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AWARENOW

JUNE 2020 ISSUE 05

AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL MAGAZINE FOR CAUSES

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

DR. JASON CAMPBELL

OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR UNITY

PRIDE FEATURE

CALY BEVIER

A MESSAGE WITH MUSIC

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

NFL’S RG3 & GRETE GRIFFIN ‘MATTER IS THE MINIMUM’

THE UNITY EDITION AT T H E F R O N T L I N E F O R B L A C K L I V E S M AT T E R , T H E L G B T Q C O M M U N I T Y & C O V I D - 1 9


On and on you will hike, and I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

Excerpt from ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’ Dr. Seuss

@AWARENESSTIES


‘LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN’ WRITTEN BY: LANGSTON HUGHES, NARRATED BY: ALLIÉ McGUIRE

THE UNITY EDITION

AwareNow is a monthly publication produced by Awareness Ties™ in partnership with Issuu™. Awareness Ties as the ‘Official Symbol of Support for Causes’, is changing the way causes are supported with a tie that raises both awareness and funds. We raise awareness with national campaigns and funds with local events and online fundraisers.

@madelinesmodelling_

06 ‘ANOTHER BLACK MAN’ DR. JASON CAMPBELL

12 HUMAN FAMILY MAYA ANGELOU

13 I, TOO LANGSTON HUGHES

14 ‘MATTER’ IS THE MINIMUM RGIII (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

24 FLOYD & WHAT FOLLOWS DESMOND CLARK

26 PRIDE MONTH 2020 CARRIE MAGNESS RADNA 3

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION

27 A QUEERIFICATION REGIE CABICO

28 UNAPOLOGETIC CALY BEVIER (PRIDE FEATURE)

33 THE TREVOR PROJECT ROB TODARO

38 THIS TIME MONISH VASA

44 FACES OF THE FRONTLINE VIBHU KRISHNA

48 STAY VIGILANT DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR

50 RAISING YOUTH LEADERS ALEXANDER TAYLOR

54 MEET THE AMBASSADORS AN OFFICIAL NTRODUCTION

39 WISH ERIKA FINE

40 A PERFECT PANDEMIC SHELLY TYGIELSKI @AWARENESSTIES


Awareness ties us all together. We begin here. JACK & ALLIÈ McGUIRE FOUNDERS @ AWARENESS TIES 4

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION

@AWARENESSTIES


At the heart of it all is awareness. In ‘The Unity Edition’, this is where we begin - awareness. Before we can take actions for change, we must be aware of the change that is needed. We must understand the problem before we attempt to solve it. Let’s begin with ‘systemic racism’. Systemic racism affects every area of life in the US. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here's a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.

Because systemic problems require systemic solutions, let’s create a system of raising necessary awareness followed by taking required action. Let’s do this together… in unity. Sincerely,

Jack & Allié McGuire Jack & Allié McGuire

Founders of Awareness Ties 5

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION

@AWARENESSTIES


ME NT OU NC E AN N IA L SP EC

Be who you once needed. DR. JASON CAMPBELL PHYSICIAN, SPEAKER, DIVERSITY ADVOCATE AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR UNITY AWARENESS 6

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


ANOTHER BLACK MAN A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE ON GROWING UP A BLACK MAN IN AMERICA

Published by the Seattle Times, this article by Dr. Jason Campbell entitled ‘Growing up a Black man in America: Why our souls are on fire' is one of many pieces he’s written that offer a personal and powerful perspective so needed in these days and times. With his eloquence and enthusiasm for inspiring others to be the best versions of themselves, he leads by example as a physician, an author, a speaker and now as the Awareness Ties Official Ambassador for Unity. We’re inspired…
 I was 7 years old when my mother yelled at me, “Stop. Listen. Stop. If you don’t start listening to me, then you’re going to get yourself killed one day. Because the cops will only say stop once.” Like many young boys of color, the only thought I had in that moment was for my mother to release me from her tight grip and allow me to continue on my way. Many years later, many shootings later and many deaths later related to police brutality, America is at a tipping point. The souls of men of color are on fire much like the buildings and streets of America. America’s truest colors are showing, and it is a frightening sight. In 2016, I sat in one of the largest football stadiums in the country. As the national anthem began playing, Colin Kaepernick was mocked for kneeling peacefully against police brutality only moments before the same men applauded the Black athletes whom Kaepernick symbolized. Yet another example of how being a Black man in America can feel as though our actions are continually viewed as incorrect. Protest peacefully? Wrong. Protest with violence? Wrong. On the athletic field, we are viewed as equals, but in society this bar of equality has been fractured and, some might argue, destroyed.

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AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


