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Ministry serves farmworkers through sacraments, outreach

first_img Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector Bath, NC AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Martinsville, VA Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Smithfield, NC Press Release Service Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Pittsburgh, PA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Featured Jobs & Calls Ministry serves farmworkers through sacraments, outreach Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Submit a Job Listing This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Rector Tampa, FL Curate Diocese of Nebraska Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Farmworkers wear long pants, sleeves and gloves to work in the fields partly to protect themselves from pesticide exposure. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENS[Episcopal News Service – Newton Grove, North Carolina] On a rainy, humid mid-September morning five hours before the Sunday noon Eucharist at Sacred Family, the Rev. Tony Rojas got behind the wheel of a white van and began making the rounds to pick up men from the farmworker camps set back on highways and county roads among the single- and double-wide trailers and more stately brick homes of rural North Carolina.He picked up men like Abraham Cruz, 47, of Tlaxcala state in east-central Mexico, who for the last seven years has traveled to the United States on a temporary agricultural worker visa to work eight- to 12-hour days in the fields planting and harvesting cucumbers, watermelons, tobacco and sweet potatoes. Cruz’s earnings go to support his family in Mexico, whom he sees two to three months a year.Over the past 18 years, Rojas has built up the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, a joint ministry of the dioceses of North and East Carolina, with a 16-acre campus on Easy Street in Newton Grove. The ministry serves farmworkers in 47 camps scattered across Sampson, Harnett and Johnston counties.The men arrive by van or decommissioned school buses early for the ministry’s free ESL classes, haircuts, immigration services and tax and legal advising, and to play soccer. Farmworkers, who spend six days laboring in the fields wearing long sleeves and pants to protect themselves from pesticide exposure, on Sundays change into shorts, jerseys and cleats, practicing for an annual daylong soccer tournament organized by the ministry.Farmworkers typically range in age from 18 or 19 to more than 50 years old. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSThe ministry began in 1982 when a single outreach worker identified a need and from her car began distributing clothing and personal care items to farmworkers, then mostly Haitian migrants. Today, with its sacramental ministry that includes three mission congregations and its 20-plus outreach programs, the ministry reaches 3,500 farmworkers directly and impacts the lives of thousands more.There are some 150,000 farmworkers, the majority of them from Mexico, working in North Carolina’s fields; some documented, some undocumented. The ministry serves them all.Providing sacraments and outreach to farmworkers, regardless of their immigration status, is rooted in the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”By focusing on the sacraments and social outreach, the ministry remains “bipartisan,” said North Carolina Bishop Michael Curry during an interview with ENS in his office in Raleigh, the state’s capital. “That’s the work of Jesus that can be done by Republicans and Democrats.”Curry has publicly called for immigration reform that would reunite families, but the church’s official advocacy for farmworker justice or immigration reform on the state level is coordinated through the North Carolina Council of Churches, of which the dioceses of North, East and Western North Carolina all are members.Farmworkers head to the fields early in the morning picking sweet potatoes by the bucket load to fill trucks like these. Photo: Christine McTaggart/Diocese of North CarolinaAgriculture has a rich legacy in North Carolina which today ranks fifth nationally with 8.4 million acres under cultivation and more than 50,000 farms producing $11.7 billion annually in agricultural commodities. Though corn, soybeans and cotton are machine-harvested crops, 85 percent of fruits and vegetables – beans, melons, sweet potatoes, tobacco, strawberries –are picked by hand.When members of the North Carolina Growers Association can demonstrate the local labor force is insufficient to meet the production needs of the farms, they can fill the gap through the U.S. Department of Labor’s H-2A temporary agricultural worker program. North Carolina has close to 7,000 H-2A agricultural workers, and ranks high among agricultural states using the program. (The visa program provides legal entry to work, but critics see it as a means to keep farm wages low.)Growers can ask for anywhere between 20 and 200 farmworkers, Rojas said.In 2000, Latinos made up 50 percent of the state’s farmworkers; today that percentage is 95, said Jennie Wilburn, a program associate with the Raleigh-based North Carolina Council of Churches.The North Carolina Council of Churches, its history advocating for the rights of farmworkers going back decades, runs public awareness campaigns in English and Spanish and uses a Bible-based curriculum to involve the churches, said Wilburn.Still, she said, “The political climate for vulnerable groups isn’t great.”Wilburn said, “One thing that’s gotten a lot of attention recently is the Human Rights Watch report on tobacco.”Farmworkers live in trailers like this set back off rural, county roads. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSThe 138-page report released in May documents the hazardous conditions and nicotine poisoning faced by children working in the top four tobacco producing states, including North Carolina.Alice Freeman, who serves on the farmworker ministry’s board, knows what it’s like to work on a tobacco farm.“I am the daughter of sharecroppers … my dad had five girls, his brother had five girls, they always farmed together, no boys,” she said. “When you grow up on a farm, a tobacco farm with cotton, tobacco, soybeans, corn, you do the work yourselves. We didn’t have brothers to do the work, we didn’t have so much money to hire other workers, we did the work in the fields; I know what it’s like to be in the fields.”The farmworker ministry addresses a need, seeks to treat people as humans, to be compassionate. “When you are a long way from home, a friendly face, a helping hand goes a along way,” said Freeman.(Click here for a video of Alice Freeman talking about the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry and its programs.)In addition to working long hours under the hot sun, migrant and seasonal farmworkers often live in substandard housing sleeping on filthy mattresses or the floor; there might be a shared toilet, or an outhouse, a single shower for bathing and a washtub for laundry.The Rev. Tony Rojas, or “Father Tony,” came to the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry 18 years ago. Rojas himself comes from the Roman Catholic tradition.  Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSDuring his first three years of ministry to farmworkers and witnessing the living conditions, Rojas said he had trouble sleeping. He’d visit camps at 2 a.m. and all the lights would be on and the farmworkers would be preparing their lunches, which sometimes they’d crouch under the bus to eat to get out of the mid-day sun. He’s seen farmworkers suffering nicotine poisoning through their exposed skin rolling on the ground in agony.Even after 18 years of working with farmworkers, Rojas still doesn’t understand how they do it, he said. Like the growers, who face the challenges of farming and often carry heavy loan burdens, farm work is a vocation. The farmworkers and the growers provide human beings with the food necessary to sustain the miracle that is life. “Without food we cannot survive, cannot keep the life,” he said.In 1960, before Cesar Chavez founded the National Farmworkers Association bringing attention to the plight of farmworkers, broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, a native North Carolinian, co-produced an hour-long documentary “Harvest of Shame,” which examined the lives of migrant farmworkers and the poverty that marked their lives.Murrow’s film depicts the lives of primarily white and African-American farmworkers; today’s farmworkers come mostly from Mexico and Central America. Otherwise, the lives of migrant farmworkers have changed little, according to a follow-up, 30-minute documentary, “Harvest of Dignity,” produced in 2011 in association with the Durham-based Student Action with Farmworkers.Farmworkers with temporary worker status, or the seasonal workers, are guaranteed certain employee rights, their travel to and from the United States paid for, housing and food provided, and they live on the farm to which they are assigned. Seasonal workers rely on the growers to bring them back to work year after year, and can sit idle while waiting for crops to come in; undocumented workers tend to be migratory and follow their crew leaders to where the work is.A report released in 2011 studying migrant farmworkers’ housing conditions in North Carolina conducted by the National Institutes of Health found housing standards inadequately enforced and farmworkers living in substandard conditions, with undocumented workers living in worse conditions than temporary workers.Over the years Rojas said he’s seen some camps’ living conditions improve. And through grassroots efforts, like those of the North Carolina Council of Churches, Student Action with Farmworkers and the Farmworker Advocacy Network, more and more people in urban areas, like Raleigh, Durham and Research Triangle Park are becoming aware of the farmworkers living within 50 miles of them.For instance, “Harvest of Dignity,” said Wilburn, led the North Carolina Department of Labor, which inspects migrant and seasonal farmworker housing, to require camps to have one toilet per every 10 and one washtub per every 30 residents.(Jon Showalter and his family, members of Church of the Nativity in Raleigh, North Carolina, have for a decade driven the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle some 40 miles to the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry in Newton Grove, the first Saturday of every month. “It has been a blessing for our family to be involved in this ministry,” Showalter said. Click here for video of the food shuttle.)Changing demographics“Strong roots, new growth,” reads a sign at the entrance to Harnett County, where on one side of Highway 55 is the campus of Stoney Run Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church and on the other is Iglesia de Dios Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer Church of God.For the Episcopal Church, said Rojas, to have a presence in this part of the state is itself an anomaly, and building it up among the Latino population, with its Catholic roots, wasn’t easy.