Home Fronts: A Peaceful Protest Prevails

By Wakeelah Bashir, Freelance Writer

Nearly 53 years ago during the 1967 Newark riots, residents protested violently in response to the community's mistreatment by those who were sworn to protect them--the police.

Contrary to the initiative the community is taking to end police brutality today, residents from all over New Jersey rallied together May 30 in Newark, New Jersey's largest city, to protest peacefully and bring awareness to racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

After a weekend without any violence or arrests being made, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy praised the city of Newark for its civil approach during the city's protest, considering its reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in New Jersey.

Eighty-eight-year-old Newark resident Geraldine Little recalled the restless week in July 1967, describing it as a civil war between the Newark police and Newark residents.

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Home Fronts: ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’

By Jonathan Scott, Freelance Writer

June has just started and I already find myself at wit's end-- torn between trying to stay abreast of what's happening in the world on social media, and yet trying to distance myself from viewing the world's dueling health and social ills simultaneously.

During my usual virtual scrolling, I came across a quote from American author and activist Helen Keller, in which I found a rather profound meaning, solace, and significance in what's happening with and around me.

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Home Fronts: Inflamed Tensions

By Carnell White, Freelance Writer

HARLEM, N.Y. – Parts of New York's Brooklyn and The Bronx boroughs burned Tuesday night as demonstrations turned from peaceful to restless and from civil to looting, awakening "the city that never sleeps."

Large, visibly flustered and vocal crowds reacting to the unlawful death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, gathered across New York City June 2 to vent and protest the injustice in the midst of COVID-19, according to city officials.

With fresh social media images going viral and media coverage of Floyd's arrest, detainment and ultimate demise, uproar sparked across the nation. What started out as hundreds of people quickly turned into thousands as people came together to have their voices heard in New York City streets.

"The city that never sleeps has been divided in the last three months (because of the coronavirus pandemic)," said social media influencer Lissette Hughes. "In May of 2020 it (Floyd's death) was given a reason to bring life back to the city of New York."

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Chesapeake Bay Foundation leads Virginia in oyster restoration project

By Lauren Grayson

Outside of Smithfield Station, a popular local seafood restaurant, an employee threw a bucket of empty oyster shells into an already overflowing bin labeled "CAUTION: Oyster Restoration at Work."

"Every day, when the cooks take out the trash, they dispose of the oyster shells in a separate bin," store manager Evan Thomas said.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation collects the shells and uses them to construct and maintain the oyster reefs.

"The bin is in front of the restaurant so that when customers walk in, they can see the work that's being done," Thomas said. "It makes us feel like we're really making a difference because where we would otherwise just throw the shells away, we're finding a way to repurpose them."

Smithfield Station and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are trying to increase the number of oysters and slow the rate of species endangerment by increasing the variety of life that exists within freshwater, tidal and marine ecosystems.

Jackie Shannon, manager for the Virginia Oyster Restoration Center, is responsible for gathering volunteers to produce and place man-made clumps of collected oyster shells into the ocean.

"My role is to be a lot more hands-on with the work that we do," Shannon said. "What me and my volunteers do is place clumps of oysters, called hatchery clumps, into the ocean. The goal is that eventually, they'll naturally recruit oyster larvae, producing more baby oysters that will grow to create reef structures. These structures will then eventually serve as a habitat for underwater wildlife."

According to Shannon, these oyster reef structures require years of monitoring. However, if successful, they become self-sustainable and create diverse aquatic ecosystems that have a huge biological impact.

This biological impact includes the preservation of the genetic information of these species, which potentially hold the cure to future diseases and contain overall solutions for survival. As soon as a species goes extinct, all of their genetic information is lost.

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, water animals and plants are our legacy to future generations. "Preventing habitat loss is the first important step to take in protecting our native species, and restoring important degraded habitat is the second step."

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation would be unable to restore degraded aquatic habitats at a steady rate without the community's participation. "Building relationships with the community is essential to progress being made," said Christy Everett, Hampton Roads director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "My job is to build important relationships not only with the government, but with community leaders and representatives as well. Partnering with them is crucial to our goal of improving aquatic biodiversity and improve the local water quality as well."

Yancey Powell, manager of education for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Jenny S. Workboat Education Program, actively educates students and their teachers on the environmental health of the Hampton Roads waterways.

