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At Atlanta Rally, Clinton Calls for End to Racial Profiling and Other Criminal Justice Reforms

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during a visit to Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during a visit to Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga.

[PRESS RELEASE FROM HILLARY FOR AMERICA]

At a rally at Clark Atlanta University today, Hillary Clinton unveiled some of the first components an extensive agenda to reform our criminal justice system that she will roll out over the coming days. Clinton called for an end to racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement and eliminating sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine. In addition, she vowed executive action as president to “ban the box” for federal employers and contractors, to help remove barriers to formerly-incarcerated individuals’ pathway back into the workplace. She also discussed the need for a more comprehensive strategy to create opportunities, including new investments in education, health care, housing and jobs.

Clinton was joined at the rally by Congressman John Lewis, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, former NBA player Grant Hill and R&B artists Usher and Monica. The event was her second in Atlanta today, following the Ministers Luncheon of the 16th Annual Creating Opportunity Conference where she delivered remarks.

Below is the full transcript of Hillary Clinton’s remarks at a rally at Clark Atlanta University:

“Thank you. Hello, Atlanta! Thank you all so much.

“I am thrilled to be here at Clark Atlanta University, the heart of the AUC. And I’m happy to see a bunch of Panthers here.

“How about Morehouse? We got any Morehouse men here? And how about Spelman College? These universities contribute so much to the community here in Atlanta and to our nation. You have trained generations of distinguished leaders. And I applaud you because I know I love visiting a school founded by the Methodist Church nearly 150 years ago.

“And I was delighted to hear about your Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights. That is such a fitting tribute to a man who has devoted his life to advancing the values of equality and opportunity and dignity for all people.

“So thanks to everyone at Clark Atlanta for hosting us today.

“And I want to recognize and thank Congressman Hank Johnson and Congressman David Scott for being here. We have other distinguished officials. And I particularly want to thank Mayor Reed for being here with us as well.

“But I am filled with gratitude for my friend, your Congressman, John Lewis being with us today. You know, he sacrificed his own body to bear witness to injustice, and by doing so he forced all of America to bear witness as well.

“I don’t know that we will ever adequately be able to thank John for everything he’s done to make it possible for all of us to be here, and as you heard from Alexa Hurd, literally making it possible for her to be born in the hospital in Alabama where she was born.

“Now, a few years back, Congressman Lewis took me to the new Paschal’s restaurant not far from here, where he reminisced about his fellow pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement.

“And it is an honor to have so many of those leaders with us today, like my friend Andrew Young, like the great preacher and pathbreaker, CT Vivian. Hearing their voices as strong as ever for justice and equality does us all good. And it reminds us of the voices we’ve lost.

“I want to thank Martin Luther King III and Dr. King’s sister for being with us today. No person of conscience can come to Atlanta and not hear the words of this extraordinary man ringing in our minds and in our hearts.

“As a teenager, I was privileged to hear Dr. King preach in Chicago. I was taken to hear him by my youth minister in the Methodist Church I attended. He spoke that evening in a sermon called ‘Staying Awake through the Revolution.’

“Afterward, I stood in a long line to shake his hand and to look up into his face. His grace and moral clarity were compelling. I can feel it still.

“I know that there are differences in the world we live in today and in the challenges we face, but the leaders of the civil rights movement had it right: organizing, mobilizing and politicizing, using nonviolence, using the power of the feelings that come forward.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: “Black lives matter.”

HILLARY CLINTON: “And yes, they do. Yes, they do. Yes, they do, and I’m going to talk a lot about that in a minute.”

“Now, my friends, I am going to get to some very important points that actually prove that Black lives do matter and we have to take action together.

“And I hope that we’ll have a chance to talk more, as I have been meeting with activists from the Black Lives Matter movement.

“But I want to recognize some of the women who were in the head of the civil rights movement back in the 1960s.

“Let’s remember Coretta Scott King, who was there with her husband every step of the way.

“Let’s remember the one and only Dr. Dorothy Height, who I served with on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, the most elegant, unstoppable woman you will ever meet.

“And here in Atlanta we are surrounded by so much history that it does inspire us to keep going, to keep chanting, to keep singing, because as the Scriptures tell us, never grow weary doing good.

“So to all the young people here today, those who are listening and those who are singing, let me say this: We need you. We need the promise of a rising generation of activists and organizers who are fearless in your advocacy and determination.

