Working money – Angil Tue, 22 Nov 2022 02:29:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Working money – Angil 32 32 Biden administration announces $15 million in grants to help Alaskan tribes adapt to climate change Tue, 22 Nov 2022 00:45:02 +0000 Rotary Beach south of Saxman is also called Bugge’s Beach. A federal grant will support the efforts of the Ketchikan Indian community to test the waters of beaches like this one for bacteria as the climate warms. (KRBD file photo) Tribes around Alaska are trying to find ways to prevent climate change from eroding their […]]]>
Rotary Beach south of Saxman is also called Bugge’s Beach. A federal grant will support the efforts of the Ketchikan Indian community to test the waters of beaches like this one for bacteria as the climate warms. (KRBD file photo)

Tribes around Alaska are trying to find ways to prevent climate change from eroding their ways of life – such as access to traditional foods, clean waterways and infrastructure in small villages.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently announced more than $45 million in federal grants for tribes across the country to address problems caused by climate change.

More than a third of that goes to Alaska, which has the most federally recognized tribes in the country.

Alaska is warms faster than any other part of the United States Climate change has forced communities to deal with issues ranging from eroding shorelines and riverbanks to bacteria-infested waterways.

The Biden administration’s climate action grants are partially funded by last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law. They are intended to give tribes an injection of cash to invest in projects that will help fend off the worst impacts.

In the southeast, there is a lot of pressure to ensure that vital waterways remain clean and subsistence foods remain available.

The Indian community of Ketchikan received $246,221 to continue working on the goals set out in their climate action plan. Tribal officials say it is the tribe’s largest federally recognized federal climate grant to date.

Tony Gallegos, cultural resources manager for the tribe, said climate change threatens the native way of life.

“Well, this presents a kind of urgent risk to our traditional resources, the food that our citizens depend on,” he said.

And part of preserving the way of life is understanding the role of traditional foods. The tribe therefore plans, among other things, to interview local elders to find out which traditional food sources are most important to them. Gallegos said the effort is already underway.

We have already made significant progress (in) collecting and documenting tribal citizens’ reliance on traditional food and priorities, with over 320 responses to our initial survey last year,” explained Gallegos.

Some of the grant money will also be used to collect bacteria samples from local waters. The tribe has been monitoring bacteria levels at local beaches since 2017, and the evidence seems to point to spikes after heavy storms.

“So sometimes they call (it’s the) ‘first flush’ after a rain event, especially when there hasn’t been rain for a while, can often carry pollutants in, in this case, the (Tongass) Narrows where we… have problem bacteria,” Gallegos said. “And we want to start collecting water quality samples, right during and right after these rain events.”

Gallegos said he hopes to test at least 10 samples over the next two years.

Another $15,000 was given to the tribe to fund staff travel costs to attend conferences to learn other ways to adapt to climate change.

Further north, the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe plans to use a $113,830 grant to help deepen local knowledge of tribal lands using LiDAR mapping technology. This will allow the tribe to conduct detailed aerial surveys of their lands.

Andrew Gildersleeve is the tribe’s executive director.

LiDAR is a very exciting way for us to accurately map tribal lands as they are,” Gildersleeve said. “And that creates a record for us and a baseline that we can use in the future, and hopefully future generations can set and recognize trends.”

With LiDAR, Gildersleeve says the tribe can learn about rising ocean levels, salmon habitat and tidal zones.

Tribe grants consultant Amanda Bremner said the project will be completed in three phases. And it might even help expand ancestral knowledge.

We have a map of indigenous and traditional place names that for years has just been, you know, a map on the wall of boundaries and areas from a time, you know, decades ago, that , in this ever-changing climate, is not necessarily accurate,” Bremner said. “So we’re looking forward to having those high-resolution images.”

In the Upper Lynn Canal community of Klukwan, a grant of more than $589,000 is planned to fund bank stabilization as the community copes with accelerating glacial runoff and melting permafrost. The tribe hopes Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center The bank stabilization project will preserve salmon runs.

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has received more than $298,000 for its Tribal-Run Research Center Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research. This will support further research on the harmful algal blooms and paralyzing shellfish toxins that thrive in warming waters.

And the Southeast’s largest tribe, the Central Council of Alaskan Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes, is working toward food sovereignty with a region-wide community garden program. This project will be funded by a $2 million grant. Tlingit & Haida did not respond to repeated requests for comment from KRBD.

In Klawock, the only community on Prince of Wales Island to receive a grant, the Klawock Cooperative Association will use $248,206 to implement its own climate action plan. It will be modeled on a adopted by Tlingit and Haida. The Klawock Cooperative Association did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Elsewhere in the state, a handful of villages have received funding to seek higher ground as they face increasingly brutal storms and erosion.

This includes Unalakleet. With approximately 800 people, it is the largest community to receive a dedicated grant for what is called a “managed retreat” from the Norton Sound coast. A 2019 Denali Commission study found that Unalakleet was the eighth most at-risk community in Alaska for erosion and flood damage.

The local tribe received $290,440 to move the village to a nearby hill.

Kari Duame is the Housing Manager for The Native Village of Unalakleet.

She said an old dyke that surrounds the silty spit on which the village sits spared it from the worst damage caused by ancient Typhoon Merbok in September. But she said it was clear the village needed to move away from the shore to survive the new climate reality.

“The ground itself can be unstable, for the style of construction and the era of construction – a lot of the houses are from, like, the 70s, 80s, or even earlier, like the 40s and 50s,” he said. she declared. “And most concerning is that the dyke is probably not enough in the long term.”

She said a shoreline retreat would also give the village room to grow.

Plus, there’s very little land to build on — (it’s), like, pretty crowded,” Duame noted.

Duame said the plan is in its early stages. She said the tribe’s goal for this grant was to prepare a comprehensive plan for another grant proposal next year.

Unalakleet is not alone. Kivalina, in the Northwest Arctic Borough, received nearly $250,000 to plan its own managed retreat. Akiak, in the Bethel Census Area, got $150,000 to start moving away from the Kuskokwim River.

And in Nunapitchuk, a nearby river has eroded so much that the waters have risen to the door of the only public security building in the village. This is where the village’s public security officers live and work, and it’s also where the emergency supplies are kept. The village’s $2.2 million grant will help pay for a new building, since the current one is a total loss.

In Chefornak, flooding forces parts of the town to be relocated. The $2.9 million grant will build 19 homes and a new kindergarten away from the water.

Other tribes are just keeping an eye on things – like in Kipnuk and Tuntutuliak, where tribes received grants to conduct permafrost risk assessments.

Full List of BIA Climate Action Plan Resilience Grants Available on the agency’s website.

Raegan Miller is a member of the Report for America body for KRBD. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps him keep writing stories like this. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to

Washington state prison powwows restart after 2-year hiatus due to COVID Sat, 19 Nov 2022 16:16:05 +0000 Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington. Doug Nadvornik / Doug Nadvornik Inmate James Rousseau recalls the last powwow he attended at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, a few miles west of Spokane, Washington. “I was […]]]>

Dancers make their grand entrance into a meeting room at the start of a late October powwow at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington.

Doug Nadvornik / Doug Nadvornik

Inmate James Rousseau recalls the last powwow he attended at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, a few miles west of Spokane, Washington.

