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Archive for May 7th, 2014

Kirk, Klobuchar to Obama: Immediate Action Needed to Help Find Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

On April 14th, armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls during a raid at an all-girls school in the northeast village of Chibok, Nigeria; reports indicate that the girls are being sold as wives for $12 each in a massive, brazen act of human trafficking

In a bipartisan letter to President Obama, Kirk and Klobuchar called on the Administration to immediately provide intelligence support to help locate and recover the kidnapped girls and to bolster anti-trafficking assistance in the region

Kirk and Klobuchar have been leaders in the effort to fight human trafficking and have introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on sex trafficking and ensure that victims of these horrific crimes receive the support they need

WASHINGTON. DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called on President Obama to take immediate action to help find more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian girls. On April 14th, armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 276 girls during a raid at an all-girls school in the northeast village of Chibok, Nigeria. Reports indicate that the girls are being sold as wives for $12 each in a massive, brazen act of human trafficking. In a bipartisan letter to President Obama, Klobuchar and Kirk called on the Administration to immediately provide intelligence support to help locate and recover the kidnapped girls and to bolster anti-trafficking assistance in the region. They also urged the Administration to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the attack and to bolster the capacity of Nigeria and neighboring states to combat human trafficking and protect children. Klobuchar and Kirk have been leaders in the effort to fight human trafficking and have introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on sex trafficking and ensure that victims of these horrific crimes receive the support they need.

“More than three weeks have passed since the abduction, but little progress has been made towards freeing the girls. There are reports that the girls are being forced into marriages with their captors and the leader of Boko Haram has openly threatened to sell them,” the Senators said. “This outrage demands a significant worldwide response to help rescue the abducted girls, combat Boko Haram in Africa, and stand against the broader threat of modern-day slavery.”

On April 14, Boko Haram abducted 276 girls ages 15-18 from their school in Chibok, Nigeria. According to witnesses, members of Boko Haram abducted the girls from their school dormitories and forced them into trucks that drove toward the forest near the Cameroon border. Yesterday, Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in a video that the organization was responsible for kidnapping the girls and that they would sell them. Today, news reports indicated that Boko Haram was responsible for the kidnapping of 8 additional Nigerian girls overnight near a stronghold in northeast Nigeria. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful,” has a history of systematically targeting schools and kidnapping and killing children.

Kirk and Klobuchar have worked together to fight sex trafficking both in the U.S. and around the world. Klobuchar recently introduced bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Kirk that would give prosecutors tools to crack down on domestic minor sex trafficking and ensure victims of these horrific crimes receive the support they need. The Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act is modeled after Minnesota’s “Safe Harbor” laws that help ensure minors sold for sex aren’t prosecuted as criminals but are instead treated as victims. The bill also allows victims of sex trafficking to participate in the Job Corps program to help them get back on their feet, and would create a National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking to encourage cooperation among all the federal, state, and local agencies that work on this problem. A full summary of the legislation can be found here.

In addition to the Kirk-Klobuchar bill, Senator Kirk also has partnered with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) on The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which would give law enforcement officials the tools they need to prosecute each person involved in underage sex trafficking. This legislation would allow for law enforcement to hold those involved in human trafficking personally accountable for their crimes.

The full text of the Senators’ letter is below:

Dear President Obama,

We write to express our concern over the abduction and ongoing captivity of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. More than three weeks have passed since the abduction, but little progress has been made towards freeing the girls. There are reports that the girls are being forced into marriages with their captors and the leader of Boko Haram has openly threatened to sell them.

This outrage demands a significant worldwide response to help rescue the abducted girls, combat Boko Haram in Africa, and stand against the broader threat of modern-day slavery. We believe the United States should help lead that international effort and hope you will consider three actions to help marshal a global response to this heinous crime.

First, the United States should seek a resolution from the United Nations Security Council condemning this attack and calling on member countries to extend all appropriate assistance to Nigeria and neighboring countries to help locate the victims of Boko Haram’s abductions and bring them home.

