On November 25th, 2013, @ 6:30 PM The Black Institute, in collaboration with the Jewish Labor Committee, Bend the Arc, and the Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan & the Bronx, Inc. (RCCMB), will hold a forum at Union Theological Seminary to commemorate the 50th anniversary of MLK Jr.’s speech on Soviet Russian immigrants, and discuss immigration reform efforts being spearheaded by T.B.I, J.L.C, Bend the Arc and the RCCMB.
The majority of children under age 1 in the United States today are children of color; that one simple fact means that our future will be very different from our current reality. Before we reach the end of this decade, more than half of all youth in this country will be of color. Today, Hispanics are 17 percent of the population, and African Americans make up another 13 percent. But by 2043, the United States’ population will be majority people of color. A large portion of this growth will come from the Hispanic community, which will grow to 28 percent of the U.S. population by 2050. Because we know where the United States is headed, we have a unique opportunity to make the most of this knowledge and prepare today for tomorrow’s future. As the face of our nation changes, our nation’s policies will need to change as well. And while change is never easy, we know the place to start is where the change is already happening—and that means investing in our nation’s youngest citizens.
A recent ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic to strip away the citizenship of several generations of Dominicans leaves no doubt that the nation has not left its history of abuse and racism behind.
According to the decision, Dominicans born after 1929 to parents who are not of Dominican ancestry are to have their citizenship revoked. The ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of Haitian descent, including many who have had no personal connection with Haiti for several generations.
More than any other public policy issue, health care is very personal. So it is not surprising that personal stories are a central battleground for the public perception of the Affordable Care Act. And it is increasingly clear that this battle will be fought through the prisms of class and race.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) would not have become law if it were not for the willingness of survivors of the nation's health care mess - people who had lost loved ones, fought to get care after an insurance company denial, faced crippling medical costs - to tell their stories to members of Congress and the press. Many members of Congress voted for the bill, despite the political risk, because they were moved by personal encounters with constituents with compelling stories. Many of the most effective spokespeople during the legislative battle over the law were people whose lives and livelihoods had been threatened by our defective health coverage system.
Just 10 days into a new academic year, classes were abruptly over at one North Carolina charter school this year.
In September, parents who had enrolled their children in Kinston Charter Academy received a letter from the principal directing them to take their children someplace else.
According to a local news report, a mere two days prior to those letters being received, the local board met in an emergency session to close the school after “low performance and disciplinary challenges made the enrollment numbers dwindle.”
Said one dismayed parent, “I feel like we should have got more notice. If they was going to close the school, they should’ve gone ahead and let us know that before we enrolled the kids.”
This coming Friday, November 1st, at 6:30pm, The Black Institute will host a forum at Medgar Ever College discussing black immigration. Speakers will include Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, TBI founder Bertha Lewis, and special guest speaker, civil rights icon Harry Belafonte. Be sure to join us if you can!
The Center for American Progress recently published an excellent article detailing the impact the government shutdown has had on communities of color. Check it out:
Bertha Lewis, President, The Black Institute: I am heartbroken. Today, a great man has passed and I am deeply saddened by the loss of yet another mentor and friend to our community. A lot of what I know about Politics and Organizing, I learned from Bill Lynch.
What do flash mobs, cats and the Harlem Shake have in common? They all have videos that have gone viral. These videos spark spirit-filled discussions and millions of people share them with their networks each and every day.
Remembering Trayvon Martin
In a recent article I called for economic sanctions against Florida to compel business and political leaders in that state to change the “Stand Your Ground Law” which provided the basis for the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin. There are times when there is a convergence of ideas, a meeting of minds, such that a particular strategy has the potential to galvanize a movement to achieve a major victory. It appears that such a convergence of ideas has occurred around at least one strategy to translate the anger and frustration over the Zimmerman verdict into justice in the Trayvon Martin tragedy – Economic Sanctions/Boycott Florida. The idea is not a Ron Daniels idea or Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) call but one that is on the minds of Black people all across the country.