“I was here in 2019 before COVID hit,” he said. “I was here at the MSU (minimum security unit) camp and we had the powwow. We had a good turnout and a great time. It was good to be with my people.”

Rousseau grew up on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. Little did he know that this would be the last powwow he would attend in three years.

When the pandemic hit, the Washington prison powwow program was suspended, as were some of the other spiritual activities that Native American inmates had access to. It was deemed too dangerous to hold them back.

“We were very quick in 2020 to work with the state, on the advice of aboriginal elders, who realized that COVID and the sweat lodge, or COVID and anything that was done in a circle in confined spaces, wouldn’t be compatible,” said Gabe Galanda, a Seattle attorney and member of California’s Round Valley Indian Tribes.

Galanda is also the founder of Huy (pronounced HOYT), a Seattle nonprofit Indigenous rights group that works with the state to hold powwows behind prison walls.

For the past two and a half years, Washington prisons, like others around the country, have battled COVID outbreaks among inmates and staff. The state Department of Corrections reports more than 16,000 confirmed cases. Eighteen inmates died. Those who tested positive were separated into COVID units on the prison grounds. The most serious cases were evacuated to outside health facilities. The men and women who remained healthy were often isolated in their cells.

This isolation has taken its toll. As COVID became less of a threat, Galanda saw an opening.

“Through Huy, we have been advocating through the Department of Corrections to ease health restrictions as society pitches in around COVID to increase opportunities for worship. indigenous,” he said.

Galanda says correctional officials agreed it was time to start the powwows again. Earlier this year, negotiations began on how and when to do so. Both sides had hoped to bring the celebrations back behind prison walls in late spring or early summer to coincide with the area’s powwow season.

“It really came down to protocols and working with the Department of Health, working with our own epidemiologist and, really, we were threading a needle to make these powwows happen,” the Secretary of State said. corrections, Cheryl Strange.

Strange and Galanda say the negotiations have been difficult at times. They would make progress and then have to postpone their plans until further outbreaks subside, even as late as last summer, Galanda said.

Eventually, the agency agreed to hold about 20 powwows in September and October. The first was on the grounds of Walla Walla State Penitentiary on September 8.

The Airway Heights minimum security unit powwow is one of the last in the series. It’s late October and too cold to party outside, so the inmates gather in a large meeting room.

Prison officials had to work quickly to make this happen. There were a lot of logistical details, said Kay Heinrich, associate superintendent of programs at Airway Heights. Staff conduct background checks on visitors and arrange security measures for foreigners visiting the prison. They also work to ensure the ceremony is culturally appropriate, including the food.

“We have the buffalo stew, the salmon, which are all Native American upgrades that they don’t normally get,” she said.

Inmates are also making preparations. As soon as they learned they would be entitled to a pow-wow, Rousseau and other Native inmates set to work making gifts for the visitors.

“I made dreamcatchers. I made medallions. I made earrings,” Rousseau said.

Among the jewelry at the powwow were intricate beaded pieces made by inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Wash.

Among the jewelry at the powwow were intricate beaded pieces made by inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Wash.

Doug Nadvornik / Doug Nadvornik

Inmate Jason McIlwain of Forks, Washington, and a member of the Shoshone tribe, worked for weeks to create some of the intricate beaded pieces that now rest on a long table to the side of the room.

“Beading for me is almost like meditation. It’s where I find my happy place when I’m not inside the lodge,” he said.

When the powwow begins, the dancers make their grand entrance into the assembly hall. The first men carry large flags. Several dancers wear colorful badges and shake tiny bells on their costumes as they move to the beat of the small group of drummers in the center of the room. The dancers circle around them, each moving in their own way, some exerting great effort.

McIlwain and Rousseau are more restrained, both in their movements and in their dress. Both are dressed in brown t-shirts and beige pants.

Rousseau watches the others while he dances. At 55, he’s the eldest here and happy to let the younger men strut their stuff.

“Grass dancing and fantasy dancing are for young people,” he said. “Traditional men’s dance, stealth and chicken dance are all more or less for elders. Traditional, you don’t have to move around so much and jump around,” he laughed.

Richard Dennison is one of the youngest. He wears borrowed powder blue and white insignia and a blue bandana. He is from the Spokane tribe and grew up around powwows, but moved away from them as he got older.

“I didn’t really get into dancing and stuff until I got to jail because I was running around doing other things that I shouldn’t have done,” he said, in part for why he was assigned to Airway Heights while incarcerated. in 2019. It is expected to be released in 2026.

Several family members, including Dennison’s children, have traveled to the prison to celebrate the day with him, and he is nervous.

“My kids, my mom and my dad, no one’s ever really seen me dance like that before,” he said.

Dennison’s time behind bars allowed him to break a drug addiction and begin to rediscover his legacy. He says he participates in activities like the sweat lodge and looks forward to more spiritual options as health restrictions ease.

For years, powwows in Washington prisons have been funded by the Department of Corrections. But the state suffered budget cuts at the time of the Great Recession in 2008 and powwows have been eliminated.

Gabe Galanda and Huy stepped in to work with the state to reinstate the program in 2012. Every year since then, Huy has raised the funds to cover the costs of hosting the 22 powwows, or about $35,000 this year.

“We pay for things like food. A lot of these celebrations have salmon and even buffalo served. Wild rice rather than what would be staple food,” he said. “We pay for badges, beads and other things needed to sew and prepare gifts.”

Galanda says it’s money well spent. He was reminded of the value of powwows when he attended the celebration at Walla Walla.

“There were six men who had learned to sing and drum and dance and had sewn their badges for the first time in their lives and here they are in the circle, wearing the badges they had made and dancing the steps that they had learned the songs they had also learned,” he said. “It’s pretty miraculous to witness that kind of growth and rehabilitation, especially in a prison environment. Honestly it’s not something they would experience in the outside world because of the environment they were raised in and live in and it’s the environment that contributed to the error that they have committed.”

Kay Heinrich of the Airway Heights Corrections Center says powwows are an important motivational and behavioral tool.

“They change their behavior to make sure they can participate,” she said. “I just spoke to them a little while ago, they asked if they could do it again next year. And I was like, ‘Are you going to be okay?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah.’ It’s important because their families come. They’re always grateful. They always say thank you.”

Heinrich says powwows have another benefit as well.

“I think it’s helpful for all the staff, custodial and support staff, because I think they see the incarcerated in a different light, how important it is, how their family members come and how they interact in healthy prosocial ways,” she said.

James Rousseau has no visitors at the powwow, but he says he’s happy to see the other men enjoying their loved ones. He assumes his role of elder.

“I encourage young people. I see them and I say: ‘How are you?’ and I shake their hands. ‘Hey, are you doing anything for the powwow?’ ” he said. “I care about them and it makes me happy to be able to do this.”

Huy founder Galanda and Head of Correction Strange said they plan to bring the powwows back in 2023, perhaps closer to the traditional season.

“Fingers crossed we’ll keep going,” Strange said.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit

Find ways to help Giving Tuesday (in addition to donating money) Thu, 17 Nov 2022 04:12:53 +0000 INDIANAPOLIS — Many people are unable to donate money to charity this year as inflation continues to drive up the prices of basic items. That doesn’t mean you can’t help at all. WRTV’s Amber Grigley has reached out to local organizations asking for other ways people can give back. Giving Tuesday is a day when […]]]>

INDIANAPOLIS — Many people are unable to donate money to charity this year as inflation continues to drive up the prices of basic items.

