UM News Briefs: Latesha Byrd, Venetian Causeway and International Women’s Day

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

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Latesha Byrd announced as WWLS’ Keynote Speaker

Patricia A. Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium announced Latesha Byrd, CEO and Founder of Perfeqta, as the keynote speaker for the event taking place on March 24 from 4:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. at the Shalala Student Center’s Grand Ballroom.

Byrd serves as an advisor to executives at Perfeqta, a career and Talent Development Agency whose mission is to build safe, inclusive and equitable workplaces.

In its tenth year, the symposium continues to emphasize its theme, the Era of Empowerment. The symposium hopes to inspire participants to analyze the past, honor the present, and build toward a future of excellence. The Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium experience is open to all individuals across the gender spectrum.

Interested students can register in advance at this link.

Undergraduate Honor Council applications open

The University of Miami Undergraduate Honor Council is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Applications will close on March 20th. All freshmen, sophomore and junior undergraduate students of all majors can apply at this link.

In 1986, the Undergraduate Honor Council was established through a student referendum to uphold the university to a higher standard, as articulated through the Honor Code.


Venetian Causeway Bridges to be demolished

Three years away from its centennial, the 11 original bridges on the Venetian Causeway will be demolished. In a $148 million Miami-Dade County plan, the deteriorated bridges completed in 1926 will be replaced to withstand rising sea levels and stronger storm surge.

In acknowledgement of the causeway’s historic nature, the plan requires that the new bridges replicate the look, scale and feel of the old concrete bridge.

The new bridges have an expected life span of at least 75 years, according to county engineers. The plan, eight years in the making, won’t be happening anytime soon, though.


Florida’s post-Parkland law raising minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 is upheld

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a Florida law passed after the Parkland shooting that raised the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18-21.

The 3-0 ruling from the 11th US Circuit Court of appeals comes as age-based restrictions rise in relevance since the Supreme Court last year laid out a new test for determining a law regarding gun restriction’s constitutionality.

A 19-year-old killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) challenged the Florida law, shortly after it was passed in March 2018.

Republican lawmakers challenged the recent ruling and introduced a bill this week that would lower the minimum age required to buy a firearm in the state from 21 back to 18.

Activists commemorate International Women’s Day with protests

Activists around the world celebrated International Women’s Day by attending demonstrations and conferences to recognise women and demand equality for half of the planet’s population.

While some parts of the world have advanced, repression in many countries emphasize the continuing struggle to secure women’s rights.

On Wednesday, thousands of Turkish women defied a ban on protests and rallied into the city of Istanbul for what they called a “feminist night march.” Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, after allowing them to march for a few hours.

In Israel, more than 25,000 women dressed in red formed human chains, combining the commemoration of International Women’s Day with the wave of protests in opposition to the government’s judicial plans to restrict female rights.

“Today, on International Women’s Day in Israel, we are witnessing the acceleration of the [judicial overhaul] legislation and a direct attack on us by members of the coalition government, which is denigrating and dismissing our rights and our fears,” the group said in a statement. “We refuse to be silent.”