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Rev. C.T. Vivian's Wisdom
10/11/2019 10:00:21 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   Legendary civil rights leader Rev. C.T. Vivian turned 95 this year, celebrating a lifetime of wisdom and service. Rev. Vivian, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, was a leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a role model for so many of us in the 1960s era of civil rights activism. He remains an indispensable long haul moral, racial, and economic justice warrior. I am so grateful for his friendship and example. A few years ago Rev. Vivian inspired and challenged a receptive...

Fannie Lou Hamer Died of Untreated Breast Cancer
10/11/2019 9:53:31 AM

By Julianne Malveaux   October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink ribbons is about to start. Predatory capitalists will make breast cancer their cause, producing pink t-shirts, pocketbooks, everything. It's a mixed blessing, this awareness, because too many will make this both a marketing and a profit-making opportunity, while others will wonder how they can use their health insurance to afford a mammogram. Health equity is a major issue, and there is a gap in health care and health access. It is especially sharp when we address the issue of breast...

HUD Says Deregulation, Not Affordable Housing, Needed to Solve Homelessness
10/2/2019 6:53:12 PM

By Charlene Crowell   For more than a decade, economists, lawmakers, and others have heralded the nation’s economy. Often citing how unemployment has declined as new jobs have been created, or Wall Street trading and major bank profits rising, some might be led to believe that all is well in America. But as Sportin’ Life in the folk opera Porgy and Bess sang, “It ain’t necessarily so.” On September 16, California Governor Gavin Newsom joined by state officials representing cities and counties wrote a letter that urged President Donald Trump to...

Chipping Away at New Police Open Records Requests
10/2/2019 6:52:08 PM

By The Riverside Press-Enterprise on open records request:   A core element of a free and open society is the concept of open records and meetings. In delegating authority to the government, the people ``do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know,'' as the preamble to the state's seminal open-meetings law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, makes clear. Because that concept makes those who work for the government uncomfortable, officials routinely chip away at the public's access to...

Protect Children Not Guns!
10/2/2019 6:49:44 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “Sometimes, I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day.” I hope this opening line of Milwaukee 11-year-old Sandra Parks’ award-winning essay on gun violence will make enough adults wake up and act to stop the slaughter of children. An aspiring writer, Sandra entered her school district’s Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest in sixth grade with “Our Truth,” her devastating account of growing up in a neighborhood and nation terrorized by guns. “We are in a state of chaos,” she wrote....

Congress Must Act to Address Gun Violence
10/2/2019 6:36:31 PM

By Senator Chuck Schumer Exclusive to NNPA Newswire   It seems like every few months, our nation is rocked by another mass shooting. El Paso and Dayton are only the latest of a list of tragedies that stretches from Parkland to Pittsburgh, Charleston to Columbine, San Bernardino to Sandy Hook, and to Las Vegas. And while these high-profile mass shootings dominate headlines, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Every day, communities across the country are ripped apart by gun violence. This reality is especially harrowing for Black Americans. Consider these statistics from the...

Nation’s Largest Teachers Unions, Others, Prepare for Climate Change Summit
9/25/2019 12:44:29 PM

By Stacy M. Brown   Young people from around the country and world united to help fight climate change last Friday, just three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York this week. Officials at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said youth lead adults, institutional and grassroots organizations, and others, to demand the changes necessary to save the world's future. The summit will feature heads of state, representatives from the private sector, UN officials said. Teen activist Greta Thunberg is also expected to attend. UN Officials have...

Ask the Question: When Are We Going to End Child Poverty in America?
9/25/2019 12:41:44 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “No child living in America today should have to worry about whether they’ll have a place to sleep at night or enough food to eat. But these are daily realities for the 1 in 6 poor children in this country. Children like me.” These are the words of 18-year-old Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota Beat the Odds® scholarship winner Israel Glenn in a petition to add a question about child poverty to an upcoming presidential debate. Israel continues: “Growing up on the North Side of Minneapolis, I know what it means to...

Debt Collectors Target Consumers of Color, People Making Less Than $50K
9/25/2019 12:40:32 PM

By Charlene Crowell   A new survey asked likely voters across the country what they thought of a proposed debt collection rule. The response was strong and broad opposition. Proposed earlier this year by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathleen Kraninger, the rule would authorize debt collectors to expand how often consumers could be contacted as well as the ways such contacts could be made: email, text messages, and more. Conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, the poll was jointly commissioned by the Americans for Financial...

‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
9/25/2019 12:26:39 PM

by Robert C. Koehler   The irony of this old New Yorker cartoon by Eric Lewis is so precise I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for two years. The speaker is the planet Saturn, clad in doctor’s garb—a stethoscope circling his forehead—giving the bad news to a sick and miserable-looking Earth: “I’m afraid you have humans.” What more can you say? But of course the dystopian irony is intensified by the fact that the artist is human, the reader (me) is human, and the drawing itself portrays Planet Earth with a human face, all of...