When and how does inaction change to action and listening result in transformation? I sit with the rage of my Black community, and I march with the nonviolent protesters. I write with no distinct answer, but there exists a perpetual myth that halts the conversation of progress: Only certain Black men become the result of such police brutality. I assure you that what has occurred with George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery can happen to me or any male with my skin complexion. Understand, we as Black men are not given the benefit of the doubt. When I leave my home, I do not walk around with a sign that reads, “Dr. Campbell, former student-athlete at Emory University, Graduate & Former President of The Ohio State University College of Medicine student body, M.D., M.S.” I am just another Black man. In 2011 — as a recent graduate of Emory University and AmeriCorps member — I had just dropped my girlfriend off at her home in northeast Washington, D.C. I was driving my mother’s Lexus sedan when I fell asleep at a red light — exhausted from a 60-hour week of service. Five seconds later, I awoke. I lightly pressed my foot on the gas pedal and began advancing through the red light a moment before it turned green. As I recognized my error so too did the police officer in his car. Understandably, he pulled me over. It is what happened next that puzzled me. An Asian-American officer approached me. I was wearing a Ralph Lauren jacket, button-downed collared shirt and slacks. I provided him my ID and registration. He ran the plates. I explained it was my mother’s car, and then he asked, “Do you have any weapons in the car?” “No,” I responded, calmly. “Mind if I check?,” he asked. “Not at all,” I said as I stepped out of the vehicle. He dropped to one knee and looked under the car seat while reaching his arm as far as he could. He then stood up, handed me my ID back and wished me a good night. In reading this there will most certainly be a level of anger toward either my willingness or my inaction of combating his prejudice at the moment. However, a compliant voice then now allows for a provocative pen. I was alone, on a dark street in the middle of the night. It was the police officer and me. I was just another Black man. The concept of anti-racism has newly emerged through the weeds of complacency. This concept is the only way to move forward as a non-Black ally. The moving walkway of discrimination, prejudice and bigotry favors the racist and standing still places one in this jurisdiction of hatred. To antagonize their message, one must walk by actively fighting, disrupting and dispelling their racist tones — both overt and subtle. In the book “The Fire Next Time,” James Baldwin wrote, “You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being …” When one watches the video of George Floyd on the ground with another man’s knee pressed into his neck, it is nearly impossible for these words not to haunt one with a distinct level of truth and accuracy. Irrelevant of profession or walk of life, we deserve an America that gives us the benefit of the doubt or at least an America that allows us to breathe.

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AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


It doesn’t have to be jewelry around our necks. It can be stethoscopes. It can be both. It’s our narrative. Let’s change it. DR. JASON CAMPBELL PHYSICIAN, SPEAKER, DIVERSITY ADVOCATE AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR UNITY AWARENESS 9

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


In life, there are those who believe your path is predetermined. They’re wrong. If you can study football film, you can study cellular biology. If you can understand the Xs and Os of a basketball game, you can understand the periodic table. If you have the work ethic to be a star track & field athlete, you can use that same work ethic in the classroom to rewrite the path that has been written for you. 1. Studying overcomes barriers. 2. Studying creates opportunities. 3. Studying allows dreams to become more the mere thoughts. - Dr. Jason Campbell @drjcofthedc

‘HONORING FRONTLINERS: THE TIKTOK DOC’ A MESSAGE OF THANKS TO DR. JASON CAMPBELL FROM THE NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION

10 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


In life, there are those who believe your path is predetermined. They’re wrong. DR. JASON CAMPBELL PHYSICIAN, SPEAKER, DIVERSITY ADVOCATE AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR UNITY AWARENESS 11

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / JASON CAMPBELL

@DRJCOFTHEDC


HUMAN FAMILY By MAYA ANGELOU

I note the obvious differences In the human family. Some of us are serious, Some thrive on comedy. Some declare their lives are lived As true profundity, And others claim they really live The real reality. The variety of our skin tones Can confuse, bemuse, delight, Brown and pink and beige and purple, Tan and blue and white. I've sailed upon the seven seas And stopped in every land, I've seen the wonders of the world Not yet one common man. I know ten thousand women Called Jane and Mary Jane, But I've not seen any two Who really were the same. Mirror twins are different Although their features jibe, And lovers think quite different thoughts While lying side by side. We love and lose in China, We weep on England's moors, And laugh and moan in Guinea, And thrive on Spanish shores. We seek success in Finland, Are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, In major we're the same. I note the obvious differences Between each sort and type,

But we are more alike, my friends, Than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, Than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, Than we are unalike.


I, TOO By LANGSTON HUGHES I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then. Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed— I, too, am America.


ER VI EW NT IV EI US CL EX

America was founded on liberty and justice for all, not liberty and justice for some. ROBERT GRIFFIN III NFL QUARTERBACK & PHILANTHROPIST

PHOTO CREDIT: @ALBERTMIK3

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@RGIII


‘MATTER’ IS THE MINIMUM A STATEMENT ABOUT CHANGE, A CONVERSATION ABOUT RACISM

Robert Lee Griffin III, nicknamed RG3 or RGIII, is an NFL quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens He played college football at Baylor, where he won the 2011 Heisman Trophy. Today, he speaks out looking for a bigger win - equality. Listen. Don’t just hear, but really listen to the words in the video below as Robert speaks out for change: America was founded on Liberty and Justice for all. Not liberty and justice for some.
 For far too long, we have turned a blind eye to racism, discrimination and the mistreatment of people of color in this country while we send troops around the world every day to help other countries eliminate those same issues. The protests are a reflection of the hurt and anger of the American people who’s cries have not been heard. The beauty in it all is the protests grow in number and strength when the unaffected are just as outraged as the affected. So there lies the question… Are you affected? You? Your friend? Your family? Your co-worker? Your teammate? Your hero? Your favorite player? Your conscience?

‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ ROBERT GRIFFIN III SPEAKS OUT FOR CHANGE

15 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ROBERT GRIFFIN III

@RGIII


We can no longer say we care about the equal treatment of all people no matter the race but turn a blind eye to the injustices happening right in front of our faces. More and more people are realizing that you don’t have to personally experience injustice, discrimination or racism to know it when you see it. In some way or another, we are all affected by the social injustices and systemic racism that people of color have been experiencing for hundreds of years. Have you been listening when the stories are told? Or have you just decided it doesn’t change your day to day life so you ignore it? Why do you stand up for us on Game-day but not when we are mistreated in society? Why do you support us when we wear a jersey but not when our communities are brutalized? We are more than Athletes. We are people. Just like you. Is it right, that because I’m black when I step out the door I will experience racism, discrimination and profiling? Is it right that because I’m black when I step out the door I may not make it back to my family because of a routine traffic stop? Is it right that because I’m a black man when I step out the door I am immediately perceived as a danger to society? A thug? A threat? Is it right that because I’m a black man when I step out the door I may not make it back to my family because I went for a run? Is it right that because I’m black my resume is more likely to be rejected because of how my name is spelled? Is it right that because I’m black my life doesn’t matter? It’s not right. PHOTO CREDIT: @ALBERTMIK3

