced the sense of comfort that the 44th president brought to the country, yet he’s remained silent aside from the odd vacation picture. Not to say his time off was unwarranted, but it was a huge juxtaposition to the literal horror show that American politics have been in for the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency (still can’t believe we’re saying that).
Obama has finally reemerged, however, and this week he gave his first speech since he left office to the University of Chicago.
The former president was still as sharp as ever, dropping in his usual brand of dad jokes and engaging the audience with his specific brand of uplifting and inspiring commentary. He shied away from speaking on the issues that have befallen the country since he left, not wanting to take shots at Trump—even though he did bring up the immigration issue briefly. Other than the president doing his duty to enlighten the youth through telling them about his experiences, there are questions about what role (if any) he will play politically in galvanizing the still shell-shocked Democrats. He’s already being taken to task for reportedly taking money from Wall Street to give speeches, but his silence in regards to current events is telling if not a little worrying. We’ll just have to wait and see, but for now—I think we’re all glad that Obama is back in the public eye.
Mexican-born California native Gloria Montiel is breaking barriers and making history—literally. After becoming the first high school student from Santa Ana High School to attend Harvard in 2005, she has just made history in becoming the first undocumented student to earn a Phd from Claremont University.
Taking advantage of Barack Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) initiative—which he enacted in 2012 to give undocumented students a chance to gain higher education, Gloria strived to prove her detractors wrong. Though the journey didn’t come without struggle. “I said, ‘I want to go to Harvard,” she recalled to Ed. Magazine adding that a former classmate in her freshman year of high school said: ‘Don’t you know Mexican girls don’t go to Harvard?” This heartbreak only drove her to pull off a “miracle.” Taking on babysitting jobs to cover the rest of her tuition, she did—graduating from Harvard’s Education Master program in 2011.
Montiel spent most of her post-grad life educating people like her who may not know that they have the same opportunities and rights to education as other students do—mentoring prospective students about the same lessons she learned. Gloria’s story is the same as many people like her in America, especially in the turbulent times we live in today. However, she remains hopeful and determined in showing those people that they have one thing left—hope. In an interview with Univision she said: “I hope my story gives people a little bit of hope at a time when people are living in fear. However, it’s also proof of what’s possible to achieve.” It looks like she’s on the right path, as usual, already.
February is Black History Month, and was first officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976, only 41 years ago. The purpose of Black History Month is to recognize black achievements and celebrate trailblazer who overcame major obstacles. The United States still lives under a very dark history because of slavery and the slave trade. On paper, America stood for freedom. But that freedom was denied to black America. White America, lived in a privileged world that denied human rights to others who look different.
As we enter the final days of the Obama administration, the uncertainty and controversy over our President-elect only becomes more of a reality. The final speeches from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in the books.
2015 was a big year for African-American student protesters. There were both large and small student protests throughout the year. Students at the University of Missouri, New York University, Ithaca College, Georgetown, Princeton, Yale, the University of North Carolina, and more, got together at their respective universities to protest different culturally offensive events, and materials.
The hallways of Harvard Law School are lined with portraits of every tenured professor in the history of the university.
These portraits that normally provide such pride and hope for young African-American students, have been hatefully defaced by a single strip of black tape crossing out the face of each African-American professor shown on the walls.
Amid a wave of student and faculty protests over racial tensions that all but paralyzed its flagship campus here, the president of the University of Missouri system resigned Monday, urging everyone involved to “use my resignation to heal and start talking again.”
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There is a reason the world places such strong emphasis on reading. Reading lets the human mind explore places, worlds, ideas that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise. It fosters imagination and empathy, and even helps develop deeper analytical thinking and social skills in a world that is constantly diversifying. For this, diversity in literature is vital and We Need Diverse Books is exactly the kind of non-profit organization to promote the agenda.
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Toy companies have made efforts to represent people from all around the globe but few have address diversity in family units. MyFamilyBuilders is a new toy company that is looking to address not only families from around the world but kids can build multi-racial families, or with two moms, or two dads and so on. They are currently looking for funding via Kickstarter. Click here to see/contribute to their campaign.