University of Illinois’ football team will now have a black fist and social justice messages on helmets

The University of Illinois’ football team has changed their helmets to include messages of social justice and a black fist, the school announced on Thursday. The change comes as many college and professional teams have used their platforms to make statements about social justice and racial equality. 

The Fighting Illini will debut the new gear during the season opener against Wisconsin on Friday. During the season opener, the team will trade their traditional orange helmet with a blue “I” for a helmet with a black “I.” For all games, the players will wear helmets with a small rear decal of a black fist and their choice of phrase: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Fight Against Racism,” “Together,” “Equality” or “United.” 

The uniform changes came after the team’s leadership council compiled a list of different ways to express support for social change, the school said. Over the summer, the team said it organized a peaceful march for student-athletes.

“We wanted to show that we are aware of what’s happening in our country right now,” senior cornerback Nate Hobbs said in the school’s statement. “We’re willing to take a stand, not as one, but as a unit.”

“Having the Black I on our helmets for this first game is a symbol of unity and that this team stands for the Black Lives Matter movement,” said senior linebacker Milo Eifler.

The school said the initiatives aren’t meant to support a particular organization, but rather a belief in “equality for all individuals.” All uniform decisions were student-athlete driven and approved by head coach Lovie Smith and athletic director Josh Whitman, the school said. 

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Endicott College to host virtual forum on social justice careers

Area residents have an opportunity to learn more about how to pursue careers in social justice through a virtual forum at Endicott College in Beverly on Monday, Oct. 26.

The event, hosted by Endicott’s Van Loan School of Professional Studies, will feature a panel discussion on academic and professional pathways for those who want to work for social equality and justice.

Barbara Jones, an attorney and an adjunct professor at Endicott who specializes in juvenile and mental health law, will moderate the panel discussion. Other panelists are Eddy Chrispin, a Boston Police sergeant and former social worker; Imari K. Paris Jeffries, executive director of KingBoston, an organization working to create a new memorial and programs honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.; and Monica Cannon Grant, CEO and founder of Violence in Boston.

The event, free and open to all, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required. To sign up, go to

John Laidler can be reached at [email protected].

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New novel follows the journey of two men as they devise a practical system designed to bring socioeconomic justice and save the planet

Manuel Januário announces the release of ‘Our Land’

ARLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Two unlikely friends — a wealthy landowner and an immigrant college student — explore ways to bring economic equity and social justice while saving the planet in this engaging story of Manuel Januário’s “Our Land” (published by Archway Publishing).


Written as a historical fiction, the book features André Castro, a very rich Latin American landowner, and his close friend Mário Garcia, an optimistic visionary immigrant, who share deep conversations about a better world for the disenfranchised member of the society. Although from different backgrounds, they both come to the USA to learn how to overcome economic underdevelopment in their own countries. Unfortunately, they discover that the American economic system perpetuates conditions of poverty for many while others become unreasonably rich, leaving behind a trail of environmental degradation. They both endure many challenges and seriously risk their lives as together they explore practical ways to address economic justice problems.


“My book is an honest reflection of many years of direct experience with social programs designed to eradicate socioeconomic inequalities and to promote social change,” the author describes. “This book highlights current and urgent societal issues of economic injustice even more apparent today during the 2020 pandemic. It also brings forth positive examples of how we can change and replace some of our environmentally unsustainable practices with innovative ways of addressing these issues.”


“Our Land” is a work of fiction touching upon pertinent issues in a creative and dynamic way. With it, Januário hopes to inspire readers to dream better world and feel that together people can each build a piece of it. To purchase a copy, visit


“Our Land”

By Manuel Januário

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 326 pages | ISBN 781480891258

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 326 pages | ISBN 9781480891241

E-Book | 326 pages | ISBN 9781480891265

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Manuel Januário is an American born in the Azores who earned his master’s degree in adult and continuing education from Washington State University, USA. His vast and rich experience includes being the executive director of the Community Action Council of Spokane County, Washington State, as well as the director of the Employment Development Consortium of five Native American tribal governments. He is a lifelong long advocate for social justice and equity and currently lives in a rural community with his wife. “Our Land” is his first publication.

Simon & Schuster, a company with nearly ninety years of publishing experience, has teamed up with Author Solutions, LLC, the worldwide leader in self-publishing, to create Archway Publishing. With unique resources to support books of all kind, Archway Publishing offers a specialized approach to help every author reach his or her desired audience. For more information, visit or call 844-669-3957.


CONTACT: Marketing Services Archway Publishing 844-669-3957 [email protected]

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Citing a ‘toxic atmosphere,’ a Black admissions employee resigns from Loyola University, prompting a discrimination probe and calls for racial justice on campus

At Loyola University Chicago, where fewer than 6% of undergraduates are Black, Marcus Mason-Vivit’s presence comforted minority students who rarely found someone who looked like them on campus.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Marcus Mason-Vivit, shown on Loyola University Chicago's campus, resigned from his job in the admissions office, citing a "toxic atmosphere ... particularly pertaining to people of color."

© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Marcus Mason-Vivit, shown on Loyola University Chicago’s campus, resigned from his job in the admissions office, citing a “toxic atmosphere … particularly pertaining to people of color.”

A Black man himself, Mason-Vivit led the private Jesuit university’s efforts to increase racial diversity among first-year students in his role at the Undergraduate Admission Office. He was known to send high school seniors handwritten letters encouraging them to attend Loyola and for going out of his way to forge relationships with the Black students he met.

But last month, Mason-Vivit stepped down from his position in multicultural recruitment. In a scathing resignation letter that quickly circulated on social media, he called the admissions office a “toxic atmosphere of hostility, intimidation, fear and manipulation … especially pertaining to people of color” and described an incident where his boss, the dean of undergraduate admission, allegedly made a racially disparaging remark. His departure has prompted Loyola to initiate an investigation.

Now, students and faculty are rallying behind Mason-Vivit, raising questions about Loyola’s newly stated goal of “becoming a fully inclusive anti-racist institution.”

“We do not think that this initiative will achieve much credibility until the issues, such as those raised by Marcus Mason, and the school’s handling of such complaints have been thoroughly addressed,” leaders of a Loyola faculty organization wrote in a letter to university President Jo Ann Rooney.

In an interview with the Tribune, Mason-Vivit, 34, said he tried reporting his concerns to the human resources office in July but felt brushed aside, leading eventually to his Aug. 24 resignation.

“I will no longer work in an environment diametrically opposed to my principles and the obligation to respect my existence,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

The dean of undergraduate admission, Erin Moriarty, declined to comment, saying by email that she does “not want to jeopardize the integrity of this investigation in any way by speaking out of turn.”

Loyola spokeswoman Anna Rozenich confirmed the investigation, related to “allegations of discrimination” in the office, is ongoing but would not say who is conducting it. After Loyola’s Office for Equity and Compliance began an internal investigation, the school decided to hire outside experts to lead the probe “due to the charged nature” of the allegations, Rozenich said.

“Out of respect for the rights of all parties, we must maintain that all parties deserve to be heard, and allow the investigation to be thoroughly conducted and conclude while refraining from judgment or condemnation,” Rozenich said in an emailed statement.

She said “appropriate action” will be taken at the end of the investigation and emphasized Loyola’s policy prohibiting discrimination.

Mason-Vivit, however, said he could no longer remain silent. His last day as Loyola’s associate director for multicultural recruitment was Sept. 4, and he previously worked in the admission office from

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Art, With A Side Of Food Justice, At Institute for Contemporary Art At Virginia Commonwealth University

An art museum may seem like an odd place to advocate for “food justice,” but not to food justice activist Duron Chavis.

“The museum is a perfect candidate to open up the door to assert some of these ideas,” Chavis told “A museum can address social justice, a museum can hold space for community activism, a museum can collaborate with community in ways that highlight social issues–local social issues–in real time.”

The museum he’s specifically referring to is the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University where Chavis has partnered with architect Quilian Riano of DSGN AGNC to create a “demonstration garden” sharing practical knowledge and addressing larger issues of systemic racism and food justice that have been highlighted and amplified by COVID-19.

“The museum is a perfect place for it because of its (central) location, first of all, but then second, the ICA’s been really dedicated to being a beacon for community voice in a short amount of time,” he added.

Opened in April 2018, the ICA is a non-collecting institution showcasing a constantly changing slate of exhibitions, performances, films, and special programs. Chavis’ current project, Resiliency Garden, is part of a larger program, Commonwealth (through January 17, 2021), a bilingual collaboration between the ICA, Philadelphia Contemporary and Beta-Local (San Juan, PR). The project explores the complex history and legacy of “commonwealth” in each of the three locations and responds to the events of 2020 which have shed a new light on the contradictions between the utopian ideals of the commonwealths.

Virginia, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico are all officially referred to as “commonwealths.”

What does Chavis think of that term?

“Wealth is uncommon, there is really no ‘common wealth’ in Virginia,” the Richmond native said. “We haven’t dealt with the original sin of settler colonialism and white supremacy and land justice, food justice and all of these inequities show that there is no ‘common wealth,’ in no way, shape, form or fashion.”

Recent events discourage Chavis from believing significant change is around the corner.

“We just celebrated Columbus Day,” Chavis said. “We’re about to confirm a Supreme Court justice nominee (Amy Coney Barrett) that says she’s going to interpret the Constitution as it was written at the founding of this country, which was written by all white men who said that Black people were three-fifths of a human, so (if) she’s interpreting it exactly, word-for-word, as it was written, that means she’s ready to take us back to slavery.”

Chavis’ Resiliency Garden

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