“Latinos by culture and tradition come from the Roman Catholic Church, that’s the one true church,” he said. For them, a different church “means the devil is coming.Now, however, at peak harvest, the Sacred Family mission, which meets on a concrete slab under a metal roof on the ministry’s property, is one of the largest Episcopal congregation in North Carolina, serving migrant farmworkers, families and immigrants who’ve made the state home.Soccer has always played a strong role in Rojas’s ministry. Here on a Sunday morning farmworkers practice for an upcoming annual tournament before the Eucharist. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSAt 78, Rojas, a former Roman Catholic priest-cum professional soccer player in his native Colombia, maintains a youthful appearance. And when he first began his ministry in the camps, it was the soccer ball that gave him entrance, not the Bible.“That was how I built a natural relationship with the farmworkers,” he said. After he’d gained their trust, he said, they began asking for blessings and the sacraments.It took seven years, working for three of those years with the same 18 people.Today, however, Rojas said, it’s understood that all are welcome and the message is simple: “Christ is our lord and savior … and to live a Christian life: love God, love self and love the other.”It touches Father Tony to administer the Eucharist to men, like Abraham Cruz, here,  with calloused hands, because in Latino culture, women are more likely to present themselves for the Eucharist, he said. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSAfter making inroads into the Latino community and building up the farmworker ministry, for a time serving as both the sacramental minister and the ministry’s executive director, Rojas’ next priority is to fortify Sacred Family, which is housed on the ministry’s administrative campus in Newton Grove, and the two other congregations he serves, St. Joseph’s in Smithfield and St. Francis in Goldsboro.After noon Eucharist, Rojas drives some of the farmworkers back to the camps, and then drives some 25 miles to Goldsboro for a 4 p.m. Eucharist. (Click here for a video of Rojas reflecting on his ministry.)Since the year 2000, North Carolina’s Hispanic population has increased by 111 percent, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan, independent educational institute.In rural schools, like Hobbton Middle School, where 12-year-old Idalia Rubio-Trejo is a sixth grader, the student body is almost half Latino, Rubio-Trejo said.Idalia’s father is a farmworker and her mother is a homemaker. Idalia, who is fully bilingual, has three brothers and two sisters; the family has been in North Carolina for 16 years and attends services at Sacred Family on Sundays.In addition to Rojas, the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry is staffed by Silvia Cendejas, assistant director; and Maria Acosta, an immigration specialist who annually assists some 3,000 immigrants navigate paperwork, work visa renewals and petitions for family reunification.One need Cendejas and Acosta have identified that is not being met is to provide assistance to women in domestic violence situations. The women are confronted with three or four cases weekly, they said.An individual farmworker on average must pick two tons, 4,000 pounds, of sweet potatoes to earn $50. Photo: Lynette Wilson/ENSThe population increase and the fact that more often farmworkers and their families are choosing to remain in North Carolina year-round has put increased demands on the ministry, said Patti Trainor, the Diocese of North Carolina’s development coordinator for the farmworker ministry.Longtime volunteer Rolffs Pinkerton, a retired psychologist and member of Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, who 10 years ago began volunteering as a translator, framed it this way: “We’re asked to serve the neediest of the neediest,” said Pinkerton, a North Carolinian who grew up in Venezuela. “And this is probably as close as you can come in North Carolina; I don’t know of a population more in need.”To meet the demands of a growing Latino population and to continue to serve farmworkers, in 2013 the Diocese of North Carolina initiated the Harvest for Hospitality campaign aimed at raising $400,000 – double the ministry’s annual budget – by June 2015.Robert E. Wright, who co-chairs the campaign, said Harvest for Hospitality is an investment: “They [immigrants] are a part of our community, and us, a part of theirs.“It’s a holistic ministry, body, soul and spirit; it’s really seeing people as people, as fellow human beings. It’s empowering, not paternalistic.”Harvest for Hospitality also aims to bring the farmworker ministry into the 21st century, said the Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, who co-chairs the campaign with Wright and serves as vicar of Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill.A successful campaign will not only to provide the ministry with the financial resources necessary for transformation – the hiring of a new executive director and a person to serve as a liaison between the growers and the farmworkers – but also engage young people, both as participants in the ministry and financial supporters.Already, young people are active in the ministry’s visitation program. In June, for example, the youth group at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines helped out at a nearby Head Start program for children of migrants, did yard work, and with Rojas, visited the camps distributing clothing and personal care items to farmworkers.The participants, said Paul Collins, the youth minister at Emmanuel, took their experiences and their stories about farmworkers home with them and shared them; they’ll continue to engage in the work and educate themselves about issues affecting farmworkers. After all, he said, they are the future voters.