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first_imgOn Monday evening, Saint Mary’s alumnae Liz Palmer ‘13, Malea Schulte ’14 and co-travelers Jonathan and Tameka Bell shared the lessons they learned from spending two weeks in Rwanda this past summer in a presentation titled “Project Rwanda: A Journey in Solidarity.” Caitlyn Jordan Saint Mary’s alumna Malea Schulte ’14 delivers presentation Monday evening on her experience in Rwanda working with both victims and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.In the Rwandans they met, Palmer and Schulte saw strength and faith resonating in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, Palmer said.In 1994, over one million Tutsi Rwandans were killed in a 100-day period. During this genocide, one out of every 10 Tutsi Rwandans were killed, Palmer said.“In recognition of 20 years post-genocide, Malea and I were driven by Saint Mary’s core values of faith and spirituality, community learning and justice to embark on this mission of solidarity … simply to hear the stories of the people,” Palmer said. “We were looking to highlight our shared humanity and weave into the fabric of our culture that every single life matters.”The project began as part two of Malea’s senior composition titled “Storybank,” which included 26 portraits depicting a cross section of the Saint Mary’s community, Schulte said.“One of the participants was a woman from Rwanda whose story inspired me to journey to her home country with the goal of learning through listening and sharing through art,” Schulte said.Before journeying to Rwanda, Schulte and Palmer partnered with People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO), an international, faith-based, non-governmental organization committed to stimulating communal growth through organization, Schulte said.“Together we formed a delegation of 20 people, and it included Catholic priests, Lutheran priests, writers, storytellers, professors and artists,” Schulte said.Two members of the delegation were Jonathan Bell, a senior communications advisor to PICO-Rwanda, and Tameka Bell, a story and communications trainer for PICO’s international network, Schulte said.With pictures taken by Jonathan Bell hanging in the gallery, Tameka Bell shared her experience during the presentation. In Rwanda, she witnessed community building in numerous lives, including when a woman died while giving birth during a long walk to the nearest hospital, she said. A few days after the woman’s death, a much-needed clinic and road was finally completed as a result of community organizing.“When one person tells a story to another person, they can change the world,” Tameka Bell said. “That’s really at the center of community organizing.”A meeting with the vice president of Rwanda’s senate inspired the group to share the story of their time in Rwanda with others, Tameka Bell said.“He said to us, ‘When you go back to the United States, would you tell them who we really are? Ask them not to judge us by the worst day of our life. Ask them to see the whole person, the whole community — the joy and the sorrow and the laughter and the innocence — who we really are,’” Tameka Bell said.Rwandans have worked for reconciliation and forgiveness in the aftermath of the genocide, Schulte said. The Gacaca courts facilitated healing by allowing perpetrators a chance to confess and ask for forgiveness, she said.“We witnessed victims and perpetrators working together in harmony,” Schulte said. “We visited a women’s vegetable cooperative where perpetrators and victims were working together to support themselves. … It was very clear they worked with a sense of pride and towards the common good.”In interacting with Rwandans, Palmer and Schulte initiated conversation with the question, “How do you want to be remembered?” The variety of answers to that question, such as ‘I pray,’ was life changing, Palmer said.During their time in Rwanda, Schulte and Palmer lived by the saying ‘We don’t wait for road to be built; we build them ourselves,’ a quote adopted from Pastor John, a friend made in Rwanda, Palmer said. Both learned about the world and themselves and how to grasp every moment of life.“Time is money, and we don’t know how much time we do have, and that’s one thing the Rwandans definitely made clear,” Palmer said. “And yet they live every day to the fullest. I think life is a series of single moments, and we need to grasp that.”Sophomore Lauren Zyber said she thought the presentation was incredible, and she was moved when an audio of Schulte and several other Rwandans spontaneously singing Amazing Grace was played.“I thought it was amazing to see how much this experience had impacted them and the stories that they told,” Zyber said. “… The power of stories is incredible to me.”Tags: jonathan bell, liz palmer, malea schulte, PICO, project rwanda: a journey in solidarity, Rwanda, rwanda project, Rwandan Genocide, storybank, tameka belllast_img read more


first_imgJacksonville officials say they are not giving up and it is “absolutely a rescue mission,” as the search for two missing firefighters continues Tuesday.Brian McCluney, a Jacksonville, Fla., firefighter, and Justin Walker, a member of the Fairfax, Va., fire department, were last seen on Friday launching a 22-foot fishing boat at Port Canaveral, near the Kennedy Space Center, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Sunday.Since Friday, search crews have covered more than 24,000 miles by boats and planes with more than 130 volunteers.As of now, more than 130 volunteers have joined the search.A tackle bag found Monday is the only sign of them that has surfaced since they disappeared.BREAKING: Missing firefighter’s tackle bag found 50 miles off St Augustine coast “I wholeheartedly believe this is a breadcrumb they threw overboard to say we are here” Hear from friends and family at 5/6 @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/u13yKODLyF— Jamarlo Phillips (@JamarloANjax) August 19, 2019 The wife of one of the men says the clue was left behind deliberately sparking hope that the pair are alive and will return home safely.Click here for live updates.last_img read more