Second, the United States should act as quickly as possible to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support to contribute to the search for the missing girls. American support with aerial and satellite surveillance, similar to what your administration has provided to assist the hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa, could make a significant difference in their ability to liberate the captives. We appreciate that your Administration is offering to share relevant intelligence with the Nigerian government and hope you will ensure that U.S. agencies deepen their cooperation with their Nigerian counterparts during this crisis and in the future to help prevent Boko Haram from carrying out future attacks.

Finally, the United States should strengthen the capabilities of local authorities in Nigeria and other countries in the region to protect children, particularly girls, and combat human trafficking. Training local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to recognize trafficking when they see it is critically important to apprehending traffickers and recovering the victims. Yet the United States’ current security sector assistance programs in the region remain weighted towards the region’s armed forces rather than building the capacity of civilian law enforcement to protect citizens where they live. The Department of State, Department of Justice, and U.S. Agency for International Development should help design and implement robust programs to help bolster anti-trafficking efforts in these countries.

We have both led efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly against women and girls. We have introduced bipartisan anti-trafficking legislation focused on supporting victims and cracking down on perpetrators and enablers in the United States, but we are also working to ensure this problem is addressed on an international level as well. The current crisis in Nigeria represents another key moment in this struggle, and we look forward to working with you to support regional and international efforts to rescue these abducted schoolgirls and hold their captors accountable.

Sincerely,

ReMARCs: Bold Leadership Amidst Blatant Bigotry

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 1 COMMENT
Opening ReMARCs

By Marc H. Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

Last week served as a national wake-up call to the shameful malignance of bigotry that still persists in America.  Yet, it also was an encouraging reminder of the positive impact of collective action and bold leadership.

On Monday, April 28, 2014 the National Urban League issued a statement calling for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to take swift and strong disciplinary action against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his horrid and indefensible remarks –  including placing a lifetime ban from the NBA on Sterling.  On Tuesday, we stood united with the National Action Network, NAACP and National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable to applaud the commissioner’s strong and uncompromising stance in indeed banning Sterling from the league for life.  By acting in such a bold, courageous and resolute manner, Commissioner Silver sent an unambiguous message that the views expressed by Sterling do not represent  the National Basketball Association as an organization today or the kind of organization that it seeks to be in the future.

Unfortunately, over a period of less than 10 days, there was an onslaught of events that came to light and reminded us, yet again, that racial hatred and intolerance are alive in America – from Sterling; to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s despicable comments that he has “often wondered, are they (Blacks) better off as slaves, picking cotton…”; to a racist bulletin board in a Long Island, NY town facility with a picture of a monkey beside a picture of an African American employee with the words “Jimmy’s baby picture”; to a voicemail allegedly from a Belleville, NJ city councilwoman and mayoral candidate stating that she didn’t want her town to become “a f*****g n****r town!”

Racism is now, as it has always been, an ugly blemish on our nation.  But when we demonstrate, as we did last week, a collective outrage and intolerance towards bigotry, we show those who propagate divisiveness and racial inferiority – as well as ourselves – that America is better than we’ve ever truly given it the opportunity to be.

To Be Equal
“Race matters…because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process…because of persistent racial inequality in society — inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.”  Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States
To Be Equal #17

Sotomayor’s Supreme Dissent: A Voice of Reason among Reckless Rhetoric

“Race matters…because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process…because of persistent racial inequality in society — inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States

Last week, in a disturbingly lopsided 6-2 vote, the United States Supreme Court once again became a willing accomplice in the recent onslaught of attacks on 50 years of civil rights progress.  On the heels of last year’s decision by the Court to dismantle the Voting Rights Act of 1965, on April 22, the Court ruled that Michigan voters had the right to ban race, i.e. affirmative action, as a factor in college admissions.  The Court’s decision undermines a landmark 2003 ruling that affirmed the use of race-sensitive admissions policies at the University of Michigan Law School because of a compelling interest in fostering diversity in higher education.

