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Invitation To The Voyage

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February 2016

Black activists tired of being overpoliced and underprotected

Shamell Bell’s Black Studies’ teacher told her she had to go out and “do something“. That was the start her activist career. As a core member of #BlackLivesMatter LA she was a keynote for the very first  #BlackHerstories. An event showcasing the struggles black woman encountered when fighting for right equalities.

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Shamell Bell, #BlackLivesMatter activist

©Photo by Nour Abida

Shamell Bell, University of California Los Angeles doctorate student opened the evening with a speech explaining her struggle and how she became an advocate to the cause, she said  “My vision is to viciously attack the detrimental practices and policies that disadvantage the poor and people of color”.

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Shamell Bell, Keynote for the night

©Photo by Nour Abida

This event was born from a collaboration between the Multicultural Affairs and the Equity Center to “detail the experiences and stories of Black women who continue to rewrite and change history”.They hope to add validation to the struggles that Black women face in creating change while providing a space for Black women to speak openly and unapologetically about their journey to freedom.

Also, when asked about the importance of the event and the reason why everyone should attend  Desiré Campusano, representative of the Women and Gender Equity Center said: “Black voices have always been important and key to telling the very real stories of the history of this nation and world, yet they have often been silenced.”

Around a hundred of people showed up for the evening, among them Dion Sparks who said: “I thought it was definitely an eye-opener, it was just like someone else speaking what I felt internally”. As a black women she felt like she could relate to other black women.

Brittany Coleman was also here to raise her voice regarding the recent tragic events the black community has been going through; the raise of murders committed by white policemen targeting black people.  She picked on the justice’s passivity and the poor law enforcement  when treating the case by telling the story of her brother and saying that “he was shot by someone who was  supposed to protect him”.

Jade Turner also emphasised on racism black people are subjected her piece #BlackGirlMagic “All Black girls and women matter and we are tired of being silenced, erased, pushed out, overpoliced and underprotected”.

One of the highlights of the night was during Jay Dent’s speech when she made a piece about being a black mother and what it involves. In other words, a black kid has more chances to be shot by the police than a kid coming for another community. The audience started to feel emotional, some people started to burn into tears when she said in her poem: “You want me to invest in something they’re going kill”.

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Jay Dent

©Photo by Nour Abida 

The event detailed the experiences and stories of Black woman who dared to rewrite and change history along with the struggles they shared in the fight for justice. For that matter, Kel McCoy needed to share her story. After she was raped and abused she tried to commit suicide. She eventually went over it :”Because of my pain and everything  I have been through,  I was able to put it in my events and touch other women. I was able to talk to them and tell them that they are not alone, give them advice of how to leave when you don’t want to”.

Even if the event only featured female speaker, a few men showed up to listen to them like Taharka Anderson who said ” The event was magical, it reminded myself  that  black women had tremendously contributed to the forward flow of the humanity  in terms of the liberation movement across the world. They have continuously given their times and talent energy and lives in order to see the world becoming a better place”.

The even was very well received by the audience when  women took the floor to share their stories through the art of voice or poetry.

You can check the slideshow with the pictures of that evening below.

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©Photos by Nour Abida 

 

Temperature broke heat records in years

By Nour Abida

California has been affected by meteorological phenomenons causing extremely hot temperature  unusual for February.

Technically we are still in winter however this week the temperature reached the 90 degrees. Indeed on Feb 9, the heat broke the record of the hottest day in February since 1991.

Climatologist  Wiliam Patzert said “it’s a shock right here it’s going to be in the 80’s today Santa Anna winds and rather talking about rain we are talking about potentially fires”. Indeed the heat can be explained as being a repercussion of El Niño because it hit farther North than expected.

El Niño is among one of most discussed topics of the week.  On the one hand some people fear the climatological phenomenon will cause havoc as it did for the previous El Niño episode back in 1983.

On the other hand the weather makes some happy people tells Omar whowas surfing at the beach today, “For me El Niño is not such of an issue, it is usually too cold to surf; at this period with the combinaison it is just perfect”.

