Dennis Overbye’s Blog Style


— Énoa Gibson

Dennis Overbye has a very compelling blog. For example; on Wednesday, astronomers released what they said were “the most detailed images ever taken of the surface of our sun,” and Overbyes storytelling made reading the blog engaing and easily understandable.

This blog is compelling as it used many different media techniques to draw in the reader. There are visuals that move, time-lapsed videos, photo galleries, and interviews used at storytelling techniques. I admire the variety of storytelling techniques he uses and will work to incorporate more multimedia techniques in my future blog. With the occasional reference to twitter and instagram, Overbyes’ writing style personalizes the stories and brings a more diverse audience who does not only enjoy reading the news but also seeing and hearing it.

Overbyes’ blog is updated bi-weekly, and his bio added insight into why he chose to write about the topics he did. For example in his “about me,” it states that he has been covering the universe for more than 30 years.” The information in his bio gave understanding to his interests.


NY Times link temporarily not supported

Crime in Shepherd Park

By Énoa Gibson

Washington, D.C.—During a Ward 8 ANC meeting on February 5th the crime in Shepherd Park was a topic that garnered much concern when a Ward 8 commissioner who struck a local drug abuser at the park relayed her concerns about Shepherd Park and the need to keep the community safe. 

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, violent crime remains a problem in Ward 8, which has the city’s highest concentration of poverty.

ANC Commissioner Olivia Henderson works in Ward 8 and has been living there for 44 years. Henderson stood up during the meeting from within the crowd and explained how she has questions regarding the crime that is taking place at Shepherd Park. 

According to a petition signed by community members in Ward 8,“This ‘park’ has been a blight on the community for over 40 years, 365 days a year, because it has been allowed to become the unofficial open-air clubhouse for loitering, litter, vandalism, public drinking, public urination, drug dealing, gun violence, drug using, prostitution, robbery, and a host of other crimes against the community and the laws of the District of Columbia and the federal government.”

Henderson said, “I never ride on Martin Luther King Avenue and yesterday I decided to ride through my community and as I’m riding up Martin Luther King Avenue by Shepherd Park doing the speed limit, I rode by the sidewalk and a guy fell because he was so high on drugs, he fell into my lane.” 

“I hit him, ran over him,” she said. “I couldn’t stop because he would have been under my car but the police and the community they all ran out there and told me to calm down because they watched him jump in front of my car and I had no other choice but to keep going because he would have been underneath my car.” The man was injured and taken to the hospital.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Substate Region, as of 2014, Ward 8 had the second-highest illegal drug usage percentage with Ward 2 at No.1. 

Councilmember Trayon Whiteis all too familiar with the drug epidemic in Ward 8. Known for his activism work, protesting, fighting for the rights of others, and advocating for the disenfranchised, he is a member of the City Council , representing Ward 8 of the District of Columbia. 

White grew up in a neighborhood in Southeast Washington where drug dealing and violence were common. The area was dangerous, and at times the violence restricted him from leaving the house.

During commissioner Hendersons recount of her car accident with the man she said “ It was the drugs that kept this man alive. We all know that that park is a drug park. Yes, we do want our residents to be somewhere freely, playing and sitting, but it was dark. What happened to the parks supposed to be closed at dark?”

Henderson directed her concern to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was present at the ANC meeting.“When do we change? Why do we keep driving past and accepting that, because if that was like way up in Ward 2, 3 or 4, it wouldn’t happen, but since it’s over here in Ward 8, it’s ok for someone to come over here and get as high as they can, then go back over to the living facility homes that they live in Ward 8  for free and then start over the next day,” said Henderson.

“I have been able to get funds for Shepherd Park; there’s already some work being done around Shepherd Park,” said the congresswoman. 

“Shepherd park must be patrolled by the park police the way the neighborhood parks through the district of Columbia are.”Continued the Congresswoman.  “The Park Police are supposed to go through the park periodically. They are very short staffed and  they have to cut where they go. They still must have a presence that’s patrolling in every park, so I will get back to your chairman to let him know what I have discovered and make it clear to the Park Police that if you’re going to any park, this park is surely a park they must go to.”

