Children’s Defense Fund Supports Jack and Jill of America, Inc. 2018 Children’s Crusade

On May 4-6, 2018, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. will partner with the Children’s Defense Fund to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the historic 1963 Children’s Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama. The event will honor one of the most inspiring and courageous acts of resistance and peaceful protest by children and will draw over 2,000 youths and families from across the country to the Birmingham Civil Rights District in the city that played a pivotal role in changing the course of history.

On May 2, 1963, thousands of students left their classrooms and gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham to participate in a nonviolent protest against segregation, racism, and social injustices. The next day Birmingham police, led by infamous commissioner of public safety Bull Connor, brought out fire hoses and attack dogs and turned them on the children. It was a scene that caused headlines across the nation and around the world.

The three-day anniversary event will focus on experiential learning supported by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Young people will gain a better understanding of the similarities between events then and now, embracing their power to demand and lead social change through safe, social activism, especially in today’s racially charged climate.

Participants will listen to, learn from, and interact with courageous foot soldiers of the 1963 Children’s Crusade. Carole Robertson, one of the four girls murdered at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by bombs planted by White supremacists in September 1963, was a member of Jack and Jill, and this event will honor their memory during a special Power of Children Program with Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Yolanda Renee King.

“This Children’s Crusade is a new chance to remember, honor, and follow the example of the children who were the frontline soldiers and transforming catalysts in America’s greatest moral movement of the twentieth century – the movement for civil rights and equal justice. We owe those extraordinary children and youths a debt of responsibility and gratitude. It will also remind today’s children that they are not just citizens in waiting, but at this critical national time they have their own stake in freedom and justice and they too can be transforming agents for change. I’m so happy to see this new Children’s Crusade to end the violence of guns and poverty by nonviolent means. It’s way past time to protect children and not guns,” said Marian Wright Edelman.

Events begins Friday, May 4. See full agenda here: http://bit.ly/childrencrusadeagenda.

Capital Impact Partners Fourth Co-op Innovation Award Addresses Racial Inequality

 Capital Impact Partners announced today that it has awarded grants totaling $50,000 to the Association for Black Economic Power and the Sustainable Economies Law Center, co-winners of its fourth annual Co-op Innovation Award. This year, the award recognizes two organizations leading initiatives that address racial inequality and create social impact through economic empowerment for residents in low-income communities.

“We are constantly striving to partner with organizations to help us advance our efforts to expand social and racial justice. I am incredibly proud that we are able to support these two forward-thinking organizations that are employing a cooperative model to do just that,” said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners.

The Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP) was awarded $25,000 to establish a Black-led financial cooperative credit union on the north side of Minneapolis called Village Trust Financial Cooperative. The credit union will provide consumer loans (i.e. payday loans and check cashing services) to residents of North Minneapolis as a way to disrupt the predatory lending that exists currently, and build a cooperative membership base by meeting the immediate financial needs of community members. In addition, the new entity will support efforts to provide technical assistance and financial support for emerging Black-led cooperatives in Minnesota.

This concept was born in response to the killing of Philando Castille, to create economic power as a form of resistance and strengthen the financial resilience of communities of color. Capital Impact’s grant builds on initial support from The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.

“We are honored to carry a vision of equity for our local community while creating scalable solutions for economic challenges facing people of color across the nation. The establishment of a fund for small-dollar lending, a Black-led credit union, and igniting a local cooperative movement are not possible without brave organizations like Capital Impact Partners, that believe local communities have the power to solve global problems,” said Me’Lea Connelly, Village Trust director. “It is a dream come true to have Capital Impact Partners, a national cooperative leader, join us in our infancy, rooting us in the tradition of innovation and pushing our reach for a greater cooperative renaissance.”

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) was also awarded $25,000 to increase technical, educational, and operational support for the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (EBPREC), which SELC is now incubating. EBPREC is bringing together communities of color, indigenous peoples, and housing justice organizations in Oakland, California to pilot an innovative model of land and housing ownership that disrupts root causes of racialized inequality and makes housing and commercial real estate affordable in the long-term. The organization is collaborating with more than 20 organizations across the country to replicate this model with the goal of building a broader movement and national impact.

