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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES: MAY 15, 2017

International Day of Families

The International Day of Families, annually held on May 15, celebrates the importance of families and the work started during the International Year of Families.

International Day of Families
International Day of Families promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family.
©iStockphoto.com/Ekaterina Monakhova

What Do People Do?

A wide range of events are organized at local, national and international levels. These include: workshops, seminars and policy meeting for public officials; exhibitions and organized discussions to raise awareness of the annual theme; educational sessions for children and young people; and the launch of campaigns for public policies to strengthen and support family units. In some countries, tool kits are created to help people organize celebrations aimed at a particular section of the population, such as school children or young adults.

Public Life

The International Day of Families is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The year 1994 was proclaimed as the International Year of Families by the United Nations. This was a response to changing social and economic structures, which have affected and still affect the structure and stability of family units in many regions of the globe. The International Day of Families, on May 15, is an occasion to reflect on the work started during 1994 and to celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world. It has been held every year since 1995.

Symbols

The symbol of the International Day of Families consists of a solid green circle with an image in red. The image consists of elements of simple drawings of a heart and a house. This indicates that families are the center of society and provide a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.

International Day of Families Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat May 15 2010 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Sun May 15 2011 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Tue May 15 2012 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Wed May 15 2013 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Thu May 15 2014 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Fri May 15 2015 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Sun May 15 2016 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Mon May 15 2017 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Tue May 15 2018 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Wed May 15 2019 International Day of Families United Nations observance
Fri May 15 2020 International Day of Families United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 5-15-2017

CHUCK DAVIS, WHO BROUGHT AFRICAN DANCE TRADITIONS TO AMERICA

Chuck Davis in 2007. The dancer and choreographer had originally intended to become a nurse before realizing his true calling. Credit Julieta Cervantes for The New York Times

Chuck Davis, a dancer and choreographer widely regarded as America’s foremost master of African dance, died on Sunday at his home in Durham, N.C. He was 80.

His death was announced by the African American Dance Ensemble, which he founded in Durham in the early 1980s and directed until 2015. No cause was given.

Mr. Davis, who often said that he considered dance an agent of social change, performed, choreographed, taught and otherwise evangelized for the dances of Africa and the African diaspora for more than a half-century.

He was known both for his re-creations of traditional dances from throughout the African world and for his contemporary choreographed pieces that fused African traditions with modern dance.

DanceAfrica, a sprawling, multiday communal celebration, presents dancers and musicians from the United States, Africa and the diaspora, along with an outdoor bazaar selling African food and handicrafts. It has been reprised in cities throughout the United States.

American Dance Festival 2015 Season Dedicated to Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis Video by AmerDanceFest

“We need reminders of our history,” Mr. Davis, speaking of DanceAfrica, told The New York Times in 2001. “It adds meaning to our lives.”

Mr. Davis frequently traveled to Africa with his dancers to study dance and folkloric traditions, and lectured and gave master classes around the world. In North Carolina, he took his company to perform in schools, prisons and nursing homes, as well as on concert stages.

A DanceAfrica performance in 2015 featuring members of Bale Folclórico da Bahia, a Brazilian folkloric dance company. From left, Tiago Lima and Wagner Santana. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

All this from a man who in his youth had planned to become a nurse — until he realized that his love of dancing might well pre-empt that career.

Growing up in the Jim Crow South, Chuck attended all-black schools. In high school, he entered a Navy R.O.T.C. program, training as a medical corpsman.

Smitten, he enrolled in dance classes at a local studio; he later studied a range of dance traditions at Howard University.

Before long, Mr. Davis had forsaken his plans for a nursing career.

“I decided that dance was the prevention, and nursing was the cure,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1995. “And I’d rather be part of the prevention than the cure.”

“We had seven minutes and you name it, we did it,” Mr. Davis recalled in the 2001 article in The Post. “We wore skimpy little costumes and we danced our little tuchises off.”

From left, Faith Moyo, Nodumo Sibanda and Ayanda S. Mpofu with the Zimbabwe troupe Umkhathi Theater Works at DanceAfrica in 2013. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Moving to the city, Mr. Davis “got there on Tuesday, learned the five ballets on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and premiered on Saturday,” as he recalled in a 2012 interview with the Dance Heritage Coalition, a national dance-history organization.

Performing with Mr. Olatunji’s troupe at the 1964 New York World’s Fair in Queens, Mr. Davis was galvanized by a dance troupe from Sierra Leone, also on the bill.

“I’d never seen such fireworks on the stage,” he later said.

He began to dream of traveling to Africa, studying its dance traditions and bringing them back to American audiences.

“African traditions are based on respect,” he told The Herald-Sun of Durham in 2006. “It’s my way of fighting racism.”

