When the iconic red Netflix notification appeared on my phone – New Arrival: To Rome With Love – my memory faltered. I quickly googled the film’s director to confirm that yes, Netflix had just added a film created by a reported pedophile the same week that another male celebrity was, among many other men in Hollywood, accused of sexual assault.
On October 29, Buzzfeed first published allegations by actor Anthony Rapp accusing Kevin Spacey of sexual assault in 1986. In response, Netflix swiftly suspended production of House of Cards with the actor. Three days later, they added the 2012 film To Rome With Love, written and directed by Woody Allen.
Since sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein by many women were published earlier this Fall in the New York Times, Hollywood has reacted quickly against many of those now accused. Weinstein was voted out of the Academy; Louis CK’s film I Love You Daddy was pulled from its November release date; Kevin Spacey was recast in the upcoming film All the Money in the World. Yet Woody Allen has just added a movie to Netflix and is now shooting a new film with A-list stars including Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jude Law.
Why is action being more directly taken against today’s outed perpetrators while one outed two decades ago enjoys an increasingly successful career?
Interfaith Youth Core is a Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to interfaith cooperation and religious pluralism.
In a time when the fundamental causes of today’s most pressing conflicts are rooted in misunderstanding and intolerance, the discussion of religious pluralism is needed now more than ever. Although less known to public, an interfaith cooperation movement has been gaining momentum. A former member of President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, Eboo Patel, has been leading a national non-profit organization that stresses the importance of religious pluralism, an idea based on the coexistence and diversity of religious beliefs. His organization, the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), seeks to make the idea of religious pluralism and interfaith cooperation more accessible to college students and beyond.
I took my first short-term medical mission trip the summer after my junior year of high school. Our team of twenty American teenagers embarked on the 24-hour flight to Uganda bearing one brain surgeon, two nurses, and suitcases full of stickers and children’s books.
Working alongside Ugandan doctors and nurses, I couldn’t help but wonder why our English presentation of poorly-Googled health information warranted the $3,000 trip across the world when a Ugandan medical professional could have easily done the same thing in greater depth and without a translator.
Image from OFTW (http://www.1fortheworld.org/)
Most Penn students want to make a positive difference in the world, but many aren’t sure where to start. One For The World (OFTW) is a Penn-founded organization that makes giving back easy. Their goal is to encourage students to pledge 1% of their future incomes to effective charities that are in desperate need of help. These charities are carefully reviewed and selected each year by a group of Penn PhD students, along with Wharton MBAs and undergrads. The OFTW concept was originally intended for MBA students, but has since expanded to undergraduates thanks to two current seniors, Lauren D’Amore and Shayna Fertig. The MBA students have been extremely successful in encouraging fellow graduate students to take the pledge, rallying as many as half of MBA students to take the pledge. Last Fall, the MBA chapter raised $28,000 during pledge week. Now the undergraduate co-presidents Lindsey Li (W’19) and Lauren O’Mara (C’19) are trying to increase the numbers of undergraduates taking the 1% pledge. They have had success with many students, especially seniors, and are looking to reach more seniors as graduation approaches. Li and O’Mara interviewed two seniors who have taken the pledge, Lindsey Sawczuk and Kyle Kroeger. The co-presidents hope to inspire other Penn students to take the pledge after reading the firsthand perspectives of Sawczuk and Kroeger.
Many students at Penn believe in fostering social change, especially right here in Philadelphia. Kate Zipin is one woman who also wants to make a difference in society, one summer at a time. Upon relocating to Philadelphia, the former teacher founded Own Your Awesomeness – a camp meant to empower girls. I had the opportunity to interview Ms. Zipin and ask her about the need for empowering girls in society and discuss how her camp is impacting the girls she works with.
Q: Hi Ms. Zipin. Can you please introduce yourself and say, in your own words: What is Own Your Awesomeness [OYA]?
A: My name is Kate Zipin and I am the founder and director of Own Your Awesomeness, a Philly nonprofit that empowers high school girls. Our programs focus on skill-building workshops, like how to change a tire and developing financial literacy, and conversations about being a teenage girl today, like body image, women in the media, and health. We pull it all together in a one-week program in the summer where girls connect with female mentors and build a community as they explore new passions, tap into their strengths, and own their awesomeness.
The picture above is by Dread Scott, an activist and artist whose chosen mediums include everything from performance to graphic design. This specific piece of artwork is called– not surprisingly – “HATE.” What struck me first was the uncanny resemblance it has to the familiar pop-culture icon we all know and love– the LOVE statue on Locust Walk.
In 2006, my family moved into a brownstone in Harlem, New York. Though I was young, I remember other family members being skeptical about the decision. They questioned my parent’s choice to live in the ‘sketchy’ and supposedly dangerous neighborhood. For years, my parents and I were met with the question “Do you feel safe there?” whenever we disclosed where we lived, and we spent a great deal of time assuring people that whatever conception they had of Harlem was incorrect.
However, the nature of these conversations has rapidly changed over the past couple years. I haven’t been asked about my sense of security at home for some time, and people frequently comment about how ‘nice’ it’s getting in Harlem. Bodegas and empty storefronts have been converted into nook-in-the-wall coffee shops and barn-aesthetic restaurants. Businesses are more vibrant than ever, and now there’s always a group of children playing outside Alexander Hamilton’s house in St. Nicholas Park.
“Calling all poets and visionaries,” read the post on Instagram. It was a Saturday, and my friend and I had taken a trip to New York to explore for the weekend. She had been scrolling through her feed when she found the post on one of those creative, feminist, empowerment accounts (you know the type). They were having their first spoken word event and they wanted anyone who had a penchant for poetry or opinions to come along.
So, of course, what else do you do on a Saturday night in New York? We navigated our way to a cafe tucked into the side streets of Brooklyn, hidden behind a long green hallway and a door covered in mistletoe. Inside, the air was warm and buzzing. The room was filled with familiar chatter, everyone waiting to listen, perform, and make a temporary space in their lives for spoken word poetry.
4/8/15 - Pine Ridge, South Dakota
When I stepped out of the tiny airport in Rapid City, I felt culture shock;
I’ve never seen so much nothing. Now in the car, the yellow grasses fly by
in a blur as rock formations roll on like waves. This place is unlike any I’ve
experienced, but it does hold its own beauty. As the mist settles on the black hills,
there’s this quality about the plains that reminds me of water, a familiar stillness,
not unlike the ocean at dawn.