So this time last year I was here soaking up some Cote d'azure sunshine (and working of course *ahem*) but this year I'm busy fighting for my own piece of paradise on behalf of Tring town residents and our children. Opportunistic developers want to build 2 monstrous mansions in the middle of our much used and loved park. The land is a semi wild triangle and was bought speculatively decades ago after it ceased being school playing fields, and the council slapped an 'open space' designation on it so it couldn't be built on. But now the town council have given up and voted it through with no objections, completely disregarding the wishes of the town's residents who want this land to remain protected. Thankfully there are over 100 objections on the Dacorum Borough Council website, but it might not be enough thanks to the weakness of the elected councillors who are supposed to serve our best interests. If ANYONE can be bothered to spare a couple of minutes, it would be fantastic if you could object online on the grounds of Tring having a deficit of green spaces with hundreds of houses planned in the next few years, along with the fact that it is designated open space which is used daily by many, many people. Oh, and a haven for wildlife too Many thanks x Dacorum.gov.uk planning reference: 4/00784/17/MFA
One of the most interesting things for me to document in Brazil was how intensely the #BlackLivesMatter movement resonated with the country's black population -- the largest outside of Africa (ten times more enslaved Africans were brought to Brazil than to the United States). But prejudice led many to avoid identifying as black. "Whitening" of black families through interracial marriage was praised by elites, visible in an iconic Brazilian painting of a joyful black mother delivering a lighter child. And the benefits of lightness were real. Due to poor public education, prejudice, and a lack of financial access in neighborhoods far from jobs and opportunities, black Brazilians lagged behind whites in almost every statistic. They still do: Their average income is less than two-thirds of their white counterparts.
A glimmer of hope for Brazil's black activists came in September when 37-year-old Marielle Franco, a black single mother who grew up in the favela of Maré, was elected to Rio's city council — one of the first black women in its history. She was one of several black councilwomen elected nationwide who ran explicitly black feminist campaigns. Her campaign logo featured a silhouette of her Afro, and the slogan was the African phrase "Ubuntu," which she translates as "I am because we are." "I am from these streets," said Marielle, walking the trash-strewn alleys of a favela on Rio's north side. Residents waved to her from their narrow doorways. "We can't encourage the people to rise up if they don't see people like me in power … you can't be it if you can't see it."