“Actually, a few weeks ago, I sat down with some of the people here. We had a very nice conversation. And they were full of energy and ideas, and they shared some of their experiences with me.

“And I understand and I appreciate their passion and their urgency. But as I told them then, we have to come together as a nation to make the changes that they are calling for.

“You know, in that meeting a young woman said they spoke about being outsiders in their own country, and those words broke my heart, coming from someone so young. And they also should stiffen our spines, because life does matter and we need to act like it matters.

“And I know very well for many white Americans it is tempting to close our eyes to the truth, to believe that bigotry is largely behind us, that institutionalized racism no longer exists. But as you know so well, despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished.

“More than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind.

“And the facts are really clear. You know, the median wealth for white families is more than $134,000, for African American families it is just $11,000, because African Americans are three times as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage. African American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses.

“Now, none of this is coincidence, my friends. In Charleston, we saw racial terrorism reach even into a holy sanctuary.

“And the names of young African American men and women cut down too young is a rebuke to us all.

“Walter Scott shot in the back in South Carolina.

“Tamir Rice shot in a park in Ohio. Unarmed and just 12 years old.

“Eric Garner choked to death after being stopped for selling cigarettes on a street in New York.

“Freddie Gray, his spine nearly severed while in police custody in Baltimore.

“And Sandra Bland, a young woman who knew her rights and did nothing wrong, but still ended up dying in a Texas jail cell.

“Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have some issues to discuss and some proposals to make. If our friends will allow me to do it, they may actually find them to their liking.

“You know, it’s important to say out loud what I’m saying, because I believe all Americans, especially those of us with privilege and power, have a responsibility to face these facts. And we need to do a better job, not assuming that our experiences are everyone else’s.

“And we need all of us to try walking in one another’s shoes. I’m asking white parents to try to imagine what it would be like to sit your children down and have ‘The Talk.’ Or how we’d feel if people locked their car doors when we walked past.

“Now, I know how I’d feel if it was a child I knew who was manhandled by a police officer in school like we saw in South Carolina the other day.

“I’m talking about us exercising empathy to make it possible for people from every background, every race, every religion, to finally come together as one nation.

“And let’s not pretend to ignore hard truths about race and justice in America. We need to say them, own them, and then change them.

“And that’s why I began my campaign with a speech about the need to restore balance and fairness to our criminal justice system.

“One of my earliest jobs as a young lawyer was for the Children’s Defense Fund, studying the problem of young people incarcerated in adult jails in South Carolina.

“And when I directed the University of Arkansas’ School of Law’s legal aid clinic, I advocated on behalf of prison inmates and poor families. And I saw first-hand how our legal system can be stacked against those who have the least power and are the most vulnerable.

“So what are we going to do about it? If you see the toll on families, if you see the unfairness, then you’ve got to come together, you’ve got to consider working for reform for the criminal justice system. And even though it’s complex and urgent, the good news is we have a rare opportunity now at a time when you never see Democrats and Republicans agree on anything, there is a growing bipartisan movement in the Congress for common sense reforms in our criminal justice system.

“President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch have led the way, and Senators on opposite ends of the political spectrum from Chuck Schumer and Cory Booker and Dick Durbin to Rand Paul and Mike Lee and Chuck Grassley are actually working together. We need reform that can be felt on our streets and our courthouses, our jails, our prisons and our communities.

“First, we need smart strategies to keep us safe while rebuilding trust between law enforcement and our communities, especially communities of color. Let’s remember that everyone in every community benefits when there is respect for the law, and when everyone in every community is respected by the law.

“I think President Obama’s Task Force on Policing is a good place to start, and across the country police officers are out there doing their jobs honorably, putting themselves on the line to save lives, demonstrating how we can protect people without resorting to unnecessary force. We should learn from them and build on these examples.

“Well, thank you. Thank you all very much. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate the Congressman and the Mayor having my back.

“So I’m sorry, I appreciate their passion, but I’m sorry they didn’t listen because some of what they’ve been demanding I am offering and intend to fight for as president. For example, I will make sure that federal funds for state and local law enforcement are not used to buy weapons of war that have no place on the streets of our country.