16 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ROBERT GRIFFIN III

@RGIII


Would you be outraged if your friend, colleague, family member, favorite player or hero was killed unjustly by those who are ordered to protect and serve? You probably would. Well everyone is a friend, family member, colleague, favorite person or hero to someone. The change that is coming isn’t about one murder or three. It’s about generations worth of pain pouring out all at once and we need you to face it with us and fix it with us. It’s not enough to be not racist. We need you to be Anti-Racism. We need you to check your friends, family, colleagues, and check yourself. We need you to speak up when you Hear or see something that’s not right. We need you to be an educated Voter and put pressure on The officials in office to make the necessary changes to protect the black community from unjust violence, discrimination and systemic racism. It’s not people who look like me who will help drive home this change. It’s people who look like my wife that will. It’s time for America to be what it was meant to be and has never been. The land of the free. Where people are treated equally. With Liberty and Justice for all. The time for change is now. It’s time as a Nation for us to practice what we preach. Its time to talk the talk and walk the walk.

Black lives matter. But ‘matter’ is the minimum. Black lives are beloved. Black lives are worthy. Black lives are needed. Black lives matter. A New York Police Officer recently held a press conference to express his frustrations with how cops have been treated over the past few weeks. He said, "Everybody is trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our profession. Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect. That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting. Our legislators abandoned us. Our press is vilifying us. I’m proud to be a cop and I’m gonna continue to be proud to be a cop until the day I retire. And that’s all I have to say.” This is only after a few weeks of what black people have experienced for hundreds of years. To that we say, “For generations our country has been trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our Culture. Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect.That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting. Our legislators abandoned us. Our press is vilifying us. Were proud to be black, and we’re gonna continue to be proud to be black until the day we die. And that’s all we have to say. - Robert Griffin III

17 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ROBERT GRIFFIN III

@RGIII


Jack and Allié had the pleasure of having a conversation with Robert and his wife, Grete, about the story he shared. They then shared more stories about racism - needed conversation about the effects of racism both personally and professionally. Jack: How did this video of you speaking out come about? Robert: The Baltimore Ravens wanted to put out a video because we had a team meeting and coach had opened up the floor for the players to talk. Just so you know that doesn’t usually happen in the NFL. It’s usually his meeting; he does whatever he wants with it. Because of everything that was going on in America, he wanted to open the floor and he wanted to open it up to African American players to kind of voice their grievances a little bit. He had called on a couple guys to start off the meeting, and I happen to be one of those guys. Really, my call to action from my teammates was for my white teammates to speak up for the minority. That’s important, and I said it in that video. It’s not people who look like me that are gonna drive the change. It's the majority in America. The majority is overwhelmingly white. I needed them to know that this isn't a moment for them to just let it go by and not say anything. I feel like a lot of people are pressured right now to say something, because if they don't they feel like their silence is saying it's okay. I understand that, but we don't need people to just speak up so that they don't get crucified. We need you to speak up because you actually care. I know, for me, if I go on that field and every every guy that's with me isn't all in on everything, not just football but humanity, family… then that bond isn’t there. That’s a special thing we have in Baltimore to where after that meeting, and even in that meeting, we had a lot of guys speak up and then make commitments to continue to speak up and fight on behalf of minorities.

‘STORY BEHIND HIS STORY’ ROBERT GRIFFIN III SHARES THE STORY BEHIND HIS STORY ON CHANGE

18 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ROBERT GRIFFIN III

@RGIII


It’s not people who look like me who will help drive home this change. It’s people who look like my wife that will. ROBERT GRIFFIN III & GRETE GRIFFIN FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RG3 FOUNDATION PHOTO CREDIT: @MARTHAUDSPHOTO

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@RGIII


It’s only been 53 years since a black man was able to marry a white woman. ROBERT GRIFFIN III & GRETE GRIFFIN FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RG3 FOUNDATION PHOTO CREDIT: @MARTHAUDSPHOTO

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@RGIII


Allié: So many conversations need to be had. Bi-racial couples. Jack and I can speak to this. We have our own stories, but what are yours? What hurdles have you had to overcome as a bi-racial couple? Robert: It’s amazing. Grete showed me the other day. It’s only been 53 years since a black man was able to marry a white woman. A lot of people see me, and they see her. They just think, “Oh man, he married a white white woman.” For me, personally, as an African-American male, I’ve had it on both sides. I get it from my own community because there’s this belief or myth that if you marry outside your race that you are betraying. From the white community I get it as if, “You stole one of ours.” It’s just how it goes. My wife, she’s Estonian, and over in Estonia there's like zero black people. So, for her it's a little more extreme. She’s dealt with it a lot. Between Twitter comments and Instagram comments, it’s in a different language. So, if you don’t know Estonian you don't know what they're saying, but she knows what they're saying. Grete: It’s sad. I try to honestly just call people out. I just call them out because like Robert said in the speech - the change starts within your family, with your friends, and within yourself. You’ve got to be willing, if you hear something, to say something. Since the country I'm from is super small and my whole family - they are athletes. We’re well known in the country, and now I married an NFL player. So anything we do makes headline news. I read article comments, and there are such ignorant people. It hurts, because I married a black man… It’s heartbreaking. I try to call people out. It’s what you talked about. It’s awareness, right? It's important to have these conversations, but it's not enough to just know. You have to act. You have to do something.

