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Rainbow Push Global Summit to focus on economic parity

Picture-1rainbowpush-200Automotive leaders from around the globe will assemble to share expert insight, strategies, trends and solutions regarding the economic impact of diversity. The Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit is the only conference that delves deeply into the automotive industry as it relates to people of color, with emphasis on African-American concerns.

In January 2013, the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project released an Automotive Diversity Scorecard to provide a snapshot of each manufacturer's success of building and sustaining diversity and inclusion.

The Diversity Scorecard establishes the standards for unbiased diversity in the automotive industry; and provides Rainbow PUSH a resource to understand, monitor and acknowledge best diversity practices in the automotive industry. Since the Diversity Scorecard announcement, Rainbow PUSH has held several productive meetings with automotive manufacturers.


Jamie Foxx calls out Jay Z and others at MLK 50th Anniversary

jamiefoxx-400It wasn't a dis, but it was definitely a challenge. During Jamie Foxx's speech at the commemoration of the March on Washington's 50th anniversary, the star referred to an encounter he had with Harry Belafonte, reports My Cocoa Fab.

In his three-minute speech, the actor, wearing a suit that reminds us of his "Django" premier 'fit, told a story about the time when he and his daughter first met Harry Belafonte and spoke to him about his work with the civil rights movement. Inspired by Belafonte's commitment, Jamie Foxx took a few moments to speak to his celebrity peers about activism, continuing the movement, and being agents of change.

"What we need to do now, the young folks pick it up now so that when we're 87 years old talking to the other young folks we can say it was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington ... the list goes on. Don't make me start preaching up here," he said.


Jury rules n-word inappropriate even among African Americans

Jury-nword-400When black people use the n-word, we like to say it's different, right? Unlike whites, who use the n-word toward blacks in a hateful way, blacks use the n-word as a term of endearment, never with malice.

Of course, some disagree, claiming that it's a double standard that blacks can use the n-word but whites can't. Brandi Johnson of New York, for one, says that not all uses of the n-word by black people toward other black people are positive or meant to be kind.

A Manhattan jury agreed with Johnson, a black woman who worked at Strive, a New York City-based employment agency, and sued her black boss, Rob Carmona, after he admonished her with an n-word-laced rant, according to the Associated Press.


Benjamin Jealous stepping down as NAACP president

BenJealous-600Benjamin Todd Jealous will step down as president of the NAACP after five years as president of the oldest and largest U.S. civil rights organization, he announced Sunday.

"The NAACP has always been the largest civil rights organization in the streets, and today it is also the largest civil rights organization online, on mobile and at the ballot box too," Jealous said in a statement. "I am proud to leave the Association financially sound, sustainable, focused, and more powerful than ever."

Jealous, 40, was named president in 2008 after working as a community organizer, a newspaper editor and Amnesty International official. He took over from Bruce Gordon, a retired telecommunications executive who clashed with the NAACP's governing board.


NBA couple shares abortion story

udonishaslemwedding-400For many young brides, having a wedding featured in the New York Times wedding announcements is a dream come true. But having one of your most private secrets revealed is a nightmare. In the case of one bride, however, she chose to share one of her most private secrets in her wedding announcement.

Faith Rein recently married Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem after nearly 14 years together. But while the alma maters of the bride and groom and the professions of their parents tend to be the highlights of many Times announcements, the Haslem announcement threw a curveball. In it, the new Mrs. Haslem shared that early in the couple's relationship they made the harrowing decision to terminate a pregnancy. While relationship ups and downs are occasionally featured in wedding-announcement profiles, they tend to consist of the occasional breakup and makeup, not an abortion.


7-year-old girl sent home for ‘distracting dreadlocks’

tiana-parker-500A 7-year-old girl was forced to change schools this week after her elementary school sent her home for having the wrong hairstyle.

According to KOKI, Tiana Parker was pulled out of classes at Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa, Okla. for having dreadlocks. Officials from the charter school declined to speak on the matter but directed reports to the school policy, which reads "hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable."

"She went to the school last year and didn't have any problems," said Terrance Parker, Tiana's father who happen to be a barber. "It hurt my feelings to the core."


KKK, NAACP leaders meet in Wyoming

kkk-hood-500Leaders from local branches of the Ku Klux Klan and NAACP met in Casper, Wyoming on Saturday in what could be the first time members of the two groups "met in peace."