In 2006, opponents of that ruling successfully campaigned and passed Proposal 2, a state constitutional amendment that gave voters the right to supersede elected University Trustees and the right to ban the consideration of race as one of many factors in admissions.  It is important to note that only race was singled out for the ban.  Other factors, such as alumni status, athletics and geography remain in place.  A federal appeals court subsequently ruled Prop 2 unconstitutional as it violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The case made its way to the Supreme Court, and in last week’s egregious decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the 2006 amendment was allowed to stand.

Justice Anthony Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Breyer in concurring in the judgment.  Having worked on the case when she was Solicitor General, Justice Kagan recused herself.  The two dissenting votes were cast by Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor, the Court’s most reliable civil rights defenders.  Justice Sotomayor’s written dissent is an exceptionally scholarly, eloquent and impassioned argument in defense of affirmative action.  She methodically eviscerates the majority’s legal justification for its decision, citing several previous cases where the Court overturned attempts to change rules midstream in ways that were detrimental to minority voters.  She also reminds the Court of its obligation to right historical wrongs and to expand educational opportunities for those who have traditionally been locked out.

Her dissent is based primarily on the Court’s untenable allowance of a change of rules that nullify the authority of elected University governing boards and now permit a majority of voters to end affirmative action in higher education – a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause.  Justice Sotomayor writes, “… a majority may not reconfigure the existing political process in a manner that creates a two-tiered system of political change, subjecting laws designed to protect or benefit discrete and insular minorities to a more burdensome political process than all other laws.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Breyer in concurring in the judgment.  Having worked on the case when she was Solicitor General, Justice Kagan recused herself.  The two dissenting votes were cast by Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor, the Court’s most reliable civil rights defenders.  Justice Sotomayor’s written dissent is an exceptionally scholarly, eloquent and impassioned argument in defense of affirmative action.  She methodically eviscerates the majority’s legal justification for its decision, citing several previous cases where the Court overturned attempts to change rules midstream in ways that were detrimental to minority voters.  She also reminds the Court of its obligation to right historical wrongs and to expand educational opportunities for those who have traditionally been locked out.

Her dissent is based primarily on the Court’s untenable allowance of a change of rules that nullify the authority of elected University governing boards and now permit a majority of voters to end affirmative action in higher education – a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause.  Justice Sotomayor writes, “… a majority may not reconfigure the existing political process in a manner that creates a two-tiered system of political change, subjecting laws designed to protect or benefit discrete and insular minorities to a more burdensome political process than all other laws.”

Mindful of Michigan’s shameful history of segregation in higher education and of a significant decline in minority enrollment and graduations since Prop 2 took effect, Sotomayor concludes,  “The effect of [the Court’s ruling] is that a white graduate of a public Michigan university who wishes to pass his historical privilege on to his children may freely lobby the board of that university in favor of an expanded legacy admissions policy, whereas a black Michigander who was denied the opportunity to attend that very university cannot lobby the board in favor of a policy that might give his children a chance that he never had and that they might never have absent that policy.”

We may have lost this battle for affirmative action, but as long as there are voices as clear and strong as Sonia Sotomayor’s on the Supreme Court, we are confident that in the end, equal opportunity, equal protection and equal justice will prevail.

Nonetheless, six other justices clearly demonstrated that our fight for civil rights is still not over – even in 21st century America.  It is an unfortunate commentary on the direction of our nation when the highest court of our land determines that it is acceptable to consider factors that have seldom – if ever – been used as a basis for discrimination, such as legacy, athletics and geography in admissions, but not race.  As Justice Sotomayor reminded her colleagues, “As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.”

Community challenges University of Chicago’s Bid for Obama Library: Residents say ‘no trauma center, no library’

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Community residents will host a Town Hall Meeting about the University of Chicago’s bid for the Obama Library on Thursday, May 8th at 6pm at the University Church, 5655 S. University Ave. Community organizations from the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Chicago are holding the Town Hall to draw attention to the University of Chicago’s history of racial exclusion, including the lack of a trauma center, and to question whether the University should host the Library.