Mr. Davis was moved to bring African dance traditions to an even wider audience, he said, after he happened to see an old Tarzan film on television.

A result was DanceAfrica, over which Mr. Davis, in flowing robes, presided each year like a traditional West African griot.

Mr. Davis teaching a master class at Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx in 2003. Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

The festival’s emphasis on community meant that audience members could rarely expect to sit passively. Some might be called onstage to take part the dancing; all, by festival’s end, would have joined Mr. Davis in reciting “Peace, love and respect for everybody,” the phrase that had long been his mantra.

His many laurels include two Bessie Awards, formally known as the New York Dance and Performance Awards and named for the dancer and choreographer Bessie Schonberg.

Mr. Davis had no illusions that the dances he presented on this side of the Atlantic were exact copies of the African originals, which he made plain in interviews.

He had learned an enduring lesson about authenticity long before, at the World’s Fair. After a Nigerian troupe was unable to appear there, Mr. Olatunji’s ensemble was slipped in as a covert replacement.

The jig was up, however, after a performance whose audience happened to include one Mrs. Hicks, Mr. Davis’s third-grade teacher from North Carolina.

SOURCE

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POWERS BOOTHE, ACTOR KNOWN FOR ‘DEADWOOD’ AND OTHER DARK ROLES

Powers Boothe played Cy Tolliver, a saloon owner, on “Deadwood,” the HBO series. Credit Doug Hyun/HBO

Powers Boothe, an actor best known for playing dark characters on television shows like “Deadwood” and in movies like “Sin City,” died on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 68.

The death was confirmed by his publicist, Karen Samfilippo. She did not specify the cause.

Mr. Boothe lent his burly frame and Texas drawl to numerous TV series beginning in the late 1970s. In addition to the acclaimed HBO series “Deadwood,” he was seen on shows including “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Nashville” and “24,” on which he played the vice president of the United States. Among the movies in which he appeared were “Red Dawn” (1984), “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012) and Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” (1995), in which he played Alexander Haig.

He won an Emmy in 1980 for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or special for his performance as the leader of the Jonestown cult in the mini-series “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.”

Clip from “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones” (1of2) Video by Aaron Coe

He crossed a picket line during an actors’ strike to accept the award. “This may be either the bravest moment of my career or the dumbest,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Powers Allen Boothe was born on June 1, 1948, and grew up on a cotton farm in West Texas, where “we didn’t have anything to do in my little town except drive fast cars, play pool and go to the bootlegger, the drive-in, and a lot of places I shouldn’t have been in,” he told The New York Times in 1979.

“I decided I was not going to make my living beating my head against someone else,” he said in the 1979 interview. “I got a lot of flak; in Texas, football is not only the social thing you must do, but you do it also to prove your manhood. They all couldn’t conceive of why I’d want to stop to do ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’”

He attended Southwest Texas State University — he said he was the first one in his family to go to college — and then received a master’s degree in drama from Southern Methodist University.

He began his acting career with two years at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He then moved to New York, which he described as being “like a foreign country.” He made his first and last appearance on Broadway in 1979 in the one-act play “Lone Star.”

In 1983 and again in 1986, Mr. Boothe portrayed the private eye Philip Marlowe in an HBO series based on stories by Raymond Chandler. Reviewing it for The New York Times, John J. O’ Connor praised Mr. Boothe for giving an “emotionally convincing” performance that “would have had Raymond Chandler’s approval.”

SOURCE

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MICHAEL PARKS, ‘TWIN PEAKS’ ACTOR AND TARANTINO FAVORITE

“He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform,” Kevin Smith wrote of ‘Red State’ star

Michael Parks, a character actor who enjoyed a career renaissance thanks to high profile roles in films like ‘Kill Bill,’ died at the age of 77. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Michael Parks, a character actor who enjoyed a career renaissance in recent decades thanks to high profile roles in films by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Parks’ agent confirmed the actor’s death to The Hollywood Reporter, though a cause of death was not revealed.

Parks made his acting debut in a small role in 1961 on the sitcom The Real McCoys, and, over the ensuing decades, racked up dozens of roles on both television and feature films, most notably as the casino owner and drug runner Jean Renault on the second season of Twin Peaks.

After years playing bit roles in made-for-TV movies, Westerns and slasher films, Parks was cast as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Rodriguez’ 1996 vampire flick From Dusk ’til Dawn. Quentin Tarantino, an associate of Rodriguez’, then cast Parks in a dual role for Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2; in the former, he reprised the McGraw role, while the latter found the actor playing Mexican pimp Esteban Vihaio.

Parks would portray McGraw once more for Tarantino and Rodriguez in the directors’ Grindhouse films. Tarantino also recruited Parks for a small role in Django Unchained.