‘A CONVERSATION ON RACISM’ ROBERT AND HIS WIFE SPEAK ABOUT THE PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL EFFECTS OF RACISM

21 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ROBERT GRIFFIN III

@RGIII


WE’RE ALL TIED TO A CAUSE.

WHAT’S YOURS? SHARE YOUR SELFIE & STORY TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR YOUR CAUSE. WWW.SELFIETOSUPPORT.COM


UNITED WE SHARE EACH WITH A STORY AND A SELFIE TO SUPPORT CLICK ON AN OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR’S SELFIE TO READ, SHARE AND BOOST EVERY SHARE AND BOOST GIVES YOU A CHANCE TO WIN AWARENESS TIES MERCHANDISE


It’s not about violence. It’s about critical thinking. DESMOND CLARK FORMER NFL PLAYER, ENTREPRENEUR, AUTHOR & SPEAKER AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR CANCER AWARENESS 24

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@DEZCLARK88


FLOYD & WHAT FOLLOWS PERSPECTIVE ON THE POSITION OF POWER

Desmond Clark is a former NFL player, an entrepreneur, an author and a speaker. He is also our Official Ambassador for Cancer Awareness. Beyond this, he is a man of action who knows that awareness is the first step to arriving at any solution - including racism.

I have never vandalized a building and I don’t agree with it. But I understand the people who do. It’s not about violence. It’s not about critical thinking. It’s not about, even, specifically George Floyd, or the cop that killed him, who was rightfully arrested. The building burns down because there is an unsaid, but known, struggle between the police and the US justice system, and the members of the Black community. Floyd’s death amplified, like a textbook example, that struggle. The cop felt he could kneel on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, not to restrain him (he was restrained), not because Floyd was a threat to him (or anyone else), but because the cop wears an innate, but false, feeling of superiority—and Floyd, representative of many youths stop-and-frisked at NYC subway stations for several decades, just has to take it. That knee means, you’re inferior, and I’m more powerful than you. And every minute reiterates the dynamic. Floyd’s death hurts this nation so much, particularly the Black community, because it makes visible what is obvious to Black people on a day to day basis--but White people needed to see it this clearly. There is, now, finally, no other explanation. There is no Michael Brown reaching into a cop car, here. There is no fuzzy information. A story about past robberies. About talking back to the police. This is a man kneeling on someone’s neck until it killed him, not because he was obligated by duty, or fear, or any of the stories that muddy previous situations. This is a man kneeling on a man’s neck because he chose to, and he chose to because it makes him feel superior and powerful. That’s why they vandalize and burn down buildings. Because it makes them feel powerful. Again, I’m not saying it’s right. I’m only saying I understand. It gives the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the ones who this country, and its judicial system, has exhibited no mercy toward, the feeling of wielding power. Chauvin, the officer, had no more legal right to execute Floyd as any one of the agitators have to burn down a building. But when I think about what it takes to bring us together—to bring Black, and White, America together—it won’t just be legislative—the law is a guardrail. To really drive together on the same road it’s going to take a look into the soul of every person in the nation. White, and Black, America—both— will need to ask if they have a relationship with the feeling of false power. And be honest about the answers. And then we will need to do something with those answers… (Continue reading the rest of his article, by clicking HERE.) 25 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / DESMOND CLARK

@DEZCLARK88


PRIDE MONTH 2020 By CARRIE MAGNESS RADNA Rainbows, that used to highlight Pride season, are now painted & illuminated on windows. As we remain inside for protection, many of the beloved population are no longer hiding in the closet— Even in contagion, we are free to be who we are.


A QUEERIFICATION By REGIE CABICO queer me shift me transgress me tell my students i'm gay tell chick fil a i'm queer tell the new york times i'm straight tell the mail man i'm a lesbian tell american airlines i don't know what my gender is like me liking you like summer blockbuster armrest dates armrest cinematic love elbow to forearm in the dark humor me queerly fill me with laughter make me high with queer gas decompress me from centuries of spanish inquisition & self-righteous judgment like the blood my blood that has mixed w/ the colonizer & the colonized in the extinct & instinct to love bust memories of water & heat & hot & breath beating skin on skin fluttering bruise me into vapors bleed me into air fly me over sub-saharan africa & asia & antarctica explode me from the closet of my fears graffiti me out of doubt bend me like bamboo propose to me divorce me

divide me into your spirit 2 spirit half spirit & shadow me w/ fluttering tongues & caresses beyond head heart chakras fist smashing djembes between my hesitations haiku me into 17 bursts of blossoms & cold saki de-ethnicize me de-clothe me de-gender me in brassieres & prosthetic genitalias burn me on a brazier wearing a brassiere in bitch braggadocio soprano bass magnificat me in vespers of hallelujah & amen libate me in halos heal me in halls of femmy troubadors announcing my hiv status or your status i am not afraid to love you implant dialects as if they were lilacs in my ear medicate me with a lick & a like i am not afraid to love you so demand me reclaim me queerify me


RE EF EA TU PR ID

We cannot be quiet and wait for storms to pass. We have to be the lightening. CALY BEVIER RECORDING ARTIST, CANCER SURVIVOR AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR LGBTQ AWARENESS 28 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / CALY BEVIER

