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March 17th, 2011 by dianna

UC Berkeley Scholarship: The Beverly Mullins Memorial Scholarship
The Mullins family along with the UC Berkeley California Re-entry Alumni Chapter have come together to create a needs-based scholarship for Single parent re-entry students, doing full-time study at UC Berkeley. The Beverly Mullins Memorial Scholarship is in memory of Beverly Mullins, a 1998 Graduate from the Department of Sociology.

Beverly attended UC Berkeley as a single mother with no outside financial support. She was challenged to focus on both her studies and the responsibility of raising her son, Jacob. Today, Jacob is a graduate of Yale University, a testament to Beverly’s love, focus and determination to create, for him, a better life. The goal of the Beverly Mullins Memorial Scholarship is to help other single parents also achieve success for themselves and their families. More information on the family and the background of the scholarship is available here.

Up to $5,000 will be awarded to a selected student each academic year.

If you are interested in applying for the scholarship please contact Dianna Mullins (dianna@lafpdl.com) with a subject line: The Beverly Mullins Scholarship Application.

Previous Recipients

We have awarded scholarships to single re-entry students since 2002. The scholarship selection committee: Dianna Mullins, Helen Johnson, Jacob Mullins, Rudi Gewing-Mullins, RosieMarie Mullins and Nikki Dones.

Rue Mapp - 2008 Scholarship Recipient

2007 scholarship recipient

Katherine Riney Reyes - 2007 Scholarship Recipient


2006 Scholarship Recipient

July 6th, 2009 by dianna

We are very excited to announce the recipient of a new scholarship my family has created, Shannon Swan an Anthropology major at UC Berkeley. The Future Women Leaders scholarship was created out of a need to help support future women leaders that are dedicated to empowering and/or giving back to women in their community or around the world.

Shannon Swan inspired us 2 years ago when she applied for the Beverly Mullins Memorial Scholarship (BMMS) for single re-entry parents working on their undergraduate degree. At the time we had been considering a new scholarship, but hadn’t fulling lay the ground work for it. Once Shannon applied for the Beverly Mullins Memorial scholarship again, we knew it was time to officially announce the new scholarship and select her as our first recipient due to the work she is doing.

I don’t yet have a bio on Shannon, but hope to soon! Follow her on twitter at @hominidsrus.

May 24th, 2009 by dianna

Tuesday Morning, 10:00 AM: I will be meeting the OneStruggleOneFight.org group at the Courthouse at 10:00 AM for a peaceful street blockade. They are coordinating with an interfaith group of clergy, and are acting in the spirit of nonviolent resistance. Look for their large sign “SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL” and join us!

Information given to me by Molly McKay of Marriage Equality (marriageequality.com). 

Here’s a rundown of all of the activities in San Francisco — please spread the word far and wide.

ON THE  NIGHT PRIOR TO THE RULING:

- 7:00pm to 8:30pm: Interfaith Prayer service at Grace Cathedral  (1100 California St). All peaceful loving people are invited to come  together for this service, no matter what their position on the  court case may be.  For more information email rstringfellow@clgs.org

THE DAY OF THE RULING:

- 8:30am to 9:15am: Service/Blessing at St. Francis Lutheran Church  (152 Church St, across from Safeway).

- 9:15am to 10am: March from Saint Francis to Civic Center Plaza.

- 10:00am to 10:30: California Supreme Court steps (400 McAllister St) Everyone is invited to stand with us on the steps to receive the  ruling.  If you are a couple that married, or wanted to marry and  will speak to media, please email your name, contact information,  phone number and story to media@marriageequality.org.  Please bring  your families and allies with you.

- 10:30am: Circle of Care at Civic Center Plaza. If the marriage ban  is upheld, a group of Bay Area clergy and congregants will engage in  nonviolent civil disobedience immediately after receiving the ruling  go to www.onestruggleonefight.org for details.

