Author Archives: yikeshadley

About yikeshadley

Hi, I'm Hadley! I write and make art. I'm doing my best.

Mount Vernon Mills closes, leaving workers unemployed and homeless

Amanda Williams started working at Mt. Vernon Mills when she was 21 years old to support her child. 29 years later, she and about 600 other workers had the rug ripped out from under them. The mills announced 60 days in advance that their Alto location would shut its doors this month, and now hundreds of workers are left jobless.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she says. “I met a lot of people through the years, I’ve gotten close with a lot of people, and a lot of them are my family. That’s how I look at it.”

Mount Vernon Mills is a textile mill company based out of South Carolina, operating 12 facilities and employing over 2,400 individuals. The Alto location has been a major employer of Habersham county citizens for many years, but is closing its doors and leaving hundreds of loyal employees behind.

Amanda Williams filed for unemployment yesterday. Depending on her health and employment, she may have to consider turning to Social Security disability, but she says she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to work as much as she can. Right now, though, she’s jobless and trying to find work. Not having her share of the household income isn’t an option for Williams, whose income is not only for herself and her family, but for her grandchildren too.

The paycheck Amanda earned from the mill was what she raised her children on, and the people she worked with helped too. “Back in 2010, […] my husband and I were both in the hospital. I had just had my youngest child, he was in the NICU, and my mill family stepped up immediately,” Williams said. “We weren’t working; I’m blessed with them, but it [the mill closing] does sadden me.”

Williams says that some of her coworkers that were couples lost their jobs at the same time, and are now both unemployed with families to care for. “A lot of them are young,” she says, “and there are a few that are close to retirement, but not quite there yet. I’m one of them.”

She recalls her last days in the mill with her coworkers that became family as emotionally raw. “A lot of them have cried, a lot of them are angry,” Williams says. “No one expected it.”

Williams said the threat of the mill closing had been on and off all 29 years she was employed there. Sometimes the employees would hear that the mill was in good standing, and other times they heard that it wasn’t. “We knew our seasons,” she said. “January, it was slow, and then it would pick back up. We were told around December that things weren’t looking all that great. We came back off Christmas break and I was told it was shutting down.”

The official word from the mill didn’t come until Jan. 9, giving employees exactly two months to find new work. Some mill workers still don’t have the entirety of their earnings, waiting on the paychecks that sustain their lives.

“Them [Mount Vernon Mills] closing has [caused] me to lose my place to live,” a former Mount Vernon Mills employee said, who asked to be kept anonymous. “Now I’m staying here and there trying to find another job.”

That’s what everyone at the mill seems to be doing, according to former employees. Amanda says that the mill couldn’t be around forever, new technology is coming in and “it’s time to learn the new stuff,” she says.

Even with her positive outlook and faith that everything is in God’s hands, losing her job isn’t easy.

“Pray for us all,” Williams asks her community. “That’s what we need more than anything– prayer. If anyone’s willing to hire us, we’ll all work hard, that’s what we believe in.”

The Bold Type (baby review)

Freeform’s drama “The Bold Type” smashes the glass ceiling of journalism through a stereotypically unlikely medium: a women’s magazine. This women-dominated cast tackles issues surrounding gender, race, sexuality, health, politics and privilege while following the lives of Kat, Jane and Sutton, best friends and employees of “Scarlet Magazine.” Though their New York City lives might look glamorous on the surface, these three women are wading through the occupational hazards of communications while also balancing friendships, family and all the personal growth that comes with being twenty-something.

Freeform’s “The Bold Type” Tackles Womanhood in Communications

Freeform’s programming tends to cater to a younger crowd, boasting critically-acclaimed series about college life and teenage dramas, but contrary to what lip-glossy stereotypes might have you believe, their content doesn’t shy away from important issues. From race to sex, mental illness to Cancer, Freeform offers a creative outlet for these often taboo topics to become conversation-starters for a younger generation. “The Bold Type,” Freeform’s women-lead drama tackles these topics under the umbrellas of journalism, young adulthood, and all the complications that go along with them.

Shows centered in a newsroom aren’t new to cable or streaming, and finding shows displaying the comedy and drama of the communications field isn’t a fruitless effort. But even in a changing world of inclusivity, finding other women to look up to in the often male-dominated field of reporting can leave any viewer frustrated. “The Bold Type” challenges that.

In a cast dominated by women that follows three friends that talk about more than boys, have differing opinions on politics, and even includes a queer black woman, finding a character to empathize with isn’t hard. The series, based around work at a women’s magazine, accurately displays the joys and struggles of working in communications.

