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NYC Mayor Meets With Al Sharpton — Will It Ease Tensions?

July 4, 2014 -  In a scene not witnessed at City Hall for decades, the mayor sat between his police commissioner and one of the police department’s most outspoken critics on Thursday, trying to ease tensions with minority communities after the in-custody death of a Black man who was put in an apparent chokehold.

It was a fitting image for Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, caught between a campaign pledge to empower minorities who felt unfairly targeted by police and a promise to maintain the city’s recent historic drop in crime. Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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A university president gave up $90,000 to give his minimum wage workers a raise

August 4, 2014 - The interim president of Kentucky State University is giving up $90,000 of his $350,000 annual salary to give minimum wage workers on campus a raise, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The lowest paid workers on campus currently make $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. They'll now make $10.25 per hour, an increase that will stay in effect even after the university hires a new full-time president.  Read more vox.com.

Category: General

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Green Light a “Go” for many in South St. Pete; young people “spreading the word”

“It’s exciting to get out and connect with people about the new community focus on growing the economy and creating new jobs,” says Brother John Muhammad who is a captain of a team of young folks, out spreading-the-word asking South St. Petersburg residents to tune in and vote “yes” this November on the referendum to fund a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund the Green Light for Pinellas Plan.

Brother John says “The Green Light plan expands the number of good paying jobs Southside workers can reach in mid-county and north-county when they don’t have reliable transportation."

Jabaar Edmonds – supporter of the Green Light outreach program - points to the quality of life benefit too. “It gives us real city-style transportation, so it doesn’t take an hour just to get to the mall or downtown. We can move around like people in Atlanta or D.C for employment and entertainment.” Edmonds is owner of the Studio 909 recording shop, and co-founder of People United for Progress.

Ten young people ages 16 to 24 were trained through the 2-month outreach project, and conducted 3 rounds of outreach to neighborhoods, sporting events, and retail venues over 3 Saturdays.

“We’re putting a small stipend in their pockets just in time for school clothes and supplies, but it’s more important that we’re training them in community service,” says Brother John. “They will see the seeds they plant take root by that 2020 Census.”

Category: General

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Morning Glory Urban Christian Television Network set to launch

July 31, 2014 - Black women continue to be underrepresented on television, in film and in advertising; in fact, the titles of network owner, producer or CEO are almost nonexistent when they are attached to a black woman in show business.

Of course, we are familiar with names such as Shonda Rhimes, executive producer, writer and creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and the new megahit “Scandal;” Debra L. Lee is at helm of BET as chairman and CEO and Forbes magazine staple Oprah Winfrey who owns Harpo Productions and has her network. But it becomes hard pressed to name other black women executives in the business. That was until now.  Read more at theweeklychallenger.com.

Category: General

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‘Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree’

July 31, 2014 - Having earned a master’s degree in addiction counseling, advising women on the cycles of abuse and experiencing domestic violence firsthand, Rasheedah Sharif brings forth three decades of experience and a level of compassion that attracts people from all walks of life.

Sharif is originally from New Jersey, but calls the Tampa Bay area her home. Among the many hats worn by this woman are author, artist, educator and motivational speaker. As an author, she reaches countless women through her book, “Don’t Come Down From the Chinaberry Tree,” which provides the readers with insight and a peek into her earlier life while guiding them toward a place in their own existence where they can find balance and inner strength.  Read more at theweeklychallenger.com.

Category: General

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Another Aaliyah film in the works, author Zane to pen script

Aug 1, 2014 - For anyone who was worried that the upcoming Lifetime Aaliyah biopic would fall flat, fear no more, because there’s officially another Aaliyah film for the big screen in the works.

The film’s script will be written by Zane, a representative for the fiction author confirmed. Read more at theGrio.com.

Category: General

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Iraq war vet and mother presented with new home

Aug 1, 2014 - One national organization is paying it forward and granting a deserving Jacksonville, Florida, mother the gift of a new home.

Jessica Blow served 11 years in the Army. She was discharged in December, and she came home to find herself struggling to make ends meet. That is, until HomeStrong USA and Bank Of America granted Jessica and her son, Camron, the gift of a new home in Arlington. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Narcotics officers reportedly steal more than half a million dollars from suspects

Aug 1, 2014 - The FBI has arrested six Philadelphia Police narcotics officers as part of a corruption probe into the department.