This innovative model of land ownership engages everyday people to organize, finance, acquire, and steward land and housing. Unlike a conventional housing cooperative, which is formed to provide housing to a defined group of residents, this approach is designed not only to provide housing, but also to build a large membership base and serve members’ collective goal to transform systems for land ownership. This is critical in a community like Oakland, which is experiencing rapid gentrification, leading to the displacement of long-term residents.

“I’ve been working with the amazing leaders of EBPREC for two years, and I’m thrilled that a leadership team will finally get paid to do this important work. I’m so grateful to Capital Impact Partners for investing both in leaders of color and in innovative cooperative models,” said Janelle Orsi, Executive Director, SELC.

The Co-op Innovation Award represents just one part of Capital Impact’s strategy to promote food, worker, and housing co-ops that support underserved communities. Over its 35-year history, Capital Impact has disbursed more than $300 million dollars in financing to more than 219 cooperative businesses serving 870,000 customers.

“The Co-op Innovation Award is a great opportunity to identify new partners launching programs that align with our strategy and mission. Both of these community-led, local initiatives have potential for national replication; they demonstrate how the cooperative model can address problems, train leaders, and build wealth in communities of color,” said Alison Powers, Co-op program officer at Capital Impact Partners.

“Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” Documentary Series Launches This July

Paramount Network has teamed up with executive producer JAY-Z for a landmark television event, “Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” based on the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin. The six-part non-scripted documentary series will be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade that spurred the impactful worldwide “Black Lives Matter” movement.

“Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” will be based on the book “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

Martin was an unarmed 17-year old high school student shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman, in the Florida community where they both lived. Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge after claiming he shot Martin in self-defense, sparking protests and outrage worldwide.  The series delves deep into the heart of the story which is more than tragic narrative about a young man’s life cut short – it’s a story about race, politics, power, money, and the criminal justice system.

Executive Producers for the series include JAY-Z, Chachi Senior, Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Jenner Furst, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason, and Michael Gasparro

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” premieres in July on Paramount Network.

30 CAIR Leaders to Attend Inauguration of Lynching Memorial in Alabama

On April 26, some 30 national leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will attend the inauguration of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala.

The facility is “the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

SEE: This New Lynching Memorial Rewrites American History (CNN)
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/lynching-memorial-montgomery-alabama/index.html
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/memorial

“It is critically important that American Muslim leaders and activists learn about the legacy of those who suffered under brutal slavery and segregation for hundreds of years, who fought for basic dignity and human rights, and made the civil rights movement a reality,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, who will attend the memorial’s inauguration.

He said CAIR national and chapter leaders will also visit Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham as part of a three-day civil rights educational tour.

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Three African American Racial Justice Leaders Respond To Starbucks Effort To Rectify Wrongful Arrest

Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Heather McGhee, president of Demos recently released a statement regarding their participation on the Starbucks Advisory Committee, which is addressing the company’s efforts to prevent discrimination in its stores.

On April 12, two black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were arrested by police at a Starbucks location while merely waiting to meet with a business associate.  A Starbucks manager had called the police because she said the men – who had only been in the store for a brief period – had yet to make a purchase.

The racial justice leaders issued the following statement:

“The arrest of the two young men in Starbucks is a stark example of the ongoing struggle of African Americans for full citizenship and dignity in American life. Since last week, a number of other high-profile incidents involving discrimination against African Americans demonstrates the breadth and shameful persistence of this problem.

“We were encouraged by the clear and unequivocal statements by Starbucks’ leadership, expressing their desire and intention to deal directly with the issue of racism. This is a rare phenomenon in corporate America. We have pushed and will continue to work to ensure that this highly visible moment – for Starbucks’ 175,000 employees, the other major corporations who watch Starbucks, and the country –  is done right. We have been clear from the start that the company must build a framework for anti-bias training that extends beyond the planned May 29th training and that becomes part of the company culture. In addition to the need for an anti-discrimination curriculum – which will consist of an ongoing education for all employees, with real measures for evaluation and monitoring – we made clear that a thorough review of the company policies, as well as consultation with local, not just national leaders, is necessary as they move forward.