Victoria Crider, a high school senior, who goes to school just seven blocks from President Obama’s house, says “the University of Chicago has long neglected the needs of black and brown communities on the South Side, including denying access to life saving trauma care, so why should they get the honor and prestige that comes with the Obama Library?”

Ms. Crider notes that “President Obama has tried to stop gun violence and create opportunities for young black men, meanwhile the University of Chicago sits in the center of a gun violence epidemic on the South Side and has shown that it does not value black life, by refusing to open a trauma center and save the lives of the young black men dying at their door.”

South side residents have been protesting the University of Chicago and demanding they open an adult trauma center for nearly four years. Last year the Dean of the University of Chicago Medical Center, Kenneth Polonsky, publicly agreed to collaborate with other hospitals to open a South Side trauma center, However, there has been no follow-up on that promise. Adult level 1 trauma centers are the only facilities certified to treat injuries resulting from severe gunshot wounds or car accidents. The South Side of Chicago, where these injuries are common, does not have an adult trauma center.

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Damian Turner, a youth activist, who was shot in a drive by shooting in 2010 two blocks from the University of Chicago Hospital and driven over 10 miles away to the nearest trauma center where he passed away. The call for trauma care is also supported by new research by Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern Hospital on “Trauma Deserts” which shows that longer travel times to a trauma center increase your likelihood of dying.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Timuel Black, Professor Virginia Parks (School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago) and activists from the trauma care coalition and coalition for community benefits. The Town Hall is being organized by the Trauma Center Coalition, which includes of Fearless Leading by the Youth, Students for Health Equity and the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.

WHO: Community organizations neighboring the University of Chicago

WHAT: Town Hall Meeting on Obama Library

WHERE / WHEN: Thurs. May 8th @ 6pm at 5655 S. University Ave.

VISUAL: Town Hall meeting under banner that reads:

Obama Cares, University of Chicago Doesn’t

No Trauma Center, No Library

President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 1 COMMENT

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 13, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Kyle J. White, a former active duty Army Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Sergeant White will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a Platoon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on November 9, 2007.

Sergeant White will be the seventh living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Former Sergeant Kyle J. White separated from the Army on July 8, 2011.  He currently lives in Charlotte, NC, where he works as an Investment Analyst.

Sergeant White enlisted in the Army in February 2006 as an Infantryman.   After completion of training at Ft Benning, he was assigned to Vicenza, Italy, with 2nd Battalion (Airborne) 503rd Infantry “The Rock” as a grenadier and rifleman which included a combat tour to Afghanistan from May 2007 until August 2008.  Following Italy, Kyle was assigned as an opposing forces Sergeant with the Ranger Training Battalion at Ft Benning.

Sergeant White deployed in support of the War on Terror with one tour to Afghanistan.

At the time of the November 9, 2007 combat engagement, then-Specialist White was a Platoon Radio Telephone Operator assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade.  His heroic actions were performed during a dismounted movement in mountainous terrain in Aranas, Afghanistan.

White’s awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster and “V” device, the Army Achievement Medal with one  oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon  with numeral “2” device, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Parachutists Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Valorous Unit Award.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

THE MEDAL OF HONOR:

The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:

  • engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
  • engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

Fighting for Their Families

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
By Benjamin Todd Jealous

“I am fighting for my father. He is undocumented. I am fighting for all of the children who don’t have their mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters.”

That was the speech I heard last Wednesday from Yahir Servin, an 11-year-old who participated in a civil disobedience on Capitol Hill with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. Yahir was one of seven kids between the ages of 11 and 17 who joined 20 adults in a jail cell all afternoon to draw attention to the need for immigration reform. As rain poured down, the protestors sat resolutely in the middle of the street outside Capitol Hill while police handcuffed them one by one.

A few blocks away, the U.S. House of Representatives was in session but immigration reform was not on the agenda. Even though every day of inaction means that more immigrants are evicted and more families broken up, the House has still not taken up the comprehensive reform bill that passed in the Senate, or offered an alternative of its own. Meanwhile, although President Obama has been an outspoken supporter of reform, deportations have risen significantly over the course of his presidency.

