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African American News & Issues

“Black Youth Matter,” Scholarship Awards Program

Two of the honorees will receive the Doris Rutland Memorial Scholarship and the Herman L. Ficklin Memorial Scholarship, honoring two of  past society members who played a significant role in the society’s success.

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The Afro American Cultural & Historical Society Tri City & Hayward Website

The Afro American Cultural & Historical Society, Tri City & Hayward, will be honoring African American high school graduates at its 45th annual scholarship awards program on Sunday, June 13 at 3 p.m. Going virtual for the second year, this year’s theme is, “Black Youth Matter: ‘Surviving is important (but) thriving is elegant.’ ” (Maya Angelou).

This year’s honorees: Jordan Robinson, Mt. Eden HS and Casaun Wright, Leadership Public Schools in Hayward; Sierra Sutton, Logan HS in Union City; Makaila Hilburn, Newark Memorial HS; Chloe Williams, Washington HS and Semira Embaye, John F. Kennedy HS in Fremont.

Two of the honorees  will receive the Doris Rutland Memorial Scholarship and the Herman L. Ficklin Memorial Scholarship, honoring two of  past society members who played a significant role in the society’s success.

With this year’s awards, the AACHS will have awarded about $200,000 in scholarships to Black high school. youth in southern Alameda County.

For information, visit aachstricity.org

Activism

Advocates to Gov. Newsom: Racial Disparities Are a Public Health Crisis

“The biggest hardship that we’re facing right now is really getting the governor to support investments to community-based organizations to focus on health equity and racial justice interventions within healthcare,” said Ron Coleman, the managing director of policy for the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN).

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california black media; health equity

Some health advocates are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to treat health inequity in California as a public health crisis – one that is complicated by racism.

Their appeal to the governor comes as California state officials propose a $115 million investment in the state’s budget for the next fiscal year to address health disparities. If approved, some of the money would fund programs administered by community-based organizations.

“The biggest hardship that we’re facing right now is really getting the governor to support investments to community-based organizations to focus on health equity and racial justice interventions within healthcare,” said Ron Coleman, the managing director of policy for the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN).

Coleman said the state needs to make new investments in public health that will remedy the social determinants that worsen health disparities in the healthcare system.

In the revised May budget, Newsom proposed a $115 million annual grant program for health equity and $200 million for local health infrastructure. He also included $15 million in funds to support underprivileged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people.

Despite the plan to increase spending on leveling the playing field in health care, a dozen community-based organizations want Newsom to do more. In addition to CPENH, other organizations include the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), Black Women for Wellness Action Project, California Black Health Network, California Black Women’s Health Project, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, Public Health Advocates, Public Health Institute, Roots Community Health Center, and Roots of Change.

The leaders of these organizations are asking the state to expand support for health programs with funds from California’s budget surplus that are targeted to addressing health disparities that impact vulnerable populations, including low-income Black and Brown families.

In the May budget revisions, “There was absolutely no new investment in the budget for public health, whether it’s the infrastructure, workforce, health equity racial justice, or prevention,” said Coleman.

Coleman specified that the money Newsom is allotting for health equity should go to community-based organizations, particularly for racial justice interventions in the healthcare system.

“We need Governor Newsom to begin treating racism as a public health crisis and make the investments in the community that will help us reduce healthcare disparities and improve health outcomes,” said Coleman.

Newsom said that the state has partnered with multiple community-based organizations for public outreach and vaccine pop-up sites. The state has also collaborated with “influencers” to implement earned and paid media strategies to counter misinformation related to COVID-19.

However, health advocates are wary about the efficacy of the state’s public health messaging campaigns as a means to reduce health disparities in ethnic communities that were the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coleman said that public health messaging is a promising start. But ethnic communities still need better access to health care.

“It’s great that they’re utilizing trusted messengers to disseminate information, but the state should actually be making an investment to support these organizations in helping to advance the improvements of health outcomes,” said Coleman.

Community-based organizations have been trusted messengers for the government through the pandemic. Although COVID-19 exposed health inequity, health disparities existed in ethnic communities prior to the pandemic.

A public proposal to the governor health advocates from a dozen community-based organizations stated that receiving government funds is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that can dismantle structural racism in California’s healthcare system.

Health advocates stressed that social determinants are major contributors to health disparities that widen the gap of inequality in healthcare. The advocates encouraged the state to prioritize social determinants including, food and housing security, childcare, and environmental justice, as defined by the California Department of Public Health.

According to the recommendations provided by the dozen organizations, the state should implement innovative approaches to achieving health inequity. They include:

  1. Partnerships between cities and community advocates to develop community participatory budgeting processes.
  2. Disaggregation of data on race/ethnicity to better understand variation in health risks and outcomes.
  3. Creating and cultivating racial justice training for government leaders and policy makers so that decisions and program implementation reflect community priorities and advance racial equity.

The recommendations proposed by leaders of the dozen organizations, aim to secure adequate funding for initiatives led by community-based organizations, local clinics, and tribal organizations. The leaders say they plan to use the funds to implement, monitor, and evaluate programs that promote racial justice and health.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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African American News & Issues

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle Not included in Funding Support

We will ultimately be successful in our efforts to reach the goal of our fundraising campaign but will also ensure that the native Oakland community of African Americans will receive equal assistance and opportunity in this city.