– Lynette Wilson is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Submit an Event Listing An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Director of Music Morristown, NJ Rector Belleville, IL Rector Knoxville, TN Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Featured Events Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Albany, NY Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH By Lynette WilsonPosted Oct 10, 2014 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Submit a Press Release Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector Columbus, GA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Collierville, TN Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Washington, DC last_img read more

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Colombian Demobilization Campaign Appeals to Giving at Christmas

first_imgThe GAHD did something similar in 2010 with Operation Christmas, in which members from the Colombian Army’s Rapid Deployment Force Command descended onto the jungle late one night with 2,000 LED lights to decorate a more-than-22-meter-tall tree activated with motion sensors so it would light up when passersby came near it. Displaying a large sign with the message, “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can also come home. Demobilize. During Christmas, anything is possible,” the operation appealed to the Christmas spirit to foster disarmament and demobilization among members of the country’s illegal armed groups, including the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In addition to providing the soccer balls as gifts, the campaign included educational and family activities in which children participated in sports tournaments, arts and crafts, puppet shows, etc. while civilian, government and military authorities joined together to promote family values, respect for Colombia and for living a life within a legal framework with support of parents, schools and the community in general. In fact, “Juega por la vida,” was so successful originally, that subsequent iterations have followed throughout 2014. In the last eight years, thousands of Colombian guerrillas have demobilized and returned to civilian life as productive members of their society. In doing so, these individuals have given themselves the gift of an opportunity at a new life. In the last eight years, thousands of Colombian guerrillas have demobilized and returned to civilian life as productive members of their society. In doing so, these individuals have given themselves the gift of an opportunity at a new life. “Demobilized guerrillas have given themselves the gift of returning to their families or making new families, having a job, starting a business, purchasing or renting a home, visiting new destinations, starting a music band, and simply, creating the possibility of making their dreams become a reality,” says Iveth Carmen, Communications Director of the GAHD. “There’s no one better than them to invite their former guerrilla comrades to do the same.” “By demobilizing, I gave myself the gift of a mom,” says Ramiro Velez, who demobilized from the FARC’s ranks seven months ago. In doing so, he won back his family and a place in his home. Others like him gave themselves back their studies, a family, a home, a soccer team and a girlfriend, according to the GAHD campaign. According to data from the Ministry of National Defense, 331 demobilized guerrillas admitted that the tree and the message motivated them to leave the terrorist organization, an increase of 30 percent over demobilizations in December 2009. “By demobilizing, I gave myself the gift of a mom,” says Ramiro Velez, who demobilized from the FARC’s ranks seven months ago. In doing so, he won back his family and a place in his home. Others like him gave themselves back their studies, a family, a home, a soccer team and a girlfriend, according to the GAHD campaign. The group again resorted to human emotion to promote demobilization in 2013, with the “Juega por la vida” (Play for Life) campaign, in which they piggy-backed on the momentum created by the national (and world-wide) soccer fever ahead of the FIFA World Cup celebrated in Brazil in June 2014, and delivered thousands of soccer balls with anti-recruitment messages simultaneously throughout 14 municipalities in rural areas where illegal armed groups such as the FARC exert their power by forcing minors from their families and homes to join their ranks. By Dialogo December 08, 2014 This year’s campaign is using joy —specifically the joy of demobilized members at having given themselves a chance at a new life by demobilizing — as the emotional force to encourage guerrillas to disarm and follow suit. The demobilized member’s attestations are emotionally charged and detail their daily struggle to continue to fulfill their objectives. This Christmas season, it’s no different. Titled, “During Christmas, anything is possible,” the annual effort is using mass media to broadcast radio and television ads leading up to an event inviting guerrillas to use the Christmas season as an opportunity to switch their weapons for their families, for a job, a sport, a life. “These broadcasted statements will utilize the mass media to reach guerrilla members that are still active throughout the country, and serve as convincing calls to continue to feed our concept of telling guerrillas that this must be the Christmas in which they give themselves the gift of an opportunity at a new life,” concluded