Immediately before the protest, a 16-year-old named Talia Gonzalez told a heartbreaking story about her family’s situation. Her father had returned to Mexico in order to get the necessary documentation to become a citizen. The U.S. officials at the Mexican border told him that he could not return. For the past four years, Talia and her father have only seen each other a handful of times, a mountain of paperwork separating father and daughter.

She is not alone. According to a 2012 report by the Center for American Progress, one out of three U.S. citizen children of immigrants live in mixed-status families, and tens of thousands of parents are deported each year. This has a devastating impact on families, forcing children into foster care or leaving single mothers who struggle to make ends meet.

I stood with the protesters on Wednesday because I believe that immigrants of all colors deserve to be treated with dignity and fairness. This has been a priority for the civil rights community for a very long time. It was a priority for Frederick Douglass when he opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act in the years after the Civil War, arguing in effect that he did not intend to watch the government brutally exploit workers in the Southwest just after ending slavery in the Southeast. It was a priority for civil rights leaders in the 1960’s, who, immediately after passing the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act, pushed through what historian Taylor Branch has called through the “third pillar” of the civil rights revolution – ending the racist Europe-only preference for immigrants in this country.

As Douglass, Ella Baker and Roy Wilkins understood, our communities are strongest when we are willing to stand up for our neighbors’ families with the same passion that we fight for our own.

There is reason for optimism. A number of Republican lawmakers have spoken out recently, urging their colleagues to take a vote on immigration reform. The pressure on these intransigent legislators will only increase as more people, young and old, stand up to make their voices heard on the issue.

By going to jail for their cause, Yahir and the other young protestors took a page from the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963. We all know the iconic images of children locking hands, marching in step and singing “We Shall Overcome” as Bull Connor’s deputies blasted them with fire hoses. Fewer may remember that some of the children’s parents had second thoughts about letting their little ones out in the charged Birmingham streets.

In a speech that week, Dr. King was able to put the situation in perspective, in words that called to mind the actions of Yahir, Talia and the other young activists half a century later.

“Don’t worry about your children,” he said, “They are going to be alright. Don’t hold them back if they want to go to jail, for they are not only doing a job for themselves, but for all of America and for all of mankind.”

Jealous is the former President and CEO of the NAACP. He is currently a Partner at Kapor Capital and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

College Kids Need to Change Unhealthy Ways

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Today’s college students are increasing the risk of cancer later on, especially racial minorities


CHICAGO, IL – Parents, forget the comfort food! It’s time to send your college students care packages of fruit, veggies and exercise gear instead.

A new study from Northwestern Medicine® and Northeastern Illinois University found that the majority of college students are engaging in unhealthy behaviors that could increase their risk of cancer later on. Racial minority students could be at an even greater risk, especially African Americans and Native Americans.

A shocking 95 percent of college students fail to eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables (five or more servings a day), and more than 60 percent report not getting enough physical activity (three or more days of vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes or five or more days of moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a week).

“Changing unhealthy behaviors in college students now could be a way to reduce the risk of cancer as well as other diseases later in life,” said Brian Hitsman, principal investigator of the study.

Hitsman is an assistant professor in preventive medicine-behavioral medicine and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Published online May 5 in the journal Preventive Medicine, the study is the first to evaluate cancer risk behaviors and conditions in college students and how they vary by race and ethnicity. Data for the study comes from the fall 2010 wave of the National College Health Assessment, a self-reported survey of a diverse group of more than 30,000 college students in the United States.

The majority of all college students surveyed reported low fruit and vegetable consumption and low physical activity. Other unhealthy behaviors or conditions — alcohol binge drinking, tobacco use and obesity/being overweight — appear to cluster differently among college students depending on their race, the scientists found.

For example, tobacco use and alcohol binge drinking seem to go hand in hand for all subgroups except black students. For black students, tobacco use co-occurred with being overweight/obese.

