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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Up All Night for Justice" to be held in Atlanta

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Diverse Coalition of Organizations Hold "Up All Night for Justice" 24 Hour Peaceful Demonstration Calling for Indictment of Former Officer
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - Atlanta, Ga.- On today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016, at 7:30p.m., community and legal organizations will be launching the peaceful demonstration "Up All Night for Justice: 24 hours of Unity, Education, and Protest for Legal & Social Justice" at the Fulton County Courthouse located at 185 Central Avenue, Atlanta, Ga. Community. The organizations will be demanding the indictment of former Atlanta Police Department officer James Burns for the killing of DeRavis "Caine" Rogers and to remember other families who have lost loved ones during police encounters in Georgia. DeRavis "Caine" Rogers was shot in the head on June 22nd by Officer Burns while he was driving away. Burns was fired and later arrested for murder after an internal affairs investigation concluded there was no evidence Caine Rogers had done anything wrong, except possibly parallel parking in the wrong direction. A Fulton County Grand Jury will convene on August 31st at 9:00 a.m. to determine whether to indict Burns for Caine's murder. 

The 24 hour community gathering will begin Tuesday, August 30th at 7:30 p.m. and conclude Wednesday, August 31st at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Courthouse, 185 Central Avenue Atlanta. Organizers will feed the homeless while rallying with organizations.

Families affected by police violence will be speaking. Demonstration and rally attendees will participate in the "Morning March for Justice" which will occur around the courthouse in the morning before the Grand Jury convenes.

Educational and cultural presentations will be conducted throughout the peaceful demonstration INCLUDING A Midnight Concert for Justice featuring Mausiki Scales and the Common Ground Collective, DJ Kemit and The Ear Dr. The organizers are encouraging the community to come and fellowship.

"Up All Night for Justice: 24 hours of Unity, Education, and Protest for Legal & Social Justice" Activity Schedule
4:00 pm- 7:00pm: WAOK 1380 Derrick Boazman "Too Much Truth" Broadcast Live from Fulton County Courthouse, 185 Central Ave., Atlanta, Ga.
7:30 pm - 2:00 am FEED THE PEOPLE: Food distribution to the homeless | Educational & Cultural Presentations including: King Downing of the National Lawyers Guild, West African Drumming, Senator Vincent Fort, the families of victims of police use of force and more.

12:00 am
Midnight Concert for Justice Featuring Mausiki Scales and The Common Ground Collective, DJ Kemit & The Ear Dr.
2:00 am - 5:30 am Community and Organization Fellowship | Educational Presentations
7:30 am - 9:15 am Morning March for Justice: a peaceful demonstration march around the courthouse.
9:15 am -12:00 pm: Community & Fellowship and Building | Educational Presentations
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Lunch Time Community Rally for Justice hosted by Derrick Boazman with Reverend Timothy McDonald
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Community & Organization Fellowship and Building | Educational Presentations
6:00 pm - 730 pm: Community Rally for Victory
Supporting organizations include the following:

NAACP Georgia, Atlanta and Decatur Chapters, Black Lives Matter Atlanta, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Lawyers Guild, The Revolutionary Moms Club, GSU Black Law Students Association, Black Lives Matter Atlanta, RiseUP Georgia, #ATLisReady, #AUCShutitDown, Let Us Make Man, Georgia State University Black Law Students Association(GSU BLSA), DeKalb Lawyers Association, Sankofa United Church of Christ, SisterCARE Alliance, Lawyers United for a New Atlanta (LUNA), SCLC Cobb County Chapter, NAACP Young Adult Council, National Action Network, National Coalition to Combat Police Terrorism(NCCPT), Street Groomers, The Smith Group, Lawyers United for New Atlanta(LUNA), Sankofa United Church of Christ, NCOBRA Atlanta, Create Community For Decatur: Black Lives Matter, The Community of Atlanta, STP Movement Save OurSelves (SOS), The Silent Majority, Simply United Together(SUT), FTP Movement, Street Groomers, MOVEment NOWledge, New Order National Human Rights Organization, Nation of Islam, and the Beloved Community Church.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NAACP Houston office brunt of protest

Hateful Houston Protest
Across the country, groups are protesting in response to Black Lives Matter movement.