President of the Casper branch of the NAACP Jimmy Simmons asked for a meeting between the two groups in June following reports of black men in Gillette allegedly being beaten up for being in the company of white women, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

An organizer for the United Klans of America in Great Falls, Montana, John Abarr agreed to meet with Simmons to discuss accusations of violence against black men and KKK pamphlets that were being distributed.


Faulty FBI files that can ruin your life

fbi-system-500No amount of economic growth will land you a job if you get unfairly snagged in the FBI's faulty background check system. And you can lose your job because of the FBI file inaccuracies, too.

After working without incident at a Philadelphia port for 33 years, Russ F. was told he was out of a job when a newly required post-9/11 security clearance check found an arrest dating back to 1971. Charges were never filed, and Russ was never prosecuted.

But the nearly 40-year-old arrest was reported on his FBI background check with no additional information, and Russ needed months to track down documentation to prove he had never been convicted or even charged with a crime. Only then could he regain his job.


FAMU’s ‘Marching 100’ returns from suspension for hazing death

famauPicture-1-400On college football's opening weekend, the Florida A&M University Rattlers faced Mississippi Valley State, and for the first time in nearly two years, their famed marching band was on the field to kick off the season.

It's been 21 months since FAMU fans have seen the Marching 100 band perform publicly; the organization was suspended after an investigation into the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in 2011.

Before Champion's death, the band had been one of the best and biggest university bands, but after the controversy surrounding the investigation, the band has fewer members and more rigorous guidelines for participation, according to Sylvester Young, FAMU director of marching and pep bands.


Providing an oasis in a food desert

BLKProjek large ross-400Tanya Fields is single mother of four. So, in 2006 when she found an affordable apartment in the South Bronx, N.Y., she moved there, only to discover the real bargain she had made. In the South Bronx, a full-service grocery store is hard to find, and obesity is common.

Today, Fields is the director of her own nonprofit, the Blk Projek. She is also on the verge of launching what some experts who study the problems of neighborhoods where fresh, healthy food remains scarce think may be a solution applicable in other communities. In September, the BLK Projek will start selling healthy food options out of what Fields likes to call a "funky-fresh, environmentally friendly bus with dope artwork and real options the community controls."

Fields isn't, by far, the first person to cook up a mobile-market idea or make it happen. But, as a nonprofit veteran and black woman with limited income trying to raise a healthy family, Fields is fast emerging as an authoritative voice and activist to watch in the national battle to eliminate food deserts.


Cornel West pins ‘house Negro’ label on Sharpton, again

Dr. Cornel WestDr. Cornel West once again called Rev. Al. Sharpton a “house negro,” and accused him and President Barack Obama of “sanitizing” the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 50th anniversary of the March of Washington, reports Mediaite.com.

“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.

“Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Barack Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton.” West then declared that Sharpton’s decline was “supported by [MSNBC analyst] Michael Dyson and others who’ve prostituted themselves in a very ugly and vicious way.”

Listen to West’s remarks below:


‘Breakthrough’ in struggle to end marijuana prohibition

marijuana - pot - weed - homegrown smokeAtty. Gen. Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado Thursday that the Department of Justice will allow the states to implement ballot initiatives that legalized the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana for adults.

Deputy Atty. Gen. James Cole also issued a memo to U.S. attorneys across the country outlining priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. The directive will also apply to the 20 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the sort of political vision and foresight from the White House we've been seeking for a long time," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.


Zimmerman’s wife: Our marriage is in jeopardy

Zimmerwife-400tGeorge Zimmerman's wife apologized to Trayvon Martin's family in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America." She also hinted that her marriage to the former neighborhood watch captain is in jeopardy.

Shellie Zimmerman has kept a relatively low profile since July 13, when her husband was found not guilty of second-degree murder in Martin's February 2012 shooting death. Thursday on "Good Morning America," the 26-year-old nursing student said she is "going to have to think about" staying in the marriage.

The interview aired a day after Shellie Zimmerman pleaded guilty to perjury for lying about the couple's finances during a bond hearing for her husband in April 2012. Prosecutors say she told a Florida judge the couple was broke, when they really had $135,000 from donations in the bank. As part of her plea deal, Zimmerman will spend a year on probation instead of serving prison time. She also will perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the judge who caught her in the lie.