Dancers from Over the Rainbow: Rock Ballet perform a routine via Zoom call.

They speak through their art. And art for a group of young men and women in New Jersey is acting and dancing. Today, they’re taking their artwork to the world to speak messages of equality and social justice.

The diverse cast of the Off-Broadway hit show, Over The Rainbow: The Rock Ballet, has released a virtual dance message in support of George Floyd and the countless others who have died liked him. Floyd, an African-American man, was killed May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes despite Floyd's cries of "I can't breathe," an incident captured on video. The officer is now charged with second degree murder. The incident sparked ongoing nationwide protests and calls for social justice and equality for African-Americans.

The young cast members want to use their artistic message in support of Floyd’s family and to elevate the message that community activists across the United States are delivering.

This group had already tackled the 1939 film, “Wizard of Oz,” and transformed it modern-day version rooted in dance. Now they are staying true to their charitable mission that dance transforms all. They wanted to join the fight for social justice. In quarantine and completing schoolwork online, they banded together to help raise donations in support of The George Floyd Memorial Fund, which is now over $13 million and has received the largest number of donations (near 500K) in GoFundMe history.

Like most kids, the Over The Rainbow kids are confronted with overcoming obstacles and through it all, they want to encourage resilience. They are producing videos where they dance to songs that have messages like, “thanks for being a fighter” against injustices. They believe that we all will persevere and “wash away the pain from yesterday,” soon to rejoice like “crescent dolls” and return “home” to safer and peaceful times.

The Over The Rainbow kids have received training at Broadway Dance Center, The American Ballet Theater, The Ailey School and Joffrey Ballet, just to name a few. Marlowe Scott Productions, Inc., a NJ Non-Profit in association with The PLK Law Group, P.C., a NJ branding law firm, works collectively with these kids for the advancement of the arts.

 

In other examples of "Good News" ...

10Fold Helps the Needy

10Fold Communications, a San Francisco-based marketing and public relations company, has issued a VTO, or “Volunteer Time Off,” policy, which allows 10Fold workers to take time off specifically to give back to community organizations.   

In Austin, where 10Fold has an office, the 10Fold team has supported seniors and families in need in Central Texas. Account Manager Laura Asendio and Lead Media Strategist Jordan Tewell recently helped the Central Texas Food Bank to distribute 1,680 meals to families and individuals who are experiencing hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, the food bank distributes a few hundred meals each day. However, the pandemic has significantly increased the demand for food donations and volunteers to help safely distribute the food.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also left many seniors in Austin stranded due to social distancing regulations. The elderly are particularly at risk if they contract COVID-19, which prevents seniors from taking public transportation. In order to help seniors travel to much-needed doctor appointments, grocery stores and pharmacies, Account Associate Katherine Bingham has been working with Drive a Senior Northwest.

A collage of four 10Fold Communications workers helping their communities with the text "#10Fold Cares" over the photos.

California City Comes Back Strong from Wildfire

California’s deadliest, most destructive wildfire, "Camp Fire," burned in November of 2018 in the Butte County in the northern part of the state, killing 85 people, burning over 150,000 acres of land and destroying 18,000 structures, including 14,000 homes.

People stand in front of a wooden structure that serves as the foundation for a new home in Paradise, Calif., where a massive wildfire destroyed 14,000 homes in 2018.

Today, people in one of the affected cities are celebrating a major rebuilding milestone. Citizens in Paradise, Calif., have celebrated the 1,000th building permit application for rebuilding. Not even the world health pandemic can weaken the resolve of the citizens in this city to rebuild their homes and businesses. Every time a building permit is issued the crew rings a bell and the entire building stops to cheer.  

Got any good news? We're listening. This is not in our customary wheelhouse of digital customer experience and digital workplace news. But we've tossed out the playbook just a bit in favor of some weekly good news through this pandemic, and through these turbulent times in our country. We all need it now, right? Send your feel-good stories to [email protected] Check out the other pieces our ongoing series to help keep the good vibes coming in a time of crisis.