URL Media Weekly
Friday, February 3, 2023
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What We're Talking About

Tyre Nichols skateboarding during a sunset.
Tyre Nichols at a Sacramento skateboard park practicing new tricks on the mini ramp as a teen. (Austin Roberts/YouTube)

Tyre Nichols should still be alive  

Tyre Nichols was the father of a 4-year-old son. He loved skateboarding and taking photos of sunsets, but most of all he loved his mom. He loved her so much that he had her name tattooed on his arm. He was 29 years old and had an easy smile. These were all things I knew before learning the horrific details of his death.

This past week was the first time in my memory that a lot of the national conversation focused on the humanity of a person killed by police. From calls to not watch videos of the brutal beating and pushes to uplift videos of him living his best life instead, it felt like we were collectively working to break the cycle that seeks to dehumanize victims of police violence.

The peaceful rallies and mourning across the country this past weekend stood in contrast to nationwide protests against police brutality in the summer of 2020. At the end of one weekend demonstration in St. Paul, Minnesota, protesters chanted, “We have nothing to lose but our chains,” Sahan Journal reports.

And in the days that followed the release of the videos, I saw news outlets using blurred stills in thumbnails and include content warnings. This was so viewers could make informed decisions about whether or not they wanted to engage with the content. Other outlets chose to describe what happened in the videos so readers could be informed without having to watch the videos themselves. The National Association of Black Journalists provided guidance not only for journalists but also their managers and newsrooms.

In death, Nichols has been granted the humanity denied to him by five Memphis police officers on the night of Jan. 7. On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris attended his funeral, and the Rev. Al Sharpton delivered his eulogy

And while they both called for justice and reform, no amount of justice or reform can adequately address the fact that there is now a 4-year-old boy without his father, a mother without her son, and a world without Tyre Nichols. —Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023: In order to do better, we need to know what works and what doesn't. McKinsey's 2023 report shows success factors that contributed to significant, quantifiable, scalable, and sustainable DEI impact. Read here.

Uplifting our Communities

A woman with red curly hair and shiny hoop earrings.

Nikole Hannah-Jones talks about The 1619 Project: Sara M. Lomax, WURD President and URL Media co-founder, recently sat down with Nikole Hannah-Jones to talk about The 1619 Project. A new docu-series based on the project premiered on Hulu last week. 🎧 Listen to the full interview.

Plus: Third World Press, the oldest operating Black publishing company in the nation, recently experienced a flood that wiped out a large portion of its inventory, which has put the business in dire straits. The Chicago institution, founded by Haki R. Madhubuti, is now seeking donations. Madhubuti was one of WURD Founder Walter P. Lomax Jr.’s dearest friends.

A new class will focus on Oklahoma’s Black history: Starting this Saturday, Tulsa students and their families will be able to learn more about the Black history of Oklahoma at free sessions held every Saturday until Nov. 4. Read more from The Oklahoma Eagle.

+: Florida blocked a Black Studies AP course. Here's how kids can learn it outside of school. (Capital B)

Building Black wealth through reparations, restoration and information: NPR correspondent Cheryl Corley guest-hosts this week’s Our Body Politic with an episode that focuses on the racial wealth gap and how Black Americans are working to narrow it. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

There is no healing in an anti-Black world: In this moving essay, Scalawag’s Editor-at-Large Da’Shaun Harrison writes about grief and its many manifestations. “[G]rief, particularly for Black folks, is often a tension held in our bodies passed down from those who come before us; which is to say that grief is a communal process and practice that is rarely problematized beyond the individual,” they write. Read more from Scalawag.

Police killings are public executions: “Police and media released the body camera footage of Tyre Nichols’ killing like a debut feature film,'' William C. Anderson writes in this essay for Prism. “There was a suspenseful buildup, commentary from early viewers, and even an anticipated release date. All of this shows we have not escaped the ritual of public execution.” Read more from Prism.

New York City’s workforce has shrunk dramatically — here’s what that means: Over the last few pandemic years, New York City's workforce has shrunk more dramatically and chaotically than any plan could have anticipated, potentially affecting the city's ability to function. Epicenter-NYC has the story.