"Maintaining the waterways is crucial to the survival of certain species here," Powell said. "Overfishing is definitely a problem, whether it be because of huge fisheries or individuals who frequently fish in the waterways illegally."

"Either way, they are altering and impacting the environment around them, which is why we then have to come in and make sure that they still have an underwater environment to come back to!"

Meanwhile, one shell at a time, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Virginia restaurants will continue to do their part to restore oyster reefs and create a more diverse aquatic ecosystem together.

Childish Gambino releases fourth studio album: 3.15.20

Barry Jones | Hampton Script Staff Writer

Coming off (arguably) his biggest year in 2018, Gambino has finally returned to deliver his fourth studio album, 3.15.20. Named after the date it was released, the Atlanta musician took the internet by storm by randomly releasing the project via a website titled "Donaldgloverpresents.com." The album was playing continuously on this website from March 15 to March 16 and was removed suddenly with no warning.

Six days later, the album hit all digital streaming platforms – still with minimal promotion – and came to a surprise to most. If you're wondering what to expect from this album, the rollout says a lot about Gambino's intentions. The surprise drop seems to be intentional as it defies all traditional release tactics coming off a No. 1 single as Gambino did in 2018 with "This is America."

If you're familiar with Gambino, this is not surprising. Through his music and creative expression, he refuses time and time again to be defined by industry standards and norms. As for timing, it couldn't have come at a better time. Everyone across the country is stuck in the house looking for anything new to engage in when it comes to content.

"Marketing wise, this is a great time to drop music," Hampton University junior Sevaughn Coates said.

For more on this story, go to Hampton Script.

Watch the Yard launches YARDCON

By Ayanna Maxwell | Editor In Chief, Hampton Script

Watch the Yard on April 19 launched its first YARDCON, a digital conference for black students who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Watch the Yard, known as the most prominent platform for black college students, fraternities and sororities, created the conference to offer resources and network opportunities for black students across the nation.

Hosted by Watch the Yard founder Jonathan Rabb, the conference began with a gospel music set performed by DJ Ricovelli and a prayer from Hampton University alum Michael Eley. Journalist Roland Martin followed up with an open conversation among HBCU SGA presidents regarding how their schools are adjusting to their new norms. SGA presidents from Tennessee State, Florida A&M, Clark Atlanta and Norfolk State discussed how they've remained connected with their students through social media and emphasized the importance of empathy for college students during this time.

Hampton University sophomore and Black Lives Matter Greater NY President Nupol Kiazolu led the next segment, which focused on the impact coronavirus has had on communities. Under Kiazolu's leadership, Black Lives Matter Greater NY crafted a petition to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to implement more COVID-19 testing facilities in black communities that have been disproportionately affected.

Read the full story on Hampton Script here.

NBA honors Kobe Bryant with All-Star tributes on and off the court

Keion Cage | Hampton Script Staff Writer

The NBA's All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in Chicago celebrated some of the league's best athletes. The association also changed the rules of the game to honor basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died Jan. 26.

A frenetic fourth quarter featured fierce competitiveness worthy of Bryant. Several fouls, challenges and heated disputes occurred between players and referees – rarely seen in past All-Star games.

"This fourth quarter of [the NBA All-Star Game] is an absolutely phenomenal look for the game of basketball," ESPN journalist Stephen A. Smith wrote on Twitter. "This is what fans crave and the players delivered."

Team LeBron was able to complete the comeback victory and beat Team Giannis, 157-155, with a free throw made by the Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis sealing the deal.

The NBA changed the All-Star MVP Award name to the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award. The Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard earned the honor with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

"It's very special," Leonard said in an interview with ESPN. "Words can't explain how happy I am to be able to put that trophy in my room and just be able to see Kobe's name on there."

Photo courtesy of IMDb.

For more on this story, go to Hampton Script.

President Trump unveils 2021 budget with massive cuts to assistance programs

By Sara Avery | Hampton University Staff Writer

President Trump unveiled his 2021 budget that makes major cuts to safety net programs like Social Security and food stamps. The $4.8 trillion proposal also will affect certain federal student loan programs, increasing the amount of debt that borrowers will have over their lifetime, USA Today reported.

A program that forgives the remaining student debt of public service workers, such as teachers and firefighters, who have made on time payments for 10 years, will be terminated. This could result in over $52 billion worth of additional payments in the next decade.

The budget also would terminate government payments on the subsides of Stafford loans. These subsidies are the interest the government pays on loans while students are in school. This could result in $18 billion more for borrowers over the next decade.

Additionally, a grant that helped 1.7 million students in 2019 will be axed. The Trump administration believes that the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant replicates the Pell Grant, which helped 8.2 million students in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

"I believe that Trump's new budget plan is making it impossible for families with harder financial circumstances to send their children to college," HU sophomore Daelin Brown said.

Another change being made is the limit placed on how much parents of undergraduates can borrow from the federal government with the Parent PLUS loan. Currently, parents can borrow the full annual cost of attendance minus other financial aid their student receives per year. Under the 2021 budget, that would be restricted to only $26,500 to pay for their student's entire undergraduate education.

"That's totally reasonable," Sandy Baum, a fellow in the Center for Education, Data and Policy at the Urban Institute, told USA Today. "There's no reason why the federal government should lend such large amounts of money to parents who may have their lives ruined by it because they can't afford to repay it."

The budget also will include modifications of Social Security and Medicaid, even after the president promised several times during campaigning that he would not touch it. The budget plans to cut around $45 billion on Social Security Supplemental Income, a program aimed at helping disabled children and adults. It also plans to cut $844 billion in Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act over the next 10 years.

For more on this story, go to Hampton Script.

Vice President Mike Pence visits Hampton University’s Proton Therapy Institute

By Ayanna Maxwell | Hampton Script Editor-In-Chief

Photo Credit: Glenn Knight

Vice President Mike Pence visited Hampton University's Proton Therapy Institute on Feb. 19 to engage with students, faculty and HUPTI treatment survivors.

According to a news release from HU's Office of University Relations, the visit was arranged with the intentions of "supporting the University's efforts in providing state-of-the-art cancer research and delivering cancer treatment to military veterans and their families."

With it being Black History Month, Pence's visit to such a prestigious historically black university was extremely timely. Vice President Pence has established a fervent relationship with Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey and even noted that President Harvey played a major role in the recently signed policy making federal funding for HBCUs permanent.

Photo Credit: Glenn Knight

"President Harvey has been a real champion of this administration, particularly for HBCUs," Pence said.

Vice President Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos participated in a roundtable discussion with various campus leaders: SGA President Jonathan Mack, SGA Vice President Bruce Wilson, Junior Class President Oshae Moore, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Kenneth Rioland III, Hampton Script Editor-in-Chief Ayanna Maxwell and Miss Student Nursing Association Ebony Johnson. Among students and faculty, Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Barbara Inman, Senior Vice President Attorney Paul Harris, and Chancellor and Provost Dr. JoAnn Haybsert were present.

"We think Hampton represents the best of HBCUs."

––Vice President Mike Pence

The vice president engaged in a meaningful discussion about the current administration's plans for supporting HBCUs and increasing White House internship and study abroad opportunities for HBCU students.

"[The current administration has] increased HBCU funding by 17% in real dollars...and restored Pell Grants to being year-round," Pence said. "The Department of Education also provided more than $500 million in loans for capital financing."

DeVos also mentioned a new addition to the recent budget proposal, in which there is "a STEM initiative for HBCUs located in opportunity zones."

In regards to expanding White House internship opportunities, Pence plans to continue connecting with HBCUs in order to increase participation in White House internship programs. The current administration also plans to ensure that all students have access to the resources necessary to pursue an education abroad. "We are working to make college more affordable for all students, no matter where they come from," Sec. DeVos said.

For more on this story, go to Hampton Script.

Hampton commit receives McDonald’s All-American nomination

By Amber Anderson | Hampton Script Staff Writer

The vision is clear and bright for Hampton University commit Victoria Davis, as she is one step closer to becoming a McDonald's All-American athlete. Davis is living out a dream of many high school athletes. Along with more than 900 other high school basketball players across the country, she has been nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game.

Photo Credit: @chapternextphotography via Instagram

The McDonald's All-American Game has maintained a reputation for a difficult selective process. The names of the athletes have to be submitted and approved by a wide variety of judges. They include high school coaches, high school athletic directors, high school principals and McDonald's All-American Games Selection Committee Members. What surprises people the most is there isn't a set number on the amount of the nominees throughout the country.

Once the voting committees cast their vote, 24 young women will have the opportunity to become a McDonald's All-American. If selected, she will be playing with some of the best of the best on April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

For more on this story, visit Hampton Script.

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