Parks’ career revival also resulted in roles in Ben Affleck’s Argo, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and a pair of Kevin Smith horror flicks, Red State and Tusk.

“Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known. I wrote both [Red State] and [Tusk] FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much,” Smith wrote on Instagram Wednesday. “He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set.”

At the time of his death, Parks was cast in the upcoming Christian Bale film Hostiles.

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SKYWATCH: CATCH COMET JOHNSON IN BINOCULARS, CALL FOR AMATEUR AWARD NOMINATIONS, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Amazing New Views of Near-Earth Asteroid

Sky & Telescope
When large asteroid 2014 JO25 cruised past Earth on April 19th, Goldstone and Arecibo radars were at the ready.

Read more…

Watery Skies of “Warm Neptune” Hint at Planet’s Formation

Sky & Telescope
Astronomers have detected water in the cloud-free skies of “warm Neptune” HAT-P-26b – a clue to the larger mystery of how these planets formed.

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OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, May 12 – 20

Sky & Telescope
Three zero-magnitude stars shine after dark in May: Arcturus high in the southeast, Vega much lower in the northeast, and Capella in the northwest. On Thursday, catch a double-shadow event on Jupiter.

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Watch Comet Johnson Sprint Through Boötes

Sky & Telescope
Another binocular comet? You better believe it. Comet Johnson takes center stage at nightfall this month and next.

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Tour May’s Sky: Big Dipper Leads the Way

Sky & Telescope
Listen to May’s astronomy podcast to learn why the Big Dipper is the “Swiss Army Knife” of the late-spring northern sky.

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COMMUNITY

“Lights All Askew:” How a Solar Eclipse Made Einstein Famous

Sky & Telescope
Why are some scientists world-famous but not others? Narrative, even one as simple as “starlight bends,” turns out to be a powerful tool for making sense of science.

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Call for Nominations: Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award

Sky & Telescope
The Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award recognizes excellence in astronomical research by American amateur astronomers. Nominations are now open!

Read more…

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COLORLINES: HARLEMITE LADIES HONOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY’S BLACK ROOTS

WATCH: Harlemites Honor the Kentucky Derby’s Black Roots With ‘Harlem Derby’ Party

The Undefeated profiles an annual Harlem gala that celebrates the famous horse race, its fashion and the Black jockeys and trainers who dominated its early history.

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 5-12-2017

May 12, 2017

Muslims taking step to blunt increase in arsons; Trump names Kobach to voter-fraud panel; IRS gives white nationalists a tax break; and more.

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Think Progress: As anti-Islam incidents rise, Muslims groups take steps to prevent arsons.

Wichita Eagle (KS): Trump names Kris Kobach to head up commission to examine voter fraud.

Right Wing Watch: Alex Jones and Roger Stone want Trump to prosecute his critics now that Comey is gone.

Media Matters: Meet Jack Posobiec, the alt-right smear-campaign specialist with a press pass in the White House.

Washington Post: Why the IRS gives white nationalists a tax break, and why it’s under closer scrutiny.

Mother Jones: Former Sessions staffer sends immigrant-bashing email to push Senate run by extremist Sheriff Clarke.

Huffington Post: Lawyer who went after the KKK for infamous bombing is running for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat.

Daily Kos: Shocking video shows ICE arresting immigrants, refusing to show warrant at Denver courthouse.

Autostraddle: Murder of black trans man in Manhattan marks 10th killing of trans people of color this year.

Saratogian News (NY): White-supremacist fliers show up on vehicles’ windshields in Spa City.

Salon: The Associated Press reveals it had a secret propaganda arrangement with the Nazis in the 1930s.

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WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: MAY 10, 2017

World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is a two-day event annually held on the second weekend of May to highlight the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats. The United Nations is one of the many organizations that support this global awareness campaign.

Blue Jay feeding on seed
The Blue Jay, one of the world’s migratory birds.
©iStockphoto.com/Jello5700

What Do People Do

On the second weekend each May, people around the world celebrate World Migratory Bird Day by organizing public events such as bird festivals, education programs and bird-watching excursions.

Public Life

World Migratory Bird Day is an official UN supported event and not a public holiday.

Background

Although the event is usually on the second weekend of May, the first World Migratory Bird Day was launched on the weekend of April 8–9, 2006. The event was created to help turn the world’s attention to the wonders of bird migration and the need for their conservation. Each year, the total number of registered World Migratory Bird Day events has steadily increased along with the number of countries in which these events occurred.

World Migratory Bird Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat May 8 2010 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 14 2011 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 12 2012 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 11 2013 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 10 2014 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 9 2015 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 14 2016 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 13 2017 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 12 2018 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 11 2019 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance
Sat May 9 2020 World Migratory Bird Day United Nations observance

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