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Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel graduates from high school

trayvongirlfriend 600Rachel Jeantel was struggling. She was on the witness stand as an unsuspecting key figure thrust into a national case involving her friend's death, race, racism, "Stand your ground" laws and more. She was the last person to talk to Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, before his deadly encounter with George Zimmerman.

Her testimony was key to a case that she wasn't prepared for. Her demeanor and mix of English, slang and Haitian Creole dialect made her hard to decipher. Add to that mix the relentless grilling from a defense attorney who saw fresh meat on the stand and went in for the kill.

The Internet was even worse.

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Housing forums emerge from Wells Fargo, NAACP, National Urban League partnership

housing 600Wells Fargo, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League are partnering to host housing forums in nine select markets during National Homeownership Month in June.

The forums are designed to provide aspiring homeowners with information and resources to help navigate the path to homeownership successfully.

The NAACP and Wells Fargo will offer the forums in St. Paul, Minn.; Washington, D.C.; Ft. Lauderdale; and Las Vegas. The National Urban League and Wells Fargo will host forums in Phoenix, Chicago, Minneapolis and in the Hampton Roads, Va. area. Both organizations will join with Wells Fargo to offer a forum in Houston.

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Greetings from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center’s new executive director

bradwatkins 600We at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center stand poised on the precipice of a great transition. I want to first and foremost thank Jacob (Flowers) for ten years of outstanding service and leadership to this organization and to our entire community here in Memphis.

Under Jacob's stewardship, the MSPJC has grown and evolved, producing an incredible body of work rooted in our most deeply-held principles. His work has connected global oppression to local injustice, asking us to focus not only on those that suffer overseas, but also those that suffer right next door. Beyond this, Jacob's leadership allowed us to build a "people's organization" with an amazing and diverse staff aided by one of the strongest board of directors this organization has ever had.

Over the past six years it has been my pleasure and honor to serve alongside Jacob as Organizing Director and with your help, we have made great strides towards a more equitable community. Local issues like environmental justice, homelessness, and public transit have become cornerstones of the MSPJC, as evidenced by grassroots movements like GrowMemphis, H.O.P.E., and the Memphis Bus Riders Union. The Gandhi-King conference has developed into a major event and our training department has provided resources and mentoring to foster leadership and build our base of local activists winning real victories for their communities.

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Luther Vandross to receive star on Hollywood’s walk of fame

luther 600Luther Vandross will receive his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame next week.

According to a press release from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the "Secret Lovers" singer will be honored posthumously outside Capitol Records in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 3rd.

"Luther's unparalleled voice and forever romantic tunes such as, 'Never Too Much,' 'Power Of Love,' 'Here And Now,' 'House Is Not A Home,' 'So Amazing' and 'Dance With My Father' are known the world over," stated Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies. "We are honored to hold this dedication for a very special performer whose music will resonate for all time."

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RGIII helps special needs student get asked to prom

rg3prom 600Earlier this week, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RGIII) helped one Virginia high school student ask a special needs friend to prom.

At a recent Centreville High School lacrosse game, 17-year-old Juwaan Espinal, who is non-verbal due to cerebral palsy, was asked to prom in an extraordinary way, reports WJLA.

Thanks to his group of friends, who enlisted the help of Espinal's favorite NFL player, classmate Morgan Assel asked the big question.

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