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Black United Fund of Illinois Elects New Board Chair

CHICAGO DEFENDER — Following the sudden death of its chairman, Greg Hinton, the Board of Directors of the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) elected publishing and marketing expert, Carl West, as Chairman of the Board of BUFI.

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Marketing & publishing expert Carl West replaces former BUFI chairman, Greg Hinton (Photo by: chicagodefender.com)

By Chicago Defender

Following the sudden death of its chairman, Greg Hinton, the Board of Directors of the Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) elected publishing and marketing expert, Carl West, as Chairman of the Board of BUFI.

“I first want to thank the entire Board of Directors at Black United Fund of Illinois (BUFI) for having the confidence to recently elect me as the new Chairman of the Board. My participation as a board member over the last three years has been nothing short of rewarding and gratifying. It was a dream of mine to serve on BUFI’s active and progressive board ever since I met BUFI’s founder, Mr. Henry English, over ten years ago. He demonstrated a strong leadership skill which is what I look for in anyone that I meet during my journey,” expressed West, CEO and founding managing editor of TBTNews.

West not only follows in the illustrious and industrious footsteps of English, but of former chairman Hinton, who died suddenly this past August.  “I’m super committed to leading the current board as we also recruit new board members to complete the work that our most recent board chair, Mr. Greg Hinton, constructed to ensure that BUFI retains its status as an organization ‘Helping People Help Themselves!’ Greg was the ultimate leader, and his tutelage while at the helm has been invaluable for me and the entire board as well as the staff that actively do the work needed to stay afloat,” expressed West.

“Carl West’s election to the chairmanship of the Black United Fund of Illinois represents intergenerational continuity.  Inasmuch, Mr. West—in many years in his development—sought counsel from the late Henry English, founding president & CEO, and founding board members Professor Robert Starks and Dr. Conrad Worrill,” shared Carolyn Day, executive director of BUFI.

Day believes that West is “intimately prepared for this leadership role because of his long-standing relationship with BUFI and his current role as a board member.”

A distinguished and self-taught journalist and successful entrepreneur, West’s unique voice was enlisted by Citizen Newspaper publisher, Bill Garth, to contribute articles on hip-hop culture and climate—with a goal of introducing the weekly publication to a younger audience. Within five years, his feature stories helped the newspaper increase market share and circulation by more than 20 percent, expanding its audience and advertising base.

Currently, West is founder & CEO of MG Media, a global marketing and publishing firm he founded in 1998.  MG Media is the parent company of The TRUTH magazine and producer of “The Truth Awards”—both created in 2000 to identify, profile and showcase the innovative and prolific trailblazers in Chicago’s entertainment and business communities.

After publishing The TRUTH magazine for nearly ten years, in 2010, West entered the online media space, developing a digital footprint and platform with TRUTH B Told News Service that was launched to engage the next generation of leaders. The online media venture has received overwhelming support and accolades. Presently, the news service has over 65,000 subscribers and is steadily increasing its presence.

For more than 15 years, West has been recognized by numerous organizations for his committed work in the hip hop culture. Through voter registration and entrepreneurship, he is educating aspiring artists to the relevance of becoming community advocates. Developing a rigorous curriculum, West taught ‘The Business of Hip-Hop Culture’ at Olive Harvey and Malcolm X Colleges and continues his mission to harvest the next generation of thinkers by teaching leadership classes at Chicago State University.

In his new responsibilities as Chairman of the Board, West’s mastery for innovation and relationship-building will be foundational.

“I have some very big shoes to fill. And while doing so, I’ll also imprint new footsteps in the sand to leave for the next generation of leaders looking to serve their community at a super-high level. I look forward to being an active and engaged Board Chair, who’ll help move BUFI’s mission by continuing to build meaningful and productive relationships with the community, corporations, funders and other recognizable community partners.”

He added, “To be associated with the agency that Henry built, along with some amazing people over the last 40 years, gives me tremendous pride. The legacy of BUFI is strong, and its future is equally as bright.”

For more information on the Black United Fund of Illinois, visit www.bufi.org or call 773-324-0494.

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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