The Statues on Liberty

By Kailyn Huang/AYA Reporter

Last month, the media went into a frenzy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that undocumented immigrant families at the United States and Mexico border were being separated from each other and locked up in facilities across the U.S. This shocking news added fuel to the debate about how aliens of the U.S. should be treated. Due to severe backlash from the public, President Donald Trump has since announced that the families will be reunited.

There is, however, no telling how thousands of separated families are going to meet again.

USC Prof. Steven Lamy is an expert in U.S. politics and foreign policy. When asked about how he feels about the separation of families at the border, Lamy expressed his disappointment in the U.S. government. “It’s a sad situation,” Lamy says. He feels as though the American people have grown to fear globalization, and “blame the outside world” for issues like unemployment in the U.S.. He claims that the Trump administration’s power and influence over its supporters becomes greater when it decides to ‘take action’ in order to ‘secure’ the nation.

People getting ready to rally at the Families Belong Together protest before 11:00 a.m. (Photos by Norma Delgado)

“[Trump] can detain an entire family, but the kids don’t have to be [separated from their parents], even if [Trump’s] goal is to prevent [migrants] from coming in,” Lamy explained. The reason behind the separation of children as young as three months old is so that the idea of having one’s children being taken away from them act as a deterrent to crossing the border.

National Public Radio’s (NPR) Ted Robbins, who onced covered border control issues, feels similarly about the Trump administration’s toughening immigration policies. He says that the toughening of restrictions in immigration have decreased the number of people entering the United States, though.

“The number of people coming in are at their lowest in 40 years,” he said. Like Lamy, Robbins believes that the motive behind the act of separating families at the border was a deterrent to stop people from crossing the border. Robbins explains that the idea was to scare migrants away from crossing the border with the idea of their children being taken from them.

“If [the migrants] knew their children would be taken away from them, they wouldn’t try--but that tactic didn’t work in areas like Tijuana. [The migrants] still crossed,” he said.

These migrants, who attempt to cross the border by circumventing immigration officials and passing through rough terrain, are detained and placed in immigration prisons separate from their families if they are caught.

Last Saturday, a protest against this separation of families was held in major cities across the U.S. Activists described the act as “inhumane” and “cruel,” while others complained that the undocumented immigrant children being housed in storage facilities without their parents in abandoned Walmarts were receiving better treatment than American children.

Protesters wore white shirts in support of those separated from their families. Others created their own version of that controversial jacket that Melania Trump wore recently when she went to visit detention centers. Inside of writing “I Really Don’t Care, Do you,” they wrote things like: “I DO CARE, DO U?” Others went the traditional route and held up signs with creative messages that bashed the government for its policies.

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom attended the protest in LA, and gave a rousing speech at the event. He was joined by U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, and U.S. senator Kamala Harris.

“[I’m] sick and tired of the policies coming out of the White House, Trump, and Trumpism,” Newsom said in his speech to a crowd of over eight thousand protesters.

Newsom, who is the leading candidate in the race to become the next governor of California, has expressed his disdain at the separation of migrant families before.

Harris, a longtime ally of Newsom, had similar things to say about the president. “We are better than having detention facilities that are prisons [that] house mothers who have been ripped from their children,” said Harris.

The Trump administration has been receiving overwhelming amounts of criticism in its newly instated immigration policies, which have caused it to retract some of its ‘no-tolerance’ practices, like separating children from their parents. However, it is still unclear as to how the administration’s attitude towards immigration might change, especially after the ongoing movements against the administration and its stances on immigration.

Thousands Gather in LA Protesting Zero Tolerance

A poster of a child crying and pleading for the reunification of the families that are being separated in detention camps. (Photos by Norma Delgado)

By Norma Delgado/AYA Reporter

To protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy against immigrants, particularly at the southern border, hundreds flocked to City Hall in downtown LA recently for a rally and march. Upon arrival, an hour before the protest was set to begin, there were already hundreds of protesters located throughout the area at the Families Belong Together event.

"They are just kids!"

With absolutely no regard for the 80-degree weather, marchers came to support the unification of families. Many wore white as a symbol for resistance against social and racial injustice. Traditionally, the color white has been used to represent racial equality and social justice during social movements and activism.

A man from Slightly Offensive surrounded by police during the Families Belong together protest.
Native American groups visited the protest and showed community support.

Participants, demanding that children be reunited with their parents, held protest signs displaying a variety of political views. Some were humorous, others demanded radical political actions, depicted cultural connections and there were plenty of signs with slogans against the Republican administration.

Common chants were, “They’re just kids!”

“What do we want? Justice! When do we need it? Now!”

“Si se Puede!”,”Dónde están los niños?”

“We’re all human!”

During one speech, a woman read a prayer stating that the Native American community shared the pain of being separated from family and the reported abuse of children in detention like camps. She suggested that history is repeating itself.

Another sign referencing the hypocrisy of imposing immigration laws when those imposing the laws operate on stolen land.

Many protesters wore jackets, buttons, and carried posters saying a phrase, “I really care, do u?” A rebuttal against the jacket Melania Trump wore when visiting the child detention sites which read, “I really don’t care, do u?” Many felt that it suggested that she did not care about the children held in detention centers. Though she claimed that was not the message she intended to give off when she wore that jacket, protesters were having a hard time believing the First Lady.

A Donald Trump Tweet on the day of the march, praised those who work for ICE, promising the agency would never be abolished.

Trump even commented on the protest demands. He criticized Democrats for wanting to abolish ICE and saying that it shall never happen but also taunt them. In another tweet, Trump remarked Democrats would ruin their chances to win the 2018 Midterms by pushing for an end to ICE.

Many prominent people spoke at the event including Mayor Eric Garcetti, candidate for Governor of California Gavin Newsom, and even celebrities like John Legend and Jimmy Gomez from Black Eyed Peas.

USC's Vela Educating Students on Complex Immigration Issues

William "Billy" Vela, director of USC's El Centro Chicano Center. (Photo by Kayla Vera)

William “Billy” Vela, director of the El Centro Chicano, has recently been talking to students at USC about immigration topics, describing the current situation as the government treating people as inhumane.

“Basically we’re not thinking about people as people we’re treating them as animals,” said Vela, referring to detention camps where children are being held away from their parents. He said that the real problem is that the Republicans aren’t working closely with the Democrats to try to come up with solutions to the problem. Vela also mentioned that ordinary citizens should come together to fix this issue, but unfortunately the government’s mishandling of the situation is making it very difficult.

Vela made a strong point by mentioning that the United States is a country of immigrants and that these people “are not the problem, but are the solution.”

According to Vela, many of USC’s undocumented students at the university and that they are more frightened but that the school has sent out a memo saying it will protect their undocumented students. Vela also stated that students want to see a DREAM center built at USC.

El Centro Chicano is one of USC’s four cultural centers. It supports Chicanox and Latinx students by giving them a sense of community. It also helps students develop their leadership and academic skills, while teaching them more about their culture.

Will USC Scandals Affect Enrollment Numbers?

By Daniel Lee/AYA Reporter

The recent University of Southern California (USC) scandal concerning former gynecologist George Tyndall’s sexual misconduct allegations has caused major uproar in the college community. Within the high school community, however, USC’s apparent mishandling of the claims against Tyndall is a non-issue for students interested in applying.

In recent months, the Los Angeles Times released multiple articles detailing how former gynecologist George Tyndall had allegedly behaved inappropriately during physical examinations with female patients over the past 30 years. USC President C. L. Nikias launched an independent investigation in 2017, but withheld the results from the state medical boards, allowing Tyndall to resign with a severance package.

Although this particular case caused the most uproar on campus, with more than 300 USC professors signing a petition to have Nikias step down, Tyndall is not the only USC employee to take a fall. In the past calendar year, USC has had to fire two deans from its Keck Medical School. The first to go was Carmen Pulafito in 2016. He reportedly had substance abuse issues and extra-marital relationships with alleged prostitutes. His replacement, Rohit Varma, was let go for sexual harassment accusations earlier this year.

While these scandals greatly appalled USC students and professors, high school students who plan on applying to USC seem to be uninformed and unconcerned about these incidents.

In a survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Youth Academy (AYA), more than half of all high school students claimed that they had not, or had barely heard of the USC scandals.

So why are high school students not familiar with the scandal? The scandals were widely publicized but the only national newspapers that reported the story at lenth were The Washington Post and The New York Times. In a general, social survey by Statistics Canada in 2013, researchers found that only 37 percent of people ages 15-19 read the newspaper. Instead, most high school students get their news through social media outlets and TV.

The study also found that 71 percent of the same age group used the Internet and 62 percent of the students used TV to follow the news. In 2016, Nina Godlewksi of Business Insider interviewed teens. Godlewski discovered that very few teens even read the newspaper and instead relied on social media sites such as Facebook and Buzzfeed for news.

Another result from the survey was that of the students who knew about the scandal, only six percent of the people stated that the scandal would deter them from applying to USC.

Students also believed that the academic standards of USC were more important than the scandals. One respondent said, “USC is a top-level school. If I could go there, I could get a great education and get a good job. That’s what is most important to me.”

The most profound survey finding was that 70 percent of the high school students who knew about the scandal stated that the allegations against Tyndall did not lower USC’s reputation. Students seem to believe that Tyndall was an atypical case and had nothing to do with how USC operates.

Exclusive: Former USC Patient Says Tyndall Was "Creepy and Awkward"

By Kailyn Huang/AYA Reporter

Last month, the Los Angeles Times dropped a bomb on the University of Southern California.

A team of reporters revealed complaints against Dr. George Tyndall, a former on-campus gynecologist accused of sexual misconduct and making racially insensitive comments during his nearly three-decade career at the health center. Many former and current students said they had complained about Tyndall but that USC administrators had failed to take action.