“…There was nothing that I could do to help this man because that’s how high he was. So when do we help these individuals in Shepherd Park?” said Henderson.

The concern for safety around Shepherd Park has been prevalent for years. There was a petition to close the park because of a lack of safety. The park is located next to a liquor store and adjacent to known drug dealing hotspots. People have lost their lives in and around Shepherd Park because of what happens there. The petition did not garner enough support to cause change within the park. 

Henderson ended by saying, “It’s like when do we say enough is enough and this is not going to happen in our Ward because we got so many better people as leaders, as residents, as family members that’s living over here.”

Community Development in Ward 8

By Énoa Gibson

Washington, D.C.—Reading Partners, MathHope, and Friendship place are three programs that are helping to improve life in the ward in light of the challenges. These programs help enhance education and also help to provide living accommodations in Ward 8 to enhance the lives of the Ward 8 residents.

Systemic educational inequality plagues Ward 8 community members and feeds into the cycle of poor education, leading to fewer choices for gainful employment.  

According to DC Health Matter92 percent of the population in Ward 8 is African American. Racial, socioeconomic, and infrastructural factors have all impacted D.C.’s geographical disparities in unemployment. According to the Employment Policies Institute, many of those struggling with unemployment lack higher education or even high school diplomas, and according to the US Census Bureau, only 15 percent of residents in Ward 8 who are 25 years or older possess a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Paul Ruffins, the director of Workforce Academics and a math teacher at Southeast Ministry, a social justice ministry, knows about poor education in Ward 8 all too well and has been working diligently to change the epidemic by teaching his math formula MathHope.

With the invention of his math formula, MathHope, the former Harvard student, and current math teacher in Ward 8 is educating the less educated in the community so that they can qualify for entry-level jobs that pave the way for a stable livelihood.

MathHope is a new approach to teaching adults the math they need to change their lives by using hands-on materials and adult manipulatives and is perfect for students with math anxiety or learning disabilities.

Ruffins, said entry-level jobs require candidates to pass tests that measure basic grammar, spelling, math, and language skills such as the CASAStest. 

Ruffins teaches many adults who seek to pass these entry level exams. 

“I have a passion for teaching mathematics to people with math anxiety and undiagnosed learning disabilities, math anxiety is actually felt amongst about 90 percent of all Americans who are not math majors” said Ruffins. 

Many children and adults experience anxiety or discomfort when confronted by a math problem.

“When you have an adult who cannot add five and seven without counting on their fingers, how are you going to help that person? Someone who doesn’t need to know everything, but they want to get into the training program so they have to pass the CASAS test – these are test middle-class people have never even heard of,” said Ruffins.

Paul Ruffins has success stories of adults who passed their CASAS test after working with him and using MathHope, and he hopes to help raise the employment rate in Ward 8 by teaching adults who struggle with math his formula.

Ward 8 has a large population of children but has always lacked funding in education.

According to Education Town HallWard 8, which has the most children in the city, has issues in its schools which include basic funding and severe budget cuts this year alone.

The effect of the gaps in the education system for the youth in Ward 8 is no surprise to Reading Partners, a national tutoring organization that improves students reading level. The lack of steady quality education is a leading cause of the need for the services provided by them.

According tothe National Center for Education Statistics, 19 percent of adults cannot read. 

To help lower the illiteracy percentage, Reading Partners provides quality education in early childhood

Reading Partners has trained volunteers to help students master the reading fundamentals they need to reach grade level by following a structured curriculum by providing the student with the tools they need to be a good confident reader and bring that skill into their adulthood.  

“As a reading partner, we are teaching them skills they need to succeed as a reader while also getting the student to believe in themselves,” said Erika Brosnihan, community engagement manager at Reading Partners.

Poor education is linked to poverty and homelessness. 