Migrants opt to sleep on NYC streets instead of ‘inhumane’ center at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal: For more than two days, some migrants have been camping outside the Watson Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen. That’s because conditions at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal — where NYC is relocating migrants — are inadequate to house migrants, reports Documented. Some returned to the Manhattan hotel but were turned away, so they set up camp on the streets instead. Read more from Documented.

Haitians begin arriving in the US via parole process: Haitian recipients of the new parole process are arriving across the country, while many potential supporters have questions about their legal responsibilities, financial requirements and how their lives may be impacted. The Haitian Times has the story.

These countries dump millions of used cars in Africa every year: Western countries do not just dump old, beat-up cars when they are done with them. Instead, they dump millions of used vehicles in African countries, where the consequences are deadly. PushBlack has more.
A growing psychedelic community in Philadelphia: With a growing psychedelic community in Philadelphia and an emerging market nationally, three entrepreneurs and creatives met up at a west Philadelphia coffee shop last fall and decided to tap into the business of psychedelic wellness. Read more from The Plug.
2023 tax filing season begins: The IRS is now accepting and processing 2022 returns, with a few changes taxpayers should know about before filing this season. Black Voice News has more.

Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

A stadium full of people with a popular Native American term on the Jumbotron.

Phoenix Suns celebrate Native American culture in full colors: At a recent Phoenix Suns basketball game, the scoreboard flashed some uniquely Native encouragement to the hometown team: SKODEN. The phrase, popular Native slang for “Let’s go then,” was just one of the many markers of Indigenous culture on display. But it wasn’t the first time this season the organization showcased Arizona’s Indigenous heritage, and it won’t be the last, according to the team. Read more from Native News Online.

Detroit Opera’s new leader wants to break down barriers for attendees: An era of more accessible opera has now begun in Detroit, with Roberto Kalb at the helm of Detroit Opera. Outlier Media, in partnership with the Detroit Free Press, has the full story.

Centering Love

All of us are unwell: Dr. Mimi Khuc, a writer, teacher and scholar of things unwell talks with Immigrantly about how current wellness trends harm productivity structures and ways we can take care of ourselves and each other. The study of being unwell refers to a pedagogy that examines humans' relationship to the world and themselves as one with differential unwellness because of the structures around them. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners

A masked teacher crouched over a desk in a classroom full of students.

Building a brighter future: In place of two high school classes, University of South Carolina's A-Lab offers local students the chance to study architecture with faculty members every weekday morning. The program hopes to change the demographics of the architecture industry. palabra. has the full story.

The URLs on URL

Undercovered Realities / Innovative Reporters: BIPOC Media in 2023

Mitra Kalita, publisher of Epicenter-NYC and co-founder of URL Media, Alexandra Martinez, senior reporter with Prism, and Malak Silmi, local government reporter for Outlier Media, joined the Laura Flanders Show for this month’s “Meet the BIPOC Press” roundtable to take a look at the undercover stories likely to dominate the year ahead. Watch the full episode.

URL Media partner palabra. launches new podcast series 🎧

palabra., a multimedia platform of NAHJ, announces the launch of Así Fue, a podcast series that allows journalists to unpack their experiences in the field and discuss issues they care about including business, immigration and the arts. The series will launch on Feb. 6. Learn more.

The KKK Watched From The Window, But She Kept Working

An elder Maude Ballou holds up a black-and-white photograph of her younger self.

Being Martin Luther King’s secretary came with high risks and few perks, but she wasn’t looking for glory. The KKK was after her, but she knew she had to persevere: MLK’s dream largely depended on her.

Maude Ballou is one of the incredible people who helped make Dr. King’s movement possible. 🎧 Listen to this "2-Minute Black History" episode from URL Media partner PushBlack.

Our Founders

Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, media entrepreneur for almost 30 years, served as Program Lead for the inaugural Facebook BIPOC Sustainability Accelerator and is currently a JSK Fellow.
S. Mitra Kalita, former SVP at CNN Digital, current CEO & Publisher at Kalita Mukul Creative Inc., which publishes Epicenter-NYC, The Unmuted and The Escape Home, has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and has launched brands like Mint and Quartz.

Our Partners

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