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WASHINGTON, DC: Global Tassels is a philanthropic organization based out of Washington D.C. with the self-proclaimed “twin-goal” of providing education and social service.
The entity’s driving mission is to mitigate worldwide poverty by offering a cost free, U.S.-based education to “student leaders” who are chosen from international regions affected by long-term underdevelopment. In other words, Global Tassels intends to alleviate the onset of widespread poverty by means of propagating higher education
Once the foundation’s educational program inevitably emerges from its pilot stage, student leaders from around the world will be chosen to attend any of the various U.S. academic institutions that the organization is currently negotiating with; subsequent to the receipt of an American diploma student leaders will be repatriated and duly tasked with affecting positive social change back home.
Dr. Elvin T. Ramos — Global Tassels’ founder, president, and CEO — has spearheaded the foundation’s steady emergence with the help of a dedicated team of likeminded humanitarians.
“The first motivation behind [Global Tassels] is my passion for education. The second regards international development that is ultimately centered on new, sustainable development goals,” Ramos told The American Bazaar in a phone interview.
During the conversation, Ramos made a point of touching specifically on Global Tassels’ blueprint for India, which is one of the nations that falls under the foundation’s overarching purview.
Excerpts from the interview with Dr. Ramos:
How has your organization implemented its strategy in India?
We took a visit to New Delhi in December of 2014. Global Tassels started in May 2014 so we went immediately when we had the chance. We returned to Delhi in July of last year and have plans to go back to Delhi this summer again.
As far as how we cultivated the organization structure is ultimately based on a partnership. People who we know here have given us some leads to work with institutions such as the YMCA and YWCA in Delhi, and we’re quite proud of what they’re doing over there.
The YWCA is a very active institution that promotes academic programs and activities to get engaged in poorer areas surrounding Delhi. The institution has helped us and introduced us to different professionals as well as leaders of NGOs.
We have had opportunities to expand based on our visit; because of that we’ve had leaders amongst the governing body of the YMCA connect us with communities throughout the slum areas of Delhi and the work that they’re doing there, whether it’s providing education, women’s empowerment, or food.
Last year we interviewed about five students from Delhi — a shortlist, but there were many who were nominated. We are very hopeful that we can continue to go back to Delhi and eventually other parts of India.
We have a strategy for India where we want to market and promote ourselves so that we can provide scholarships for more students who are in need.
We’re starting in Delhi because we want to make sure that we’re at the heart of the country and also because most of our partners living in India are located in the capital.
In your opinion, how does India compare to other nations in terms of poverty and lack of academic opportunity?
I do think that compared to the other countries that we’ve been in — Guatemala, the Philippines, Ivory Coast, Columbia, and Haiti — India is quite different. Although there is a significant amount of people in India who are in need, I do think that our experience in India gave us the opportunity to understand Indian culture and that folds into giving India our passion.
In my experience talking to students in India — they’re quite visionary. They want to do new things and really innovative things when it comes down to putting themselves in the position to help their community. I think they are open to the world, they are knowledgeable about what’s going on around them, what’s going on in India. With India being a leader in terms of population growth, I think they understand that once they get the education that they need, they will play a role in how India will become a leading country economically, socially, and politically over the next five to ten years.
How do you envision student leaders alleviating localized poverty once repatriated?
In India specifically, I think there are many pockets of communities that are in need. These communities are eager to learn about the world. Whether that might be based off technology, or ideology, or other things that are happening, I envision that whomever we choose in India, these student leaders will come back to their communities and really share their experience by creating or implementing a project with us and other supporters sponsoring and financing the project.
It would give hope, and for me the most important thing is the ability to say that they also have an opportunity outside of the situation they are currently living in. In addition to that I would really like to see student leaders be role models to the youth as well as to the other individuals living in their communities while providing access to education, providing empowerment for young girls, and being on the front lines of employment and human rights.
Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.
"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."
But people believe it now — in large part because Brown-Forman Corporation, owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, has acknowledged the foundational role Green played in the brand's development.
"The truth of the matter is, Nearest Green was the first head distiller of Jack Daniels whiskey," says Matt Blevins, global brand director for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey. "We're very proud of this story and are very committed to amplifying it and acknowledging that. In the past, we did not amplify it the way that we could have in earlier eras, but we're about the future and moving forward."
America's first-known Black master distiller
The story begins in Lynchburg, Tennessee, current home of the Jack Daniel Distillery. In the mid-1800s, Green's slaveholders hired him out to a local preacher named Dan Call. Green, who had a reputation as a skilled distiller, made whiskey for Call, using a sugar maple charcoal filtering process that is believed to have originated in West Africa. Daniel, a boy who worked for Call, became Green's apprentice and learned the special technique that gave the Tennessee whiskey its smooth taste.
After emancipation in 1863, when all enslaved people were freed, Daniel purchased Call's distillery and hired Green as Jack Daniel Distillery's first master distiller.
"The best knowledge that we have is that they had a mentor-and-mentee sort of a relationship, and I would say, a friendship," says Blevins. "The stories that have been passed down [talk] about the care that Jack Daniel took to always acknowledge … the Green family."
Historic photo of Jack Daniel (in white hat) seated next to George Green, the son of Nathan "Nearest" Green Image source: VOA
There are no known pictures of Green, but there is one of Daniel with Green's son, George, sitting next to Daniel, rather than being relegated to the back.
"That photograph shows the respect that they had for one another and for their families," says Stefanie Benjamin, an assistant professor of tourism management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. "To be not only allowed in that photograph, but also positioned in the foreground and sitting right next to Jack Daniels himself."