That doesn’t mean you can’t help at all.

WRTV’s Amber Grigley has reached out to local organizations asking for other ways people can give back.

Giving Tuesday is a day when many organizations raise funds and donations to set them up for the year. But this year, organizations are getting early onboarding Hoosiers for Giving Tuesday and other ways to do your part this holiday season.

“We started so early because everyone loves Giving Tuesday, and everyone wants to be a part of it,” said Adrianna Foutch, development and communications coordinator at Horizon House.

It’s a simple request for one day of the year to make a difference in your community.

“We post everything on our social media. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” Foutch said.

Associations like Skyline House use Giving Tuesday to fund programs and resources throughout the year.

“It’s pretty much the start of the season for us,” said Judy Neuman, director of development and communications at Horizon House.

But the demand for help has increased in the Circle City.

“That’s a 50% increase over last year, the neighbors we serve,” Neuman said.

The same economic conditions could cause Hoosiers to review their finances,

“When people are going through tough times and they can’t support financially, we don’t want to make them feel like we can’t make a difference. That’s when we say, hey, you can volunteer and do other things,” says Foutch.

“We hear so much about these nonprofits that yes, financial donations are essential to further their mission, but there are so many times for people to get involved,” said Katelyn Sussli, director of the commitment to Indy Hub.

Indy Center is a non-profit organization engaging young professionals to impact their communities.

“So there’s a recent survey that equates for Gen Z and Millennials that they view their network as equal to or greater in value than a financial gift,” Sussli said.

That’s why this year, Sussli said, getting people to think beyond money this Giving Tuesday is the goal.

“These consistent volunteers, whether it’s once a week, once a month, once a quarter. That’s what really drives their mission to make a big impact here in Indianapolis,” Sussli said.

To donate to Horizon House, you can visit them online or text “HHGT” to 44321.

To connect with Indy Hub, you can visit them online for volunteer.

Working remotely from another country: what you need to know | Careers Tue, 08 Nov 2022 22:05:00 +0000 If you are currently working remotely from Austin, TX, could you just as easily work remotely from San Jose, Costa Rica? So-called “digital nomads” do arrangements like this job. What is a digital nomad? A digital nomad is someone who makes a living by working online while traveling. Rather than being in a fixed location […]]]>

If you are currently working remotely from Austin, TX, could you just as easily work remotely from San Jose, Costa Rica? So-called “digital nomads” do arrangements like this job.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who makes a living by working online while traveling. Rather than being in a fixed location and working locally, they can choose to work remotely in another country. According to, being a digital nomad is challenging, yet rewarding, and involves at least partial online work in various fields, such as content creation, technology, or consulting. Teaching English online is another popular option for digital nomads. Contract employees can also be considered digital nomads. There are many great options for living and working abroad, even working for an American company in another country.

According to MBO Partners 2022 State of Independence Research Study, 16.9 million American workers identify as digital nomads. This is an increase of 9% from 2021 and 131% from pre-pandemic in 2019. Additionally, the number of digital nomads with more traditional jobs i.e. employed full-time by an organization, increased by 9% in 2022. In context, this is on top of the 42% increase in digital nomads from 2020 to 2021.

Is it easy to work for an American company while living abroad?

One way to make the process easier is to negotiate with your current employer to work remotely abroad. For example, Sarah Zerina Usmen is able to work remotely in visual effects for an advertising company that does a lot of TV commercials. Usmen supervises freelance talent and motion-graphics artists before delivering the product to the client. In January 2022, as soon as Usmen returned from vacation, she approached her employer with a request to work from abroad in Madeira, Portugal. “I got permission from our HR accounting teams, then from my supervisor, and they all signed it,” she says. “I received an official letter saying that they were ok with me working remotely, then I submitted that as part of the visa procedure.

How long does it take to spend working abroad?

Living in Portland, Oregon, and moving to Funchal in Madeira, Portugal, took Usmen months to organize. In March, Usmen had an interview with SEF, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service. “It was about getting all the paperwork together, opening bank accounts, getting pay stubs, clearances, FBI clearances, all of those things,” she says. “They have to check your criminal record, take your fingerprints, everything.” So if you are applying for a visa, be prepared for that as well. Once everything is submitted, you wait for approval. Once Usmen finally arrived in Madeira in June, ready to work, she encountered an already well-established local digital nomad community.

What kind of visa should you get?

Usmen advises potential digital nomads to do their homework before starting their own visa schedule. To live in Portugal, Usmen has a D7 visa, which allows him to stay for more than three months only. For her visa application, she had to provide information on her bank account, payslips and tax returns.

Annika De Maeyer, managing director of Overseas Interpreting, advises US citizens to be careful about visas when it comes to the Schengen zone of 26 countries in Europe. Overseas Interpreting is a London and Malta based company that provides communication solutions for deaf academics and professionals. “US citizens can enter the Schengen zone for up to 90 days with a tourist visa. Know the rules so you are not banned from re-entering a Schengen country,” De Maeyer wrote in an email. This could have implications for your work visa. More recommendations for navigating the Schengen countries can be viewed on the Department of State website.

Where can you find childcare services in another country?

After Usmen arrived, it took about a month to settle into the digital nomad community and then network to find daily childcare for his son. “It was really difficult the first month because we were always on waiting lists for daycare and also for nannies. … So go to the websites and ask the digital nomad families, ‘Who would you recommend? ?’ This process of finding people took a month,” she says. Digital nomads with school-aged children have the option of sending them to local schools that teach in Portuguese or sending them to international schools.

What if you can’t work remotely?

How you work remotely differs from employer to employer. And, of course, not all jobs can be done remotely. “My partner actually quit his job in Portland because you can’t do his work remotely. It’s being in a lab and working with materials and you can’t take your materials home,” Usmen says. . With a residence card in Portugal, it is possible to look for local jobs that are not far away, but it takes time. Do your research on non-remote work that might be available to you.

What are the other options for working abroad?

Language interpretation jobs are another option that will allow you to work from another country. For example, Overseas Interpreting provides sign language interpreting services worldwide, with 80% of its assignments in European countries. It has two bases of operations, one in Malta and the other in London, and it is opening a new physical office in Valencia, Spain. De Maeyer says that most international sign language interpreters work as freelancers and enter the profession almost by accident, as there is no formal training. “We are trying to change that and ensure better international access by also encouraging performers from disadvantaged groups, including performers from the South and from BIPOC,” said De Maeyer.

For a job like this, the company is looking for workers who have traveled or lived abroad before to meet the needs of its clients who travel extensively and are internationally minded and often fluent in more than one language. sign language. “This means they must have lived abroad before or at least have traveled extensively before joining OI. We value knowledge of multiple spoken/written and sign languages ​​and the ability to adapt easily both culturally and linguistically,” says De Maeyer.

Challenges Digital Nomads May Face Abroad

With all of this in mind, what are the real challenges that digital nomads may face when working abroad?

Cultural differences. De Maeyer explained that in their case, in Spain, things can take longer than expected. “Things will be different. Accept it and embrace it,” says De Maeyer. “You might think someone is rude, when they might think you are rude. Give them the benefit of the doubt. De Maeyer recommends keeping in mind that the corporate culture in another country may also be different.

Language barrier. Learn as much of the local language as possible beforehand to help you navigate life in another country.

Tax rules. Know the US tax rules and see if and how much you still need to pay US taxes around the world.

Find colleagues. Identifying people with whom you can collaborate professionally and who can support you in your work takes effort. “For our staff, it’s not always easy to find other signatories, so be prepared to spend time finding people who will become your peers,” says De Maeyer.

Solitude. Even if you don’t have social support, it’s now easier to find other digital nomads and meet online. “It will be lonely. You will miss many family and friends events,” says De Maeyer. “You won’t have a readily available support network. Fortunately, there are many groups available now, like on Facebook or other social media platforms where expats share information. ”

Some benefits you will find

Considering the challenge you will face as a digital nomad, what positives can you expect?

More post-COVID-19 events. Things have picked up after COVID, so there are more opportunities to meet your digital nomad neighbors as well as the locals. “Fortunately, after COVID, there are also many other events you can take part in,” says De Maeyer. “Meeting so many people from different walks of life and backgrounds will enrich you in ways you never imagined.”

Work from tourist locations. Digital nomads also benefit from tourist spots that may be open at late hours. It helps to work odd hours in international time zones. “There are a lot of restaurants that are open until 11 p.m. or midnight,” Usmen says. “I don’t know if they cater to tourists in general…but digital nomads gravitate to these places to fit their own schedules.”

Support for established digital nomad communities. An existing community of digital nomads offers support, guidance and stability. Initially, Usmen felt some anxiety going to Madeira, but now that she has arrived there is a sense of normalcy. “It’s really interesting because other people in the United States (say) ‘Oh, that’s so weird’ or ‘That’s so cool, so different.’ But when I’m here, a lot of people around me do that too so it doesn’t seem weird at all. Usmen’s co-workers in the US sometimes wonder about the time difference in meetings or his late working hours. , but Usmen says she’s not the only one. “I did this, it’s good and everyone works in international time zones anyway. It’s fun, I’m totally used to it .

Decades after dropping out of Howard, he’s helping HBCU students graduate Sat, 05 Nov 2022 17:00:00 +0000 Comment this story Comment As a freshman at Howard University, Hassan Abdus-Sabur found himself sitting in a crowded auditorium, listening to a speaker asking students to look to their left and right. Most people in those seats, the speaker warned, would not make it to graduation. Hassan didn’t realize it at the time, but he […]]]>


As a freshman at Howard University, Hassan Abdus-Sabur found himself sitting in a crowded auditorium, listening to a speaker asking students to look to their left and right. Most people in those seats, the speaker warned, would not make it to graduation.

Hassan didn’t realize it at the time, but he would be one of them.

As he tells it, he spent two years attending college in DC before returning home to Newark. He was struggling financially at the time, and tuition fees were piling up. It was one of the reasons he decided to leave, but it was not the only one. He sees it now.

“I could blame the finances,” he said recently. “But I could have gotten a job, I could have stayed in DC, I could have finished what time I had left.”

He could have graduated from any of the nation’s HBCUs — historically black colleges and universities.

But he was 19, he said, and his pride and level of maturity left him trying to carve his way through life like electricity – following the path of least resistance. He returned to live with his parents. He started working. He had a child. And it took him years to realize what he had given up when he left Howard. On the day we spoke, he ticked off a long list of names of notable alumni, including Vice President Harris and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, all too aware that he cannot lay claim to a single title that ‘They hold.

“I can’t wear the Howard alumni hat,” he said. “I can wear the Howard shirt, but I can’t wear the Howard alumni hat. … It’s such a bitter pill because I love this place. It meant so much to me, just when I was there.

The Howard University controversy was never just about dogs. It was a matter of respect.

We all carry our greatest regrets in different ways. Some of us try to push them into the farthest recesses of our minds in hopes of forgetting the circumstances that led them. Some of us keep them close, allowing them to take up space in our thoughts as our days go by. And then there are those of us who openly claim them and use them to propel us in directions we might not otherwise go.

Hassan did it with his missed opportunity. He’s now 48 and still doesn’t have a license from Howard or a university. However and because of this, he has spent the past few years working to help raise funds for students who attend HBCUs.

Since 2020, he has helped raise over $100,000 and his efforts have caught the attention of GoFundMe staff members. Hassan was named a GoFundMe Hero, and he’s now working with the company on an initiative that seeks textbook grants worth $500 each for HBCU students. The effort is being made through the company’s GoFindYou initiative, which is described online as “a place to celebrate often overlooked stories of black joy.”

“We see a lot of stories of black joy that are overshadowed by grief and trauma,” said Leigh Lehman, director of communications at GoFundMe. Embedded in fundraising efforts centered on painful issues, she said, are those aimed at raising money to start small businesses, paying for black and brown children to see films such as ” Black Panther” and “funding the next generation of HBCU scholars.”

From Friday, the fundraising page for textbook scholarships showed that over $22,000 had been raised towards a goal of $75,000. Lehman said the company has tried to get the word out to students, so they can benefit, and to potential donors, so they can contribute.

“We want him to live in perpetuity,” she said.

As the Supreme Court considers the affirmative action issue, much of the public debate recently has focused on the admission of black and brown students into colleges and universities. But getting in is only part of the picture. Staying on can also prove a challenge, especially as wider economic inequalities leave many of these students entering with less financial security than their white peers.

Now that we see what stealing a place in college really looks like, can we stop making students of color feel like cheats?

As someone who grew up in an underserved neighborhood and was lucky enough to get into Stanford University, I can tell you that financial help beyond loans would have brought welcome relief, even if it only took the form of a textbook subsidy. For one course, I had to buy more than 30 books.

Hassan, who now works for a Newark council member, said he grew up in a “typical working poor” household in a neighborhood that was a food desert. His hope with the fundraiser, he said, is not just to see students graduate, but also to see them return to their communities and improve their lives there. What it might look like, he said, is a student coming home and saying, ‘My mother’s block is falling apart, I have an engineering degree, how can I help?

Hassan started a non-profit association to manage the distribution of the funds raised. But in 2020, the effort started the easy way – with a request from a friend. One of Hassan’s former classmates told him that his niece had been accepted to Howard but needed help with her tuition. Hassan donated to his GoFundMe page, but then worried he might not meet his $18,000 goal. So he had an idea: he would raise money for her by cycling from Newark to Howard University. Four friends agreed to join and their effort became “Bike for Marbella”.

Together they raised around $7,000, which was below Marbella’s goal, but was enough when combined with the funds she had raised and the money she saved. studying from home after covid precautions prompted the university to move classes online.

The following year Hassan rode his bike again – and this year he did it again. Along the way, he said, he and the other cyclists met strangers who donated on the spot when they heard about the cause. A man they met in Maryland told them his grandson was attending HBCU and gave them $50. A woman who overheard the exchange also made a donation.

A GoFundMe page for the most recent “HBCU Scholarship Bike Ride” shows a goal set at $50,000 and over $64,000 raised.