first_imgHouse Democrats will unveil two articles of impeachment against President Trump today.At a press conference in the morning, Democratic leaders in the House will announce articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the President. At a Wall Street Journal event last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked if she thought she had the votes to approve the articles.She says she hasn’t counted the votes and in fact she will hold an up or down vote so that Democrat House members don’t have to go on the record with their impeachment vote. Therefore, their constituents back home, especially in districts that Trump won, won’t know how their lawmaker voted.Democrats accuse the President of abusing his office asking Ukraine to look into how Joe Biden’s son Hunter got on the board of a Ukraine energy company under investigation for corruption. In a second impeachment hearing Monday, Nadler called Trump’s actions “clearly impeachable” and said he put his private interests ahead of the country’s well-being.last_img read more


first_imgCourtesy of our partners at WPTV:FHP was in pursuit of a black SUV heading towards two security checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago around 11:40 a.m. when it breached both security checkpoints heading towards the main entrance, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.Officials discharged their firearms at the vehicle, PBSO said.The vehicle continued while being pursued by the Florida Highway Patrol and a PBSO helicopter.The vehicle has been located and two people are currently in custody, officials said.President Trump is not in town. He is scheduled to arrive Friday evening.This is a breaking story and will be updated.More information from WPTV here.last_img


first_imgBillionaire Mike Bloomberg is the primary winner in Dixville Notch, one of three tiny New Hampshire towns that vote at midnight. The former New York mayor isn’t even on the ballot in New Hampshire but won by getting three of the five residents’ write-in votes, two from Democrats and one from a Republican. One of the voters told new reporters that he voted for Bloomberg because the candidate called him up and asked for his support.But new audio of Bloomberg is making the rounds on social media. The two other Dixville Notch votes went to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.last_img


first_imgTwo Florida women who were victims of sex trafficking are suing nearly two dozen hotels where they were forced to have sex.They claim the businesses did not try to stop the illegal activity. The lawsuit states that the women wandered the Naples-area hotel hallways while under the influence of drugs and wearing little clothing in 2015 and early 2016.Sex trafficking allegedly occurred at 22 Collier County hotels and motels, say Naples lawyers Yale Freeman and Sharon Hanlon, who are suing the businesses.The lawsuit, which was filed at the end of 2019 in state court in southwest Florida, seeks $100 million in damages.Owners of the hotels deny seeing any suspicious behavior, and one owner referred to the lawsuit as “a legal scam.”“We didn’t see any suspicious activity. If we do see it, we always call,” said Yogeshkumar Patel, owner of the Glades Motel on U.S. 41 East. “We’re always here. We watch everybody. We don’t allow in-and-out people. We don’t allow unregistered people to stay.”Freeman, who began investigating the case three years ago, says it is clear that staff witnessed the conditions of the hotel rooms and saw the women, who he claims were forced to provide sex to up to 20 men a day.He and Hanlon say they delayed filing the lawsuit until last year’s resolution of a criminal case that ended with the convictions of two men, 62-year-old Keith “Big Mike” Lewis 38-year-old and Gregory “Bowlegzz” Hines on trafficking and prostitution charges. The lawsuit states the men gave the women drugs to perform sex acts for clients.Under a new state law, hotel, motel and massage parlor owners are required to train their employees to detect and report human trafficking.Florida ranks third in the nation in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, according to the Florida Attorney General’s office.last_img read more


first_imgPresident Donald Trump is expected to attend the Daytona 500 on Sunday. The White House is yet to confirm, but the Daytona Beach International Airport said additional security measures would be in place at the airport due to the president’s visit Sunday.The U.S. Secret Service also sent out a tweet that they are securing Daytona International Speedway by providing a 30-mile “no drone zone.”last_img


first_imgThe massive cloud of Saharan Dust that blanketed the Caribbean earlier this week has mostly moved past South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.NASA’s computer forecast model shows that the dust cloud will be over the western and northern Gulf coast on Friday.Luckily for us here in South Florida, the flow around a high-pressure system in the Atlantic has been spreading most of the dust in a loop, so it misses us.Another big batch of dust is on our doorstep, forecast to arrive over the eastern Caribbean islands on Thursday and to continue west. Over the next week or two, that dust will generally spread out over the entire Gulf and Caribbean region, including South Florida.That means no area will have to deal with a dense concentration, although we will have milky skies and extra-colorful sunsets.A positive angle of the Saharan Dust spreading across the tropical Atlantic is that it helps keeps tropical development under control.No systems of concern are expected to develop through the middle of next week or even longer.last_img read more