According to the American Community Survey, 24.3 percent of D.C. residents who have not attended college have lived below the poverty line in the past year. 

Jean Giraud, the President and CEO of Friendship Place, a regional homelessness services provider located in Ward 8, believes that education is directly linked to homelessness, and that proper education will garner stable income and eradicate poverty and, therefore, homelessness.

When asked how he believes homelessness can be eradicated, Giraud said “homelesness is linked to joblessness, so for me, housing and employment have to work together to end homelessness in the D.C. metro area and everywhere.” 

MathHope has already helped many students both in Ruffins class at Southeast Ministry and to anyone online. MathHopeReading Partners, and Friendship Placeare a few examples of organizations in Ward 8 focused on community development.

Racial stigmas, socio-economic, and infrastructural factors combined create a community profile. If these factors are individually improved, Ward 8 will become a safer community that thrives in a myriad of facets.

According to the DC Policy Center, “By strengthening initial schooling, ensuring equitable and equal access to quality education, and linking classroom skills to employability, policymakers can create new and improved spaces for learning and economic success for all in Ward 8.”

Organizations In D.C. Fighting Against Homelessness

By Énoa Gibson

Washington, D.C.—Local organizations around the world are helping to fight the widespread epidemic of homelessness. 

Based on national reports,it’s estimated that no less than 150 million people, or about 2 percent of the world’s population, are homeless. 

There are local organizations in different cities around the world that are taking unique initiatives to solve this issue. Friendship Place and Charlie’s Place are both organizations in Washington D.C. working to end homelessness in Ward 8. The organizations work every day to eradicate the epidemic by working with the homeless to set up plans to better their lives. 

According to Statista, “in 2019, Washington, D.C. had the highest estimated rate of homelessness in the United States, with 94 homeless individuals per 10,000 of the population.” 

Census Reporters state that 34.2 percent of the population in Ward 8 is below the poverty line, creating a sense of urgency amongst organizations that strive to help homeless communities.  According to Yale Global, based on national reports, it’s estimated that no less than 150 million people, or about 2 percent of the world’s population, are homeless. 

“Homelessness affects the area a great deal,” said Reggie Cox, the executive director of Charlie’s Place, an organization that provides meals, clothing, entertainment, grooming, and doctors appointments for the homeless in Ward 8. 

“Not all people want to live in homes,” said Cox. “Some people get complacent and think they can survive being homeless. They believe they have less stress with not having to worry about paying bills and taxes or having the responsibilities they would normally have.” 

“Mental health, poor lifestyle choices, and substance abuse issues are a large part of the homelessness problem. In D.C., the popularity of the drug K2 is proving to be a substance that creates dependency. These drug users are unable to manage their affairs and to do what they are supposed to do,” said Reggie Cox, who, six years ago, walked into the homeless center seeking a hot meal and is now the executive director.

Marie Graves, who raises funding for Charlie’s Place, believes that D.C. residents are much more tolerant and feel a certain amount of guilt for the homeless community in the D.C. area. She sees the community become more accepting of the tents set up around the parks and street corners, noticing how people are becoming less eager to get them moved out. 

“When I came to Charlie’s Place, I think I came with this idea in the back of my mind that I was saving people, but in reality, I think they saved me. I really learned so much about the human spirit and how incredibly resilient it is.” said Graves, director of development and external relations.

Amongst many organizations helping to prevent homelessness, Friendship Place, a regional homelessness services provider located in Ward 8, works to end displacement and rebuild lives. “Whether we can count the exact number or not, because of the people on the brink or doubled up with relatives creating many people we don’t see, homelessness impacts a lot of people in the D.C. area,” said President and CEO of  Friendship Place, Jean-Michel Giraud.

According to the Homelessness World Cup Foundation, census data is typically collected based on households. Although much of the census data counts those receiving government aid and living in shelters, it’s difficult for them to calculate the “hidden homeless,” which includes squatters, couch surfers, those residing in slums, and those who are always moving around. 

