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Nicolai McKenzie-Black

Nicolai McKenzie-Black has 6 articles published.

The Miracle of Missions

in Features by

Former Headmaster Zach Young once said, “Missions is one of the best things we do.” As a community Wesleyan strives to go out into the world and serve people from all walks of life, thus the missions program was founded to fulfill that great ambition. Today, the Wesleyan missions program has sent students and faculty to over 35 locations worldwide, with over 900 students and 190 faculty members participating on these life changing trips.

Wesleyan has not only exceeded the standard of excellence in our goal to serve but has also spread the word of Christ to thousands of people around the world. Every year students and faculty are commissioned by the greater Wesleyan community to do great work for the kingdom and as a result the community and the world are profoundly impacted. Christian Life Director Greg Lisson said, “We hope that the Wesleyan missions program will help members of our community to see the world around them with more clarity, wisdom, compassion, and truth. In particular, we hope that these experiences will help us to see other people the way that God sees them, and that our relationships with our neighbors would grow deeper as a result. As we’ve talked about with our Christian Life theme this year, the summation of the commandments of scripture is that we would love God and love our neighbor, and we hope these trips would help us to live out those commands more fully.”

This year 9 mission teams consisting of 214 students and 38 faculty members were commissioned to go to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, each trip having their own objectives. However, all nine teams shared the same spiritual goal: to spread the gospel to communities around the world and to serve those who have not been afforded the same privileged lifestyle that we have benefited from.

Whether it was difficult manual labor or playing with children every student and teacher did their part and dedicated their time and effort toward bettering the world through missions.

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The Man Whose Dream Changed the World

in Features/News by
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    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his “I Have A Dream" speech in Washington D.C. Evergrowth Coaching.
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    Image of Oprah Winfrey, the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, which is the highest honor of the Golden Globes. Jim Ruymen/UPI.
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    Collage of images from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Monica Tarnawski.
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    English teacher Monica Tarnawski visits the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Monica Tarnawski.

Although millions of people in the United States were born on Jan. 15th, only one man has the honor of having the day be dedicated to his life and accomplishments. This man made equality his mantra, made freedom burn in the hearts and minds of all those who suffered from racial oppression and made change his life’s work. This man has earned commendation and respect not only from African Americans, but from people of all colors and races. Lionized in history as a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, he was an advocate for non-violent protest and had a dream to see a world where skin color is not the foremost authority. This man is none other than the great Martin Luther King Jr. Keep Reading

Single A, but Double State Championship Appearances

in Sports by
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    Varsity girls’ softball team picture after winning the Class A state championship. Brian L Morgan.
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    Varsity boys team picture after placing fourth in the state championship. Chad McDaniel.

This season of sports has truly been one for the record books as many incredible and memorable events have transpired in the Wesleyan community. In two fall sports this season Wesleyan made a run for the state championship in the single A classification. Thanks to the hard work of the athletes and the leadership of their coaches, the Wolves have once again achieved excellence in the opening season of the school year.

Softball

For starters, in Columbus, Georgia on Oct. 28, the Wesleyan softball team played in the class A state championship against Tattnall Square Academy. This match was a nail biter as both teams were exceptionally skilled and well prepared for their respective opponent. By the bottom of the eighth inning the score was 4-4 with Wesleyan freshman Reece Holbrook at bat, the tension was high as the wolves already had two outs. “I knew that I needed to go all out. It was all or nothing. I also knew that it would most likely be my last at bat as a freshman, so I wanted to make it good.”  With the final pitch Holbrook hit a walk off home run and claimed the championship victory for the Wolves.

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Trump’s War with the National Football League

in Editorial/News by
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    San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem for the first time during exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers. Chris Carlson/Associated Press.
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    97-year-old WWII veteran John Middlemas took a knee at his home in Missouri in support of NFL players while wearing his veterans cap. Brendan Gilmore.

The San Francisco 49ers faced off against the former San Diego Chargers in a preseason exhibition game on Sept. 1, 2016.

