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News Flash

Open Society Foundations Announce 2013 Soros Justice Fellows

NEW YORK – The Open Society Foundations has announced an award of $1.2 million to the 2013 cohort of Soros Justice Fellows. The fellows, a mix of emerging and established leaders, include investigative journalists, lawyers, grassroots organizers, policy advocates, and scholars. Working in 9 different states and Puerto Rico, the 14 fellows will take on a range of U.S. reform issues that relate to broader Open Society efforts to curb mass incarceration, eliminate harsh punishment, and ensure justice system accountability in the U.S.

“Given the enormous challenges posed by the current realities of the criminal justice system in the United States, the importance of new voices and re-examination of its premises remains critical. I am excited to announce the 2013 Soros Justice Fellows whose efforts are fundamental to the types of changes that are needed to produce a fair, effective, and efficient system,” said Ken Zimmerman, director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. “We welcome their commitment, creativity, and vision.”

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Featured Article

Oakland Youth Speak Truth to Power at NAACP Leadership Conference

Youth in the Oakland community had the opportunity at the “OAKLAND NAACP Youth Leadership Conference” to ask adults the tough questions about what is happening in their community.

This was not only a stage for youth inquiry, but it was also a space for youth voice to be amplified and heard.

The youth spoke to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, OPD lieutenant Kirk Coleman, Assistant District Attorney Terry Wiley, and the president of the Black Youth Leadership Project, Loreen Pryor.

From Laney Tower:

“No adults can speak to this panel!” facilitator Martin L. McWilson said to the grown-ups in the audience. 

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Featured Post
[photo of Mo Green]
All posts by Mo Green »

To All Afraid of the ‘Ghetto’

I cannot count the number of times I have heard comments equating majority poor black neighborhoods (“ghettos”) with exponential violence this week. Most, however, do not understand the clear problems with these statements. While the majority of these comments are from my classmates at the University of Chicago- a school that actively others the surrounding black neighborhoods, discourages students from entering into these spaces and seems to have a culture that nurtures blatant racism- this sentiment represents one of the larger American populace. I would like to take this time to highlight how our country’s exclusive association of violence with the “ghetto” often ignores violence in other perceived “safe” spaces. It is important to note that my usage of the word “ghetto” is solely to represent it’s vernacular usage.

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Featured Article

Former NASA Engineer Awards Kiera Wilmot Scholarship to Space Academy

More good news for Kiera Wilmot!

When news broke of the severe punishment facing Wilmot over a science experiment, she received widespread support from thousands of people across the country; including former NASA engineer Homer Hickam. 

Hickam’s famous memior – Rocket Boys – was turned into a film called October Sky, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He can identify with Wilmot’s situation; he himself had the police called on him for a science experiment he conducted as a young man.

As a show of support, Hickman awarded Kiera a scholarship to attend the United States Advanced Space Academy (ASA), a branch of the famous Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama!

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Featured Article

Kindergartner Uses Knowledge of His ABCs to Save Dad’s Life

Thanks to quick thinking and knowledge of his ABCs, kindergartner Nathaniel Dancy Jr. was able to save his father’s life.

 Nathaniel Sr. suffered a stroke while driving down the highway with his son. He was able to pull the car over, but was thereafter incapacitated.

Nathaniel Jr. sprung into action, calling his grandmother, who then initiated a three-way call with the boy’s mother.

By spelling the name of the store next to where his Dad parked the car, his family was able to direct paramedics to their location.

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News Flash

Suspect in New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade Shooting Arrested; Faces 20 Charges

19 year-old Akein Scott has been arrested in connection with the Mother’s Day Parade shooting in New Orleans that left 19 people injured, including 2 children.

Scott will reportedly face 20 charges of attempted second degree murder.

He was found in the Little Woods section of New Orleans on Wednesday night.

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Featured Article

Charges Dropped Against 16 Year-Old Kiera Wilmot for Science Experiment Gone Wrong

A few weeks ago we told you about Kiera Wilmot; a 16 year-old Florida high school student facing felony charges for a science experiment gone wrong on school grounds.

According to MSNBC News, the charges against Wilmot have officially been dropped.

Wilmot – widely considered an outstanding student with a clean record – was facing up to 5 years in prison.

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Featured Article

David Dennis: Why isn’t New Orleans Mother’s Day parade shooting a ‘national tragedy’?

In a spot-on editorial for the Guardian, writer David Dennis reflects upon how race and class impact what mainstream America deems a “national tragedy.”

Horrific violence in Aurora, Newtown, and Boston have been deemed “national tragedies; flags hang at half-mast, politicians weigh in, and there’s obsessive, sustained media coverage for weeks and weeks.

But what about the countless young people gunned down every weekend in Chicago? Or the Mother’s Day shooting in New Orleans last weekend?

Why aren’t these national tragedies?

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Featured Article

Judge Throws Out Manslaughter Charges Against Cop Accused of Killing Ramarley Graham

A New York judge threw out manslaughter charges against Officer Richard Haste, the man accused of killing unarmed 18 year-old Ramarley Graham.

The judge ruled that prosecutors has made an accidental mistake while instructing the jury. Prosecutors plan to present the case again before a grand jury.

Still, tensions ran high as the judge handed down the ruling. Graham’s mother reportedly yelled “they killed my child,” and was removed from the courtroom.

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Featured Article

Milwaukee Set to Become Fifth City Where Fast Food Workers Strike

Two hundred Milwaukee fast food workers are set to go on strike, demanding a pay increase to $15/hr and the right to unionize.

As COLORLINES points, Milwaukee has lost unionized manufacturing jobs at a dramatic rate in recent decades, leading to significant growth in low-wage jobs.

African Americans have been hit especially hard by this shift.

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