Category: Politics

Colin Kaepernick, Dave Chappelle and Bryan Stevenson Are Among Those Honored With Harvard’s 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Medal

The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research honors eight distinguished people with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. Honorees include Colin Kaepernick, Dave Chappelle, Kenneth I. Chenault, Shirley Ann Jackson, Pamela J. Joyner, Florence C. Ladd, Bryan Stevenson, and Kehinde Wiley. (Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer)

by Jill Radsken via news.harvard.edu

With powerful, poignant speeches from presenters and honorees alike, this year’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal awards felt more like a gospel church service-cum-rock concert than an academic award ceremony.

Athlete and social activist Colin Kaepernick set the tone before an exhilarated crowd that included some 150 local high school students, declaring that people in positions of privilege and power have a “responsibility” to speak up for the powerless.

“People live with this every single day and we expect them to thrive in situations where they’re just trying to survive,” said the NFL free agent who famously took a knee during pregame national anthems to protest racial injustice in America. “If we don’t, we become complicit. It is our duty to fight for them.”

Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, dedicated his award to the “people who did so much more with so much less.” (Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer)

Kaepernick was one of the eight laureates who received medals at Sanders Theatre on Thursday night. Others were comedian Dave Chappelle; writer and social critic Florence C. Ladd; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson; renowned artist Kehinde Wiley; General Catalyst chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault; philanthropist and Avid Partners founder Pamela J. Joyner; and human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

The awards are bestowed by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research for contributions to African and African-American history and culture. Ladd, the former director of the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, donned her medal, then pumped her fist in the air and told the cheering crowd: “A takeaway must be protest, protest, protest.”

Chappelle and Joyner
Pamela J. Joyner and Dave Chappelle enjoy hearing parts of Chappelle’s famous skit “The Racial Draft” being recited by incoming Dean of Social Science Lawrence D. Bobo. (Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer)

Stevenson, M.P.P. ’85, J.D. ’85, L.L.D. ’15, who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, dedicated his award to “people who did so much more with so much less” and asked the audience to think of hope as “your superpower.” To the students, he made a more pointed request: “You’ve got to be willing to do uncomfortable things. You’ve got to be willing to do inconvenient things. Don’t ever think that your grades are a measure of your capacity.” Stevenson himself won a historic Supreme Court ruling that declared that mandatory sentences of life without parole for children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.

Moments of humor punctuated the call to resistance, particularly when presenter and incoming Dean of Social Science Lawrence D. Bobo recited parts of Chappelle’s famous skit “The Racial Draft.“ He called the comedian a “teller of uncomfortable truths.”

Chappelle, for his part, praised his parents, especially his mother, a professor of African-American studies. “She raised me well. I am not an uninformed person,” he said.

Chappelle said he was humbled to be on stage with his fellow honorees: “You all make me want to be better,” he said. He promised another comedy special and ended his speech with a quote from favorite writer James Baldwin’s book “The Fire Next Time.”

“God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water. The fire next time.”

Hutchins Center director Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor, reflected on the critical nature of the honorees’ work in the fight for racial and social justice.

“When we recall the dramatic progress we’ve made in this country’s struggle for civil rights, it’s tempting to remember only our long arc of progress. But we find ourselves in a new nadir in our country’s race relations,” he said, quoting Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard.

“Agitation is a necessary evil to tell of the ills of the suffering. Without it, many a nation has been lulled to false security and preened itself with virtues it did not possess.”

To watch the full ceremony, click below:

The Voter Registration Deadline For Every State

(image via my.lwv.org)

via getuperica.com

According to headcount.org, here is the list of voter registration deadlines in all 50 states. If you haven’t signed up already, sign up!

Alabama

  • In-Person: You have until Monday, Oct. 22, to register to fill out this form and take it to a voter registration location. You can also conditionally register to vote up to and including on Election Day in person at your county elections office, or, in some counties, at a county elections satellite office or vote center.
  • By Mail: You can download this form to register by mail until Monday, Oct. 22.
  • Online: You can register here until Monday, Oct. 22.

