A Proposal To Make It Harder For Kids To Skip Vaccines Gives Powerful Voices Pause

As California lawmakers attempt to tighten the rules on childhood vaccinations, they’re getting pushback from unexpected quarters: high-profile officials who support vaccines.

In the past few weeks, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and the members of the Medical Board of California have questioned a bill that would give the California Department of Public Health authority to decide whether a child can skip routine vaccinations.

Anti-vaccine activists have capitalized on these moments, plastering Facebook pages and social media with praise for the officials’ statements.

But those officials are not against vaccinations. In fact, they have made clear they’re committed to vaccines, and to dealing with the problem the bill is supposed to fix — doctors providing kids with medical exemptions for reasons that don’t meet federal standards.

“Having been in public health for a long time, I am a huge supporter of vaccines,” said Dr. Michelle Bholat, a family medicine physician in Santa Monica and until recently a member of the medical board, which has oversight over physicians and their licenses.

What concerns her, she said at a late-May meeting of the board, was the measure’s potential effect on doctor-patient relationships and the particulars of who would qualify for a medical exemption.

Pediatrician and state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) introduced the bill to address a spike in the number of children who have been granted what he calls “fake” medical exemptions from vaccinations; more than five times as many kids have medical exemptions this past school year than in 2015-16.

SB 276 would give the final say on medical exemption applications to the state public health department, which would be required to follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any exemptions provided by doctors would be subject to approval — or denial — by the department.

The only other state that gives control of vaccine exemptions to a public health agency is West Virginia.

The measure passed the state Senate in May and is awaiting consideration in the state Assembly.

The debate over the measure comes as new state data shows that the percentage of kindergartners who had all their recommended shots fell for the second straight year, largely due to an increase in medical exemptions written by doctors.

During the past school year, the share of fully vaccinated kindergartners dropped to 94.8%, down from 95.6% in 2016-17, putting the state in potentially dangerous territory — officials recommend 90-95% coverage for community immunity.

And as vaccination rates dip, measles is spreading nationwide. In the largest outbreak since 1992, more than 1,000 people have been infected across the country this year through June 5, including 51 in California.

Nearly three years ago, California enacted a law by Pan that bars parents from citing personal or religious beliefs to avoid vaccinating their children. Children could be exempted only on medical grounds if the shots were harmful to their health.

That ban improved vaccination rates, though progress has been slipping.

Today, many of the schools that had the highest rates of unvaccinated students before the law took effect still do. Doctors have broad authority to grant medical exemptions from vaccination; some wield that power liberally and sometimes for cash, signing dozens or hundreds of exemptions for children, sometimes in far-off communities.

Pan’s bill would crack down on this practice and has the strong support of the medical establishment. It was co-sponsored by two powerful doctor associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, and the California Medical Association.

“We want to make sure unscrupulous physicians aren’t making medical exemptions for money,” said Dr. David Aizuss, the president of the California Medical Association. “The idea of the bill is to protect a real personal medical exemption, where kids are on chemotherapy or have an immunological response.” 

But it has its critics — and this time, they extend beyond the small but fervent group of people who continue to question the extensive scientific evidence that shows vaccines are safe. And although raising concerns is typical in the legislative process, their criticisms take on outsize importance with a subject as explosive as vaccines.

The biggest name among the new critics is Newsom, who said he’s worried about interfering with the doctor-patient relationship. “I like doctor-patient relationships. Bureaucratic relationships are more challenging for me,” he said at the state Democratic Party convention in early June.

“I’m a parent; I don’t want someone that the governor of California appointed to make a decision for my family.”

State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), a co-sponsor of Pan’s previous legislation, abstained from voting on the new measure last month, saying he’d made commitments during the previous fight to leave medical exemptions to the discretion of doctors.

Last month, the Medical Board of California offered just lukewarm support, and only to portions of the bill, after listening to 200 members of the public speak against it for more than two hours.

The board members called on Pan to address a variety of concerns, from the potential oversight role the state public health department might play, to the proposed guidelines for medical exemptions.

