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Remembering Dr. Donald Stewart
7/24/2019 11:29:17 AM

I was devastated by the loss earlier this year of Dr. Donald Stewart. He and his wife Isabel Carter Stewart have been among my dearest, dearest friends. Donald served as president of my alma mater Spelman College from 1976 to 1986, overlapping with my own tenure on Spelman’s Board of Trustees and then as Board Chair, where he took Spelman to new heights and set it on the path to its standing today as a leading liberal arts and historically Black college ranked #51 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of National Liberal Arts Colleges. I was so proud when Spelman’s robotics...

If You’re Poor in America, Debtor’s Prison is Real
7/24/2019 11:27:32 AM

Despite a centuries-old Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the practice, debtor’s prison remains very much alive in America, experts told NNPA Newswire. Being poor is challenging enough, but some states, like Missouri, have continued to punish those of lesser means. A federal class-action suit claims thousands of those living in Missouri were jailed because they couldn’t pay off fines—essentially, a debtor’s prison and conundrum for the poor. Pro Publica reported that four years after the suit was filed, the plaintiffs are still waiting, and wondering if the deck...

CFPB Turns its Back on Fair Lending Enforcement and Reporting
7/24/2019 11:25:07 AM

More than 50 years ago, this nation enacted legal guarantees that fair housing would be available to all Americans. Despite this federal assurance, however, a disturbing and ongoing stream of reports and lawsuits remind us that we are still on an aspirational journey. Aggressive enforcement of fair housing and other anti-discriminatory laws are supposed to bring punishments for violators, and restitution for those harmed. But as with so many justice issues –either financial or criminal, what really happens in life seems a world away from the African - American experience. Since...

Being Black and Republican in the Era of Trump Presents Real Challenges
7/19/2019 1:49:03 PM

By Stacy M. Brown   It’s likely that identifying as a Republican today isn’t as easy as it once was, particularly with President Donald Trump’s policies that have included separating children from parents; the administration’s escalating racial rhetoric; and a special counsel report that strongly suggests the nation’s commander-in-chief committed crimes that may not just end with obstruction of justice. And, as tough as it is for White GOP members to identify with the party (See: Michigan Rep. Justin Amash’s declaring his independence this...

DCCC Announces “Cycle of Engagement”—an Aggressive and Sustained Effort to Connect with People of Color and Young Voters
7/19/2019 1:46:59 PM

NPPA Pressroom DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos formally announced the Cycle of Engagement—the largest early investment House Democrats have ever made to improve the way we’re connecting with the base of our Democratic Party—especially people of color and younger Americans. Following through on a promise to expand upon 2018’s Year of Engagement, and inspired by her own work recruiting and training diverse voices to run for office, the DCCC’s Cycle of Engagement program began with a major early investment in grassroots organizers across America and has continued...

Realizing a Dream for Our Children
7/19/2019 1:45:25 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   This week, clergy, seminarians, religious educators, community organizers, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates in the intergenerational, interracial, multi-ethnic, ecumenical community pursuing justice for our nation’s children will come together at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Haley Farm in Tennessee for the 25th Annual CDF Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. The theme for this year’s gathering is “Guide Our Feet: Pursuing Justice for All God’s Children.” As we focus on...

The United States of Overreaction
7/19/2019 1:44:19 PM

By Matthew Johnson   On July 4, at a Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona, six police officers were asked to either move out of a customer’s line of sight or leave the establishment because they were making a patron uncomfortable—for being police. As a progressive-minded American who believes certain (unjust) laws are meant to be broken and who strongly opposes any manner of police abuse or overreach, I am not particularly comfortable around police myself (although, admittedly, I am white and tend to get the benefit of the doubt during confrontations). However, I am equally...

New Measles Case Confirmed in Los Angeles County
7/19/2019 1:21:38 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Health authorities have confirmed a new case of measles that may have exposed others this month at a food court on the University of California, Los Angeles, campus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says the exposure could have occurred July 2 and 3 at the Court of Sciences Student Center at UCLA. The food court is also nicknamed The Bomb Shelter. Anyone who was at the location on those dates may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days. Health authorities say it's the 12th case of measles among Los Angeles County residents this...

A Country We Still Have to Create By Marian Wright Edelman
7/10/2019 10:44:37 AM

This Fourth of July I am returning to the wise words of my late friend Dr. Vincent Harding, the revered historian, theologian, social justice activist, and visionary who never lost sight of the “beloved community” his friend and colleague Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed our nation and world could become. In July 2012 on his 81st birthday Dr. Harding spoke at the National and Racial Healing Town Hall at a Children’s Defense Fund’s conference. He told us he believed America was a wounded nation, but despite so many years of struggle he remained convinced America...

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder and Black Futures Lab Release Second Black Census Report By Tedarius Abrams, Sharon Washington and Elae Hill
7/10/2019 10:41:54 AM

According to a new report produced in part by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, Black lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans may be more concerned with everyday economic issues like low wages, unaffordable health care, and access to housing. More respondents identified these as higher priorities than marriage equality, though they strongly support laws enabling gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. The analysis of responses from over 5,300 participants in the 2019 Black Census, demonstrate that police violence and impunity—and broader societal violence that targets the...