Typhoon Haiyán hit the Visayas region of the Philippines, the morning of Friday, Nov. 8, bringing with it sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts as fast as 235 mph. Shelly speaks with Merce Bernadette Miranda, known as M.B., the president of the Filipino Student Association at the University of Miami, about the conditions surrounding the Filipinos and what kinds of efforts are being made to help those afflicted.
Posts Tagged ‘not for profit’
Miami’s Vice City Rollers is a local non-profit organization focused on empowering women and girls through the camaraderie, self-esteem, and fitness that roller derby brings. Not only do they focus on roller derby itself, but they also team with other non-profit organizations to spread community awareness and support. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, they are dedicated to fostering national and international competition of amateur athletes in the sport of Roller Derby. Shelly speaks with Bella Belligerent, and Kristen De La Rua, aka De La Ruthless about the origins of Roller Derby. Accepting of every size, color, and career, VCR holds no specific requirements for women interested in roller derby. Come as you are and learn to skate.
For more information on Miami’s Vice City Rollers visit www.miamirollerderby.com. For more info on derby, check out www.wftda.org, Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
David Leal is a young man with high career aspirations. Every day he gets closer to finishing his novel despite not being able to physically write it himself. By no means defined by the disease that weakens his muscles daily, David must still work around the effects muscular dystrophy has on his body. There can be no doubt as to the strength of his character and fortitude of mind and though his body grows weaker, his mind only increases in perception and creativity. David and his team join Shelly Lynn on an episode of ‘Not For Profit’ to talk about his upcoming novel.
Victoria Morales and Barbara Padron lead outreach teams in Hialeah, Biscayne Blvd and Miami Beach. This is part of Sharing One Love Outreach program. http://sharingonelove.org/ They’ve been conducting outreaches for the entire year and have repeatedly come across locations and information about the possible sex trafficking of local runaway children. They also connect with local groups, law enforcement and business owners to increase awareness and the identification and rescue of children that are at-risk of being commercially sexually exploited.
A typical outreach includes the following activities:
- All first time volunteers receive street outreach training.
- Volunteers form into small groups and identify local businesses to share information on Human Trafficking and the vulnerability of runaway children to being commercially sexually exploited.
- Volunteers also handout flyers with red flags on on how employees can identify and report suspected human trafficking.
- Groups also show pictures of missing children from the community to employees and record and report and possible sightings and relevant information.
- Participants also complete surveys of areas that show signs of suspected commercial sexual activity. This data is used to identify areas that benefit or profit in facilitating human trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual abuse and exploitation.
Indie Film Club Miami is a non-profit organization that fosters the growth, skills and cohesiveness of the South Florida film industry, by working closely with filmmakers and digital media content creators. It hosts a variety of events including monthly screenings, as well as regular workshops, and networking events that bring together our diverse community. Diliana Alexander, Executive Director at Indie Film Club, spoke with us about the importance of independent cinema and transmedia. Shelly Lynn alongside Natasha Mijares and Diliana Alexander talk about the different facets of film and how crucial it is to our community, to encourage creativity and build upon it for a more expressive society.
On June 17th, the Supreme Court decided to pass a “landmark decision” in regards to Salinas v. Texas which impacts how one can go about claiming the right to not incriminate oneself (otherwise known as “pleading the fifth”). The decision essentially stated that when an individual is not placed under arrest, the individual must explicitly evoke their 5th amendment right and that simply remaining silent does not mean their right has been evoked. Depending upon the circumstances, this silence can be used to infer possible guilt of the party in question.
To really understand the context of this ruling, let me first start with a quick background to this decision.
This all started with a murder case conducted in a Texas state court. In 1992, Houston police officers found two homicide victims. The investigation had then led officers to Genovevo Salinas. Salinas voluntarily agreed to accompany the officers to the police station, where he was then questioned. At this time, Salinas was not under arrest and had not been read his Miranda rights. Salinas had the ability to leave at any point while he was being questioned.