They agreed on one thing: It should be easier for the board to investigate complaints of questionable medical exemptions. To look into complaints, the board needs to see medical records. To get those records, it generally needs permission from patients or their guardians, something parents who have sought medical exemptions are often unwilling to provide. The bill would give the board access to these records.

One physician, Dr. Bob Sears in Orange County, a well-known opponent to vaccine mandates, was put on probation in 2018 for writing an exemption for a 2-year-old without taking any medical history. Since 2016, at least 173 complaints against physicians for inappropriate exemptions have been filed with the state medical board, with more than 100 currently under investigation, the board said.

Medical exemptions for California kids are clustered in certain communities and schools. In Humboldt County, 5.8% of kindergartners have medical exemptions from shots, according to the new state data. In Nevada County, the rate is 10.6%. All told, nearly one-third of the state’s counties have fallen below 95% immunity from measles. 

Aizuss of the California Medical Association said the organization is working with Newsom’s office and the medical board, among others, to update the bill so that it will be “workable, effective and supported by the governor.”

“I think that our goal is the same,” he said. “The idea of the bill is to protect … the sanctity of the true physician-patient relationship, as opposed to a relationship where physicians were granting the medical exemption for a fee, which is not a true physician-patient relationship.”

California Healthline reporter Ana B. Ibarra contributed to this report.


This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

Kaiser Health News

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‘When They See Us’ makes a powerful case to be seen

The miscarriage of justice that surrounded the Central Park Five should by now be well known, but the details of the case, as reenacted, provide the inherent power of “When They See Us,” a Netflix miniseries that’s strongest at the beginning and end and sags somewhat in the middle.


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‘Champion,’ ‘Queen,’ ‘Goddess,’ ‘Mother’: Serena Williams’ Powerful Message at The French Open

Jean Catuffe/Getty

It did not matter that the three-piece Virgil Abloh x Nike outfit Serena Williams posted on Instagram before the French Open looked entirely impractical to play tennis in. The athlete’s fans agreed: it was a winner.

Before earning her 800th tour-level win on May 27, Williams put on a tiered maxi skirt, long robe, and sports bra. Printed onto her zebra printed ensemble were the words “Champion,” “Queen,” “Goddess,” “Mother.”

The Nike ambassador matched her floor-grazing skirt with chunky sneakers, as she did at this year’s Met Gala and her 2017 wedding to Alexis Ohanian.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Hurricane Michael was even more powerful than scientists initially thought

hurricane michael category 5

The science of tracking hurricanes has seen huge advancements in recent years, allowing forecasters to better predict paths and overall impact of the large storms before they actually reach land. Warning systems and preventative measures are getting better, but it’s an imperfect science, and even measuring the sheer power of a hurricane as it’s happening can be difficult.

In a new announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in October of last year on Florida, has now been upgraded from a category 4 storm to a category 5. This makes the storm the first category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 1992’s Hurricane Andrew.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX sends world’s most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.


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Kirk Franklin Sends a Powerful Message to Le’Andria Johnson | Iyanla: Fix My Life | OWN

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Gloria Boyland, One of The Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Drives Innovation At FedEx

BLACK ENTERPRISE recently unveiled our roster of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, identifying the highest-ranking female executives of the nation’s largest corporations and honoring this business elite at our 14th annual Women of Power Summit. Included among the three executives representative of this group featured on the cover of our January-March issue was Gloria Boyland, corporate VP, operations and service support for FedEx Corp., which provides millions across the globe with a range of transportation, commerce and business services.

FedEx

The Savannah, Georgia native, who holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, joined FedEx in 2004 as vice president of service experience and quality in which she coordinated a range of company-wide improvement initiatives, among other areas, before rising to her current position. The following are Boyland’s responses to questions on her innovative role, career journey and advice to young professionals seeking to advance to corporate leadership:

Share with us your role as corporate vice president, operations and service support? In working with members of FedEx’s Strategic Management Committee, how do you help drive innovation and improvement throughout the organization?

As corporate vice president of operations and service support for FedEx Corporation, I am responsible for the evaluation and leadership of priority advanced operations technology initiatives, service quality improvements, customer experience improvements, and new service offerings for the company.