first_imgFacebook42Tweet0Pin0 A Stardust Christmas Blizzard runs at The State Theater in Downtown Olympia until December 31, 2013. Reserve your tickets by calling the box office at 360.786.0151 or online here. Submitted by Reesa Nelson for Harlequin ProductionsThe Stardust Christmas Blizzard is Harlequin Productions 18th Stardust Production.The holidays are always a magical time of year. And for many of those years, Harlequin has shared a multitude of sparkly toe-tapping Stardust productions with the community. Many thousands of regional theater goers have enjoyed the hits-filled jumping, jiving, and caroling as Stardust traveled through the 1940s. Now, after a brief break from the tradition last year, we are happy to visit times gone by in Christmas 1957 with the Stardust Gang. This year’s production, A Stardust Christmas Blizzard, marks playwright Harlowe Reed’s eighteenth production of the Stardust series. The playwright has graciously granted an interview so we could glean more insights into this vibrant delight.What inspired the leap in setting from the 1940s to 1957?HR: We spent seventeen years in the 1940s and covered over 200 songs from the period. I was ready to move forward in time. The 1950s may have a little more resonance with today’s audience owing to shifting demographics. In addition, the variety of material available broadens as you move forward in time.Do you have any personal attachment to this era?HR: I’m a social history buff and all eras have their fascinations. Mid 20th century America is an amazing time. We were a very young country that had come into a newly elevated position of power and wealth after WWII. Our culture was blasting off along with the accelerated economy.What is your process for writing a musical like this?HR: Rounding up the best cast possible and then writing characters that align with them. There has to be a kernel of story to get it going, but once I begin to let them tell their own stories on paper it rolls out from there. The music will usually be selected from the hits of the decade and be placed in the show to fit characters and situations.Where does your inspiration come from?HR: Actually while I’m in the midst of working on the current show, the idea for the following holiday may spring up. That’s often been the case. This year was different because I didn’t really know what would evolve until this summer. I knew there would be a blizzard but I didn’t know how it would turn out.How do you decide which musical numbers to include in the show?HR: We start with a list of perhaps a hundred songs that were hits and emblematic of the style of popular music during the era and narrow it down to 24 or 26 numbers. This process has to do with the vocal ranges of the cast and how many solos, group numbers and duets are to be included in the show. Emotional resonance with a number is a big influence as well.What is one of the ways you’ve infused the essence of the 50s into this show?HR: Some of the skits and introductions are framed up on several TV personalities like Ed Sullivan, Lawrence Welk, and Perry Como. One snippet is an Elvis Presley impression and a number of the songs in the show were, of course, made famous by iconic rock’n’roll stars.The Stardust Christmas Blizzard is set in 1957, a departure from the previous productions in the 1940s.Why is early rock’n’roll music still popular today?HR: I think it’s still popular because it is emblematic of freedom and individualism and these are dearly held values. When you look at the entire arc of pop culture as a mass-produced and multi-media experience, it’s not really that old. American popular music went overseas in WWII with the big band recordings and they changed the world. Rock’n’roll evolved out of that uniquely American form. But it wasn’t Big Band, it was small band and big personality. There is also an innocence in early rock’n’roll that would be almost completely obliterated by the mid-70s. That sincerity still has its charms.What is your favorite part about writing these wonderful musicals?HR: Having a great cast and seeing and hearing the show come to life. There is always an adventure to be had in inventing something new! The very best part for all of us is having happy audiences and feeling that we’ve contributed to and been an enjoyable part of their holiday!last_img read more


first_imgRED BANK – Red Bank Catholic’s softball team had one of its better hitting performances in its 15-3 rout of Jackson Memorial in a first round Shore Conference Tournament game Saturday.RBC scored in four of the five innings in the game, which was halted in the fifth inning by the Mercy Rule after Brianna Hagan cracked a three-run homer over the left field fence to give RBC a 12 run lead.“As long as we keep playing the way we have recently, we’ll be okay,” said RBC coach Tony Flego. “Since this is a tournament game, it will be down and out if we lose.“We still have a lot to prove,” said Flego. “We had the bats in this game but, to remain successful, our pitching has to be good and our defense must be tight, which we did today.”Taylor Lane, Tess Griswold and winning pitcher Gabby Bram had the big hits in the game.Lane, batting lead-off, collected a single, double and scored four runs while Griswold batted in three runs with a double and two singles. Bram won her ninth game of the year and added a two-run double.The big innings for RBC were the fourth and fifth when it combined for 11 runs.Bram and Griswold both had two-run doubles in the fourth inning when the Caseys scored six runs and sent 10 players to the plate.Allison Savino and Griswold both had RBI hits in the fifth inning before Hagan, as a pinch-hitter, homered to bring an end to the game.“It’s nice to win because it is coming down to the last few games,” said Bram, one of only two seniors on the team. “Now we have to keep winning.”“Our team has come to play every day,” said Flego. “We’re very young with Bram and Brynne Baumann the only seniors. We also have two freshman starters. The rest are juniors and sophomores.”RBC will play Pinelands Friday in a conference quarter-final game.last_img read more