One of those students is Shernae Hughes, a recent USC graduate.

The year was 2015. Hughes, 18, walked into Tyndall’s office to get a prescription for birth control pills. Hughes sat down and Tyndall began grilling her about her academic pursuits. Hughes told him that she’s majoring in political economics and African American studies and that she wanted to open up “businesses in low-income black communities.”

Soon, things began to get tense.

Hughes, who initially thought that Tyndall was kind of “creepy and awkward” says that he told her that she should open up more [birth control] clinics so that African Americans “can stop having so many babies.”

“He came across to me as someone who was overtly racist,” says Hughes during an interview at USC’s Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, where she currently works. She says he “bullied” her with sexist and racist comments during her exams.

Hughes says she realized a short time later that Tyndall’s constant pressuring was a key part of his plan to sexually assault her the same way hundreds of other women now accuse him. After her examination, Hughes left the Student Health Center feeling “confused and upset.” She shared her concerns about Tyndall with her friends and peers. In 2016, after hearing similar stories from other patients of Tyndall, Hughes about Tyndall’s conduct with health services.

A year went by with no response from the university.

It is now 2017. Hughes is about to graduate. She still hasn’t heard back from the university. A year later, the Los Angeles Times revealed sexual-assault allegations against Tyndall going back 27 years. More than 50 women are filing lawsuits against him. More than 300 women are accusing Tyndall of assaulting them. Additionally, more than 500 professors at USC sign a letter demanding that the university’s president, C.L. Max Nikias, resign from his position.

Faculty believe he knew about these allegations and was complicit in the cover up. Tyndall was suspended in 2016 and was then forced to resign in 2017 with a severance package of an undisclosed sum. USC did not report him at the time or its findings to the state medical board.

On the last Friday in May, Nikias stepped down.

While Hughes is happy that Nikias is gone, she wants USC to do more. Since going public with her allegations against Tyndall, Hughes has hired attorney John Manly, an expert in sexual-abuse cases, to sue Tyndall and USC. Manly is best known for representing victims of Dr. Larry Nassar, a former physician at Michigan State University, who had been sexually molesting children and young adults for years. With Manly at her side, Hughes hopes that Tyndall gets the “punishment that he deserves.”

“USC did an awful job at handling the complaints,” Hughes said. She believes that her complaints about Tyndall misconduct, along with hundreds of others, were ignored because “USC just cared about its public image.”

Hughes’ co-workers, student ambassador specialist Marshall Davis III and USC alumna Destiny Jackson concurred with Hughes.

Davis believes the university tried to “minimize” the damage that would occur when word of the scandal got out for the sake of its own reputation as one of the top universities in the United States. Jackson accused USC of “turning a blind eye” to the complaints filed against Tyndall.

Hughes, who is now 21, wants to get a PhD and a law degree en route to becoming a professor specializing in research related to discrimination against African Americans. She wants women who have experienced sexual abuse to “speak out to [their] peers, friends, family, [and] even authority, if necessary.”

Gentrification: The Good, Bad and Ugly Realities

Neighborhoods in LA resisting change.

By Kennedi Hewitt/AYA Reporter

We’ve all heard of the recent renovations at The Forum in Inglewood, CA, and we all know about Los Angeles County’s plans to build the stadium for the new football team we’ve acquired. On the surface, these look like positive changes being made in a historically poor and underrepresented community.

But when we really delve into the economic and social factors that come along with the refurbishing, we’re greeted with a series of questions: Who is this benefitting? Who is this hurting? And finally, is it really worth it?

Gentrification, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste.” What this definition doesn’t go into, however, are the realities such comformities throw many lifetime residents into.

For example, often times a city will replace affordable fast food restaurants with more expensive and trendier restaurants. The issue with this replacement is many residents who rely on the cheaper fast food chains to nourish their family, typically can not afford the more expensive restaurants, and thus have no source of food. In addition to the change in sustenance, property values also may rise, leading to people having to leave their homes.

Despite all of the negative aspects, there are definitely upsides to the process. For many, gentrification often brings more wealth into the community. Property value goes up and the emergence of new shopping centers and healthier restaurants also provide residents with more options and an improvement in lifestyle.

Commenting on the shift in his neighborhood’s wealth, Inglewood resident Lamont Hewitt said, “I approve of it because it benefits my family financially. However, there are those that can’t afford to live here. They have to relocate, they can’t afford it, and it’s sad.”

Hewitt provided some insight into the financial benefits of gentrification for the middle class. It’s mainly about the increase in property value.

Another Inglewood resident, Denise Collier, is not a fan of gentrification.

“I think it destroys the community,” she said. “All of the people who used to live in the community have left. The people who are used to living there can’t even afford it anymore. A lot of the people that come here due to the gentrification don’t respect the community a lot of times.”

Gentrification also contributes to a shift in the community’s demographic. As people of the lower-class are forced out, and people of the middle and upper class move in and the community undergoes a substantial shift in their ability to maintain tradition, comfort, and social life.

Gentrification has indeed made Inglewood a more desirable place to live. It’s close to the freeways and LAX, and there are a lot of new restaurants—many of them offering healthier food options than the spots that were forced out. The emergence of new shopping centers and other entertainment venues will either give residents more options for recreational activities, or cause the property value to rise to the point of unaffordability.

Ultimately, gentrification has its upsides and downsides. There’s no way to accurately judge it productivity and usefulness.

Gentrification: A Future Improved, A Culture Lost

It's coffee time!

By Aniya Logan/AYA Reporter

The world we live in is constantly changing. With the evolution of the internet, nothing seems to be permanent. Not everything, however, needs the assistance of technology to be apart of a life changing transformation. Gentrification is a process that has been impacting people and changing lives far beyond the safety of a screen.

With the different challenges and benefits that comes with gentrification, the perspectives on this process tends to vary based on who is discussing it. After interviewing Real Estate Broker Yonnie Hankins, who defined gentrification as, “A facelift of urban neighborhoods that have fallen by the wayside, maybe deteriorated, are being cleaned up by affluent residents.”

She then went on to discuss how despite the possible issues the people of low income may face due to gentrification, that in the end it will have a more positive impact than a negative one. Hankins believes that education is key and that in order to truly understand the benefits of gentrification people must be educated. She pointed out that those you are oppose to the process are usually the ones who lack complete knowledge of what it entails.

When interviewing two young people living in a neighborhood currently undergoing gentrification, one of the things that was discussed was the way that gentrification can improve the educational options in a neighborhood. They had very different opinions compared to that of Hankins.

Hannah Barahona, 15, said, “It’s bad because it disrupts a community that has been built on culture.It's like building a Starbucks in the middle of street where there are four other mom- and-pop cafes. Guess who’s going to run out of business?” Barahona went on to explain that although the diversity of a neighborhood can be beneficial, it can harm the existing culture to a point of no return. But, she also acknowledged that neighborhoods could become much safer, but at the cost of losing many residents.

Anthony Rodriguez, 16, expressed his distrust for the process of gentrification. Initially not knowing the definition of gentrification, he immediately dived into the impacts it can have on low income residents once it was explained.

“Iit makes it harder for those who already live in these neighborhoods to maintain their own houses causing many people could lose their homes and end up homeless,” he said. When asked about the effect gentrification can have on education, Rodriguez chose to focus on the racial bias and privilege.

“More white people would enter into the school districts in these areas and white schools currently already tend to beat most schools in the ‘hood’ when it comes to that and kids in these areas tend to do other things such as roam the streets do drugs at a young age or get involved with gangs leaving a small portion of students who actually want to get a good education,” he said. Rodriguez explained that gentrification is usually associated with white people over taking areas with a population that is mostly people of color. He explains that due to white privilege, the education system may receive more support with the help of gentrification.

So, what can be done?

Despite the different perspectives, each person provided an almost identical answer--provide the community with more resources such as community centers and job opportunities to keep them together.

It seem evident that Hankins, Barahona and Rodriguez all are all aware of the benefits and consequences of gentrification. But perhaps most importantly, they are all citizens who hope for nothing but the best for their communities and society as a whole.

Gentrification: Another View of Displacement

By Alexis Johnson-Fowlkes/AYA Reporter

Inglewood: Pre-Gentrification (Photo courtesy of Len Brown)

Comprehensively, gentrification has had positive and negative impacts on communities across LA County.

It has had a positive impact because it improves neighborhoods very rapidly and rebuilds fallen urban communities. On the other hand, negative impacts have occurred due to various reasons.

For one, gentrification can affect the established cultures in different communities and that can cause turmoil. Secondly, gentrification causes the displacement of low income families. These families are forced to move from their homes and left with uncertainty not knowing where they are going to live next. And, gentrification increases property taxes which can be a disadvantage for everyone.

Inglewood: Post-Gentrification (photo courtesy of Len Brown)

According to Yonnie Hawkins, a real estate broker at Chase Skye Realty Group, we can solve the displacement issue by establishing more job opportunities and increasing wages and work hours for low income families. In addition, she believes “first time buyers” programs would also be a solution.

Overall, Hawkins believes gentrification has a positive impact on communities because it has so many beneficial advantages. With informing and educating communities on gentrification, she believes communities will finally start to flourish and improve their resources.

“It needs to be discussed and educated so we can use the beneficial advantages,” she said.

Just One More Click

Smart teens and their Smartphones

By Brandon Chen/AYA Reporter

We’ve all been there. Staring at our digital device for hours on end. In fact, many of you might be reading this on a mobile phone right now. With the rapid development of technology and mobile devices, this has become the new normal.