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Omar Lopez, surfing at Huntington Beach

 

The surfers are not the only ones to enjoy the heat, for Sarah 21 it is the perfect weather to lay out by the pool  with some music and a book to read. However even if the weather seems to be pleasing there is still an inconvenience “this weather make me feel lazier than usual: it’s too hot to cook, do laundry or sport.”she said.

Shelby Dollim, 23, lives in Long Beach and she loves taking advantage of the weather: “I enjoy that weather so that I can take the roof off my convertible car and cruise along the PCH, it is  really cool I feel like I am in a movie with the roof down”.

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Shelby Dollim

Also when we asked people about their favourite spot when the heat hits over the city, Vivan, 25,  recommends the Horny Corner  by the Leeway Sailing Centre. You can rent kayaks or go sailing. “This place makes me really happy because two years ago I watched someone’s stuff and he turned out to be a paddle instructor and to thank me he would give paddle lessons for free”.

Not everyone seems to be concerned by the heat in Long Beach however even if El Niño reached the coast yet it will according to climatologist Patzert.

 

 

California Faculty Association and Cal State Long Beach students participate in Chancellor White’s forum The Chancellor came to discuss student success through innovative teaching, but many had other concerns in mind.

Dozens of Cal State Long Beach students and faculty adorned red shirts that read “I don’t want to strike, but I will” as California State University Chancellor Timothy P.  White took questions regarding the ongoing negotiations with faculty at an open forum.

The event, held Thursday in the Walter Pyramid, was part of the chancellor’s tour of campuses across the CSU system. On Tuesday, White held an open forum at Cal State Los Anegeles.

The chancellor was greeted at both events by faculty members calling for a 5 percent increase in teacher salary. The California Faculty Association has been in negotiations with the CSU system over the faculty salary since last year, and some instructors used the opportunity the open forum presented to publicly address the chancellor.

“I really appreciate what you said about student and faculty interaction, but surely you know that that requires tenure-line faculty,” said Douglas Domingo-Forasté, the Long Beach Chapter president of the CFA. “It is a myth that we can handle what we have, much less the increase in the number of students that you’d like to see, with more and more lecturers and without supporting increases in tenure density.”

White called for faculty and students to hold the state government more accountable for the current budget problems in the CSU system. And even though the governor’s revised budget called for more money to the CSU universities, White explained why that money has not been used for faculty salary.

“It was a political process to get that augmentation above the governor’s proposal,” White said. “That political process was a lot of conversations as to what we [could use] that money for. And the only thing that had political legs was to increase access for Californians into the university, to improve our infrastructure and technology … and to do better in the student success arena.”

Student success was the topic of conversation in White’s opening address to the CSULB community.

White talked about technological innovations that would push student success to another level.

He said that technology is one of his main concerns when it comes to learning outcomes, and that he would like to “use technology wisely to take advantage of the value it can bring to the university.”

In addition to the forum, White was given a tour of the campus that included seeing the recently built smart classrooms and speaking with students in the Daily 49er newsroom.

Yet the negotiations with the CFA and the potential for a faculty strike seemed to dominate conversation around the chancellor. The CSU have offered faculty a 2 percent general salary increase, while the CFA is holding out for a 5 percent increase.

“We went out and got the CSU an extra $100 million dollars of funding  for this year and not one dime of that went to the faculty,” Domingo-Forasté said. “Sometimes I think that the chancellor’s office is stubborn enough to force us to strike.”

CSULB student Courtney Yamagiwa said she is worried that the quality of education could be diminished.

“My main concern is the quality of education that we get because of how the members of the faculty are treated, how little they get paid, how overworked they can be, how much the chancellor himself gets paid and how that reflects back on the education that we receive,” Yamagiwa said.

Chair and Professor of Chicano and Latino studies Jose Morena also attended the meeting to raise his concerns.

“I expect students will use their power of voting to influence the funding we get from our legislators,” Morena said. “We should build more CSUs and not more prisons.”

The chancellor’s visit to CSULB is part of an ongoing tour of the campuses in the CSU system.

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