Alaska

  • In-Person: You can register in person until Sunday, Oct. 7.
  • By Mail: You can download this form to register by mail until Sunday, Oct. 7.
  • Online: You can register here until Sunday, Oct. 7.

Arizona

  • In-Person: You can register at a county recorder’s office until Tuesday, Oct. 9.
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Tuesday, Oct. 9
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

California

  • In-Person: You have until Monday, Oct. 22, to register to fill out this form and take it to a voter registration location. You can also conditionally register to vote up to and including on Election Day in person at your county elections office, or, in some counties, at a county elections satellite office or vote center.
  • By Mail: To request a paper voter registration application be mailed to you, please call (800) 345-VOTE(8683) or email Elections Division staffby Monday, Oct. 22.
  • Online: You can register here until Monday, Oct. 22.

Colorado

  • In-Person: You can register on Election Day.
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Monday, Oct. 29
  • Online: You can register here until Monday, Oct. 29.

Connecticut

  • In-Person: You can register in person until Tuesday, Oct. 30. If the voter registration deadline has passed, you can still register to vote in person at the office of your Local Election Office on Election Day.
  • By Mail: You can download this form to register by mail until Tuesday, Oct. 30.
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 30.

SEE ALSO: Erica Campbell Joins Michelle Obama, Kelly Rowland & More For “When We All Vote” Rally [VIDEO]

Delaware

  • In-Person: You can register in person until Saturday, Oct. 13.
  • By Mail: You can download this form to register by mail until Saturday, Oct. 13.
  • Online: You can register here until Saturday, Oct. 13.

District of Columbia

  • In-Person: You can register in person on election day with proof of residency.
  • By Mail: You can register by mail with this form as long as it is received by 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
  • Online: You can register here until 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Florida

  • In-Person: You can register in person at a tax collectors office, drivers license office or voters office until Tuesday, Oct. 9. But if you or a family member has been discharged from the military or returned from a deployment outside the US after the deadline, you can register until 5 p.m. Nov. 2.
  • By Mail: Twenty nine days before Election Day. But if you or a family member has been discharged from the military or returned from a deployment outside the US after the deadline, you can fill out this form until 5 p.m. Nov. 2.
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Georgia

  • In-Person: You can register until Tuesday, Oct. 9.
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Tuesday, Oct. 9
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Hawaii

  • In-Person: You can register until Tuesday, Oct. 9. If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting at early walk-in locations and on Election Day at your polling place.
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Tuesday, Oct. 9
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Idaho

  • In-Person: You can register until Election Day. (You must show proof of residence to register at the polls on Election Day.)
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Friday, Oct. 12.
  • Online: You can register here until Friday, Oct. 12.

Illinois

  • In-Person: You can register until Election Day.
  • By Mail: Download this form to register by mail before Tuesday, Oct. 9
  • Online: You can register here until Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Indiana

WNBA President Lisa Borders Leaves League to Become 1st CEO of Advocacy Group Time’s Up

Time’s Up CEO Lisa Borders (photo via thegrio.com)

by Jay Scott Smith via thegrio.com

Lisa Borders has spent the last three seasons leading the WNBA but just announced on Tuesday that she is stepping down from her post to become the first president and CEO of the advocacy group Time’s Up.

The league, which is a subsidiary of the NBA, made the announcement in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

“It has been an honor and my absolute privilege leading the WNBA and being part of what it stands for,” Borders said in a joint statement with the NBA. “I want to thank [NBA Commissioner] Adam [Silver] for giving me the opportunity and support to help grow this league.

“I am most proud of the players for their amazing talents on the court and their dedication to making an impact in their communities. I look forward to continuing my support for the W in my new role with Time’s Up. I will always be the WNBA’s biggest advocate and fan.”

Time’s Up was formed in January after a series of sexual harassment allegations in the entertainment industry involving Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Louis CK, Matt Lauer, and others. The organization advocates for safer and more equitable work environments for women in Hollywood and in other industries.

The organization is also pushing for Hollywood to reach gender pay equity. Borders had overseen the WNBA since 2016 after serving as Coca-Cola’s Vice President of Global Community Affairs.