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Athenian Nile Club founded in 1915 often presented their wealthy members in entertainment in Black face

Publisher’s note by Paul Cobb: Several years ago when writer MarvinX Jackmon and I asked Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney to name the downtown business district in honor of the historic Black achievements, Black Newspaper, Black Businesses, Art Galleries, Black Museum, Government Buildings, Arts and Entertainment venues, I asked the Mayor to make sure that Geoffrey’s Inner Circle would receive the same financial support and grants that the Fox Theatre and the Oakland Auditorium were receiving. I reminded her how I as the former director of OCCUR, had led a group of historical preservationists to save the Fox from a demolition wrecking ball, she said she liked the Malonga Arts Complex instead. We at the Oakland Post support Geoffrey’s Go Fund Me appeal https://gofund.me/b2541419 with a $1,000.00 donation and my wife Gay Plair Cobb and I urge others to join us either in-kind or with at least the donation of a “Tubman” ($20.00 bill). Geoffrey’s ironically was the original home of Oakland’s white power structure. (We have published a photo below of how those White wealthy leaders often met and entertained themselves by adorning themselves in Black Face at the former Athenian Nile Club ( now Geoffrey’s). And now that the same establishment is represented by the face of a Black man, his establishment is being whitewashed with neglect.

The Post has asked Mr. Pete to give his own opinion below.

Paul Mooney appeared at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle some 30 or more times over the years. His platform and message were always used to shed a light on the grave racial disparity and economic injustice that has, whether acknowledged or not, plagued this country since its inception. This racially aggressive ideology has also had its tangles in our dear city of Oakland. A disparity study illustrated by Dr. Eleanor Ramsey highlighted the glaring absence of African Americans in the city’s landscape of budgeted allotments for professional services, labor construction and city development.

Former entertainer Paul Mooney often performed at Geoffrey’s urging America to face-up to White racism

While I applaud Yoshi’s Oakland for reaching their goal in their most recent Go Fund Me efforts, it should be noted that Yoshi’s also received $5 million dollars in assistance from both the City and Port of Oakland to open a jazz entertainment venue at Jack London Square. Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, a live entertainment venue that began at Jack London Square, has been operating for 30 years. This offer was not extended to expand GIC or renovate, nor was it offered to any other Black Owned Business in the entertainment genre in Oakland.

The Fox Oakland was $50 million dollars over budget for its renovation project and most recently left the City of Oakland with a $78 million cost overrun.

When an African American Development Firm entered a bid on the Oakland Auditorium/ Kaiser Center, the city gave a white developer the contract and $12 million dollars in naming rights. This deal in its origin should not have had any monetary exchange whatsoever, naming rights included. The aforementioned developer has additionally secured a 99-year lease that will cost him a hefty $1 dollar. He will also receive tax credits to the tune of a $20-$40-million-dollars in subsidies. Go fund me has a different ring to it if you are non-black and vending with the City of Oakland it seems.

We will ultimately be successful in our efforts to reach the goal of our fundraising campaign but will also ensure that the native Oakland community of African Americans will receive equal assistance and opportunity in this city.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Geoffrey Pete
GoFundMe

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African American News & Issues

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre

President Biden joined Congresswoman Lee and others from the Congressional Black Caucus for the public commemoration in Tulsa.

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Barbara Lee and “Uncle Red,” a Tulsa Massacre survivor, at Greenwood Cultural Center on May 31, 2021. Photo credit: Kayla Williams, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Office

It is the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee and others are calling it “ . . . the single largest act of domestic terrorism in our nation’s history.  It is an anniversary of pain, grief, and forgottenness.”

President Biden joined Congresswoman Lee and others from the Congressional Black Caucus for the public commemoration in Tulsa.

The Post spoke to the Congresswoman via phone while she was in Tulsa on the eve of the commemoration.  She was at Vernon AME church, destroyed in 1921, where she helped in the dedication of a prayer wall.

Greenwood, aka “Black Wall Street” in 1921, was an affluent Black neighborhood in Tulsa.   “This success came with white resentment. . . . a white woman made a false rape allegation against a Black Greenwood resident, white mobs flooded to Greenwood in response,” said Lee

“White residents, police officers, Oklahoma National guardsmen, and Ku Klux Klansmen alike firebombed the Black neighborhood, destroying over 100 businesses and burning 40 city blocks to the ground,” she continued.

“By morning, Black Wall Street – the single greatest model of Black prosperity at the time – was reduced to rubble.  Over 300 Black Tulsans were murdered.  And not a single white perpetrator was arrested for their crimes that day.

“No arrests.  No convictions.  And to this day, no reparations for the 10,000 displaced residents or the $100 million in property that was lost.”

Lee also visited Greenwood Cultural Center Town Hall and met with survivors 107-year-old Mother Fletcher and 100-year-old Uncle Red.

The goals are to make sure there is never another Tulsa, but also about uncovering the stories and reparations.  Lee sees Tulsa as ground zero.

She encourages folks to support the work of “Justice for Greenwood.”

“We cannot let ourselves forget this painful history. I hope you join…in lifting up the stories of the victims and their descendants,” Lee said

H.R. 40, Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, has moved to the floor of the house.

For more information and to donate to Greenwood, log onto JusticeForGreenwood.org.

A full photo gallery of Congresswoman Lee’s Tulsa visit can be found online with this story on postnewsgroup.com

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