But a different measure of success also exists. Hassan said that Marbella had graduated and that two other students who received funds are expected to graduate in 2024. That year, Hassan will also graduate with his baccalaureate. He said he was inspired to go back to school and was attending Rutgers University. “You can’t tell kids to do something, and you don’t,” he said.

Obtaining this degree will mark a milestone in his life, but in a way, he already feels like he has crossed the stage. Each year, the bike ride ends at the Yard on the Howard University campus, and riders are greeted with applause.

“When I ride on campus, it’s my graduation every year,” he said. “When everyone claps, it’s my graduation.”

Demolition work on the KI Sawyer building suspended Wed, 02 Nov 2022 22:08:00 +0000 KI SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) — Plans to demolish 13 vacant buildings at the former KI Sawyer Air Force Base are taking longer than expected. They now belong to Marquette County. In 2020, the county received $12 million in federal CARES Act money to demolish buildings for redevelopment. However, there was a setback. “As part of […]]]>

KI SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) — Plans to demolish 13 vacant buildings at the former KI Sawyer Air Force Base are taking longer than expected.

They now belong to Marquette County. In 2020, the county received $12 million in federal CARES Act money to demolish buildings for redevelopment.

However, there was a setback.

“As part of that process, there had to be an assessment by the State Historic Preservation Office,” said state Sen. Ed McBroom (R). “And they said those buildings were valuable to the people of Michigan and couldn’t be torn down immediately.”

Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch said that determination pushed back the demolition, putting federal money at risk.

“The dollars we have through CARES need to be spent by May 2024. This process we are in right now could take us into June or July [2024]”, Erbisch said.

Martha MacFarlane-Faes, deputy director of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), said the agency was required to review projects receiving federal funding. The KI Sawyer site met the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.

“Michigan was a very important point of strategy during the Cold War to protect the United States, KI Sawyer plays in that. It’s probably the best example we have in Michigan of a relatively intact strategic airbase,” MacFarlane-Faes said.

MacFarlane-Faes said SHPO would like to document the structures, and that doesn’t stop development.

“We don’t object to that. We understand the community’s interest in economic development,” MacFarlane-Faes said.

However, McBroom said time is running out. The senator said several businesses were looking to expand on the sites after demolition but now had to wait.

“These sites are prime development sites for those looking to move here if they want to be close to an airport, rail services, UP culture,” McBroom said.

The Marquette County Administrator said the vacant buildings posed hazards.

“Lead-based paint problems outdoors, indoors, deteriorated ceilings, mold is a significant hazard,” Erbisch said.

MacFarlane-Faes said SHPO is currently working with the county to further review and investigate the buildings before they can be demolished.

“There are a few extra steps they have to take and some documents they need to produce that they’re working on and we’re helping with that process,” MacFarlane-Faes said.

But, there is no concrete timetable for when it will be finished.

Meanwhile, UP lawmakers say they plan to demand changes to SHPO’s leadership and budget when the legislature returns to Lansing after the election.

I spent over 40 years working in corrections. I wasn’t ready for Rikers. Fri, 28 Oct 2022 10:00:00 +0000 By Vincent Schiraldi Perspectives of those who work and live in the criminal justice system. Register to receive “Life Inside” via email each week. I started as commissioner of the New York Department of Corrections in June 2021. In this role, I was responsible for running New York’s prisons, including the legendary brutal Rikers Island. […]]]>

I started as commissioner of the New York Department of Corrections in June 2021. In this role, I was responsible for running New York’s prisons, including the legendary brutal Rikers Island. Having spent 42 years in the criminal justice field, I thought I was professionally and emotionally prepared for what I was about to encounter. But even though I had run a probation service and a youth correctional system; served as a lawyer, academic and nonprofit director; and visited correctional facilities around the world, nothing could have been further from the truth.

During my seven months as Commissioner of Corrections, the conditions at Rikers constantly fell below my already low expectations. Staff absenteeism skyrocketed, use of force increased, scheduling and visitation decreased, shanking attacks soared, and fatalities increased. Not much has changed since I left last December. In my view, the chaos reflects our nation’s racist and destructive fixation on imprisonment. This is Exhibit A of why we need to end mass incarceration.

The United States has not always imprisoned or otherwise detained nearly 2 million people. Our unofficial march toward mass incarceration began in the 1970s with President Richard Nixon’s cynical War on Drugs. From 1972 to 2009, the country’s incarceration rate increased more than fivefold. With the passage in 1973 of the New York Punitive Act Rockefeller Drug Laws, the state’s rate exploded alongside the nation’s. In 1996, the rate of people in its jails and prisons exceeded that of the country by 30%.

Between plummeting violent crime rates, sophisticated defense, open-minded officials and a strong service network, New York’s average daily prison population has shrunk – by approximately 22,000 in 1991 at about 5,600 in January 2020. Unfortunately, our willingness to throw money at corrections seemingly knows no bounds. From 2011 to 2021, while the city’s prison population has shrunk by more than 60%, the prison budget grown up $200 million.

And New York prisons have long been brutal. Conditions declined to the point where, in 2015, the city entered into a consent decree requested in Nuñez v. City of New York, a class action lawsuit brought by prisoners. Plaintiffs Nuñez accused the New York City Department of Correction using excessive force, failing to adequately protect inmates from violence, and inappropriately placing adolescents in solitary confinement.

AWhile I haven’t witnessed many outright beatings by corrections staff during my tenure as commissioner, I have heard retired officers brag about brutalizing people they incarcerate. . Most of the atrocities I saw reflected more the banality of evil, the daily, ritualized degradation of people living and working in prisons.

When I set up my office on Rikers Island last June, morale was so low and staff feared so much for their safety that thousands of people called in sick, either because they were really sick or because they pretended to be ill. Others were AWOLing – simply failing to come to work without calling.

Many correctional officers who actually came to work refused to interact with incarcerated people, indicating that they had already been “imprisoned” and now intended to work in civilian positions such as administrative assistant, driver or baker until their retirement. And when ordered to work in prisons, many of those who were healthy moments earlier used their indefinite sick leave to claim their illness and return home.

This created a destructive cycle. Inadequate staffing of living units meant that the people we incarcerated were denied basics like showers, recreation, visitation and housekeeping. Neglect fomented frustration and violence, contributing to already dire conditions and further exacerbating absenteeism.

Absences peaked last summer when thousands of employees were sick – a number that increased on weekends and holidays. Hundreds more were on light duty and still others AWOLed. Despite having the richest squad in the country – and costing almost $557,000 to incarcerate a person in New York for a year – many people worked triple shifts on weekends. Dozens of living units remained unstaffed to the point that inmates could not attend medical appointments. For example, in April of this year, residents of Rikers almost missed 12,000 medical visitsaccording to Gothamist.

In these unmanned units, homemade shanks proliferated, medical needs went unattended, and people died. There was more 400 stabbings and stabbings at Rikers facilities in 2021, more than triple the previous year. Sixteen people died at Rikers last year – at least six by suicide and four by drug overdose. At the time of publication, 17 people have already died there this year, and cuts and stabbings are on the rise.

BOn the other hand, I was proud of the many officers who came to work despite COVID-19, the violence and the risk of working triple shifts. These staff members and many incarcerated people challenged the stereotypes of “Shawshank Redemption”.