Technology advancements, digitalization, and the explosive growth of e-commerce require companies like FedEx to respond rapidly to rising customer expectations in a cost-effective manner. My role in the innovation space is comprised of three key parts: 1) I work closely with the members of the FedEx Strategic Management Committee to define key strategic opportunities; 2) I scan the technology space to identify optimal technology partners; and 3) I lead initiatives to achieve speed and scale, such as the recently announced FedEx SameDay Bot.

Define Quality Driven Management and how that approach is a part of the company’s DNA?

Quality Driven Management, or QDM in short, is the secret sauce to the way we work at FedEx. QDM provides a set of common principles and methods that unleashes the creativity of our worldwide team of more than 450,000 team members as we deliver on our Purple Promise to “make every FedEx experience outstanding.”  QDM is like a universal translator – no matter which global region, function or title a team member has, QDM instills in us the passion and commitment to improve customer experience and business performance.

What is it like to work with FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith? What lessons have you learned from him? How has that relationship impacted you from a professional and personal standpoint?

Mr. Smith is an amazing, transformational leader who inspires and motivates his team to perform at high levels.  He founded FedEx on a “people first” philosophy 45 years ago, and that strong corporate culture continues to be deeply embedded across the organization today. He believes that every one of our more than 450,000 team members across the globe is a vital link in the chain of success. I have learned from him how absolutely critical it is to foster loyalty, the customer’s experience and an entrepreneurial spirit with each team member.

We would like insight into your professional evolution during your formative years. What led to your interest in technology and logistics? Who and what served as your inspiration in the field? Who were your mentors?

 Over the years, I have sought and received advice and counsel from family, friends and colleagues, including my own leadership chain and the many team members who make up my organization. Research has shown that diversity of perspective is not only essential to business success, but also to personal success. I have gained perspective from the myriad of people who have mentored me throughout my career and each one was valuable in their own unique way.

 Define your management style and guiding principles.

 My direct reports are vice presidents who lead their own organizations, so I embrace a coaching management style. My team plays a vital role in the success of my overall organization – everyone matters.  At FedEx, we have adopted a new program called Coach Forward, which focuses on enhancing work performance and motivation.

I have three guiding principles: Each day, recommit to doing your best and being your best; say: do ratio must be 1:1; and, step back so others can step up. These principles ensure success and a sense of accomplishment.

BLACK ENTERPRISE has appropriately named you as one of our Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. As such, what have been some of the challenges that you faced as a woman in your career journey? How have overcoming them shaped you as a business leader?

One of my biggest personal challenges has been maintaining confidence in the midst of setbacks. It has taught me to persevere and to trust my instincts in the face of doubt from others. Persistence and patience, I have learned, are necessary as one struggles to attain and maintain relevance in the organization.  Now, as a business leader, I am confident in my decisions. I learned to find my own voice and trust in my capabilities and experience.

Provide us with your views of the state of diversity in the tech industry? How can more African American women, in particular, make gains in reaching top leadership positions in the corporate sector?

Women and minorities have a presence in the technology industry, but continue to be underrepresented as leadership roles are dominated by white and Asian men. In 2017, women made up about 26 percent of the tech industry, and black women were just 3 percent of that overall number. Leading by example, then creating opportunities for black women is the strategy for increasing our representation. We need to inspire and engage.

Leaders such as Shirley Ann Jackson at FedEx, Linda Johnson Rice at Tesla, and Debra Lee at Twitter, exemplify the importance of representation and influence through corporate board oversight and governance. Innovators like Stephanie Lampkin, founder of Blendoor, and Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, are executing the grassroots approach. Stephanie founded Blendoor to help eliminate racial bias in hiring. She is also publishing a data-driven report, BlendScore, which will rate companies on diversity and inclusion.

Maya Angelou said it well, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  Inspiration and engagement will ignite change.

What advice do you give young professionals who aspire to achieve leadership positions in corporate America?

Be brave. Take some risk. Someone once told me never to take on a role that wasn’t fully established with a clear career path and accountabilities. I have done the exact opposite and it has served me well. We all have different paths to success. Find the path that suits you. Along the way, you’ll find people who will champion you and willingly help lift you up.

