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Bernie Sanders Sole Candidate to Address the Black Press at NNPA National Convention

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “This is our revolution,” said Sanders, who will speak during the NNPA Convention’s Lifetime Legacy Award Black Tie Gala, Friday June 28th at 7:30pm at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel. Also in attendance will be former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, a key surrogate for Sander’s 2016 campaign and co-chair of his current campaign for the Democratic nomination and presidency.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Every major newspaper and news organization in the country has labeled the Black vote crucial to success in the 2020 presidential election, and statistics show that African Americans are 60% more likely to utilize and trust print-related resources for information than the general public.

However, of the 24 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the only one that has agreed to address key influencers of the African American community — the Black Press of America — at the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) annual convention later this month in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s no secret that Sanders has work to do to get his campaign message through to African Americans. “We thought we could do respectably in South Carolina, and we got decimated,” Sanders said in a campaign memo released earlier this year in which he discussed losing the Black vote to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina.

Clinton won an astonishing 86 percent of South Carolina’s Black voters in 2016.

“This is our revolution,” said Sanders, who will speak during the NNPA Convention’s Lifetime Legacy Award Black Tie Gala, Friday June 28th at 7:30pm at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel. Also in attendance will be former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, a key surrogate for Sander’s 2016 campaign and co-chair of his current campaign for the Democratic nomination and presidency.

The NNPA represents Black-owned newspapers with millions of weekly readers across the country, including major markets like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago and all of the nation’s “swing” states.

“You’ve got to win Black voters to win the primary,” Lawrence Moore, a former Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, told NBC News.

“It took [Sanders] a while to grow into and learn the issues, but he’s willing to listen and understand, unlike other politicians,” Moore said.

In a poll commissioned by The Black Economic Alliance and conducted by Hart Research and Brossard Research, Sanders currently trails former Vice President Joe Biden among Black voters.

The poll, which measured how enthusiastic Black voters are about the Democratic presidential candidates, showed that 76 percent of respondents said they were most enthusiastic about Biden; 64 percent said they were most enthusiastic about Sanders who finished ahead of Sens. Kamala Harris of California (53 percent) and Cory Booker of New Jersey (43 percent).

African Americans surveyed said affordable healthcare, college and the creation of more jobs with good benefits, were most important.

Sanders has openly reached out to African American leaders like NAACP President Derrick Johnson and others, where he’s discussed the economic climate, voter suppression, jobs and other issues facing the Black community.

In addition to Sanders’ campaign office, NNPA Newswire has contacted each of the remaining 24 Democratic presidential candidates for comment, including Biden, Harris, Booker, and Texas’ Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.

“The path to economic security is rocky for families in America but that path is even rockier for Black families who have stared down decades of government sponsored discrimination and institutional racism,” Sen. Warren told NNPA Newswire in an email.

“This campaign is about making our government and our economy work for everyone and Black Americans will be on the frontlines of that conversation. The Black Press of America and its journalists are an integral part of how we make our democracy work,” Warren said.

In a statement to NNPA Newswire, O’Rourke’s campaign said they’re grateful for the invitation to speak to the attendees of NNPA’s annual convention and wishes the 2020 candidate from Texas was able to participate in the dialogue.

“Beto believes we cannot just pay lip service to the problems faced by communities and towns often forgotten or written off, but that we must also listen to their ideas and welcome them to be a part of the solution,” the statement reads.

“That’s how he served in Congress and it’s how he has been running his campaign – making sure no person, no group, no constituency is taken for granted. We thank you for your continued coverage of topics that matter to all Americans – especially the African American community – and look forward to partnering with you to address these topics in the future.”

Last month, Harris cleared her schedule to attend and deliver a keynote address at the 75th anniversary celebration of the San Francisco Sun-Reporter newspaper where she said the Black Press was “more important than ever before.”

“The Sun-Reporter is an example of the significance of the Black press in America,” Harris said at the event held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

“There are issues that are unique to the Black community, and until we have true diversity in the press we must rely on papers like the Sun-Reporter,” Harris said.

In addition to the decision to skip the NNPA’s Annual Convention, With the exceptions of Warren and O’Rourke, no other candidates responded to our request for comment.

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Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Amari is one of these artists and Ghofrane is an activist. Exploring how racism has shaped her life in all aspects including her early school days, her romantic life and everyday activities, Amari’s film showcases how Ghofrane uses her experiences as impetus to work to bring change to her country for all people. A compassionate and hopeful exploration of the life and aspirations of Ghofrane, She Had A Dream sheds light on women’s roles in Tunisia’s changing society and one woman’s battle to create change for her community.
The post Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D, NNPA Newswire Entertainment and Culture Editor

The documentary She Had A Dream by Tunisian filmmaker Raja Amari premieres on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange series tonight at 8 p.m. EST on WORLD CHANNEL. Season 14 of the acclaimed documentary series captures Black artists and activists shaping and reclaiming culture, advocating for change and mobilizing for brighter futures. She Had A Dream offers an intimate portrayal of one young Black Tunisian woman’s quest for political office and her fight against racism and oppression in a society that often seeks to overlook both.

The documentary follows Ghofrane, a 20-something Black woman from Tunisia as she walks the path of self-discovery of young adulthood while running for political office in a homeland where many still view her as an outsider.

Watch the trailer below:

A dedicated, charismatic activist and a modern, free-speaking woman, Ghofrane in many ways is the embodiment of contemporary Tunisian political hopes still alive years after the Arab Spring. She Had A Dream follows Ghofrane as she works to conquer her own self-doubts while attempting to persuade close friends and complete strangers to vote for her. As audiences follow her campaign, they also follow the dichotomies of her life as a woman striving for a role in politics in the Arab world and as a Black person in a country where racism is prevalent, yet often denied.

“The 14th season of AfroPoP shines a light on the collective power, strength and resilience of Black people and movements around the world,” said Leslie Fields-Cruz, AfroPoP executive producer. “Viewers will see artists use their platforms to push for progress and human rights and see ‘ordinary’ people do the remarkable in the interest of justice.”

Amari is one of these artists and Ghofrane is an activist. Exploring how racism has shaped her life in all aspects including her early school days, her romantic life and everyday activities, Amari’s film showcases how Ghofrane uses her experiences as impetus to work to bring change to her country for all people. A compassionate and hopeful exploration of the life and aspirations of Ghofrane, She Had A Dream sheds light on women’s roles in Tunisia’s changing society and one woman’s battle to create change for her community.

She Had A Dream airs on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange Monday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET on WORLD Channel and begins streaming on worldchannel.org at the same time.

AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is presented by Black Public Media and WORLD Channel. For more information, visit worldchannel.org or blackpublicmedia.org.

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

The post Tunisia: Raja Amari’s ‘She Had a Dream’ Doc Premieres on AfroPoP first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Sextortion” refers to sex being used as currency instead of money for services or products — in this case water. According to the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the testimonies collected from women over the past five years in Kibera and Mukuru Kwa Njenga, which are some of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi, point towards an invisible, unspoken, and sinister consequence of corruption in the water sector i.e. sextortion. Sex for water is not a new phenomena.
The post Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BBC Africa is reporting Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is facing a water shortage because of changing weather patterns and aging water facilities. The article reports, “Residents in informal communities like Kibra pay private vendors for water, meaning they now control the supply and access to water in the community.” The privatization of water access has led to an increase in the exploitation of women and girls in exchange for water.

“Sextortion” refers to sex being used as currency instead of money for services or products — in this case water. According to the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the testimonies collected from women over the past five years in Kibera and Mukuru Kwa Njenga, which are some of the largest informal settlements in Nairobi, point towards an invisible, unspoken, and sinister consequence of corruption in the water sector i.e. sextortion. Sex for water is not a new phenomena. Check out the 2018 ANEW documentary short below:

The water crisis and the sexual exploitation of girls and women as a result of the water crisis shows no signs of slowing down.

To read more about this crisis, visit BBC Africa‘s series of articles and videos on Kenya’s water crisis and the Water Integrity Network’s (WIN) study on sextortion.

This news brief was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

The post Nairobi: Water Crisis Exploits Women & Girls first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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#WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright

THE AFRO — Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black youths ages 15 to 24, according to the Office of Minority Health. The same report found Black high school-aged girls were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers. And, by June 2020, the CDC saw the rate of Black respondents who reported having “seriously considered suicide” was significantly higher.
The post #WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Maya Pottiger, Word in Black

It’s no surprise that we’re living through difficult times. After two years, we’re still in a global pandemic, which has predominantly impacted people of color. In addition, Book bans, attacks on critical race theory, and partisan political fights target everything from Black youths’ sexuality, to history, to health.

And we’re seeing the effects.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Black youths ages 15 to 24, according to the Office of Minority Health. The same report found Black high school-aged girls were 60 percent more likely to attempt suicide than their white peers. And, by June 2020, the CDC saw the rate of Black respondents who reported having “seriously considered suicide” was significantly higher.

For a variety of reasons — ongoing stigma, lack of insurance, most accessible — Black students often rely on the mental health services offered at school.Outside of a mental health-specific practice, Black students were nearly 600 times as likely to get mental health help in an academic setting compared to other options, according to 2020 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In fact, mental health services in schools have been steadily gaining popularity among students since 2009, before dropping slightly in 2020 when the school year was interrupted, according to the SAMHSA report. As a result, the rate of students receiving mental health care through school decreased by 14 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

So how are schools changing the way they address and prioritize mental health — and the specific needs of Black students — since 2020?

The Renewed Focus on Mental Health

For school-aged people, the majority of their time is spent in a school building — about eight hours per day, 10 months out of the year. To help address mental health during academic hours, schools are trying to focus on social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills. This includes teaching kids how to be in touch with their emotions and protect against adverse mental health outcomes.

But it’s been difficult.

Though there’s been more conversation, the implementation is challenging, says Dr. Kizzy Albritton, an associate professor of school psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. There was already a shortage of school-based mental health professionals before the pandemic, which has now been exacerbated, as have mental health issues. In addition, though schools clearly recognize the importance of mental health, they aren’t always provided adequate resources.

“Unless there are more resources funneled into the school system, we’re going to see a continued catch-up issue across the board,” Albritton says. “And, unfortunately, our Black students are going to continue to suffer the most.”

In a survey of high school principals and students, Education Week Research Center found discrepancies in how principals and students viewed a school’s mental health services. While 86 percent of the principals said their schools provided services, only about 66 percent of students agreed. The survey did point out it’s possible the school offers these services and students aren’t aware. The survey also found Black and Latinx students were less likely than their peers to say their schools offered services.

Dr. Celeste Malone, the president-elect of the National Association for School Psychologists and a Howard University associate professor, says she hasn’t previously seen this degree of attention to mental health in schools.

“I see that a lot in my role for a school psychology graduate program: the outreach and people contacting me with openings where they didn’t exist previously,” Malone says. “With this increased push in funding to hire more, that’s definitely a very, very positive movement.”

Mental Health Is Not One Size Fits All

Just like with many aspects of health, Black youths need different mental health support from their peers of other races. They need a counselor who understands their lived experiences, like microaggressions and other forms of discrimination or racism, without the student having to explain.

For example, in order to best address the specific mental health needs of Black students, districts need to provide information breaking down mental health stigmas; focus on hiring Black counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals; and fund anti-racist and trauma-informed mental health practices, according to the Center for American Progress.

While she hears a lot of talk, Albritton says she isn’t seeing widespread evidence of these solutions in practice.

“There needs to be a willingness, first of all, to understand that our Black students, their needs look a lot different,” Albritton says. School officials need to understand where Black students are coming from — that their families and households experience systemic and structural racism, which are known to trigger anxiety and depression. The effects of the racial wealth gap also play a role, from the neighborhood kids are living in, to the schools they can attend to the impacts on their health. Students might be bringing worries about these challenges to school, which could be reflected in their behavior. This is why, Albritton says, it’s crucial to also work with students’ families.

The post #WordinBlack: Schools and Black Students’ Mental Health: The Kids Aren’t Alright appeared first on AFRO American Newspapers .

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