Civil rights groups charge Deutsche Bank with housing discrimination

NFHA 600WASHINGTON, DC — The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and three of its member organizations announced Tuesday (Feb. 25th) that they have filed a federal housing discrimination complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against Deutsche Bank.

The civil rights organizations allege that Deutsche Bank maintains and markets foreclosed homes in majority white neighborhoods in a strikingly better manner than it does in majority African-American and Latino neighborhoods. Failing to maintain and market homes based on the racial or ethnic composition of the neighborhood violates the federal Fair Housing Act.

The metropolitan areas named in the complaint are: Chicago, Memphis and Washington, D.C., including Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. The three member organizations that conducted investigations with NFHA are the South Suburban Housing Center (Homewood, Ill.), Open Communities (Winnetka, Ill.), and HOPE Fair Housing Center (West Chicago, Ill.).


Ole Miss frat suspended, 3 students expelled after noose incident

statue 600A national organization Friday indefinitely suspended a fraternity chapter at the University of Mississippi and expelled three of its freshman members because of their suspected involvement in hanging a noose on a statue of the first African-American student to enroll in the then all-white college, the Associated Press reports.

Sigma Phi Epsilon said in a statement obtained by the AP that it had suspended the Alpha Chapter at the university, and the chapter voted to expel all three men and submit their names and identities to investigators.

The statue of James Meredith was discovered Sunday with a noose tied around the neck, along with an old Georgia flag that bears a Confederate battle emblem.


Three Ole Miss students sought for questioning in James Meredith statue vandalism

statue 600OXFORD, Miss. – Three 19-year-old white male freshmen from Georgia were declining through their attorneys late Thursday (Feb. 20th) to be questioned by university police regarding the vandalism Sunday morning of the University of Mississippi's James Meredith statue, according to University Chief of Police Calvin Sellers.

Sellers said the University Police Department had gathered enough evidence by late Wednesday to bring charges through the student judicial process against two of the students. Both state and federal authorities were working in close coordination to determine whether criminal charges were applicable, he said.

Working through an advisor to the students, university police had arranged a meeting for Thursday morning, Sellers said, but the students did not appear as promised. As university police were attempting to locate the two students late Thursday, they became aware of an Oxford attorney who was representing one of the students, which then led to information that three students had retained legal counsel.


New network asks you to share your positive stories about black men

blackstories 600(BLACK PR WIRE) – MIAMI, Fla., – A national story-gathering campaign kicked off Tuesday (Feb. 18th) to acknowledge black men and boys as assets to society. BMe Community, a high-growth, mission-driven social enterprise, is leading this campaign, and has set a goal of getting thousands of people to share stories about black males they know who help others.

Trabian Shorters, former vice president of communities for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and founder of BMe Community said, "We believe that black men and boys are assets to society. So, we are asking people to share the stories about the black men they know – the coach, the pastor, the neighbor, the co-worker or the friend who inspires in an everyday kind of way."

Shorters believes such stories are plentiful. He quotes data from the U.S. Census, W.K. Kellogg Foundation studies and researchers such as Ivory Toldson showing that one quarter of all adult black males are military veterans; black people start businesses at a higher rate than other Americans, black Americans give 25 percent more of their income to charities than do white Americans, and that black males are nearly twice as likely to be in college as they are to be in prison.


Voting rights for ex-felons - the case to be made

holder 600WASHINGTON – If America is ever to end the revolving door of prison recidivism, it needs to ease the re-entry of former offenders back into society by allowing them to vote, Attorney General Eric Holder believes.

Holder announced his position during a recent conference on criminal justice reform at Georgetown University Law Center at Washington, D.C. He called on state officials, state leaders and other elected officials to reform or repeal laws that block ex-felons from voting, more than two million of them Black.

Holder said that some of the laws dating back to the Reconstruction Era were specifically crafted to target blacks and weaken their voting power, especially in Southern states where most blacks live.


Ole Miss offers reward for men who desecrated Meredith statue

statue 600At the request of Chancellor Dan Jones, the University of Mississippi's Alumni Association on Monday offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two individuals believed involved in the desecration of the James Meredith statue on The University of Mississippi campus.

The University Police Department (UPD) is looking for two men who were seen early Sunday morning near the Meredith statue, which commemorates the 1962 integration of the university. One of the men was reported to have been wearing camouflage pants. The statue had been draped with a noose and an old Georgia state flag, and the men were heard shouting racial slurs.

Jones condemned the action as contrary to the beliefs and values of the university community.


‘Anti-Bully Campaign Rally’ to seek solutions

bullies 600When it comes to bullying, there are numbers that could easily move some to declare that it's worse than we thought.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education's Bullying and Harassment Compliance Report issued under a law passed in 2012, there were 7,555 cases of bullying reported statewide. Of that number, 5,478 were confirmed.