The changes and advances in digital media and social media in mobile devices have allowed smartphones and other devices to become intertwined with our lives. In fact, Forbes magazine cited a United Nations report that said more people on Earth have access to a smartphone than have access to a flushing toilet. For many, these devices only have six or seven hours of downtime (like a night’s sleep) and have become integral for people’s day to day lives.

These glass windows into the Internet offer ways to work wherever one is, while also being the go-to for entertainment and relaxation through the forms of media streaming such as Netflix and Youtube, social media, and games. According to a study done by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 60 percent of high school students at the Annenberg Youth Academy feel addicted to their mobile device and 79 percent feel distracted by their devices at least once a day.

There’s no denying that digital devices play a huge role in the lives of teens. While many believe that using mobile devices prepares teens for life in the 21st century, their usage has become a source of concern.

Alyssa Rave, 15, says, “I use my phone every day. I check my phone about once or twice an hour on average. While I do not feel addicted to my phone, I do feel distracted by it.”

Katelyn Wu, 15, agreed. “I use my phone very often. I check my phone depending on how many notifications I have and get distracted depending on how many messages I receive,” she said. “However, I don’t feel addicted to my phone and can go days without it.”

And, Warren Oetojo, 16, admits he has a hard time straying away from the blue light. “I use my phone very often and sometimes feel addicted. Since it is always within arm’s reach, I feel distracted by it fairly often as well.”

Overwhelmingly, the teens responded that their phones are mainly used for social media.

Katelyn Wu says, “I use Instagram, Snapchat, and Messenger the most.”

Ethan Wang, 16, is also big on social media apps. “I use Messenger the most to connect with my friends.”

Justin Sun, 16, also falls for the same trap of social media. He says, “I feel distracted mostly by Snapchat because of the notifications and ability to connect with friends.”

Social media has become a vital part in our society, allowing people from all over the world to connect with each other and stay up-to-date. However, this is a double-edged sword. It may lead to some negative outcomes for users such as lower self-esteem and the potential for depressive and/or anxiety symptoms, but can also foster a positive self-esteem through our profiles, gain social support through our networks, and improve and/or affirm our sense of self depending on usage.

Mobile devices and technology are clearly the future and are not going anywhere. They connect people from across the globe instantaneously, allow for immediate access to information and ultimately bring the world to our fingertips. While these technological advances have changed life as we know it for the better, it also comes with some drawbacks—namely distraction and addiction, leaving people disconnected from reality. It is, however, our future. That’s why it is even more important to pay attention to these challenges facing our community and families.

While many don’t believe that they are addicted to their mobile device, hopefully, this data serves as a wake-up call to the world to take a break and stop staring down at our mobile devices, and instead to look around and make friends in real life, going back to basics in being a human being.

Gangs in LA

Might not hear much about gang violence any more but it's still happening in the City of Angels, Crips & Bloods

Crips and Bloods flags

By Heidy Carvajal/AYA Reporter

The City of Los Angeles is known as the “gang capital” of the United States. The Los Angeles Police Foundation (LAPD) states that, “There are more than 450 active gangs in the City of Los Angeles. Many of these gangs have been in existence for over 50 years.” (2018, Los Angeles Police Foundation) The LAPD estimates that in Los Angeles there are approximately 45,000 individuals that are actively participates in gang-related activities.

Gang grafitti art. (Photos by Heidy Carvajal)

The highest rate of gang violence was during 1988–1998. his period of chaos and destruction was nicknamed the “decade of death.” Approximately 1,094 people died from gang violence in 1992, the year four white LAPD officers who had been caught beating Rodney King on video were acquitted, sparking the LA riots. Although the LAPD has not released any statistics regarding gang-related deaths in nearly three years, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that gang rose significantly in 2015. The Los Angeles Times, however, reported that nearly 600 people have been killed in Los Angeles county in the past 12 months. Many of them, according to the paper’s homicide blog, are young men between 17-30.

USC DPS Chief John Thomas.

John Thomas, the Chief of Public Safety in University of South California, was personally touched by this form of violence. Thomas’ brother was shot and killed while trying to defend a woman being attacked by a gang member. Thomas says that it will haunt him for the rest of his life. He lost a member of his family but he understands why some kids get involved in gangs.

“Youth usually get involved in gangs because of a lack of love and attention at home,” he said. “Gangs become a substitute for family.”

The reality is that gang violence is scars the minds of young and old individuals and impacts many lives negatively. Gang violence is usually caused because of a rivalry with other gangs. They are constantly competing with each other to prove their superiority.

According to the LAPD report on gangs, people and parents in gang-infested neighborhoods should discuss the consequences of being in a gang. They should also talk to school officials to see if there have been any problems on campus, stay in close contact with law enforcement, seek out community programs and don’t ignore the signs.

“Staying aware of your surroundings is one of the most important things,” LAPD Sgt. Keith Mott said. “A lot of people don’t want to speak up when they witness gang violence. By doing that, they’re not helping anybody.”

California Dreaming May Take on New Meaning With upcoming Vote

Some residents could find themselves living in a new state if vote passes

By Daniel Lee/AYA Reporter

In the upcoming Californian ballot in November, there will be a vote about whether the state should split itself three ways.

Although it seems unreal, the initiative –called Cal-3 - has gained support from many Californians who are upset with the lack of representation of California in the Senate.

Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. In an interview with John Myers of The Los Angeles Times, Draper states that supporters of the split will “get better infrastructure, better education, and lower taxes.”

Experts, however, are skeptical that the benefits claimed by Draper are worth dividing the state up. Steven Maviglio, a Democratic politician, told Myers that, “This measure would cost taxpayers billions of dollars to pay for the massive transactional costs of breaking up the state.”

“Not a snowball’s chance in hell.”--USC Annenberg Prof. Tom Hollihan

In an interview with Tom Hollihan, a professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School, Hollihan said, “There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that California will split.” Redefining the state lines would mean that the Democrats would gain control of the Senate. With congress, the senate and the presidency currently being controlled by the Republicans, however, the initiative is not likely to pass. According to Hollihan, if anything, the Cal-3 initiative is a “protest vote of political expression than it is something that real pragmatically and practically is likely ever to occur.”

Trump's Image Issues, Better or Worse Since North Korean Summit

Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un greets U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP photo)

By Norma Delgado/AYA Reporter

United States President Donald Trump recently made history by meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after 70 years of simmering tensions between the two countries. This comes after nearly a year of them calling each other names on social media negotiating the release of American prisoners and concerns about the possibility of nuclear war.

After a series of meetings, the two leaders are now allegedly good friends. Trump called Jong-un, “A great man.” They also signed a joint declaration that will reportedly establish better relations, establishing a peace regime on the North Korean peninsula, reaffirm the Panmunjom Declaration (a document regarding denuclearization) and lastly, the release of all living prisoners of war and the remains of those missing in action.

Nicholas J. Cull, a historian and the director of the Public Diplomacy master’s program at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, discussed the aftermath of the 2018 North Korea United States Summit during a recent interview, and addressed Trump’s comments about his new BFF.

“I think that Trump has gone a little over the top in praising Kim Jong-un,” Cull said. “Maybe he shouldn’t have said quite so many things about what a great guy he is and how happy the people are in North Korea.”

For a guy that already has a low approval rating and has been highly criticized for his immigration policies, will complimenting a dictator who has allegedly murdered members of his family help endear him to Americans and citizens of the world?

“Well, I think that people who hate Trump hate him, and people who love Trump love him, and whatever he says doesn’t seem to make much a difference” Thus, concluding that there would be no change in the way people view Trump.

Cull further states that, “We’re now in a situation where opinion is so polarized that people’s reactions are ordained before they hear the actual evidence.” Cull implies that no matter what Trump does, his image would hardly shift. “People already know what they think before they’re told. Before the conversation even develops.”

A CNN article published just after Trump was elected, reported on global sentiments about the former reality TV star. The article mainly detailed people’s fear and concerns. Cull says that, “When you ask foreigners about the U.S., they admire its technical products. They admire the physical beauty of the country. They admire the friendliness of the people. They admire the economic system and the system of free enterprise. But they do not admire our President.”

When asked about the way Trump handles foreign policy, Cull said, “Trump says stuff that undercuts existing American foreign policy. There’s all this uncertainty about what America will choose to do. In the long term, [Trump’s handling of foreign policy] it’s quite dangerous because it erodes uncertainty in American alliances. If alliances are uncertain, that only benefits America’s enemies.“

While Cull is hopeful that relations between the two countries will improve, he’s not sure they will.

“It’s a good start, but there have been good starts with North Korea before. Now we actually need to apply that,” says Cull, when asked whether we can call this a success for Trump and what should Trump do to act on that success. “[Trump] has to keep talking to North Korea. This is a good start but we need to follow through, and unfortunately, the North Koreans are going to need to see some benefits. They’re expecting trade. Some kind of guarantees from the United States.”

Also, in an email exchange with Joshua Pollack, nonproliferation expert, Pollack also commented on the aftermath of the summit.

“The Singapore summit does not ease my concerns about Trump's approach to foreign relations. It was overshadowed by the calamitous G-7 meeting. Fears and worries around the world are appropriate,” he said of the summit.

When asked if the summit is a step in the right direction, Pollack states, “The US-North Korea summit in Singapore and the events that led up to it mark a major improvement over the crisis atmosphere of 2017, but where they lead is uncertain.”

“The summit was premature by the normal standards of diplomacy, since there is still no real agreement between the two sides on the most essential issues, Pollack remarked when asked whether the summit managed to alleviate the tensions. “It has been welcomed here in Seoul as a way of ending the perceived march to war, but we should all be concerned that the process will founder and return us to where we started, or worse.”

We can now conclude that the North Korean and U.S summit did little to shift Trump’s image. If anything, it expanded the initial fear that existed before Trump was elected. Pollack mentions, “He was elected on a platform of hostility to minorities and foreigners, and there is only so much that can be achieved there.”