“Tobacco use and obesity are two health issues that have been vying in the last five years for first place as the major health problem in the United States,” said Joseph Kang, lead author of the study and assistant professor in preventive medicine-biostatistics at Feinberg. “It’s frightening that those behaviors seem to co-occur in black students.”

Native Americans were the only racial group in which there were students who engaged in all five unhealthy behaviors/conditions (alcohol binge drinking, tobacco use, insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, low physical activity and obesity/being overweight). The finding was surprising and even more frightening than the profile for tobacco use and obesity in black students, Kang said.

Understanding cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity is critical given that the number of new cases is projected to increase by 45 percent by 2030 and surpass heart disease as the leading causes of death in the United States. (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2014. The state of cancer care in America, 2014: a report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. J. Oncol. Pract. 10, 119–142.). If left unaddressed in college students, there is potential for cancer rates to escalate even higher.

“There are major cancer disparities both in terms of risk, morbidity and mortality with racial and ethnic minorities in the United States,” Hitsman said. “In this study, we see some of these behavioral risk factors already starting in young adulthood. Future research should monitor the persistence of cancer risk behavior clustering by race and ethnicity.”

Other key results from the study broken down by race/ethnicity:

  • White students reported the highest prevalence of binge drinking (37.5 percent).
  • Asian students reported the highest rate of physical inactivity (74.6 percent).
  • Black students had the highest prevalence of insufficient fruit/vegetable intake (98.1 percent) but the lowest rates of tobacco use (13.6 percent) and binge drinking (17.1 percent).
  • Native American students had the highest rate of being overweight/obesity (51.4 percent).
  • Students who choose not to report their race/ethnicity (2.4 percent of the sample) reported the highest rate of tobacco use (27.9 percent).

This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (P20CA165592, P20CA165588) of the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, the Northwestern University Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Director’s Fund and the Bonnie Hunt Research Gift.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

What 60 Days in Jail Taught This Doctor and Community Leader

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Power of Awareness – Doctor and Community Leader Provides a Holistic Formula to Finding Inner Peace (What 60 Days in Jail Taught Him that His Ph.D. Didn’t)

Dr. Curtis D. Jasper

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Dr. Curtis D. Jasper, affectionately known as Dr. Curt, announces the launch of the I AM Project. The I AM Project is part of the newly founded I AM International Non-profit organization established to teach individuals how to validate their lives, their spiritual development and to achieve personal mastery. The I AM Project will make its mark in the field of counseling and self-awareness by encouraging individuals to commit to self actualization, transformation and total release of emotional, mental, and spiritual freedom.

“When it comes to self-awareness and true happiness, many are confused because of the several paths to self freedom there claims to be and the many services that can lead them there”, says Dr Curt. With his many years as a life coach, educator, and motivational speaker, he has helped individuals find their unique paths. What’s more is the I AM Project and its services are available locally, nationally, and globally via Skype, teleconferencing, small group, couples, email and text.

Choosing a counselor that both suits the needs of the individual and provides effective tools for the well being and progression of the whole body is difficult. The I AM Project takes it clients through a thorough process of self evaluation, tailored on a case by case basis to connect to the hopes, challenges, and needs of those who are ready to grow by gaining strength and clarity of mind, body and spirit. With the lessening stigma that counseling is for the “impaired” and the rising number of individuals who realize that their current situation of mild to severe distress is caused by deep seated, on-going internal issues and need assistance tapping into their spiritual understanding and strength, it has become imperative for individuals to seek counseling.

The I Am Project will assist individuals in overcoming challenges and guide them through a cleansing process, so they can shed the layers of darkness in order to live in the light. With over twenty years experience, many have already benefited from Dr. Curt’s expertise. The development will enable individuals who previously found counseling prohibitively expensive and challenging to avail themselves of these services. It will also help those who found that counseling only put a bandage over the wound. The client will complete their program with a full understanding of themselves from the past to the present and how to use these experiences to live the greatest and most peaceful life due to them. There will be no more questioning, Where AM I? Who AM I? What AM I? They will leave with an understanding of I AM!