 

The post Gloria Boyland, One of The Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Drives Innovation At FedEx appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Most Powerful Women in Corporate America

A black woman may not be the image that comes to mind for most people when they hear corporate power—and it certainly won’t be the result of a Google search—but around here, we know better. Women of color are remaking the face of leadership teams and C-suites at corporations across the country and around the globe.

So we’re celebrating the fearless female executives who have managed both to stand firm in the face of hostile corporate environments and to take the bull by the metaphorical horns, powering their careers to the top.

The recent Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey and LeanIn showed that black women receive the least support of all women (and significantly less support than men) from their managers, with just 35% reporting that their managers create opportunities for them to showcase their work, promote their contributions to others, or socialize with them outside of work. 

So how have dozens of black women overcome these obstacles to make it to the top of the corporate ladder? By owning their power, of course.

“Take ownership for your own career,” says Tracey Travis, CFO of Estée Lauder.

“You have an opportunity of readying yourself and expressing an interest in those areas that the management team is looking at in terms of valued experience and trying to build relationships with the folks that run those areas to make yourself more known.”

The 136 women on the roster make up our largest ever list of the crème of the crop of the most powerful black women in corporate America. They have succeeded by leading with performance, deeply understanding their company culture, deftly navigating the corporate landscape, and—above all—wisely wielding their power to determine their own destiny.

 

CEOs

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Divisional CEOs

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Powerful Executives

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HOW WE CHOSE THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN CORPORATE AMERICA

 

Executives must meet the following criteria to make our roster:
  • Hold companywide and industrywide influence, each list member represents the highest-ranking executives among the following universes:
    • 1,000 largest publicly traded companies
    • 100 largest international companies with significant U.S. operations
    • S&P 500 companies
    • Largest privately held companies and institutions
    • Each executive has a direct impact on ensuring their corporations are market leaders and/or play a vital leadership role in revenue generation, profitability, market share, and strategic development. As such, they hold top-tier and executive officer positions of the entire enterprise; oversee major global, national, and regional subsidiaries and divisions; and maintain significant budget authority. Positions include those with oversight of operations, sales, marketing, talent, technological infrastructure, and product development.
  • Each executive reports directly to the CEO, COO, or the executive management team or hold positions on corporate board committees.
  • Top-tier executives who serve as corporate officers or members of the senior leadership team.
  • Women who hold C-suite positions including CEO (chief executive officer); COO (chief operating
    officer); CFO (chief financial officer); CAO (chief administrative officer); CIO/CTO (chief information
    officer/chief technology officer); or another top designation on the corporate leadership
    team, senior management group, executive committee, or corporate board. Those who hold the
    positions of Chief Compliance Officer; Chief Legal Officer and/or General Counsel and Chief Human
    Resource Officer are included. Other titles include president, general manager, executive vice
    president, or other such high-ranking positions. Using our research and reporting, BE may have
    also chosen executives based on their decision-making clout and influence within a given sector
  • All executives have held their positions as of Dec. 1, 2018.

Executives who have been excluded from our list:

  • Non-executive corporate directors—regardless of board position including chairman and lead director.
  • Executives who manage local and statewide divisions.
  • Executives who work for government agencies and entities under full government control.
  • Regardless of inclusion on the executive committee, leading executives with sole responsibility for staff functions such as corporate communications, corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, public policy, media relations, and community affairs.
  • Although vital to global business overall, CEOs and top executives from the BE 100s—the nation’s largest black businesses—were not included. (BE has separate rankings for the BE 100s.)

The post Most Powerful Women in Corporate America appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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John Legend Releases His First Single Of 2019 And It’s Powerful [VIDEO]

John Legend’s first release of 2019 takes us to church. In his powerful new single called “Preach,” he addresses what’s wrong with the society we live in today, his faith & wanting people to put action behind their words to make change.  

“I grew up in the church and one of the things we talked about was loving our neighbors as we love ourselves,” Legend said in a recent Instagram video promoting the new song. “My preacher told me that our neighbor wasn’t just the person that lives next door to you but other people whom you might not even know.”

[ione_media_gallery id=”560255″ overlay=”true”]

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Lil’ Wayne Co-Founded Sports Agency Brings on Powerful Black Female Sports Agent In Acquisition

Nicole Lynn is in a very unique position. She is the first black female sports agent to represent top NFL agency, PlayersRep. In 2017, PlayersRep was acquired by Young Money APAA Sports Agency owned by world-renowned rapper, Lil’ Wayne. In an industry very dominated by male agents and players alike, Black Enterprise caught up with Lynn to find out how she has managed to navigate the murky waters and make it to the top.

Black Enterprise: What is it like being a black female sports agent in a male-dominated industry?

Nicole Lynn: There are over 800 certified NFLPA agents with only about 5% being women. Only a handful of those women are black, so it goes without being said that being a black woman in this industry is extremely challenging. There are so many random issues I face that my male counterparts will never understand. For example, I have to be extremely cautious about the outfits I choose. I have to find the fine line between being presentable and looking nice, but not too nice. You never want to look like you’re trying to stand out more than any other wife or mom in the room. The last thing you want to do is make a wife feel uncomfortable. So I battle with choosing a lipstick that isn’t too bright, heels that aren’t too high and a dress that isn’t too “dressy.” And to make matters worse, being a black woman who likes to change her hair frequently, I have to think of how potential clients will take it. Can I be the girl with Beyoncé weave? Will they be OK with my 3C natural hair with a twist out? Male agents never have to think about half of the potential issues black female agents silently battle.

Despite all of this, I know that I cannot let these personal challenges hinder my performance. Confidence is key in this industry. I always tell potential clients, “I can do a lot for you—get you the best deal, market the crap out of you, and work hard for your family, but there is one thing I can’t do, and that is changing the fact that I am a black woman. If you can accept that, we can make magic happen together!” I pray that my work always speaks for itself and shows that I am equally as knowledgeable, negotiate just as aggressively, and possess the tools necessary to help clients propel their career.

How did you enter into the industry?

I’ve always wanted to be a sports agent, but I didn’t quite know the name of the role. I just knew I wanted to help athletes be successful during and beyond their time in the league. With that in mind, every decision I made was extremely calculated with the same endgame in mind. I got a degree in business and then moved to New York City to work on Wall Street. My initial intention of getting into finance was to help athletes manage and retain their wealth.

While working on Wall Street I learned that the most influential person in an athlete’s life is their agent, not necessarily their financial adviser. The agent helps the athlete with the day to day needs of the athlete and helps them back the big life decision. After I determined I wanted to be a sports agent, I immediately applied to law school. I went to law school knowing I would later sit for the NFLPA agent exam. I worked at the NFLPA in Washington, D.C. before starting as an agent so I could learn everything I could about life after football.

In 2015, after passing both the Texas Bar and NFLPA exam, I started calling around to different sports agencies. Almost none returned my calls. I finally got one to answer, Ken Sarnoff. He basically told me that being a sports agent is hard and that I should rethink my plans. He even challenged me to get him a meeting with a certain NFL prospect with little faith that I would actually succeed. If you know me, then you know that I don’t give up. I called Ken back a couple hours later like “hey he’s available tomorrow, you got an opening?” From that point on, Ken understood that I had what it took to be in this industry. He hired me a week later and I joined the top 10 sports agency PlayersRep.

Two years later, Young Money APAA Sports, owned by Lil Wayne, acquired PlayersRep and we’ve been in a whirlwind since. Like how crazy is it to have Lil Wayne as your boss?! Even I couldn’t have dreamt this up! Being a sports agent is hard, to say the very least. You invest a significant amount of time and resources only to get a lot more no’s than yeses.’ However, the feeling you get when you’re able to get your client on the team of their dreams or negotiate the endorsement deal of a lifetime, it is all worth it. I love my crazy job!

Lil Wayne

Nicole Lynn and NFL client (Image: Nicole Lynn)

What do you think that you bring to the table that your male counterparts do not?