@CALYBEV


UNAPOLOGETIC

A STATEMENT ON SEXUALITY AND THE FIGHT FOR EQUALITY Caly Bevier is a recording artist in Los Angeles and the Awareness Ties Official Ambassador for LGBTQ Awareness. Unapologetically, she lives her life to elevate others with authenticity. Jack: When it comes to our sexuality, we all have a story to tell. What’s yours? Caly: My whole entire life I felt a little bit out of place. As a child I was a Jehovah’s Witness. I was always taught that homosexuality was wrong and that we should be nice to those people, but not be friends with them. Then around 14, I started noticing that the girls in Vogue were hitting a little different… (lol) I took some time to gather my thoughts and decided that I was a lesbian. Then about a year later, I started to open my mind back up to guys... I decided I needed to give everyone a shot. ;) Now, I identify as pansexual. Overall, I’m saying in my journey to find my sexuality I have identified as 3 different sexual orientations. You don’t need to know who you are. And you don’t have to put limitations on what is meant to be. Life is all about evolving, learning, changing, growing, failing, and just being. BE YOU. Happy pride month to my beautiful community. I love you all so so much. We will stick together through thick and thin and always fight for equality. And to my trans fam, you are protected by not only our community but your allies…. We cannot be quiet and wait for storms to pass. We have to be the lightning.

29 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / CALY BEVIER

@CALYBEV


I support LGBTQ not only because of my own journey in the community, but because of the people I have met along the way.

It takes a special kind of sparkle to be able to get out there and be yourself, 100% unapologetically. I’m here to show the people who are living in fear, and nervous about acceptance, that there are people out there just like you. It sometimes just takes a little push to find them. - Caly Bevier @calybev

‘SEE YOU NOW’ CALY BEVIER

30 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / CALY BEVIER

@CALYBEV


We shouldn’t have to be scared to be ourselves. CALY BEVIER RECORDING ARTIST, CANCER SURVIVOR AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR LGBTQ AWARENESS 31 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / CALY BEVIER

@CALYBEV


Acceptance goes a long way. LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. PHOTO CREDIT: THE TREVOR PROJECT 32

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@TREVORPROJECT


THE TREVOR PROJECT SAVING THE LIVES OF OUR LGBTQ YOUTH

If you’ve not watched, ‘Trevor’, it’s a must. Below you will find the short film embedded for your viewing pleasure. Be prepared. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You will be more aware of what our LGBTQ youth deals with through this Academy Award-Winning film that started The Trevor Project, a foundation dedicated to saving the lives of LGBTQ Youth. We had an opportunity to connect with the organizations Press Secretary, Rob Todaro, to ask a few questions… Allié: The Trevor Project began with a short film 'Trevor'. Not just any short film... It was an Oscar winning film that would serve as a solid foundation for an organization providing needed life saving resources for LGBTQ Youth. In terms of the film's main character, Trevor, how do you think today's youth relate to him? Are there still the same challenges or new ones? Rob: It is undeniable that the LGBTQ community has made great progress since the release of “Trevor” in 1994. Unfortunately, LGBTQ young people still have many of the same fears and anxieties that the character Trevor had.

‘TREVOR’ THE ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING FILM THAT LAUNCHED THE TREVOR PROJECT

33 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / THE TREVOR PROJECT

@TREVORPROJECT


According to our 2019 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health:

• 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth having seriously considered • 2 in 3 LGBTQ youth reported that someone tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity — youth who experienced this rejection were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not. • 71% of LGBTQ youth reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year • Less than half of LGBTQ respondents were out to an adult at school, with youth less likely to disclose their gender identity than sexual orientation • 71% of LGBTQ youth in our study reported discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity • 76% of LGBTQ youth felt that the recent political climate impacted their mental health or sense of self Allié: With recent events, including the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Black Lives Matters Movement, what new challenges has The Trevor Project encountered? What have you done in response? Rob: Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to our crisis services programs has increased, at times spiking to double our normal volume. And in light of national demonstrations around Black Lives Matter, we’ve been hearing from LGBTQ youth across the country about how recent events have impacted their mental health and sense of safety. LGBTQ youth are expressing a variety of feelings as they try to process current events, including grief, a sense of helplessness, disconnection, rage, desire to escape, fear, and numbness. Black LGBTQ youth find themselves at the intersection of these two crises, as the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately harmed communities of color. In response, The Trevor Project has been focused on supporting Black LGBTQ youth mental health and helping LGBTQ youth navigate activism and difficult conversations around race and LGBTQ identity. And we’re telling LGBTQ youth who feel isolated from their support systems due to COVID-19: physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Do all you can to stay connected with your friends, family, or chosen family. If you have access, try using the Internet to contact loved ones or to find affirming community online, like TrevorSpace. And if you ever need help or support, please please reach out to The Trevor Project. Our trained counselors are here for you 24/7. You are not alone.

34 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / THE TREVOR PROJECT

@TREVORPROJECT


Allié: In an effort to create a better, brighter future for our LGBTQ Youth, what can we do at home? In our communities? In our country? Rob: Acceptance goes a long way. LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. You can be that one accepting adult too.

Simple ways that allies can support LGBTQ young people in their community: • Check-in with your LGBTQ friends and family • Practice empathy and listen without judgment. • Foster the creation of safe, accepting environments wherever you are. • Share helpful mental health and self-care resources. • Direct LGBTQ youth who are feeling hopeless or suicidal to contact The Trevor Project The Trevor Project will continue to advocate for the creation of inclusive policies and safe, affirming environments for LGBTQ young people — especially queer and trans Black young people — in all 50 states.

PHOTO CREDIT: THE TREVOR PROJECT 35 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION

@TREVORPROJECT


Because of you, the show will go on. Thank you healthcare heroes.