"This is a serious problem," said Debbie McClennon, organizer of the "Anti-Bully Campaign Rally" slated for Saturday (Feb. 15th). "Our kids are frustrated, and they always say the same thing – that parents can't help, teachers can't help, and principals can't help. Victims of bullying feel they have no help, no safe haven. This problem is getting worse. It's not just going to go away."


National Marriage Week designed to strengthen bonds

Pamela-King 600National Marriage Week (Feb 7-14) is a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture. Over the last decade, 41 percent of births occurred out of wedlock, more are opting to cohabitate and the number of divorces is steadily increasing. National Marriage Week is a great time for couples to reassess, refresh and renew their commitment to their marriages.

Marriages need consistency, commitment and connection to grow and flourish. Marriage is an interactive institution that unites two to become one. To achieve a successful marriage, the husband and wife must be 100 percent engaged in the marriage daily.

You made the commitment to pour into your marriage the tenacity and energy needed to make your marriage and spouse top priority in your life. It's imperative that you learn how to keep your spouse happy, healthy, and satisfied. This is an ongoing process that must be nourished regularly.


Report: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step down this year

holder 600U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to step down some time this year, according to the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin, whose feature story is slated to run in the magazine's Feb. 17 issue, the Washington Times reports.

The first African-American attorney general told the writer that he planned to remain "well into" 2014, but he also told CBS News last year, on Nov. 19, that he didn't have "any plans" to step down, the Washington Times reports.

Holder, a graduate of Columbia Law School, first joined the U.S. Justice Department in 1976 and was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1988 by President Ronald Regan. He would later join the Clinton administration as a Deputy Attorney General in 1997, the first African-American to hold that position. After the Clinton years, Holder practiced at a private firm before joining the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.



Will the next black senator be a familiar face from Oklahoma?

oklahoma 600Oklahoma. With its wide ranges, tornado alleys and young, upstart NBA franchise, it's the last place you'd think of when considering black political hotbeds. But as Sen. Tom Coburn prepares to retire after a yearslong battle with cancer, black Republicans in the Sooner State are seeking to flip that script on its head.

A crowded Senate-primary field is emerging, with conservative Republican powerhouses eyeing the reliably red seat as a career step to the next level. That landscape, set against the larger battle of wills between establishment Republicans, evangelical conservatives and mosquito-buzzing Tea Party irritants, is actually being shaped and shifted by a fairly influential tag team of black Republicans with national clout.

Young Oklahoma state House Speaker T.W. Shannon just announced his bid last week. And another name floating around is that of Shannon's former boss: J.C. Watts. The former congressman, once a rising star in the Republican Party who rode in on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" wave, abruptly cut short his visible political career in pursuit of evangelical ministries and consulting contracts.


Ford teams with Dr. Henry Louis Gates for Black History Month

gategala 600DEARBORN, Mich. (PRNewswire) – Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. will join Ford Motor Company's African American employee resource group, Ford-employees African-Ancestry Network (FAAN), in celebrating Black History Month on Feb. 21.

The theme, "Finding Your Roots," is inspired by Gates, the keynote speaker, who is host of the PBS series "Finding Your Roots." He is also the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University.

Established in 1983, FAAN is Ford's first employee resource group. Its motto, Networking Today for a Successful Tomorrow, encompasses the organization's goal to help people of African descent and other diversity constituents to maximize their contribution to Ford Motor Company.


Fearing gentrification, Black Portland neighborhood tells Trader Joe’s ‘no’ to new store

traderjoe 600The Trader Joe's grocery store chain recently announced that it no longer plans to open a store in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Portland after activists claimed the store's prices weren't affordable for black families.

Local community leaders and activists said opening a Trader Joe's in the historically black neighborhood would "increase the desirability of the neighborhood for non-oppressed populations" and risk gentrifying the neighborhood.

In a statement to EurWeb, the Portland African American Leadership Forum said having a somewhat pricey food store in their Portland neighborhood would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in the area.


‘Humble servant’ at ‘home’ on Africa mission

africa 600My missionary journey to Africa was my third journey as a missionary on foreign soil.

My first two journeys were to the continent of Asia to the "Underground Church," where our main objective was to go and train pastors and other leaders on the fulfillment of "The Great Commission," the command that Jesus has given to all believers – to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Our secondary objective was to smuggle in bibles that were already translated into their native language to give to the people in the provinces while trying to remain undetected because Christianity is still under serious persecution in most parts of Asia.

I thank God for blessing both of those missions and returning us back to the USA and to our families safely.