The people we were incarcerating were urging me to send their unit officer home because she was exhausted. On several occasions, when staff members have been assaulted, those incarcerated have stood up for them.

Other times, corrections officers would plead for stewardship to be handed over to those incarcerated and for something as simple as haircuts to resume. They also begged us to send people to recreational or religious services.

During midnight shift on the Friday before Father’s Day, I encountered an exhausted correctional officer working a triple while overseeing two separate living areas. The day before, a man from his unit was expecting a visit from his daughter which seemed to have to be canceled because there was no escorting officer. When she informed him of the cancellation, he burst into tears, which is something no one likes to do in prison. She gathered all the men and asked them to “be good” as she left the unit unattended to escort her to her visit. If a fight had taken place, she knew she would be punished, maybe even fired, for this act of insubordinate decency.

Many correctional officers have come to us as honest, hard-working people who want to make a difference. But during my tenure, dozens of officers have been arrested for crimes including drunk driving, dangerously unloading their weapons, and domestic or child abuse. In my opinion, somewhere between onboarding new recruits and these arrests, the trauma they suffered on Rikers contributed to their illegal behavior.

Similarly, research by the Center for Court Innovation found that sentencing people to New York prisons increase the likelihood of being arrested again within two years of 7%compared to others with similar charges and backgrounds who have not been imprisoned.

Rikers aggravates almost everyone who encounters him.

AAfter years of rampant brutality, deplorable conditions, stark racial disparity and high costs, Rikers Island is set to close in 2027. The current plan is to replace the sprawling island complex of eight prisons with four smaller, more decent prisons in all the city. But we need to radically change the culture of violence and apathy that pervades Rikers Island so that it does not migrate to these borough jails.

Decades of freebies to corrections officers’ unions — like unlimited sick leave and a ban on hiring supervisors from outside the city’s Department of Corrections — have contributed to the destructive culture. The only path I see to real change is for the federal court that is already overseeing the Rikers Island Consent Decree appoint a receiver run the system while we reduce its population.

As the city’s prison population declines, officials should reinvest money from the corrections department’s bloated budget into the communities hardest hit by crime. Imagine if we spent the nearly $557,000 a year it takes to incarcerate a neighbor as part of community safety and rehabilitation efforts. And if even a part of the $1.34 billion the city budgeted for corrections in 2022 has been reallocated to communities heavily impacted by incarceration?

We must also pay attention to the shocking racial disparities in our city’s prisons. Blacks and Latinx make up 52% ​​of New York’s population but about 90% of prison admissions. Building resources in neighborhoods of color disproportionately impacted by incarceration will help those communities support their returning neighbors as we reduce incarceration.

Elie Wiesel once wrote: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Rikers and prisons like that all over the country are indifferent. It’s time for the city I love to close this place and treat the staff and incarcerated people as we would want our own sons or daughters to be treated if they were working or confined on Rikers Island.

The New York City Department of Corrections Public Information Office did not respond to questions about staffing at Rikers Island at the time of publication. No more than a spokesperson for the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.

Vincent Schiraldi is a senior researcher at Columbia Justice Lab and Senior Fellow at the Columbia School of Social Work. He served as Commissioner of the New York City Probation and Corrections Departments.

Migrants feel the pressure of inflation twice over — at home and abroad Mon, 24 Oct 2022 06:25:00 +0000 By AYA BATRAWY, TRISHA AHMED, CLAUDIA TORRENS and MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS, Associated Press DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) — In almost every corner of the globe, people are spending more on food and fuel, rent and transportation. But inflation does not affect people in the same way. For migrants whose parents depend on the money they […]]]>


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) — In almost every corner of the globe, people are spending more on food and fuel, rent and transportation.

But inflation does not affect people in the same way. For migrants whose parents depend on the money they send home, rising prices pinch families twice: at home and abroad.

Migrant workers who send money to relatives abroad often save less because they are forced to spend more as prices rise. For some, the only option is to work harder, to work weekends and nights, to take on a second job. For others, it means cutting back on once-essentials like meat and fruit so they can send what’s left of their savings to family back home, some of whom are struggling with hunger or conflict.

“I used to save something, about $200 a week. Now I can barely save $100 a week. I live hand to mouth,” said Carlos Huerta, a 45-year-old Mexican working as a driver in New York Town.

Political cartoons about world leaders

political cartoons

Across the Atlantic, 49-year-old Lissa Jataas sends about 200 euros ($195) from her office job in Cyprus to her family in the Philippines every month. To save money, she looks for cheaper food at the grocery store and buys clothes at a charity store.

“It’s about being resilient,” she said.

Economies reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change have been hit again by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has sent food and energy prices skyrocketing.

Those costs pushed an additional 71 million people around the world into poverty in the weeks following the February invasion, which halted critical shipments of grain from the Black Sea region, according to the United Nations Development Program. Development.

When food and fuel prices skyrocket, the money people can send to loved ones doesn’t go as far as it used to. The International Monetary Fund estimates that global inflation will peak at 9.5% this year, but in developing countries it is much higher.

“The poorest people spend far more of their income on food and energy,” said Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at poverty organization Oxfam.

He said inflation is “spilling fire” on inequality: “It’s almost as if the poor are a bit like a sponge meant to absorb economic shock.”

Mahdi Warsama, 52, came to the United States from Somalia as a teenager. A US citizen who works for the nonprofit Somali Parents Autism Network, he sends between $3,000 and $300 a month to relatives in Somalia, sometimes borrowing money to send what relatives need for medical bills and other emergencies.

Warsama, who divides his time between Christopher Columbus, Ohioand Minneapolis, estimates he sent $1,500 last month to help his loved ones pay for necessities like food and water for themselves and their livestock.

Thousands of people have died in a drought gripping Somalia, with the UN saying half a million children are at risk of dying from malnutrition or near-starvation.

“Just like we have inflation in the United States, in Somalia it’s even worse,” he said, adding that sacks of rice, sugar and flour that once cost $50 now cost $50. $70.

He’s changed his spending habits, is looking for ways to earn more, and is watching for interest rate hikes and inflation, something he’s never done before this year.

“I’m more determined to work harder and earn more money,” Warsama said. “I have to be more aware of the fact that I have to help my loved ones at home.”

In New York, Huerta has lived apart from his wife and children for nearly 20 years, working jobs ranging from washing dishes to driving executives — whatever it takes to earn enough.

He said he sends about $200 a week to his wife and mother in Puebla, Mexico. Huerta also learned to paint houses, so if there’s no demand for a driver, he can still earn around $150 a day.

With incomes around $3,600 a month and rising rent for his apartment in Queens, Huerta said he’s replaced steak with chicken, eaten less fruit as prices rise in arrow and that he had canceled his cable.

For Jaatas, who has lived in Cyprus for nearly two decades, the six parents she supports in the Philippines are not only facing rising costs, but also reeling from the aftermath of a typhoon that cut off water and electricity.

“We really love helping our family back home, no matter what disasters or shortcomings happen,” she said.

According to an analysis by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Philippines is the most food insecure country in emerging Asia due to its reliance on imported food.

Ester Beatty, who leads a chapter of the European Filipino Diaspora Network in Cyprus, said it was common for Filipinos to work Sundays in the Mediterranean island nation as they seek extra income to support loved ones who have struggling to get basic items like rice and sugar.