“Even with these caveats and concerns – and, we imagine, there will be more as this process unfolds – we realize the extraordinary step that Starbucks is taking to do better on an issue that affects every workplace. Starbucks exists in 8,000 communities in our country. We see this effort as an opportunity for Starbucks to demonstrate leadership in advancing a commitment to equal treatment and opportunity in true partnership with the communities they serve. We expect to issue a report to Starbucks, with recommendations about the company’s policies, a multi-phase training framework, and the ongoing work they will need to undertake in order to really move the ball.

“We know that the problem of anti-Black bias and other forms of discrimination is not Starbucks’ problem alone; it’s a deeply American problem, made consequential and often lethal by the compounding force of unaccountable, discriminatory policing. A larger issue here is the mass criminalization of our people, and we each made it clear to Starbucks that they have the privilege and responsibility to influence not just employee practices, but police practices in Philadelphia and across the country. We will continue to advocate on that front, both with Starbucks and with the police, and welcome your thoughts about how we can make the greatest impact.”

SiriusXM’s Urban View Channel to Launch Voter Registration Campaign: “Urban View Vote”

SiriusXM announced today the launch of “Urban View Vote” – a nonpartisan, midterm election year voter registration campaign designed to raise awareness about voter registration opportunities throughout the fifty states.  SiriusXM’s Urban View channel will roll out an “Urban View Vote” vehicle to tour multiple states – visiting college campuses, community centers, and other key locations where citizens will get the information necessary to have a voice and join the ranks of America’s voters.  “Urban View Vote” will kick off on March 22 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and will focus on the African American community and addressing voter disenfranchisement.

“This is a crucial time in our country’s history to register new voters, and Urban View listeners will lead the way,” says Karen Hunter, Urban View host and Programming Consultant, SiriusXM.  “On Urban View, we don’t just talk about issues, we take action. Now more than ever, we want people to know their voting rights and to empower them to take an active role in their futures. Our hashtag – #10for2018 – reflects our goal that every listener will inspire 10 people they know to get registered.”

The launch of the multi-state tour, currently scheduled to visit Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, will be accompanied by the debut of a voter registration information website – www.urbanviewvote.com – focused on bringing clarity to the state-by-state voter registration process.

On April 12, Urban View hosts Karen Hunter, Joe Madison, “The Black Eagle,” and Sway Calloway from Eminem’s exclusive SiriusXM channel Shade 45, will participate in a town hall conversation with the students of Morehouse College, an iconic historically black college, where voting rights and voter registration among millennials will be the focus.  Calloway will also broadcast his popular morning show from the campus.

Listeners throughout America can tune to SiriusXM’s Urban View channel 126 to hear highlights from each stop on the tour and for announcements about additional initiatives, Town Halls, and ways to get involved in the “Urban View Vote” campaign throughout this midterm election year.

SiriusXM followers can join the conversation using #10For2018. Listeners can also follow @SXMUrbanView on Twitter for updates.

SiriusXM subscribers can listen to Urban View channel 126, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more.

Oakland Museum Of California Announces Major Exhibition RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced major exhibition RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom, a celebration of one of the most influential cultural and social movements of the last 50 years, continuing the Museum’s commitment to examining topics and themes that are socially relevant and meaningful to diverse audiences. In 2016, OMCA presented All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding in Oakland, which broke attendance records for the Museum.

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom uncovers the under-recognized story of how Hip-Hop changed the world. Informed by insights from more than 50 Hip-Hop practitioners, the interdisciplinary exhibition will explore the many ways that Hip-Hop provides a platform for creative self-expression, activism, youth development, and education.