“I am passionate about our work because we are working to end homelessness,” said Giraud, who provides the vision for Friendship Place. 

Giraud believes that the problem of homelessness can be solved by a combination of factors. “Homelessness is linked to joblessness, so for me, housing and employment have to work together to end homelessness in the D.C. metro area and everywhere, and at Friendship Place we are building systems and programs in our organization that are strong enough to catch people on time so we are ending chronic homelessness.” 

Giraud believes that in any system you are going to have some people who fall through the cracks but what’s important is “how effective and strong the systems are, to try and catch everybody on time so we can end homelessness as quickly as possible and make it non-recurring.” 

Marie Graves, of Charlie’s Place, also said that residents of D.C. should also work to end homelessness as the saying ‘you are a paycheck away from being homeless’ is true. “The more I know about our guests, the more I know that they had incredible careers, wisdom and I realized there’s no real difference between them and me except for the choices they made.”

Cox said that society can change homelessness if they wanted to. 

“There’s no reason why anyone who wants housing shouldn’t have it. There absolutely should never be a reason why people are homeless.

Reading Partners Seeking Volunteers

By Énoa Gibson

Washington, D.C.—Reading Partners is a non-profit that works with volunteers to help economically disadvantaged students across 19 schools in the District who are behind in reading. Their goal is to help students from kindergarten to the fourth grade master the reading fundamentals they need to reach their grade level. They are also actively seeking new volunteers to continue their mission. 

According to data from the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau, 21 percent of working-age adults in Washington D.C. lack a high school diploma, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 19 percent of adults cannot read. 

To help lower the illiteracy percentage, at Reading Partners, trained volunteers work with students in kindergarten through the fourth grade who are at least one month behind in reading. They help the students to master the reading fundamentals they need to reach grade level by delivers individualized one-on-one tutoring twice a week for 45 minutes, following a structured curriculum.

“Seeing their growth, maturity, and newly gained confidence in their reading ability is why I believe being a ‘Reading Partner’ is so rewarding,” said volunteer and Howard University senior Nyra Lownes – Alexander. 

Howard University is one of the partners of the association.

“We greatly appreciate our partnership with Howard University, and we hope this will generate even more tutors for our students,” said Reading Partners Sr. Vice President of National Development, Karen Gardner. 

Reading Partners caters to students from kindergarten through fourth grade who are between six months to two-and-a-half years behind grade level, with 80 percent of the students representing kindergarten through second grade. 

Since working with the organization for the past five years, community manager Erika Brosnihan said that the highlight of her day “is when new volunteers send her emails checking in, explaining how the first day with their student went.”

Volunteers meet with the students bi-weekly at their schools. They currently have 728 volunteers serving 783 students. 

“Our goal for the school year is to have 1,200 volunteers, so we need a little bit over 400 more volunteers,” said community manager Erika Brosnihan. 

 Anyone can become a volunteer as long as they are 14 years or older, can follow directions, and pass a background check. 

“A majority of our volunteers do not have any tutoring experience; they come in because they are passionate about reading and want to give their time to help support a community,” said Brosnihan. 

The organization, Reading Partners, encourages high school students to volunteer since students who are attending a public school have to complete community service to graduate. College students are also encouraged to volunteer as a way to give back and balance their resumes with service.

Serving predominantly minority students, the organization struggles to find volunteers that look like them.

“We want more volunteers who look like our students,” said Brosnihan. 

“It’s inspiring and encouraging to have someone who looks like you care and invest the time and effort into your future,” said returning volunteer Nyra Lownes – Alexander.

At Reading Partners, they focus not only on skill but on the student’s confidence while reading. 

“As a reading partner, we are teaching them skills they need to succeed as a reader while also getting the student to believe in themselves,” said Brosnihan

Brosnihan tells the story of a student who she saw transform into the talented reader she now is. “She used to hide her face behind books and speak with her voice low until she gained the confidence and volunteered to read in front of the entire class. At that moment, I knew Reading Partners was a cause I wanted to support because it works,” said Brosnihan.