Women’s magazines get a bad reputation. Often associated with diets and celebrity gossip, and reading them gazed at the same way someone reading a drugstore romance paperback might be, “The Bold Type” brings the realities of working at one of these publications to light. The journalism in the “Scarlet Magazine” newsroom, as the fictional magazine is called, is just as serious as those at more respected publications.

Journalist characters are courted by “real” news sources following their publications of articles surrounding controversial issues, are threatened with lawsuits and legal action following controversial stories, and deal with discrimination in getting information due to the public view of their magazine. Fashion designers and fashion photographers receive backlash from magazine board members for standing up to body image expectations. The magazine’s social media department head experiences targeted doxing by men angered by her article on video games and sexism, exposing her personal information and nude photos online.

The representation of these incredibly common (and often terrifying) complications and occupational hazards of journalism in a category of journalism often overlooked gives a voice to the population of women journalists working in women-centered spaces. We might hold sexist stereotypes surrounding publications like these consciously or not. The editor in chief faces scrutiny while moving forward with more progressive ideas, especially those surrounding the grittier side of women’s issues. “The Bold Type” shows viewers, without telling them, that the work these women do isn’t any less complicated or journalistically sound than what men do at similar publications.

While bringing sexism in the communications field to the forefront of the series, “The Bold Type” seamlessly covers issues surrounding sexuality, money, privilege and health throughout the plot. These topics receive broad coverage in the series, without straying away from the plot of the show and disengaging viewers. The scriptwriters delicately tackle debates and taboo topics while giving them the consideration they deserve and keeping conversations natural.

This binge-worthy series has engaging storylines, compelling relationships, heartwarming moments and hard-hitting social commentary. The filming is aesthetically pleasing with costume, makeup and set design that any fashion-forward millennial could drool over, and a tragic opening sequence that improves over the seasons from being painfully maximalist to sleek and simple. The evolution of the show, from characters to production, leaves dedicated viewers feeling like they’re part of something a little bit bigger than just a TV series.

Seasons one through three are available in full on Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV and the Freeform website while season four episodes premiere Thursdays at 9:00 pm EST on Freeform and upload to streaming services the next day.

Editorial: The Importance of Administrative Communication

In today’s society, information is constantly available to us. When we have questions, we Google them. When we want to know what’s going on in our government, we turn the news on. When we’re wondering what happened in our area, we check the community paper. For college students, their resources for what’s happening on and around campus is their student media. But at Piedmont, campus news is harder than it should be to pass along to the student body. When the college administration’s communication policy is to not communicate about issues of potential controversy, a major rift between students and administration forms. And it isn’t easy to bridge.

There is a complete lack of communication between Piedmont College’s administration and students, which has created a culture of distrust and skepticism towards the administration. When students ask questions or voice our complaints, we’re met with silence. When student journalists reach out, all too often the replies are “no comment,” or nothing at all.

During the Piedmont v. Wainberg lawsuit, which involved allegations of sexual assault and harassment, including an incident directly impacting a student, the college didn’t reach out to students to offer any information about what they were hearing. The only reason students found out about the controversial textbook fee was because of campus-wide gossip that sparked student outrage. When the multi-million-dollar music conservatory project began with no communication to students about funds, incorrect information was spread around campus that our tuition dollars paid for the building.

All of these contributed to the continually growing gap between students and administration, and without changes to how the college handles student relations, they’ll only get worse. Administration wonders why students are angry, why retention rates are low regardless of how many programs are instated, no matter how many changes they make. The relationship between students and the college won’t improve until those in power learn to open the lines of communication.

Tell students what changes are coming, or better yet, include us in these decisions. It’s our school, and our student body is small enough that there’s no reason we shouldn’t be involved in decisions that directly impact us. There’s no reason that there should be so many rumors spreading across our campus, where distrust of administration already runs rampant when the college could just communicate with us.

Occasionally hosting a town hall with the president isn’t enough. The Student Government Association hearing an update once a month and deciding if students should care isn’t enough. Give everyone access to the information that concerns them, it’s your ethical duty.

Amin Abraham-Quiles: I grew, I learned, I got wiser

Amin Abraham-Quiles lost his grandfather his freshman year of high school. Before he died, he told Amin to “always keep a smile on your face,” a quote that would shape the way he lived. Amin Abraham-Quiles, or “AQ the Singer,” is known throughout the Piedmont College campus for his fresh rhymes, great attitude and infectious smile. “I just want to keep everyone around me in good moods. I love seeing people with a smile on their face and I want everyone to be positive,” says Abraham-Quiles.