As usual, before kickoff, players, coaches, referees and fans stood for the national anthem. But out of the 68,500 people in Levi Stadium that participated in the singing of the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback for the 49ers, took a knee. Naturally, the sports world was shaken by Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem honoring our country’s soldiers, flag and independence.

Kaepernick later explained to NFL reporters that he took a knee during the anthem as a way to peacefully protest the shooting of unarmed African Americans and the police brutality that they have endured. Although this was a legitimate explanation, it would still be an unending reservoir of conversation that would continue for the duration of the 2016 NFL season through the beginning of the 2017 NFL season.

Now that the NFL season has begun anew, the topic of kneeling during the national anthem has resurfaced. Several NFL players such as Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Von Miller and LeSean McCoy have joined Kaepernick in his protest.

After the conclusion of the third week of this new NFL season, President Donald Trump addressed the subject that began over a year ago at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama for the campaign of Senator Luther Strange. During the rally, President Trump addressed a litany of topics and issues including the increase in NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. However, due to the president’s display of foul language and lack of a vocabulary, reporters were unable to fully disclose what he said.

On Sept. 23, Trump posted on Twitter and said, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Trump would post another 16 tweets to bolster his opposition of this topic including a tweet that stated that the NFL’s ratings are “way down” not only because the players are kneeling during the national anthem, but he also attributed the low ratings to boring games. Because of this comment, there has been tremendous backlash between the office of the President and the National Football League. These repercussions include a great upsurge of players kneeling during the national anthem.

Now, there are well over 200 documented players that take a knee during the national anthem, not to mention entire teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys that lock arms during the singing of the anthem. In the case of the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans, players opted not to take the field during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” These teams as well as several others, are choosing to make a stand for something that they believe in, yet they are being condemned and ridiculed by the president.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said, “I think we have to celebrate their right to express themselves, as every American does.”

President Trump is opposed to players kneeling because he believes that it is a clear discourtesy of the flag and the veterans who risked their lives to protect the freedom of the citizens of the United States. Thus, he stated that the “league should back the U.S,” implying that the NFL should align their policies with country.

What the President doesn’t realize is the fact that the American armed forces and veterans fight in order to safeguard the rights of the people under the nation’s laws and Constitution. If those rights are infringed upon or aren’t being exercised, then the sacrifices of those who are in the military lose their importance. Knowing this, many veterans and soldiers support NFL players in their protest, because it means that the veterans were successful in protecting the rights of the American people.

John Middlemas, a 97-year-old World War II veteran said, “Those kids have a right to protest.” So, if veterans of this nation who have actually engaged in combat are in support of individuals voicing their opinions and exercising their First Amendment right, then why does President Trump have an issue with it? It poses the question, who is really attempting to disrespect and suppress those who are utilizing their rights? Are the players of the NFL at fault for simply making a stand against the evident racial divide and violence, or is it President Trump for attempting to subdue the players’ right to protest?

Due to the popularity of football and its amusing digital counterpart, fantasy football, this topic is prevalent in the Wesleyan community.

Senior Holt Cochran said, “The players that are kneeling during the national anthem are nonviolently protesting a social justice issue. They are using their platform as celebrities in a sport that is a huge part of our culture to express their views on police brutality and discrimination against minorities, an issue they believe needs more attention. It is within their constitutional right to kneel for the national anthem, because they are exercising their freedom of speech.”

The world needs more people who are willing to openly profess their personal views. The players who are publicly making a statement in spite of what the fans, officials or even the President believe are the people who act as the voice for the voiceless.

Grand Opening of New Town Center Rapidly Approaches

in News by
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    Artist rendering of Peachtree Corners Town Center common area. Fuqua Development.
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    Construction site of the new Peachtree Corners Town Center. Fuqua Development.

After the incorporation of Peachtree Corners in 2012, several citizen surveys were taken to determine what the city’s priorities should be. The survey indicated that the citizens of Peachtree Corners ranked a town center as the city’s next top priority.  Residents wanted a central location to gather for events and other activities, essentially people wanted a unique place that would establish the city’s identity. Keep Reading

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