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Activist and Author Bree Newsome to Speak at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — In June 2015, Bree Newsome drew national attention to South Carolina when she scaled a 30-foot flagpole outside the state capitol building and unhooked its Confederate flag as an act of civil disobedience against what she perceived as “racist symbolism.”

On Oct. 18, Newsome will speak about the experience and her work as a community organizer and activist during a lecture at the University of California, Riverside titled “Tearing Hatred From the Sky.” Sponsored by UCR’s Women’s Resource Center, the event will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 302 of the Highlander Union Building (HUB).

Denise Davis, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said Newsome’s talk will draw connections between a variety of historic milestones — including the 1960s heyday of the civil rights movement — and contemporary activism designed to combat systemic racism and other forms of social inequality.

“Bree is sure to be an inspiring speaker who can comment on both her lived experience as a black woman and how her personal piece of activism fits into our moment’s continuation of the civil rights movement,” Davis said. “I’m also hoping that she’ll be able to offer some advice as to where we go from here.”

Newsome’s highly visible act of protest, committed June 27, 2015, came just one day after President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney, a black pastor and South Carolina state senator who had been killed weeks earlier during a mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

“Five days before the action, we huddled in a small living room. What united us was a moral calling and a commitment to doing the right thing, recognizing the power we had as individuals coming together to act as one,” Newsome wrote in an August 2017 op-ed published by The Washington Post.

“With awareness of history and belief in a better future, we decided to attack a symbol of systemic racism with a direct action that symbolized its dismantling. We almost immediately settled on removing the flag, both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power people have when we work together.”

South Carolina’s Senate voted to officially remove the flag from the capitol’s grounds on July 6, 2015. In the wake of the event, Newsome became a prolific author and commentator, regularly sharing her perspectives on newsworthy happenings such as the recent debates over the removal of Confederate monuments across the country and the impact of Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing protests during the NFL national anthem.

Newsome’s upcoming talk at UCR is free and open to the public, and registration is not required to attend. The event’s supporting sponsors include the Center for Ideas & Society, the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


UC Riverside Transformed Into Hub of Innovation with National Science Foundation I-Corp Site Status

Startups for Innovators” workshop, taught by Mark Leibowitz and Jay Gilberg, in spring 2017.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The University of California, Riverside is poised to become a hub of innovation with a recent grant from the federal government that will help researchers transform their discoveries into real world applications.

UCR has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps Site status and a $500,000 grant to provide in-house commercialization training to faculty and students over the next five years.

“The goal is to bridge the gap between public support of science and private capital funding of new commercial ventures,” said Rosibel Ochoa, UCR’s associate vice chancellor for technology partnerships. “This award solidifies UC Riverside’s advancement in the innovation and startup creation ecosystem. It provides a platform for ideas originating at the university to receive the training and support needed to promote paths of success for students, faculty and researchers.”

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, allowing participants to accelerate research projects toward commercialization. The new award will allow 10 UCR teams per quarter to participate in “Startups for Innovators” workshops, where they will receive NSF I-Corps training on how to interview customers, engage with industry partners and develop ideas into a job-producing business. UCR participants will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in funding to help develop an idea.

Read the full press release here:


Two receive jail time after disregarding court order to close marijuana dispensary near Perris

A judge in Riverside County ordered two men to spend five days in jail after they disobeyed a court order to close an illegal marijuana dispensary just outside Perris.

On Thursday (9/21), the court also granted Riverside County’s request to have a receiver take control of the property to ensure the dispensary would be shut down. County officials working with the receiver, who acts as a court-appointed overseer, closed down the dispensary today (9/25).

The court action was the latest chapter in county efforts to close illegal dispensaries, and brings the number of operations shut down in the unincorporated area to 57. County officials will continue to enforce county ordinances that prohibit all dispensaries in the unincorporated area. To date, the county has obtained settlements and judgments totaling $5.7 million against illegal dispensaries.

The dispensary near Perris operated under the name Quality Patient Care Center and, later, Alternative Access Association. The court’s judgment for an injunction to close the dispensary as a nuisance was filed May 9, ordering the defendants to immediately and permanently cease operating a marijuana dispensary on the property.

At that time, the court ordered the defendants jointly and severally to pay $34,000 to the county in attorneys’ fees and code-enforcement abatement costs. Civil penalties also were ordered against the dispensary operator and the property owner. Each of the defendants, Qualified Patient Care Center, Clinton Verdell Newman, Candi Jonas and Deshon L. Teel, was held liable for $894,000. Alternative Access Association, was held liable for $247,000.

Despite the court’s original order, the defendants continued to operate. In response, the county filed a motion for contempt of court on July 10 against the operator and the property owner, and requested that the court appoint a receiver to enforce its order. The court appointed the receiver and ordered Newman and Teel to spend five days in county jail on contempt.

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