“We are extremely grateful for Lisa’s leadership and tireless commitment to the WNBA,” Silver said. “This is a natural transition for Lisa knowing what a champion she is for issues involving women’s empowerment and social justice and fortunately for us, she leaves the league with strong tail winds propelling it forward.”

Under Borders, the WNBA inked a new jersey deal with Nike, signed an agreement with Twitter to stream games on the social media platform and helped bring women to into the NBA Live video games for the first time through a deal with EA Sports.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will serve as interim WNBA president while the search for a new president begins.

TIME’S UP is actively working with various industries including advertising, entertainment, healthcare, press, tech, music, venture, and advocacy groups representing farmworkers, restaurant workers, domestic workers to ensure safer workplaces and economic parity for women.

Under Border’s stewardship, TIME’S UP will continue its focus on creating solutions that increase safety and equity at work for women of all kinds.

Source: https://thegrio.com/2018/10/03/wnba-president-lisa-borders-steps-down-to-become-first-times-up-ceo/

College Student Kalan Haywood Jr., 19, Becomes Youngest State Legislator in History of Wisconsin

Kalan Haywood, 19,  in front of Fiserv Forum, in downtown Milwaukee.
(Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

by Ricky Riley via blavity.com

At only 19 years old, Kalan Haywood Jr. will be the youngest state legislator in Wisconsin. He may also be the youngest legislator in the nation, according to political experts.

Haywood will represent Milwaukee’s 16th District after a hard-fought primary against five Democratic challengers, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That battle would be his last. There was no Republican challenger.

“Being young is going to play well with some people, but there will also be people who doubt me because of my age, which is fair — it’s new,” Haywood told the Journal Sentinel. “My age is my biggest asset,” Haywood added.

While he won’t be sworn in until January of 2019, he is likely the youngest person to serve in any state legislature in the nation. The Cardinal Stritch University student has been involved in politics since he was very young. When he was 13, he worked on Democratic Representative David Bowen‘s campaigns learning the tricks of the trade.

Then, Haywood served on the Milwaukee Youth Council at 14 and ultimately was elected president of the council. He spent the majority of his teenage years working and building a political career.

As a newly elected state representative, he wants to improve voting rights and the conditions of people’s lives in his city.  “Adding the requirement of registering to vote is very important, especially in my district where we get a very low [voter] turnout compared to a total population,” Haywood said.

His father, real estate developer Kalan Haywood Sr., believes, along with his son, that the state legislature needs young people to generate new ideas. “The state legislature as a whole — they are missing a young person’s perspective,” he said. “I want to make sure MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools) gets proper funding — I am a proud MPS graduate.”

Source: https://blavity.com/this-19-year-old-will-make-history-as-the-youngest-state-legislator-in-wisconsin

“Just Do It”: Nike Stock Closes at an All-Time High in Aftermath of Colin Kaepernick Ad Campaign

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by Ny Magee via eurweb.com

When Nike selected Colin Kaepernick to be the face of its “Just Do It” 30th-anniversary ad campaign, one analyst noted that the move proved the company knows its customer, and they would boost sales.

Nearly two weeks after the ad provoked calls for boycotts, shares hit an all-time high, closing at $83.47 Thursday — an all-time high for the company.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Nike had previously faced a dip in its stock price immediately after its Kaepernick announcement, dropping nearly 3 percent in the next day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange. That fall has since been made up and more, per Yahoo.

Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ‘Just do it’ campaign is a two-minute video featuring the former 49er narrating stories of athletes who have beaten the odds, ending with the words: “It’s only crazy until you do it,” then changing to “Just do it.”

Pushback came from many who were outraged by the ad and planned boycotts: some burned their Nike gear and one Louisiana mayor tried to ban the brand from being sold at public facilities before pulling back. Donald Trump tweeted that Nike was getting “absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.”

As it turns out, a spike in sales and brand awareness was worth the backlash, and so far it seems Nike is being proven right by betting on Kaepernick.

Source: https://www.eurweb.com/2018/09/nike-stock-closes-at-an-all-time-high-in-aftermath-of-colin-kaepernick-ad-campaign/

Michelle Obama Announces 10-City Book Tour for “Becoming”

by Tonya Pendleton via blackamericaweb.com

NEW YORK (AP) — Michelle Obama will visit 10 cities to promote her memoir “Becoming,” a tour featuring arenas and other performing centers to accommodate crowds far too big for any bookstore.

The former first lady will begin at the United Center in her native Chicago on Nov. 13, the book’s release date. She will finish at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Dec. 17, Live Nation and the Crown Publishing Group announced Wednesday. In between, appearances will include Barclays Center in New York City, the Pepsi Center Arena in Denver and The Forum in Los Angeles.

Obama and former President Barack Obama each have been working on memoirs, for which they negotiated a multimillion dollar deal with Crown. No date has been set for his book, although it’s expected in 2019.

You will have to register via the link below between now and September 18, to buy tickets that go on sale on September 21st. VIP packages and Meet and Greet tickets will be available as well.

Tour Dates – Tickets available HERE. 

11/13 – Chicago, IL @ United Center

11/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum

11/17 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena

11/24 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden

11/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center

12/1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center

12/11 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena

12/13 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Arena

12/14 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center

12/17 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center

Source: https://blackamericaweb.com/2018/09/12/michelle-obama-announces-10-city-book-tour/

Ayanna Pressley Upsets Incumbent in Primary; On Track to Become Massachusetts’ 1st Black Congresswoman

Ayanna Pressley, a Boston City Council member, celebrated her win in the Democratic primary at an election night party in Dorchester, Mass., on Tuesday. (Credit: Sarah Rice for The New York Times)

by Katharine Q. Seelye via nytimes.com

Ayanna Pressley upended the Massachusetts political order on Tuesday, scoring a stunning upset of 10-term Representative Michael Capuano and positioning herself to become the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress.

Ms. Pressley’s triumph was in sync with a restless political climate that has fueled victories for underdogs, women and minorities elsewhere this election season, and it delivered another stark message to the Democratic establishment that newcomers on the insurgent left were unwilling to wait their turn. Ms. Pressley propelled her candidacy with urgency, arguing that in the age of Trump, “change can’t wait.”

Her victory carried echoes of the surprise win in June by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who trounced a longtime House incumbent, Joseph Crowley, in New York. Ms. Pressley is also among several African-American progressives who beat expectations, and in some cases performed far better than polling projections; they include Stacey Abrams of Georgia, Andrew Gillum of Florida and Ben Jealous of Maryland, who each won the Democratic Party’s nominations for governor.

There is no Republican on the November ballot in this storied Boston-based district, which was once represented by John F. Kennedy and is one of the most left leaning in the country. Addressing jubilant supporters at a union hall in Dorchester Tuesday night, Ms. Pressley said: “It seems like change is on the way.”

Speaking in abnormally hushed tones, in contrast to her fiery and impassioned style on the campaign trail, she told supporters “we have together ushered in something incredible.”

“People who feel seen and heard for the first time in their lives, a stakehold in democracy and a promise for our future,” she said. “That is the real victory, that is bigger than any electoral victory. And I want to thank you all for being foot soldiers in this movement and for ushering in this change.”

Mr. Capuano conceded with barely 13 percent of the votes counted, saying: “I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but this is life, and this is O.K. America’s going to be O.K. Ayanna Pressley is going to be a good congresswoman, and I will tell you that Massachusetts will be well served.” Soon afterward, The Associated Press pronounced Ms. Pressley the winner.

Ms. Pressley, who in 2009 became the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council, overcame a powerful lineup of the Massachusetts political establishment. Mr. Capuano, 66, who has held the seat for 20 years, was endorsed by almost every major political figure, including Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, who deployed his extensive political machine on Tuesday on Mr. Capuano’s behalf.

“This is a big wake-up call to any incumbent on the ballot in November,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist. “We’ve been in a change election cycle for years. But Trump may have opened the door for all these young candidates, women, people of color, because voters want the antithesis of him.”