I don’t want to take anything away from the men that work in this business. There are a lot of very good male sports agents that truly care about their clients. However, I think one of the differences between me and my male counterparts is that I focus on more than just the NFL contract. I tap into the human element and the emotional aspect of the relationship with my client. I am a sports agent, but also a life coach, a financial adviser, a travel agent, a therapist, a friend, a sister, and a keeper of peace for my clients. I wear a lot of hats. Many men in this business refuse to wear those hats. I also focus from day one on life after sports. I want to make sure that my client’s transition out of the league is seamless. From the moment I sign a client, I am already having hard conversations about what is next? What is their plan when playing football is over? And I help them in executing this plan by pushing them to finish their degree, to do externships in the offseason, and to retain their wealth. I truly care about the long-term future of my clients.

 

In Case You Missed It: 

 

 

The post Lil’ Wayne Co-Founded Sports Agency Brings on Powerful Black Female Sports Agent In Acquisition appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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How powerful is the president? Barr hearing to test fundamental question

Attorney general nominee William Barr’s Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday is expected to be a highly charged affair that’s sure to test his opinion of just how powerful a president — in this case, Donald Trump — is.


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2019 Movie Preview: ‘Pet Sematary’ Is a Dark and Powerful Take on Stephen King’s Classic Novel

2019 Movie Preview: 'Pet Sematary' Is a Dark and Powerful Take on Stephen King's Classic Novel

2019 sees multiple big-screen adaptations of Stephen King's most notable titles, IT: Chapter 2 and Pet Sematary. The first IT was a record-breaking hit back in 2017, and its sequel will no doubt make waves later in the year. First up, however, is Pet Sematary, a huge fan-favorite thanks to a freaky and wicked story that plays right into the intense emotional connection we have with our pets and our loved ones.

The first adaptation of King's 1983 novel followed a family who discover…

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Powerful winds pound Washington State

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The powerful impact of real-world learning experiences for kids

Real-world learning experiences, like summer camps, can significantly improve children’s knowledge in a matter of just days, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 4- to 9-year-old kids knew more about how animals are classified after a four-day camp at a zoo. It wasn’t that children who attended just knew more facts about animals, the researchers noted. The camp actually improved how they organized what they knew — a key component of learning.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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WATCH: World News 11/26/18: Powerful Storms Impacting Holiday Travels

General Motors announce major layoffs, plants shutdown; NASA’s InSight lander touches down on Mars
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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The MTV EMAs: From Camila Cabello’s Sweep To Janet Jackson’s Powerful Speech | PeopleTV

PeopleTV

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Generation Z Is Powerful as Hell, and Sabrina Spellman Is Here to Lead Them

WARNING: This articles contains spoilers for the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Proceed at your own risk, witches.

Greendale is a town that’s been lost in time. It’s late September at Baxter High School and walking the halls feels like drifting through a montage of different decades: Posters about the upcoming school dance cover the walls, loose pieces of homework float around with Tumblr domains scrawled in cursive, and ghost-like black and white portraits hang in the school library. Teenagers amble around, dressed like Grease extras in tailored button-downs and a-line dresses, their lips rouged and their shoes shined.


Jaz Sinclair as Rosalind Walker and Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman.

If Greendale — the idyllic small town where Netflix’s new series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, takes place — feels like someone handpicked the best parts of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and then meticulously pieced them all together, that’s exactly what it should feel like. Chilling Adventures is supposed to make you feel nostalgic — even if you’re not quite sure for what.

“We’re trying to pride ourselves very much on being timeless,” production designer Lisa Soper said during a September visit to the show’s set in Vancouver. “You see cell phones [but also] Victorian dresses.” Soper described the show’s aesthetic as “a layering of history” that gives every viewer “a chance to grab onto something they’re nostalgic for.” But for all the nostalgia Millennials and Gen Xers might feel watching the genre-bending show — it’s part teen drama, part horror — Sabrina Spellman and her magical crew clearly belong to a new wave of young viewers: Generation Z.

Generation Z Questions Everything

Poised between girlhood and adulthood, half-witch and half-mortal Sabrina Spellman (played by Kiernan Shipka) is refreshingly unwilling to compromise. No, she will not sign her namesake away to the Devil in exchange for immense magical powers on her 16th birthday — but she also won’t forfeit those powers entirely. Sabrina refuses to conform to any easy definition, despite immense pressure from the female adults she loves and trusts — her two witch aunts, Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto), and her deceptive mentor Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) — and the male authority figures she refuses to follow — High Priest of the Church of Night and headmaster of her magical school, Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), and the head of her mortal school, Principal Hawthorne (Bronson Pinchot).