Although the Trump administration will likely refuse to admit it, the relations and alliances post-summit are more uncertain than ever. Pollack says, “Trump does not value alliances or trade partnerships at all, seeing them only as ways that other countries take advantage of America.”




Jacob Tamkin

Donald Trump is everyone’s favorite Tweeter, family-man, husband, business role-model and the most infamous president of the United States since Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.


So, what has Donald Trump done that is so bad? In all honesty not much. At least for a middle-class half-Latino, half-Jewish white kid raised as a Catholic in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. As a minority in California the voice of Latinos, African-Americans, and women rise up strongly against Trump's “racism,” “sexism,” and “anti-immigrant sentiment.” It is almost social suicide to be a Trump supporter in California. So, being the “color” I am and category I’m put in, how do I fit in in California? How do I fit in in conversations about race, about gender, about politics?

Can I hug a female or is that too forward and aggressive? Do I support Trump because he is the President and it’s my duty to support him no matter what? Or, do I become anti-American? Do I not support him because he’s an a---hole?

These questions constantly arise in my day-to-day life. Just last week a relative of mine sent me a picture over text of her holding a “F--k Trump” sign at an anti-Trump protest. This woman is white and middle-class so why is she so angry? What has Trump done that has affected her so much that she feels the need to out him at a protest and feel so much hatred at a man who is the figurehead of the country. People see Trump as a man who made the American border a concentration camp, a man who is anti-Muslim because he implemented travel bans.

The Democrats, and a good portion of Republicans love to portray Trump as an evil man who plots his next evil move from a throne. In reality, tent cities were around long before Trump even ran for president and the Muslim-country ban consists of the exact same countries as the Obama administration proposed.

That said, Donald J. Trump is not fit for presidency. With no filter, no background in politics, how is this man the best our country has to offer? I will tell you why he has such a strong and supportive base. On the surface, a big business man who promises to make everyone richer and to “Make America great again,” sounds like a great bargain. What many failed to notice is that there was no explanation of how this was to be accomplished and now two years later, there is still a wage gap, there is still debt.

Someone should have asked “When was America great?”

Can you please give me specific examples of how America is worse now than it has been in the past? How can you genuinely say you will change the most powerful country in only four years (because we all know that you won't be elected a second-term)?

People need to ask questions, it is a powerful tool.

Trump’s presidency has gripped the attention of the whole nation, whether pro or against. It has encouraged political engagement and discussion from all age groups. Hard questions are being asked; ideas, stories, and opinions that were previously not discussed are now done nightly on the news. It has brought issues of gender, race, and discrimination to the forefront of the media. It has showed what works and what doesn’t, what qualities do we need in a president and those that we don’t.

Although I wasn’t old enough to vote in the last election, I have become so engrossed in politics that I feel more informed than ever about both sides and feel ready to vote in the next election. Will Trump’s four years open the gates for a reality TV show host or popstar to be elected or for a politically experienced, man or woman to be elected and lead our country?

These past two years have truly changed the mindset politically, financially, and socially of America and the whole world.

History was made when U.S. President Donald J. Trump met with Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea last month. The summit, which took place in Singapore, was the result of weeks of talks between diplomats to arrange logistics despite a previous cancellation of the meeting.

The focal point of the summit was denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), one of the major outcomes of the summit was the pledge for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to “work toward” complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and reaffirm the Panmunjom Declaration.

Complexities of GEO Politics Between NK & US

Sandi Khine

History was made when U.S. President Donald J. Trump met with Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea last month. The summit, which took place in Singapore, was the result of weeks of talks between diplomats to arrange logistics despite a previous cancellation of the meeting.

The focal point of the summit was denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), one of the major outcomes of the summit was the pledge for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to “work toward” complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and reaffirm the Panmunjom Declaration.

Patrick Monaghan from The Diplomat wrote that the Panmunjom Declaration was an affirmation between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In to assure “the world that military action on the Korean peninsula will not happen anytime soon, and most likely never will." This means that there will be no provocations, nuclear tests, missile launches, or reconnaissance operations from either North or South Korea.

The summit is considered a success by both the U.S. and North Korea. Both Trump and Kim achieved almost all of their goals at the summit.

"Trump gave Kim Jong-Un legitimacy and enormous face, plus the huge concession of ending U.S-South Korea joint exercises (even adopting NK language to describe them as "provocative") and raising the possibility of eventually withdrawing U.S troops," noted Mike Chinoy, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the U.S.-China Institute and former CNN senior Asia correspondent.

All of this indicates that Jong-un and North Korea is moving towards complete denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. This means that, "The end of the U.S-South Korea security alliance and the U.S nuclear umbrella," Chinoy said. The ill-defined nature of the agreement, however, is worrying, despite Trump considering it "comprehensive."

With no clear plan, detail, or timetable for the future, the agreements made at the summit are actually broader than agreements previously made between the US and North Korea. One example is from the six-party talks on Sept. 19, 2005, "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning at an early date to the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) and to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards."

This old agreement is far more specific than what is in the recent agreements from the Singapore Summit.

What is left to consider is what future negotiations between the U.S., North Korea and other countries will bring to ensure that North Korea will roll back their nuclear initiatives. While nothing is certain despite the successful summit, Kim appears to be looking to improve not only North Korea's economy, but also the country's international relations. Chinoy emphasized that, "The true test will be whether [North Korea] is prepared to begin to take concrete steps on denuclearization in the negotiations that are due to get underway. It may well be that Kim really does intend to use this moment to initiate sweeping changes for the better in [North Korea] and will make at least some significant gestures on the nuclear front." Kim, however, may be limiting his nuclear activity, Chinoy mentioned in his article that Kim's "goal is to try to do this while keeping enough of a nuclear arsenal so he doesn't have to take Trump's words as the only guarantee of his security."

Ultimately, there is nothing that can be done but to wait and see what prospective negotiations and meetings will hold for the future of nuclear, military and missile activity in North Korea.

I Still Want to be a Trojan

Saruulsanaa Bayaraa

A students’ senior year of high school is one of the most important times in their life. By their first semester they already have taken their SAT and have an idea of what colleges they are going to apply to.

I’m a senior and I’m planning to apply to many colleges, one of which is USC. Recently, there have been lots of scandals at USC, the latest involving a gynecologist accused of sexual misconduct with his patients. This might have changed some people’s opinions of USC, but not mine.

The scandal involved former USC gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall. Many of the students who had been his patients complained about his sexual comments and misconduct in the exam room. According to reports in The Los Angeles Times, USC administrators were made aware of the complaints but initially did nothing about them. What’s worse, is when the university did do something about it, they allowed Tyndall to resign with a fat severance package.

The backlash from this scandal and the ones at the medical school with the deans put pressure on USC President C.L. Max Nikias to step down.

Nikias stepping down was the right thing to do. It was his responsibility to not let this kind of situation to occur in the first place. Plus, USC administrators should have reported Tyndall to the state Medical Board or law enforcement.

The former USC president’s actions made both scandals worse and put a stain on USC’s reputation. My decision to apply to USC, however, has not affected by Dr. Tyndall’s scandal. I want to go to the dental school and during my research I saw that USC has one of the top schools. Dr. Tyndall’s case taught me to be more aware of the administrators and faculty.

And let’s face it, the #MeToo movement has taught us all that sexual harassment is everywhere. It’s in Hollywood, corporate offices and on college campuses like USC. So, even if I do go to another college, I know there will probably be other men like Dr. Tyndall.

The biggest lesson I learned, however, is how important it is to speak up if something like that ever happened to me. After hearing some of Dr. Tyndall’s victims, I discovered that many of them did not know what to do or say.

That won’t be me. And hopefully, that won’t be USC any more either.

18 Years for Perfection

Estrella Ruiz

Being an adolescent is not easy. Dealing with peer pressure, school demands and hormones is tremendously stressful for the youth. Accompanied by ever-growing online platforms, adolescents face greater challenges than previous generations.

Social media is a huge factor in teens feeling peer pressure. They have the need to stand out, online, but fit in at the same time. Online personas such as Youtube stars and Instagram celebrities perpetuate a misleading lifestyle. Filters, angles and material objects are all displayed on social media for show and rarely reflect daily life.

Teens, however, misinterpret the posts and feel a sense of inferiority. Feelings of wanting to replicate what is seen become strong, which is why online communities have grown significantly in the last decade.

Often times, adolescents do not become online stars. The whole concept of social media, likes, and comments has led to an increase in low self-esteem and mental health issues in teens.

Online challenges have contributed to the Internet becoming more dangerous. Challenges such as the choking game, the salt and ice challenge, the eyeballing challenge and the condom challenge have all started online and have led to serious injuries.

Teens extend these challenges in order to prove themselves as daredevils. Challenges and treacherous games have always been around, but now they have become more widespread. More teens find out about the challenge and participate as the pressure to do so is substantial.

And then there's school.

Pursuing higher education is highly advised. Niche colleges are very desirable but with higher numbers of college applicants to the popular schools, the competition is higher than ever. Many teens have been rejected by their dream schools even though they have the grades and the extracurriculars. Instead of having relaxing summers some students engage in extracurriculars to become more competitive when applying to college.

Students, especially in working-class communities, cannot afford to pay for programs. In order to stay competitive teens look for free opportunities such as Los Angeles Trade-Technical College courses or the Chicano Youth Leadership Project. With an overbearing amount of applicants seeking free enrichment, the selection process is rigorous.

Adolescents who need a job or have vacations need to compromise their time in order to complete the course they applied to. Stress levels can last all year for many students, making school an even greater and more exasperating task.

High expectations make these stressors worse and can cause mental health problems. Anxiety and depression are among the most common conditions as 20 percent of teen boys and 30 percent of teen girls are facing these issues.

It can be said all generations of teens had their fair share of stress and the current generation has the same amount as any other. Teens being able to adapt to their environments quicker would feel hardly any more stress.

That, sadly, is not the case. With growing amounts of teens facing mental health issues and suicide rates increasing, this generation has it rougher in terms of social expectations. There is no immediate solution to this issue.

What can be done is reporting and decreasing the amount of inappropriate and hurtful images online. Social personas could come out and tell their followers their life isn’t what it seems and dangerous online challenges reported.

Even if these steps were taken, the damage has been done and will be difficult to undo. Being an adolescent is not easy, wanting to be perfect is unrealistic although it has become a common expectation. Teenagers are young and confused. It's asking too much to expect us to get our lives together in the first 18 years.


USC Annenberg Dean Reflects on Year One

It's been a very good year for Annenberg's rookie dean. (Photo by Brandon Chen)

By Alexis Johnson-Fowlkes/AYA Reporter

Willow Bay, Dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, just completed her first year as head of the school. In her first 12 months Bay has executed new programs and curriculum, and even booked Oprah to give the commencement address at the school’s recent graduation.

Those are all noteworthy accomplishments, but at the end the day she says, “My biggest accomplishment in life would have to be my two children.”

Bay, a former model and TV personality, looked very chic in a casual white top, black and white blazer and denim pencil skirt. One of the things you first notice about her is that she’s very expressive when reflecting upon her accomplishments, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, passions and experiences.

“I saw in Annenberg an extraordinary opportunity to shape the future of the industry and to educate, train, and inspire the future generation of media and communication professionals and leaders.” --Willow Bay

Jeff Fellenzer, Associate Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg describes Bay’s first year of being dean as “dynamic” and “a year that we grew as a school.” He says some of Bay’s biggest accomplishments were pushing the school forward, formulating more ideas, and building a stronger connection between all of USC’s different schools.

Bay described her first year of being Dean at USC Annenberg as exhilarating and exhausting because there was such a large amount of intellectual, professional and civic activity that took place inside of the school along with a plethora of activities that were challenging to manage at times.

“I saw in Annenberg an extraordinary opportunity to shape the future of the industry and to educate, train, and inspire the future generation of media and communication professionals and leaders,” she said.

Coming into her first year, Bay had a three-part plan to build new platforms and foundations for researching, scholarships, promoting new partnerships, and creating new ideas and concepts to enhance the leadership at Annenberg.

Bay, who was once the face of Estée Lauder, got her start in broadcasting with the NBA Show, Inside Stuff. From there, she worked as a correspondent and host at CNN, Good Morning America and Bloomberg News. Most of those jobs were in her hometown, New York City, a place that still inspires her to this day.

In addition, Bay’s drive and passion for connecting to, and improving the lives of others, has also helped her excel in her past and present careers. Coming to USC was a different challenge because she had no experience in academia. She spent three years as director of the Annenberg school of Journalism where she had to oversee curriculum, deal with students, parents, alumni, faculty, office staff, and projects that needed to be completed throughout the hectic school year.

She did all that while being a wife and mother to her two teen-age sons.

Miki Turner, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg, considers Bay a great visionary. “She’s like Jason Kidd or Magic Johnson, that point guard that makes everyone better. She’sbuilding quite a legacy that has nothing to do with the cool people she helps bring here. Her legacy will be significantly rooted in her adhering to her own mandates to make our school better by prioritizing diversity and inclusion. That helps everyone move forward.”

Empowering Filmmaker Inspires,Motivates Girls

By Kayla Vera/AYA Reporter

Jasmine Jaisinghani, an independent film producer from Los Angeles, inspired a group of young teenage girls at the Global Girls Media conference at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism recently by telling them that their time is now and that they should take advantage of their opportunities.

Jasmine Jaisinghani (courtesy of the filmmaker)

“I think that people say the youth is our future, but the youth is our present.” With this statement, Jaisinghani explains that adults are here to help provide the youth with the tools they need to create change.

Global Girls Media is an organization that empowers young women through digital journalism, media training and film to bring perspective on a global stage. Jaisinghani is the director of programming here in Los Angeles. She has always been inspired by the architecture of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and realized that she wanted to use film and cinema to empower youth.

This summer program is available for young women ages 14 through 22 in underserved communities. It helps provide these young women with opportunities to branch out and make connections with others. Jaisinghani hopes that her girls use the program to enhance their scholastic achievements, spark social change and engage in community activism. Empowering

young women to grasp the impact of the new digital age will assist them in bringing overlooked issues and topics to perspective into the media on a global stage.

Intersectionality, is also important to the LA native. She wants to recruit women from the LGBTQ community, women of color, women with disabilities and others to join the program. Recruiting a diverse group of young women will enhance everyone’s experiences in the program by improving their self-confidence and self-worth.

Lastly, Jaisinghani advised the girls to not take no for an answer, keep articulating their thoughts, not to be sorry and keep moving forward. Empowering the young women of today through film and media creates a powerful impact in different communities and Jaisinghani hopes to create more opportunities for youth to share their voices through media and film.

A Second Chance

Graduates from FREE LA High earn diplomas

Recent FLAHS grad celebrates her accomplishment. (Photo courtesy of FLAHS).

By Daisy Mendez/AYA Reporter

On a recent Friday afternoon families and friends gathered at USC’s Seely-Mudd Hall to watch the class of 2018 accomplish a major life event. The families and friends were all dressed up to see their loved ones graduate.

About 23 students walked across the stage at Seely-Mudd from FREE L.A. High School (Fight for the Revolution that Will Educate and Empower Los Angeles), a school that was founded by the Youth Justice Coalition in the fall of 2007. The school was opened to build stronger youth leadership and increase students’ core academic skills; also support the youth development and education needs of YJC (Young Justice Coalition) members and other youth.

"Our students are resilient."--Joey Reyes, teacher

“This is a graduation for non-traditional students, they range from 16 to 24 years old and a lot of them have been pushed out,” Joey Reyes, a teacher at Free L.A. High School. “Many of them have been system-impacted, so they’ve either been in the juvenile system, dependency (dependency cases) or sometimes young women that have children we’ll welcome them,” Reyes said. “Our young people come to us with the struggles that they have with their communities, economic disparities, social disparities that they’re looking at and they’re making to school every day to graduate and get their diplomas. It’s more difficult because they’re on their own. They don’t have have families that support them.”

Joey Reyes, FLAHS teacher. (Photo by Daisy Mendez)

Some of the graduates have been recently released from jail. Some have two jobs and are trying to support and raise a family. Others come from foster homes or single parent situations. Reyes said that despite the odds stacked against them, “Our students are resilient.”

Carleta Jackson was excitedly running around the building making sure everything was in its place. She’s is a peace builder at FLAHS. Jackson “makes sure the kids are ready for school, see how their emotions are for the day.” Jackson has “a bond” with them.

“There’s a couple that got a baby on the way and they still made it,” she said wistfully. “There’s not that many that do it. There’s two in there that go to work and did it while going to school. At the end of the day we give them something to fight for, and I’m so proud of them.”

One graduate, Bianca (she declined to give her last name) said she was and asked her “excited to graduate like I’m happy I’m over it. I was just stressed trying to graduate and everything but they really help out a lot with work and getting your stuff together.”

Thanks to FLAHS, Bianca is taking another big step.

“I’m going to college, I’m going to Trade Tech and I’m taking a cosmetology course,” she said.

DTLA's Japanese Museum, A Sobering Reminder of the Past

Photos by Jessica Harris

By Emily Zamora/AYA Reporter

Upon entering the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), you are greeted by the various volunteers and kind faces of the workers who are eager to take you through an overlooked part of history. JANM is dedicated to the Japanese Americans who were severely impacted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The museum is filled with various exhibits and activities for people of all ages to learn from. One of the first displays visitors will notice when they enter the museum are the preserved artifacts from one of the internment camps in which Japanese Americans were held for more than three years.

Photo by Emily Zamora
Photo by Sandi Khine

Further exploration of the museum features more exhibits and documents showcasing the harsh reality that these individuals faced simply for looking a certain way. Some of the exhibits include images of the busses used to transfer the Japanese to internment camps.

Along with the artifacts and documents held in the museum, there is also a building across the street which serves as a media room. Filled with rows of seats surrounding the large screen in the front of the room, this space is used for screening documentaries relating to the Japanese Americans following the Pearl Harbor bombing.

One of the many films shown in the media center is a documentary examining the similarities between the oppression faced by the Japanese and Muslims after Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

There are various activities offered to the visitors, young and old., They are allcreated with the intent of spreading awareness of concepts such as EO9066 (an executive order that was passed to place Japanese Americans in camps), transportation, culture, customs and many others as well. For young adults, two of the museum’s interactive activities include being assigned a certain artifact and trying to gather as much information about it as possible to present. The second activity revolves around the Japanese culture and their tradition of origami. Two pieces of origami paper are handed to each person and in groups are taught by one of the museum’s volunteers how to create objects or creatures of your choice.

In short, the Japanese American National Museum has something to offer for people of all ages that would like to explore the history of the Japanese in America or are new to the topic. The displays are full of intriguing artifacts and informative documents, made to help the visitors get a better understanding of the hardships faced by the Japanese Americans. This museum does a great job at capturing the essence of the Japanese American experience following 1941 and allows the visitors to have an engaging visit that will not disappoint.

USC Annenberg's Tim Yuge, His Secret Life

By Aliyah Del Rosario/AYA Reporter

USC Annenberg equipment manager Tim Yuge.

Tim Yuge, who manages the equipment room at Wallis Annenberg Hall, is a familiar face around the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but most people don’t know that he lives another life.

“I don’t know what people have told you about me,” Tim Yuge said with a laugh as he leaned back in his reclining desk chair. With an empty bottle of green tea to his left and remnants of lunch splayed across his desk, Yuge’s office space was similarly chaotic. He was dressed in a casual green polo shirt, his reading glasses fixed at the bridge of his nose. It was clear that Yuge was a man who needed to be demystified.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Yuge is one of the world’s most respected Kendo instructors and referees. Kendo, a Japanese martial art in which men wear protective armor and battle with bamboo swords, is now considered a hybrid of traditional martial arts and strenuous physical activity.

Yuge competing in Kendo. (Photo courtesy of Tim Yuge)

“Since I was seven or eight years old, I’ve done this thing called Kendo,” Yuge said, finally revealing the part of his life most students and staff members did not know about. “People don’t know about Kendo, which is why I don’t really talk about it. But it’s the path I chose to lead in life.” Now a seventh-degree black belt who holds the title of professor, Yuge continues to practice and teach at a Kendo club located in Torrance, CA, one of many organizations throughout the United States. Although Kendo is typically associated with martial arts, Yuge disagrees. He sees the sport as more of a philosophy, which aims to educate people on the value of respect, integrity, and Japanese culture.

To the world around him, however, Yuge was just another California native, a third-generation Japanese- American born and raised in the South Bay area. His parents, who survived Japanese internment during World War II, instilled in Yuge the importance of his education. After attending California State University, Dominguez Hills as an undergraduate student, Yuge accordingly sought out his master’s degree in Education at the University of Southern California, where he would spend the next 35 years of his life learning, teaching, and maintaining an extremely essential role on campus.

“I’ve been here so long. I’ve seen so many things. I’ve seen all the changes,” Yuge spoke quite nostalgically as he reminisced on his life as a Trojan, in which he briefly taught Introduction to Broadcast Journalism before leaving and then returning to become the Equipment Manager. Despite the test of time, one thing remains constant. Whenever students need camera and audio equipment or have any technical issues, they come knocking on Yuge’s door.

And they aren’t the only ones. Yuge added that colleagues often came to him to “get things off their chest.” He credits his age and countless years of experience for providing him with the wisdom to advise. One such colleague is USC Prof. Miki Turner, who teaches Photojournalism at the Annenberg School. She spoke fondly about Yuge as she looked back on their four years of friendship. “We’re really good buddies,” she said with a laugh. “I go to him all the time with the most bizarre last-minute requests. It would make me mad, but he’s just really even-tempered.”

Even so, Yuge’s kindness tended to be masked by a stern facade.

“Some people say, ‘Wow, you don’t have a lot of emotion for this, that, and the other,’ but that’s just the way I am,” Yuge said as he shrugged nonchalantly. “In order to be fair to all the students, I have a set of rules and guidelines and that includes the faculty. So, in that sense, I’m kind of strict.” Turner even attested to his statement, adding, “At first, when you roll up on him, he doesn’t seem really friendly, but that soon dissipates. He really is a great guy. You just better not turn your stuff in late, or you’ll see that other side of Tim.”

Yuge’s discipline, which is often confused as rigidity, is a result of all of his years in Kendo.

“I try to teach as best I can. I try to teach the values in life that are important, and as long as [my students] pass that on, all is well.” With a proud smile on his face, Yuge spoke about how gratifying it has been to watch his own students grow up to become Kendo teachers, as well, some even going as far as representing the United States in the Kendo World Championships, where they once triumphed against the undefeated Japanese team.

Yuge also made his debut on the World Championship stage in the year 1979, but admitted to an unsatisfactory performance. In spite of that, he has managed to make great strides as one of four referees selected from the United States to judge several Championship games.

“Japan was the ultimate to me,” Yuge said, recalling the final match between Japan and Korea, in which he acted as the main referee. Pressured by the watchful eyes of thousands of onlookers both in the audience and behind television screens, Yuge disclosed, “It was a very nerve-wracking experience. I was sweating bullets.” Having proven his proficiency following such a momentous Championship game, Yuge has been invited to travel across the country countless times in order to teach other Kendo associations about his refereeing expertise.

“I’m still learning,” he says. “One thing in Kendo, they say, is that you never stop learning.”

Now, with the seventeenth World Championship soon approaching, Yuge has once again been chosen to represent the United States as a referee and will be flying out to Korea later this month to train for one week prior to the games scheduled to begin in the fall.

Outside of teaching and refereeing, Yuge has also held some executive positions as a Kendo professor. He has acted as both President of his regional organization and Executive Vice President on the National Board of Directors.

“I do it because I’m concerned about how my students are being affected, how people throughout the country are being affected,” Yuge said, providing reason behind his decision to take on these roles.

Trying not to go too much into detail, Yuge explained briefly that there was some political inequality in Kendo that he hoped to combat, so as to create a more lawful, honorable sport for people to participate in. Those ideas of fairness and respect, which had been so important to Yuge since the very beginning, seemed to surface once again, and they governed the way he hoped to contribute to the administration and organization of Kendo.

All of Yuge’s hard work and dedication to the sport thus far seemed like a strong foundation for a legacy to be left behind. With humility, he laughed at the mention of “legacy talk” and denied such self-importance. Be that as it may, whether he intended to do so or not, Tim Yuge would leave a lasting impact on the world of Kendo.

“And that’s my secret life,” Yuge confessed as the interview came to a close. What a shame it would have been had he kept it a secret forever.


USC T&F Coach Extends Her Winning Ways With NCAA Outdoor Title

Caryl Smith Gilbert wins her first USC national title behind sprinter Kendall Ellis' amazing feat

By Adriana Ruiz/AYA Reporter

Caryl Smith Gilbert still fighting on after NCAA women's outdoor title. (Photo by Adriana Ruiz).

A week after her USC women’s track-and-field team won its first NCAA Outdoor title, Coach Caryl Smith Gilbert was back to work.

The newly-named Pac-12 Track Coach of the Year was spotted at USC’s Track stadium, training one of her sprinters. With a stopwatch in her hand and her young son by her side, Smith Gilbert, looked as though she was back in Eugene, Oregon coaching Kendall Ellis, the anchor for the 4x400 relay team. In a dramatic finish, Ellis came from behind to cross the finish line just ahead of Purdue to cap the victory for the Women of Troy at Hayward Field.

According to Anna Cockrell, who ran the second leg of that winning relay team, Smith Gilbert told her team that they were going to win the night before. “All year she told us the motto for this year was that it didn’t have to be perfect, we just had to get it done,” she said. "She said we were going to get it."

It wasn’t the first NCAA title for Smith Gilbert, but it was her first at USC and the program’s first since 2001. As an assistant coach, Smith Gilbert previously won three NCAA titles during her tenure at Tennessee (2003-07). She also won six conference titles at Central Florida before coming to USC as director of the men's and women's track programs in 2013.

Coaching wasn’t exactly her calling, but she was called to it.

“I kind of didn’t but God just made me really good at it so I just going,” Smith Gilbert said while straightening up some things in her office.

Prior to coaching, Smith Gilbert had been a top sprinter at George Washington High School in Denver. She held national records in the 55- and 60-meter dashes and was a two-time Colorado state champion in the 200 meters. Her dream was to go to UCLA, even though some doubted she had what it took to compete on that level.

“A lot of people were telling me ‘You won’t make it into UCLA’ so I just keep pushing and let them talk,” she said.

Now that she’s traded in her powder blue and yellow for cardinal and gold, Smith Gilbert is already looking to add more national titles to the Heritage Hall trophy case.

“I want to win every year. I want to have the best performances from all of my athletes,” she said.

The Heart and Soul Behind Trojan Athletics

Former NFL player Keith Belton keeps the Trojan horses strong and fit

By Kennedi Hewitt/AYA Reporter

USC Strength and Conditioning Guru Keith Belton. (Photos by Kennedi Hewitt).

Outside the walls of USC’s John Mckay Center you’ll hear the sounds of booming rap music as fairly large athletes walk in and out of the locked doors. Their physiques suggest that they’ve gone through some very harsh and rigorous training.

But what is actually going on inside? And more importantly, who is inside?

Keith Belton (KB), 37, is the Assistant Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for USC’s athletic department and he can tell you that there’s a lot of love and support in the Trojan weight room—just steps away from his office. And he’s part of the reason why.

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Belton claims he did a little bit of everything as a child. He comes from a large and supportive family. He has an older, epileptic brother, who is seven years his senior. He refers to him as his hero as well as strongest person he knows. He was raised by a single mother, and a father who worked as a meat butcher. They both worked hard to provide for their kids.

It's not surprising he’s ended up working with football players because he used to be one himself. Belton played football growing up and to this day still deeply appreciates his football experiences, claiming that the game provided him with discipline and confidence. He enjoyed his childhood and even stated that he didn’t realize the actual circumstances of his upbringing until he grew up and returned home to his community.

“When you don’t have a lot, you don’t know you don’t have a lot.”

He attended Northeast Mississippi Community College for the first year of his collegiate career, soon followed by Syracuse University to complete his undergraduate education. Thump Belton, as he was called then, began his NFL career with the Detroit Lions in 2004, followed by short stints with Chicago and Denver. , playing three years wit where he played for three years. After he retiring from the NFL Belton coached football at Wake Forest University, Valor Christian College, University of Washington, USC in 2014 and UNLV before coming back to USC in 2017 in his current position.

When asked about his job as the Strength and Conditioning coach at USC, Belton said, “I do a little bit of everything, but if I had to say one thing, I’m probably the head of relationship building here. I kind of bridge the gap.”

“I would never treat somebody's son the way I wouldn’t want my son to be treated.”