THE EVENING OF THE RULING - COMMUNITY GATHERING

Emceed by Stuart Gaffney, John Lewis, Lawrence Ellis, Molly McKay  and Davina Kotulski

- 5:00pm to 6:00: Pre-March Rally at SF City Hall (speakers include  Terry Stewart, Kate Kendall and others)

- 6:00pm to 7:00: March to MLK Memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens (4th and Mission, next to Metreon). Follow http://twitter.com/stop8dotorg for live updates from the march.

- 7:00pm to 8:30: Post-March Gathering at Yerba Buena Gardens,  (speakers including Rev. Amos Brown , music, and next steps) For more information visit www.marriageequality.org <http://www.marriageequality.org/  or dayofdecision.org

THE WEEKEND AFTER THE RULING:

- Meet in the Middle for Equality in Fresno: http://www.meetinthemiddle4equality.com/

- Saturday: March from Selma to Fresno, meeting at 6:30am and kicking off at 7:50am Buses leave from San Francisco - join your fellow love warriors for  a road trip for justice you will always remember!

- Saturday: Rally in Fresno; warmup at noon, kickoff at 1pm

THE COMING WEEKS AND MONTHS:

- Marriage Equality USA, The Courage Campaign and Equality  California are canvassing with voters and running TV ads.

- It’s more important than ever for us to have conversations about  how marriage equality personally affects us. Visit  marriageequality.org; couragecampaign.org, eqca.org and stop8.org  for tips and opportunities to get engaged in your local area.  In all our actions, we will remember that making peace must start  within our self.  Each of us must stay committed to be non-violent  and a stand for the fairness, love and justice we want to see in the  world.

May 22nd, 2009 by dianna

The Prop 8 Oral Arguments on March 5, 2009: The “peaceful” rally, as stated by most of the local news stations, was a very different experience for me. After watching channel 2, 4, 5 and 7 news I couldn’t believe some of the stories they chose NOT to cover.

Sign reads "Dan White Hero for killing Queers"

Sign reads: Dan White was a hero for killing a queer

For example, how about the bus loads of Ukrainians that were brought in from Sacramento with massive “Yes on 8″ signs and scripts/instructions that they were given to say to anyone that would engage in a light debate. What i found most interesting about this group was that they mostly engaged with the young teens/adults in the crowds. When i approached the older men (40-60 age range) with questions of my own, i literally got NO RESPONSE. I found it strange at first, but then realized that they really didn’t have any depth of knowledge on the issue and so anything outside of their script was not something they were prepared for. The young men in that group were much more engaging but all they could say was hateful things about fags and that gay people were going to hell. They also then kindly reminded me that if i was gay i could not have children. They also insisted they would never have fags as kids because, well, it wouldn’t be allowed. I found this group fascinating because it took so little to get 100 of them together with big signs and scripts and have such a presence at this rally. The only thing unclear to me was if this group of young men and a sprinkling of adults had been paid to be there. I couldn’t get that out of them. They even were organized to block the views of those talking on the courthouse steps with their massive signs while the rest of us with small “I DO” signs stood behind. Brilliant!

I just wondered why the ”No on 8″ side hadn’t organized as well. We have more then a handful of organizations that we are all pouring our money into and yet, there was no clear presence of any of them. Why? I’ll leave that topic for another blog post.

The next “Yes on 8″ group was church organized. They had red shirts that said something like, “Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman” along with small white tabloid size signs. They handed out to anyone interested the red T-shirts and the signs - another smart move since the shirts were so loud. This group was about half the size of the first group. They were a bit more respectful, also engaging in dialogue with the opposing side, but with some emotion in the conversation unlike the above more organized (potentially paid for) group.

Lastly, there were the normal, unorganized group of “Yes on 8″ individuals that were few and far between. They clearly put themselves in the middle of the organized group for safety reasons, but stood quietly with their signs.