During the 10-episode first season of Chilling Adventures, Sabrina often marches around the sprawling, cozy-creepy Spellman home that doubles as a mortuary, announcing that there’s some kind of supernatural problem plaguing Greendale. On one such occasion, Zelda croaks back, “Mephistopheles, save us from the melodramatics of a teenage witch.” She’s not wrong: Sabrina’s conviction, stubbornness, and flair for the dramatic are emblematic of most teenagers wielding the confidence of youth. But Sabrina’s also grounded, logical, and uncommonly objective — and those qualities are especially emblematic of Generation Z.


The Weird Sisters: Adeline Rudolph as Agatha, Abigal Cowen as Dorcas, and Tati Gabrielle as Prudence.

“It’s so important, it’s so important, to ask questions all the time,” Shipka, who’s 18 years old and a member of Gen Z herself, said during the set visit. “I think that it’s really cool to see a character that is truly questioning these beliefs, and especially for younger people to see that.” Though she wouldn’t call her on-screen persona a role model, Shipka does want her peers to absorb Sabrina’s overall message. “I’m very excited that some 13-year-old girls are going to be watching this show and have [Sabrina] as a character to think about, or [to] be for Halloween. She’s a really strong, smart, educated girl and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of a show that has very clear intentions [on] that front.”

You Can’t Scare These Kids With Fake Blood

Like every generation that was once the youngest, Generation Z is a fascinating mystery to everyone who’s older than them. We know all too well that Millennials ruin everything and Gen Xers only care about themselves, but what about Gen Z? Do they really eat Tide Pods? What’s the deal with Zendaya and Mechee? Why don’t they understand the subtle art of burning CDs?

Cultural questions aside, the cut-off for Millennial birthdays is 1997, making the oldest members of Generation Z around age 21. By 2020, they’ll comprise 2.56 billion members of the population and 40% of all consumers. They have the potential to become major players in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, as well as the 2020 elections. In short, they’re immensely powerful. But, like Sabrina, they’re still learning how they want to use that power; they’re not sure if they want to summon Hellfire just yet.


Miranda Otto as Zelda Spellman.

Chilling Adventures is a sister show to the CW’s Riverdale. Greendale is just a boat ride across Sweetwater River away from Riverdale. and they share a creator in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. With both shows, Aguirre-Sacasa is pushing the envelope with teen content — characters in Riverdale use sex as an emotional coping mechanism (back in 2001, it took Pacey and Joey four seasons to do the deed on Dawson’s Creek), while Chilling Adventures is more horror show than teen drama, full of blood magic and devilry and heart-eating (we had to wait three seasons for Angel to finally suck on Buffy’s neck in 1999, and even then we only saw tiny trickles of blood). But TV alone can’t push a generation to maturity. Aguirre-Sacasa is simply answering the new demands of a generation forced to grow up too fast.

In Chilling Adventures, the adults are just as flawed and complex as the teens — they’re too busy murdering (and resurrecting) each other, engaging in religious BDSM, and stealing babies to keep tabs on the teens. More often than not, Sabrina and her friends help themselves. When no one will punish the Baxter High jocks for bullying, Sabrina and the three Weird Sisters (Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, and Abigail Cowen) cast a spell to blackmail them with incriminating photos; when Principal Hawthorne bans books, Sabrina and her best friend Rosalind Walker (Jaz Sinclair) form WICCA (Women’s Intersectional Creative and Cultural Association). Gen Z has shown similarly fierce independence.

Reared on screens and nursery rhymes about how to survive when someone walks into your school with a gun, this new generation doesn’t just hang out on MySpace and tweak the emo lyrics in their AIM away messages. They’ve used social media to educate themselves on issues and hold political leaders accountable. They’ve called out authority figures that people twice (and thrice) their age fear. They’ve spearheaded national protests.


Michelle Gomez as Miss Wardwell.