USC football players come from all over the United States. They come from a variety of socioeconomic statuses, a variety of ethnicities, and a variety of life experiences. His job revolves around, not only strengthening the athlete's bodies, but also their relationships and ability to get along with each other for the sake of the team and their life experiences in general.

For many of the players, Belton is one of the first positive male figures they will know, thus it’s important for him to maintain a positive and encouraging façade.

Belton on the job training.

“Even when I want to be in a bad mood, I can’t because it’s so infectious,” he said. “If I come in and be a grumpy, unmotivated, lackadaisical human being, then they’re going to be the same thing.

“I would never treat somebody's son the way I wouldn’t want my son to be treated.”

In addition to his positive persona, he is also a motivational speaker. While this role is somewhat informal, it nonetheless is still true. During the interview he gestured toward the whistle he and the other coaches use during practice.

“You take the whistle away from a lot of people, they’re worthless,” he said. “I go out there without a whistle. I use my voice.”

Belton’s entire career goes hand in hand with motivational speaking. When Belton is coaching, he is usually shouting words of encouragement to the athletes.

“If you listen to what I’m saying, it’s all positive,” he said. “It’s all affirmation and it goes like this—I’ve seen you run. I know how special you are. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t special. So will you please stop and get to work like I know you can.”

Former USC safety and cornerback, Tony Burnett attested to Belton’s positive affirmation. “It’s kind of hard to just work out by yourself but sometimes he even works out with you,” he said. “He doesn’t let you settle for less.”

In the future, Belton hopes to extend his motivational services to more than just college athletes. He intends on starting a non-profit that will expose inner city kids to the resources outside of the bubble so many of them often grow up in. Belton wants to ensure they grow up with the proper resources and opportunities.

When he was 16, he stepped onto a college campus for the first time. Suddenly, he realized that there were so many kids growing up in a similar fashion to himself. Through this realization, he was motivated to make a change. A father of three, Belton started making his mark through his non-profit youth program called the Strength and Endurance Academy (SEA), where he and a few other of his colleagues train kids between the ages of 3-13 to help them build strength and endurance.

When asked how he manages his job, his program and raising his kids, Belton said, “Everything you do, do it with passion and do it with energy.”

Belton’s passion and energy is more than evident through his service in and outside of the weight room.

The Battle For LA

With a new team and soccer stadium in the city, which franchise and what arena will fans choose to support?

The original home team. (Photos by Michael Malicdem

By Michael Malicdem/AYA Reporter

For the LA Galaxy and LAFC, seasonal success is not necessarily determined by the number of wins but instead by the quality of one win. With success based upon beating each other, a new rivalry, both on and off the field, appears to be part of the established normal in LA.

The city currently has two different professional teams vying for fans in other sports as well. Whether it be the LA Clippers and the LA Lakers in basketball or the LA Dodgers and LA Angels in baseball, fans of opposing teams generally do not root for their counterpart. This is exactly the case when it comes to the new football club in Los Angeles.

The LAFC, as an expansion team, was approved four years ago. Though many LA residents were ecstatic about the LAFC, some LA soccer fans were not ready to welcome another team in their city. The LA Galaxy have reigned supreme since 1996 as the premiere and only pro soccer team in the Southland. Plus, the Galaxy have an impressive track record, winning five MLS Cup titles. Both clubs compete in the Western Conference, and in their first match against each other, the LA Galaxy, though initially trailing, made a miraculous comeback to beat their inner-city rivals.

“I don’t see why,” said longtime LA resident and Galaxy fan David Pyburn, who has difficulty understanding why Los Angeles was given another soccer club. Even when Chivas USA, a professional soccer club based in Carson was here, Pyburn never supported or viewed the club as a true LA staple or team. Now that the LAFC has emerged Pyburn finds their existence to be “unnecessary.”

When asked if he would ever support the LAFC when not facing the Galaxy he simply responded “No.” Pyburn’s expressed sentiment against the LAFC is shared and not uncommon in other LA Galaxy fans. Unlike Pyburn and many Galaxy fans, LA resident Sophia Craer welcomes and supports the emergence of the LAFC. As a former Chivas USA fan, Craer did not switch her allegiance to the Galaxy when her team of choice disbanded. As she refuses to support the Galaxy for various reasons, but is embracing the LAFC as "a new beginning.”

For many like her who are tired of the Galaxy fandom, the LAFC is a fresh new face to Los Angeles soccer scene.

Name calling is a common form of banter between rival fanbases. LAFC and LA Galaxy fans are not foreign to this form and concept. Already, though still early in their rivalry, each of the fanbases have coined terms or nicknames for the opposite team.

As a matter of fact, LAFC fans commonly dismiss the Galaxy club as the Carson Galaxy. On the other hand, Galaxy fans refer to the LAFC as Chivas 2.0.

After the team’s first matchup in June, the LA Galaxy emerged victorious over the LAFC in an exciting and intense 4-3 victory. For Pyburn this was a “sign of things to come,” leaving the LA Galaxy as the sole dominant force in the city. Others like Craer, however, claim the Galaxy’s victory to be merely, “A solid win, but nothing more than that.”

The Galaxy and the LAFC will face each other two more times this season, promising fans more intense matchups in this rivalry and battle for LA.

Is the Los Angeles Football Club the new pride of Los Angeles?

By Carlos Vega/AYA Reporter

The LAFC and the new Banc of California Stadium have arrived and arrived in style, becoming a major attraction in the heart of Los Angeles.

Making its debut on April 29, this 22,000-seat stadium hosts the LAFC and will likely compete for fans with the other hometown team, LA Galaxy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Though the stadium cost around $350 million and took 20 months to build, it is bringing upside to the city. The stadium has created 1,200 new jobs and has a planned $2.9 city output revenue over 30 years. In addition, the whole modernized and open concept for the stadium makes the Banc of California stand-out even in a place like LA.

Another key that has made this stadium a large attraction has been the recent success of LAFC. Currently the team is third best team in the Western Conference In the MLS. Additionally the team has many “exciting games and very good players like Vela and Rossi” according to season ticket holder Daniel Nunez. Furthermore the stadium is becoming more popular for hosting other events such as the first ever Epic Games Fortnite Pro-Am event.

While the Banc of California Stadium is on the rise, another might be on the downfall, the Galaxy and the Stubhub Center. The Carson-based arena cost around $150 million and holds 27,000 attendees. StubHub has held many entertainment events but those seem to be slipping.

For example, the KISS/iHEART Wango Tango was actually held at the Banc of California Stadium this year. The StubHub Center, however has become the new spot for local boxing matches. Ivin Colon, an aspiring professional boxer, wants to “fight at the Stubhub since many greats have fought there like Vasyl Lomachenko and Oscar De La Hoya.

This might become a new trend within the city of LA. instead of driving to the outskirts of LA for a concert, you could just end up in Exposition Park in a modern stadium just off the 110 freeway.

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Shot and produced by Brandon Chen

Love 'Dem Dodger Dogs

Produced by Heidy Carvajal/AYA Reporter


Review: Ocean's 8 Sails To Top of the Box Office Chart

Rihanna, Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, stars of Ocean's 8

By Esther Cho/AYA Reporter

Imagine a rising movie with a star-studded cast including Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and cameos from the Kardashian-Jenners. Now, throw an elaborately schemed jewelry heist into the mix and there you have it. An empowering all-female cast and an ingenious plot, that is exactly what the recently released movie, Ocean’s 8, is all about.

Released in movie theaters on June 6, Ocean’s 8 has already earned over $100 million in the box office and $171 million worldwide. Forbes is projecting that the comedy will earn at least $250-$275 million worldwide. It's no wonder why Ocean’s 8 has been so successful at the box office when you dissect the interconnected elements of the movie. From the intricate plot to the stunning cinematography, the sharp editing, and, of course, the all-female cast, just about everything in Ocean’s 8 is empowering and simply superb.

The movie begins with Debbie Ocean (Bullock) in prison and up for parole. She gets it and as soon as she's released it is made abundantly clear that she is an elaborate con artist who had been rehearsing her parole statement for the past five years.

The movie truly begins to come alive once Ocean enlists the help of six women, other than herself. They are a talented bunch with skill such as hacking, pickpocketing and embezzling. Her plan? Robbing the Met Gala.

Well, more like stealing the “Jeanne Toussaint” necklace off the neck of the actress Daphne Kluger (Hathaway). Now, I don’t want to dive into the logistics of the movie nor do I want to spoil too much regarding how exactly the scheme was brought to life. I will, however, note that with the help of a 3D printer, a certain fashion designer (Helena Bonham Carter), and the complex teamwork of all seven women— or eight, I suppose, if we were to count the not so surprising plot twist of actress Daphne Kluger being included in the mix — the elaborate scheme was a huge success.

In order to understand the film in its full glory, you must grasp the context of why Debbie Ocean was stuck in prison to begin with. During the movie, it is revealed that Ocean and her boyfriend at the time had swindled large sums of money by selling fraudulent artwork. Once the couple was caught, however, Ocean’s partner had connived with law enforcement to sentence Ocean to jail.

At the end of the movie, it was revealed that Ocean had framed her ex-boyfriend for the jewelry heist that she and the other seven women were pulling off together.

To be completely honest, as I sat in the crowded theater and watched this film, my mind was constantly racing to think of possible ending scenarios. Would Debbie Ocean and her cohorts ultimately get caught? Could they pull off such an enormous stunt without facing the repercussions?

I quickly realized that these thoughts were stemming from the stereotype in today's society that women are inferior to men. Throughout society, the unspoken expectation is that jewelry heists and robberies should be left to the cunning and capable men. After all, how could eight silly, hormonal women have the brains to pull off such a scheme, right? That's a man's job.

As a woman, I found myself praising Ocean's 8 for packing a punch and cracking the big glass Hollywood ceiling. Despite the unspoken stigma that women are inferior to men, Ocean's 8 is truly an empowering ode to smart women all over the world and demonstrates that women can be clever and intelligent enough to pull off a job formerly seen as traditionally masculine.

Review: Incredibles 2, Still Incredible After 10 Years

By Cristina Ortega/AYA Reporter

The Incredibles 2, the long-awaited sequel to The Incredibles, was finally released this summer and became instantly successful at the box office. It was “long awaited” because the sequel was first announced in 2014, 10 years after the original.

I expected this movie to be a lot more technically satisfying than the first one. I couldn’t wait to see how Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack developed as “people” and super heroes. After watching it I was shocked because well this movie exceeded my expectations.

The movie kicks off with Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl trying to deter a bank robber. During this fight, Mr.Incredible is underground trying to stop the guy from stealing the money and he accidentally gets sucked into the vacuum. That made everyone laugh. That scene sets up the plotline for the whole movie—the government making superheroes illegal.

Once word gets out, the head of a world class telecommunication company plans a meeting with Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible and Frozone, to let them know he has a plan that will reverse that law. The interesting thing about the plan is that the male superheroes aren’t really part of the plan! Elastigirl has been drafted to fight crime on her own and show people what superheroes really do. This theme of women’s empowerment made the movie so much better being that there’s still so much sexism in the world and young girls need to know that they can do things without boys because they, too, are strong.

Deeper into the movie we discover that Jack-Jack has super powers. The parts that he appeared in were very funny, making people burst out laugh, specifically when he won Edna over by turning into her look alike.

The kids from the original—Violet and Dash—are now teens. Their personalities have evolved. Violet was very shy, while Dash was very rambunctious. Dash just settled down a little but Violet is your typical teen. I expected her to obey her parents and understand certain things but no, she acts out at times and she’s very moody, which made her very relatable.

In closing, the movie was so much better than the first one. It was a lot more relatable and had many messages that could be taken from it. I would definitely recommend this film. If you enjoy Disney movies this is one you won’t want to miss.

REVIEW: The Franchise That Should be Extinct

By Joshua Manzo/AYA Reporter

Dinosaurs, that’s a million dollar idea right? Hate to break it to you, but it’s not.

Over the past 25 years there have been a series of multiple Jurassic Park movies, and they are all pretty much the same film. The most recent in this series is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. And let me tell you, there has not been a film this predictable in a while.

In this latest installment, the island, where both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were both built on, is about to be destroyed by an active volcano. The issue, however, is that the dinosaurs are still on the island and are, once again, facing extinction. The two main characters, Claire and Owen portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, go off on an expedition to save the dinosaurs. Without knowing they are being set up, this allows for the perfect opportunity to create a new breed of dinosaur that would be used for labor purposes.

The overall concept may sound cool, but believe me, when you see this movie it looks nothing like the television promotions. What seems to be lacking in this film is humor. When watching a movie featuring Chris Pratt, one may expect him to say a ton of jokes and have tons of enthusiasm in his character. However, it seems like the writers took none of this into consideration, and even changed some of the most important traits of his character. This here, may be a key factor to why Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom scored a 51% on the film rating website, Rotten Tomatoes. Thus, most viewers went into the film expecting the same energy, but never received it.

What makes this movie the exact same as every other film in the franchise, is the climax. In the first film, Jurassic Park, the climax involves fighting a new genetically modified dinosaur and preventing it from killing thousands of people. Ultimately, in the newest movie, the climax is the same thing, only with a different breed of dinosaur. Even the way they defeated the dinosaur is similar, both out of coincidence.

You would think that a franchise with a more than generous budget would create something fresher, but no, it is the same thing. One thing that stood out in this movie was the use of old characters from the Jurassic Park series. This nostalgic feeling may have made it a bit more entertaining for the older crowd in the audience, but it was still not enough to make up for this whole movie being lousy.

Innovation is what would make this movie a bit better; think a bit more outside of the box instead of using similar issues and resolutions used in previous films. What makes everything just a bit worse, is that toward the end of the film, there is a hint of more genetically modified dinosaurs. This has just gone on to say that we won’t see anything different for a while. I’m not trying to put this movie down, but I want others to be informed of what Universal keeps throwing at them.

Watch the movie yourself and decide if it is worth your money or not.

Now That's a Makeover!

Kim Kardashian West uses her fame for good during White House meeting with Trump

Kim Kardashian West posing with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

By Ariana Alvarado and Daniela Gomez/AYA Reporters

Celebrities are thought to live luxurious lives with mountains of dollars sitting in their bank accounts, glamourous homes and millions of fans screaming their names. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West are usually seen as simply airheads with pretty faces and unachievable bodies in pop culture. Two months ago, however, Kardashian West surprised many people by going to the White House to meet with President Donald Trump.

“From all the things that I have heard about her [Kardashian West], I’ve thought as her as this reality star that just wants everyone’s attention, but I think what she’s doing is a good thing,” said Kailyn Huang, a high school student from LA. “Hopefully we will see some good change out of what she has done.”

Kardashian West’s visit to the White House was not about the photo op. She went to discuss Alice Marie Johnson’s case and prison reform with the President. Johnson, 63, was convicted for being involved in a Memphis cocaine tracking organization in 1997. Although it was a first offense, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Johnson spent more than two decades behind bars before Kardashian West heard about her case and convinced Trump to grant her clemency on June 6.

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, has been working on a Prison Reform Bill. Its main focus is to help rehabilitate prisoners to possibly get them released sooner. So far, the bill has been passed by the House of Representatives, but now the bill must be passed by the Senate. Kardashian believes that many people incarcerated have been given unfair sentences and strongly believes that some deserve a second chance in life. Kardashian West told Mic “Just like everybody else, we can make choices in our lives that we’re not proud of, and that we don’t think through all the way.”

It looks as though the oldest and most famous member of the Kardashian tribe is making some changes in her own life. Check out reactions to the new Kim below.

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By Joshua Manzo/AYA Reporter


California Science Center Has the Goods on Tut

Legendary Egyptian Pharaoh's artifacts on display

By Pablo Luis-Herrera/AYA Reporter

King Tutankhamun, best known as King Tut, an Egyptian pharaoh, was a mystical figure in ancient Egyptian history. He became King at age 10 and died nine years later. Although he didn’t live long, he left behind a lot of historical artifacts that are currently being showcased for a limited time at the California Science Center in Southern California.

There’s a lot about Tut that has researchers curious. His cause of his death remains a mystery. Many have argued that his downfall might have been due to a disease known as malaria, which is transmitted through blood by a mosquito bite.

King Tut also used to be a fan of head binding, a head-lengthening procedure that ancient Egyptians used to depict power and wealth. This resulted in Tut’s odd head shape.

One of the reasons little is know about King Tut is because of the loss of data after Tut’s father King Akhenaten. There’s also some question as to whom his real mother was—Nefertiti, the Queen of Egypt or King Akhenaten’s second wife, Princess Kiya. If that’s the case, he would be the product of incest since a 2008 DNA test revealed that Akhenaten and Kiya were siblings.

The mysterious life of King Tut has added to the appeal of the “ King Tut: Treasure of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition at the California Science Center. At the exhibition, there are around 160 artifacts from the era of Tut. There are 110 more artifacts than the previous U.S exhibitions. Although more artifacts have been added, this exhibition is only around for a limited time as it will be going to 10 different cities in a span of seven years.

My experience at the King Tut exhibit was amazing. You’ll be astonished by the variety of artifacts collected throughout the years of excavation. The amazing animations created by the museum added a new layer of what an exhibit should have in more recent times.

The dates for “King Tut: Treasure of the Golden Pharaoh” exhibition at the California Science Center are from March 24-January 6, 2019. The tickets for this exhibition range from $20 to $30 depending on age. The price may be high, but it is worth every penny, both the experience and knowledge gained, not to mention it is the last time this exhibit will exist in the U.S as it will return home in Egypt, was truly astounding and should be highly recognized.

CAAM's Focus on Art & Culture Keys Success

By Jessica Harris/AYA Reporter

Tyree Boyd-Pates is the type of influential person the Black community of South LA needs. He is not only a motivational speaker and activist, but he is a history curator at the city’s first supported African American museum, the California African American Museum (CAAM).

At CAAM, you can find various exhibits that promote history and culture. As curator, Boyd is able to emphasize his own knowledge and curate an exhibit that educates the Black community.

During a recent interview, Boyd discussed the museum, the exhibits and his influence both in and outside of the museum. Boyd’s eccentric personality and passion is infectious. The current exhibition is How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles is an interesting one. As soon as you walk in, there is gospel music playing, which automatically set a very calming and religious vibe. You are also introduced to Biddy Mason, the woman behind creating the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.

Prior to that he curated No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992, which was created to call attention to police brutality and the LA Riots in 1992, which came about a year after the beating of Rodney King by police. Besides being a curator at CAAM, Boyd also influences the Black community through social media, identifying himself as an activist.

LA Art Scene Thriving With Multicultural Fans

By Estrella Ruiz/AYA Reporter

Art culture in Los Angeles boomed during the late 50s and early 60s. Contemporary pieces such as creative, and sometimes risque photos and paintings were produced by local artists. By the year 2000, Los Angeles residents were more frequently participating in art culture through various mediums due to the accessibility of new online platforms.

Events in the LA area are more appealing to a wider audience. Joshua Manzo and I spoke with Karina Yanez, K-8 art educator, about her experience with the LA art scene and what she believes to be its essence. Yanez expressed how she felt the Los Angeles United School District was confining her in terms of what to teach, but she makes do with what is available to her.

Yanez is a former Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduate, who spent a lot of time studying the art scene in other cities, yet she states the LA’s scene stays the most diverse and eminent.


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