Category: ehmbpdes

Breaking the sound barrier

first_imgWhen people ask Aaron Dworkin why he cares so much about bringing diversity to classical music, he answers, “I am basically a black, white, Jewish, Irish Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness who plays the violin. … I am the definition of diversity, and really had no choice but to do this work.”Dworkin is spreading African-American and Latino diversity as the founder and president of the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization, which focuses on youth development and diversity in performing and appreciating classical music.Soundbytes: Catalyst Quartet at HarvardThe son of an unwed, white, Irish Catholic mother and an African-American Jehovah’s Witness, he was given up for adoption by his parents two weeks after his birth to a white Jewish couple from New York, both professors in neural and behavioral science with a love of music.Inspired by his adoptive mother, an amateur violinist, Dworkin took up the instrument at age 5. Three years later, while attending a concert by the violin virtuoso Isaac Stern at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Dworkin said he was struck by the “sense of awe it built in me about music.” The feeling has remained with him ever since.But along with his love of the art form came an understanding of its lack of diversity, and a desire to make that change, leading to the Sphinx Organization.Dworkin was at Harvard on March 11 to receive the University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, which honors a nationally recognized educator and is administered by the Office for the Arts at Harvard.During a presentation in the Barker Center’s Thompson Room, Dworkin discussed some grim numbers, signifying what he called a “stark underrepresentation” of blacks and Hispanics in the nation’s classical music landscape.Blacks and Latinos represent only 4 percent of members in the nation’s 1,200 orchestras, according to a survey conducted by the League of American Orchestras. But the problem runs much deeper than just the diversity of the stage performers, said Dworkin. The survey also found similar statistics among top administrative positions. Only about 4 percent of music directors or orchestra conductors are black or Latino. The numbers are worse for executive director and artistic administrator positions. “Statistically,” said Dworkin, “zero percent are black or Latino.”Even education and community relations directors, those charged with connecting an orchestra to its surrounding community, are rarely men or women of color. In addition, repertoires reflect no black or Latino composers, and audiences are largely composed of older, white members.But with Dworkin’s help, the tide is slowly shifting. His group includes the Sphinx Performance Academy, a full-scholarship, intensive chamber music and solo performance program designed for aspiring black and Latino string players; a professional development program that helps prepare young artists for a career in classical music; the annual Sphinx Competition, open to all junior high, high school, and college-age black and Latino string players in the nation; the Catalyst Quartet, composed of top laureates and alumni; and the Sphinx Symphony, an all-black and Latino orchestra made up of top professionals from around the country.Dworkin said his group has played a significant role in doubling the number of black performers in the nation’s orchestras. When his organization was founded in 1998, only about 1.16 percent of orchestras were black. Today that number is up to 2.5 percent. According to Dworkin, every new African-American member of an orchestra since 1998 has some tie to the Sphinx Organization.“We need to look at diversity as something that is critical to the evolution and survival of our field and our art form,” said Dworkin. “We have a great deal of distance to go; we are not yet done by any means.”Quoting civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who met his wife while she was studying voice and violin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Dworkin said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. … Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Fittingly, the Catalyst Quartet closed the discussion with a performance of Terry Riley’s “Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector.”last_img read more