Of the 728 volunteers, there are now 413 returning volunteers from the previous year, signifying the constant need for more volunteers. Many volunteers come from college or high school partnerships that Reading partners has at schools like Howard, George Washington, and American University. 

Volunteers go through two hour-long formal orientations; the rest of the training is informal. The specific site coordinator that oversees that location will work very closely with new volunteers the first few times. They use a user-friendly curriculum, and all the materials provided come with a script to use as a guide.

Volunteering with Reading Partners curates lifetime relationships with the students, which impacts each volunteer.

 “At the beginning of the year, my student would be sad about having to go to Reading Partners and did not try hard. As the year progressed, she blossomed and made the honor roll. I felt like I had a part in that,” said Alexander.

For more information,  visithttps://readingpartners.org/location/washington-dc/

D.C. Council Member Speaks Of Journey

By Énoa Gibson

Washington, D.C.— “I promised God if I ever made it out of the neighborhood, I’d come back and give back.”

Known for his activism work, protesting, fighting for the rights of others, and advocating for the disenfranchised, Councilmember Trayon Whiteis a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Ward 8 of the District of Columbia. 

White, a former member of the District of Columbia State Board of Education, grew up in a neighborhood in Southeast Washington D.C. where drug dealing and violence were common. The area was dangerous, and at times the violence restricted him from leaving the house.

Violent crime also remains a problem in Ward 8, home to the city’s highest concentration of poverty. Crime data from DC Police shows that there were 20 murders in Ward 8 in 2019 by the end of May. In May of 2019, White said that 18 children in Ward 8 had been shot within the last nine months, and he expressed his concern with the strategy of the police department.

“We can’t just stand by and keep letting this happen. The police department, we don’t know what their strategy is,” White said. 

“I never really had a desire to be in politics,” said White. “I come from poverty. I could have been just another statistic, but God sent people to intervene in my life, at critical points and who gave me a lot of direction.” When explaining how he got to where he is today in the face of adversity, he explains that what saved him was God’s grace.  

Voted most likely to succeed in high school, White believes that often times people say they want to change their circumstances but aren’t unwilling to change their behavior. “If you want to change your community, you need to put the time and energy into changing yourself. It’s really who you are when no one is looking and putting in the hard work without the accolades [that’s important].” 

His grandmother Jean Ann Roberts was one of the first public servants he knew; she fought against gun violence and advocated for trains in the community. White has continued his grandmother’s legacy and kept his promise to God by giving back to his community. His current projects include a commitment to getting the city to build three new recreational centers, a new state of the art senior wellness center, and two new grocery stores in Ward 8. To engage the community and enhance the employment rate, he and his team recently opened a career training facility called ADC Infrastructure Camp in Ward 8. 

When asked how he manages to remain focused enough to achieve his goal, White highlights the importance of keeping good people around. “As a leader, I keep people around me who hold me accountable and who can correct me, encourage me, and lift me up.” 

He also surrounds himself with people who pray for him and want to see him succeed, like Julia Jessie, a marketing expert, who expressed her excitement about his accomplishments, after working alongside him throughout his term and witnessing his community work. 

Wanda Lockridge, his current chief of staff, recounted stories of moments when White went above and beyond for his community and labeled him as the voice for those who may not be able to advance their platform.

Before her late husband, William Lockridge, passed, he expressed his desire for current Councilmember White to run for the school board because he was not going to run again. In 2011,  White was elected to the State Board of Education for Ward 8 to complete the term of the late William Lockridge and was re-elected in 2012. Since 2010  Lockridge has been integral in Whites’ career and now works as the chief of staff in his office.  

“I am here because I believe in his mission for the people of Ward 8; his heart is in the right place, and I’m very honored he selected me to work as his chief of staff,” said Lockridge.

White promised God that if he ever made it out of the neighborhood, he would give back to the community where he was raised, and that is exactly what he has done. 