Ms. Pressley’s win, the margin of victory, and the historic nature of her candidacy are sure to reverberate throughout Boston, a city whose fraught racial history is baked into its national reputation. Ms. Pressley said Democrats throughout the state discouraged her from running against Mr. Capuano, and John Lewis, the civil rights legend and longtime Georgia congressman, held a campaign event for him in May. Yet Ms. Pressley rode a strong turnout among Boston’s minority communities toward history.

Her slogan, “change can’t wait,” was a nod to those who said her candidacy was disrupting the traditional order of Boston politics, she said. It was also a rallying cry for the state’s only minority-majority district — to have a representative who mirrors the community’s diversity.

Political observers said the win was the biggest sign yet that a “new Boston” was emerging in the shadow of the city’s historically white, union-driven political establishment. This new electorate is powered by minorities, immigrants and young college students who have flocked to the city’s start-upsstartups and tech-friendly industries.

Only two of the state’s nine House members are women, and one is retiring. It was not until 2012 that Massachusetts elected its first woman — Elizabeth Warren — to the Senate. It has never elected a female governor.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/us/politics/ayanna-pressley-massachusetts.html

Astead Herndon contributed reporting

Colin Kaepernick Named Face of Nike’s 30th Anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ Campaign

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to hollywoodreporter.com, Nike unveiled the face of its campaign celebrating 30 years of its “Just do it” campaign – none other than that of Colin Kaepernick.  In the ad, the former NFL quarterback is looking at the camera, and printed over the image is: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt.”

Kaepernick has been a Nike athlete since 2011, but the Super Bowl QB has not played on a team since 2016. Kaepernick created a national firestorm when he began kneeling during the National Anthem in an effort to protest African-American inequality and police brutality in America.  Since then, a number of players on all teams have kneeled or raised a fist during the anthem for the same protest.

Last season, as the debate over protesting was burning ever hotter, the NFL and the NFL Players Association defended the right for those who wanted to protest peacefully.

According to bleacherreport.com, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the Niners in March 2017 and hasn’t been able to find a new team since. An April visit with the Seattle Seahawks was postponed after he did not assure the franchise he’d stand for the anthem if signed, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told Steve Wyche of NFL Media about the decision he made in 2016. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The 30-year-old quarterback filed a collusion grievance against the league, which claimed he was being kept out of the league because of the protests he started. His argument received a boost last week when arbitrator Stephen B. Burbank ruled there was enough evidence to require a full hearing.

Although Kaepernick has received numerous honors for his efforts, including being named GQ magazine’s Citizen of the Year for 2017, the movement he started remains polarizing.

Meanwhile, NFL owners approved anthem rules in May that would force players to stand if they are on the field or they must remain in the locker room during the anthem. Teams with players who did not comply with the new policy would be subject to league fines, and teams could also hand out individual punishments. Those guidelines are on hold, however, as discussions between the NFL and the players’ union continue with the 2018 season set to start this Thursday.

Los Angeles City Council Approves Changing Name of Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard

The Los Angeles City Council voted to rename Rodeo Road as Obama Boulevard in honor of former President Obama, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in a tweet Tuesday night.

“We’re thrilled that Angelenos and visitors will forever be reminded of the legacy of President @BarackObama when traveling across L.A.,” he said in the tweet.

City Council President Herb Wesson proposed the name change in June 2017.

Not to be confused with the upscale Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Rodeo Road is a 3.5-mile street that runs from near the Culver City border east to Mid-City.

In his proposal, Wesson noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road when running for president and that the area already has streets named after presidents, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It’s a residential strip in a predominantly African American community.

The road is also home to Dorsey High School, Baldwin Hills Elementary School and Rancho Cienega Sports Center and Park — where Obama held a campaign rally when he was running for president. East of La Brea Avenue, the new Obama Boulevard will intersect with Martin Luther King Boulevard (which was renamed from Santa Barbara Avenue in 1983).

The move is not the first to honor the former president in the greater Los Angeles area. In September, a resolution by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) to rename a portion of the 134 Freeway passed. Several California schools have also been named after Obama, and in the Monterey Bay town of Seaside, city leaders designated one street Obama Way.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-oabma-boulevard-20180828-story.html

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum Shocks Rivals, Wins Democratic Nomination for Florida Governor

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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