The group is accused of stealing over $500,000 in cash, drugs, and stolen property over multiple years on the force. Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

Broadway unites to protest police violence and honor Eric Garner

Aug 1, 2014 - Broadway stars, directors, producers, musicians, choreographers, designers and technicians from some of the most prominent productions gathered in front of the police station in Times Square on Tuesday. They wanted to send a message about police violence and the killing of Eric Garner. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Sierra Leone in State of Public Health Emergency

Aug 1, 2014 - The lethal Ebola virus ravaging West Africa has forced the hand of Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, who issued a public health emergency declaration late Wednesday in an attempt to help stop the virus’ spread, the Associated Press reports.

According to the news wire, Koroma promised that house-to-house searches would be conducted in order to find those who may have been exposed to the contagious virus, as well as to quarantine sick victims. Read more at theroot.com.

Category: General

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Alicia Keys Pregnant With Second Child, Announces News With Sweet Instagram Pic

Aug 1, 2014 - Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz are expecting their second child, the singer has announced on Instagram.

The musical duo tied the knot July 31, 2010, which makes today their four year wedding anniversary. Keys chose to highlight the occasion while breaking the joyous news. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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How Alexandra Elle, Our Mom Of The Month, Refused To Be Merely A 'Statistic'

Aug 1, 2014 - To her 200,000+ international social media followers, Alexandra Elle (as Alexandra Smith is more commonly known) is the face of pure bliss.

On any given day, her Instagram feed showcases her 6-year-old daughter Charleigh’s (pronounced Charlie) toothy smile, while a tweet proclaims a truism from her bestselling book, “Words From a Wanderer.” (“If you are unsure of who you are, you will easily get lost in others.”) Collectively her digital output encourages self-love and resilience and regularly doles out positive affirmations. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

The Danger Of How School Suspensions 'Determine Life Courses'

Aug 1, 2014 - “My son has been suspended five times. He’s 3,” headlined one mother’s recent article in the Washington Post that helped kindle the conversation of school suspension rates in the American education system.

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Chair of Urban Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison, discussed racial disparity in school suspensions with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont-Hill on Tuesday. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

Jamie Foxx Will Reportedly Play Mike Tyson in Upcoming Biopic

Aug 1, 2014 - Jamie Foxx has been cast to play Mike Tyson, one of the most polarizing modern sports figures, in an untitled biopic, Variety reports. Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is set to write the film.
Although details are sparse, Tyson certainly has a wealth of biographical details to mine, including but not limited to: his rise and fall as a heavyweight champion, his six years in jail on rape charges, the Holyfield ear-biting incident, the tragic death of his daughter, his bankruptcy, and his re-entry into pop culture. Read more at time.com.

Category: General

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

July 17, 2014 - Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 265,000 members in approximately 986 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Africa.  Read more at pasadenajournal.com.

Category: General

United Way Suncoast - New CEO to Take the Helm in September

Lobsters, wicked winters and L.L. Bean will soon just be memories for incoming United Way Suncoast CEO and President, Suzanne McCormick, as she makes the move from her Maine home to lead United Way Suncoast.

McCormick will be filling the shoes of outgoing CEO, Diana Baker, who announced her retirement earlier this year.  Click here to read more.

Category: General

Florida judge orders special session for new congressional district map

August 1, 2014 - Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled Friday that the Florida Legislature must immediately revise its flawed congressional map and gave it until Aug. 15 to submit a revised map. He also ordered the state to propose a special election schedule for the affected congressional districts.

Lewis agreed with the Legislature's lawyers and concluded "there is just no way, legally or logistically, to put in place a new map, amend the various deadlines and have elections on November 4th as prescribed by Federal law."  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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PCUL awarded grant

July 24, 2014 - The Pinellas County Urban League was recently awarded a $435,000 grant by the State of Florida Office of the Attorney General to implement the Florida Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP).

The goal of the program is to support the governor’s initiative to make Florida the hub for economic opportunity through jobs and education, by delivering academics, career exploration and personal development services to young adults, age 16-24.  Read more at theweeklychallenger.com.

Category: General

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Michelle Obama: The Fact That Over 58,000 Vets Are Homeless Should 'Horrify' Us

Aug 1, 2014 - First lady Michelle Obama says the statistic that the U.S. has more than 58,000 homeless veterans is "a stain on the soul of this nation," as the government expands its initiative for affordable housing for service members.

She announced Thursday nearly 100 local leaders have pledged this month to end homelessness among veterans in their communities by the end of 2015 as a part of the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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AKA Inducts Ava DuVernay into Sorority

Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International President, attorney Carolyn House Stewart, formally inducted Ava DuVernay into the sorority as an honorary member.

DuVernay is an award-winning writer, producer, director and distributor of independent films. She has earned the highest industry awards, including the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.  Read more at jetmag.com.

Category: General

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