Education Moved Online Due To COVID-19

By Énoa Gibson

North Carolina —COVID-19 has forced society to move education online, causing both teachers and students to focus on navigating how to proceed with this new way of teaching successfully. 

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, these nationwide closures are impacting over 90% of the world’s student population. The United Nations organization recommends that educators implement digital learning to help prevent kids from falling behind academically, and the group has a list of education resources.

Amaya Jeffers, a sophomore student who currently attends Myers Park High School in Charlotte North Carolina, said she isn’t coping well with online instruction.

“I personally do not like that classes are online. As a student, I don’t feel like I will learn anything with this current plan. Yet, the thing I hate the most is how unknown everything is,” said Jeffers.

Jeffers explained that communication from teachers needs to be improved if they want the students to be able to balance the demanding course load. 

“Although I think online class plans will positively affect education in the future, if teachers and the board come up with a refined plan to give students, it will make the learning experience increase immensely,” she said.

Another student, Thalia Rivera, who is currently doing online instruction after leaving early from a school year abroad in Spain, explained how difficult the transition is from roaming the streets of Spain to being stuck in her home strictly learning online. 

“I definitely am not the happiest when it comes to classes being online because I am used to a more environment-based education. My year abroad in Spain allowed us to take advantage of the foreign country to really learn about the culture and all the things we were learning in class,” she said.

Rivera sees both pros and cons from this change. While she appreciates the stillness, she prefers face-to-face interaction.

“The only thing I like about online education is that I can make my own schedule, and school feels less stressful now. What I don’t like is the way education has changed, and now that we aren’t face-to-face, we have so many essays and writing assignments,” said Rivera.

Rivera recommends that her teachers vary the work they give her so that she can be more receptive to the material. 

“I think cooperation is key. My advice to the teachers would be to get more creative and try to understand what kind of work you are giving. My advice to students would be to provide constant constructive feedback on what is working and what isn’t,” she said.

Dr. Felicia Eybl, the Principal at Waddell Language Academy, relayed that her school has faced some difficulties when it comes to the newly-adopted online instruction. 

“The difficulties have been making sure the students that need technology have the technology that they need at home, and they can access the work that teachers are pushing out to them and participate in the zoom meetings,” said Dr. Eybl.

In the US alone, more than 20% of householdsdo not have a computer. People living in low-income households or in poverty are more likely to experience difficulties accessing technology, according to the Pew Research Center.

Although technology poses an issue for students who don’t have it at home, Dr. Eybl explains how Waddell Language Academy is supplying their students with the technology they need to get their work done. 

The quality of the internet connection at the students’ homes is also a concern for many teachers.

According to the Central Intelligence Agency,as of 2019, 90% of adults in America use the internet, either irregularly or frequently. Therefore 10% of Americans — nearly 33 million people — are living without internet, according to a new Pew Research study.

“Now mainly I’m hearing from teachers that the students have a device, but if other family members are on the WI-FI, it can reduce the quality of the connection. It just adds a dynamic that a lot of people probably never thought about,” said Dr. Eybl.

Dr. Eybl said teachers have varying views when it comes to the success of online teaching. 

“Some like it and some don’t. I think it’s harder for the teachers who teach younger kids like kindergarten to first of second grade because they like to be interactive with the students, where they can talk to them and encourage them with interpersonal relationships,” said Dr. Eybl.  

It is much harder to keep students engaged, especially the older students, explained the principal.

“The main struggle I think with the middle school teachers are the students who just don’t want to engage. Some of them have just chosen not to, so that is a concern. We are still figuring out what we are going to do with some of those students,” said Dr. Eybl.

Dr. Eybl, however, believes that in person education is important going forward. 

“I think that public education is still important because that levels the playing field for everybody. I also still think that you need that personal contact with a real teacher who is going to be there to provide you with not only what you need for learning but some of those things that you need for life.”

Dr. Eybl says that it’s important that the teachers and students stay engaged with each other and focus on the importance of learning. 