When we can’t even agree on what is real

first_img Project looking at how federal policies play out locally finds surprising ambivalences in Trump era ‘Will progressives and moderates feud while America burns?’ The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Politics has seeped into every corner of our lives. Even announcements once thought above rank partisanship, such as states letting voters mail their ballots this fall and the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic, now ignite accusations of political bias. Research by Harvard economists finds that politics don’t just influence people’s attitudes about economic issues and policies, it shapes their perceptions of verifiable reality.Studies of Republicans and Democrats, as well as Trump voters and non-Trump voters, found that people with opposing political views don’t simply see issues like income inequality through different lenses, those beliefs distort their basic understanding of the issues themselves even though accurate information is readily available, according to a working paper by Alberto Alesina, Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy; Armando Miano, a doctoral candidate; and Stefanie Stantcheva, a professor of economics. Alesina, a pioneer in the field of political economy, died of an apparent heart attack on May 23 at age 63.“All of this started with a push to really try to understand what’s in people’s heads,” said Stantcheva. The group decided to look at what drives people to support or oppose policies intended to reduce income and wealth inequality, like a progressive tax system, social insurance, and help for low-income families. “One thing that we’ve been doing a lot is to study what we can observe … like what people actually do, what people learn, and what people decide. What we really have not known until now so much is: What’s going on in the background? How do people think about their decisions? How do they decide which policies to support or not? How do they reason about these?”Understanding those underlying assumptions is harder than it first appears. Political opinions are formed based on a confluence of external and internal factors, and they can shift over time.The team first developed online surveys designed to elicit respondents’ political perceptions, values, and beliefs. They then asked thousands to share their views on social mobility, inequality, and immigration, three topics known to directly influence opinions on progressive economic policies, such as the redistribution of wealth.No surprise, Republicans and Democrats had different views about many things, such as how hard it is to achieve the “American dream,” whether the country should adopt a different tax system to give more people a larger share of the national income, and how much the government is to blame for rising inequality.,In a 2018 study, the researchers found that Americans as a whole largely overestimate how likely it is that a person born in the bottom 20 percent income bracket will rise into the top 20 percent.Both Republicans and Democrats also overestimated the size of the U.S. immigrant population and its dependence on government assistance, and underestimated its level of education. Republicans were almost twice as likely as Democrats, though, to think that the average immigrant gets twice the aid of a nonimmigrant with an identical resume.Why are perceptions on the left and right so far apart? Several factors seem to contribute, said Stantcheva. First and foremost, Republicans and Democrats tend to seek out very different news sources so they often get very different information. But even within those sources, the information that’s received is understood differently based on variables like a person’s education or life experiences, how much they trust the messenger or principals involved, their prior beliefs about a given issue, and other ideas they associate with an issue.“How much you’re going to change your belief as a function of that information is going to depend on the weight you put on it, and that weight will depend on what you already think,” she said. “Without interruption, it’s just a cycle that will reinforce itself.”Democrats and Republicans were starkly divided on the topic of immigration and what to do about it, perhaps because it’s so often in the news and discussed in predominantly negative and emotionally charged terms. Where they were in sync was how misinformed they were.“Immigration is an area where there’s a very widespread misperception,” said Stantcheva. Even though liberals broadly view immigrants more favorably, they had no better handle on how the newcomers impact the U.S. than conservatives did. “One group is not necessarily more wrong than the other. Everybody’s quite wrong.”Complicating matters is the fact that simply presenting accurate data to the misinformed doesn’t always work. On matters like social mobility opinions can be moved with statistics, but on especially partisan issues like immigration, facts appear to do little to change viewpoints, the researchers found.One experiment showed that even when given an opportunity to learn the facts about immigrants in the U.S. for a nominal sum, those holding the most negative and most inaccurate perceptions were the least willing to pay.“The people who most need the information are going to be the least likely to seek out that information. It seems that either they don’t realize that they’re wrong, or they’re just very entrenched in their beliefs, and do not want their beliefs to be changed,” said Stantcheva.What does change minds on a highly divisive topic like immigration? Stories and questions.Telling emotional stories about a day in the life of almost impossibly hard-working immigrants who just need a hand up can move people’s views about immigrants and redistribution in a more positive direction. But priming folks with questions is even more effective — at turning them against it.“If you ask people questions about immigration — just the questions, without any information — and you ask them, ‘How many immigrants are there? How many are unemployed, etc.?’ If you ask those questions before you ask questions on the tax system, on health insurance, etc., people … become less progressive, less inclined to these solutions,” said Stantcheva. “Just making people think about the immigrant issue … makes them less willing to support redistribution.”So far, this research has shed a lot of new light on what’s happening to shape political opinions, a vantage point not typically taken in other data sets but one that has “a ton of policy implications,” she said.“By understanding the thought process, we can actually design better learning. We can design better information interventions that can actually help people understand the economy, economic policies, all these phenomena, better.” Is rural America solidly red? Not exactly, Harvard scholars say Related Discussion takes a look at why arguments fail and why the sides cannot agree Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne outlines a path forward in his new book ‘Code Red’ Why ‘truth’ beats factslast_img read more

Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s students participate in South Bend Civic Theatre production

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Paul Mow The cast of the South Bend Civic Theatre’s production of “In the Heights” hold up the flags of several Latin American countries and Spanish-speaking territories in their performance. The musical will run through March 25.“In the Heights” is the story of four lead characters, Usnavi, Vanessa, Benny and Nina, who all live and work in Washington Heights — a racially-diverse neighborhood in New York City, Thomas said.As someone from Puerto Rico and a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rivera-Herrans said he knew he had to audition for South Bend Civic Theatre’s production of “In the Heights.” Four months later, he has taken on the role of Usnavi, a character Miranda wrote and originated on Broadway.“[The character] feels like a glove on me. He’s an energetic guy, he’s Hispanic,” Rivera-Herrans said. “Half the time people are like, ‘Are you even acting?’”Thomas plays Vanessa, one of the female leads who wants to leave Washington Heights more than anything. Thomas said the hardest part about portraying Vanessa is embodying Vanessa’s experiences and their complexities.“She’s a difficult character to play because she goes through things that I have not yet experienced,” she said. “Vanessa’s father is not in the picture and her mother drinks away Vanessa’s money. So what I had to do was look inside myself and think, ‘What were the moments where I felt like I’ve worked hard for something and deserved something and I don’t get that something?’ Vanessa wants to leave — I’ve related that to my desire to leave Indiana and go to New York.”Notre Dame sophomores Natalie Behling and Kassadee Ifft became involved through a Spanish class. “The show is of professional quality, and it has been incredible seeing it take shape from audition day to now,” Behling said.Behling photographed the production process and Ifft worked as an usher for one of the performances.“It was ‘excelente,’” Ifft said. “It was partly in Spanish, partly in English, so it was a way to unite so many different populations of people. … This was my first South Bend Civic show and I quickly emailed my professor and was like, ‘Hey, do they have any other positions open? Because I want to go again.’”SBCT executive director Aaron Nichols said past productions of the show in Chicago and Australia were heavily criticized and even shut down due to “whitewashing,” and this was not a mistake he wanted to repeat. The theatre began building bridges in South Bend’s Latin American community before they even officially decided to put on “In The Heights,” he said.“[We were] going into communities instead of [having] the kind of ‘Field of Dreams’ mentality. You know, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ You can’t expect that to work,” Nichols said.Thomas said the show is very timely and offers its support to those still affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.“This show is coming at a perfect time with what we see happening in Puerto Rico,” she said. “In 2008 — which is when this show is set — in Washington Heights there was a power outage that went on for a day or longer. … These people were out of power for a long time. If you think about Puerto Rico right now, they’ve been out of power for months and this show is coming at a perfect time where we can reflect on that and what it’s like to come together as a community to support people.”The cast’s diversity and connections to the story is what makes this production of “In the Heights” so unique, Thomas said.“I love the show because I love being immersed in the cultural aspect,” she said. “Everyone in the production has ties to it and can relate to the story and the characters because it is them.”Tags: Diversity, In the Heights, lin-manuel miranda, South Bend Civic Theatre, Washington Heights The South Bend Civic Theatre’s (SBCT) production of “In the Heights,” which runs through March 25, features three students from the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community: Notre Dame sophomores Jay Rivera-Herrans and Samuel Jackson, and Saint Mary’s sophomore Rachel Thomas.last_img read more

Georgia Maheras to head Vermont Health Care Administration

first_imgDepartment of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA) Commissioner Steve Kimbell today announced the appointment of Georgia John Maheras as Deputy Commissioner of Health Care Administration.   The Health Care Administration is responsible for oversight of health insurance companies in Vermont, the Hospital budget review process and hospital capital expenditures through the Certificate of Need (CON) process.Maheras will assume the position effective August 29. Maheras brings to BISHCA a diverse background in health care, having worked both for a major managed care company in Massachusetts and a variety of policy and advocacy organizations.  An attorney, she has served as a health care advocate for Boston-based organizations including Health Care for All and Health Law Advocates, where she engaged in litigation, policy development and legislative advocacy.Maheras served as a Consumer Representative Appointee to the National Association of insurance Commissioners.‘Georgia is a great addition to BISHCA and to the Shumlin administration’s health care reform team,’ said Kimbell.  ‘Her experience will be extremely helpful as we move forward with implementation of Act 48, the health care reform legislation signed by the Governor on May 26th.’BISHCA 7.8.2011 # # #last_img read more

Bar’s Speakers Bureau has attorneys available

first_imgBar’s Speakers Bureau has attorneys available January 15, 2006 Regular News Bar’s Speakers Bureau has attorneys available The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau offers volunteer speakers who donate their time to speak with senior citizen associations, civic and community organizations, students, and professional groups, at no cost to the organization.As the senior population in Florida increases so does the number of reported crimes against seniors. Con artists pose as legitimate contractors, phishers troll the Internet for unwary users who divulge critical financial details, and identities are stolen. Florida Bar members can address these and other topics that affect the legal rights of senior citizens. Additional topics include: Social Security, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Administration issues, and immigration.Speakers can also talk about preparing wills, living wills, and health care surrogate forms, guardianship, nursing home care, powers of attorney, and other estate planning preparations.To schedule a speaker on these and other topics, call Gail Grimes at (850) 561-5767, or e-mail [email protected]last_img read more

Couple Charged With Sex Trafficking in Nassau Massage Parlors

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Queens couple was arrested for allegedly coercing two women into performing sex acts on men at two massage parlors that the couple owned in West Hempstead and Franklin Square, Nassau County prosecutors said.Zhaowei Yin, 49, and his 46-year-old wife, Shuwen Ai, both of Flushing, were charged Thursday with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, labor trafficking and unauthorized practice.“Trafficked individuals like the women in this case are the victims of a modern-day form of slavery happening all around us in communities across the country,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “This is what slavery looks like in 2015.”Related Story: Inside the Hidden World of Sex Trafficking on L.I.Prosecutors said that the couple allegedly hired two women responding to ads in Chinese-language newspapers seeking masseuses, but required them to perform sexual services on men at Lucy’s Spa on Hempstead Turnpike and Panda Foot Spa on Franklin Avenue between May 2013 and the end of January 2014.The suspects allegedly forced the women to sleep at the businesses, which are now closed. They allegedly never paid one victim and authorities said the couple deducted wages from the other for trasnporation to and from work. If they refused to comply with their demands, they also allegedly threatened to post nude photos of them in the Internet and have them deported.The case unfolded after both victims were arrested for prostitution. Once it became clear that they were trafficking victims, their charges were dismissed.The suspects are believed to have owned other massage parlors across Long Island and in Queens, including a spa that is still in business in Nassau County.Judge Philip Grella set bail for the couple at $250,000 cash or bond. They face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted. They are due back in court Oct. 15.A third suspect is expected to be arraigned at a later date. The investigation is continuing.last_img read more

REDC: Southern Tier awarded $88.9 million, considered ‘top performer’

first_imgThe money will be used for various projects around the Southern Tier. Tyoga Container — $5.2 millionBinghamton University — $5 millionUHS Chenango Memorial Hospital — $1.5 millionCity of Hornell — $1 millionUpstate Farm Cheese, LLC — $1.55 millionVillage of South Corning — $1 millionTown of Owego –$2.148 millionCornell University — $1.2 millionTompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. — $4.5 million Some organizations that were awarded the most money include: For the full list of awards, click here. The announcement came as part of the 2019 Annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards in Albany Thursday afternoon. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that parts of the state will receive a total of $761 million to be used for economic and community development resources. (WBNG) — The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) has awarded $88.9 million to the Southern Tier to be spread across various municipalities, schools and businesses.last_img read more

