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Student group talks domestic violence

first_imgMotivate & Empower held its second THINK conversation of the semester at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center on Friday. The conversation, entitled “A Discussion on Violence: We Are All Role Models,” centered on the heavy impact domestic violence has on society and, specifically, how the issue affects individuals on USC’s campus.The conversation featured students and special guest speakers Wesley Jonathan, a film and television actor; Dr. Susan Evans, a domestic violence survivor and celebrity dermatologist; Chelsea Tavares, an actress from Make it or Break It; Judge Mablean Ephriam, a former Los Angeles prosecutor known for her television and film roles; and Cyrene Tankard, an actress from Thicker than Water.Motivate & Empower is a leadership movement on campus that was founded on a threshold of three principles for students to uphold — THINK, REACT and CHANGE. The group has a variety of initiatives that allow students to gain a voice and express their vision. THINK, a component of Friday’s conversation, represented a platform in which students could safely share their ideas on the ways in which domestic violence is viewed.M&E originated after Maya Carter, the group’s founder, shared a spoken word poem with students at an event hosted by Saved By Grace, a campus gospel choir. Students in the choir were interested in building on the issues at USC described in the poem and helped create M&E, according to Azmera Hammouri-Davis, vice president of student action for M&E.According to the M&E website, in the year since it was founded, the organization has gained eight national university partners who now participate in the campus-based movement. About 20 to 30 students gather together during each THINK conversation to present their diverse views on prevalent social issues.The THINK conversation began with members of the movement asking students to delineate their definitions of domestic violence on sticky notes, which were then arranged on a purple ribbon poster that represents Domestic Violence Awareness Month.Attendees of the event were then seated in a large circle, and Hammouri-Davis opened up the conversation by speaking about Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Students set the stage for a powerful conversation by shouting their definition of domestic violence. Some words included in the discussion were hate, power, evil, fear, manipulation and physical harm.Carter welcomed distinguished guests at the event and Hammouri-Davis followed by beginning the “step-forward” activity, which encouraged individuals to “step forward” from their seats in response to critical questions regarding domestic violence.The room was silent as attendees took their seats and listened to the stories of students and special guests who directly or indirectly have been affected by domestic violence.Following discussions in small groups, there was a period of time for all attendees to stand up and present ideas on ways to put an end to domestic violence.The conversation identified both physical and mental domestic violence and discussed the ways in which culture has not only desensitized individual views on the issue, but also the ways in which society stigmatizes victims of domestic violence. Members of the group paid close attention to the various forms of domestic violence. Speakers went on to explain that domestic violence is not solely representative of the single-gender stereotypes seen in film.Jonathan commented on the necessity for individuals to combat domestic violence.“It’s an important issue that is never going to go away, and all we can do is try to minimize it and make sure that it does not continue and get passed on like a disease and not have our children view and see it,” he said.Shana Douglass, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, felt that the discussion was a call to action.“For me, the event provided some clarity as how I became desensitized to domestic violence in my own family and how I want to teach my brother and other children that is not okay,” Douglass said. “People need to call it out. When you see it, don’t just walk by it. You address it and say that is not how you treat this person, and if everyone does that, the culture will start to change.”last_img read more

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Over 30 Million Jobs Lost

first_imgWashington, D.C. – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the coronavirus has soared past 30 million, worsening a crisis unmatched since the 1930s and turning up the pressure on political leaders to lift restrictions that are choking the economy.Government figures released Thursday showed that 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for jobless benefits last week, raising the total to about 30.3 million in the six weeks since the outbreak took hold and forced the shutdown of factories and other businesses from coast to coast.The layoffs amount to 1 in 6 American workers and encompass more people than the entire population of Texas, or more people than live in the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas combined.There was also bleak new data in Europe, where over 130,000 people with the virus have died so far.Figures from the 19 countries that use the euro showed that the European economy shrank a record 3.8% in the first quarter as lockdowns turned cities into ghost towns and plunged nations into recession. The drop was the biggest since eurozone statistics began in 1995.last_img read more

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