“I would just say that our teachers have provided enormous amounts of contacts and things for our students to do. The teachers have to stay engaged with the students, and the students have to be willing to engage with the teachers in a way that they are not used to. Everybody just needs to stay engaged and make the best of what is really a bad situation,” concluded Dr. Eybl.

Shutdown of Black Hair Businesses

By Énoa Gibson

North Carolina —The abrupt business shut down caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures imposed to curtail its spread are taking a heavy—and perhaps critical—toll on hair salons in black communities, home to a disproportionate share of the disease’s victims.

Shop owners with little financial reserves have been forced to close their doors with little notice of how long that could be, and also with considerable uncertainty over how much help they will receive from government lifelines for small businesses.

Stylists, many of whom are independent contractors dependent on individual customer payments for different services, have become unemployed overnight, without assurances of where money for the next meal, car note, rent check or mortgage payment will come.

The ethnic hair supply business, a multimillion-dollar industry overly reliant on products from China and Korea and dollars from black customers, has become more concerned with exporting face masks and other personal protective gear for hospitals and first responders than wigs and fake pony tails for style savvy women.

“A lot of salons you will see closed and not able to open again. That’s the sad part,” Sam Ennon, CEO of the California-based Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, said in a telephone interview.

Season Bennett, co-owner of Headlines Barbershop here, said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order shutting down businesses until April 29 as infections and death rates continued to rise could bring economic disaster to some.

“It’s such a huge part of our economy. Just in Charlotte alone, there are over 300 barbershops,” Bennett told Q City Metro, a local black community news outlet.

“The vast majority of the barbers and hairstylists and nail techs, all the people in the beauty industry, they are all self-employed,” she said. “They pay taxes, they’re paying into Social Security. We just need to make sure that they are included in this stimulus package.”

Charlotte stylist and salon owner Shassity Stevenson said the shutdown was a sudden blow to vital cash flow in the business. “Usually there’s a steady need for our services, and so for it to come to such an abrupt halt, I know that a lot of us were not in the least bit prepared to handle what that looks like.”

“From a financial perspective,” Stevenson said, “I don’t think anybody could have ever imagined not making any money.”

During the shutdown, stylists are considering conducting classes online, selling gift cards and providing home-care packages as ways to maintain the loyalty of regular clients.

“They are coming up with all kinds of ways to make money because they don’t have any money right now,” Ennon said. “Every day when they were at the salon, they make money. But if they must wait three months, they don’t have money coming in, so it’s really going to hurt them.”

Ennon discouraged stylists from going to clients’ homes to provide services during the shutdowns because such visits could spread the virus and prolong rather than cut short the social distancing practices imposed to curtail it, and be worse for business in the long run.

“We will survive,” he said. “Our industry is strong, and the stylists are the hearts of our industry.”

Data Visualization Assessed

Live updates: Global coronavirus count surpasses 2 million

This article uses a graph to show the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus with a daily update. This piece of data visualization is clear and concise, and it represents the data in a very easy to understand way. Clarity is essential so that all types of readers can easily understand the daily amount of tests done, the number of people tested, the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19, and the amount of deaths on an everyday scale. 

Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count

This article used a line graph to show the steady increase in deaths caused by the coronavirus in the US. This piece of data visualization is at the top of the article so that even if the reader is too lazy to read the entire article, they get the gist of what the article will be going in-depth about in a quick amount of time with accuracy and numbers. The line graph is very clear, the important information is in red, and the most crucial information is in a large font and bolded. These techniques draw the reader’s eye to the essential information first and quickly and is an excellent way to begin an article that’s covering such an important topic. 


 This article on the growth of the hair care market has many different types of data visualization present. It begins with a bar graph that simply shows a snapshot of the market and how it is projected to increase between now (2020) to 2025. Underneath the bar graph, there is a chart that states the fastest growing market, the largest growing market, the base year, and the study period in which the growth of the hair market is referred to. All this information is at the top of the article and very quickly gives the reader an outlook into the growth of the hair industry and what is to come.