In developing countries, low-income families are estimated to spend more than 40% of their household income on food, even with government subsidies, said Peter Ceretti, an analyst with food security consultancy at Eurasia Group risk.

Ali el-Sayyed Mohammed, 26, arrived in the United Arab Emirates in February after several years looking for work in Egypt.

“Life is expensive and salaries don’t cover enough, so I made the decision to leave,” he said. “It was a tough decision at first, but the situation left me with no choice.”

With his father deceased, Mohammed is the breadwinner, supporting three sisters and his mother. He hails from Beheira, a province in the Nile Delta that has seen many of its young men leave, sometimes embarking on deadly journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in search of work in Europe.

With around $1,000 saved up, Mohammed came to Dubai and crashed with friends until he landed a job at one of the city’s most popular Egyptian restaurants, Hadoota Masreya.

However, the rising cost of living in Egypt has made it even more difficult for her to save enough to help her sister marry next year or secure her own future. Inflation in Egypt soared to around 16% as the value of the currency plummeted, making the lives of millions of Egyptians living in poverty even more difficult.

“I have a lot of employees whose families depend on the income they get from the restaurant and a lot of their income is sent home so people can live there,” said Mohamed Younis, director of Hadoota. Masreya.

The restaurant recently increased salaries to meet the rising cost of living, he said.

Younis said an increasing number of Egyptian men are looking for work. Younis runs a YouTube channel called “Restaurant Clinic” which gives tips in Arabic for success in the restaurant business. He warns that moving to the UAE is risky as finding a job takes time and money.

back in MinnesotaMohamed Aden, a 36-year-old school bus driver, says he moonlights as an Uber driver to support his wife, children and siblings who fled Somalia for Kenya due to violence in his native country.

Without a work permit in Kenya, his family depends on the money he sends back – nearly half of his $2,000 monthly income.

But he pays more for petrol and food prices are higher in Kenya, so the money doesn’t go that far.

Aden tries to visit Kenya every December during the cold Minnesota winter.

“This year I can’t because of inflation,” he said. “I’m the only one here, feeding the family…but I’ll be back when I have the money.”

Ahmed reported from Minneapolis, Torrens from New York and Hadjicostis from Nicosia, Cyprus.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Merch Startup Spring allowed creators to spread misinformation and conspiracies Fri, 21 Oct 2022 18:18:40 +0000 Merchandise startup Spring offers print-on-demand services for designers. But some of the company’s best-selling creators have been spreading misinformation. Insider spoke with former employees who said Spring was willing to ignore problematic designs. QAnon conspiracy theorist Philip Godlewski started working with start-up Spring last year. He quickly generated a healthy business and was assigned a […]]]>
  • Merchandise startup Spring offers print-on-demand services for designers.
  • But some of the company’s best-selling creators have been spreading misinformation.
  • Insider spoke with former employees who said Spring was willing to ignore problematic designs.

QAnon conspiracy theorist Philip Godlewski started working with start-up Spring last year. He quickly generated a healthy business and was assigned a dedicated “partner manager”.

At the time, The daily beast recently reported that Godlewski admitted bribing a miner.

It didn’t take long for the employees to start talking. Rather than using the company’s Slack account, they texted each other to express concerns about its store.

“This is bad,” a former employee wrote to coworkers, according to a screenshot seen by Insider. This person was linked to the Daily Beast story and Godlewski’s storefront, which featured products like a mug that said “Trump was right,” as well as a t-shirt that read “I told you so. , signed, conspiracy theorist”.

A second former Spring staffer echoed the first’s concerns, telling Insider they weren’t comfortable with the company letting Godlewski earn revenue using Spring’s services. Godlewski did not respond to a request for comment.

Godlewski wasn’t the only person Spring staffers objected to working with. Spring, formally Teespring, has a history of allowing far-right creators to use his platform to spread misinformation, hate and QAnon conspiracy theories through products such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, posters and mugs.

Spring gained national attention for it after the January 6 Capitol Riot, when the company was among several online marketplaces that sold T-shirts with designs associated with the riot. For example, the platform sold a t-shirt that read “Biden loves minors.” according to CBS News, with the letters B, L and M in bold in a reference to Black Lives Matter. He also sold a shirt worn by a rioter that read “Camp Auschwitz.”

Five former Spring staffers told Insider that it’s an open secret that the platform works with problematic creators, often because those creators make a lot of money for the company. Two former employees said this often caused unease among staff. All former employees Insider spoke to spoke on condition of anonymity to protect career prospects.

In an emailed statement to Insider, a Spring spokesperson said, “At Spring, we do not allow or condone any content on our platform that promotes hate, harassment, or violence (our guidelines policies can be found here).”

“With thousands of designs uploaded daily by independent creators, we use our technology platform, community, and teams to flag and remove designs that violate our policies and disable accounts of users who violate our policies.”

Insider found dozens of products on Spring creators’ storefronts spreading hate and misinformation, including merchandise with phrases referencing QAnon conspiracy theories, such as “I told you so” and “Where are the children? Stop human trafficking!”

Insider emailed Spring in late September asking about these products and Godlewski’s showcase. The items have since been removed, as has Godlewski’s display case.

Spring isn’t alone in selling merchandise with phrases that spread misinformation or hate. Other print-on-demand companies and e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, Walmart and Etsyhave a habit of selling merchandise peddling QAnon conspiracy theories and other extremist views.

But what set Spring apart from other print-on-demand companies was its team of partner managers – Spring employed multiple partner managers. before layoffs in July – who has worked closely with top content creators, influencers and other personalities in the business, offering personalized support.

“I tried to get them off the platform as much as possible, and I was told no,” a third former Spring staffer told Insider, referring to creators who spread misinformation. .

“Even if they were making a lot of money, I didn’t want the team to put up with that,” added this former employee. “The majority of them were bad actors selling bad products but not enough to be deactivated and removed from the platform entirely.”


Godlewski’s spring showcase, which featured products like a t-shirt with the QAnon phrase “Stop human trafficking now. End child sex trafficking now.”

Spring Screenshot

“They were making us money”

Spring’s willingness to overlook some of these problematic designs and creators was something of an open secret among staffers, former employees who spoke with Insider said.

It “has always been uncomfortable,” said the third former Spring staffer.

The second former staffer said many of these designs — and others that violated Spring’s copyright guidelines — “have slipped through the cracks” of the company’s content review protocols. company. The product quality and content moderation team was manually reviewing thousands of images a day and was “understaffed,” the former employee said.

“There were creators that we were willing to turn away slightly from because they were cashing checks for us,” the second former staffer said. “They were making us money.”

Take the far-right blog We Are Change, founded by creator Luke Rudkowski. Rudkowski is known to spread misinformation online. For example, he shared tweets saying Vaccinations against COVID-19 can lead to HIV and that Google hides search results for vaccines being linked to heart attacks.

Five former employees told Insider that We Are Change, and other similar storefronts, were among the platform’s bestsellers.

The third former staffer said We Are Change’s store “promotes absolutely despicable content under the guise of political freedom” and that many far-right creators use Spring to “vomit hate and violence”.

