Breaking Barriers fashion show benefits LOGAN

first_imgThe second annual Breaking Barriers Fashion Show was held at the Morris Inn on Wednesday night. The show featured members of Best Buddies, the Special Olympics, Special Friends and Super Sibs to simultaneously exemplify the work of each group and encourage others to join, as well as “break down the barriers for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and help to spread awareness in the South Bend community,” according to the Notre Dame events calendar.“The goal of this fashion show is first and foremost to display the beauty of friendship and convey the dignity and worth of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities,” the description read.“It is different from other fashion shows because of the mission of the models,” freshman Meghan Freeman, a volunteer for the show, said. “This fashion show strives to embrace our differences and celebrate the bonds and friendships that have formed because of them. Not only that, but it also aims to raise money for future activities so that the benefits of the fashion show will last even after the last walk.”Freeman said the money raised from the fashion show will be used to benefit LOGAN, which funds student initiatives for the Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Special Friends and Special Sibs clubs in the area.Senior Alexis Pala has been a Buddy and student researcher within Best Buddies since her freshman year and served as the main coordinator for the show.“Although significant progress has been made in recent years, people with intellectual disabilities continue to be segregated globally,” Pala said. “All the clubs in the show work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in various capacities to highlight the things that they love and reveal their true potentials. With this show we want to celebrate those we work with and show everyone the relationships that we have formed and the value we bring to each others lives.”She said that the show “isn’t only about the clothes we are wearing, but the beauty of those wearing them.”According to Pala, the idea for the show was conceived after her experiences working on a similar fashion show with Best Buddies in Madrid, Spain.“We borrowed the name ‘Breaking Barriers’ from the United Nations’ campaign “breaking down barriers to full inclusion” that they used for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities,” she said.The show was brought to Notre Dame for the first time last year, when it was held in Legends Nightclub as part of Spread the Word to End the Word Day. Pala noted that this year is unique in its focus on the collaboration between the South Bend community and Notre Dame clubs.This year’s show involved an immense amount of preparation, including reaching out to potential donors, Freeman said. Clothing had to be secured for all ages and sexes through donations from Ali Boutique, Little Princess Treasures, and Macy’s.Sorella, a local boutique, was “extremely helpful and enthusiastic, and the owner worked to make sure that every buddy pair had an outfit that was perfect for them,” Freeman said.Organizers also had to secure help from Notre Dame’s University Hair Stylists to help, as well as, Chipotle and other local establishments for gift bags. The organizers also recruited volunteers to emcee, write short bios to be read during participants’ walks and help to complete various tasks.The show was emceed by one of Notre Dame’s leprechauns, Mitch Meersman, and featured a slideshow displaying each group participating in various activities from the past year. Before the show began, the night opened with a performance by the Humor Artists, a video combatting “Ableism” that addressed stigmas surrounding mental disabilities and a performance by the Pom Squad.Models walked out alongside their respective Buddies, each of whom was a Notre Dame student, as Meersman read models’ brief bios and described the outfits worn. Speeches from organizers and performances from Notre Dame a cappella groups Halftime and the Undertones were interspersed throughout the show. The night ended with all of the models and their buddies joining in to sing Notre Dame’s alma mater.“We are looking to gain more popularity and become an event that people want to come back to every year,” Freeman said. “At the end of the day, we hope to raise money to sponsor future events, and we just want everyone to have fun.”Tags: best buddies, Breaking Barriers, fashion show, LOGAN, Special Olympics, Super Sibslast_img read more

An Alarming and Troubling Report

first_imgWhat happened to Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh’s Liberia National Police (LNP)?   Is the LNP attempting to disrespect him and tarnish his reputation as an effective and decisive Attorney General of Liberia?But no, not only the Attorney General, but the LNP’s ultimate boss herself, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seems to have been brazenly   challenged by the Police.  For following the Daily Observer’s detailed story last Wednesday by our Woman and Family Correspondent, Claudia Smith,  of the brutal rape and subsequent death of 12 year-old Ma Musu Morris, allegedly by a 49 year-old man named Musa Kromah (alias CDC), President Sirleaf immediately took a personal interest in the case. Not only did the alarmed and grief-stricken President Sirleaf visit the victim’s family at Moulton Corner in Brewerville; she vowed, according to our Presidential Correspondent William Harmon, to intervene personally to ensure that justice is done concerning the rape and subsequent death of Ma Musu. In addition, President Sirleaf said the law should also go after “all those who contributed one way or the other to the death of this   raped child.  These include, she said, the health facilities that refused Ma Musu treatment, and the LNP officers who denied passage at a check-point of the vehicle that was conveying the victim to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.In her detailed story, Correspondent Claudia Smith reported that the child had been refused treatment both by the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town and by the Faith Clinic in Brewerville.  It  was following these refusals of treatment to the dying raped victim that the parents and friends tried to rush her to the JFK, only to be intercepted and turned back by the police at the Capitol-By-Pass-Jallah Town Road checkpoint, leading to her untimely death.It was following this terrible incident that the Daily Observer wrote an Editorial entitled “Justice Minister Sannoh’s first major case”—  or so we thought. The alleged rapist, Musa Kromah, was immediately apprehended by the Moulton’s Corner community and turned over to the police at Zone 6 in Brewerville.  That was on the very night of the rape, Sunday, January 18, 2015.  And yet, today, January 28, a full 10 days later, our Judicial Correspondent Abednego Davis reports that the alleged rapist has not yet been brought to court. The big question is, what are the police waiting for?  For the man to run away?  Or to turn the whole tragic incident into another case of delayed justice?  Or to let time lapse so that the case is soon forgotten?This is why we are surprised at the behavior of the LNP.  Our Thursday, January 22 Editorial was very clear.  We said this is a momentous case for the new Justice Minister—and we went so far as to name it his first major case.  Surely Justice Minister Sannoh most definitely will not want to play with this one—not just because the President has pledged her personal involvement to see that justice is done; but more so because an innocent little girl, who could have been anyone’s daughter or granddaughter, has been brutally and murderously violated.We make an appeal that we think is entirely unnecessary.  But having waited so long see this horrible matter to brought to justice, we have no choice but to urge Inspector General Chris Massaquoi and his Deputy, Major Abraham  Kromah, to turn Musa Kromah  over to the courts without delay.  We are sure that Attorney General Sannoh will be ready with a competent prosecutorial team to ensure that this matter is expertly dealt with in the courts.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more