Carmen. This Christmas season, it’s no different. Titled, “During Christmas, anything is possible,” the annual effort is using mass media to broadcast radio and television ads leading up to an event inviting guerrillas to use the Christmas season as an opportunity to switch their weapons for their families, for a job, a sport, a life. “These broadcasted statements will utilize the mass media to reach guerrilla members that are still active throughout the country, and serve as convincing calls to continue to feed our concept of telling guerrillas that this must be the Christmas in which they give themselves the gift of an opportunity at a new life,” concluded Carmen. very good To achieve this and show the community the positive effects such a life-altering “switch” can have, demobilized former guerrillas are accompanying the event by giving their individual testimonies and enforcing the fact that each guerrilla member has the power to make a change in their own lives and reminding them to fight for it, noted Carmen. That is precisely the theme of this year’s disarmament and demobilization campaign by the Colombian National Defense Ministry’s Group for Humanitarian Assistance to the Demobilized (GAHD). They have been executing varied multi-media campaigns against the illegal recruitment of minors by illegal armed groups as well as to foster disarmament and demobilization among their members for years, appealing to human emotion, family values and the Christmas spirit to instill a desire for a life free of weapons and the illegal actions guerrilla members live with as part of the ranks. This year’s campaign is using joy —specifically the joy of demobilized members at having given themselves a chance at a new life by demobilizing — as the emotional force to encourage guerrillas to disarm and follow suit. The demobilized member’s attestations are emotionally charged and detail their daily struggle to continue to fulfill their objectives. “Demobilized guerrillas have given themselves the gift of returning to their families or making new families, having a job, starting a business, purchasing or renting a home, visiting new destinations, starting a music band, and simply, creating the possibility of making their dreams become a reality,” says Iveth Carmen, Communications Director of the GAHD. “There’s no one better than them to invite their former guerrilla comrades to do the same.” According to data from the Ministry of National Defense, 331 demobilized guerrillas admitted that the tree and the message motivated them to leave the terrorist organization, an increase of 30 percent over demobilizations in December 2009. The group again resorted to human emotion to promote demobilization in 2013, with the “Juega por la vida” (Play for Life) campaign, in which they piggy-backed on the momentum created by the national (and world-wide) soccer fever ahead of the FIFA World Cup celebrated in Brazil in June 2014, and delivered thousands of soccer balls with anti-recruitment messages simultaneously throughout 14 municipalities in rural areas where illegal armed groups such as the FARC exert their power by forcing minors from their families and homes to join their ranks. The GAHD did something similar in 2010 with Operation Christmas, in which members from the Colombian Army’s Rapid Deployment Force Command descended onto the jungle late one night with 2,000 LED lights to decorate a more-than-22-meter-tall tree activated with motion sensors so it would light up when passersby came near it. Displaying a large sign with the message, “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can also come home. Demobilize. During Christmas, anything is possible,” the operation appealed to the Christmas spirit to foster disarmament and demobilization among members of the country’s illegal armed groups, including the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). That is precisely the theme of this year’s disarmament and demobilization campaign by the Colombian National Defense Ministry’s Group for Humanitarian Assistance to the Demobilized (GAHD). They have been executing varied multi-media campaigns against the illegal recruitment of minors by illegal armed groups as well as to foster disarmament and demobilization among their members for years, appealing to human emotion, family values and the Christmas spirit to instill a desire for a life free of weapons and the illegal actions guerrilla members live with as part of the ranks. In addition to providing the soccer balls as gifts, the campaign included educational and family activities in which children participated in sports tournaments, arts and crafts, puppet shows, etc. while civilian, government and military authorities joined together to promote family values, respect for Colombia and for living a life within a legal framework with support of parents, schools and the community in general. In fact, “Juega por la vida,” was so successful originally, that subsequent iterations have followed throughout 2014. To achieve this and show the community the positive effects such a life-altering “switch” can have, demobilized former guerrillas are accompanying the event by giving their individual testimonies and enforcing the fact that each guerrilla member has the power to make a change in their own lives and reminding them to fight for it, noted Carmen. last_img read more

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Bianchi Family to Launch Legal Action against FIA, FOM