Indonesian students in limbo as US restricts visas

first_imgThousands of Indonesian students in the United States are in limbo following a Trump administration policy that requires foreign students to leave the country if their schools move classes entirely online in response to the COVID-19 crisis.The Trump administration, through its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, announced the rule last week for holders of certain student visas if their courses went fully online in the fall. In the US, the first semester of the school year often begins in early September and runs until mid-December.“As we know, with the US government recently issuing the new policy regarding foreign students, basically, international students in the US cannot take a fully online set of courses and, instead, must have in-person classes or mixed classes,” Foreign Ministry director for citizen protection Judha Nugraha said last week. He said all six Indonesian representative offices in the US had assured the nation’s students that the Indonesian government would protect them.“Our representatives have also coordinated with various campuses regarding the US policy, including [exploring] the possibility of holding face-to-face or hybrid classes,” Judha said.The new ICE policy exempts students at schools with full-time, in-person instruction, as well as most students attending schools with a mixed curriculum of in-person and online learning, provided those programs are approved by ICE, Reuters reported.While there are fewer Indonesian international students in the US than those from other countries, American education remains an attractive option for Indonesian students seeking an education abroad. The US has consistently been in the top five most favored destinations for Indonesian students, along with Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore and China.Alvinsyah A. Pramono, the chair of the Indonesian Students Association in the United States (Permias), said the new policy had taken everyone by surprise, forcing all representative offices, including the education and culture attaché, to seek clarification from US government agencies, particularly ICE, and campuses.“This policy has confused everyone. However, so far we have not seen any immediate action because, from the data we have obtained, most campuses have opted to have hybrid systems, meaning they will conduct some in-person lectures,” he said.Most of the 117 universities Permias surveyed have decided to use a combination of online and in-person classes to meet the requirements for the new school year this fall.Seventy-six schools confirmed that they would have hybrid systems, while 6 others had decided to hold classes entirely in person. Three institutions – Harvard University, Vanderbilt University and San Joaquin Delta College – are moving fully online for the semester, while the remaining 32 have not made a decision and will give further notice about their policies at a later time, the survey found.Despite assurances from most universities that they would use a mixed system, fears linger that policies will change along the way, as the US continues to report record-breaking daily increases in COVID-19 cases.Infections are rising in about 40 states, and the country broke global records by logging about 60,000 new cases a day in the four days prior to Sunday, Reuters reported.Alvin said some campuses that had previously opted for hybrid systems were now considering moving entirely online after the US holiday of Thanksgiving in November in anticipation of a second wave of outbreaks.“This means that if the new regulation is still in place, Permias and the Indonesian representative offices have at least three months to prepare contingency plans,” Alvin said.According to Permias data, 4,461 Indonesian university students are currently in the US, but the number affected could be higher if the regulation includes exchange students and students taking short courses in the US.Alvin, citing the latest update from the Indonesian Embassy, lamented the fact that ICE had yet to develop clear procedures on what would happen to students whose schools had moved entirely online.“We are not clear about this because [ICE] is also depending on the grace period,” he said.The grace period allows students to stay in the US for 60 days after they graduate, which will allow them to take care of certain things, including changing their visa status if they want to work in the country. Students who decide not to finish their studies get a 15-day grace period, while students who are expelled do not have a grace period.Some universities that previously announced they would move most of their 2020 classes online, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday, asking a judge to temporarily block the rule and invalidate it, Reuters reported. They argued in the lawsuit that the new policy threw their operations, and the operations of “virtually all of higher education in the United States”, into chaos.Topics :last_img read more

Hajj death toll rises to 165 Egyptians, 73 missing

first_imgHealth Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Khaled Megahed said the Nasser, Sheikh Zayed and Harmal hospitals have been receiving the families of the missing pilgrims for five days, adding that the DNA tests of the missing pilgrims would be completed by the middle of this week and sent to the Saudi authorities to match them with the bodies. The deathtoll for Egyptians from the Hajj stampede rose to 165 while the number of missing dropped to 73, according to Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa.Dr. Hisham Zaazou, director of the Nasser Institute for Research and Treatment, said he received 20 cases, including 15 from the list of missing persons.last_img

Barcelona target Willian confirms Chelsea exit

first_imgHowever, the 31-year old has dismissed the possibility of remaining in London for the 2020-21 campaign.“Everyone knows my contract ends in a few months, and a renewal is difficult, he told an interview with FOX Sports, reported via Mundo Deportivo.“I think it will be very difficult for me to renew, as I want three more years, and Chelsea have only offered two.At the moment, it is undecided what will happen, but I am free to negotiate with other teams.”Quique Setien’s side are reported to be the front runners to bring the former Shakhtar Donetsk man to the Camp Nou.Read Also: Leon Balogun: My Super Eagles’ recall specialThe Catalan giants are looking to strengthen their squad options this summer, but their budget is likely to be reduced.A free transfer for Willian would be a shrewd piece of business for Setien, with Luis Suarez’s contract expiring next summer, and persistent doubts over the long term fitness of Ousmane Dembele.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… The Brazilian international is out of contract at Stamford Bridge from July, but due the suspension of the Premier League, he could extend that slightly. Promoted ContentA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs6 Incredibly Strange Facts About Hurricanes6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?From Enemies To Friends: 10 TV Characters Who Became Close7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid Armageddon Barcelona transfer target Willian has confirmed he is set to leave Premier League side Chelsea when his contract expires this summer.Advertisementlast_img read more