Contact the Lens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights of Spring 2021
-Read about Rose Johnson's interview with Amari Amore
-Read about Student Life’s upcoming speakers Feminista Jones and Kevin D. Richardson
-Read about the 2021 Free Expression Awards and Festival
-Read about CCRI's Spring Virtual Path Days
-Read some comics, play Sudoku, or check your horoscope down here
Image credit: Amari Amore
Unfiltered Discovery Cam: Amari Amore
Rose Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
"Amari Amore" might not be a household name, but it should be on every indie buff's radar. Amore is a Texas-born 20-year-old who, incomplete without a guitar in her hand and an oddity or two in her outfit, has the makings of an indie darling.
The classically trained guitarist is writing songs with maturity and nuanced qualities hard to come by in a culture that doesn't reward them with numbers. Streams are better bought with repetitive tunes and disposable chord progressions, but Amore doesn't factor the guidelines of pop radio-playability into her writing choices. She's broken every golden rule in the service of effective expression, and not in vain.
It's not just the integrity that makes her art noteworthy; it's not just the rule-breaking. A lot of artists break the rules, but not everyone makes it work. Amari's music works, as substantiated by a nod to her notability from NPR (at 18, after the release of her EP Complications, she earned a spot on NPR's North Texas 20 under 20.) Her music works, and that's owing for one to the ambience that is Complications' signature. Her music is best consumed alone, at night, maybe on an unfamiliar highway, and definitely in the rain; but if rain and a road are not conveniently available, her music's atmospheric production and ghostly vocals will create the whole backdrop for you. Any song by Amore will completely surround you if you're in the right mood. One of the secrets behind that ambience might be that while much of what you'll hear on the radio treats accompaniment as just a cushion for the main event--the vocals--to sit on, Amore allows the different elements of her music to swim around you. The choice not to direct your focus quite as precisely as it's popular to do makes her music uniquely submersive.
It's this that grants her songs the hauntingness, coupled maybe with the ethereal sound-effects that pepper her tracks. She milks everyday noises (like pattering rain) for all their sonic value. The distinctly creative accompaniment, picked fingerstyle on guitar, is darkly and sleepily emotive, and in songs like "Sober" (not featured on Complications), the harmonies are as important to the story as the lyrics are. Amore's debut was an artistic success, and her first full-length album is slated to follow in March.
Amore graced The Lens with an interview to chat about it, covering everything from her artistic process to her sweat stains, and how a few years of keeping her eyes on the ball as an athlete taught her to tune out the noises of judgment and reaction that creatives face and to keep her eyes on the art. Her full interview with editor-in-chief Rose Johnson will be available for your listening pleasure on CCRI Radio.
Student Life to Sponsor Presentations by Award-Winning Speakers
Olivia Findlay, contributing writer
The Office of Student Life is sponsoring two speakers in the upcoming weeks. The first speaker, Feminista Jones, will be part of CCRI's celebration of Women's History Month, and the second speaker, Kevin D. Richardson, was originally slated for Black History Month but had to reschedule until the first part of April.
Feminista Jones- Intersectional Feminism/Women's Empowerment
Wednesday, March 24 at 1:00 pm via WebEx
Feminista Jones is an author, a community activist, and an advocate based in Philadelphia. An award-winning blogger, Jones focuses on issues that include feminism, civil rights, gender equality, workplace diversity, mental health, and poverty. A popular speaker, Jones brings to CCRI her empowering message about "the importance of embracing intersectional feminism in the 21st century and how women can empower themselves and each other to be successful in their personal and professional lives." n
Kevin D. Richardson- When They See Us: The Story of the Central Park Five
Wednesday, April 7 at 11:30 am via WebEx
Kevin D. Richardson was only 14 years old when he and four other boys were falsely accused, convicted, and sentenced to prison for a brutal assault on a female jogger in Central Park. The boys became known as the Central Park Five and their story is portrayed in the award-winning 2019 Netflix miniseries, When They See Us. After a difficult battle, the wrongful convictions were overturned in 2002, and the Central Park Five were released. Richardson, an advocate for criminal justice reform, will share his story and his work helping others who have been wrongly convicted of crimes in a powerful talk that empowers audiences to better understand the need for change in America's criminal justice system.
Image used with permission from Freedom Forum Institute
Honoring the First Amendment: 2021 Free Expression Awards and Festival
For those defenders of the First Amendment who are interested in freedom of speech and would like to participate in the Freedom Forum Institute's 2021 Free Expression Awards and Festival and hear from some great speakers, this free opportunity could be perfect for you.
According to the Freedom Forum Institute, they "recognize individuals for their courageous acts of free and fearless expression...[and] the Institute holds the Free Expression Festival, which will take place April 12-15, at 2 PM Eastern daily, featuring in-depth conversations with this year's honorees, presenters and guest speakers on how they have used their First Amendment freedoms to ignite change." The virtual Free Expression Awards honors those who support, defend, and engage in the educational work of the Freedom Forum Institute.
This year's award honorees include General Colin Powell, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, and activist/educator DeRay McKesson. The lineup for the festival includes talks by author Dave Barry, Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn, Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown, and DeRay McKesson.
- Free Expression Awards- April 15 at 7 PM Eastern
- Free Expression Festival- April 12-15, at 2 PM Eastern daily
To learn more about these free events or to save a virtual seat for yourself, visit freeexpressionawards.org.
..::2020-2021 ACADEMIC CALENDARS::..
Announcing Spring Virtual Path
Olivia Findlay, contributing writer
Academic Affairs at CCRI has announced the spring schedule for Virtual Path Days,
which are events that can help students understand the many career and academic
options available within each of the seven career paths. The events are free
and held via Zoom, and all students are welcome to attend.
During each event, students can connect with transfer representatives from RIC and URI, learn about the academic and career possibilities within each path, and meet CCRI faculty from each path.
Virtual Path Days for this semester are as follows:
- Wednesday, March 17
Arts and Humanities
Communication, Media, and Film
- Friday March 26
Business, Economics, and Data Analytics
- Wednesday, March 31
Education, Government, and Human Services
Environment and Sustainability
- Thursday, April 8
Health and Health Administration
More details, daily event schedules, session links, and the On Demand Video Library are available at CCRI Virtual Path Days
How to Avoid Unexpected Fees From Subscription or Recurring Services
(StatePoint) What may have started as a deal too good to pass up could end up costing you for months to come. Costly subscription services could be charging your debit or credit card monthly and if you don't keep close tabs on your accounts, you may not even be aware.
The hook may come in the form of an advertisement for a product or service with a surprisingly low price or a promise for goods at just the cost of shipping. But once you provide your card information and place your order, you've signed yourself up for a monthly or recurring fee buried in the fine print.
"It's always important to evaluate why something seems too good to be true," said Joseph Grant, operations group manager for Card Loss Prevention at PNC's Customer Care Center. "In some cases these merchants are counting on the fact that consumers aren't paying enough attention to the fine print or their bank statements to know they're racking up recurring charges based on a one-time purchase."
Grant said the issue is more common than people might expect, prompting thousands of calls into PNC's Customer Care Center phone lines each month. Confused customers often ask for help identifying the unexpected charges or refunding the fees. In early 2020, Visa updated its rules for merchants offering free trials or subscription services in an attempt to provide transparency and control for purchasers.
"This practice isn't illegal, it's just unfortunately often deceptive," Grant said. "There's no guarantee that money spent can be recouped, which can lead to a lot of extra time spent in the dispute process with a merchant."
Instead, Grant encourages consumers to be vigilant when making online purchases, especially when something comes at a price too good to be true. Consider these tips to help you avoid or identify trials that could turn into a recurring charge.
• Research what you are buying and who you are buying from. An internet search will likely reveal if others have had negative experiences with a merchant.
• Read the fine print on all purchases before finalizing your order. Be on the lookout for any language about recurring or subscription fees.
• Watch for check boxes that may enroll you in subscription services or additional marketing.
• Save any emails confirming your order, which will likely note any important dates or upcoming charges.
• Keep tabs on email for any notifications about an upcoming subscription charge.
• Investigate the merchant's customer service practices. If it's not easy to get in touch with them, they're likely not someone you want to do business with.
• Find out how easy it is to cancel or unsubscribe from a service before you make a purchase.
• Monitor your bank statements and review account activity.
• Contact the merchant quickly to help prevent additional charges if you discover that you have incurred a subscription-related charge and would like to cancel.
"The biggest key is just to be aware, both of what you're signing up for as well as what is happening with money in your account on an ongoing basis," Grant said. "When all parties are transparent, it makes for a better experience for everyone."
Thanks to the CCRI Marketing and Communications Department for their social media support.