He is now expanding his presence with the I AM Project, enabling him to service a multitude of individuals in several areas of self awareness. As part of his life journey, Dr. Curt was incarcerated for sixty days. During this time he practiced a daily ritual of journaling, questioning, exercising, meditating, breathing and sharing. He shared his experiences and ritual with other inmates and developed small groups teaching spiritual development. He will continue to reach out to his fellow “brothers” who are still incarcerated, newly released and individuals with felonies, which continue to present everyday challenges. Dr. Curt has overcome death, depression, debt, divorce and devastation within his own life and is eager to share his experiences with all others.


About Dr. Curtis D. Jasper
Dr. Curtis D. Jasper, founder of the I AM Project is a skilled professional who is dedicated to providing high-quality services to human beings, communities, families, learning institutions, and the world at large. Dr. Curt is a former teacher, educational consultant, and Principal. He is a serial entrepreneur with 12 years experience in life coaching and consulting, real estate and small business ownership. He still serves as a Real Estate Investor and Consultant. More importantly, Dr. Curt has studied Metaphysics, Metaphysical Science and Spiritual Laws for the last 15 years and credits his own life experiences as being his greatest teacher. Dr. Curt has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Masters of Arts in Education and a Ph.D. in Counseling specializing in Metaphysical Counseling. He is also an Ordained Minister, an author, a speaker, and activist. “My work is my life! My work is my play! My work is my service and gift to human kind!” says Dr. Curt.

Be Simple: Be Here, Be Now!

Dr. Curtis D. Jasper has been noted as a nationally recognized educator and an educational consultant and trainer. He is a former classroom teacher and principal. He has been featured in the Douglas County Sentinel News (Douglas County, Georgia) as a Life Coach; The South Fulton County Neighbor News (Fulton County, Georgia) as a Top School Administrator; BlackNews.com as an Entrepreneur helping local families in housing; The Bella Online Magazine as a Featured Life Coach Interview and on various regional radio stations. Dr. Curt’s first book will be out Fall 2014.

For more information, please visit:
Website: www.drcurtisdjasper.com
Instagram: @drcurtisdjasper
Pinterest: Dr Curtis
Twitter: @drcurtisdjasper
Facebook: Dr. Curtis D. Jasper-The I Am Project

North Carolina Public Television Discussed the Film “Racial Taboo” on Popular Black Issues Forum

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A Diverse Roundtable Explores the Film’s Goal of Encouraging Conversations about Race Between Black and White People

Racial Taboo Film

Wilmington, NC (BlackNews.com) – Wave Communications Films is pleased to announce that their film Racial Taboo was featured on UNC-TV’s Black Issues Forum, hosted by Deborah Holt Noel. During the show, a self-identified conservative Republican asks himself why he finds it so uncomfortable to talk about race. He sets out to answer the question in his film Racial Taboo, and shares his journey of discovery.

Guests on the show include Brian Grimm, the film’s director; Rev. Terence Williams, president of Scotland County NAACP and founder of The Word International Fellowship Ministries, located in Laurinburg, N.C.; and Rev. Eric Porterfied, senior pastor at Winter Park Baptist Church in Wilmington, N.C. This show will also be available online after the air date at: http://video.unctv.org/video/2365238029/.

So why does the subject of “race” continue to be a taboo subject in much of America? A recent Reuters poll on race may offer a clue (http://reut.rs/1gVBzu7). This study indicated that 40% of white people in America do not have a friend (often not even an acquaintance) of different color. According to the film’s director, Brian Grimm, “We just don’t know each other, but we are trying to change that in an innovative way using film, and we see it working.”

“The film’s true power is realized when it is watched by black and white people together and then audience members talk about it,” continued Grimm. In fifty-three minutes the film Racial Taboo takes an honest, yet entertaining, look at America’s racial history and why that legacy continues to affect us today.

Here’s what people are saying:
http://bit.ly/MVpkV3

Additional information is available at:
www.RacialTaboo.com

Black Issues Forum is an original weekly half-hour series airing on North Carolina’s statewide PBS network UNC-TV since 1987. Each week a topic of interest to the state’s African American community is considered.

Damon “Kool Rock” Wimbley of the Fat Boys and Sean XLG Mitchell Release New Book/Million Dollar Rap Challenge

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


Photo Caption: Damon “Kool Rock” Wimbley of the Fat Boys

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) The Million Dollar Hip Hop Challenge: A Battle for Rhyme Supremacy is the new book by Damon “Kool Rock” Wimbley of the legendary Fat Boys and Sean XLG Mitchell. The challenge is in response to the overwhelming number of lists of the greatest rappers. Over the years everyone has weighed in on the topic from MTV to VH1, along with thousands of fans. Amazingly, there is no general consensus as to who is number one although a number of artists have been mentioned from Eminem and Jay Z to Tupac and Biggie. The million dollar challenge goes beyond a list and proposes an actual skills competition to determine the greatest rapper of all time.

The competition is designed to measure everything from lyricism and songwriting to battle skills, vocabulary and live performances. Kool Rock and Sean XLG invites all the top rap acts over the last 20 plus years to participate in the competition from Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem and Rick Ross to DMX, Nas, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane.

Kool Rock explains “the majority of the lists we’ve seen of the so-called greatest are bogus and only a few warrant any legitimate respect. For the most part, if you weren’t into hip hop from the beginning you will absolutely not understand how to compile a real list. Mele Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz created the foundation of what we know as the MC so if you don’t know their impact on the game you really don’t know the game at all.”

The book delves into several categories of emceeing and details the critical aspects of skills and how they should be measured. Using a combined 70 years of experience in hip hop, Kool Rock and Sean XLG’s book The Million Dollar Hip Hop Challenge creates the blue print of a skills competition between artists with one million dollars on the line and winner takes all.


About The Authors:
Damon “Kool Rock” Wimbley is a member of the multiplatinum rap group the Fat Boys, the first rap act featured in a major motion film “Disorderlies” and co-headliners of the first major hip hop tour, the Fresh Fest. Sean XLG is the first rapper to win a national music competition, creator of Adult Contemporary Rap and author of Hip Hop Hooray: Celebrating 30 Years of Rap Music. The Million Dollar Hip Hop Challenge: A Battle for Rhyme Supremacy is available on Amazon.com ISBN-13:978-1499182651

Fifth Third Bank Celebrates National Garden Day by Gifting Three Community Gardens

Posted by Admin On May - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Sustainable Vegetable Gardens to Help Inspire Healthier Choices in Food Desert Areas

CHICAGO, IL – On National Garden Day (May 9), Fifth Third Bank (Chicago) will announce plans to provide community gardens to three community organizations in some of the area’s largest food desert locations, including New Beginnings Church in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, the North Township Trustee Office in Hammond, Indiana and Northwest Community Center in Rockford, Illinois. The bank has engaged a garden expert to oversee the entire project and will provide all the plants, soil, supplies and hands-on training.

A press conference will be held Friday, May 9 at 10:30 a.m. (CST) @ Fifth Third Center (222 S. Riverside Plaza, located above Union Station at Adams & Canal, Chicago). Here, bank officials will officially present the gardens to the three community groups. At this time, each group will be presented with a large container garden to represent the larger gardens that will be built on the organization’s land. In advance, Bank employees and garden expert, Jessica Lyn Simic, will give out free seed pods and offer garden advice between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The community gardens will complement the bank’s annual food relief efforts throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. This year, Fifth Third will donate 200,000 meals to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. However, according to Robert A. Sullivan, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (Chicago), it wanted to do more.

“We hope these gardens will inspire healthier food choices and help build unity in communities where nutritious food options have been limited and that these gardens are the first of many in the community for years to come,” Sullivan said.

According to the National Gardening Association, 35 percent of all households in America are growing food at home or in a community garden. Furthermore, since 2008, there has been a 29 percent increase in food gardening by people living in urban areas and two million more households also reported participating in community gardening, representing a 200 percent increase.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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