‘COVID’ ADAM NIESCIORUK 37

AWARENOW / THE HERO EDITION

@ADAMSKY1973


THIS TIME By MONISHA VASA This time— edges rubbing against angles, friction of digital life for an analogue woman. This time of six feet apart masks that protect and hide feels hard for someone like me who likes to hold your face in my palms, and see the shadows and light linger in your eyes. This time of gloves is hard for someone like me who likes the weight of hands in my hands, and creased palms and tributary veins. Still I know, this is how we will save lives, make it through together, saving ourselves and each other. The truth is, one day one way, this ends, we end, pause back to fast forward. And so I keep listening hard to what I miss, which is not the rush, the speed, the busy but rather the touch of you and me. One day soon, we will find each other Again.


WISH By ERIKA FINE The weeks go by, the fourth, the fifth, And normalcy’s become a myth. I want to hug, I want to hold, I want this deadly scourge controlled. I want to walk amidst a crowd. I want to lift this morbid shroud. I sit, sequestered in my home, And yearn to mingle, travel, roam. My energy is out of whack — I want my normal problems back.


Love is the virus. Love is infectious. Love is the CURE. SHELLY TYGIELSKI FOUNDER, PANDEMIC OF LOVE 40

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / SHELLY TYGIELSKI

@MINDFULSKATERGIRL


A PERFECT PANDEMIC SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE PANDEMIC TO END ANOTHER

They say, ‘all you need it love’. In this case, what they say may be true. If you don’t yet know about ‘Pandemic of Love’, it’s time you knew. Fundamental in concept, organic in origination, the platform combines the business methodology of ‘see a need and fill it’ with the golden rule of ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. The Coronavirus Pandemic we’re currently battling just met its match. The Pandemic of Love was humbly started by Shelly Tygielski, a mindfulness teacher/community organizer from South Florida, and was intended to help her own local community. But, like an epidemic, the act of love and kindness spread quickly and is now a beautiful movement helping those in need throughout the world. Pandemic of Love is a grassroots, volunteer-led mutual aid organization that now has over 650+ full-time volunteers around the globe. It is a goodwill effort, run on love and faith in humanity and each other. Here’s how it works… Those who need help ask for it. Those who can provide help give it. Through the Pandemic of Love website (www.pandemicoflove.com), matches are made between those in need and those who have a need to give. Since March 14th, 2020, Pandemic of Love has made over 150,000 matches between people in need and donors, resulting in over $21.5 million in transactions. Donors have paid for funerals, insurance premiums, medicine, groceries, monthly Bills and more. However, there are still thousands of families in need. If you are in a position of privilege, please consider becoming a donor. To give please visit www.pandemicoflove.com.

41 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / SHELLY TYGIELSKI

@MINDFULSKATERGIRL


Shelly Tugielski is an ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing. Shelly is a “modern-life mindfulness” teacher and “self-care activist” who focuses much of her time on communities that are underserved, with social justice and community organizations, non-profits and schools. Shelly was made to create movements and regularly runs into the flames to help people in need. She is deeply involved in offering trauma-informed healing practices to communities affected by gun violence and mass shootings and has led retreats for survivors and victims’ families representing Parkland, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Aurora, Columbine and more. She also started the “Sand Tribe”community in Hollywood Beach, Fl that grew from 12 friends meditating together to over 15,000 individuals that practice together on a regular basis. She was featured on the cover of Mindful Magazine® in June 2019 for her work in this space and was recently referred to as one of the most “Powerful Women in Mindfulness” by mindful.org. Shelly is a student of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and is certified in MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction). She is also a Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (founded at Google over a decade ago) teacher-in-training. She has written over 200 guided meditations and her work and classes have been featured on mindful.org, Tricycle, The New York Times and dozens of national and international television and online platforms. Want to meditate with Shelly? (We highly suggest it. Click here to connect.)

42 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / SHELLY TYGIELSKI

@MINDFULSKATERGIRL


SHELLY TYGIELSKI FOUNDER, PANDEMIC OF LOVE 43

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / SHELLY TYGIELSKI

@MINDFULSKATERGIRL


To the doctors who trained all their lives for this moment but never anticipated it would really come… VIBHU KRISHNA FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FACES OF THE FRONTLINE 44

AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / FACES OF THE FRONTLINE

@FACESOFTHEFRONTLINE


FACES OF THE FRONTLINE HUMANIZING OUR FRONTLINE BY SHARING THEIR STORIES

Allié: For those of us believe, as I do, that stories are our greatest wealth and our voices are our most valuable assets, Vibhu, you have built a beautiful empire of empathetic inventory collecting and cataloging history to serve those who have suffered and sacrificed. First of all, thank you. Second, tell us the story. Start at the very beginning, please.
 Vibhu: As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor and an artist--even in second grade, my self portrait as a painter wearing a white coat and stethoscope was the cover of a pediatric medical journal. As I began to think about both fields in a critical, philosophical fashion first in college as a Studio Art and Medicine, Health & Society dual major (Vanderbilt University, class of 2016), I found points of intersection beyond traditional art therapy. This included helping redesign a mind-body center at my undergraduate school using survey data on the mental health of the student body, as well as creating a meditation chamber that utilized principles of biofeedback. After traveling for a year on an artist award (during which I studied yoga in California, Rishikesh, and Bali) and working in healthcare advertising, I realized I wanted to deepen my knowledge of human health even further in order to inform systems level work driven by creativity, mindfulness, and science. When the pandemic struck in NYC, my clinical rotations were suspended. I started a Creative Communications effort through the COVID-19 Student Service Corps to help disseminate calls for donation. Given that students were sidelined and dispersed, I felt that our main ability to communicate and organize our efforts was through digital media. Our exigent calls for PPE were amplified by design work; fundraisers to feed our frontline disseminated via social media campaigns. I also volunteered to collect PPE, both small-scale donations from apartments in NYC and large-scale donations via companies and factories looking to donate. I had been mulling over this idea for about a week, as I had seen many people that I had worked with calling for PPE and support for the frontline via their own social media accounts. At the time, there was so much fear and confusion. A colleague shared a photo of her father on Facebook, his arms raised in a sort of fist pump, describing how he proudly donned his PPE each morning despite the risks involved, and how he was managing the safety of his family as well. It was a heartrending post and upon reading it I felt that it deserved a bigger platform, and that there were many such stories out there. That very evening, I created the account and her father’s story became our first post. A few days into the project, I built a website to collect and share other forms of stories and content, and to make the platform feel more accessible to those who may not have an Instagram account. Before I knew it, friends—and even colleagues who I hadn’t connected with in years—were asking to join the team and help out. We were conducting outreach, collecting stories, and also collecting words of affirmation from the community to disseminate to our frontlines. The pace of growth was rapid—though not without its hiccups given the rapidly changing status of team-members’ personal lives and the pandemic itself—and website traffic steadily up-trended. 45 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / FACES OF THE FRONTLINE

@FACESOFTHEFRONTLINE


Perhaps most challenging was the lack of clarity as to the future of this campaign simply due to the lack of data and ability to predict the course of the pandemic. I had no idea how much time we would have to collect and share stories, how long the pandemic would stretch on for, or how much traction this would get. Suddenly, I was managing the workflows of multiple people—all remotely—and still editing each piece of content and creating the background art while also studying for upcoming exams, which were to be delivered remotely. I knew I would need additional hands on deck for this to grow. I began reaching out to artists to see if they would donate digital images and found even highlyregarded artists (Brendan Monroe @brendantheblob, Fatima Baig @fatimarbaig, Gazoo to the Moon @gazootothemoon) to be extremely generous and grateful to contribute to this cause. Another medical student and friend from undergrad trialed a Twitter account which did not garner the same sort of community largely due to the limitations of the platform for sharing longer stories and images. After a few weeks, I was able to get additional design help from a fellow medical students and editing help from a friend from undergrad who had studied English. The Instagram campaign by and large has been the most successful aspect of this project, in the sense that it has the most traffic, has shared the most stories, and frontline workers featured are regularly and organically given affirmations from the community of 8.3k in a few months’ time. This is a digital campaign to amplify the voices of those keeping us safe. This is our ‘thank you’ the frontline whom we humanize by sharing their stories. - Vibhu Krishna (@vibhukrishna)

To the first-responders, the hospital custodians, the surgical residents doing intubations and IV lines; to the respiratory therapists, the physician assistants, the mail people delivering our rambling letters; to the hospital security guards, the x-ray techs, the PharmDs, the phlebotomists, the grocery store cashiers, the gig economy meal-delivery drivers wearing cloth masks and latex gloves; to the nurses like angels hovering above the beds of those who with labored breath fight this new and strange disease; to the doctors who trained all their lives for this moment but never anticipated it would really come; we say thank you. 46 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / FACES OF THE FRONTLINE

@FACESOFTHEFRONTLINE


FACES OF THE FRONTLINE [ CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW TO READ THEIR STORIES ]

WANT TO SEE MORE? VISIT WWW.FACESOFTHEFRONTLINE.ORG BE SURE TO READ THE POEM ‘THIS TIME’ BY MONICA VASA 47 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / FACES OF THE FRONTLINE

@FACESOFTHEFRONTLINE


Continue the basics that we all became experts at earlier on in the pandemic. DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR PHYSICIAN, MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT AWARENESS TIES OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR FOR HEART DISEASE AWARENESS 48 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / DELA TAGHIPOUR

@DRDELATAGHIPOUR


STAY VIGILANT

WHILE WE MAKE OUR WAY THIS PANDEMIC, WE’RE NOT THROUGH YET

I know the beautiful weather is pushing our limits of tolerance for social distancing. However, it’s important to continue the basics that we all became experts at earlier on in the pandemic… ⠀⠀ -

Face covers
 Wear masks whenever you're out. ⠀
 ⠀

-

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water 
 And yes, it still should be 20 seconds.⠀⠀


-

Hand sanitizer 
 Use this if you can't access a sink, as soap and water is best. ⠀⠀


-

Avoid touching your face
 Especially avoid eyes, nose & mouth to decrease likelihood of spread.⠀⠀


-

Limit large group gatherings 
 Unless it's for a protest where you're outside, still distance and still abide by the other suggestions.
 ⠀⠀

-

Stay vigilant about potential symptoms and get tested
 If you're exhibiting any fever, myalgia, cough, sore throat, loss of taste/smell, etc., go get tested.⠀

49 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / DELA TAGHIPOUR

@DRDELATAGHIPOUR


Do well so that you can do good. ALEXANDER TAYLOR YOUTH AMBASSADOR TO THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES FORUM FOUNDATION 50 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ALEXANDER TAYLOR

