Black lives, in focus

first_imgAmid the Black Lives Matter movement, as the first African-American president finishes his second term, the inspirational writings of W.E.B. Du Bois resound, as relevant as ever. On Thursday, as eight new recipients of the Du Bois Medal were feted, presenters and honorees alike related the great man’s writing in anecdotes both personal and political.This year’s honorees, who join 22 previous medal recipients, were Ursula M. Burns, chairman and chief executive of Xerox Corp.; David L. Evans, senior admissions officer at Harvard; Pam Grier, actor and activist; Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer, hip-hop artist and activist; David Simon, writer and producer; Jessye Norman, soprano and recitalist; and the 1966 Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team, represented by players David Lattin and Willie Worsley. The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.Ursula M. Burns, the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, recalled how her mother stressed the importance of education as “not only the way up but the way forward.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThat the past is present was made clear by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, which presented the awards. Following the uplifting voices of the Kuumba Singers, an opening prayer by the Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and opening remarks by Glenn H. Hutchins ’77, J.D.-M.B.A. ’83, Gates made the connection both current and specific.After thanking Hutchins and the Hutchins Family Foundation, whose first grant of $15 million made the Hutchins Center possible, for their recent gift of another $10 million to fund the center in perpetuity, he got right to it. “Black Lives Matter is Du Bois’ ‘Talented Tenth’ in jeans and hoodies,” Gates proclaimed in kicking off the event, which would feature readings of works by Du Bois (B.A. 1890, M.A. 1891, and Ph.D. 1895, Harvard’s first to an African-American), interspersed with addresses to and by the honorees. “Black Lives Matter and black studies matter,” Gates said. “The time to act is now.”Professor William Julius Wilson congratulates David Simon as Glenn Hutchins and Hutchins Center Director Henry Louis Gates Jr. look on. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerCornel West, professor emeritus of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary, was up next, honoring Evans by calling him “the best of Harvard.” “Veritas,” West noted, “the condition of truth is always to allow suffering to speak.” But the longtime admissions officer matched West in eloquence, noting the progress people of color have made — and the advances Harvard has been able to make — but warning, “We’ve changed the guard. But changing the guard without guarding the change is movement without maintenance. Don’t let this be the last time all these beautiful things are happening.”Honoring Burns, Michael D. Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, noted not only that she was the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company but also that she led her Change the Equation educational initiative to educate girls and young women in STEM fields. Accepting her medal, Burns elaborated on this theme, recalling how her own mother stressed the importance of education as “not only the way up but the way forward.”“Bring other people along,” she said. “Change the world.”Introducing television writer and producer Simon, William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, related how, after hearing people discuss Simon’s groundbreaking HBO series “The Wire,” he binge-watched the entire first season on a flight to Bangkok. He then designed a course around the show, aware of how with fiction an artist can portray a deeper truth. “David Simon offers us an unflinching portrait of race, class, and poverty in the United States,” he said.Accepting the award, Simon discussed his time as a crime reporter. “You knew you were too reliant on the police to tell you what happened in an alley,” he recalled. “You knew the game was rigged, but what else could you do?” In these days of cellphone cameras, he opined, that might be changing. “We’re experiencing a little bit of a revolution,” he said. “It is painful, but it will end well.”David Lattin (center) from the 1966 Texas Western National Champions Basketball Team receives his award from Glenn Hutchins (left) as former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley and Henry Louis Gates Jr. join them onstage. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerHarvard President and Lincoln Professor of History Drew Faust introduced the award for Norman, who was unable to be present because of health issues. Citing Norman’s previous awards, including an honorary doctorate in 1988 as well as her charitable outreach (including a tuition-free music program in her hometown of Augusta, Ga.), Faust said of the opera singer, “Her status as a diva is global.”The absent diva was represented by a video that featured her speaking — and, perhaps more vitally, singing.Showing the range of the awards — and of African-American artistry — the next honoree was Moorer. Marcyliena Morgan, professor of African and African-American Studies and founder and executive director of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard, announced a “game-changer,” noting her “unmatched contributions to hip-hop and commitment to improving the life of women and girls.”Moorer, the first female rapper Grammy nominee, told of “picking up a mic” at 16, wanting to present an anti-drug message. The Brooklyn native, who released her eighth album in 2015, is founder of the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, which provides scholarships to college students. “I am a practicing activist looking to change the minds of our youth,” she said. “We all have the chance to be and create the change we want to see.”Grier was the next honoree, and presenter Lawrence D. Bobo, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, was positively gleeful as he called her “the consummate badass feminist hero, subverting the expectations and creating new ones with her fearlessness, intelligence, and control.”Grier, whose stardom spans films like “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown” in the ’70s through “Jackie Brown” in 1997 and a continuing role in “The L Word,” called the medal “a profound honor.”Describing a family that valued strong women, including a grandfather “who taught all the girls to hunt and fish and be self-sufficient,” she recalled discovering Du Bois growing up in the 1950s and ’60s.“I read W.E.B. Du Bois, and he set my soul on fire,” she said. “He encouraged me to liberate myself. He said: Don’t see yourself through the eyes of others. Be yourself. And that’s what I did.”The final medal was presented by a gracious loser, Pat Riley, president of the NBA’s Miami Heat. In 1966, Riley had been the star of the all-white University of Kansas team that was defeated for the national championship by the little-known Texas Western Miners, which started five black players. The Miners’ win, 12 years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate schools, accelerated the integration of college sports and changed the game forever. The victory by the disciplined, defense-minded team helped desegregate college basketball across the South.After a shoutout to Celtic great Jo Jo White, who was in attendance, Riley reminisced about that game and the grace and strength of the men being honored, who were interviewed at length in a video presentation that stressed their teamwork and their reliance on each other.As Lattin, who was present to accept the award, said in the video. “We were the ‘we’ team, not the ‘I’ team.”SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