And we shouldn’t be surprised. Gen Z grew up surrounded by books and major movie franchises about looming dystopia and teens leading political revolution; even John Green’s wildly popular non-dystopian young adult fare centers around teen death (The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska) and abandonment (Paper Towns). Much like Sabrina gleefully watching a zombie movie while everyone around her shields their eyes from the horror, it’s really hard to scare these kids. They’ve been unblinkingly watching the horror play out on every available platform their whole lives.

The New Generation Won’t Let Anyone Define Them

Older members of the Chilling Adventures cast agree that their younger castmates are different than they were at a similar age. Gomez said that Shipka has taught her “how to behave professionally.” She laughed, “At 18, I was dumb as hell. And they’re really together, these kids.” Davis echoed the sentiment, saying, “I was never that at 16; I was never that brave [or] outspoken, and Kiernan [Shipka] is that. She shows a very different generation nowadays. When I am around the young ones on the show, they teach me so much. I love being around them, their energy and their light that they bring with them; it’s wonderful to bask in.”

The new generation is also ushering in social change. Chilling Adventures includes storylines about intersectional feminism, toxic masculinity, workplace harassment, living with a disability, and, most centrally, gender identity. Sabrina’s warlock cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) identifies as pansexual and is attracted to both men and women in the show, and her best friend Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson) spends the season beginning what Watson describes as a “queer journey.”

“These new narratives [aren’t] necessarily spoken of or given light,” 22-year-oldPerdomo said about the show’s gender representation. “It’s kind of about time. We’ve seen the heroic white male story perpetuated throughout Hollywood since time immemorial. So now to have a pansexual person of color played with depth and as a multi-faceted individual is not only artistically satisfying, it’s gratifying to be able to showcase that. [Ambrose is] a human being that’s more representative of the world we live in.”

That representation is both a refreshing step toward more inclusive gender representation on TV and a logical narrative to include for the show’s key demographic: Studies show that 38% of Gen Zers don’t believe that gender defines a person, and 56% of 13-20 year-olds know someone who uses gender neutral pronouns.


Lachlan Watson as Susie Putnam.

Watson, clear-eyed and eloquent, has been through a queer journey similar to Susie’s and prefers male pronouns — and talking about gender is his favorite thing to do. “There were a lot of points in my life where I thought I knew who I was, but I didn’t,” the 17-year-old explained. “I knew who I thought I was supposed to be; I knew how I thought I was supposed to identify and how I was supposed to act and how I was supposed to dress. I was who I was for other people, and that’s never gonna be fulfilling.”

That refusal to meet past cultural expectations is a common theme among the young cast members. Tati Gabrielle — who’s 22 years old and plays Prudence, Sabrina’s frenemy and leader of the Weird Sisters — said, “I think [the show] can appeal to my generation in terms of figuring out who you are and going to the limits.” She also hopes Chilling Adventures can teach her generation, especially young women, “to believe in something and to stand strong by your beliefs. We can take a stand despite the pressures the world puts on us; we can, at any point, step out of that and defy the laws of social interaction, or defy the place we’re supposed to fit into.”

Gen Z is Growing Up and Growing More Powerful

If the first season of Chilling Adventures is a story about a young girl embracing her power and crossing the threshold into adulthood, the (unconfirmed but inevitable) second season will be about how she decides to use it. In the season finale, Miss Wardwell pushes her young pupil to embrace her prospective greatness: “Own your power. Don’t accept it from the Dark Lord. Take it, wield it.”

In person, Gomez takes a more measured approach about the moment when Sabrina finally signs her name away to Satan and receives her dark magic (and witchy platinum blonde hair). “It’s a girl in the last moments of her childhood as she becomes an adult,” Gomez said, “and what happens to all of us in those last moments when you cross that threshold into young adulthood — and the responsibilities that come with being that.”

It’s too perfect a parallel, too broad a sweep to say that Sabrina’s singular potential to power change mirrors that of an entire generation. But when the real-life equivalent of the Greendale Thirteen — ghosts of old political grudges, dangerous relics of times passed, specters of an outdated belief system — threaten the people they love and the values they hold, you can bet that Generation Z will follow Sabrina across the threshold and sign away their childhood comforts in exchange for power. That day is coming, and you can expect Hellfire.



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