@BE1M2030


RAISING YOUTH LEADERS 1 MILLION YOUTH LEADERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BY 2030

My name is Alexander Taylor. I am 21 years old, the Business Development Ambassador for the 1M2030 initiative and founder of Artem NexGen, a youth leadership platform created by youth for youth leaders. Since the age of fifteen, I have been empowering and convening fellow social-entrepreneurs to address social justice and environmental issues. I believe that we are not only the future leaders of the world but also current ones. We are here as stakeholders, and we have a voice as super-incidents. We have a valuable perspective to share and much to contribute; after all, we are inheriting the challenges of today. So, we must, therefore, engage now and contribute to the solutions of making the world a more just and more sustainable place. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. My mother, a first-generation American, was adamant that I knew about my heritage and history. She was the descendant of a Haitian Ambassador and French Jews. She told me that I was a global citizen and therefore had a civic responsibility to contribute to my environment. “Do well so that you may do good,” was one of her many sayings. So, it was no surprise that when I approached her when I was fifteen, about the negative media portrayals of minority youth, she responded, “So what are you going to do, to change the narrative?” And thus, Artem NexGen was born. Artem currently has over 3,000 global youth leaders participating in its network. After graduating high school, I spent a gap-year overseas in Senegal as Global Citizen Year Merit Scholar. I worked on developing a school for children with disabilities and creating a chess program in Wolof (the major native and cultural language) to encourage afterschool activities for high-school students. I later became the Business Development Ambassador for the 1M2030 Initiative, sponsored by the Global Challenges Forum Foundation (GCF) in collaboration with UNITAR (the United Nations Institute for Training and Research). 1M2030 is a program for youth social entrepreneurs to become societal and responsible leaders. Our launch on September 27th, 2019 at the United Nations European Headquarters brought youth spotlight speakers and experts to work together on the empowerment of youth worldwide. Through my appointment as one of the youth spotlight speakers selected from a pool around the world to speak at the UN, I was appointed as the Youth Ambassador for the Global Challenges Forum and the Business Development Ambassador for 1M2030. I now work in both capacities to help 1M2030 reach its goal of empowering 1 million social entrepreneurs beyond 2030 while I study as an Honors student at Morehouse College. 51 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ALEXANDER TAYLOR

@BE1M2030


During the COVID-19 pandemic, we ensured that our youth leaders were engaged in live 1M2030 webinars. We had our Youth Roundtable for COVID-19 and Global Youth Leadership webinar on May 14th, at 4 pm Geneva time, hosted by UNITAR. I am committed to engaging young leaders in tough conversations regarding racism, global warming, socio-economic disparities, gender inequalities, and so on. I believe that we can indeed be the change we need in this world and that we can lead the way. Following my mother’s advice to “Do well so that you can do good,” our work empowers social entrepreneurs to develop social justice and environmental initiatives. To support 1M2030, please visit our website (www.1m2030.org) and contribute to our Kofi app.

52 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION / ALEXANDER TAYLOR

@BE1M2030


To work with our diverse family of Official Ambassadors, to raise awareness for causes and to support nonprofits…well, it’s an absolute honor. Each of our ambassadors has a story to tell, a mission to share and plenty of passion to back it up. Jack & Allié McGuire FOUNDERS, AWARENESS TIES


AWARENESS TIES

OFFICIAL AMBASSADORS

AJ Andrews Brandon Au Caly Bevier Elizabeth Blake-Thomas Isabella Blake-Thomas Gabrielle Bourne Tri Bourne Jason Campbell Desmond Clark Mary David Santi Deck Austin Perine Bruno Serato Madeline Stuart Dela Taghipour Jessica Yamagucci


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

AJ’S STORY

AJ ANDREWS | PROFESSIONAL SOFTBALL PLAYER, TV HOST & SPEAKER

@aj_andrews_


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

BRANDON’S STORY

SOL RISING | PRODUCER & INTERNATIONAL DJ

@solrising


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

CALY’S STORY

CALY BEVIER | RECORDING ARTIST & CANCER SURVIVOR

@calybev


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

ELIZABETH’S STORY

ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS | DIRECTOR & WRITER

@elizabeth_b_t


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

ISABELLA’S STORY

ISABELLA BLAKE-THOMAS | ACTRESS, SINGER, WRITER & PRODUCER

@isabella_b_t


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

GABRIELLE’S STORY

GABRIELLE BOURNE | PRODUCER & ACTRESS

@gabrielle_bourne


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

TRI’S STORY

TRI BOURNE | PROFESSIONAL BEACH VOLLEYBALL PLAYER

@tribourne


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

JASON’S STORY

DR. JASON CAMPBELL | DOCTOR, SPEAKER & DIVERSITY ADVOCATE

@drjcofthedc


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

DESMOND’S STORY

DESMOND CLARK | FORMER NFL PLAYER, AUTHOR & SPEAKER

@dezclark88


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

MARY’S STORY

MARY DAVID | ACTRESS, MEDIA COMMENTATOR & LAWYER

@missmarydavid


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

SANTIA’S STORY

SANTIA DECK | PROFESSIONAL FEMALE FOOTBALL PLAYER

@trackbaby001


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

AUSTIN’S STORY

AUSTIN PERINE | SUPER HERO & ADVOCATE FOR THE HOMELESS

@presidentaustinshowlove


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

BRUNO’S STORY

SIR BRUNO SERATO | CELEBRITY CHEF & PHILANTHROPIST

@serato7


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

MADELINE’S STORY

MADELINE STUART | SUPER MODEL & DOWN SYNDROME ADVOCATE

@madelinesmodelling_


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

DELA’S STORY

DR. DELA TAGHIPOUR | PHYSICIAN & MEDICAL JOURNALIST

@drdelataghipour


CLICK TO SEE & HEAR

JESSICA’S STORY

JESSICA YAMAGUCCI | GUN VIOLENCE SURVIVOR & MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

@yamagucceye


WE STAND WITH YOU. Jack & Allié McGuire 72 AWARENOW / THE UNITY EDITION

@AWARENESSTIES


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Profile for Awareness Ties

AwareNow: Issue 5: Unity Edition  

In this special edition of AwareNow, we find ourselves at the frontlines of Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Community and COVID-19. This month...

AwareNow: Issue 5: Unity Edition  

In this special edition of AwareNow, we find ourselves at the frontlines of Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Community and COVID-19. This month...