More than a music genre, Hip-Hop is a distinct culture with an evolved sense of identity, tradition, and history. While it includes diverse communities, Hip-Hop is informed by African Diaspora principles and experiences. A response to tumultuous conditions and political events in the early 1970s, youth took to music, dance, poetry, and art to express themselves, innovating something entirely new. Hip-Hop has continued to evolve to become more relevant, dynamic, and pervasive.

RESPECT recognizes the sensational essence of a movement that has become a unifying culture throughout the world,” said René de Guzman, exhibition curator. “With this exhibition, OMCA sets the stage for a deeper exploration of Hip-Hop: the wisdom and style it has brought to many aspects of all our lives, from the language that we use to the clothes that we wear.”

Artworks and elements include:

  • Iconic artifacts belonging to Hip-Hop chart-toppers, including a handwritten essay by Tupac Shakur and Grandmaster Flash’s turntables.
  • Work by Kehinde Wiley, recently commissioned to paint Barack Obama’s portrait.
  • An immersive, multi-projector media environment featuring a high-energy video mix by DJ Mike Relm.
  • High fashion objects inspired by Hip-Hop.
  • Original photographs of New York City in the 1970s and 1980s by Martha Cooper and Jamel Shabazz.

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom is supported in part by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board and members of the Donor Forum.

Jason Taylor Foundation Host Its Fourth Annual Louder Than A Bomb Florida Poetry Festival from March 26 – April 21, 2018

For the fourth consecutive year, the Jason Taylor Foundation is giving the South Florida community the chance to witness the top youth poets in the state compete during a cutting edge event – the Louder Than A Bomb Florida Poetry Festival presented by Nova Southeastern University and UPS. This highly anticipated event takes place from March 26 – April 21, 2018.

Dubbed the “Super Bowl of poetry,” Louder Than A Bomb Florida (LTABFLA), a Jason Taylor Foundation arts and education project, features a friendly spoken-word competition between school-based poetry teams representing high schools from across the state. Funding from Nova Southeastern University, UPS and a host of other community partners has assisted the Jason Taylor Foundation support the schools’ efforts by providing year-round, in-class and after-school instruction, which will culminate in this 27-day festival.

For the first time in LTABFLA history, a Central Florida preliminary round has been added to the competition and will feature schools representing Brevard, Columbia, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange and St. Lucie counties, while the South Florida regional bracket will be comprised of more than 30 schools from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

“This is without a doubt one of my favorite times of the year,” said Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor. “Each and every day we are witness to the power of young voices and Louder Than A Bomb Florida showcases this power on dynamic stages and in spectacular venues. I love that our reach continues to expand and that LTABFLA can bring so many youth from different backgrounds together to celebrate their stories, strengthen their schools and transform communities.”

Since founding the bluapple Poetry Network with actor and poet Omari Hardwick in 2012, the Foundation has helped more than 65 schools activate this program, with more than 1,200 participants inspiring their communities with poetry.

Louder Than A Bomb Florida is a festival featuring poetry bouts, workshops, exhibits, and ultimately the crowning of Florida’s top youth poetry team. The most critical component, however, is the year-round, meaningful instruction inside the classroom and after-school clubs, with teachers and teaching artists who create and facilitate a safe space for individual and collective expression.

In addition to Nova Southeastern University and UPS, other supporters of Louder Than A Bomb Florida include 99 JAMZ, Arts Garage, ArtServe, BBX Capital Foundation, Best Buy of Davie, Broward Schools, Carnival Foundation, City of Miramar, City of Sunrise, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Ella Café, Florida Panthers Foundation, Goldman Properties, Heroes of Hip Hop, Hits 97.3, Hoffman’s Chocolates, Invicta Watch Group, Jax Youth Poetry Slam, LIME Fresh Mexican Grill, Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Miami Dolphins Foundation, Minuteman Press of Hollywood, Miramar Cultural Center, MOD Pizza, NBC-6, Pavlov’s

Ring The Bell Management, PlugIN Private Kareoke Rooms, Publix, Savor Cinema, Sonshine Communications, Sports & Activities Directory, StevenDouglas, The Fountains, The Performers Academy, Thunderous Genius Creative House, Ultimate Software, Urban Word, Wizard Creations, YoungArts Foundation, and Young Chicago Authors.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for Louder Than A Bomb Florida events, visit www.bluapplepoetry.org or call (954) 424-0799.

