Tag: U.S. State Department

Turkey Renames Street Where New U.S. Embassy Will Reside to ‘Malcolm X Avenue’

Malcolm X thegrio.com
Portrait of American political activist and radical civil rights leader Malcolm X, July 9, 1964. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

by Blue Telusma via thegrio.com

City authorities in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, have officially renamed the street where the new U.S. Embassy is being built to Malcolm X Avenue after the famed Black Muslim civil rights leader, CNN reported this week.

According to state-run media agency Anadolu, Turkish leaders announced that the city assembly had accepted the name change unanimously.

The move comes at a time when relations between Turkey and the United States have been tense because of the Trump administration’s decision to supply Kurdish group that support the Syrian opposition with weapons.

This change coincides with other politically-charged name changes to streets in Ankara. The new signs are likely meant to be seen as an olive branch to American diplomats, but is both a symbolic and controversial move. Malcolm X is still seen as a polarizing figure in U.S. history; with many applauding the Black Muslim civil rights leader as an activist while others continue to regard him as divisive and responsible for inciting racial tension, violence and anti-American rhetoric.

“The street was given the name of U.S. Muslim politician and human rights defender Malcolm X, about whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ‘we will make his name live on in Ankara,” Ankara’s municipality said in a statement published over the weekend.

Erdogan met Malcolm X’s daughters during a visit to New York last month and his spokesman Ibrahim Kalin shared the story about the name change on his Twitter account on Sunday.

The U.S. State Department reports that construction of the new American Embassy, which will sit three miles from the current embassy, is expected to be completed by June 2020.

Read more: https://thegrio.com/2018/10/16/turkey-renames-street-of-their-new-us-embassy-to-malcolm-x-avenue/

UC Davis in CA to Host 1st Energy Institute for Obama’s Young African Leaders Program

2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)
2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Twenty-five young African leaders will leverage the world leadership of the University of California, Davis, in zero-net energy and its global experience to tackle energy challenges in their countries.

They will come to UC Davis for the first and only energy-themed institute offered through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

The U.S. State Department and IREX, the international nonprofit that administers the fellowship program, today (Feb. 9) announced the 36 universities that will host six-week summer programs — also in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management — for about 1,000 fellows.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges is transitioning to a sustainable energy future, and UC Davis is leading with research, education and outreach in energy sciences, technology, management and policy to develop solutions.

“The fellows are future leaders in Africa,” she added, “and UC Davis is partnering with them to make a difference in our communities, our countries and our world.”

Selected from countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a competition, the fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who already have a record of leadership and accomplishments.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and has led two peace mission teams to Africa. “I congratulate these young leaders from Africa for their participation in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, as well as their dedication to improving the energy future of their countries and the world,” he said. “I am also very proud of the University of California, Davis, for the global leadership it is showing by hosting this unique and important institute for the Mandela program.”

Expertise from campus and beyond

Institute seminars and lectures will draw on the expertise of faculty from a broad range of disciplines and some dozen UC Davis institutes and research centers — including the Energy Efficiency Center, which accelerates the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies, and the Institute of Transportation Studies, the world’s leading university center on sustainable transportation.

Field trips and guest lectures will expose the fellows to key energy organizations and leaders in the generation and use of renewable energy.

In hands-on service and learning, the fellows will help install solar energy systems for lower-income families, clean up a local watershed, perform campus energy audits, and work on a community garden.

‘Brilliant, energetic and fearless’

The fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who have promoted innovation and accomplished positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. They have made a commitment to return to Africa and apply their leadership skills and training to benefit their community or country.

The fellows will be selected this spring, and the institute will be held in June and July.  To learn more about the program and how to apply, go to: Mandela Washington Fellowship

Cicely Tyson and Rita Moreno Among 2015 Kennedy Center Honorees

George Lucas Cicely Tyson Rita Moreno
George Lucas, Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno (GETTY IMAGES)

Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno, George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King, conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Eagles have been selected to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the center said Wednesday.

The artists will be celebrated Dec. 6 at a gala to be broadcast Dec. 29 on CBS.  President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend along with other notables from the worlds of showbiz, politics and business.

The Honors gala, now in its 38th year, will again cap a weekend of celebrations to include a private dinner at the U.S. State Department the preceding evening hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. Honorees receive their colorful medallions at that event. In addition, the Obamas will host honorees and others at the White House prior to the gala performance.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein saluted this year’s selections, which were chosen based on the recommendation of the Center’s Special Honors Advisory Committee. Other input is offered by the center’s board of trustees, its artists committee and the public.

Rubenstein praised Tyson for her range of strong female roles on stage and screen that “have broken boundaries for women of color,” and said Moreno’s “iconic spitfire roles” are embedded in the heart of American culture, while Ozawa’s artistic leadership as a conductor has “set a new standard for orchestras around the world.” He

Rubenstein said the music of the Eagles “has endured as the quintessential American rock and roll sound for generations.” The core band members to be feted are Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Joe Walsh.

King, another pop hitmaker, has a canon of “heartfelt lyrics and tunes (that) are woven throughout the tapestry of American music.” Films from Lucas have “enriched our world with stories of epic adventure,” said the KenCen chieftain.

Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said the latest slate of honorees shares a powerful common theme — artists as history-makers and artists who defy both convention and category. “Each honoree and their career-spanning achievements exemplify a rare quality of artistic bravery,” she said. “They have pushed the limits of their gifts as musicians, actors, and storytellers to inspire generations of Americans and those around the world.”

article by Paul Harris via Variety.com