Search for the truth
Green's role in the history of the brand was uncovered by a writer and entrepreneur named Fawn Weaver, who became fascinated by Green's unheralded contribution to the world's most popular whiskey. After extensive research, including interviews with Green's descendants, Weaver shared her documentation with the company.
"I was very pleasantly surprised when they embraced my research and updated their records to reflect that," Weaver told VOA via email. "I think it said a lot about the character of their company that they moved that quickly to course correct."
Jack Daniel's has incorporated Green's contributions into the official history of the brand, but Weaver has gone a step further. She invested $1 million of her own money to establish Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, which is now the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand in U.S. history.
Fawn Weaver (center in red) with her leadership team at Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, including master distiller Victoria Eady Butler (far left), the great‐great‐granddaughter of Nearest Green. (Photo courtesy Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey) Image credit: VOA
The company's master distiller is Victoria Eady Butler, Green's great‐great‐granddaughter.
"Uncle Nearest is the most-awarded American whiskey or bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the fact that it is the bloodline of Nearest Green blending and approving what goes into our bottles is something I marvel at regularly," Weaver says. "Victoria is an absolute natural when it comes to blending, and to watch her work is to see something pretty darn close to perfection."
Seven generations of Green's family have worked at the Jack Daniel Distillery, a tradition that continues today with Staples and two of her siblings. But the Green family did not benefit when the Daniel family sold the Jack Daniel distillery to Brown-Forman for $20 million in 1956.
"Although they [the Green family] were very well off in terms of finances [in the 1800s] in that time, they were not the owners or co-owners of the Jack Daniel distillery," Benjamin says. "And so, those millions of dollars have been passed down through generations of the Jack Daniel family, and not necessarily the Green family."
Maturing barrels of whiskey in a barrel house on the grounds of the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Jack Daniel's) Image credit: VOA
Weaver's Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has joined forces with Jack Daniel's to launch a program that provides support, expertise and resources to African-American entrepreneurs entering the spirits industry.
Staples says her family is thrilled their great-great-grandfather is finally being recognized.
"It's kind of mind-boggling … and we are so proud," Staples says. "And to think that from here to Africa, that recipe goes all the way back. And to think that he played such an important role in establishing this company. It sometimes seems unreal. It really does."
Because of Weaver's tenacity, Green's story, although left untold for more than a century, will not be lost to history. But that's not the case with so many other stories of Black achievement and contributions to the nation.
"Part of telling his story and sharing his legacy is to give credit and to give attention to a person who, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have the Jack Daniel whiskey as we know it today," Benjamin says. "It showcases yet another example of how formerly enslaved people, Black people, African American people who have really built this country, are left out of the dominant narrative that we tell." (VOA/RN)
(This article is originally written by Dora Mekouar)
Keywords: Jack Daniel's, Whiskey, Nathan Green, Slavery, Black achievement
Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Booking.com. The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.
The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.
The booking window that opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021 and check-out on October 25, 2021. | Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash
For one night only, guests can soak in the energy of a roaring stadium to enjoy the epic match on a life-sized screen while seated on comfortable sofas -- just like the luxury box seats at the stadium. They can also head to the locker room (dining room) next to the field (living room) to have some energy drinks, just like a cricketer would do or head to the bedroom, transformed into a net practice area. It's got the field, the pitch, the locker room, pitching nets and cricket memorabilia infused in every element of the room.
The booking window opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021, and check-out on October 25, 2021. The T20 Pavilion is priced at Rs 6666 only in honour of all the great sixes smashed at the T20 World Cup. The T20 Pavilion can accommodate up to four guests. Cricket fans can visit the website or mobile app to book this cricket-inspired stay. (IANS/ MBI)
Amid the rush to find quick treatments for Covid-19 last year, the world saw a global race to find new stem cell-based treatments. Now, researchers report that such therapies were filled with violations of government regulations, inflated medical claims and distorted public communication. There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies.
"Efforts to rapidly develop therapeutic interventions should never occur at the expense of the ethical and scientific standards that are at the heart of responsible clinical research and innovation," said lead study author Laertis Ikonomou, associate professor of oral biology at University at Buffalo, New York. There are clinics offering unproven and unsafe "stem cell" therapies that promise to prevent Covid-19 by strengthening the immune system or improving overall health, the researchers noted in the paper published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.
There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies. | Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash
The findings from preliminary studies on possible stem cell-based Covid-19 treatments are frequently being exaggerated through press releases, social media and uncritical news media reports. Clinics selling supposed stem cell treatments on a direct-to-consumer basis sometimes use these findings and news reports to exploit the fears of vulnerable patients by unethically advertising the unproven benefits of stem cell treatments to boost the immune system, regenerate lung tissue and prevent transmission of Covid-19, said co-author Leigh Turner from the University of California, Irvine.
"Patients suffer financially as well, as the products range in price from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, and people are often encouraged to receive the expensive treatments every few months," added Ikonomou. Patients led to believe they are protected against Covid-19 may decide against vaccination, stop wearing masks, cease engaging in physical distancing, or otherwise avoid behaviours intended to promote personal safety and public health.
They may also become less likely to take part in carefully-developed clinical trials conducted by companies that follow ethical standards. "Scientists, regulators and policymakers must guard against the proliferation of poorly designed, underpowered and duplicative studies that are launched with undue haste because of the pandemic, but are unlikely to provide convincing, clinically meaningful safety and efficacy data," Turner stressed. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: findings,studies,therapies,unproven,reports,treatments, pandemic, covid, world