2013 in Review: A Landmark Year for Gay Rights

2013 in Review: A Landmark Year for Gay Rights

A Landmark Year for Gay Rights: Edie Windsor, Robbie Rogers, and Jason Collins helped make 2013 a historic year for gay rights.

2013 in Review: A Landmark Year for Gay Rights

World AIDS Day: A Compassionate Commemoration of Loss and Recommitment

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World AIDS Day: A Compassionate Commemoration of Loss and Recommitment

I used to be afraid of dying,
I’m not afraid anymore,
I’m more afraid of what happens,
To the people who live.

Saturday, December 1st, is World AIDS Day 2012, an annual opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against the devastating AIDS pandemic.  It is a day for commemorating the 30 million people who have been lost to AIDS-related causes, to honor the 34 million people presently living with HIV and to recommit ourselves to creating a future without AIDS. From 2011 to 2015, World AIDS Day has the theme, “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.”

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Elton John: The Last Song (From “And The Band Played On”)

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Photography by: Thomas Alleman

30 Years From Here: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic’s Impact On Generations

The HIV/AIDS epidemic gets a hard-hitting overview in 30 Years From Here, a poignant documentary that uses personal accounts from victims, activists and medical experts to show how the “nondiscriminatory” disease has shaped and affected their lives over the past three decades. ACT UP founder Larry Kramer and playwright Terrence McNally are just two of the high-profile voices featured in this documentary. In 2012, 30 Years From Here was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

30 Years From Here: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic’s Impact On Generations

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And The Band Played On (1993)

Randy Shilts’ book And the Band Played On was the first critical study of the development of the AIDS epidemic. Insightful, detailed and passionately argued, the book generated tremendous interest as well as a number of controversies, particularly with sections of the text that appeared to be critical of some segments of the gay community. And the Band Played On (1993) is the award-winning docudrama based on Shilts’ book, which includes clips of actual news reports and documentary footage of a number of authentic events, such as a moving, candlelight memorial procession in San Francisco.

And The Band Played On (1993)

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Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House, and is moving quickly through Congress. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the internet, in the name of protecting “creativity.” The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites; they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.” The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year. That’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

PROTECT-IP/SOPA Breaks The Internet

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Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

Abandoned is a haunting four-minute short film directed by David Altobelli, accompanied by Karen O’s cover of Willie Nelson’s Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys. Chipotle commissioned this short film as part of its campaign to raise awareness about the negative effects of industrialized farming.

The film follows three young boys as they enter and explore a dusty, vacant farmhouse in the quiet hours before dawn. Abandoned works because it feels like a music video, not a message film about the dire straits of family farms. Only at the very end of the film is Chipotle’s branding established, along with a pitch for Farm Aid.

Abandoned: The Plight of American Family Farms

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Sayonara: A Sad Farewell in an Era of Global Warming

Sayonara: A Sad Farewell in an Era of Global Warming

Sayonara is a beautiful four-minute animated short film by Canadian artist Eric Bates, a film he created while at Japan’s Kyoto University of Art and Design. The film is a mix of minimally rendered CG, detailed puppet model-making, and hand-drawn animation. Sayonara tells the story of two unlikely friends saying goodbye. A young man named Charles just lost his home to the encroaching sea and spends one last day with his best friend, a sea turtle, before moving on. Just in case you miss it, there’s a short sequence after the credits.

Sayonara: A Sad Farewell in an Era of Global Warming

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Lost Youth: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

Newsboy, “Don’t Smoke, Visits Saloons,” 1910

Young Girl Working in a Textile Mill, Newberry, South Carolina

Boys Working the Midnight Shift, a Glass Factory

A Young Coupling-Boy (12-14 years old) at Indian Mine, Jellico, Tennessee

Children Working at Bibb Mill No. 1., Macon, Georgia

Lost Youth: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940) attended the University of Chicago and later moved to New York City in 1901, where he accepted a position as an assistant teacher at the Ethical Culture School. At that time, Hine started using the camera as an educational tool and also began to attend the School of Education at New York University.

By 1905, Hine had received his degree from New York University. He continued to photograph for the ECS and while leading its Photography Club, he met Paul Strand. By 1906 Hine was considering a career in Sociological-Photography and began to pursue freelance work with the National Child Labor Committee. In 1908, the NCLC assigned Hine to photograph child labor practices. For the next several years, Hine traveled extensively, photographing children in mines, factories, canneries, textile mills, street trades and agricultural settings.

Hine’s photographs alerted the public to the fact that child labor deprived children of childhood, health, education and a chance of a decent future. His work on this project was the driving force behind changing the public’s attitude about children and work, and it was instrumental in the legislative battles that resulted in the passage of stricter child labor laws.

Lewis Hine: U.S. Child Labor, 1908-1920

Slide Show: Lost Youth/Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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President Obama Signs Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “Out of Many, We Are One”

President Obama Signs Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “Out of Many, We Are One”

With his signature today, President Obama put in motion the end of the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which has hurt our military as a whole, has forced thousands of those who serve to do so under a cloud of anxiety and isolation, and has stood as a symbol of the barriers to unity and equality in our country.  As the President put it, “For we are not a nation that says, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’  We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.'”

During the signing ceremony in a packed auditorium at the Interior Department, President Obama said, “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie or look over their shoulder.”  Quoting the Chairman of his Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, Pres. Obama went on to declare, “Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives.  None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well.”

President Obama Signs Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

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