“Being motivating– that’s kind of my core message that I like to portray with my peers.”After completing his bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration, Abraham-Quiles returned to Piedmont to attain his master’s degree in business. He’s taken a job as the graduate assistant in the Mass Communication department.

“Amin is a firm yet understanding and chill. He’s always willing to work with people’s schedules and help them out,” says Olivia Morley, a senior mass communication major and student worker. “I feel like he’s made the mcom department more relaxed, especially among the student workers.”

He records “Friday Motivation,” a series of short videos via The Roar Instagram each week to inspire those around him, specifically the Mass Communication majors he helps every day in his job.

But his talent and motivation aren’t limited to  Swanson Center office 109. For Abraham-Quiles’ capstone, he released the album “Life of the Afro Kid.” This album reflects on his life, his family, and the messages he wants to share. He began singing when he was just two years old, and his grandfather began to teach him musical skills at this young age.

“I grew up around a lot of Carribean island people, so family was very important there. Family is everywhere. You have to love family, respect family, and learn from them. They’re wise– they have wisdom they can share with you.”

He comes from a Puerto Rican-Haitian background, where the music and family have influenced his life and sound. “I was really inspired by my family and my family’s culture. I really wanted to demonstrate that culture in my album.”

The process of creating “Life of Afro Kid” was unlike any other album. The entire album was recorded in Abraham-Quiles’ Ipswitch dorm, where he’d send his creations to his uncle in New Jersey for mixing. He says that the album was essentially produced through the Internet. This isn’t the only thing that sets the album apart from the average.“Whenever I record something I do it through freestyling… I make it up from my brain, I don’t write it down.” he says. “I just re-record and re-record until I hear the core message that I want to bring to the song.”  

His album is full of different musical influences that make up who he is. “It was a very fusion-esque album that has all different things. It’s not just one genre.” He says. “You can listen to one song and think ‘oh, this is very pop-sounding,’ or another and think it’s very R&B sounding.” He says he wants his listeners to know his work is his when they hear it. “This is very Amin… You’re going to know. I’m introducing myself. It’s this journey that I’m putting you on.”

He decided to donate the album’s proceeds to the Alliance for African American Music in Northeast Georgia, the organization that funds the Lachicotte-Strickland Minority Scholarship. He calls the scholarship “a blessing,” it helped him pay for school in a way he didn’t see coming. “I decided that this album is going to give back to them.”

His charity doesn’t surprise Joe Dennis, chair of the mass communications department and Abraham-Quiles’ supervisor. “There’s a genuine good person behind that smile,” Dennis said. “I wish there were more Amins in the world.”

Hadley: Yikes, What’s Up with the Moon?

On July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 landed on Hadley Base, near the Hadley C crater. 28 years later, an overgrown fetus slithered out of my mother. The two have no correlation, but it’s pretty cool that there’s a part of the moon that shares my name and a space mission that landed on my birthday.50274311_2251794588477775_7069170793715859456_o

My name is Hadley. I was born in the college town of Carbondale, Illinois, to Jeremy and Andrea Cottingham. I moved around a lot as a kid, my dad was a network engineer in the ’90s and early 2000s, meaning his job was in high demand. When we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and my sister came along (as well as my diagnosis with a very expensive disability) we were just trying to make ends meet. We ended up in Tennessee for a few years, and then finally relocated to Atlanta.

During my childhood, I never knew anything for sure. My health, location, and family’s expenses were constantly fluctuating. What I always did have, though, was writing. No matter how little made sense to me or how scared I was, writing always gave me back a little bit of control. Oh, and I was good at it.

My writing career began to gain momentum during my junior year of high school when my short story, “A Very Vague Story About the Moon,” received two awards from the Georgia Young Authors Fair. I began touring colleges around this time, and I ended up at Piedmont College, where Dr. Joe Dennis took an interest in my writing. By the end of my first year at Piedmont, my poem “lightly” had received two awards, been published twice, and I was getting ready to take the position of opinions editor at the Piedmont Roar.

Thus far in my sophomore year, I have written, edited for, and traveled with The Roar to Louisville, Kentucky for the National College Media Convention, as well as published my first book. I’m working on comfortably switching between AP style and MLA format, and quickly learning that AP will have to pry the Oxford comma out of my cold, dead hands.