This message was received from the NAACP:

On Sunday, a small group of white supremacists brandished war weapons and waved confederate battle flags outside our Houston Branch offices. Their so-called "protest" turned a quiet, tree-lined street into a platform for hatred and violence.

But in the face of flagrant bigotry and ignorance, the protestors in Houston were met by a larger crowd dedicated to peace and prayer. As activists, that's what we have to do every day: Show the strength of our numbers, and our commitment to justice.

We can't allow the evil of the few dictate the fate of the many. Help strengthen our movement by becoming an NAACP member today.

Unfortunately, for many of the NAACP's 2,200 local chapters and branches, this kind of harassment is a regular occurrence, simply because we stand up for the civil rights of all people.

These protestors in Houston are a distressing reminder of the hate that persists in our country and of the work we have ahead to eradicate it.

For more than a century, the NAACP has built a multiracial, multigenerational force to nonviolently combat racism. We stand against violence, segregation, hate. We stand for voting rights, economic opportunity, professional and accountable law enforcement, and quality education. We always have, and we always will.

You can judge what we stand for by who stands against us.

If you stand with us, join us. Become a member of the NAACP today.

In solidarity,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

FEMA responds to Louisiana floods

President Obama in Baton Rouge
President Obama visits Baton Rouge and discusses relief efforts
Last week Louisiana was struck by an intense, slow-moving storm that produced record rainfall, up to 30 inches in some places, that flooded an expansive area across the lower half of the state -- robbing so many Louisianans of their businesses, homes, and sense of security.

Since before the flooding began, FEMA has been working hand-in-hand with Louisiana officials to respond and help in the recovery efforts -- from providing shelter and housing and warm meals, to helping support home repairs and meet other serious disaster-related needs. As of this week, we've approved more than $127 million to help survivors with home repairs, rental assistance and other needs, and to advance payments to flood insurance policyholders who sustained damages, providing expedited relief. 

That's exactly what the President directed us to do: Support and assist the people of Louisiana, no matter what it takes.

Today, President Obama traveled to Baton Rouge to see the federal response effort firsthand.
FEMA with our federal, state, private sector, and nonprofit partners are working around the clock to help make sure Louisianans have what they need to recover and rebuild their lives. Recovery is a long-term process, it's important that Louisianans know: You're not in this alone and we're with you for the long haul.
You can get the latest information on what's happening on the ground here.
And if you or anyone you know has been impacted by this flooding, here are a few key resources that you can use and share:
To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center visit, use the FEMA Mobile Application, or text DRC and your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). 

If you are a resident or business owner who has sustained losses in the designated parishes, you can apply for assistance from FEMA by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
And if you want to do what you can to help the people of Louisiana get back on their feet, you can visit to see how you can contribute to the response and recovery efforts.
Long after these floods recede and fall away from the headlines, FEMA and our colleagues in the federal response effort will be here alongside state officials as long as we are needed. It's our job to help make sure every community can recover and rebuild.
And that's what we plan to do.
Craig Fugate, Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fund black businesses, defund police: message to "law and order" candidates

How can African Americans feel safe after reading Justice Department reports? How is the U.S. economy affected by discrimination? (Photo by Tomi Johnson)

"BPD’s law enforcement practices at times exacerbate the longstanding structural inequalities in the City by encouraging officers to have unnecessary, adversarial interactions with community members that increase exposure to the criminal justice system and fail to improve public safety." --- U.S. Dept. of Justice Report

The U.S. government is ruining the economy by condoning inappropriate police behavior.

The U.S. Justice Department has investigated racial discrimination in several community police departments. Why does the government continue to fund entities which are working outside the law in violation of the U.S. Constitution?

The rights of all citizens are supposed to be protected. How can individual citizens, especially the poor, disabled, sick, uneducated, indebted and homeless, feel secure or protected when they confront police who are shielded by laws, courts, body armor, helmets, guns, assault rifles, tasers, robot bombs, tanks, and social media suppression?

I am continuing to read the 160+ page, scathing, U.S. Department of Justice report stating that the Baltimore Police Department has harmed the African American community for decades. This type of behavior, however, is being condoned by the federal government which has not cut off funding to BPD which recently killed a mother and wounded her child in a home evasion gun battle.

While trying to serve an arrest warrant, BPD killed Korryn Gaines, 23-year-old mother of two, and wounded her 5-year old son.

America, this is where our tax dollars should stop!

If we do not protest and demand that our governments stop funding police departments who killed Korryn Gaines and others over the last two years, then we are complicit with what is going on... I, for one, am against it!

One more suggestion: I recommended defunding body cameras for police and using money to quip every citizen with a webphone with information and data to be placed on an evidence channel. Funding black radio, video channels, and blogs is also a good option. Fund Wingcom Watchdog while you're at it!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Community policing, citizen involvement keys to change

Upon reading the scathing report the U.S. Justice Department published this week focused on sustained commitment, transformative reform, and change needed in Baltimore's police department, I reached out to community leaders in Cobb County, Ga. for answers.

Here are suggestions on what needs to be done at a local level submitted by Labor Of Love Campaign, organized by Rich Pellegrino as a non-profit group which does take donations but has no advertising budget.


clip_image004 STOP all STOPS for minor traffic and pedestrian violations, including but not limited to: loitering, license plate light, brake light, turn signal, lane change, seatbelt, etc.—and most importantly---DWB (driving while Black or Brown).

clip_image005 STOP all ARRESTS for minor traffic and pedestrian violations, including but not limited to: loitering, driver’s license expiration or suspension, insurance lapse, marijuana possession and possession of other controlled substances in small amounts, obstruction, and all other offenses which can be treated with “non-custodial arrest”, which means issuance of a citation. 

 clip_image005[1] STOP all CRIMINAL PROFILING and street level crime detection tactics---that is not “protecting and serving” but is harassment & privacy invasion… leave the crime solving up to the Detectives---and STOP saying “I stopped you because you fit the description” ----ESPECIALLY if you are a white officer saying that to a Black man. (This all adds up to “racial profiling” however you dress it up.)

NOTE: ALL OF THE ABOVE CAN BE INITIATED RIGHT NOW UNDER EXISTING LAW!!! And though it may be a difficult pill to swallow for some, everything listed has already been tried with great success in other cities!!!

Some more aspects of the “repurposing” of our police departments into peace departments:

·         DEsist from all of the above.

·         DEescalate all situations at all times.

·         DEfend the dignity of all; bring PEACE rather than wreaking havoc.

·         DEcry the unjust actions of fellow officers.

·         DEny the prison industrial system and municipal government’s it’s extortion dollars.

·         DEliver Peace & Well being as PEACE OFFICERS.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hope beyond illusion needed in educational systems

Dr. Carstarphen, Ed.D. (ctr), in middle of continuing education controversy in America.
(Photo by Tomi Johnson)
Hope can lead to educational success, according to Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen in an address given yesterday at the 21st Annual Prayer Breakfast sponsored by the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary, Our Lady of Lourdes Court 300.
Carstarphen with Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary
(Photo courtesy of Joy Jordan)
What is needed in APS since cheating on state-administered standardized tests was uncovered in 2009 under Former Superintendent Beverly Hall, Carstarphen said, is trust, collaboration, child-centered agendas, and instilling in children the belief their God-given gifts will be developed. 

"Victims should not be treated as criminals," Carstarphen told participants gathered in the Loudermilk Center. She said parents and community organizers should support school district leaders.  "We need prayers...and voices," she said.
Photo by Tomi Johnson
Born and raised in Selma, Alabama, Dr. Carstarphen leads 50,000 students and 6,300 employees at 98 learning sites. She oversees a $1 billion budget and receives about $400k in salary and expenses annually. She is a Tulane, Auburn, and Harvard graduate, but her remarks on moving the "agenda" for kids failed to reflect the problems public education faces nationwide.

Instead of talking about her credentials, family, and her own professional success, maybe she could have addressed solutions to systemic problems in education: unqualified teachers who struggle with new technology, antiquated learning systems, the need for whole child learning management, and public education's inability to compete financially with private schools.

Scholarship recipients (left to right) are Syndney Honore, Alana Bufford, Gabrielle Johnson, and Anthony Jones. (Photo courtesy of Joy Jordan)
One blessing: Carstarphen donated her honorarium back to the Catholic organization sponsoring the scholarship event which in turn gave it away to deserving scholarship recipients. Unfortunately, that will only pay for two or three college textbooks, but that's a start!