That same person said they raised concerns about We Are Change with Spring’s head of trust and safety, Tracy Reeves, CEO Chris Lamontagne, and Chris Elsheikhi, VP of business and director of creator growth.

“I showed them the store, and I gave them examples of why it was problematic with screenshots and research papers. And Chris Elsheikhi told me not to worry about it and that’s it. It was his job to make money for the company, and for these people to make money for them,” the third former staffer said of the We are Change store.

Reeves and Elsheikhi did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.


Spring P-Brane store t-shirt design, which has since been retired.

Screenshot by Spring/Amanda Perelli

Partner managers have been ordered not to discuss ‘sensitive creators’

Prior to the July layoffs, Spring had a team of partner managers who worked directly with top sellers to generate promo codes, offer one-on-one support, and help develop storefronts.

The third former staffer said partner managers were instructed not to chat in forums like Slack or email problematic products they encountered.

“We weren’t supposed to discuss creators or sensitive content in a documented location. It usually happened over video calls,” the third former staffer said. “Leadership was playing favorites, picking and choosing which problematic material we would leave on site. That meant we couldn’t get any sort of trail as to what had been decided and why.”

When employees flagged certain products as problematic, they said senior managers took little or no action.

The third former employee said some people were so frustrated with the inaction of their senior colleagues that some partner managers eventually refused to work with specific creators assigned to them.

Taking matters into their own hands, the team of partner-managers created an unofficial program called the “Do Not Engage Group”, which they used to flag any creators they didn’t want to engage with for support. individual. Most of the staff knew about it, the first former employee told Insider, and hid it from management.

“Basically just let them be in the shadows,” said the third former staffer.

Learn more about Spring’s activities below:

Wisconsin voters urge Barnes over singular focus on abortion Mon, 17 Oct 2022 09:09:36 +0000 WEST ALLIS, Wis.—Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes was shaking hands with supporters at a campaign event outside Milwaukee on Wednesday when a middle-aged man wearing a veteran’s jacket Vietnam fighter approached him with unsolicited advice: Talk more about inflation. “How many Democrats have I heard of this? Zero,” the frustrated man told the Democratic […]]]>

WEST ALLIS, Wis.—Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes was shaking hands with supporters at a campaign event outside Milwaukee on Wednesday when a middle-aged man wearing a veteran’s jacket Vietnam fighter approached him with unsolicited advice: Talk more about inflation.

“How many Democrats have I heard of this? Zero,” the frustrated man told the Democratic candidate.

“I appreciate the advice,” Barnes said politely. Then he quickly ignored it, walking to the back of the room and delivering a speech focused on the same topic his campaign hammered relentlessly in the final weeks of the election: abortion.

Wisconsin Democrats bet Supreme Court ruling overturns deer v. Wade will both energize their base and train new supporters concerned about abortion restrictions. Barnes fully embraced this strategy, making unrestricted abortion his main closing argument in his competitive run against Senator Ron Johnson.

But the narrow focus also carries a big risk, according to political watchers, who say undecided, independent voters — those who determine elections in swing states like Wisconsin — are much more concerned about issues like inflation and schools than through abortion.

“I understand [abortion] be a grassroots issue that will help drive turnout, but you’re still leaving a segment of voters who are likely to be the ones deciding who’s the next governor, who’s the next U.S. senator,” said Keith Gilkes, a Republican strategist from Wisconsin “They’re worried about crime, they’re worried about inflation, the economy, and are we heading into a recession.”

Gilkes said he thinks Democrats were making a similar mistake to Republicans in 2006, when the party campaigned on a statewide referendum against same-sex marriage, which passed but lost the votes. gubernatorial and Senate races in the process.

“We haven’t made it easy on ourselves … spending all of our time focusing on culture war issues, as opposed to the broader concerns of the electorate about health care, the economy and the recession,” said Gilkes.

In Wisconsin, the all-abortion strategy has yet to pay off for Democrats. Barnes is now trailing Johnson by 6 points, according to a Marquette Law School poll this week, a change from September, when the Democrat trailed by just one point.

While Democratic voters see abortion as the election’s most pressing issue, that view is not shared by other groups, according to the Marquette poll. Likely voters, including independents and women voters, say they are more concerned about inflation, schools and gun violence.

This gap in enthusiasm between the progressive base and more moderate voters was evident during Barnes’ “Ron Against Roe” tour this week. In the deep blue of Milwaukee last weekend, more than 100 energetic fans gathered in a small high school gymnasium to hear Barnes speak alongside Alexis McGill Johnson, the head of Planned Parenthood.

The political arm of Planned Parenthood, which helped organize the event, poured millions into midterm races to help elect Democrats. Organizers with clipboards stood at the entrance, trying to recruit attendees to survey neighborhoods with pro-Barnes literature.

The speakers did not pretend to try to seduce the moderates. “When Ron Johnson talks about ‘freedom,’ he’s talking about rich old white guys,” the leader of a group called Moms for Mandela announced to the cheering crowd. Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore, who represents most of Milwaukee, read an unflattering poem about Johnson – ‘He’s an insurrectionist. / A Donald Trump worshiper’ – before leading the audience in a chant from “RoJo Gotta Go”.

Barnes took the stage and called for an end to Senate filibuster rules — an idea popular among progressives but opposed by the vast majority of Americans, according to vote.

“This zero-seat majority [for Democrats] is not enough. If we get rid of Ron Johnson, if we get more Senate seats, we can get rid of the filibuster,” Barnes said to applause.

Such messages are less likely to resonate in places like West Allis, a moderate working-class Democratic town just east of Milwaukee, where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by just 3 points in 2016.

On Wednesday, Barnes’ “Ron Against Roe” tour stopped at a no-frills West Allis sports bar, hosted by a much smaller group of a few dozen supporters and far less fanfare.

At the Pallas restaurant, there was no talk of “old whites” or ending the filibuster. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced Barnes softly, saying he would be a “partner in the United States Senate who cares deeply about us and understands us.”

Barnes took aim at Johnson’s values, arguing that Republican opposition to abortion “doesn’t really represent who we are as a state.” But while his speech was more low-key, he still remained narrowly focused on the issue of abortion.

Shanon Frakes, a Vietnam War veteran who attended the event, told the Free Washington Beacon that he would like to hear the Lieutenant Governor talk more about inflation.

“You don’t hear any Democrats talking about this,” said Frakes, who has described himself as a swing voter over the years.

“I was a Republican, [now] I’m a Democrat, but I’m really independent,” Frakes said.

Nikki Bender and Shari Young, two Barnes supporters from nearby Wauwatosa, told the Free tag that they hope the abortion issue will be effective in attracting new voters for Barnes.

“I don’t think that’s the only progressive issue we’re talking about. But I think it’s a motor issue,” Young said. “An entire generation of men and women grew up assuming their reproductive choice rights were in place and guaranteed, and finding out that’s no shock to a very large number of young people who I think , will get people out.”

But even Bender, who sees deer v. Wade as “one of the biggest issues” in the race, said it would be nice to hear the Barnes campaign address issues other than abortion. When she welcomed Barnes at the event, she asked him to talk more about economic inequality without demonizing the wealthy.

“I know you kinda say that [already]”, Bender told Barnes. “But I want to hear the words that say it: ‘We don’t hate you because you’re rich.'”