“I will also work to make sure every police department in the country has body cameras that will help protect good people on both sides of the lens. I am also renewing my call that I started as a Senator for the end to racial profiling across America once and for all. And as President I will work with Congress to pass legislation to ban racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement. It is wrong. It is demeaning, and it does not keep us safe or help solve crimes. It’s time to put that practice behind us.

“We also have to end the era of mass incarceration as many law enforcement and other experts tell us. We have 5 percent of the world’s population, and 25 percent of the incarcerated population in the world. Of the more than 2 million Americans behind bars today, many are low-level offenders. Keeping them in prison does little to reduce the crime, and it tears apart families and communities. And it is tragic that 1 in every 28 children is now growing up with a parent in prison.

“In the United States if we brought back our prison populations to where it was several decades ago we’d also save money. So if you don’t care about the families and you don’t care about the over-incarceration, then think about us saving $28 billion, because we no longer incarcerate people who should not be there in the first place.

“So we have to work together to keep more non-violent drug offenders out of prison. Last year the Sentencing Commission reduced recommended prison times for some drug crimes, but I think we need to go further. For one we need to end private prisons and detention centers once and for all. Protecting public safety is the core responsibility of the government and it should never be outsourced or left to unaccountable corporations. And today I’m also pledging to eliminate the disparity in sentencing still between crack and cocaine, which disproportionately impacts African Americans and puts too many people in prison. We’re talking about two forms of the same drug it makes no sense to continue treating them differently. Let’s finish the job and fix this.

“And third, as we reform our criminal justice system we can’t forget about the families and communities that have been ravaged by crime, incarceration, and poverty. And we have to pay special attention to the people who have done their time, they’re out and they’re trying to rebuild their lives. Think of this, of the 600,000 prisoners who reenter society every year up to 60 percent of them face long-term unemployment. And that’s not just a problem for them and their families it’s a problem for all of us. It leads to repeat offenses. It creates a culture of hopelessness. People who have paid their debt to society need to be able to find jobs, not just closed doors and closed hearts.

“And I’m encouraged, because across the country employers like Walmart and Target, cities and states, even Republican governors like Chris Christie in New Jersey and Nathan Deal right here in Georgia are coming together to change this. The ban the box movement is giving former prisoners a chance to compete for jobs on a fair basis, by delaying background checks on criminal history until later in the hiring process and as president I will carry this effort forward. I will do what I can inside the federal government and with federal contractors to ban the box. We believe in second chances don’t we?

“So we need to seize this moment of bipartisan consensus to make a difference in people’s lives. But we also need to look beyond the specific criminal justice reforms to the deep seated social and economic inequities that divide our country. There, there is not as much consensus. I believe we need a comprehensive strategy to create opportunities in communities of color and to break the cradle to prison pipeline. We need new investments in education and healthcare and housing and jobs in poor communities.

“I have proposed what I’m calling the New College Compact. It will make college affordable and it will allow you to refinance your debt and save thousands of dollars. And I also am including special financial support for historically black colleges and universities. I am also going to work hard so that every family has access to high quality preschool to help children get ready to succeed. I will fight to raise the minimum wage and, yes, I will finally guarantee equal pay for equal work for women in America.

“And I want to make it easier for women and people of color to find the capital and support they need to become entrepreneurs and start small businesses. So I’m proposing new tax credits for businesses to invest in apprenticeships, especially for those providing opportunities to economically disadvantaged young people so that those young people not only can be trained, but be paid while they are being trained.

“But, look, the Republicans oppose practically all of this. They want to tear down the Affordable Care Act, which has extended healthcare to 18 million Americans. They’re stopping us from doing anything to stop the gun violence in our communities that stalks our children. Across the country Republican Governors, legislators and political operatives are also doing everything they can to make it harder for young people and people of color to vote.

“Now you look at John Lewis, look at what he did to make it possible for people to vote. And yet across the country there are governors and legislatures trying to put the brakes on and undermine it. Just recently in Alabama a strict new Voter ID law went into effect, and then the state government decided to close many of the motor vehicle offices where you would get the IDs, and guess what they closed them in those counties with the biggest majorities of African Americans. That is a blast from the Jim Crow past, and we’ve got to stop it in its tracks.

“And I think it’s fair to say all of the Republican candidates for president support economic policies that would further stack the deck for those at the top, and do little or nothing to help families in the middle class who are trying to work their way up. And some talk in coded racial language about free stuff, about takers and losers. They demonize President Obama and encourage the ugliest impulses of the paranoid fringe. You’ve heard this. We’ve all heard this before. It has no place in the politics of a great country, and it needs to stop.

“Instead of demonizing President Obama they ought to be thanking him for saving the economy. You know, they want us all to have amnesia. When he took office, we were losing 800,000 jobs every month. Now six-and-a-half years later, we’ve seen the creation of more than 13 million new jobs, and unemployment has been cut nearly in half. Manufacturing jobs are coming back. There are tough new rules on insurance companies, Wall Street banks and polluters. These are all achievements of the Obama presidency.

“Now I’m proud, I’m proud to be a Democrat. And I’m proud — I’m proud that when Democrats are in the White House Americans do better. They do better economically. And although I’m not running for my husband’s third term, or Barack Obama’s third term, I’m running for my first term, but I’m running as a proud Democrat.

“And I’ll tell you this, throughout this campaign and then in the White House, I’ll get up every single day and fight to defend the progress we’ve made under President Obama and build on it and go even further.

“I’m aware there are some who say President Obama is on the wrong trajectory, that we need a course correction. Well, I think that’s wrong. It plays right into the hands of Republicans who want to rip away everything we’ve achieved. We have to keep moving forward. We have to keep marching. We have to keep organizing. We have to keep our eyes on what we need to do in the 21st Century to give every child the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they look like. That is my mission as your president. That is what I am fighting for in this campaign.

“You know, from the day I went to work at the Children’s Defense Fund, I have been passionate about doing everything I can to help kids, and maybe it’s because my own mother had such a terrible life. She was a neglected, abandoned kid. Her parents didn’t want her. Her grandparents didn’t want her. She ended up working as a maid when she was 14. Luckily she worked for somebody who let her continue going to high school so she could try to finish her education. That’s as far as she got.

“But when I think about her life, I think about the lives of so many kids in our country today, and I want to work to even the odds for people who have the odds stacked against them. I’m just getting warmed up because, as I said in the debate, I’m a progressive who likes to get things done, and I haven’t won every battle, but I’ve learned from them all, and I still believe, as a smart man once said, there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what’s right with America. We have to change in order to do that.

“So my friends, it really comes down to this, if we’re going to repair the fraying fabric of our communities and rebuilding the bonds of trust and respect, every American needs to step up. There are laws we should pass, programs we should fund. But much of the real work is going to come around kitchen tables over the stories we tell each other, in our offices, in our factories, on our farms. Those quiet moments where we have honest conversations with parents and children and friends and neighbors, because fundamentally what’s progress we make in our country is about the habits of our heart, how we treat each other, how we learn to see the humanity in those around us even if they are different from us, in fact especially if they are. Most of all it’s how we teach our children how they see others, how they see humanity.

“I’ve got to tell you I think often about something Andy Young once told me. We were together in Little Rock decades ago now. We were talking about the differences across the South during the Civil Rights Movement. There were a lot of communities that fought tooth and nail against integration and civil rights. Andy said, you know, in Atlanta we made a different choice.

“City leaders look at what was happening across the South, all the hate and the violence, and they said, you know, some place is going to get this right. And then they’re going to make it big. We need to be that place. And they adopted a slogan, The City Too Busy to Hate. Well, that was pretty smart. And this city thrived. It did become the face of the new South. We still have problems, we still have challenges. But we need more cities too busy to hate. And we need a country too busy to hate.

“It may be a big unusual for somebody running for president to say we need more love and kindness, but that’s exactly what I believe. We need to be too busy to hate and too loving to ignore, too loving ever to turn our backs on each other and our country. We need to come together. We have so many opportunities. If we just look in each other’s eyes and listen to each other. And then we roll up our sleeves and we get to work together.

“So I’m here to say thank you, thank you to this university, thank you to Atlanta, thank you to the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement, and to issue a challenge that all of us continue the work. Let’s make sure we finish it in the names of our values and our love for America.

“Thank you all.”

Contact “Hillary For America” at press@hillaryclinton.com.

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#NNPA BlackPress

PRESS ROOM: 100-year old legendary African-American debate coach awarded 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from NSDA

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Dr. Thomas Freeman’s 70-plus year resume includes teaching Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his time at Morehouse, former U.S. Reps. Leland and Jordan, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, gospel superstar Yolanda Adams, and Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, who sought out Freeman’s expertise to coach the cast of the Golden Globe-nominated film “The Great Debaters.”

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The National Speech & Debate Association has honored Dr. Thomas Freeman’s 70-plus year legacy with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The National Speech & Debate Association has honored Dr. Thomas Freeman’s 70-plus year legacy with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

100-year old legendary African-American debate coach Dr. Thomas Freeman has been awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Speech & Debate Association.

Freeman’s 70-plus year resume includes teaching Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his time at Morehouse, former U.S. Reps. Leland and Jordan, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, gospel superstar Yolanda Adams, and Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, who sought out Freeman’s expertise to coach the cast of the Golden Globe-nominated film “The Great Debaters.”

Freeman was the Texas Southern University debate coach for six decades before his retirement in 2013. Freeman recently celebrated his 100th birthday on June 27, 2019.

“The National Speech & Debate Association is deeply honored to award Dr. Freeman with our 2019 lifetime achievement award,” said J. Scott Wunn, Executive Director of the National Speech & Debate Association. “Our members, board members, coaches, and students hold Dr. Freemen with such high esteem – he’s like a celebrity within our organization. Freeman is the epitome of who our members hope to become – someone who defies the odds and uses the power of words to propel change. His words of encouragement at our National Tournament in Dallas will always echo through our hearts.”

About the National Speech & Debate Association

The National Speech & Debate Association is the largest interscholastic speech and debate organization serving middle school, high school, and collegiate students in the United States. The Association provides competitive speech and debate activities, high-quality resources, comprehensive training, scholarship opportunities, and advanced recognition to more than 150,000 students and coaches every year. For 90 years, the National Speech & Debate Association has empowered nearly two million members to become engaged citizens, skilled professionals, and honorable leaders in our society. For more information, visit www.speechanddebate.org.  

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Divine 9

PRESS ROOM: AKA Sorority Establishes Endowment at TSU

THE TENNESSEE TRIBUNE — Tennessee State University is the latest HBCU recipient of financial support from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and it Educational Advancement Foundation.  The service organization continued its commitment of creating a $100,000 endowment at each of the nation’s four-year historically black universities and colleges with a donation to TSU President Glenda Glover.

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The Commemorative Bench was unveiled and dedicated on the TSU main campus on June 29. The honor recognizes President Glover’s exemplary leadership and service. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
By The Tennessee Tribune

NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University is the latest HBCU recipient of financial support from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and it Educational Advancement Foundation.  The service organization continued its commitment of creating a $100,000 endowment at each of the nation’s four-year historically black universities and colleges with a donation to TSU President Glenda Glover.

President Glenda Glover admires a commemorative bench dedicated in her honor by the AKA Sorority, Inc. Submitted Photo

President Glenda Glover admires a commemorative bench dedicated
in her honor by the AKA Sorority, Inc. (Submitted Photo)

An initial gift of $25,000 was presented to President Glover during a bench dedication in her honor by the sorority. She was joined by Horace Chace, vice president of Business and Finance; Terry Clayton, member of the TSU Foundation Board; and Iris Ramey, associate vice president for Corporate Partnership and Strategic Initiatives. 

“One meaningful part of the AKA Leadership Seminar being in Nashville is the $100,000 commitment for an endowment from Alpha Kappa Alpha to Tennessee State University,” Glover said. “It begins with this initial donation of $25,000 to assist with student scholarships. I’m extremely appreciative to the sorority for this gift.”

The gift coincides with AKA’s HBCU Endowment initiative, which looks to award $10 million to these institutions by 2022. 

“We are trying to assist students and help retain them to continue with their education,” Chase said. “This funding from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is definitely going to be a big plus in helping to accomplish that goal.”

The Executive Director of the TSU Foundation, Betsy Jackson-Mosley, added, “The TSU Foundation is very grateful for the support received from the AKA Foundation for student scholarships. “Scholarships are very important to attract the best and brightest and to help students stay in school.”

The financial support and bench dedication were two of several service projects taking place during the AKA’s 2019 Leadership Seminar in Nashville, TN June 27-30. 

In a litany at the dedication, led by Dr. Norma S. White, 25th international president of AKA, the group acknowledged the significant contributions of Dr. Glover in leadership, education, community service and philanthropy.

“As we dedicated this commemorative bench in honor of the 30th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Dr. Glenda Glover, we take pride in her leadership and the many contributions that she has made to the sorority, Tennessee State University and other noteworthy organizations,” the group said. “May this bench be a permanent reminder of the significant accomplishments of Dr. Glover.”

Glover, a native of Memphis and the eighth and first female president of TSU, became the 30th international president of AKA in July 2018.  Immediately upon taking the helm, she sent a clear message that education would remain a priority for the organization, especially supporting the nation’s HBCUs. She launched HBCU for Life: A Call to Action and signature program College Admissions Process, also known as #CAP, to promote and market HBCUs. 

Saying that she leads by example, Glover donated $50,000 to the sorority’s Educational Advancement Foundation to further emphasize her commitment. She made that same commitment to TSU when she became president of her alma mater in 2013. 

This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune

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Law

PRESS ROOM: Law Students Help End Fees in Nevada for Youth

OAKLAND POST — Heavy lifting done by two Berkeley Law students from Nevada — Savannah Reid and Dagen Downard — has led to a new law that, starting today July 1, prevents families in Nevada from being billed thousands of dollars in fees when their children under age 18 wind up in the state’s juve­nile delinquency system.

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By Gretchen Kell

Heavy lifting done by two Berkeley Law students from Nevada — Savannah Reid and Dagen Downard — has led to a new law that, starting today July 1, prevents families in Nevada from being billed thousands of dollars in fees when their children under age 18 wind up in the state’s juve­nile delinquency system.

Until now, parents and guardians in Nevada were charged hourly rates for a pub­lic defender, as much as $30 a day for their children’s food, clothing and medical care and up to $200 a month for super­vision when they’re on proba­tion.

In June, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 439 after it was unanimously passed by both houses of the Nevada Legislature. Nevada is the second state nationwide, after California, to repeal these fees.

“It’s very rare for students in law school to be so instrumen­tal in making a new law that impacts so many people. They identified the problem, con­sulted widely with key people in Nevada, and wrote that bill from start to finish,” said attor­ney Stephanie Campos-Bui in a Berkeley Law story by Sarah Weld. Campos-Bui, a Berkeley Law alumna, is a supervising attorney for the law school’s Policy Advocacy Clinic.

In the clinic, Reid, Downard and other students pursue non-litigation strategies to address systemic racial, economic and social injustice. The clinic’s extensive research in states and counties nationwide has found that these juvenile de­linquency system fees dis­proportionately harm poor families and families of color, and that collecting them is not cost-effective.

Interdisciplinary teams of law and public policy stu­dents learn valuable skills at the clinic that include public speaking, legal writing and research, drafting legislation, quickly adapting to changing situations and learning how to talk to people with different views.

Reid, who is from Las Vegas, says her experience working on the bill was invaluable, adding that “being able to testify in front of the legislature as a law student will forever be one of the highlights of my law school career.”

This article originally appeared in the Oakland Post
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#NNPA BlackPress

PRESS ROOM: Patrick Gaspard to Receive Prestigious NAACP Spingarn Medal

NNPA NEWSWIRE — BALTIMORE – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, has announced that Ambassador Patrick Gaspard will be awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal during the NAACP’s 110th Annual Convention taking place in Detroit, Michigan on July 24.

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“Ambassador Gaspard’s service within the Labor Movement as well as his tenure as a member of the Obama administration has always inured to the benefit of all Americans,” said Leon W. Russell, NAACP Chairman, National Board of Directors. “His service in the diplomatic corps as Ambassador to South Africa during a challenging period of that nation’s development was stellar.” (Photo: concordia.net)

BALTIMORE – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, has announced that Ambassador Patrick Gaspard will be awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal during the NAACP’s 110th Annual Convention taking place in Detroit, Michigan on July 24.

The award recognizes Gaspard’s lifelong commitment to equality and civil rights. Gaspard, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo,moved with his parents to the United States when he was three years old.He served as political director for President Barack Obama in the White Houseand as the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee, overseeing the party committee’s efforts to re-elect President Obama. In 2013, President Obama nominated Gaspard to the post of United States ambassador to South Africa. He worked to strengthen civil society and worked in partnership with the South African government to develop the country’s healthcare infrastructure and to support innovations in local governance. He also worked to connect South African entrepreneurs to United States markets; develop clean, renewable, and efficient energy technologies; and to end wildlife trafficking.

“Patrick Gaspard is a global champion for civil and human rights. Hiscontributions to campaigns to end police brutality, improve access to affordable health care, and increase dignity for working families is unparalleled,”said Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO.For over 100 years, we have honored leaders who have served as pillars in the fight for justice and this year’s selection of the Patrick Gaspard is no exception.”

“The NAACP has been a beacon and an inspiration to me my entire life; Its leaders blazed the trails we now walk, and helped make my career, and the careers of countless other organizers and activists, possible,” said Gaspard. “The previous recipients of this incredible honor are among my greatest heroes, who showed us what dedication and the courage of our convictions could achieve. To be in their company is beyond humbling. I am enormously grateful for this recognition, and will do all that I can to try, now and in the years to come, to live up to its promise.”

“Ambassador Gaspard’s service within the Labor Movement as well as his tenure as a member of the Obama administration has always inured to the benefit of all Americans,” said Leon W. Russell, NAACP Chairman, National Board of Directors. “His service in the diplomatic corps as Ambassador to South Africa during a challenging period of that nation’s development was stellar.”

The NAACP Spingarn award was established in 1914 by the late Joel E. Spingarn then Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. It was given annually until his death in 1939. The medal is awarded “for the highest or noblest achievement by a living African American during the preceding year or years.” A fund to continue the award was set up by his will, thus, the NAACP has continued to present this award. Previous recipients of this award include: Mrs. Daisy Bates (Little Rock Nine), Jesse L. Jackson, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Earl G. Graves Sr., Oprah Winfrey, Cecily Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and the Honorable Nathaniel Jones. Tickets to the Spingarn Dinner can be purchased on the NAACP Convention websitehere.

ABOUT NAACP 110TH CONVENTION:

Other highlights will include a Presidential Candidates Forum, a legislative session, a CEO Roundtable, LGBTQ workshop plus the highly anticipated NAACP Experience retail expo and diversity career fair. More information about the 110th Annual NAACP National Convention, including a detailed schedule of events may be found by visiting naacpconvention.org. Media interested in covering the event should apply for press credentials here.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six >“Game Changer” issue areashere.

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African American News & Issues

PRESS ROOM: Cy-Fair ISD Graduate Grabs NYC Dream at Carnegie Hall with Celebrities, $10,000 Art Scholarship

AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS & ISSUES — Within a whirlwind of 24 hours, Cy-Fair ISD graduate Taylor Powers met actors Tina Fey, Rose Byrn and designer Zac Posen. The young photographer was treated like a celebrity herself at Carnegie Hall as one of eight, $10,000 art portfolio recipients awarded by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards through the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artist & Writers.

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(l-r) Taylor Powers and Tina Fey (Photo by: Carol Vaughn HCDE Communications)

By African American News & Issues

CY-FAIR – Within a whirlwind of 24 hours, Cy-Fair ISD graduate Taylor Powers met actors Tina Fey, Rose Byrn and designer Zac Posen. The young photographer was treated like a celebrity herself at Carnegie Hall as one of eight, $10,000 art portfolio recipients awarded by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards through the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artist & Writers.

The Cypress Woods High School student traveled to New York this June with her family and photography teacher Tina Fox for the prestigious national awards ceremony. This year Scholastic recognized 800 teen Gold Medalists selected from more than 340,000 national entries from young artists and writers in grades 7-12. Locally, Taylor’s portfolio was chosen last winter by a panel of art professionals from Harris County Department of Education, regional affiliate of the Awards.

“New York City was like a fairytale to me,” said the 18-year-old. From visiting the Today Show and seeing the Jonas Brothers to getting lost on the subway and experiencing Times Square, the experience mimicked a movie, a dream come true, she said.

Backstage at Carnegie Hall, visiting celebrities greeted the top-award students. Tina Fey posed for a personal photo with Powers, and the Saturday Night Live star even complimented the teen on her dress.

“I was smiling so hard that I could barely get out the words “thank you’,” she said.

Photography teacher Fox has been an art teacher for almost 30 years and has been involved with HCDE’s regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for 27 years. Through the validation and recognition students gain from Scholastic, she sees student confidence rise. As Powers began working on her senior photography portfolio this year, her teacher knew it was unique and powerful as she created the body of images.

“This is the first time I’ve had a student receive this type of award,” she said. “I know this award has opened opportunities for her that she otherwise might not have had.”

HCDE Scholastic Art & Writing Coordinator Andrea Segraves sees the power of expression that Scholastic Art & Writing Awards lends to young student artists and writers as they gain notoriety for their artistic talents.

“The Awards have identified and honored so many talented writers and artists over the years like Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Lena Dunham and Ken Burns,” said Segraves. “To join in those ranks is such an empowerment for these teens.”

Powers’ future career plans include attending community college until she hears back from the esteemed Savannah College of Art and Design, her dream college.

“I hope to be able to commission art pieces for clients one day and do photo shoots for anybody seeking a photographer with a keen eye,” she said.

She is quick to credit her teacher for encouraging and pushing her artistic endeavors while thanking Mom Letitia for influencing her creativity and buying the digital camera to help her forge her artistic pathway.

(For information about entering, judging or sponsoring the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards through Regional Affiliate Harris County Department of Education, go to https://hcde-texas.org/scholastic-awards/ or email asegraves@hcde-texas.org.)

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax of approximately $9 per homeowner. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.86 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. We operate four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated or recovering youth who require a low, student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. We are governed by an elected board of seven trustees and have 1,100 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at www.hcde-texas.org.

This article originally appeared in the African American News & Issues.

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PRESS ROOM: DCCC Announces “Cycle of Engagement” – an Aggressive and Sustained Effort to Connect with People of Color and Young Voters

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress.

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Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

Building on the Success of 2018, Cycle of Engagement is the House Democrats’ Strategy to Earn Every Vote and Take Nothing for Granted from these key constituencies

Today, 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 with targeted digital ads holding Republicans accountable.

In a recognition of the importance of this work, Chairwoman Bustos also announced that DCCC veteran, Tayhlor Coleman, will lead this effort as the DCCC’s first ever Director of the Cycle of Engagement.

“Four years ago, I launched a candidate boot camp that focused primarily on electing women, people of color and younger Americans because our strength as Democrats has always come from our diversity,” said DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos. “We can’t take anything for granted in 2020; we need to work to earn every vote one conversation at a time. That’s why one of my first decisions as DCCC Chair was to put boots on the ground in dozens of communities across America.

“We know that having the support of people of color and young Americans is more important than ever. We are launching Cycle of Engagement to make sure their voices are both listened to and reflected in our strategy to fortify and expand the most diverse House Majority in our nation’s history.

“I want to thank Tayhlor Coleman for taking on this tremendous challenge at this critical moment in our nation’s history. I can think of no one more prepared to lead this effort than her.”

What is Cycle of Engagement?

Cycle of Engagement is the DCCC’s multi-year strategy to make sure we earn the support of two of our key constituencies — people of color and younger Americans — early and turn them out to vote for Democrats for Congress. With the stakes this high in 2020, we know we can’t take anything for granted, that’s why we’ve launched our Cycle of Engagement in the off-year.

  • Boots on the ground:In March, the DCCC launched its first Cycle of Engagement program, March Forward – our first major field initiative that has placed nearly 60 grassroots organizers in targeted communities across America. Our March Forward Field Managers are building on and expanding the conversation Democrats had with these vital communities in 2018 through early voter registration drives, Republican accountability projects, digital outreach and traditional grassroots organizing.
  • Research and Data: We will be making significant early Cycle of Engagementinvestments in polling, focus groups and other research projects to make sure the work of the Democratic Party is responsive to the hopes, dreams and concerns of communities of color and younger Americans.
  • Paid Media aimed at People of Color and Younger Americans:We will invest in extensive targeted paid media, including digital, radio, mail, texting and mobile outreach programs that are in development at the DCCC. The Cycle of Engagement’s digital program is already in full swing with the launch of multiple Spanish language ads holding vulnerable Republican Reps. Scott Tipton and Will Hurd accountable.
  • Utilizing the talent of Minority Staff and Vendors to lead the Cycle of Engagement: In a recognition of the importance of this work, Tayhlor Coleman, a veteran of the DCCC and Texas native, will serve as the DCCC’s first ever Director of the Cycle of Engagement. To ensure that the messenger matches the message, our work will be created primarily by political consultants of color.
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