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Ford Motor Company and Tom Joyner Foundation Announce Finalists for National Ford Freedom Unsung Award

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DEARBORN, Mich., Mar. 3, 2016 – Ford Motor Company and Tom Joyner Foundation announced today the finalists for the Ford Freedom Unsung award, a national campaign honoring the outstanding achievements of ordinary people performing extraordinary work in the African American community.

The public now has the opportunity to vote for one lucky grand prize winner. Read about each unsung hero’s noteworthy accomplishments and vote for your favorite at http://fantasticvoyage.blackamericaweb.com/ford-freedom-unsung/.

2016 Ford Freedom Unsung Hero Finalists
• Charles Belk, Los Angeles, CA
• Stephanie Bureau, Baton Rouge, LA
• Candace Devaney, Lawrenceville, GA
• Rosalind Evers, Conyers, GA
• Keesha Ferebee, Chesapeake, VA
• Felecia Frazier, Desoto, TX
• Sylvester Lee, Belleville, IL
• Ray Palmer, Kenner, LA
• Nikita Rose, Lakewood, CA
• James Washington, Montgomery, AL

The winner will be announced on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS), and will receive a trip for two aboard the 2016 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage. Voters must reside in the United States and be 21 years of age or older.

Stay tuned to TJMS for details and deadlines. Follow the online conversation using #FordFreedomUnsung, #BlackAmericaWeb and #FantasticVoyage16.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

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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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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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