Bolt increased the number of users by 42% in the summer season

first_imgBolt noted so increase in the number of users by as much as 42% at the level of the whole of Croatia, that is, all 8 cities in which the platform is currently available – Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Pula, Šibenik and Osijek. In Zagreb, there is a noticeable increase in the number of rides by 40% and it is expected that the upward trend will continue until the end of the year, here from Bolt. Zadar, Split, Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Pula have a 55% increase in driving compared to the same period from June to August last year. While Zadar and Rijeka stand out as the leaders of the trend, and if we single them out, they show an increase in the number of rides by more than 100%. The most common starting points and destinations are bus stations and shopping centers, regardless of whether they are cities in the interior of Croatia or cities along the coast. The list of users also includes citizens from other countries who used the platform during their stay in Croatia. “The increase in the number of rides, especially visible in the cities on the coast, is the result of continuous work and effort that Bolt invests in the quality of service, communication with customers and relationships with partner drivers. We are certainly pleased with the fact that in this challenging and unpredictable tourist season we can boast of an increase in the number of rides in August, during the peak season, by more than 50% in Split and more than 30% in Zagreb compared to August 2019. We believe that we participate in creating a new trend in the city and that the positive growth in the number of rides and new users of the Bolt application will continue next season, ” concluded Tomislav Lukačević, director of Bolt in Croatia.center_img Although this season was more than challenging and different than any before it, the leading European platform for providing transport services on request, Bolt, the time period of the season from June to August ends with positive numbers, ie an increase in the number of rides in Croatia compared to the same period last year. In the period from June to August this year, 19.98% of Poles, 16.79% of Austrians, 14.19% of Czechs, 10.66% of Slovaks and 9.78% of citizens from the United Kingdom are among the users of the Bolt application.last_img read more

Yggdrasil confirms BetVictor content partnership

first_imgShare EveryMatrix ups CasinoEngine gamification tools with CompetitionLabs June 29, 2020 BGC: Charities win big as bookies take beating in Britannia Stakes June 19, 2020 Submit Related Articles Share BetVictor boosts casino portfolio with EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine June 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Yggdrasil has confirmed a new content deal to supply its best-performing casino slots content to online casino and sportsbook operator, BetVictor.The global agreement covers multiple regulated markets and will see BetVictor add Yggdrasil’s award-winning portfolio of video slots.The suite of industry-leading Yggdrasil slots comes complete with its proprietary range of in-game promotional tools, BOOST® which allows promotions to be run from within the game client. This offers maximum cross-sell opportunities and a superior player experience using in-game tournaments and leaderboards, configurable cash races, and gamification features proven to boost retention and engagement.Yggdrasil CEO Fredrik Elmqvist, commented: “We’re delighted to partner with BetVictor, one of the biggest brand names in the betting and gaming sector.“There is significant demand from leading operators for our innovative content that keeps getting better and better, and we’re really looking forward to working with BetVictor.”The partnership comes as the gaming supplier builds on what it described as an “eventful Q2 Period”, in which it maintained continued growth and saw its revenues jump a 65 per cent. Since then, the firm has expanded its portfolio of partners, unveiling a fresh partnership with Genting Casino as well.Speaking after the firm’s strong Q2 results, Elmqvist emphasised: “The second quarter has been active with the launch of Sonya Blackjack, the first game out in our new product vertical Table Games, including our ground-breaking motion capture technology and in-house proprietary client framework platform. We have also had a flying start for our YGS Masters programme and announced partnerships with two independent gaming studios.”last_img read more