Brian Lamb Named One of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America

Brian Lamb, executive vice president, head of wealth and asset management, Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB), has been named to Savoy Magazine’s 2018 list of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.

“I am excited to see Brian recognized with this well-deserved honor. Brian is an inspirational leader with both strong character and outstanding business results,” said Greg Carmichael, chairman, president and CEO, Fifth Third. “His career exemplifies the Fifth Third Bank values and he is a role model for so many people in our organization.”

Lamb is responsible for line-of-business oversight of wealth and asset management, including private banking, Fifth Third securities, fiduciary services, investments, institutional services, and insurance.

“I am proud to be part of such a distinguished group of respected and accomplished business and community leaders from across the country,” Lamb said. “This list represents 100 great examples of individuals who are both successful in corporate America and who are making a positive difference in their respective communities,” he said.

Lamb previously served as chief corporate responsibility and reputation officer, where he led the comprehensive strategic framework of the Bank’s civic commitments and reputation management, including the execution of the Bank’s five-year, $30 billion community commitment. Prior to that role, he served as regional president of Fifth Third Bank (North Florida), where he was responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the commercial, wealth and asset management and consumer businesses.

In addition to his duties as the head of wealth and asset management, Lamb also serves as chairman for the University of South Florida board of trustees. Previously, he was a member of the Florida Council of 100 Board of Directors and the United Way Suncoast Campaign Cabinet. He also served as chairman of the audit committee for the Enterprise Florida Board of Directors and chairman of the Tampa Bay Partnership. He also serves as a board member of the Urban League of Southwestern Ohio.

To view the 2018 Savoy Magazine’s Top 100 Influential Blacks in Corporate America list, visit: www.savoynetwork.com.

The Root Announces 2018 Young Futurist List Recognizing The 25 Young African-American Leaders Shaping Our Future

The Root, the premier news and culture publication for black America, is proud to unveil its 2018 class of Young Futurists, a distinction reserved for the best and brightest young African Americans, ages 15 to 22. The seventh edition of the annual list shines a light on the efforts and achievements of 25 rising stars in the fields of social justice and activism, arts and culture, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, and green innovation. This collection of game changers serves as a source of pride and optimism for black Americans.

“If history has taught us anything, it’s that young people will always lead the way. The 25 people who make up this year’s list of Young Futurists also are not content to let adults determine their future. At a time when there is a void in leadership in Washington, D.C., and beyond, these Young Futurists are stepping up to show the world that, regardless of their age, they are ready and willing to lead the way,” said the editors of The Root.

The Young Futurists class of 2018 recognizes talent from various walks of life:

Maame Biney, 18, moved to the U.S. from Ghana as a young child. This year, she became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speed skating team, showing young female skaters that black women can compete at the highest level.

Storm Reid, 15 in July, starred in Ava DuVernay’s iteration of “A Wrinkle in Time,” playing the role of teenage protagonist Meg Murray. In both the 1962 fantasy novel and 2003 TV movie that preceded the film, her character had been portrayed as white. Her performance provided inspiration for millions of black children.

George Hofstetter, 17, used his technological acumen to create a mobile app that helps young people combat police brutality. The Oakland teen’s solution, called CopStop, allows users to record their interactions with police and offers educational information on how to interact with law enforcement.

Ose Arheghan, 17, has spent the past two years lobbying in both their home state of Ohio and Washington for comprehensive sexual education that is inclusive of LGBTQ youth. Arheghan, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, is challenging conservative legislators to serve all of their constituents, regardless of gender identity or orientation.

Ashanti Martinez, 21, is running for a seat in Maryland’s House of Delegates with a platform made up of “bold progressive policies.” His priorities include reform of the state’s education system and standing up for marginalized communities.

The Young Futurists class of 2018 also includes: