Category: Community Written by Zack Burgess, Chronicle Senior Writer
While everyone was occupied with averting the “fiscal cliff” – the expiration of another law vital to the health and wellbeing of Americans went under reported: the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA.
The VAWA was left to expire at the end of the 112th congressional session. The Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives never let it come to an end-of-the-year vote. Therefore, women are left without legal protections.
The Bill was drafted in 1994 by then-Sen. Joe Biden, and provides federal resources for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women. A bill to reauthorize the law was approved earlier in the year with bipartisan support in the Senate, but House Republicans objected to amendments in the law that would have expanded protections for illegal immigrants, Native-Americans and members of the LGBT community.
In a statement last week, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) called the Republicans’ failure to take up and approve the bill “inexcusable,” noting that it had passed the Senate with 68 votes. “This seems to be how House Republican leadership operates,” she wrote. “No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”
There are many who feel that the law’s expiration seemed to escape the attention of many major news outlets, which has motivated some media watchdog groups to speak out. Zachary Pleat of Media Matters for America wrote that news programs on the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – have completely ignored the story.
According to Pleat, a search of LexisNexis transcripts over the past month showed that “none of the morning or evening news shows on ABC, NBC or CBS reported on the Violence Against Women Act and its need to be reauthorized.”
Jeanne Brooks, digital director of the Online News Association, told IBTimes on Thursday that she had begun tweeting about the lack of coverage late in the evening last Wednesday. Not every major media outlet has been silent on the subject – MSNBC covered the story extensively. And many other online and smaller outlets covered the issue as well, including the Huffington Post, Business Insider, Daily Kos and women’s magazine websites such as Ms. and Cosmopolitan.
Sen. Murray wrote a blog post on CNN.com stating that the law’s expirations will have “real-life implications for women who now find themselves with nowhere to turn for help.”
Last Updated on Monday, 07 January 2013 09:16
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle
DETROIT - The Detroit Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Michigan with a very special afternoon of events on Sunday, January 6 at the Detroit Historical Museum. This free program begins at 1 p.m. with refreshments, readings of the Emancipation Proclamation by local ministers, poetry readings, storytellers and tours of the new Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibition.
The event honors the January 6, 1863 reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Historic Second Baptist Church in Detroit. The Black Historic Sites Committee, along with the Baptist Ministerial Alliance and Broadside Press, have partnered together to bring attendees an enlightening look at the history of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The program commences with a historical overview and presentation, followed by readings of poetic works created by pioneering African-American writers Dudley Randall, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Albert M. Ward and Robert Hayden. The poems will be read by Dr. Gloria House, Professor of Humanities and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, Associate Professor Emerita in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department of Wayne State University and Broadside Press board member; Albert M. Ward, Broadside Press board member and poet; Lori Allan; andBill Harris, poet and Professor of English at Wayne State University.
Civil rights activist and educator John Hardy will present the story of abolitionist and clergyman Rev. Absalom Jones, an excerpt from one of his sermons, and his civil rights petition to Congress in regard to the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. Rev. Dr. Kevin M. Turman of Historic Second Baptist Church will conclude the program, leading local ministers in a series of readings of Abraham Lincoln’s January 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.
The hour-long program will repeat at 3 p.m. after an hour break to explore the Doorway to Freedom exhibit and the rest of the newly-renovated Detroit Historical Museum. For more information please call (313) 833-1801 or visit www.detroithistorical.org.
The Black Historic Sites Committee of the Detroit Historical Society, founded in 1971, is a group of volunteers that promotes a greater understanding of the contributions of African Americans to the history of metro Detroit and the state of Michigan.
The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is free for all, all the time. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $5 at all times. Group tour pricing and information is available by calling (313) 833-1733. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, Kid Rock Music Lab, Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” Frontiers to Factories, America’s Motor City, and The Glancy Trains. For more information, call the Museum at (313) 833-1805 or check out our website at www.detroithistorical.org.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 10:59
Category: Community Written by The Huffington Post
A Detroit nonprofit wants to open a legal aid and resource center in the city -- and they're asking Michiganders to help them win $25,000 from one of America's biggest home improvement retailers.
The 313 Project was founded in 2009 by Wayne State University Law School students who wanted to connect Detroit's legal community with the less fortunate. Members offer support to the community through pro-bono legal defense, community projects and charitable support. And their work around town has qualified them as the only Michigan group this month competing for cash in the Home Depot Foundation’s second annual Aprons in Action Facebook contest. Aprons In Action funds projects that help veterans across the United States.
“If we win the $25,000 from The Home Depot, we would be able to establish a Detroit-based career training and resource center for underserved groups, including veterans and their families," said Aisa Villarosa Berg, president of The 313 Project. The clinic would also assist youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
The winner will be the group that gathers the most online votes over the next month at facebook.com/homedepotfoundation. Voting starts Jan. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2013. The winner will receive a $25,000 gift card and qualify to compete for a $250,000 grand prize at the end of the year.
The 313 Project is competing against three other veterans groups from around the country: Another Chance Outreach Center in Gary, Ind., Sons of the American Legion in East Point, Ga., and Vetshouse Inc., in Virginia Beach, Va.
The Detroit nonprofit was chosen by The Home Depot Foundation to compete in the contest based on their previous work serving the city's veteran community, and others. In the past they have held legal clinics for formerly homeless vets, provided college scholarships for Detroit youth and helped renovate Southwest Detroit's 26-acre Romanowski park.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 09:28
Category: Community Written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, The Huffington Post
(photo credit: Facebook)
Get out of the basement, ping-pong players. A new club dedicated to the sport is open for business in downtown Detroit.
Drive Table Tennis Social Club opened its doors for a trial run in mid-December on Woodward Avenue between Clifford Street and Grand River Avenue. Their grand opening is Friday, Jan. 18.
The club, which holds six tables for players to rent by the hour, is currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday,. They plan to extend their hours after obtaining their liquor license, along with adding more staff -- owner Diallo Smith and his wife, Jameel Smith, are currently holding down the fort themselves.
The Detroit natives, who live on the east side with their two young children, moved back to the city in 2008 after more than a decade away.
"We started a family down there [in Texas], but Detroit was always in our hearts," said Diallo Smith. "We wanted to start a business that in our minds would be exactly what Detroit needed … something that's innovative, could build community."
Smith came up with the idea for a table tennis club after hearing about a similar business in New York. He tested the plan in the city last year by hosting several pop-ups at events around the city. Part of the appeal, Smith said, is how many people have played the game at some point in their lives.
"We wanted to do something … that in some way created a melting of all different ages, ethnicities ... that could come together at one time," he said.
Smith considers himself a novice player, though he's trying to brush up on his skills. Others looking to do the same can play for fun or enter the competitions held at Drive, like the Masters of the Basement tournament, planned to take place every Monday evening and geared towards beginners and intermediate players.
The sport also has a low barrier to entry, Smith said, so it is enjoyable to people of any skill level.
Part of Drive's model lets people "play it forward." Each ping-pong table is linked to a nonprofit, both local and national, including the Detroit Zoo, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Forgotten Harvest and Developing K.I.D.S. A small amount of players' rental fees, between one and two percent of the gross income, will be donated to their table's charity.
So far, the zoo has been the most popular. In the first two weeks, Smith estimates over 400 people had played at their tables.
"From the beginning we said we don't just want to be a business in the city," Smith said. "We want to be a business for the city as well."
His aspirations to become a business owner go back a long ways. He remembers walking to the bus stop growing up along the same block of Woodward where Drive is located.
"I can still visualize the businesses that used to be on that block … there used to be a record store, a shoe store, a Woolworth's … I can remember those businesses and patronized those businesses," Smith said. As a child, he remembered thinking, "How cool it would be to own a business downtown."
"My friends would always call me the businessman. I had pictures of Bill Gates all around my dorm room, because that's what I always saw myself doing. Life took me in a lot of different directions, but I kind of came full-circle," he said.
One of those other directions was toward faith. Smith is also the leader of the nondenominational Christian church Awakenings Movement, which he founded in 2008. It is a separate entity from Drive but uses its space on Sundays.
Smith said the space in Merchant's Row is rented from Bedrock Real Estate Services, one of Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert's companies, on a short-term lease. He said the lease has an option to be extended, which they plan to do.
Though the club had some initial investors, the Smiths are also raising funds for Drive through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. The campaign to raise $5,500 kicked off in early December and continues through Thursday. They would use the funding to help with the city licensing process and to build out projects inside the space, including a stage for performances. Backers had donated over $3,000 as of Wednesday.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 January 2013 09:39
Category: Community Written by Donald Walker
Welcome to the local campus of the School for the Better Making of Men. In this university transformation, growth and reaching potential are the core curriculum.
In this university the standards of education include civic duty, leadership and servitude.
Though it has no formal walls or formal halls, this university has weathered the trials and tribulations of this world and has stood for 106 years.
From its hallowed halls men of leadership, grit and spirit have been birthed. Men like W.E.B. Dubois, Fredrick Douglas, Cornell West, Andrew Young, John Johnson and Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. walked the halls of this school and learned the tenants of Mainly Deeds, Scholarship and Love for All Mankind. This is the university of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
The Founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. were no ordinary achievers. Given racial attitudes in 1906, their accomplishments were monumental. As founder Henry Arthur Callis euphemistically stated — because the half-dozen African American students at Cornell University during the school year 1904-05 did not return to campus the following year, the incoming students in 1905-06, in founding Alpha Phi Alpha, were determined to bind themselves together to ensure that each would survive in the racially hostile environment. In coming together with this simple act, they preceded by decades the emergence of such on-campus programs as Affirmative Action and Upward Bound.
The students set outstanding examples of Scholarship, Leadership and Tenacity — preceding the efforts even of the NAACP and similar civil rights organizations.
These examples and this spirit of brotherhood would birth chapters of the Fraternity at campuses all over the United States at both historically black colleges and universities as well as traditional. As part of the evolution of the Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha began to develop alumni chapters to continue the fraternal and servant spirit long after graduation from college.
The third oldest alumni chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha is located here in Detroit. 293 Eliot is where the local alumni chapter of the House of Alpha exists. Built in 1919 and chartered in 1922 Gamma Lambda has stood for the last 90 years as one of the lights of servitude, leadership and brotherhood in Detroit. Many of Alpha Phi Alpha’s national programs have been provided by the men of this particular house.
Voter education and registration through “A Vote-less People is a Hopeless People”, “Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College” program, which concentrates on the importance of completing secondary and collegiate education as a road to advancement, “Project Alpha which is designed to provide education, motivation and skill-building on issues of responsibility, relationships, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases for young males ages 12-15 years and other programs have been implemented to support the people of this community.
Gamma Lambda has also in accordance with the National Fraternity partnered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the March of Dimes and locally Meals on Wheels.
“Our national programs hit at the core of some our community’s needed areas. Project Alpha, connects young men to older professional male role models. Go To High School Go To College, stresses the importance of education and more importantly higher education. Vote-less People is a Hopeless people works to impress on us all the importance of our involvement in the political process to insure that our voices are heard.
Brothers’ Keeper creates families outside of natural families for lasting friendship and assistance for our elderly,” says Burke Gaddis, President Gamma Lambda, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Much like the national Fraternity there has been many men of note who have counted Gamma Lambda has their home: Former Mayor of Detroit, Dennis Archer, William Pickard, entrepreneur, the Honorable Craig Strong – 3rd District Court, Federal Judge, the Honorable Damon Keith, and now the president-elect of the National Fraternity of Alpha Phi Alpha, Mark Tillman.
“When you consider the large number of men who belong to undergraduate and alumni chapters throughout the country, it is remarkable we can benefit from the hard work, energy and contributions that earned Mark the respect of his peers to become the next general president,” said Former Mayor Dennis Archer, Alpha Upsilon, 1963.
“Also when you consider some of the outstanding members who have left their mark on Gamma Lambda it is wonderful to see Mark’s success.
“He has been outstanding and we are very proud of him. He will have our commitment to be helpful during his term as president of Alpha Phi Alpha.”
Gamma Lambda’s Education Foundation has work tirelessly for years providing thousands of dollars to young men through scholarships for the college or university of their choice.
Additionally Gamma Lambda’s Alpha Esquires in recent years brought the National Fraternity’s mission of developing leaders, promoting brotherhood and academic excellence to our youth. Through Alpha Esquires, young men learn many of the rites and characteristics of manhood.
From the simplest act of learning to tie a tie to job interviewing and financial literacy, the mentors of Alpha Esquires work to shape the young men of tomorrow. Most recently, Gamma Lambda has created the GLCDC (Gamma Lambda Community Development Corporation) designed to strengthen at-risk families, and work to prevent the cycle of poverty.
There is a place where good men are made to be better men.
There is a place where the rites and rituals of manhood are still practiced and passed down.
There is a place where the spirit of servant-leadership still exists and is practiced. It can be found in not just within the confines of a house on Eliot but in the hearts and minds of the men who rest there.
That spirit comprises the hearts and minds of those men who very proudly wear the letters of the oldest Black Greek Fraternity in this world.
A fraternity whose campus is now worldwide but still impacts those on the grass roots level.
Since December 4th 1906…Manly Deeds…Scholarship…Love for All Mankind…This is the core curriculum of the University of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
And a reminder to our brothers in other fraternities, many are called but only a few can be an Alpha man — Dennis Archer, Former Mayor of Detroit, Alpha Upsilon, 1963
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 January 2013 09:51
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