first_imgThe family of Jules Bianchi is launching a legal action against the sport’s world governing body the FIA, Marussia and Formula One Management following his fatal crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.Bianchi died on July 17 last year, nine months after he crashed into a recovery vehicle at the rain-soaked Suzuka race. He was the first F1 driver to die as a result of injuries sustained at a race weekend in more than 20 years. The statement released by Stewarts Law read: “The family of Formula One racing driver, Jules Bianchi, has today announced they plan to take legal action in England relating to the fatal head injuries Jules Bianchi sustained in a violent collision with a mobile crane at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, 2014.“The letters (to the FIA, Marussia and Formula One Group) explain why the Bianchi family feel the actions of one or more of those parties, amongst others, may have contributed to Jules’ fatal accident and invite them to accept that errors were made in the planning, timing, organisation and conduct of the race which took place in dangerous conditions during the typhoon season in Japan.“As a family, we have so many unanswered questions and feel that Jules’ accident and death could have been avoided if a series of mistakes had not been made.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Ruling keeps NCAA from limiting some athlete compensation

first_img WATCH US LIVE Last Updated: 12th August, 2020 07:53 IST Ruling Keeps NCAA From Limiting Some Athlete Compensation A court decision the NCAA says will hurt college sports by allowing certain student-athletes to be paid “vast sums” of money as “educational expenses” will go into effect after the Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene at this point Written By A court decision the NCAA says will hurt college sports by allowing certain student-athletes to be paid “vast sums” of money as “educational expenses” will go into effect after the Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene at this point.Justice Elena Kagan denied the NCAA’s request to put a lower court ruling on hold at least temporarily while the NCAA asks the Supreme Court to take up the case. It plans to do so by mid-October.Kagan declined to put on hold a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In May it upheld a lower-court ruling prohibiting the NCAA from limiting compensation for education-related expenses for student-athletes . The ruling applies to athletes in Division I football and basketball programs.The NCAA said the ruling “effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both ‘unlimited’ amounts for participating in ‘internships’” and an additional $5,600 or more each year they remain eligible to play their sport.The ruling allows Division I conferences to still independently set rules for education-related compensation provided to student-athletes.Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer, said in a statement Tuesday that the NCAA’s Division I Council will meet Wednesday to “put in place an immediate implementation plan.” Remy said that given the “adverse impact” of the appeals court’s decision and despite Kagan declining to put it on hold, the NCAA still plans to ask the Supreme Court to take the case.Jeffrey L. Kessler, an attorney for the student-athletes who sued, cheered Kagan’s decision.“We are delighted that the athletes will soon be able to receive the many education related benefits that the injunction will permit. This is the start of a fair and just system to reward these athletes who put their bodies on the line to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for their schools,” Kessler said in a statement. He represents former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston and other student-athletes who sued.In seeking to have Kagan put the appeals court’s decision on hold, the NCAA’s lawyer, Seth Waxman, wrote that allowing schools to pay student athletes “vast sums on the pretense that they are for an ‘internship’” or awards for remaining eligible to play “will eradicate the distinction between college and professional athletes, causing many consumers to lose interest as college sports are perceived as just another minor league.”The decision is another victory for those who want college athletes compensated beyond just a scholarship, and there are more changes coming on that front. The NCAA is in the process of changing its rules to permit athletes to be compensated for the use of their names, images and likenesses. That should open opportunities for athletes to be paid for endorsement and sponsorship deals, for appearances and for promoting products or events on social media accounts.Gabriel Feldman, director of the Tulane University Sports Law Program, said Tuesday’s decision “will open the door for schools to provide benefits they have not been able or willing to provide in the past.””The extent of those benefits remains to be seen and perhaps remains to be debated and discussed,” Feldman said. “But at least from the language of the injunction itself, the NCAA will no longer be able to cap non-cash education-related benefits and will have a limited ability to cap the cash-related academic achievement awards.”The NCAA is facing pressure from numerous states that have either passed laws or are working on bills that would make it impossible to prevent athletes from earning money from third parties for playing sports. The NCAA is seeking help from the federal government in the form of a national law that would supersede all state laws.Image credits: AP LIVE TV First Published: 12th August, 2020 07:52 ISTcenter_img Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT FOLLOW USlast_img read more

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