Salinas answered every question until an officer asked him whether the shotgun shells found at the scene of the crime would match the shotgun found in Salinas’ home. At this point, the defendant fell silent and “looked down at the floor, shuffled his feet, bit his bottom lip, clenched his hands in his lap, and began to tighten up” (according to the statements made by the state prosecutor).
A ballistics analysis later matched Salinas’ gun with the casings at the scene. Police also found a witness who said Salinas admitted to killing the victims. In 1993, Salinas was charged with the murders, but he could not be found until 15 years later.
During the trial, the prosecution introduced the evidence of Salinas’ silence and body language in response to the question about the gun casings. Salinas objected, arguing that he could invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. The trial court admitted the evidence and Salinas was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The question boiled down to whether or not Salinas’ body language is allowed to be presented as evidence.
I say YES!
First of all, Salinas had the ability to leave the questioning period any time he liked.
All of his answers from this questioning period were applicable to be used in court as evidence. Since he did not leave nor claim his right to not self incriminate, I believe that the answer his body language gave is also admissible in court.
There’s been plenty of dissenting chatter in the public sphere about Supreme Court’s decision to allow this piece of evidence stand. Personally, I think it’s time for these chatters of dissent to stop. Ladies and gentlemen please plead the fifth!
Now we are all very familiar with our fifth amendment rights. Just to recap a bit, the pertaining part of the 5th amendment in this case is “No person shall be…compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”. There are other things the amendment guarantees such as our right in regards to double jeopardy, due process, and eminent domain. The important thing here to focus on is the ability to not self incriminate.
Some people will argue that to not self incriminate is a natural right.
I think they are only partially right.
If one really focused on the language of the Constitution, the key word is compelled. We are allowed the right to not be forced into incriminating ourselves but that does not stop you from doing it freely.
The Miranda rights are read to you because you are in custody, and you can’t just get up and leave. If you had incriminated yourself without explicitly knowing your rights under these conditions, the law enforcement officers are essentially forcing incriminating evidence out of you.
Under a different circumstance where you basically waltz into a police department and partake in a questioning period willingly then… anything you say or may do are going to be used against you! (sound familiar?)
There has been all types of people have used their 5th amendment rights in the past, and some of them have gotten off clean while others haven’t. People such as Don King, Colone Oliver North, Casey Anthony, and even O.J. Simpson have all claimed their right to not incriminate themselves when they were questioned, as well as they should have (and O.J. I’m talking about you especially).
Look, we have all watched enough Law and Order and CSI to know that when you are being questioned, and you get asked that one question where you might start to incriminate yourself…
What do you do?
You shut up and ask for a lawyer.
Salinas paid for his slip up during the questioning period, and he couldn’t answer because he got nervous. The police had hit the nail on the head. If he was really trying to evoke his 5th amendment right, we would definitely all be made aware of it (it’s really not that hard). He got nervous and couldn’t answer because the bullet casings did fit his shotgun. He got nervous and couldn’t answer because he did murder two innocent people in their own home. He got nervous and couldn’t answer probably because he started planning for his 15 years of hide-and-seek with law enforcement.
The take away from this Supreme Court decision?
You have the right to not self-incriminate.
The Mystic Force Foundation is a local nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness of childhood cancer and raise the funds to end it. In an interview on WVUM, founder Silvia Vanni spoke passionately with Not For Profit host Shelly Mlacker about her mission, inspired by the legacy of her son Salvatore Vanni who bravely fought and lost a battle with Neuroblastoma cancer.
Stephanie and Katie recently joined ‘Not For Profit’ host Shelly to discuss the work they have been doing with No Zebras.
No Zebras is a student group that aims to address and reform the behaviors, ideas, and misconceptions, of the University of Miami student body regarding sexual assault.
Their mission is to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault and to educate the University of Miami community about the resources available to survivors here on campus and in the Coral Gables Community.
Hear a brief testimonial from Katie taken from the interview here: