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AU Newsmakers 4.6-4.23, 2021
Additional AU Stories

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American University's Laughter Lab Is an Incubator for Marginalized Comedians
The Yes, And… Laughter Lab, at the Center for Media and Social Impact, was featured in The Washington Post. The Laughter Lab aims to combine comedy and activism by providing support and development for comedians from marginalized communities. (4/20)

Faculty Authors
Slashing Emissions by 2050 Isn't Enough. We Can Bring Down Temperatures Now.
Paul Bledsoe, professorial lecturer at the Center for Environmental Policy, wrote an article for The Washington Post about how countries can act now to bring down global temperatures. Bledsoe wrote, “the United States could aim to reduce super pollutants more deeply and quickly even than carbon dioxide.” (4/16)
Reopening Schools Safely Requires Addressing the Stress of Educators of Color
School of Education Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy wrote an article for The Hill about protecting educators of color while reopening schools. Holcomb-McCoy wrote, “Teacher burnout from increased stress is real; we could lose teachers, particularly BIPOC teachers, in large numbers if it's not addressed.” (4/16)
It's Time to Stop Showing the Video of George Floyd's Death
Andrene M. Taylor, professor in the School of Professional and Extended Studies, wrote an article for The Undefeated about the trauma inflicted on communities of color when videos of racial violence go viral online. (4/21)
What Needs Done: The Love and Burden of a Family Business
Melissa Scholes Young, associate professor of literature, wrote an article for Literary Hub reflecting on the American dream and her family's business. Scholes Young wrote, “My own American dream is a struggle between my parent's striving and the moments where I learned to be still and to listen.” (4/12)
Settling Investment Disputes Would Boost Latin America's Economic Recovery
Arturo Porzecanski, senior professorial lecturer at the School of International Service, wrote an article for Americas Quarterly about the ways in which Latin American countries can facilitate economic rebirth. Porzecanski wrote, “As the world struggles to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Latin American governments are missing opportunities to attract foreign investors crucial to an eventual economic rebirth. One of them is to settle old investment disputes sooner rather than later.” (4/21)

A Cuba Without Castro? A Country Steps Into the Unknown
William LeoGrande, professor of public affairs, spoke to The New York Times about Raúl Castro's retirement from the leadership of Cuba's Communist Party. LeoGrande said, “There is a very sharp generational divide, and that's one of the Cuban government's principal challenges going forward, because their historic base of support is gradually retiring and dying off.” LeoGrande also discussed Cuba's political transition with NPR, BBC Radio, BBC News, The Economist and The Christian Science Monitor, and wrote an article for The Conversation. Philip Brenner, professor emeritus in the School of International Service, spoke to Al Jazeera America about Castro's retirement. (4/19, 4/16, 4/17, 4/18, 4/20, 4/21)
Walter Mondale Dies
Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history, spoke to BBC World about the passing of former Vice President Walter Mondale and his legacy. Lichtman said, “He will also be remembered though, for his firsts. Having the first running mate who was a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, and he will be remembered for transforming the vice presidency.” James Thurber, distinguished professor of public affairs, spoke to Bloomberg News about Walter Mondale. (4/18, 4/19)
This Year, for Once, the Best Sound Oscar Might not Go to the Loudest Movie
Russell Williams, professor and distinguished artist in residence in the School of Communication, spoke with The Washington Post about this weekend's Oscar awards and the challenge of evaluating films due to the pandemic. Williams said, “I have really only a smidgen of an idea what's really [the] best sound, only because I don't have Dolby Atmos at home. Typically, I could go to any of these big-screen theaters where I could really go in there and hear this film the way the filmmaker wanted me to hear it.” (4/23)
Clock's Running Out on Climate Change. California Says It's Time for Giant Carbon Vacuums
Simon Nicholson, co-director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy, spoke to The Los Angeles Times about proposals to install giant vacuums that can suck carbon from the air. Nicholson said, “The models are telling us these approaches are essential, but we don't yet know if they will be successful.” Nicholson also spoke to CTV News about dimming the sun to slow down climate change. (4/19, 4/16)
D.C.'s Emancipation Day: A 'Big Step'
Donald Earl Collins, lecturer of history, spoke to WTOP about D.C.'s 159th Emancipation Day, which was celebrated on April 16th. Collins said, “It's a blip in the struggle to deal with a country that has consistently seen Black folks as being less equal to whites.” (4/16)
Bill Offers Tax Credits to Businesses Owned by Women, POC
Managing Director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center Caroline Bruckner spoke to Accounting Today about a new bill that offers tax credits to women- and POC-owned businesses. Bruckner said, “The bill is a step forward for using targeted tax policy to help small businesses hire their first employee and attract capital.” (4/20)
GOP, Trump Take Aim at Biden's Border Policies Amid Growing Concerns
Eric Hershberg, director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, spoke to Sinclair Broadcasting Group about growing public concerns over the southern border crisis. Hershberg said, “When the public gains the perception that borders are not fully controlled, that migration is taking place irregularly, it costs administrations some degree of support.” (4/20)
Biden Has Pledged to Tax the Rich -- but Precisely How Will He Do That?
Donald Williamson, executive director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center, spoke with MarketWatch about President Biden's “American Families Plan” and his plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Speaking about estate taxes Williamson said, “Politically, it makes sense because average working Americans don't have estates to leave to their children.” (4/22)

Prepared by University Communications

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