The debates were not always respectful, there was a lot of yelling, cursing, and even physical contact with many of these people. The police got involved in at least 5 altercations that i was also involved in. I was hit, and hit a few people back. Signs were ripped out of peoples hands, and the emotions were beyond boiling point for most of the day.

Amazing that the Mormons were not visibly present, unless they actually were indirectly via the organized group…

Below are some of the faces of those people along with their messages:

Man quoted as saying okay if kids commit suicide if gay

Man quoted as saying okay if kids commit suicide if gay

Ukranian Yes on 8 Teenager - Hates Fags

Ukrainian Yes on 8 Teenager - Hates Fags

Yes on 8 Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman T-shirt crowd

Yes on 8 Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman T-shirt crowd

Now, on the “No on 8″ side it was an eclectic group of unorganized individuals that more than tripled the presence of the “Yes on 8″ groups, but because of the lack of one voice, it appears to be much smaller of a group. The one visual that stands out for me during this entire day was a single woman with her “I Want the Freedom to Marry” sign, standing in the center of the “Yes on 8″ crowd, often standing with silent tears running down her face as individuals were yelling at her. She was the most beautiful presence at that rally.

SF Prop 8 Oral Arguments Rally: Ashley Rojas behind a "Yes on 8" Protester

SF Prop 8: Ashley Rojas stands alone

SF Prop 8 Oral Arguments Rally

SF Prop 8 Oral Arguments Rally

There were also the young kids from King Middle School in Berkeley that were as strong and bold as any seasoned activist. They were heard and felt throughout the rally as they yelled at the “Yes on 8″ groups with a passion that was so refreshing to see.

March 26th, 2009 by dianna

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March 20th, 2009 by dianna

I will be streaming live eman’s event this afternoon. He is raising money for St Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for childrens cancer research. 

EMAN WROTE:
Here’s the story folks: I came across this article:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/16/hm.shave.childhood.cancer/index.html?iref=newssearch

and was inspired because I need a haircut really badly. I also came to realize that if I could get a haircut and raise money for a good cause at the same it would be doubly worth it. So after a little bit of research I realized that I’ve missed all of the organized events in the bay area to take part in a “Shave-a-thon”, boooo! After a little more research I realized that if I wanted to organize my own event it would be at least June before I could do a sanctioned event and I’m worried I’d lose steam by then and just not follow through (who remembers my ironman?) I still want to do this so the proposed plan is this: I’ll be shaving my head bald at the office or at home (depending on HR and interest in people seeing me get my head shaved) this Friday the 20th. No matter what happens the real fun will be when I have a shaved head and everyone notices how big my ears are.

All I ask of you folks is, if you feel so inclined, to donate money to me or directly or to the website (instructions below). All money given to me will just be donated the same way on the website so at the end of the day all monies will go to the St Baldrick’s foundation (http://stbaldricks.org/)

So again to donate pay me in cash or by check or go to:

https://www.stbaldricks.org/get_involved/donate.php?GeneralDonation

Lastly, since I’m afraid to blast things across the all-brisbane alias I’m sending it out to only a few of you and hopefully you can spread the word if you think anyone else would be interested in helping out or making fun of me once I’m bald.

Thanks for listening,

-E-man

Ps. In case you’re worried I already have one committed donor which is all I need so I’m definitely shaving my head.

March 6th, 2009 by dianna

I just received this newsletter from the Sundance Institute and saw that many of the films i watched at Sundance 2008 and 2009 are being shown in theaters. Go to Sundance.org for detailed locations.

For the east coasters who could not make it to Utah for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, this month is your chance to catch these buzz-worthy works at the New Directors/New Films series which runs March 25-April 5 in New York City.

My comments on the films as stated in my Sundance recap last month are copied below:

  • The Cove: This is by far the most important film at the festival. A must see for anyone on the planet. Anti-dolphin slave trade activist Ric O’Barry, the original trainer of Flipper dophins in the 60’s uncovers the horrifying truth of dolphin killing in Japan and its impact on our eco-system. Q&A on Qik video.
  • Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire: A powerful film about a 15 year old girl, pregnant for the 2nd time with her father’s child, who is also dealing with physical abuse by her mother and no education. An amazing performance by a new actor Gabourey Sidibe. I look forward to seeing her in future films. Director and Cast Q&A on Qik video.

_________________

Many films from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival are playing nationwide in theaters this month including Christine Jeffs’ Sunshine Cleaning (pictured left), Daniel Barnz’s Phoebe in Wonderland, Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, and Ole Bornedal’s Just Another Love Story. From the 2009 Festival, Greg Mottola’s Adventureland will be premiering in theaters later this month. Several Sundance-supported plays continue their stage runs including, 33 Variations (’04 Theatre Lab) directed by Moises Kaufman and starring Jane Fonda, as well as The Good Negro (Theatre Lab 2006) written by Tracey Scott Wilson and directed by Leisl Tommy.

__________________

Congratulations to the following Sundance artists for their Oscar nominations: Posted on Sundance.org by Bridgette Bates on Feb 20, 2009 at 06:02 pm.

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary:

  • James Marsh’s Man on Wire

Best Documentary Feature:

  • The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)? 2008 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition
  • Man on Wire? 2008 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Competition; World Cinema Jury Prize Winner: Documentary; World Cinema Audience Award Winner: Documentary
  • Trouble the Water?2008 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Competition; Grand Jury Prize Winner: Documentary

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Melissa Leo in Frozen River? 2008 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Competition

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Richard Jenkins in The Visitor? 2008 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Competition

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road. Shannon appears in two 2009 Sundance Film Festival films: The Missing Person and The Greatest

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Frozen River (Written by Courtney Hunt) ? 2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Winner
  • In Bruges (Written by Martin McDonagh) ? 2008 Sundance Film Festival Opening Night Film

Best Animated Short Film:

  • This Way Up ? 2009 Sundance Film Festival Shorts Program
January 26th, 2009 by dianna

Sundance Film Festival 2009

The Sundance Film Festival was fantastic! Below is a recap of the films I saw in order of preference. The top 5 are “must see” films. At some of the films
I was able to catch a Q&A on video. Those are stored on the right nav of my blog in the Qik video widget. Detailed film descriptions are written in the Sundance Film Festival Guide.

  • La Mission: Filmed in San Francisco’s Mission district. A story of a single father dealing with the reality that his son is gay. The film deals with a side of the issue that has not yet been told on the big screen. Director and Cast Q&A on Qik video.
  • The Cove: This is by far the most important film at the festival. A must see for anyone on the planet. Anti-dolphin slave trade activist Ric O’Barry, the original trainer of Flipper dophins in the 60’s uncovers the horrifying truth of dolphin killing in Japan and its impact on our eco-system. Q&A on Qik video.
  • Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire: A powerful film about a 15 year old girl, pregnant for the 2nd time with her father’s child, who is also dealing with physical abuse by her mother and no education. An amazing performance by a new actor Gabourey Sidibe. I look forward to seeing her in future films. Director and Cast Q&A on Qik video.
  • The September Issue: A documentary of the 5 months leading up to the release of the September issue of Vogue 2007. Anna Wintour up close. Fantastic!!
  • The Greatest: The most powerful and haunting opening scene I’ve ever experienced. Principal Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon.
  • Rough Aunties: A Documentary about a team of women in Durban, South Africa who have dedicated their lives to protecting children from physical and sexual abuse with their non-profit organization Bobbi Bear. It is amazing to watch what a team of 10 women can do for a community. A great reminder that a few focused, passionate individuals can significantly impact change.
  • Afghan Star: The American Idol of Afghanistan with over 1/3 of the country watching it. This story follows 4 contestants of which 2 are women - a first - that are competing for the #1 spot. For many of the citizens this represents the first encounter with any kind of democratic process. It also pushes the limits of what women can do, and puts 2 of them under government protection due to the death threats they are getting.
  • Helen: A powerful look at suicidal depression and the impact on the family. Compassionately told, raises awareness about an issue kept silent by many families. Principal Cast: Ashley Judd.
  • Motherhood: I missed the premier, and Jodie Foster. Need i say more? Okay, it was entertaining, worth a watch, a day in the life of a mom in NYC. Director Q&A on Qik video.
  • In the Loop: Some great one liners, was a festival favorite for many.
  • Dare: A coming of age story for three teens. Entertaining. Gay subplot.
  • 500 Days of Summer: A decent date flick.
  • Humpday: Two men find themselves in a mutual dare after a wild night of partying: to enter an amateur porn contest with a boundary breaking porn of two straight men having sex with each other for the first time and the issues around the event. I was surprised by how well they dealt with the topic, no gay bashing existed in this film. It was cleverly done.
  • Cliente - A French Gigolo: An oddly empowering film for women. As described in the review, “part bedroom farce, class melodrama and feminist foray…” Enjoyable.
  • An Education: Set in London 1961, a story of a young girls journey to adulthood. Carey Mulligan (also in The Greatest) carries this movie with her performance as Jenny. I hope to see more of her in the coming years.
  • World’s Greatest Dad: This film showed the worst side of every character, intentionally. Robin Williams plays the father of a troubled teen, the story really starts after the boys death. I’m not sure that i recommend this movie, though many believe it is one of Robin Williams strongest performances.
  • Victoria Day: Seen this storyline to often. Live review on the streets of Park City on Qik video.
  • Shrink: Typical predictable storyline around Hollywood insiders and their sad lives. I would have walked out if i wasn’t sitting in the middle of the row with all the cast members behind me. Principal Cast: Kevin Spacey
  • Manure: Interesting color, all shades of brown, as relates to the movie theme. An odd theme with clever dialog. Principal Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni and Kyle Maclachlan.
  • The Vicious Kind: I walked out.

Video Links from Q&A’s:

Push: Director Q&A at Sundance Film Festival 2009
Push: Based on the novel by Saphire. Director: Lee Daniels. Cast Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, MoNique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz

The Cove: Q&A at Sundance Film Festival 2009

Worlds Greatest Dad: Director Q&A Sundance Film Festival 2009
Director/Screenwriter: Bobcat Goldthwait. Cast: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Glimore, Tom Kenny, Geoffrey Pierson, Henry Simmons, Mitzi Mccall, Tony V.

Motherhood: Director Q&A Sundance Film Festival 2009
Director/Writer: Katherine Dieckmann. Cast: Uma Thurman, Anthony Edwards, Minie Drive. Cameo: Jodie Foster

Films that were talked about by many but that i did not see:

  • Taking Chance
  • Arlen Faber
  • Brooklyn’s Finest
  • I Love You Phillip Morris
January 20th, 2009 by dianna

I walked into the Queer Cafe on Main Street and found a great discussion happening upstairs with the cast and crew of La Mission. La Mission is a film dealing with homophobia in minority communities.

La Mission - Sundance Film Festival

La Mission - Sundance Film Festival

Directed and written by Peter Bratt and staring his brother Benjamin Bratt along with Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez and Jesse BorregoI. Benjamin was sharing how difficult it was to get any funding for the film even with his connections - the reason given was, “this film has already been done.” The reality is that once a gay film has been done by mainstream white america, its difficult to get funding for other projects. Peter Bratt is focusing his film making on raising awareness about stories told with people of color as the primary characters.

The film premiered Monday, January 19. I hope to see the film tomorrow.

January 20th, 2009 by dianna

Wordpress app working fine on new iPhone. On plane, so time to pull out movie guide and get to work on my tentative movie schedule. Forgot my computer powercord, need to buy one in slc. Turning phone off for the flight now. The 4am wakeup call, not so welcome, but nothing a little coffee can’t solve!